Daisy and Scooters

I never realised how it easy it was to produce real fear in dogs until Daisy got run over by a child on a scooter the other day. OK, so it’s not a car, but the child was going very fast down a hill, and hit Daisy head on. She was really worried for the rest of the walk back to the car, her tail was down and she pulled a lot. She has had things happen in the past, like being attacked by dogs, and she has bounced back no problem. But not this time.

It is like Daisy has got it in to her head that everything that moves or makes a noise is a dangerous threat. She is generally a vocal dog, she she communicates her distress by barking and lunging. She has been so distressed that she won’t take food from me, which is very unlike her. Cars, people, bikes, leaves, shadows – she is scared of them all.

My first thought was to change the way she feels about these perceived threats by using food to counter condition. But as she is too distressed for this. So I am waiting for her to calm down before I even open the door. Once she is relatively calm, I open the door and keep opening and closing until she stops barking and settles. As soon as she is outside, all her alert systems are so high, I struggle to get her focus.

In theory, I know what to do, but in practice, it is so much harder. I live on a busy road with lots of children and people about. Even having the window open is too much for Daisy. I want to help her, but I feel I am a bit out of my depth. And all this because of one moment. It may just be a scooter but it has damaged her psychologically. How long it will take for Daisy to be back to her playful, fun loving self, I just don’t know.


First Steps on the Beach

This year my partner and I decided to take Daisy on holiday with us as we wanted to include her in our getaway. She had never been to the beach before so it was exciting to think of how she would react. We had a great journey down to Cornwall, with no traffic incidents. Just one stop off, and we arrived at the caravan. Daisy was already excited, wanting to sniff everywhere. I kept her on the lead until she had settled a bit so we could unpack properly and be sure that she wasn’t causing mayhem.

On the first day, we had a lazy morning before heading to the beach. We let Daisy offlead and she sprang into action. She didn’t quite know what to do with herself. It really made me smile and chuckle and if you know me, you’ll know that isn’t something I do often.

We took a ‘safe stick’ toy to keep Daisy focussed on us as she tends to wander off if left to her own devices. She absolutely loved it, and she even swam in the sea to get to it. Daisy has never been in the water more than paddling in a puddle, so I was beaming with pride. To stop her getting bored, we put the toy away now and then so it kept her interested. I was really impressed with her recall as there were so many distractions – dogs chasing balls, children with ice creams and seagulls to name a few.

Now the tell tale signs of Daisy getting overtired are: her hearing turns off and she gets into mischief. This was demonstrated very well when she decided to scale a rock face to explore and then couldn’t get back down. She ran off along a concrete bit out to sea, if she had put one foot wrong she would have been straight in the sea, which would have scared her quite a bit due to its deepness. So I climbed up to her and brought her back to safety at which point I clipped her lead back on! We decided to leave so we could be sure she wouldn’t get into trouble again.

Once home, she slept the rest of the evening. I think I can say for certain that Daisy enjoyed her first steps on the beach, and I can’t wait for more adventures.

On Scruffts and Crossbreeds

This weekend, Daisy won prettiest bitch in the Scruffts heats. When they called her name, I was quite emotional. I didn’t expect her to be given 1st place at all. To me, she is the most beautiful dog in the world, but it is a very subjective thing, and it is almost luck of the draw in such competitions. There were some beautiful dogs there, who I thought were sure to win. But they chose my Daisy. At that moment, I was so proud of her, she was so well behaved, and lovely to the judges. She just wanted to wag her tail (and her body) and have a great time.

Afterwards, a reporter from the local newspaper came up to me and wondered if she could ask a few questions. One of the questions was, what does it mean to you that Daisy won prettiest bitch? I had to think about it, and my answer seemed to fail in comparison to what it felt in my head. I said that it meant that someone else has seen the beauty that I see everyday. She has been hard work, and I have struggled with her, but she has a lovely temperament. I have worked hard to make sure she gets the best in terms of diet, medical care and training. Someone else has seen what I see, and that is immense.

Another question was did I think crossbreed competitions like Scruffts were important. I had to think about that one too. I said that yes I did think that they were important, because the pedigree world gets so much attention. Crossbreeds are every bit as beautiful, charming and important, and they should have their chance to get recognition for that.

Amongst the questions, I found myself really realising what Daisy has brought me, and that the prettiest bitch competition wasn’t just about her looks. She is beautiful to me because she has such a lovely nature about her, she is friendly yet independent, playful yet knows her limits. I have been in some quite dark places in the 18 months I’ve had Daisy, and at times, I have worried that I haven’t done right by her. But she has been my saving grace in so many ways. If it wasn’t for her, I would spend all day in bed, wasting my life away. Instead, I get up every morning and really enjoy the time I spend with her, even if she doesn’t always listen when I call. Daisy has opened my world up in ways I wouldn’t have expected. I have made friends with some lovely people, and really got involved with training, behaviour and nutrition. I have found my desire to learn again, something I thought I had lost.

I have found that my confidence has grown so much in having Daisy around. I can handle so much more, and she helps me to talk to other people. I feel I belong to the dog world when I am with owners, dogs and pro’s. I have found something I am good at, and it has pushed me to apply for university, something I would never have considered a couple of years ago.

There are still days when I get frustrated and Daisy tests my patience, but she is the prettiest bitch in the world to me, and she is just as important and stunning as any pedigree.

View the article in the Lincolnshire Echo

On Community, Pride and Safety

My morning walk with Daisy has prompted me to write out of anger, sadness and a question as to how change can be achieved. Let me paint you a picture for context. The area in which I live is primarily populated with social housing and ex-council housing. The area in itself is lovely, with plenty of green grass, and a choice of 4 woods within a 5 minute walk! The people are generally decent and friendly, and usually quite helpful. At the moment, there are a lot of building works as the housing associations work to improve flats and houses. This is great as it has greatly improved the appearance and feel of the area. But (there had to be a but!), along with this change, has come rubbish, rubbish and more rubbish.

It wasn’t until I got Daisy and took her for walks, that I really appreciated rubbish-free ground. I started noticing more and more the extent of the problem and it evoked lots of emotions. Not only does it look awful, but I was more aware that the rubbish created a safety risk to dogs, especially the ones that like to scavenge and wander!

Back to today. Daisy is very quick at spotting food on the ground, and before I knew it, she had a cooked rib bone in her mouth. Now, if it was anything other than a bone or chocolate, I wouldn’t be too worried, but I knew I couldn’t just let her gobble it up. Luckily she gave it up without too much fuss, just a couple of growls. Looking over my shoulder I saw a pile of food in the middle of the grass, like someone had just dumped the leftovers instead of using a bin. At this point, I should point out that there was a line of wheely bins right next to the pile. I rolled my eyes and carried on.

Just outside the woods, there are two rows of houses facing each other. I looked in disbelief at the amount of rubbish outside their houses, on the grass, leading into the woods. I felt angry. My thoughts were along the lines of ‘why, just why?’, ‘why can’t people be bothered to use their bins!?’, ‘my dog is at risk because of people’s apathy and laziness’. As I went into the woods and walked round, my feelings then changed to sadness. What was it that makes people treat their homes and area like that? Why is there no pride? I was trying to put myself in their shoes and think about how they might see things. I’m afraid I didn’t come up with much.

I’m sure there are many factors that contribute to littering and lack of pride in homes and community. I don’t pretend to know or understand what goes on in people’s homes or minds. I could stay angry at the individual people for littering the ground and areas in which I walk my dog. While anger is important in fuelling motivation, I feel there is something else going on at a wider level. Where did community go? What would it take to give people a sense of pride and concern about their community and homes? I could go and pick up all the litter, the santa signs, the food, the polystyrene, the deflated footballs. But that wouldn’t help anyone. People need to be empowered and motivated. Community needs to become important again.

I will leave you with your thoughts and feelings, and I will continue to ponder the issue. Whether I come up with anything remains to be seen. Meanwhile, you can make small differences in your area, make sure you throw your rubbish in the bin, don’t be too proud to pick up litter you see on your walks, and if you’re that way inclined, challenge people when you see them littering. If you want to go even further, why not start a community project, or gather a few friends and residents to get litter picking in your area, maybe ask people why they think littering happens and what they think would help.

Judging others is part of the human condition, we can’t help it. Use it to help, not condemn and who knows, change may happen.

On Kennel Cough Vaccines and Cowboy Builders

So what is with the title of this post?
Are there any similarities between kennel cough vaccines and cowboy builders?

Both are useless, take you for your money and potentially cause more problems than before.

The above statement is quite controversial and potentially scaremongering. However, read the facts below and make your own mind up.

So what is kennel cough? It is a dog version of the human common cold caused by the virus bordatella. It is very rare for dogs to become seriously ill with kennel cough, with symptoms lasting for about 7-12 days. You will find that kennels, boarding facilities and training clubs require the kennel cough vaccine before the dogs can stay. However, the vaccine sheds, meaning that in the weeks or so after the vaccination, the dogs will be spreading the virus around anyway.

The most common method of administering the kennel cough vaccine is a spray up the nostril. The vaccine causes a release in the chemical interferon, which is responsible for suppressing respiratory viruses. The injectable form of the vaccine does not release this chemical so is not effective.

World-renowned vaccination scientist, Dr. Ronald Schultz, says: “Many animals receive “kennel cough” vaccines that include Bordetella and CPI and/or CAV-2 every 6 to 9 months without evidence that this frequency of vaccination is necessary or beneficial. In contrast, other dogs are never vaccinated for kennel cough and disease is not seen. CPI immunity lasts at least 3 years when given intranasally, and CAV -2 immunity lasts a minimum of 7 years parenterally for CAV-I. These two viruses in combination with Bordetella bronchiseptica are the agents most often associated with kennel cough, however, other factors play an important role in disease (e.g. stress, dust, humidity, molds, mycoplasma, etc.), thus kennel cough is not a vaccine preventable disease because of the complex factors associated with this disease. Furthermore, this is often a mild to moderate self limiting disease. I refer to it as the ‘Canine Cold.’”

Here is what the British Medical Data Sheet says about the vaccine;

Contra-indications, warnings:  Particularly in very young susceptible puppies, mild discharges from the eyes and nose can occur from the day after vaccination, sometimes accompanied by sneezing and coughing. Signs are generally transient, but in occasional cases may persist for up to four weeks. In animals, which show more severe signs, appropriate antibiotic treatment may be indicated.”

Common sense would tell you that the vaccine here has actually caused the virus.

If your dog develops a fever, then it is wise to get your dog to the vets for treatment as it could be canine influenza.

Don’t take my word for it, do your research, talk to your vet. Talk to many vets. Unfortunately, the way licences are regulated in the UK means it makes it very difficult to not vaccinate your pet if you are going on holiday.

To find out more see:

Peter Dobias – Kennel Cough Vaccine Exposed

Dr Jean Dodds – Information on Vaccines

On Wheat and Flour

Exciting things have been happening recently. Along with family, we are starting a business selling dog treats that are biologically appropriate for dogs. It is very important to me that the correct ingredients are used and that they won’t harm the dogs in any way. I make my own treats and have been using coconut flour as it is grain free and goes a long way. After reading Jean Dodd’s book, Canine Nutrigenomics, it highlighted even more the dangers of using gluten based flours for dogs. So, I started researching about other flours to see what was out there. I came across this link: http://www.wheat-free.org/wheat-free-gluten-free-alternative-flours.html. Now I always like to look at lots of different sources of information so I get a balanced view. I don’t take anything at face value. It amazed me just what they can make flour out of!

After much searching for products and looking at prices, I went for the Aramanth Flour. I like the fact that it is high in protein, however I will use other flours for dogs that need a low protein diet for health reasons. One thing I have learnt from trying different flours, is that you need to do lots of practicing! Not all flours react the same when added to other ingredients. Coconut flour, for example, is used sparingly as it soaks up a lot of the moisture.

So what exactly is the problem with wheat based flours? The following is an extract from Canine Nutrigenomics:

Gluten is what holds bread together and makes it rise. Gluten is linked to a whole host of serious health conditions in people and dogs…But your dog doesn’t have to have wheat sensitive enteropathy to suffer from the harmful effects of gluten. A less obvious, low-grade autoimmune reaction to gluten can trigger a wildfire of chronic inflammation that affects every organ system in the body, including the brain, heart, joints and digestive tract (Hyman 2013). It can even create an immune response that causes subclinical brain inflammation, resulting in age-related dementia (Perricone, 2010).

While this is only a snippet, this is one of the reasons why I choose not to feed my dog gluten based flours or gluten based food at all.

Do your own research and come up with your own conclusions.

For more information, go to www.thepossiblecanine.com or http://drjeandoddspethealthresource.tumblr.com/

I will be doing a series on different ingredients in the near future, so check back soon!

To view our products and our articles, go to www.holistichounds.org.uk

Top 5 Harnesses

A common question often comes up – What is the best harness for my dog?
After talking to many people, here are the results:

1. Perfect Fit Harness – Dog Games


How it works:
– Easy to put on and take off with 3 clips
– Adjustable in 5 places
– Pieces can be replaced
– Calming as it is a snug fit
– Soft and non-rubbing

What people say:

“It comes in three pieces so there no need to buy a complete new one if your dog grows or if one piece gets damaged. The top piece is interchangeable if you like to colour co-ordinate it’s well made, strong, comfortable, snug fitting (no wriggle room for Houdini’s) but best of all for us, our reactive girl no longer has to wear a head halti, we love it.”

“We got a Perfect Fit just a few days ago. It is the best thing we’ve ever bought. Spike is now much more relaxed on his walks and has freedom of movement for his head. For the last couple of years we have used a Gentle Leader headcollar so I was a bit dubious about the change (not to mention the expense) but I wish we had done it long ago now!”

2. Julius K-9 Harnessjulius

How it works:
– Heavy duty buckles
– Reflective edges and chest strap
– Option for attaching sidebags
– Removable velcro labels
– Certified quality
– Breathable, skin friendly lining


What people say:

“Ive used it on all my dogs and I love it’s versatility. Most useful is the handle which I’ve used for a number of different reasons. I think it’s quite difficult for a dog to back out of and it’s easy to fit and comfortable too. It also has attachments for good sized saddle bags which come in handy.”

“Purchased it as a Christmas gift for myself and my dog. It fitted perfectly (thanks to the awesome measurement and weight guide), good fit and it look great on my dog 🙂

I am looking forward to working and competing with her in this harness at scent detection!”

2.TTouch Harness – Xtra Dog


How it works:
– Non-habitual movements release tension using gentle bodywork and physically balancing groundwork exercises
– Works on the nervous system, helping to improve mental, physical and emotional balance
– It’s ideal for dogs who are nervous of harnesses.
– Two shaped fasteners either side of the neck, and two shaped fasteners either side of the barrel enable you to put the harness on your dog without having to place it over his head or having to lift a leg.

What people say:

“Front connection designed for balancing and ttouch on the xtra dog. With fleece padding too. Only downside is non adjustable neck.”

“Tried various ones at Crufts including the perfect fit but I think my dog is a funny shape so they all pulled under the armpits. The Ttouch harness from xtra dog was the only one that fit great! This is the one that adjusts everywhere (neck, chest, sides).”

3. Zero DC Padded Harness


How it works:
– It is made from non-absorbent materials and therefore the frost resistant
– fulfills all the conditions for the distribution of the maximum tensile force
– Does not slip
– Allows free movement of the back
– no contact with the neck of the dog and enables free breathing

What people say:

“I pick the Zero Dc as it is soft and “wide” so there are no thin straps that chafe armpits, fits my fluffy shelties body perfectly and I feel in control ob our walk”

“One of the best features of this harness, particularly for smaller dogs, is the small area of padding which extends beyond the back length of the harness, below the ring for attaching your bungee line clip to. This additional padding means that a metal clip which may normally have bounced on the dogs’ back if the line becomes slack, doesn’t cause any issues for your dog.”

4. Halti Harness


How does it work?
– Steers the dog from his chest rather than by his head
– The HALTI Harness puts owners in control of dogs that don’t like or cannot wear a HALTI Headcollar
– the HALTI does not put painful pressure on the body and is always comfortable
– Ideally used with a double-ended lead to give maximum control
– The back ring above the shoulders acts as a brake while the front lead steers

What people say:

“Completely size adjustable, light weight and simple to fit, can be used with a single ended lead connecting to the front (so it actually targets the problem of pulling) or a double ended lead attached to the front and one to the back. I use the single lead to the front with my ex-pulling samoyed. He walks beautifully in this harness, the ones with rear connecting clips if anything made his pulling even worse.”

“Bought this harness after hearing all the positive reviews I had read. We didn’t really believe it could be that good but have been at the end of our tether with our staffie/bulldog mix so were willing to try anything! It did work instantly and meant I was able to walk the dog having not been able to before because of his relentless pulling. He walked slowly and by my side with this harness coupled with the training lead, however, he doesn’t seem to enjoy it and did get a little aggressive a couple of times (out of frustration at being controlled I think) :(We still use it for street walks though and I would thoroughly recommend it, well worth the money and smart to look at too.”

5. Mekuti Balance Harness


How it works:
– Fully adjustable, comfortable and secure
– Promotes even muscle development which can help with recovery from injury or hip dysplasia
– Reduces lead reactivity
– Improves posture which can help with back problems in both dog and handler
– Improve control, direction and speed gently



What people say:

(taken from the website)

“I received the harness today and took my rottie for a walk just to see what it was like. When I was told about it , I had my reservations about putting a rottie in a harness. I have to say though, that today was the best walk I have ever had with him. He had lunged at other dogs in the past and at 42kgs it’s hard to keep him down. Today we passed other dogs & he really did not bother…. I can’t believe the difference. After Christmas I am going to order another just to keep as spare….I am so impressed….Thank you.”

“I have a Shiba Inu puppy, just 19 weeks at the time of writing.She had got to the stage that when I appeared with a lead she ran away and hid, the reason being she didn’t like the harness and lead/collar combination that she was in because when she pulled it choked her. I didn’t like them either, until I heard about your product, I didn’t know of another way to walk her. I suffer from arthritis and my arms hurt so much that I was beginning to despair.”

“Then my friend gave me the “Battersea Dogs magazine” and my eyes riveted on your advert, as it reminded me of a harness I used to use on my Chow Chow’s, 20 years ago. I was on the internet that day, it came the next. We tried it that same day and it made me cry because she walked WITHOUT PULLING, and without choking. We have not looked back, we are both now very happy, many, many thanks for a wonderful product. “

NOTE: Remember that harnesses are not a replacement or alternative to training and behaviour management. They are an aid to fit in with other interventions. If you need a trainer or behaviourist, please go to www.moderndoggroup.com/directory.

On Worms and Worming

These days cancer is a huge word, and for most people, it is a reality they think about over their lifetimes. So, what does that have to do with worms and worming? It is well aklowledged that in the case of breast cancer that there is a gene that makes the chances of getting cancer very high, and some people choose to have their breast/s removed to give them the best chance to live a healthy life. However the average person doesn’t take anti-cancer drugs or have regular chemotherapy just in case they develop cancer. If you apply this principal to worming, it brings in to question the practice of worming dogs every 3 months (on average).

It can be difficult to diagnose worms in dogs because they live inside the body. There are symptoms to look out for:

  • Weight loss despite eating usually or more than normal
  • Itching around the anus or tail area
  • Scooting along on the bum
  • Poor looking coat and eyes
  • A pot belly appearance
  • Diarrhoea
  • Coughing (lungworms)
  • Vomitting
  • Visible thread-like things in faeces

Vets recommend that we worm dogs about every 3 months to prevent infestation. However, if you look on the packets, the indications are for active infestations. I have talked to vets and nutritionists who believe that it isn’t appropriate or healthy to worm dogs “just in case”. It would be like taking a paracetamol in the morning just in case you get a headache that day. This does not mean, however, that you shouldn’t worm your dog. In my research I came across wormcount.com. They send you a kit, and you send a sample of your dogs faeces to them. They then give you a report about the amount and type of worms, if any, that the dog has. If this shows an infestation, then it would be advisable to treat with a high quality medicine, or alternative natural method. If the report shows the dog has no worms, then it is not necessary to give your dog a tablet full of chemicals for no reason.

Some may argue that prevention is better than cure, and that it is better than the dogs getting worms. To this, I say that while prevention is important, it is also important to be mindful of what you are giving your dog and the reasons that you give it. I am hesitant to give my dog medications that may or may not cause unwanted side effects. Administering regular wormers is much more likely to create medication-resistant worms, and you are giving highly potent chemicals without knowing whether the dog needs them or not.

If you are looking for an alternative to the traditional method of worming, it is advisable to get in touch with a holistic vet. A healthy, balanced diet, such as a raw food diet, gives the dog a stronger immune system to avoid parasitic infestations. If you already feed a home-prepared diet, then you can think about adding raw pumpkin seeds (crushed) and garlic (in small amounts) to the diet as these deter worms from breeding. DE (Diatomaceous Earth) can also be used, as long as it is food grade. The supplier should be able to tell you the dosage information. Bear in mind that inhalation of DE can be dangerous. Chamomile and pineapple can also be effective in preventing and eliminating roundworms and whipworms.

I am not telling you that you shouldn’t deworm your dogs, it is simply something to think about, and get researching about. The more informed you are, the more you can make appropriate and healthy decisions on behalf of your dog.

If you want more information on holistic treatments or worming, these links may be helpful:

Are we lungworm aware or lungworm advertising aware? by Nick Thompson, holistic vet

Herbal options for your dog’s worms

Books on herbal medicine

Food grade DE, facts and information

Top Tips When Choosing a Day Care

These days doggie day care is becoming more and more popular as people want to provide the best for their dog when they are out at work. I know that for myself it is difficult to find someone that you trust to look after your dog. There are things that you need to look out for when choosing which day care to look after your dog.

Here are a few of  my tips:

  • Check out the website and facebook page and get a feel for what goes on. If there are things that make you feel uncomfortable, then move on to the next one. Look at people’s comments or reviews.
  • It is important to look at the about us section as that can give you an idea of what they do, but also about what approach they take to dogs and their behaviour.
  • Look out for words like force free, positive reinforcement, boundaries. Take note if anything seems ambiguous. It may be that they simply didn’t write everything, or it may be that they don’t want you to know what really goes on. You can always ask.
  • It is a good idea to know whether you want your dog to go somewhere small such as an individual/small business, or somewhere more commercial where they employ staff.
  • Make sure to go and visit the place before you book them in.
  • Take notice of the general condition of the house/building and the surrounding areas.
  • Take note of how many dogs there are, where they are and how they appear.
  • With groups of dogs that don’t know each other, it is very important that they aren’t left unsupervised either outside or inside to play or wander around. Disagreements can quickly escalate.
  • If dogs are to be left unsupervised, make sure they they are separated by stair gates/doors in small groups and that food or toys are not left around.
  • Make a note of how many dogs there are in the amount of space. For example, if there are 15 dogs in one room, then that would ring alarm bells.
  • Ask about whether shock/spray/choke collars are used as some do use them.
  • If they crate the dogs, ask how long they are crated and why.

The MOST IMPORTANT things to ask about or look for:

  • CONTRACT – Make sure they offer you a contract and read ALL the terms before signing.
  • INSURANCE – Ask to look at their insurance, they shouldn’t have a problem with that.
  • VACCINATIONS – Whether you vaccinate you dogs or not, a day care license requires the company to ask for proof of vaccination. If they don’t ask, they either forgot, or they may be hiding something.
  • BEHAVIOUR – Your dog’s behaviour can’t lie. If there are any changes to behaviour that you are concerned about, first get a vet check. But also ask yourself whether the day care may not be suitable.

Usually your gut instinct will inform your decision. But sometimes, people can be lovely and the place look really good, but then once you get started, you start to see  things aren’t as they seem.

You can never be too careful!

On Barking

This week I have been struggling more with Daisy’s barking. She has been barking more than usual and it really started getting me down. At first I was thinking I will just ignore it and she will stop. That didn’t seem to work. She mostly barks when on the arm of the sofa, so I thought that if I get her off the arms and don’t let her up, she won’t have the opportunity to bark. So I did that, and she simply ran to the chair and proceeded. So it was back and forth between the chair and the sofa. I live in a flat so I was beginning to get worried about what the neighbours would think.

As I was getting more frustrated, I took a step back and said to myself that Daisy isn’t barking to be naughty or to annoy me. There is a reason that she is barking. I reminded myself that she has beagle in her, and that could account for a lot. I started to look at what was around and what was outside the window that would make her want to bark. What was she telling me?

There have been builders working on a car park on the opposite side of the road, making noises and wearing high vis jackets, talking loudly and so on. Daisy was barking at this I thought. It is a change in circumstance, they are strangers, and she could perceive them as a threat, letting me know that they are there. Also, she barks when other dogs walk past, which has been a problem for a while with reactivity, which I am working on. So if there are workmen and dogs, no wonder that it is over-stimulating Daisy and it is causing her to bark more.

So what can I do about it? Well I think the important thing for me to do it to stay calm and redirect Daisy’s attention, get her focussed on something else such as a treat or a toy. I find that engaging her in short training games gives us both a break. The more that she barks at things outside, the more it will become a habit because it is physically rewarding to bark, especially if the threat goes away. Raising my voice or shouting certainly doesn’t work because she then will think that I am joining in. I have to be realistic and remember that Daisy has an genetic tendency to bark/howl and that I need to embrace it rather than try to stop it all the time. I am hoping that the more I can redirect her focus, the less she will feel the need to bark. I can’t remove the perceived threat or trigger, but I can help her to get a reward from something other than barking.