Episode 168 - Canine assistants and dog friendly Bridgnorth

Released Sat April 2, 2016
Length: 1:09:24
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Canine Assistants

Rather than seeking to train our dogs to robotically respond to cues or commands, we educate them so that they can make good decisions on their own without requiring our direction.

 - Jennifer Arnold

Jennifer Arnold founded Canine Assistants in response to very difficult circumstances in her own life, which she talks about movingly in this interview. Canine Assistants supply assistance dogs for a variety of conditions, and they have developed a training approach which actually focuses on educating the dogs rather than conditioning them to respond to cues. It's an approach which is having amazing results, with Canine Assistants' dogs able to understand and answer yes/no questions and demonstrate other amazing abilities. Jennifer talks about this in depth, and her belief that being able to express themselves lowers stress for the dogs.

This is an innovative approach, which relies on the bond between human and dog, and the fact that dogs will work co-operatively more happily than they will simply blindly obey. If you want to teach your own dog to answer yes or no, listen up, because Jennifer explains how it can be done with your pet dog. To find out more about Canine Assistants, visit their website, their Facebook page, or check out Jennifer's books Through a Dog's Eyes and In a Dog's Heart.

This is mind-blowing, must-listen radio.


Dog friendly Bridgnorth

It turned out that people had been allowing dogs in the shop for years, and most actually have a little stash of dog biscuits under the counter!

 - Louise Gage

Louise Gage with her Golden Retriever, Boo.

Louise Gage with her Golden Retriever, Boo.
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Emma Rutter gives dogs a warm welcome at Whitburn Coffee House in Bridgnorth.

Emma Rutter gives dogs a warm welcome at Whitburn Coffee House in Bridgnorth.
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Natalie Hawkins, Richard and Linda Downs and dogs Barney and Jess were enjoying Bridgnorth.

Natalie Hawkins, Richard and Linda Downs and dogs Barney and Jess were enjoying Bridgnorth.
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Ben Curtis work in Fat Face in Bridgnorth which is happy to be dog friendly.

Ben Curtis work in Fat Face in Bridgnorth which is happy to be dog friendly.
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Bridgnorth is a bustling yet picturesque market town in Shropshire, and it is currently bidding to become Britain's most dog friendly town. Louise Gage originally had the idea to make Bridgnorth as dog friendly as possible, when she asked shopkeepers whether she could take her Golden Retriever Boo into their shops with her, and discovered that many shops had been letting dogs  in for a long time. DogCast Radio host Julie went to meet Louise, and her gorgeous dog Boo, to find out how Louise took the idea from a thought to a burgeoning campaign.

After talking to Louise, Julie went to explore Bridgnorth, talking to shopkeepers and dog owners to see how dog friendly the town really is. Happily, being dog friendly seems to be working very well for the shops and the dog owners, so it you fancy a day out with your dog, do consider Bridgnorth. To find out more visit the Dog Friendly Bridgnorth Facebook page.