08 October, 2016

Getting prepared for firework season 2016

I know we have fireworks all year round , but they intensify towards the end of the year.
In 4 weeks time it'll be November 5th and as it falls on a Saturday it'll be a noisy one!!!
The previous Sunday, October 30th, is Diwali , which is also celebrated with fireworks & of course the 31st is Halloween, which could also mean some pretty odd sounds!!.

I wrote a blog a few years ago, which you can read HERE, just the dates have changed.
You really can help your dogs by preparing them well in advance & don't forget some people let fireworks off in daylight hours, so be very careful to keep your dogs safe, especially off lead.
Scared dogs sometimes run in blind panic and we don't want any lost dogs or accidents.

22 September, 2016

Walking into trouble

I've friends who are professional dog walkers.
They are an absolute godsend to many owners who have to work, are ill, or for a number of reasons might need a reliable person to walk their dogs from time to time.
They are trusted not only with people precious dogs but also, in many cases hold the keys to their homes too.
Different dogs have different needs, some just need to be let out into the garden, some need a quick walk around the block, some need a longer walk and some off lead time.
A good dog walker will cater to your dog's needs, keep them safe from harm and not let them be a nuisance in public, won't they?
We seem to be seeing a rise in so-called pack walks. Large groups of dogs, with different needs and temperaments walking together. Some dogs, of course, love to be in a large group. but can a dog walker be in control of so many? Would your dog be safe amongst so many? How would members of the public perceive a large group of dogs running free?

Today whilst walking with a friend and our collective six dogs, I encountered such a walk.
At first, we just spotted one small terrier in the distance, then more dogs appeared.
We recalled out dogs and put 5 on lead (Both my friend and I have a reactive dog each) My steady GSD was left loose as he is friendly respectful and social with all dogs.
We were quickly surrounded by at least 10 dogs, 2 of them barking at our dogs. There were more than 10 altogether (20 or more I think), they had several on lead & many were walking some distance from the others.
No attempt was made by the walkers to recall them.
I politely asked for one walker to recall the dogs, pointing out we have enough dog related incidents reported without the need for more & was ignored.
I asked the second walker if he was a professional, walking other people's dogs & he confirmed he was, but wouldn't give me his card ( I offered mine)
On asking the 3rd (female) walker to please recall the dogs (which were now in my friend's dogs face) to get the dogs under control, she replied , "Your f%*cking dog's off lead" !!! Sure enough, he was and was happily sniffing in the bushes.

I'm sure the owners would be horrified if they knew the lack of control their dogs are under whilst in the care of these walkers.
Do you know what happens when your dog is out with one?
Could 3 people have off lead control over that many dogs?

This incident has been reported to the local authority and is backed by photographic and video evidence.
Maybe I should post a photo and we could see who recognises their dogs!!

22 January, 2016

Didn't they do well ??

Sunday 17th saw our first Kennel Club Good Citizen assessment of the year.
 Iain Lewis was our assessor once again and had to negotiate snow & ice to get to us.

We had 11 in the Bronze group, a couple not long out of the Puppy Foundation class & others who've been with us a while longer - 11 passes. fabulous start.

The Silver group should have had just Terence, Reggie & Zoe in, but I was so confident that Megan & Daisy would sail through too, I added them & I'm pleased to say we had all 5 pass

Last up was Kelly & Az.
As expected the little lad passed with flying colours - so that was all 17 out of 17.

Iain gave some great feedback and compliments on our training methods & standards, I'm extremely proud of you all. 

10 October, 2015

The BIG Bang!!!

The year has certainly flown by & we're rapidly approaching Firework season.

Rather than writing it all out again, I'll link to my previous blog post HERE  and just add that Diwali this year is Wednesday, November 11th....not too far away.

Many dogs find fireworks very stressful, but there's lots we can do to minimise their suffering.

Please have a read, a little preparation can save years of heartache & stress.

06 October, 2015

Woofability Assistance? Dogs

I seldom, if ever use this page to knock other organisations and it feels odd to do so. Especially when this particular group has charitable status!!
However, What has been seen cannot be unseen & I've seen this and am shocked, angered & frankly disgusted.

Assistance dogs, we've all seen them in various forms, Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs, Dogs for the disabled. Out in public, wearing their harnesses, enriching and enabling the lives of their handlers.
Have you ever wondered about their training, how it's done, how long it takes, what's involved?
I have, I've trained one of my own as a therapy dog & visited the training centres of some major organisations. It takes a lot of knowledge, patience, time & understanding to train a dog and that's before it gets introduced to a possible handler.
Of course, this also takes money and as charities these organisations rely on public & corporate support.

I think we'd all agree that these charities do an outstanding job wouldn't we?

Well watch THIS  and then tell me how you feel (Comments welcome here or on our Facebook Page )

I'm really angered that Woofability Assistance Dogs are passing themselves off as an assistance dog charity.
Watching the programme, I was spotting mistake after mistake, from basic management issues to lack of knowledge about the most basic of training requirements.

A trained pet dog has better behaviour than the "trained" examples shown. Many dogs languishing in rescue centres receive better training. ( Dogs Trust have some amazing dogs & trainers at their centres)

I'm also really concerned over the welfare of dogs in their care and know well-meaning breeders donate much-loved pups to the scheme. Pups raised in homes, as part of the family, now living in stark kennels, with a lack of mental stimulation. A recipe for an unbalanced adult dog. Heartbreaking for the breeders, who I guess had imagined the pups being well cared for, in safe knowledgeable hands.

I really hope the publicity will get results, either by Woofability learning a lesson and employing trainers who actually know what they are doing, or by their charity status being removed.
My real concern though is for the welfare of those dogs and the safety of people who have one of the "trained" dogs in their homes.

25 February, 2015

The Magnificent 7

Last Sunday - 22nd February, saw K9 Capers DTC hold our first Good Citizen assessment.

I'm very pleased to say that all 7 dogs were passed by our assessor Iain Lewis.
Little Az & instructor Kelly also were awarded the Puppy Foundation Award on the day

These club members are now working towards their Silver award & we hope this will inspire more members to join us on the next assessment day (hopefully in the summer)  

24 December, 2014

Buyer Beware - Check your pet professionals credentials !!!

Today, something happened, that has both shocked & disgusted me, in equal measures,

Like so many of us, I'm battling a cough & cold, so decided to walk all 4 of my dogs together, instead of making 2 trips out to Burnham Beeches.
It all started off very well, I met up with a lady with her 3-year-old son & he'd seen the dogs last week (When Trix was showing off her trick repertoire ) He wanted to join us on our walk & his mum obliged. They don't have a dog but want him to learn to be confident & sensible around them - all good!!
We met lots of people, most of those who had dogs were passing comment on the DCO's & how confusing it all was, trying to figure out where dogs were allowed off lead etc. I don't like the new legislation, but understand how worrying out of control dogs can appear to those who are scared of dogs.
As we were walking along Halse Drive I heard excited barking ahead, so popped my youngest on lead ( she's excitable enough, without adding to it) & carried on my way. We then encountered 8 dogs & 2 walkers, I recognised one lady as a professional dog walker. The walker was throwing a ball (using one of those plastic ball throwers), which was why the dogs were all barking.
As we got nearer, 3 of the larger dogs approached, the walker made no attempt to call them away- the little lad I was walking with got a bit scared, so stood still with his Mum, whilst I carried on walking.
One of the dogs (a Boxer)began growling at my male German Shepherd (who was right by my side) dog walker took him by the collar, as I carried on walking - then for reasons only known to herself, let him go. At which point he flew at my boy, biting him twice, between the shoulder blades & on the neck. Pleased to say, my boy didn't retaliate - but my on lead dog was all  for joining in, if she'd have been able !!

Quite shocking - but here comes the part that disgusts me.
The "professional" dog walker dragged the Boxer off, then hit it with the ball launcher, she then went on to twist its ears/cheeks til it cried & when I objected, said she didn't stand for that kind of thing !!!
She'd walked this dog for 3 weeks & it's never shown aggression. Anyone who works with dogs will tell you, you can never be sure of how they'll react.
No apology offered & the person she was walking with did nothing, so I'm guessing all 8 dogs were in her care (The limit due to the DCO's is 4 per responsible handler.)

Full report logged with the Rangers, who've suggested I also go to the Police.

I know lots of professional dog walkers who are very good & observant in all situations, I'd happily recommend their services. But this person really shouldn't be entrusted with others dogs - the poor Boxer didn't deserve what he got at her hands.
Mine isn't the 1st complaint about her - please if you're going to use a dog walker check out the n
umber of dogs they walk, their views on punishment & you're at all concerned - walk away.