www.naturallyhappydogs.com - The online dog video magazine

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 (at) 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!

Thursday 5 March 2015


Today we filmed a number of interviews with Orthopets in Gloucestershire. They sell orthotics, prosthetics, karts, harnesses, boots and even toe grips for dogs. Rod explained everything to us very clearly and we have come away with a far greater understanding of the options there are available to dogs with a variety of conditions. These videos will take a while for us to edit as we will need to travel around the country to film the dogs using the various pieces of equipment, but we will get working on it asap!

Sunday 1 March 2015

Filming Obedience

Today we went to visit Russell Becque in Hampshire who sets up Obedience practice rings for competitors to have a go at training their dogs in a situation 'in between' their standard training class, and a competitive ring.

We filmed some great cut aways for our videos with Kamal Fernandez, with breeds ranging from Border Collies and German Shepherds, to some fantastic Bernese Mountain Dogs.

March 2015 is live

This month we visit another little known gem of the Kennel Club - The Kennel Club Gallery - containing, amongst many other treasures, the famous cup for Best in Breed that will be awarded this month at Crufts.  We also learn about The Kennel Club's involvement with the Be Dog Friendly scheme. 

As always, we like to bring you information about activities to enjoy with your dog and this month we look at Canicross Safety and Handling Skills in Tracking.

We're also looking at another product, this month: the Magloc - an ingenious device for attaching a lead to a collar or harness just by pointing it in the right direction!

Finally we have some handy training tips for you: how to remove a reliance on rewards, especially useful when competing; how to direct when and where your dog scavenges, so he doesn't find anything horrible of his own; and how to teach your dog to ring a bell when he wants to go outside.  We're full of good ideas!

Friday 27 February 2015

Obedience and Bikejor

Today has been rather action packed... and great fun.

First stop was with Clare Williams from Chesvale Dog Training Club, along with a few of her fellow trainers, who taught us all about Heelwork and the Novice Recall in Obedience. Along with a 'what is' style video, we filmed a 'how to teach' for each exercise, we're very keen to get these edited and added to the site.

Then it was on to see Jackie England and Jo Hart with Riley, her German Longhaired Pointer for their first ever go at Bikejor. After 20 minutes, both Jo and Riley had (alongside a fair bit of mud) great big smiles on their faces, they definitely seem hooked!

We also got to try out our new GoPro, stay tuned for some 'dogs eye view' footage coming soon!

Thursday 19 February 2015

Scent work in Oxfordshire

Today we were off to Oxfordshire to join Heather Donnelly again, but this time we were filming scent work. Heather told us all about how to teach a passive indication and also how to pair the scent we want the dogs to find with food, so that they start to look for just the scent. This is the same type of training that search dogs do, whether they are searching for drugs, bombs or missing people.

The dogs that were training today were just pet dogs though, with wonderful owners who really understand how important mental stimulation is for our pet dogs, and who thoroughly enjoy spending a few hours teaching their canine companions to learn a new skill.

We're thinking of having a go at this with our office puppy Skyler, it would be great to teach her to find the scent of our lost keys!

Sunday 1 February 2015

February 2015

We've discovered that office puppy Skyler is no lover of the great outdoors in the winter.  That is to say, she enjoys herself when she gets on a walk but the prospect of going on one is not very appealing, despite her warm winter jacket. I think I know how she feels. But, it's a good time of the year to start preparing for those outdoor activities for when the warmer weather comes.

Maybe you've considered Obedience. This month we find out why Obedience is a sport for all breeds, and if you want to make a start on Obedience, how about starting heelwork with the stand beside.

Maybe the idea of Tracking is more appealing, in which case you could find out how to introduce articles in Tracking. Or, if you fancy giving Carting a try, you could learn what Carting equipment you'd need.

If you want something useful for all training, Kamal Fernandez tells us how to increase an interest in rewards.

This month we also learn about muzzle training, as it's better to be safe than sorry, and about a new product called the Doddle.

Finally, we learn what sort of campaigns The Kennel Club get involved in.

Thursday 29 January 2015

Gearing up for Crufts this year

We're already looking forward to Crufts this year but for the first time in a few years, we won't have our own stand. I (Sally) will be there though, we have some important chatting and some even more important dog-watching to do! There are over 400 trade stands there so plenty to keep ourselves occupied.

If you want to go to the event, we will be running a few competitions soon for tickets, or to secure your place early you can purchase tickets from

Wednesday 7 January 2015

Filming Nina Bondarenko

It was unsurprisingly chilly as we headed off to London to meet up with Nina Bondarenko today. Nina has some ingenious ways for training perfect heelwork and loose lead walking for the biggest and bounciest of dogs and we wanted to capture these for Naturally Happy Dogs.

We had taken office dog Sandy with us to help demonstrate a few of the techniques and Nina was joined by one of her students with a lovely husky cross who was an expert lead-puller. Needless to say, Nina soon had them trotting along perfectly.

Thursday 1 January 2015

Happy New Year 2015

We're getting the new year off to a good start with quite a few videos on training.  Beginning with the very young dog, Nando Brown shares his ideas on what to do when your puppy bites you. If you're having problems with a noisy dog, Ian Dunbar shows how to teach growl and shush.  In the first of his videos, Kamal Fernandez, a trainer in competitive obedience, tells us how to motivate our dog. Brenda Aloff is also on hand to show us how to enable our dog to feel comfortable with us being the one in control, especially useful if your dog is nervous or reactive.

We have another video on carting, this time on the training process, and in another video, little Skyler has her first tracking lesson.  We also have another of our product videos, this time looking at the Green Feeder.

Finally, we begin a new series which takes an in depth look at The Kennel Club where we find that a lot more goes on than we might realise.