On Dogs, Disappointment, Dilemmas and Decisions

The Dog When I volunteered to raise an Assistance Dog puppy I thought I had prepared myself for the job at hand.  It wasn’t a job as such. It was a journey of learning and professional enhancement that I wanted to pursue. I have a special interest in Assistant Dogs. I have shared a home with a fully trained Assistance Dog. My background as a physiotherapist has given me insight into the physical limitations imposed upon so many people with various movement, pain related and physical restrictions to the extent that I wanted to explore first-hand how dogs were trained…

Where tradition ends and horse welfare begins

Tradition, in many respects, is a wonderful thing and I personally think it is great that we still ride in jackets and stocks despite the new and fancier options that we could potentially have adopted. I’m such a stickler for tradition that I still wear my stock under my XC colours in the cross-country phase and have an older style jacket for showjumping (to the despair of my friends who tease me about it frequently!). That said, the training system we use, while it still includes many of the traditional ideas, is completely new age, science based and built on…

Pets Prepare Us for Parenthood

Responsible pet owners are well aware of the number of obligations involved in proper caretaking of their furry friend. Most of these responsibilities, if not all of them, make a great practice for taking care of a new human addition to one’s family. No one says that a baby should be compared to a pet, and there’s nothing that can fully prepare you for a life-changing event such as a newborn child. However, taking a good and dedicated care of a pet is definitely a start in forming the caring routines and habits for future parents.

In Response to “The Punishment of Positive Only” Article

I recently read an article that was titled “The Punishment of Positive Only” and was very intrigued by the title. I’m always keen to learn something new and I think it is always interesting to see other perspectives. My concern with the article is that the author doesn’t really seem to understand what a punishment is or how to implement them effectively. A punishment in dog training terms is just something or an outcome that is designed to reduce the likelihood of the preceding behaviour occurring again.

Unconscious Incompetence and Wilful Ignorance

I was recently talking to a life coach about an interesting theory known as the four stages of competence. A subject highly related to the practice of horsemanship. I won’t go into great details here about all the stages of competence, but want to focus specifically on the first stage – Unconscious Incompetence. Every horseperson goes through this stage at the start of their journey. But the tragedy is that a great majority of horse people (amateur horse owners as well as professional trainers and instructors) will never actually leave this stage.

Why training The Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan’s way is dangerous

The Dog whisperer Cesar Millan has been a hit on National Geographic for over 10 years now. His rise to stardom has seen him release several books, and he is the star of 3 TV shows. All these shows and books are centered around his philosophy on dog training and behaviour. His show is also broadcasted in more than 80 countries – he is basically the face of modern dog training. And yet his methods are so outdated. Like many other people when I first watched the dog whisperer – maybe 8 years ago or so – my response was…

Featured Business: Canine Cuddles

What does it take to open and start your own pet care business?  Sarah Goldberg is about to take her years of experience in managing and running childcare centers and start her own dog day care center in Balcatta, Western Australia. The location will have an indoor and outdoor area, with spaces for puppies, a rest area, different sizes dogs and interlocking fences to ensure everything is planned and safe. Meet Sarah, from Canine Cuddles.

Dairy vs Vegan and Why I Support Our Dairy Farmers

{Trigger warning: this article discusses mental health issues and suicide} It’s still dark outside when you wake up. But the silence is heavy. Your reason for waking up this early, day in and day out for the last forty years was loaded up into a truck bound for the slaughter house over a week ago. The stock you raised from birth is gone. All that’s left now is the mounting debt, but what’s money when there’s no work for you any more.

The Overweight Horse Who Won’t Stop Eating

Your horse is overweight. You’ve been told to feed him a lot less hay and you’re desperately trying to do the right thing. But it won’t work! It won’t work for your horse any more than a strict diet would work for people. We have known this for years when it comes to human obesity. The reason is simple – dieting restricts calories, which lowers the metabolic rate. Weight loss may occur at first, but the body goes into “survival mode” and starts to hold on to fat and becomes sluggish in burning calories, making it extremely easy to put all…

Royally Stuffed?

Growing up I remembered the ads on tv about looking after “All Creatures Great and Small”(did you sing that in your head? hahah) I thought the RSPCA was a marvelous and benevolent organisation that truly did care about ALL animals. Seeing images of puppies and kittens on the TV knowing that somewhere out there was a group that would stop mean people from hurting them….. it was a comfort. And maybe back then they did really care. As an adult and with the invention of the internet I began to notice a trend in what I was seeing about the…