A guide to improving the health and wellbeing of dogs
and their owners through science-led training
techniques and easy-to-follow advice from a leading
A dog’s sense of loyalty, fun, and their unconditional love can bring their owner happiness and companionship. But owning a dog will only transform your wellbeing if you teach them what they need to know. Through psychology and scientifically proven training techniques and advice, human-animal interaction expert Dr Carri Westgarth will teach you how to cultivate a relationship with your dog to actively improve your health, from helping you with physical tasks to comforting and supporting you in times of mental difficulty.
In The Happy Dog Owner, Dr Westgarth explains how to maximise the benefits and minimise the risks of dog ownership through making intentional choices about where we get our dogs from, how we train them, what activities we do with them and how, by having a happy, obedient dog we become a relaxed, healthy dog owner.
Other topics in the book include:
• The physical benefits of dog walking: Dog owners walk on average 220 minutes per week with their dogs. Find out how to schedule and maximise walk times for the benefit of yourself and your dog.
• How dogs can improve our mental health, alleviate loneliness, depression, increase sociability and keep us ‘in the moment.’
• Understanding your dog’s needs and what they are trying to tell you. • How to choose the dog that’s right for you and your family: Extensive guidance on finding a responsibly bred puppy and choosing the right breed – and even which pup within a litter - to suit your lifestyle, space, and family.
• The pros and cons of dog adoption and how to choose a rescue
• Puppy socialisation checklist: How to introduce a puppy to its new environment. • Mastering the basics: Tried and tested training methods for basic commands. • Train your dog for an easier life: From preventing negative behaviour like jumping
up, to training your dog to wake you up in the morning and retrieve specific items. • Advanced learning: Train your pet to do typical tasks expected of an assistance dog - from reminding you to take medicine to being alert for specific medical conditions. • Dealing with behavioural issues such as separation anxiety, nervousness and aggression against other dogs.
About the Author
Dr Carri Westgarth is Senior Lecturer in Human-Animal
Interaction at the University of Liverpool. Her research
has been featured in The Guardian, The New York Times
and The New Scientist and she has regularly shared her
expertise on national TV and radio. Dr Westgarth has
spent fifteen years conducting scientific research into
how people interact with their dogs, and the positive
and negative impacts on their health that occur as a
She has helped hundreds of dogs and their owners, matched prospective owners with homeless dogs and new puppies, taught obedience and tricks, counselled owners through dealing with problematic behaviours such as aggression and trained official ‘Assistance’ dogs to work with handlers with disabilities.
(Welbeck, £12.99 Paperback)