I, rather unusually for me, checked the weather forecast last night and it said snow. I still didn’t expect to wake up to this …
I love snow … But I love snow in winter, I had just started getting used to the lovely warm sunshine and distinct lack of mud underfoot. Our puppies (not technically puppies any more as it was their first birthday on Monday) however were LOVING the snow. They have only seen snow once or twice and so lapped our garden about 20 times, chasing each other and rolling around in the snow!
Up early on what is traditionally my ‘lie in day’ as my first appointment is over in Seacroft with a ‘huge’ lab who is pulling his owner over. I’ve no idea if he is a big dog for his breed or just been eating too many pies!. Whichever it is he will seem positively tiny in comparison to the stunning Neopolitan Mastiff I was with with on Tuesday who had a penchant for jumping up at people. Eeeeek!
It’s been a real mixture so far this week – garden barking, protective dogs, dog aggression, adorable puppies, a couple with equally funny and adorable children as their pals, giant dogs who knock people flying (and put them in hospital😬), labs who think they are sled dogs and a bit of puppy aggression to sort out.
I think quote of the week goes to a lovely funny little five year old girl I was teaching with her puppy, Charlie. On asking her how she knows when her puppy is happy she replied “he sits down and his willy sticks out and turns pink”
What a star 😂
Enjoy the sunshine!
We have five dogs, a cat and a tortoise … yes I know that’s a little crazy (we did have three rats too but unfortunately they all recently passed away), all the dogs are very very different in looks and temperament so there is never a dull moment. They all get on great and snuggle up together (yes, even the cat and the tortoise!!).
I’ll start with Leon, he is a rather large, handsome Rottweiler, nearly six years old. He is a big baby except when it comes to protecting his home and family. He likes to spend his evenings watching our Tortoise François potter around the living room, after nearly three years of living together he is the only dog who still can’t quite work out what he is!
Lola is my darling girl, an American Bulldog cross Staffordshire Bull Terrier, she is about eight now and was rescued from a flat where she had been locked in and left to starve nearly six years ago. She is gorgeous, I’d trust her with my life, plus she is very food orientated so she is always eager to learn. Princess, what can I say about Princess? She is our pretty, but very, very greedy, 5 year old Chihuahua (standard not teacup) and currently on a diet (yet again) as it can no longer be blamed on ‘baby weight’ after having her puppies last year. Which brings me on to Ethel and Tinkerbell, her puppies, adorable is the only word to describe them. Despite always being a ‘big dog’ girl in the past I totally and utterly get why people love having little dogs now. Totally different from each other in looks and character they are hairy little things as their dad is the tiniest teacup Yorkshire Terrier I have ever seen. Sherlock, our cat is cool as a cucumber and just gets on with it in a house full of dogs.
I have loved animals, and dogs in particular, since being a very small child but the field of dog behaviour has been my main interest for more than 14 years when I first started undertaking Canine Psychology courses.
From around 1998 until 2006 I worked for a local rescue centre as a volunteer, spending time on a daily basis walking dogs, fostering puppies and spending time with the many cruelty cases they took in with their varied behaviour problems. One of my own dogs at the time, Billy, had some behavioural problems and wanting to understand and help him sparked my interest in dog training and behaviour. I took dog assessment courses on behalf of the charity and canine behaviour courses and also spent several years as a trustee.
Since then I have passionately enjoyed learning about dog behaviour and along with years of hands on working with dogs I have undertaken courses with Compass Education, IABTC and The Animal Care College including – and as often as possible I attend seminars run by well known behaviourists as there is always something new to be learnt. I am currently working towards my KCAI accreditation with the Kennel Club.
I am a presenter for Family Dog and Doggone Safe (Be a tree), both of which are aimed at helping children learn how to be safe around dogs.
Last Friday I went to see Adele for the open day for her new dog daycare centre in Ilkley. Its way, way, off the beaten track in lovely rolling fields with fenced off areas for dogs who love nothing better than sniffing, digging, playing and romping around in the fresh air. It was a bit chilly that morning but hot coffee and several biscuits later during my tour we have come up with a plan to provide a service for Adele’s clients to have one to one training sessions whilst in daycare. After an initial phone call or meeting with the dog’s owners to find out what their training issues are I can provide one off or weekly/monthly training sessions with the dogs whist they are at the day centre. I know people have busy lives and may just need a little extra help to speed up their pet’s training whilst they are busy at work. This obviously must run alongside sessions with their owner at home to update on progress and make sure they know how to continue their training on a day to day basis. There is also a small area for classes.
I had a lovely morning and I really hope Adele makes a big success of her new venture, it was lovely to see all the dogs playing happily together and pottering round on their own rooting around in all the trees and bushes. Follow the link below to have a look … she also picks up and drops off the dogs so if you fancy letting your dog have a ‘play day’ give her a ring.
Well, what have I done this week? Its school holidays so quieter than usual as I like spending time with my boys. The training room is still out of action because of a leak in the roof so I have been all over the place visiting dogs at their homes. Though often its much better to see dogs in their ‘natural environment’ to see how they (and their humans) behave at home if clients live a little too far away it means I can fit them in sooner if they can come to me.
An unusual week as Ive had cats and guinea pigs to feed which has been fun as they are all lovely. Ron (one of the cats) doesn’t even mind me giving him his tablets! 🙂
I few dogs of I have met this week: A very exuberant but beautiful Red Fox Lab in Harrogate who was just too excited and super bouncy about everything in his life and needed to learn to chill. I have also ordered his owner a harmony harness to help with his pulling as he has a back problem so teaching Hunter not to pull like a steam train needed urgent attention. Monty the miniature Schnauzer over in Farsley looked like butter wouldn’t melt with his adorable little face – “its always the quiet ones” hahahaha – can’t wait to go back in a couple of weeks to see how he is doing with his ‘screaming’ at other dogs. Had loads of fun with two adorable Springer pups on Thursday, Piper and Poppy. Poppy is starting to copy all the older pup’s bad habits and needed to help Piper’s owners solve her serious lead pulling issues before Poppy is allowed out for walks and tries to do the same. Rosie the labradoodle won my heart this week, her owners just need to first undo Rosies ‘I have to give my paw eveytime I am asked to sit’ behaviour so they can start with some focus practice without getting pawed at every time she looks at them! . It won’t take long though, it’s a habit easily taught by accident as a puppy and can be undone easily with plenty of rewards and consistent marking of the right behaviour.
….. Then my handbrake cable snapped, so off to the garage I go.