Emma Phillips

Your Dog Is Your CV

As a dog trainer, I feel there is too much pressure on dog trainers as a whole to have the perfect dog. When it comes to our clients, we would never worry about training something an owner who we’re working with is bothered about, especially if it weren’t a lifesaving behaviour. However, when it comes …

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Your Dog Is Your Priority

I wrote this post last year prior to lockdown hitting and never got around to sharing it – now that things are starting to open up once again I think it’s time that this post finally got shared!  This post was inspired by listening to the fabulous “Drinking from the Toilet” podcast by Hannah Branigan …

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Is It All About Breed?

Dogs were selectively bred for different tasks. This is how we ended up with a range of breeds available today, and that list is still growing (for better or worse)! However, is breed as important as some people or trainers make it out to be?  Now, the various breed groups, as defined by the Kennel …

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Talk About Your Dog’s Problems!

For a number of reasons, the dog world can be a scary place to talk about your dog’s behavioural problems. It makes us vulnerable as owners, and for a lot of dog trainers or competitive sports owners our dog’s behaviour is attached to our self-worth. This means talking about our dog’s behavioural problems can make …

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Offering Choice

There’s a growing trend in the world of dog training to offer dogs choice. This can come in so many forms, from a sniffari where your dog gets to follow their nose and they generally get to pick the route of the walk as a result of that to offering consent during grooming and veterinary …

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Adjusting Training Plans

I don’t know about others in the dog world, but I personally can find it a struggle when an entire training or behaviour modification plan (for ease of writing I’ll be referring to both under the heading of ‘training plans’) need changing. However, it’s important to realise that it’s not a failure if you have …

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Today I Made A Mistake

Today I took Pumba to the vets. At the time of writing, we were in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic which meant that the vets had put measures in place to ensure that social distancing was adhered to throughout the appointment. The appointment wasn’t for anything major, Pumba’s cytopoint injection, which occurs roughly every …

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The Danger of Assumptions

It’s really easy to make assumptions when it comes to dogs. These are usually pretty innocent and undamaging, but sometimes it’s worth looking at the assumptions we make and trying to stop the assumptions. Assumptions can be damaging in relationships, if I assume a certain level of knowledge of a client and they have no …

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Do you have the same expectations for your dog’s behaviour as your own behaviour?

Often, the expectations that clients come to trainers with don’t match anywhere near the level of their expectations for their own behaviour. Is it fair to hold our dogs to standards where we couldn’t even meet those standards ourselves?  Let’s take self-control as an example. Consider your own self-control, that last diet you did, how did …

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