As a fully qualified dog trainer and coach, with a degree in psychology and psychotherapy, I can help you to have a stronger relationship and a happier dog.
My name is Dr. Arianna Corona and I am the creator of Mindfulpets.
The goal of Mindfulpets is to help people understand the difference between human and canine psychology, so that they can have a strong bond with their dog, save time and energy, and have a dog that listens to what is asked because it feels understood.
Mindfulpets philosophy is simple: sharing life with a dog is a big commitment but it can become a wonderful journey if we build the relationship on mutual understanding and respect.
Mindfulpets services includes dog behaviour consultation, puppy education/training and consultations on dog breeds and provide support to the person wishing to adopt a dog.
Mindfulpets believes in the importance of understanding the dog from different perspectives:
- understanding the biological, cognitive and emotive needs of the dog
- understanding what role the dog wants to play in the family pack and with other dogs
- creating a solid relationship when walking on a lead and off the lead
- managing a dog during interaction with other dogs
- understanding the non-verbal communication with and between dogs
- managing impulsiveness, reactivity and separation
- understanding individual dog breed need
Mindfulpets approaches is entirely based on gentle and ethical dog training methods.
Mindfulpets doesn’t work with the dog’s behavior, but always look for the underlying reasons that create the behavior. Understanding them and handling them differently will allow the dog to behave differently.
Mindfulpets works alongside a network of skilled and specialist professionals, whose expertise and knowledge provides an invaluable service These specialists include: Veterinary nutritionists, Veterinary orthopedics, Veterinary behaviorists, Veterinary Cbd oil expert.
British Bachelor (Honours) degree standard (Psychology) recognised by NARIC.
British Master of Philosophy degree (MPhil) standard (Psychotherapy) recognised by NARIC.
Fully insured with Petplan
Fully CRB checked through Disclosure Scotland.
Psychopathology and behavioral therapy of the dog with Secua-Scuola di Etologia comparata
Dog Coach with Thinkdog Academy.
Dog breeds expert with School of Human-Animal Interaction
Member of https://www.shockfree.org/Chapters/England
Member of The Professional Guild-The Association for Force Free Pet Professional
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Welcome to our service dedicated to the well-being and training of your beloved four-legged companions.
The way they express discomfort is through behavior. This is the only way they have to communicate it. That’s why it’s crucial to make an accurate diagnosis. The only way to do this is to understand the root of that discomfort. If this is not understood, the problem cannot be solved. If the diagnosis is wrong, there is a risk of worsening the problem or creating a stalemate.
Only after understanding the origin of the behavioral problems of dogs, it’s possible to address them effectively and lastingly by implementing targeted and long-term intervention strategies. That’s why our approach includes:
- Careful observation of the dog’s behavior in different situations.
- In-depth analysis of the dog’s history, including its past, previous experiences, environment, and medical history.
- Detailed examination of the dog’s living environment, including external stimuli, daily routine, socialization, and interaction with other animals and people.
- Psychological assessment of the dog’s emotional state.
- Psychological assessment of the dog’s way of thinking.
- Evaluation of the dog’s needs and instinct in relation to its breed.
- Consideration of the relationship between the dog and its family.
- Listening to the family’s mood in relation to the problem the dog is manifesting.
Once the underlying causes and emotions related to the dog’s discomfort are understood, it’s possible to develop a targeted intervention plan that includes training techniques, environmental modifications, management of the dog’s well-being, and behavior management strategies.
The approach we use is focused on the well-being of the relationship between the people and their dog. We don’t work on the dog’s problem but instead, we work as a team to transform the relationship into a harmonious and fulfilling partnership, where the dog and its human companion can grow and learn together, overcoming challenges and creating deep bonds based on trust, understanding, and the joy of sharing life.
We are against any kind of adverse, coercive, forceful or punitive methods. We believe that dogs need to be understood and not dominated.
If you would like to know more, you can read here.
Dr. Corona helped me to identify the root cause of my dog’s reactivity
I moved to Edinburgh 8 months ago. After about two months my dog started to be reactive and insecure toward other dogs. I was struggling because I didn’t understand why she behaved like this. Also, I didn’t want to use cruel tools like slip lead (or figure 8 dog lead) or have her spayed as had been suggested to me by other professionals. I looked for help and met Dr. Corona, a professional with a lot of knowledge of canine psychology. I cannot thank her enough for improving both my dog’s behavior and our relationship in just two months. She helped me to identify the root cause of my dog’s behavior. Also, it was very helpful to receive the written reports of the training sessions supported by scientific references.
Arianna has a really deep understanding of dog and human interaction
I re-homed a lovely but re-actively aggressive French Bulldog who saw every dog as a threat. Arianna showed me the tools to build trust between her and myself on walks in and around Edinburgh (I was super anxious about her getting mauled by other dogs, and my anxiety was part of the problem too!). Within a month, I saw immense improvement in her reactivity to dogs and now can confidently let her off off lead. Arianna has a lovely calm presence and has a really deep understanding of dog and human interaction. She truly is a “Dog Whisperer” in every sense of the word.
Arianna has given me a really useful foundation to build on
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Arianna for anyone wanting to better understand their dog. I really appreciated her analytical approach but also her ethos of helping a dog to feel as free and happy as possible, which drives her way of working. Arianna has given me a really useful foundation to build on and a much better understanding of how to support Ziggy as he settles into life in Scotland.
She also taught us how to understand and communicate with our dog and how to meet her needs
I have a ten year old mixed-breed dog. We lived together in Athens, Greece for the better part of her life. When I decided to bring her to Edinburgh, I was afraid she wouldn’t adapt well given that she was not trained beyond the basic commands of ‘sit, stay, paw’. I thought she had separation anxiety and issues with other female dogs. After a lot of research, we decided that Arianna would be up for the task. Not only did she manage to tame this predatory beast, she also taught us the most important things, which are how to understand and communicate with our dog, how to meet her needs, and how to provide her with a safe and calm environment. Now, the walks which had been so stressful in the past have become the most blissful and enjoyable thing to do with her. We can now happily let her off lead and let her explore her surroundings, knowing that she’ll come back. In addition, leaving her alone at home is no longer another stress – thanks to Arianna’s help, we saw a huge improvement in this in literally 24 hours. To our surprise, Arianna helped us to realise that our dog wasn’t actually the one with the separation anxiety. Arianna is an excellent trainer who knows and understands animal behaviour and psychology. She truly loves and cares for your animals and wants the best for them. The only thing you have to do is listen to her, and follow her advice! We’re so grateful for all her help and support.
My husband called her the ‘dog whisperer’
I cannot believe how lucky I was to come across Arianna when looking for some help with puppy training. Arianna took the time to learn about me and my family, understand our wants and needs for the new puppy, and most importantly gained the immediate trust from the puppy, Alfie, almost immediately. After her first visit to the house, my husband called her the ‘dog whisperer!’ The obedience Alfie had when Arianna was around in the early days was amazing to watch and quickly helped build my confidence!
She truly loves the animals she cares for like they are her own
I have only the best things to say about Arianna. She truly loves the animals she cares for like they are her own and she goes above and beyond with the services she provides in every way possible. Arianna helped me with training and walking my dog Laika. Laika is an Egyptian street rescue and a fairly complicated dog but this did not phase her. Arianna helped me so much with techniques to work on our bond and engagement together and really helped me out in times of need, she always gives extra from a real love of what she does. On top of that Laika adores her!
She is undoubtedly our best find since we moved to Edinburgh
We are delighted to recommend Arianna and Mindful Pets. Arianna built a strong rapport with our pet dog Brodie – his excitement and joy at seeing her not only reassuring but wonderful to see. Arianna’s expert advice on his development was also most welcome by us as first time pet owners. Throughout we found Arianna extremely trustworthy and flexible – always going above and beyond for your pet she is undoubtedly our best find since we moved to Edinburgh.
Trustworthy, capable and very kind
Arianna has looked after our house and young very lively large terrier Monty twice and we would heartily recommend her. She is very knowledgeable regarding dog behaviour and has an easy, loving way of dealing with pets and their owners. Our dog adored her and was delighted to be taken on long walks to many different places. He met lots of new friends and behaved impeccably! She can also calm dogs down when needed and is very careful to spend time observing the dog to find out how it “ticks”.
While we were away, she kept us updated with emails and videos that assured us that both she and our dog were having a good time! She also took the dog to the vet when she noticed that he had an eye infection and administered the medication. Our house was left spotless and the dog was happy and relaxed. We look forward to welcoming Arianna back again soon.
Arianna has taught me how to keep him calm and happy
Arianna has been a godsend to me in helping with the training of my bulldog puppy. I have a severe form of arthritis which means that I cannot easily run after my dog to keep it under control. Arianna has taught me how to keep him calm and obedient and to mix well with other dogs, adults and children. She also looked after him over the weekend of my daughter’s wedding. I could not have left him in better hands and he had a great weekend, evident from the videos and pictures that Arianna sent me. I would have no hesitation in recommending Arianna to anyone looking for kind and patient training for their dog
She has given us lots of expert advice on training and diet
Arianna has been looking after our two-year-old French bulldog, Misty, since she was a puppy. She takes Misty on walks and also house sits/pet sits for us when we are on holiday, when she also looks after our two cats. Misty absolutely adores Arianna. They have a very strong bond which has been built because of Arianna’s enthusiasm and exuberance for Misty’s well being and happiness. She is clearly passionate about the care of all animals, patient and full of knowledge. She has given us lots of expert advice on training and diet, and always has interesting insights into Misty’s personality and behaviour. When Arianna stays in our house she is very respectful and leaves it absolutely spotless and tidy. She is flexible and helpful, lovely to communicate with and we feel very lucky to have her as part of Misty’s family! We would not hesitate to recommend Arianna to other pet owners.
The dogs love her and she looks after them superbly
Arianna has looked after our two dogs (small Lurcher and black Labrador) twice. I thoroughly recommend her. The dogs love her and she looks after them superbly, I think they’re rather sad when we return. Our Labrador has been limping badly and has had x-rays, scans and heavy painkillers which have solved nothing. In addition to looking after our dogs, Arianna took the trouble to find out about an animal physio whom we might think of using. This set us on course to treatment – with vet approval – for the Lab and as a result of all this he he significantly better. We are all, dogs and humans, hugely grateful to Arianna for suggesting it.
I was fully satisfied and felt that my dog was in the best hands
I have known Arianna Corona for some years. She usually was my dog sitter when I was on holiday, coming to my home, feeding my dog, taking him for walks and playing with him. I entirely trust Arianna as she is a very reliable person. You understand immediately that she is very fond of animals, dogs as well as cats. Her integrity shows in the condition of my home and the happiness and contentment of my dog when I come home. I was fully satisfied and felt that my dog was in the best hands. So I can recommend her without any hesitation.
Each animal is treated as an individual
Why are we happy to recommend Arianna Corona for walking or house sitting your pets? Arianna is highly trained as a psychotherapist, she worked for 10 years, she has good references to that effect. She is worked for us in Stockbridge. She is honest and reliable so that we are happy to give her our keys, if we were to go away, to leave her in charge. She now uses her considerable therapeutic skills with animals. She is a vegetarian and she loves animals, she is as dedicated to them, as she was to her patients, but animals are sometimes not as stressful as working with people! Each animal is treated as an individual, she works on any behavioural problems they might have, Conrad, our dog, does not jump up as much and his recall is much better. He also has a lot of wonderful doggy fun. She is empathic and insightful and dedicated to this work. Arianna is an easy person to work with, and we could not have anyone better for our dog. We are very pleased and would happily recommend her to anyone for their pets.
When deciding to adopt a puppy, it is essential to start educating it from the beginning.
What does educating a puppy mean?
It means putting the puppy in a position to express its true nature, guiding it towards behaviors that help it integrate into society, and helping it develop the skills to handle situations in the best possible way.
How should the puppy be educated?
Often, adult dogs with behavioral problems have received an education that is not suitable for their nature. It is not possible to educate all puppies in the same way. Some puppies need support, others need to express themselves more freely, some struggle to tolerate noises, some are very restless, some cannot tolerate frustrations, and so on. Every puppy is different, and it is crucial to take care of this diversity.
Why is it important to educate the puppy correctly?
-Well-being of the dog: Having a balanced and happy dog makes us feel good and avoids the stress caused by behavioral problems.
-Safety and well-being of others: The dog’s behavioral problems can cause harm to other people, dogs, or wildlife. A well-educated and happy dog relates correctly to people and other dogs.
-Relationship with the dog: It is gratifying to have a healthy and happy relationship with our dog. Behavioral problems can interfere with this relationship and cause tension or stress between the owner and the animal.
-Impact on quality of life: The dog’s behavioral problems can influence the quality of life of the owners. For example, if a dog shows aggression or separation anxiety, it could limit the owner’s activities and social interactions.
-Financial costs: Some behavioral problems may require the intervention of an animal trainer or a behavioral veterinarian, which could entail additional financial costs for the owners.
-Home safety: Behavioral problems such as destructiveness can cause damage to the home property, creating concerns regarding home safety and maintenance.
Why does Mindfulpets offer a puppy education service instead of training?
It’s important to clarify the difference between education and training. Educating a dog involves allowing it to develop various faculties to integrate better into domestic life and society. On the other hand, training focuses on teaching the dog specific movements or skills under the trainer’s command.
Mindfulpets believes in starting with education and establishing a strong bond with the puppy. When the coexistence is supported by a solid relationship, teaching specific movements and skills becomes easier.
When does puppy education in the family begin and end?
The puppy should be educated from two to six months of age. After this age, it begins to enter the adolescent phase. At this age, the training phase can begin if the dog is happy to do that.
How Mindfulpets Handles Puppy Education
1. Prevention of Behavioral Problems:
-The first thing done is analyzing the puppy’s weak points, identifying what could potentially cause issues for the puppy. For instance, consider a shy puppy that avoids strangers. It’s crucial to manage this shyness correctly. Forcing the puppy to interact with strangers could lead to fear. Continuous exposure to fear might result in nervous behavior, which could escalate into reactivity and, eventually, aggression.
-The second step involves working on calmness. A puppy can only learn new things when it’s calm.
-Setting up a program of socialization experiences that expose the puppy to various sensory stimuli, considering the puppy’s temperament.
Socialization typically refers to the first 16 weeks of a dog’s life, during which their character is determined. Temperament, character, and behavior are developed during this period and remain throughout their life, influencing how the dog behaves toward family, strangers, other animals, and their environment. Proper socialization involves engaging all five senses, introducing, exposing, and desensitizing the puppy to everyday images, sounds, smells, tastes, and tactile sensations. The socialization period conditions the dog for various situations, preparing it to face new experiences and react appropriately to life’s challenges. It’s a crucial time for developing the bond between the owner and the puppy, which will last a lifetime. Good socialization results depend solely on the owner’s efforts, as every dog can become a balanced and trusted member of society only through proper socialization.
2. Supporting Families in Puppy Education Through Relationship Building
The most important aspect is building a positive and trusting bond with the puppy, understanding its needs, language, and play. Families are provided with strategies and techniques to manage:
-Nutrition and puppy grooming
-Moments of restlessness (e.g., jumping, biting)
-Chewing and teething
-Puppy good manners, impulse control and self-regulation
-Leash and off-leash walks
-Interactions with other dogs
-Proprioception (e.g. stepping stones)
-Time spent alone at home
3. Teaching owners to recognize the dog’s requests for help, manage their concerns, and handle physical (e.g., loss of appetite, excessive thirst) and emotional discomforts.
If you would like to know the options, you can read here.
“Most of the more complex emotions are common to the higher animals and ourselves. Everyone has seen how jealous a dog is of his master’s affection, if lavished on any other creature; and I have observed the same fact with monkeys. This shows that animals not only love, but have desire to be loved.”
(Charles Darwin: “The Descent of Man” 1871)
I work as a dog psychologist and behaviorist because I am grateful to the pets.
Dogs and cats have given me a lot, and I feel I want to do the same. I grew up with a dog named Joy. He was my best friend and companion in a thousand adventures. Being with him made me forget about loneliness. He was my aunt’s dog, and I spent half of the year with him and her in the south of Italy. It was as if we were one person. He accepted me, and we had a lot of fun together. He was a free and happy dog. My aunt loved him very much and respected his nature as a dog. She called him Joy. In fact, there was joy in her house. The other six months I spent in the cold north of Italy, and I was forced to see my grandmother’s dog tied to a tree. She said he was just a dog and needed to guard. He didn’t have a kennel and stayed outside, alone in any weather. They brought him food once a day. I tried to play with him, but he was tied to the tree.
Every time I think about it, I feel like crying. This dog spent his whole life tied to a tree. His name was Rocky, and he was a black Cocker spaniel. By nature, he should have run free and sniffed many different territories. Anyone who has a Cocker knows how much these dogs love freedom. I promised myself I would do something for him.
Then the years passed, and a new curiosity arose in me, to understand how the minds of people work. I was also looking for why my grandmother made that cruel choice. In my mind, it didn’t make sense to consider the dog as an object in the service of the people. While playing with Joy in Sardinia, I felt connected to a species different from mine. While in the North, I saw the disconnection between two different species.
After spending years helping people as a psychologist and psychotherapist, I decided to investigate all the doubts that had remained in my mind as a child. So, I started studying the world of dogs, although at that time, I lived with a cat. Anyway, it was a cat that behaved like a dog! I was very motivated, and this was fundamental.
The career of a psychotherapist made me study for 15 years, and I would have had to start another training that would have lasted at least another 6 years. The studies I completed transformed motivation into passion, and passion became vocation. In the meantime, I had started a job that allowed me to quickly consolidate my knowledge: I have offered house sitting services for over 13 years.
I lived with over 100 dogs (and also many cats) in their homes, sometimes for long months. Some clients traveled several times a year, and I lived with the same dog several times a year. So, I could observe dogs in their territory while studying dog psychology. In some situations, I gave advice to the owner and saw the results of my tips in the long term. Not only that, I could observe the difference in dog behavior because they belonged to different breeds. This job taught me to keep in mind the diversity of each dog. After about 17 years, I can say that I have gained a good experience. However, when I approach a dog I don’t know, I don’t think about the experience I have, but I focus on getting to know that dog, which with its diversity, will make me understand who he is and what he wants to tell me with the discomfort he is expressing at the behavior level.
Even walking dogs for 10 years helped me understand the relationship that is created between a person and a dog. What is a leash? It’s not just a rope with which we hold a dog but a form of communication we have with the dog. What is recall? It’s not just a request but a demonstration of trust. What is a walk? It’s not just a way to release energy but also a pleasant moment of sharing.
And it is precisely here that gratitude towards dogs lies. By studying and deeply understanding dogs, and also cats, I have managed to understand the true value of sharing with something very different from me. For this reason I work with the relationship between a person and their dog. Diversity is a source of enrichment when understood. Unfortunately, when misunderstandings arise, diversity creates frustration.
When Joy died, my aunt was very upset for a long time. He was a family member. When Rocky died, a chain was simply disconnected. He was an object in the service of man.
The past should be left in the past if you want to live in the present. The only useful thing about the past is to learn the lesson that events teach us. I have learned that understanding diversity adds value to my existence and that of others. I have learned that knowledge helps to understand diversity. I have learned that curiosity about what I don’t know keeps me away from prejudices and brings me closer to understanding. And that’s how I managed to have a deep connection with all the dogs and cats I have met.
In a pack dog group, the puppies stay with their mother at least until they are six months old. In the pack dog group, there are aunts, i.e. those dogs that help the mother dog during the education period. So, the puppy is also educated by them. We should consider that in a pack dogs there is no one who dominates because the pack of dogs is structured on the concept of roles and cooperation.
But you adopt the puppy between eight and ten weeks to get it used to all the stimuli in the city. Adoption can not take place at the age of six months because late exposure to environmental stimuli can have a negative influence on the puppy’s behavioral development.
A puppy grown in the countryside up to the age of 3 months will have great difficulty adapting to life in the city and may become phobic of, for example, noises, cars, cyclists and may decide it does not want to leave the house. This happens precisely because environmental socialization has not been considered from 8 to 10 weeks.
On the other hand, early adoption (before 8 weeks) can be destabilizing for the puppy because you take him away from his environment and siblings at the time when he needs them most. And you do not give the puppy a chance to identify with the species it belongs to, i.e. other dogs. When this does not happen, the puppy may manifest aggression in reaction to stimuli that are unfamiliar or otherwise recognized as potentially dangerous.
You should keep in mind that the mother dog not only feeds and warms the puppies but she is the first and best teacher for the puppy. It is crucial that the puppy stays with its mother and siblings for 8 to 10 weeks.
Furthermore, the mother is the element that creates the psychic container. This means that the more the mother is present, the more emotional stability the puppy experiences. If a puppy is emotionally relaxed, the more the puppy learns.
Then, the new family will expose the puppy to all those stimuli that will be part of its future life (sounds, noises, people, children, etc.). Of course, these have to be done in the right way and at the right time. Furthermore, socialization to stimuli should take into account the dog’s character and the breed to which it belongs.