Saturday, August 11, 2012

Food allergies in dogs

Food allergies in dogs

Some dogs may not be able to process some foods, and suffer from food allergies when fed certain items. True food allergies in dogs only occur in dogs over roughly one year of age. Some breeds of dog have higher risk of food allergies. These include the following:

* Cocker Spaniels
* Dalmations
* Golden Retrievers
* Labrador Retrievers
* Miniature Schnauzer
* West Highland White Terrier

Surprisingly, food allergies in dogs may cause no gastrointestinal problems at all but trigger an allergic response in the skin, sometimes localized to the face or the ears. The most common antigens that cause food allergies in dogs are proteins. Beef is the most common protein in dog food, it accounts for about 60% of diagnosed cases.

Food allergies in dogs is diagnosed by feeding a unique diet that the dog has not eaten for at least six weeks. Dogs seldom eat fish or potato so that is the diet that is usually recommended to see if anything in the former diet is provoking an allergic response. If skin disease or bowel problems resolve but return when the former food is fed again, this confirms food allergy in your dog. It would probably be best to stick to the fish and potato new diet routine if this happens. The processing procedures used to produce commercial dog food may somehow increase the antigenicity of some foods, so processed food may trigger food allergies in dogs whereas natural foods do not. Some dog food manufacturers produce hypoallergenic foods, in which the protein has been "hydrolized" or broken down into its constituent amino acids

Commercial dog foods are not healthy for your dog.
Read more about food allergies in dogs and view some all natural dog food recipes here

Dog coughing - Dealing with dog cough

Dog coughing - Dealing with dog cough

Dog Coughing - Simply What Does It Really Mean?

Dog Coughing - Simply What Does It Really Mean?

By Wendy Owen

Dog coughing is a common thing amongst dogs of various types and ages. Both people and dogs cough as a reflex action to clear the throat of obstructions before they go down into the lungs. Coughing may just be the dog's way of disposing of a thing he's just ingested. Other causes regarding your dog's cough could be disorders for instance kennel cough, bronchitis, heart worm, or perhaps allergen hypersensitivity to something in his natural environment.

Almost all instances of dog coughing will cure themselves in a few days. However if the cough gets worse or keeps going for over a week, it might be recommended that you get the vet to examine your dog. Make sure you make an effort to convey to the vet exactly what the cough sounds like. Have a recording if possible. Your vet will then have enough knowledge to target the specific explanation for the cough so much more quickly. It is because different sounding coughs can indicate a certain condition. For instance a dry sounding cough most often ends up being a virus such as kennel cough. This could be easily transmitted among other dogs so it's good to get it checked out as soon as possible. A loose sounding cough may well suggest that there is an inflammation within the dog's throat or bronchi. If you're concerned that the cough may be a symptom of something serious, get hold of your vet at once.

Should your dog start to cough, enable him to rest so you can keep him quiet. If your dog runs around, this could cause him to cough even more. Make sure the dog has a clean, moisture-free and properly aired spot in which to recover. In addition to relaxation, your dog may require a diet of softer food for a time as his throat might be a bit raw. Tinned foods might be the most suitable option.

Dry coughs in most dogs can be eased by providing your dog using a moist atmosphere.. Just take your dog into the bathroom along with you as you take a shower. Because your dog breathes in the steam coming from the warm water, the cough will improve. This is merely helpful with regard to dry coughs, though.

You'll soon see that many coughs go away by themselves. Whenever a cough won't go away or maybe tends to intensify, it's the right time for the vet to provide some medical help. Examples of the remedies for dogs with lingering coughs might be medicines, cough elixirs, as well as antibiotics. These therapies and others could be given to your dog dependent upon the cause of the dog coughing. Even though you believe you know the explanation for your dog coughing, don't hope to take care of him on your own and never begin using human cough suppressants on your pet. Your dog may well be coughing for a good reason, for example to remove a throat blockage, so stopping the coughing would be a mistake. When it comes to medication, leave that side of things to a skilled vet.

Dog coughing may be worrying if you're not familiar with it. If you aren't sure the reason your dog is coughing, for those who have a dog who has an excessive or weird sounding cough, or perhaps the coughing carries on for more than a week or maybe getting rather more serious, a good thing you can do is to take them to the vet for the proper treatment.

Dogs are susceptible to a wide range of disorders and considering that they are unable to speak, it's hard at times to know what to do. Coughing in dogs can be innocuous, or it could be an indicator of a more serious ailment. Pay a visit to to understand more. Wendy Owen is a holistic health therapist and author.

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More on dog coughing

Why Is My Dog Coughing? Dog Cough Causes and Treatment

Why Is My Dog Coughing? Dog Cough Causes and Treatment

By Ginny Carroll

It isn't enjoyable for a doggy any time he's got a cough, or for you personally. Aside from the apparent worry about their well being, their coughing can certainly keep you up during the night. In the event that their cough brings about retching and throwing up, you could have much more housekeeping duties to do!

Despite the fact that there are usually countless reason behind why your dog might cough, why don't we take a look at the most typical causes.

Parasitic organisms

Heartworms are usually dispersed through mosquitos and reside within the right section of your doggie's heart as well as within the blood vessels leading out of the heart to the lung. They aggravate those blood vessels and also additionally conflict with blood circulation, eventually leading to cardiovascular failure.

You can easily provide your pet preventive medicine to be able to prevent him from getting heartworm disease. These types of medicines do not really avoid an infection with heartworm, however they will eliminate the baby worms just before they begin to develop into adults and thus can easily start to cause your dog any specific damage.

Bacterial infections

In the event that your dog frequently visits a dog kennel or daycare, they might possibly be in danger of contracting kennel cough. This is actually a simple name for a extremely transmittable upper respiratory system infection that brings about inflammation involving a dog's pharynx and also windpipe. The actual infection is usually usually brought on by a virus known as Parainfluenza, assisted and abetted by means of bacteria recognized as Bordetella.

Those pair of offenders tend to be liable for the majority of instances of kennel cough in canines. Even though you could vaccinate your pet against kennel cough, it is not really one hundred percent defensive plus your dog might also contract an infection. Luckily, for the majority of dogs kennel cough is not a serious condition and therefore they will get better pretty fast.

Heart Disease

We have previously discussed on heart failure while we were talking on the subject of heartworm. Any time your doggie's heart is not functioning properly, it is not as efficient in pumping blood via his system. That indicates that their blood pressure rises and then there may end up being seapage of fluid within their lungs. The consequence is usually a cough that appears to be more serious during the nighttime.

Certainly, there are usually numerous origins of heart failure in canines, which includes a weakness associated with the specific heart muscle as well as damage involving the small valves inside of the heart. Treatment method will depend on the underlying cause, therefore bring your dog around to your current veterinarian in order to find out what is taking place with your doggy. A prognosis of cardiovascular disease can certainly be frightening however together with modern-day medicine, it is in all likelihood that your dog can possess a very good high quality of living for quite a few years to come.


In the event that your pet is older, they might begin to cough a good deal more. That occurs mainly because their breathing passages can be significantly less flexible. Thus the small tiny hairs, known as cilia, which line their airways grow to be not quite so efficient.

The cilia's duty is simply to help progress mucus upward and out of the respiratory system, and in the event that they do not perform this properly, generally there may end up being more mucus in your pups bronchi. That mucus can cause your dog to cough even more. Your animal medical practitioner may recommend medicine that can serve to relieve your older dog's cough.

Treatment methods associated with coughing in dogs may include antibiotics, anti-inflammatories as well as humidifiers. However prior to attempting anything at all at home, make an consultation with your veterinarian. When you understand the reason why your dog is usually coughing, you will wind up being in a position to begin the proper therapy for their condition, plus he will quickly start to feel a more like his old self.

Our dogs are like family to us and so naturally it's very upsetting when they become sick.� Wouldn't it be wonderful if you knew how to give your dog a check-up, so you could spot a problem early? Before it became truly serious or even life threatening?

Now you can learn how to give your dog a check-up just like your veterinarian does and keep your dog healthy. Visit -> to learn how to examine your dog, step-by-step, exactly like your veterinarian does!

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Coping with senility in dogs

Coping with senility in dogs

Don't Confuse Your Dog Getting Older With Dog Senility

Don't Confuse Your Dog Getting Older With Dog Senility

By Ian Nicholson

In all the best dog breeds and in old dogs there are several causes. However the particular type of senility in most older dogs is a slowly developing one, which is caused by general wear and tear. Parts affected are the brain cells, damaged by free radicals brought about by excessive toxins. Feeding extra anti-oxidants in the diet can sometimes help reduce the damage caused.

Sometimes an aging dogs behavior is confused with the dog being classed as becoming senile. Here are a number of points to take note of when assessing if your dog may be suffering from the dog form of senile dementia.

� Is there any aimless behavior or what you would class as not being normal for your dog?

� Does your dog star-gaze?

� Does it do any circular walking movements?

� Does it still have contact with you or your family?

� Does it collide with furniture?

� Does it appear to be dis-orientated?

� Does it recognize everyone around it?

� Is it aggressive towards you or anyone who it knows well?

� Does it try to do things it normally would not do before?

� Has your dog suddenly began to urinate in the house?

� Has your dog become aggressive to other pets or dogs?

� Does your dog squeeze through too narrow a space?

Other causes that can affect a dog developing the disease:

Neutering a dog can affect the risk of any breed of dog developing senile dementia. In a study in Spain evidence showed that dogs that were neutered or spayed developed senile dementia earlier on in their lives.

Liver disease: affects the dogs metabolism, like the expulsion of waste products from proteins. This process can cause the ammonia levels to rise and eventually they reach the brain. These act as neurotransmitters and cause the brain to malfunction leading to senility.

Infections: Certain infections, which damage the brain, can cause loss of normal behavioral functions in a dog.

Toxins: Many foods or products classed as toxins which cause liver damage, can also bring about direct or secondary brain damage.

Tumors: Brain and tumors of the spinal cord often cause the first signs of dementia in all dog breeds progressing to more devastating neurological functions.

For all dog breeds and whatever you do, always consult your veterinary surgeon and they will be able to do tests to see if your dog has a type of dog senility. There is a treatment for senility in Dogs and the symptoms caused by our aging pets brains can be reduced. There is something that can be done to help alleviate the effects of senility and give your dog a reason to live and make you feel more comfortable with the unfortunate symptoms of your dogs aging.

Hi, I'm Ian Nicholson, I live in the UK and I am married with three grown up children.
I left school at eighteen after studying engineering and science then entered the RAF, eventually leaving to help my Father in his agricultural business.
I've been self employed for most all my adult life and have run many businesses ranging from Farming, Haulage, Agricultural, and Building.
I love reading and learning about everything under the sun and now I write information products besides studying dog diseases and nutrition.
I love everything about writing and of course dogs which I have kept and been involved with for over fifty years. They are special.

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more on coping with senility in dogs

Senility in Dogs and Cats

Senility in Dogs and Cats

By Elyse Grau

It is sad to see our beloved dogs and cats grow old. While physical changes in aging pets may be obvious, mental changes may be misunderstood. This article will help you understand your older dog or cat.

Some dogs as they reach old age may exhibit a number of behavioral changes linked to senility. This condition is now commonly called Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, or Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome. While this syndrome is recognized in dogs, it has not been scientifically established in cats.

Canine Cognitive Dysfunction shows signs in four distinct ways. They are disorientation, interaction with people, activity level and sleep, and house-training. Any combination of symptoms may be apparent.

Disorientation can be seen as an animal that wanders aimlessly, gets stuck in corners, stands at the wrong side of a door or appears not to recognize people or familiar commands and words. Changes in interaction with people include seeking more or less attention than normal, not wanting to be petted, and not responding to his or her name. Activity level and sleep changes show in such behaviors as sleeping more during the day and less at night, barking for no reason, forgetting meal times, and wandering aimlessly.

House training changes are obvious - things as urinating in the house, not asking to go outside or forgetting why they are there when they do go out. This is not the same as incontinence, which is usually a physical problem.

Cats may show some of these same signs, though they are often more subtle. There are also a number of other reasons for behavior changes in both dogs and cats. No syndrome has yet been recognized in cats.

Chronic pain can cause be another cause of changes in behavior, in particular activities such as pacing or not sleeping at night. Cats may show a marked decrease in activity. Hyperthyroidism and other hormonal disorders in cats can also cause changes, especially those involving eating patterns or aggression. Medications can cause changes in behavior as well, as can many other diseases and medical conditions. Cats are also prone to small strokes, which can cause changes such as walking into walls, or appearing disorientated. A thorough medical exam with blood work will be necessary in order to determine if your pet has a cognitive disorder due to aging.

There is also a syndrome called societal dissociative disorder, which is similar to CDS and is caused by loss of senses such as hearing and sight. Loss of one sense can often be compensated for by using another. Animals will do this instinctively, but we can also use this knowledge in our interaction with them. For example, when training your dogs they can be taught hand signals as well as verbal commands. As long as they are reinforced throughout the dogs life, the hand signals will be in place should an older dog lose its hearing.

For a dog or cat that has lost some or all of its sight, you can help him cope by not moving furniture or making any major changes in his environment. If the animal has lost both hearing and sight, you may still be able to communicate with it by using vibrations, such as stomping on the floor near the pet.

You can also help your pet through these times by being aware of the causes of its behavior, and by not taking it personally or punishing the animal for inappropriate acts. You can offer extra attention and reassurance. Try to keep a consistent schedule, and to not make a lot of physical changes in the dog or cat's environment.

Medications are available to deal with some symptoms, but there are natural options you can use. The use of flower essences, aromatherapy, herbs and touch therapy can all be helpful in keeping your dog or cat free of anxiety.

Elyse is the founder of The Original Dog Biscuit Company. She has extensive knowledge of pet nutrition and feeding, as well as practical experience in the raising of cats, dogs and other animals. She is also a herbalist, specializing in animals.

For more information on your pet's health and behavior, check out all of her articles at:

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Living with a blind dog

Living with a blind dog

Tips for Living with a Blind Dog

Author: Samantha Markham

There are many health conditions, such as cataracts, glaucoma and cancer, that can lead to blindness in dogs. Sometimes the loss of sight will be gradual and, in these instances, you have time to adjust to your dog's disability, prepare your home and translate any visual commands into verbal ones. However, blindness can occur suddenly, which may be more difficult to cope with.

How Dogs Adapt to Blindness

For a dog, blindness is usually adapted to quite quickly. Unlike us, dogs do not depend predominantly on sight, their wonderful senses of smell and hearing allow them to compensate for loss of sight. In fact, many owners are surprised by how quickly their dogs adjust to sudden blindness.

That said, there are a number of things that owners should bear in mind when living with a blind dog. Whether your dog has lost his, or her, sight or you are considering adopting a blind dog, you can make the life of that pet easier and safer with the following tips.

Tips for Living with a Blind Dog

When it comes to the home, there are safety issues that should be borne in mind. Some owners find that it is helpful to toddler-proof their homes for blind pets. In other words, any items that can cause injury or danger (such as knives and electrical cables) should be kept out of the dog's reach. In addition, swimming pools and other hazardous areas should be kept fenced off to avoid accidents.

As well as safety, you should consider your dog's comfort and ease of mobility. He, or she, will not appreciate sudden moves of furniture for example. It is always advisable to keep your dog's food and water bowls in the same place and it can be helpful to have a rigid daily routine, as this will help the dog feel secure.

If your dog has suddenly developed blindness, it can be tempting to help your canine companion by bringing food to him, or her, etc. However, you should try to avoid coddling your dog, because he, or she, will not want to become dependant upon your assistance and will not be able to adapt to a life without sight as quickly as he, or she, otherwise would.

However, if you are concerned that your dog is not adjusting well to the disability there is always the option of a guide dog. Just like guide dogs for humans, a guide dog for dogs is able to lead his, or her, companion.

How to Care for a Blind Dog Outside the House

Just because your dog is no longer able to see, does not mean that he, or she, will not enjoy the great outdoors. New smells and sounds will enrich your pet's life, so it is important to maintain outdoor activity. However, it is crucial to keep your dog on a leash, as sudden sounds or smells may frighten your dog and cause it to run.

Even when in your own yard or garden, it is wise to keep a close eye on your dog to ensure that he, or she, is safe. Additionally, as with inside the home, it is wise to keep all garden furniture and kids' toys in an orderly fashion.

In cases of dog blindness, our pets are often very resilient and adaptable. However, by keeping the above tips in mind, you will make the adjustment period much easier for your dog.

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About the Author

Samantha Markham is a professional freelance writer, based in the UK. She is proud to work on behalf of, a high quality supplier of pet products. Visit for a wide variety of dog-related products, including unique dog frame styles and dog lover home d├ęcor items.

More on living with a blind dog

How To Care For A Blind Dog

Author: Rena Reich

Taking care of a blind dog may require making some changes, but is not as difficult as you may think.

Before taking on the care of a blind dog or even if your dog is gradually losing its sight, decide where you want to place your furniture. At first your dog may bump into things, but eventually it will learn the setup and walk about your house as if sighted. However, be aware if you make changes your blind dog needs time to adjust.

Try not to leave things like toys lying on the floor that will injure your dog or disrupt its pathway.

Staircases should have a barrier to prevent accidents.

If you have to go out and leave your dog alone for any length of time, it might be a good idea to put your dog in its kennel. This will give your dog a sense of security when you are not home. You'll worry less too.

Your garden/yard must be fenced and should be kept free of obstacles as well. Any outdoor furniture should remain in place. Garden tools should be put away where your dog won't stumble on them and injure itself.

Pools are especially dangerous places for blind dogs. Pools should be fenced in and the gate locked unless you are there to supervise. This holds true for sighted dogs too. Dogs know how to swim, but blind dogs have difficulty with direction and can panic and easily drown before finding an escape route.

Your blind dog (or any pet) should not be left outdoors without supervision for long periods of time.

You can train your blind dog using your voice and using touch methods.

Caring for a blind dog is really not difficult, especially when you add tons of love given and received.

Just a note: My mother has a 16 year old blind dog that gets around my house and fenced in garden with no problems. Visitors aren't even aware that she is blind.

Caring for a blind cat has similar challenges.

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About the Author

Rena runs The Pet Wiki which strives to be the best place to get pet information in the universe (including Pluto). We have information about all ranges of pets, from the common to the exotic. Read more and contribute your knowledge.

Living with a deaf dog

Living with a deaf dog

Living With Dogs That Are Hearing Impaired

Author: Kelly Marshall

We've all heard the stories about how keen our pets' hearing is. After all, they can hear a car in the driveway long before we usually do, pick up thunderstorms and other weather, and rush to the kitchen at the rustle of the food bag. However, just like us, not every dog has the best hearing. Some are born with impairments, while others become partially or fully deaf over the course of many years. All dogs with hearing loss, however, need special care.

If your dog has reduced hearing, it's important to catch it early. If your dog becomes less responsive to your voice, this might not be because he or she is becoming disobedient, but because you simply can't be heard! If you think this is going on with your pet, you need to ask your vet to test your dog's hearing. The earlier you find out what's going on, the more easily your pet's hearing loss can be accommodated and dealt with.

Many dogs will eventually lose their hearing completely, but that doesn't mean that you can't do anything to make their lives easier. Start using hand signals along with voice commands while your dog can still hear you. Use plenty of praise when these signals are obeyed. Eventually you can go to just the hand signal. Realize that your dog may be confused when this first happens, but with the right reinforcement, he or she will catch on quickly. Choose clear and obvious hand signals that your dog can see from a long distance.

Praise your dog as soon as he or she starts doing the desired response to your hand signal. You'll need to think about how you're administering praise, since verbal methods are the most common. You may need to change to physical forms of praise, or your dog may not know he or she is doing a good job! Remember to focus on just a few commands at one time, since too many can be confusing. Not even the smartest dog can learn a lifetime of new tricks right away.

These pieces of advice are best for gradual hearing loss. Sometimes, however, dogs will lose their hearing very quickly. That can make retraining very difficult. If a little residual hearing remains, pair a loud, clear voice signal with the right physical signal, but don't shout. Smell signals can be used, as well - particularly in dogs that are completely deaf. Use food to get your pet's interest, and then work in a short session - ten minutes or so - twice a day or more. Don't push things, and remember that hearing loss is often related to other health conditions. The goal is an enjoyable session for both of you. Frustration won't help either of you learn to communicate!

Remember that there are safety concerns with dogs that cannot hear, as well. Hearing impaired animals must never be allowed out without you, and should be on a leash at all times. They can't hear other animals, approaching cars, or other signs of danger, and if they aren't looking at you, they can't see you signaling. It's hard to get the attention of a dog that cannot hear you, so keep your hearing impaired dog on a leash at all times.

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About the Author

This article was written by Kelly Marshall of - the top online store for organic dog food and dog food storage containers.

How to enjoy living with a dog who has lost his hearing

Author: Ivan Ojounru

Owning a dog that can not hear can be both a rewarding and educating experience. Owning a dog that has good hearing and sight can often lead us into being a little lazy, when it comes to establishing effective patterns of communication between us and our pet. For the most part we struggle through with a few voice commands and maybe the occasional hand signal, that often change depending on the situation. Fortunately, in a lot of situations our dogs learn to navigate their way around our impromptu communication style and, begin to 'catch on' to what it is we want from them.

Owning a deaf dog however is a different story; many owners of deaf dogs testify to how much their lives have changed since their deaf dog come to live with them. Often, deaf dog owners talk in terms of how different and, in many cases how much better their relationship is in terms of both communication and depth
Variation sentence 4.

Dogs experience deafness due to a number of reasons; many dogs are born deaf. This type of deafness is referred to as Congenital Deafness, it's cause is due to a defective gene. Other causes of deafness in dogs are usually the result of accidents, illness or old age.

If you are thinking of sharing your life with a deaf dog, then understanding, patience and, a willingness to adapt will put you in good stead. Amongst the most important things to consider are keeping your new pet safe, developing an appropriate means of communication, and making your home a comfortable and, secure place for your dog to live.

Dogs that are deaf are prone to being touch sensitive and, can also become startled much easier that dog who have no problems with their hearing, for example, if somebody approaches them from behind and touches them, or if roused from sleep. When owning a deaf dog you will need to keep this in mind and, adapt the ways in which you approach and, handle your dog. This is especially important for those with young children, as children can be boisterous at times and, a child running up and touching a dog that can not see him or her coming could cause the dog to become nervous or even try to bite.

To help your deaf dog adjust, try approaching him head on, stamping your feet as you approach your dog from behind can also be very helpful, as the vibrations will alert him. If you have children teach them to approach your dog calmly and to touch him gently.

If your deaf dog is over sensitive to your touch, try to help him by giving him a tasty food treat each time you pet him. With practice, your dog will begin to associate your 'unexpected' touch with a feeling of pleasure.

Two more important things to consider when making your home a safe and pleasurable place for your dog are, not to leave doors or gates open, so as your dog can escape and be left unattended, as this could be disastrous. If your new dog is going to be left alone for some time during the day, you may consider it wise to train him to spend time in a dog crate. However, do keep in mind due to your dog not being able to hear he may become restless, or even frightened at being left alone in his crate. Deaf dogs can also be particularly prone to separation anxiety, so do make sure your dog has plenty to occupy himself with during the time he spends alone.

The biggest dangers posed to your deaf dog will be when you are out and about, especially if you live in a town or city, where there is a lot of traffic. Keep your dog on his leash, at least until you are in a place where it is safe to manage him off leash. However, it is important to do this only when your dog is performing a consistent recall.

Working on building a way of communication that both you and your dog are familiar with is vitally important to sharing your life with a deaf dog. As your dog will not be able to hear you, only hand signals will do. In fact dogs are well ahead of us in terms of being able to read body language. You can use a series of 'official' hand signals taken from sign language designed for humans, for example, British or American sign language, or use signs from these languages that have been adapted especially for using with dogs, or alternatively you can design your own signs. smiling and speaking your commands, although the dog will not hear you, will also help to reinforce your new hand signals, however, the key is keep your hand signals consistent and simple, so as not to cause your dog to become confused.

When it comes down to it owning a deaf dog is not dissimilar to owning a dog that can hear. All is needed is a little extra patience, understanding, love and, a little work on your part and, you will come to develop a relationship with your dog that is difficult to compare.

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About the Author

I have had a keen interest in canine behaviour and training since the late 1980's. I have studied successfully for several qualifications relating to canine psychology and, animal care and behaviour, up to degree level. For free information visit