I thoroughly enjoyed the article. It reminded me of a rescue Retriever ‘Ben’ whom I had the pleasure of living with in the final 3 years of his life. Ben belonged to my partner, Jennifer. Unfortunately for Ben who was rescued and shipped from Ireland, he was thought to have lived in a metal crate for most of his life. When it came to the outside elements that he wasn’t used to he was absolutely terrified. Things from pots and pans, going through doorways, sticks – even flashing lights! His joints were work down from sitting on concrete for most of his life.
What Jenny and her family did when they first adopted him was to try to gradually introduce him to those things he was scared of to try and combat them. For example with wooden sticks, they had a pool cue and placed it around the living room so the dog would see and pass it everyday. Gradually as there were more pool cues around the house he got used to them and after about 4 months he had lost his nervousness, just as well as the amount of pool cues became a trip hazard!
As you can imagine, after that he was not only combating his fear of sticks but his trust grew within the family and his confidence grew. Reading and understanding your dogs behaviour in this process is key, not fully understanding the basic signs of dog behaviour could potentially make the problems worse so you have to be careful if you decide to apply this method. Alice’s guest blog describes how to identify the signs of stress and fear but explains how to control them and eventually eradicating them.
With the celebration of 50 years of Doctor Who and a new series around the corner, Mark Walden investigates the advances of technology and whether assistance dogs will eventually be replaced our very own K-9 robots…
The Day of the Doctor is approaching! Equipped with his trusty sonic screwdriver, time shifting Tardis and of course his loyal assistant robot dog K-9 Doctor Who is returning to our screens.
K-9 is Doctor Who’s robotic companion but with today’s technology not so far away from that of his first incarnation in 1963 it makes you wonder, could robots ever replace real hearing dogs for the deaf? Hearing Dogs for Deaf People was formed back in 1982, far before the widespread use of personal computers, smart-phones and the world wide web. Will that ever change in the future?
At first glance it almost seems perfect. Low cost, minimal maintenance and no training involved – and the technology is actually out there. What’s not to like?
We’ve put together this info-graphic to test the theory and see how K-9 would fare in completing some of a hearing dogs everyday tasks…
OK, so perhaps our study is a little biased but one thing is for certain, in each case hearing dogs provide their owners with the one thing that robots can never provide; companionship, emotional support and a link to the hearing world.Hearing dogs are trained to detect alarms and, unlike a robot, capable of learning and adapting to their owners lifestyle. They have a sense self awareness and judgement that goes the extra mile and naturally thrive on making us happy.They can potentially allow some of the nearly 10 million adults and children in the UK with hearing loss to live independently or go to school and interact with other people.K-9 on the other hand is capable of playing chess, flying, talking and occasionally saving the world from time to time. They are of course good qualities in any dog you come across but he lacks the emotion, empathy and body language that could speak a thousand words to a deaf person. Maybe he should stick to saving the world and travelling through time and leave hearing dogs to the professionals.There is one thing in common between robot and assistance dog though and that’s the extremely high costs that are involved to make them. It’s estimated to cost the Charity on average of £45,000 per assistance dog. The Charity receives no government funding and rely 100% on your donations and support to keep going.So next time you watch Doctor Who, pause for a minute and think that you don’t always need to traverse worlds to help others in need, you can help a deaf person by supporting Hearing Dogs and give them a second chance. Why not get involved and get the chance to meet some of these amazing dogs yourself?
Emily Thornton was born profoundly deaf but has gone on to win, amongst many other awards, top Hound handler in UK four times.
“When I was 7, I wanted a fish. Parents said no. Then I said I wanted a rabbit. Parents said no. Then I said I wanted a horse. Mum said yes! But dad said no. Finally I said I wanted a dog, and eventually parents said yes!
So we’ve been looking at the breeds and the Beagle seemed like perfect breed for us and eventually met Bella. From that night, she changed my life and my confidence just grew and grew. She was the best friend and the one in a million for me. We did do everything together and our bond was genuinely special. Because of Bella and all the hard trainings we’ve done together.
If it wasn’t for Bella, I wouldn’t have won all those achievements and I wouldn’t be at where I am now, with five beagles under my name and would be so confident to do my three jobs, as a Dance teacher, Sports Massage therapist and a Commis Chef. Bella has genuinely helped me becoming the person I am today and I will never ever find another dog just like her and I truly miss her.
Dog aren’t only man’s best friend, but also can be a deaf person’s best friend.”
Oh I almost forgot! While the website was under construction I was approached by Pooch & Company and Animal Wellness Magazine to do guest blogs on their website, naturally I said yes. One is on an outlook on Dog Law and the other is about being a leader through positive training.
Here are some links and a taste of what they’re about;
“Dog Training! In my experience as a dog trainer, many of the people I work with have assumed that solving behavioural problems between a dog and a family is as easy as a one time visit from a dog trainer or behaviourist. Unfortunately it’s not; it would make my job a lot easier if it was the case! In my experience, it’s not just about training the dog but the owner as well.
Being an effective leader is essential – the dog needs to understand that you and your family are in charge. Every second you spend with your dog it is taking in vital information; you want to make things as clear to the dog as possible. Behavioural problems in most cases stem from the misleading behaviour from the owner and family. It’s not about being aggressive or domineering, but simply letting the dog know that it doesn’t have to stress about protecting it’s family….”
Dog Law – How does it affect you as a pet owner? – Pooch & Co
My name is Mark Walden, I blog about current dog related issues and until recently, I ran a boarding kennels, cattery and rehoming centre in the wilds of Hampshire. In may though, I became acquainted with Trevor Cooper, the UK’s leading specialist in ‘Dog Law’. Since then I have assisted Trevor in running his esteemed ‘Dog Law’ seminars all over the country which have been attended by pet owners, businesses and councils alike. I must say that despite being a seasoned dog owner, I found them to be both fascinating and shocking.
So,what is ‘dog law’?
The moment I mention Dog Law to others, I often get a funny response. Some laugh at the thought, some are intrigued, while others look at it as utter nonsense, and I can see why. ‘You mean dogs have laws??’