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Why Hemp Oil for Humans

Why Hemp Oil

Hemp Seed Oil is considered THE most balanced oil in all of nature. Hemp Seeds are natural, vegan, full of plant-based protein, packed with healthy fats and perfectly balanced with the correct ratio of the essential fatty acids Omega 6 to Omega 3. For nutrition, it is unparalleled. Our raw cold-pressed Hemp Seed Oil provides vital nutrients and natural (legal) cannabinoids, plus it’s high in calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, vitamin E, sodium, sulfur and zinc. Used for both food and body care, whether you eat it or massage it into your skin, Hemp Seed Oil provides a range of necessary nutrients and helps prevent a variety of common diseases.


Hemp is used to make food , textiles and building materials. Marijuana is used to get high. They can both be used for medicinal purposes, and cannabis is the name of the plant they both come from.


We’re a collective of vet’s and scientists and cannabis activists. Our mission is to share the benefits of safe legal cannabis by helping educate, instigate and advocate for a sensible approach to this beautiful plant. Our scientific knowledge allows us to bring innovative products to the animal world – to learn more.


  • Nope it won’t get you high
  • Yep it’s legal.
  • Nope, it wont fix everything – and don’t trust anyone who tells you it will

Hemp protects against:

  • heart disease
  • cancer
  • strokes
  • anxiety and depression
  • high cholesterol
  • attention disorders
  • migraines and headaches
  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • age-related eye conditions (macular degeneration and cataracts)
  • constipation
  • haemorrhoids
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • colitis
  • neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline).

Proof is in the pudding her are some testimonials 

Received my hemp oil today very well packaged I was very surprised that it is in a large bottle tried it today and I noticed a big change and my body already especially for pains thank you


Great for skin & wellbeing

I use it in salads and add it to coconut water fruit smoothies and I can say after a couple of months of use, I have noticed improved skin tone, sleep is better and it has all Omega’s (3,6.9) which is fantastic for the body and brain. Recommend highly – all natural and grown from the earth!


Give Hemp Oil time to work.

After using your Hemp Oil mixed into my porridge each morning for around 8 weeks now, I am finally feeling some relief from chronic pain. I will continue to take the oil daily as I improve more substantially. Our rescue Cat who was burnt, injured & rescued from bush fires 10 years ago has the Pet Hemp Oil & seems much happier with his mobility much improved.
Your Hemp oil is also very easy to use as it has a yummy nutty flavour & able to be mixed into most foods.
Your Hemp Oil has also improved my Gastric Reflux symptoms.
Most gratefully yours,
Jill – Melbourne

Aching Joints

The hemp seed oil is definitely helping my aching joints. I’m feeling soooo much better since I began using it

Wendy Lambert

A super dooper-food

I love this product it’s better & more refined than other products out there (I have tried at least 4) Plus it’s much more cost effective.
*I take it for my arthritic processes
*My husband takes it combined with Kombutcha for his Diabetes
*My dog loves it and would lick up a whole bottle if I let him (he has arthritis in his little leg.
So does it work?
Bloody oath it does! Watch this space for more data after another month.

Karina Maher

Anxiety relief.

Since taking the 100% Raw hemp seed oil my anxiety levels have reduced quite nicely.
I recommend it to everyone to try it. Also I
had No side effects at that all.

Troy Black

Hemp Seed oil for the whole family!

Myself, my 17 year old dog and my 14 year old cat have been on the hemp oil for 3 weeks. I have found that myself and the dog sleep well at night, its palatable – even the cat will take it in her food. I certainly have felt good since being on it and I have seen a difference in the animals in their coats, behaviour and general well being. Very happy with the product.

K9 Swim Hydrotherapy and Wellness Centre

Delicious Oil for Cooking & My Skin

This oil is tasty and is perfect for all my recipes. I also use this oil on my skin after a shower and have already noticed an improvement in my skin allergies. Highly recommend to others!

Mia Francisco

Panic Attacks
I thought I would try hemp seed oil to ease my anxiety and panic attacks, 26 days in and so far so good. for the people out there that have thought about trying it. think no more and just give it a go. well worth the money.
Scott Rolff
My wife & I are both in our late 70’s suffering Diabetes, Arthritis and other age related symptoms. We are on plenty of prescription medications so after seeing your stand at Dog Lovers show (my daughter got some for her dogs skin, I was told it would be good for us. We both started taking a teaspoon full at breakfast on 23rd June and our 500ml bottles should last us about 3 months. To date there has been no miraculous changes in our conditions although we will see how we are in another couple of months. Sometimes when you do something different you don’t notice any change but you also are not aware of how you would be if you hadn’t made a change. We will certainly be getting another bottle each when this one is nearly empty to give it a thorough trial.
Trevor Knaggs

Great for skin

My baby got a bad rash on her cheeks. I have tried many famous baby cream products but none worked for her. I applied hemp oil slightly on her cheeks twice a day, and the red rush disappear in 2 days. Can’t be happier.

Anggit Maharani

I bought a bottle of hemp seed oil for my mother who struggles with severe osteoarthritis, she is on various medications for this condition but after taking the oil for a months she does think the oil is making a difference for her, she’s definitely not pain free and still struggles to walk but even a small difference is obviously very welcome. Will be ordering this again and hope it continues to help
Robyn Van der breggen
Restless Legs
I have noticed that my restless legs at night have stopped. great. Also I have more energy and my joint pain is less
Paget, Janet
Autonomic Neuropathy
I have to admit that the pain levels in my joints and the pain from my autonomic neuropathy appears to have lessened, I will continue to use the oil to see if the lowered readings with my diabetes continue. I have only been using it for a little over 3 weeks.
Andrew Coe
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Why Hemp Oil for Pets


Hemp is natures best medicine. Its natural, safe, affordable, sustainable, legal ans it helps with dozens of ailments which dogs and humans regularly suffer from. You dog is a member of your family and we care very strongly about families – especially those who cant afford extremely expensive pharmaceutical medication – which is where hemp comes in.


Hemp is used to make food , textiles and building materials. Marijuana is used to get high. They can both be used for medicinal purposes, and cannabis is the name of the plant they both come from.


We’re a collective of vet’s and scientists and cannabis activists. Our mission is to share the benefits of safe legal cannabis by helping educate, instigate and advocate for a sensible approach to this beautiful plant. Our scientific knowledge allows us to bring innovative products to the animal world – to learn more.


  • Nope it won’t get you high
  • Yep it’s legal.
  • Nope, it wont fix everything – and don’t trust anyone who tells you it will


  • immune system
  • heart
  • brain
  • skin
  • digestive system
  • blood
  • joints
  • lungs
  • mucous membranes
  • bones
  • hair
  • teeth



My 2 year old retriever is from a rescue home. After a couple of months he became aggressive towards my other dog shown in this photo. If he was tied up and saw a dog walk past our yard, he would snarl and try and get loose. Then we tried the Hemp Seed Oil For Pets, after 10 day we noticed a difference he was becoming more placid and softening in his attitude, he has calmed right down and is now able to enjoy the dog park with no stress or anxiety.

Kerryn, McCrae


My 2 year old kelpie/staffy cross, Zoey, has severe separation anxiety, and has issues sleeping, as she alerts at every noise. After 2 days on the Hemp Seed Oil For Pets, she is now sleeping like a baby! She’s so much calmer, overall, able to be on her own without crying constantly. Her dry skin has improved, she is shiny and healthy. Could not recommend this more highly. 100% satisfied customer!

Amanda, Canberra


We have a 17-year-old greyhound. She has a little Arthritis but otherwise okay. Then she began having seizures…the vet suggested she has had a good innings, you can guess the rest. Our dog is happy and otherwise fine so we decided to try medication. Well…on the medication she couldn’t walk, kept falling over and we were having doubts about our decision. A workmate suggested we try your Hemp Seed Oil so with nothing to lose except our beloved family member we ordered some. That was about a month ago. We took her off the medication and started her on the Oil. She now thinks she’s a puppy again, back to her old self! Running around, chasing the ball and the other dog. We are so grateful to that workmate and of course The Cannabis Co for giving her life back, for whatever time she has.

Wendy, Arrarat


I have to admit I was a little skeptical about the promises at the time of purchasing the oil. When it arrived i started using it on my 3 dogs. Once daiily in their food. The biggest change we have seen in 30 days was teir coat. It is so shiney and silky. We have a German Sheppard and her outter coat is ussualy quite coarse. However, 30 days in with the oil and it is as soft as my Huskey’s coat! I’ve ordered a second bottle and will keep giving it to them. Thank you!

Jenny, East Albury (NSW)



I got oil for my staffy who has been diagnosed with Cancer, he seems to like it so far and has got a bit more bounce in his step. I can only hope for a great outcome. I have also been giving it to my 15 year old Staffy X as she has a bit of arthritis. She too like’s it and is a bit more bouncier. So far so good.

Zaharia, Sturt SA


My doggy has been treated for dermatitis on both her outer thighs which resulted in 2 huge bald dry scaley areas. After 3 days of applying this oil twice a day to her bald patches, hair growth has returned. She also has been having the oil in her dinner. I will be placing another order in the near future, I am so thank full I have found it.

Linda Ulverstone Tasmania


I have tried many products from the vet…. apple cider viniger or baby oil inflames her ear. Tea tree oil and eucalyptus is poisioness to dogs. Many vet products and thousands of dollars have not helped in the last 3 years. I tried hemp seed oil for pets to pep up my dog and one day used the oil to clean her ears. To my suprise her waxy fungal build up has reduced! Usually every 3 days her ears would come inflamed and there is brown spotting around the exterior of her ear. She now doesn’t scrape the floor to relieve itching and does not shake her head. i love using natural products again now with curiosity on the human products. Glad to know they contain no drug ingredients as I do not want chemicals only natural well working products to help me and my pets thank you.

Wendy Gloucester NSW


I have a very anxious Husky with epilepsy and was delighted with the sppedy delivery. She seemed more chilled out from her first dose.

Lorraine Morphett Vale SA

Hip Dislocation and Limping

My dog Buddy has congenital hip dislocation and as he has aged it had begun to cause him problems. Often unable to weight bear and he was limping. The anti inflammatory medication prescribed by the vet just made Buddy depressed and he stopped eating. I had tried him on turmeric, black pepper and olive oil which helped a bit but the Hemp Seed Oil For Pets has been amazing. After 5 days there was only a hint of a limp and today after 7 days it has almost gone.

Diane, Cairns

Spinal Issues, Enlarged Disc, Mobility

Our dog Odie, was first diagnosed with arthritis, but later, after we discovered him dragging his back legs, that it was actually an enlarged disc. Placing pressure onto his spinal cord, hence prohibiting him from useing his rear legs. He was proscribed a course of potent anti-inflammatories, which worked to a certain extent. However the vet sent him home to us with a pamphlet, explaining end of life scenarios for our pet. It was then we discovered The Cannabis Company and ordered our first batch of Hemp Seed Oil for pets. Odie is now like a new dog. He is playing with our seven month old puppy now and goes on walks with us around our suburb. There is no doubt that Odie still has an ongoing spine problem, however the Hemp Seed Oil For Pets allows him to function pain free.
Peter, Toowomba
The hemp oil is helping to reduce the seizures in my dog who is being treated for a brain tumour.
Suzanne Holland Park West QLD
My 3.5 year old doggo had chronic back problems and stomach issues which caused her a lot of pain. Five days of starting the hemp oil for pets she is able to move and play like she did when she was a pup.It’s such a relief. Plus her coat is softer, her anxiety levels have dropped and her stomach problems greatly reduced. I recommend this product to anyone who asks.
Bernadette, Kensington VIC
Storm Anxiety
My dog is noticeably calmer in storms and not have so many Jekyll and Hyde moments.
Amanda Mountain Creek QLD
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Number 1: Commercial pet foods are high in carbohydrates.

Dogs and cats are carnivores . Carnivores have evolved over millennia to eat meat and fat and bone. Their digestive system is optimised for this sort of food. However, high-quality meat, fat and bone is expensive. Carbohydrates are cheap calories, much, much cheaper than meat and fat. Pet food is a HUGE business, worth billions of dollars, and profit is king. The carbs in pet foods come from industrially farmed grains (or industrially farmed peas, potato, pulses, soy etc if the food is ‘grain free’ – and these ‘grain free’ pet foods are just as bad for your pets as the others, as they are still high in carbs. High carb food means your pets are running on a sugar metabolism. This is a chronic stress on their metabolism and leads to all sorts of health problems over time. I nearly always see mostly high carb ingredients dominating the first ten ingredients on the label.

Number 2: The proteins in commercial foods are nearly always processed at very high temperatures.

Meat and bone ‘meals’ are a very common ingredient in commercial pet foods. Basically, this is all the leftover bits, deep fried in their own fat, drains and ground up into a powder. This process denatures the proteins, making them less digestible and more likely to damage the immune system.

Number 3: Unhealthy additives.

Commercial pet foods are designed to be addictive. They are made highly palatable by adding salt (bad for the kidneys, dehydrates the body, very harmful), and flavorings. These additives mask the fact that the food itself is really pretty awful. Most dogs wouldn’t touch it without these addictive and harmful additives.

Number 4: Commercial pet foods are dead food.

Anything that has been so highly processed has no life force left in it. Every fresh food has a ‘biophotonic charge’ – it’s like a battery that holds the energy of the sunlight that fed the plants (if a vegetable ingredient) or the energy of the animal that harvested this plant energy to grow muscle. Dead food is a drag on the body – it’s empty calories that even though they seem to feed your dog, will never lead to healthy vitality. Imagine how sick you’d get if you only ate packet foods!

Number 5: Your vets have a financial interest in selling you commercial foods (and have been brainwashed by the big companies to boot).

Yep, it’s a profit line. Employees are expected to shift a certain amount and the big companies that make these foods (especially the ‘prescription’ diets) influence the curriculum at universities. We were lectured on nutrition by these companies, and they own all the research dollars too.

Number 6: It’s simply crap, let’s leave it at that…

Yep – I could go on for months here. Misleading marketing. Ingredients like herbs and so on present in only trace amounts that couldn’t possibly have any benefits yet being prominently featured on the packaging. Prescription diets that are much more expensive yet actually have poorer quality ingredients. Sick and euthanased animals being used as ingredients. Heavy metal and plastic contaminants. Restaurant grease thrown into the mix. Fungal overgrowth and subsequent toxicity. Many pets being killed by dodgy pet foods, with huge recalls. All packaged in plastics that disrupt the endocrine system. Made by an industry with no oversight, that essentially regulates itself, and is way more interested in making a fat profit that the health of your pet.

Commercial pet food is awful, dead, unhealthy, addictive rubbish that takes years off the life of your pets. The single most important thing you can do for your pets’ health is to get them onto a complete raw (BARF) diet, or feed them home cooked low carb, high meat food along with your tables scraps (remember, no onion!).

There are a few commercial pet foods that are good ones. Ziwi Peak is my favorite one of these – it’s 90% meat and bone, air dried, and very high quality. There are a few other brands with a similar method of preparation and proportions of ingredients. Their tinned food is the next best thing for cats who won’t eat raw food or BARF. Check out their ingredient labels if you can’t get it where you are, and compare carefully.

If you’re not sure about a food, paste the brand and ingredient list into the comments below and I’ll critique it for you for free.

Change to a complete raw diet for your pets, and be prepared to see your dog lose weight, their coat get shinier, chronic health conditions improve, the poos get smaller and firmer, less stinky dog farts, and they’ll live longer too!


By Dr Edward Bassingthwaite

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For hundreds of years, dogs have long been considered man’s best friend. Our relationships with canines have evolved over the years from serving humans in a myriad of tasks to be our loyal companions, even considered family. Dogs are highly intelligent, trainable and adaptable. Therefore, dogs have been chosen as the most popular animal to assist humans in an official capacity. No doubt, Assistance Dogs and Therapy Dogs are both beneficial to the humans they help. However, a lot of confusion exists as to the differences between Therapy Dogs,Assistance Dog, and Service Dog.

What Sets Them Apart?

The most notable difference between therapy and Assistance Dog is their classification under legislation. Assistance Dog are considered a medical aid, specifically trained to assist a person with disabilities. They are given additional permissions and protections under the law than pet dogs. Therapy Dogs are pets, and while they may offer therapeutic support, are not considered a medical necessity.Therapy Dogs are not required to meet any legislated standards, while Assistance Dog are required to meet behaviour and hygiene standards.

Therapy Dogs

Therapy Dogs are used in animal-assisted activities, providing therapy and education. They are usually handled by their owner and provide comfort and affection to people in long-term care, hospitals, retirement homes, schools, mental health institutions, and other stressful situations. A Therapy Dogs can access places like schools, hospitals, and retirement homes for their visits, but do not have full access to public spaces under the law.Therapy Dogs are beneficial for boosting morale and have a positive psychological effect on the recipients.

Emotional Support Animals

Similar to a Therapy Dogs is an Emotional Support Dog (abbreviated to ESA). An ESA may support a person through depression, anxiety or other medical conditions, but this does not mean that the animal is specifically trained to do so. Emotional Support Animals are not recognised under Australian law and therefore do not have the same public rights access an Assistance Dog would.

Assistance Animals and Service Dogs

As their name suggests, Assistance Dog are trained to assist a person with a disability to alleviate the effect of the disability, perform everyday activities, have increased mobility, and to be more independent. Traditionally, Assistance Dogs have predominately been recognised as a ‘guide dog’ for the blind, or people with a vision impairment. However, they can also aid those who require physical support for mobility or other functional tasks; are deaf or have hearing impairments; people who experience episodic or serious medical crisis; and people who experience psychiatric disorders.

Assistance Dogs are often referred to as ‘Service Dog’, a term more commonly used in North America. They are a working animal, highly trained for disability support. They must pass a strict Public Access Test which is assessed by a qualified Canine Behaviourist. Assistance Animals have public access rights and are now protected by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Australia).

Who Regulates the Law for Assistance Dogs in Australia?

In Australia, the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (commonly referred to as theDDA), section 9 sets out the legal definition of an assistance animal like a dog or other animal that:

(a)is accredited under a State or Territory law to assist a person with a disability to alleviate the effects of disability; or
(b)is accredited by an animal training organisation prescribed in the regulations; or
(c)is trained to assist a person with a disability to alleviate the effect of the disability and meets standards of hygiene and behaviour that are appropriate for an animal in a public place.

This legislation only overrides other dog legislation in such a way that people are allowed access with these dogs when they would not normally be allowed. Handlers must not be treated any differently because they are accompanied by a dog.

Because variation among states and territories regarding accreditation and regulation of assistance animals exists, travel may pose additional confusions and challenges for handlers. It is advised that before you travel, you familiarize yourself with the regulations for the places you intend to travel to.

The Department of Agriculture requires that institutions for assistance dog training are members of the International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF) or Assistance Dogs International (ADI). Alternatively, the dog may be accredited under the law of an Australian State or Territory that provides for the accreditation of animals trained to assist a person with a disability. This means that an animal may be qualified as an assistance animal under the DDA if it has received relevant training, regardless of who has provided the training, and provided they meet the criteria.

What is the Best Resource for more Information on Accredited Programs?

The rules and regulations from each country are different, but with the help of two global leaders in providing accredited programs, you will be able to find local links and resources by visiting their websites.

Assistance Dogs International, Inc. (ADI) is a worldwide coalition of non-profit programs that train and place Assistance Dogs. Founded in 1986 from a group of seven small programs, ADI has become the leading authority in the Assistance Dog industry.

Public Awareness

While Assistance Dog and Therapy Dogs help their human companions navigate life a little easier there are still many challenges for their handlers. The public needs to recognize that these animals are on the clock, working to aid their humans and must not be distracted. Assistance Dog should not be petted (unless you have the express permission of the person handling the dog) but even this we discourage as the handler may feel obliged when they would much prefer to say ‘no’. The dog is a medical necessity and their focus needs to be directed on their persons.Therapy Dogs that visit public institutions job is to socialize and serve as ambassadors, providing stress relief and comfort to those they meet during their visits. These dogs and handlers are happy to spend time with you. It is important to know the difference between an Assistance Dog and a Therapy Dogs, but when in doubt admire from a distance.

One of the largest struggles for Assistance Dog and their handlers has been the recent rise of improperly, poorly trained or unqualified dogs being passed off as Assistance Dogs. It appears some unscrupulous people feel that they can pass off their pet as a Service Dog as a way to take them wherever they go. This is not a privilege to use to take your pet with you and is reserved for those who require it. The internet has made purchasing fake vests and identification readily available. These dogs and their owners do a great disservice to the industry and put the public at risk. Many countries have large fines and even jail time for those convicted of faking Assistance Dog. The legislation is in place to provide protection for access to those who legitimately the aid of a Service Dog.

TheInternational Guide Dog Federation(IGDF) is the industry-elected body responsible for the development, monitoring and evaluation of the standards applied within all IGDF-member organisations, and to which all Enquiring and Applicant organisations aspire, to ensure equity of high-quality service to guide dog users and handlers around the world.

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Anxiety is a word we are hearing more and more when it comes to adopting a dog. Unfortunately, when a dog has been abused or abandoned, they will most likely end up with some form of anxiety. Whether it be separation anxiety or anxiety around people/certain environmental factors, it is important to know how to deal with it to make sure the transition is smooth for both you and your new furry family member.

I have just welcomed a beautiful addition to my family. She is a 3-year-old, 25 pound Staffordshire mixed dog named Shadow. Unfortunately, this sweet girl is incredibly anxious and has many fears. When I first met her, she trembled uncontrollably. As soon as I got her home, she ran directly to the smallest space she could find to feel safe. I’m not entirely sure of her past but I know she is afraid to eat in front of humans, she’s afraid of meeting all humans, she is afraid of car rides, she is afraid of loud noises and large objects, and even going outside makes her tremble.

Thankfully, she isn’t afraid of dogs and she loves her new big brother, who’s an 85 lb Staffordshire mix. She draws enough confidence from him to go for walks in the park, try new and exciting treats, and even eat and drink in front of me. My first rescue has major separation anxiety and was also a victim of abuse and abandonment. However, he was rescued at a much younger age and had the opportunity to truly live out his puppy years right. He still experiences separation anxiety when I go anywhere. If I go on trips he won’t eat and if I drop something by accident, he will hide and tremble.

I am fortunate enough to work from home so leaving my anxiety-ridden dogs is not a problem. When I do have appointments or something where they can’t join me, they go to a trusted family member’s home. Unfortunately, many people do not have the privilege of being able to work from home and be with their fur family all day.

When I first brought her home, I wasn’t sure what to expect so I just decided to take it slow. The foster parents told me about all kinds of problems I should be aware of. “She probably will have accidents on the floor, she’s allergic to all kinds of food, she’s not food driven and won’t respond to treats, she will hide for the first few weeks and rarely leave her kennel, and she probably won’t wag or show any kinds of affection for the first bit.” I knew I was going to have to take it day by day and go slow with her. However, by the third day, she was wagging and jumping all over me if I came in the house from a few minutes outside. She eats in front of me, she very much loves her treats, and she hasn’t stepped foot in her kennel since I got her in the house.

So I have just been taking it easy. I don’t force her to come upstairs when she gets overwhelmed and retreats into the bedroom, but I will call her once and see if she’s open to visiting with me. I don’t force her to eat or give her restricted feeding times, I just leave the food out so she will take it when she is ready. I encourage her to sleep in my room with me but I don’t shut the door so that she feels free to go where she wants when she wants. She hasn’t had a single accident in this house. The closest thing I have experienced to an accident is because of the nerve damage in her tongue, she drips water when she drinks. This is nothing new to me after dealing with 8 years of my big floppy lipped boy displacing more water than he drinks.

For the next few weeks of this transition, which I know will be a rollercoaster ride of major ups and major downs, I am going to take it slow. For instance, the first two nights she slept all night in my bed, but the last two she has been going from the bed to the floor. I’m not sure why she does it, but I just let her be. I will continue this approach of being very passive and showing her that this is a safe space where she is free to do as she wishes. As long as she isn’t destroying things, making a ton of noise, or hurting my other dog, there is nothing really for me to correct. I don’t see her doing any of those negative things in the future either.

I plan on staying close to home for the first few weeks and I won’t be introducing her to many people at first. I want her to trust me and know that this is her home. I have been doing short walks around the block since the third day and she seems to really enjoy them and get excited when she sees the gate to my home. After a few weeks, I will start to venture on longer walks and maybe even make a trip out to her grandmas to meet some family.

Car rides are a bit of a scary one for me, something I haven’t done with her yet. She usually rides in a huge crate that takes up the entire back seat, but since she hasn’t used the kennel in this house I don’t imagine she will need it in the car. My backseat isn’t all that big so it has to comfortably fit two dogs, and the kennel would be a big problem there. I might add a small car seat for dogs or cradle bed so that she has a safe space in the truck. I am hoping she will just enjoy sitting back there and trust that wherever we’re going, I will keep her safe.

For the first two days, she stayed mostly downstairs in my bedroom and didn’t come up at all. The third and fourth day she spent almost the entire day upstairs with me on the couch and barely touched the bedroom. For the last two days, she has been going between the bedroom and couch with some hiding under the coffee table. I’m not sure why, nothing has really changed. But to encourage her to come out from hiding, whenever she comes upstairs I get really excited and thank her for coming to us. I sometimes even give her a treat so that she recognizes this is a safe space and being around me is beneficial, not scary.

I am still working on getting her to eat out of the big bowls rather than me bringing small amounts of food to her at a time, but it is still hit and miss. Sometimes she will go over to the big water bowl and drink but then run away when she notices I’m watching. Sometimes she will grab food from the big food bowl and bring it over to the dog bed. I’m not sure why she won’t eat there, but I will just let her be and hope it gets better.

So far, that is what is working for me. I let her do her thing and show her that she has a lot of freedom here and that she is safe. When she comes out from hiding, I will continue to give her a healthy and tasty treat to show her that coming out from hiding is actually a good thing. Whenever we come back from a walk or a ride I will also give her a treat to show her that she did good. I make sure the treats are healthy and natural so that giving her a lot of them won’t have any negative effects on her health.

Adopting a dog with anxiety can be a tough task and it’s something that you truly need patience for. However, it’s such a rewarding thing being able to witness your fur child come out of their shell and truly show their personality to you.

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So are you thinking about or have you already adopted two pups from the same litter at the same time?

Just a word of warning, although this may seem like a good idea, sometimes things don’t run so smoothly. Speaking from experience – not all puppies like their brother or sisters just like us humans.

When we adopted Koffi as a pup, a friend also adopted her sister Paige.  These two fight.  We made the mistake of attending the same puppy class – they spent most of the time eyeing each other up from across the room and planning how they would get to each other.

Saying that, I have seen other dogs that remain with their siblings and have no problems. My advice is talk with the pups breeder – check and make sure the pups are currently getting along well, BEFORE you bring them home and find that they aren’t.

Littermate syndrome can result when two pups are brought home together – this can end in fights when they are together and anxiety when the pups are separated from each other.

Plus obviously there will be more toilet accidents, mouthing, chewing and general puppy naughtiness etc. “It’s more than twice the work; it’s exponential. The two combine to produce levels of energy that we can barely measure. Tension develops in training and compliance as they squeeze the owner out of the relationship. They’re always living with an enormous distraction—each other.” Dr Ian Dunbar

So, if you are reading this, more than likely you have already committed to two pups, and giving one up is probably out of the question.  By following the below information, our aim is to ensure that your two pups are raised as individuals.  This will help ensure they have confidence when separated from each other, are not overly dependent on each other, minimize conflict and resource guarding and strengthen their bond with you and your family.

This is what you should do:

Start confinement training – away from each other

This could include the use of two separate crates or pens.  Ideally in different rooms, and if not, with a visual barrier as a minimum.


Train each puppy every day as you would for any puppy – make sure that this is as a separate one on one thing. Perhaps feed the other pup in its crate using a kong etc during this time so that it is a pleasant experience for him/her at the same time.

Do lots of training that involves rewards from your hands – this will help the pups learn to focus on you and value you as well.  Many littermate puppies left to their own devices and to keep each other company don’t bond as well to their human family members.

Feed Separately

Use enrichment toys and set the dogs up to succeed by ensuring the toy is challenging but achievable.  Feed them separately so that they learn that being apart is a good thing, and this will also help to prevent resource guarding.

Exercise Separately

Ensure that you can remove one puppy from the property whilst the other one stays behind and that they are happy to do so.

So often, when working in the veterinary industry we have to have both family dogs come for a vet check when only one dog needs it, because the time hasn’t been put in to ensure that the dogs are comfortable being left alone.

​Imagine what happens if one pup gets sick or injured and needs to be hospitalised for a period.

Puppy School

All because your pup has a puppy friend, does not mean that you shouldn’t socialise him/her with other pups and dogs.  Think about kids that are in a home environment with mum, dad and a sibling or two, but do not attend family events with other children, kindergarten or school.  How well socialised are they, and what social skills may they be lacking when out and about in the general population?  Could this lack of social learning be a concern?

Attend a well-run puppy school – each puppy should have its own class.

There are many puppy schools available to you, however, you need to do your research, and make the right choice for your puppy.

A check list for a good puppy school is as follows

  • Uses positive reinforcement (reward based methods to train)
  • Has staff that are educated and have qualifications that relate to animal training and behaviour
  • Have small classes (maximum of 6 pups per trainer)
  • Has a set lesson plan and can define what you and your puppy will gain and learn from attending their puppy school
  • Allows both time on and off lead (for suitable puppies) and isn’t solely based on play
  • Play sessions are kept short, and managed to suit individual puppies
  • Focuses on teaching calm reliable behaviours
  • DOES NOT use outdated dominance related theories or techniques such as scruffing, alpha rolls or shooting with water pistols.

Monitor their play

The pups should be allowed to play together for short sessions each day (providing the puppies are both enjoying the play).

Supervise the play, look for role reversal, and even play.  Watch the body language of each puppy and intervene if either pup looks like they are not enjoying the game.

Ensure that they have frequent breaks from play – just like human children, it doesn’t take much for play to escalate and result in a fight.

Play games with each pup

Spend play time with each pup – again whilst the other is separated and busy doing something else enjoyable.  You are going to be making a lot of use of food enrichment toys!

Play games such as Fetch or Tug (with rules) – both these games involve your pup learning that again you are pretty cool, and they will want to be with and bond with you.

What else should you consider?

Budget – a puppy is expensive, two is a lot more expensive.
Do you have the finances to afford double of everything?
Don’t forget Pet Insurance or unplanned veterinary expenses.

Toilet training is twice as hard – you will need to watch each pup closely to ensure you can predict when they need to go out.  They may not always be on the same schedule, which could result in some very broken sleep for you. When there is an accident, will you know who did it?
Article Courtesy of Whole Dog Journal

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Dogs are considered blind when they have suffered a vision impairment in both eyes – this can result in either partial or total loss of sight.

There are many causes of blindness in dogs.  They eye is an organ that has a structure that receives the reflection of an image and then processes it.  If any of this relay is disrupted, the visual process becomes impaired, and the dog is no longer able to process the image.

Most often the onset of blindness in dogs is gradual.  In this case the eye structure deteriorates over a period of time.  Often vision loss isn’t experienced until the dog is considered old.

However some gradual processes, can occur in younger pets as well.

Things that may cause a gradual decline in vision include but are not limited to:

  • Age related cataracts – these can be removed and the lens replaced to restore vision in some cases
  • PRA (progressive retinal atrophy)
  • Diabetes (resulting in cataracts)
  • Prolonged corneal diseases (dry eye aka keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), ulcers, entropion, trichiasis, distichiasis)

Dogs can also experience sudden onset blindness. If a dog becomes blind suddenly they may appear disorientated, confused or depressed and withdrawn.

Causes for Sudden onset blindness in dogs include but are not limited to:

  • Chorioretinitis (inflammation of the choroid and retina – internal structures of the eye)
  • Retinal detachment secondary to Hypertension (high blood pressure) or Trauma
  • Retinal degeneration (SARDS – sudden acquired retinal degeneration)
  • Optic neuritis (inflammation of the optic nerve)
  • Intracranial disease (eg tumour)
  • Glaucoma (eye is also usually painful)
  • Uveitis (inflammation of the uveal tract which includes the iris, ciliary body and choroid layer – internal eye structures)

If you suspect your dog is suffering from blindness, a thorough veterinary exam is recommended. For cases of sudden onset blindness – please do not delay seeking veterinary help, some cases may respond to treatment.  Even if your pet will not regain their sight, if there is an underlying medical condition this needs to be diagnosed and treated where appropriate.

What to expect

  • Dogs that are experiencing blindness may appear confused or disorientated.
  • Some dogs will appear depressed, withdrawn or even lazy.
  • You may also notice that they are unusually clumsy or are bumping into things.
  • The dog gets “lost” when locating his/her usual sleeping spot, food, toys or water.
  • Your dog may startle easier and be scared of things more than before.

What you can do to help

Veterinary Assessment
The first thing you should be doing is seeking help from a trained veterinary professional (not your mechanic, grocer or someone from the dog park).


Clicker Training
Training your dog using a clicker (or any other audible marker sound – tongue click, whistle etc), can help them distinguish when they have done the correct thing.
The clicker in dog training is used as a precise marker – saying yes, that is exactly what I wanted you to do and is the bridge between capturing the correct behaviour and the reward.

For example – teaching the dog to sit using a lure. With the dog in a standing position, take a reward, and place it in front of their nose.  Gradually raise the treat up and take it from their nose over the back of the head – most dogs will sit in order to follow the treat.  The second their butt hits the ground, the trainer clicks, and then follows up with the reward.

The click to the dog, will indicate “Yes that’s exactly what they wanted me to do – great now I’m going to get a reward”.

Verbal Cues
Obviously your dog that is suffering from blindness is going to be a poor candidate to train using hand signals.  So you will want to teach your dog several verbal cues – you can do this at home, however, if you are at all concerned or confused, you should enroll in a class or have private sessions with a trainer that has experience training blind dogs.  You want to get this right as quickly as possible to reduce confusion for your dog.

When using verbal cues, don’t start adding them too soon when you are teaching a behaviour. Make sure the dog has performed it (usually using a food lure) at least 3 times before.

Next, don’t talk too much (talk to your dog, but don’t narrate the whole world to the dog, or repeat a cue over and over again.

Cues you should consider teaching are:

  • Name
  • Sit
  • Drop/Down
  • Come
  • Close (teach your dog to do a shoulder target to your legs)
  • Leave
  • Thank you/Swap (to give an item back)
  • Stop
  • Stay
  • Left
  • Right
  • Forward
  • Back

You can also consider using body touch cues – such as touching the dog so that it follows to that side, touch between shoulders and the dog stops etc.

Vibrations are also used in helping blind dogs. (especially if they are also hearing impaired) – stomping on the ground may alert them that you are nearby.  Two stomps could indicate a change in surface is coming up on a walk (for example walking off the edge of a foot path and back up).

Shaping Games
Playing shaping games with your dog will help them build confidence and offer new behaviours. Ask for the shaping handout or visit

You can teach your dog several tricks.  Not only is this a confidence builder it will also strengthen the bond between the both of you. Teach your dog the tricks using lures and then add your verbal cue. Tricks could include Roll Over, Spin, Rewind (spin in opposite direction), Shake a paw, Chin Target to floor, Beg etc) .

Scent Work
Scent work is an under used skill in most dog training.  Think about it, dogs are built to smell (and blind dogs even more).  Teach your dog to find food, toys, and specific odours.   Again this is not only mentally and physically enriching for them, this is another confidence builder as well.

There is equipment that you can purchase for your dog that will help alert others to their special needs.

You could also consider using a harness such as the Ruff Wear Webmaster – this harness fits the dog snuggly and comes equipped with a handle – this may be useful in assisting you to provide extra support for your dog when going up and down stairs, and getting in and out of cars etc.

Canes for Dogs
There are a few varieties (most are homemade) of canine canes.  These are devices that are designed much like the white cane for blind humans.  They enable your dog to “see” the world by acting as a bumper for the dog and preventing injuries.  These canes may also assist in building confidence for your dog when they are moving about.

For instructions on making a canine cane visit click on downloads, and Information for Owners of Blind Pets

Protective goggles for dog. Doggles are useful for protecting your dog’s eye. Yes your dog may be blind, but that doesn’t mean that their eyes are not still at risk.  Blind dogs still at risk (unless their eyes have been removed) of developing painful scratches, corneal abrasions or even ocular foreign bodies etc.  If your dog snuffles in long grass and bushes, is running about in unfamiliar areas etc, or walking/playing in sandy/windy/dusty areas a set of doggles may help.

If you purchase doggles for your dog – take the time to condition them using positive reinforcement to wear the doggles.


Even though a dog is blind doesn’t mean that they can’t or don’t want to play.

Food dispensing toys: All dogs love these, and being blind does not meant that your dog can’t enjoy them as well. Consider kongs, empty cardboard rolls with food stuffed inside, kong wobblers, treat balls etc.

If your dog has trouble keeping track of his/her food dispensing toy, try giving it to them in a flat tray, large short sided cardboard box or clam shell pool.

For fetch type toys – yes your blind dog can still play fetch – and those earlier cues, forward, backward, left and right, will certainly help you and your pooch find the toy.

For any game of fetch, I’m sure it’s obvious, but play in a safe area without hazards for your dog.

Use scented toys (use a dog friendly scent – not citrus – and don’t make it too heavily scented – remember, they can smell much better than we can).

Tennis balls (squeaker) – Kong makes Squeaky tennis balls – these are great, you can squeak prior to throwing it to give your dogs a heads up that it’s on its way.

You can also purchase rubber pimple balls with a bell inside – these are great as they will continue to make a sound when they hit and roll along the ground making it easier for your dog to find.  One word of warning – don’t leave this ball with your dog unsupervised – I have unfortunately seen a couple of dogs that have been able to chew the ball to access and then swallow the bell.


All because your dog is blind, doesn’t mean that he/she won’t still want to play games.

Hide and Seek – you go hide, and have someone release the dog to find you – using their nose they will find you in no time.  Remember, when starting out, make it easier for your dog, hide where they can find you, and call them or stomp if you need to help them.

Find the treat – let your dog smell the treat – have him/her behind a baby gate or someone holding them – hide the treat – release your dog to go find it.

It is vitally important, especially in our Australian climate that your dog is able to find his/her water when needed.

This means that you may need to have several water sources available.  Your dog may also find it useful if you use a particular odour to indicate water – eg smear lavender under or near your dogs water bowl.

Water Hazards
However, also consider safety.  If your dog is blind, do not give them access to an area with lake, dam, pool, pond or creek unless you are fully supervising.

Again, a dog is blind, may be at risk of bumping into doorways and doors – using specific textures at entrance and exits or odours will help your dog build a mind map and navigate these obstacles.

Blind dogs, especially those that have become recently blind, or those that are elderly and also suffering from arthritis may have trouble negotiating stairs.
Block access to these if this is the case. For dogs that are able to navigate the stairs, they may find it helpful if you again use a specific stair indicating texture and scent.  Rubber mats are particularly useful to put at both the bottom and tops of stairs as this unique texture will give your dog an indication that they are approaching the stairs.

Many dogs that become gradually blind appear to navigate well around the house and familiar furniture.  However, moving furniture around may create confusion.
Putting a scent on the edge of furniture will help your dog navigate around the house, especially if you are about to move furniture or house.

Bells/Jingles Tags on other dogs/cats
Do you have other pets?  Putting bells or jingling tags on your other companion pets will help your blind dog know they are approaching and may result in less startles for them.  It would be even better if each companion pet had their own unique sound.

Use a “Pick Up” cue
Can you imagine being blind and all of a sudden not having your two feet firmly planted on the floor because some giant has scooped you up – a bit unsettling huh? Likewise your blind dog may be equivalently startled or frightened if all of a sudden their four feet are not on terra firma any longer.  So make it a game, and tell them you are about to pick them up.  “Rover, Gotcha” – pick them up, give them a reward, and put them on the ground – don’t release them until all 4 feet are safely on solid ground.  We may be used to dropping our pets form a few centimetres above the ground, but when you can’t see that, it could be incredibly frightening.

Remember, frightened dogs may growl, snap or bite.

I hope this information will help you and your dog.  If you would like help training your dog, contact myself, or another positive reinforcement force free trainer.  You can find trainers in your area using the APDT website. Be sure to check that they have experience in training a dog that is visually impaired.

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Many more people are now turning to adoptions when looking for their four legged addition to their family. But there are a groups of dogs that tend to get overlooked at the shelters and rescues through no fault of their own, one of those groups are deaf and special needs dogs.

Our friends at Hear No Evil – Deaf Dog Rescue recently announced that they are full and are over their maximum capacity.

Hear No Evil (HNE) is a foster care based rescue, which means they do not have a shelter or kennels, all their dogs go into home environments where they are exposed to the day to day experiences of family life.

Right now their carers and their resources are stretched to the limit.

HNE take in all breeds, all ages, all conditions, and they treat each dog care by case, but they can only do as much as their current resources allow.

This sometimes means there is an extended waiting period before certain dogs can be placed into foster care due to lack of appropriate housing, funds or experienced handlers for the behaviour issues involved.

There is no denying, it can be challenging fostering a deaf or special needs dog, Many deaf dogs are surrendered because people think they are too “difficult to train” as they can’t hear, as a result, many of them have behavioural and obedience issues. But with foster parents willing to open their home and heart to a deaf dog and the support and training provided by our volunteers, you will be amazed at what these rejected dogs can actually accomplish.

As a foster parent you will be expected to:

  • Have a loving attitude towards animals.
  • Provide a safe, comfortable and healthy environment. A yard check will be conducted to ensure the safety and security of potential foster dogs.
  • Supply adequate bedding, food and water.
  • Commit to exercising and socialising your foster dog in such a way that creates a positive and well tempered dog.
  • Provide basic training such as sit, stay, down as well as some house manners like not jumping up on visitors, all the things that will help our deaf dogs get adopted quicker.
  • Be available from time to time, to bring your foster dog to events and activities, including adoption days where dogs are brought out for public viewing.
  • Provide updates and photos of your foster dog that will be used to create a profile of your foster dog.

If you would like to become a foster carer for a dog in need please CONTACT HNE RESCUE

They are spread out throughout the country and need volunteers in all areas.

For more information visit




It can get very expensive running a rescue organisation. Besides the cost of routine care, many of their rescue dogs require behavioural assessments, training and medical treatment all of which can be very costly.

Then there is the cost of transporting dogs from shelters to foster carers, the desexing and micro chipping, leads, training, flea treatments and unexpected veterinary visits, the costs mount up quickly.

Without your generous support they just wouldn’t be able to save and re-home as many deaf and special need dogs as they do.

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Training Methods for Aggressive and Reactive Dogs

The training pendulum seems to be busy swinging side to side. Trainers of old beliefs think traditional methods are the answer to train problem dogs. Other trainers believe that modern, science-based training is the correct way to train. Those who do not fit the mold of left or right wing fall somewhere in the middle with the balanced trainers. But which method is correct and why? To help understand which method is best, you need to understand the basis behind each technique.

Traditional Techniques

Traditional methods of training revolve around the pack mentality and that dogs originated from wolves and follow a hierarchy. This theory suggests the trainer or the owner needs to assume the role as ‘alpha dog’ so the dog will look to them for leadership. They will use body language to assert dominance and recreate scenarios where the leader can prove their position in the hierarchy by having priority over the dog when it comes to food, walking, etc. There are also consequences when the dog has failed at completing a command or behavior as desired.

This training technique is taught using setups to challenge the dog and put them in a situation where they will make errors which can be corrected. Unwanted behaviors are discouraged from reoccurring in the future by repeating this process until the desired outcome is reached.

Corrections or aversives can come in many forms. Wikipedia defines aversives as unpleasant stimuli that induce changes in behavior through punishment; by applying an aversive immediately following a behavior, the likelihood of the behavior occurring in the future is reduced. In training, this can be anything from a scolding, leash corrections, body posturing, or another form of punishment and can escalate depending on the situation. While some corrections can be mild yet effective, some trainers take things to the extreme. If you work with a more traditionally based trainer, make sure you discuss boundaries as to what is acceptable or not.

There has been a recent push to move away from traditional training techniques. While many trainers have proven results with traditional methods, modern trainers are claiming that using corrections creates fear. In the case of reactive or aggressive dogs, dogs reacting to fear rather than being taught positively to change their reactions can begin to shut down. This may temporarily suppress signs of discomfort and aggression but creates a ticking time bomb of a dog who can easily be pushed past their tolerance and lash out much worse than before.

There is a saying to “never punish a growl”. A growling dog is a dog expressing their discomfort with the situation. Punishing them creates a dog who fails to warn (growl) next time. As things escalate, the dog will not warn before moving to their next defense, a bite. This can create dangerous situations.

Traditional techniques are often used as quick fixes. The results can be astonishing in a few short sessions; however, the results were not always long-lasting and have been known to escalate dogs into more extreme reactions than before.

While traditional training has worked for many dogs and trainers, science-based trainers saw issues with these methods and began moving away from using all aversives. They are opposed to using corrections or anything that could create fear in their dogs and went the complete opposite direction using all positive training methods.

Positive Reward & Science-Based Training

Science-based training examines how reinforcing behaviors positively can influence a dog’s reaction and behaviors. Rather than focusing on what we don’t want, we reward the reactions we do want. Initially, it may take a little more time for the dog to catch on, but once the dog establishes which behavior created a reward (usually marked with a clicker or reward like praise or food) they are eager to repeat the behavior again. A reward is seen as a pleasant experience for the dog, so they are likely to keep repeating it. Thus, reinforcing good behaviors because of the positive outcome.

Modern techniques have been established by studying and observing dogs closely and creating a science-based technique. Despite some people’s skepticism, the methods have been proven very effective with long term results, and more emotionally stable dogs. These techniques are popular among zookeepers who work with very large animals that could not be physically forced to perform a task. The animal had to be convinced to do so on their own. Marking positive behaviors with a clicker for example (and reinforced with food) can be used to teach complex behaviors or establish new ones. Animals are more relaxed and more eager to perform as they are motivated.

Balanced Training

Balance trainers fall somewhere in the middle between traditional and modern training. These trainers believe that not every technique is successful with every dog, and not every dog learns the same way. They may use positive techniques with a puppy but use corrections for an older dog or more severe behaviors.

A lot of trainers who use balanced methods are making the crossover from traditional training or found their happy-medium between the other techniques.


While there is plenty of evidence that prove the different methods of training can be effective, not every type fit with the owner’s values and beliefs. In recent years, there has been a movement away from old school training tools like choke chains and have been replaced with more humane collars such as martingales, flat collars and now harnesses. There is no doubt that training is evolving but can be highly influenced by famous TV personalities, fads and trends.

When looking for a trainer to help with reactive and aggressive dogs it is important to understand the different types of training protocols, tools, and theories the trainer will use and find the best way to manage successful, long term results.

Tips Owners with Reactive and Aggressive Dogs

Owning a dog with aggression issues is one of the most challenging things you will encounter as an owner. You walk a fine line between everything being fine and, in a moment, having it all fall apart. Your biggest task will be learning to manage your dog and mitigate potential problems before they arise. They are helpful tips and tricks that can help to make things easier for you.

Identify the cause of reactivity. Understand why your dog reacts. What triggers it. How to recognize it before it happens and know what to do when they do come undone. Reactivity is your dog expressing they are uncomfortable, over-aroused/excited, or frustrated. Do they not like other dogs or people? Are they overly excited by other dogs and want to play but get frustrated by having a leash preventing them from running over to visit? Often reactivity is the first sign of aggression. Reactivity is a serious behaviour to pay attention to and nip in the bud before things escalate.

Educate yourself. Take time to study canine body language, training techniques, and theories about behaviour. The more you know, the more you can help yourself and your dog.

Hire with a professional trainer. Trainers have experience working with different kinds of dogs. Trainers can catch subtle signs and changes in behaviors, often long before an owner. They are skilled and in dealing with these situations and will have the knowledge and experience to help you. They can also offer support and reassurance when you feel like giving up.

Work in controlled environments. Trying to change a bad reaction can take time and require repetitive positive experiences by the dog to finally start to relax and not react. One set back can come at a high cost and set days, weeks, or months of training back to zero.

Keep your faith. Setbacks happen but the sooner you can get back out there and keep working on it, the sooner your dog can start having positive experiences again. Sometimes its one step forward and two steps back, but usually the rebounds begin to come back stronger and faster. You may lose ground, but you will pick it up again.

Celebrate small victories. Some days will feel like you are not making progress. Take a small victory and celebrate it. Moving forward even a baby step is still progress.


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While nay-sayers may tell you otherwise, dog training has two sides to the coin, two sides to the story and ultimately two different methods of training dogs. Although both sides, from traditional and modern methods, disagree about which methods are right, in truth, they both work.

You could say that dog training can be as different as two languages, but both are forms of communication. When applied effectively, your dog will understand what you are saying. How you deliver the message is very different.

Dog training methods have not changed much over the years until recently when a push for more science-based methods began to evolve.

Traditional training involves using corrections or aversives to discipline the dog for not performing a command or behavior as desired. Trainers use training tools such as different style collars, leash corrections, or vocal cues to tell the dog they did it wrong. After the dog failed to perform and has been corrected, the command or behavior is repeated and the right outcome is rewarded.

Through hundreds of years of history dogs effectively bonded to humans and formed successful working partnerships. Training them was an integral part of creating a working relationship to serve humans. Early dogs were hunting, herding, guarding or draught companions and needed to be able to serve a purpose.

One thing that never changed was their ability to be easily trainable. Humans aren’t known for always being the kindest creatures on earth. We have a keen belief that other creatures must serve a purpose to be useful and for dogs that often meant they needed to be compliant with delivering the uses we saw fit for them. They needed to be easily trained and this often involved the development of the use of training tools to make the training process easier and the animal more compliant.

By using corrections when a dog doesn’t complete a command or behavior with the desired outcome, the dog learns consequences. Many trainers with traditional backgrounds rely on training tools to assist them in giving the dog clear communication about what is being asked of them. The use of training collars such as e-collars, prongs, choke chains, and martingale collars are effective training tools, though not everyone agrees with their use being humane. Each tool has a different use and effect on the dog, though many associations of these tools are not pleasant for the dog.

To be a successful trainer you need to have a good understanding of dog behaviour and know when and how to apply corrections effectively. Correcting the dog immediately following a missed command or unwanted behaviour is essential to the dog’s learning process. Then repeating the scenario until you have the successful outcome, correcting the dog when they do not react appropriately. For example, if you are teaching a dog to sit you may use a leash and pull up on the dog as you ask them to sit. You may push their bum down and into the sit position. You would repeat this until the dog associates the word “Sit” with the action. If they failed to sit when asked you would give a leash correction pulling them up and into the sit position and reward when they sit after being given the command.

Traditional training methods can be as soft or gentle as the person who applies them. When applied with correct timing, appropriate reaction and an understanding for how to accomplish the final outcome, corrections can be mild yet very effective. In the wrong hands, it can be harsh or downright abusive.

Despite its sometimes forceful appearance, traditional training has served its purpose. It is not the nice sort of fluffy training everyone wants to watch but results can be reached quickly. Those on the other side of the fence argue there is a better, more humane way to accomplish the same goals without having such a hands-on approach.

One of the most famous dog trainers to use traditional training tools is Cesar Milan. In the early 2000s, he made quite the name for himself by rehabilitating dogs through his methods. He was a popular figure until more recently when he began to experience a lot of backlash from the positive reinforcement community who called his methods outdated, inhumane, forceful, and even abusive. Despite harsh criticism, Cesar still has a large following. He has rehabilitated many dogs successfully.

Like him or not, Cesar opened the door for a lot of people to become interested in the world of dog training and understanding dog behaviours. He can also be credited for saving hundreds of dog’s lives as he proved dogs with dangerous tendencies could be saved under the right training programs. These are dogs that previously may not have been given a chance. Unfortunately, sometimes these methods fail. Not every dog will be successful despite any type of training given to them.

In the US, especially, after Cesar’s rise to fame, there was a sudden explosion of interest in dog training and understanding behaviours. Dog owners had a thirst for knowledge and understanding how to fix their dog’s behaviors and problems. A large training community evolved and spread globally.

After further research and more education, dog training and techniques began to diversify as people tried new theories. Some moved to science to understand how to best train their dogs.

Most trainers are quite opinionated about what techniques are right and are especially biased to the one they use or claim to have discovered. More TV shows have since emerged and made several dog trainers famous by giving them their own shows. The divide between which methods of training are correct has never been so far apart.

The evolution of dog training is advancing, and new methods are being created. Science-based training is becoming more popular than ever as more owners push for more humane methods to build trust and improve the relationship with their dog. They do not want to use tools and force to get their dog to work them, instead, they want their dog to work for them because they are motivated to do it on their own free will.

Many owners and trainers branched out from traditional training methods and begun learning and experimenting with more modern methods and positive reinforcement. They believe that understanding and rewarding good behaviors are more powerful and effective than punishing bad ones.

A trainer using positive reinforcement would approach teaching a sit much differently than a traditional trainer would. They may use food to get a puppy interested in what in their hand to follow their nose. Using food in hand, and raising their hand just above the puppy’s head, the puppy will naturally scoot their bum under them into a sit position. The trainer will give the “sit” command then reward with food. Instead of using hands and leash correction to position the dog into sit, the dog offered to sit on their own and was rewarded for doing so. Positive reward trainers reinforce good behaviors or actions rather than punish the ones they don’t want.

By understanding a dog’s motivation behind bad behaviors, we can use science to understand why dogs act or react the way they do. Once we have a solid understanding of what our dog is trying to accomplish we can use other motivators to reinforce good behaviors and make changes in a positive way.

At one end of the dog training spectrum, you have all positive reinforcement training and the other training with aversives. There are a number of trainers who have been taught or experienced both types of training and those who fall somewhere in the middle in the land of balanced training.

There is no doubt, that there is more than one way to teach an old dog a new trick. Does this mean that one is right over the other? That will depend on who you ask. Other factors that influence what type of training is best include the dog’s personality, the problem, and the owner’s comfort level of new or different techniques. The most important factor would be the trainer’s competence and educational background in understanding dog behaviours and their ability to solve the problem.

Dog owner’s looking to work with a trainer should always invest time into learning about different dog training techniques, training tools, and their uses-including when and how to use them. Educate yourself on different trainers in your area and check their reviews and credentials.

It is not uncommon to find trainers who have no professional training background and are self-taught. While the dog training community is largely unregulated, there are associations that are pushing for formal education, apprenticeships and creating a code of ethics for dog trainers to follow. These associations can recommend dog trainers they feel follow and abide by their standards.

Dog owners have the responsibility to act in their dog’s best interest, but to do that, you can’t go into it blindly. It will take some due diligence on the owner’s part to explore dog training techniques and trainers and find one they feel is accountable and are comfortable working with and also has their dog’s best interests at heart.