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The Dangers of Anti-Freeze Poisoning in Dogs: Warning Signs, Treatment, and Prevention Tips

As the weather gets colder, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of anti-freeze for dogs. Many people use anti-freeze in their cars to keep them running smoothly in cold weather, but what they don’t realise is that even a small amount of antifreeze can be deadly for dogs. If your dog comes into contact with anti-freeze, it’s important to act quickly and get them to a vet as soon as possible. In this blog post, we’ll look at the dangers of anti-freeze for dogs and what you can do if your dog comes into contact with it.

Many dogs are attracted to the sweet taste of anti-freeze but don’t realise it’s poisonous

It is an unfortunate truth that many dogs are drawn to sweet-tasting anti-freeze, without understanding the risks. It often has a pleasant taste, but little do they know that it is an incredibly dangerous toxin that can cause severe kidney damage and even death.

At first glance, anti-freeze may simply appear to be a harmless liquid spilt on the ground, so if your dog does come across it, make sure you discourage them from drinking and immediately take them for medical attention. Prevention is always better than cure: take all necessary steps to ensure your pet stays clear of this danger by quickly cleaning up any spills before they can get to them.

Why is anti-freeze poisonous?

Antifreeze is the most readily available source of ethylene glycol – the active ingredient found in many automotive and industrial fluids that provide both cooling for engines and protection from winter freezes.

Therefore, pet owners must make sure their animals have no access to ethylene glycol or antifreeze, as consuming even small amounts has immediate and potentially fatal consequences. Always read labels carefully to ensure any products containing ethylene glycol are not accessible.

Products that may contain antifreeze

  • Car engines
  • Radiators
  • Air conditioners
  • De-icers
  • Snow Globes
  • Solar Water Heaters
Snow globes may contain anti-freeze

Just a few licks of anti-freeze can cause kidney failure in dogs

When consumed, anti-freeze can cause kidney failure in dogs which can be extremely difficult to treat. To keep your pet safe from this kind of tragedy, never allow them access to anti-freeze or any other chemical or detergent that could pose a risk to their health. Furthermore, it is wise to be mindful when discarding any possible hazardous substances, such as antifreeze, and knowing the potential risks associated with antifreeze consumption will ensure you are able to provide the best care for your four-legged friends.

If you think your dog has ingested anti-freeze, take them to the vet immediately

If you think that your beloved pet has ingested ANY anti-freeze, it is important to take them to the vet immediately. Anti-freeze is very dangerous for dogs and can be lethal if not treated right away. Immediate veterinary care may save your dog’s life and prevent long-term organ damage.

Symptoms of anti-freeze poisoning include excessive thirst, lethargy, vomiting, weak limbs, and abnormal breathing. Be sure to confirm with the vet your dog’s symptoms and if they are indeed related to the consumption of anti-freeze so they can quickly provide appropriate treatment before any irreparable damage occurs.

Some signs that your dog has been poisoned by anti-freeze include vomiting, lethargy, and seizures

If your dog has been poisoned with antifreeze, it is important to act quickly. Poisoning from antifreeze can cause irreversible organ damage and even death in as little as 48 hours. That’s why it is important to be on the lookout for some of the common symptoms that could indicate its presence. These include vomiting, extreme lethargy, seizures, and a decrease in urination or thirst.

It is important to understand the progression of ethylene glycol poisoning in dogs.

The first stage of poisoning occurs within half an hour to twelve hours after ingestion and may cause neurological signs such as depression, staggering, inability to stand or trouble to get up, muscle twitching and reduced reflexes – all of which could suggest intoxication. Other signs may include vomiting, excessive thirst and occasionally excessive urination.

After ingestion, the second stage of poisoning typically begins 12 – 24 hours later. At this point, dogs may seem fine and as though they have recovered; however, underlying damage is occurring due to the toxic metabolites from the ethylene glycol. Although you might notice an increased respiratory rate, other symptoms such as an increased heart rate and dehydration are not always visible.

The third stage may start between 36 to 72 hours later, these toxins will build up enough inside your dog’s body that they can suffer from severe kidney failure with potentially fatal symptoms including seizures and coma. It is crucial to keep a close eye on any signs of poisoning in order to prevent further harm and get your pup the care it needs.

To prevent your dog from getting into the antifreeze, keep it out of reach and clean up any spills immediately

It is important to ensure that your pet stays safe and healthy. Because antifreeze can be highly toxic for dogs if consumed, it’s best to keep it far away from any pets in the house. Make sure to store it wherever your pet can’t get access, preferably higher up on a shelf or behind a closed door.

In addition, take quick action if you drop any antifreeze on the floor – get a damp cloth and clean up the mess right away, before your pet discovers the substance and starts licking it. Being mindful of these precautions can save you—and your four-legged friend—a lot of stress in the long run!

Summary

Anti-freeze is a common household item, but it can be deadly to dogs. Just a few licks of anti-freeze can cause kidney failure in dogs. If you think your dog has ingested anti-freeze, take them to the vet immediately. Some signs that your dog has been poisoned by anti-freeze include vomiting, lethargy, and seizures. To prevent your dog from getting into the antifreeze, keep it out of reach and clean up any spills immediately.

Protecting Our Protectors – The Work of The NFRSA with Retired Service Animals

As a country, we rely on service animals to help us in many different ways. They are an integral part of our lives, and we owe them a great debt for their years of service. That’s why we are so grateful for organisations like the National Foundation for Retired Service Animals that provide retired service animals with the care they need and deserve!

Today we are speaking with The Rt. Hon. Countess Bathurst, Chair of the NRFSA and LWDG Society Member, Management Committee Member, and Show and Events Coordinator, Tracey Wysocka, about retired service animals and why they deserve the best medical treatment.

Podcast Edition:

Who are the NFRSA?

The National Fund for Retired Service Animals (NFRSA) is a fantastic organisation that addresses the financial costs and care of retired service animals across the country.

Their main aims are to assist those caring for retired animals by subsidising vet bills and other related expenses, while also promoting the extraordinary work service animals do.

Additionally, the NFRSA seeks to support existing local charity organisations in order to recognise their successes and lend assistance wherever this may be needed. This is an incredible organisation doing vital work when it comes to supporting retired service animals.

In this week’s podcast, The Countess spoke to LWDG Founder Jo Perrott about the importance of providing medical care to retired service animals:

“It is essential that we provide the best possible medical treatment for our retired service animals. They have given so much to us, and it’s only right that we repay them with the proper care they deserve. Without organisations like ours, owners of these animals may struggle to provide the medical care these animals may need.”

Tracey Wysocka, who has worked closely with working dogs in her career, echoed the Countess’s sentiment:

“I know how much these animals give to us and it is an honour to be able to provide them with the care they need in their retirement. We are grateful for any donations or help we can get so that these animals can continue to live life comfortably after all the service they have given us.”

How you can help the NFRSA and Retired Service Animals

If you would like to make a donation or help the National Foundation for Retired Service Animals in any way, please visit their website or contact them directly. Together we can ensure that retired service animals receive the medical care they deserve and continue to get the love and respect they so rightfully deserve.

We also want to thank all those who have served and are currently serving our country with service animals. Your hard work, dedication and bravery are truly appreciated. Thank you for all that you do!

We encourage you to help support this cause and donate to organisations like the National Foundation for Retired Service Animals, so that retired service animals can continue to live with comfort and dignity. Together, we can all make a difference.

For more information on how you can support this fantastic charity, please visit their website at www.nfrsa.org where all donations help provide love and care for retired service animals in need! The registered charity address is  Bathurst Estate Office, Cirencester Park, Cirencester GL7 2BU

We thank the Countess and Tracey for taking the time to speak with us about the NFRSA, its work with retired service animals, and why it is important to provide them with the medical care they deserve.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to share this article with anyone who may be interested in donating or helping retired service animals. Let’s show them the love they deserve. Thank you!

https://www.nfrsa.org.uk/

https://www.nfrsa.org.uk/our-colleagues/

Tracy Wysocka also joined us for Episode 65 – Taking a Breath at 50: A Discussion on Compassion Fatigue

Finns Law

 

What You Need to Know About Pyometra in Dogs

If you own a dog, it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of pyometra, a condition that can be life-threatening if left untreated. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what pyometra is, how to identify it in your dog, and what treatment options are available. By being informed and taking action quickly if your dog does develop pyometra, you can help keep them healthy and happy for many years to come.

What Causes Pyometra in Dogs?

Pyometra is a serious yet, sadly, a common reproductive disorder in female dogs. This disorder arises from a hormonal imbalance along with the changes that occur during each heat cycle.

During the cycle, the uterus thickens as it prepares to carry offspring; however when this happens on repeat, it alters permanently and accumulates extra tissue that cannot be shed away.

Pyometra is most likely to form after repeated heats but can even arise in females who have never been bred or had an estrus in the past.

In cases of dog pyometra, the most frequent cause is E. coli bacteria. Other causes include progesterone-based drugs which affect the hormones related to reproduction and can cause pyometra. Therefore, it’s very important to monitor dogs on such therapy for any abnormal signs or symptoms related to this condition.

Pyometra is a serious infection of the uterus that can occur in dogs

Pyometra is a serious yet often preventable condition in dogs that results from a bacterial infection of the uterus. It is important to be aware of signs indicating its presence, as proper diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent life-threatening complications.

Common signs of pyometra include lethargy, loss of appetite, foul-smelling vaginal discharge, pus, blood, abdominal swelling and frequent urination.

Dogs with an open cervix — meaning that they are producing white or yellow vaginal discharge — generally have a better prognosis than those with a closed cervix as the discharge is visible early on. A pyometra involving a closed cervix is more concerning as symptoms may not be noticeable. While some canine health problems cannot be avoided entirely, it is possible to reduce your pet’s risk for pyometra by spaying them early. This will help eliminate this potentially deadly reproductive complication.

Symptoms include increased thirst, urination, and appetite

Pyometra is a serious condition in female dogs that can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. Characterized by the accumulation of fluid and infection in the uterus, this disorder can lead to several noticeable symptoms in your pet.

One of the main signs of pyometra is an increased thirst and urination frequency that may go beyond the usual ranges for normal daily habits. Some dogs with this condition also tend to have an increased appetite due to dehydration, which can be partially alleviated by drinking lots of clean water.

If you notice any of these symptoms or additional signs such as vomiting, depression, lethargy, loss of appetite, and unusual foul-smelling discharge from the dog’s vagina, contact your vet immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment.

If left untreated, pyometra can be fatal

Pyometra is a potentially fatal illness affecting female dogs. The infection of the uterus can lead to serious health problems, including organ failure and death if it is left untreated. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment with antibiotics are important for preventing this severe condition. Without proper medical treatment, pyometra can be life-threatening; however, with timely intervention, the prognosis is typically very favourable.

Treatment typically involves surgery to remove the infected uterus

Treating pyometra usually involves surgery to get rid of the contaminated uterus. This might sound daunting; however, the early surgical intervention significantly increases the chance of a successful outcome and provides an excellent opportunity for your pet to return to its regular health quickly.

During the procedure, a vet will typically remove the uterus and ovaries while also taking steps to clean out any infection (such as flushing with antibiotics) that might be present. Afterwards, your pet may be prescribed medications to maintain its health until they have recovered from the surgery. It is essential to remember that the earlier surgery occurs, the better prognosis for your pet’s recovery!

Recovery from pyometra surgery is typically good, but it is important to monitor your dog closely for any signs of complications

After pyometra surgery, recovery is typically positive as long as your pet receives proper post-surgical care. However, just like any surgical procedure, it’s essential to keep an eye out for potential complications during the recovery process.

Monitor the incision sight for excessive redness and swelling, be sure that they maintain their appetite and drinking habits, and contact your vet if they display signs of fatigue or pain. With love, care, and attention to detail regarding their recovery process, your dog should get back to feeling happy and healthy soon.

My dog is a valuable breeding female. Is there a treatment other than surgery?

There is a medical approach to treating pyometra, although the success rate is highly variable and not without considerable risk and potential long-term complications. Once a litter is produced it is still recommended you then spay to remove the risk. You can find out more about this here.

We cannot stress enough: If you think your dog may be suffering from pyometra, it is important to take her to the vet as soon as possible. Treatment for this serious infection typically involves surgery, and if left untreated, can be fatal.

Further Learning:

Neutering with Dr. Julia Ledger-Muennich

Episode 65 – Taking a Breath at 50: A Discussion on Compassion Fatigue

We all know the feeling. It’s when we see another post on social media about another owner with another dog in need of training advice, and our out-of-character reaction is to scroll right past it, too exhausted to even start trying to help. We’ve all been there, especially lately. With the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, we are now constantly inundated with images and stories of people from all walks of life needing our help with something. And while most of us want to help, many of us are struggling with compassion fatigue.

In this week’s podcast and blog post, LWDG Society Member and Canine Psychologist Tracey Wysoska discusses her own experience with compassion fatigue and offers some tips on how to deal with it.

Podcast Edition:

What is compassion fatigue and how does it relate to dog owners/trainers

Compassion fatigue is a condition that can affect anyone who is helpful, loving, caring, and supportive. It is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that can occur when someone is constantly exposed to difficult or upsetting situations.

Dog owners may be particularly susceptible to compassion fatigue because they are often surrounded by needy, dependent creatures who require a lot of care and attention, and dog trainers may suffer from it dealing with similar behaviour from handlers.

The signs and symptoms of compassion fatigue

The demands of dog ownership can be overwhelming, leaving owners feeling drained and worn out. However, there are ways to prevent and manage compassion fatigue.

Learning about the condition and being mindful of the signs can help dog owners to recognise when they are at risk of burnout.

Taking breaks, setting boundaries, and seeking support from knowledgeable and wise experts can also help to prevent compassion fatigue.

Symptoms of compassion fatigue can vary from person to person, but some common signs include feeling overwhelmed or hopeless, social withdrawal, difficulty concentrating, Changes in eating or sleeping patterns, and Physical symptoms such as headaches or stomachaches.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to take a step back and focus on taking care of yourself. This can look different for everyone, but some helpful self-care tips include exercise, spending time with friends and family, journaling, and getting outside in nature.

It is also important to seek out professional help if you are struggling to cope with compassion fatigue on your own. A therapist can provide helpful resources and support so you can avoid burnout and continue doing the amazing work that you do.

How to deal with compassion fatigue

If you work in a helping profession, including being a dog owner, or a mother, a daughter, a wife, or a sister, it’s important to be aware of compassion fatigue. If you’re compassionate and helpful by nature, you may be more susceptible to compassion fatigue.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent or deal with compassion fatigue. Here are some tips:

  •  Get plenty of rest and exercise: Taking care of your own physical health is crucial when working with others who are traumatized or ill. Make sure to get enough sleep and exercise to maintain your energy levels.
  • Take breaks: It’s important to take breaks from your work on a regular basis. Step away from your desk for a few minutes each hour, and take a vacation from work every few months. This will help you to recharge physically and emotionally.
  • Seek support: Dealing with compassion fatigue can be difficult, so it’s important to seek out supportive relationships. Talk to a friend or family member about what you’re going through, and consider talking to a therapist who can help you manage your feelings.

By following these tips, you can prevent or deal with compassion fatigue in a healthy way.

Resources for further information about compassion fatigue

If you are interested in learning more about compassion fatigue, there are a number of helpful resources available. The Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project is a great place to start.

They offer a wealth of information and support for people who are struggling with this issue. If you are looking for a more personal approach, consider reaching out to a therapist or counsellor who is knowledgeable about compassion fatigue. They can provide you with individualised support and guidance.

Finally, there are a number of helpful books available on the subject. A quick search online will yield a number of titles that can provide you with valuable insights and information. Whatever route you decide to take, know that there is help available if you are struggling with compassion fatigue.

CFAP Founder Patricia Smith’s TEDx Talk:
​How to Manage Compassion Fatigue in Caregiving

Links Mentioned in Podcast

The NFSRA

Society Membership – Become A Member

Articles on Compassion Fatigue

LWDG 24 Days of Xmas Christmas Challenge: How to Get Involved!

Looking for a way to get into the holiday spirit and still enjoy dog training? Check out our LWDG 24 Days of Xmas event! We’ll have something new and exciting each day, so make sure to keep an eye on us. From 1/12-24/12, we’ll be spreading cheer in all sorts of ways. We can’t wait to celebrate with you!

Daily LWDG Advent Christmas Challenges

Enjoy these daily LWDG advent calendar challenges created by LWDG Group Expert Emma Stevens @CunningshotDogTraining

Each day up until Christmas Eve the LWDG will release a daily challenge Xmas Challenge on our website, and on our Facebook and Instagram social media accounts. Each day we will post a short exercise that you can do at home or locally. These are perfect for dark nights when you have a few mins spare at lunch, or while the kettle is boiling.

Rules are… There are no rules, no minimum baseline training level, anyone can get involved, and all challenges can be adapted to your dog, age, ability, previous training, behaviour etc.

To take part in the challenge video yourself doing the challenge, share it on as many platforms as you can and tag us using the hashtag #lwdgxmas24.

Keeping Training Consistent Throughout Christmas Holidays

The run-up to Christmas is a busy time for everyone, and it can be easy to let things slip. However, if you’re in the middle of training your dog, it’s important to stay consistent with their lessons. Dogs learn best through repetition, so if you stop training them for a few weeks, they’ll quickly forget what they’ve learned. This can lead to behaviour problems down the line.

On the other hand, if you stick to a regular training regime, your dog will be less stressed and more likely to behave well. So, if you want to enjoy a peaceful Christmas period, make sure you’re consistent with your dog’s training in the run-up to the big day.

Bonus Christmas Prize Draw

As an extra bonus, people who complete all 24 days and use the final day hashtag ( which will be given on the 24th) will also have their name added to a prize draw to win the LWDG Padded Soft Shell Jacket worth £60! We will be checking your posts on your social media for the other 23 challenges posted on days 1-23 too, so make sure to follow us or add us as friends so we can see them on your social media platform.

In order to enter the contest and be eligible for the prize draw, you must complete all 24 days of challenges. So make sure to keep an eye on our website, Facebook, and Instagram accounts for the latest challenge! These daily challenges are a great way to get into the holiday spirit while also keeping your dog’s training consistent. We can’t wait to see all of your submissions! And if you are popping doors make sure to keep warm,

Walking your dog in the winter: How to stay warm and safe

24-Day Xmas Challenges

December 1st – Sit Challenge – Sit Duration Of 1min In A New Location

December 2nd – Recall – Recall From A Distraction (Long Line Can Be Used)

December 3rd – Xmas Heel Challenge – Heel Your Dog on or off lead around a Christmas decoration

December 4th – Settle – Settle On A Bed, Car Crate Or House Crate For 2 mins

December 5th – Retrieve – Seen Retrieve In A New Location

December 6th – Hunting – Hunt For A Retrieve, Ball Or Toy In An Interesting Environment (Food Can Be Used If Dog Doesn’t Retrieve)

December 7th – Sit Challenge – Sit Duration For 2 Mins In A New Location

December 8th – Heelwork – Heel Around Your House For The Length Of Time It Takes To Boil A Kettle

December 9th – Transition Challenge – Be Able To Move Your Dog From Sit To Stand To Down

December 10th – Send Away To Bed – Send Your Dog To Their Bed From A Distance You Are Comfortable For A Duration Of 2 Mins 

December 11th – Xmas Photo – Take A Fun Xmas Photo In A Static Position

December 12th – Hold Challenge – Have Your Dog Hold an Xmas Stocking

 

Walking your dog in the winter: How to stay warm and safe

Dressing appropriately is one of the most important things you can do to stay safe when walking in cold weather. But what’s the best way to do this? In this blog post, we’ll share our top tips for staying warm and comfortable while out and about. So whether you’re a seasoned winter walker or just getting started, be sure to read on!

 

Try not to overdress so you don’t get too hot when walking or training your dog

It’s important to dress appropriately when exercising your dog so that you don’t overheat and get tired too easily. If you’re walking or training your dog, try not to overdress. Wearing too many layers can make you hot and sweaty, which will make you more likely to want to take a break.

Instead, dress in light, breathable fabrics that will help you stay cool. You might also want to carry a water bottle with you so that you can stay hydrated throughout your walk or session. By taking a few simple precautions, you can make sure that you stay comfortable and safe while getting some much-needed exercise.

The LWDG have a range of winter clothing available online

Wear a hat to keep your head and ears warm in winter

In cold weather, it’s important to keep your head and ears warm. Even though you may feel warm enough overall, exposed skin on your head can lose heat quickly. Wearing a hat can help prevent this by trapping heat and keeping your head and ears warm. In addition, a hat can provide extra warmth on windy days.

When choosing a hat, look for one that is made from insulating materials such as wool or fleece. And make sure it fits well so that it doesn’t blow off in the wind! By choosing the right hat, you can help keep your head and ears warm all winter long.

Wrap a scarf around your neck – make sure it’s long enough to cover your mouth and nose

A scarf is one of the most versatile wardrobe staples. It can be wrapped around your neck to keep you warm or draped over your shoulders to add a touch of style. Scarves come in a variety of colours and fabrics, so you can easily find one to match any outfit.

There are also neck tubes available as an option when keeping warm. Neck Tubes are fashionable and come in a variety of styles, materials and colours and have the benefit of not being lost easily or flying away. They can be worn on their own or layered with hats and scarves for extra protection against the cold weather. The LWDG Necktube is double layer and reversibe

When choosing a scarf or snood, make sure it’s long enough to cover your mouth and nose. This will help to keep you warm and prevent cold air from entering your lungs. In addition, a scarf can help to filter out pollutants and allergens, making it an ideal accessory for people with allergies or asthma. So next time you head out the door, don’t forget to grab a scarf!

Wear gloves to keep your hands warm

Unless you’re a fan of having cold hands, gloves are always a good idea when the temperature starts to drop. They’ll help keep your hands warm and also protect them from the elements.

If you plan on being outdoors for extended periods of time, make sure to choose a pair of gloves that are both comfortable and waterproof. And if you really want to go the extra mile, look for gloves that have touchscreen-compatible fingertips. That way, you won’t have to take them off every time you need to use your phone.

Wear boots with a good grip to prevent you from slipping on the ice

One of the best ways to avoid slipping on ice is to wear boots with a good grip. Boots with rubber soles and deep treads will help you keep your footing, even on the slickest surfaces. And if you live in an area where ice is a regular problem, you might want to invest in a pair of spikes or studs that you can attach to your boots for extra traction.

If you do find yourself slipping, try not to panic. Instead, focus on keeping your balance and regaining your footing slowly and carefully. And of course, always use caution when walking on icy surfaces. Wearing the right footwear is an important way to stay safe this winter.

Keeping your dog warm on winter walks

If you have a pet, it’s important to remember that they can get cold too when the temperature drops.  Look for a coat specifically for dogs that fit properly.

Those made from warm materials such as wool or fleece are great and can benefit from a waterproof outer layer helping in ice or snow.  If you’re heading out take care around grit or salt as this can burn your dog’s paws.

Finally, drink lots of water to stay hydrated during the cold season

It may seem counterintuitive to drink more water when it’s cold outside, but staying hydrated is important no matter the temperature. During the winter months, your body needs the same amount of water as it does during other times of the year.

Make sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to stay well hydrated. You may also want to invest in a stainless steel or insulated water bottle to help keep your beverage warm while you’re out and about.

Now that we’ve shared our top tips for keeping warm when out walking your dog, we want to hear from you! What’s your number one tip for staying comfortable and safe in the cold? Let us know in the comments below – and be sure to share this post with your fellow dog walkers. Stay warm out there!

Decoding Your Dog’s Body Language: What They’re Trying to Tell You

We all want to have great relationships with our dogs. They are furry family members that bring us joy, comfort, and companionship. In order to have the best possible relationship with our dogs, it is important to understand their needs and how they communicate with us. This week’s podcast and blog with LWDG Group Expert Samantha Thorneycroft-Taylor explains more about your dog’s Body Language.

Podcast Edition

Your Dog’s Body Language

Dogs communicate primarily through body language. They use their tails, ears, eyes, mouths, and bodies to express what they are feeling. Understanding dog body language can better respond to their needs and build a strong bond with them.

Here are some basics of dog communication so you can start having deeper conversations with your pup!

Dog’s Body Language – Tails

The way a dog holds its tail can tell us a lot about how it is feeling. A dog that is happy and relaxed will usually have a loose, wagging tail. A dog that is scared or feels threatened may tuck its tail between its legs. And a dog that is feeling aggressive may hold its tail high and stiff. Dogs with docked tails, or shorter length tails can make it more difficult to read.

Dog’s Body Language – Ears

A dog’s ears are also very expressive. Ears that are relaxed and facing forward usually indicate that a dog is happy and friendly. Ears that are pulled back or flattened against the head may mean that the dog is feeling scared or threatened. And ears that are perked up and alert usually mean the dog is on high alert and ready to take action.

Dog’s Body Language – Eyes

The eyes are another important part of dog communication. A dog that makes eye contact and has soft, relaxed eyes is usually comfortable and confident. A dog that averts its gaze or has hard, staring eyes may be feeling aggressive or defensive. And a dog that has wide, round eyes may be feeling scared or nervous.

Dog’s Body Language – Mouths

Mouths can also convey a lot of information about how a dog is feeling. A dog that has its mouth open and tongue lolling out is usually happy and panting to cool off. A dog that has its mouth closed tight may be feeling stressed or anxious. And a dog that is baring its teeth may be feeling aggressive or ready to attack.

 

Dog’s Body Language – Posture

Finally, the overall posture of a dog’s body can tell us a lot about its emotional state. A dog that is standing tall with its shoulders back is usually feeling confident and assertive. A dog that is crouching low to the ground may be feeling scared or submissive. And a dog that is stiffly walking with its hackles raised may be feeling aggressive or defensive.

Final Thoughts

By understanding these basics of dog communication, you can start having deeper conversations with your pup! Pay attention to your dog’s tail, ears, eyes, mouth, and body posture to get an idea of how it is feeling at any given moment. With practice, you’ll be able to quickly decode your four-legged friend’s body language so you can better respond to its needs. Remember every dog is different and your dog’s body language can vary. make sure to listen to the accompanying podcast for more information.

Get Ready to Mush! An Interview with the Owner of Wild Spirit Dog Sledding in Sweden

There’s something about the word ‘husky’ that just conjures up images of winter wonderlands, dogsledding and all things Arctic. This week on LWDG PODDOG, we chat with Clair Rees from Wild Spirit Dog Sledding and Bushcraft about her huskies and what it’s like living and working with them in Sweden’s stunning wilderness.

Podcast Episode:

Wild Spirit Dog Sledding and Bushcraft offers exciting Sled Dog Tours and Stoneage Bushcraft Workshops in Northern Sweden. Based 30 minutes from Åre, their tours and workshops are offered against the stunning wilderness backdrop of Ottsjö, giving you an authentic taste of Sweden’s Arctic Wilderness. Owners Clair and Richard have 63 huskies who they work and live alongside.

Sledding behind huskies

What you need to know about Huskies

Huskies are hardworking, helpful dogs known for their intelligence and endurance. Often used as sled dogs, they have the strength and stamina to thrive in cold climates. However, Huskies also make loving, supportive companions. They crave attention from their owners and enjoy being a part of the family.

Though they can be stubborn and independent, with proper training and socialization, Huskies can become obedient and well-behaved. As a breed, they are known for being vocal and energetic. It is important that potential owners research the breed thoroughly before owning a Husky to ensure they can meet their needs.

Copyright Wildspirit Sledding

Where are Huskies from?

Although huskies originate from places like Siberia and Alaska, they can make amazing companions all over the world. These dogs are well-known for their helpful nature, often being used as sled dogs or working in search and rescue missions.

But their helpfulness extends beyond practical tasks – they are also incredibly loving, caring, and supportive of their human families. And as if that wasn’t enough, huskies are also incredibly wise and knowledgeable creatures.

Their expert instincts have saved countless lives, whether it be alerting their owners to danger or finding a missing person in a snowstorm.

Why Huskies are used for sledding

Huskies have long been utilized for their strength and endurance, making them the perfect companion for dog sledding. But what often gets overlooked is their helpful nature, love for their human companions, and overall caring demeanour.

Huskies are incredibly supportive in the mushing world, offering their physical capabilities, wisdom, and expertise. They have a unique understanding of their surroundings and can often sense danger before it even presents itself. It’s no wonder why mushers trust these dogs with their lives out on the trails. Their helpfulness extends beyond just dog sledding, though; they make wonderful emotional support animals and therapy dogs as well.

Copyright Wildspirit Sledding

Where is Wilsdpirit Dog Sledding based?

Wildspirit Dog Sledding is based in Åre, a small town nestled in Northern Sweden, which is known for its world-class skiing and year-round outdoor activities. However, what truly sets this town apart are the locals who call Åre their home. The community’s helpful, loving, and caring nature creates a welcoming atmosphere for locals and visitors alike.

This supportive environment is bolstered by the wealth of knowledge and experience that can be found in Åre’s residents and businesses. Whether it’s finding the best hiking trails or giving advice on where to ski during specific weather conditions, you are sure to find wise and expert advice in Åre. This unique combination of natural beauty and helpful community makes Åre a true gem in northern Sweden.

When searching for a dog sledding experience in Åre, Northern Sweden, look no further than Wildspirit. Their helpful and loving team will make you feel cared for and supported as they share their knowledge and wisdom on both the dogs and the tradition of dog sledding.

With years of experience in both mushing and dog care, Wildspirit is the expert choice for an unforgettable adventure. Book your trip with Wildspirit and let the breathtaking landscapes of Northern Sweden fly by as you glide along on a romantic journey through history and nature with your canine companions.

About Clair Rees

Claire Rees is a serial entrepreneur, qualified health & motivator professional, and a public speaker, with an incredible story on how she got there too.

As co-founder of Wild Spirit dog sledding tourism, Claire has inspired hundreds of people to break through their limiting beliefs and build the confidence to take risks in order to follow their dreams. Claire’s journey has been one of just that, which is why she passionately devotes her time to building businesses that uplift people’s lives.

Alongside her husband, Claire has been on an inspirational journey that started with them leaving the rat race and scaling back their material lifestyle in Wales to live in a remote cabin in the Swedish wilderness.

Their intention was to create a lifestyle where business and pleasure seamlessly co-existed, rather than one that required constant personal sacrifice in the pursuit of professional success.

They arrived in this foreign country with just the two of them and their eight huskies. They lived in a cabin that had no water or electricity, all in the pursuit of their dream to run a dog sledding company and live in the beautiful Swedish wilderness. Between them, they set up the business with no knowledge of the Swedish customs, but they did have a lot of motivation, perseverance and determination…and, as Claire says, “perhaps a slight hint of madness”.

Through this journey, Claire has encountered many ups and downs, but she always had an unwavering belief in her vision, “I knew this was the life I had dreamed about and by taking this huge risk to pick up and move, I wasn’t prepared to give in easily. Even in the dark times when we weren’t sure if we could continue, financially and emotionally, we just took one step forward at a time.

Giving Up The Dream

Focusing on the small steps helped to reduce our overwhelm and got us back on track. But the key is to watch your thoughts because your thoughts create your reality, and we never once told ourselves that we couldn’t do it!”

In fact, in one of their darkest moments, when they were on the brink of giving up and were so burnt out, they told themselves that they were going to just let the universe deliver their next steps. This letting go of control resulted in them landing an episode in Kevin Macleod’s TV documentary, Escape to the Wild.

This changed everything for them, and if it weren’t for their sheer determination, they would not have landed that feature and been able to escalate their business into being the biggest dog sledding tour company in the area of Jämtland, and she’s not stopping there…

Other Podcasts:

Episode 51 : Why your dog needs manners: Behaviour Versus Training

 

Hip Dysplasia in Dogs: What You Need to Know

Hip dysplasia is a condition that can affect dogs of all shapes and sizes, but it is especially common in larger breeds. The ball (the head of the femur) and socket (acetabulum ) in a dog’s pelvis must grow at about equal rates during growth.

The condition occurs when the hip joint does not develop properly, which can lead to a wide range of symptoms including pain, lameness, and decreased mobility. In severe cases, hip dysplasia can even cause arthritis.

X-Ray of Canine Hips, Pelvis and Tail

Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joint that can affect any breed of dog, but is more common in certain gundog breeds. The larger gundog breeds that may suffer from hip dysplasia are breeds like Newfoundland, Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers. Springer and Cocker Spaniels are two of the smaller common breeds that can also suffer from hip dysplasia but it is far less prevalent. Please note – any dog can be affected by hip dysplasia, regardless of breed.

X-Ray showing Canine Bilateral Hip Dysplasia

 

Hip dysplasia occurs when the head of the femur does not fit snugly into the socket of the pelvis. This can cause pain and lameness, and will eventually lead to arthritis.

There is no cure for hip dysplasia, but it can be managed with weight control, exercise and medication. If you think your dog may be affected by hip dysplasia, please consult your veterinarian.

What Causes Hip Dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some breeds are more susceptible to the condition than others due to their anatomy or genetics. For example, large-breed dogs are more likely to develop hip dysplasia because of their rapid growth rates. Additionally, puppies who are fed a high-calorie diet are also at an increased risk for developing hip dysplasia. The condition usually affects both hips, but can be unilateral (i.e. affecting one hip only).

Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia

The symptoms of hip dysplasia can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Some dogs may only experience mild discomfort while others may be severely lame.

Common symptoms include:
  •  Pain in the hips or hind legs
  • Lameness in the hind legs
  • Difficulty rising from a lying position
  • Decreased activity level
  • Stiffness after exercise
  • Muscle wasting in the hind legs

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, it’s important to make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible. They will be able to perform a physical examination and order any necessary diagnostic tests to confirm or rule out a diagnosis of hip dysplasia.

Diagnosing Hip Dysplasia

There are several different tests that can be used to diagnose hip dysplasia. The most common is the Ortolani test, which is performed by manipulating the hips while the dog is under anaesthesia. This test is usually combined with X-rays to get a clear picture of the hips and joints. Other diagnostic tests that may be used include CT scans or MRIs.

Treatment Options for Hip Dysplasia

The treatment for hip dysplasia will vary depending on the severity of the condition. For example, mild cases may only require weight management and exercise modification while more severe cases may require surgery. Common treatment options include:

  • Weight and dietary management
  • Exercise modification/restrictions
  • Physical therapy
  • Joint supplements such as Chondroitin and Glucosamine 
  • Injectable Agents
  • Surgery
  • Non Steroidal Anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)

If your dog has been diagnosed with hip dysplasia, your veterinarian will work with you to create a treatment plan that is right for your pet.

Hip Scoring A Dog

Hip scoring is a helpful tool that assigns a numerical value to a dog’s hip joints, with lower numbers indicating healthier hips. This information can be helpful when choosing a breed as some breeds are more prone to hip dysplasia than others. However, it’s important to remember that hip scoring is not a perfect science and other factors such as nutrition, exercise, weight, and environment also play a role in a dog’s overall health.

The good news is that hip scoring is a relatively simple and quick procedure. A veterinarian will take X-rays of the dog’s hips and then send them away to be scored based on specific criteria.

Once your dog has been scored, a completed certificate detailing the hip scores will be sent back to your vet and then passed on to you. The results of the hip score can help you and your veterinarian make decisions about the best course of action for your dog, whether that’s diet changes, supplements, or even surgery.

The hip score is made up of the total number of points given for different features in the hip joint, it is representative of the severity of the condition. The lower the score the better. The minimum score for each hip is 0 and the maximum is 53, giving a range for the total score of 0 to 106. This total score should be compared to the Kennel Club in your country’s breed median.

Each breed has a breed median to compare against, and when buying a gundog puppy it is worth asking the breeder for the hip scores of the parents.

Conclusion:

Hip dysplasia is a common condition that can affect dogs of all shapes and sizes. However, there are ways to manage the condition and help your dog live a comfortable life. If you think your dog may be showing signs of hip dysplasia, make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment options.

Summary

•Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joint that can affect any breed of dog but is more common in certain pedigree breeds.

• Symptoms of hip dysplasia include stiffness, trouble rising to a stand, hesitation when offered exercise or the opportunity to climb stairs, reluctance to jump, and a limp or bunny-hop motion.

• The severity of the condition varies between individual dogs and can be managed for some with painkillers and reduced exercise, but in others may require surgery. Sadly, in extreme cases euthanasia may be the only option.

• Most severely affected are larger/heavier breeds like Labradors, but Springer and Cocker Spaniels can suffer from it too.

• There is a test that breeders can do find out whether their dog carries the tendency for this crippling problem before breeding from them.

Further Resources

British Vet Association Hip Dysplasia Download

62. Is Your Gundog Ready for the Shooting Season?

Is Your Gundog Ready for the Shooting Season? The shooting season is in full swing, and if you’re a gundog owner, you’ll want to make sure your dog is ready for it. There are many different ways to train a gundog, and your dog’s performance will depend on how well he was trained. If you’re unsure whether or not your dog is ready for the shooting season, check out this podcast and blog post for tips on preparing him!

Podcast Edition

What to look for in a well-trained gundog

When it comes to choosing a well-trained gundog, there are a few important attributes to look for. Obviously we look for a dog that has been well trained and is steady but choosing a biddable dog is helpful too.

These characteristics make the dog able to effectively assist in hunting activities. A well-trained gundog should have no problem following commands and directions given by their handler.

How to prepare your dog for the shooting season

There are many different ways to train a gundog, and your dog’s performance will depend on how well he was trained. If you’re unsure whether or not your dog is ready for the shooting season, you can do a few things to prepare him.

First, make sure that your dog is physically fit. A gundog that is out of shape will be less able to keep up with the demands of the shooting season. You can take your dog for hikes to help him get him (and you) in shape.

Second, work on your dog’s obedience skills. A well-trained gundog will be able to follow commands and stay focused on the task at hand. You can practice at home and in different locations ensuring they are steady in different environments.

Finally, introduce your dog to the sounds and smells of the shooting season beforehand. If your dog has never been around guns, he may be scared or startled by the noise. You can acclimate your dog to the sound of gunfire by training him patiently over time to be happy around the sound of shots. The same with gunfire, wildlife and livestock.

By following these tips, and the many more given in the podcast, you can help your gundog get ready for the shooting season. Remember to focus on physical fitness, obedience training, and exposure to the sights and sounds of the season. Help your gundog have a successful hunting season with consistent training and preparation.

Episode 61. How Dog DNA Profiling Is Helping to Decrease Dog Theft

According to a recent study, the number of dog thefts in the United Kingdom has increased by nearly 30% in 2020 compared to the burglary crime rate! This is alarming news, especially since so many dogs are stolen for illegal purposes such as fighting or breeding. Thankfully, there is a new solution that is helping to crack down on these crimes: Dog DNA Profiling.

In this blog post, we will discuss with David Hartshorne, Managing Director of DNA Protected, part of Cellmark Forensic Services, how DNA forensics is being used to decrease dog theft and keep our four-legged friends safe!

Podcast Edition: 61. Dog Theft on the Rise: How DNA Forensics is Helping to Solve the Problem

How DNA Forensics is Helping to Decrease Dog Theft

DNA forensics is a new tool that is being used to crack down on dog theft. By taking a sample of your dog’s DNA and registering it with a forensic database, you can help the police identify stolen dogs and return them to their rightful owners. In addition, DNA forensics can also be used to track down the people who are responsible for stealing dogs in the first place.

There are many reasons why DNA forensics is such an effective tool for combating dog theft.

First of all, DNA cannot be changed or altered, it is unique to that pet. This means that even if a thief tries to dye or cut your dog’s fur, the DNA sample will still be able to identify your pet.

Secondly, DNA databases are constantly expanding and improving. This means that even if your dog’s DNA isn’t currently registered, there’s a good chance that it will be in the near future.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, using DNA forensics is one of the best ways to ensure that your stolen dog is returned to you safely. All too often, stolen dogs end up in abusive situations or are sold for breeding. By registering your dog’s DNA Profile its offspring can even be traced back to your dog and you. Breeders can use this new database to register all their pups before they leave for their forever homes.

How Cellmark created the Dog Profiling Database

Gloucester Police were the first to implement a new dog DNA marker system to help solve criminal cases following an increase in pet theft during the pandemic.

They reached out to Cellmark, leaders in criminal forensics, to see if they could help.

“We want owners who have lost their animals or whose pets are missing,” said Chief Inspector Emma Macdonald, “to be able to get them back quicker with this technology.” More on this story can be found here

Proving Ownership Using Dog DNA Profiling

In a world where dog theft is sadly on the rise, DNA profiling can offer helpful support in proving ownership should our pets go missing. By registering their unique genetic code, we are able to provide expert knowledge and wisdom in the event that our dogs are stolen and illegally sold to another person.

It’s also a preventative measure – if potential thieves know the dog can be easily traced back to its rightful owner, they may think twice about committing the crime in the first place.

DNA profiling is just one way we can show our support for our beloved companions and do what’s best for them.

Who are Cellmark Forensic Services?

As a company that has been providing forensic DNA profiling services for over 30 years, Cellmark understands the important role that DNA evidence can play in criminal investigations.

They also recognise the deep love and care that owners have for their animals and the traumatic impact that a crime against an animal can have on them.

That is why Cellmark created the database to use its expertise and wisdom in assisting with such cases with their scientific profiling.

Cellmark own and bring their expertise to  DNAProtected

Final Thoughts on Dog DNA Profiling …

If you own a dog, it’s important to be aware of the rising problem of dog theft and how you can protect your pet. One way to do this is by taking advantage of Dog DNA profiling.

By registering your dog’s DNA with a forensic database, you can help the police identify stolen dogs and return them to their rightful owners.

In addition, using DNA forensics as another layer of security, alongside microchipping,  is one of the best ways to ensure that your stolen dog is returned to you safely. So don’t wait—if you haven’t already done so, get your dog’s DNA tested today!

Further Reading

Protect Your Gundog This Gundog Theft Awareness Week

Top Tips For Training A Reliable Recall

 

Protect Your Gundog This Gundog Theft Awareness Week – 6 Simple Steps You Can Take

Gundog theft is on the rise, with many gundogs being stolen across the UK every year. This week we are urging all gundog owners to take steps to protect their pets from being stolen.

You can do several things to make your gundog less appealing to thieves, and we will discuss these in this blog post. We hope that by following our advice, you can help keep your beloved pet safe!

1. Where possible, keep your gundog on a lead when out in public places. This will make it more difficult for thieves to snatch your dog and make a quick getaway.

2. If you have a garden, make sure it is well-secured with a high fence that your dog cannot jump over. This will deter thieves from trying to break into your property to steal your pet.

3. Be vigilant when walking your gundog and keep them close at all times. If you see any suspicious characters hanging around, do not approach them and instead move away quickly and report the incident to the police.

4. Make sure your dog is microchipped and that you have registered their details with a reputable microchip company. It is now a legal requirement to have your dog microchipped. This will help the authorities reunite you with your pet if they are stolen and later found.

5. Keep a recent photograph of your gundog safe and easily accessible. This will be useful if you need to provide a description of your dog to the police or media.

6. Look at alternative deterrents like DNA profiling your dog.   This will help the authorities reunite you with your pet if they are stolen and later found.

What Can I Do if The Worse Happens?

  • Make your dog too hot to handle as quickly as possible.
  • Contact the police immediately. Also, contact your pet insurer, as they may have systems in place to start the search for your dog alongside you.
  • You can call the police using the phone number -101
  • You can also contact DOGLOST on their phone number – 0844 800 3220. Their website is also full of information to support and educate you.
  • In the LWDG FREE FACEBOOK COMMUNITY, we have a lost/stolen thread. Simply type the word stolen into the group search bar, and add your dog to the comments. This alerts the entire group that there is a gundog missing.  Do this across as many other pet/gundog groups as you can post.
  • Sadly, many dogs never reunite with their owners, so do as much as possible to prevent theft.

Useful Links If Your Dog Is Stolen

PET THEFT AWARENESS

DOG LOST

ANTI THEFT TECHNOLOGY 

Dogs aren’t property

As dog owners, we know our precious pups aren’t just property – they’re members of our family. So it’s heartbreaking to imagine the devastating impact that dog theft can have on both the innocent animal and its loving owner.

Current laws treat dog theft as simply stealing property rather than a crime with extremely serious emotional and financial consequences.

That’s why campaigners are pushing for a change in how courts view pet theft. They argue that it should be recognized as a profoundly harmful crime, not just based on the welfare of the stolen dog but also on the profound impact it has on their devoted owners.

It’s time for our laws to become more helpful, loving, and caring towards both animals and their guardians in these situations. And who better to turn to for wisdom and expertise on this issue than those who have been personally affected by pet theft – the very people who love and care for their four-legged friends every day?

It’s time for a change in how we approach dog theft. Let’s make sure justice is served for all parties involved – both two-legged and four-legged.

Episode 60. The Do’s and Dont’s of Setting Expectations When Training Your Dog

When it comes to dog training, expectations are key. You need to set the right expectations with your pup from the very beginning so that they know what is expected of them. If you don’t, you may struggle to train them later. This week’s podcast and blog post will discuss the dos and dont’s of setting expectations when training your dog. We’ll also provide some helpful tips for doing so effectively!

Podcast Edition

The importance of setting expectations when training your dog

As any dog owner knows, having a well-trained and obedient pup is key to a happy and healthy relationship. And one of the best ways to achieve this is by setting clear expectations for both you and your dog during training sessions. Doing so helps establish boundaries, trust, and a helpful foundation for future learning.

Additionally, setting expectations allows both you and your dog to understand each other’s needs and desires, leading to a more loving and supportive dynamic between pet and owner.

It’s important to note that setting expectations doesn’t have to be strict or rigid – in fact, being flexible and open-minded while remaining firm can go a long way in fostering a positive training experience for both parties involved.

Consulting with knowledgeable experts or seeking advice from other experienced dog owners can also be helpful in setting reasonable expectations for your furry companion.

Overall, setting expectations during training is essential in creating a caring and harmonious relationship between you and your canine friend.

The importance of setting expectations with owners when you are a dog trainer

As a dog trainer, it is important to set expectations with owners from the beginning of their training journey. This includes explaining that your ultimate goal is to help them form a loving and supportive relationship with their dog and that this process may sometimes involve difficult but necessary choices.

It is helpful to ensure owners are knowledgeable about positive reinforcement techniques and setting clear boundaries for their dog. Being an expert in your field also means being wise about what will work best for both the owner and their pet.

As the experience progresses, maintaining open communication with owners allows you to adjust expectations based on how they and their dogs are progressing in their training. Additionally, by setting expectations, owners can better understand their own personal involvement in the training process and are more likely to follow through with what is being taught in the sessions.

Building this foundation also allows for open communication where owners feel comfortable asking questions and voicing concerns as they arise throughout the process. As an expert and knowledgeable trainer, it is important to instil wisdom in owners so that they continue practising healthy training habits long after their time with you has ended.

Setting expectations with owners lay the groundwork for a successful training journey for them and their canine companions.

The do’s and dont’s of setting expectations

It’s helpful to consult with knowledgeable and experienced professionals, such as trainers, breeders, or veterinarians, in order to understand the breed’s natural tendencies and capabilities.

Training a young dog is a rewarding process, but it also requires patience and consistency.

When setting expectations for your four-legged friend, it’s helpful to make a plan and establish boundaries early on. This means being clear about what you want them to learn and establishing rules for their behaviour in various situations. It’s important to balance firmness with love and support, as this will help your dog understand the boundaries while still feeling safe and secure.

To ensure success in training, stay calm, patient, loving, and caring towards your pup at all times. With a helpful mindset and wise guidance, you’ll both be able to reach satisfying results together.

Good dog training is based on a few key things – understanding how your dog learns, what motivates them, and building a relationship of trust and respect. From there, you can teach your dog just about anything.

The dog training basics are quite simple, but they are also incredibly important. If you take the time to master the basics, you’ll be well on your way to having a well-behaved dog. And that’s something that every dog owner can appreciate.

You can purchase The Magic Month Planner Here

You can access The Hot Mess Handler Course Here 

Society Members can access How To Review Your Training Sessions Here

Top Tips for a Dog-Friendly Halloween

With Halloween just around the corner, it’s important to make sure your dog is prepared for all the spooky fun! Trick-or-treating, costumes and all of the excitement can be overwhelming for some dogs, so follow these top tips from the Ladies Working Dog Group to keep your bestie happy and safe this Halloween.

top tips for a dog-friendly halloween

Plan Ahead

Make sure you are aware of what events and activities are taking place in your neighbourhood during Halloween, and whether or not they will be dog-friendly. If your dog or pup is prone to anxiety or scared easily, avoid busy streets and areas where there will be a lot of commotion.

Hiding Places

Make sure they have a safe place to hide. If your dog is scared of loud noises or strange costumes, make sure they have a quiet and dark place to hide where they feel safe. This could be their crate, under the bed or in a closet.

Think about scary costumes!

Many dogs are frightened by scary costumes even when it’s you wearing them, so it’s best to introduce costumes over time. Let your dog sniff and investigate the costume while you’re wearing it, and try to keep calm and act normal. Only put the costume on for short periods at first, and make sure to give lots of treats!

Don’t force them! If your dog really doesn’t like the idea of Halloween, don’t force them to participate. It’s not worth stressing them out, and there are plenty of other ways to have fun with your four-legged friend.

Pups and Pumpkins

If you’re carving pumpkins with the kids, make sure to do it in a place where your pup can’t get to the pumpkin guts. The insides of pumpkins can give dogs an upset stomach, so it’s best to keep them away from the carving table.

Trick or Treating

If you’re taking your dog trick-or-treating with the kids, make sure they are well-behaved and won’t jump on or bark at people in costumes. It’s also important to make sure they are comfortable with the event, as some dogs can get incredibly overwhelmed by all the screaming and other activities.

Dog Costume Preparation

If you do decide to dress up your dog in a costume, make sure it is comfortable and won’t cause them any distress. Also, avoid anything that might be hazardous such as small pieces that could be choked on. Consider putting reflective tape on their costume so they are more visible in the dark.

Wearing ID Tags

Always make sure your dog is wearing their ID tags whilst out walking as it’s the law within the UK. It is also worth keeping their collar and tag on just in case they escape from the house and get lost during all the excitement.

Keep them away from Chocolate and Candy

For obvious reasons, it’s important to keep your dog away from any candy treats that may be lying around on Halloween night (and any other time for that matter!). Candy can contain ingredients which are poisonous to dogs, so it’s best not to take any chances.

Puppy Proofing

Make sure your home is well puppy-proofed before Halloween night. Puppies are notorious for getting into things they shouldn’t, so put away any candy, decorations or other potential hazards. This applies to older dogs too.

Keep them active on the run-up to Halloween

A tired dog is a happy dog, so be sure to keep them active and exercised leading up to Halloween and on the day itself. A long walk or game of fetch will help wear them out and keep them calm.

Have a Happy Halloween!

By following these simple tips, you and your pup can have a fun and safe Halloween! Add your ideas in the comments below, do you have any top tips for halloween?

 

 

Episode 59. Can Dogs Give Consent? The ethics of training, grooming, and more

Dogs are considered members of the family in many households. As such, we are responsible for taking care of them and ensuring their well-being. But what happens when our interactions with dogs cross the line from caretaking to something more? In this week’s podcast and blog post, LWDG Founder Jo Perrott, LWDG Group Expert Clair Denyer and LWDG Featured Expert Rob Alleyne explore the ethics of consent when it comes to training, grooming, and other interactions with dogs. Stay tuned and read on for some thought-provoking insights!

Podcast Episode:

 

Consent And Your Dog

Many of us see dogs as helpful, loving, and supporting companions but often fail to consider the issue of their consent in our relationships with them and what we actually mean when we discuss their consent.

As with any living being capable of experiencing pain and discomfort, it is important that we are not unnecessarily forcing our will upon our dogs. Our dogs may not be able to verbally communicate consent, but as their caretakers, we must stay knowledgeable and observant of their behaviour and body language. By being wise and expert stewards of our dogs’ well-being and autonomy, we can create even stronger bonds with them built on mutual respect and understanding.

 

However, asking for permission before initiating any type of physical or verbal interaction with your dog is not a sensible or safe concept to promote.

Asking for a dog’s consent before physical interaction may seem helpful or caring, but it is neither logical nor practical. Dogs cannot communicate verbally, so it would be unrealistic to expect them to give consent in the traditional sense.

By staying educated and attuned to our dogs’ cues, we can provide them with the supportive and loving care they need without asking for their explicit permission. It is ultimately up to us as their expert caretakers to make wise decisions on their behalf.

Asking a dog for consent is not necessary – being knowledgeable and observant of their needs is the most helpful thing we can do for them. Asking for consent would also likely lead to confusion or anxiety in the dog, thereby causing potential harm rather than promoting their well-being.

Consent and Dog Training

It may seem helpful or caring to ask for a dog’s consent before training them, but it is completely impractical. Dogs do not have the understanding or knowledge to fully comprehend the potential consequences of their choices. It is up to their loving and knowledgeable owners to make wise decisions on their behalf. That being said, it is always important for trainers to use supportive and positive techniques that encourage a strong bond between owner and dog. Asking for a dog’s consent is not necessary or helpful in the training process.

Consent and Dog Grooming

Another area of dog ownership where it may seem helpful or loving to ask for a dog’s consent is before grooming them, but it can actually be dangerous for their health. Asking a dog if they want to be brushed or have their nails trimmed may seem supportive and caring, but dogs do not understand the consequences of their actions.

Trusting the expertise and wisdom of your common sense, knowledgeable groomers and educated veterinarians who understand what is best for a dog’s well-being is important.

Giving a dog the agency to make decisions about their own grooming can lead to dangerous problems such as overgrown nails causing pain and discomfort, matted fur leading to skin infections, and too much hair preventing proper air circulation.

So while it may feel helpful and caring at the moment, asking for a dog’s consent can actually harm its health in the long run.

Consent And Veterinary Care

As loving and caring pet owners, we want to do everything in our power to support our dogs and make sure they live happy and healthy life. It’s important to remember that our pets rely on us for their well-being, including making wise and informed decisions about their healthcare.

Asking for a dog’s consent before providing them with necessary veterinary care is not only ineffective but can also be dangerous. Dogs do not clearly understand why they may need to be vaccinated, take medication, or undergo surgery.

It is up to us as their guardians, with the help of expert veterinarians, to make helpful and supportive decisions on their behalf. Providing consent on behalf of our pets may seem like an uncomforting gesture, but it is best for their health and safety. Trust your instincts as a responsible pet owner, and always listen to the advice of knowledgeable professionals when it comes to your dog’s medical care.

Final Thoughts

All good dog owners want a happy, healthy dog that enjoys its life and activities. The best way for this to happen is to work with the dog in front of you in a positive and rewarding way for them, but also to know when you need to be the parent in the relationship and make the correct decisions for them. We do not advocate bullying or forcing dogs into uncomfortable situations unless it is in the best interest of the dogs’ care, health and safety. Sometimes you will need to encourage the dog to partake in a situation or experience when it may not normally wish to do so.

Let us know in the comments below your thoughts on Consent Based Training.

Further Reading:

Episode 51 : Why your dog needs manners: Behaviour Versus Training

Jumping Up On People: Why It Happens and How to Stop It

Do you have a dog that jumps up on people? If so, you are not alone. This is a common problem for many pet owners. Dogs often jump up on people as a way of trying to get attention. They may also do it out of excitement or because they want to be petted. In some cases, dogs may jump up on people when they are feeling anxious or insecure. It can be annoying and even dangerous if your dog jumps up on people. This blog post will discuss why dogs jump up on people and how you can stop them from doing it!

What causes dogs to jump up on people

One common behaviour in dogs is jumping up on people, often seen as a way for them to express excitement and affection. However, this can also become problematic, potentially leading to injuries for both the dog and the person they are jumping on.

So, what causes this behaviour in the first place? While some experts believe it is simply a result of not enough training and discipline, others suggest that dogs may have learned it from their parents or previous owners as an effective way to get attention and affection.

In addition, some dogs may jump up because they see it as helpful, trying to alert their owner to something or bring them an object. Whatever the reason may be, it’s important for dog owners to be knowledgeable and wise in how they handle this behaviour.

Through proper training techniques, supportive reinforcement of appropriate behaviours, and consistency in discipline, we can help prevent our dogs from jumping up on people.

Society and Jumping Up

The act of jumping up may seem harmless, but in the eyes of the law, it is frowned upon and can lead to serious consequences for both pets and their owners. That’s why it’s important to train our four-legged friends to keep all four feet on the ground.

Lifting their paws onto someone without permission can appear aggressive, even if the intention is just loving excitement. Replacing jumping with helpful behaviours such as sitting or giving a paw can help establish a loving and caring dynamic between pets and people.

How to stop your pup from jumping up

It can be frustrating and dangerous when your canine companion jumps up on people, but luckily there are helpful steps you can take to stop this behaviour.

Jumping can be dangerous for both the dog and the person they are jumping on, as well as causing damage to property or clothing. Owning a dog is a big responsibility, and teaching them not to jump up on people is just one aspect of being a  caring pet owner.

It’s important to start teaching your pup early that keeping all four paws on the ground is more rewarding. This can be accomplished through positive reinforcement and consistency by encouraging sitting is the behaviour required when greeting.

Meeting new people can be a highly exciting experience for puppies, but it’s important to make sure they are able to control their excitement and maintain good behaviour. Offering a high-value reward for sitting when meeting someone new can help teach them appropriate behaviour in these situations.

And practising events related to greeting, like a knock at the door or the sound of a new voice, with rewarding good behaviour can further reinforce proper actions.

By helping them learn how to behave appropriately when meeting new people, we are promoting good dog manners and keeping our relationships with others positive as well.

Ask guests not to excite your pup and instead ignore them until they are calm. This may seem counterintuitive, but experts agree that encouraging continued excitement only reinforces the behaviour.

The best approach is to create a calm environment by asking guests to avoid eye contact, talking in quiet tones, and not petting or engaging with your pup until they have settled. By employing this strategy, we can show our support for our four-legged companions and establish a healthy dynamic for future interactions.

How to stop your dog from jumping up

When it comes to adult dogs, it’s important to remember that giving them any form of attention, even if it’s pushing them away, only reinforces the behaviour.

The best approach is to ignore the jumping and reward them when they have their feet on the ground. It’s helpful to also work on their sit-and-stay routine, teaching them an alternative behaviour to jumping up. Once they have calmed down, they should be rewarded with treats for displaying more appropriate behaviour.

When greeting your dog, always ask them to sit first and give positive reinforcement with treats. Working on sit-and-stay routines with distractions can also be helpful in preventing jumping in the future.

As confident and knowledgeable owners, it is imperative to always ask our dogs to sit before anyone greets them and reinforce that good behaviour with treats as well.

Additional tips for preventing your dog from jumping up

If your four-legged friend continues to jump on visitors and friends, it’s important to address the issue immediately. It may be helpful to consult a professional dog trainer or behaviourist who can provide you with specific strategies for managing this behaviour.

As the responsible owner, it’s up to you to ensure that your dog is being loving and respectful towards others. This may involve making sure they have plenty of exercises, setting boundaries and limits, providing them with consistent training and encouragement, and seeking guidance from a knowledgeable expert.

Remember to always approach the situation with patience and support, as we all want our dogs to be well-behaved members of society. Ultimately, taking proactive steps to address jumping will create a happier environment for both your dog and those around them.

Training Retrieving for Working Gundogs Just Got Easier

Copyright J M Martin

Training Retrieving for working gundogs just got easier with the launch of the LWDG Tennis Ball wrap for dog training dummies

Today we are excited to announce the launch of The new LWDG Tennis Ball Wrap for dog training. This product was designed with encouraging retrieving in mind and makes training your working gundog much easier.

Our unique design allows you to securely attach a tennis ball wrap to any dummy, making it easier than ever to teach your dog how to properly retrieve.

The Background To the NEW LWDG Tennis Ball Wrap

The NEW LWDG Tennis Ball Wrap, was born out of our own experiences as dog handlers/trainers. Sporting Saint kindly asked if we would be interested in collaborating with them on a dog training product. Of course, working with such a loved and long-standing business meant we said yes straight away!

We were constantly searching for ways to train/enhance our dogs’ retrieval skills, but traditional methods sometimes proved ineffective and repetitive. That’s when we came up with the idea of wrapping dummies in tennis ball fabric to add an extra stimulus during training sessions. Thus, the NEW LWDG Tennis Ball Wrap was born and has now become a favourite among the LWDG Community.

Not only do dogs enjoy the added stimulation provided by the feel and scent, but they also improve their overall retrieval skills as a result.

 

 

What our Founder Jo Has To Say About the Tennis Ball Wrap

Jo has personally tried out the prototypes with her own ‘reluctant retriever,’ Ella, and has seen fantastic results. Ella loves hunting down those bouncy green balls but never seemed to have the same enthusiasm for canvas dummies. That was until the LWDG created, with the amazing team at Sporting Saint, this new tennis wrap.

Ella can’t get enough of it, and I love watching her excitement as she sprints out to retrieve it now. This new wrap has added so much joy to our training sessions and has made them even more fun for both of us. This new wrap allows us to turn any dummy into a tennis ball, it’s like a match made in heaven. Thank you, Sporting Saint for creating such an amazing product for us!

 

Tennis Ball Wrap Details

Sporting Saint are delighted to be involved in bringing the Tennis Ball Wrap to the market.

The Tennis Ball Wrap is available in two sizes –

Small – 6.7cm x 270cm for 1/2lb sized dummies

Large -8.1 x 291cm for 1lb sized dummies

 

How it can be used to train retrievers

Not only does the fabric wrap add an extra level of stimulation for dogs through its scent and feel, but it also improves overall retrieval skills. This tool is especially helpful for puppies transitioning from retrieving tennis balls to dummies, for retrievers who need to pick up items correctly, and for dogs who may need extra encouragement during training sessions. The added stimulus provided by the tennis ball fabric significantly enhances engagement in retriever training.

Copyright J M Martin

A few tips on training retrievers

Here are a few tips to keep in mind during the training process.

First, make sure to start training early and consistently, as repetition is key for dogs to learn new behaviours. Next, use positive reinforcement and rewards to encourage your dog’s progress.

When teaching your dog to retrieve, begin with smaller objects and gradually work up to larger ones.

Also, make sure to train in areas where it’s easy to see the retrieve when starting out so that your dog can easily identify it in the field.

Finally, remember to have patience and stay positive throughout the training process; with these steps in mind, you and your gundog will be ready to retrieve

 

Try The Tennis Wrap and Let Us Know What You Think!

Whether you are training for fun, field trials, working tests, or hunting in the great outdoors, this product will help your dog learn how to retrieve. Head over to Sporting Saint to find out more, and let us know your thoughts on the LWDG Tennis Ball Wrap below!

Further learning:

6 Steps To Teaching A Dog To Successfully Retrieve

Developing And Maintaining Your Dogs Desire To Retrieve

Course 25. Working With A Reluctant Retriever

Course 30. Building Confidence on Blind Retrieve

 

Using Food Rewards In Training Working Dogs: The Best Way To Ensure Success

There are a lot of misconceptions about using food rewards in training working dogs. Some people believe that you should never use food as a bribe or reward, while others think that it is the only way to train a dog. The truth is, using food in training can be very effective – but it’s important to do it the right way.

In this podcast with LWDG Group Expert and Behavioural Trainer Claire Denyer, and Celebrity Dog Trainer and LWDG Featured Expert Robert Alleyne, we discuss how to use food in training working dogs effectively and efficiently.

In this episode we look at:

1. The benefits of using food in training working dogs

2. How to use food in training effectively

3. Alternatives to food rewards in dog training

4. Tips for success when using food or other rewards in training

Podcast Edition:

 

The benefits of using food rewards in training working dogs

Working dogs, like gundogs, police and military K9s, search and rescue dogs, and service animals, undergo rigorous training to perform their duties. But did you know that using food as a reward during this training can not only make it more effective but also strengthen the bond between dog and handler?

Using food in training gives the dog a clear motivation to follow commands and perform tasks, leading to faster learning. In addition, food rewards can increase a dog’s excitement and enthusiasm for working which can translate into improved performance on the job.

Food-based training also helps to build trust and a positive relationship between dog and handler, making the working partnership even stronger. With all these benefits it can be easy to see why we might want to reward our four-legged friend.

How to use food rewards in training effectively

Food has long been used as a great motivator and reward in dog training, but it’s important to understand the difference between using food as a reward and bribery. Reward-based training involves offering your dog a treat or food after they have completed the desired behaviour, while bribery involves showing or offering the food before the behaviour in an attempt to manipulate the dog into performing it.

While bribery may seem like an easy fix, it can actually create confusion for the dog and make them less likely to listen in the future. Instead, focus on rewarding your pup after they have successfully completed a behaviour to reinforce positive actions.

The key difference is the timing. A reward is given after the desired behaviour occurs, while a bribe is offered beforehand in hopes of getting the desired behaviour. In other words, rewards reinforce good behaviour while bribes can actually encourage undesirable behaviours and create dependence on treats.

Alternatives to food rewards in dog training

When it comes to training our beloved companions, food rewards have recently become a go-to tool. However, some dogs can develop a reliance on food rewards, and may not respond well in situations where treats are not available.

Luckily, there are plenty of successful alternatives that can be just as effective at reinforcing good behaviour. For example, try praising your dog with excited verbal cues or going for a fun play session as a reward. You can also use favourite toys or games as rewards, or simply give them positive attention and affection.

The important thing is to find what works best for your pup, and consistently reinforce the desired behaviour. Ultimately, building a strong bond and trust with our dog is the foundation for successful training – and these alternative rewards can be a great way to strengthen that bond even further. Who knew loving and playing with our pups could also make them more well-behaved? It’s a win-win for everyone involved!

Tips for success when using food or other rewards in training

As a dog owner, using treats to train your four-legged friend can be a great way to reinforce good behaviour. However, it’s important to use food rewards strategically in order to ensure the most successful outcome.

First, start by determining what type of treat your pup loves the most and use that as the reward for their desired behaviour.

It’s also important to pay attention to when you give the treat – make sure you give it immediately after the desired behaviour is performed, so your dog makes the connection between the reward and their action.

Another tip is to gradually phase out food rewards over time, replacing them with verbal praise or physical affection as reinforcement.

Finally, remember that treats should only be given during training sessions – avoid giving them randomly throughout the day or it could lead to weight gain or behavioural issues. By utilising these tips for success, you and your furry companion will have a happy and productive training experience.

Further Reading: How To Have Incredible Fun Teaching Your Gundog

 

The Mindset You Need When Working With Dogs

When you’re working with dogs, your mindset is incredibly important. If you go into a training session thinking that the dog is going to be difficult or trying to force them to do something they don’t want to do, it’s going to be a lot harder than if you go in with a positive attitude and expecting cooperation. In this week’s podcast and blog post, we discuss with the newly appointed LWDG Mindset Coach Louise Ktoris the mindset you need when working with dogs and how it can impact your training sessions.

Podcast:

The importance of having the right mindset when working with dogs

Every dog is different, and so is every owner. That’s why it’s important to find the right mindset when working with your dog. Some owners are very serious about their dogs’ obedience and expect them to always be perfect. Others are more relaxed, treating their dogs more like family members. There is no right or wrong way to approach dog ownership, but finding a mindset that works for you and your dog is important.

The most important thing is to be consistent in your training and expectations. Dogs are very intelligent creatures, and they will quickly figure out what you expect from them. If you’re consistent in your commands and rewards, you’ll find that your dog is much more likely to obey you. With the right mindset, you can develop a strong bond with your dog that will last a lifetime.

What to do if you’re struggling with your dog’s behaviour and it’s affecting your mindset

It can be really tough when you’re struggling with your dog’s behaviour. You might feel like you’re constantly trying new things and getting nowhere or that you’re the only one who seems to be having this problem.

But the good news is that you’re not alone, and there are things you can do to turn things around.

  • it’s important to get some perspective. Dogs are individuals, just like us, and they each have their own unique set of behaviours and quirks. Just because your dog isn’t Perfect doesn’t mean he’s a bad dog.
  • Remember that training is a process, and it takes time and patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a well-trained dog!
  • Don’t forget to focus on the positive. Every time your dog does something right, even if it’s something small, give him lots of praise and treats. Over time, you’ll start to see a change in his behaviour and your attitude towards him.

Dogs are amazing creatures that can bring so much love and joy into our lives. But sometimes, even the best dogs can develop problematic behaviours that can be tough for their owners to handle.

If you’re struggling with your dog’s behaviour, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. There are many resources available to help you get your four-legged friend back on track.

Tips for maintaining a positive attitude when training your dog

Owning a dog is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. They bring joy, laughter, and unconditional love into our lives. But along with all the good comes work – training your dog can be a challenge, and it’s important to keep a positive attitude throughout the process. Luckily, you can do a few things to help make training more fun for you and your pup.

First, keep sessions short – 20 minutes or less is ideal. You don’t want to overwork your dog or yourself, so it’s important to break up training into manageable chunks.

Secondly, be consistent with your commands and rewards – this will help your dog understand what you’re asking of them more quickly.

Finally, make sure to praise your dog often – let them know when they’re doing something right! A little positivity goes a long way when training your four-legged friend.

How to deal with frustration and disappointment in training sessions

Disappointment and frustration are two common emotions that dog owners feel during training sessions. It’s important to understand that these feelings are normal, and there are ways to deal with them so that they don’t get in the way of your success.

To begin with, it’s important to remember that your dog is not trying to be disobedient or difficult. They are just doing what comes natural to them. Try to be patient and understand that it will take time for them to learn the new behaviours you are asking of them.

Next, it’s important to set realistic expectations for your dog. If you expect them to learn complex behaviour in a short period of time, you are likely to be disappointed. Take things slowly and give your dog the time they need to learn.

Finally, don’t forget to enjoy the process. Training should be a fun and bonding experience for both you and your dog. If you can keep these things in mind, you will find that dealing with frustration and disappointment becomes much easier.

The benefits of a positive mindset when working with dogs

Working with dogs is an incredibly rewarding experience. You get to spend time with some of the most loving and loyal creatures on earth, and you also get to see the world through their eyes. Dogs have an extraordinary ability to brighten even the darkest of days, and their boundless enthusiasm is contagious.

Research has shown that spending time with dogs can lower blood pressure and improve mental well-being. This positive mindset is essential for dog trainers, groomers, and walkers. Not only does it make the job more enjoyable, but it also helps to create a bond of trust and respect between the handler and the dog. When working with dogs, always remember that they are individuals with their own unique personalities.

By approaching each dog with a positive mindset, you will be able to create a strong bond that will enrich both of your lives.

Louise Ktoris will share her mindset content each Monday in the Library section of the LWDG website.

@Tailsofagunlady Louise’s Instagram Account

Further Learning For Members:

The Effortless Effort Mindset: How to Handle Change with Ease

How Mindset Blocks Create Negative Thoughts and Emotions

 

BioThane® Products For Dogs: Everything You Need to Know

Do you have a four-legged friend that you train outdoors in sun, rain and mud? If so, you may be wondering if there are products out there that are easy to clean, hard-wearing, safe and strong.

In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about  BioThane® products for dogs!

We’ll cover what BioThane® is, and the benefits of using it. We’ll also provide some tips on choosing the right BioThane® product for helping your dog with heelwork and retrieving. So whether you’re just curious about BioThane® products or are ready to buy one, this blog post has got you covered!

Guest Blog Post By Christy Thompson, Founder of Myrtle and Willow UK

Firstly, let me introduce myself, I am Christy Thompson the founder and owner of Myrtle and Willow UK. We lovingly handcraft BioThane® pet products in Derbyshire.

I am an outdoor girl at heart, having worked in the Outdoor Education sector until 2020 when I decided to follow my dream to work for myself and set up Myrtle and Willow UK. I have owned Springer and Cockers for the past 20 years and our most recent duo are cockers, Willow and Jarvis.

What Is BioThane®?

BioThane® is a unique and amazing product that offers many benefits to those who use it. It is a strong, durable, and flexible material that is perfect for a variety of applications. BioThane® is available in a variety of colours and thicknesses, so it can be customized to meet the needs of any project. It is also comfortable to wear and easy to clean, so it is perfect for those with sensitive skin. In addition, BioThane® is waterproof, so it can be used in any weather condition. Best of all, BioThane® is not vegan certified, however, it is an ethically-responsible choice for those who are looking for an alternative to leather. With so many amazing features, it is no wonder that Biothane is quickly becoming the material of choice for a new generation of eco-conscious consumers.

 

BioThane® and your dog

BioThane® is taking the dog world by storm. It is a durable and pliable synthetic coated webbing which has many practical uses and lends itself to pet products among many other things. Not only is it smooth and pliable like leather it is waterproof, odour and stain resistant, antimicrobial and hypoallergenic – so good for your dog’s skin/coat too.

BioThane® is easy to clean.

Anyone who has ever had a dog knows that they can be messy creatures. From muddy paws to slobbery kisses, it seems like there’s always something that needs to be cleaned up. Thankfully, BioThane® is an easy-to-clean material that is perfect for dog owners. Made from a PVC-coated fabric, BioThane® is water resistant and can be easily wiped down. It’s also flexible and durable, making it ideal for products like leashes, collars, and harnesses. A quick wipe will keep it looking good as new every day!

BioThane® is incredibly strong

BioThane® is an extremely strong and durable material that is often used in a variety of applications. It is hard-wearing and is even used to create public services and military gear for dogs.  BioThane®is also resistant to both UV light and water damage, making it an ideal choice for a wide range of applications. You do not have to worry about it snapping as it has a 400kg break limit per inch of thickness, however, like most pet products we recommend checking for damage before use.

Product Focus: BioThane® Heeling/Retrieving Tabs

Last year I had the pleasure of working with LWDG Guest Expert Becca Dovestone of Dovemoor Gundogs to create some bespoke pieces for her dogs. I enjoy the freedom and creativity that working for myself allows and I love to make custom pieces for our customers. And so the Myrtle and Willow UK Steady/Heeling Tab was born.

Heeling tabs are not a new product, however, our heeling tab is made of BioThane®. They come at a total length of 7” with a d ring and a small but strong trigger clip. I don’t have to tell you that generally, the steady/heeling tab is for clipping onto the dog’s collar to keep to heel during training, obedience, working in the field and agility activities.

How can a heeling tab be used?

They can be used in a variety of ways and are not limited to:

  •  A quick hand hold until you want the dog to be released from a lead/ leash.
  • Transitioning from on to off lead work to hold when dogs come in on retrieves and don’t like to let the item go or pop their head down.
  • As a bridging gap for when we want steadiness on retrieves.

These have fast become one of my top sellers and their use has been adapted for individual dogs. I have been told they have been used as lead extenders, anchor clips in crates/ vehicles and as permanent attachments to harnesses when a coat is worn and it’s tricky/ fiddly to clip the lead back onto the harness through the coat.

It is evident that BioThane® is a versatile and durable material that has many practical applications. Not only is it perfect for pet products, but it can also be used in a variety of other ways. With its many benefits, it is no wonder that BioThane® is quickly becoming the material of choice for a new generation of eco-conscious consumers. From leashes and collars to harnesses and heeling tabs, BioThane® is the perfect choice for any pet owner looking for a high-quality, long-lasting product.

if you currently use a product and think BioThane® could make it even better, or want something bespoke made for you and your dog, visit our website at Myrtle & Willow UK

Further Help With Heelwork/Retrieving :

Heelwork (Hot Mess Handler)

Retrieving (Hot Mess Handler)

From Pulling To Perfect

Episode 51: Why your dog needs manners: Behaviour Versus Training

10 Things Dog Trainers Wish You Knew About Training Dogs

If you’re like most people, you probably think of your dog trainer as a kind of magical being. Someone who can wave a wand and make your naughty pup behave perfectly. In reality, training dogs is much more work than that – and your dog trainer wishes you knew that it’s a long process that you can succeed at.

In this week’s podcast episode LWDG Group Expert Clair Denyer and her husband, LWDG Featured Expert John Denyer take us through the ten things your dog trainer wishes you knew about training dogs.

This episode celebrates our first year of LWDG POD DOG, and we would like to thank each and every listener and contributor for making it a brilliant adventure!

Podcast Episode:

10 Things Dog Trainers Wishes You Knew About Training Dogs

Breed Traits Are Important

As any dog lover knows, each breed has its unique set of traits. These traits result from centuries of selective breeding and play an important role in determining a dog’s temperament and behaviour.

For example, herding dogs were bred to work closely with humans, and as a result, they tend to be loyal and obedient. On the other hand, hounds were bred to hunt independently and tended to be more independent and stubborn.

Understanding a dog’s breed traits is essential for choosing the right dog for your lifestyle. It can also help you understand your dog’s behaviour and temperament and provide insight into how best to train and care for your four-legged friend.

There is no race to train your dog

Training your dog can be a fun and rewarding experience for both of you. It’s a great way to bond with your four-legged friend and help them learn basic obedience skills.

And contrary to popular belief, there is no rush to train your dog. Puppies, in particular, are still learning about the world around them and need time to adjust to their new home and family. So, take your time and enjoy the process.

Training should be a positive experience for both of you, so don’t hesitate to give plenty of praise and treats along the way. With a little patience and love, you’ll be amazed at what your dog can learn.

Further Listening/ Reading:

The Working Dog Age Race

Overtraining can create boredom.

Training your dog can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can have as a pet owner. Not only does it give you and your dog a chance to bond, but it also helps your dog to stay healthy and well-behaved. However, it’s important not to overdo it.

Just like humans, dogs can become bored if they are made to do the same thing repeatedly. This can lead to poor performance during training sessions and even behavioural problems.

To keep your dog interested in training, make sure to mix up the routine and provide plenty of opportunities for playtime and exploration. By giving your dog a well-rounded life, you can help to prevent boredom and ensure that training is always enjoyable for both of you.

Quality is more important than quantity.

As any dog lover knows, training is essential for a well-behaved pet. But many people don’t realise that quality is more important than quantity when it comes to dog training. That’s because dogs learn best when given short, frequent sessions focused on a specific behaviour.

So instead of one long weekly training session, it’s better to break it up into several shorter sessions throughout the week. This way, your dog will have a better chance of retaining what he’s learned and will be more likely to respond positively to your commands. Plus, the more you work with your dog on his training, the closer you’ll become – and that’s something every dog lover can appreciate!

Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

When you’re looking for a dog trainer, it’s important to be honest about your dog’s behaviours and temperament. After all, the trainer can only help your dog if they know what they’re working with. So, tell the truth about your dog’s good points and bad points.

Be honest about any aggression issues, separation anxiety, or other behavioural problems. And don’t forget to mention any obedience training that your dog has already had. The more information you give the trainer, the better they’ll be able to help your dog – and you! – succeed.

It also means being honest about your own expectations and abilities. After all, the trainer can’t help you if they don’t know what you’re struggling with. So, if you’re ready to get the most out of your training, be sure to tell the whole story.

Equipment tools aren’t dangerous; the people using them are

As any dog lover knows, our four-legged friends need exercise, mental stimulation, and plenty of love and attention. Training is one of the best ways to provide all of these things.

Training strengthens the bond between dog and owner and can also help prevent problem behaviours from developing. While some people may be concerned about the use of equipment in dog training, the truth is that it isn’t the equipment that’s dangerous – it’s the people who use it badly.

When used correctly, equipment such as harnesses, leashes, and rewards can be incredibly helpful in teaching dogs new behaviours. The key is to use them safely and effectively, keeping your dog’s well-being at the forefront of your mind at all times. With a little knowledge and care, you can make dog training a fun and rewarding experience for you both.

welsh springer spaniel puppy gazing at cows in a field

Socialisation needs structure

If you’re a dog owner, you know that socialisation is key to having a happy, well-adjusted pup. But what does socialisation really mean? In short, it’s the process of getting your dog used to different people, animals, and environments.

Dogs are social creatures that need to interact with other dogs and people regularly to stay happy and healthy. However, not all socialisation is created equal.

For example, letting your dog off the leash at the local dog park can be a recipe for disaster. Your dog may be anxious or aggressive, and he or she may also pick up bad habits from the other dogs at the park.

Instead, socialisation should be structured to allow your dog to interact safely and calmly with other dogs and people. This can be done through obedience training classes, play dates with well-socialised dogs, and positive reinforcement.

While puppies typically start socialisation around 3-4 weeks of age, it’s important to continue socialising your dog throughout their life. Dogs of all ages can benefit from meeting new people and animals and exploring new places.

There are a number of different ways to socialise your dog. One easy way is to take them for daily walks in different neighbourhoods or parks. This will help them get used to different types of people and animals, as well as new sights and smells. The most important thing is to do it gradually and at your dog’s own pace. Let them approach new people and animals when ready, and don’t force them into situations that make them feel uncomfortable.

With some patience and effort, you can help your dog learn to love the world around them – and have a lot of fun in the process!

Further Reading/Listening: Why Socialisation Of Your Dog Is Essential

Saying No is not abuse

No is not a bad word. In fact, it can be one of the most important words you ever say to your dog. While it may seem like you’re being mean when you tell your dog no, in reality, you’re setting boundaries and teaching them what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour. And that’s critical for a happy and healthy relationship.

Just like small children, dogs need to know what they can and can’t do. Saying no helps them understand these boundaries. It also lets them know that you love them enough to correct them when they make a mistake. So the next time you feel guilty about saying no to your furry friend, remember that you’re actually doing them a favour.

Further Reading/Listening :

Positive -Only V PunitiveTraining: What happened to the middle ground?

The Science Behind Correction- How To Correct Constructively

Your dog trainer genuinely cares.

You can tell a lot about a person by how they treat their dog. A good dog trainer will have a deep understanding of canine behaviour and will be able to help you develop a trusting, rewarding relationship with your dog. They will be patient and gentle with your dog and will take the time to understand their individual needs. They will also be honest with you about what you can realistically expect from your training sessions.

Most importantly, a good dog trainer genuinely cares about you and your dog. They will want you to succeed and be there to support you every step of the way. With their help, you can overcome any challenges you face and develop a strong bond with your four-legged friend.

Your dog is not deaf, so there is no need to shout.

In fact, studies have shown that dogs can hear frequencies up to four times higher than humans. However, dogs don’t always react to sound in the same way that humans do. For example, a dog’s hearing is much more sensitive to high-pitched sounds, such as a whistle or squeaky toy. As a result, Dogs may not always react to our voices in the way we expect. But that doesn’t mean they’re not listening.

Though we might think they’re deliberately ignoring us when they don’t come when called, for example, more often than not, it’s simply because they haven’t understood what we want them to do.

Dogs rely on both visual and auditory cues to communicate with us, so if we want them to really understand us, it’s important to use both channels. That means using hand signals alongside verbal commands and being conscious of the tone of our voice.

When we shout at our dogs, they can interpret this as a sign of aggression and become scared or defensive. Dogs are attuned to the tone and inflexion of our voices and can often understand what we’re communicating, even if we’re not using words. So the next time you want to get your dog’s attention, try using a gentle tone of voice instead of shouting. And make sure they understand what you are asking. You might be surprised at how well they respond.

Which have these ten things have made a difference for you? Comment below