Words: Sue Laughton
No doubt we all have a special relationship with our beloved canine friends, but how well do you really know them?
I have been discussing this with local animal trainer and all-round doggy specialist Sue.
Sue has owned lots of different breeds of dogs for over 30 years and even taken in a few that have needed a temporary home and someone to love them. A few years ago, after binging on Caesar Milan, Sue decided to put all her experience to good use and study to be a dog trainer. Sue has a fantastic insight for us!
As dog owners we use our voices and body language to communicate while dogs use sounds such as barking, growling and whining in addition to their body stance. Understanding the difference between how we communicate is key and can really help to understand your pets better. Thanks to your dog’s intelligence (which is like a young child) they are able to read social situations very well and the clues you give to them.
Dogs thrive in social situations, this is where they develop similarly to children and adults. They are also in their happy place which boosts their mood and well-being.
From puppy age dogs should be around people and other dogs, they need play times, companionship and don’t like being alone. This companionship helps the dog to mature correctly and teaches a lot of behaviour. You must be careful though not to overwhelm them as this can have a negative effect if they get scared or feel intimidated.
Domestic dogs and wild dogs may look similar but have evolved so differently which is why they react to situations in very different ways. Domestic dogs rely so much on their human companions, they look to their owners for guidance, problem solving and reassurance.
I experienced this at the weekend with my dog when he got stuck in a tree – he got a huge branch stuck in his collar and couldn’t get free. Instead of working out how to escape he looked at me and started barking, I now know this was his way of saying – please help me.
Sue’s hero is Caesar Milan, this is where Sue got the idea to study and pushed her to follow her dreams of working with animals. From owning her first dog called Kim as a child Sue is now a successful doggy expert with lots of clients ranging from springers with too much spring, overweight Labradors that enjoy the luxury lifestyle to yappy jack Russell’s that don’t know when silence in beautiful.
If you would like help with your doggy friend or some respite, then get in touch with Sue for a free consultation on:
07872 417 442
Sue’s final tips are to set boundaries from the beginning, invest time in your dog and take them for lots of lovely walks. Not only will this please your dog it will give you lots of healthy fresh air and keep you active. A win, win situation.
P.S don’t forget your poo bags!