With frosts occurring around the country this post from APDT member Sue Pickering of Paws In Partnership offers some timely advice.Winter Safety Tips
Wash paws after walks - road grit and salt is extremely irritating to the skin, salt is also toxic if ingested, so rinse your dog's paws, legs and tummy after walks and check carefully for irritation.
Ice - stay away from frozen ponds and lakes and be very careful walking on icy surfaces
Nippy - as temperatures drop some dogs particularly young, old or those with very fine coats will benefit from wearing a coat. Make sure you choose one that fits well and ensure that your dog is comfortable about wearing it.
Toxic - Antifreeze is extremely toxic to dogs, contact your vet immediately if you suspect your dog may have been in contact with it.
Enjoy - dogs love to play in frost and snow, take precautions to stay safe, but don't miss out on the fun
Reflective clothing - be visible on your walks by wearing bright/reflective clothing, if your dog is happy to wear a coat there are lots of reflective ones available, along with lights that attach to harnesses, flashing collars etc ... See MoreSee Less
This article by Zazie Todd PhD of Companion Animal Psychology looks at the Five Freedoms of animal welfare. The stand out statistic for those of us interested in dog training was:
"12% of dog owners have never trained their dog, a percentage that has not changed much over the years of the PAW reports."
Of course, we are all training our dogs every time we interact with them, but conscious choice about what we are teaching, can go a long way towards improving our relationships and, therefore, the dog's and our quality of life.
What do you think would help more people understand what their dog needs to be able to live a happy and healthy life? ... See MoreSee Less
This post reminds us that behavioural change can take a while and it's important to celebrate the sometimes tiny successes along the journey.
What behaviour change are you celebrating this week?We live in a world of before and afters. Before and after weight loss! Before and after makeover! Before and after home remodel! These images fill our social media feeds and marketing reels. They are striking, exciting, and yes, reinforcing. They make us feel good and give us hope and a glimpse into what’s possible.
What they don’t give us, however, is the full story of what it took to get there. What they don’t show us are the million and one excruciating steps between the before and the after. They make it appear that progress is just one finite “after”, a destination we reach once we check all the boxes, go through all the steps, and follow all the rules. They can skew our perception of reality and pervert our sense of time.
In truth, progress is a slow and gradual build. It’s a wave that ebbs and flows. It’s a cup that fills slowly, sometime imperceptibly, drop by drop, until one day we look and notice that it’s fuller. Progress is an ever-evolving story and progress is never linear. The before and afters are just one single snapshot in time.
This is important to remember when it comes to working with our dogs, especially when our dogs struggle with fear or reactivity. We don’t measure progress by the absence of behaviors (or reactions). We measure it by the change in their frequency, intensity, duration, and our dogs’ tolerance and recovery over time.
Is your dog reacting less frequently, to less triggers, in less contexts? Is your dog’s threshold increasing? Are your dog’s reactions less intense? Does your dog recover quicker? Is your dog able to re-engage with you sooner? Is your dog’s comfort increasing?
These are just some of the things we can be noting, tracking, and measuring over time. The answers to these questions will vary depending on the day, the context, the environment, and how your dog is feeling. We share our lives with living sentient beings whose behavior doesn’t come with “results guaranteed or your money back.” They will have good days and bad days, just like us. And this is OK.
So celebrate your successes. Celebrate all those tiny imperceptible steps between the before and the after of today, because tomorrow they will look different. Hold each tiny step close, acknowledge how far you’ve come, and give yourself some credit. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to your dog. You both deserve it. ... See MoreSee Less
Archie was able to walk past a (stationery) cat this week only about 10ft away AND he spent almost 5 minutes walking off lead and recalling EVERY time I called him ❤️❤️❤️
(4 years ago he arrived with no recall and convinced that cats were snacks)
Managed to get a collar and lead on this 8 ish year old rescue dog that has never had one on before being rescued. She would crocodile roll if one was put on. Taken 2 weeks up and down the passage in the kennel block. Now she is outside for a little walk and photos, Babs is a little love and if taken gently will learn all kinds of things.