How did your appearance on Dogs: Their Secret Lives come about?
The researchers for the programme came across our work and thought we could add something extra to the programme. We have one of the largest research groups in the world working on clinical animal behaviour.
Do you think the show covers new ground?
Yes, it emphasised the widespread nature of the problem, which may be more prevalent than even our worst fears. I think an important highlight, was the consideration that not all dogs suffering are active, and our work will potentially allow us to identify the passive dogs more readily.
Is there a link to physiological problems due to separation anxiety (diabetes in the Terrier)?
Stress raises blood sugar and this can ultimately increase the risk of diabetes which is a persistently high blood sugar level which may become resistant to insulin.
Are certain breeds better able to cope with being left alone?
Labradors and gun dogs seem to be particularly at risk according to our own research here.
What can dog owners do to relieve the problem for their pets?
Seek professional help through their vet to a qualified behaviourist, such a certificated clinical animal behaviourist recognised by ASAB. There are many dubious qualifications and so owners need to check that the person has good independently verified qualifications.
Are there any other programmes coming along that you're going to be involved with?
Possibly, I have been advising on a new cat and a new dog programme recently.
Life skills for puppies – Laying the foundation for a loving, lasting relationship by Helen Zulch & Daniel Mills.
Puppy education from the puppy’s perspective! This book presents the key skills a dog needs, and helps owners develop a fulfilling relationship with their puppy.
Self-control skills, respect for rules and clear communication mean owners can spend less time directing their dog, and more time enjoying their relationship with him. Beautiful, specially-taken photos illustrate the points made.
Helping minds meet – Skills for a better life with your dog by Helen Zulch & Daniel Mills.
Considers the different world views and expectations of dogs and people, and how this can result in conflict between the species, this book highlights the most important of these areas. Owners are guided towards a better understanding and appreciation of their dogs, and shown how to accommodate our differences and learn better and more rewarding ways of interacting with our canine best friend.
No walks? No worries! Maintaining wellbeing in dogs on restricted exercise by Helen Zulch & Sian Ryan.
Meeting a dog’s physical, mental, and emotional needs during a period of limited mobility can help reduce the possibility of future behaviour problems, alleviate some of the stress of caring for a less active canine, and help aid recovery.
Encouraging owners to reflect upon, and take into account, their dog’s individual requirements in advance of surgery or other lifestyle-limiting event, the book also contains information and advice about appropriate activities that owners can introduce to their dog’s daily routine whilst walks are limited. More info.