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


Thinking of a new puppy?

March 26, 2012

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A few questions from a client thinking of buying a new puppy reminded me that I haven’t written a blog on this vital time in you and your dog’s life! I am not even going to start talking about breeds on this occasion, I will assume you have chosen your breed and are looking for a good breeder.

Number one for me is a breeder that rears the litter indoors, this gives the puppy so much more exposure to normal life, giving the puppy’s a head start on the dogs raised outdoors. Having said that outdoor litters can be given this same exposure if the breeder is aware of the need, which many are, watch out for those that do not understand the mental and emotional needs of a litter and give them a wide berth.

Bitches can be softer but also busier, dogs more laid back and a little less sensitive! It is often a little easier if you have two of the opposite sex, generally they are more likely to get along okay.

When a breeder starts asking you questions be ready with your own!

Annie, my friend that bred both Pie and Betty, has one puppy left in her last litter, related to my two and well reared indoors!

A well cared for puppy from a great breeder!

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I just noticed that one of my classes were a bit stuck on improving their dogs stays, if the whole class are stuck it has to be something I am doing! Luckily I thought to ask them, if when practising at home if they had their leads on their dogs, the answer was “no”! This means that as dogs learn the whole environment when training that it was like we were asking them to do two different exercises! We did the stays off lead and the improvement was amazing :). As a result I have managed to ask all the groups and it seems the off lead version is popular at home, the main reason is the dogs get too excited when they see the lead to concentrate, so my handlers are all avoiding this issue by training off lead! How much more useful it is to have a dog that doesn’t get silly at the sight of the lead, I deliberately work hard at making my dogs not have an excited response to the lead, it makes for more peaceful walks also!

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A question from a client recently gave me a reminder! As a dog trainer I sometime forget that I do stuff with my dogs that I don’t tell you, at least not often enough! This is an example:

When I take my dogs for a walk, whether it is from home or in a new place, I start my walk with some training,  I warm my dog’s brain and body for exercise, in the same way you might have a warm up before working out or running! I only go further on the walk if the dog is responding well and giving me lots of attention. I start, on lead, with an exercise my dog enjoys and at an easy level, say sits and downs for treats, working my way through all the exercises close to, as my dog demonstrates he is ready to obey further from me, I have generally passed several distractions, like other people and dogs. Once off lead I continue training, maybe sits and downs now at a distance, stays at a distance, always doing a recall here and there to check my dog will come to me and I can get the lead on, should the need arise. As I proceed on the walk I will start ducking behind trees, my dog should be following. Are you getting the picture? I add more games in as the walk goes on, maybe a occassional retrieve (but in a fun way, not in that repetitive continuous throwing and lets just make the dog tired way), running away and any other games I can think of!

The entire walk is interactive, I never just go for a walk and hope my dog comes along, which in fairness is what most people do, hence the dog being 2 fields away from the owner jumping on you, a scenario we have all seen! If you want to walk, mindlessly, round the field, leave your dog at home. If you want a well-trained dog your pet needs and deserves your full attention!

This may come as bad news to some people, but honestly it is much more fun than a mindless walk with a dog you only see at the start and finish!

Thank you for the photo’s, please keep them coming!

If there is one thing that would help all dog owners is if other dog walkers respected that dogs on the lead need to be left alone! This poster, sent to me by Sue, sums this up in a fun way!

Contact me if you want this poster emailed to you for posting near you or passing on!

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.”

Happy new year! To ensure your dog training gets off to a great start come to the training day in January!

 My new years resolution

Lucky and happy christmas! (I think)

My dog training wish for the new year is for us all to educate the dog walkers out there, to realise it is not okay, for their completely strange unknown dog to run up to ours and hope they get on!

This means I want all of you to explain to every dog owner you meet, that a new dog is a new pack and dogs take 14 days to establish pecking order, if they are never going to meet again, why would anyone even consider risking a dog getting bitten.

As soon as I hear the word hope in a sentence connected to dog behaviour I get worried, “hope” translated, means “I don’t know, but I hope it will be okay”. Good training is about learning to read dog body language and responding accordingly, the dogs tell us without risk, if we take time and space to let them, making for knowledge rather than hope!

In the latter months of 2011 I heard of more and more dog on dog attacks, in Highlands Park and from clients in Villages around me, these can be made rare occurrences by educating the dog owners out  there! If we all resolve to take action this year we can change this human behaviour!! Please help me?

Feel free to copy any part of this blog and forward to other dog lovers!

Thank you!

Thank you to the many who have subscribed to my blog  and more thanks to those that have taken time to add their comments! I have put the blog stats up so that you can see who you are! if you hit the subscribe button on the site it does help me to get my word out there even more, as the number of subscriptions and hits does mean higher ranking. So please do so if you haven’t already?

My best wishes for a happy, prosperous and peaceful new year!

 Dates for 2012

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: January 16th

Avril on BBC Essex

Steve Scruton sound advice phone in on dog training and behaviour

January 20th 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.

Fee: includes Tea/coffee £50

Times: 10am – 12.30pm

Wednesday January 25th

Saturday February 4th

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 March 24th

Times: 10am to 4pm

Fee: £75

Tricks  Workshop

Date coming soon!

Fun Agility x 3

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

April – Dates and time to be confirmed

Fee: £75 (for 3 sessions)

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Many thanks to Nicola for these photo’s of the Thursday morning class, I am sure you will all agree that Nicola should be doing more photography!! Please?

Please send me a friend request for face book if you haven’t already? There are some great dog video’s for you to see!

 

Great dog photo’s!

November 28, 2011

You may or may not agree with dressing up dogs, but you have to admit these are very funny? Personally I believe that dogs love to make us smile and always enjoy attention!

thank you Nicola for sending me the photo’s and to Michelle for the ones of Roxy, our own superstar!

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Our own Roxy ready for Christmas!

Roxy and Michelle!

Jasper

Many of you will have met Jan Johnson and her Labrador Lady! A short while ago Jan lost her old lady Amber and has been looking to increase her pack again. This week I heard of a litter of a working strain nearby, Jan and I went to check them out! Jasper is the out come, and Lady thinks she is his Mummy! Have fun with your new boy Jan!