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    Managing Separation Anxiety – Part Five

    Welcome to Part 5 So, we are now moving into the final stages of training. Today we’ll start looking at the bit that comes before the problem behaviour. This is the behaviour that starts as soon as your dog realises that he is going to be left alone. This stage is absolutely vital as anxiety compounds and the calmer your dog is when you walk out the door, the better his chance of coping while you’re gone. Changing their expectation! So, next time you prepare to leave him alone, take note of all the changes in his behaviour, no matter how small. Look out for any signs of anxiety such…

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    Managing Separation Anxiety – Part Four

    Welcome to part 4 If you are just finding me now, please head to part one and hopefully all will make sense So, we have got as far as Confidence building. This is an important part of any training plan when you are working with an anxious dog. It’s also a lot of fun for you both when you approach it well. Clicker Training Clicker Training is a great way of boosting confidence, so I recommend it often for anxious dogs. The delay between clicking and treating creates anticipation of a good thing. This anticipation causes a release of happy hormones, so the clicker works really well for this. Introduce…

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    Managing Separation Anxiety – Part Three

    Welcome to Part 3 So, hopefully you’ve got off to a good start creating a safe place at home. Let me know in the comments if you’re having problems with that. Or if you are seeing this for the first time, I recommend starting with step 1. Otherwise, lets move on! Be the Guard Dog! You and I both know that you’d do anything to keep your dog safe, that’s not the problem. However, dogs with anxiety need constant reminders, so I’m going to talk to you about protective behaviour that you can easily copy to set his mind at ease as often as possible. If you watch how your…

  • Behaviour Training

    Managing Separation Anxiety – Part Two

    Welcome to Part 2 Hopefully, you’ve been able to established the root cause of your dogs problem. If you are sure it’s separation anxiety, and nothing else, then we are ready to move on to the first steps. (Please see Step One if you are not sure). It’s very tempting to want to jump straight to the symptom when you are trying to help your dog, especially when they have anxiety, but if we don’t work on the underlying problem first your results will be short lived, or non-existent. So we need to resist temptation and do some groundwork first. You did nothing wrong! Just quickly, I would like to…

  • Behaviour Training

    Managing Separation Anxiety – Part One

    As I sit, helplessly listening to a poor pup howling his heart out from one of the nearby blocks of flats, I am reminded of all the poor pups out there that might not cope well alone. So, I thought, why don’t we work on this together! Separation Anxiety is Actually Normal First, it’s important to know that separation anxiety is perfectly normal in all social creatures – including us. If it wasn’t for a need to be sociable we wouldn’t care a jot for all the new lockdown measures, in fact we’d hardly even notice them! Our dogs are no different, and that’s how it should be. Also, just…

  • Behaviour Training

    Creating a bond with your dog

    Why do dogs need to bond with their humans? I can answer this question two ways; on a deeper level I can talk about bonding in terms of survival. Dogs are not born with the skills to care for or protect themselves, and neither are any mammals, including humans. As mammals, we have a lot to learn before we are considered fully capable adults. This means that as we grow up we are decreasingly dependent on others for our survival. The bond we form with those that care for us is the only reason they let us stick around for so long. As juveniles, we add burden to resources, time,…

  • Behaviour Training

    Reactive Behaviour in Dogs

    Do you have a reactive dog? Simply put, you have a reactive dog if your dogs behaves disproportionately, or in the extreme, to something. This could mean he is over excited, anxious or aggressive. But whatever the cause he is likely making a big deal about it. Typically, he could be jumping and lunging, barking and squealing, or spinning in circles. He might also be acting aggressively towards whatever he is reacting to. As there are so many different root causes for reactive behaviour, it is fair to say that any dog can become reactive. And, actually, dogs can become reactive to almost anything. The most common causes are other…

  • Behaviour Training

    Does your dog speak dog?

    …and does he really need to? That’s a good question. It should be perfectly natural for a dog to be able to communicate with his own kind. But more and more often, dogs are lacking the essential skills they need to interact appropriately with other members of their own species. It is one of the most common problems I am asked to help with. And it causes more problems than you might think. This is a huge problem, that has been caused mostly by a recent decline in dogs being allowed to exercise off lead. This new trend has come about partly due to off lead bans, partly from a…

  • Behaviour Training

    No more dog training tips!

    Dog behaviour tips don’t work for everyone The internet is packed full of tips that promise to fix all your dogs behaviour and training problems. The trouble is, there is so much conflicting information that it is near impossible to know where to start. If you are lucky, you might find that golden nugget straight away, and voila, you’re done. But, if you are like most people, you could be embarking on a long, frustrating, and often expensive, journey based on trial and error. CarolineI have more than 15 years experience solving all kinds of canine behaviour problems, at home and in rescue. A bad experience with a old fashioned…

  • Behaviour Training

    Barking… noise pollution or necessary behaviour?

    Barking, and other forms of vocalisation, are natural behaviours for our dogs. It is one of four methods dogs use to communicate with each other. The others are Scent, Body Language and Touch. But, is it really the problem we think it is? We used to love it! Not only is vocalising normal for dogs, it is actually one of the reasons our ancestors fell in love with them. In fact, they particularly liked dogs that barked as they warned them of potential intruders, animal or human. At that time we often selected breeding pairs with this in mind. It is little wonder then that some of our pet dogs…