Life with dog
Fergus asleep on his dog bed

As a new dog parent of a gorgeous, West Highland White Terrier puppy (Fergus), I’ve been reading up on everything from behaviour training goals to terrier needs to doggy mental wellbeing.

If you’ve ever had a difficult day and your best doggo friend came over and sat by you, it wasn’t just a coincidence. Dogs can actually smell your sadness and respond accordingly!

With their highly developed sense of smell, not only can dogs smell sadness, but they can also smell fear and anxiety (and cooked chicken in a sealed container in a fridge…).

As a new puppy parent, this means that one of my goals is to stay calm even while frustrated. If I can keep my body language and tone gentle, it goes a long way to deescalating an excitable pup.

I’ve also noticed that music has a dramatic effect on the young pooch, with calming meditative music a great aid to mentally relaxing and getting back to sleep in the middle of the night after toilet breaks. So far we’ve also had success with blues, The Beatles, classical piano music and Lana Del Rey.

Far from just a recent phenomenon of designer ‘dogadoodles’ in chic handbags, the human-dog bond goes way back, with earliest known dog remains being the Bonn-Oberkassel dog who was found buried with two humans 15,000 years ago.

Now with 900 million dogs on the planet worldwide, I feel very lucky to have that one special puppy in my life (who’s currently having a morning nap and a snore at my feet).