How social is your dog? Different dogs will want more or less social engagement. But what is most important is that we teach our dogs how to cope with the lifestyle we bring them into. Socialization is not just about giving your dog play time with others. It’s about exposing them to a variety of sights, sounds, and experiences in a safe and enjoyable way. To have a dog that is comfortable and happy in different social situations, you have to take them with you, teach them kindly, and never overwhelm them.
Is a new puppy’s personality all down to genetics and breeding or does the way they are raised determine who they will become? How much of a role does the environment a puppy grows up in play in who that puppy will become? Both nature and nurture will shape the personality of a dog as they grow. Sometimes in some surprising ways!
Canine Nation is a series of essays about dogs, behaviour, and training. For years I trained my dogs using well-worn methods by the Monks of New Skeet, Barbara Woodhouse, and others. All compulsion based, dominance focused methods that worked well enough until they didn’t. They led us to a dangerous confrontation with our 18-month-old dog Vince. That forced me to re-evaluate everything I thought I knew about dogs and training. My 16+ year journey through changing how I live and work with my dogs is reflected in these essays. You can read them at the Life As A Human website. They are the basis for my podcast episodes.
From the Hill is a series of more informal essays on various dog related topics – training, behaviour, professional trainers, social media and more. They are a bit more personal. A bit more rambly. They come from a more philosophical point of view. Just an outlet for my reflective side to come out. They are generally more off-the-cuff thoughts that occur to me from time to time. These essays can be found here under the Writing menu. Just click on “From the Hill” to browse through them.
Guest Authors – From time to time I ask other dog people to allow to post their writings. I am grateful to know some very smart, very insightful people. Some are dog professionals, some are academics, some are dog owners and dog lovers Most are all of the above. I am pleased to have them sharing their thoughts here!