Hello everyone. I haven’t blogged in a while as Cracker and I have been busy brushing up on our knowledge about the health and behaviour of cats and dogs. Of course, being the wonderful cat that I am I already knew quite a lot but Cracker had to learn a few things; silly dog. Suffice to say, he is fully up to speed now.
The reason we have been fine tuning our know-how is because we have a newly-added ‘Ask Cracker and Girlie’ section on the blog. As mascots for Animal Friends Insurance we receive all sorts of questions from pet owners about their furry companions ranging from minor health queries to major behavioural issues and so both Cracker and I have created this page in the hope that we can help.
If you have a question for us or would like to see some of the questions and answers already posted then you can head to the new section here. That’s all from me for now folks but I’ll be back next week with a little update on what myself and Cracker have been up to. Au Revoir.
Last weekend we packed all our things up in the car and headed off to the seaside, the weather seemed to be holding up so we’d decided on Newquay. There were 8 of us in total and we hired a big static caravan for the weekend, one of those 8 was Gizmo my not so little Springer spaniel. He’s 15 months old and although he has his naughty moments I wouldn’t trade him for anything!
Gizmo regularly comes away with me and my husband on little trips and his particular favourite is visits to the seaside. He loves splashing around and soaking everyone he runs past especially me, his mum who always seems to end up the wettest even though I haven’t even been in the sea!
We got to the caravan on Friday evening and Gizmo made himself right at home- he’s not allowed on beds and sofa’s at home but took full advantage of the fact he was on ‘holiday’ and sprawled out across the sofa which was later to be converted into our bed. Ours being mine and my husbands and not Gizmo’s or so we’d hoped! He loves being fussed over so a caravan full of people was his idea of heaven and all normal rules and regulations went out of the window. As with all Springers he is a bit of a nutter so keeping him entertained is a full time job and for our weekend away required a bag full of toys; toys which we all spent the weekend tripping over. Continue reading “Gizmo’s trip to the seaside: Newquay” »
Positive reinforcement is a term that can refer to a type of dog-training used to condition a dog’s behaviour. The technique is largely based upon a psychological learning process named operant conditioning in which an individual’s actions are modified through associating certain behaviour with a stimulus. In the context of dog psychology, ‘reinforcement’ means introducing a stimulus (this can be a toy, special food, affection or any other kind of treat) or event as soon as a desired behaviour is displayed by the dog in order to increase the chance of that behaviour occurring again.
The psychology behind positive reinforcement is based on the theory that dogs like to please their owners and also receive rewards. If a dog displays certain behaviour and is rewarded, then they will be more likely to display that behaviour again. The reward does not have to be a dog’s favourite toy or treat and receiving extra praise, attention or affection can often work as a stimulus as it is showing the dog that they are making their owner happy. Positive reinforcement is particular to each individual dog (what one dog may find rewarding, another may not) and so the key to using this technique successfully depends upon finding a stimulus that a dog finds rewarding. Continue reading “Positive Reinforcement” »