Switched On Dog Training & Behaviour

  • Home
  • Switched On Dog Training & Behaviour

Switched On Dog Training & Behaviour I use positive based, fear free methods of dog training to help you have the very best relationship
(4)

Some interesting information on our dogs vision.
26/04/2024

Some interesting information on our dogs vision.

WHAT COLOURS DO DOGS SEE?
Contrary to popular belief, dogs are not colour blind.

A dog’s visual world is certainly not as vibrantly colourful as ours, but they do see a range of yellow, grey and blue shades and have better night and peripheral vision than we do.

Colour is interpreted and discerned by nerve cells in the eyes. The retina has two main types of cells called rods, which detect light levels and motion and cones which differentiate colour.

A human’s eyes have three types of cones which can identify combinations of red, blue, and green.

Dogs have only two types of cones that are only able to discern shades of blue, yellow and grey – this perception of colour is called dichromatic vision.

An ophthalmology professor at the University of Washington discovered that dogs could see blues and yellows but not reds and greens. This information would have been confirmed by anatomical investigation of a dog’s eye.

It would make more sense if manufacturers of dog toys would take a dog’s colour spectrum into account when producing dog toys.

Toys are usually made to visually appeal to people, not dogs.

Shades of yellow, grey or blue are far more appealing to your dog than a bright shade of red or another colour.

09/04/2024
A timely reminder
31/03/2024

A timely reminder

Chocolate toxicity: What should I do if my dog eats chocolate?

One of the most common toxicities in dogs is caused by chocolate ingestion. Dogs cannot metabolise chocolate like people can, so keeping chocolate in a secure location out of your dog’s reach is essential. The amount ingested that can cause toxicity depends on the size of the dog and the type of chocolate, with darker and more bitter chocolates being the most toxic. If your dog accidentally ingests chocolate, contact an emergency veterinarian immediately.

Find out more here: https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments/riney-canine-health-center/canine-health-information/chocolate-toxicity-what-should-i-do-if-my-dog-eats-chocolate.

Finally home. 🏡 Now to rest and stay calm for the next few weeks. 💕
11/03/2024

Finally home. 🏡 Now to rest and stay calm for the next few weeks. 💕

My beautiful girl has just woken up from surgery. It will be a long couple of days without her at home but hopefully she...
08/03/2024

My beautiful girl has just woken up from surgery. It will be a long couple of days without her at home but hopefully she will be back to her normal bouncy self soon. 💕💕🐾

Kati makes beautiful products. Get in quick if you want to take advantage of this deal.
17/02/2024

Kati makes beautiful products. Get in quick if you want to take advantage of this deal.

Love my crazy dog 🥰🥰
16/02/2024

Love my crazy dog 🥰🥰

Happy Friday everyone. Stay cool in the heat.
08/12/2023

Happy Friday everyone. Stay cool in the heat.

Busy day today. But, when I get to spend it with these guys I consider myself pretty lucky.
30/11/2023

Busy day today. But, when I get to spend it with these guys I consider myself pretty lucky.

Thank you to The Dog Project for a wonderful night.
29/11/2023

Thank you to The Dog Project for a wonderful night.

Gosh what fun we had tonight!

Our team gathered to celebrate the year that was & what a more fitting choice than a Paint your Pet event at The Sip Studio Wollongong

I think we impressed ourselves 😆

We were so glad to have our bookkeepers, Elevated Bookkeeping & BAS Services join us. As small business owners know, a good bookkeeper can be a life saver! Plus they both have dogs. Win-win 😜

Thanks to my amazing staff for showing initiative, rolling with what's thrown at us, & their continued passion to help dogs & their handlers live their best lives.

Bring on 2024.
Jacqui x

I like a lot of the Hey Buddy Comics, but I think this one might be my favourite.
02/11/2023

I like a lot of the Hey Buddy Comics, but I think this one might be my favourite.

Some welcome insights about the first few weeks with a new puppy. It’s not always easy, but it is very normal.
29/10/2023

Some welcome insights about the first few weeks with a new puppy. It’s not always easy, but it is very normal.

We’re close to week 5 now and it’s the first time I’ve actually thought ‘I actually like you now’.

That doesn’t mean to say that I’ve hated him up until this point, it simply means that puppies can be quite a pain in the arse for the first few weeks.

You’ll have a few cute moments and then they’ll s**t on the carpet, chew the remote to pieces or simply just bite you on the face.

It’s all very normal and the natural progression of living with a puppy.

Dog trainers go through the same phases as your every day dog owner. We experience the ‘bad’ stuff too. Puppies don’t know we’re ‘dog trainers’. They’re just trying to figure us out as much as we are trying to figure them out. And sometimes there’s a bit of a clash with expectations and the arbitrary rules that we set.

But it does get better.

It actually becomes very very fun.

In general I really like having the foster pups.

And the more I think about dogs and where they fit into our society, I have to remind myself if I’m choosing to bring them into my life, it’s not about me. It’s about them.

How can I set them up to live a fulfilling worthwhile life. That’s where the ‘training’ comes in. And the more I think about what ‘training’ means to me, I would more accurately call it an ‘education’. How can we educate them to live a fun but safe life with us.

We’ve got a cyclone hitting us this evening and Cos is not so fond of the winds so he’s spent most of the day tucked up on the sofa with one of us.

I think we’ve only been bitten 6,487 times as of now….

Just kidding.

It’s closer to 10,000. 😬

Thanks to Nature's Ki - Pet Wellbeing for his fuel!

www.thinkdog.nz

Thanks Kim & Milly's Cords 4 Paws for my beautiful birthday collar.
11/09/2023

Thanks Kim & Milly's Cords 4 Paws for my beautiful birthday collar.

06/09/2023

Time to get out and about with your doggo and enjoy this great spring weather. 😎🐶

Happy International Dog Day 😍🐶🎉 Don’t forget extra pats and snuggles today.
25/08/2023

Happy International Dog Day 😍🐶🎉

Don’t forget extra pats and snuggles today.

25/08/2023

Little Elvis enjoying conquering this challenge 😊 Mental enrichment is so important for all dogs and it’s never to young to start. Just make sure the difficulty level is appropriate so they don’t get frustrated.

13/07/2023

FIX OR FULFIL?

I wanted to post again about why the idea of “Fixing” dogs is problematic. I have already written about why, as trainers or behaviourists, we would be foolish to give guarantees when it comes to “fixing” behaviour problems and I have explored the complexities of why certain problems cannot simply be “fixed”. What I really want to focus on in this post, is why the very notion of wanting to “fix” a dog, often causes us to neglect what is really important for the dog, in favour of what we think is important.
As dog owners, we tend to fixate on a problem behaviour and feel that if we can just tackle that and sort it out, then all will be well and our dogs will be the way that we want them to be and will be able to do the things that we want them to do. The problem with focusing on the problem behaviour and devoting all our energy to “fixing” that one thing, is that we tend to neglect other things which are actually far more important.

The problem behaviours that we are most often asked for help with are issues of reactivity, fear and aggression. And I do get it. I completely understand that a dog that is launching at every person or dog that passes by on a walk is no fun to take out. A dog that can’t stand being around other dogs can limit one’s lifestyle and may even mean not being able to have any other dogs in the home for the rest of that dog’s life. Many people take for granted that when you bring a dog home, you will have years of beach walks and strolls in the park and when a dog’s behaviour makes such activities unpleasant, it is natural to want to “fix” the problem.
One can even say that wanting to fix the problem is better than giving the dog away or dooming the dog to a life of backyard boredom – at least people who want to fix the problem care enough to do something? The problem is not wanting to do something to change the situation, the problem is that the focus is on how to change the dog’s behaviour to suit our needs, rather than to look at how we can change our behaviour to improve the overall welfare of the dog and fulfil his or her needs.

We have to start realising that not all dogs are suitable for all activities and situations. Genetics, early environment and the sum total of life experience (learning) has moulded every dog into a unique individual who may be good with some stuff and not so good with other stuff. This may change over time and with further learning and life experience, but we cannot expect all dogs to conform to the ideal of the perfect dog in all situations at all times. What dogs need is not to be forced into a mould of what the perfect dog should be and what they should enjoy, but for us to acknowledge who and where they are in their lives as individuals and give them plenty of what THEY enjoy.

I want to use an example that we come across often – and I am sure it is a common issue for behaviourists and trainers all over the world: Someone adopts an adult dog from a rescue organisation and asks to join classes in order to “socialise” the dog. They had visions of strolling around the suburbs, but their dog is dragging them to every gate they pass, roaring at the dogs behind them. The knee-jerk reaction is to “fix” this behaviour. Keep walking the dog around the suburbs and teach him that it is “wrong” to bark at other dogs or just take him around so often that eventually he gets used to it. Few people consider what the dog actually needs. The dog needs to feel safe and secure in his new home, he needs to learn that the world he is now living in is not a scary, nasty place, but a place where good stuff happens, so that his general attitude to life can become more optimistic. The dog needs all sources of stress in his life removed, he needs to be given ample opportunities to carry out normal, fulfilling canine behaviours and he needs his new family to build a reinforcement history for engaging with them so that he learns they are a source of good stuff and are great to be around.

Continuing to walk that dog around the suburbs every day, where he experiences severe stress, in order to work on resolving a behaviour problem and making that the central activity and “project” for his life does exactly the opposite of all of this. Think for a minute too on how focusing on the problem behaviour in this way can affect the owner: Does the owner enjoy these walks? Are they having fun with their dog? What is having to work on this every day doing to their stress levels? Is this a good way for the owner to bond with their dog and develop positive feelings for their dog? Of course not. Fixating on “fixing” something keeps our focus on what is going wrong instead of what is going right. Focusing on the negative makes us frustrated, anxious and depressed. It can even poison our relationship with our dog.

These kinds of scenarios are not restricted to rescue dogs, of course. Sometimes people choose a particular breed of dog for a specific sport, but find that due to the dog’s particular personality or some early life experience, they can’t cope in a show or competition environment. Unfortunately many people will refuse to acknowledge what their dog is trying to tell them and will continue to strive to improve their dog’s performance, completely ignoring the fallout as the stress manifests in every other aspect of the dog’s life.

I understand the disappointment, when we have high hopes for what we will achieve with a dog and we see them crumbling, because of some issue. It is not easy to accept that what we hoped for might not happen. However, if we truly love our dogs, we have to start considering their needs – not what WE think their needs are. When we focus on giving our dogs the stuff that makes them happy, it will not only make them happy, but it will fill us with joy as well. When we listen to what they are saying and make an effort to reduce what they find stressful and increase those things that make them feel good, we give them the quality of life that they deserve. And ironically, this quality of life puts them into an emotional place where they ARE able to cope with so much more and where we are then far more likely to make real progress if we start GENTLY working on the things they are not so good at.

It is not wrong to want to resolve behaviour problems, but we need to change our approach to doing so. We need to put our ideals aside and look at the dog in front of us: What does their behaviour say about how they are feeling and how can we first make them feel better? What do they really need from us right now? Only once we have taken care of this far more important matter, should we start to consider how to resolve the problem behaviour – always ensuring that we NEVER undermine their overall wellbeing in order to do so.

A lovely day to be out and about with the beautiful Billi.
10/07/2023

A lovely day to be out and about with the beautiful Billi.

As they say, you shouldn’t believe everything you see on TV
04/07/2023

As they say, you shouldn’t believe everything you see on TV

***MEDIA RELEASE*****
Pet professionals calling Aussies to
with rewards-based behaviour training and help prevent pet surrenders.

Concerns about Network 10’s new dog training TV series misleading dog owners.

With dog ownership at an all-time high, leading dog training organisation Pet Professional Guild Australia (PPGA) is encouraging dog owners to ‘Get Dog Training Right’ with rewards-based behaviour training and help prevent pet surrenders to already overcrowded animal shelters.

PPGA’s call to comes in the lead up to Network 10’s upcoming Australian-based version of Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly TV series featuring controversial UK dog trainer Graeme Hall.

Mr Hall is also known as ‘The Dogfather’, but his teaching methods are criticised by many pet professionals across the globe as ‘old-fashioned’ – “using physical force, intimidation and fear to gain the wanted behaviour in troubled pets,” explained PPGA President Sarah Campbell.

“We are concerned viewers will be misinformed by Mr Hall’s archaic, quick-fix and aversive dog training methods,” she said. “Managing dog behaviour can be a challenge but achievable with positive solutions.”

Instead, the PPGA encourages dog owners to use force- free techniques, that focus on positive reinforcement and are based on canine science.

“Put simply, force-free training is rewarding the behaviours you want in your dog rather than punishing the ones you do not want. It is the most ethical and effective method of dog training that puts the animal’s welfare at the forefront,” said Ms Campbell.

Since last year, the PPGA has sent letters of concern to Network 10 about using Mr Hall in the Aussie version of the TV series currently airing in the UK and on Channel 7Plus, co-signed by several leading force-free dog training bodies, animal welfare experts, professional associations and animal welfare organisations, such as Australian Veterinary Association, Delta Therapy Dogs, Companion Animal Network Australia and PetRescue.

“We are also concerned the program title Dogs Behaving Very Badly implies the dog is naughty and places the blame of the problem behaviour on the dog,” said Ms Campbell. “This misconception is worrying because dogs are often either displaying normal dog behaviour or they suffer from a disorder that makes them anxious or aggressive.”

Quick-fix advice misleading for viewers training their dog

The TV series' misleading ‘quick fix’ advice also creates unrealistic expectations among dog owner viewers, explained Ms Campbell.

“This ‘quick fix’ type advice often uses inhumane, outdated aversive techniques that display a limited understanding of dog behaviour, and – science tells us – does not address the underlying problem and will fail in the long term,” she said.

“In reality, complex pet behaviours are not resolved easily and quickly, and may require working closely with veterinary professionals.”

Aversive methods can also have long term negative effects on dogs and in many cases lead to a frustrated and distressed owner who then surrenders their animal to a shelter.

“We encourage dog owners to get dog training right with rewards-based teaching and help prevent pets from ending up in pounds and animal shelters,” she said.

Follow PPGA commentary on each episode of Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly Australia, which airs on July 13th.

Follow PPGA’s page for commentary by force-free trainers on humane and lasting solutions to dog behaviour problems featured in Network 10’s episodes of Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly Australia.

For advice on how you can for a variety of problem dog behaviours, visit www.ppgaustralia.net.au

END

Note to editors:

PPGA’s Position Statement on Reality Dog Training Shows www.ppgaustralia.net.au/Realitydogtrainingpositionstatement

The PPGA’s concerns with Network 10’s Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly Australia TV series and campaign is supported by the following organisations and pet experts:

• Association of Pet Dog Trainers Australia Inc | APDT
• Delta Therapy Dogs Australia
• Institute of Modern Dog Trainers Australia
• Trish Ennis, CEO of Companion Animal Network Australia
• Cathy Beer, Founder of Companion Animal Rescue Awards
• Vickie Davy, Co-founder of PetRescue
• David Graham (Farmer Dave), Founder of RuffTRACK
• Annette Hughes, Founder of Where Pets Are Found
• Dr Anne Quain, Veterinarian (BA(Hons) BScVet(Hons) BVSc(Hons) MVetStud GradCertEdStud(HigherEd) MANZCVS (Animal Welfare) Dip ECAWBM (AWSEL) PhD
• Dr Isabelle Resch BVSc(Hons), MVS, MANZCVS (Veterinary Behaviour, Small Animal Medicine), President of the Australian Veterinary Behaviour Medicine Group, a special interest group of the Australian Veterinary Association.
• Lisa Robinson, Director of Assistance Animals International (AAI)

About PPGA

The Pet Professional Guild Australia (PPGA) is a membership organisation representing pet industry professionals who are committed to science-based, force-free training and pet care. We are an official branch of the Pet Professional Guild, a worldwide organisation committed to advocating, educating and encouraging improvements in companion animal welfare through the use of fear free techniques.

Currently we have over 350 professional members, many of these professional trainers in the animal industry, mostly with companion animals such as dogs, cats, horses, birds and pocket pets. Our PPGA members include some of most well renowned veterinary behaviourists and trainers, many of which have worked with rescues and councils in the past and have a wealth of knowledge in behavioural modification.

The PPGA members and affiliates focus on a pet’s physical, mental, environmental and nutritional well- being, a holistic approach to the care and training of family pets.

Come down to Shell Cove and say hi
24/06/2023

Come down to Shell Cove and say hi

Just a bit if fun.  How many can you get?
19/05/2023

Just a bit if fun. How many can you get?

There are a couple of spots left in this course for anyone wanting a force free way to teach their pups to stay away fro...
15/05/2023

There are a couple of spots left in this course for anyone wanting a force free way to teach their pups to stay away from snakes. Highly recommend the trainer.

https://www.serenitydogtraining.com.au/service-page/force-free-snake-avoidance-training?referral=service_list_widget&fbclid=IwAR0qg570D8JCg23NpoElF4snMRPJ-teljpDht6Gxfdde_jZsUd4sncNkGqQ&mibextid=Zxz2cZ

Will your dog be one of thousands of Australian snake bite victims this summer? Snake avoidance training saves dogs' lives! Our 8 week online program will help you teach your dog to detect the scent of red belly black and highlands copperhead snakes, alert you to their presence & avoid interacting w...

Fear is an emotion and cannot be reinforced. Feel free to comfort your dogs if they are distressed.
04/05/2023

Fear is an emotion and cannot be reinforced. Feel free to comfort your dogs if they are distressed.

I was sent the most ghastly video yesterday of a "trainer" explaining how we should NEVER respond to dogs asking for attention or affection and should actively intimidate them into moving away from us if they do, to "reclaim our space, as a leader would do". When I recovered from the horror of being exposed to such outdated drivel, I thought it would be a good idea to put something out there to counter such cruel and sad advice, so here is a reminder:

NOTHING has ever been achieved by denying a dog affection or reassurance. There are still sadly many misinformed experts who appear to have been stuck under a rock somewhere for the last thirty years, advising owners to be less affectionate and more "firm" with their dogs or to ignore their dogs when they seek interactions or reassurance.

Let's be clear that there is NO EVIDENCE to support this idea - ignoring and being cold with your dog will NEVER make them more secure or more confident or help them overcome their fears. Denying affection, attention and reassurance is only likely to lead to insecurity, anxiety, frustration or depression. Anxious dogs need constructive help to overcome their fears - they don't need to be ignored!

Remember that fear is an emotion and cannot be reinforced. We also know that there is NO LINK between owners being loving and affectionate with their dogs and separation related distress - studies have even shown that stroking and talking to your dog before leaving them alone makes them less NOT more stressed!

The only reason to ever not give affection is if your dog does not enjoy the particular type of affection - some dogs don't like hugs and kisses and that's fine. But whatever affection they do enjoy, you will do absolutely no harm giving.

The idea of giving a dog affection on your terms only is clearly a remnant of some sort of antiquated dominant-subordinate relationship notion and has absolutely no place in a healthy dog-human bond. While dogs are not humans, we now know that they do form attachments to us similar to parent-child relationships. We also know that a secure attachment leads to confidence, a strong sense of security, better emotional regulation and better coping skills to face the world.

Secure attachment depends on us being AVAILABLE to our dogs and meeting their emotional needs.

28/04/2023

Great information. If you need help with any of this, just let me know.

Walter is a sweet boy who loves his walks and swims. He would thrive in the right home.
10/04/2023

Walter is a sweet boy who loves his walks and swims. He would thrive in the right home.

I got to catch up with beautiful Sunny today. She has come such a long way with the support and patience of her wonderfu...
20/03/2023

I got to catch up with beautiful Sunny today. She has come such a long way with the support and patience of her wonderful family. it is great to see her so happy and enjoying life.

08/03/2023

Thanks so much for everybody's interest, he has a fantastic home lined up!

Unfortunately, I am learning the hard way that I shouldn't rely on my diary to keep me on track. It is gone and my life ...
08/03/2023

Unfortunately, I am learning the hard way that I shouldn't rely on my diary to keep me on track. It is gone and my life has become very chaotic.

So please accept my apologies if I miss an appointment with you over the next few days. I am currently trying to piece my calendar back together from emails, texts and the small amount of scheduling information contained in my brain.

While I am still holding out a small amount of hope that my diary will find it's way back to me, if you know you have a session booked in with me soon, fell free to send me a reminder!

Address


Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Switched On Dog Training & Behaviour posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Business

Send a message to Switched On Dog Training & Behaviour:

Videos

Shortcuts

  • Address
  • Telephone
  • Alerts
  • Contact The Business
  • Videos
  • Claim ownership or report listing
  • Want your business to be the top-listed Pet Store/pet Service?

Share