Date: 9th Mar 2016

Some tips to ensure your dog is happy while you're out + coping with thunderstorms and fireworks.


Leaving your dog when you attend a 4N meeting

  • Leave your dog in a safe, draught free place with a bed or mat to sleep on and plenty of water. Don’t leave food with your dog as that can lead to behavioural problems.
  • Leave without a word, any fuss or making eye contact.
  • When returning from your vibrant and lively meeting enter without interacting with your dog until it leaves you alone. Your dog will still want to greet you but you will be showing it that you have come back to the den as a strong and capable leader.
  • Once your dog has left you alone and settled down you can call it to you and give your dog as much fuss and cuddles as you wish.

By following these simple steps you will show your dog that you are capable of coming and going without it having to worry about you.

Fireworks and Thunderstorms

Here’s how to help your dog if it shows any adverse reaction to fireworks or thunderstorms:-

  • Don’t stress yourself. This is so important.
  • Don’t reassure your dog. Constantly talking or watching your dogs every move will cause it to be more stressed. It now has you as well as the fireworks to cope with.
  • If possible ignore your dog’s behaviour and don’t make eye contact.
  • If your dog is barking, digging, scratching or any other adverse behaviour (and you are able to do so safely) take the dog by the collar and hold it against your knee/leg. If you are unable to take your dog by the collar, for whatever reason, place a slip lead around its neck and bring it towards your body and hold it there until it calms. This will stop the digging, barking etc. Still don’t look at the dog or say anything. Be the calm, relaxed leader your dog needs. Hold the dog until it relaxes and then, without a word, release your hold. This is just the same as holding a frightened child but without words or eye contact.
  • If your dog is panting, pacing and unsettled but not showing any unacceptable or adverse behaviour then ignore your dog, no eye contact, no words of reassurance and make yourself comfortable in a very relaxed pose watching TV or reading a book.
  • Be the calm, relaxed leader your dog needs you to be.
  • If your dog is happier in a different room leave it there.
  • If your dog is looking for a smaller space to hide in (a safe den) then provide it with one. This could be the downstairs cloakroom, utility room or any other smaller space.
  • Above all remain calm, really calm, your dog can tell if you’re pretending.
  • In some cases, where your dog is used to sleeping in a crate, invite the dog to go in the crate, cover it over and let it be.

Mel Downing Canine Consultant

Mel Downing helps dog owners to have a deeper and more relaxed relationship with their dog. The method used is gadget free, does not use any force and works by communicating with the dog in its own language of subtle signals and gestures.
For more info, please contact Mel on 01909 591972

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Mel Downing
Natural Solutions
01909 591972

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