Puppy Biting

You’ll often read it as “play biting” but this is a gross assumption in terms of diagnosis and what is actually motivating the puppy to grab, bite or mouth. For some owners, it is a real problem. Those needle teeth hurt, for a start. It can negatively affect the bond formed from the new owner towards their puppy and can result in owners using methods the puppy finds scary or unpleasant to try to stop the behaviour. This then has a detrimental effect on the relationship from the puppy's perspective too. There are different motivations underlying puppy biting, grabbing [...]

By |2021-02-20T18:19:35+00:00February 20th, 2021|Dogs|Comments Off on Puppy Biting

Teaching puppies to cope with separation

It’s important that we gradually build up periods of separation in young puppies rather than just leave them and hope they cope (or actively ignore them if they are not coping). During the first day after bringing our puppy home, she was not left unsupervised at all. At night for the first week our puppy slept with us, gradually moving her bed away from our bed until it was on the landing. She then stayed sleeping on the landing for another week until I was sure that she was able to last all night without needing the toilet, at which […]

By |2020-05-01T12:17:32+01:00November 22nd, 2019|Dogs|0 Comments

Kids and puppies

Getting a new puppy is an exciting time for children. Owning a dog helps teach children patience, responsibility, empathy, increases self-esteem, keeps them fit and has other health benefits. But it is the responsibility of adults to make sure that the relationship is appropriate and fair. Sadly, most dog bites happen to children under the age of 6 living in the home, and most parents claim it appeared to happen ‘out of the blue’. I have previously been asked by parents for help because their child won’t leave their puppy alone and it has started to growl. It’s a bit […]

By |2020-05-01T12:26:01+01:00November 22nd, 2019|Dogs|0 Comments

First walks with your puppy

First “walks” are not much of a walk at all. They generally involve the puppy watching the world go by from a safe place. I tend to introduce a very lightweight 2+ meter line at home, alongside the puppy being rewarded for staying with me as I move. The line can be used on walks if necessary, dropped acting as a dragline or held when not safe to be loose and when I want to work on loose lead walking (i.e. rewarding the puppy for ‘being with you’). I try not to let the puppy know the lead can ever […]

By |2020-05-01T12:27:09+01:00November 22nd, 2019|Dogs|0 Comments

Puppies who pick things up or eat things they shouldn’t…

Puppies explore with their mouths. They don’t have fingers or opposable thumbs to investigate items, so everything goes in the mouth. Most of the time, if the environment is enriched enough with appropriate items for the puppy to play with and chew on, including novel items to maintain interest, they will choose to interact with these objects or return to them quickly after investigating other things. If we respond to them putting items in their mouth or stealing things either verbally or by trying to take the item from them/remove it from their mouths, we risk creating problems. The puppy […]

By |2020-05-01T12:28:20+01:00November 22nd, 2019|Dogs|0 Comments

Crate training a puppy

Sometimes I think that crates are used purely because new owners think it’s the ‘done thing’ and too often puppies are just put into the crate and expected to be ok. I crate train. The main reason is for transportation. For 90% of the time, I expect my puppy to choose to take herself into her crate and have no reason to shut it. Some advantages of a crate are that it provides a clear boundary for people so that it is harder to disturb a sleeping dog; it can create a cosy dark cave; some puppies and dogs prefer a […]

By |2020-05-01T12:29:15+01:00November 22nd, 2019|Dogs|0 Comments

Bringing your new puppy home

Bringing a new puppy home is a very exciting time but it’s also important to aim to set the environment up for success from the start, with the aim of preventing potential problems from developing. Young puppies are amazingly versatile – in the space of a few hours they have to experience: – Being separated from their siblings, mum, familiar people and possibly other familiar dogs. – Being taken away from their familiar environment & scent profile and put into an alien one. – A car journey with unfamiliar people. – Introductions to new pets. – Being introduced to a collar […]

By |2020-05-01T12:30:42+01:00November 22nd, 2019|Dogs|0 Comments

Thinking about buying a puppy?

Buying a puppy is a long-term commitment. It’s important to research breeds and breeders thoroughly and consider what would happen if your circumstances change at any time during the dog’s lifetime. Some things to look out for in a reputable breeder: – All health tests relevant to the breed have been done in both the Sire and Dam, and they are only used for breeding if the results are acceptable. “Vet checked” does NOT mean health tested. – Kennel Club registration is not a guarantee of quality nor that the breeder is reputable. However, reputable breeders of pedigree dogs will […]

By |2020-05-01T12:31:37+01:00November 22nd, 2019|Dogs|0 Comments

Raising puppies to prevent behaviour problems – Crufts 2019 article

Understanding common dog behaviour problems is the first step to preventing them, writes Rosie Bescoby, Clinical Animal Behaviourist at Pet Sense. Bringing a new puppy home is an exciting time for the family but can be an overwhelming experience for the pup – it is usually the first time the puppy has been separated from its mum, littermates, familiar people and surroundings. The first few days and weeks in a puppy’s new home are significant in terms of emotional development – a puppy’s perception of the world can be permanently influenced by new experiences at this stage in its life. […]

By |2020-05-01T12:34:26+01:00March 7th, 2019|Dogs|0 Comments

Part 2 – Getting a rescue dog vs a puppy

In the second part of this blog, I wanted to ask an owner of a rescue dog some questions about their choice of a rescue over a puppy, and the journey they have been on. Here is Gemma’s story:   Why did you choose a rescue dog over a puppy?   Despite having dogs from puppyhood when I was growing up, I realized the issue relating to over-breeding of dogs with so many unwanted dogs in shelters and being put to sleep. I simply felt that getting a puppy was wrong! We started trawling the websites of rehoming centres, through […]

By |2020-05-01T12:42:17+01:00January 6th, 2017|Dogs, Pet News|0 Comments


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