Saturday, 19 October 2019

Bang! Yes, it's fireworks season yet again...

What does your dog do when they hear fireworks?

  1. Sleep through them soundly? 
  2. Quiver, shake, drool and try to hide away from the dreaded fireworks?
  3. Or take dreadful offence at the invading noises, and bark to scare them off?
Unless you answered with option 1, you're going to need a survival strategy to put in place fast.

And if your young puppy hasn't experienced fireworks yet - you will want to be prepared to make sure it's fun for them.

Noise fears and phobias are some of the most insidious behaviour problems I see in my clinical practice, and years of living with sensitive collies has given me more practice experience than I ever wanted!

Yes, you should have thought about fireworks before now.

But life is busy, and suddenly it's nearly November *eeek*

Fireworks Fears? Online Help for just £5

Friday 25th October, 7.30pm

 with Morag K Heirs PhD, Clinical Animal Behaviourist
You CAN stop the fears getting worse this year AND make a plan to help your dog cope better next year too.

The session includes evidence and experience based techniques to support your dog, when to talk to your vet for extra help, and the chance to ask questions about your own dog.

SESSION WILL BE RECORDED - you can attend live or send in your questions in advance

If you are dreading the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th of November (and the weeks before and after!) then you NEED to attend this webinar.

Fight the Firework Fears

However in some unexpectedly good news, Sainsbury's have announced that they will no longer stock fireworks. I can't tell you how delighted I was to hear this! Let's keep pushing the other supermarkets to step up to the mark.

Enjoy the peaceful evenings while you can, and I'm looking forward to seeing some of you online later this week.

Morag, the Collie Girls (one deaf, one much braver than she was) and the Big Yin (what noise?)

What's on in WCC Land?

We're starting to make plans for the annual WCC Xmas activity evening at Yorkshire Museum of Farming.

It turns out the WCC family have some amazing hidden skills including how to make snuffle mats, seriously tough tug toys from old clothes and more.

So we're hosting a festive "come and craft" evening where you can bring your own materials, and we'll help you transform them into amazing canine gifts.
  • PLUS the ever popular "bring and swop" table for all your unwanted dog-related items, with anything left at the end going to local rescue organisations
  • AND Gina will be running the raffle again with all monies going to local rescues.
  • Morag will be baking (for your dogs!) and could be persuaded to bring some recipe sheets?
  • Clare will be in charge of mince pies and gingerbread of course
  • and we might just persuade Laura to bake for you too.


Monday, 14 October 2019

What blind men and an elephant can tell us about living with Laird

In the last blog, I told you about Laird accidentally grabbing my hand (thinking it was part of a food wrapper) and struggling to let go. My hand was sore and a little swollen afterwards, but nothing more.

Our brains love to jump to conclusions, it's so much more comforting (and often efficient) to make an assumption rather than collecting yet more information.

Yet as the parable of the six blind men and an elephant shows, if we only have part of the picture we might make some pretty huge mistakes.

Here's what might have happened if I took the situation with Laird on face value, with a "dominance lens":

  • Laird is unwilling to give things up to me
  • He is stubborn, and does not respect me
  • Laird should have given the wrapper to me, and by refusing to let go of my hand it meant......

and so on...

Stepping back a little, and looking at the whole elephant (situation)

  • Laird was tired, so unlikely to be thinking clearly
  • The kitchen was dark enough it would be hard to see my hand underneath (!) the wrapper (and his beard)
  • On later examination, Laird had a claw split right down to the quick which probably happened on our afternoon walk, pain is well known to decrease tolerance and increase the chance of using an aggressive strategy
  • Laird has NEVER acted in this way before, or since
  • Laird has a history of struggling to give things up especially if he might be able to eat them

Did I have a dangerously dominant dog?

Or a grumpy, tired adolescent dog who was in pain and hasn't entirely learned to surrender treasure...

I hope you can see how badly this could have gone for Laird and I if I acted on that first set of assumptions!

A wee challenge for you
  1. Notice the next time your dog does something that you don't like, or find annoying
  2. And ask yourself why it might be happening?
  3. Don't use labels as 'reasons' (stubborn, stupid, doesn't listen)
  4. Do step back and look at the whole elephant....

I'm really looking forward to hearing your thoughts, and of course you're welcome to post in our FaceBook group with your examples or questions.

Happy thinking!

Morag, the Collie Girls and the Big Yin

(Freya and Laird showing off their new jumpers from Boo Woo)

Choose a Challenge for your Dog this weekend!

Unusually we have a couple of spaces left on some of our weekend activity workshops, up for grabs to the quickest fingers and keenest dogs.

Click the links for more information and book your space.

Saturday 19th October 13:30- 16:30
Parkour Progressions for Sensitive Dogs (S Rated for dogs that struggle around people/dogs)
PawPark, Sand Hutton

Parkour Progressions (S Rated)
Saturday 19th October 13:30- 16:30
That's not a sheep! Herding Dog Games
PawPark, Sand Hutton

Herding Dog Games

Sunday 20th October 09:30-12:30
Salvage Seekers -teach your dog to find your keys!
Sand Hutton Village Hall, just outside York

Salvage Seekers Book Here