Margeary, Jazz and Bluebell, and Phillip the donkey. | Caroline Fuller


Does “bad behaviour” exist?

by Joachim Sommer

Many people class behaviour like jumping at people, leash pulling, excessive barking, destroying things etc as “bad”, but is it really?

A dog’s behaviour could be classed as bad if they would do something intentionally in order to annoy or anger us. In fact they don’t.

Behaviour is a mix of being genetic (instinctive) or learned (due to past experience or training the dog gives or avoids certain behaviour). So the “bad” behaviour is either something the dog does unintentionally or it has been reinforced in the past, by the handlers or the environment, possibly inadvertently OR because an alternative desired behaviour has not (sufficiently) been reinforced.

From our human perspective, there are 3 types of behaviour:

  1. undesired (e.g. dog barks at postman)
  2. desired (e.g. dog comes when called)
  3. neutral (e.g. dog lies on their bed)

When we think about it most of the “neutral” behaviour actually falls in the category “desired” as it is preferable (to/for us) than unwanted behaviour.

In order to avoid undesired behaviour we can do 3 things:

  1. training (e.g. dog goes to their bed rather than bark or jump at visitors)
  2. managing the dog (e.g. dog is leashed so they can’t jump at visitors)
  3. managing the environment (e.g. install a baby gate so the dog does not have access to visitors)

The goal should ultimately be to train the dog.

Until the dog is trained or if there is a highly instinctual problematic behaviour, like for example a very strong prey drive, we will have to resort to managing either the dog or the environment or both.

Water Babies

Paco and Pepa

Chris Cooke sent in some pictures of her new pets, Terrapins. She says “They are only a matter of weeks old and I bought them because I have always wanted them and they seemed like the ideal pet for apartment living.” Chris says she loves sea water and life below the surface so this is a way of having that in her life all the time.

“They are easy to look after and need only a tank, ornaments, a filter and rocks so they can climb out of the water. “The water needs to be kept at a certain temperature. They are fed on special pellets which I buy from a pet store. If you like water pots they really have got some character which is still developing.”

More Cute Pets

Here is our second set of pictures that has been sent in over the past few weeks .

(Top L - Bottom R) Snoop, Alberto, Simon and Coco

We have a new photo of Coco because after her appearance last time she was then quite ill, I’m delighted to say she is better.

Main: Lilli. Top L Kasper, Jazz, Basil and Jazz

We have Lillie who can hear a sweet wrapper despite being asleep, Kasper, Basil and Jazz waiting for an encore.

Willow trying to hide.

Willow who looks like she might be trying to hide.

Salvador and his little sister, Buddy celebrating and Pepper (bottom) Main: Fluffy

Buddy gets to celebrate his birthday every year so I lookforward to new pictures from this years birthday. Here he is (L centre) with photos of Salvador and his sister, Fluffy (main) and Pepper sporting a purple tie.

Tarzan relaxes on a sunbedTarzan loves to sunbathe on the sunbeds.

Fitz, still full of christmas spirit in Paguera

We also have a picture sent in by Anita Vince of Fitz who is still full of Christmas spirit in Paguera.

(Top L - Bottom R) Percy, Billy, Benny and CooperWe had lots of lovely reviews of the beaches by Cooper last year, perhaps he will take his humans for more walks to review. Cooper his pictured here with Percy pig, Billy and Benny goats.

Margeary, Jazz and Bluebell, and Phillip the donkeyWho could also forget the lovely Margeary who is looked after by Kate Miller pictured here with cats Jazz and Bluebell and Phillip the Donkey.

If you would like to share a story about your pets or just to see their picture here, please do send it in the

Happy New Year!