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德国赛车

Understanding Dog Behaviour | The Basics

How to keep your dog happy

Guides written by our natural canine behaviourist, Caroline Spencer. We delve into the world of dog behaviour & happiness. On this page you can learn about the basics of dog behaviour, the perfect starting point if you want to improve the bond you have with your dog. 

Click Here to jump to in-depth articles about specific dog behaviour questions and issues.

Dog behaviour quick links

Dog behaviour - the basics

When you finish reading this you will find it easier to interpret your dog’s actions. This will open the door to a two-way conversation that will undoubtedly enhance the relationship you have with your dog.

Getting to know your dog

When we understand what dogs mean by their behaviour towards us, other dogs or any stimulus for that matter, we can help them. Dogs try to fit in to our lives using natural canine language.

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The dog & human connection

Dogs were first domesticated about 14,000 to 17,000 years ago. However, most dog breeds were developed within the last few hundred years.

Ancient humans bred dogs honing in on behaviours such as a louder bark or a more docile temperament. They were tinkering with nature and selecting traits for their own needs, whether that be guarding or herding.

More recently, humans have taken this to another level and we have developed the pet dog. Instinct is still the main driver for their behaviour. Many dogs are natural guarders or hunters, regardless of their breed.

Nowadays, we often have dogs in our lives for friendship, enjoyment and companionship rather than to work.

You still need to give them opportunities to just be them and do nothing as well as incorporating fun activities, nose games / brain games and walks with you, as well other enrichment activities such as chewing bones, antlers, pizzles, neck tendons and so on.

Our emotions affect our dogs

How we feel shows on our face and in our behaviour too, and our dogs can read us well.  We must begin to understand how we feel, in order to understand dogs’ behaviour. 

Dogs need us to be the ones they ultimately trust. We need to be there to take the correct, calm action when situations change, before our dog reacts. Many dogs need help to adjust to even a small change in their environment.

Dogs are incredibly attuned to us and our feelings. How you feel before you react, has a huge effect on your dog. Before asking why your dog behaves in a certain way, be that barking or lunging, pulling on their lead or jumping up, think about your emotions first. 

It is our responsibility to ensure our dogs receive the enrichment they need to embrace their natural instincts. They need you, above all else, for companionship and a heartfelt connection. They say your dog is your mirror. This is very true. .

Our fears are their fears, so look to your own emotions when addressing theirs.

Dogs are individuals

In 1965, the British government commissioned the Brambell Report on intensive animal production.

The report declared that animals should have the freedom to express normal behaviour and freedom from fear and distress. , which follows the original Brambell report in its conclusions.

When dogs are allowed to express their emotions and be heard, we can help them conquer their fears. 德国赛车They can at least cope better in the knowledge that we are there for them. You must build your relationship with your dog on a foundation of trust and communication, not treats and control.

Canine emotions

It has been scientifically proven that dogs have many similar emotions to us. They love, grieve, trust, have likes and dislikes, feel happy and feel sad. They also display empathy for others at times.

How do they actually feel inside? I’ve no idea, as much as I’ve no idea how each individual person feels with any given emotion or situation. We can only surmise on both counts. What I do know and see is that they share their feelings on their sleeves, sometimes so subtly that only another dog can read them. Conditioned training prevents dogs from displaying many of these emotions. 

It sees certain behaviours as naughty or disobedient or to be controlled. This results in their natural language being extinguished. Embrace your dog for who they are, their individual personality and character will shine through. Guide them, but don’t force them, to fit into our sometimes confusing world.

Marc Bekoff has written many books, one of my favourites being . He explores their emotions and more. Very thought provoking indeed. 

I believe there is a happy medium in education to help dogs fit in with our lives.

The five to thrive framework

德国赛车This framework will help you understand how your dog feels in all areas of their lives with you:For your dog to know you’ve got their back, you must understand their conversation and reply accordingly to help them flourish.

德国赛车Boundaries, personal space, respect and safety are paramount. It works both ways, as this is not a one sided. It’s natural living with kindness and empathy for another social living being. This is not a dog training process, it is learning life skills so they may connect to you and you to them, as well as the world around you. Respect each other for who and what you are. Result = Happiness on both sides. 

Do we try to over-humanise our dogs?

Dogs will naturally look towards our faces to work out our emotions.

If we put pressure on them to do this, stress takes hold and they will give a calming signal and look away.

We train the dog out of the dog with conditioned responses. Some conditioned responses become necessary when we are re-educating extremely traumatised dogs, we do however need to look to natural for the bulk of rehabilitation.

With young and responsive dogs, I love to be as natural as possible.

A dog taught to look at you can no longer follow your gaze and be natural in their communication. If they can’t be natural then they find it problematic when trying to communicate with their own kind. Here is an on this topic.

德国赛车 I have always refrained from teaching dogs to look at me. In any given situation, I wish them to display their natural behaviour so I can understand how they feel.

Caroline Spencer, Natural Canine Behaviourist

Respect your dog for who they are, their language, and their personal space. Then they will learn to respect you.

Humans have a tendency to try to mould dogs into something they cannot be, or to accept behaviours they are not comfortable with. For example:

  • Expecting dogs to accept people taking food from them, lean in, bend down or walk into their personal space
  • We expect dogs not to take food from our hands, on the other hand we expect to be able to remove food from them
  • Expect them to enjoy strangers in their personal space
  • Get on with everyone and every dog
  • Be perfect little angels and not take the opportunity to steal a biscuit off the low table

What dogs need from us

Behaviours are learnt without teaching, and simply being with us they watch and learn. They respond to your reactions, movement and scent. Help your dog live like a natural canine first, rather than complicating their lives with human expectations too early on. Guide without micro managing and let them blossom into well-balanced adults who can trust you and understand you perfectly.

Patience and self-control are the two greatest gifts that we can help our dogs to achieve

Communication between their own and us is far more thinking and acceptable

Guide and educate with age-appropriate expectations, boundaries and bucket loads of empathy and patience

Build a relationship with your dog… one of a mutual respect, trust and understanding

Embrace who and what they are, without expecting them to be the perfect adult before they have gone through the puppy and adolescent stages

Canine communication

德国赛车 When dogs are given a nutritionally balanced, natural raw diet, they communicate more effectively.

Caroline Spencer, Natural Canine Behaviourist

How dogs understand the world

Dogs are honest about how they feel. That’s all they can be. They will only hide their emotions and shut down if their displays have been crushed, ignored repeatedly or if they have experienced other traumas which they fail to cope with. 

Dogs live with us as family members. They are so attuned to us and how we feel on a minute to minute basis. In our world of control, we tend to leave behind our true nature and live by what we should do rather than our gut instincts. 

Dogs go with their heart and gut instinct. If it feels wrong to them, it is wrong. If it feels right, then it is right. 德国赛车It’s all spoken in their silent language, exhibited as dog behaviour. 

We try too hard to have the perfect dog. When we relax and simply help our dogs to make better choices, they will fit in with ease. If we are anxious or tense in any way, they pick up on this and mirror that emotion. 

For example… does your dog lunge or bark at anything? How do you feel when it happens? What do you do in response? If you can remain calm and give the right response for your dog, then they will naturally respond calmly. No one should be made to face any of their fears which push them over the edge.

If you experience problems with your dog first, change your approach. Slow down. Expect less or don’t expect at all. All dog behaviour will soften when you calm down, understand and give time for both of you to change, rather than simply expecting your dog to comply.

Dogs have their own language

Dogs read each other’s intentions through complex body language, emotions and scent. Some body language is so subtle that only another dog could understand. Dogs communicate with us via their actions. From subtle body language to the very obvious, dogs show us second by second how they feel about us and the world around them. Many of their displays are a mirror of our emotional state, and they then react accordingly. 

Dogs are gentle creatures but they also have a natural inbuilt survival mode. Dogs can be a danger if angered or scared. We need to appreciate that they have their own minds, personal space, language and skills to keep safe and thrive. 

We can translate the language of the dog, when we take time to understand. For them to communicate and be who they are, they need to know they can be heard and understood. To be able to think clearly, they need both mental and nutritional nourishment. Dogs do learn our ways and its important how we speak to them and what emotion we use when doing so.

Respect them for who they are, their language, and their personal space. When you do this, they will also learn to respect yours.

We have the tendency to try to mould dogs into someone they cannot not be, or expect them to accept unreasonable or frustrating situations. For example:

  • We expect dogs to accept people taking food from them, Lean in, bend down or walk into their personal space
  • We expect dogs not to take food from our hands, on the other hand we expect to be able to remove food from them
  • Expect them to enjoy strangers in their personal space
  • Get on with everyone and every dog
  • Be perfect little angels and not take the opportunity to steal a biscuit off the low table

To help you learn what they say to you and other dogs, based on their actions, here is a fabulous book by Brenda Aloff – A must read for all professionals and dog owners in my opinion.

Turid Ruggas  ‘On Talking Terms With Dogs, Calming Signals’ – this is a fabulously insightful book. Turid lays out pictures and descriptions of various communication signals between dogs.

Dogs live by instinct

Each species, animal or plant have their own ways to protect and procreate.

Dogs, like us, respond by freezing, fleeing (assessing at a safe distance) fidgeting about, or fighting, in no particular order. This will depend on the situation, personality and individual. Every individual’s perception of danger, whether human, dog or other animal, is different, depending on many variables. 

Dogs (like us) need to assess at a safe distance. The closer the obstacle, the harder this becomes. We all have our safe zone. Do what would come naturally to a dog, walking in an arc around the trigger, walking away at 90 degrees or saying hi If it’s a friend. If they make gentle moves towards the focus of interest, and you feel it’s not going to be an issue (this is where your judgement comes in), let them approach if they wish. Read the other dog, obstacle, or person’s body language and reactions to judge this. 

A dog's nose is its guide

Dogs see their world through scent. by the fabulous Alexandra Horowitz to help explain this further.

Give your dog opportunities to use this sense in appropriate places, so they can enjoy life to the fullest.

Learn more about scentwork & enrichment

What is normal dog behaviour?

Behaviour is the term we use to describe the way an animal responds to a particular situation or stimulus. When we understand their canine ways, their natural body language and what each behaviour means, then we can begin to communicate effectively with the adorable species.

What to expect from our dogs

Every dog, regardless of breed will have their own personality, likes and dislikes. Every pup in a litter will be different in how they approach life.

When it comes to dog behaviour and training, it’s important to realise each will get there in their own time with patience and education.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ and some need to take education at a slower pace. Tap into who they are and how they tick. The own individual personality and character

What does a content, happy dog look like

When you see a relaxed, calm and resting dog, this is one who is happy to come when called, play, be active, content in company and can cope alone, respect personal space, enjoy their walks and play time and interact with you happily.

Yes, they get excited and exuberant and that’s so fabulous to see. This is about getting fired up with adrenaline for any eventuality, so bring them and you back to thoughtful, in the moment mode, as opposed to reactionary before you proceed. (A high adrenaline dog gives off the scent of one ready to attack  and can attract unwanted attention). This is a dog who is at peace with the world around them.

It is important to remember that every dog (and animal including humans) have their limit. They can snap, they can attack, and they can be cruel. Respect their space as much as guiding them to respect yours.

How to help your dog become well-balanced

I envisage a solid foundation that needs to be completed for any living being to thrive. All behaviour, good and not so good, falls within the five areas below, with each area overlapping the next. It’s a flow of conversation; one that has age-appropriate expectations and one that understands what every living being needs. It’s all about support, safety, understanding, love and empathy, knowing how to calm your dog down when life gets to much. This is as important for them as it is for you. 

Should you use treats?

My goal is to ask a dog to trust and love me. I love for them to see me as their trusted guide, playmate and protector. Food rewards have their place, however if used as the only tool, or most frequent tool to gain a connection, it is at the expense of true connection to you. High value treats have to become higher until you’ve run out of options. Be your dog’s highly valued parent and best friend.

Gregory Burns, a neuroscientist with Emory University, has been embarking on many studies with dogs to map their brains and establish which stimuli they react to. In his study, when it comes to praise, there is little differentiation between praise and an offer of a treat to a dog for a trick well done.

Top dog behaviour problems explained

Everyone has different expectations of what constitutes ‘good’ dog behaviour. Many dog guardians take pleasure in their dogs jumping up, being over boisterous or demanding to be the centre of attention. Some simply accept barking dogs as; that’s what they do. Others take no notice of the odd growl or nip. With any behaviour, if it comes on suddenly, out of the blue, do get a vet check to ensure they are as fit as a fiddle. 

Reactionary dog behaviour

Dogs react in any situation when emotions run high. When they feel their safety is compromised; you will have a frightened dog. When a dog feels under pressure to perform or just plain confused, the smallest most insignificant reaction will become more obvious and dangerous in time. It is super important to see your dog’s small gestures before they escalate and become a danger to themselves, you and others. 

Your emotions and reactions are key to this.

To help your dog connect with you so they can read your calm attitude. Your dog is your reflection, so if you rush, your dog will become alarmed and then it can be a downward spiral. In essence, it really is about you being calm and unflustered. 

Be calm, be prepared and be positive. Take the route out of the reaction zone for you and your dog. Learning takes place in a calm environment with a calm teacher.

Fussy behaviour

Most fussy eaters are highlighted at about 6 to 12 months of age. The teenage door slammer! Feed a great raw diet and stick to it. Do remember, that like us eating habits change with emotions and health. Rule of thumb for all is get a vet check and with an all clear, stick to the plan. Be positive, calm and consistent. 

This behaviour is one we see every day at Bella & Duke. We have developed a comprehensive guide (with instructional videos), which explains the various reasons your dog may be refusing to eat. It also has 7 methods you can try to get your dog eating consistently again.

Dog not eating? 7 methods to try

Barking

Your dog will always bark for a reason, it is never at nothing. Try to understand why your dog is barking rather than how to stop it from happening in isolation.

This way you are finding the root cause, rather than a quick fix. Whether they are barking for attention or to highlight an issue (your dog’s senses are incredible, they have no idea you cannot hear or scent like they do!) respond to their fears and allow them the option of flight or retreating to a safe space.

If they are attention-seeking, turn your back to them and walk away, they will soon understand they can’t get what they want this way.

  • Acknowledge with a word. I like to use “Gotcha,” but you can use any word you like. Consistency is key
  • Move your dog away from what triggered them and they will focus on you, rather than the trigger

 How to stop a dog barking – 4 step plan

Hyperactivity

There are so many possible reasons behind your dog’s hyper behaviour. Fear and compromised safety, too much (or too little) exercise be that mental or physical. Help your dog find their off switch.

When a dog feels safe, balanced and happy they will act as nature intended. Remember though, how you feel has a significant impact on how your dog feels, you must be calm and confident yourself to ensure they are cool, calm and collected. Raw food goes a long way to help your dog be calm and thoughtful and less reactive.

How to calm your dog down

Recall / lead pulling

Are you the one standing in the middle of a field alone having been deserted by your dog? Dogs find fun elsewhere when we give them too much off-lead freedom, too soon in high stimulus areas.

We want our dogs to be happy, but we also need that happiness and connection too. Be safe, get connected on lead first and make the world revolve around you.

  • Start at home, inside or in the garden
  • Call your dog and move away in the opposite direction
  • Stay quiet
  • Crouch and look down
  • Your dog will come over to see what you find so interesting
  • As they move towards you, call them again and praise or play

How to get the perfect recall

Lead pulling is strongly linked to recall. A lead is a connection, not a correction. Your dog should be connected to you, not to the lead. The aim here is to be the movement your dog mimics, rather than pulling on the lead.

  • Start with short lessons at home
  • Walk backwards, maintain eye contact and encourage your dog to follow
  • Your movement should inspire their movement

Understanding lead pulling and how to stop it

Separation anxiety

It’s about cutting the apron strings. Dogs have to get used to a huge amount from a very early age. Many dogs struggle with change.

Tap into your dog’s language and help them adjust as pups and adults. Avert eye contact when you move, shut doors behind you for 30 seconds separation initially and build up gradually.

Here’s a very simple breakdown of how to start solving:

  • Stand up, look out the window and sit down again
  • Gradually expand on this, moving further away each time
  • Avoid eye contact. Eyes mean engagement
  • Place your palm on their side after each movement, the ‘calm hold’

How to solve separation anxiety

Jumping up

Dogs jump up if they are over-excited or anxious. Help them to approach you in a more relaxed manner.

  • Take a step into their personal space 
  • Gently brush their feet downwards
  • Say nothing when you do this and avert all eye contact
  • Repeat as necessary
  • Call your dog for affection when they stand back and exhibit calm behaviour

How to stop your dog jumping up

What can cause behaviour changes in dogs?

Misunderstood

All dog behaviour is a communication to you and others. It is not naughty. Understand why your dog is acting the way they are and guide to a calm canine display. A dog will react to any given stimuli. This reaction can be of over excitement or fear. With any reaction that does not suit the situation, remove your dog from the stimuli calmly, then connect before you move forward. 

resource guarding
Dog essetials packed for a good day out

Time

When we rush, our dogs feel our emotional  stress. Take time to educate your dog when you have time and are relaxed. There is no opportune time for education. However, by taking time, this will make all the difference. 

Tiredness

Tired and over-stimulated dogs will exhibit undesirable behaviours. It is important to ensure they can sleep deeply un-disturbed with the normal comings and goings within the family home. Dr. William Thomas, a vet neurologist at the University of Tennessee, estimates that dogs need between 10 to 16 hours a day. That’s a whopping 48 to 58% of their day.  with help from Dr. Joan C. Hendricks, the Gilbert S. Khan Dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

Dog looking at bowl

Diet

Diet has a huge bearing on behaviour. So look at what you feed them before you begin any behaviour modification programme. Your sluggish dog will become happier and motivated. Your over-exuberant dog will become calmer and far more receptive to education.

Read more about how diet affects dog behaviour

What you can do to help

We must give dogs choices. If they make the wrong choice, we can guide them towards a more appropriate canine response.

Words are useful to us in communication. However, do remember it’s what you do rather than what you say to any human or dog that really tells them about you.

When we are mindful of everything we do with or without our dogs, we become that person they want to be with. Education becomes all that more productive rather than fitting into a set routine of conditioned responses which they have to comply with. These dogs need little behavioural management. They exhibit great canine etiquette and patience. They are the ones you can relax and be yourself with, as they can with you.

Here are some quick links to help you with  common reactionary dog behaviour

Understanding puppy behaviour

How to educate your puppy

How your dog develops as a puppy shapes their behaviour as an adult.

The investment in time and patience with your puppy pays dividends in the behaviour and character of the adult dog. Although many people use the expression ‘training’, we like to think of the role we can play in developing the personality of your dog in the same way we develop our children to be mature, calm and capable of dealing with life’s knocks.

How we read the world, and our experiences within it have a more profound effect on how your dog turns out than training. Dogs grow and learn by watching us and sensing our emotions, naturally learning using their inner senses. They react to emotions brought about by our thoughts, expectations and perceptions of what we want, experiences we have had, or have not had. If you become anxious or frustrated, try to control the situation, as opposed to walking away from something you can’t control, helping your emotions to change and making you release cortisol. Your dog will react as the chemical makeup of your body has reacted. 

To educate naturally, use the framework of ‘The Five To Thrive’ above, and you will bring your puppy up to become a well-balanced adult. 

2 steps forward, 1 step back

All education is a ‘two steps forward and one step back’ journey at times. Puppies just simply forget sometimes when emotions run high and life is full of new experiences. Be prepared to teach the same life skills in many different locations and situations. 

Pups will do so many little tricks with ease. As they enter adolescence, they will throw you a curve ball or two. It’s only natural. Humans are the same. Keep interaction fun, answer their doubts or worries with confidence and no pressure, remaining consistent, learning their language and embracing it.

With new places and new interactions, dogs may need support. Be their rock if the going gets a little tough at times throughout their lives. As dogs move into older age or ill health, behaviours do change, so change with them to show you understand. 

It’s easy to miss the smallest of triggers that mount up from the moment they wake to the time night falls. Be aware that each will have their own, so help them through and prevent stacking up those triggers that lead to a reaction. 

Quick links to help you with your puppy

Rescue dogs & re-education

You can teach an old dog new tricks

We need realistic expectations. How old is your dog? Has the behaviour been practised many times for many years? You can teach an old dog new tricks, despite the saying. The trick is that when you change yourself and your emotions, you’ll then be able to help your dog change. 

With dogs people have adopted, their history is mainly unknown. 

They need time to unravel and settle into their new environment, as opposed to being shown all the sights and sounds of their new exciting life. The new exciting life you envisage for them may not be their ideal at first, meaning it’s more important to listen to your dog and their needs, rather than your wants. 

Time, patience, empathy and understanding are vital, acknowledging that safety is their first priority.

How diet affects dog behaviour

Let’s break down exactly how dog food and behaviour are linked. We’ve seen thousands of dogs with behaviour issues become well-balanced & calmer (if their hyper activity stems from eating carbohydrates) after switching to a raw dog food diet.Our Chief Nutritionist, Rowan & Natural Canine Behaviourist, Caroline, explain why switching to a natural diet should be your first step towards solving any dog behaviour issue.

Processed food & behaviour

We are all aware of the fast food effect on behaviour in many children. There is a great deal of research and evidence with regards to children falling asleep in class or displaying unruly behaviour after eating highly processed, sugary foods.

I had a fascinating conversation with Rowan about how processed food affects a dog’s behaviour in a similar way, the following information is mind-blowing.

Fast fuel and fillers such as potatoes, rice and grains found in processed dog food contain sugars, which your dog has to work off somehow. Processed dog food also contains hydrolysed proteins which contribute to inflammation in the brain, this, in turn, leads to an unfocused dog. One who is more easily distracted and temperamental.

If your dog’s food is highly processed and packed with these unnecessary, sugary ingredients, your dog is unable to think clearly. Education, training and retention of information will understandably be hindered. Owners of dogs who are fed highly processed food often become more frustrated, so their dog becomes again more anxious as a result.

Fast Food is Fast Fuel = Flippin’ Frustrating Behaviour + Fast Flop & Drop (physically and mentally)

Let’s look at each ingredient and how it affects your dog’s behaviour

Carbohydrates / sugars

It’s well documented how sugars affect behaviour in humans and it’s the same when we talk about dog food and behaviour. Sugar is like rocket fuel, we experience a huge surge in energy, followed by a slump as insulin is released to combat the imbalance. If your dog food is packed with carbohydrate fillers, your dog will process these as sugar resulting in a period of hyperactivity followed by a period of lethargy. Not a nice situation for a dog to be in day in – day out.

Hydrolysed proteins

When meat is prepared for processed dog food, it is hydrolysed, baked, refined and broken down from chains of amino acids to single amino acids. It no longer looks like meat but simply dust. These single amino acids are more readily available to the digestive system, great you say, however; the levels of the amino acid Glutamate is raised (Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter). These proteins lead to over-excitable behaviour in our dogs.

Rancid fats

You buy a bag of processed kibble. Within a week or two of opening and shutting the bag, the fats within the food will go rancid. No wonder dogs go off kibble halfway down the bag. The smell to them must be horrendous. Rancid fat is toxic. Harmful to every cell in the body, it damages energy production and contributes to cell-ageing, this includes your dog’s brain cells.

Remove the refined sugars, hydrolyzed proteins and rancid fats from your dog’s diet and you will no doubt begin to notice behavioural improvements..

Raw dog food & behaviour

When you feed your children a wholesome fresh diet, the change in behaviour is palpable. They will connect with their peers, be more confident with adults, bright as buttons in lessons and retain information. Take guidance more readily and become team players. Until adolescent hormones kick in that is!

德国赛车 "Food is so important for our emotional and physical health. All food can sustain life, but good food enhances life – and life expectancy."

Rowan, Chief Nutritional Officer Tweet

When dogs are given a nutritionally balance natural raw diet, they are able to learn and retain information more effectively and in so doing are able to find their happy and contented place within. For a dog to be able to function with well both physically and mentally we need to provide them with the best diet.

Many hyperactive dogs calm down and couch potatoes brighten up if their issues were related to diets that contain a high percentage of carbohydrate. Likewise dogs with carbohydrate induced  ‘dickey tummies’, other digestive problems and skin conditions disappear. A raw fed dog generally has far more useful energy and joie de vivre. There is great human pleasure in seeing a dog relishing the food which nature intended it to eat.

In the words of Crocodile Dundee, ‘Tastes like sh*t – but you can live on it’. Food which keeps you alive is not really what we want; we want food that makes us glad to be alive.

It is true that some dogs do appear to thrive on a commercial, processed diet, but as soon as a health issue raises its ugly head, most people start to look at diet, complementary medicine, and any other supplement they can research. IF conventional veterinary treatment does not seem to be working.

How Bella & Duke food helps

We designed our food to give your dog only the ingredients they need to thrive, no unnecessary sugars, no hydrolysed proteins. We combine a diet appropriate for the dog species with all the latest nutritional science. Only natural ingredients are used, vitamin & mineral rich protein, seasonal veg and berries for their antioxidant benefits and healthy fats. It is well known that a healthy diet can have a huge impact on physical and mental health. Once you get their diet right, your dog’s undesirable behaviour will be so much easier to modify. Caroline will be available too to give you any advice about your dog’s behaviour

What our customers say

We’ve just swapped to raw in the last few days. I have a 12 month old lab. In just two days his poo is now normal, no more cow pats, he’s really calmed down, and he’s stopped farting.

Juliet Jackson
22 May 2020

After struggling with finding a food that Nellie would eat, I came across Bella&Duke after researching raw food, and she absolutely loves it! She is now 9 months old and the perfect weight, glossy coat and happy and healthy! Delivery is always on time and when I have given them a call from time to time they could not have been more helpful. I would definitely recommend Bella & Duke.

Beverley Mole
9th Feb 2019

My pup absolutely loves the raw food provided by Bella & Duke! Before when he was on dry kibble it would take him at least half a day to finish his 500g as he would nibble at it for 5 minutes at a time and not finish it till lunch time. Now that we have switched he is genuinely excited and happy the second he hears us open the fridge door and he sees on of the white containers. Not only that but he finishes his 500g portion of food in less than a minute and licks the bowl squeaky clean!

Menna Sohal
19 April 2018

Excellent variety of choice for our French Bulldog puppy. So far he loves them all. Hes been on B&D since we brought him home at 8weeks old, wouldnt have it any other way.

Kimberley Reed
21 July 2019

Straightforward from start to finish. Easy to work out how much our puppy needs per day. Perfect delivery service. Best of all, our puppy absolutely loves it and is thriving on it, thank you. "Takes about 18 seconds to eat, so a hit all round! Good variety to choose from."

Penny Bailey
19th May 2019

Very good service from Bella & Duke; easy to change timing, food arrived on time and my quite fussy and non-food orientated Beardie pup has at last found a raw complete food which she loves and finishes at every sitting!

Caroline Rigg
9th Feb 2018

"My puppy loves Bella & Duke. He's always excited for his dinner and since switching to raw has seen some big health changes. I wouldn't go back! I'm so glad to have found Bella & Duke. Their meals are high quality and their delivery is always faultless. I'm given plenty of warning when the food is going to arrive. Really can't recommend them enough!"

Laura Varley
2nd Sept 2018

Common dog behaviour questions

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resource guarding

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Caroline Spencer

Caroline is our resident behaviourist. She has spends thousands of hours with dogs and their parents working on help each relate better. Her goal is dog happiness and working with behaviour is only one piece of that mission. You will encounter Caroline talking around the country and on our facebook group working with customers and answering their questions.

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