Welcome to Canis BLOGus

Canis BLOGus – Dog blogging: making evidence-based fun

A blog about dogs and dog behaviour for critical owners and professionals.

I share news of the dogs I treat, review dog books, explain research articles, and investigate controversial issues. Bursting with pop science, scathing rants, vivid analogies and tongue-in-cheek illustrations.

Who am I

IMG_6610My name is Laure-Anne and I am an English-speaking expat in The Netherlands. I run an evidence-based dog behaviour therapy practice (Canis bonus) and dog training school (OhMyDog!) in The Hague. I graduated in Zoology (University of Newcastle), then specialized in applied companion animal behaviour (postgrad dip). When I am not working on rehabilitating dogs with behaviour problems, I relax by examining ideas in the pet and behaviour world critically. I am also quite a passionate advocate for critical thinking on the human scene.

For more about me, visit the homepage.

What the blog is about

In a nutshell, this blog tries to spread good science about dogs, and relates tales from life in the Netherlands’ dog world.

I am on a mission: spread fact-based and thought-provoking information about dogs. I am relentlessly:

  • busting apocryphal stories, speculation, fallacies and biased tales; and
  • promoting responsible dog ownership.

I enjoy delving into technical subjects and re-surfacing with an article that every dog owner can understand. I am hoping to make specialist subjects like diseases vaccination, genetics, more accessible to a broad audience.

What do I write about?

I share the ups and downs of the dogs I treat and explain the hidden sides of the techniques.

I also break down the finer technical or academic points on:

  • dog training;
  • ethology; and
  • canine first aid and care.

And then of course, I interview interesting dog pros and tell you about my latest dog book review.

Oh, and whatever takes my fancy, as long as it’s mildly dog-related and I think you’ll enjoy it.

To find the articles

  • Click on a category (panel to the right) such as ‘Dog behaviour’ or
  • Enter your search terms in the search bar (top right)

Write a comment

I love comments, no matter how short, off-the-mark, (or contrary). You can leave a comment on each article by:

  • clicking on the title for the post you want to read, and
  • completing the comments form at the bottom of the article.

Order an article

I can also write for your magazine, blog or website on demand. If you want to order an article on a canine subject of your choice,  contact me and I’ll be happy to discuss your needs.

To find out more about my dog writing services, go to my Dog writer page.

Canis bonus in blog directories

Laure-Anne Viselé

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Add blog to our directory.

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Dog behaviour problems: It’s always the owners’ fault, right?

Blog post busting the ‘blame the owners’ stereotype
By Laure-Anne Visele, May 2015

About the author: certified dog trainer in The Hague

IMG_6639

Canis bonus: Laure-Anne Visele

My name is Laure-Anne and I help with dog behaviour problems around The Hague (Canis bonus). I am also Head Trainer at OhMyDog! (dog training school in The Hague). I graduated in Zoology, and am a certified dog trainer and applied animal behaviourist.

If you live close to The Hague and are getting worried or annoyed about your dog’s behaviour, tell me about the problem. I’ll get back to you within two business days. You can always read up a little on how it works first if you’re not sure.

From business consultant to dog behaviourist

It was a beautiful, crisp Dutch morning and I was psyched. I was catching up with an old friend. We hadn’t seen each other in years but it was like we’d shared our last beer yesterday. She was still chatty, smart, easy-going, and genuinely interested.

Helpdesk jerks used to be the most dangerous thing in  my job. Those were the days...

Helpdesk jerks used to be the most dangerous thing in my job. Those were the days…

Inevitably, we started playing career catch-up: last she’d seen me I was soaring up the corporate ladder, travelling all over the world with my fancy suits and priority/privilege/platinum/insert-self-indulgent-idiotic-word-here cards. I had frequent flyer miles coming out of my ears and spent more time in hotels than in my own bed.

Yet there I was, wearing manky jeans and a comfortable sweater, getting down and dirty with the local dogs. My work anecdotes had jumped from helpdesk jerks to neurotic poodles. Her own work stories had shifted from tourism to… psychiatry. Interesting catch-up ahead.

So she was asking pointed questions about my job to get a feel for my new life. That’s when it happened: “It’s always the owners’ fault though,” she said. “You have to rehabilitate the owners, right?”

Dog training stereotypes

Convenient as they are, stereotypes rarely match reality

Convenient as they are, stereotypes rarely match reality

My job is lousy with eye-rolling, toe-curling, teeth-grinding stereotypes like “They treat their dog like a kid” or indeed “It’s the owners’ fault.”

As she picked up on my facial expression (I am not exactly gifted in the poker face department), I explained. “Look”, I said, “That’s what many people think but I don’t necessarily agree.” Without the tact filter, that meant I disagreed with every fibre of my body.

Dog training rant

“Dogs are complex beings. They can suffer from mood and cognition disorders that are jack-all to do with their owners. Some of them are ticking time-bombs before they even set foot in their new owners’ door: under-socialized and pre-traumatized. And dogs come in a whole spectrum of temperaments, each with their predisposition to particular quirks and sensitivities. ”

Because some problems can't be solved by the charismatic TV 'experts'

Because some problems can’t be solved by the charismatic TV ‘experts’.

“By the time they come to me,” I continued, “the owners have exhausted every resource. I see dogs with complex and profound behaviour problems. Not obedience things that can be fixed with the latest clichés from Google university or the self-appointed TV expert du jour. This self-taught approach can do more harm than good.

Fair enough, some people some break every sound education principle. But these aren’t the people I see. People who contact me for help have tried all the commonsense measures, and then some. They have jumped through every hoop. They are exhausted and vulnerable from countless people putting them through the It’s the owner’s fault stereotype.”

Dog training and psychiatry

My friend had inadvertently hit a nerve, poor thing. She thought she was making small talk and she got the mother of rants instead. So I pushed myself off of my soapbox and tried for a soft(ish) landing: “It’s just that this kind of assumption is unkind to the owner, and doesn’t reflect what I see. I see them stand by their dog through thick and thin. I would sooner erect a statue to their competence and dedication than lay blame on them.” So much for bringing it down a notch… Note to self: work on the intensity thing.

A cloud of uncomfortable silence hung above our heads, so I tried to move to safer conversational waters. “So,” I light-heartedly asked: “what have you been up to the last few years?”

And guess what she replied…

Let's move on to a breezy topic: psychiatry

… “Psychiatry”

Okaaaaaay then, so much for safer conversational waters.

Illustration credits

No changes were made to any of the illustrations.

Posted in Dogs and society | Leave a comment

Guest post by Amber Kingsley: Dog training Infographic

Guest post by Amber Kingsley, pet writer, to accompany her great infographic on modern dog training
By Amber Kingsley, pet writer. Hosted by Laure-Anne Visele, May 2015

Amber’s dog training infographic caught my attention, so I asked if she would share it with my readers, and write a little article to go with it. Enjoy!

About Canis bonus: certified dog trainer in The Hague

IMG_6639

Canis bonus: Laure-Anne Visele

My name is Laure-Anne and I can help with your dog’s behaviour questions if you live in The Hague or region.

I am a dog behaviour therapist for Canis bonus, and Head Trainer at OhMyDog! dog training school.

I graduated in Zoology and certified as a dog training instructor. I also have a Postgraduate in applied animal behaviour (completed Magna cum laude).

In short, I am The Hague’s dog nerd. If you want dog-friendly and evidence-based tips, I am your girl.  If you live close to The Hague and have a question about your dog’s behaviour, tell me about the problem here.

About the author: pet writer Amber Kingsley

Amber has donated countless hours to supporting her local shelter Karma Rescue within operations and outreach. She attends regular seminars, including Dr. Ian Dunbar, and 50 Shades of Bark in Burbank. She has spent most of her animal research in food-related subjects of health and training, and has tried numerous methods of training with local Southern California trainers.

Amber is a BFA graduate of a liberal arts university. She majored in art history and is now traveling as much as possible, working as a freelance writer. She has a Yorkie puppy named Charles (“Charlie”) Xavier.

Amber2

Amber introduces her dog training infographic

With the advent of the internet, social media and YouTube, we’ve all seen our fair share of cats playing the piano and dogs riding skateboards, but even those viral videos didn’t propel those animals to the status of being a household name. Dogs like Lassie and Rin Tin Tin had a notoriety matched by few other canines throughout history.

Other dogs gained national and even worldwide recognition for living in the White House, think of Bo Obama for example. There was also Rex Reagan, Millie Bush and Buddy Clinton, who ironically didn’t get along with Bill and Hillary’s cat Socks, and they were kept in separate quarters. As presidential pets go, none received the same fame as Fala Roosevelt.

Campaigning for presidency in 1944, Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave his famous “Fala Speech,” responding to critics claiming his dog was costing taxpayers money. FDR stated, “I am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself, but I think I have the right to resent, to object, to libelous statements about my dog!” FDR had the last laugh since they are both immortalized in a statue in Washington D.C., Fala, a cute little Scottish Terrier, is the only presidential dog to be given this honor.

LAIKA THE SPACEDOG

Many have heard of the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik, but few remember Laika, a stray dog from the streets of Russia, who was trained to be the first animal to orbit the earth in 1957. No provisions were made for the safe return of this heroic astronaut, and the Soviets reported the dog was euthanized painlessly a week after take-off. The truth didn’t surface until 2002, when it was revealed that Laika had actually died just a few short hours after launch from being overheated.

SINBAD THE SAILOR

Sinbad, a mixed breed puppy, was meant to be a gift for the Chief Boatswain’s girlfriend, but her apartment didn’t allow pets, so the dog enlisted into the Coast Guard instead. Putting his pawprint on the appropriate enlistment paperwork, Sinbad was given his service identification number and even his own uniform. He joined the crew of the Campbell cutter in 1938 and faithfully served for eleven years, most notably during WWII, where he was a battle veteran and received the following commendations:

  • American Defense Service Medal
  • European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
  • Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
  • World War II Victory Medal
  • Navy Occupation Service Medal

THE SAR DOGS OF 9/11

Within minutes of the horrific attacks on the World Trade Center buildings on September 11, 2001, thousands of first responders and over 350 SAR (Search and Rescue) dogs were on scene. These highly trained dogs worked grueling sixteen-hour days with their handlers in a relentless search for survivors.

In a moving tribute on the tenth anniversary of the tragedy, Animal Planet honored these heros by stating, “It became evident that the dogs were nearly as distraught as the human rescuers when there were so few survivors to be found. For the human rescue workers, the lack of survivors made the attacks feel ever more horrific and tragic. For the dogs trained to find survivors, though, it felt like a personal failure.”

These brave canine warriors have shown us that successfully trained dogs can hold down a number of different careers, service animals, sheep herders, security and police dogs are all good examples. Even playful, family pets need discipline in order to be happy and healthy. The following infographic points out the best training tips for using positive reinforcement through rewards and praise.

The dog training infographic
PositiveTraining

Posted in Dog training, Dog writing | Leave a comment

Latest dog book review: The bark stops here

Dog book review announcement: Terry Ryan’s “The Barks Stops Here”
By Laure-Anne Visele, May 2015

About the review’s author: certified dog trainer in The Hague

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Canis bonus: Laure-Anne Visele

My name is Laure-Anne and I can help with your dog’s behaviour questions if you live in The Hague or region.

I am a dog behaviour therapist for Canis bonus, and Head Trainer at OhMyDog! dog training school.

I graduated in Zoology and certified as a dog training instructor. I also have a Postgraduate in applied animal behaviour (completed Magna cum laude).

In short, I am The Hague’s dog nerd. If you want dog-friendly and evidence-based tips, I am your girl.  If you live close to The Hague and have a question about your dog’s behaviour, tell me about the problem here.

The bark stops here

Ryan - The bark stops here

The bark stops here is a brilliantly condensed little manual on how to resolve nuisance barking.

For such a tiny book, it is extraordinarily rich in useful tips. Nicely illustrated, written by a star trainer, and well-structured.

I totally recommend it.

Check the full review here.

Posted in Dog writing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Latest dog book review: Pit bull placebo

Dog book review announcement: Karen Delise’s “Pit bull placebo”
By Laure-Anne Visele, May 2015

About the review’s author: certified dog trainer in The Hague

IMG_6639

Canis bonus: Laure-Anne Visele

My name is Laure-Anne and I can help with your dog’s behaviour questions if you live in The Hague or region.

I am a dog behaviour therapist for Canis bonus, and Head Trainer at OhMyDog! dog training school.

I graduated in Zoology and certified as a dog training instructor. I also have a Postgraduate in applied animal behaviour (completed Magna cum laude).

In short, I am The Hague’s dog nerd. If you want dog-friendly and evidence-based tips, I am your girl.  If you live close to The Hague and have a question about your dog’s behaviour, tell me about the problem here.

Pit bull placebo: the media myths and politics of canine aggression

Delise - Pit Bull

Pit Bull placebo is another brilliantly scathing book about the mass hysteria surrounding dog bites. The book systematically analyses the circumstances behind severe dog attacks reported in the press, in chronological order. It gives you a sense of the change in journalistic focus from the 1800’s: from looking at the reasons behind the attack to blaming the latest scapegoat breed.

Check the full review here.

Posted in Dog writing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Silence is gold, dog. Teaching a dog to be quiet on request

Blog post about how to teach a dog to be quiet on command
By Laure-Anne Visele, April 2015. Full illustration credits at the end of the post.
Method inspired by Karen Pryor’s Reaching the Animal Mind. Review out soon on Canis bonus 

About the author: certified dog trainer in The Hague

IMG_6639

Canis bonus: Laure-Anne Visele

My name is Laure-Anne and I am a behaviour therapist for dogs. I help dog owners in The Hague (and Delft, Westland, Wassenaar, Rijswijk, etc.) fix their dog’s behaviour problems.

Be it obedience issues or dysfunctional behaviour, I give you modern tips on how to fix it. My methods are affordable, evidence-based and dog-friendly.

I am a dog behaviourist for Canis bonus, and Head Trainer at OhMyDog! dog training school. I graduated in Zoology and certified as a dog training instructor. I have a Postgraduate in Applied Animal Behaviour (completed Magna cum laude).

I am The Hague’s dog nerd. If you want help or tips with your dog’s behaviour, and live close to The Hague, tell me about the problem here.

Quiet boy

Here comes my dirty dog trainer’s secret. I HATE the sound of a dog barking. Luckily, my own dog hardly ever makes a peep. Friends have even asked if he was mute or something. He only barks in two avoidable situations, so I don’t mind so much. I figure if I want a completely quiet dog, I should get a statue.

If you want a quiet dog, get a statue

If you want a completely quiet dog, get a statue

Situation 1: Nightmare at the dog training school

One of my intern at OhMyDog! asked if she could bring my dog to her practical dog training exam. She called me halfway through to say she’d been asked to leave early because of the dog’s incessant barking!

So I attended dog training classes with him, to see it with my own eyes. I surveyed the local schools and picked DogLogix – if you’re not going for our school (OhMyDog!), definitely give theirs a go. Sure enough, he started barking the second he wasn’t working. It was frustration/demand/over-arousal barking.

We got tons of improvement by experimenting with (sorry, it gets technical) capturing quiet, opening/closing training sessions, and, I have to admit it, a couple of extinction bursts.

Situation 2: Party pooping dog

He also barks when I try to relax and have a chat with other dog guardians at the dog beach. He stands at the water’s edge and protests at the dive-bombing Labradors for daring to have a good time. Rodge doesn’t like the water, you see, so Dog forbid anyone else should have fun.

Swimming dog

Other dogs frolicking in the water drive my dog insane. Once a party pooper…

A mild barking problem

So my barking issues were definitely not top of my list of priorities, but hey. He has been showing signs of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (the doggie equivalent of Alzheimer’s disease) so any new trick is therapeutic. As long as I keep him learning, we’re slowing down the decline.

I started last week and, to my surprise, a couple of two-minute sessions later, and Mr. Oldiepants could bark on request! I am verrrry proud of my old guy. Here’s how I taught him.

Puppy steps

Imagine you are teaching your dog to sit, but he doesn’t yet sit reliably when you try to help him into that position. If you said ‘sit’ before every fumbled attempt, he would take ages to learn what the word meant. He’ll be thinking that it means sitting then bouncing back up; or not-quite-sitting; or lying down; or whatever mistakes he/you made on your way to the perfect sit. It’s always best to wait until you can reliably put the dog into position before you introduce a word for it.

All this to say: please do not say the word ‘bark’ quite yet. Let’s get him to do it reliably for a couple of sessions, and then add the request. Now that I’ve rained on your parade, let’s get started.

  • Put your dog in a situation where you are 150% certain he is going to bark. Please do not make him upset or aggressive in the process (tell me about these problems if you live close to The Hague.) You could have someone ring your doorbell, for example.
  • As soon as he barks, say ‘yes!’ in a jovial voice (or click if you are a clicker trainer) then give him a treat.
  • He has to be quiet to chomp on the treat, so you can click again for him being quiet (and give him a treat again).
  • Keep alternating between clicking for quiet and clicking for barking, to make the dog more conscious of both types of behaviours.

Keep this up for a couple of minutes. Stop way before the dog gets bored or frustrated. We want him to be dying for his next training session, not dragging himself through it.

Give the dog a cue

  • When you can confidently predict he is about to bark, say ‘bark’ in a jovial way just before he does it. It goes something like this: the doorbell goes, you say ‘Bark’, he barks.
  • Click/say ‘yes!’ and give him a treat.
  • He is now quiet, so say ‘shush’ in a whisper. Put your finger in front of your lips (i.e. the universal shush gesture) after the shush for extra effect.
  • Immediately click/treat for his quiet.
  • Repeat the ‘shush -> reward’ thing a few times. You’ll have to be quick on the reward once you’ve said ‘shush’, so he doesn’t have time to start barking.
  • When you feel he’s about to bark again, give the ‘bark’ request. And reward when he barks, then immediately go back to asking for a shush. If your dog barks before you had time to ask for it, take a step to the side and start again. Just try to capture whatever comes next (say ‘bark’ before he barks, say ‘shush’ before he shushes).
His Masters Voice

Learning when to listen, and when to speak.

This is my guy at that stage. That was after two or three tiny little sessions. And this is an old dog with learning issues. So if my dog can learn it so quickly, so can yours.

Husky marathon, not greyhound sprint

To build up duration – no point in a dog who stays quiet for only a split second – start delaying your click after you said ‘shush’. Bring about the increase gradually. The sweet spot, the right duration, is somewhere between demotivatingly easy and frustratingly impossible. It is challenging but not impossible.

Greyhounds

Teaching duration: These guys are short-burst sprinters. We want our dogs to be marathon athletes.

Alternate between the short and gradually longer durations so he doesn’t guess a pattern. You could reward for:

  • 2 (easy) seconds of quiet
  • then 10 (challenging) seconds
  • then 2 (easy) seconds
  • then 3 (easy) seconds
  • then 9 (challenging) seconds
  • then 10 (challenging) seconds
  • then 2 (easy) seconds
  • then 10 (challenging) seconds
  • then 11 (challenging) seconds
  • then 3 (easy) seconds
  • then 15 (challenging) seconds
  • then 2 (easy) seconds
  • then 2 (easy) seconds
  • then 11 (challenging) seconds
  • then 14 (challenging) seconds

You don’t have to be that precise, just play it by ear. But do switch between short and challenging in an unpredictable way, and don’t go up in large increments.

Cosmopolitan dog

Practice in different places so he can generalize what he’s learnt, and learn that it applies everywhere.

Don’t be the dog training fool I was when, after he did it well just one time, I took him home to show it off. I had really oversold the surprise trick and my friends were half-expecting him to start flying a jet engine. So I said ‘Bark’ and he… looked at me quizzically. Total silence – aside from my friend clearing her throat and eventually saying “Aherm. Nice?”.

Traveling dog

Take this show on the road: practice in lots of different places to get the behaviour solid

Oooops. I had broken one of the sacred oaths dog training oaths: thou shall not expect your dog to perform a new skill in a new location if you have never practiced there. So don’t be the moron I was, and practice in a ton of places before take it in front of an audience.

Veteran dog

Lassie doesn’t exist, my good people, and solid dog training is a question of practice, practice, practice. Carnegie Hall and all that. Once you feel you’ve practiced enough, you can try to use it in real life, to really ask him to be quiet at times when he finds that hard. So please take these on the road:

  • The “shush”: Catch him in the act of being quiet in his daily routine. Say ‘shush’, make your gesture, and clicking/treat.
  • The “bark”: Transform moments of excitement from feeling shame at your dog’s embarrassing behaviour to feeling lucky about the training moment.

Fancy dog

And voila! Your dog goes quiet when you ask him, and you didn’t need to get angry or intimidate him to get there – which, by the way, is shoddy dog training and only serves to make the dog more wound up.

You also didn’t need to train for weeks on end. But the most beautiful thing of all is that, whatever used to drive him bonkers no longer does. He is too busy playing bark/shush for treats to bother about the dive-bombing Labradors. In the lingo, we call that a dog who ‘has gone operant’. I told you it would get fancy. I love big words, me.

Cool dog

Get fancy: teach him to do it everywhere, for a long time, and to stay cool throughout

Want to get even fancier? Say ‘talk’ instead of ‘bark’. It’s sure to get a few laughs at the park, and maybe your fellow dog owners at the dog beach can forgive his previous barking antics.

Illustration credits

No changes were made to any of the illustrations.

Posted in Dog behaviour, Dog training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Latest dog book review: Animal Wise

Dog book review announcement: Virginia Morell’s “Animal Wise”
By Laure-Anne Visele, April 2015

About the review’s author: certified dog trainer in The Hague

IMG_6639

Canis bonus: Laure-Anne Visele

My name is Laure-Anne and I can help with your dog’s behaviour questions if you live in The Hague or region.

I am a dog behaviour therapist for Canis bonus, and Head Trainer at OhMyDog! dog training school.

I graduated in Zoology and certified as a dog training instructor. I also have a Postgraduate in applied animal behaviour (completed Magna cum laude).

In short, I am The Hague’s dog nerd. If you want dog-friendly and evidence-based tips, I am your girl.  If you live close to The Hague and have a question about your dog’s behaviour, tell me about the problem here.

 

Animal Wise: How we know animals think and feel

Morell_Animal Wise

Animal Wise takes you down a sweep of the historic animal cognition research to date. Its author, Virginia Morell, is a science journalist. She takes us through pain in fish and self recognition in dogs, and explores plenty more intriguing animal cognition questions. A true gem of a book: as scientifically rigorous as it is pleasant to read.

Check the full review here.

Posted in Dog writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Latest dog book review: Dogs don’t look both ways

Dog book review announcement: Jane Hanser’s “Dogs don’t look both ways”
By Laure-Anne Visele, April 2015

 

 

About the review’s author: certified dog trainer in The Hague

IMG_6639

Canis bonus: Laure-Anne Visele

My name is Laure-Anne and I can help with your dog’s behaviour questions if you live in The Hague or region.

I am a dog behaviour therapist for Canis bonus, and Head Trainer at OhMyDog! dog training school.

I graduated in Zoology and certified as a dog training instructor. I also have a Postgraduate in applied animal behaviour (completed Magna cum laude).

In short, I am The Hague’s dog nerd. If you want dog-friendly and evidence-based tips, I am your girl.  If you live close to The Hague and have a question about your dog’s behaviour, tell me about the problem here.

Hanser_Both ways

Dogs don’t look both ways

“Dogs don’t look both ways” is the story of Joey, a chocolate Lab with a bad case of wanderlust. Joey tells his own tale in this dog-narrated book. The book was written for entertainment purposes mainly, and makes for a smooth read. It does not purport to have educational value, so don’t pick this one up hoping for the next Jean Donaldson’s Culture Clash.

Check the full review here.

Posted in Dog behaviour | Leave a comment

Latest dog book review: Crazy bitch

Dog book review announcement: Crazy bitch
By Laure-Anne Visele, April 2015

 

Tibbett - Crazy Bitch

About the review’s author: certified dog trainer in The Hague

IMG_6639

Canis bonus: Laure-Anne Visele

My name is Laure-Anne. I am your local dog nerd.

I am a dog behaviour therapist in The Hague and region (Canis bonus), and Head Trainer at OhMyDog! dog training school.

I graduated in Zoology, and am a fully certified dog training instructor. I have also completed my postgraduate program in applied animal behaviour Magna cum laude.

If you live close to The Hague and need professional help for your dog’s behaviour, drop me a quick line about the problem here.

Crazy Bitch

The autobiography of the Tibbetts’ harrowing journey through their dog’s declining mental health and aggression. A gripping read that is hard to put down at times. The author, despite being a layperson, shows excellent insights into dog behaviour. A little too sprinkled by pseudoscience, but overall a great read if you want to understand, truly understand, what life with a large mentally unstable dog can be like.

Check the full review here.

Posted in Dog writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dutch dog vaccination schedules

Blog post showing vaccination schedules for Dutch dogs
By Laure-Anne Visele, March 2015

About the author: certified dog trainer in The Hague

IMG_6639

Canis bonus: Laure-Anne Visele

My name is Laure-Anne and I help with dog behaviour problems around The Hague (Canis bonus). I am also Head Trainer at OhMyDog! (dog training school in The Hague). I graduated in Zoology, and am a certified dog trainer and applied animal behaviourist.

If you live close to The Hague and are getting worried or annoyed about your dog’s behaviour, tell me about the problem. I’ll get back to you within two business days. You can always read up a little on how it works first if you’re not sure.

Dog vaccinations in The Netherlands

My position on dog vaccination is no mystery: I see it as a civic duty to keep our dogs up to date on their vaccinations. But exactly how often should these take place, and what are the dogs being vaccinated against?

As I needed to brief my staff at our dog training school in The Hague on vaccination policies, I sat down with the veterinary practice with whom I collaborate on behaviour work, and they gave me the low down on vaccinations. I figured my expat readers would be happy to see this information in English.

The big canine diseases

In the Netherlands, dogs are expected to be covered against four diseases:

  1. Distemper (hondenziekte in Dutch)
  2. Parvovirus
  3. Canine hepatitis (leverziekte in Dutch)
  4. Leptospirosis

If your dog attends a training school, or if he needs to stay at a dog pension or walks with a dog walking group, he will also need to be vaccinated against the two forms of kennel cough (kennelhoest in Dutch):

  1. Bordatella
  2. Parainfluenza

And if you brought your dog in from abroad or want to travel with him, he will also need to be vaccinated against rabies.

Dutch canine vaccination schedule

Dogs need to be vaccinated against all the diseases every three years, and against leptospirosis and kennel cough every year.

The vaccine for both variants of the kennel cough is delivered in one go, nasally.

The first set of vaccines is delivered to puppies on three separate occasions, every three weeks starting at six weeks old. So your pup should be fully vaccinated around twelve weeks.

Final note, make sure you ask for the L4 version of the Leptospirosis vaccine. This protects against a forth strain of the Leptospirosis bacteria, whereas the old version only protected against three strains. The forth strain has been known to strike in The Netherlands too, so it’s a good precaution.

Vaccines per dog age

If you want to see the detailed breakdown, here we go:

6 weeks: DP vaccine (Distemper + Parvovirus)

9 weeks:

  • Small cocktail (Parvovirus + Leptospirosis (L4))
  • Kennel cough (Bordatella + Parainfluenza)

12 weeks: Big cocktail (Parvovirus + Distemper + Canine Hepatitis + Leptospirosis (L4))

1, 4, 7, 10, etc. years:

  • Big cocktail (Parvovirus + Distemper + Canine Hepatitis + Leptospirosis (L4))
  • Kennel cough (Bordatella + Parainfluenza)

2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, etc. years:

  • Leptospirosis (L4)
  • Kennel cough (Bordatella + Parainfluenza)

That should cover you! Drop me a line if you have any questions or comments.

Posted in Veterinary care and canine first aid | Tagged , | 1 Response

Latest dog book review: Stress in dogs

Dog book review announcement: Stress in dogs
By Laure-Anne Visele, March 2015

von Reinhardt - Stress in dogs

 

About the review’s author: certified dog trainer in The Hague

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Canis bonus: Laure-Anne Visele

My name is Laure-Anne and I help with dog behaviour problems around The Hague (Canis bonus). I am also Head Trainer at OhMyDog! (dog training school in The Hague). I graduated in Zoology, and am a certified dog trainer and applied animal behaviourist.

If you live close to The Hague and are getting worried or annoyed about your dog’s behaviour, tell me about the problem. I’ll get back to you within two business days. You can always read up a little on how it works first if you’re not sure.

Stress in dogs

A tiny pocket book about… stress in dogs. It is written in a dry, professional tone but gets the job done: you’ll emerge refreshed on the physiology of stress and reflecting more on its various signs, causes and effects.

Check the full review here.

Posted in Dog writing | Tagged | Leave a comment