Author Archives: Zerobites Dog Training

About Zerobites Dog Training

I am a Dog Trainer & Behaviourist. I train in Woodville and Ashhurst, Palmerston North. I hold dog training classes, on a monthly basis, in Ashhurst. Private training is also available. I can help you with your dogs behaviour problems, including aggression. I am also a photographer and my main interests are in Wildlife, Nature and Pet Photography

Travelling with Dogs: Hot Days, Cool Dogs

Travelling with Dogs: Hot Days, Cool Dogs

Most of you will have heard by now about the new animal welfare regulations that came into force this month (Oct 2018) regarding people who leave dogs in hot cars. People can be now fined up to $300 for leaving their dog in a vehicle, on a hot day.

Dogs, don’t sweat, they rely mostly on their respiratory tract to keep themselves cool. (panting) Dogs such as Bullmastiffs, Pugs, Bulldogs and the like find it even harder. If you haven’t read the article click on the link below:

People who leave dogs in hot cars to face up to $300 fine

Many children and dogs die each year from being left alone in vehicles. Unfortunately, these deaths are very preventable.

I think everyone should read this article, I found on Bark Post written by Dr Katy Nelson

Here’s Exactly What Happens To The Body Of A Dog Left In A Hot Car

So if it is a very hot day it would be a good idea to leave your dog at home, with plenty of water and shade.

If you need or have to take your dog with you and depending on what travel set up you have, (not everyone has the same) I personally have a crate in the back of my ute. Holly has her bed, blanket and full water bowl in there and the side windows are open. If  I have to leave her in my vehicle, I switch on the portable fan and depending where I am parked and how long I am going to be, I throw a reflective cover (sun shade) over the ute canopy and attach it, with tie downs.

Here are a few things you can do, to keep your dog cool.

  • Take plenty of water with you, a bowl or bottle, whatever your dog likes to drink out of. Along with a couple of towels (microfiber are good but any towel will do)
  • Cool mats are also a good option to take with you, there are different sizes available. (also good for humans too)
  • Drive with your windows cracked, not all the way down or use your vehicle’s air con.
  • Depending where you are travelling to, stop every hour or so and let your dog out for a pit stop and a walk around. Keep an eye on your dog, for signs of distress and over heating, (Heatstroke).
  • If you have to leave your dog alone in your vehicle, park somewhere in the shade if no shade is available, here some options for keeping your dog cool in your vehicle, whether in the shade or not.
  • 1. Portable fan, there are a variety of battery/rechargeable fans available. You may have to train your dog to get used to the fan. (with the windows cracked open it will help with air flow as well).
  • 2. Keep the windows cracked but not enough so your dog can try and jump out. Also remember there are a lot of idiots out there, who have no sense and when they see a dog and may try to put their hand through the window, to pat your dog. Its a Dog bite waiting to happen. Some may think, “too bad if they get bitten, its their fault,” which it is but think about your dog.
  • 3. Put the cool mat on the seat if you have one or a damp towel will do fine. Not a great idea, if your dog is a chewer. A bit of training may be need, here as well.
  • 4. Leave some water, not too much, again training maybe needed to get your dog used to having water, on tap. There are a variety of bottles available you can teach your dog to drink from. There are also a lot of car storage accessories, drink holders and the like that can be modified, for this use also.
  • 5. Sun shades, many of us put our sun shades on the inside of the vehicle and while they may reduce the temperature slightly and keep the dash from getting too hot. They don’t reduce the temperature enough, when placed on the inside of a vehicles windscreen.  It is better to place the sun shades on the outside of the windscreen as they will reflect the sun and heat away, before it hits the screen.
  • 6. Now you can go one step further and put an reflective tarp or aluminet over the roof of your vehicle. Sun shades shouldn’t be pulled and attached too tightly because there needs to be, some air flow.
  • If you are worried someone may steal your sun shades, you can always go the cheap DIY route, grab 3-4 windscreen shades and duct tape them together, to make one large sun shade, then tie them down with bungy cords or the like.

Lastly, keep all of your gear for your dog, permanently in your vehicle, if you use some water, fill the container up, if you need to recharge or replace batteries, do so then put them back in your vehicle. By doing this, you will not forget anything, on your next trip.

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Posted by on October 15, 2018 in About


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Dog Training Classes, Ashhurst Palmerston North start Sunday 28th October @ 1.30pm, min class size 4, max size 6, means more time spent with you and your dog. “Book Now” to secure your place.

Dog Training Classes, Ashhurst Palmerston North start Sunday 28th October @ 1.30pm, min class size 4, max size 6, means more time spent with you and your dog. “Book Now” to secure your place.

Dog Training Classes with an expert dog trainer and behaviorist The course is very comprehensive and unlike others, covers more than just dog obedience & dog behaviour.

Small classes max no 6, Min 4, so you will learn more and I can spend more time with you and your dog. unlike some of the larger classes.

To secure your place, Book Now! Start: Ashhurst Domain, Palmerston North, Sunday 28th October 2018@ 1.30pm. Suitable for dogs of all ages.

Classes are kept, as age appropriate as possible. I will teach you how to handle your dog in real life situations.

The course teaches you: How to Effectively communicate With Your Dog & How Dogs Communicate With Each Other. Commands: Sit, Stay, Recall, Down, Social Walking (loose lead/heel) Stand, Leave It (visit Turid Rugaas link on this blog to gain a better insight on how dogs communicate, with each other). Covers Minor Behaviour’s Such As: Jumping Up, Digging Holes, Pulling On The Lead etc

My aim is to also promote dog safety & awareness so this class also covers: How to socialize your dog, the right way. Basic dog behaviour & safety around dogs & people/Dog bite prevention, Responsible Dog Ownership/Dog Control Act, Introduction to Canine Parkour (Urban Agility).

All dogs must be fully vaccinated.

Making a dog safety difference in 2018, most dog bites are preventable. It would be great if we could all in a small way help, turn the tide and try to reduce, through education, the number dog bites/ dog attacks in NZ.

Hopefully along the way, prevent someone from getting bitten and save a few dogs, a one way trip to the vet.

Course cost: $110 (FAQ sheets included) runs for 4 weeks (4 x 1 hour sessions) For more information visit:  or fill out the form below. Payment to be made, prior to commencement of class.


Posted by on October 13, 2018 in About


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Your puppy needs to be fully vaccinated, before attending class. What does this mean?

Your puppy needs to be fully vaccinated, before attending class. What does this mean?

I am not going to go into the pros & cons of vaccinating your dog and what it entails, as there is plenty of information out there (do your research) and if you are not sure about something, ask your vet.

I train dogs in the Ashhurst Domain, the Domain is open to the public 24/7 as are many other parks and reserves. It is also a high traffic area, meaning people, dogs, (vaccinated or not) vehicles etc, can come and go as they please.

In other words it is not a controlled environment. So the risk, of your, not fully vaccinated puppy contracting something, is greater.

If you do decide to take your puppy out, it may or may not contract something but that is the risk you take and the choice, you make.

What does fully vaccinated mean? it means by the time your puppy reaches 14 – 16 weeks of age, it should have had, all its shots and be fully vaccinated. Of course, as with anything, there are exceptions.

Now I hear you say, what about socialising, or my puppy is doing this and that, what do I do?

Well if you know someone who has a fully vaccinated dog and the dog, is mellow and chilled, you could introduce your puppy to him/her OR you could attend a puppy pre-school, where you will find puppies of similar ages, up to 4 months.

Puppy pre-schools are often run by your local vet but look around and see what is available in your area.  These classes are held in a “controlled environment” and the puppies your puppy will meet, will be at various stages, on their vaccination schedule.

I hope the above has helped clear up any confusion some people may have had, regarding the term “Fully Vaccinated” and what it means.  Many obedience classes, boarding kennels and the like, require dogs to be fully vaccinated.

Are puppy classes enough?  There are no quick fixes when it comes to training your dog

A poem from an untrained puppy  Socializing your dog

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Posted by on October 5, 2018 in About


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Smart Dogs, Committed Owners

Smart Dogs, Committed Owners

I often see on social media and the like, articles and videos portraying dogs, doing incredible things. Whether it be in some canine sport, obedience or tricks, the list is endless.

Many comments, of admiration and praise are left by people who are impressed by the dogs achievements and rightly so.

What is not often mentioned, is the dedicated time and commitment these dog owners have put in, many on a daily basis. The ups and down they have had along the way, its not all smooth sailing.

Patience, time, dedication, understanding, commitment, routine, failure, repetition plus great sense of humour, all have a part to play.

So next time you view a video or read an article, take moment to think and maybe praise the owner as well, after all, it takes two.

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Posted by on August 30, 2018 in About


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Puppy Training Classes, Are They Enough? To be honest, no they are not.

Puppy Training Classes, Are They Enough? To be honest, no they are not.

A poem from an untrained pup
Click on the image to enlarge and read “A poem from an untrained puppy”

Puppy training classes, are they enough? To be honest, no they are not.

Puppy training classes can be a great start to socializing and training your dog, if run correctly but that is all they are, just a start.

They do not prepare the owner for the problem behaviours that often occur in the “teenage period” which usually starts around the 6-7 month mark and can continue until the dog is 15-20 months old, this time frame can vary depending on the dog.

Usually classes are run for four weeks and only take dogs up to 4 months of age. They cover the basics in behaviour and training but very few, cover anything in-depth. Most do not teach, you the owner, good leadership skills, in other words, what you need to know and do, to utimately have a well rounded obedient dog, who is a joy to have around. After all there is more to learn than just “sit and stay”.

Young dogs are quite pliable and can be easy to teach, owners often say to me “he is such a good boy/girl, does everything I tell him/her” but four weeks of puppy training is not enough to instill basic training in a dogs mind.

I often chat to frustrated owners who are having problems with their dog. They tell me, they took their dog along to puppy training class but for whatever reason, chose not to continue on with any form training.

Which is not good for them or their dog because more often than not owners become angry and frustrated, which can and does make matters worse.

That is why its is important to continue on with obedience training classes.

A good training class should cover obedience & behaviour problems along with many other issues, in more depth. They should teach you how to handle your dog in the real world. In other words, Good leadership and communication skills are the key. After all, like I said before, there is more to be taught than just “Sit and Stay” Classes should give you a good grounding and help set you up for life.

Below is a very good article on why you should continue you and your dogs education by taking your dog to classes.

Why should I take my dog to training classes?

I run classes on a monthly basis, If you and your dog would to join one of my classes, please contact me or visit my website or see the class information on this blog for details.

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Posted by on March 23, 2018 in About


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I don’t have Facebook on my phone.

I don’t have Facebook on my phone.

I thought I would mention and I know it maybe hard to believe but I choose not to have Facebook or messenger on my phone, as I personally, don’t want to be connected, all the time.

So if you leave me a message on Facebook and wonder why I have not replied, it is not that I am being rude by not replying, it is just that I won’t see it, until I switch on my laptop and check my messages, both morning and night.

So, if anyone needs to contact me,  either phone or text, maybe the way to go for some, text being my preferred option, as I always have my phone with me and do check it, regularly.

My contact details can be found under the “About” tab on ZeroBites Dog Training Facebook page.

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Posted by on March 21, 2018 in About


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Chasing Waves

Chasing Waves

These two boys were having a great time chasing waves. Click on the Brightchic Photography original post link below, to see more photos.


Elayne Hand, Brightchic Photography

I saw these dogs at the beach, they were waiting for the waves to come in then, they would run and chase them. Fun was the name of the game.

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Posted by on January 20, 2018 in About

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