New BBC2 documentary is looking for people getting puppies in feb/march.

The Puppies (working title) will explore the extraordinary relationship between man and man’s best friend as we follow a number of households taking in a new puppy. It will also reveal the science of dog development and discover what’s going on in the puppies’ bodies and minds over the first year of their lives.

Picture of puppy

We want to film with people from all over the country and all sorts of different breeds of dogs- from sheepdogs to family pets, to disability assistance dogs.

If you, or anyone you know of is getting a puppy please don’t hesitate to contact me on:

Email: anna.johnson@rdftelevision.com or Tel: 02070134053

The Psychology of Dogs

Human, inhuman, but mostly just lovable in every possible way, the differences and similarities between dogs and people are surprising across the board.

1

Because of the long history of the domestication of dogs

  • Timeline [1] [2]
  • 30,000 B.C.–Paleolithic humans likely hunted in tandem with wild dogs.
  • 12,000 B.C.-Dog and human remains were buried together
  • (suggesting dogs were valued as people were)
  • 10,500 B.C.-Different breeds of domesticated dogs are distinguishable
  • 1,500 C.E.-Oldest modern breeds are formed from: [3]
  • European Wolf
  • Terriers
  • Mastiffs
  • Herding Dogs
  • Indian Wolf
  • Sight hounds
  • Chinese Wolf
  • Feral Dogs
  • Chow Chows
  • Asian Spaniels
  • North American Wolf
  • Spitz
  • Native American Dogs

And their human like capacity to feel love and affection…

  • (emotions dogs feel) [4]
  • Affection/Love
  • Suspicion/shyness
  • Joy
  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Disgust
  • Contentment
  • Distress
  • Excitement/arousal

Dogs share the hormone Oxytocin with humans; it allows them to feel love and affection

We often “humanize” the actions of dogs

But what are they really thinking?

Dogs have the emotional development of a 2.5 year old child.

  • Leaving
  • Shame
  • Pride
  • Guilt
  • Contempt
  • Undeveloped (these emotions develop in human babies between the age of 3-4) [4]
  • (But, hey, some dogs are smarter than others, so there’s always hope.)
  • Dogs can’t plan for the future. They also can’t recall isolated moments in the past.
  • That’s because they don’t have episodic memory.[5]
  • This doesn’t mean they can’t learn (obviously).
  • Dogs can build complex sets of knowledge, but unlike humans, they don’t remember the learning part.
  • Like most mammals, dogs exhibit the “copying effect,” where they imitate what their elders do in order to learn to survive.
  • An episode in history: Most things are a bit speculative from 30,000 years ago, but one learning moments for dogs occurred when “more social and less fearful” wild dogs realized that having their pups near human camps meant free food. The pups were socialized with people from a young age, and with every generation dogs became more and more domesticated. [99]

Without specific memories or forethought, dogs rely heavily on instincts and reflexes

  • In the several millions of years of socialization before domestication, dogs formed their current hierarchy.
  • Either the person leads, or the dog does.
  • In the wild, oftentimes on the dominant pair of a pack reproduces. Making moving up the social hierarchy important, and making modern wild dogs hard to domesticate. [99]
  • Freedom Lovers: This is related to the opposition reflex. When you pull on a puppy, oftentimes it tries to push away, this is because dogs reflexively want to be in control of themselves.[6]
  • Due to the proximity of the dog’s mouth and eyes, and the incentive of a potential meal, rapid movement in front of a dog’s eyes triggers the mouth to snap.[6]
  • Dogs can snap up quickly moving flies that fly past their eyes.
  • Dog’s aren’t quite as good at problem solving as humans, and often exhibit barrier-frustration syndrome when their path is obstructed. [6]
  • Often results in relieving stress through barking, jumping, or soiling.

But in many ways dogs are similar to humans

  • As many dog owners know, dogs have dreams. [7]
  • Dogs enter dreams about 20 minutes after falling asleep.
  • Movement, soft barks, and whimpers are common as the dog acts out their dream.
  • Dog’s eyes move under their eyelids as they look around their dream world.
  • Dogs experience runner’s highs to a greater extent than humans. [8]
  • Endocannabinoids reward animals that evolutionarily have needed to run long distances in order to survive.
  • Humans and dogs share this evolutionary niche.
  • So do horses and antelopes.
  • An animal like a ferret does not, as it relies on short bursts and agility to catch its prey.
  • Like humans, dogs can hold an irrational fear or phobia of sundry things. [10]

Top phobias [9]

  • Thunder
  • Fireworks
  • Being left alone
  • Vets
  • Riding in the car
  • Going up and down the stairs
  • Men
  • Strangers
  • Canine Compulsive Disorder (CCD) is much like OCD is humans. [10]
  • Due to boredom, stress, misfiring neurotransmitters, or being rewarded at the wrong time.
  • Can include excessive licking, tail-chasing, chasing of shadows or reflections, snapping at flies, or flank sucking.
  • Just as humans miss people, dogs have separation anxiety. [10]
  • With one human year equaling seven dog years, it makes sense why they miss you when you’re gone for an afternoon!
  • Dogs have religious experiences. [11][12][13][14]
  • Dogs also have a limbic system, one of the most primitive areas of the brain and the portion responsible for spiritual experiences.
  • Dogs as well as Chimpanzees have been reported putting themselves into trance like states gazing at sunsets, frolicking under waterfalls, and the like.
  • Dogs have near death experiences. [11] [13][14]
  • This phenomenon is caused by the eyes susceptibility to the low blood flow that occurs after fainting or cardiac arrest.
  • As dogs have eyes very similar to humans they too share in this phenomena.
  • Dogs have out of body experiences.
  • Which are also related to the limbic system, balance center of the ear, and eyes, all of which function similarly in dogs.
  • So with the myriad ways, in which we think dogs are little four-legged children, always remember…
  • “If you are a dog and your owner suggests you wear a sweater…suggest that he wear a tail.” –Fran Lebowitz

Source: http://www.bestpsychologydegrees.com/dogs/

[1] http://archaeology.about.com/od/domestications/qt/dogs.htm
[2] http://newguinea-singing-dog-conservation.org/Tidbits/OriginOfTheDog.pdf
[3] http://www.usfca.edu/fac-staff/dever/dog_evo.pdf
[4] http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/canine-corner/201303/which-emotions-do-dogs-actually-experience
[5] http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mental-mishaps/201005/dogs-dont-remember
[6] http://dogmastersystem.com/behavior.htm
[7] http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/canine-corner/201010/do-dogs-dream
[8] http://www.economist.com/node/21552536
[9] http://dogs.about.com/od/dogbehaviorproblems/tp/Top-Ten-Common-Dog-Fears-And-Phobias.htm
[10] http://dogsnsw.org.au/resources/dogs-nsw-magazine/articles/health/177-psychological-disorders.html
[11] http://news.discovery.com/animals/animals-spiritual-brain.htm
[12] http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=121713610
[13] http://www.americanownews.com/story/14333746/from-the-dog-daily
[14] http://www.today.com/id/39574733/ns/today-today_tech/t/animals-said-have-spiritual-experiences/#.UZamJLWThIQ

Beakthrough Red Light Therapy Device for Animals – up to 60% Faster Healing

Exciting news for all Dog, Pet, Horse Owners/Carers, Trainers and Breeders seeking ways to heal their animals quicker or provide drug-free pain relief for their beloved pet.

An affordable new Light Therapy Device that speeds up healing and provides natural pain relief is now available in the UK, Photizo® Vetcare. Owners have experienced incredible recoveries through the use of LED light therapy in animal rehabilitation across the world in recent years.

dogLight therapy treatments are normally only available through highly trained professionals using complex laser/light therapy devices. Red Light therapy is scientifically proven, non-invasive and speeds up healing (up to 60% faster). Photizo® Vetcare provides natural pain relief for long term degenerative conditions such as arthritis. Treatable conditions include all types of wounds and superficial and deep musculoskeletal injuries.

Photizo® Vetcare delivers a simple, one-touch, 31 second pre-programmed evidence-based dose of red and infrared light and brings this highly effective therapy into the hands of horse & pet owners/carers, breeders, trainers etc. Best results are achieved when light therapy is applied as soon as possible after an injury occurs and then as part of a professional treatment plan.

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Photizo® Vetcare is used and recommended by professional animal therapists and veterinarians across the world because it is a low-cost, easy to use, tool for anyone who wants fast results when treating their animal.
For more information contact Ruth Milner, Danetre Health Products on 01327 310909
info@danetrehealthproducts.com www.danetrehealthproducts.com

Paul O’Grady calls on the nation to help make the largest ever donation of food to rescue dogs

Watch our video featuring dog lovers Paul O’Grady and Amanda Holden urging animal lovers to join in a nationwide campaign, to help feed abandoned dogs.

Animal lovers are urged to ‘paws for thought’ to help feed abandoned dogs as part of the ‘Feeding Brighter Futures’ campaign

To help animal centres look after the number of abandoned dogs in their care Paul and Amanda are backing the Feeding Brighter Futures campaign and are asking the public to join them by supporting Pedigree’s Buy One Feed One initiative.

Whilst every dog owner knows the importance of giving their dog a healthy and nutritious diet to keep them feeling and looking their best, research with the Association of Dog and Cat Homes, released earlier this year, showed that nearly half of rehoming centres had seen an increase in malnourished dogs being admitted to their care.

With good nutrition the first step to a rescue dog’s recovery, Pedigree has committed to donating one million meals to rehoming centres across the UK and is now calling on people to help them donate even more.

Find out how can you help feed abandoned dogs and support this campaign. Watch our video here….

Want a dog but work?

Have you always wanted a pet dog but are worried about leaving them alone whilst you are at work? If so, we have the perfect solution for you.

Want a dog but work

We have two Hearing Dog training centres one based in Bielby, Yorkshire and the other is in Saunderton, Buckinghamshire. Here our wonderful and intelligent dogs learn how to transform the lives of deaf people. We teach them how to alert to important sounds such as the doorbell and alarm clock, plus danger signals like the smoke alarm. Hearing dogs also offer emotional support to deaf people which make them valued and vital companions.

During their four month soundwork training we need bed and breakfast volunteers to offer our hearing dogs a place to stay and relax in overnight and at weekends.

You would simply need to bring the dog to one of our centres each morning during their training and collect them at the end of their working day. We even supply the bed and breakfast!

To find out more information please watch the short video below or email us at volunteer@hearingdogs.org.uk. You can also visit www.hearingdogs.org.uk/work.

A Dogwalker’s Guide to the Peak District

With its many hills, mysterious woodland, wild moors and burbling rivers the Peak District is a dog’s paradise; and it’s not a bad place for a dog owner to explore either.

These geographical aspects, together with myriad dog-friendly holiday cottages to stay in and pubs to eat at, make the Peak District a smashing holiday destination for dog owners and their loyal companions.

If you are considering a break in the Peaks this summer, the sheer number of places to visit and great walking trails to explore might make it difficult to decide which part to choose. So, to get you started we have pick three of our favourite dog-friendly areas to visit that provide fantastic walks.

Walk 1: Discovering Legends and Literature

Located in the heart of the Peak District park is the village Hathersage. This is the perfect base for those who want to combine exploring the Peak’s literary past with long walks. Hathersage was not only the inspiration behind several of the locations in Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre, but legend has it that it also has strong connections with Robin Hood.

Dog Friendly walks in the Peak District

If you’re based in or near to Hathersage head to St Michael’s church where one of the most famous of Robin Hood’s merry men, Little John, is said to be buried. According to legend, Robin Hood also has roots in the area and was born only 8 miles away in Loxley.

Venturing out of the village and into the surrounding countryside you will find many intriguing connections to the legend with places like Robin Hood Cave north of the village. If you head west of Hathersage you will pass Robin Hood’s Stoop at Offerton Moor and Robin Hood’s Cross on the nearby Abney Moor, be aware however that on sections of the moors, dogs are only allowed on the public rights of way and you should remain vigilant about the livestock.

Charlotte Brontë visited Hathersage in 1845 and when writing Jane Eyre she choose to base the village Norton on it, as well as using the surname of the leading local family of the time, the Eyres, for the surname of her heroine. Head 3km out of Hathersage and you will come across North Lees Hall, an Elizabethan house said to be the inspiration for Thornfield Hall in the novel.

Walk 2: Exploring the Dark Peak

The Peak District has a split personality: the White Peak in the south and the Dark Peak in the north. The Dark Peak is the wilder, less inhabited part of the Peaks and it also has some of the best walks this National Park has to offer, including those your dog might enjoy the most.

The Peak District Dog Walks

The Edale Valley is a great place to base yourself if you want to explore the Dark Peaks. Edale is surrounded by hills which not only provide excellent walking trails but also some great views over the landscape. There are numerous walks that can be tackled within a day, however some can be quite challenging, and you can expect to find a range of terrain from woods to moors. Head north of Edale to explore the popular hiking territory Kinder Scout, while there are also popular walking routes to the west and east to discover as well.

If you are looking to take your dog on a longer walk you can choose to tackle part of the Pennine Way, which starts at Edale Valley. This National Trail covers 268 miles along the Pennine Mountain tops and heads north through the Yorkshire Moors and ends beyond Hadrian’s Wall.

Walk 3: Chatsworth House Splendour

The Peak District is home to some of Britain’s most famous stately homes, most notably Chatsworth House. This stunning country house has been used as the backdrop for numerous Hollywood films and television series. If you fancy a more sedate stroll with your dog, then the Chatsworth grounds offer up ample territory.

Dog Walking in Chatsworth House The Peak District

If you are based in or near the village of Rowsley you are within easy walking distance of Chatsworth House. The walk will take you across fields, over scenic bridges and through small woodland areas.

Once at Chatsworth House you can explore its 105 acre garden that includes permanent sculpture displays and a renowned waterworks, including a 300-year-old Cascade, the trough waterfall and an enormous gravity-fed Emperor fountain. As well as this there is a 1000 acre park to explore that includes a large woodland area that provides great views of the house and gardens. Dogs are welcome in both the gardens and park, but must be kept on a lead. Enjoy!

Difficulties Finding Dog Friendly Rental Property Could Become a Thing of the Past

As a dog owner, if you live in rented accommodation you may well have experienced problems in finding an appropriate property where the landlord is happy to accommodate pets. While it’s never a good idea to conceal the fact that you have a dog from a new landlord, with the prospect of living in a house unsuitable for your dog, having to part with your four legged friend or facing up to the fact that you could be without accommodation, it’s understandable why some people do so. However, with the advent of new insurance for landlords letting to pet owners, perhaps the shortage of dog friendly accommodation could in time be but a memory.

Dog Friendly Rental Property
Insurance to cover pet owners
Often landlords are reluctant to let to tenants with pets fearing that their furniture, carpets and woodwork will be damaged and that it will be difficult to remove traces of the animals even once they have left the property. However, 88% of landlords in a poll undertaken by the Dogs Trust would consider renting their homes to pet owners if appropriate cover was available against potential damage that might be caused. This is now possible thanks to a new insurance product offered by Endsleigh. This policy not only covers pet related damage, but also insures contents, potential unoccupancy and against owner liability.

Seeking responsible dog owners
Having been instrumental in bringing about the availability of landlord pet insurance, the Dogs Trust are also encouraging those renting out their properties to use the checklist available on their Lets with Pets website to identify responsible pet owners, as these same people also make responsible tenants. So don’t be surprised when looking for your next rental property if you are asked questions relating to your dog’s health care, exercise routines, toilet training and what arrangements you make when you leave your dog at home by itself. You will more than likely also have to provide a reference from your current landlord regarding your dog, though if you are new to renting, your dog’s vet can provide a suitable alternative. It also wouldn’t be unusual for your prospective landlord to ask to meet your dog so that they can see for themselves whether they would be happy for them to live in their property.

The small print
All being well and you and your dog are accepted as tenants, be sure to read the clause relating to pet ownership in the tenancy agreement so that you are fully aware of your obligations. It is also important to be clear about the deposit – which may well be higher if the landlord doesn’t have specific insurance for pet owners – and whether there is a non-refundable cleaning charge to cover the cost of professional cleaning of carpets, curtains and soft furniture after leaving the property.

Landlord obligations
As a responsible dog owner you recognise that you need to ensure that your dog is well exercised, behaves appropriately within the home, that you keep up to date with vaccinations and preventative measures against fleas and worms and always clean up after them. However, be sure that your landlord also takes their responsibilities seriously, as inviting pet owners to live in their properties requires them to take some additional measures themselves. If you notice that the boundary fence for instance has come into disrepair or that the gate does not close properly, both can pose a hazard to your dog, increasing the likelihood they escape, so your landlord has a duty to address these issues. Equally, if they have not provided covers for soft furnishings, ask whether they can do so; it shows you are responsible, seeking to protect their contents. Similarly, the vacuum they provide you with should be fit for the purpose of regular cleaning to take up the dog hair from carpets, so any issues with the appliance should be raised with your landlord. When both dog owners and landlords keep to their responsibilities, renting to pet owners works well for both parties.

Blog kindly added by ProBuyToLet (One of the UK’s leading sources of news and information for landlords and buy to let property investors)

Celtic-K9 Trainer has the 4-1-1 on Dog Park Etiquette

etiquette is important for safety at the dog park
One of the most important things you must bring with you to your dog parks is a positive, calm, relaxed, and happy attitude. You must have a good strong leash (not a recoil leash as they are the worst type of leash for controlling your dog) and collar or harness. Never bring a dog to a dog park wearing a pinch collar. Also, remember to bring a good outdoor toy with which you and your dog love to play.
The first behavior I look for at a dog park is not the behavior of the dog but of the handler. I have noticed owners approaching a park all tense and rigid. This energy rubs off on their dog and in turn the dog enters the park all tense and defensive.  This energy transfers like a ripple in a pond. It can and has been the cause of many upsets in the park, usually resulting in some poor doggy having to leave too early.
I once watched a man stand alone in the middle of the dog park throwing a ball for his Shepherd mix. Every time he threw the ball, every dog in the park went crazy for the ball and charged after it. This big pack of dogs – all colors all breeds – charged together playing. The other dogs’ owners stood in a huddle together on the sidelines, pretty much ignoring their dogs. They were either too busy playing with the latest fad in technology or complaining about the world and its problems.
A short while later, a truck pulled into the car park and out jumped a short thin man with two of the most beautiful Bullies I have ever seen. They sat at the tail of the truck waiting for their leashes to be attached and to be led to the park to play. The man weighed approximately 150lbs and was leading approximately 180lbs of muscle. He led them with confidence and pride. As he entered the park, his two dogs sat and waited to be released.
As he started to release them, every handler in the park called their dog over and leashed them. As the owners became nervous and tense while trying to round up their dogs, three different fights broke out. The only dogs in the park not involved in the freeze of fear and stress were the two Pit Bulls and the Shepherd mix that had been chasing the ball.
What we need to learn from this situation is that sometimes (and I would argue that the majority of the time) it is the dog owner that causes the problems that we see in dogs. From the lack of understanding of the breed to their need to be exercised both physically and mentally, many dog owners fail to understand how their behavior directly affects their dog’s behavior.It is important to supervise your pet at the dog park

A lot of owners will bring their dogs to the park and release them to run in an unsupervised and unstructured environment. A dog running free in the park with no plan will create a game of his own which can be fun to watch but it can also encourage the dog to develop his own way of entertaining himself, which usually results in the development of a behavioral problem. Take a ball, a rope, or the good old trusty Kong-On-A-Rope to the park and play with your dog. Chase him and let him chase him you and reward him for playing. You cannot imagine the strong relationship that will develop simply by playing with your dog.
After all, what do you think your dog thinks you have been doing for the past eight hours while he has been protecting the house? So take him out and play and have fun with your dog – he’s earned it and so have you!

One of the most important things you must bring with you to your dog parks is a positive, calm, relaxed, and happy attitude. You must have a good strong leash (not a recoil leash as they are the worst type of leash for controlling your dog) and collar or harness. Never bring a dog to a dog park wearing a pinch collar. Also, remember to bring a good outdoor toy with which you and your dog love to play.

The first behavior I look for at a dog park is not the behavior of the dog but of the handler. I have noticed owners approaching a park all tense and rigid. This energy rubs off on their dog and in turn the dog enters the park all tense and defensive. This energy transfers like a ripple in a pond. It can and has been the cause of many upsets in the park, usually resulting in some poor doggy having to leave too early.

I once watched a man stand alone in the middle of the dog park throwing a ball for his Shepherd mix. Every time he threw the ball, every dog in the park went crazy for the ball and charged after it. This big pack of dogs – all colors all breeds – charged together playing. The other dogs’ owners stood in a huddle together on the sidelines, pretty much ignoring their dogs. They were either too busy playing with the latest fad in technology or complaining about the world and its problems.

A short while later, a truck pulled into the car park and out jumped a short thin man with two of the most beautiful Bullies I have ever seen. They sat at the tail of the truck waiting for their leashes to be attached and to be led to the park to play. The man weighed approximately 150lbs and was leading approximately 180lbs of muscle. He led them with confidence and pride. As he entered the park, his two dogs sat and waited to be released.

As he started to release them, every handler in the park called their dog over and leashed them. As the owners became nervous and tense while trying to round up their dogs, three different fights broke out. The only dogs in the park not involved in the freeze of fear and stress were the two Pit Bulls and the Shepherd mix that had been chasing the ball.

What we need to learn from this situation is that sometimes (and I would argue that the majority of the time) it is the dog owner that causes the problems that we see in dogs. From the lack of understanding of the breed to their need to be exercised both physically and mentally, many dog owners fail to understand how their behavior directly affects their dog’s behavior.

(alt text: It is important to supervise your pet at the dog park)

A lot of owners will bring their dogs to the park and release them to run in an unsupervised and unstructured environment. A dog running free in the park with no plan will create a game of his own which can be fun to watch but it can also encourage the dog to develop his own way of entertaining himself, which usually results in the development of a behavioral problem. Take a ball, a rope, or the good old trusty Kong-On-A-Rope to the park and play with your dog. Chase him and let him chase him you and reward him for playing. You cannot imagine the strong relationship that will develop simply by playing with your dog.

After all, what do you think your dog thinks you have been doing for the past eight hours while he has been protecting the house? So take him out and play and have fun with your dog – he’s earned it and so have you!

Blog post added by Celtic K9

Lyme Disease across the UK

Urgent advice for pet owners as health experts warn of spread of Lyme Disease across the UK
Watch our video for advice from David Bellamy on how to spot potentially deadly ticks on your dog and how to keep yourself and your family safe

As experts warn of the rapid spread of Lyme disease across the UK because of an increase in ticks, protests and public events are taking place around the world, including at Whitehall, to illustrate the lack of awareness about the disease and how it is spreading here.

tick

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in the Northern Hemisphere  and there are concerns in the UK about the lack of public awareness, given recent warnings by leading animal health experts and parasitologists about a considerable increase in the disease-carrying tick parasite, posing a growing health threat to humans and their pets.

The tick parasite which is commonly found in long grass and areas of dense vegetation, attaches itself to dogs, cats and humans. In the past, ticks were only considered a hazard in select parts of Britain at particular times of year. But because of our changing climate they are now prevalent year-round, across the country.

Lyme disease in humans has increased threefold over the past decade, with up to 3,000 cases of Lyme Disease estimated to occur every year in people in England & Wales according to The Health Protection Agency.

A recent study from Bayer Animal Health as part of their ongoing ‘It’s a Jungle Out There’ parasite awareness initiative reveals that more than one in ten pet owners surveyed have found ticks on themselves or a family member, and that 53% of pets are not treated for this parasite.

The tick parasite uses highly developed mouthparts to pierce the skin and feed on the blood of its host. In humans, the first sign of Lyme Disease is commonly a circular rash around the area of the bite, and symptoms include fever, muscle and joint pain, tiredness and headaches.

So how can you keep your dog, yourself and your family safe?

To help pet owners understand the dangers of ticks and other parasites Bayer Animal Health have produced a series of short films featuring botanist David Bellamy, TV vet Steve Leonard and an array of parasite experts. This video focuses on the risk from ticks

Pet owners can also find information about the most common parasites in the UK at www.itsajungle.co.uk, where they can complete an online risk assessment. You can help spread the word by liking ‘Jungle for Pets’ on Facebook or by following ‘JungleForPets’ on Twitter.

TICKS: The facts

A tick is a small, blood sucking arthropod

Normally ticks live on blood from larger animals, like deer, but they may also attach themselves to dogs, cats and even humans.

Ixodes ricinus is the most common tick in the UK and Ireland

Ticks lie in wait in vegetation and attach themselves to their host as it  brushes  past

Ticks have highly developed mouthparts, which allow them to pierce a hole through the skin to feed on blood

They can cause reactions at the site of attachment

Ticks may cause anaemia if there is a severe infestation on a young animal

The most important risk associated with ticks is the diseases they can transmit, eg. Lyme Disease in the UK  and Ireland.

Up to 3,000 cases of Lyme Disease are estimated to occur every year in people in England and Wales, according to The Health Protection Agency

Diseases such as Babesiosis and Ehrlichiosis can be transmitted to pets travelling abroad, therefore regular tick treatment of travelling pets is important

Socialising Your Puppy

Behaviourist

Hi All, many (not all) dog on dog, dog on people problems and other fears and phobias are caused by or significantly affected by lack of socialisation of the dog when young and throughout their life. Where you get your dog from whether a pup or a juvenile/adult will already be having a lasting effect on the future behaviour of your dog. The process of socialisation really starts as soon as a pup starts to interact with the environment around it. By the end of week two the eyes and ears are open, sounds are being made and reflex actions with some locomotion is taking place. By the end of week three the eyes have responses to light and moving stimuli and the ears (and pup) are responsive to loud noise. So really from end of week three onwards the pup is open to stimuli be they good or indeed bad (scary) and the later, especially noise related can have lifelong bad effect.

Breeders/Owners.

Where you get your dog from will have a major effect on your future dogs behaviour and so care must be taken. A good breeder or private owner will hopefully have already put your new best friend on the right road by raising them in a calm, safe and neutering environment. Mum and other litter mates want to be there as much is learnt from interaction between them, this time is of the utmost importance, more can be read about this on my website. Good breeders/owners should already have exposed your prospective pup to some of the novel non scary stimulus found in the following list. If they have not then the work you do on it will be paramount, but take it steady and calmly. You will be taking your new pup at weeks 8-9, definitely not earlier as they will lose out on learning from mum and litter mates. Once you get them home it’s up to you.

Dont Scare Them!

Throughout the socialisation process this should be top of your list. What we need to be doing is exposing your pup to some novel non scary stimulus in a safe and neutering environment. If you scare a pup badly not only may they become scared of what actually scared them in the first place they may also associate the same feelings to something in the environment in which it happened.

For instance, a pup is walking along the street and a car backfires right next to them, as it happened they were looking at a man in a hat, from that day on that dog is scared of not only bangs but also people with hats on, obviously this is only an example but it shows how pups/dogs can develop fear/nervous issues to something not connected to the initial scary stimulus through association.

ocialising Your Puppy

Exposing your pup to novel non scary stimulus does not involve firing a starting pistol next to them (obviously), what it does involve is exposure to:-

Friendly calm people both adults and children.

Other friendly dogs both male and female of different ages (family and friends dogs and other well known dogs, after their inoculations though).

Exposure to other friendly animals like cats.

Feeding your pup on different surfaces like carpet, wood, vinyl, concrete etc (will help them deal with new things later in life).

Taking them to different safe environments after their inoculations (places like the pet shop, family and friends houses, the vets for a jolly etc.)

Take them to some well run puppy socialisation classes, by well run I mean run by a person knowledgeable in canine behaviour with no huge older pups/juveniles that will give a bad association to the whole affair, these classes can be attended after your pups second inoculation. Classes carried out at the vets to give a good association to the vets would be advantageous. Book them well in advance (speak to your chosen vet).

Exposure to different looking things like people with hats on, disabled people if appropriate, large animals like cows and horses, vehicles etc.

Exposure to daily household noises and practices. If possible try to expose them to things at a lower level to start with, like the vacuum on a low level and at the other side of the room. Try not to expose your pup to full on close up scary noises for fear of issues developing.

The more non scary stimulus a pup is exposed to the more sound adult dog you should end up with but do not make it an all consuming mission on your part, do it gradually over several weeks and calmly.

If something does scare your pup the first thing they will probably do is look to you the owner for your reaction. Personally I think it is OK to very quickly reassure them with say a calming stroke to the head but do not go over the top with lots of reassurance as this may well tell them that what just happened was indeed very scary and something to be very worried about and may well sow the seeds for future problems.

Throughout the socialisation process always have a calm slightly jolly mood about yourself and do not push your pup into doing something that is obviously worrying them.

I hope this has given you an insight into the socialisation of your pup and the encouragement to find out more. Much more detailed information and advice about this and other subjects can be found on my website, please take a look, it’s free.

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