The Way of the Dog Ltd & Vince the Vet®

The Way of the Dog Ltd & Vince the Vet®

The Way of the Dog Ltd is delighted to announce that we have teamed up with Vince the Vet® to form a working collaboration focused on delivering the very best behavioural support and holistic health care. Vince the Vet® is a unique range of clinically proven[1], natural supplements, remedies, and raw food which is all specially formulated to promote the very best of health. We are very proud to be associated with Vince the Vet®, we wholeheartedly endorse the excellent range of natural feeding products, supplements, and remedies. Vince the Vet® is spearheaded by Dr Vince MacNally, BVSc, VetMFHom, MRCVS, an expert Holistic Vet with 30+ years clinical expertise in nutrition and the complementary treatment of pets.

For some years now our own dogs have been fed on raw and natural food as we believe in the nutritional value that raw feeding heralds trusting that it promotes the highest levels of health and vitality in our dogs. The range of products available from Vince the Vet® is outstanding, there is something for everyone. More importantly if you can’t find what your dog requires from the range Dr MacNally will support you in tailoring a diet to match your dog’s individual needs. We speak from experience as Dr MacNally has aided one of our own clients whose dog suffers from Irritable Bowel Disease. Since the dog has been under the care and attention of Dr MacNally, he has shown great improvement.

The Way of the Dog Ltd regularly engages with clients whose dogs demonstrate behavioural problems and might also suffer from a range of different health issues. It is sometimes the case that diet plays a significant part in how a dog might be behaving or feeling; and a change of food may yield fantastic results both cognitively and clinically. Dr McNally is clear that ‘Diet Is The Foundation Of Health’What you feed your pet each day, can potentially affect their quality of life and how long they live more than anything else you do for them. Feeding highly nutritious, natural foods rich in essential nutrients, in the right proportions, effectively promotes health, well-being and happiness.”

The Way of the Dog Ltd has joined up with Vince the Vet® because we use and trust in the wide range of products available and we support their ethical approach to pet feeding and holistic health care. Together The Way of the Dog Ltd and Vince the Vet® deliver over 60+ years’ experience in dogs both from a clinical and cognitive perspective. Combining our respective knowledge and expertise gives dog owners a genuine all-encompassing approach to the general health and wellbeing of their dog.

[1] Clinically proven in Dr McNally’s holistic veterinary practice.

The Case of the Biting Golden Retriever

The Case of the Biting Golden Retriever

The Case of the Biting Golden Retriever

Dog Details

Dog Name: Teddy
Breed: Golden Retriever
Age: Unknown
Sex: Dog

Case Details

Problem: Biting, refusing to walk, stealing food, dog-to-dog aggression

Summary: Teddy was imported from Ireland having lost his home through the passing of his owner.  The history of the dog was largely unknown and required thorough background checks by his foster carer in order to provide limited details.  It was discovered that the dog’s upbringing was complicated and as a result he lacked appropriate social skills. The rescue responsible for Teddy sought the guidance and support of The Way of the Dog.

The dog’s journey to his current home was complex, he bit the driver during transportation to England, and he was rejected from two potential homes because he was just too difficult to handle.  Work with other behaviourists had failed to identify root cause of problems or provide appropriate solutions.

His new carer was very experienced in handling rescue dogs possessing several of her own, however she found Teddy to be a real challenge.  His behaviours were considered complex and his responses were totally inappropriate, help was needed.

Actions: A thorough assessment of behaviour followed by behaviour modification procedures and basic control work.  A thorough veterinary examination with the clients veterinary practice and thermology body reading courtesy of syncthermology.

Outcome: Due to his complex nature, but also the positive progression made, the foster carer adopted Teddy and allowed him to become a member of her family.  As a result of the time and energy invested in the dog by his owner he is now much happier and gradual improvements are being witnessed regularly.  Veterinary support revealed arthritic pain and appropriate meds were prescribed.

The owner feels more confident with the dog and is able to respond appropriately when the situation demands.  Teddy will remain a challenge for the foreseeable future, however he is now receiving the appropriate treatment, is in a forever home with an understanding owner, and he is progressing very well.

See More Case Studies

We will periodically post new case studies where we consider it appropriate. We do not create studies for all dogs we help.

Do you have a dog with behavioural issues?

Send us the details of the specific behavioural issues your dog is displaying by completing one of the following forms.

Behavioural Enquiries

For pet owners

The Case of the Aggressive German Shepherd Dog (GSD)

The Case of the Aggressive German Shepherd Dog (GSD)

The Case of the Aggressive German Shepherd Dog (GSD)

Dog Details

Dog Name: Casper
Breed: German Shepherd Dog (GSD)
Age: 4
Sex: Male (Unneutered)

Case Details

Problem: Reported as demonstrating human-directed aggression, dog-directed aggression, predatory chase behaviour, and occasional fearful responses to unusual stimuli.

Summary: The clients contacted The Way of the Dog Ltd having become concerned by the behaviour modification approach being adopted by a veterinary behaviourist working with their dog. Without any practical attempt to modify behaviour their dog had been placed on anti-depressants and a drug prescribed for epilepsy (Casper does not have epilepsy). The functional advice tendered was extremely limited and consisted of scattering a handful of sausages across the floor so that family members could sneak out the house to avoid conflict with their dog. There was no attempt to identify the underlying causes of behaviour or offer functional and practical approaches towards behaviour change. The clients were also concerned that the drugs being used were having an additional negative impact on behaviour.

The Way of the Dog Ltd received a veterinary referral, accepted the case, and set about establishing the motivation underpinning inappropriate behaviour, working towards the development of behaviour change, and the enhancement of handling and management skills. In consultation with their respective veterinary surgeon the dog was removed from all medication previously prescribed to suppress inappropriate behaviour so that we could identify a base level of behaviour unaffected by mood altering drugs.

During observation the dog was witnessed exhibiting significant and established levels of aggression towards family members and visitors seeking to leave the family home. There was also evidence of frustration perhaps borne out of a lack of appropriate mental stimulation and physical exercise. It was also identified that the dog displayed significant levels of willfulness and control in certain situations.

As a result of one of the family members being bitten by the dog some two years prior; trust and confidence had been eroded and the dog was effectively living by his own rules. This case required a completely holistic approach towards behaviour change.

Actions: Observation and analysis for the purpose of identifying motivational state followed by 20 weekly modification sessions (approx. 24 hours) delivered over an 8 month period. For health and safety reasons we do not detail the exact actions taken, no aversive methods were practised and no tools designed to inflict pain were used. We adopted an approach based on developing engagement and focus, response reliability, stimulus and impulse control. We gave the dog an outlet to release his energy and a new sense of purpose delivered through mental and psychical stimulation.

Outcome: The behaviour modification programme has been successful. We have identified the motivational state of the dog when exhibiting aggressive responses. To date the aggressive behaviour previously demonstrated by the dog remains dormant, although during the time of drafting this case file a further biting incident occurred. This resulted in the pursuit of further medical tests with the referring veterinary surgeon, despite them previously being conducted, a clinical diagnosis was obtained and revealed food intolerance. Further modification and training sessions were undertaken and to date the dog presents as happy and contented. Notwithstanding, the dog will continue to be managed thoughtfully and carefully to ensure that he is never placed in a position that causes him to feel that he needs to use force against his owners. The owners are dedicated to this dog despite his two strikes and have stood by him rigidly, they are to be highly commended for their commitment to their wonderful dog despite his obvious failings.

See More Case Studies

Periodically we will post new case studies where we consider it appropriate and informative. We do not create website case studies for all dogs that we help.

Do you have a dog with behavioural issues?

Send us the details of the specific behavioural issues your dog is displaying by completing one of the following forms.

Behavioural Enquiries

For pet owners

Who’s Handling Your Dog? – The National Occupational Standards for the Dog Industry

Who’s Handling Your Dog? – The National Occupational Standards for the Dog Industry

The Way of the Dog has taken on several behavioural cases where the root cause has been linked to the activities and actions of, and handling by individuals and businesses paid to take care of or train the dog.

In all of theses cases the evidence suggests a clear and worrying lack of qualification, experience, and knowledge on the part of those individuals and businesses.

From a dog owners point of view, we are unwittingly placing our trust in individuals and businesses who are working outside the limits of their own authority, accreditation, qualification, expertise and experience.

This article has been written to supply dog owners who are seeking the services of any dog based service (where your dog is handled, managed or cared for by somebody other than the dog’s owner) with the recognised minimum standards expected of the service provider.

Why do we need standards and regulation?

Pet care in the UK is a multi-million pound industry. This has tempted many individuals to give up main stream professions in pursuit of their dream job, such as working with dogs. This has led to a rise in the various types of dog services available.

Due to a lack of regulation and no defined standards, there have been no barriers for likely entrepreneurs to cross.  On the outside such services might seem like a blessing for those in need of support and assistance; however the variation in standards and lack of regulation is a real concern.

Have you ever stopped to think about who is handling your dog and questioned their ability to do so? Are they qualified and are they adhering to any professional standards? How would you know the standards they are expected to achieve?

With the release of the National Occupational Standards for the Dog Industry, you now have the tools to address these questions.

National Occu[pational Standards

The National Occupational Standards

in the imageIn October 2014, Lantra (sponsored by Government) released the following National Occupational Standards (NOS) following consultation with organisations including the Pet Education Training and Behaviour Council, the Kennel Club, the Canine and Feline Behaviour Association, British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers, Guild of Dog Trainers, and the Cambridge Institute for Dog Behaviour and Training.

The NOS aim to promote criteria that are relevant, accurate, and considered a suitable benchmark for those working with dogs (Lantra, 2014).

In each NOS there is a list of ‘Performance Criteria’ of which the individual professional must be able to demonstrate in addition to a list of ‘Knowledge and Understanding’ that they need to essentially know and understand. The ultimate purpose of these standards is to support the primary aim of protecting the welfare of dogs and to recognise that dogs as a species require a separate NOS and not an all-encompassing approach as set out in Animal Welfare standards.

Each of the NOS documents is available to view, download and print below (updated April 2020

  • LANCTB1 – Observe, Assess and Respond to the Behaviour of Dogs
  • LANCTB2 – Handle and Control Dogs
  • LANCTB3 – Plan and Implement Training Programmes for Dogs
  • LANCTB4 – Plan and Implement Training Programmes for Dogs and Handlers
  • LANCTB5 – Plan and Implement Programmes to Address Undesirable Behaviour in Dogs

NOS for the Dog Industry

Who do the National Occupational Standards apply to?

The standards are relevant to all those who work professionally with dogs such as veterinary paraprofessionals, groomers, walkers and day carers, trainers and behaviourists, those providing therapies of any kind, micro chippers, and by and large anyone who works with dogs on behalf of the public.

The standards documented in LANCTB1 and 2 are aimed at every single person within the dog industry who works with or handles dogs. Any person offering or providing dog training must achieve and adhere to the standards of LANCTB1-4, whilst dog behaviourists must achieve and adhere to LANCTB1-5.

Our View

At The Way of the Dog we feel that all those that choose to work with dogs should be familiar with the National Occupational Standards and aware of the criteria relevant to their practice.

Although the NOS are not currently enforced and only serve as guidelines to those working in the industry they – at the very least – give all dog owners a standard practice of which they can expect to receive if paying for dog services of any kind whether professional or amateur.

The truth of the matter is that many individuals and businesses within the dog industry are falling short of these standards and their lack of qualification, experience and knowledge are having a detrimental effect on the well being, health and behaviour of the dogs in their care.

We would urge all dog owners to read the NOS documents linked above and use them to assess their current and future dog care, training and behaviour service providers. You should address any concerns by asking that provider how they adhere to any particular standard and be happy with their responses.

A good service provider will be happy to address your concerns and pleased that you care for your dogs well being.

Do you have questions or comments about NOS?

Do you have any questions or comments about the National Occupational Standards and their implications. Do you wish to respond to this post? If so, use the comment section below and we’ll respond with our views.


Related Articles:

The Benefits of Training your Dog

The Benefits of Training your Dog

It is fair to say that not all dog owners are interested in training their dogs or in some cases they perhaps are interested but simply struggle to find the time.  However you might be surprised to learn that teaching your dog a simple task, for a short period each day, can be hugely rewarding for both you and your dog. The task need not be complex it is the fact that you engage and interact with your dog that is the important factor.  Taking time to train your dog has numerous benefits that can be incredibly stimulating and enjoyable for all involved.

What is the purpose of training a dog?

There are many purposes of course; however The Way of the Dog Ltd considers that the primary purpose is to maintain the health and safety of the dog whilst protecting the health and safety of others.  This is something that all dog owners should carefully consider given the recent amendments to the Dangerous Dogs Act here in the UK. Training your dog is the responsible thing to do and can lead to the development of secure and confident foundations in your dog.

When it comes to choosing what to train your dog there is no definitive list, it really comes down to imagination, interest, personal choice, and access.  There are so many interesting activities and events that you can involve your dog in these days that dog training has become accessible to all.

Training a dog even the simplest of tasks can have a variety of benefits, these include;

  • Improving psychological and physiological wellbeing, contributing towards a healthy mind and body (both dog and owner).olla-obedience
  • Optimising brain function.
  • Increasing the strength of the bond and understanding between dog and owner.
  • Establishing clear and positive communication.
  • Raising self-esteem and confidence in the dog.
  • Reducing stress and anxiety.
  • Relieving boredom.
  • Teaching new skills and improving the proficiency of existing skills.
  • Giving a dog a role to perform providing an outlet for stored energy.

Your dog does not have to perform to any specific stereotype or even to a particular standard, all that matters is that the dog has the physical ability to perform the task and is willing to try.  There is no sense in trying to teach a Chihuahua to scale a 6ft fence any more than attempting to run a marathon with a Dogue De Bordeaux. If you have any doubts, consult your vet. Always consider the functionality of your dog ensuring that it is physically capable of achieving the objective or task without coming to harm.  History demonstrates that dogs were selectively bred to perform certain functions and that body conformation was modified accordingly.

A note of caution, careless designer breeding can affect a dog’s inherent ability to perform certain tasks.  Notwithstanding, it is important that any training undertaken is fun and rewarding for the dog.

M1370024Owning an untrained and disobedient dog can be a very challenging ordeal and may lead to exclusion from every day activities often taken for granted such as walking a dog in a country park or having guests visit the family home. Owning a trained dog can be a thoroughly rewarding relationship and enriching experience that forges strong human dog bonds allowing dog owners to successfully engage in a range of activities. If you are interested in training your dog and would like to discuss options please contact The Way of the Dog Ltd.

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