Behaviour Matters: what it’s all about

While media and marketing certainly looks to convince us that dogs are consistently beneficial for humans, the data doesn’t necessarily bear that out and we know that, for many pet owners, it doesn’t always feel that way.

If you have a dog who shows behaviour/s of concern, you already understand the challenges involved in living with and loving them. Care-giver burden is associated with carers of human patients, of pets with chronic and serious disease and with owners of dogs demonstrating behaviours of concern.

Pet owners of dogs demonstrating behaviours of concern can be subject to real life and online blame and scrutiny; your life with your dog may not be living up to your expectations and may even be detrimental to your mental health. Blame is unhelpful, damaging and really misplaced.

We recognise your role in helping your dog, and just how much you love them and want to do your best for them. And even though it may all seem overwhelming and confusing at times, a well-designed behaviour program can most certainly help to get things on track.
For success, such programs take time and require commitment to lifestyle change on the part of the dog’s humans. Understandably, long duration and lifestyle change are associated with poor adherence in all sorts of settings, including in dog training.

Just like your dog’s behaviour, pet owner behaviour is information too. And these difficulties with adherence tell us that pet owners need more support, more guidance, more help to be able to consistently help their dogs.

We are coming back to life after a long lockdown pause with some available behaviour work sessions. Our new Behaviour Matters course is a dog behaviour well-being and pet owner support program for pet owner/dog teams experiencing behaviours of concern.

You will join up and have access to a course all about dog behaviour along with private remote and in-person sessions to help you and your dog, and guidance in successfully applying all that you are learning. You developing more knowledge and skill about canine behaviour and teaching dogs will empower you to work with your dog both with and beyond our guidance.

Behaviour Matters teams also have ongoing remote support and we will use technology and messaging to our best advantage so you stay on the right path. (Don’t worry, there are no exams!)

We emphasise the central role of the pet owner, while still recognising our responsibility to the dog, for whom we strongly advocate. Working through serious behaviours of concern is truly a collaboration and we are in it together.

Lots of information here.

We will be able to get you started with your first remote session and possibly your first in-person session before the Christmas break, and then pick back up in the New Year to work through your program.

Private & Personalised. Professional & Compassionate.

Teenagers!

Teenage dogs are much maligned, indeed they are most at danger of becoming unwanted.

Although the adolescent period of development in humans and non-human animals is relatively poorly studied, recent work has shown similarities between some of the struggles of both human and canine teenagers, and for their care-givers.

The teenager-care-giver relationship can certainly be quite delicate around this time (you might remember your own teenage years…) often with increased conflicts.
Asher et al, 2020, found that, just like human children, canine adolescents show changes in responsiveness and the quality of teenager-care-giver relationship impacts this sensitive time.

That tells us that the dog/human relationship must be prioritised before adolescence and throughout so as to maintain understanding and support, and to keep dogs in their homes.

Pet owners of canine teenagers need support and to know that they will survive this period…it might not be pretty, but you will get through it. Help must be non-judgmental and without dwelling on blame.

We have talked a lot about canine adolescence before, with some detail about things that you can put in place: Where is my puppy? (Or, why adolescence is so tricky)

Top tips below:

Canine adolescence starts from about 5.5 months until about 2.5 years and brings about all sorts of challenges for both the teenager and their owner.

Given the sort of brain, endocrine and body changes the teenager experiences, it’s to be expected that they might display problematic behaviour.

The dog’s behaviour is information so while teenage behaviour might be a problem for us, it’s generally a good sign that the adolescent dog is asking for help…in a not very helpful way!

But all is not lost…there are lots of things we can introduce and adjust so that the teenager is better able for their world and you’re better able for your canine teenager!

Teenage dogs don’t require fixing, they’re not broken, but they do need more understanding, a ton of patience and some proactive programs to support and guide them.

And pet owners need support and help to reframe the canine teenager dilemma, allowing them to push labels aside and see what their adolescent dog really needs.

Remember, your teenage dog isn’t trying to give you a hard time, they are having a hard time…seriously….I promise…!

Behaviour Matters

Pet Behaviour Well-Being & Pet Owner Support Program

Private & Personalised. Professional & Compassionate.

Loving and living with a dog that presents behaviour challenges takes a ton of effort, adaptation and time. Love, unfortunately, isn’t enough.

We recognise that you do love your dog and want to do your absolute best for them but may not know where to start or may be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of conflicting information about canine behaviour out there. Everyone has an opinion online and in real life!

Behaviour Matters Course, our behaviour work program, is in the form of a blended-learning course that you will take along with your dog, participating remotely and in-person. You developing more knowledge and skill about canine behaviour and teaching dogs will empower you to work with your dog both with and beyond our guidance.

Behaviours of concern that this course may help, include:

  • biting, threat & warning behaviour, such as growling or snapping
  • aggressive responding
  • “reactive” behaviour such as puling, lunging, vocalising, usually while on lead, directed toward other dogs, people, traffic, for example
  • “over-arousal” related behaviour such as over-excitability, difficulty settling, hyper-vigilance
  • fearful behaviour
  • phobias and sensitivities, such as sound sensitivities to, for example, fireworks, storms & thunder
  • excessive behaviour such as barking, destructive behaviour
  • inappropriate chasing such as cars, livestock, cyclists and so on
  • separation related behaviour
  • suspected compulsive-type behaviours such as reflection/shadow chasing, tail chasing and spinning, excessive self-grooming, flank sucking
  • countersurfing
  • territoriality and resource related behaviour such as growling, snapping or biting when items are removed from the dog, or when the dog is approached on a bed or sofa
  • sensitivity and discomfort with handling, grooming, veterinary and husbandry procedures
  • toileting behaviour
  • dog-dog relations, dogs in the same home, relationships with other pets in the home

Our Approach

We take an evidence-based, needs-based approach to behaviour change. We apply sciences of behaviour change including, canine ethology & cognition, applied behaviour analysis and animal welfare, along with teaching, support and guidance therapies for humans.

Our approach incorporates the most up to date understanding of canine behaviour and learning, derived and extrapolated from valid science and evidence, and best practice.

Surprisingly, our approach doesn’t really emphasise “obedience” and it won’t feature in our programs. For more see, Not The Be All & End All and to understand how we work, see This Is How We Do It.

Our approach is relationship-centered and, rather than a dog-training-recipe, our interventions become a way of life, individualised for you and your dog; a life shared with your dog.

Your commitment

Meaningful behaviour change, for you and your dog, will require time and lifestyle changes. These requirements are associated with difficulty adhering to behaviour change programs over time.

Pet owner expectations are often misled by the popular presentation of dog training on TV and online, with trainers applying aversives and suppression causing inhibition of dog behaviour, making it look like there has been some miraculous and quick fix.

No quick fixes here! Think carefully before signing up – we are in this with you, for the long haul. Meaningful change while maintaining your dog’s behavioural wellness, takes time. You will look back in a year’s time and find it hard to believe how far you’ve both come but the road can be bumpy, and progress is non-linear. Our support is there with you every step of the way.

Behaviour Matters course includes:

  • blended learning – a mix of remote and in-person sessions
  • 4-5 hours of one-to-one consultancy, guidance, feedback and counselling
  • 24/7 access to the Behaviour Matters course website
  • individualised course e-manual covering the management and behaviour intervention program that we develop and build together, in collaboration, laid out step-by-step with video examples
  • ongoing & regular remote support & feedback via email, Whatsapp messenger (or social media messenger) – you are encouraged to check in and send video, progress reports and troubleshooting enquiries as often as you need to while we work through our program
  • an effective, evidence-based and humane program devised by the trainers of dog trainers, experts in their field, with your and your pet’s well-being at the heart of all we do

More information on our policies, particularly COVID19 procedures for in-person sessions, see here and more on this course, see here.

Register for Behaviour Matters here.

Pricing & Payment Planning:

Full Course Program: €450.00 (paid electronically and due before first session)

or

Payment plan: 

  • payment 1 before remote session: €200
  • payment 2 before first in-person session: €150.00
  • payment 3 before second in-person session: €100.00

“Dog training” really is a misnomer. You, the human, are the central focus. That’s why we are concentrating on providing education and support for the human end of the leash and prioritising encouraging your empowerment through education. You will become an awesome teacher, supporting your dog in their learning and development.

It really is a team effort; true collaboration.

No judgement, just support and guidance. That’s how we teach both ends of the leash, through the ups and downs of behaviour change.

Ready to start?

We start on Monday 1st so grab your spot while you can as this course won’t be open again until next year.
You have seven months access so will have plenty of time to work your way through and absorb all the information!

You can read all about the course, even sample some of the course content, and apply here.

Don’t just take our word for it!

Image reads:

This Deep Dive into Nutrition is exactly what is says on the tin and then some! It’s been a while since I enrolled on a course of this depth, but it has been broken down into digestible pieces that don’t overwhelm!

As the course goes on, so does the depth of detail.
It is absolutely fascinating with a super no nonsense approach to canine nutrition! Some fairly mind-blowing facts and information in there even if you’re a canine professional.

The support offered from AniEd and from the group page on Facebook is fantastic! It’s completely nonjudgmental and opens up the opportunity for so many interesting conversations.

Excellent course that I would highly recommend to any professional in the dog industry.”

Catherine Griffin, snoutandabout.ie

Apply here!

Time’s running out!

Our limited enrolment opening for our Deep Dive Online Canine Nutrition course is almost closed again; we won’t be opening up again until next year.

We start on Monday so grab your spot while you can. You have seven months access so will have plenty of time to work your way through and absorb all the information!

You can read all about the course, even sample some of the course content, and apply here.

Don’t just take our word for it!

Image reads:

I am almost one third of the way through the AniEd Canine Nutrition course and I cannot recommend it highly enough. The canine nutrition course fits my need to learn more about it but in a scientific, evidenced based fashion. The course does exactly that in a completely unbiased fashion.

We are taught how to review and critically examine available information from many sources and draw our own conclusions. As a physician, I should already know much of the physiology, but the information is presented so well and in an easily understandable manner I build on my knowledge with each lesson.

The course work is well organized and easy to follow. It is comprehensive and requires some time commitment, but the course is structured so that we can go at our own pace.

Anne does a great job helping us stay on track and is always available to answer question or facilitate discussions.

In short, if you want to really learn about canine nutrition not just myths and marketing, this is the course for you. Once started, you will be able to make informed decisions on how to feed your dog and provide evidence-based advice to others.

Thank you, AniEd!”

David Stein (Neurologist, trainer and dog dad)

Apply here!

Howl-o-ween 2021

It’s that time of year again. Everyone laments the awfulness of fireworks and their impacts on dogs (and lots of other animals too), posts illustrating the panic and suffering of so many dogs are shared and shared, yet, all this has become normalised.

Dogs need our proactive intervention. Bottom line.

They don’t need more over-the-counter, herbal, “natural” remedies, more alternative approaches to modification such as wraps or vests, and crappy advice to ignore suffering dogs or apply other aversives to these scenarios.

We are waaaay too late to do a whole lot of effective desensitisation or counterconditioning; for these programs to have beneficial effects, when done properly, we would need to start in the summer when we can find the longest duration during the year without fireworks.
However, ad hoc, in-the-moment and well-timed reward-parties can be helpful for some dogs, like Decker:

Have a treat part for every bang!

Have a squeaky ball party for every bang!

(Please note the above clips have fireworks and/or squeaky ball sounds so adjust your volume accordingly.)

There are still plenty of things we can do to prepare for fright night.

For in-depth advice to construct a plan for your dog, read this: Dying of Fright.

Plan 2021

Here’s our quick tips for surviving Halloween, 2021, but you gotta start NOW.

You can do this; you can make sure that Halloween is a safer and more comfortable time for your dog, and for you.

Put your plan in place from today and talk to your dog’s vet as soon as you possibly can.

If you have questions, please shoot us a message via Facebook or Instagram and I will be happy to provide guidance.

Want to learn even more?

Due to many requests, we have temporarily re-opened enrolments on our Deep Dive Online Canine Nutrition course!

Read all about it, and apply, here.

This area is difficult to discuss and study, particularly online, with conversation often deteriorating. There is a lot of myth and woo surrounding canine nutrition, and just as many online gurus…

On this course, we look at the evidence and apply valid information to feed individual dogs.

Image reads: A home-prepared diet may be less beneficial than even the cheapest commercial feed if it’s not balanced and prepared appropriately…

Image reads: Ingredients lists don’t tell us a whole lot about the quality of feed and there are all sorts of labelling and marketing tricks used…that includes all commercial feeds, no matter the diet type. Buyer beware!

Image reads: Fresh meats are often at the top of ingredients lists...does that mean your dog eats the benefits?

Image reads: Let’s keep some perspective when discussing canine nutrition…our dogs eat better than most people on Earth. You are doing the best you can for your dog with the resources available to you.

Kind, open and evidence-based discussion is how we all learn & grow!

Read all about it, and apply, here.

Still want to learn more?

Due to many requests, we have temporarily re-opened enrolments on our Deep Dive Online Canine Nutrition course!

Read all about it, and apply, here.

This area is difficult to discuss and study, particularly online, with conversation often deteriorating. There is a lot of myth and woo surrounding canine nutrition, and just as many online gurus…

On this course, we look at the evidence and apply valid information to feed individual dogs.

Image reads: Dog feed manufacturers don’t have to tell us about quality and digestibility of feeds…how do we make evidence-based choices about our dogs’ diets?

Image reads: Are “grain-free” or “gluten-free” diets really necessary or beneficial for (most) dogs or is this an elaborate (and effective) marketing too?

Image reads: Let’s model kind and evidence-based discussions of canine nutrition. Dogs are pretty adaptable and individual. Our impression of what works might be affected by biases and may not apply to other dogs or populations. We need more independent and valid research…not more anecdotes. Our experience still holds value but only if we keep our discussion kind and objective.

That’s the entire ethos of our course, right there!

Read all about it, and apply, here.

Want to learn more?

Due to many requests, we have temporarily re-opened enrolments on our Deep Dive Online Canine Nutrition course!

Read all about it, and apply, here.

This area is difficult to discuss and study, particularly online, with conversation often deteriorating. There is a lot of myth and woo surrounding canine nutrition, and just as many online gurus…

On this course, we look at the evidence and apply valid information to feed individual dogs.

Image reads: For the most part, we can feed each diet type safely, once food is handled correctly and diet is designed appropriately.
They body needs nutrients, not ideology.
There are pros and cons to each popular diet type but we have limited evidence for a lot of claims made about many popular canine diets.

Image reads: As we come to understand more about the Gut Microbiome and its effects, taking care of puppy’s gut health may be just as important for their brain and behavioural development as for physical well-being.
Feeding for health means feeding for body and brain.

Image reads: Cheap feeds are always made with cheap ingredients…but does that mean expensive feeds are always of better quality?

Image reads: Raw diets are often associated with Salmonella infection…but dry feeds have been a source of infection too…

Read all about it, and apply, here.

DEEP DIVE online Canine Nutrition course

You asked and we delivered! Due to popular demand, we are opening this course for a small and limited number of enrolments so if you have been waiting for this one, this is your last chance for a while.

We have been running a science based Canine Nutrition course since 2011 so we have been working on it and refining it for a decade! In that short time, more and more reliable evidence has become available on canine nutrition and our approaches to feeding dogs.
This is a growing and exciting area of research and our course will help you to apply that expanding knowledge to feeding individual dogs.

Online Deep Dive Course Details:

When? This course starts on Monday 1st November 2021
As soon as we receive your full payment, you will be sent access to the course website and away you go!

Where? Anywhere, any time! This course is entirely online so you can participate when and where you like….from your sofa…in your PJs…
As soon as the course commences, you will immediately have access to all the course materials to download so you can work anywhere.

Who? This is a science and evidence based course; we do not endorse any particular approach to feeding dogs.
On this course you will learn more than nutrition; we spend a lot of time discussing evidence, critically analysing information, reading research papers, critiquing the science, all of which is applicable to other areas.
The quality of the evidence is our foundation, so we will not be elevating gurus and social media “nutrition experts” merely due to their profile or letters after their name.
If you are so attached to a feeding modality that you may find it difficult to consider other approaches, this may not be the course for you. And if you are looking for confirmation of your current understanding of canine nutrition, this course may cause you discomfort.

We don’t promote or condone any particular diet type or approach to feeding dogs and believe that different diet types can be designed to provide appropriate nutrition for individual dogs.

This course is for anyone who has a keen interest in really understanding how canine nutrition works, how best to look at what we know and apply that to individual dogs. You don’t need to have a science background and you will have plenty of time to digest (!) the information, with our full support.
It’s particularly suited to dog care pros such as veterinary personnel, pet retailers, training/behaviour pros and groomers. But if you have in-depth interest in science and nutrition, this might just be the course for you!

How long? This is a self-paced course and you will have access to the online course area for 7 months. Starting in November 2021, you will have continued access until the end of June 2022. 

How much? This course costs €250
You can pay the entire fee or in installments via bank transfer or PayPal.

Course fees must be paid in full before you can access the online area. Please read the terms below carefully before committing.

What will I learn about? There is some introductory work to go through and then course content is split into eight parts, with some wrapping-up to do at the end too.
It is the most in-depth component course we have ever developed and covers all sorts of topics directly and indirectly relating to canine nutrition.

Course content:

This is just the bare bones…we cover so much more…!

To participate, you will need:

  • Email address/account, a suitable device and internet access; course materials are presented in MS Word, PDF and links for downloading. You should not have difficulty on most devices and OS.
  • Stationary for note-taking (if that’s the way you work).
  • You need to be able to use the internet, blogs, Facebook groups and if you wish to participate to the fullest, be able to record and upload short demonstration clips (for a very small number of assessment works), complete assessment work in Word documents, PDFs and other basic computer skills.
  • It is not required that you have a dog for this course, although to complete some assessment work, you will need access to at least one dog. This has presented challenges during lockdown, but hopefully over the coming months this shouldn’t be an issue and you will be able to more safely borrow a family member’s or friend’s dog, for example.
  • Means to upload your work or clips for guidance and feedback and to submit assessment work.
  • Access to social media such as Facebook (for groups) and MS Teams (we will send you a link, you don’t even need an account, just an email address), and a device that allows you to participate in online video chats and similar.

Goals of this course

  • to develop an understanding of the scientific and biochemical bases for nutrition including digestion and nutrients
  • to appreciate, interpret and apply nutrition information from reliable and valid evidence based resources
  • to communicate about canine nutrition objectively and without sensation
  • to develop awareness of the wide range of canine diets and approaches to feeding domestic dogs, from an evidence based perspective
  • to consider the relationships between nutrition and behaviour, and nutrition and wider health
  • to apply your developing knowledge and understanding to special dietary contexts including malnutrition and dietary sensitivities

You get: 

  • 24/7 access to the course online area, from anywhere, for seven months
  • multiple media learning resources for viewing and downloading
  • about 200 mini-lectures (written presentations for reading) covering a wide array of nutrition and related topics presented in small-ish bites so that you can take time to process and analyse
  • free access to our short course, Science & Studying Animals, to give you a foundation in understanding this evidence-based approach to learning more about animals
  • comment facility at the online course area for participation, enquiries, interactions
  • access to a private Facebook group for real-time feedback and guidance
  • regular live online meetings scheduled to suit group participants
  • ongoing online interaction with fellow-students and your tutor as we take this journey of discovery together

Submission of final assessment work is optional but you are encouraged to work through assessment and self-evaluation to support knowledge development and skill building.
As this is a self-paced course, the level of participation is up to you. There may be times when you are more available and other times when you have less availability. Obviously, to get the full benefit, we encourage the fullest possible participation.

After successfully submitting completed final assessment work, you will be awarded an AniEd certificate of achievement.

Ethos & Transparency

This topic is fraught with difficulties when it comes to discussion and application of evidence. You will have probably seen mere mentions of canine nutrition, especially on social media, descend into all sorts of faulty arguments and polarisation. That is definitely NOT what we will promote, facilitate or allow on this course.

Throughout all discussion, I will be there to guide you so that we can remain on track. We take an R+ (positive reinforcement) approach to learning and teaching, and all advice and guidance will be provided with this in mind. We must feel safe in our discussion so that we can create an environment conducive to learning for all to benefit.

We all have the same goal: to make sure we can maximise the health of our pets through careful feeding. Let’s stick together and learn together!

Transparency

This course is not supported by or promoted by any feed manufacturer or industry member. AniEd does not sell or recommend specific feeds and we never have.

Anne Rogers will be your tutor on this course.

Anne has worked for a major international feed manufacturer (about 20 years ago) as a nutrition advisor and has worked in pet retail and in veterinary, selling and promoting a range of feeds, too (more than 20 years ago).

Her current dog, Decker (9 year old entire male AmStaff), is fed raw, home-cooked, wet (tinned) and dry food, sometimes all in the same day. Over his life, he has eaten a wide range of brands without loyalty to any one particularly.

We are only interested in doing the very best for our dogs. No matter what you have fed your dog before, or even currently, you are doing your very best for your dog. And no matter, your dog loves you for that.

Each one of our dogs eats a better diet than most of the humans on this planet.

Dogs are incredibly adaptive and most are able to survive on even poor quality feeds. We are, of course, aiming for more than survival, we want our dogs to thrive. But, let’s keep all this in mind, even when discussion becomes intense.

All of this is further discussed during the course.

Online Deep Dive Course Terms

Before you sign up, consider carefully embarking on an online course. While online learning is more flexible, it can be harder to self-motivate and maintain your energy and interest, especially toward the middle of the course duration.

This course is for those really really interested in nutrition; we will (hopefully) challenge your current understanding and knowledge, supporting you as your passion for study grows.

Make sure you know exactly what you are getting into before you pay. To help, you can download some course materials samples, selected from across course content, here:

From Part 2 Section 5 Functional Foods:

From Part 2 Section 5 Functional Foods:

From Part 2 Section 5 Probiotics, Prebiotics & the Microbiome:

From Part 3 Section Making Choices

From Part 4 Commercial Diets: Safety & Quality Concerns

From Part 5 Nutrition & Behaviour Section 1 Food related behaviours of concern

If you’re ready to go, we would love to have you!

Once payment has been received, you will be provided with course access. There are no refunds, whole or partial, available for course fees once you have accessed the online course area.

By continuing and participating in this course you agree to these terms.

  • you must be 18 years or over to participate in AniEd courses
  • upon application, you will be asked to review all course information and review all terms before paying course fees
  • course fees must be paid in full before access to course areas will be available
  • once you have accessed the online course area, no refunds, for any reason, will be available
  • you will have access to the online course area, and related resources, for seven months from enrolment
  • assessment submission is optional and details of extensions and deadline accommodation will be available at application

APPLY HERE

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