www.naturallyhappydogs.com - The online dog video magazine

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.