Leader of the pack

NanTubb with dogs 2

Leader of the pack

MARCH 2016 | Chere Kenyon

WHAT DOES A pack of wolves hunting in Yellowstone National Park have to do with walking your pampered pooch in Meander Valley?

A lot according to local dog listener, Nan Tubb, as dog listening starts with the idea that all pet canines still have the mindset of wolves.

Nan says, “We need to control instinct otherwise they would be running wild as they still think like a wolf.”

So what exactly is dog listening and how does it work? Nan declares, “Your dog thinks it is the leader (of the pack) and it just gets away with everything.

“So we go through the four elements of dog listening which are food, the hunt, reuniting after a separation and danger.”

According to Nan, by understanding your dog’s behaviour and expectations around food, walks (hunting)and relationships (separation and protection), you will be able to understand what it is thinking and why it is reacting a certain way.

With this knowledge you can adjust your behaviour to give it the correct signals.

Nan teaches her clients about becoming the leader in the dog-human relationship and believes that you need to have “respect for your pet’s personal space and it, in turn, has to have respect for your personal space.

“Never will a subordinate go into the pack leader’s personal space without permission”.

Nan Tubb and Helen Cahalin of Devonport are the only two Tasmanians to hold dog listening accreditation from Jan Fennell, a dog listener from the United Kingdom.

Jan created the dog listening communication method after studying wolves all over the world.

Nan adds that Jan has a very good relationship with the wolves in Yellowstone and knows the wild dogs in Africa.

Jan takes a small group of dedicated dog listeners to Yellowstone to hone their skills by observing wolves in their wild state.

This year Nan is part of a select group of 14 who are visiting the park this winter.

When asked what she is most hoping to see, she shared that she is eager to catch a glimpse of a wolf pack on the hunt.

Dog listening is not about obedience. Nan says, “We just communicate with dogs in a language they understand and it is mostly about body language.”

She adds that this method could help with dog behavioural problems such as attention seeking, running away, aggression, food problems and not coming when called.

In addition, “With Jan Fennell’s way there is no force, no intimidation, no shouting and no gadgets. It is communication to keep dogs calm.”

Nan is passionate about educating dog owners and giving them the skills to better communicate with their pooch.

Once she returns from the United States of America she would be pleased to listen to you and your dog.

For more information you can call 6363 5003. Alternatively, email nan@ dogcomm.com.au.

 Mike Moores