www.naturallyhappydogs.com - The online dog video magazine

Monday, 11 July 2016

What to do if your dog is lost or stolen

Our dogs are an important part of our family, and so when he suddenly goes missing it can be absolutely devastating. Regardless of whether he has been lost or stolen, you will probably feel sick with worry until his whereabouts have been traced. Your natural instinct may be to panic, but it is important that you keep calm and act quickly to have the best possible chance of safely recovering your beloved pet.

Here is our guide to what to do if your dog is lost or stolen.

Report your dog as lost or stolen
The very first thing that you should do is report your dog as either lost or suspected stolen (whichever applies) to your local council’s dog warden, as this is the person most likely to pick up your pet if a member of the public finds him wandering around.

You should also report your dog as either lost or stolen to local branches of the RSCPA and veterinary practises, again because these are places that a lost dog may be taken by the finder.

If you have reason to believe that your dog has been stolen rather than become lost, then you should report it as a theft to your local police station. Unfortunately, not all police are willing to record missing dogs as theft, and so you may find you need to be insistent and provide any proof that may be left behind.

Finally, you should report your dog to the microchip database. They will then know to inform you if anyone tries to re-register the chip number associated with your pet.

Search the neighbourhood
While it is completely understandable to want to get straight out and start searching for your beloved dog, a methodical and well thought-out search is almost always more beneficial. By visiting the locations that you usually take your pet for a walk, including nearby parks and walking routes, you will be able to speak to other dog owners about your missing pet. Go armed with photographs and post-it notes with your contact number on, so that anyone that may have seen your dog can get in touch.

Then spread your news wider
Some dogs have the ability to run for very long distances, and if your dog has gone missing then he may be further away than you anticipate. If you don’t have any success in tracking your pet down within the first 24 hours then spread news of his disappearance further afield.

Utilise the power of social media
Social media is currently one of the most powerful tools at our disposal, and news of your dog’s disappearance can spread extraordinarily quickly. Ask your social media friends to like and share the information, as this significantly increases the number of people who will hear that your dog is missing and will dramatically improve the likelihood of recovering your pet safe and well.

Make posters
Even with the evolution of technology, there is still a definite place for traditional methods when it comes to tracing lost or stolen dogs. Create a poster using one or two very clear and recent photographs of your pet. Include the details of when/where your dog went missing or was stolen and remember to put your contact details on too. Display the poster in as many places locally as you are able to, including shop noticeboards, schools and libraries.

Don’t give up hope
Some dogs that have gone missing are not found for several days or even weeks. Don’t give up hope and keep circulating information about your pet.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

How to protect your dog from theft

Animal theft in the UK has grown steadily over the last five years, with dogs being the primary target of both opportunistic thieves, and highly organised and experienced gangs of snatchers. Some target pedigree dogs with the intention of selling them for profit or using them for breeding. Genuine pedigree puppies can sell for upwards of £600, but pups from a puppy farm are often sold considerably cheaper in order to turn a fast profit. Puppy farms are created by individuals or groups who mate their dogs and bitches with one intention – to create as many pups as possible. This often means that bitches are forced to carry litters too frequently and in poor conditions, putting her and her puppies at risk. The pups are often sold too early, and without any of the necessary vaccinations, treatment or paperwork. Other thieves target older dogs of any breed so that they can be used as bait dogs in illegal dog-fighting rings. Both of these scenarios are heart-breaking for dog lovers and it is understandable to worry about the security of your pet. That is why we have put together this guide detailing some of the best ways to help protect your dog from theft.

Dog Theft Protection at Home 

Although your dog is safer at home than anywhere else, there are still some steps that you can take to ensure that your pet is well protected from theft.

* Make sure that your garden is as secure as possible, particularly if your dog likes to dig! If you don’t mind higher fences, then this is a good way to stop potential thieves from seeing your pet to identify its age and breed, and makes it much harder to get in and out of your garden if the gate is locked.
* Consider fitting a bell or similar noise-making device to your garden gate so that you will hear if anyone tries to open it.
* Don't leave your pet unattended in the garden, keep him firmly in sight.
* Consider covering the garden, and front and rear entrances to your property with CCTV.
* Install a burglar alarm for your home.
* Keep pets away when answering the door. This is especially true if you have multiple dogs who tend to rush to the front door when you have a visitor, as the confusion may make it easy for a thief to snatch and run with a smaller breed.

If you breed puppies

If you breed puppies, you are at greater risk of theft as you need to invite people into your home to view them. Minimise your risk by:

* Making sure another family member or friend is present when you show the puppies.
* Place a limit on the number of people that you show the puppies to at any one time.
* Show the puppies in a secure area of your house that has only one access point.

Outside your Home

Your dog is most vulnerable when they are outside of the home. Here are some preventative measures you can take against theft.

* Don’t leave your dog tied up outside a school or a shop as this makes him an opportunistic target. If you need to run an errand, leave him at home and take him out for a dedicated walk later.
* Don’t leave your dog unattended in the car. Not only does it put him at risk of serious dehydration, but it would also only take a thief a matter of seconds to break a window and snatch him.
* Some thieves have been known to target specific dogs by monitoring their daily activities. Change up your walking routes and times so you don’t become predictable.
* Be wary of strangers asking lots of questions about your pet.
* Train your dog to return when called and don’t let him off the lead until he can reliably do so.
* When letting him off the lead, try to only do so in areas where you can keep a close eye on your dog, such as open fields and parks.
* If you want to use services such as a dog groomer, walker, sitter or kennels, make sure you use a reliable and reputable business, and get first hand references wherever you can.

General Rules for Dog Security

* Microchipping your pet is the single most important thing that you can do as it means that if your dog is lost and then found he can be returned to you. However, it also means that if you believe your dog is stolen and you let the microchipping database know, if anyone else tries to re register the chip in their name, it will instantly flag up that the dog has been stolen. Just remember to keep your address and phone details up to date so that you can be contacted.
* Make sure your dog has a collar and ID tag with your name, address and phone number on so that you can be contacted without taking your dog to a veterinarian for a chip scan.
* Take plenty of pictures of your dog on a regular basis, and particularly of any distinguishing features. You should also take pictures of your dog with you and other family members as this will help prove ownership in the case of a dispute.

Don’t let your pet be an easy target. Follow some of the advice listed above and protect your dog from theft today.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Competition time

Enter to win....
* A years subscription to NaturallyHappyDogs.com
* A goody bag from Natures Menu
* A GPS device courtesy of Locate your pet Enter today at


Friday, 15 April 2016

Brenda Aloff seminars

We had a great time at Brenda Aloff's seminars with Dog & Bone this week, Brenda was discussing Handling Reactive Dogs and Training Reactive Dogs and we had a stand at the Bedfordshire and the Yorkshire events.

Brenda was a fascinating speaker and obviously a fan of Naturally Happy Dogs, so much so that she was more than happy to do some more filming before her seminars even started. We look forward to editing those three new videos and putting them live soon.

The NHD stand was very popular at the seminars, with many people coming over to sign up.

Monday, 29 February 2016

The camping and caravan show.

Dog lovers are often going to want to take their dogs on holiday with them but may also be away from home with their dogs for other reasons, too, such as entering multi-day doggie events. For this reason, something like a motor home or caravan can offer the freedom to take your dog(s) with you.

On 24th February Naturally Happy Dogs set off to the NEC in Birmingham to explore the sort of vehicles that are currently on the market. The choice is bewildering: a huge range of sizes and types but more especially a wide range of internal layouts. Ones that particularly caught our eye were motor homes where parts of the interior could be removed, altered or moved. We even found a small motor home with generous room for dog crates under a bed.

The vehicle that appealed most to us, though, was the least practical: a caravan made entirely of lego. It wasn't something you could take on holiday but was utterly charming.

Photizo Light therapy

Naturally Happy Dogs have always taken the approach of finding out what's out there for a dog's health and leave the decision to the owner about which to choose. We recently met Ruth from Danetre Health Products who offers Photizo LED light therapy.

It sounds very exciting and multi-purpose and so easy for everyone to use.  Ruth had a willing volunteer in the form of her young cocker spaniel who seemed very relaxed receiving their treatment.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Crufts is celebrating 125 years

We thoroughly enjoyed this look back at the last 125 years of Crufts dog show

We found it fascinating to see the breeds from the 60's and 70's and how similar they look to today's breeds.

We spotted the below breeds in this video…

Afghan, American Cocker Spaniel, Basset Hound, Bloodhound, Border collie, Borzoi, Dalmatian, English Setter, Golden Retriever, Japanese Chin, King Charles Spaniel, Maltese, Poodle, Rough Collie, Samoyed, Scottish Terrier, Smooth Collie,

Did you see any others?

Friday, 5 February 2016

Beco Pets

Today we met with Beco Pets in Kent to film an article about their company and products. It's amazing just how many dog toys and poo bags can be fitted into one warehouse - and that was apparently only 2 weeks supply!

Beco now sell products to 33 different countries, it's no wonder as we think their eco friendly products are great.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Ston Easton Park

The NHD team were very fortunate to be asked to visit the beautiful Ston Easton Park country house hotel this weekend.

Since the 1980’s Ston Easton Park have welcomed dogs to stay with their owners with open arms – they even have their own on-site dog 'Oscar', who is announced as the real boss of the establishment, and when we first arrived he was the first to greet us.

Set in 37 acres of beautiful Wiltshire countryside and with a river running through the estate, Ston Easton Park felt like a real get away, and we were in for a treat. As well as the warm welcome from Oscar, the staff were very relaxed and welcoming, fussing over their four-legged guests, our film crew and pooches felt immediately at home.

The room was very spacious and comfortable, and the rest of the hotel followed this trend. The food was amazing, and we enjoyed the chance to dine with our dogs joining us in the lounge rather than the restaurant (which has to keep dogs out to adhere to health and safety rules). The view from our room was simply stunning, and the antique furniture throughout the venue with the large ornate ceilings meant we could sit for hours, simply enjoying looking around the rooms. We could go on about what a wonderful time we had, but we’d rather show you in our video review coming up shortly on the Naturally Happy Dogs website.

We would like to thank everyone at Ston Easton Park for inviting us, and making us feel so welcome. We have a feeling we will be returning in the future as normal customers, when we find time in our busy schedules!

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Pregnancy scanning

We spent a very interesting day today in Milton Keynes with Domini Allday from Petscan finding out all about canine pregnancy scanning.

It was amazingly quick and easy to find out that two of the attending dogs weren't pregnant and the other had 7 puppy fetuses that were just 3-4 weeks old!

We look forward to receiving pictures of the litter after they're born.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Breed photos wanted

Calling all owners of pedigree dogs - Photos wanted.

We are looking for an image of each of the dog breeds to use in our 'breed library'. If you own one of the breeds missing from our breed library, please feel free to submit a picture of your dog and you might feature on this page.

The photo must be:
- a good example of the breed
- the dog standing sideways on to the camera
- one of the breeds with an 'image coming soon' picture
- your own copyright
- emailed to us at breeds@naturallyhappydogs.com along with some text to say you are happy for the photo to appear on www.naturallyhappydogs.com

If your photo is chosen, you will receive a free 1 month membership to Naturally Happy Dogs.

Hidden camera videos of pets left home alone

Animal-themed videos are often the ones that get us giggling the most, everybody loves a funny pet video.

Home videos can show us what our furry friends really get up to, when they think nobody is watching. On our quest for the funniest animal-themed video, we came across ‘What happened when this cat and dog were left home alone’.

We had no idea what was about to happen, and we really didn’t expect to see what came at the end of the video. Here’s what happened… make sure you watch and share it with your friends. It’ll make you think carefully about how you leave your pets home alone.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Scent work trials

We spent a very enjoyable day today learning about scent work at the second ever trails by Scentwork UK. There were level 1 and level 2 dogs competing - 20 dogs in total. There were some fantastic searches - some in just a few seconds.

Each level completed 4 searches - an interior 'chairs and tables' search, a vehicle search, a luggage search and an exterior search. It was fascinating to see how the different conditions affected the different dogs. It was also amazingly clear how important the handlers were, in helping, rather than hindering their dogs.

Puppy Skyler came along for the ride and decided to 'help' at the end when we filmed the interview with Heather Donnelly!

Friday, 30 October 2015

Some 'different' assistance dog videos

Today we were filming with an inspirational lady - Philippa Sjoberg and her 3 dogs (plus two visiting canines!) When Philippa was told she would need a wheelchair, her main worry was whether she would be able to continue living and working with dogs. She has shown that, if you want it enough, it is certainly possible.

Along with Golden Retriever, Jack, Philippa lives with and trains a cocker spaniel and a Chihuahua, and sometimes looks after her daughter's two dogs too.

Philippa trains all her dogs and now the others sometimes even try to join in Jack's assistance dog tasks as they know there are treats on offer!

Today we filmed articles about living with assistance dogs and other dogs, ongoing training of assistance dogs and some of the practical aspects of training dogs from a wheelchair.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

New puppy?

A local writer came across our website and thought it was a great idea, so he put together a guide to things to think about when getting a puppy, with links to some useful videos.

Things to think about when getting a new puppy
by Sloan McKinney

Puppies are one of the cutest things on the planet earth, and getting a new, fluffy, four-legged friend is an important decision that should be weighed very carefully and comes with a great deal of responsibility. There’s much to consider when choosing a new member of your family, whether you live alone, share your space with a significant other or have a house full of kids, things like what breed you will decide upon will depend on some of these environmental circumstances.

There are many different characteristics of certain dogs that are breed specific, for example, some larger canines like the Golden Retriever are excellent with children, while smaller pups, like chihuahuas and other tiny toys, can be easily fallen on and hurt and so may lack the patience to deal with toddlers. Speaking of children, while dogs need basic obedience training, kids should also be schooled on how to deal with canines to avoid aggressive behaviors that could lead to biting. 

For single people or lone wolves, pardon the pun, there are also breeds that tend to lean towards having a single master, like some terriers for example the border terrier, but at the same time, they also make great family pets.
Often, working dogs, like sheep-herding animals, military and police K-9’s will carry a stronger bond with their single, unique, one-and-only handler and trainer.

Just because you live in a small space or have a tiny flat, doesn’t mean you can’t get a big dog. Large breed canines like the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, St. Bernard, Newfoundland and Mastiff have all been labelled as “mat dogs,” due to their seemingly endless nap times. Naturally you’ll want to take them out for some exercise, but once they’ve grown up, they’ll likely be perfectly content to sleep for a few hours while you’re at work or school.

When deciding upon a certain breed or type of dog, people should research what health issues they may be prone to having. For example, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels can develop a specific neurological problem known as Syringomyelia (SM). They are also more susceptible to heart and eye problems.

Some larger breed dogs, like the German Shepherd are well-known for carrying hereditary conditions, like hip and elbow dysplasia. Be sure to do your homework first, especially when it comes to choosing a healthy puppy.

A puppy’s first training session should happen soon after they are weaned, especially when it comes to learning important socialization techniques to safely interact with other people and animals. For their safety and the well-being of those that they will come in contact with, all dogs should be taught basic commands, how to sit and lie down for example.  Eventually you’ll put them on a leash so you’ll want to train them to walk properly on a lead. If you are struggling with this, you can train them to wear a headcollar. They will need to see a veterinarian or be taken to other locations and you’ll need to be able to properly control them.

So after you’ve done your research and picked out your prized pooch, you can train them to be the perfect companion. A well-trained dog is a happier dog and both of you will benefit from some manners and basic training.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Nose work in Yorkshire

We spent a thoroughly enjoyable day in a variety of fields in Yorkshire today, filming a dozen bloodhounds doing what they do best - finding people! The Association of Bloodhound Breeders run training days throughout the year and enthusiastic members bring their hounds from far and wide. Finding the land to train on seems to be one of the biggest problems, but with a lovely local landowner, the team set up over a dozen trails throughout the day.

It was lovely watching the pups learning and the more experienced dogs following the trails straight to the 'missing' volunteers. Although the thrill was most definitely in the search, most of the dogs didn't seem too bothered when they eventually found their person, it just meant the search game was over! One thing that amazed us was how far ahead some of the hounds work, when they are on the hunt, they can pick up quite a speed, and off lead over a mile track, the poor owners didn't have much hope of keeping up!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Relaxed dog training

Today we met with Winkie Spiers in London to join her on one of her 'Social dog walks' and find out a little more about 'relaxed dog training'. Winkie believes strongly that dogs should be exercised and entertained in a relaxed and natural way, and that many behaviour problems occur from a lifestyle that is simply too fast-paced for the canine brain.

Winkie told us about some alternatives to turning up at the park and throwing a ball for 20 minutes, including putting cheese spread or pate on trees for the dogs to find and lick, or using walls and park benches as 'natural agility' obstacles.

It was a fascinating day with some lovely chilled out dogs, and we will definitely be introducing 'sofa time' and 'cheesy trees' into our weekly routines!

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Reactive dog classes and Socialisation classes

We were in Surrey today filming at Dog Communication with Penel and Laura. It was a fantastic day, lovely nice to see how reactive dog classes and socialisation classes should be run. We really look forward to bringing you these videos soon.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Dog Bites Man... Or Man Bites Dog?

We were sent an interesting article recently:

As the media spotlight becomes increasingly focused on our day-to-day lives, a common experience is being broadcast and published more and more: dog attacks. As public outcry increases when these dog attacks occur, there are some interesting legal and social issues that arise when considering these incidents. But whose fault really is it? Dogs are at the whim of humans, and in many cases are victims themselves.

In the United Kingdom, it is illegal to let your dog be dangerously out of control anywhere in a public place. However, it is also illegal to let your dog be dangerously out of control in your own home, or in another private place such as a neighbour's house or garden. This means that training is absolutely vital to prevent your dog from being seen as a risk, even if you never let them out of your house. The Dogs Act is at the root of English dog bite law, and it permitted Courts to order the destruction of dangerous dogs. Parts of the Act were replaced by the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act, which significantly toughened the approach.

In a recent TV episode of Judge Rinder, the claimant, Mr Veneziani, received wounds to his arm and hand when another dog grabbed his dog by the scruff. When attempting to break the fight up, his own dog bit him on the hand. Judge Rinder found that Mr Veneziani, and his dog, were not at fault: the other party, Mrs Lawson, had let her dog run without a leash, and the dog was out of control.

In the Judge Rinder case, Mr Veneziani agreed that Mrs Lawson's dog should be given another chance; but in most dog attack cases it is usually the dog who suffers the harshest consequences, by being destroyed. The owner is also not without punishment: they can be fined, or even imprisoned. Another aspect of the remedy for a dog attack is making a personal injury claim. To make a personal injury claim, you must be able to show that the dog's owner knew, or ought to have known, that the dog was dangerous and liable to attack. Georgia Briscoe, head of the legal team for Patient Claim Line - sponsor of the show - states that a TV show can decide for small claims but when facing life threatening situations - like a dog bite - proper legal advice is needed.

In other cases, the dog may be the victim. At the 2015 Crufts competition, an award-winning Irish setter, Jagger, died within 36 hours of competing. Jagger's owner believed that Jagger had been poisoned by another competitor's owner, however it is currently thought that the poisoning actually happened some time after Jagger left the event. The title of ‘best in show’ is highly prized and, unfortunately, dogs can be at risk of being subjected to the malicious actions of other owners. As much as we may read about dog bite incidents in the news, there are no doubt just as many cases of neglect or outright cruelty to dogs. This just goes to show the degree to which we need to safeguard dogs from suffering as well.

While both dogs and people have been known to hurt each other, in most cases they get along well. Dogs are known as “man's best friend” for a reason: they are loyal, protective, and display constant affection and love for their owners. As the coverage of dog attacks is on the rise, we must also remember to look out for our furry friends and ensure that they are looked after and protected. Whether it is a person that has been hurt, or a dog that has been harmed, we should look to methods for how to prevent these things from occurring, rather than focusing on who is to blame.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Crufts 2015

Well we didn't have a stand this year at Crufts but we were certainly kept busy. We had some fantastic chats with many of the other stands and have some very interesting filming lined up for the next few months.

We also tried Riley the German Long Haired Pointer out with a GoPro to get a 'Dog's eye view' of Crufts. Riley wasn't at all phased by the camera on his back and he certainly seemed to enjoy the extra attention it earned him!