Dog Blog

Why shaking a can of stones WON'T stop your dog barking & lunging at other dogs

01 June 2022

Over the last few days, I’ve had a few conversations with Pet Parents who have been told to shake or drop a can full of stones at their dog in an attempt to stop barking at other dogs.

I remember being given this ‘advice’ myself way back when I first struggled with my dog’s barking behaviour.

Surprisingly, it didn’t work to stop her barking!

In fact, it made ME more stressed!

It was something else that didn’t work, didn’t help and I ended up feeling like an even bigger failure as a Dog Mum!

Sadly, this type of ‘training advice’ (shaking or dropping a can of stones or squirting water into your dog’s face) is still given as a way of stop dogs barking.

Your dog’s barking is often an expression of their emotions; of feeling scared, frustrated, fearful or overexcited.

So scaring them with a loud noise only makes things even more confusing for your dog. It’s likely to make their barking worse because they will want to keep dogs away because they receive a scary outcome from you.

If you’ve been given this type of ‘training advice’ please know that there are much more effective and kinder ways to stop your dog barking at other dogs.

Try this instead using food treats:

1. As soon as YOU see another dog, don’t get too close or wait for dog to start barking!

2. Put a food treat right in front of your dog’s nose and guide them AWAY from the approaching dog! (Cross the street if you have to, just create lots of space between the dogs!)

3. Praise your dog! They are moving away and doing what you’re asking of them!

4. When you’ve moved away, give your dog the treat or place it on the ground so they can search for it

‘But Jo, I don’t want to use food or bribe my dog!’

I’m pretty sure you don’t want to be scaring your dog either!

So this little game is encouraging your dog to stop looking at another dog and focus on you, the treat and the ground!

Have a go at this at home right now! It only takes a few minutes!

Practice several times a day around the house & in the garden. The more you practice, the quicker your dog will become an expert at this game!

Then when you really need it, your dog will know what to do and is more likely to behave the way you want them to.

There are loads of other ways to help your dog to stop barking at other dogs, this is just one of them!

So empty the stones out of the can and put it in recycling where it belongs.

It’s time for modern, kind, reward-based dog training!

Prong Collars: Are they the solution to stop your dog lunging?

16 May 2022

When a dog is barking and lunging at people, dogs, traffic or anything else it’s so embarrassing, confusing & frustrating. 

It’s hard to know what to do. Often, we may look to buy something to stop the behaviour.

So is a Prong collar helpful?

Let’s look at things from your dog’s perspective.

Your dog’s lunging & barking behaviour is often an expression of their emotions; of feeling scared, frustrated, fearful or overexcited.

Using a prong collar isn't helping your dog feel better or more secure. It's adding Pain to their emotions. So not only will they still feel scared, frustrated, fearful and overexcited but now they also feel pain with metal prongs digging into their neck.

So what’s the solution?

In my opinion, Prong collars are not the solution to stop your dog barking & lunging! Getting to the root cause of why your dog is lunging and barking IS.

Because once we understand WHY they are behaving this way we can help them to begin to feel safer and more confident.

Then life begins to feel easier & happier for everyone!

So, when you're ready to start building a happier life with your dog, get in touch with us.

With so much dog training info around, where do you start & who do you trust?

09 Mar 2022

It’s true; all the information about training and teaching your dog is widely, and often freely, available. And that’s part of the problem! With so much information out there, how do you know what information is good or bad and who do you trust?

The dog training industry in the UK and many parts of the world is not regulated which means anyone can copy what they read in a book or what they’ve watched on TV or online and call themselves a Dog Trainer. There are different methods of training some of which are out-dated and frankly some of it is cruel! 

However, more and more modern trainers use kind training methods that have been proved scientifically to work (meaning that the results can be repeated no matter who is doing the training, so you don’t have to be a professional trainer to get the results from your dog, you just need a professional to show you these methods!)

Choosing the right professional trainer for you and your dog is a personal choice.

If you choose me, that’s fantastic and if we’re a good match, I’d be honoured to work with you and your dog. If I’m not your cup of tea, that’s great too because I want what’s best for you and your dog and if my style of training doesn’t do it for you, then continue your search to find the trainer that best suits you.

What I want you to know is that no matter who you decide to use, choosing someone who has up-to-date education, who’s a member of a respected organisation (see, who is insured and uses kind-based ethical training methods are all key indicators that you’re going to get the best training information to bring out the best in you and your dog.

If in doubt, go with your gut feeling and trust your instincts!

If you’re unsure and would like to have a chat, feel free to get in touch. 

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When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change!

08 Jan 2022

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

I came across this quote a little while after I had adopted my dog, Jasmin, and at the time I had been really struggling with her behaviour. We had been doing training from day-one and going to classes, but things just weren't improving.

I don't know where I came across this quote, but the words really struck me.

When I changed the way I was looking at it, a change would happen! This intrigued me.

Ok, I thought, so, if I change the way I looked at her behaviour, her behaviour would change!?

Hmm, what if instead of looking at why SHE was doing this behaviour, and driving me nuts and why the training wasn't working, I looked at WHY she was doing this behaviour.

Rather than focusing on her outward displays of behaviour, I started to look at, find out and learn about the underlying reasons of her behaviour.

I wanted to understand WHY my dog was behaving the way she was, as well as why the traditional training techniques I'd been trying and I was being taught, were not working.

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.

Embodying this quote opened my eyes and really did give me a completely different way of looking at my dog and her behaviour!

It completely changed the way I not only trained my dog but how I lived with her. For the first time, I could feel a bond with her start to form. Then grow. She started to respond to me and I still remember the first time I asked her to give me her paw (something I had been trying to teach her for about 12months so I could dry her feet on wet days) and she tentatively lifted her paw up, I nearly erupted with joy! She was listening! She was beginning to trust me! At last!

Because I decided to change the way I was looking at my dog’s behaviour, the changes happened!

So if you're in a similar position I was in, if you're confused or angry about your dog’s behaviour, why they're not listening to you, why they don't ‘respect you’, or maybe thinking they're doing things to ‘spite you’ and all those types of thoughts, I offer you this quote...

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.