Browsed by
Category: Behaviour

Snuffle Mat Tutorial

Snuffle Mat Tutorial

A dog’s most powerful sense is their sense of smell, dogs just love to sniff! Giving dogs opportunities to use their nose in the home is hugely enriching for them. Snuffle mats are great ways to do this. Simply sprinkle their food or treats onto the mat and allow them to use their noses and brains to find it! This is also great to slow down fast eaters. A dog spending 5-10 minutes using a snuffle mat can actually tire…

Read More Read More

Dogs: To Hug or Not to Hug?

Dogs: To Hug or Not to Hug?

Recently there has been a great debate over whether or not you should hug your dog. Dr Coren, a professor of psychology at The University of British Columbia, recently published this article in Psychology Today. Dr Coren used random photos of people hugging dogs from google and by reading the body language of the dogs in the photo, deduced that many of the dogs were showing signs of stress and anxiety. He therefore recommended that people shouldn’t hug their dogs….

Read More Read More

The Dangers of Punishing Growling

The Dangers of Punishing Growling

The way that dog’s communicate with us can, at times, be complex, subtle and hard to interpret. One tool that dogs do have in their communication toolbox that is none of those things however is growling. Even the most un-doggy person knows that when a dog growls it is not happy and would really rather you stopped what you were doing before things escalate! Now, many people understand the basics of social learning theory – that is the way that…

Read More Read More

New Research – Stranger Danger!

New Research – Stranger Danger!

Our relationship with dogs really is one-of-a-kind. Dogs are incredibly tuned in to our behaviours and learn a lot about a situation purely based on our reactions. Researchers at the Aix Marseille University in France have discovered that, when confronted with a stranger, dogs look to their owners for guidance and react according to their owner’s reaction. Even without an emotional response, the simple physical action of the owner moving away from – or towards – a stranger significantly affects…

Read More Read More

Muzzle Training 101

Muzzle Training 101

Muzzles are great! They are an incredibly useful and important tool used to keep dogs and people safe. Unfortunately there is a lot of negative stigma surrounding muzzles and dogs that wear them. The social negativity associated with muzzles can lead to people being reluctant to use them which can sometimes have awful and tragic consequences. When people see a dog with a muzzle they sometimes assume that it is a dangerous dog and that it must have a poor owner….

Read More Read More

Nosework – Train Your Dog to Track

Nosework – Train Your Dog to Track

Smell is a dog’s most powerful sense, in fact, the average dog’s sense of smell is one thousand times more sensitive than a human’s. Dogs love to sniff and discover new things with their noses. For years, humans have used the dog’s fantastic sense of smell in order to help us in a variety of ways. Dogs are used to track down missing people, find drugs and bombs, some dogs are even being trained to sniff out cancer! Tracking training is not just…

Read More Read More

Training Impulse Control in Dogs

Training Impulse Control in Dogs

All animals are impulsive by nature, they see something they want and they act to obtain it immediately. Children learn to control their impulses as they learn what is, and is not, appropriate from their parents and society in general. Dogs are no different. If they are not shown and taught what is appropriate and to control their impulses then this can lead to rude dogs getting themselves into trouble. Many people find themselves struggling when their puppy reaches adolescence,…

Read More Read More

New Research – Dogs Actively Help Their Friends!

New Research – Dogs Actively Help Their Friends!

We know that many animals, including dogs, are highly social. True prosociality is extremely rare however. Prosociality is where an individual voluntarily takes action to benefit others, often with little or no benefit to themselves. Humans are one of the only animals to act pro-socially, even our closest relatives – chimpanzees – have shown inconclusive evidence of doing so. I’m sure most of us have anecdotes about dogs helping each other or helping us, but are they really acting prosocially?. A…

Read More Read More

The Language of Dogs

The Language of Dogs

Dogs are extremely social animals (like ourselves) which means that they cannot cope with being alone for extended periods of time and need companionship to thrive. As a result, dogs are excellent communicators and can often tell us exactly how they are feeling at any given time. The challenge for us however, is to learn to understand these signals and react appropriately. Unfortunately, these communicative behaviours are often misunderstood or ignored and can ultimately lead to a very unhappy dog who,…

Read More Read More