Be your dog’s best friend

This page is dedicated to dispelling the myths of the ‘old school’ approach to dog training, and instead enlightens you to what is actually out there that can help you and your dog have the best relationship.

For example, the ‘dominance theory’, which sadly many still believe to be true, was based on research during the last century and has since been debunked. This theory was based on a study of wolf packs living in captive conditions, with wolves that were not related, and therefore their behaviour observed was under highly stressful and unnatural environments, and is not a true representation of how wolves live naturally. The dog on your sofa does not want to dominate you, they want to fit in with our lifestyles, yet many are struggling to do so.

With so much information out there, and no real regulation, it is hard to find the support for you and your dog. So many of our dog’s struggle on a day-to-day basis, including our own boy Mr O. He can be reactive, which is fear based as well as managed pain issues (research by veterinary behaviourists found up to 80% of dogs seen for behavioural problems were suffering from undiagnosed pain). As Mr O’s guardians we will always be his advocate, hence our continued learning journey.

We are certainly not perfect, but we are continuing to learn from the most up-to-date canine welfare practitioners from around the world, and you can too.

Canine Principles

With such a wide variety of courses on offer Canine Principles has something for everyone. Lisa has taken part in thirteen online workshops, plus studied the ‘Scent Work Enrichment’ accredited diploma, and the ‘Canine Communication’ accredited diploma. The Canine Principles team are like a second family, caring and supportive as you start your learning journey. They also have a facebook group where you can find useful information, alongside private student groups where you can learn from others in an encouraging and friendly safe space.

Nordic Education Centre for Dog Trainers

We are delighted to be part of the Nordic Education Centre for Dog Trainers affiliate programme. Lisa completed her Level 1 course in September 2021, which covered an introduction to dog language, behaviour and problem solving, with tutor Lisbeth Borg de Waard, as well as lectures from world renowned specialists including trainer and author Turid Rugaas, veterinary behaviourist Dr Amber Batson, trainer and nose work specialist Anne Lill Kvam. Lisbeth’s facebook page has regular free live talks covering a range of subjects and is well worth joining.

‘Understanding Animals’

Dr Amber Batson’s facebook group Understanding Animals is another great resource for learning more about our canine companions. Lisa took part in the ‘Cavorting canines: effects of exercise on the dog’ which covered physical and mental exercises, physiology and ethogram of the dog, stress factors, sleep, medical conditions etc. This course comes highly recommended and every dog guardian, and the dog in their care, would greatly benefit learning from the many courses offered by Dr Batson.

Canine Arthritis Management

‘It is believed around 80% of dogs over the age of 8 probably have arthritis’ – Canine Arthritis Management. Their website and facebook page give access to information and support for recognising pain, treatments available, and improving the lives of dogs. A really valuable support network to help us to understand our dogs and manage their pain.

Slow Dog Movement

If you want to deepen your relationship with your dog then this is the page for you. The Slow Dog Movement website and supportive facebook group has a wealth of resources that teach us how to ‘just be’ with our dog’s, and encourage a better understanding of their natural needs and desires by promoting enriching and calm activities that so many of our dogs crave. We are proud to be an Ambassadog for the Slow Dog Movement.

The Smiling Leash

Another great website, and facebook community, promoting how we should walk with our dog’s. What we perceive as a nice walk is very different to how our dogs feel about it. You can find advice on how your dog feels about his/her walk and how we need to think more from their perspective and enjoy time spent together exploring in a more natural way.

The Mutty Professor

The Mutty Professor website and facebook page is another great resource. With lots of online webinars covering a wide variety of subjects there is something for everyone to learn more about our dogs and their natural behaviours, and also how we can recognise and support them when they need it.

Sensory Gardens 4 Dogs

This is another lovely website, and they have a facebook page too, which again focusses on allowing our dogs to do what comes naturally. We all too often assume that what we enjoy our dogs will enjoy, but remember, they are a different species, and if we really are their best friend’s we need to learn more about what they actually enjoy.

Crabtree Canine Enrichment

Pennie Clayton runs Crabtree Canine Enrichment, which we have visited with our boy Mr O. Crabtree is a very special place set in beautiful countryside and gives guardians the opportunity to really relax and observe their dog enjoying a fulfilling enriched experience. Pennie offers a range of services to build better relationships with our dogs and also runs the ‘Enhancing the life of your hound’ facebook page.

The Dog Nose

Kirsty Grant set up The Dog Nose in 2018 – ‘The first of its kind indoor enriched environment for dogs, developed from the work of Turid Rugaas.’ Kirsty offers online workshops on enriched environments and we took part in one of her courses during 2020. Kirsty is a great tutor and her knowledge on this subject is second to none.

Human Hound Healing

With more and more dogs coming from abroad, learning to adapt to a complete change of lifestyle can understandably be overwhelming. Human Hound Healing is a local service offering online consultations and a mentoring hub, although open to all dogs and their guardians, Janeen has experience in foreign rescue, and focuses on creating calm and reducing stress for both dogs and people.

Arun Dog Training

Local dog trainer Heather Sanderson is fully qualified and a member of the IMDT (Institute of Modern Dog Trainers). Heather offers a range of services including 1-2-1 consultations and practices using positive reward-based training methods.

Recommended reading list

On talking terms with dogs: Calming signals – Author Turid Rugaas

The canine kingdom of scent – Author Anne Lill Kvam

Inside of a dog: What dogs see, smell and know – Author Alexandra Horowitz

Canine confidential: Why dogs do what they do – Author Marc Bekoff

Dominance in dogs: Fact of fiction – Author Barry Easton

Canine enrichment for the real world – Authors Allie Bender and Emily Strong

A dog for all seasons – Author Pennie Clayton

Plus, so many more!

If your dog is your best friend, then it is time to learn about what they really want, and how we can support them to enjoy the best possible life.

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© Lisa Edwards 2019 – 2023. All rights reserved.