Take your time!

July 29, 2013

This morning, as I was putting my horse’s head collar on, I found myself starting to rush, as he turned his head away I went after his head, it was like I was being pulled around just to put on a head collar! I stopped, I would never do  that with a dog, any dog! I slowed down and waited for Red to settle down, every time he moved his head I stopped. It took a while, maybe 2 minutes at most to put on his head collar with no fidgeting, not forever, just a little time for me to teach him so that tomorrow the process will be quicker, but if it isn’t I will slow down again!

He doesn’t always do that, he was impatient to get out in the field, he knew what was coming next. Just like a dog knows he is going for a walk and gets impatient and fidgety! Next time your dog fidgets around as you put on the lead or collar, just slow down take your time, take as long as it takes. By bring down the adrenaline in this way your whole walk will improve, it will be worth it, let me know how long it takes you next time you put a collar or lead on your dog!

Red, my nephew Mac and Doyle (son of my Teddy!)

Red, my nephew Mac and Doyle (son of my Teddy!)


Happy New Year!

January 1, 2013



photo photo(1)

Betsy, Bonnie and Jess! Oz came too but managed to not get in a photo!

I wish you all a very Happy, healthy and prosperous new year and may all your dreams come true!

I have enjoyed my time off playing more with my horse who always manages to remind me about my dog training! It is so good for me to have him as my hobby and in some ways he is more of a pet than my dogs! I often hear myself thinking or saying Red wants to go out, Red wants more hay, Red wants to pull his carriage today etc. In fact I sound remarkably like my clients, who fortunately often know exactly what their dogs want too! All of which is fine as long as we get what we want as well!

I am lucky that with my horse I am aware that if Red kicks the stable door to get my attention or to speed me up in getting his food, that if I respond to his demands his behaviour would get worse, and even in time he could break out of his stable door. I remember Betty doing something similar as a puppy when she very cleverly started carrying her food bowl round near feed time, I was very impressed and fed her, before long her bowl was whizzing past my head across the kitchen, it was then I realised that I must not be so impressed!! It took a some self-control to not respond to her demands, I so wanted to laugh as the bowl landed on the worktop beside me!

Remember this year it is great to know what they want, but be sure you only respond to the behaviour you want to encourage! Happy new year!



Thank you to Corinne for drawing my attention to a very helpful leaflet on dogs and horses! You may remember my blog recently on a problem I have locally with a neighbours dogs when passing with my horse! I have approached them in a friendly manner but sadly they are not ready for help, yet!

The Blue Cross provide a whole host of helpful and free leaflets on all animal care and behaviour, well worth a visit to  their

Lara looks out!

website! There is a link below to the leaflet that Corinne told me about:


You can hear me on Steve Scruton’s show on BBC Essex Radio this coming Wednesday from 2.15pm to 4pm, on a phone in on dog behaviour problems, or catch up on the iplayer for the following 7 days!

Some great dog photo’s

February 22, 2012

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Thank you to everyone that has been inspired to take photo’s and send them to me! I love to get your photo’s, I think I have a few more in my inbox to come next time! Do keep them coming, I am looking to up date photo’s on the web site and in my new brochure!

As I write this the sun is shining and I feel a touch of spring in the air, very different to when the snow was here just the other week! Great dog walking/training weather, no excuses this week for those of you at classes!

We have a dog problem in a nearby village that has come to light this week, there are 2 dogs in their garden, as yet young dogs, that are getting very upset at horses going passed. They may be the same with other animals, but it is the horses I have witnessed. My fear is that they will come over the top of the fence, one of them is hanging over the top of the fence and barking, the other is running up and down and banging against the fence. As young dogs I can see they are getting braver and more wound up. Sadly the owners are feeling very defensive of their babies, I do understand, they feel it is the dogs garden and they are just doing their job. As a dog trainer, I, of course, see it as a garden that belongs to the owners that the dogs use, and anything passing on the road is on the road, not in their garden, therefore not their business. My guess is on a good day, the owners would not want their dogs behaving as they are, but they probably don’t know the dogs behaviour could be changed, and presently are defending their babies. I guess we have all been in that situation at some point, if not with a pet then maybe a child?

To be honest I have even taken a defensive position on something I have done, even though I eventually admitted my mistake! Let’s hope they see things differently before there is a bad accident!

Well trained dogs, ponies and children!


Many thanks to Georgie for sending me this photo! Georgie lives just down the road from me yet it was only last week that I saw her out with all the family! Congratulations Georgie on some great training!

Hitching a ride!

August 30, 2011

Hitching a ride!


The Poodles are called Rumpus and Merlot and they really know how to travel in style! Both Standard Poodles belong to Corinne and Michael, the ones doing the work up the front are called Hugo and Jason 🙂 This may be an unusual sight but not around Great Canfield as Corinne and family regularly drive out from local Ashfields Carriage and Polo Club. I cannot claim any credit for the brilliant dog training, Merlot and Rumpus are all the work of Corinne, who runs a business looking after animals while people are away, what a great advert for her!

Another hard day at the office for me!

Does anyone else have trouble losing I.D. tags? It was only this week when I again found Pie’s tag on the floor yet again, that I actually stopped and gave the problem some thought! I searched the house and found a really strong-looking “twisty thing” , (I don’t even know what to call the bit that attached the tag to the collar?) I am really hoping this one might stay on a bit longer! Anyone got any good ideas for this?

The photo is of Paddy, a 2 year old West Highland White Terrier who has been deaf from birth, with me and Fiona at one of the Thursday groups, at last we have the right weather for dog training!

Many thanks to Jan for the following link to a great dog story!


I have spoken to Sue this week, Millie’s owner, and she is working on writing up what happened to them and she will be posting soon.

I have a major accident waiting to happen not far from where I live, in the shape of 4  Border Collies, they were going ballistic at their garden fence when I came past with a horse and carriage earlier in the week. The owner was out in the garden, in the process of replacing some fencing, fortunately they saw us coming, and wedged the panel in place and prevented the dogs escaping! The 4 dogs were barking and running the fence, in the dog’s heads they are chasing and attacking, there is no question this is the pack at work! The owner said, in an embarrassed way “they only make a noise”! well a noise they sure do make, but what the owner is not seeing is that if they did escape they will do far more!

I also know for a fact, if out on a lead these dogs will be aggressive to all the things they are barking and chasing in the comfort of their own gardens. 4 dogs racing up a down a fence, with the extra sound effects of them brushing and hitting the fence and bushes, is quite something for a horse to trust enough to pass or any other animal, I am glad I don’t need to walk past with my dogs. If these were your dogs would you want someone to point out the hazard?

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Those of you that have been to Barbary for training have already met Spartacus, he is a little Welsh section A pony that I have brought for my niece Lottie to learn to ride on 🙂 He is a great character and his other job is to help train all the dogs that visit Barbary to be safe around other four-legged animals! He has lots of cheekiness and confidence so I think he will be great at both of his jobs! In the photo’s you can see Sparty having a look round, and you can see how at home he was feeling after his first day and night here, as I caught him sleeping near the house on his first morning!

I had a lovely email from Teresa about her two little dogs Connie and Mitch, it is some time since I saw them all but great to hear that Connie has settled into being a great pet! Teresa had a slightly rocky start with Connie when she first arrived from Battersea, as she was a shadow chaser. This is a very annoying habit some dogs can develop for a few reasons, but can often been seen in dogs left alone for long periods with little else going on in their lives.

Georgie sent in a photo of Lara, German Short Haired Pointer, from the Thursday morning class!  Georgie and Lara are making great progress!

I have put up some more photo’s of Henry, thanks to Amy, and her Dachshund Monty!

Betty has been learning to still come to call when the Ducks and Geese are on the lake! Luckily she doesn’t like swimming, not since she mistook the leaves on the lake for a surface she could walk on last year! 🙂

The biggest news is the arrival of Mel’s puppy’s last week, yes Annie had to miss another nights sleep! Pie is a Daddy again! No I am not having another one 🙂 They are very cute, they all look a lot like their daddy, one girl has an all white face and is especially cute! 2 boys and 2 girls, photo’s on the way soon! How are they Annie?