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How to stop your dog begging for food

Posted on May 22, 2017 at 3:50 PM

Is your dog's begging becoming a nuisance at meal times? Here's our top tips to easily stop and prevent begging problems. 

Be strict and consistent

In order to change this behaviour, it is very important that everyone who interacts with the dog is consistent with not rewarding the begging by giving in and feeding him, especially from their plate at dinner.

Teach an alternative behaviour

Teach your dog an alternative behaviour, such as to go to his bed and lie down, to better manage the situation, especially if he is intrusive into your space.

Reward the behaviour you want to see

When he does offer the right behaviour, such as staying on his bed, make sure to reward him for doing so, for example by giving some of his food on his bed. This will encourage him to stay where the food comes to.

Feed your dog first

Feeding your dog before you sit down to eat will mean he isn't so hungry and will be more likely to settle when you are eating. Some people worry that dogs eating first leads to issues with dominance, but this is a myth.

Crate training

Consider utilizing the crate as a tool if you haven't yet taught your dog to stay on a bed.

Get your dog microchipped for free with Dogs Trust

Posted on January 3, 2016 at 9:35 AM


Don't forget, compulsory microchipping comes into action from the 6th of April in the UK. Your dog can be chipped by your vet or Dogs Trust currently offers FREE microchipping across the country.

Having your dog microchipped is one of the best ways to increase your pet's chances of getting home. Unlike dog tags and collars, which can fall off or be removed, microchipping is a more permanent form of identifying your dog.

But don't forget the law says all dogs must wear a collar and tag, with their owners name, address and telephone number on it.

find out more

'Forget the carrot- just hand me the stick'- Is it wrong to use food in dog training?

Posted on November 23, 2015 at 3:00 PM

Its obvious to anyone looking for tips on how to train their dog on the internet that there are infinite numbers of trainers and infinite numbers of methods available, but when doing research it quickly becomes clear that there are two major groups of trainers; those who use food and those who don't. Scanning through different trainer's websites, you will often see promotions stating 'We train (or teach you how to train) your dog without using food' and talk about food meaning bribery, as though training with food is something which should be avoided at all costs. They make no distinction between bribing dogs and rewarding dogs, as though dogs trained using food are not actually trained at all.


To some people, using food as a reward conjurers up images of the dog who wont sit until a biscuit is waved in front of his nose, or people in training classes carrying large bags of chopped up hot dogs, and desperately shovelling the food down their dog's throats in order to stop them barking at other dogs, meanwhile spilling it everywhere as other owners try to stop their dogs snuffling along the floor to pick it up.


But is there a place for food in dog training? I strongly believe so.


Food 'The primary motivator'


In dog training terms, food is what we call a primary motivator. This means that dogs naturally see food as something which is rewarding. While some dogs will naturally have higher food drive than others, meaning that some dogs are more motivated by food than others, this is true and universal for all dogs. They all need food to survive.


The difference between bribing and rewarding


So what is the difference between bribing and rewarding a dog? The difference is key; bribery occurs when the food is produced in order to encourage the dog to produce a behaviour, reward happens after the desired behaviour has been presented.


The benefits of food rewards


There are many benefits of using food as a reward, far too many to list here! 'Learn to Earn' is a resource control program which utilizes the dog's regular food and teaches them to value people and look to work with them to get what they desire. When I am training dogs I usually always start with food. The first reason is that, as detailed above, food is primary motivator and most dogs will value food; dogs who I have no bond with will quickly begin to trust me by using their food. The second reason is that one of the ways dogs learn is through repetition, and food as a reward allows for many repetitions, whereas with a toy reward the process is slower as the dog must first enjoy the toy and then give the toy back in order to repeat. Toys can be brought in to replace food further down the line, just because you have started training using food, doesn't mean you have to forever.


Food vs other rewards


If you are going to use reward based training, you must find what is rewarding for the dog, choosing not to rule out practical options for whatever the dog finds rewarding. Whether that is food, toys, praise or physical affection, different rewards, when used affectively, can be used to produce amazing results within pet training, competition training or service dog training.

10 Reasons to crate train your dog

Posted on November 23, 2015 at 2:35 PM

Crate training is the process of teaching a dog to relax within a crate or cage. When properly trained and utilised, there are numerous benefits of using the crate, here are some of our top 10. 

1. Safety

In the worst case scenario, dogs can die from being left unsupervised for any period of time. Chewing electrical wires, swallowing something which could causes obstruction, getting caught somewhere and chocking, fighting with other dogs in the house, the possibilities are endless. Confining a dog while you cannot keep a safe eye out means you eliminate the potential for disaster and can rest assured he is safe when alone.


2. Recuperation

In the event of needing to recover from an operation or injury, crate rest insures your dog is forced to rest, allowing a quicker recovery. It means he cannot jump up at the sound of the door, or charge around the house when excited and do more damage.


3. A place to himself

In busy households dogs can often get overwhelmed and feel anxiety when they have no place to themselves. Crates can be made into safe zones, where they can take themselves to relax, knowing they wont be bothered.


4. Relief from fireworks or storms

Many dogs are frightened of fireworks and owners dread the time of year too. A dog who is happy in his crate can have a secure, quiet area where he can wait out the worst of it in peace. Covering the crate and turning the TV up in plenty of time before it gets dark means he may be none the wiser.


5. Emergency vet visits

In the event of an emergency vet visit where your dog has to stay at the vet for any period of time, he will be kept in a cage while at the vets. If he is not used to being in a crate, this will add necessary stress to an already stressful situation.


6. Time out

Some dogs, especially puppies, can easily over exert themselves, not knowing when its time to relax. Crate training can ensure your dog can take time to nap and rest, and can have a space to calm down when over excited.


7. Securing escape artists

For dogs which are seasoned escape artists, making a dart for the door when opened, crates can provide an extra level of security meaning all external doors can be safely shut before letting the dog loose, extra helpful with a busy household who forget to close gates and doors.


8. Protecting your home

A crate allows you to secure your dog or puppy while you're not able to keep an eye on him, minimising the opportunity for damage to your furniture, expensive shoes and homework while training.


9. Toilet training

Utilising the crate can make toilet training a whole lot easier, especially as you can create a routine which means he is given frequent opportunities to toilet when being let out of the crate.


10. Secure while guests are round

When guest come round, whether it be family with small children, people with phobias of dogs or builders working on the house, it can make life much easier to be able to secure the dog for short periods of time.

Top 10 tips for introducing a new dog to your home

Posted on November 14, 2015 at 11:50 AM

Introducing a new dog is an exciting time, but care and consideration needs to be taken in order to make it go smoothly. First impressions count!

Here are our top tips for introducing a new dog to your home.


1. Choose your new dog carefully

Before choosing a new dog to introduce to your home, think about your existing household and how this may change the dynamics. Be sure to choose a personality which should be a good match.

2. Go for walk separately

Draining some initial energy will make the situation less frantic when they come to meet, bringing down levels of tension.

3. Go for a walk together

Meeting on neutral ground is best for everyone, ensure both dogs are kept on lead to begin with and wait until they're calm to progress to them meeting. Keep walking and avoid stopping for long periods of time, taking careful consideration of body language which may suggest either dog is uncomfortable.

4. Keep things relaxed and fun

The goal is to make sure that both dogs see each other positively, so keep your body language and tone of voice calming and positive. Calm your dog by using long, gentle stroking and calm praise, instead of excited fuss.

5. Take them into the garden

Providing things have gone well when out on a walk on neutral ground, take both dogs to the garden and allow the progression into the home. Pay special attention to any signs of stress from either dog, and take time out to reduce any tension.

6. Don't leave high value resources around

Put away things like toys, bones and food when introducing a new dog into your home, to reduce the likelihood of competition leading to fights. Feed the dogs separately.

7. Try a plug in diffuser

These diffusers emit a calming pheromone which eases stress. Try the Adaptil Diffuser. Adaptil diffused in the proximity of a dog mimics the natural dog appeasing pheromone, as a reassuring message. As a consequence, it helps relieve stress or fear-related behavioural signs.

8. Keep dogs separated when you're not around

Be sure to keep dogs who don't know each other well separate when you're not around, for safety purposes. Crates and baby gates are great ways of separating dogs within the home for times to calm down and relax.

9. Be patient and sympathetic

Dogs are individuals and all have different needs and will take different times to relax. New dogs may not get along like best friends straight away, it could take days, weeks or months in order for them to adjust to a sudden change in the home.

10. Work on training

Trained dogs are happy, relaxed dogs. Training dogs separately and together builds bonds within the family, and a good level of physical and mental stimulation through training ensures a healthy dog.


If new introductions are not going smoothly, it is important to get in contract with an experienced and qualified behaviourist who can help you and your dogs. Always be very careful, as dog fights can cause serious injury to both dogs and humans caught in between.


Tips for a Happy Halloween with your dog

Posted on September 25, 2015 at 3:20 PM

Training your Dobermann puppy

Posted on September 25, 2015 at 2:55 PM


Here are our top tips for training your dobermann puppy!

Let your puppy settle and build your relationship.


The most important way to start training your dobermann puppy is to let him settle in before going ahead with an intensive training regime. Focus on building his confidence and building a good relationship with you through play until he is comfortable in his environment.


Decide on your 'House Rules'.


All dogs, but especially particularly intelligent breeds like the dobermann, require consistency and black and white rules. Consistency is key to ensuring you give a clear guide to your puppy on what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. Establish house rules which are all agreed on, for example if being allowed on furniture is acceptable or unacceptable, and make sure they are stuck to.


Keep training sessions short and fun.


Another key aspect to training your dobermann puppy is to ensure training sessions are kept fun, so your puppy will keep wanting to come back for more! Sessions should ideally be finished before your puppy gets bored, ideally just a few minutes a few times a day. Long training sessions will mean your puppy looses interest and can get frustrated.


Dober-sharks! Training your dobermann puppy bite inhibition.


Dobermann puppies are renowned for terrible puppy biting! By training your dobermann puppy bite inhibition, you will be setting him up for success in the future. There are lots of methods for training bite inhibition, you can try redirecting him from yourself onto a toy and praising chewing on the toy, or sometimes a high pitched scream when your puppy's teeth touches you will imitate that of litter mates.


Toilet training your dobermann puppy


Dobermann puppies usually take to toilet training very quickly, as they are very smart and want to please their owners. Keeping a close eye on your puppy really is clear here, looking for behaviour which suggests he may need the toilet, such as sniffing, as well as letting him out regularly (especially about 20 minutes after any food) It is important that your puppy is never reprimanded for going to the toilet in the wrong place, this will only lead to him trying to hide it.


Utilize the crate


Dobermann puppies are known for getting into all sorts of trouble, if left to their own devices! Training your dobermann puppy to enjoy being in his crate means he will have a safe place to relax when you aren't watching him.

Thanks for reading! Click on our other articles to find more useful tips for training your dobermann puppy! 

Do you know the five freedoms?

Posted on August 21, 2015 at 4:30 AM

Recommended reading

Posted on July 10, 2015 at 11:00 AM

Recommended Reading


Here at Insync K9 we are constantly developing and expanding our knowledge about all aspects DOG. To help out other people looking to expand their knowledge in certain areas, we have put together this recommended reading list of books we love. If you are one of our clients and are interested in a particular book, please do let us know as we may have a copy you can borrow.


We hope you enjoy them, and make sure to contact us if you think there are any we should add to this list.


The culture clash : a revolutionary new way of understanding the relationship between humans and domestic dogs- Jean Donaldson


Control unleashed : creating a focused and confident dog- Leslie McDevitt


When pigs fly! : training success with impossible dogs- Jane Killion


Don't shoot the dog! : the new art of teaching and training- Karen Pryor


Click to Calm : healing the Aggressive Dog- Karen Pryor


Shaping Success (The Education of an Unlikely Champion)- Susan Garett



In defence of dogs- John Bradshaw


Between dog and wolf : understanding the connection and the confusion- Andrew Adams


Dog speak : recognising and understanding behaviour- Christiane Blenski


Behaviour adjustment training : BAT for fear, frustration, and aggression in dogs- Grisha Stewart


The genius of dogs : how dogs are even smarter than you think- Brian Hare




The canine thyroid epidemic : answers you need for your dog- Jean Dodds


Understanding Canine Urinary Incontinence- Peter Holt


The book of the bitch- J.M Evans




How to cut black nails

Posted on July 10, 2015 at 10:40 AM

I seem to see a lot of people talking about how they don't cut their dogs black/dark nails because they don't know how far to cut and are worried about quicking their dog, so I thought I'd take some photos along with a step-by-step guide to show you how I get dog's nails short.

Nails must be done little and often in order to reduce their length without hitting the quick, which will cause your dog to bleed.

A step by step guide to cutting your dog's nails

Step one:- Get your dog into a comfortable position, I sometimes sit the dog between my legs, and hold the paw firmly in a comfortable a position for you and the dog. Grip the paw securely so that if the dog was to flinch you would still have control, but don't squeeze as it might hurt. I gently apply pressure to the nail so it is fully extended and wait until he has relaxed so there is no struggling.


Step two:- Get the clippers ready over the nail and be ready to just clip a tiny piece, perhaps 2mm, off the end of the nail. If you are unsure where the quick is, or the quick is right at the end of the nail, you need to take of as little as you physically can so you know what you’ve got to work with. When you have decided you are going to make a cut, do it quickly and without hesitation. If you hesitate and do not do it quickly, this can squeeze the quick and make it painful for the dog.


Now Rupert doesn't have much nail in this photo, because they were done the day before yesterday already. If you havnt done your nails in a while, you might see a distinct hook at the end of the nail, this is fine to take off so it runs flat with the bottom of the nail.

Step three:- Keep making tiny, tiny cuts on the nail until the texture of the nail inside starts to change. You will see the outside ‘shell’ of the nail appear and you will see the texture inside change to a more ’meaty’ kind of texture. When you see the bottom of the nail change to a darker colour and/or a white circle appear in the nail you need to stop as this is the quick and going any further will make your dog bleed.

TIP! Once you have done all the nails, apply Preparation H (the hemmaroid cream) to the ends of the freshly cut nails and this will help to recede the quick faster. This makes a big difference!

Once we're done, give your dog a nice piece of cheese or some chicken to say, all done!

Question and Answer

Why is having long nails harmful to my dog's health?

Dogs use their nails for balance, turning corners and for accelerating when running. Many dogs will naturally wear their nails down, but often our dogs are run on soft surfaces or often do not get enough exercise and thus their nails get too long and need to be trimmed. Long nails can cause all sorts of problems, including joint pain and arthritis. Long nails are also more susceptible to being damaged, so it is important to keep them short (ideally not touching the ground).


How often should I clip my dogs nails?

Now, different dogs nails vary with how often they need to be done. Rupert’s back ones get worn down naturally so I never really need to take much off them, but I like them very short and we only really walk in fields so I do mine every 2/3 days when I am trying to get them shorter or once a week when they are already short. We keep them this short as it is my personal preference and we show, its up to you how short you keep yours.

My dog hates having his nails clipped, how do I do them?

There are two methods you could use to get your dog used to the nail clippers if s/he doesn’t like having their nails done; positive reinforcement or flooding. Positive reinforcement involves slowly getting the dog to like the nail clippers and making the whole thing positive, ie rewarding interactions the dog had with the clippers (sniffing, touching with their nose ect) then rewarding the dog letting you touch the nail with the clipper, then moving onto letting you do one nail ect ect. Flooding involves making the dog have his nails done by getting them into a position where he cannot throw his weight around and clipping the nails and not stopping until they are done. It is up to you which method you want to use, I think it depends on your preferences and your dog.

A lot of the time I believe some dogs wont have their nails done because they know that if they struggle they dont have to have them done, rather than an actual fear of the clippers. If your dog will let the vet do it, but not you, I believe you are probably approaching it with the wrong attitude and hesitating which is probably exacerbating things. I think positive reinforcement is the best method and this is the method I would recommend for long term benefits.

How do I make the quick recede quicker?

If the quick is right at the end, you need to try and do them little and often and the quick will recede. Some people might tell you that you need to cut the quick for it to recede, this is not true; I never cut any dog when I am cutting their nails. Once you’ve got them short, its much easier to keep them short. If you are trying to get them shorter and you are doing them once a week or less, you are probably losing ground.

What should I do if I accidently cut the quick?

If you do accidently cut your dog’'s quick, it shouldn't be a big deal as you are taking to little off at a time anyway it shouldn't really bleed at all, however to seal the quick you can rub a bar of soap on the end of dab it into a little plain flour. Otherwise you can buy a product called ‘quick stop’ which is also very good. If you have quicked your dog, you should be careful about walking on harsh surfaces as the scraping on the floor can open it up and cause bad bleeding.

Which type of clippers are best?


You need to make sure your clippers are sharp and size appropriate for your dogs nails. I prefer the plier type, especially for larger dogs, but you can use the guillotine type if you prefer.


Thank you for reading my article, I hope you found it helpful! If you did, don't forget to share it with your friends.