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.

04 October, 2014

It's getting near to that time of year again !!

The year has certainly flown by & we're rapidly approaching Firework season.
Rather than writing it all out again, I'll link to last years blog post HERE & just add that Diwali this year is on Thursday, October 23rd - so not long now.

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

20 June, 2014

Have YOUR say, re' the proposed restrictions at Burnham Beeches.

The City Of London welcome YOUR views on the proposed restrictions at Burnham Beeches - find out more  HERE 
Please copy in the following to any responses made;

Chairman of the Epping Forest and Commons Committee, Gordon Haines - Gordon.Haines@cityoflondon.gov.uk
Ian Luder - ian.luder@cityoflondon.gov.uk
Alex Deane - alexanderdeane@ymail.com

Over the past few weeks I've heard some very sensible comments & suggestions - I hope they have been submitted & taken into account.

I've spoken to dog walkers & visitors without dogs & not one , so far, has agreed with the proposals, or understood the reasons given for them. 

05 June, 2014

Kennel Club Survey re' proposed restrictions at Burnham Beeches

The Kennel Club wants YOUR views.
If you walk 1 dog or more at Burnham Beeches, please make your views known, by completing the short survey HERE .
Responsible dog owners/walkers can see flaws in the proposed restrictions....what do YOU think ?

20 May, 2014

Attention All Burnham Beeches Dog Walkers

  A familiar sight to those of you that know me, or follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Flickr, my dogs, off lead, posing for a photo in Burnham Beeches.
We've walked there since Chili was a pup (She's 9 now) & my parents used to take me there as a kid regularly, so I know the area pretty well. I live less than a mile away, so spend as much time as I can there, sometimes with the dogs, sometimes without...but usually with a camera or 2.
In 2008 the roads running through the Beeches were closed to traffic, so now (Except for the occasional speeding cyclist) walkers, horse riders & joggers are safe to walk around the site.

 In the main the dog walkers using the site are what I'd call "responsible". We don't let our dogs swim in the ponds, or chase wildlife...including the Cows & Ponies which have been introduced onto the site. We pick up after our dogs (using the bags & bins provided). We don't allow our dogs to chase cyclists, joggers & horse riders & we keep our eyes open for any problems on site, people acting suspiciously, unsafe trees, fences & gates, litter, fires etc.

Unfortunately though the sites management team are trying to impose restrictions on us dog walking types. (See article below)

We are expecting a public consultation any time now & hope there will be a meeting, where we can voice our concerns, make alternative suggestions & hear the reasons which justify such harsh measures. The Kennel Club are keen for dog walkers to get involved in the consultation process.
The City of London Corporation manage other sites (Including Epping Forest) we feel these proposed restrictions will be the 1st in a long line.

If you wish to know more, offer support, have ideas or suggestions that may help us fight these DCO's please join us on our facebook page 

21 March, 2014

May 13th 2014 - An Evening With Carolyn Menteith

Join us on May 13th, at 6pm, for
An Evening With Carolyn Menteith KCAI (CDA) DipCABT
£20 per person, to include light refreshments.
Prior booking essential.

Dogs Trust Harefield~ Highway Farm House, Harvil Rd, Harefield, Uxbridge. UB9 6JW
Carolyn will be presenting not one, but two seminars for us.

Beneficial & entertaining for owners & professionals

Bite Me!

No matter where we choose to work in the dog world, or whatever involvement we have with dogs, we have to have a knowledge of canine aggression. This may be one of the important areas of our work and yet far too few people understand it. Even if we don't deal with the outcome, we all need to know how aggression starts, how to prevent it, what it is - and very often what it isn't - if we want to be able to help our clients have a safe and happy life with their dogs - or have a safe and happy life with our own dogs.

Breed Specific Learning

As companion dog trainers or as owners, it is not enough just to know how dogs learn. We need to be able to acknowledge that all breeds and types are different, and so what works for one will not work for all. Given that we are faced daily with a wide range of breeds, we need to be able to combine canine learning theory with a knowledge of breed development in order to help our clients get the best from their dogs - or indeed our own dogs - especially those thought of as being 
more problematic.
Read More About Carolyn HERE

For Bookings & Further Information Please Email Lorraine 

19 February, 2014

If dogs were PG Rated would it help ?

Do we really need to put these on our dogs?

Once again the UK media has a fatal dog attack in its headlines.
Once again the victim is a baby, in this case not even a week old.
Facts are of course unclear, but one thing is definite, the dog & baby were in close enough proximity for this to happen.
In 2013 approx 25% of U.K households owned one or more dogs....8.5 million dogs in total.
In the same year there were 
7.7 Million households with dependant children (Out of 18.2 million total households)
From this we can deduce children & dogs are both prevalent in UK homes.

Every time we hear of one of these sad events there's a public outcry, ban certain breeds, ban all dogs, bring back dog licences, make owners take a test , educate owners & so the list goes on.
But surely if people are responsible enough to procreate, they are responsible enough to realise why ANY dog should not be left unsupervised with ANY child.
It seems not, not even the ultimate tragedy gets the message across to others, if anything these events seem to be increasing in  frequency. Do we really need government intervention to decide who can & who can't own dogs?

Most people when having their 1st baby get lots of advice, whether it be from family members, doctors,midwives, health visitors, books or magazines, there's lots available.
They buy things & prepare the home for the impending new arrival months in advance ..... this is the time to start preparing the family dog too.
A good trainer or behaviourist will have sensible advice & there's online literature available too, for free !
It should be as much a part of planning ahead as buying a pram & thinking of names.
Free Downloads available HERE & HERE , 

Of course there's always the scenario of introducing a puppy or dog into a home that already has children.
Again preparation, research & advice is essential & so will be supervision, for the life of the dog.

Potential owners should speak to dog owners they know, speak to breeders, or rescue centres, research breeds inside out, to ensure one is picked one that suits the family inside out....NOT because it looks cute, needs a home, or was bred by a friend/neighbour//relative.
Then enrol in a decent training class, one that will accept all the family & include the children in the sessions.
Children need to learn the dog is not a toy & parents must ensure boundaries are set & stuck too.
Free Downloads HERE  & HERE (Great site from the USA)

It's not all doom & gloom, if done right it can lead to a lifelong passion for dogs in a child.
Thanks Mum & Dad for teaching me to love & respect dogs.


31 January, 2014

K9 Capers DTC are very excited to announce this event 
To be held at Dogs Trust Harefield UB9 6JW

April 27th 2014

Scent1 One day workshop

This is your introduction to scentwork where you and your dog learn the basics.
Your dog will be introduced to a scent and will begin to work with you to give an active indication and find his reward.
You will learn about the scent picture, basic handling skills, free searching and blind searches.

Read more HERE
1 handler place remaining £70
  Spectators £30
Light refreshments included...Cafe on site for lunch, or bring your own.

To book, or for further details please Email

All dogs to be worked in  flat collars, or harnesses.
This activity is not suitable for dogs which have to be muzzled.
Dogs which need space welcome, please advise when booking. 

22 January, 2014

Shocking !!

Today the MP for Hendon, Matthew Offord, is in the House of Commons calling for a ban on shock collars.
These gadgets are readily available to members of the public, with no regulations covering their use or manufacture.
The excuses for their use I've heard today range from livestock chasing & escaping from the garden to leg humping & barking in the car. All the owners claimed to love their dogs & have their welfare at heart.
If you love something why would you want to inflict pain on it ?
Too many people want the perfect dog, unfortunately , like people, dogs are never perfect. Often what we see as unacceptable behaviour, is perfectly normal for a dog.
If a behaviour is harmful to the dog, other animals, or members of the public, it can be modified.
But, there is no such thing as a quick fix, these things take time & patience & in the meantime good management is needed.

Training.... should always be Force Free & Fun..for all parties !