I was thinking this morning, during what are difficult times for so many people across the world, just how lucky us dog owners are. Running classes this weekend made me feel so happy. I just love seeing all of the dogs grow, improve and succeed with their owners. So a big thank you to all who attend!

Many studies have shown the huge benefit to our mental well being whilst interacting with dogs. By interacting with dogs we release happy hormones that help us to relax. Serotonin and dopamine are hormones that relax the nervous system and the science shows that dogs help us to produce these hormones, although maybe less so when they are being naughty. So the better your dog behaves and the more situations or contexts we can enjoy with our best friends safely, the happier we feel. This is why we train our dogs, to produce happy dogs and happy owners.

So, do you have to own a dog to benefit from them? Not necessarily. Can you as an owner get others involved during these times with your dog? Could you share a walk, for example, even if it has to be whilst social distancing? This may improve your day and also another’s. I personally love to see an elderly gentleman with his little dog who lives near me meet up with his mate who is partially blind. I see them walking together most evenings. This is a classic example of how dogs bring people together. They keep us better connected and they increase our desire and ability to connect socially. Think, if you have a dog, can you meet up with someone else and possibly improve their day? Luckily for us, smiles can be seen from two metres away.

Through working with dogs over the years I have learnt to trust and respect them and in turn I believe this has helped me to be a better human. Exercising them also helps me to feel my best and I truly believe that exercise is so important for both us and our pets. Not only does it provide physical outlet for you and your dog, it also provides mental outlet. I love the routine of taking regular walks because of my dogs. They help me get up and smile in the mornings. I enjoy the brisk walks, jogs and ball games we play on a weekly basis.

As a nature lover, I also love that my walks with my dogs provide me with lots of opportunities to observe wildlife and the environment. And at this time of the year who doesn’t love the autumn colours! Just remember to always walk with the environment and wildlife in mind.

Finally, whilst on your walks remember to take the time to appreciate your relationship with your dog. I love that dogs very much live for the moment. Sometimes I try to do the same, forget yesterday’s negativity and focus on the things you can control ahead. Enjoy the amazing things that you have in your life today (dogs, and give them a hug).

Let me know what you are grateful to your dogs for, I’m sure there is so much!

Keep smiling and loving those dogs


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