view:  full / summary

Plenty of Pups in South West London!

Posted by Sociable Paws on July 28, 2014 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (1)

With plenty of puppies in South West London we are adding a new Puppy School Class venue! Sociable Paws is extending classes to cover two iconic London areas!

The tennis may be over for another year but classes in Wimbledon certainly aren't and are busier than ever. It's an exciting time for Battersea too, the Power Station will be welcoming lots of new people and buisnesses to the area and we are very happy to be joining in sharing the SW11 postcode!

Our new classes will be held on Friday evenings at the Katherine Low Settlement on Battersea High Street, SW11 3HP. As well as a new venue a new tutor is joining the team, Charlene Gunner who became a tutor in 2013 will be helping to take the classes in Battersea.

With limited places filling up fast make sure you don't miss out

BBC in search of Puppies

Posted by Sociable Paws on January 6, 2014 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (1)

Imagine my surprise when going through my emails I find one from the BBC.... ok I only got carried away a little bit before I opened it! Anyways turns out they don't want a prime time slot starring Nathalie the puppy trainer.... nope... they want cute puppies :(

Unfortunately I don't think I can quite cut it... me or adorable ridiculous puppies with that amazing awww factor... nevermind my moment will come but for now your puppies could get their moment.

So if you have a puppy that is over 8 weeks of age and fully vaccinated and you are free on Wednesday 8th of January 2014 the BBC Sport Relief's Top Dog are looking for you.

If your puppy fits the bill and you are, message me and I'll forward you the details!

Halloween...Fun or Frights Night?

Posted by Sociable Paws on October 23, 2012 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)


Halloween is fast approaching and there's lots to get ready, pumpkins to carve, sweets to buy, costumes to prepare and to add to the list are our very special pooches. Halloween is full of fun and frights but for our pets it can be more of the frights than the fun.

In Puppy School we do a socialisation exercise especially designed to help prepare puppies for the scary masks and costumes that they could encounter around the end of October but if your dog doesn't think that costumes and masks are their best friends there's lots you can do to help them out. On halloween night make sure you keep your dog away from the front door and all those scary trick or treaters... if your dog becomes scared he/she could use aggression to try to get the scary monster to move away from him/her so keep them out of the way so they can remain calm and not get freaked out.

We all like to carve an impressive pumpkin and dogs can't find them intriguing too... make sure you keep all the insides out of your dog's reach (no better time than to make that pumpkin soup to warm you up on these miserable autumnal days), you don't want to end up spending halloween outside with your dog's upset tummy! If using real candles ensure your pumpkin is well out of the reach of your dog if not use a glow light stick instead!

Making sure your dog doesn't eat any of that chocolate you've collected from all that trick and treating might just mean you'll have to eat it all up yourself! :)

Yearly holiday dilemmas...

Posted by Sociable Paws on June 3, 2012 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (0)

It's that time of year again. We may have had one week of sun but it's now returned to that dreary British rain. So out come our passports and online we go to book our holiday in the sun with endless beaches and warm blue seas without a cloud in sight.... well until we look up from our laptop and our eyes meet that gaze, the adoring ... "but what about me" gaze which makes our hearts melt and our stomach fill with guilt. That's right because although we crave that alluring holiday we also hate that gut wrenching feeling of leaving one family member behind, the four legged one who is always happy to see us no matter what.

Surely there must be a way of going on that fantastic holiday and knowing that our dog is going to have a fun time whilst we are away too? Well the answer is yes, you simply have to find the right arrangement and put a bit of work in first.

With the pet market growing there are endless options available but the three most common ones are kennels, and dog sitters who may sit at your house or keep your dog at theirs. So, how do you choose between them?

Think about your individual dog. Some dogs will do absolutely fine in kennels (I know mine has a whale of a time and trots off quite happily whilst tears flood down my cheeks). Others may prefer their home comforts and adapt less when their routine is changed so sitters might be the best option for them. No matter what you choose there are a few things that you should check out:

  • Ensure that they hold the appropriate insurance.
  • Get hold of some references from local vets and ex-clients.
  • If opting for kennels go and have a look around, make sure that you get to walk around the entire site and not just one kennel.
  • If opting for a sitter observe them interacting with your dog in the location they will be looking after him (your house or theirs).
  • Sitters and kennels offer different levels of care and interaction so ensure that you get written confirmation of what they will be providing your pet.
  • Find out what the vaccination protocols are for both kennels and pet sitters so that you can make sure your dog is covered well in advance as some may require kennel cough which isn't a routine vaccination.
  • Find out what their procedures are in case of emergencies as you don't want to get landed with an unexpected bill.

Whether choosing a kennel or sitter give your dog a road test with them for a weekend and see how things go. If you have any concers then choose somebody or something different, sometimes your gut is the best judge of a situation.

Whatever you do make sure that your pet is microchipped and all your contact details are up to date. If you really can't bear to leave your dog there are plenty of dog friendly holidays out there!

It's a smelly world...

Posted by Sociable Paws on March 4, 2012 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (1)

Following on from this year’s APBC (Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors) Annual Conference on Harnessing the Power of the Dog’s Nose it’s time we all embrace our world of smells!

The dog’s sense of smell is between 10,000 and 100,000 times more sensitive than ours. They smell like we see. So it may not be surprising that this ability is used to help us detect so many things, from searching for people to detecting extremely specific and minute scents.

It is important that we all take the time to ensure we provide our dogs with opportunities to use their noses, this shouldn’t be a task but a lot of fun as it is yet another way to develop a stronger relationship with them.

Why not get started with a simple hide and seek?

It’s easier if there are two of you, one to keep hold of your dog and the other to go off and hide. Get really interactive and maybe show your dog that you’ve got something they really like (some treats or a toy), run off keeping your dog engaged and excited and hide somewhere easy such as behind a nearby tree they saw you disappear behind. The other person should then let your dog run off to find you and when your dog does find you remember lots of praise or a game whatever your dog enjoys! As you practice you can make it harder for your dog, hide without letting your dog see where you run off to. Just always remember to have lots of fun when your dog finds you!

More fun nose exercise ideas to follow …











Fun Dog Training

Posted by Sociable Paws on November 24, 2011 at 9:10 PM Comments comments (0)

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

We love Jesse! Dog training shouldn't be about having the perfect dog but a fun dog who can be a part of your family and life. All of the tricks and tasks that Jesse does can be trained using positive reward based methods. 

If you want to achieve some of the tricks above you will need to teach your dog a few basics to progress with. Teaching a "touch" is a useful cue and dogs can pick it up very easily. Have a sticker or disc that you can hold in your hand. Place it infront of your puppy who should naturally investigate it. As soon as your puppy's nose touches it reward with a treat. Repeat this a few times so that your puppy learns that touching that disc is like pressing the button to a treat dispenser!

After a few sessions of touching the disc, start to move it around, initially only a little movement but then gradually work towards a greater distance from where you are so that your puppy is actively having to move towards the disc.

You can then use this to teach your dog to nudge a draw shut or a door! Stick the disc onto a draw and open it just slightly, wait for your puppy to nudge and then reward, once your puppy has got the hang of this only reward those attempts where your puppy has put some pressure on the draw making it move.

Put the behaviour on cue by adding in a "shut it" just as your puppy approaches the draw. If your puppy has associated the verbal cue with the action you might be able to remove the disc all together but another option is to slowly and gradually make the disc smaller until it's no longer there!

Remember, only reward if the behaviour is carried out after you've asked it otherwise your puppy might just decide to shut a drawer whilst your fingers are inside it!

Post us pics / videos of what your puppy can do!