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Singing Dog Makes A Comeback!




We’re used to thinking of our dogs as our furry friends. Our loyal, playful, trusty companions. A man’s best friend.


But let’s not forget that there’s a world out there for the ‘show dog’, too. A world that goes from Crufts (“The World’s Greatest Dog Show”) to the performing pups on the likes of Britain’s Got Talent, where the nation tunes in to watch dogs jumping through hoops, performing dance routines and singing showtunes. We know it’s a bit of fun, but we didn’t think singing dogs was an actual thing...


But an ancient breed of singing dog that has a “wolf howl with overtones of a whale song” has dramatically re-emerged onto the Indonesian stage after being believed to be extinct for a whopping 50 years.


It’s called the New Guinea Singing Dog (NGSD) and was first studied way back in 1897, when it became known for its unique and characteristic vocalisation, described by experts as a “wolf howl with overtones of whale song.”


There are currently no more than 300 living in conservation centres, but they have not been seen in the wild since the 1970s, and these pups have lost much of their genetic makeup due to extensive inbreeding. As a result, researchers have long thought that the New Guinea Singing Dog had been wiped out due to this, and due to its loss of natural habitat.


Elaine Ostrander, Ph.D., NIH Distinguished Investigator and senior author of the paper, said: “The New Guinea singing dog that we know of today is a breed that was basically created by people.”


However, that all changed in 2016 when a team from the University of Papua travelled to Puncak Jaya, a mountain summit in Papua, Indonesia where they spotted 15 Highland Wild Dogs near the largest gold mine in the world that looked very similar to the NGSD.


The university team took more than 140 photographs of the wild dogs, documenting the rich and diverse features of the dogs, which range in colour from cream, ginger, and roan, to black with white markings and darker roan or black with tricolour patterning.


The photographs also revealed the presence of adults of both sexes, pregnant females, and pups ranging in age from about three to five months.

In 2018, the team from the University of Papua returned to the mountain summit and collected blood samples from three of the dogs, as well as demographic, physiological and behavioural data.


“We found that New Guinea Singing Dogs and the Highland Wild Dogs have very similar genome sequences, much closer to each other than to any other canine known,” said Heidi Parker, Ph.D., who led the genomic analyses.


“In the tree of life, this makes them much more related to each other than modern breeds such as German shepherd or bassett hound,” she said.


The team stated that the Highland Wild Dogs have genome sequences that New Guinea Signing Dogs lost while in captivity, meaning that this could be the original New Guinea Singing Dog of days gone by.


This is amazing news, as the team believe that breading the old and new dogs will help create a true New Guinea Singing Dogs population, while also being able to help preserve the original breed by expanding the numbers of New Guinea singing dogs.


“By getting to know these ancient, proto-dogs more, we will learn new facts about modern dog breeds and the history of dog domestication,” Dr. Ostrander said. “After all, so much of what we learn about dogs reflects back on humans.”


This will surely change the face of Britain’s Got Talent for the better…! If you’re looking for puppy training in Hampshire, get in touch with us today

Top 5 Best Dogs for Puppy Training Classes




One of the most wonderful and beautiful aspects puppy training is the huge variety of dogs you see. Unlike any other pet, dogs literally do come in all shapes and sizes, and every single one of these breeds has their own special needs and wants out of life. Understanding what makes each and every dog tick is both a vital and incredibly rewarding part of puppy training classes in Southampton.


However, for someone who wants to bring a dog into their family but is a novice, it can sometimes be daunting to see what dog breed is right for you. Whilst every dog’s needs and complexities are unique, here are five dog breeds best suited to novice owners and more receptive to dog training.


Poodle

Poodles are an exceptionally popular breed for a lot of reasons, mostly relating to their really pretty and fluffy coats. However, the more important thing about Poodles is that they aim to please their owners, and as such they pick up training cues exceptionally quickly. Their even-temper and naturally friendly nature make them ideal to be around children.


Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers really enjoy dog training. They love learning, are dedicated to their owners and are so very affectionate and eager to please. Because of this, and because they are very forgiving if an owner accidentally messes up or makes a mistake, Golden Retrievers are some of the most beloved dogs and some of the easiest students.


Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are bundles of love and excitement. They just want to make their owners happy and become easy to train simply because of how sweet they are and how much fun they have simply learning. It’s a small wonder then that the Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world.


Collie

Whilst many dog breeds are easy to train because they are just so willing to help, Collies are incredibly easy to train because they are among the smartest dog breeds out there. As herding dogs, they are independent by nature yet highly sensitive to the needs of their owners. As well as this, whilst many dogs are huge bundles of energy, Collies tend to be more relaxed and easier for a novice owner to keep up with.


German Shepherd

So long as they have a job and a purpose, German Shepherd dogs can do basically anything and enjoys training a great deal. Enjoying training exercises is a huge factor in whether a dog is easy to train and own, and the intelligence of the German Shepherd breed can make them not only easy to train for jobs, but also exceptionally rewarding.


The golden rule when owning and training a dog is the case no matter the breed; if you treat a dog with care and attention, you will get that care and attention back. Our puppy training classes in Southampton as well as will help to give you a head start as an owner.

Which Dog Breeds Are Now The Most Popular?





Over lockdown, many people decided to use their time wisely and foster or adopt a new pet - a great idea, given how much time we all had to spend at home. 


What better way to give back and to put smiles on everyone’s faces once again than to bring a new family member into the fold, after all?


And it’s certainly interesting to see what kind of knock-on effect the pandemic has had in terms of which breeds are proving most popular at the moment.


Analysis from Propellernet and Gocompare shows that search term ‘buying a puppy’ has risen by an impressive 120 per cent over the last few months - and dog prices have also been on the climb as a result.


Prices for border collies, always a popular choice of breed, have gone up from £203 to £427, so it seems that people are increasingly keen to take one of these little pups home. And who could blame them? They’re a great family dog and very easy to train, highly intelligent and eager to learn.


As for toy poodles, average prices have risen by 71 per cent and if you’re after a miniature version of a poodle you’ll set yourself back a cool £1,040… so perhaps time to start saving if this is your dream dog.


American bulldogs, smooth-haired dachshunds, French bulldogs, rottweilers, French mastiffs and German shepherds are also proving very popular at the moment, so a lot of food for thought there if you are keen to get a dog this year.


Are you looking for a dog behaviourist in Hampshire at the moment? Get in touch with 101 Dog Solutions today.

Manchester Welcomes A New Dog Cafe




Greater Manchester will soon see the opening of a huge new dog cafe for dog owners and those who love dogs, and it will even have its own dog-friendly indoor beach.


Alfie’s Island Cafe will be constructed on a 22-acre site in Timperley, six miles south of central Manchester, and comes from the owners of the former Central Bark Cafe, in nearby Wythenshawe. The new cafe is set to be based at the Manor Farm complex, and there are hopes to convert it into a community hub for dogs and their owners, reports the Manchester Evening News.


The cafe will be decorated with a tropical beach theme, including deck chairs and beach umbrellas, and visitors will be able to order from an extensive American-themed menu offering gourmet hot dogs, burgers, American pancakes, paninis and seafood while getting to meet with the rescue and daycare dogs on the site.


There is also a kids menu, and a range of smoothies, milkshakes, beers and wines, as well as a selection of baked goods and meals for dogs.


The owners of the cafe, Tony and Tania Golden have been working with Starlight Barking Trust to help bring stray dogs over from Greece, where charities and facilities to care for dogs are very few and far between. Now they are being found new forever homes in the UK.


The cafe is named after the couple’s golden retriever Alfie, who came from Greece and only responded to commands in Greek for the first few months.


Tony and Tania, originally from the USA, socialise the new rescue dogs before they get introduced to potential new owners. The dogs wear bandanas as they make themselves at home in the cafe, and interested visitors can spend some time getting to know them in a dedicated area.


The couple also offers overnight stays for dogs to support their doggy daycare service. They are keen on creating a space for daycare and overnight visiting dogs that is stress-free, allowing the dogs to play inside and out, as well as with other dogs.


"We do really look at things from a scientific side - it's not just about making a play area that looks pretty,” said Tony.


"A lot of dogs will freak out in a kind of warehouse setting, it can mess with their personality. They're so much happier here. It's a very big space with a lot of flexibility, and that's what we love about it.”


They hope to get Alfie’s Island Cafe open by the middle of July, but currently, they waiting for clearer guidance concerning the coronavirus from the government.

"A lot of people need this - they need that feel-good factor and to get away from all the torment in the world at the minute,” added Tony.


Alfie's Island Cafe will open soon at the Manor Farm Complex on Ridgeway Road in Timperley, and you can keep up with the latest updates by following their Facebook page.


If you’re looking for UK dog training solutions, then get in touch today!

Why Re-home An Elderly Dog




When people consider getting a dog, many will have the ideal scenario in their heads, often including a cute puppy running around the garden, having fun and being mischievous, and entertaining the whole family.


The demand for puppies during the lockdown has vastly increased the price, and while being home much more means it’s an ideal time to be home with your new puppy, we should never forget the older dogs too. They are wiser and calmer than puppies, but can still be very playful, and older dogs make an ideal companion for elderly people.


Why adoption?

Regardless of your preference being a puppy or an older dog, adopting from a rescue shelter or sanctuary to give them a new home is a wonderful thing to do.

There is a common misconception that animals that are given up for adoption have behavioural issues, but often it is due to a change in circumstances for the owner which means they are unable to maintain the care a dog needs.


So through no fault of their own, older dogs are left to find a forever home, which can prove difficult without the ‘cute puppy’ factor. Adopting an older dog from a charity or rehoming centre will give these very deserving good boys a loving new home, allowing them to live out their golden years in comfort and happiness.

How does an adult dog deal with a new owner?


When welcoming a new dog to your home, the key is to let him take his time. Dogs are naturally inquisitive, so it will not be long before your dog starts taking an interest in you, his new best friend. Dogs are trained to make humans the centre of their world, and while it might be traumatic for a dog if that person changes, it will learn to love again.


Adopting an older dog is a wonderful opportunity for you to welcome a new member of the family and can be an incredibly fulfilling experience while offering a pet a second chance for a happy life.


If you are looking for a dog behaviourist is Southhampton, get in touch today!

How To Reduce Post-Lockdown Separation Anxiety In Dogs



With lockdown restrictions now gradually being eased, more and more of us are returning to the world of work - which is great in one respect, but for those of us with dogs at home, the worry is that our pooches may well struggle with separation anxiety after having had us all around 24 hours a day for the last few months.


This is sure to be a concern for many out there, whether you’ve had your dog for years or whether you decided to adopt a new pup to help give a dog a home and also keep you all more entertained and busy during the pandemic.


But the good news is that there is a lot you can do to help ease your dog into their new routine if you know you’re going to be out of the house more. Anxious dogs can be quite destructive, so it’s certainly worth doing a bit of research into what you can do to help them feel more secure when you’re not around.


Signs of separation anxiety include elevated heart and breathing rates, increased activity, panting and salivating, inappropriate soiling around the house, chewing or scratching items in the house and barking or howling.


The aim is to reduce your dog’s dependency on you, which is sure to have built up over the last few months. To begin, start leaving your dog on their own for a short period and then build this up slowly over time. This will show you whether your pet is comfortable being left by themselves or if it makes them feel anxious.


This doesn’t mean you have to actually go out. You could start off very slowly by leaving your dog somewhere behind a stair gate while you carry on life as normal - just without them getting involved. Leave them with some toys so they have something to keep themselves busy with and so they can have fun if they want.


Crate training can help if you have a puppy as this gives your dog its own space where it feels safe and secure. You may also want to make sure that a few other people in your family help take care of your pet, whether that’s feeding them or taking them for walks so they’re not solely reliant on their bond with just one person.


When you do go out, you may find that leaving them with an item of worn clothing that smells of you helps them feel less anxious. Put a shirt in their bed before you leave and see how that works as a strategy.


If you’d like any further help or advice relating to separation anxiety, or any other behavioural issues, get in touch with Southampton dog behaviourist 101 Dog Solutions today. We have a series of online training videos that you may find particularly useful.

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!