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What About Fostering A Pandemic Puppy?



We’re certainly living in strange and uncertain times, and you are definitely to be forgiven if you’ve been feeling anxious, stressed and overwhelmed - and rather powerless, as well.


But there is something you can do at the moment that could really help give your mental and emotional health and wellbeing a real boost right now, and that’s adopt a little puppy or a shelter dog, something that needs a good home and lots of tender loving care.


Being in lockdown is hard for us all, whether you’re in solo isolation away from friends and family, or whether you’re at home with loved ones and trying to keep each other as healthy and happy as possible.


But it’s also the perfect time to perhaps consider adopting a dog or other animal, as you’re at home all day so can give it the attention it needs to really help it thrive and flourish… and it is sure to help make you feel as though you’re doing something productive and helpful, especially if you’re not working at the moment.


You certainly won’t be alone if you decide to foster or adopt an animal in need, that’s for sure and certain. Figures from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home show that during the week starting 16th March, 86 dogs and 69 cats found their forever homes - up from the 42 dogs and 29 cats that were adopted during the same week in 2019.


Speaking to the Independent, head of operations at Battersea Rob Young said the increase is unsurprising given that people are now in self-isolation and no doubt looking for some companionship at the moment.


“As many people are preparing to spend a significant amount of time at home over the coming weeks, it is only expected that some may be thinking about the companionship a pet could offer.


“People are now having some more time to settle pets into their home, and are looking to do some good by rescuing animals who are waiting for their own home,” he explained.


Of course, it’s important to make sure that you are fully prepared to take an animal into your home and know exactly what your responsibilities are in this regard. Make sure that you prioritise dog obedience training, which may need to be done online at the moment, so you know your new family member will be well behaved and one happy pooch.


It’s also important that you’re able to afford a dog, both in terms of time and money, as vet bills can be rather costly and food and toys also don’t always come cheap. You may like to have a read of one of our recent blog posts on this topic to help you decide if a dog really is the right choice for you and your family.

Are You Ready To Get Your First Dog?



They say a dog isn’t just for Christmas, it’s for life… and this is something you need to remember all year round, Christmas or otherwise. Owning a dog is a huge undertaking and not something to be considered lightly… but if you do decide that a dog is right for you and your family, you’ll find it delivers all sorts of wonderful rewards.


Of course, there are a few points you’ll need to think about before you start speaking to breeders or visiting shelters, looking for your new family member.

First of all, you need to seriously work out if you can afford to have a dog. It can prove expensive and you’ll need to cover food, vet fees and insurance… and, of course, lots of toys!


Something else to bear in mind is whether you’re able to make a lifelong commitment to your new dog. Dogs live, on average, around 12 years or so, so factor this in when thinking about it all.


One of the biggest benefits of getting a new dog is that it can help you all lead a healthier lifestyle and it’s a brilliant way to bring the family together, as you can go on lots of lovely walks together, exploring your local countryside.


But, again, you need to be realistic about what you’re able to give your dog. Be honest with yourself and ask yourself if you really want to give a dog the daily exercise it needs?


Time is another factor to consider before you bring your new pup home. You’ll need to make sure that you’re at home for the first few weeks so your puppy can acclimatise - although some forward-thinking companies have started offering their employees paid ‘peternity’ leave so they have the time they need to look after their puppies!


Also, think about what it will be like when you go back to work. Dogs get lonely in the same way that people do, so you will always need to think about how long they’ve been left, if they suffer from separation anxiety, whether they’re constantly barking and so on.


Doggy day cares are excellent options for some dogs, while others don’t always like it - so this could be a potential issue in the future.


And then there’s dog behaviour. It’s essential that you’re able to make the time for and can afford puppy training classes, as you need to be able to have your dog completely under your control from puppy right up to old age.


YouTube is a wonderful resource and no doubt friends and family will give you all sorts of useful advice, but there’s really no substitute for bringing in a professional and experienced dog trainer to help you get the basics down.

This is also a brilliant opportunity to socialise your dog properly and he or she will soon find out just how much fun it is hanging out with other pups!


Socialisation will teach your dog all about the world and how they should react to what goes on around them - and your pet will be more likely to become an outgoing, friendly and happy dog as a result. Behavioural problems can arise if socialisation isn’t embedded, so bear this in mind as well.


Ensuring that your dog is socialised from an early age is also important because it can help get rid of any fears your pet may have about meeting strangers, reducing the chances of any negative or aggressive behaviour appearing.


The main training points that all dogs should learn and develop are covered in classes of this kind, such as tricks like sit and stay, appropriate behaviour when out on a walk, house and crate training, and so on.


It’s also a chance to train yourselves, however, and you’ll learn at the same time as your puppy, finding out all about how your dog behaves and how to deal with them properly.


We’d love to hear any puppy stories you might have. Get in touch to tell us about you and your dog!


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Three-Quarters Of All Dogs Suffer From Anxiety



A new study has shown that the quarters of all dogs suffer from an anxiety disorder, and some even mirror conditions their owners have, like OCD and ADHD, according to The Guardian


The study into canine mental health from the University of Helsinki had owners of almost 14,000 dogs send surveys to the Finnish researchers. It was found that 73 per cent displayed some form of anxiety disorder along with related anti-social behaviours such as barking and aggression.


Loud noises, such as fireworks and thunder, were the biggest causes of stress for dogs, but they were also affected by other dogs and even people. There are differences between breeds; for example, Lagotto Romagnolos are most likely to fear thunder while Spanish Water Dogs are most likely to fear strangers.


The study into dog mental health is the largest of its kind in the world and has found dogs can develop similar personality issues to humans. Sometimes these traits are developing in tandem, with the dog and owner showing signs at around the same time.


Doctoral candidate and author of the study, Milla Salonen at the University of Helsinki said: “As in dogs, so in humans. This was new and surprising. We discovered an interesting connection between impulsiveness, compulsive behaviour and separation anxiety. In humans, OCD often occurs together with ADHD, but this is the first time the same has been seen in dogs.”


In total, 72.5 per cent of dogs displayed problematic behaviours, including aggression and fearfulness. Noise sensitivity was the most common anxiety. 


Fear was the second most common anxiety, found in 29 per cent of dogs.

Mental health problems are rife across all breeds of dog - with almost a third sensitive to at least one noise - and more than a quarter afraid of fireworks specifically. This was followed by a dread of other dogs - or being approached by human strangers and then a fear of surfaces and heights.


Sensitivity and fear of loud noises, especially thunder, was shown to increase with age, along with fear of heights and walking on surfaces such as metal grids or shiny floors.


The study looked at 264 different breeds of dog, with 51 per cent female, and ages between 10 weeks and 17 years and 10 months.


Younger dogs were more prone to damaging items or urinating when left alone, as well as being likelier to be inattentive, hyperactive, or impulsive. Younger dogs also seem to chase their tails more.


Male dogs tended to be more aggressive, hyperactive, or impulsive, while females were more likely to be fearful when suffering from anxiety.


Although all showed some anxiety, differences were identified between breeds.

Participants were asked about the prevalence of seven different characteristics in dogs, which included sensitivity to sound, fear of other humans, dogs and unfamiliar locations, fear of various surfaces and heights, lack of concentration and impulsive behaviour, aggression, and separation anxiety.


Lagotto Romano, Wheaten Terrier and mixes of the two breeds with other dogs were the most noise-sensitive. On the other hand, Spanish Water Dogs, Shetland Dogs and mixed breeds were the most fearful, the authors discovered. One in nine Miniature Schnauzers were aggressive towards strangers, compared to fewer than one in 250 Labrador Retrievers.


The work aims to boost canine welfare, to boost the quality of life of not only dogs but their owners too. If you’re looking for a dog behaviouralist in Southhampton, then contact us today.



Gifts Dogs Will Love This Valentine’s Day



Traditionally, Valentine’s Day is for loved-up couples, who want to shower each other with pink roses and chocolates to show how in love they are. However, over the years, it has been adopted by pet owners, who can’t help but spoil their pooches on February 14th.


Here are some suggestions on what you can give your dog this Valentine’s Day that they will both love and benefit from.


1) Puppy training classes

One of the best gifts for your furry friend has to be puppy training classes in Southampton. It might not be a chewy toy or a tasty treat, but being well-trained will give them security and confidence for the rest of their lives.


Once they have completed the course, they will be able to behave well when walking with a lead, which means they can enjoy strolls outside. They will be able to play and run with people and other dogs, so they can socialise easily.


They will respond to commands that might prevent an injury, ensuring they remain safe and healthy at all times. They will also learn good behaviour when it comes to grooming, bathing, approaching and treating other humans, and leaving objects. This will ensure they can have a happy, relaxed fun life, without constantly being told off.


2) Dog drying coat

There are a plethora of dog accessories available on the market these days, but something your pooch will certainly appreciate during these cold winter months is a dog drying coat. After a soggy walk in the rain and mud, you can put a Ruff and Tumble wrap around them to quickly dry them off so they can warm up easily.


3) Paw pad balm

We all know how important lip balm is to humans during the frosty weather, preventing them from getting cracked and sore. Well, now you can treat your dog to a paw pad balm for much the same reason.


This stops their paw pads from drying and splitting by moisturising it. Now your mutts can enjoy long wintry walks without you worrying about them getting sore paws.


4) Dental treats

If you want to give your dog a tasty Valentine’s treat, why not make it one that improves their oral hygiene as well? Dental treats help to clean dogs’ mouths, making their breath smell better while tasting as yummy as other treats.


5) Dog water bottle

Something dogs will appreciate on those long walks – particularly when the weather begins to improve – is a travel water bottle.


Instead of having to bring a separate water bottle and bowl, Highwave’s mini auto dog mug allows you to fill up a bowl that is attached to the top of the bottle when it is squeezed. This makes it easier to quench their thirst wherever you are on the walk, while also preventing unnecessary spillages.


6) Warm blanket

A cosy blanket is a lovely idea for your pet, whether you use it in their beds or to keep them warm in the car. It is ideal for the winter months when the weather can be particularly frosty, helping them to warm up from icy walks.

As it’s Valentine’s Day, you could choose a fleecy blanket with a heart shape on it, or even a personalised one with your dog’s name. 


The Dog Who Can Detect Great Crested Newts!



The UK’s dog detective force received a very serious boost last week (Jan 20th), with Rocky the sniffer dog finally accepted into the ranks after 18 months of serious dog training sessions.


According to the Rhyl Journal, Rocky is in fact the first great crested newt detection dog in the world, part of the team of conservation dogs at Wagtail UK in North Wales.


Rocky passed all his tests with flying colours and can now spend his days helping to find great crested newts, a European protected species. The newts themselves, their breeding sites, eggs and resting places are all protected by law - but the creatures can be very elusive and difficult to find. Enter Rocky!

He indicates the presence of a newt by sitting or standing and staring to alert his handlers… all without touching them in any way. Rocky has also been trained to ignore frogs and smooth newts.


Managing director at Wagtail UK Collin Singer explained: “This work highlights the innovative manner in which dogs can be used in conservation and to assist with ecological surveys. Four years of research, painstaking trial and error, and now success has produced a brand new innovative method of detection dog training.”


If you think your dog could take a little bit of a leaf out of Rocky’s book and really knuckle down with their training, get in touch with us here at 101 Dog Solutions to see how we can help.


This can be for anything from pulling on the lead and mouthing to more serious concerns like barking, separation anxiety, phobias and so on. 

Why Puppy Training Is Important



There’s nothing more exciting than bringing your new puppy home for the first time! It won’t take long for your new pooch to find their feet and grow in confidence, and soon you won’t be able to remember what life was like before they came to their furever home.


However, it’s important that your new pup knows its place in the social hierarchy of your house - and the best way to go about doing this and establishing firm boundaries of behaviour at home is to go for puppy training.

Remember that dogs are pack animals and they’ll look to you as the head of the pack for guidance on how to behave… so we need to make sure that we’re teaching them properly, ensuring that they’re well socialised and trained appropriately. 


They have to know what the rules are in order to follow them!


Being able to control your dog easily is one of the biggest benefits to classes, as you won’t have to worry when you’re out walking them if you’re confident that they’ll obey immediately. This also means you can enjoy a better relationship with your dog, as well.


Dogs also typically enjoy learning, so you’re not only training them up to be the obedient pooch you want but you’re also spending quality time with them as far as they’re concerned, providing them with stimulation, fun, exercise and your company.


Proper training also means you’re preventing the chances of bad behaviour surfacing later down the line, whether that’s snapping at other dogs, incessant barking, separation anxiety and so on. Puppy classes can really make a huge difference to both your life and that of your dog’s.


Take a look at this blind and deaf dog learning tricks through touch… impressive!