Resources & dog-related information
There are lots of dog training resources and information on the Internet, but as with everything some are better than others. If in doubt check, check and triple-check the source of information. There is quite a lot of out-dated information that still refers to humans assuming ‘alpha status’ and adopting ‘pack leader’ status, often using harsh training methods…
So to help you find some of the best resources on the web, when it comes to dog training, welfare and information, we’ve chosen some of our favourites. Simply click on any of the bullet points below to be taken to that category.
Some of our favourite resources:
- Finding the right breed for you
- Puppy information
- Finding a rescue dog
- Dominance & alpha status – myths
- Finding a dog trainer and/or behaviourist
- General dog information
- Some favourite online stores
Choosing the right dog for your circumstances is very important. You need to consider your lifestyle, amount of exercise you can give and much more… A dog is a life time commitment – not a disposable commodity or fashion accessory:
- Which breed is right for you?
- How to find a reputable breeder:
If you’ve chosen your preferred breed and decided upon a puppy, here are some handy websites to make sure you help your puppy to settle in to his/her new life as soon as possible:
- The Puppy Plan:
- Finding a good puppy class:
- The importance of early socialisation for puppies:
- Puppy Farms:
If you’ve decided to open your heart and home to a rescue dog, congratulations. Rescue dogs can make wonderful pets and there are thousands of dogs in rescue and rehoming charities across the UK who are looking for their forever home. Here are some links to national and local dog rescue/rehoming charities:
- Forever Hounds Trust
- The Greyhound Trust
- Lincolnshire Greyhound Trust
- Jerry Green Dog Rescue
- The Dogs Trust
- RSPCA Lincoln
- Battersea Dogs and Cats Home
Despite what some popular TV programmes, websites and books may say, dogs are not trying to dominate us humans or plotting how to control our lives. Dogs are opportunists and do what works for them at a given time. They are social animals and certainly form close bonds with their human ‘family’. The dominance theory and term ‘alpha’ sprang from David Mech’s studies into captive wolves in the 1960s/70s; however we now know that, in the wild and their natural habitat, wolves do not form hierarchical relationships – they form more of a family unit, with shared roles and responsibilities. You can find out more from the links below:
- David Mech website:
- Association of Professional Dog Trainers:
- Welfare considerations for training:
In the UK, anyone can call themselves a dog trainer and/or behaviourist as the industry is not regulated. Just because someone has lived with dogs all their lives does not make them a dog trainer, I’ve lived with humans my whole life and I’m certainly no doctor or psychologist.
So, how do you find a trainer and/or behaviourist? A behaviourist is likely to only work on vet referral and will have studied hard to attain a level of theoretical as well as practical knowledge, often to BSc, MSc, Phd levels. Dog trainers may have a mix of academic qualifications, years of practical experience mixed with attendance at dog training events and seminars.
The best rule of thumb with a dog trainer, is to go along and observe a class (without your dog); any good trainer, will not mind an observer in class. If you see anything in class you don’t like, such as shouting at dogs, harsh lead jerks, use of aversive techniques such as alpha rolls, rattle cans or spraying dogs with water – walk away.
Below are some of the organisations that we feel best represent dog trainers and support force-free, modern, scientific and proven methods of dog training/dealing with dog behaviour:
- Animal behaviour and training professionals:
- Dog behaviour and behaviour counsellors:
- Dog trainers:
- The Association of Pet Dog Trainers UK – members are assessed before being granted membership status
- Professional Association of Canine Trainers (PACT) – members are assessed before being granted membership status
- The Pet Professional Guild
If you’re after general information about dogs and dog training, there are some great sites on the world wide web – some are by well-respected authors and some are a collection of information. Here are a few of our favourites:
- Dog Star Daily – general news, views and dog training information
- Dog Problems Solved – Gwen Bailey (founder of Puppy School)
- Functional Rewards – Grisha Stewart, Behaviour Adjustment Training
- Patricia McConnell.com – Author of the ‘Other End of the Leash’
- The Kennel Club
Once you have a dog, a whole new world of retail opportunities opens up! From leads and dog collars, DVDs and books to accessories and treats, there are so many sites to choose from. Here are some of our favourites:
- Dog books/DVDs and more:
- Dog collars and leads:
- Toys, harness, treats, accessories and more…
- Positive Animal Solutions – Doggone Good treat pouches, Clean Run dog toys and more
- Dog Games Shop – leads, harnesses, games and more
- Doggy Treat by Anco Dog Treats – a great online store for natural chews and more
- JR Pet Products – more natural chews and treats. Their Ostrich bones and pure paté are great!
- Treats2Sit4 – fabulous, natural training treats
- Dog food:
- All About Dog Food – a great resource for helping you find the best food to feed your dog. It rates well-known dog foods and their ingredients.