Hello! I’m Kirsten, in case you are new to Pretty Happy Dogs!
I started Pretty Happy Dogs in 2017 to help me learn more about dogs and dog behaviour. I have since started a Masters Program in Clinical Animal Behaviour at The University of Edinburgh and I am set to develop my own unique approach to dog training based on my upcoming dissertation.
My aim is to find a way to help dog owners develop their own family-based and family-friendly method that is both good for their dogs and everyone involved.
Why? I believe that we all feel the effects of our own dog training. Whether we choose positive reinforcement, or negative/corrective methods, or other pain- and discomfort-based methods, the results are not just contained in the dog. We, as trainers/handlers/owners, are not inoculated from how our dogs then respond. Every single positive or negative ‘thing’ we do to our dogs WILL come back like a boomerang.
So shouldn’t we try to help ourselves and our family members develop compassion, kindness, love and empathy in our interactions with our precious pooches? Imagine the boomerang effects of these amazing feelings - Baaaammm!
I love animals - as much as I love plants and people. Dogs occupy a special place because I have been touched by so many in my personal life. I appreciate their personalities, their quirks, their idiosyncrasies and the fact they have an autonomy of mind that they are willing to relinquish TO US.
How lucky are we to have such complete love and trust from these highly intelligent beings?
So, I run classes around Dundee at the moment - mostly Camperdown on a Saturday morning but I hope to open up more classes again.
Just to let you know more about my Puppy Classes. They are super basic but it is where the foundational knowledge is learned. Owners learn to handle their dogs - nose to tail, how to use a collar and how to use a lead. Owners also learn how to help their puppies cope in stressful situations (like fireworks, sudden gunshots). We learn how to use a door so that access is always controlled and enjoyable for everyone.
Most importantly, these puppy classes teach owners how to communicate well. Think about it, the best teachers at your school were the ones that were able to communicate well, no? So, we are teachers to our dogs and we need to teach them what ‘Good’, ‘Yes’, ‘Leave’, ‘Stop’, ‘Wait’, Stay’, ‘Drop’, ‘Ok/Free’, and other words mean to our dogs.
Can puppies really learn all these words? YES!
Our own dogs, Rowan and Willow also know ‘Cross’ (for crossing the road), ‘Up-Up’ (to go onto the verge when a car passes), ’Wait’ (if they are running ahead and we come to a junction). These keep them and other people safe when we are out and about.
Our Performer Classes are at 11:15am right after our Puppy Class. This class is for older pups and dogs that enjoy training and working with their owners, learning new tricks and skills to either bond closer to their owners or to audition for the next Britain's Got Talent! Haha, maybe not BGT but we all still have plenty of fun!
Some of the skills we try to learn are inspired by canine freestyle, so we try doing things like weaving between our legs, sitting pretty, balancing objects on our noses (the dogs I mean!), or backing up.
Other skills could be more agility inspired and we do things like spiderman jumps off an inclined plank. Whatever we do decide to do from week to week, it is without doubt we all get a good laugh with our dogs as they goofy around our legs and worm their cute little noses into our hearts!
Finally, we run semi-regular dog walks that are aimed to socialise our dogs to other dogs and for us owners to build confidence in allowing our dogs to interact naturally with other dogs. These are our signature 'Dogness Walks'. The first segment will require dogs to interact with their owners more than each other. The second will see the dogs in their natural state of being.
So, if you are interested in taking your puppies to classes or our walks, please get in touch!
Ok, when I said 'finally' earlier, that was a lie! I am a hobby photographer and love taking pictures of dogs, so I am opening that service up for anyone who would like outdoor action-packed photographs of their dogs!
And this brings us to the end of this post! If you made it this far, I just want to say thank you for your support and interest in our work! We can't wait to see you and your dog out there with the pack!
@prettyhappydogs Instagram, Facebook, TikTok
#prettyhappydogs for all things related to our work, tricks and announcements
#mindmovementmagicmutts for some fun and fitness related content featuring our dogs