To train your dog with kindness is also more effective, as scolding or hitting a dog breaks the bond of trust. It’s important to train dogs so they come back when called (say near a road or an unfriendly dog). Be wary of TV dog trainers (one popular one in the US uses methods that work for him, but experts say they would not work for the everyday person, and could do more harm than good). Also see how to find good dog walks (which includes safe dog walking tips and the Countryside Code, to keep dogs and livestock safe).
Read this book to keep your dog safe. It covers safe/unsafe plants, toxic foods, collar safety and things to avoid during training & play (rawhide chews, pig’s ears, socks are all choking hazards, as are balls the wrong size and antlers, which can break teeth) .
How to Understand Your Dog
- What’s My Dog Thinking? is beautifully designed (2 pics above)
- Be More Dog is by a canine psychologist
- Canine Confidential is by an expert on animal emotions
- Why Do Dogs Sniff Bottoms? (if you want to know!)
- The Science of Making Your Dog Happy
- Great Pet Care (approaching strange dogs, getting on with cats)
- Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors can often help
- They have lots of free tips (for all species)
How to Positively Train Your Dog
- Easy Peasy Puppy Squeazy & Easy Peasy Doggy Squeezy are by founder of Institute of Modern Dog Trainers
- Hannah Molloy offers dog training in church halls
- She also offers free dog training in public parks
- Train You Dog Online (online course by Sarah Whitehead)
- Read her book 21 Days to a Clever Dog
- Take the Lead is a fun little illustrated guide for children
- Service Dog Training Guide has positive methods
How to Keep Children Safe Near Dogs
- Never stare direct into a dog’s eyes
- Let dogs approach you on a diagonal
- Teach children not to hug & kiss dogs (most don’t like it)
- Blue Cross has useful info on how to prevent dog bites
- The Blue Dog has a teacher toolbox
- Most dog attacks are from dogs that live outside in yards
- Find more tips to keep dogs safe around children
How to Stop a Dog Fight
The Spruce Pets has tips on how to break up a dog fight. Forcing them apart usually won’t help. The author has many gentler tips including using water sprays, loud noises and using the ‘wheelbarrow technique’ which involves two people wheeling each of the dogs’ legs away from each other in a circle. The dogs can then calm down separately. See the vet, in case of any injuries.
Dog Psychology Made Fun
- Doggie Language (below picture) is a small but mighty illustrated book to help you understand subtle visual cues and interpret behaviours used by your beloved pup, to express how they’re feeling. The more we notice and listen to what our dogs are trying to tell us, the more we can improve our relationship with our best friends.
- Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy is an engaging book for anyone who is curious about dog happiness and behaviour. Trainer and psychologist Zazie demystifies the inner life of canine friends, sharing a checklist for a happy dog, enrichment exercises, how to socialise and train a puppy, how to reduce fear & anxiety in dogs, and tips for visiting the vet.