Radio, snow and dates!

January 23, 2013


With Steve Scruton leaving BBC Essex I did wonder if I would still get an invite as I would guess the show must be having a complete freshen up, new brooms and all! I did wonder if the sound advice would survive but I am pleased to report it has, though it will be different. Mark Punter the new presented came here this morning to record some top tips, it was really strange to be doing that at home, maybe it was because we were in the living room in front of the fire and not in the work room! (see below for times)

I have had Bonnie staying this week, Jo has been in India, soaking up some sun, though she did say on Facebook that she looked like a red lolly pop as the humidity was so high! We haven’t suffered with that problem  this week!

Thanks to Janice for  the photo of Riley enjoying the snow, he is so like Bonnie, she has looked just like that most of the week, not wanting to come in from playing with her Mum in the snow!

Here are some training dates, as normal all groups have a maximum of 5 dogs and handlers!

Recall training:

Taking place here at Bury Farm

  • Wednesday 30th January recall (beginner to intermediate dogs and handlers)
  • Saturday 9th Feb recall (advanced training for the more experienced amongst you, you do know who you are, if in doubt do ask me please?)

Group walk training:

One of these will be in Hylands Park the other to be confirmed according to demand, either Dunmow, Bishop Stortford’s Thorley Park or the Discovery centre on the A130 near Braintree.

  • Wednesday 13th February walk
  • Saturday 23rd February walk

BBC Essex Radio

You can hear me on Friday 1st February

A new format on BBC Essex Radio, with Steve Scruton off travelling the world and Mark Punter in charge, you can hear a dog training tip from me daily next week, culminating with me live in the studio, answering dog questions from listeners, on Friday between 2.15pm and 3pm, if you miss the show you can always catch up on the iplayer for the following 7 days!


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!

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!

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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!