Yesterday my dear Black Rock chickens Doris and Dodger were the victims of my neighbour’s dogs! What did they do to deserve being butchered in their own pen? Nothing, they aren’t even afraid of dogs, they are used to my dogs being around them and not bothering them other than to eat there pellets, they were even more helpless than less socialised hens!  I feel terrible, it happened to creatures in my care, they were my pets giving me eggs to eat in return for safety, food and care. At least I thought they were safe!

One of the worst things is my neighbours reaction was denial, these dogs have never killed they say. How would they know? My sister has found them wandering loose on the road and taken them home on 3 occasions. I have found them in my garden and rung them to come get them home. At Christmas the Labrador came and had a go at Pie over the fence, luckily someone is always close at hand even when my dogs are out in their own garden and a worse event was avoided!

If a dog is out of sight it is likely learning to hunt! Hunting doesn’t happen overnight it takes many days practice, a lot of hours off lead. Some take longer than others, some are more natural hunters. If a dog chases any other animal or bird, eventually it will get lucky and catch one, the next step is they will kill it, once they kill they will get faster and better at the job, it is what dogs do! Two dogs together are even more effective; they can corner and kill very fast.  That is how packs have survived for centuries. It’s not like this behaviour is weird or strange, it is what untrained dogs do! It is what they had to do in the wild to survive, but we can control them!

2 weeks ago I told my neighbours  their dogs had killed one of the hens, I didn’t find her body, I saw the dogs flush her out of my paddock into their land, she didn’t come home! Just because there was no evidence I could offer they argued and denied the event. I heard them calling the dogs for several minutes, they couldn’t see them, and they assume all is well!

Please don’t be an Ostrich, we do not live in a Disney film, dogs are real animals, and if you ever forget it bad things happen to remind us. My hens are dead, they won’t be back but maybe just maybe a few people will read this and change their behaviour and that of their dogs and some other pets won’t die as a result, you won’t find your pet mutilated in its own garden!

Dog don’t just change overnight, it may seem they do, but learning is a process, when a dog catches, kills, bites, other creatures or people they have been practicing for some time and no one intervened! Please intervene, even if it is just to pass this on to someone who needs to hear this today!

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Happy New Year!

January 1, 2013

Betsy

Betsy

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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!

Zippitydoodah!

Zippitydoodah!

Puppies at five weeks!

October 5, 2012

Puppies at five weeks!

Are they even more gorgeous? They are 6 weeks old today, and every day sees them going further afield, yesterday was their first time going to the toilet outside. It takes a few outings for a litter to feel safe enough to toilet away from the nest, clever Mother Nature protects the young by inhibiting toileting on new ground before the ground is familiar to them. This is the reason, when dog owners first take puppies home, they won’t go to the toilet on walks to begin with, this behaviour is designed to keep the young safe from predators. But it is just the reason I want to get the puppies outside as soon as possible to get them used to going outdoors and speed up their house training.

Next Monday  I will start their training, sits downs and little recalls, regular grooming and a  car ride, the more normal this stuff becomes the easier they will be in their new homes! Not all sold yet!

Thank you to Jo at Jobo design for the great photo’s!

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The Arc

http://www.animalrescuecharity.org.uk/history.php 

dog rescue charity are rescuing dogs from Ireland, in the last couple of months I have had the pleasure of meeting a few, one of them Jenson, who belongs to Nicola and now more recently Miller and Lucy have found a great home with Delia and Clive. Miller and Lucy are Husky cross Collies and they not only look charming but are delightful little people! They are responding brilliantly to training, at first we all thought Miller had some special needs, seems he does, he learns in a very unique way, appearing to not understand at all for several minutes, until the penny drops and he then reacts as if he has been doing “it” all his life!

I look forward to working further with the four of them at the older puppy class that starts at Little Canfield next Tuesday!

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Harley hits the spa!

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Suffering in the name of beauty!

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Wasn't that worth the effort!

At the Thursday class we got talking about how as people we either like to do things that come easily to us or conversely the hard stuff! I found it interesting that the group thought that I would have found dog training easy from the start, which is why I do it for a job! The reality is that it was the opposite for me, I found training my first dog and second, really challenging! That is what hooked me, as soon as I got good at competing with my dog my interest in competition waned! Teaching on the other hand is always challenging, whether is is getting inside the head of the dog or the handler, to find our way through to sucess! Next time you are feeling frustrated that your dog is not progressing as fast as you hoped or expected, just remember that is why I have a job still, lead training particularly takes real dedication and hard work, if it were easy everyone would be able to teach a dog or a person how in 5 minutes!

I believe the reason I am like this is that I am fascinated by learning, I ask myself what can I learn from this, how can I change this behaviour to what I want? If you can develop a sense of curiosity about why your dog is or isn’t doing what it does, you will start to open your minds to the information you need to succeed! So next time you feel like giving up, stop and consider how interesting this could be for you? ! 🙂

Events

Fun Agility x 3

For anyone wanting to enjoy some fun agility with your dog!

16th – 23rd – 30th April –

Time: 6pm – 7pm

Or a day of agility

May 19th

Times: 10am to 4pm

Avril on BBC Essex

Steve Scruton sound advice phone in on dog training and behaviour

April 18th 2pm – 4pm

Recall Training sessions

These 2 and a half hour sessions focus on lead walking and recall. Foundation training takes place in the safety of the fenced garden at Barbary Cottage, once the building blocks are in place we take the training to the outside world, the paddocks and fields surrounding Barbary! There are a maximum of 5 dogs and handlers in a group.

Times: 10am – 12.30pm

Wednesday May 9th

Saturday April 14th

Dog behaviour/psychology course (Theory course without dogs)

For those that want to know more about how the dogs mind works and what they are thinking!

Date: Saturday April 28th

Times: 10am to 4pm

Training day 

A full day devoted to training your dog, whether you are keen to improve your dogs general obedience or are interested in trying some obedience tests this promises to be a fun day out with other dog lovers!

Monday Times: 10am – 4pm

Fee: £75 includes tea/coffee

Venue: Barbary Cottage

Date: June 18th


A dog story!

January 4, 2012

J cosy at home with the vacuum cleaner!

I wanted to share with you one of the responses I have had from the last blog, it is the real stories of dog owners out there that need to be heard! I am sure the people with the dogs rushing up to ours don’t really want to upset our dogs, they just don’t know the impact they are having! Please send in your story?

“I wanted to agree with what you’ve said. You may remember J – chocolate lab with epilepsy, very nervously aggressive around other dogs after being attacked a couple of times by off the lead dogs when he was a puppy just after he started having fits. Sadly and the aggression / anxiety around other dogs just got worse with age. Training didn’t help, and eventually I took the decision to let him have a happy life away from other dogs. He is off the lead only in large, deserted fields. On the lead problems only arise if an off-the-lead dog comes up to us. I see a dog off the lead I call to the owner to get them to call their dog back before trouble starts, then walk in the opposite direction. This, amazingly, doesn’t always work, and about half the time I get a “oh, he just wants to play” response and the owner virtually encourages their dog to come to mine!

I have since found lots of other dog owners in the same position as me: we are often made to feel guilty about not letting our dogs off the lead around other dogs, or not having other “doggy friends”. It really is a bit much! When I walk J, I end up having to shout at other people’s dogs to get them away from him. Walking dogs off the lead with a “he / she won’t hurt your dog, they just want to play!” comment is totally irresponsible. Your off-the-lead dog may well want to play, but mine doesn’t! My dog is terrified of anything on four legs and is a nervous wreck if anything gets within 10 feet of him. I had some classes from you about this, where you advised me to shout at the approaching off-the-lead dog and walk the other way. This almost always works, but I end up with plenty of abuse from the other dog’s owner. My dog is only ever aggressive when other dogs approach him, and I want to protect him and these other dogs from each other. If dogs stayed on the lead around other dogs, it would be so much easier and dog on dog attacks would be much rarer.

Unless owners have absolute control over their own dog off the lead (and in my own experience, that is rare as hen’s teeth!), dogs should be on the lead around other dogs. It is, frankly, arrogant to make the assumption that your dog won’t attack mine, or be attacked by mine: they don’t know each other and you don’t know my dog. Thank you for making this a New Year’s Resolution, and I hope everybody follows the advice.”