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Does your dog know you are having a baby?

Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it can also be a stressful one. One of the things that can cause some couples additional worry is how their dog will react to a new baby. The key thing to remember is to start preparations as early as possible-the earlier the better. Here are some tips to ease your dog into his new role in the family.

 

  • If your dog has any behavioural or training issues, address them now. Jumping up, excessive barking, even pulling on the lead. This is to reduce the risk of unintentional injuries to little ones, but also because when you are very sleep deprived, sore and hormonal, these are the types of issues you can really do without. You may not have the time or energy to address them when the baby arrives- do it now. For severe issues like resource guarding or aggression, seek the help of an appropriately qualified behaviourist.
  • Consider whether you’d like to enlist the help of a dog walker or day care. This may be helpful in the early weeks and beyond with the new baby, but getting your dog used to it now will help so the dog doesn’t have to deal with further changes once baby arrives. Making sure your dog has opportunity to burn off some energy may help to keep them more calm and relaxed in the house.
  • Make sure that your dog is able to settle away from you and can cope being left for short periods. If you need help training your dog to relax, contact the Paw Pack and ask to arrange a training session.
  • Practise walking the dog whilst pushing the pram. Bring new items e.g. highchair, changing mat into the house so your dog can investigate them before baby arrives.
  • Stop allowing your dog into areas that he won’t be allowed in once baby has arrived, e.g. baby’s bedroom. This means that he won’t suddenly feel forced out when the baby arrives.
  • Find a soundtrack of babies gurgling and crying and play it around the dog.
  • Remember when a new baby arrives, your home will be filled with unusual sounds and scents, people will behave differently, you may have lots of visitors- all of this can be very confusing for your dog. Doing as much as you can to prepare Fido in advance will make things easier once the baby arrives.

If you’d like help preparing your dog for your baby, or if you have a new baby and your dog doesn’t seem to be coping, contact The Paw Pack @ www.thepawpack.co.uk to arrange a training session or behavioural consultation without delay. The earlier you start preparing your dog the easier the transition will be for everyone.

Total Recall

Recall training is one of the most common requests I get from dog owners. Fortunately, it’s usually
something that we can improve quite easily with some consistent training and almost always involves
going back to basics.
Tip 1:
Practise. Begin by practising in a really boring, distraction free environment. The problem we
often see with recall training is that people are asking for advanced behaviour (coming back when
there are lots of exciting distractions going on) before they have mastered the basics. If your dog
doesn’t come when you call her in the back garden, you don’t have much chance of it working on the
beach. Start training in the living room, move into the garden, then on a long line in an empty field…
you get the idea. You need solid foundations in place before you can ask for more advanced
behaviour.
Tip 2:
When your dog finally comes to you, no matter how long you are waiting in the pouring rain-
praise, praise and praise some more. Even dish out some tasty treats, because your dog needs to
know that returning to mum or dad results in good things happening. If every time they come back
they get a telling off, they’re not going to want to come back, are they?
Tip 3:
If every time you go for a walk and let your dog off the lead, you call her back, clip the lead on
and take her home, she will quickly learn that returning to you signals the end of fun time at the
park. We need to break up this sequence of events, so randomly call her back, praise her or give her
a small treat, and let her go off to play again. We always have to think about what our commands
mean to our dogs- ‘come’ shouldn’t mean ‘home time’.
If after reading this you are still struggling with your dog developing ‘selective deafness’ whenever
she’s off lead, contact the Paw Pack to arrange a 121 recall training session.

Make March Magic for your dog

Just a few months ago it was new year, new me, right? Isn’t that the band wagon that we’ve all seemingly fallen off by now? So, with spring in the air why don’t we think about some easy, fun resolutions that we can do with our
dogs? That way, if we don’t stick to it, we’re not just letting ourselves down, we’re letting our dogs
down- and we can’t be having that, can we?!
1.Put a stop to bad habits
As a force free trainer, this was always going to come out on top. Bad habits can be anything
from jerking the lead, tapping the dog on the nose, shouting.. anything that couldn’t be
classed as gentle, kind and force-free. These habits might seem harmless enough, but they’re
at best ineffective and at worst, detrimental to your dog’s wellbeing and your relationship.
Instead of punishing the behaviour we don’t want, lets vow to ask our dogs for the behaviour
we’d like to see instead. Don’t want your dog jumping up at the door? Ask him to sit. Don’t
want your dog to pull ahead of you on walks? Train him to walk by your side. When we set
our dogs up for success and reward what we DO want to see, life makes a lot more sense to
our dogs. If you’re struggling to get on top of any of these training issues, enquire at the Paw
Pack about their training services.
2.Commit to training a new trick on the first day of each month
We all want to be able to get our dogs to sit, come back when called and walk nicely on the
lead, but why stop there? Training is great for building the relationship between dog and
handler. It’s fun, it engages the dog’s brain and best of all, it’s a cool little party trick to
impress your mates. Why not commit to choosing a new trick to train each month, I
guarantee once you’ve started, you’ll be amazed at what your dog can do!
3.Change the old routine
You get in from work, the traffic was terrible, you’re cold, it’s raining and let’s be honest, all
you really want to do is curl up with a box set of Grey’s Anatomy (No? Just me?) and chill out.
But you have a dog, and with that dog came the responsibility to take him for a walk every
day. So, you stick on your coat, grit your teeth and head out for that same old dash round the
block. What if I told you that simply taking a left instead of a right, walking on the other side
of the road, or taking a short cut through the fields could make that walk ten times more
enjoyable for your pooch? Same energy on your part, but a whole lot more fun for our furry
friends. Whilst it’s true that dogs do well with routine, they say variety is the spice of life for
a reason. Change it up!
4.Stop and smell the roses
Dogs love to check their pee-mail. Fact. Whether we like it or not, that is what dogs are
designed to do. So let them do it! There is no need to frog march your dog along the
pavement- let them stop and smell the roses. Dogs love nothing more than a good sniff and
walking time is their time. Walks should be fun, engaging, enriching- not just about marching
from A to B so that the dog’s daily walk can be checked off our to-do list.
5.Love his brain as well as his body
Often when people complain that their dogs have endless amounts of energy, people will
suggest that they need more exercise. Not always and in fact, not usually. The culprit is
usually that our dogs are not getting sufficient mental stimulation which endless walking
doesn’t always provide. The answer lies in enrichment, in training, in letting your dog figure it
out. Snuffle mats, scent work, agility courses and puzzle feeders can all help you make life a
bit trickier and a lot more interesting for your dog.
So there you have it, my top 5 resolutions. A little more appealing than an hour in the gym, don’t you
think?!

Introducing our Training ‘Packademy’

Hello!

My name is Kate and I am delighted to be working with The Paw Pack as their in-house dog & puppy trainer.

I have grown up surrounded by a variety of animals and have always had a keen interest in their health and welfare, which led me to study Animal Science at Newcastle University, where my interest in behaviour developed further. I stayed in Newcastle for an extra year to study Animal Behaviour and Welfare at Master’s level, for which I was awarded a distinction in 2015. This scientific background gives me a solid understanding of animal ethology, learning theory and ethology, learning theory and cognition- an understanding of which is essential to successful animal training. Following my education I set up my training business – Kate’s Dog Training which allows me to help people (and their dogs) with any training needs.

I am a force-free trainer which means that I use reward based training, which is safe, kind, fair and effective. I only use modern training techniques to ensure that training is an enjoyable experience for both you and your dog.

My training sessions usually take place in your home, or an appropriate outdoor location (for example, if you want to work on recall or lead walking). I will start by asking you some questions about the behaviour you’re having trouble with, what behaviour you would like to see instead and we will discuss some ways we might achieve it. I will show you some practical exercises to do with your dog and send you an e-mail with an individual training plan for you to work on at home.

An example of some of the services I provide are:

Perfect Puppy 1 to 1 session:

A one hour session covering all the basics of life with a new puppy, including:

  • toilet training,
  • crate training,
  • appropriate play,
  • socialisation
  • handling.

Adult Dog 1 to 1 session:

Because you can teach an old dog new tricks! A one hour session covering any specific training issues, for example

  • pulling on the lead,
  • excessive barking,
  • jumping up
  • Tackling behavioural issues such as separation anxiety can also be discussed on an individual basis

All my sessions are tailored to your individual needs and therefore it will often be best to contact me directly to discuss your requirements.

Prices will be discussed on an individual basis, however as general a one hour private sessions starts at £40 with block bookings of 3 sessions for £100.

If you would like to contact me directly to discuss your training requirements please use the contact form on the ‘Contact Us’ page. I will then arrange a complimentary call to discuss your requirements and a plan of action for your pooch!

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Pooches, Prosecco, Pale Ale & Pies – our mission to find the best dog friendly establishments in Gosforth and it’s surrounding areas

There are many of our favourite past-times that can easily involve our pooch, and whilst long vigorous walks play an integral part of our ‘down time’ on an evening or weekend, their comes a time where we want to succumb to a couple of proseccos, pale ales or good pub grub! But when this happens – what happens to our dogs?

Luckily so many more establishments in Gosforth and the surrounding areas are becoming ‘dog friendly’ meaning your dog no longer has to stay at home missing out on the fun. Our mission is to track down the best of these establishments and give you the low down through our Blog, so that the next time you are looking for somewhere to partake in a couple of your favourite past times.