The path to a “well-trained dog” is paved with tiny tiles

Dogs have taught me to become a much more patient person – progress is gradual, skills are learned in small increments, and some days, you just have to let it go with a shrug. But if you persist and just keep doing small things every day (or every 3 days!), one day you’ll realise youContinue reading “The path to a “well-trained dog” is paved with tiny tiles”

When you have a food-ambivalent dog

Recently, I’ve been thinking about how much of our interactions with dogs and “customs” around dog training are built on the assumption that a dog is interested in and motivated by food. When that isn’t the case, you have to think much, much harder and often dig deep for empathy when nothing seems to workContinue reading “When you have a food-ambivalent dog”

Loving a dog is more than just feelings

Leaving aside whatever views you might have on the show or the dog trainer in question, this is a good illustration what can happen when people get a dog “for the family”. Watch the video by clicking the image – it’s on Facebook and can’t be embedded. I’ve spent the past 6 weeks cleaning upContinue reading “Loving a dog is more than just feelings”

What I wish my agility teachers knew

I wanted to write this because these thoughts have been circulating in my head for months – often haunting me on Thursday nights after practice – in the hope that it would make me feel better but now that I’ve laid out all the reasons why, I’m less certain why it’s a good idea toContinue reading “What I wish my agility teachers knew”

Some thoughts on joint health and dog development

I had a conversation with someone* a few months ago about dog joints, structure, movement and breeding spaniels, and during the conversation we had a hypothesis about why there are more joint problems today. Hypothesis 1: In the past hunting spaniels like cockers and springers (in the UK) would have been removed from the geneContinue reading “Some thoughts on joint health and dog development”

The blurry line in love of balls

It feels like there are a lot of rules we’ve internalised as dog owners and sometimes it’s good to question them. For example, I have mixed feelings about Grace’s love of balls. On the one hand, I hear a voice in my head telling me I’m supposed to remove things that a dog feels stronglyContinue reading “The blurry line in love of balls”