Tag Archives: canine first responder

This week, at AniEd

Such a busy week that the blog was left a little behind but we have big plans for the next couple of weeks so stay tuned!

Awesome Pets & their People

We had lots of amazing dogs with us this week for behaviour work, training and rescue evaluations.

Monday started off with this happy chappie, Dante:


Dante came for a follow-up to our initial consultation to help him get ready for a big move with his family to Switzerland!

Sweet, soft Rebel also came for some behaviour work – he was just happy to discover that pate goes into Kongs and it’s delicious!


Bacchus came for a behaviour appointment too before he set off for Crufts 2016.


He did really well, placing 5th in a puppy class with very stiff competition. Wohoo Bacchus!


Molly came back for her second session and we worked on lots and lots.

Part of our plan was to introduce flirtpole play so that we can have some good exercise that will take some emphasis off lead walks, which can be a bit of a problem, and so that we can raise her arousal a little so as to narrow her focus – Molly is big on getting distracted.

We didn’t anticipate that she would be super scared of it though…


Introducing both predictability and controlability to a situation allows the dog’s confidence increase greatly so soon we were teaching her the rules of this high-energy game:


We played lots of jazz up/settle down with her calm-mat to help boost her management of excitement:


And had plenty of brain breaks for her too:


We worked a lot on boosting Molly’s comfort with her harness so that she is easier to walk:


And as always worked on helping her focus more in ever increasingly distracting environments:


We added more and more challenge to our loose leash walking work – still not ready to go right out into the big bad world with that one but improvements in all areas:


Rescue Evaluations

We work with A Dog’s Life and help out with training & behaviour support for their dogs and volunteers, advising on policies in relation to fostering and adopting dogs and developing programs to help their dogs become the most adoptable dogs they can be!

We see the issue from all sides – rescue dogs going out into the community and the training and behaviour support some rescue dogs might need when out in the community. It is our priority to emphasise the placement of safe, suitable companion dogs that won’t mean a life long project for their new owners, who will be excellent representatives of what rescue dogs are and who will be loved and treasured family members. No pressure then!

We had visits from two of these dogs this week and got to spend a couple of hours with each one to get to know them a little better, evaluate their behavioural tendencies and outline the best next steps for them.

First up was this gorgeous gal, Jessie:


We are eagerly looking for a suitable foster placement and forever home for this girl so if you think you can help, please contact A Dog’s Life directly.

You can read our evaluation of Jessie here.

We also had a visit from cutie Elsie:


You can read our evaluation of Elsie here.

Both of these are cracking dogs who will make excellent family companions and wonderful additions to their new people. We look forward to seeing them again soon, once they have settled into their new homes, for their post-adoption follow-up!

People Training

This weekend we welcomed a full group of dog professionals, walkers, trainers & groomers, for another Canine First Responder course. It was a great day and all happily achieved certification for another two years, before they need to renew again.

Would you know what to do in a canine emergency? Register your interest for our next course by sending an email to info@anied.ie if you would like to learn more 🙂

BIG Summer Event


We are very excited to have Helen Zulch back after a very successful and booked out weekend workshop last year.

Helen is a veterinary surgeon, clinical animal behaviourist and a highly skilled clicker trainer.

She is best known for her work with Lincoln University and the Life Skills for Puppies program. Helen is a senior lecturer in Lincoln University on the Clinical Animal Behaviour under and post grad degrees. She is also a consultant at the University of Lincoln Animal Behaviour Referral Clinic.

The Canine Training/Behaviour Skills workshop will take place at our centre in Glasnevin in Dublin. We have a great weekend planned:

Day 1: Saturday, 4th June 2016

This day will concentrate on building clicker skills, covering more advanced skills in precision clicker training. Participants for this session will be those who have some experience in training their own or others’ dogs and have shaped behaviours with clicker training.

Spectators of any background will really benefit from this session and it will be especially helpful if you are new to clicker training or preparing for clicker training assessments such as the CAP program,

Day 2: Sunday, 5th June 2016

This day will be seminar style (no dogs!) and will look at a topic that is rarely discussed in our field, but one that is highly relevant. Helen will examine, with the help of case studies and interactive discussion, the relationship between canine health and behaviour. She will cover ways to integrate these concerns into our dog training, developing meaningful relationships with veterinary and healthcare professionals.

This will be a valuable topic for anyone working or interested in training/behaviour fields and those working in veterinary too. 


Participant Saturday – €150 (with a dog who is suitable and comfortable working in a managed workshop environment)

Spectator/seminar one day- €90

Spectator/seminar both days – €160

Participant one day and spectator one day – €220

If you would like to book a spot we encourage you to register and pay ASAP so as to secure your spot (there are limited places). To book please copy and paste the following, along with your responses into an email to info@anied.ie :

Contact Number:
Email Address:

Day/s of attendance (please specify as many as are relevant: Spectator Day 1, Participant Day 1, Spectator Day 2):

(Where relevant) Dog’s name:

Chosen method of payment:

Better get your skates on as places are limited and booking up fast!

AniEd Dogs

Boomer and Decker reluctantly share – Boomer’s queen bee and Decker is just trying to steal a corer of his bed!


And Zack had something yummy…but then everything is yummy to Zack!


Have a fab week everyone!

This week, at AniEd

Another week almost over, and we are not even back to full service yet!! 2016 is going to be our biggest year yet 🙂

Puppy Party!

We work with the dog-rescue charity, A Dog’s Life (check out their Facebook page and website) to help support their work in making sure their dogs get the best training and behaviour support.

Unusually, A Dog’s Life has a lot of puppies in their care at the moment so that’s a great excuse for us to hold a puppy party in our new place #puppybreath !!


Holly, Rudi, Gertie, Hope, Macy and Toby, along with their awesome fosters came along for fun and brain games.

Hope, Macy and Toby are from the same litter so it’s good for them to be exposed to other puppies and to spend some time apart from one another too.

Check out Rudi meeting all the black & white puppies:


In good news, Rudi has found his new awesome forever home!And home checks are in process for Macy and Gertie so fingers and paws crossed!

We set up a confidence course behind a barrier so that the puppies couldn’t get into any mischief.

Confidence courses help to expose puppies to odd, novel and out of context items and situations in a safe environment so that we can help them learn to cope with stress and develop resilience.

Puppies learn that they can investigate new, weird and even scary things without any pressure, in their own time and they can direct the interaction, with the choice to move away built in. This is confidence building and essential for puppies.

confidence course

Weird items, things out of context, new substrates, different textures and surfaces, new noises and moving things – all make for a great puppy confidence course!


And after some playtime, exploration & investigation, we had some downtime – because learning to settle is one of the most important skills we can teach puppies and dogs.


Looking after puppies, to make sure to give them the best start requires lots of knowledge, so while we parked our puppies the grown-ups discussed all things puppy:

  • puppy development – what’s happening to puppies of different ages and what we can do to support their behavioural development
  • management – how we prevent all that puppy behaviour from ever becoming problem behaviour
    We looked at toilet training, chewing & destruction, biting & nipping, resource guarding, handling and self-settling.
    One of the best ways to manage puppy behaviour and to set puppy (and pet owner) up for success is crate training, so we had some crate manners practice too:


  • lots of enrichment & entertainment – NO food bowls here!!
  • small challenges, everyday – cognitive, physical, sensory
  • well controlled social contact with other dogs, people of different types and even other species
  • confinement and alone training
  • careful exposure to novel and varied experiences
  • lots and lots of passive training – catch your puppy doing the right thing!

What we do now with puppies is having an impact on their behaviour over the remainder of their life; and these fosters have the added challenge of making sure that their puppies become adoptable, successful companions – no pressure then!

We practiced lots of exercises too:

  • supervising and managing puppy play and interactions
  • how to provide physical, cognitive and sensory challenges easily at home
  • how to park your puppy and teach settling
  • handling exercises:


Sometimes puppies will need a little extra help in developing comfort with handling, so we take our time and build the challenge a little more gradually:


  • use your hand like a Kong toy – helps with nipping, self-control and polite greetings:


  • Follow Me! – teach puppy to follow you and love it, without a leash on first so that when you put the leash on puppy has no reason to pull!


It’s no wonder all the puppies were pooped after all that!


Awesome Pets & their People

This week we mainly had follow-up appointments with dogs and their families already working through programs, coming back to adjust the plan we have built together, to build on progress and to keep motivation up!


Harley came for a second follow-up as his people work through the program we have built together to help improve this little chap’s self-control, focus and coping abilities. He’s a super smart fella!


We were out and about with Shiloh for a third follow-up in the wind and rain (normal Irish weather!) to help her learn how to better cope with some specific fearful responses. Despite us all getting a bit bedraggled, Shiloh and her mum make an awesome team!


Shy girl Roxy came for her first follow-up – she and her people are rocking our program to help her confidence develop. She is becoming a cheeky little one!

Despite being scared of the mat at first, soon she was able to lie on it comfortably. Her dad helped by giving some support (sitting beside it neutrally) but Roxy was soon able to interact and lie on the mat with shaping, lots of choice and salami!


Lottie came for a visit too and we did some dog-dog comfort work. Lottie and her person did some awesome training, never allowing Lottie to become uncomfortable, always able to work and really closing the gap with our stooge dog (Decker)!

After we did some training work, Lottie worked on a puzzle – getting her dinner out of a plastic milk jug.
This will help her deal with any stress experienced during our training, get her brain working in a different way and keep her busy:


And Lucy Basset popped into say Hi!, check the place out, have a game with Decker and pick up a crate for her new foster brother Mason, who she will be helping to become a great adoptable pet!

People Training


We are celebrating because our CBTT3 group all completed their full course successfully! Yay!!!

They have completed 15 units at first-year degree level, battled with an enormous workload and still love dogs, training and behaviour at the end of it all.

Now the really hard work starts as they build their careers as fully fledged Canine Training & Behaviour Technicians, with our continued support.

We are beyond proud of all that they have achieved as they embark on becoming excellent dog pros!


And our trusty pack of Labs, Bassets, Rotties, Yorkies, JRTs and Beagles (don’t worry, they are all well-behaved teddies!) are very tolerant models helping lots of learners become Canine First Responders.

AniEd Dogs

Zack wrapped up – t’was cold this week!
Boomer poses with honourary AniEd dog, Dilis

And Decker…


Lots more to come with a busy weekend ahead and another week of doggy adventures!

Meanwhile, at AniEd…

Not so much this week at AniEd and more like the past month at AniEd…

New beginnings

At the end of 2015 we said good bye to 19E…


…and hello to number 23.


We have mainly spent this month getting settled in a new training & education centre. Now, we still have a ways to go but at least we are working from there and offering a limited range of services.

We won’t be ready for training classes for a while as we get our new big space ready – it’s next on the list!

Awesome pets & their people

In trying to get back to normality our one to one training, daytraining and behaviour consultation services have continued.

We had visits and got to hang out with some great pets (and of course their people too)!

We worked on some recall exercises:



We did tons of work on self-control:



We got started on some loose leash walking skills:




We even started with some husbandry training with a teeny-tiny muzzle:


People training

A whole new group of Canine Training & Instruction (CTI) learners started, christening our new classrooms!

A diverse group of fab dog-lovers, just starting on their journey toward becoming the dog pros of the future.

During their first weekend they were introduction to Biology for Animal Care, Communication Skills and Health and Safety for an Animal Care Setting.

They began to learn about how dogs tick, from molecular, cellular and physiological levels with examinations of tissues and organs.

Lots of discussion went into the best approaches to dealing with sticky issues, how to make sure that the welfare of the pet is the goal through improving the welfare of their person and learning to communicate your message so education is always the priority.

They had an intense weekend, with great feedback – we have high hopes for CTI3!

Read more about this program here.


We have a new Canine Studies – Foundation (perfect for dog walkers/pet sitters) and Canine Nutrition courses starting soon too so it’s all hands/paws on deck.

We worked with lots of animal care students all over the country, helping them become Canine First Responders so that they will know how to help a dog in an emergency, working with our teddies and Caspers!

Our next CFR course is 12th March – email us info@anied.ie for more info!


And we help spread some dog awareness with talks to Gas Networks Ireland staff on staying safe in their daily dealings with dogs as they carry out meter readings and maintenance.

AniEd Dogs

Zack wraps up to stay warm…
Boomers stares down the wind…
And Decker, well he’s Decker…!


Oh! and we launched this blog with Train Your Dog Month 2016 – thank you all soooooo much for subscribing, sharing and most of all participating with your dog!
Lots more to come so stay tuned!

Weekly Woof from the Web

We were so busy all last month with Train Your Dog Month that we are just now resuming normal service.

This WWW is covering some of the best pieces doing the rounds last month; a bit of a catch up!

  • Not only are dogs great companions, but they are very much ‘in‘ in scientific research right now. This brings lots of benefits in our understanding of canine health and behaviour, but also in terms of human health too.
    Research into the DNA markers related to certain cancers in Golden Retrievers and canine compulsive disorders (like OCD in humans) has great implications in their treatment in humans too. This means that we will generate lots of important information that can help dogs and people – win-win!
  • If you want to improve your training, one key is to develop your shaping skills. You already know how to shape behaviour in yourself and others – at its simplest, it’s just breaking up a big task into smaller components.
    When you were learning to drive you first learnt the controls and pedals, then how to get started, how to stop, how to turn, how to combine these skills and so on until you became a fully-fledged motorist! You (hopefully) weren’t brought out to a dangerous, fast motorway and expected to cope 🙂
    Any time you want to teach your dog (or learner of any species) a behaviour, start working with them at home where it’s easy to concentrate and gradually increase the challenge as they improve – that’s shaping!
    We can use freeshaping to teach any animal a behaviour that is complex and doesn’t quite occur naturally – check out this fantastic in-depth guide to all things shaping!
  • Fear can strike any dog, but it can be tough to help a fearful or shy dog. Check out these great tips.
    No matter if your dog is confident or shy, it’s important that you act as a good advocate for your pet. This means not putting him or her in any situation that may cause them to practice unwanted, problem or even dangerous behaviour – the buck stops with the human end of the leash!
    Sometimes, this might even mean offending someone or causing discomfort: No, you will not be meeting my dog!
  • Of course, being a good advocate for your dog means keeping them safe and being a responsible pet owner – unless you have trained a reliable recall it’s best to have your dog on leash; here’s why!
  • One such situation in which our dogs will often benefit from a little extra support is during vet visits. Luckily a whole movement has really begun to pick up steam in fear-free veterinary care.
    Lots of coverage of Dr Marty Becker + team’s campaign so let’s help promote this movement all over – vet visits don’t have to be scary!!
  • Cancer is a scary word and disease for both dogs and humans and of course we want to do anything we can to ensure that our pets don’t suffer and that we choose the best care and treatments for them. It’s extra important that we consult evidence-based remedies, because in our desperation it’s easy to reach for less effective options.
    This wonderful piece looks at the relationship between nutrition and cancer and evidence based interventions that may be available.
  • And while we’re talking about health, would you know what to do in an emergency? Check out this pet CPR infographic
    If you really want to learn what to do, why not become a Canine First Responder – we will have a new course running soon, just send us an email to info@anied.ie and we will add you to the list!
  • And considering it’s probably pretty good for you (and your dog), go ahead, love your dog: Gimme Some Lovin’
  • We know that dogs are pretty sensitive to their olfactory world, but what about their visual perception – How do dogs see the world?
  • And just how do dogs use that visual information – one way is for them to attempt to understand the perceptible abilities of others. Some work shows that dogs appear to understand when a human’s senses may be limited, giving the dog the opportunity to get away with behaviour they may not if their human is watching them – Do you know what I can see?
    Remember, dogs do what works – but this doesn’t mean that they are being sly, conniving or spiteful!
  • Showing further evidence for dogs’ ingrained relationship with humans, recent work adds further to the growing evidence that dogs apparently can recognise human emotions via more complex processes.
    Always be tentative about interpretations that appear to show that dogs have greater and greater cognitive abilities. Although important, it’s just as important to view the field as a whole and consider a range of findings.
    Dogs are wonderful, whether we find them to have greater cognitive abilities or not 😉
  • Enrichment is one of our favourite topics! Contrafreeloading is a term that describes the way in which many animals appear to prefer to work for access to food, rather than just have the same food for free.
    Research has shown that contrafreeloading, even though it doesn’t seem to, may actually be adaptive and beneficial for animals because developing problem solving skills is helpful when sourcing food in an ever-changing environment.
    On top of that, dogs have also been shown to not only experience reinforcement when earning the goal of their puzzling (the food or reward) but also apparent pleasure in doing the puzzle and solving it successfully!
    This is why we HATE food bowls – dogs NEED puzzles!
    Check out this amazing puzzle and super-smart dog working out how to get his ball 🙂
  • Last but not least, take four minutes out of your day to watch this beautiful animation (*WARNING* you may need tissues because it’s really lovely): The Present