Meet Saffie

Last Thursday I spent my morning at @staffiesmilesrescue assessing a new dog who arrived recently at the kennels.

Saffie is a young female staffie full of energy and a big smile.

We went for a walk on a long lead to let Saffie move more freely, played with a toy and shared some treats.

This was also my first time with Saffie, a good opportunity to assess her around an unknown Human. And she was super friendly.

We also assessed Saffie in the presence of another dog, which was one of the main concerns as we had received some information on this topic which was not very positive.

Although soon we realized that all was good, Saffie did pull and barked a few times at another dog but it was just excitement and eagerness to meet the dog.

Once she made contact, she sniffed the other dog and without creating any problem, she came with me when I asked her to.

Obviously, this is not enough to have the final conclusion and we should assess her in a different environment and dogs, but it is a good sign that there should not be a problem to have Saffie around other unknown dogs.

It is also important to notice that, sometimes, certain behaviours like lunging or barking are not “Aggressive Behaviours” but simply a response to Excitement which has a completely different function.

Nevertheless, being able to make the distinction between both without running high risks is extremely important for the dog being assessed and all the parts involved.

Thank you,

Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro

Gary the Great Dane is improving tons!

Gary the Great Dane is improving tons!

A few days ago I had another session with Gary and it was indeed the best session with had until now.

We have been working together to improve his behaviour around other dogs when he’s on lead.

Before our sessions, Gary would lunge, bounce, bark and growl when not allowed to meet them.

2 weeks ago we achieved a new level where he could watch dogs at a relatively short distance without any of the problematic behaviours showing up and by the end when the dogs left, he would come with his mom.

By then we still had problems to ask him to come away from other dogs during their presence or in the middle of an interaction.

In this week’s session, we focused mainly on that problem and we overcome such problem within the same session.

At the moment, in the presence of other dogs and during interactions we are able to request Gary to come with us in a different direction.

He did it again and again during our session which is an amazing improvement.

Obviously, we still need to work on this part and later on put all the steps together as it will be implemented in a normal day when he will be on walks with his mom, nevertheless, Gary did really well!

Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro

#connectedbehaviour #dogtraining #dogsofedinburgh #gratedane #bigdog #superdog #positivereinforcement #respectdogs #dogbehaviouristedinburgh

Indi, Over-Excitement towards unknown Dogs and Humans. S.1

A short video of my first outdoor session with Indi.

Indi is a sweet pup and he wants to interact with every dog and human he sees.

But that is not realistic, especially when Indi will become an adult dog.

So we are teaching him some boundaries and alternative behaviours through Positive Reinforcement in the most important stage of his life so that he will be a happy and stable dog in the future.

Still work to do, although this is a good example of a nice start!

Positive Reinforcement is the best way, not only because it works better, but because it is the correct thing to do.

Thank you,

Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro


Bronson the staffie. S.2

Today’s session with Bronson.

Still in the beginning of the process, but Bronson was able to look at a dog and decide to turn away and walk by himself.

An important step and moment to celebrate.

Bronson is a rescued staffie with a sad story.

He sees every dog and some humans as “monsters” which he needs to protect himself from if they get too close.

We help him by providing positive experiences and never by correcting or intimidating him in any way.

The world is already too scary for him, we want to avoid to make it worse.

I will keep you all updated.

Thank you,

Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro

“My Dog pulls on walks” Not anymore.

“My Dog pulls on walks”

Another common behaviour problem in dogs that many humans do not appreciate at all…

Some will simply “accept it” and be dragged all over the place.

Some will get slip leads, choke chains and prong collars to deal with the issue. (Not a smart option, really)

(Few will actually teach their dog to walk with them through Positive Reinforcement)

One of the biggest barriers humans face in relation to the education or training of their dogs is – “he is a puller”, “she is a jumper”, “he is reactive”, “she is aggressive”, “she IS…he IS”

As IF it is a FIXED problem and the dog cannot learn something else.

Opie used to pull as well, and hard.

Today he walks nicely and is rare when he gets to the end of the lead.

It is such an amazing feeling, to comfortably walk with a dog in a public area and feel that we are both enjoying it.

He was not…He is not… He learned to. Like your Dog can, like every Dog Can.

– Would you like to go for a walk with your Dog without feeling dragged all over the place and actually enjoy it the best you can?

– Get in touch with me, I can help you and your Dog.

Thank you,

Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro