To understand dogs I think we need to understand how they see the world through their senses, which is quite different to our own. Once we have a understanding of how they see the world we can start to understand them, bond with them and help them and ourselves live life to the full.

Dogs communicate through body language and understand ours better than we do. Through observation I think we can listen to what dogs are trying to tell us, just like they observe us and know through our behaviour whether it’s a going to work day or the weekend. Dogs can learn to understand our verbal language too if we teach them one word at a time – clever dogs!

While out on my dog walking adventures I like long leads where a lead is necessary, to give them the freedom to communicate through body language, make decisions and self regulate their own emotions. But don’t worry if your dog isn’t at that stage yet, they may need more time, support and patience. Long leads also enable dogs to have more personal space. Personal space is important for dogs just like it is for humans, particularly when there is something scary going down – which is why I like to give tricky situations lots of space.

I communicate to dogs what it is I want from them to keep them safe and to have fun with them. I like to teach them to sit and to come to a dog whistle if they can’t already. Some dogs enjoy spinning around, offering a paw and lying down just for fun, social interaction and positive reinforcement such as praise or a treat.

Live like a Dog and Live in the Now – Sophie