Blogs

Weather for dogs?

I’ve just been reading on the internet about the dog show going on in Blackpool yesterday. Apparently the winds were so strong that the tent blew down. Fortunately, most owners and dogs had been evacuated by then, although from some accounts there was confusion about what was going on. To read what I’ve been reading, visit the Champdogs site, (www.champdogsforum.co.uk/) and go to the showing section.

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Animal husbandry and wifery

Last week I interviewed Jennifer Keene, author of We Can’t Stay Together for the Dogs. She was fascinating to talk to and has written a thoughtful, useful book.
Jennifer is an experienced dog trainer who has personally navigated the potential minefield of divorce. She has some excellent and relevant advice about how couples splitting up can avoid upsetting or unsettling their dogs any more than they have to. There are so many issues involved here; communication can become difficult, and it’s impossible to explain to a dog why his routine is changing.

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Britain's got talent - and so has Buddy

Every time I see heelwork to music performed, I feel the urge to have a go. I never get round to it – until recently that is. So I phoned the nearest heelwork to music trainer I could find and had a very enjoyable chat on the phone with her.
Not only had I contacted a lovely person – Carole Thornley, who runs Aricia Dog Training (www.ariciadogtraining.co.uk/ ) – but she also happens to be the trainer who worked for years with Kate and Gin who have just competed in Britain’s Got Talent. Kate and Gin made it to the final ten competitors, and their performances were breathtaking.

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Bronze Medal (well certificate anyway)

Last night Buddy and I passed the test for the Bronze level of the Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen Scheme. Hooray!
It was great to know that all our work for the last few weeks has been worth it, and we displayed our certificate and rosette prominently at home. Even though he was fairly well trained before, this more formal training has switched his brain back into work mode. He listens a lot more now, and he certainly walks on a lead better, because he responds much more to verbal commands and so he doesn’t get to the point of pulling.

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A dog you should check out

I recently interviewed J.F. Englert author of "A Dog About Town". In the novel Harry and his "plump, poetry loving" dog are confronted by loss, and dangers of all kinds, but gamely rise to the challenge and solve a murder mystery - thanks in no small part to the aforementioned dog!
The interview will be in episode 66 of DogCast Radio, and it was a great pleasure to finally talk to J.F. I thoroughly enjoyed his first book, and I was very interested in finding out what the inspiration was for Randolph, the highly intelligent canine narrator of the books.

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If you go down to the woods today.....

Eye contact

I recently read Merle’s Door by Ted Kerasote. (www.kerasote.com/) This is an amazing book, that I do recommend you read. Merle is a young dog living wild when he meets Ted, and the book tells the story of how they educated each other. One of the doors that the title refers to is a dog door that Ted installed in his house.

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A leading question

We hear a lot these days about Deed not Breed, but maybe the truth is that some dog owners are more dangerous than their dog – whatever the breed! An incident in Birmingham, UK, recently raised the possibility of “dog rage”.

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Sheepdog worrying

Sheepdog waiting

Are you a worrier? I am. I can worry about anything. One of the things I had been worrying about was a local sheepdog.

Many of the dogs in my rural part of the country are working sheepdogs, and they seem to be allowed a great degree of freedom. I worry about how much freedom they are given, as it always strikes me that they might very well run into the road and be injured. I also worry that they might very well run into the road and attack Buddy or Star as we walk past. Mainly though, they know their boundaries and stick to watching my car drive by, or to just barking at me and my dogs.

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Buddy's Bid for Citizenship

Buddy is starting the Bronze Good Citizenship Dog Scheme
Last night Buddy and I started a Bronze Good Citizenship Dog Scheme course of lessons.
The scheme is run by the Kennel Club and promotes responsible dog ownership. Not only do you have to train your dog to do certain tasks, but you as the owner have to know certain things. One of the most important of these to me is that you have to demonstrate that you are carrying some form of poop scoop.

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All you need is love


We recently visited expert dog trainer, shepherd, artist, illustrator and retired vicar Graeme Sims. (www.graemesims.com ) His latest book is The Dog Whisperer How to Train Your Dog Using its Own Language, which allows readers to access Graeme’s gentle but effective dog training methods.

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