Acorn Dog Training

The complete dog training, dog behaviour, agility and education school

Hello and welcome to all doggy loving people.

Last year, a local vet tried to prevent me from revealing what I, and a growing number of trainers, behaviour specialists and vets, already know about pet foods. As a result I have lost some of my training and behaviour referrals, but I make no gains from the sale of dog food. My only motivation is to provide you with enough information to enable you to make an informed decision as to what you are feeding your dog.

More recently another vet told me “I think these companies really do have our animals best interests at heart”. Make up your own mind by reading the information which I have provided on this page:


Monsanto drops plans to introduce GM wheat for humans, “Instead, the company will concentrate on genetically engineered soya beans and corn, which can be used for animal feeds or for oil – products not so emotive or so immediately identifiable with a particular human food.”

So these companies have our animals best interests at heart eh?

The Meatrix

Over the years I have witnessed DRAMATIC changes in the learning abilities of dogs very soon after a diet change has been effected. I have also seen dramatic improvements in the health of my own dogs, therefore I feel that I would be failing in my duties towards you and your pets by not speaking out.

The sections and links below should help you reach a good understanding of the truth concerning commercial pet foods versus biologically appropriate foods. It is then up to you to decide what is best for the health and welfare of your own dog. Some of the information and evidence provided is extremely distressing. I have therefore labeled the links accordingly.

Should you be a representative from a pet food company reading this page, providing your company can fully guarantee that all of the products used are:

  • entirely fit for human consumption at the point of production/sale.
  • Contain no traces whatsoever of animal/vegetable derivatives, Soya, cereals, chemicals, binders, fillers, digest, “special gravy” rancid oils and grease.
  • Do not use the words “wholesome” and “natural” to describe foods which contain highly refined cereals and grains, or “no ADDED BHA/BHT and Ethoxyquin” when you know that the ingredients already contained these chemicals prior to manufacture.
  • Have not carried out obscene experiments on dogs and cats (or any other animals in the name of “healthy nutrition”)…..

    If your company reaches this criteria and you can provide supporting evidence, then please contact me, so that I may add your details to this site. We require the truth please, and not just


Good Foods
Natures Menu
Nature Diet
Landywood Pet Foods
Natural Dog Food Company
Fresh Start
Burns Real Food
Arden Grange
Jeff’s Tripe

Healthy Dog Treats
The Dog Deli

Note: Should you find your dog develops digestive problems as a result of changing to one of these more natural diets, then please ensure that you have removed any additional foodstuffs, as they are not designed to be combined with mixers or any other brands. Also, because the ingredients are either biologically appropriate, or closer than most other brands, it is very easy to over feed. These foodstuffs are highly nutritious by comparison to many. The feeding guides on the packets are to be taken as rough guides. A 27 Kg Irish Setter would have different nutritional requirements to a 27kg Labrador. The body will expel anything which is surplus to requirements. So please do be careful, and cut back if and when necessary.

If you are a member of a veterinary practice then I beg you to stop and think about the nutritional needs of our pets. Go beyond the marketing hype as I have done. Just because a company spends x amount on research and advertising each year does not necessarily mean that its products are superior. All I am asking is that you will become open minded and take the first step towards seeking the truth. The truth may surprise you, but you owe it to your clients – the people who pay your wages. Moreover our beloved pets and most of all – you owe it to yourself to become a more enlightened human being.

Commercial Foods Are The Best? Not according to this veterinary surgeon. – An in-depth read for those who would like to know a lot more

An Article From Nature Diet (this article needs Acrobat to be able to read, and takes some time to download. Well worth the wait though).

Dogs and Chocolate do NOT mix ~ not even the chocolate buttons especially made for dogs it seems.

Food and Your Pets The Key to Good Health ~ An Article By Catherine O’Driscoll of Canine Health Concern

Case Studies
If you care to take a look at the photograph of the German Shepherd below, you will be looking at just one dog who has been aided beyond my wildest dreams by a dietary change.

When I first met Kim, this photo would have been impossible. There was no way on earth that she could be brought close to other dogs and look so relaxed.

When we first met, I noticed that Kim’s eyes were literally rolling around in their sockets. She was very fidgety in her home environment, but when she got outside into the street – she was an unbelievable nightmare…. all hell broke loose. Heads turned at the sight and sound of a banshee dragging her owner in all directions. There was just no communicating with this dog. At this point she was being fed a cheap, popular and easily available brand of food.

As a first step in her recovery I recommended a change of diet to Nature Diet, knowing this to be one of the (if not the) cleanest commercial dog foods available in the U.K. However, the petshop manager persuaded the owner to try a different brand (Nutro) which itself is extremely good. A dramatic change in Kim’s behaviour occurred as a result, and at this point we were able to commence a behavioural modification program. After several more weeks, Kim was still causing her owner a great deal of grief and frustration. However, the icing on the cake came when Kim’s owner changed the food over to Nature Diet lamb. It was as though a veil had lifted, and for what was probably the first time ever, Kim was able to begin interpreting the world around her.

Today Kim has plenty of canine and human friends. She is not completely cured of her problems, as it looks as though she has some other physiological disorder. However, she is now very manageable, friendly, is able to walk along the street without shrieking and leaping about. Had I been prevented from telling Kim’s owner about dietary effects upon behaviour, the chances are that she would have been returned to the shelter she was acquired from, or perhaps even worse.

Kim’s mum has added her own comments here:

As Kim’s mum I would just like to say that without Fran’s timely advice on diet Kim’s future with me was hanging in the balance. I had struggled with her outrageous behaviour for 4 1/2 months and really felt like I was losing the battle. I called Fran in desperation, and Fran did a home visit, took one look at Kim and said “change her diet”, which I did, and within a week she was a changed animal, within a fortnight, you wouldn’t know she was the same dog.

You might be interested to know that the continued problems after changing her diet, where in fact caused by an allergy to chicken, so when changed to a lamb diet, her behaviour improved dramatically again.

Kim has been with us for 20 months now and I wouldn’t be without her, it’s hard to believe that she was a monster that I was thinking of getting rid of.


5/1/2003 – I often have people come to me and say “my vet says that I shouldn’t feed my dog a raw diet including meaty bones, as it can cause problems and perhaps kill my dog. I must only feed those which are recommended as they have been scientifically formulated by people who know best, and the companies have spent vast sums of money researching the product, therefore they must be better”. Well, this morning a Jack Russell brought himself along to watch (and interfere) with our agility class. When he realized he had outstayed his welcome, he set off across the fields.

As we were about to leave, we heard squeaks coming from the neighboring field. Then out came the Jack Russell, proudly carrying a hare (which was about the size of himself), and proceeded along the lane back to his own area where he lay down and consumed his catch.

Who is going to tell this Jack Russell that this diet is bad for him and that he must only eat what has been recommended by the vet, the scientist and the food marketing rep? Somehow, I doubt this dog is happy eating from a can or a packet, he obviously has his own preferences AND it is freely available and merely a trot away.

Would you like to add your own experiences to this website? If so please email me with your story. These articles need not express the opinions of the owner of this website. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and it is up to you to do your own research and to draw your own conclusions.

Click here to read about Penel Malby’s experiences when she changed her dogs over to a completely natural way of feeding. This article contains a whole host of very interesting links.


TELEPHONE 01908 661533

Many of the sites below are in the U.S. However some commercial pet foods available in this country are manufactured in the US:

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