The Return – Paw-in-Hand workshop 2014 II

Yes, I’ve decided to do one more workshop this year after a successful workshop in March.

Thanks to the attendees of the last workshop, they were very happy and satisfied that they have been introducing their friends.

This will be the final workshop for this year before I fly off for my further study in dog behaviour with my college from August onwards.

To register for the workshop, kindly click here to register. Alternatively, you can copy and paste this link (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/17GGh0cFyWaPHcy1033wHVhAJ3OA4kPC48za9y3i6wDQ/viewform).

Closing date for registration is 1st June 2014 or when we reach the maximum number of attendees.

Early Bird registration! Hurry!
1. 10% off for early bird registration ends on 12th May 2014.
2. Special rates for shelter volunteers ends 23rd May 2014.

The Return - Paw-in-Hand Workshop 2014 II-A&P

Basic Obedience Class is open for registration!

Dear Dog Owners,

Our Basic Obedience class is now open for registration! Classes will commence on the 26 & 27 April 2014. It’s gonna be fun, empowering, lots of things to learn with your dog. Wait no longer! Email us right away!

Basic-O April 2014

Paw-in-Hand Workshop 2014 Updates!!

A successful 1st workshop! As tiring as everyone was, I hope everyone enjoyed and learn a lot.

photo 1Friday & Saturday session. Cozy, relax and interactive session.

photo 2Sunday’s practical session.

photo 4Heidie the Corgi cross is an anti-social dog. She lunges at other dogs when in sight and walking pass. With positive conditioning session on socialisation, she cross her threshold step-by-step. Still lots of practice for her owner, Josephine one of the attendee.

photo 3Certificate presentation. Look at the smiles on their tired faces 🙂 It was a long and mental stimulating workshop for all 😉

Basic Obedience & Dog Behaviour Class

Finally!! We decided to start doing basic obedience classes after much persuasion from clients and friends.

That’s not all! Apart from the usual sit, down, stay & recall disciplines, we decided to include more fun and empowering knowledge about dog behaviour and psychology into our program. Whether it’s conducted in a group setting or in your home, this program will help every owner understand dogs better and know how to prevent unwanted behaviour from developing over-time.

Email us to find out more and to book a slot! Email us now! Hurry!

Basic-O 2014

This is what we do…

Educating dog owners how we can work paw-in-hand with dogs in a respectful and positive way.

Clarification: “The difference between a dog trainer and a dog behaviourist is, a dog trainer is like a teacher, and a dog behaviourist is like a counsellor”. This being said, it doesn’t make either one of us more superior than the other, but being focus on what we are train to know and what we are good at. As dog behaviourist, we do not teach agility, search and rescue, etc… we will always refer to a dog trainer. Like wise, our friends who are trainers will refer behavioural cases to us. It’s about complimenting both profession and not going against.

Thanks to Temasek Polytechnic students from Mass Communications course who film this short documentary clip about our job here in Singapore. Great job done!

Paw-in-Hand Workshop 2014

Paw in Hand workshop is for everyone who loves dogs and wants to understand more about dogs.

Simply click here to reserve your slot. Slots are limited!
(if unable to click on ‘here’, copy link:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1LGTTe-u5QQaHZy8KP-gkBQCZgJB53RYIJazmDCFAejQ/viewform )

Paw-in-Hand Workshop 2014-A&PFor more enquiries, drop us an email.

Date of workshop: 28th – 30th March 2014
Workshop fee: S$280.00
Includes: Notes, Starter Package, Meals & Certificate of Participation
Location: 28th March @ Ang Mo Kio (Kawaii Pets Shop), 29th & 30th March @ Sengkang

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Doorbell Obsession…

Ding Dong….. Woof woof woof woof woof woof…..

DoorbellHaving problems with your dog barking non-stop when the doorbell rings or when guest arrives? Here are 3 methods that we suggest you can try. However, always remember that you are helping your dog to associate positively to different / strange sounds in the house. Therefore, this will take time and consistency. We do not condone physical & hysterical practices such as caning, rolling newspapers, tennis rackets, spanking, kicking, pushing hard, shouting your lungs out, or banging your room doors down to get your dog’s attention. We want your dog to learn calmness and associate that doorbell, door knocking and guest entering the house are positive experience.

IMG_1536

Method 1: The Delicious Bell!
When doorbell rings or when guest arrives knocking on the door and your dog starts to bark non-stop, whether your dog shows signs of fear towards the sound or guest or whether your dog shows over-excitement – use a food lure. Something that your dog cannot resist. Something that’s so heavenly to your dog that your dog rather follows the food and not the doorbell or the guest. Use that to lure your dog to his/her resting area yet door is still visible to your dog and you. Lure your dog into a sit – down position will be the best, but we’ll start with the sit first. At this point, do not let your dog have the food/treat yet. Continue with the lure, then invite the guest in. Once your guest have entered your house, your dog can have the food/treat. Immediately, but calmly take out another food/treat and lure your dog to the guest (you can get your guest to sit or stand) and reward him/her with the food/treat. Following that, give a food/treat to your guest and ask your guest to lure your dog into a sit position and then feed him/her. You can repeat the exercise with your guest giving your dog food/treats as many times. What we want to achieve is for your dog to understand that the sound of doorbell or the sound of door knocking presents a reward with the right behaviour. After which, we will also achieve to help your dog understand that as long as you, the owner allows the guest to enter the house, your dog gets a reward for following your response to the guest by being calm. (By Ezra Koh)

Method 2: My Owner is the Doorbell!
Have one universal command for your dog to stop what they are doing and follow you – whether it’s attention to other dogs, squirrels, food in the ground or people at the door. When the bell rings, go to your dog, use the command from the hallway and walk away from the door. Whether to the kitchen, or to your room. If your dog follows you to the kitchen, reward your dog with a treat and have your dog wait while you answer the door. If your dog walks back to bark at the door, do it again – go to your dog, use the command from the hallway and walk away from the door. Before this exercise becomes possible, you can simply ring the bell and knock on the door every time you walk through the doorway or when you come back home. Now they hear the door bell it’s not such a big deal. (By Soubhik Banerjee)

Method 3: My Dog Warns!
After your dog barks twice or thrice when the doorbell rings, say “OK” firmly to stop/acknowledge your dog. If your dog stops barking, reward your dog immediately and ensure that your dog stops barking after that. If your dog continues, follow method 1 or 2, but after your dog barks twice or thrice. This is when you want your dog to warn your of strangers or when there’s someone at the door. (By Jeremy Lim)

Note: These methods work with consistency and a lot of practice, but it goes a long way. Of course you can only start using this methods if your dog do not present defensive behaviour or guarding behaviour at the door or to guest. If they do, consult a professional.

This article is put together by our team of dog behaviourist!

Home Alone…..

Vogue-AngBaoIt’s the 1st day of the Chinese Lunar New Year in Singapore!! Happy new year everyone!!

As we celebrate the Chinese New Year with countless house visitations, exchanging of Mandarin oranges and for the unmarried, collecting of red packets $$, let us not forget about our doggies. Not everyone has the luxury of bringing along their dogs for house visitation as the culture in Singapore is still not very open and more Singaporeans are still on-the-way of being educated. With that in mind, don’t forget to walk your dog(s) in the morning before you head out for visitations. That’s not all – remember to leave mental stimulating toys or IQ toys for your doggies while the human is out filling stomachs with Chinese New Year goodies.

And lastly, don’t forget to walk your dog again when you come back. As much as driving in Singapore is really a pain and it’ll be really tiring, especially during this festive season, our responsibility as dog owners cannot be neglected. We have to continue learning the right way to live and work hand-in-paw with our dog(s).

Ezra Koh

Ouch! The Dog Bites!

DogBiteBittenAttackBloodBitTeeth6Why do some dogs bite? Many will respond “because the dog is aggressive”.

But are those dogs really aggressive?

In my experience, a dog will only bite if the person/owner has trigger off a stimuli that causes the dog to react in such a manner, or if the person/owner has disrespected the dog. Whether in terms of space invasion or stepping beyond the comfort zone of the dog, a disrespectful behaviour has been read by the dog. Here, I’m talking about dogs with no psychological issues.

You will notice that I’ve been emphasizing about respecting dogs in almost all my articles. This is because dogs are very sharp when it comes to reading the human body language and associating scent, sound and sight into a command or an action. This does not mean that when we respect dogs first, we become losers or followers. As I’ve explained before, this is pure leadership. Like I always share with others as well as my team of associate behaviourists, we must stay current with the latest research and move on from the old ways. Humility in learning makes one a stronger leader. Here at The Dog Behaviourist, we do not discriminate trainers or behaviourists who do not share our sentiments and methodologies. We are all here for the very same purpose – to educate owners about their dogs and to help dogs understand humans. Therefore, rather than comparing between various trainers and behaviourists, we prefer to study and learn from best practices. We often teach people not to carry unhappy emotions when training dogs because dogs move on fast and they don’t dwell on the negative (although latest studies have shown that dogs do carry certain emotions, but I shall cover that in another article). As we learn the same from dogs, we too, should keep moving on.
Showing Teeth
I’ve heard many times over that when a person/owner gets bitten, they blame the dog. Seldom do I hear anyone admit that it’s their fault for causing the dog to react in that manner. I shall emphasize that whenever a human gets bitten by a dog, it is always the human’s fault, never the dog. And I’m not even talking about unbalanced dogs or dogs that have been pushed to their psychological limits. I’m talking about our companion dogs as well as feral (stray) dogs. As a canine behaviourist, my very first priority is my safety and the public’s safety, then the dog’s safety. Let’s be really honest; dogs are way smarter than what most people assume them to be! They are intelligent animals and they instinctively know how to take great care of themselves. Therefore, with that level of respect to dogs, I always ensure that when handling a behavioural consultation, I do not act as a hero. I take care to stay sharp and alert. If I’m able to handle a reactive dog without getting bitten, I know that I’ve respected the dog, and the dog is respecting me in return. But if I get bitten, I know that I’ve disrespected the dog’s space or comfort level.
Dog Bite
In a recent session I had with a client, her dog Sally (not the dog’s real name) nipped my foot when I entered the house. At the first instance, it may seem like Sally was the one at fault. But in retrospect, I went in the door too fast, knowing that Sally is very nervous and defensive. Due to that sudden movement of the door opening and someone foreign walking in, Sally reacted, communicating to me using her mouth that she’s uncomfortable with me entering the door. This is my first time being nipped by a dog during a behaviour consultation session with a client. It was very clear that I’ve disrespected her space, failed to take heed in her high-tone nervous barking and went ahead to enter the door. When she used her mouth to communicate to me that she’s uncomfortable with my presence, she wasn’t baring her teeth. Her nipping was akin to how a sheepdog nips the heels of the sheep, only harder. The result: a small scratch on my upper foot.

I was once told that as long as you work with dogs, you will get bitten badly at least once. But I still choose not to hold this belief. In all my client consultations, I’ve never been bitten or nipped before. Yes, this was the first, and it shall be the last. All it takes is for us as humans, to learn how to respect dogs first. Be sharp and meticulous in reading and understanding the dog’s body language and its communication to us, and you can prevent not just a bite, but even a small little nip.

To conclude: don’t act a hero. Whether you are a trainer, behaviourist, dog handler, a volunteer in a shelter or an employee in a pet shop, educate yourself with dog’s behaviour and body language. If you are not comfortable handling a certain dog’s behaviour, don’t be too proud to turn away from it. And never be complacent when handling dogs even when you have long term experience in handling dogs. It just means you have more to learn from dogs.