Thursday 30 September 2021

What makes us judge some animals unfairly?

Why do some animals have a bad reputation, and what makes us judge some creatures unfairly?

Many animal lovers claim to like all animals, however, some creatures seem to get a bad deal and are harder to ‘love’ because of their appearance, reputation, or myths about their behaviour. 

Appearance counts for a lot, whether or not we admit it. Cute, fluffy, big-eyed beasts are the ones who steal our hearts first. Perhaps they appeal more to our nurturing instinct, and over many thousands of years, animals who have become domesticated reflect this. Either that, or they are ‘useful’ to us for protection, transport or, in some cases, food.

But what about the much-maligned species – the ones that we don’t want to like? 

Is it because they are visually unappealing, or because they have a bad reputation, or perhaps because we don’t understand them?

                                             The wasp is a pollinator with bad PR?

Take the humble wasp. In summer they annoy us, buzzing around our garden while we enjoy drinks and snacks, threatening to sting us if we annoy them. Not as cute as the fluffy bumblebee, but not as terrifying as hornets (even worse). But how, exactly, do they help nature? Well, wasps are effective predators of small insects, keeping down aphid numbers, and so providing a useful service. Some are also pollinators, helping certain fruits to thrive. Perhaps we’ll not be so quick to swat them away in future.

                                    Wolves have an undeserved bad reputation

Another animal that has an undeservedly bad reputation in the wolf. Handsome, regal, aloof and dangerous? But not so far away from the domesticated dogs that we love and welcome into our lives, with many similar traits. They are pack and family animals, loyal to their group, and only hunt because they are carnivores and need to eat. Unscrupulously hunted in many countries, they have managed to survive through intelligence and by adapting. Myth and folklore have added to the bad reputation of the wolf - undeservedly so.

Other creatures who have an undeserved ‘bad press’ include sharks, spiders, pigeons, bats and rats. Think of a horror film, and perhaps one (or more) of these is almost certain to appear. But each species has a highly refined set of skills that enables it to thrive. So before we flinch at their appearance, perhaps stop for a moment and consider what they can do…. Build an intricate web, navigate over thousands of miles, use sonar to ‘see in the dark’ – just some of the amazing behaviours they demonstrate.


                             Bats are associated with horror, but are extremely smart

Every creature has a unique set of skills and qualities, so let’s appreciate them for the amazing things they can do!

Thursday 9 September 2021

SITT, stay and learn

Dog training: something every responsible dog owner has to consider. But with so many methods and trainers, finding one right for you and your dog can be hard. Add the pandemic into the mix, and accessing good quality paw-to-paw training has become almost impossible, understandably increasing anxiety and frustration for owners who wish to properly train their dogs, or address any behavioural issues.

But, if the pandemic has proven one thing, it’s that technology can be highly effective in connecting directly with people we can’t meet in person. Doctors and therapists, office workers and family gatherings; the Zoom meeting has become a new, vital way for many of us to communicate in real time. And now we can add dog trainers to the list …

Hubble & Hattie subscribers will be familiar with dog trainer Pat Blocker CPDT- KA of Peaceful Paws Dog Training. Pat, pictured right with her fellow 'behaviour experts' Penny and Jett, has been solving canine behavioural issues utilising force-free methods for over 20 years, and has written Taking the Lead without Jerking the Leash and the Hubble & Hattie-published Letting in the dog

A member of the APDT and a Fear Free Certified Professional, Pat is co-founder of Professional Therapy Dogs of Colorado, an organisation providing education in animal assisted therapy for mental health professionals. It's fair to say that Pat knows a thing or two about dogs!

Say what?

We all know that dogs use scent (hence all that p-mail checking on your walks) and sound to communicate, but a dog’s main channel is posture, tail signalling and facial expression: body language. Letting in the dog focusses on how to better understand how dogs communicate, and what they are trying to tell us. Exploring both the intuitive and the intellectual sides of human-canine communication, Pat shows how to better read and interpret and understand how our dog communicates with us, and perceive what they are trying to 'say.'

The message may be science based, but Letting in the dog is no dry academic tome; Pat takes a light-hearted yet earnest approach to exploring how to connect with dogs, showing how to stop talking at your dog, and start having effective two-way communication with them. Amusing and thought-provoking anecdotes and illustrations help show that we can all learn as much from our dogs as they do from us, and, by connecting with them, we learn how to connect with and understand ourselves better. 

SITT? Stay!

During the pandemic, Pat has turned her skills to developing a method that will enable dog owners to access effective, ethical training advice, despite being unable to meet 'muzzle-to-muzzle,' so to speak. The result is the SITT programme. SITT – Science, Intuition, Trust, Training – is a live, interactive webinar hosted via Zoom

Based on the methods Pat describes in Letting in the dog, SITT is much more than a training method; it’s a way of transforming our life with our dog, and takes a deeper dive into training, canine communication, and personal bond with our dog. 

SITT sessions provide your very own private 90-minute one-on-one, comprising a presentation by Pat, followed by a consultation so you can address any concerns you may have about your dog’s training or behavioural issues.

Pat covers much ground in 90 minutes, but to help you fully digest your SITT session, you’ll also receive a recording of the webinar to refer to as needed. Of course, being based on Letting in the dog, you could do no better for your first port of call than to get yourself a copy, and start on the path to a deeper understanding of you and your dog’s relationship.

International rescue

Pat is based in Colorado, USA, but Peaceful Paws training is exclusively virtual. By holding Zoom SITT sessions, Pat can connect with anyone anywhere in the world. The UK, Europe, South America … maybe even the Arctic: if you can access Zoom, you can access your own SITT session. Of course, you’ll need to work around time-zone differences, so check the details when arranging yours.

If you’re thinking this all sounds brilliant, but is bound to be expensive, think again. Pat is currently offering  SITT sessions for just $110 (just under £80 in UK money), so it's not only incredibly effective, but incredibly affordable.

SITT yourself down today

To find out more about Peaceful Paws Dog Training, head over to the website and facebook pages and see how Pat has been helping owners build-in better dog behaviour with empathy and expertise:

Peaceful Paws Home Page:

You can find further details of the SITT programme at

A head-start

If you want to get properly prepared for your SITT programme, or if you simply want to increase your understanding of your dog and improve your relationship with them, you’ll need a copy of Letting in the dog: Opening hearts and minds to a deeper understanding. Click the link below to get your copy from Hubble & Hattie at only £7.41 (excluding P&P) when you use our STAYINANDREAD discount code. 

Letting in the dog
Opening hearts and minds to a deeper understanding

Where hearts and minds meet, true understanding begins!

Letting in the dog deals with the fascinating subject of reading canine body language and more, finding the intersection between academic and spiritual. The book explores the intuitive and intellectual sides of communicating with canines, in which space, we build trust and better relationships.

Communicating with and understanding dogs builds trusting relationships, relieves frustration and improves lives on both ends of the leash. Apart from simply reading canine body language, this book explores the juncture between hearts and minds where true understanding begins.

  • How to follow your intuition in understanding dogs
  • Developing intuitive communication with dogs
  • How we’re more like dogs than different from them
  • How our dogs mirror us
  • How dogs teach us to tune in to energy
  • How listening to what dogs are telling us opens doors to understanding
  • How removing the ego from the conversation opens the lines of communication
  • Seeing and interpreting the metaphors that dogs present to us
  • Getting the message from dogs and understanding how they are our teachers
  • How connecting with dogs connects us to ourselves

£10.99 ONLY £7.14 with our STAYINANDREAD code

SKU HH5305 Format Paperback • 15.2x22.5cm • 96 pages • 15 pictures ISBN 978-1-787113-05-3 UPC 6-36847-01305-9

Don’t forget you can use our STAYINANDREAD discount code to get 35% off the RRP, making for fantastic bargain at just £7.14, excluding P&P.