Alistair Kirk's Canine Academy

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Alistair Kirk's Canine Academy 🐶Dog Training & Behav Mod
🎓Dynamic Dog Practitioner
🔍Focus on pain & behav.
☎️ Free Consult Call
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This time last week these two awesome Puppy teams graduated from their Puppy Progression Course and it had been such a p...
06/12/2023

This time last week these two awesome Puppy teams graduated from their Puppy Progression Course and it had been such a pleasure to have their company for 6 weeks! They all did awesome and I can't wait to hear all about how they progress 🥰

Jan puppy courses are available now!

Such an awesome morning Mantrailing today with Rhi & Chris, and we got lucky with the weather as well! 🥰We'll be startin...
02/12/2023

Such an awesome morning Mantrailing today with Rhi & Chris, and we got lucky with the weather as well! 🥰
We'll be starting more regular mantrailing sessions in the New Year. Get in touch for more details.

All set up and ready to go for this week's puppy classes. Next available class starts in Jan and is booking up already! ...
29/11/2023

All set up and ready to go for this week's puppy classes.
Next available class starts in Jan and is booking up already!

Graduation photo time! Not everyone could make it to the last session this week but both these two puppy teams and those...
10/11/2023

Graduation photo time! Not everyone could make it to the last session this week but both these two puppy teams and those absent, absolutely deserve a massive well done! Not only did they all do so well in progressing so much but we all had an absolute blast at the same time!

There are still slots available for the Mantrailing workshop on Sat 2nd Dec - Link in the comments! 😁
29/10/2023

There are still slots available for the Mantrailing workshop on Sat 2nd Dec - Link in the comments! 😁

I'm really lucky in that I love my job the vast majority of the time as it is, but on days when I get feedback messages ...
27/10/2023

I'm really lucky in that I love my job the vast majority of the time as it is, but on days when I get feedback messages from clients like this, the satisfaction I get from having so positively helped both dog and guardian is beyond words. It's a warm fuzzy feeling inside, and it's the reason I do the job. 🥰

There is no dog, and no situation that exists that needs a prong collar as a solution.
27/10/2023

There is no dog, and no situation that exists that needs a prong collar as a solution.

Prong collars are not ethical, kind or nice to put on dogs. There is absolutely nothing that can be taught using a prong collar that can't be taught using ethical dog training. Don't let anyone ever convince you that any dog ever needs a prong collar on. Dogs deserve our kindness and understanding, not people who want to stick metal spikes on their beautiful tender necks and throats.

27/10/2023

I very rarely use the consulting table for dogs … most significantly prefer the floor - it gives them increased agency and options to attempt to move away - reducing more direct distance increasing actions such as growling / snapping or biting

However, today, Lottie showed her own preference by jumping up on to the table 🙈🤣
This was not to Improve her safety, or to avoid me - but specifically to eye up the treats which were on the other counter 🤣

Increased agency has hugely improved Lotties confidence in the consult room - she had quite strong fear based aggressive responses a couple of months ago, now she knows she can make a variety of choices and be responded to, she s demonstrating very little fear and can be touched all over and has received practice, sham injections no problem.

But if we could keep all feet on the floor, Lottie, me and my colleagues would be grateful 😊

New Mantrailing Workshop released!2nd Dec near Cross Hands. Details and booking available via link in the comments 😁
20/10/2023

New Mantrailing Workshop released!
2nd Dec near Cross Hands.
Details and booking available via link in the comments 😁

October's 6 fantastic Puppy Progression course graduate teams. Wonderful dogs and wonderful people I've been lucky to sp...
19/10/2023

October's 6 fantastic Puppy Progression course graduate teams. Wonderful dogs and wonderful people I've been lucky to spend time with over the last 6 weeks!

Massive congratulations to these awesome puppy and pet parent teams! They've all worked really hard over the last 6 week...
28/09/2023

Massive congratulations to these awesome puppy and pet parent teams! They've all worked really hard over the last 6 weeks and each and every one of them deserves their Puppy Progression Course completion certificate 😁 I'm going to miss my little posse of Daschies!

New course starts next week, and there are still slots available

25/09/2023

Sadly many owners still believe that if their dog isn't being vocal about their pain, they must not be feeling it.

We know how far this is from the truth

For anyone potentially affected by the upcoming ban on XL Bullies, I would thoroughly recommend this free webinar!
22/09/2023

For anyone potentially affected by the upcoming ban on XL Bullies, I would thoroughly recommend this free webinar!

XL BULLY BAN: FREE WEBINAR ON SUNDAY AT 3PM

We have more than 250 people booked onto this Zoom chat already but we do still have more spaces available. Please sign up using the link below and we will send you a link. Our panel will aim to answer as many of your questions as possible and we can confirm it will consist of:-

Trevor Cooper : Solicitor
Mel Rushmore & Andrea Phillips : Deed Not Breed
Michelle Ikin : Dog Warden
Mike Webb : Battersea Dogs' & Cats Home

Thanks to everyone who is giving up their time for free to help with this important event. The panel won't necessarily have all the answers but will give you their best guess of what is likely to happen based on their experience.

If you are unable to attend, we will aim to upload a recording onto YouTube next week.

https://forms.gle/59EfhUbiyZPNstxJ6

Check out this new review from Gwen and Floki 😍🥰Full unedited version available on our website and YouTube channel, link...
22/09/2023

Check out this new review from Gwen and Floki 😍🥰

Full unedited version available on our website and YouTube channel, links in our Bio.

15/09/2023

There is so much to unpack with today's developments surrounding American XL Bully's, and because it's so complicated, rather than try and give my take on it, I've listed below a number of different places I'm looking to, both for useful and practical advice, but also reasoned and informed discussion about the whole issue and BSL in general. (That's not to say I necessarily agree with all of these people on everything but some excellent points worthy of consideration):
https://www.facebook.com/doglawsolicitors
https://www.facebook.com/SaveOurSeizedDogs
https://www.facebook.com/Archiesuperpit
https://www.facebook.com/daniel.mills.520125

We support owners whose dogs have been seized under the Dangerous Dogs Act, 1991, particularly victim

As much as we sometimes wish it were the case, dogs don't come with a switch 🎚 that we can flick on and off so that they...
08/09/2023

As much as we sometimes wish it were the case, dogs don't come with a switch 🎚 that we can flick on and off so that they only learn the good stuff we want them to do more of. They are always learning, and any behaviours they practise enough are going to become habits that they do more of - good 😇 AND bad! 👹
Prevent rehearsal of unwanted behaviours and reinforce the rehearsal of the good stuff!

These 4 awesome teams graduated from their Puppy Progression course on Weds and wow, how well they've all done! It was s...
02/09/2023

These 4 awesome teams graduated from their Puppy Progression course on Weds and wow, how well they've all done! It was so lovely to see them playing together and growing in confidence!

This. All the time this. It's never an easy conversation but whether we like to think about it or not, if our dogs are i...
31/08/2023

This. All the time this.
It's never an easy conversation but whether we like to think about it or not, if our dogs are in pain, we need to help them.

When you educate yourself enough to be able to recognise the signs of pain in dogs, you cant unsee it - and you start to see it everywhere.

What is even more heartbreaking is the number of people who don't listen when you tell them, or don't believe dogs are in pain simply because they are not voicing it.

Dogs don't always yelp when they are in pain, especially when it comes to chronic pain like that caused by arthritis.

This was taken at my last session with Toby 😍 having worked with him and his guardians for just over a year.When we star...
25/08/2023

This was taken at my last session with Toby 😍 having worked with him and his guardians for just over a year.

When we started he was:
➡️ destructive in the house
➡️ reactive to and chasing after cars and cyclists
➡️ reactive to other dogs
➡️ jumping all over visitors
➡️ generally exhibiting a lot of over-aroused type behaviours.

1 year on and he has improved massively across the board ✅💪
He still barks in the car and struggles in some situations with other dogs when he's on-lead but just about everything else is resolved and in that way he is typical of a lot of cases - rarely do we ever finish with a perfect 'fix'.

I'm super proud of Toby and his guardians, the work they have put in, and the outcome we have achieved together 🥰

Saturday was a family day taking Roo to his first rugby match! And whilst the Welsh team didn't really play any rugby 🤦 ...
21/08/2023

Saturday was a family day taking Roo to his first rugby match! And whilst the Welsh team didn't really play any rugby 🤦 we had a great time, despite the rubbish result. (And yes that's me wearing a Wales shirt - the things we do for our kids).

One for the horsey people out there, but this is a similar theme to what I talk about a lot with relation to dogs, pain ...
19/08/2023

One for the horsey people out there, but this is a similar theme to what I talk about a lot with relation to dogs, pain and behaviour!

Last week I was chatting to a lady about her horse who had had behaviour issues. She had taken the horse in from someone else as the horse’s behaviour had made them unsafe to ride and very difficult to handle on the ground.
Luckily, in the new home, the horse was vet assessed and eventually scoped (gastric endoscopy) and found to have stomach ulcers.
The horse is now several weeks into their treatment and was described by the new lady carer as “a changed individual”. No longer irritable, aggressive, and more positively interactive and willing to move forward.
Many of you will know that I talk about the relevance of internal pain and it’s influence on animal behaviour quite a lot!!

So I thought this new study was particularly interesting. Here they found that horses with stomach ulcers did not show reliable facial indicators of pain that are often talked about. They suggest this may be that internal pain like ulcers is of different intensity to some other pains or that perhaps chronicity (when pain has been present a longer time and is no longer “new”) may change the expression of that pain.

The authors conclude we need further investigations to understand how horses with stomach ulcers can be recognised.

I think the new carer of the mentioned horse would agree!! It hadn’t crossed anyone’s mind that this individual may have ulcers and yet the whole “personality” and behaviour of the horse was being affected.

Recognising and diagnosing internal pain is a real challenge in veterinary medicine, not just in horse but in dogs, cats and other species too.

Raising awareness of its potential presence and impact is such an essential starting point though.

Ferlini Agne, G., May, B.E., Lovett, A., Simon, O., Steel, C., Santos, L., Guedes do Carmo, L., Barbosa, B., Werner, L.C., Daros, R.R. and Somogyi, A.A., 2023. Horse Grimace Scale Does Not Detect Pain in Horses with Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome. Animals, 13(10), p.1623.

We had an absolute ball today with these superstars as they completed our Introduction to Scentwork Workshop! 😍 Every si...
12/08/2023

We had an absolute ball today with these superstars as they completed our Introduction to Scentwork Workshop! 😍 Every single one of them exceeded expectations and thoroughly deserved their certificates and a massive well done 💪💪💪

We'll have more scent work workshops and classes coming up - get in touch for more details ☺️

Continuing membership of PPGBI and IMDT both sorted this past week ✅💪Both organisations share a similar outlook and comm...
01/08/2023

Continuing membership of PPGBI and IMDT both sorted this past week ✅💪
Both organisations share a similar outlook and commitment to training methods and ethics that I'm proud to align with.

30/07/2023

For the last few months I've been working hard with Craig's brilliant guidance on building up the business and improving the service offering that I provide to clients.
I can't thank him enough for both the input from him and the team, but also for being so great and fun to work with! Bring on 5k!

Ogilvie Dogs

Kitchen update: at this stage mess means progress right?! Old stuff all ripped out, electrics being sorted atm, plasteri...
24/07/2023

Kitchen update: at this stage mess means progress right?! Old stuff all ripped out, electrics being sorted atm, plastering later this week and new kitchen gets delivered at the weekend for fitting the week after.
PSA - living without a kitchen is NOT fun 🙃

6 NEW training leads and 3m long lines ready for puppy class attendees to use!
21/07/2023

6 NEW training leads and 3m long lines ready for puppy class attendees to use!

🔥Scentwork Workshop🔥We have one slot left on our scentwork workshop on the 12th Aug and due to popular demand we'll be a...
20/07/2023

🔥Scentwork Workshop🔥
We have one slot left on our scentwork workshop on the 12th Aug and due to popular demand we'll be adding another date shortly. Click on the link for details and to book and let us know if you'd like to be contacted about the next one - just pop 'scentwork' in the comments and we'll get in touch!

A 2-hour workshop aimed at covering the basics of Searching, Odour Recognition & Passive Indications

19/07/2023

All too often people seem to confuse their dog being physically tired with content and happpy. And that's maybe because a knackered dog sleeps or rests more and bothers us less. But the key thing is how we get there - left to their own devices, free ranging dogs will usually calmly and slowly mooch around, sniffing and exploring novel environments, probably as part of a loosely afiliated group with other dogs, and they'll intersperse that with resting. They will do very little fast intense running around.
If we take a look at common patterns of what we do with dogs in a companion animal setting, a lot of the time they may be at home on their own - and we take them out for relatively short periods of intense exercise to make up for it. Mental stimulation is just as, if not more important than physically running a dog until they're panting, as are opportunities for social interactions with a stable and predictable social group of other dogs, and time with you!
Slower, sniffier (off lead if possible) walks are far more beneficial for your dog than worrying about trying to run them enough to tire them out.

I'm super excited to have taken delivery of this new thermal camera! 😁😁😁It can help to identify temperature differences ...
15/07/2023

I'm super excited to have taken delivery of this new thermal camera! 😁😁😁
It can help to identify temperature differences in canine body tissues, potentially highlighting problem areas and otherwise hidden issues. It's a fantastic bit of kit and another great tool to have in the tool kit for Dynamic Dog Assessments when we're trying to rule out or hone in on potential sources of pain and discomfort.

Retractable leads are incredibly popular because of the convenience they offer. But unless they're used with a great amo...
13/07/2023

Retractable leads are incredibly popular because of the convenience they offer. But unless they're used with a great amount of care and attention, they can teach your dog to pull, inflict nasty injuries, get pulled out of your hand, and offer far less control and safety than other alternatives available.

Last night, these six amazing pup and guardian teams graduated from their Puppy Progression course, and we're blown away...
13/07/2023

Last night, these six amazing pup and guardian teams graduated from their Puppy Progression course, and we're blown away from how much they have all improved and developed over the last 6 weeks!
Congratulations and well done!
Special shout out to Carlo's outtake photo which was just too much pure joy to leave out!

Check out our new client testimonial video on our YouTube channel!
12/07/2023

Check out our new client testimonial video on our YouTube channel!

The kitchen rip out has started! We're super excited to be getting a new kitchen after 10 years of living with the exist...
07/07/2023

The kitchen rip out has started! We're super excited to be getting a new kitchen after 10 years of living with the existing one but does anyone have any tips on how to survive for a couple of weeks with two young kids and without a working kitchen? 😬

Repetitive ball throwing is detrimental to your dog's mental and physical health.Mentally, it often results in dogs who ...
06/07/2023

Repetitive ball throwing is detrimental to your dog's mental and physical health.
Mentally, it often results in dogs who can become obsessed and who struggle to settle or switch off.
Physically, the fast acceleration and deceleration, jumping, landing and twisting can pose short term issues for soft tissues, and long term issues for joints (repeated microtrauma and increased risk of osteoarthritis).
And if allowed to chew or play with a tennis ball frequently, over time the abrasive surface can wear down your dog's teeth, resulting in dental issues as well.
Most of the time it's far better to get them doing slow(er) calm(er) walks that get their nose going!

I did a single session with Charli and her guardians around the start of June, and during the session we talked through ...
04/07/2023

I did a single session with Charli and her guardians around the start of June, and during the session we talked through a lot about her behaviour.
I also observed some gait adaptations and potential physical indicators of discomfort, and as a result of both the behaviour and physical issues, I suggested (among other things) that pretty high up our list of priorities should be some further investigation with the vet around whether she might have an issue with her hind end. A couple of weeks ago I received this update, and I can't emphasise enough how much this helps me to keep doing what I'm doing!

04/07/2023

At the talk I did at the weekend on pain and behaviour, I touched on coat disturbances and how they can sometimes be an indication of something untoward going on in the fascia or soft tissues - and this post does a great job of explaining a little more about what fascia is and how it works - and what happens following trauma or injury.

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07854 426216

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https://linktr.ee/kirksca

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Improving the lives of dogs and their owners

Kirk’s Canine Academy was founded with the sole purpose of educating people about the benefits of non-forceful dog training methods, and to use those methods to help improve the lives of dogs and their owners in South Wales.