About Sarah Rutten

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So far Sarah Rutten has created 54 blog entries.

“I normally correct my dog’s behaviour if he does the wrong thing, and now he has bitten someone. What can I do?”

By |2018-10-15T10:41:59+11:00September 21st, 2018|Behaviour Changes, Dog Aggression, Punishment|

Hi Sarah, My dog growls and barks at other dogs when we’re out walking. I’ve been giving him a correction every time he does it (which has worked). The other day he bit another dog and he’s never done that before. Now I don’t know what to do. Please help! Shane P Hi Shane, I believe there are a number of potential issues when using corrections in training. Firstly, when using punishment like corrections, you usually get a suppression of behaviour, rather than a change to the underlying cause of why the behaviour occurred in the first place. Kind [...]

“How do we stop our dog from digging?”

By |2018-10-15T10:50:44+11:00August 21st, 2018|Uncategorized|

Dear Sarah, Our little Jack Russell has an issue with digging. We used to have a beautiful garden with great lawn – it’s all been dug up! What can we do to stop this behaviour? Luke F Hi Luke, Digging is one of those normal dog behaviours that drives us all nuts – especially as it creates such a mess! So here’s a few tips that might help with that digging behaviour. Make sure that all of your dog’s needs are being met. Are they getting enough exercise? Are you spending enough time with them? Are they getting out [...]

“We have accidentally taught our dogs things we shouldn’t have. Is it too late to change her behaviour?”

By |2018-09-21T14:55:18+11:00July 1st, 2018|Behaviour Changes, Training|

Dear Sarah, We’ve made some mistakes in training when our puppy was young, and taught her some things we really wish we hadn’t. Are we too late to change things (she’s now 3 years old)? Miranda W Hi Miranda, I don’t actually think it’s ever to late to change undesirable behaviour, but it’s important to realise that the longer the dog has been doing a certain behaviour, the longer it’s going to take for them to change. That’s because there’s a number of factors going on here. Firstly, we have behaviour that has become a habit – and a [...]

“How long do you have to train a dog for?”

By |2018-10-15T09:49:25+11:00June 10th, 2018|General Information, Training|

Dear Sarah, We’ve just brought home a new dog and we want to make sure we do everything right, especially with regards to training. How long and how often should you train a dog for? Terry M Hi Terry, That’s a really great question, and one that I get asked a lot. I often find that people are quite enthusiastic when they first bring a new dog home, and in the interest of having a well trained dog, will often spend literally hours training – which is great in theory, but in reality, can actually have a negative effect [...]

“Our puppy bites – a lot! Does this mean she will be aggressive when she is older?”

By |2018-10-15T10:55:03+11:00April 10th, 2018|General Information, Puppies|

Dear Sarah, Out 12 week old puppy bites us – a lot! We are so worried that she’s going to be aggressive when she grows up. Is this likely? Barbara J Hi Barbara, This is a great question - as many new puppy owners have exactly the same concerns. But in actual fact, at 12 weeks of age, puppies are supposed to be biting a lot. And there are 4 reasons why. They are teething. And at 12 weeks, things really start ramping up in that department. Unlike humans who get one or two (or if you’re unlucky, three) [...]

“When on lead, my dog pulls. But when I let him off, he walks beside me. Why?”

By |2018-10-15T09:46:15+11:00April 2nd, 2018|Harnesses, Lead Walking, Training|

Dear Sarah, My dog pulls really badly on the lead, but when they’re off lead on the beach, he walks right beside me. Why is that? Sonya S Hi Sonya, Walking on a loose lead is possibly the hardest thing to teach a dog to do, for a number of reasons. For starters, the lead is a human-imposed piece of equipment that dogs aren’t born automatically knowing how to walk properly on. Secondly - dogs naturally walk faster than humans do, meaning that they are naturally out in front. Thirdly - dogs often pull to get to smells and [...]