On 9th November, the Pet Industry Federation announced the winners of all the categories of its prestigious awards competition for 2020. Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs were winners of the Kennel of the Year Award 2020. Amongst many criteria, the judges were looking for – high standards of animal welfare, high quality staff training and qualifications, excellent customer service. We were thrilled to have our efforts recognized at such a high level.
On 18th November, we were visited by the local authority licensing officer who awarded us 5 star ratings for our kennels and day care facilities. What a way cap off 2020 and cheer us all up. Call in to see us soon or phone 01462 742658.
For some dogs, unknown or foreign stimuli can put them in a state of anxiety or fear. Bringing your pet into grooming for the first time can be a very daunting experience for them, they are going to have to go through noises such as clippers, hairdryers and scissors. All the while, there will be plenty for them to be distracted by. New people, new smells, other dogs will all be a factor; they are going to have to be ready and receptive to being touched all over. For some dogs, this can be a stressful experience.
So why bother taking them for grooming in the first place?
Well, grooming helps dogs with skin conditions, helps maintain their coat,
whether it be matted or overgrown. There are some breeds of dog where not
grooming is not an option. A few examples of these would be:
If you have a dog which requires grooming, but they are becoming nervous, there are ways to calm them before you bring them to a groomer. There are also general behaviour training techniques which will help with your dog’s anxiety. We have shared some of these techniques here.
Get Your Dog Used to the Attention
Going to a groomer is going to require your dog to be
touched all over. As the groomer works their way around with scissors, clippers
and comb, your pet will have to get used to being handled.
In this case, it is wise to get your dog used to being
pampered or getting this sort of human attention. You can massage or pet your
dog more frequently in the lead up to a grooming session, or keep your dog used
to this type of care. This way, when it comes to strangers petting your pet all
over, it is unlikely to raise the same level of anxiety. If pampering is not
rewarded enough for your dog, you can always compensate them with treats.
If your dog is already showing adversity to being touches or
pet in certain places, there may be another reason for their reaction – consult
a vet for clarity.
Introduce Grooming Tools
Another way to pre-empt a nervous response is to test your
pet with the grooming tools they will likely be facing. Clippers, scissors and
combs can be introduced to your dog – get them used to the sound of these tools
and the feel of the comb. This way, you can reward as you see necessary.
If your dog appears nervous, but they comply with being
introduced, praise them, and reward them suitably. If your dog shows excessive
nervousness, there may be some behaviour that needs a professional to look at
Allow Your Dog Time to Acclimatise to the Car
If you are not regularly transporting your pet by car, it
might be worthwhile allowing time for them to acclimatise to a vehicle. By not
doing so, you may be allowing for anxiety from the car to transfer into the
Also, nausea associated with the journey might affect your
pet’s temperament in the salon. Ensuring your dog can deal with the drive
before the session is wise; if your dog does struggle with travel nausea,
consult your vet for the best form of treatment.
Keep Your Dog Well Exercised
Just as a general rule, your dog should be walked regularly.
Some breeds will need more exercise than others. It is vital for your dog’s
physical wellbeing and mental health. A dog with too much energy that it cannot
expel is more likely to be anxious, restless and generally more of a handful.
If you want your dog to exhibit the best behaviours, then
keep them tired!
If your pet has been known to get aggressive or bite, muzzle
training them correctly will not only put your dog more at ease around
strangers but will put the groomers at ease too!
Get your dog to put their nose into the muzzle by popping a
treat into the end of it; liquid treats work well here so that the treat does
not fall out as you secure the muzzle.
As a Last Resort – Consult your Vet about Over-the-Counter Medication
There are over-the-counter medications that can help nervous
dogs by acting as a level of sedation. Drugs like Acepromazine can give your
pet 6-8 hours where they will not suffer from anxiety surrounding thunder,
fireworks or suchlike, it also aids nausea, stabilises heart rhythm and lowers
For Professional Grooming Services
We have been working with dogs for many many years, and we know that a safe and secure dog is a happy dog. Our professional and friendly staff are ready and waiting to help your pet feel at home, and make sure they are as comfortable as possible during and after their grooming session. Why not call today to find out more?
Before we get into training techniques, it is best to get
one thing straight – dogs are going to bark. Unless you are going to be the
proud owner of a Basenji, bred from stock that originated in central Africa,
one of the only known dogs to not be able to bark, there are going to be times
where your pooch barks. It is in their nature, and to expect your dog never to
bark is being unreasonable.
What is not unreasonable, however, is wanting to train your
dog to control or reduce its barking. Whether it is to save your ears, the
neighbours’ ears, from others mistaking barking for aggression or another
reason, there are techniques you can follow to keep your dogs barking
Another thing to know initially is that the longer your dog
has been barking, the harder it is going to be to train it out of them. So get
ready to be patient with your pet. Consistency is vital; if your dog is getting
mixed messages from you, your family or extended carers, then they are going to
become confused. When you are training a dog, no matter what it is, having
consistency from everyone that comes into contact with your dog is best.
Raising your voice and shouting over your dog to quiet them might be a short
term solution, but it will not remove the reason for your dog’s barking. It is
the reason that they are barking that you need to understand before you can
effectively train them to stop doing it. But trying to be the most prominent
voice in the room your dog is going to find any commands harder to understand
and might think you are joining in. Try the following techniques and give them
time to have an impact.
Remove the Motivation for Barking
If your dog is barking out of the window frequently, or when
they are in the garden, try to remove their motivation for barking. For
instance, close the curtains until they stop, and then praise them when they
do. Similarly, if they are barking in the garden, bring them inside (this will
require a level of recall that will need to be embedded prior). Once they come
inside and stop barking, praise them and give them a fitting treat.
Removing their motivation and praising them when they stop
barking could work well in getting your dog to understand you appreciate it.
Ignore your Dog Until They are Quiet
While this can come across as just ignoring the issue
altogether, ignoring a behaviour you are not happy with is much better than
getting angry or aggressive. You want to instil an understanding and trust
within your dog. If they are rewarded when they cease barking, the positive
reinforcement will begin to make an impact on their behaviour until you no
longer need to reward them.
This tactic can be trying if your dog barks for a very long
period it can be very difficult not to shout out. If you find yourself at
breaking point, try removing the dog’s stimulus or make them move away from the
situation that is making them bark.
Desensitise them to Barking Stimulus
If you find that certain stimuli is making your dog bark
time after time, teaching them to relax when this stimulus occurs in an option.
If it is people walking past your window, for instance, get a friend to do
this, and reward your dog each time they ignore them. If every time people get
within a certain distance, your dog barks, have your friend approach slowly and
reward your dog for taking no interest at each instance. This will not be
resolved in one go, and repetition and consistency are key here.
The same type of training goes for sounds that set your dog
off, try recording these sounds on your phone. Play them, but increase the
volume each time. Each time you play the audio, and if your dog does not bark,
reward and praise them.
Teach Them an Incompatible Command
Another technique you could try is teaching your dog a
command that is incompatible with barking. Barking can be a protective,
dominant, attention-seeking or fearful reaction. If, for instance, your door bell
goes and your dog is barking, teach them a counter-intuitive command like
returning to their bed, or lying down. When your dog follows these commands
reward them, but only if they stop barking.
Remaining calm while you give commands and not appearing to
be in a fluster will also help your pet understand and eventually reciprocate
the calm of these operations. If every time you answer the door, you are
running or fumbling; your dog may learn the wild nature of an entrance to your
home and act up.
Calmly request they follow another command, answer the door
and reward them when they are quiet.
Do Not Turn to any Shock or Bark Collar
Do not be fooled into thinking that bark collars, or worse,
shock collars, are an answer to the problem. If anything, these collars add
another obstacle to the situation and are highly likely to make an anxious dog
worse. When dogs bark, there is a reason. If you learn the reason and aim to
tackle it, you will be doing far better than a collar which looks to distract
or scare the dog out of what it will feel is a natural response.
Dog and Puppy Training When You Need it Most
If you have tried all the above techniques and none of them is working, it may be that your dog needs some help with their behaviour. It could also be that you need to learn how dogs behave and your place in helping the control that. Contact Country Boarding today, our friendly and professional staff are here to help with dog and puppy training. We can visit, or you can come to classes.
29th October – We now only have two luxury suites available for the Christmas period so contact us now so as not to be disappointed. Standard kennels and cattery pens are also filling up – don’t leave it too long.
30th October – All luxury suites now taken on 27th December. Book quickly now for other days!
22nd December – We are full for Christmas but still have space after 26th December.
We have been working with CSA Environmental Planning Consultants of Ashwell to develop plans to take our Dog Park to the next level. We want our dog park to become an even more pleasant place to visit, easier to access, sympathetic to wildlife and the landscape.