Tag Archives: pet dogs

What do you think: Dog training guarantee, a realistic expectation or not?

What do you think: Dog training guarantee, a realistic expectation or not?

The one question I seem to be getting asked a lot lately is:

Do you offer a performance guarantee?

Answer: Sorry no, I do not. When it comes to dog training, there are too many variables, I have no control of, to offer any kind of guarantee.

Dog training is all about me teaching you how to handle/communicate and train your dog. Your dog may listen to me but your dog isn’t my dog, you have to do the work.  I can only advise, guide & show, I can’t make you listen and take note of my advice or suggestions. Neither can I make you work and spend time with your dog as required, on a daily basis.

Although, I can ask you to let me know, if something I have shown you, isn’t working for you, I can’t rely on you telling me. Dog training is about commitment,  there are no quick fixes when it comes to training your dog.

Trades people such as plumbers, mechanics etc, may guarantee their work and guarantee’s apply on most consumer  goods, eg cars, TV’s, fridge/freezers and the like.

Some dog trainers may offer a guarantee, it may or may not be just a gimmick, to increase their client base.

As with any written guarantee, you need to read the fine print, re conditions that can make a guarantee null & void.

Sometimes in life, you meet people you just don’t get on with and dog trainers are no exception and that is ok. If you are not happy with your dog trainer, say so and leave and find a trainer, who is a better fit for you.

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Posted by on January 17, 2019 in About


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Lets get real, Is the dog really to blame?

Lets get real, Is the dog really to blame?

Well, I feel like I am a broken record saying the same thing over and over again, when it comes to Dog Safety and how to stay safe around dogs.

The reported dog attacks over the last few weeks here in NZ, are certainly a cause for concern but are the dogs really to blame? Easier to blame the dog than the owner or the person who was supposed to be supervising because they can’t stand up for themselves and tell their side of the story.  Dogs don’t just bite, most bites are the caused by inappropriate behaviour by adults and children   as well as people not seeing and reading the dogs warning signs. All too often the dog pays the price, with its life.

77% of dog bites come from the family dog or a friends dog and a good percentage of the victims are children. Many, not all, of these bites stem from inappropriate greetings and play as well as, dogs being generally put in, bad situations

While it may be good the media report and highlight these instances they fuel the fire but we “the public” very rarely get to hear the full story.

In my opinion, there are 3 things which have greatly contributed to the rise in dog bites/attacks over the last few years in both children and adults. 77% of dog bites come from the family dog or a friends dog and a good percentage of the victims are children. Many, not all, of these bites result from inappropriate greetings and play.

1. Human Complacency.

People feel too comfortable & secure and don’t see or are unaware/oblivious to the potential dangers living with a dog can bring. Dogs have been put on a pedestal, too much is expected of them. They have to act and behave and be good dogs, in any given situation. As if humans would do the same, if the roles were reversed. Dogs are not human they don’t think the same as we do, they need to be treated with respect and understanding. After all we are living with an animal that can move faster than us in everyway, who has teeth that can do a lot of damage and in many cases is stronger than us.  If I were not talking about a dog but another animal, say a Tiger, Horse or even a Cat, would people be so complacent?

2.  A she’ll-be-right attitude, which is quite self explanatory

3. People looking but not seeing.

Lack of supervision, supervision for many  these days means taking a quick glance around at what the dog, kids or other adults are doing while chatting on the phone. working on the computer, having coffee with friends maybe even in another room, going for a walk with your dog and not paying attention to what is going on around you. The list is endless. If you can’t be watching 100% of the time, its quite easy to remove the dog or person/people from the situation, and if you are out walking, leash your dog.

By looking and not seeing, you are not seeing if your dog is, being teased, harassed, bullied or is or is frightened, stressed or distressed. All animals talk to us including dogs, (via body language) if we choose to watch and listen. As humans, we won’t tolerate being teased, harassed or bullied, so why should dogs?  As humans, we may feel frightened, stressed or distressed at times and what do we do?   We seek help, comfort, support, so why not help, comfort and support, dogs. After all they are supposed to be mans best friend, so dog owners need to become educators  so they can teach others including non dog owners, how to act, behave and communicate, when in the company of their dog or anyone else’s.

So what do dogs need from us? they need love, boundaries, rules, guidance, protection, consistency and a safe place to call their own, a place they can go, to have a break, from kids, you, your friends, other dogs and to just chill. They need time spent with them on a daily basis. They need you to understand them and stand up for them, when they are unhappy, stressed, frightened or are being teased, harassed or bullied. They need you to look and see and not to be complacent, and not to be afraid to say NO to that child or adult or even another dog & owner, if their behaviour is unacceptable. Remember, dog owners its ok to say “NO”

Always remember, its your dog, your house, your rules and when you are out its your dog your rules.

These days there is a lot of information about dog safety out there and there is no real reason why people should not be, well informed. I often hear “my dog is good with kids” (maybe be good with your kids but not someone else’s) “my dog won’t bite”(any dog will bite given the right set of circumstances) “my dog is a good dog” even good dogs bite if they are teased, hit, abused or put in a bad situation.

I personally hand out dog safety information along with the training FAQ sheets to all my clients. If they are new expectant parents I cover that also. I find myself now teaching people how to protect themselves when they are out walking, with or without their dog, from unwanted attention from off leash dogs, which in reality, I shouldn’t have to  be doing.

If we want to turn the tide and reduce the number of dog bites/attacks maybe its time that all dog trainers/behaviourists, training clubs, vets who run puppy schools, private trainers, SPCA, Rescues, Schools and Plunket get on board and provide basic dog safety information to their clients, children and parents. All people, (children & adults)) whether they are dog owners or not, need to know how to act and behave when in the company of dogs. All dogs speak to us, if we choose to watch and listen.

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Posted by on May 9, 2016 in About


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“Hi Its’s ok I am Friendly”, the stranger said, as he ran up to you, with his arms wide open, ready to hug you. How would that make you feel?

“Hi Its’s ok I am Friendly”, the stranger said, as he ran up to you, with his arms wide open, ready to hug you. How would that make you feel?

Dogs need space, same as we do, Imagine if a total stranger were to come running up to you shouting “Hi its ok, I am friendly” then proceeded to try and hug you, invading your personal space, how would it make you feel?, would you feel threatened, frightened, scared or uncomfortable? What would you do? Try to move away, tell that person to back-off and if they didn’t, maybe lash out. You would consider that person to have no manners or respect. In other words unacceptable behaviour.

Dogs are no different, they need their our own space too. Yet many dogs have to put up with that kind of behaviour from other dogs, on a daily basis, who’s owners think its ok, to let their dog barge right on up, while shouting “Its ok my dog is friendly” without asking, if its ok to do so.

Its all about manners and respect, we as humans expect to be shown some manners and respect and dogs are no different.


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Posted by on February 1, 2016 in About


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Going away over the Christmas Holidays? Now is the time to start thinking about the needs of your dog. Boarding Kennel Stress in Dogs: Things owners need to know!

Going away over the Christmas Holidays? Now is the time to start thinking about the needs of your dog. Boarding Kennel Stress in Dogs: Things owners need to know!

With Christmas just a few months away, many people will be taking a holiday break and maybe going away. Now is the time to start thinking about your pets and who is going to look after them, if they can’t go with you. Dogs can and do get stressed, so if you are planning to leave your pets in a boarding facility, now is the time, to start looking around.

If your pets have never been boarded before, day stays and day/night stays are recommended and should really, be started now. Boarding kennel stress is real! Dogs become stressed the same as you and I and putting your dog into a boarding kennels, can be very stressful for them.

Imagine taking a young child to a strange place and leaving it with people it doesn’t know. The child will more often than not, become distressed and upset. The same thing, can and does happen to dogs.

I hope the enclosed link: Titled “Boarding Kennel Stress in Dogs: Things owners need to know!” will help and inform dog owners, so everyone including your pets, will have a stress free holiday.


Posted by on September 3, 2015 in About


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Fake animal control officer grabs dog

Fake animal control officer grabs dog

This has just been reported on Stuff, so keep an eye on your dogs, make sure they are secure.

Fake animal control officer grabs dog

also read: dated 11 Dec 2014

Posh dog snatcher on loose 


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Posted by on January 30, 2015 in About


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Dogs, Wildlife and Human Complacency

Dogs, Wildlife and Human Complacency




All wildlife should be treated with respect as it is a privilege to see any wildlife, in its natural environment. Dog owners, who choose to take their dog with them on trips or outings, should have total control of their dog, at all times. The Dog Control Act  still applies. Dog owners are required by law to use or carry a leash in public .

Although there are many responsible dog owners, there are many more who are not. Dog owners, with little or no control of their dogs are a meance. While some are just simply complacent, others just don’t seem to care.

I personally enjoy visiting new places and seeing new and interesting things but would I take my dog to every place I plan to visit, the straight answer, is NO. A bit of common sense is needed here. Depending where you are going, it may be best, to leave your dog at home.

I visited Cape Palliser and Lake Ferry yesterday. Cape Palliser  is in Wairarapa region of the North Island, New Zealand. One of the main features  of the Cape, is the permanent Fur Seal Colony. Like all wildlife, they should be treated with respect as it is a privilege for anyone to get a glimpse of these animals, in their natural environment. They may look “cute” lying on the rocks or swimming in the sea but they have the potential to harm you but what is worse, you and your dog, have the potential to harm them.

So this where common sense comes into play, did I take my dog with me, no I did not. Why? you may well ask,

1. it was a hot day

2. My dog could distress the seals and potentially something bad could happen

3. I can’t take photos and watch my dog at the same time

4. Having to keep an eye on my dog (even on a leash) and the seals, would stress me out.

I must admit I have a soft spot for Fur Seals and visit them as often as I can, like any animal they communicate via body language plus these guys are quite vocal. Contary to popular belief they can move quickly on land if they have to, If confronted they will try and get away if they can’t, you need to be able to get out of their way.

On the way back from the main colony, I saw these people from the road, what caught my eye was the off leash dog, hence the reason for writing this article..

1. The dog was unleashed and chasing the seal, the seal was trying to get out of the way

2. There were a couple of seals behind and off to the side, they could have attacked these people.

3. It was clear, either the people were unaware of the dangers or didn’t care.

4. As for the dog being off leash, no excuses there.

So be aware of your surroundings when you are out and about, Whether it be a Wetland, Beach, Bush or Park, all wildlife have the right to live and be there. Checkout the  Doc dog walking finder also to find places to walk your dog, Also some conservation area,  do not allow dogs.

If you see an out of control dog,  take photos, call DOC or animal control.

Also read “When is a dog park, not a dog park? When its a public Park or Reserve

Here are a few photos I took yesterday of the Fur Seals.




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Posted by on January 22, 2015 in About


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The First Annual Dog Awareness Family Fun Day Horowhenua/Manawatu, Sunday 22nd February 2015

Holben/TeWharangi Reserve, Foxton Beach Horowhenua

Gold Coin Donation

HAVEN Animal support services Palmy-Wellington and Pretty Pitties and Other Mischief Makers are proud to present you with the two regions First Annual Dog Awareness Family Fun Day :). The aim of the day is to raise funds for both non profit organizations, whilst providing a family filled fun day, where you learn about our breed of the year and new things to do with your dog!
Our breed of the year is: Pit Bulls! Any breed of dog is welcome at this event, if the owners follow our simple safety rules :). (Rules at bottom)There will be stalls of all kinds doggy minded things!
Bouncy Castles for the kids!
Canine Parkour Demo!
Pit Bull a Tail of a Breed of Dog Presentation!
Sausage Sizzle!
Fun Dog Comps!
Special Guest: Hazel the Pit Bull and her family!
And much much more!

•All dogs must be on non retractable leads

•Dogs must comply Council and national dog Bylaws.

•Female dogs in any state of heat will not be admitted.

•Protect your dog by bringing a water bowl and bottle for yourself.

•When giving treats do so in a way that does not inadvertently cause fights or altercations between dogs.

•Be sure to bring a clean up bag, you will be responsible for cleaning up after your dog.

•Remember, it’s rain or shine, and often does both. Dress appropriately and watch out for dehydration in you and your pooch.

•Kids under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

•Maximum of two (2) dogs per adult human.

•Aggressive dogs will not be admitted.

•NO dogs left in Cars!!!

•Please respect and be considerate of others and dogs-don’t assume we do everything the same or have the same temperaments.

•This is a positive, informative family event any anti social or upsetting behavior will be dealt with accordingly.

•No Alcohol, Smoking or Drugs NO EXCEPTIONS

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Posted by on October 27, 2014 in About


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Springer Spaniel: Who’s cool and loves the camera. Photo Shoot 29/1/14

Springer Spaniel: Who’s cool and loves the camera. Photo Shoot 29/1/14

Here are a few photos from a photo shoot I did this morning, this boy loves the camera, he really hams it up.

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Posted by on January 29, 2014 in About


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Koolhound Dog Boarding Kennels. Just a few photos of the dogs I have had staying with me in June & July 2013

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Posted by on August 2, 2013 in About


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