Category: Tony Knight Dog Listener

Top 5 Breeds to Take For a Walk? by Tony Knight Dog Listener

Like me, you will no doubt have seen countless polls on social media of the Top 5 dog breeds for this and that or such-and-such. While this information can be useful when talking about physical traits of some dogs – ie, why Great Danes don’t figure too highly in the “fitting into a handbag” stakes – when the information concerns behaviour or temperament they are barking up the wrong tree, so to speak. Let me give you an example; I have a younger sister who had exactly the same kind of upbringing as I did with the same parents. How is it possible then for us to be so totally… Read more »

The (Dog) Social Network – the facts about dog interaction

One of the things we hear most about dogs is that they should be well socialised. For most people, this means getting them to interact with other dogs as often as possible. Have you ever noticed that some dogs simply do not like the look of other dogs? Here’s why… If we look at canines in Nature, a pack keeps itself to itself unless the need to hunt means they encroach on another pack’s territory. This can lead to problems. NB: Humans are no different – Northern Ireland, Syria, Ukraine, Palestine etc. The reality for our dogs is that we often stick them all together in one small space (small… Read more »

Leader of the Pack by Tony Knight Dog Listener

Why those who call pack theory outdated are themselves outdated As one of the millions of hopeless Facebook addicts, I cannot help but read posts that pop onto my screen about dog behaviour. After over 15 years as a Dog Listener, and having learnt alongside my mother Jan Fennell, I am often confronted online and in person with an outdated argument against pack theory in dogs. In fact, I was once thrown off a chat room for implying that it existed. I received a message from the President of the Club herself, telling me categorically that there was no such thing as pack hierarchy. When I pointed out that she… Read more »

BARKING MAD? by Tony Knight Dog Listener

Let me start with a quick story… Our senior Danish Dog Listener lives in Copenhagen. Down her street, every single house has been burgled, with one exception. That house is the one with Karina’s four Doberman living there. Now, I don’t know any burglars (I am not a ne’er-do-well) but I imagine that there are very, very few burglars who, upon seeing four Doberman running out into the garden and barking, will think to themselves, “I like a challenge!” Why am I telling you this? Well, barking has to be the most annoying behaviour problem that is suffered by dog owners and neighbours alike. However, Karina in Copenhagen will be… Read more »

Love Thy Neighbour by Tony Knight Dog Listener

Taking your dog out into the big, wide world should be a fun and relaxed experience for both owner and dog. You may have done lots of work with your dog to convince them to trust you in this world that they cannot comprehend, full of Man-made wonders and soooo many others to look out for (in Nature, canines keep themselves to themselves if at all possible), but what about other dogs out there? Can you be sure that they are as well-behaved? If a child asks their parent, “Can we play with those kids?” a good parent will check out the other kids to see if they are suitable… Read more »