Happy New Year 2021! It’s a new start!

Happy New Year!!
May the year 2021 bring you a lot of joy and good health!

Thank you very much for your support and encouragement throughout the year 2020!

Despite the world wide pandemic of Covid-19, we have been lucky enough not to need to maintain a social distance, thanks to all the effort everyone in the country made during the lockdowns last year.

This year I am hoping to continue to offer support and guidance to pet dog owners while learning more every day to update my skills and knowledge. This year I will try to publish more blog posts to share my experience and knowledge as well as some tips. I would appreciate it if you would let me know what you would like to read about.

As a way to make a great start in training in the new year, we are having a New Year walk on Sunday the 3rd January at Auckland Botanic Gardens from 8am. Please join us and enjoy a walk together!! I hope to see many of you there!!!


They say that there are certain types of harnesses that help stop dogs pulling on a leash…

Does your dog walk nicely on a leash? Or, are you struggling to stop your dog from pulling on a leash? In case of the latter, have you got any advice from your friend with experience in training dogs or a professional dog trainer? What did you say?

When I first got my first Beagle, available tools that help train dogs to walk on a loose leash were limited. Some people had started using so-called head halters (such as Halti Headcollar) as a humane training tool, but a majority were still using a choke chain. Also, back then, people who didn’t know head halters could misunderstand them as they looked like muzzles for aggressive dogs.

Several years later people found another humane training tool, a special type of harnesses that help dogs stop pulling on a leash through the use of a front hook, such as Easy Walk Harness (Here is my review on the product that I wrote ten years ago). If you attach a leash on a front hook, your dog naturally faces you when he pulls on a leash.

Easy Walk Harness (2009)

Then, several years later people who cared about their dogs’ physical fitness realised that many of those “no-pull” harnesses tended to interfere with the movement of shoulder blades and muscles, which could cause shoulder injuries.

Nowadays there are a wide variety of non-pull harnesses with a font hook in New Zealand, such as Easy Walk Harness (mentioned above), Halti Harness (similar to Easy Walk Harness), Ruffwear Front Range Harness (popular among people who do Agility or other dog sports), Blue 9 Balance Harness (the idea is similar to that of Ruffwear Harness but lighter), and so on.

When you ask your friend for advice on how to stop your dog’s pulling, some might say that “You can’t control your dog with a harness, because harnesses are for pulling” because they don’t know those with a front hook. Some others might recommend those harnesses that have a front hook but could interfere with the shoulder movement, because they don’t know the risk of shoulder injuries.

My own dogs use Blue 9 Balance Harness, Dog Copenhagen Comfort Walk Pro Harness, and Fleece Dog Harness (without a front hook).

Dog Copenhagen Comfort Walk Pro Harness

When you choose a dog harness for the purpose of stop your dog’s pulling, please make sure that it doesn’t cut across the shoulders. In fact those harnesses that don’t interfere with the shoulder movement are harder to slip off than those that do.


Obedience Behaviours and Tricks

When you hear the term “dog tricks”, what comes into your mind? Do you think about circus-like moves such as Foot Stall and Flip Flop or adorable tricks such as Sit Pretty and Hand Shake? 

How about Sit and Down? Are they examples of those boring obedience behaviours? 

What are the difference between obedience behaviours and tricks? They are both behaviours that your dog learn to perform on commands/cues or in response to particular situations. After all, it’s us humans who label and distinguish those two categories, isn’t it?

Well, when you teach your dog obedience behaviours, what is your mindset like? Do you feel like you are learning in a classroom? What about when you teach your dog tricks? Don’t you feel like you are playing with your dog in a playground? 

If it is the same thing from your dog’s point of view, why don’t you take them both as tricks? 

“Bruto, Sit! Wow, you are a good boy! That was a cool trick!!”