06 October, 2018


Here's our regular firework blog, updated for 2018.

Firework season will be upon us before we know it.
Nov 5th falls on a Monday
Diwali...falls on 
Wednesday, Nov 7th this year
New Year's Eve falls on a Monday

Some dogs get really worried by the noise, smells & flashes.... but with a little preparation & effort on your part, it can be a lot easier for them.
If you have a puppy, or young dog, with no prior experience of fireworks, you have a blank canvas with which to work.
Your dog can be taught that fireworks are a positive, rewarding thing !!!

Ensure your dog is walked before dusk.
Draw the curtains earlier.
Raise the volume on TV's & radios slightly.
Pop the heating up a wee bit higher.
Feed a meal higher in carbs....it has the effect of us eating a heavy meal & just wanting to snooze. (Sweet potato is ideal for this, boiled & mashed, it's a natural calmer)
Try & keep everything as normal as possible.

Whenever I have a pup or young dog, at the 1st sound of fireworks I start a training session indoors, loads of treats, lots of praise, doing things the dog knows well (this isn't the time to try & teach a new behaviour)

If your dog stops & listens, that's completely normal (Don't forget their hearing is incredibly sensitive)
If they want to run off & hide, let them.
If they want to go outside & watch, let them, as long as it's safe for them & they are free to come back in (Go outside with them)

All dogs react differently !!

Older dogs that may have been ok all their lives, can react as they get older. It's because of changes in their hearing. They lose mid-range ability & only hear really high, or really low sounds (Making fireworks & thunderstorms more audible.)
Preparation really is the key to avoiding a stressed pet.
Zylkene website HERE has some excellent, free sound
resources, which you can play to accustom your pet to the 
noise & create a positive association.
  Zylkene is made from natural ingredients & helps relax pets at     times they are finding stressful.

An  ADAPTIL collar or diffuser is another option, which works the same way.

Many people also swear by music to calm their dogs.
There are lots of free options online THIS is a good one (tested by my own dogs) 

Long time no blog!!!

No blog from the training club for years!!
Sometimes life gets in the way & that's what happened.
Losses of both the human & Canine kind 
have struck some hard blows, but hopefully, things are now looking up.
The club is very busy, with lots of people training their dogs & gaining their kennel club awards.
I've become a Kennel Club Accredited Instructor & more recently become accredited as a Canine Hoopers UK instructor ...see more about the sport HERE .
We hope to hold courses in this very shortly.
Feel free to contact us via the website for more info.

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.