Dogs have always been a part of my life. From tiny mixed breed Ellen to giant-sized Great Dane Peggy, they have all found their way to my heart.

Ellen! My tiniest dog so far, weighed only 5 lbs. Yet very much a dog!

When I was a kid I dreamt of having a dog kennel and breed Scottish Deer Hounds (we had one at the time). I collected pictures and articles and put in a kind of scrapbook, to prepare for my future as a dog breeder.

But as so often happens, life evolved in a different way. I grew up and went to university (though not until I was in my thirties!) and became a biologist and high school teacher. But dogs continued to be an important part of my life.

“It’s only a dog.”

How many times have you heard that phrase?  And usually, it’s said to justify some kind of neglectful or intimidating behavior from a human.

But it’s not only a dog. It’s a feeling, caring, sensitive being.

But it’s still a dog! A different species from us, with a language and a perception of the world that is very different from ours.

Every dog deserves that we understand them and love them for what and who they are. They don’t choose to come to us, but they still consider us the most important beings in their world, their pack.

But dogs have no way of understanding the human world, it’s very confusing for them.

And this is why I decided to create Thriving Mutts. I want to help you and your fellow dog lovers all around the world understand your dogs’ needs. I also want to help you communicate with your dog in a way the dog understands. A dog has no way of learning our language, but we as humans are able to learn the universal language of dogs. Then we can truly listen to our dogs and help them navigate in our world.

Dog Listening

Force, violence or intimidation is never justified when interacting with your dog. Instead, learning how to gain your dog’s trust as leader of the pack is the key. That will allow your dog friend to be free from responsibility and stress.

But who am I to tell you anything about this? I’m a biologist, and have studied some ethology, but that doesn’t really suffice, right? However, a couple of years ago I stumbled upon something called Dog Listening.

Since one of my present rescue dogs, Lola, gets extremely stressed outside and is scared of other dogs, I wanted to understand her better to be able to help her. Said and done, I had a home consultation done by a certified Dog Listener, attended a foundation course myself, and in March 2019 I will attend the advanced course. My aim is to become a certified Dog Listener.

Update: The advanced course in March was sadly canceled due to too few participants. The course is now scheduled for the beginning of September, and this time it’s verified that it will actually take place! I’m so excited and so look forward to this step in my education. And I will get to meet Jan Fennel!

This may sound like a cliché, but if I can help only one dog and its human have a happy and loving life together, my deed is done. There are so much love and joy and happiness to be had, for dog and human alike.

As for the physical products I recommend I sometimes receive a small commission, at no extra cost for you. Doing this provides me with the means to run this site. I never recommend anything I don’t believe in.

Katrin with her mutts

For a joyful, loving dog life, filled with laughter and good times!

Katrin (founder of Thriving Mutts), Lola and Nelly

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