Are all dogs of a particular breed aggressive?

Click here for a quick video summary of some recent research into why dogs are agressive.  It is interesting to hear and helps us realise the importance of early socialisation for puppies and reward based training in general and supports my methodology, my COAPE training and the code of conduct I have signed up to with CAPBT.


Dogs have emotions

The following article showcases scientific proof that dogs do have emotions and, using MRI scans, we can determine what those are.

When I am approached to help owners and their dogs with behavioural problems, I use the EMRA approach in making an assessment.

EMRA stands for Emotional, Mood State and Reinforcement Analysis which does the following:

  • analysizes how your pet feels on a day to day basis - are they fully content with life?
  • determines how your pet feels when the problematic situation arises and
  • looks at why your pet is continuing to perform the problematic behaviour

EMRA and non punitive reward based motivational methods underpin all my behaviour assessments and subsequent modification programmes.

EMRA logo

Microchipping and identification tags

As responsible dog owners, we all know that we should microchip our dogs and ensure they have identification tags on at all times but do we completely realise how important this can be if our dogs escape from the garden, get scared and run off when out on a walk, jump out of the car when you weren't expecting it etc? Microchipping will become law in March 2015; however, microchipping your dog only ensures lost dogs are reunited with owners if the database is kept up to date with current address details and telephone number - please remember to update these when you move house or change your contact numbers.

Identification tags mean that the person finding your dog can make a call to you immediately and arrange to meet you to return your dog.  Without this, the person who has found your dog is completely in the dark and has to find other ways to try to get your dog to you.  More importantly, it is the LAW that your dogs wear identification tags. The fine is £5,000! In the UK, the Control of Dogs Order 1992 states that any dog in a public place must wear a collar with the name and address (including postcode) of the owner engraved or written on it, or engraved on a tag. Your telephone number is optional.  I would also recommend have spare tags at home when one gets lost (which we know happens) so your dog is never without one.

I was SO pleased that I was able to return 2 gorgeous Labradors to their owners this week despite no identification tags and incorrect information against the microchip details and before the dog warden came to get them from me - they saved £10,000!!!!  It really brought it home to me how important both things are and how frustrating it can be for the person who has found your dog - all they want to do is ensure that dog gets home, that was all I wanted to do!  Thankfully it happened but it wasn't straightforward!

Please, everyone, ensure your microchip details are up to date and that you all have identification tags on your dogs.

Breed health information

I have found a great website for people trying to get information about potential health issues for breeds.  The link is below.  BUT please remember that they are potential, not every dog in every breed shows the health issues but it is good information for anyone looking for a new puppy to ensure you get the healthiest possible pup.  There are no guarantees though!

New support for breeders and new puppy owners

Great news for those breeders and early puppy carers out there AND for new owners.  The Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club have collaborated with other industry experts to create The Puppy Plan.  The aim is to give every puppy the best start possible.  I would encourage anyone breeding, thinking about breeding and thinking about getting a puppy to go to this site and have a good read.  It is a fabulous initiative.  Thank you to everyone who has contributed.