Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic Rated Amongst the Best Dog Foods in the World

Earthborn_Holistic_logoINTLPro Pac and Earthborn Holistic Grain Free dog foods have been awarded top ratings from the world’s leading dog food review website.

From more than 3300 different brands reviewed, Dogfoodadvisor.com awarded Pro Pac Performance Puppy and Small Breed Puppy 5 stars and Pro Pac an overall rating of 4 stars. Earthborn Holistic Grain Free received 5 stars. 5 stars is their top rating.

The website also gave a “Highly Recommended” ranking on Pro Pac and “Enthusiastically Recommended” for Earthborn Holistic Grain Free.

This is a huge endorsement of the quality of these foods. Dogfoodadvisor.com is totally INDEPENDENT and rates foods according to only one criterion: the quality of the ingredients. The website recognises Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic’s high quality meat content (up to 400% more actual meat than other well-known super premium brands), lack of fillers and allergy-causing ingredients, no by-products, no genetically-modified ingredients and no generic ‘waste’ ingredients that are common in many other foods.

It also ranked Pro Pac much higher than other more expensive foods. Here are some comparisons:

Pro Pac Performance Puppy and Small Breed Puppy  5 stars
Pro Pac overall rating  4 stars
Eukanuba  3 stars
Hills Science Diet  2.5 stars
ProActive  2.5 stars
Nutro  3.5 stars
Purina One  2 stars
Purina Pro Plan  3 stars
Royal Canin  3 stars

With the lower price of Pro Pac than any of these foods, it really does make Pro Pac a no-brainer as the right food for your dog. Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic are available (with free nationwide delivery) from Petfood Direct at www.petfooddirect.co.nz. For full details of the Dogfoodadvisor ratings visit www.dogfoodadvisor.com

Vets and the Future of Petfood

For the last 25 years Midwestern Petfoods (producers of Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic) have been at the forefront of pet food development and research. The quality of their foods has made them one of the fastest-growing pet food companies in history with their foods now selling in nearly 80 countries around the world.

They’re also one of the few companies that has been successfully able to break the cartel between the large manufacturers and vets (which has meant that lower quality foods have been able to be sold at very high prices). And now, with the internet, people are waking up even further and becoming better informed about the best choice of food for their pet.

The power of vets and pet shops to promote inferior brands is continuing to decline. And more and more people are learning about Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic and the quality and value they offer.

Recently Pet Worldwide magazine interviewed the International Director of Midwestern Petfoods and he has some interesting things to say about the future of pet foods and how it’s going to affect you as a dog or cat owner.

To read, click here for page 1 and here for page 2.

Pro Pac Formulas: Which One for Your Dog?

PRO PAC Intl Dog Group 2 RThe Pro Pac range contains foods that are ideal for all types of dog at all stages of life and health. However, because of the careful formulation of Pro Pac and the consistency of ingredients, your dog will be perfectly happy and receive optimal nutrition on more than one formula. Knowing this, your choice can also be based on the kibble size and bag size that suits your dog the best.

Here is a general overview on which Pro Pac formulas to consider for your dog:

Small Breed Dogs (up to 9kg)

  • Pro Pac Small Breed Adult
  • Pro Pac Adult Mini Chunk
  • Pro Pac Lamb & Rice

Medium Dogs (9kg to 25kg)

  • Pro Pac Adult Chunk
  • Pro Pac Mini Chunk
  • Pro Pac Lamb & Rice

Large and Giant Dogs (over 25kg)

  • Pro Pac Adult Chunk
  • Pro Pac Large Breed Adult
  • Pro Pac Lamb & Rice

Small Breed Puppies (up to 9kg at maturity)

  • Pro Pac Small Breed Puppy
  • Pro Pac Performance Puppy

Medium Breed Puppies (9kg to 25 kg at maturity)

  • Pro Pac Performance Puppy

Large Breed Puppies (over 25kg at maturity)

  • Pro Pac Performance Puppy
  • Pro Pac Large Breed Puppy

A note about Earthborn Holistic Grain Free Dog Foods

Earthborn Holistic is specially formulated to be suitable for ALL dogs and puppies, irrespective of age or size. This is because the grain-free formulas have been designed to closely mimic a natural diet.

To order Pro Pac or Earthborn Holistic Grain Free foods for your dog, visit Petfood Direct or phone 0800 DOG FOOD (0800 364 366)

The Hidden Health Problem for Two-Thirds of Dogs

Dog on scaleOne of the most prevalent health problems in dogs is one you’re probably not going to see your vet about. In fact, it’s something most dog owners aren’t even aware of. However, it’s a problem that in our estimation affects up to two thirds of adult dogs (and a significant percentage of puppies). It also produces a significant number of side effects. Fortunately, however, once you become aware of it, it is easy to correct and by doing so you’re going to have a much happier – as well as healthier – dog.

That health problem is: being overweight.

As we travel around the country, we see a large number of dogs. From what we have seen, at least two thirds of dogs are overweight. In the US, dog obesity is now listed as one of the major health problems in dogs. Just as with the human population, it’s going the same way here.

In fact, it has got to the stage where many dog owners are not really aware of what a dog at the right weight actually looks like. Obesity and being overweight are increasingly seen as normal. For a guide on how to tell if your dog is overweight, have a look here (link to http://www.petfooddirect.co.nz/feed-calculator/)

There are many problems caused for a dog by it being overweight. Again as with humans, many of them don’t show up until later in life when they are going to be severe and potentially life-threatening. These include heart disease, cancer, digestive problems, joint problems (including arthritis and stiffness). Even for a young dog, though, being overweight can cause it to be short of breath and lack energy.

There are three main causes of a dog being overweight or obese:

  1. Lack of exercise
  2. Overfeeding
  3. Feeding inferior or ‘junk’ foods.

None of this is rocket science, yet it is surprising how many dog owners don’t give much consideration to these things. Particularly when it comes to food, many owners think that because a dog will eat something, or because the label says it’s a ‘good’ food, that it can’t harm the dog. Try eating and drinking nothing but fizzy drinks and burgers for the rest of your life and see how healthy YOU stay!

Here are some tips to help prevent your dog from becoming overweight – or to help it get back to it’s ideal weight if it already is:

  1. Stop feeding table scraps or other human foods. Dogs have very different digestive systems to humans. Just because it’s ok for you doesn’t mean it is for the dog.
  2. Eliminate ‘junk’ food from its diet. These are any dog foods that contain wheat, soy (and other grain-based ‘fillers’), artificial colourings, flavourings or preservatives, sugar, and by-products.
  3. Choose a high quality food that has a named meat (such as chicken or lamb) as the first ingredient (preferably in “meal” form which is much more concentrated).
  4. Don’t leave food ‘lying around’ for the dog to ‘graze’. Dogs are NOT naturally fussy. Leave the food for a few minutes and if it is not all eaten take it away until the next meal time. It will soon get the message!
  5. Use our feed calculator (http://www.petfooddirect.co.nz/feed-calculator/) to find the right amount to feed. However, always monitor the results and adjust accordingly if your dog gains or loses weight.
  6. Always feed LESS than you think you need to. If it’s a quality food with no fillers (such as Pro Pac or Earthborn Holistic) you might think the right portion doesn’t look very much. However these are concentrated foods  so you don’t need a lot.
  7. If you want to give your dog a ‘treat’ don’t give it one of those commercial treats. Due to the ingredients and their source (usually Asia) they have been linked to severe health problems and even deaths among dogs. At the moment there are a number of food recalls being issued for these treats, especially those that contain chicken. Instead, give it a couple of kibbles of its normal food. Trust me, they’re going to enjoy it just as much!

Obesity in dogs is such a tragedy as it really doesn’t need to be that way. Stick with a quality food such as Pro Pac or Earthborn Holistic which have high quality ingredients, nothing inferior or artificial and have been proven to give long-term health benefits to dogs. By doing that – and making sure you feed the right amount – you’re going to maximise your chances of having a happy and healthy dog for a long time to come.

Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic have been rated amongst the top foods on the market. Dogfoodadvisor.com, the world’s leading independent analyst of dog foods, rated them four and five stars (their highest rating) from more than 3300 foods reviewed. This was higher than Royal Canin, Eukanuba, Nutro, Pro Plan or Hills Science Diet.

For more information and to order Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic dog and cat foods visit Petfood Direct at www.petfooddirect.co.nz

The 7 Right Habits for Feeding Your Dog

dogeatingWith the new year starting it’s a very good time to think about your dog’s feeding routine and how you can best help him stay healthy and happy. Just as with us humans, having a dog that is free of health problems and can get the most out of life is not about the one or two things you do at random. It’s about creating healthy habits that last for a lifetime.

 

If you do that you’re going to see some great benefits over the immediate and long term. Things like:

  • a dog with a healthy skin and coat
  • a dog that maintains the right weight
  • a dog without joint problems
  • far fewer trips to the vet.

Here are some of the right habits to get into when feeding your dog. They are not difficult and your dog will thank you for it.

Habit #1: Feed at the same time each day. We recommend feeding twice a day for adult dogs and for puppies up to seven months three times a day. Your pet will probably remind you of the time, but it is a good idea to get into a feeding routine of providing the food at about the same time each day.

Habit #2: Don’t leave the food lying around. Some dog owners tell us that their pet is fussy and grazes at it throughout the day. However, the problem with leaving food around is that it can attract flies and even ants. Even the fussiest dog will soon get the message if their food is taken away if they don’t eat it straight away.

If you’re not convinced, try it for a week. No dog ever starved itself by not eating the food when it was made available.

Habit #3: Don’t make a fuss of the dog as it eats. Dogs have a very different relationship with food than humans do. Food is fuel for their body, nothing more. So you don’t want to draw attention to the dog eating. Simply put the food down and move away to let it eat. Come back in ten minutes and remove the bowl until next feed time.

Habit #4: Keep the water bowl full. Water is obviously vital to a dog’s health. Make sure there is always plenty of clean, fresh water available.

Habit #5: Make the dog sit and wait before allowing it to eat. Don’t just plonk the food down or, worse, allow the dog to jump all over you when it sees the food coming. By making the dog sit and not allowing it to eat until you give your permission you are sending a very powerful signal to the dog that you are the boss. By doing this you will find your dog will respect you more and will be more obedient in general (as well as less fussy with the food).

Habit #6: Eliminate table scraps and other ‘human’ foods. A dog has a very different digestive system to a human and they are not designed to eat the same foods as us. If you want to give your dog a treat, give them a kibble or two of their normal food, or perhaps a carrot. You might think you’re saving money by feeding scraps, but often the vet bills due to poor health (which may not show up for years) will easily offset any savings you make.

Habit #7: Only feed a quality food. A good quality food is designed to give your dog exactly the right balance if nutrients to ensure the maximum health for the longest period of time. There is a very big difference between these foods and those which are made from waste products and are marketed simply to make money for the manufacturer.

Think about it – do you think that the companies who sell fizzy drinks, cigarettes and potato chips consider that they are going to improve our health with their products? No, that’s not their purpose. They’re making products that we’re going to like the taste of, probably get addicted to, and keep buying! Being healthy has nothing do do with it.

If you ate a diet of nothing but junk food for 20 years you’re going to end up with major health problems – and you know that you would.

It’s no different with dogs. If you feed your dog a poor diet for most of it’s life it IS going to have health problems.

Feed a food that is designed with health in mind. And don’t believe what you read on the packaging of junk dog foods either – a lot of human junk foods also claim that they are healthy for you when clearly they are not.

Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic are two foods that are designed with the dog’s health as the top priority. There are no waste products, filler ingredients or artificial additives, just quality meats and natural sources of energy and nutrition. The quality was recently endorsed by Dogfoodadvisor.com, when they independently rated these foods amongst the best of more than 3300 that they reviewed.

Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic are available from Petfood Direct at www.petfooddirect.co.nz

Make these habits part of your routine and you’ll not only have a happy and healthy dog, you’re going to make things easier for you as well.

Why is Pro Pac Different to Other Dog Foods?

“I thought my dog was healthy and looking good… until I started feeding Pro Pac.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the reaction we hear all the time from pet owners who have moved their dog onto Pro Pac food.

  • coats become much shinier and softer
  • skin problems, rashes, redness and allergies all disappear
  • that offensive ‘doggy smell’ goes
  • stools are smaller and firmer
  • dogs develop greater agility (especially older dogs)
  • weight becomes normalised and easier to control.
  • dogs develop a calmer, happier nature

So what is it that causes such an improvement in so many dogs? What is Pro Pac’s “secret” that has made it one of the fastest growing pet foods in history, without a huge marketing and promotion budget?

It comes down to one word: ingredients.

The things you feed your dog are going to have a far greater impact on its health than anything else. The healthier the ingredients of what it eats, the healthier the dog. And the happier too!

The quality of Pro Pac – and the effect on dogs – is becoming more and more recognised around the world. In fact, several other pet companies, including Hill’s Science Diet and Eukanuba, have recently changed their formulas to be more in line with Pro Pac which highlights even more the leadership Pro Pac has shown in dog nutrition.

Here are just some of the features of Pro Pac that contribute to its superior health benefits:

  • High meat concentration. Pro Pac has as much as four times the amount of meat in Pro Pac as other vet and pet shop ‘super premium’ brands.
  • No by-products. By products are all the parts of an animal left after the meat has been removed. Deemed ‘unfit for human consumption’ they are commonly added because of their cheap cost. Pro Pac refuses to use any by-products. “If it’s not good enough for humans, it’s not good enough for our pets” is the Pro Pac philosophy.
  • Corn or rice as the carbohydrate energy source. Research has shown corn to be possibly the best energy source for dogs and in the form used in Pro Pac is 99% digestible. It’s one of the main reasons dogs on Pro Pac have smaller, firmer stools, have more stable energy and have a softer and glossier coat that stands out from other dogs.
  • No artificial flavourings, colourings or preservatives. Pro Pac is made from totally natural ingredients and because there is such a high concentration of real meat there is no need to bolster the food with flavourings to get the dog to eat it (this is very common amongst low grade foods).

The most common reaction we have from owners who try Pro Pac with their dogs is,

“I wish I’d put my dog onto Pro Pac earlier. I would not have believed what a difference a food could make.”

To see the benefits of Pro Pac with your dog, order from Petfood Direct at www.petfooddirect.co.nz or call toll free on 0800 DOG FOOD. You will certainly notice the Pro Pac difference.

Why You Should NEVER Let Your Dog Decide What it Eats

One of the most common reasons people give for their choice of dog food is because the dog “will eat it” or “likes” it. But this is a very bad idea.

Frankly, this is the worst way to choose a dog food – and you could be harming your dog’s health by doing so.

Your response to this is likely to be one of the following:

“Well my dog is fussy – and it has to eat something or it will starve”

“How could the food I use be harming my dog?”

“How do I get my dog to eat something then if it just downright refuses?”

There is a simple answer to each of these, which I will cover here. But firstly, why is it such a bad idea to only feed a dog what it “wants” to eat. Simply put, many dog foods contain poor ingredients that can harm your dog over the short and long term. The include grain wastes, cereals and all sorts of by-products to name just a few. They are a cheap form of bulk that, if you served to a dog in their raw form, you would see just how unappetizing and inedible the stuff actually is. So to make this palatable to the dog, manufacturers use flavorings that can cause all sorts of health problems, both short term and long term.

The food is, in reality “junk food” for dogs.

If you find this hard to believe, consider human “junk” food. Would you feed your children a constant diet of burgers, fries, chocolate bars and sugary drinks and expect them to stay healthy? Even if they told you they were the foods they wanted to eat and that they preferred them to vegetables and fruit? “Junk” food is perfectly legal (and some claim to be healthy) but you certainly now that it’s harmful in anything other than small doses.

You probably wouldn’t have too much of a discussion about it with your children and you wouldn’t allow them to only eat junk food. You know what is good for them and they will do what you tell them.

So why aren’t people the same with their pets? Why do people get more concerned when their dog seems to be fussier than their children? It all comes down to the ‘myths’ which pet food companies spend vast amounts of money to perpetrate.

When you are considering what food to feed your dog, remember the following:

  1. Most dogs are not fussy (yes, that includes yours!). If a dog is being offered a decent food, there is no reason why it should not be palatable and enjoyable to them. Fussy dogs are the result of the attitude and behavior of the owner! We have proven this to be the case with literally dozens of dogs.
  2. A dog will not starve itself if food is offered. Dogs are natural scavengers and will (like every other creature on the planet) eat virtually anything to survive. If your dog is going for days about eating it is because you are sending it confusing messages about eating. However, eventually (if you don’t give in first!) it is going to eat.
  3. The best way to ensure your dog is going to he happy and healthy is to feed it a good food. And the only way to tell a good food? Look at the ingredients. Don’t look at the front of the bag, look on the back! Go for a food that has a high meat content, where a named meat is the first stated ingredient, preferably in meal form. Avoid foods with any by-products, wheat, beef, cereals – and of course anything artificial.

Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic are two greats food with only quality ingredients – very high meat content, and no by products or cheap fillers and waste products. They are foods that you can feel safe are providing the best nutrition possible.

However, if your dog is showing any fussy behavior let us know and we can help. It’s almost certainly going to be something in your approach to feeding, not the food itself.

For peace of mind with your dog’ s health feed Pro Pac or Earthborn Holistic, avaliable from www.petfooddirect.co.nz.

How to Stop Your Dog Itching and Scratching

One of the most common problems that dogs suffer from is excessive scratching and biting. Many dogs seem to do this almost constantly. It is not only obviously stressful to the dog, it can be very irritating to the dog owner. It can be annoying to see your dog scratching itself all day!

Unfortunately, it is such a widespread problem that many dog owners have come to see a scratching dog as acceptable, and perhaps even almost normal. However, it is neither natural or normal for a dog to scratch more than just occasionally. Think of yourself: if you were constantly scratching your own skin you would think there was something wrong. It is the same with a dog.

A dog that scratches itself on a regular basis is showing clear signs of a skin irritation. Other ways a skin problem can be expressed are if it licks or bites its paws or rubs itself against surfaces such as a piece of furniture or even the ground. All of these are signs of great discomfort for the dog as it attempts to get rid of the irritation. Of course, the problem is that by scratching, biting, chewing or rubbing it will probably only make the situation worse. That is why it is so important to find the cause of the problem and eliminate it.

So what is it that actually causes these skin irritations in the first place? When confronted with the problem, the first thing that most dog owners think of is fleas. It is true that fleas can cause this, but it is actually not one of the major causes by any means. However, it is simple to eliminate fleas as the cause. Simply check the dog’s coat and skin carefully with a flea comb (available from most pet shops). If you find any evidence of fleas, including flea excrement, then there are many solutions readily available from a vet or pet store that should eradicate the fleas

However, in most instances of skin problems in dogs, you won’t find that fleas are the cause at all. The major cause is going to be some sort of allergy. There are many things that a dog can have an allergic reaction to. It is obviously very important to identify what the specific problem is for your dog and eliminate it from its life.

It’s important to realize that because allergies are the main cause of skin problems, simply applying a cream or shampoo is not going to solve the problem. It may alleviate the symptoms for a short while, or even give the dog some temporary relief, but it is not going to eliminate the cause of the issue. It will also cost you unnecessary time and money in vet visits and creams, lotions or shampoos. It’s far better to isolate the true cause of the problem. Once identified and eliminated the symptoms will disappear of their own accord.

Some of the most common sources of skin allergies in dogs are:

  1. Their environment. Is there something that your dog comes in contact with on a regular basis that does not agree with them? It could be something artificial that you have around your home such as air freshener, furniture polish or a household cleaning product. Alternatively, it could be something natural such as a grass or plant or something in the air. If the problem occurs only at a particular time of year (such as spring), it could indicate a pollen or dust allergy, as these are more prevalent at certain times of the year.
  2. Their food. There are a huge range of dog foods available on the market these days. Many of these contain ingredients that can cause problems for some dogs. Dogs have a different digestive system to humans and they react to different types of food in different ways. This is why it is very important to be aware of what you are feeding your dog and the affects it may be having.

By a simple process of elimination it should be possible to identify what is really creating the skin irritations that are causing your dog to scratch and bite itself. It may take some time, but your dog will thank you for it.

If you would like more details on a quick and natural method to eliminate your dog’s skin problems and stop it from scratching and biting, read renowned dog health consultant Milan Franks’ acclaimed book, “The Dog Allergy Cure: The Natural Way to Stop Your Dog Itching, Scratching and Biting.” For more information visit www.dogallergycure.com.

Dogs and Fireworks: How to Help Your Pet Through Guy Fawkes Night

The time around Guy Fawkes can be quite stressful for animals. The unexpected sights and sounds of fireworks can be very frightening and it can result in panic attacks and erratic behaviour. Although you can’t control the fireworks happening in your neighbourhood, there are a number of things you can do to reduce the pain of the experience for your pet.

Remember that the stress is caused by the dog’s fear of the unknown. It simply doesn’t know or understand what is going on. Therefore, trying to ‘explain’ to it not to be scared is both pointless and a waste of time. It sounds obvious, but many owners attempt to soothe their dog by talking to it as they would to a child. You want to comfort your dog, but talking logically to it is not the way to do it!

The first thing to do is to minimise the sights and sounds of the fireworks in your dog’s environment. You can do this by closing the blinds or curtains so the dog does not see the fireworks in the air. Also, consider turning on some music or turning up the volume on the TV or radio to reduce the impact of the noise of the fireworks.

Also, keep your dog inside and make sure their bed is handy (if they don’t have a bed you could make them one). This will create a safe place for the dog where it can go to relax if it wants to. This is especially important if you are intending on going out for the evening yourself and leaving them alone.

One of the most important ways to prepare your dog for Guy Fawkes night takes place earlier during the day. If you can, take them for a nice long walk. This will both tire them out and make them more relaxed. Early in the evening is the best time, soon before all the ‘action’ is going to start happening. Then, when you return after the walk, continue to maintain a calm and relaxed atmosphere in the house; don’t get the dog excited over mealtime, for instance.

If your dog starts to show signs of stress when the fireworks start happening, there are things you can do to calm him down. Most importantly, remember your dog is looking to you for guidance and trust. Dogs are pack animals and instinctively want to rely on someone else to make their decisions for him. (In fact, do you really want to make your dog happy? Simply let it know that you will make all of of its decisions).

So above all you must display calm yourself and show your dog that that is how you want it to behave also. Let it know that you are in charge and that it will come to no harm. To do this, do not react to your dog’s stressful state. This includes trying to comfort them which can in fact make things worse. Instead, calmly yet firmly hold your dog by the collar. Stay very calm yourself and do not react to anything the dog is doing. Do not say anything or use any soothing words. If you maintain this state, in time your dog will begin to calm down and sit or lie down. Let go of them only when they lie down and seem quite relaxed.

This may take a few minutes. However, by keeping a calm yet unwavering attitude yourself, your dog is going to eventually see that you are in control and that there is nothing to fear. If it shows signs of stress again you can repeat the process.

Guy Fawkes is one of those times that is simply not ‘dog friendly’. However, by doing the above you can make the experience at least tolerable for your pet while still having fun yourself.

For more great dog and puppy training ideas check out New Zealand’s own dog trainer Doggy Dan at The Online Dog Trainer website.

Getting the Most Out of Walking Your Dog

Walk time is the highlight of the day for many dogs – and also for many owners! It’s a time when you can not only give your dog exercise and the stimulation of new things to see and smell, but it’s an opportunity to connect with your dog in a special way. You can make every walk a new and fun adventure for the both of you, as well as enjoying some fresh air and exercise.

It’s a pity, then, that the daily walk is often a stressful time for both dog and owner. Pulling on the leash, not coming back when called, even aggressive behaviour – these and other issues can make a walk seem more like a duty than a pleasure.

However, even if your dog is well behaved, the chances are you are missing out on a valuable opportunity, not only to bond more closely with your dog but to improve its general behaviour and performance as well. Here are some ideas to help you take dog walking to the next level.

Firstly, remember that the walk actually starts well before you put the lead on and head out the door. It is critical you establish the right attitude towards walking for your dog. A dog is naturally a pack animal and is much happier when it is not having to make its own decisions. You will have a much calmer, more settled and relaxed dog if you can make it understand that you are the boss and that it need not ‘worry’ about deciding what to do in any situation. You do this by establishing your authority and by determining what your dog does and when – not the other way around. Far too many owners react to what their dog does in any given situation (including when and what it will eat, what it barks at and when it wants attention). If you react to a dog it will take it to mean that you approve of its behaviour – and of course, in its desire to please you, it will do more of the same!

An excellent time to establish your authority is when getting ready to go for the walk. Don’t respond to your dog’s excitement and rush out the door as quickly as possible. Be calm, put on your shoes and wait until your dog’s excitement dies down. Then you can put the leash on in a relaxed manner. By doing this you are sending a clear message that you will go walking when you decide, not when your dog does. Using such patience to establish your control is going to pay off later when your dog is off leash and you want it to come when called. You will now be the boss!

Maintaining this relaxed frame of mind is equally important on the walk itself. Maintain discipline and be sure to let the dog know that you are in charge of when and how you walk. “Free time” (including off the leash) should be your dog’s reward for good behaviour, not the result of you giving in because of frustration! If the dog continues to pull, gently but firmly remind it that you are in charge. You can usually sense when a dog is testing you and most will continue to do so until they realise that they’re not going to win. It’s just like with children – the ‘battle of wills’ is going to require some effort in the short term, but it’s going to save on more battles in the long run!

The message you leave your dog with at the end of the walk is as important as the one you give at the start. Finish as you began, on a positive yet calm note. Again, wait until the dog is calm before you let it off the leash when you arrive home. Give it a pat or a cuddle as a thanks for a great time. It will have it looking forward to the next one – whenever you decide that will be.

Like people, every dog is different, and some will take longer to get the message that you are in control. However, with a little bit of persistence you will find a noticeable improvement in your dog’s behaviour on walks – and it will become the fun time for both of you that it’s supposed to be.

For more advice and tips on training your dog the right way we highly recommend Doggy Dan’s Online Dog Trainer.