The story behind Dog Skills for Life

I have worked in the animal rescue industry where thousands of unwanted dogs await adoption. Some rescue shelters are so overwhelmed by numbers they have a three-month waiting list for dogs coming into the shelter. Often, dogs are rehomed because of a behaviour problem that the owners are unable to live with. Some behaviour problems lead to euthanasia if the dog is not deemed fit to be rehomed. Some shelters are forced to euthanise due to a lack of space, which is incredibly harrowing when you think about it.

The precious bond between a dog and their owner(s) can so easily break down with a problem behaviour, whether it be aggressive behaviours or a dog that cannot be left alone without destroying the house. Sometimes problems arise due to a lack of knowledge on the owner’s part; be it a lack of awareness on the responsibilities of pet ownership or how to read the body language of a dog to clearly interpret his or her communication.

These are confused, unhappy dogs who are desperately trying to live in harmony with us and do what pleases us but have not been shown how. It is so easy to fall into the habit of reprimanding your dog for doing the wrong thing rather than showing them what to do. Times have changed for the better in terms of positive reward-based methods but some of our society are desperately falling behind and are still in the dark ages. Reprimands, lead jerking and other aversive methods are no longer the most effective means of training your dog, and they are certainly not the most welfare friendly. If some of the so-called professionals are using these training techniques, what kind of example is that to a dog-owner?

Dog Skills for Life is here to make a change; to make a difference to the number of abandoned and euthanised dogs through education. Education, for both the dogs and their owners. Our classes are based on the incredible Life Skills for Puppies classes developed by veterinary behaviourists Dr Helen Zulch and Dr Daniel Mills. We want to spread the word through our work and make a difference to the lives of everyone in the community. We plan on bringing the community together socially; providing support for dog owners, running events to bring families together, and teaching children how to interact safely with dogs. We want to promote responsible pet ownership so that dog owners are picking up after their dog and raising well mannered canine citizens.

Join me on this mission. Email me at dogskills4life@gmail.com or call 07823 531 339 to find out more or to make an enquiry. I want to hear from you.