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Heat and Dogs

In the UK in Summer 2022 we have experienced the hottest summer on record with several record breaking days and runs of heat. there is also a drought and this leaves the ground parched and hot, retaining and reflecting the growing ambient heat, day and night. UK homes are not built for extended heat, indeed they are built to reatin heat to coonserve winter fuel. we are unused to heat and dont have air con as the warmer climates have to cool homes.

As the summer has drawn on there have been continuous messages and infographcs to remind guardians of the care needed in hot conditions. Some illustrations are below. There is information graphically to describe the temperatures and conditions which could stress dogs. Explanations of who are the most vulnerable to take care of. Heatstroke symptom checkers. There are also the stark danger warning posts and heartbreaking posts from Vets and guardians alike about dogs who have succumbed.

This blog is not intended to go over tthe basic information offered, they are illustrated within it. This is to offer some background to explain the why Canine Wellness Professionals are so vehement in spreading this message. The warnings are not just the “woolly”over caring dog world they are based in biology.

So many posts and questions abound

“My dog is off his food” “My dog wont go out/is so slow on a walk ” “My dog won’t play much”

” I can’t do the training you want as he just gives up” “She wont even do the fun games” “she is fidgetting all night”

” Just get on with it… dogs in hot countries do” ” they NEED a walk it is cruel not to let them chase after their ball, go running” “Its fine to walk out at midday his paws dont burn he never bothers”

… and on and on. Discussion after discussion. Rant after rant (both the get on with crew and the stay home and keep cool crew.

The background info to the concerns and warnings

Home living domesticated dogs have evolutionarily be bred to live in a temperate climate; neither very hot nor very cold, a “middle” common global temperature, dipping down in winter raising for summer, but neither extreme, and not for any length of time. Biologically they are set up for a mid range. The domesticated body (humans, cats dogs) can adjust for the odd warm day from time to time without too much internal stress and function as normal.

However, when we have extreme heat (over 28C) and that is over an extended time there is a biological stress that continues cumulitively over the time the heatwave occurs. The heat day and night for many days (even weeks at 26c and over for summer 2022) impacts biologically, the body systems struggle, which impacts emotionally and behaviourally too.

As a huge generalisation it can take around 60 days for the body to start to become acclimatised to a new weather environment change. Luckily our weather is not (yet) extreme for this length of time. We would really need to adjust our lifestyle and our homes if this becomes the case in the UK.

What is happening internally over these hot periods?

This is a very basic summary (so apologies to biologists/zoologists).

The body is set up to work to stay in balance (homeostasis). The brain and gut work hard separately and together to balance all the chemicals that are adjusted nanosecond by nanosecond, It is a finly tuned process. The brain or gut receiving external and internal information communicating and setting off the run of actions to maintain the balance, physically and emotionally.

When there is an extreme impact the body goes into disarray to balance the disrupted systems. For minor impacts this is unoticable, it gets warm , we get thristy, sweat. There are a wide range of actions the body engages to deal with an extreme heat situation. These are operated from the survival centres in the brain. The messages that go out are to do everything to protect the major organs and maintain the balance to keep the body functions steady. These responses are automatic and meant to last for a short while becuase they take away some resources from parts of the body needed for longer term functions (like digestion).

When the “threat” continues the organs are put under some stress and need to conserve their status. the body constantly tries to reduce the temperature that is rising internally and to protect from the external threat. This means that behaviours will change to reduce the impact of extra not needed functions, like movement, eating and non essential activities like play and social or environmenal exploration reduces. The brain is so busy balancing the body it finds it hard to think, so learning is impaired.

This balancing act begins when the temperature raises above that which the body is buiult to function. This can be as low as 23/24c. By 27/28 the body is struggling to do normal everyday activities so any added pressures from walking or running or lengths of time exercising or thinking can overwhelm the body. 32c is considered to be dangerous for all dogs with the balancing systems in overwhelm and the chance that some will need to be shut down. At around 36 ambient temperature the body now has a balance of external and internal heat , it is incredibly hard to distrubute heat outwards.

This is compounded by the added dangers at lower temperatures in anumals who have added health needs. this includes: Flat faced dogs or those with impaired breathing, obeseity, very young (under 6m), senior (7 and above) those with underlying conditions, minor or major, even minor issues suh as allergies have the body already in disarray.

“how would dogs in hot countries survive then if they dont go out twice a day for a run”.

This is a commin question oor babsis for a heavy discussion. Well, firstly they have the acclimatisation, through generations. They also (possibly as part of this generational epigentics) have different behaviours and habits.

Generally dogs in tropical or sustained heat environments are given more freedoms and not habitually lead walked. Or they live in homes set up for heat, air con, quiet daytimes with social times later in the evening as it cools – remembering the closer to the tropics the earlier the sun goes down, there is less time in the day with full sun.

They are “crepuscular” going out at dawn and dusk for engagement, food, social time, exploring the environment. They then spend their day in a cool place, sleeping , dosing. The evening cool is time to socialise, explore until night falls and they find their overnight sleeping space. Rarely are they out in the sun unless by own choice.

Our UK dogs just dont have these freedoms of choice. We lead walk, often for a specific time or distance, or drive and get a run. But the choice of where when and how is human led. Would they choose to go for a drive and a long wood run? Or a lead walk along the streets and parks? Maybe, Maybe not. We really should hear their decisions around this. Are they keen to get in the car or their lead on? Do they seem slower or tired? If you turn back do they move to the car or head for home? Are they showing signs of getting hot? Listen and respond, even the late and early walks may be too much day after day.

“My dog wont toilet at home/ I live in a home with no garden”

This is a genuine difficuclty and one I have much sympathy for. it woudl seem that this is the reason some dogs must have an onlead walk to the park in the heat. A little planning could avoid cumulitive stress. Our dogs generally have toilet habits including time and where. By practicing different times to go out, including early mornings and later evenings we can reset that habit, ina not stressful time. Ideally choose a time under 23c, which in our August evenings has been impossible for sure. we also know they often have a special place. Why not go directly there, if necessary drive if it is a while away. it may also be possible (out of a stressful time) to retrain to toilet very close to the home or in the garden. when puppy training, rescue toilet training or moving home I suggest taking a sample of the grass or mop up some wee and take the collected poo and leave in the garden (hard to use this in an open space). Take the dog at their chosen time and hang out whilst they explore and hopefully will go. This takes some persistance.

my dog is fine out walking, he needs to play and run or he will be a pain” ” we are only doing an hour in the field for a play and run” ” its just a cool fun run in the woods” ” he always runs with me at lunchtime/after workin the morning”

Coupled with ” my dog is really lethargic” ” my dog is not eating much” ” my dog is so slow walking” ” my dog is very grumpy when I get him to do….”

These are all clear messages from the dog and their internal systems that they are in overwhelm , pysically and emotionally.

What is wrong with a good run and play? My young dog wants to. I think young dogs or those who are very human programmed to do certan activities at certain times in certain ways are in automatic mode, their brain is by passing the information that there is a danger. It is often why they so easily succumb to heatstroke in lower temperatures but over exercise.

So why is exercise, the “Dont walk your Dog” message so strong , “a missed walk wont kill your dog but a hot walk may” meme so shared by wellness professionals? Simply the biology again.

Exercise and fun activities create the release of chemicals which flood the muscles and systems to produce muscle movement , more excitement or the run run run message the more chemicals flood in. the muscles are flooded wiht blood and oxyegen creating heat. internal heat, competing with the external heat and the bodys ability to balance. this also causes the heart to race and lungs to breath faster, creating yet moe internal heat. The chemicals that create excitement (or fear) have a knock on affect to th eproduction of other chemicals , some disperse quickly many stay longer, meaning th ebody continues to heat long after the exercise/excitment has ceased. Too much exercise causes an accumulation of these chemicals over time and the anxiety caused by overwhelm will keep them topped up.

even if th edog seems fine at the time, it will be impacting that day and subsequently.

This is how heatstroke seems to happen suddenly, why it can take over a dog who has been quiet since their morning walk. This is why Wellbeing practiotioners say Limited exercise and hear your dog and advocate for them.

“my dog is off her food”

As with all behaviours noting when food is not important to the dog is a meaningful observation. Food/nutrition is of course important long term for survival, but not vital in the short term. it is why when under physical and emotional stress the gut shuts off for a while. Digestion is energy consuming and it creates heat, the last pressure needed in heat or anxiety and fear overwhelm. Water is of ourse vital but with systems struggling the messages may not be consistent , here we need to advocate and note fluid, just as we do with ourselves and kids.

So when your dog is lethargic, not wanting to play or engage, getting tired quickly, struggling to sleep, grumpy, off food this is their body slowing things down to protect and conserve the vital organs. We need to listen, not carry on with our preprogrammed human expectations and habits. think of the why, what s going on biologically and how we are contributing to the overwhelm.

All that said. Don’t panic. Hearing your dog. Managing their environment knowing what is happening should be all that’s needed.

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Update – and some insight into my Continuing Professional Development

I have continued with my committment to continually updating my knowledge and skills and have undertaken new learning and updates of prior learning in the past 12 months with many xourses ongoing. Much of the learning the past 2 years has been irtual via online conferences and workshops from a wide array of global leaders in their field from every area of the canine world.

I am now one of the first Approved KAD (Kids Around Dogs) Practitioner which I am thrilled about. Initially we are working with children who struggle with fears and worries around dogs limiting their access t o family and making life out and about fearful. As a parent and a Child Educator (Headteacher and Teacher for 0-9 years old) this is important to understand and have empathy for. this programme is online for the majority and in short fun active chunks suitable for 4 yoear and upwards.Watch out for Blogs and case studies. I am hoping this will develop and add some learning for those kids who have an overconfidence  or lack skills in understanding the needs and communication of dogs.When schools  and human interaction is safer (ideally next September) I am hoping to offer fun programmes for schools. SO many families have welcomed a dog in the past year and so many contact me for help.

My considerable studies have added an accredited  Diploma in Holistic Canine Behaviour with 100% pass. This was a challenging course with Canine Principles which I loved. The learning here was backed up by many short courses and webinars and longer courses from both Canine Principles and The Dog Training College as well as a wide range of internationally recognised providers across the globe.

I have widened my studies into other areas which consider a Holistic focus for Dogs wellbeing physical and emotional. This has included a look at Nutrition which we are beginning to understand has a huge impact upon behaviour and lifelong wellness. I undertook a really challenging scientifically Certificate in  Nutrition  course (USA Accredited)  with Dogs Naturally University presented by world renowned Nutrition expert Dana Scott. this has been backed up by a current longer Certificated Nutrition course presented by Butternut Box Nutritional Vet Ciara Clarke. As a Butternut Box Ambassador It is vital I have a great knowldge of the impact of nutrition on wellness. to try out this great complete fresh food formulated by Ciara the Vet here is a special code for you, 75% off the first box and 25% off the second. Butternut take into account the needs of your dog and set up the boxes for your needs.

butternutbox.com/PeacefulPaws

I have continued with and completed the studies and case studies for Botanical  Self Healing (Zoopharmacognosy) with My Animal Matters and submitted several case studies which have been totally approved. I love this practice and, as it is best with guardian coaching and support it works so well electronically,. So added to my service menu is Zoom Botanical Self Healing. there is a blog explaining more both here and on my Find a Dog Trainer link with The Dog Training College  

https://www.findadogtrainer.co.uk/blog/botanical-self-healing-aka-zoopharmacognosy 

This link will also lead to reviews on some of the many sessions I have undertaken.

I am adding to my specialisms in Puppy training and development with School Of Canine Science Puppy Lab and Dog Training College Puppy Specialist. Also with Dog Training College I am completing specialist trainer status in Canine Body Language (for which I am already an instructor) and also Reactivity Specialist.

I am really enjoying modules from School of Canine Science Behaviour Bible focussing on the detailed science of the internal dog, including neurobiology, endocrinolgy and genetics.

We are currently fine tuning some changes in services in line with the range of learning undertaken. Some of this will be online and also a hybrid offer to suit the changing needs of our clients

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Help! My dog is a Fearful Fido, Anxious Annie, Grumpy Genghis.

Actually my boy IS Grumpy Genghis! He is also a fearful Fido and Anxious Annie, all these apply to him at different times. He has been called REACTIVE or I label him with the term “Having reactive behaviours”. This is not really very useful, everyone has a different vision of what reactive means, looks like, why it occurs, what should be done to “stop it” .

His behaviour is actually an expression of an emotional state. An emotion in that moment, or linked to past emotional responses which build and have become anxiety and stress.

The why is less important than the how can we help him. It is however useful to know, as it can explain the nuances of his specific responses. His very strong fear of black dogs, of Labradors. This is likely to be the type of dog which he had a one off encounter with and which began his journey from happy friendly young dog, to a dog who is fearful of the world.

So how can we help dogs like Genghis who have struggled to come to terms with an event which made him fearful and anxious ? Who look from the outside aggressive, angry, dangerous.

Getting some professional help is key. As is finding like minded skilled and knowledgeable friends. Supporting a fearful dog  is isolating and emotionally draining. It is embarrassing being at the other end of a lead to a snarling, shouting, lunging dog or one who is cowering , too scared to move, or barking and backing away, as people TUT and suggest you muzzle or don’t go to places nice dogs go, who suggest you take control and show him who is boss. None of this is supportive or helpful, but luckily many of those comments are borne of the ignorance of what is actually happening, I was once that person.

What  does the term “Reactive Behaviour mean? It is simply a response to something that is out of proportion to the level of threat or excitement. This can include lunging barking growling snapping biting, it can include freezing or rolling over, it can include super excitement or frustration.

How can we help ? Help our own fearful anxious and grumpy, over responsive  dogs , but also help those who encounter us to understand the everyday struggles we have?

The Yellow Dog Scheme can get the message out, dogs wearing yellow ribbons or leads indicate a give me space. Space is the most important every dogs space need is different, so when asked to STOP or you see someone gently but quickly moving their dog away, please keep your dog away so we can keep ours emotionally safe.

For those of us supporting a grumpy  fearful, anxious dog  or their people, there are a huge range of ways to help.

  • Behaviour support from a knowledgeable skilled positive focused trainer or behaviour consultant. to assess your partnership and tweak some handling skills, offer ideas for helping the emotional response, offer you some emotional support too.
  • Learning about the biology of the emotional and physical responses. the neurology of reactive behaviours
  • Understanding THIS dog, Be your dogs GEEK.
  • Understand the nuances of Canine Communication and Body Language so you can hear rhe dogs messages but also, most importantly, read the communication of other dogs you encounter, to make that decision to move away fast or to ask for the owners support.
  • Advocate for the dog.
  • Offer masses of chances to have calmness (see the blog Calm Dogs are Happy Dogs) . Did you know it can take 72 hours for a dog to recover from an event? Us too!
  • Learn some games and activities at home , in a safe place, to play in tricky situations.
  • Offer alternatives to walks regularly, have fun at home, play games, do some fitness fun, have some forage and snuffle time, learn some scenting techniques, learn some more cues or tricks. 15 mins fun or sniffing or foraging is as tiring as an hours walk, add in some fitness activities and you will have a less worried and fit dog, without adding to their anxiety bucket.
  • Find your local Secure Field for safe off lead fun.
  • Find out and use some of the many holistic therapies and practices that can ease anxiety and tension, such as TTouch, K9 Massage, Herbal Support, Bach Flower remedies, Botanical Self Selection.

If you would like to know more and are local or can travel to Somerset I will be offering a whole day workshop to help you understand more about all I have summarised. This will be especially helpful for professionals in all dog services to learn more about Scaredy dogs so they can help them and their families to be safe.

Please contact me for more information.

If you would like specialist , experienced 1-1 support or just a chat  with someone who understands, about your dog or one you work with, then I offer face to face meetings or a skype or electronic session then have a look at the Services. I am happy to have an initial chat and offer some general help too.

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Firework and Seasonal Celebration Support


fireworks

My dog is scared of fireworks (and other noises) and help for other seasonal events

Why do some dogs feel firework fear?

  • For some the noise and also the concussivness of modern fireworks is scary, initiating a biological fear response.
  • This can happen any time with any dog, even if they have been ok before.
  • The “ noise” can physically cause discomfort as the dog is sensitive to the air waves, the ground conclusiveness as well as the sound . Dogs hear 4x the distance we do. They pick up higher frequencies than us and the pitch can be excruciating.
  • They are erratic and unpredictable, both within a specific display and between displays ( which now happen from October to January . They seem to stop and then start up .. often louder or a different sound . it is the unpredictability which is so scary.
  • Dogs who are easily sound spooked are more likely to become firework fearful.
  • Managed Exposure and a programme can help young dogs and puppies manage the range of novel sound better.
  • NEVER “flood” by forcing them to watch
  • The more confident the dog is in the first exposure or in subsequent ones the more “bombroof” they will be. This is true of subsequent events, the happier the dog is the easier they will cope.
  • Dogs who are generally anxious or fearful will cope less well with novel sounds.
  • Dogs with any pain or who are unwell will cope less well .
  • The emotional state in the household around this time also impacts, try to be calm and jolly, if others are responding to the noise fearfully or if there has been stress and anxiety generally could add to the anxiety.
  • What does fear look like ?
    A dogs trust survey found 72% of dogs were adversely affected with 10 % seriously impacted.

What does canine fear and anxiety ( stress) look like?

  •  Lip licking, yawning
  • Panting when no exercise or not over heated
  • Refusing food
  • Being “naughty” or “stubborn” (refusing to listen or obey)
  • Very flighty or over excited, easily goes “over the top”
  • Trembling , shaking or drooling
  • Barking whining howling
  • Clingy, or wanting to hide away
  • Seeking touch when usually not keen to be handled or refusing touch when usually snugly
  • Cowering
  • Being destructive
  • Urinating defecating or vomiting for no obvious cause

Learn to read what is usual for your dog. What is their normal behaviour or response to the environment, what is their default like? Learn to read body language .

How can we help?

You cannot reinforce fear by offering appropriate support, If your dog seeks comfort give it, if they seek solitude enable it with your support .

  • Make sure all health conditions are under control, both physical and emotional , pain can impact fear thresholds . Get a vet check , especially ears.
  • Make a Plan
  • Get the whole family and any friends and neighbours involved. Share the plan so everyone knows .
  • Check up on local displays and note the times and days. Local FB groups can be helpful here. If you know local neighbours always have a party or use them on other winter occasions visit and explain if possible and ask for some warning so you can put your plan into action.
  • Change your walk plan if you usually walk in the evening in the winter. Go during the daylight hours (before 16:00 ) or early morning. If this is not possible then miss walks for a few days around this time – don’t be caught out it could have a detrimental impact.
  • If you have to go out use a double lead on collar and harness in case dogs slips out in their fear and flight. Do not let off lead at all.
  • If you have low gates and fences make sure you go into the garden on a lead … try and get the after dinner poo and pee done early, feed early (or use in games … see below)
  • Try not to leave your dog home alone, if this is not possible then make sure your plan includes how you will enable them to be safe without your support. Or arrange for a sitter who knows the plan
  • Plan for being engaged with your dog on the main display days (this is usually between 17:00 and 23:00 )

What to include in your plan

calm games snuffle box

 

Some music –

Consider a therapeutic option – remember there will be a range of what your dogs may respond to, what works for one will not for another, this is because their emotion is different in each case.

I RECOMMEND A  CHECK WITH A VET: ESPECIALLY  IF YOUR DOG HAS OTHER MEDICATIONS OR CONDITIONS

 

  • Bach rescue remedy – very effective for most animals (including us) it is not necessary to have the more extensive dog version. It works with fear of both known and unknown origin and shock.
    Botanical selections, specifically oils.
  • BE CAREFUL – do not vaporise, do not add to the dog, or its bedding (use a separate cloth the dog can choose to engage with
  • make sure there is an exit.
  • Do not use with children under 3 or pups under 6 months.

G self selection powders

 

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Other options

  • consult a vet for clinical support
  • zyclene is often recommended by vets as is nutricalm. ask your vet for information.
  • Tranquil Blend by Hedgerow hounds can help if given a loading  dose usually several weeks
  • skullcap and valerian and st johns wort from Dorwest can also be useful, needing a loading  time of several weeks.

For any further help please contact me:
peacefulpawstherapy@gmail.com @peacefulpawstherapy (FB)
https://peacefulpawstherapy.com

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Virtual Consultations

NEW SERVICE

After a many requests and a good deal of successful voluntary electronic support across the UK and indeed globe I have decided to offer a virtual service.

The Electronic Consultation  can cover Training, Therapy or Integrated  Training and Bach/Distance Reiki and Healing).

Following  an in depth written consultation from the Guardian, there will be a discussion around the issues raised. This can be done in a format chosen by the Client, including: email, Skype, Personal Message, WhatsApp or phone.

The initial Consultation will take around and hour for planning and up to an hour discussion at an agreed time. Following this we will put a plan together to initiate the Training and or Therapy.

There will be an open contact via email or PM throughout the following week where the client can share success and further challenge, including video and photos.

There will be 3 following formal  weekly checki-ns; at each the progress will be assessed and the plan modified as needed.

There will be an option for booking further ongoing support.

In some cases (within 1 hour drive of Taunton) it may be useful for a meet up in person. Travel expenses will be charged .

PLEASE NOTE:

  • This service is not suitable for deep behaviour issues and any that seem outside the remit of this service will be referred to a Behaviourist.
  • Common training issues can be covered.
  • Without the personal input , in line with the agreed plan,  progress will be limited.
  • Some needs can not be supported electronically in some cases,.

 

llw focus meme

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Calm Dogs are Happy and Healthy Dogs – Something you dream of ?

Being Calm is a much overlooked emotional state for our modern dogs. We have hurried lives ourselves often and this can impact upon them. They can have a quiet , but often not always calm , day and then everyone comes home, it is noisy or busy , anxieties of our day are shed in a cuppa or a glass  of wine as we relax, we may walk the dog to relax ourselves and give them the exercise they need but are we engaging? Are we watching for THEIR needs on the walk? Often I see walkers on phones or for a 20 mins not engaging once with their dog.

For an anxious or unsettled dog, or a dog with medical issues, being naturally calm is not their default.

As for Puppies!! Well we all know what happens when they don’t get enough calm time. They  become demanding, shouting, attention seeking and bitey. This can soon become a learned way, develop a behaviour to access attention or “feel better” and sometimes develop into a dog for whom THIS is a default.

So What can we do ? How can we get this? Just a few images of how my dogs are encouraged to get some rest in between fun (and that is the key).

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I am privileged to be working with a range of colleagues to support dogs to gain this calmness. Currently I am working with the Absolute Dogs Team to become a ProTrainer. Their view is that Calm is essential.

“Calmness s a concept that cant be overrated”

“Arousal levels is made up of lots of little exciting, anxiety inducing or worrying events until their [stress]  bucket is full”. [and their behaviour becomes “Hyper” or over the top]

“Teaching Calm default, a calm existence, a generally calm way of being keeps the [stress] bucket empty”

[by using a calm protocol, having more happy fun events than excitable ones  and complementary support] “When something arousing/challenging happens the bucket doesn’t overflow – it tops up a bit because the dogs brain has learned to calm to empty it”

(quotes from Tom Mitchell from the Absolute Dogs Programme.)

So how do we know if our dogs arousal (excitement, anxious) bucket is overflowing or close to doing so?

What are the signs? Do you recognise any of these? 

Lunging and barking     Destructive    Barking at the slightest thing   

separation anxiety    Not listening (or hearing) what you say   mouthing or biting  

attention seeking with any of the other behaviours, not giving up

humping – toys, people, cushions, air …           zoomies      not eating 

What can we do?

There are 3 types of calm according to the Absolute Dogs Team.

Passive calming – using snuffle mats, Kongs , Treat Balls, scent puzzles

Encouraging Calm (we call it “settle”) catch them genuinely settled and offer a little treat or a calm touch eventually adding a cue helps to get them settled in an environment they find arousing. I love to add music to this time, adding a sensory memory that can be invoked . This is a great way to help calm whilst you are absent or during the night or  in another room. Our favourites are Islands by Ludovico Einaudi ,  The Essence Deva by Premal, The Music Within by  Sat Darshan Singh,  Anand Bliss Snatam Kaur.

Creating a set of uninterrupted spaces – different specific rooms or beds creates a Calmness Protocol a default multisensory quiet place.

tilly crate rest
Tilly in her day rest place

Rest Perhaps the most important of the “Calmness Triad”. A crate, or bed, a safe place. No play here, no interruptions, a place to choose to sleep. Dogs need lots of sleep to process learning and the myriad of sensory inputs during their day. Children need to respect this place and we as adults can use this for the dog to take time away from children or busy homes.

In busy homes a crate cover may help Jo Pritchard (Paws boutique Tamworth) specialises in products to help with creating calm have a look at her beautiful Crate covers

https://pawsboutiquestudio.co.uk/crate-covers

How do you create these calm places?

Calm dog only zones    

  Time outrest , boundary games (see Absolute Dogs Ebook). Value the time in these places, short at first then extend until it becomes a choice, like Tilly above.

Game on- Game off – have fun to tire the mind, managed arousal, fun, but use a start and stop cue… “1…2…3…GOOOO ” and finish with a calming stroke ” all done” .

“Ditch the Bowl” use the majority or even all their dry food allowance (or an alternative for fresh fed dogs) for the games and activities, working for your fun is satisfying and tiring.

Exercise and fitness – manange both the high arousal, fun and fast activities with the managed calm fitness Lola Loves the balance board or even an empty box !lola 2 feet steplola box 2 feetlola sit step

What about the over-aroused, anxious or dog with reactive behaviours ? How else can we help?

Complementary therapies

As an Animal Therapist and Integrated Trainer  I see the signs above of over-arousal or reactivity most days either professionally or out an about. I often suggest trying one of a range of interventions wither commercially available or as one of my modalities.

For information here are some ideas:

For a whole range of information about the following and some shared posts on a range of Canine wellness and therapies have a look at our partner FB page

https://www.facebook.com/pg/peacefulpawstherapy/posts/?ref=page_internal

Bach Flower Therapies for dogs with historical trauma or a general anxiety or fear, these gentle therapeutic essences can be combined into a personalised recipe to enable the body and soul to work with the needs, I have seen amazing results , have a look on the FB page for Bailies story ...and Genghis below – you can see his peace.

Reiki Especially combined with Bach and energy balancing can help manage the calm in over anxious dogs.

Botanical Self Selection – also known as Zoopharmacognosy.  This is very powerful to give the dog some choice about the herbs and aromatics they wish to choose for their specific needs. Every session I take part in is a joy to see and then the calm from the animal after is a joy to see.  Look at Genghis just relaxing into Jasmine and Valerian.

Crystal therapy –some dogs are amazing at being clear about the crystals they need and wearing them as an attachment to a banadana or cage attached to the collar can really help.

Jo at Paws Boutique is currently developing a Bandana to carry a crystal safely or a piece of muslin with a Bach remedy or a self selected essence. We are working with her – watch this space

https://pawsboutiquestudio.co.uk/bandanas-bows/

Offering and finding what they would like is vital …

Below Genghis is Working with Tracy from Calm Creatures

http://www.calmcreatures.co.uk/

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Commercially available Products 

I also work alongside Niki at the Norfolk Apothecary and her AniScentia range. The products are mostly Organic and all self sourced and she creates each product personally using her skills as a Master Herbalist and Aromologist/aromatherapist as well as many years experience as an Animal Therapist.

I have tried all these anxiety and calming  products with great success for my own and clients dogs.

http://www.thenorfolkapothecary.com/panic-anxiety

My Animal Matters – Rachel Windsor Knott Is also another brilliant source of not only Self Selection information but very high quality products. Aimed at both Therpaists and especially interested Pet owners her shop and website and FB pages are a great source of information.

http://www.myanimalmatters.co.uk/

Her anxiety/hyperactive  kits are very useful

http://www.myanimalmatters.co.uk/product-tag/anxiety/

http://www.myanimalmatters.co.uk/product-tag/hyperactive-behaviours/

 

Finally … If you would like some help to support calm in your puppy or your older dog. Please ask, we can offer:

Therapeutic support

Training and Games

1-1 support 

Classes

Remember – Calm Dogs are Happy and Healthy Dogs