Category Archives: Dog Behaviour

Calm Christmas for Dogs

Are your Christmas preparations taking into consideration the busy-ness of Christmas, from a dog’s perspective?

It’s all a bit too much…

For many dogs, Christmas involves a degree of “too-muchness”.  Now, how much too-muchness is experienced depends on how different your Christmas period is to any other time of year, and how chilled your dog is about the festive comings and goings that are approaching.  (more…)

Aggression to dogs

At least 1 in 3 of the enquiries that I receive relates to aggression towards dogs on the walk. 

Why is this such a big problem?

Simply put dogs are pack, territorial animals.  That means instinctively they can see other dogs they meet as a threat.  It is unclear on whose territory they are meeting and there is an expectation that it could possibly kick off.  The more nervous dog will use aggression (more…)

Red Cocker Rage – is it a thing?

There’s a label which is being given to a small percentage of red coated cocker spaniels.  Stating that they are afflicted with a syndrome known as “red cocker rage”.  This diagnosis of sorts is based on the fact that the dog in question is a red coated cocker spaniel, and is exhibiting bouts of (from the owners’ perspective) unexplained aggression.  Usually this aggression is being directed towards (more…)

Why dogs bite

My articles tend to be inspired by what I’m seeing day to day and recently I have seen a lot of dogs who bite!  In different scenarios, such as:

  • Badly biting other dogs in the household
  • Biting family members
  • Biting visitors
  • Biting strangers out on the walk

Most of the people I help are really upset that their dog is biting and are worried about what the implications of this could be (more…)

Dog body language and what it means

I have been provided with the below infographic to share on my website by an Australian company called Greyhounds as Pets.  I get offered content to share quite a lot and it’s rare to find something that is helpful rather than misleading.  This infographic is really good.  The caveat I would give before reading is that bear in mind that different breeds of dogs have different physiology, for instance:

Why telling your dog off is not recommended

The vast majority of households that I go to help are already in a habit of telling their dog off.  At the very least saying “No” or “Aa ah”, in some case much more lengthy and forcefully.  One of my jobs is to let them know that this isn’t a great idea to do, and I’d like to share why not in this article.  I must say before you read on that I am aware that (if you are telling them off) it’s often (more…)

Help, my dog is always on patrol/guarding!

A really common behaviour that I see in many households that I visit is dogs who patrol or guard the house and, in particular, the garden.  In fact, some people have track marks around the edge of the garden from their dog’s frequent use of the same path to keep an eye, ear and nose out for unwanted intruders.

Why do dogs feel the need to guard/patrol?

The answer to this question is two-fold:

    (more…)

Help! My dog is always barking on the walk…

Over the years I have helped many people whose dogs are barking on the walk in a multitude of different ways.  It can take many different forms:

  • Barking at other dogs when they get close to one another
  • Barking at dogs even when they are in the distance
  • Barking at people who look at them or try to interact
  • Barking at certain people, e.g. those with beards, hats on, high viz
  • Barking (more…)

How to calm down a hyperactive dog

Funnily enough this title is a bit of a red herring, because if we want to calm down a hyperactive dog, less is more.  In fact it’s often human behaviour which keeps a dog in this hyperactive state.  Let’s break this down and look at it in detail.

Why does a dog become hyperactive?

Many things can put a dog into a hyperactive state.  To me, the most simple way of thinking about it is that when a (more…)

My dog doesn’t like men

It’s very easy for dogs to suffer with nervousness and fear when it comes to meeting people, and in particular I’ve helped a lot of dogs that are worse around men.  Either shying away from them and giving men a wide berth, or barking and growling in a pre-emptive self defence.

Those I help who have a rescue dog often assume that this means the dog was poorly treated by a man in the past.  However (more…)