A Dog Centred Care approach invites carers and dog professionals to explore the emotional experience that drives dog behaviour and move beyond the usual judgements, expectations and labels that can often hold us back.
Dogs share many of the emotional and physiological responses we do. Like us, their behaviour will be driven by how they are ‘feeling’, and the only way they can communicate that emotional need is through their behaviour. The need to feel safe is a primary driver. Often the dog is seeking some form of ‘relief’ to feel differently. This may be relief from physical pain or discomfort or emotional pain or discomfort.
When we understand these emotional and physical care and support needs, we can move away from the traditional emphasis of arbitrarily creating/changing behaviours. Instead, we can find ways to offer the dog the safety and relief they seek, and support behaviours that are innately useful to them.
This is the power of a Dog Centred Care Approach.
Andrew Hale BSc, ISCP.Dip.Canine.Prac is a Certified Canine Behaviourist with Association of INTODogs. He is the behaviour consultant for Pet Remedy and the British Isles Grooming Association and is a Canine Arthritis Management Expert Advisor. He also works to support many dog rescue organisations around the UK. With a background in Human Psychology, Andrew is passionate about exploring the emotional experience that lies behind behaviour, both in dogs and the humans around them. Andrew has played a leading role in the UK Dog training and behaviour community, having been the chair of the Association of INTODogs, and the driving force behind the UK Dog Behaviour and Training Charter.
In 2020, Andrew started Dog Centred Care (https://www.facebook.com/groups/dogcc) which focusses on supporting a dog led, emotionally centred, approach to providing their best care and support. Within the Dog Centred Care Facebook group, he has been hosting on-line conversations with some of the world’s leading scientists, researchers, trauma experts, dog professionals and veterinarians. Andrew has also co-hosted the Beyond The Operant series of conversations with Kim Brophey and Kathy Connor (www.youtube.com/c/DogCentredCare). These conversations are credited with helping transform the perceptions and language around dog training and behaviour.