Friday, 24 February 2012

The Power of our Emotions

I finally have a full weekend off after a long but brilliant month. It’s been tiring and some times stressful with challenging cases. When we feel drained or stressed our animals really pick up on this and can act as human barometers. My first dog Buzz used to let me know I needed to calm down by staying away when I was rushed or annoyed. His perfect recall would disintegrate before my eyes and only then would I recognise that my emotions were running high. He sensed that I needed to calm down using calming signals to help me change my behaviour. He would sniff the ground, move in wide circles and stay away. The second I dropped the irritation he would come bounding up as if he was the cleverest dog in the world for helping me to calm down. My present dog has a different reaction to my emotions. The one anti-social (To us humans, not dogs) behaviour she has, that of eating other dogs pooh, increases if she gets stressed. If I get more annoyed with her, she will hunt and eat more faeces. On days like today when I am light and happy around Bea, engaging her in fun activities the intake of pooh drops. Why am I talking about my dogs foul habits? Because it highlights how our behaviour affects those around us, especially our animals. They are so in tune they pick up our intentions with easy, disappearing at the first thought of bathing them or going to the vets. We rush everything. Just by being patient and allowing them time to settle can make a huge difference. It took me ten months of gentle handling for Bea to be happy for me to clip her nails. I know now that she will be relaxed for me to do this task for the rest of her life. I could have pinned her down and insisted on getting them all done at once but that would only result in a life long struggle.  So the lesson for the week is to let go of irritation and unrealistic expectations and go with the flow. Enjoy the weekend folks and have fun with the amazing creatures that share and enrich your life.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Busy week

It has been a long week with highs and lows. A couple of clients struggled with behaviours from their rescue dogs. One case in particularly distressing as the behaviour, I believe could have been easily nipped in the bud if the owners had received the right advise in the beginning. Inappropriate advice can leave owners struggling both physically, emotionally and financially. I just wish so called trainers and behaviourists would hold their hands up and say they don’t know how to deal with a problem and refer them on to someone more experienced. It is so much harder for the dogs to deal with when they are mislabelled. Often out of date dominance theory methods are employed. This never goes well for the dog and often the owners are left feeling confused, discontented and guilty. Their wallet also feels the pinch.
On a nicer note I have been in talks with various wildlife parks about a book tour and signings. Watch this space and my facebook and twitter account for more info once dates are confirmed.

I spent last weekend at the International Animal Behaviour Training Centre. This is Angela White’s base up in Lincolnshire. She had organised for me to teach Kennel Club instructors and other canine professionals in Tellington TTouch Training. The group of 12 dog handlers and 18 spectators where amazing and fun to teach. In spite of the weather we all enjoyed the wonderful facilities and hospitality. For information about the centre visit

Angela and Mick have a wealth of information about writing, publishing and advertising books and I learnt a lot. Angela had written many books on dog training and breeds. They run their own publishing house. Angela has kindly offered to review The Truth about Wolves & Dogs, thank you Angela and I hope you like it.

In amongst all this Bea, my sweet rescue Labrador had to have a minor op. She never copes well with the experience or the drugs and her recovery is always difficult. She often feels nauseous and paces all night after a GA. Thank dog for ttouch as I was able to settle her and increase the expulsion of the drugs from her body. A visit from the osteopath further increased her recovery. I hated to leave her over the weekend but she coped really well and she showed minimal stress when I arrived home on Sunday night. My Mum had done an amazing job of managing Bea’s stress behaviours which occur when I leave her or other people are around. When I did some ttouches on her Bea felt relaxed and flexible throughout her body. It is great to know she can now cope with my occasional trips away.

Also this week I had an amazing day at the Diana Brimblecombe Animal Rescue Centre in Hurst, Berkshire. DBARC is a forward thinking shelter, who have been working with me for years. I help train their staff and volunteers and see new owners once animals are re-homed if they are struggling to settle or show challenging behaviours. It works really well and I love working with them.

After four days training people in ttouch, seeing numerous clients and one day off I’m looking forward to some time off at the weekend to reflect on the last week and spend time with my darling dog.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Welcome to my blog. I've been encourage on this new adventure by a fellow writing friend of mine. Its a great way of sharing all the news about my work and the new book which is out in July 2012. Its called 'The Truth about Wolves & Dogs - Dispelling the Myths of Dog Training. Its a myth buster on the outdated dominance theory. All those questions you always wanted answered about why you do this or that with your dog, are in there. There are some surprises along the way and some tips on what dogs really need to be happy. It also has 130 amazing photos of wolves and dogs displaying all sorts of fascinating body language, with some cute ones thrown in for good measure. You can pre order the book from Amazon,, Waterstones and WHSmiths. Just type in the book name. I hope you enjoy it.

You can also follow my work as a TTouch Practitioner with workshop and demo dates being posted. I want to share wonderful moments of my Lovely Labrador Bea's recovery from an abused life. She has come so far in just over a year from the cowering wreck she was but we still have a way to go, especially around meeting and interacting with strangers. At home she is a joy to live with.

There will be fun and rewarding stories of dogs I have been working with, to round it all off. Just one slight note I am slightly dyslexic so please excuse any weird spellings or wrong words etc. Nobody is perfect, especially  me!