Where to Find the Perfect Puppy

Earlier this month, the picture of an adorable little puppy – named Pandora and thought to be a cross between a Siberian husky and a Pomeranian – captured the hearts of thousands following an online appeal. Pandora was found under a hedge near a main road and was taken in by the Merseyside Dogs Home. Their appeal for information garnered over 750,000 hits and 500 offers of a home, but the concern is wider than this one dog.

It has been reported that Pandora may be just one of thousands of puppies illegally smuggled into the country every year. Some of these dogs are not properly vaccinated, increasing the rabies risk in the country, some are not old enough to leave their mother, and many are mistreated on the journey.

The rise of puppy smuggling raises a very important question for anybody who’s about to become a responsible canine owner – where do you find your future loyal companion, and how do you know that they’re healthy, happy, and right for you?

Firstly, you must assess your own lifestyle – naturally, you must be sure that you have enough time, space and energy to look after a dog, but there’s more to it than this. Different breeds can have very different temperaments, so it’s important to choose a breed that will suit you, your family and your home. For example, if you have neighbours who are likely to be disturbed, you would be best avoiding breeds which are known for excessive barking!

Once you know what kind of breeds might be suitable, you can then start looking for a puppy.  In order to avoid dealing with puppy smugglers, puppy farmers or other disreputable breeders, the best advice is simply to ensure that you see the puppy with their mother and the rest of the litter before you agree to home them. They should be at least eight weeks old before they can be taken away – leaving the mother earlier can lead to issues. You should also ask for copies of their health and vaccination records. If you’re looking for a pedigree dog, you can also check on the breeder’s registration – the Kennel Club is the most often used scheme, but there are others.

You may alternatively be able to offer a home to a puppy like Pandora at a rescue centre. Sadly, there are many reasons for puppies to end up at a rescue home, from being found abandoned to being turned in by families unable to cope. That is, after all, why it is necessary to say every year that a puppy is for life, not just for Christmas. In these cases, the puppy may have some issues associated with their presence in the rescue centre, but you will be able to discuss their needs with the rescue centre’s team and visit them to ensure that you are a good fit for each other.

Whether you choose to rehome a puppy from a rescue centre or get one from a breeder, it is important to ensure that you offer them the best possible start in life. Here at CK9 Training we offer puppy training classes in Surrey which will help you to teach your puppy good behaviour and help to socialise them with other dogs. For more information, contact us on 07739 815 265.


Understand Your Dog: 3 Commonly Misunderstood Signals

We’d all love to say that yes, of course we understand our dogs – but the fact is, they are a different species and they don’t communicate the same way we do. As a dog owner, you grow accustomed to the differences in doggy behaviour, but there are still some common misunderstandings. Here we look at three of the most common.

Raised Paw

When a dog sits with one paw raised, many people think that they are begging for treats or offering to “shake”. Now, it’s possible (and in many cases likely) that the owner has trained the dog to shake or beg – but dogs also use a raised paw naturally as a sign of stress or anxiety. If they haven’t done it on a command, it’s important to look at the rest of their body language before you dive in to grab that cute little paw and give it a shake.

Wagging Tail

When you see a wagging tail, that means the dog’s happy, right? Not necessarily. Your dog uses its tail to communicate all sorts of messages, and happiness is only one of them. The key is to look at the position of the tail – although this will vary with breed, so an Akita would naturally carry their tail high even when they are relaxed. Generally speaking, a high tail speaks of attention, and a low one means relaxation; down between the legs means fear. If just the tip is bristling then your dog may be stressed; if it’s bristling all the way then you may be looking at aggression. The classic happy dog wag comes right from the base of the tail, usually with the doggy bottom wiggling too.

Adoring Gaze

When your dog looks up at you with big, loving eyes, you probably just want to gaze adoringly right back. Well, you really shouldn’t; for dogs, looking directly into another’s eyes is threatening behaviour, so returning what looks like an adoring gaze can make your dog very uncomfortable. The eyes can also tell you other things – if they’re bigger than normal, this is either confidence or a threat. If they’re squinting so their eyes are smaller than normal, they are often indicating submissiveness or fear.

These are just a few of the most commonly misunderstood behavioural signals that dogs give; they have an entire complex body language which long-term  dog owners will often grow accustomed to, but which can baffle new owners. Training is often as much about growing to understand your dog as it is about teaching them! If you’re looking for dog training in Surrey, here at CK9 Training we can offer a range of classes and workshops using kind, positive methods. For more information, contact us on 07739 815 265.


5 Dog Habits Explained

In comparison to cats, canines may seem pretty easy to understand, although if you’re a dog lover or owner – you’ll probably have noticed a few baffling acts of behaviour your precious pooch does that you just don’t understand.

 

As humans, it’s hard for us to make sense of canine body language and social cues – so whether he’s chasing his own tail or giving you the silent treatment, here are a few of those odd little behaviours explained.

Chases his tail

If you had a tail, wouldn’t you chase it? This quite amusing behaviour, although completely normal, is simply a fun way of your pup expressing his or her enthusiasm, and expending excess energy. However, if they do this constantly – they may have anal gland problems or flea allergy dermatitis. In some cases, tail chasing can also be a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder. If you suspect your pup may have a medical condition, or if you are struggling to distract them from chasing their tail – speak to your vet ASAP!

Excessive licking

While you may not appreciate sloppy kisses, your dog’s licks are their way of expressing affection, and has probably realised that licking can get your attention, pretty quickly.

Apart from the obvious however, there are also other reasons why dogs lick. Some say it is a sensory tool for dogs, and others believe that as canine mothers lick their puppies, this natural behaviour continues into adulthood, for grooming and social reasons.

Howls

As wolves in the wild howl to send messages to pack members who might be far away, or to reinforce rank, it may just be a behaviour that has been passed on from ancestral cousins. Some dog behaviourists consider that howling is instinctively necessary and rewarding for dogs, so do not worry if a domestic canine howls – it’s normal!

Walks in circles before lying down

We’ve all seen our lovely dog walking round and round in circles before finally settling down, however, why do they do this? Is it to make the spot comfier, or to change their resting position? Whatever it may be, this too is an extremely normal behaviour of both domestic and wild dogs. In the wild, dogs would walk around a spot several times to pat down leaves, grass or other debris to create a nice nesting spot, so naturally, it is another behaviour trait that has been passed down from canine ancestors.

Head tilting

Talking to your dog, or whistling, can often cause one of your dog’s cutest and most amusing behaviours: head tilting. The reason as to exactly why your dog may cock their head to one side is still not certain, but some behaviourists believe that by doing this, canines are trying to make sense of what they hear. Once accustomed to words, commands such as ‘walk’, ‘fetch’ or ‘lie down’ may be something they are trying to listen out for, especially if it’s a word they know often leads to something fun or rewarding. Dogs also tilt their head to determine the location of sound; however, if they are consistently holding their head to one side without an obvious trigger, they may have a medical issue so contact your vet ASAP.

 

Here at CK9 Training, we understand the importance of communication between dog and owner, and provide quality dog and puppy training classes in Surrey. We are experts in our field, and promise to find the ideal solution to any behavioural or canine issue you may be experiencing. For more information about our services, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly and knowledgeable team on 07739 815 265 today!


6 Top Dog Songs

Here at CK9 Training, we love dogs – and over the years, that sentiment has been shared by many musicians and songwriters. As a result, our faithful companions have been the subject of many songs, so we thought we’d share some of our favourites.

6: I Love My Dog – Cat Stevens

Does it seem odd to begin our list with a man named Cat? Not when he’s singing about dogs. The idea that “I love my dog as much as I love you” is familiar to many a dog owner – although for some of us, “as much as” may actually be more like “a bit more than!”

5: Man of the Hour – Norah Jones

This lovely song was written by singer songwriter Norah Jones about her most faithful companion, the one she can rely on to be her man of the hour. No, it’s not a person – it’s her dog, a poodle named Ralph, who is (like so many dogs) far more reliable than mere human companions!

4: Dog’s Life – Eels

Whilst it’s not exactly about dogs, we do love the lines “I’ll take a dog’s life, lying in the sun” – wouldn’t we all? The fact that we found this video pairing the song with Seth Casteel’s amazing underwater dog pictures is an added benefit!

3: My Dog And Me – John Hiatt

“It’s a different world I see when it’s just my dog and me” – this song really sums up the relationship between a man and his dog. Many of us have had this realisation; having a dog really does change the way you see the world.

2: Hound Dog – Elvis Presley

If you ask anybody to name a song about a dog, this is probably the one most likely to spring to mind. It’s a classic song, and undeniably catchy, but we still think it’s a bit unfair to hound dogs. After all, they can be classy too!

1: Mishka’s Song

We don’t think that any song by a human about a dog can beat a song sung by an actual dog. Okay, so Mishka has the benefit of an autotuning app,  but the same can be said of many human pop stars these days, right?

Whilst we can’t offer to train your dog to sing like Mishka (that’s a very special talent), we can offer dog training in Surrey to cover a range of needs, from obedience to agility. For more information, or to book classes, contact us on 07739 815 265 today.