About us

About us

Our story

Our Family Dog is a community interest company (CIC). Our purpose is to address the mismatch between the expectations and reality of dog ownership by better preparing people for life with a dog. This mismatch has been found to be associated with the relinquishment of dogs to rescue centres. 

Online parenting websites have provided a much-needed lifeline to new mums and dads trying to navigate their way through the early years. It got us thinking that this could be just what puppy parents needed too – and the idea behind Our Family Dog was born. We support people to get a puppy responsibly and safely, prepare for their arrival, and give their pet the best start in life.

  • Listen to our founder Justine Williams talking to journalist Rachel Spencer about Our Family Dog in this podcast.
  • Listen to this podcast to hear Justine Williams talking to Jordan Shelley and Sam Gaines for the Wags Lyrical podcast.
  • Read this article in the PawPost about what inspired the creation of Our Family Dog.

Our guiding principles

To support dog owners to meet the health, welfare and happiness needs of their dogs we have developed a small number of guiding principles to inform our editorial content.  

  • We will only promote, and allow the promotion of, evidence-based and non-aversive training and behaviour modification methods for dogs. Aversive training techniques or products are not supported by Our Family Dog. This includes, but is not limited to, items such as prong, shock or choke-chain collars and bark sprays.
  • We only promote, and allow the promotion of, dog trainers and behaviourists that are accredited to the following UK bodies:
  • We encourage dog owners to use dog services (dog groomers, walkers, sitters, doggy day care, boarding) that are members of the Pet Industry Federation.

  • Our Family Dog follows the good practice guidelines developed by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) for the responsible use of pet animals in advertising.

Dog behaviour and training advice

We are delighted to be working with Natalie Light BSc PGDip PGCert CCAB as our technical advisor on dog training and behaviour. Natalie is an Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) accredited Certificated Clinical Animal Behaviourist, an Animal Behaviour & Training Council (ABTC) Registered Clinical Animal Behaviourist and Animal Training Instructor and a full member of both the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors and Fellowship of Animal Behaviour Clinicians.

How is Our Family Dog financed?

In addition to the wealth of information we provide on our website, we offer an enhance support package for new puppy owners via our Puppy Parenting Club. This is a subscription service.

We also provide links to products that we think will be of benefit to dogs and their owners. If you buy a product via an affiliate link, we will receive a commission from that sale. As an Amazon Associate Our Family Dog earns from qualifying purchases. All affiliate marketing relationships are governed by our guiding principles. Like many other websites we use cookies. Please read our Privacy Policy for more information.

Finally, we sometimes partner with other organisations who align with our aims to provide content for the website. Some of this content will be sponsored and will be clearly marked as such. In order to maintain a good user experience, sponsored content will be written in the same editorial style as non-sponsored content.

Find out ore about working with us.

Personal note

I’ve always believed that there is rarely such a thing as original thought, and that certainly applies to the contents of this site!

If I were to attribute the idea of Our Family Dog, it would be to the 20+ years that I spent at the RSPCA.  This website has drawn on the collective wisdom of all those I had the privilege to work alongside – whether from the RSPCA or the other animal welfare charities in the UK – and it is to them that I dedicate it; hoping that, in some small way, it may improve the welfare of dogs and lighten the ever-increasing pressures on those charities.

I am particularly grateful to friends and former colleagues who have encouraged me to develop that idea into Our Family Dog.

Justine Williams – Founder

Justine Williams and RSPCA rescue dog Stanley
Justine with RSPCA rescue dog Stanley