Thursday, 10 April 2014

Residential Guests

Sophie has just returned home having spent the past few weeks staying with me as a residential training guest. An 11 month old German Shepherd, she was very responsive and a quick learner which has made it a joy to train her.
At different stages of training Paul took over, just to make sure the she would  do the same thing for him as well as for me, which she did. And on collection, Sophie's owner was met by a new, calmer dog who wouldn't run away ! 

Meet Buster, an 18 month old Cavachon (Cavalier King Charles x Bichon Frise).
It took a day or two to see the real dog but now I know I've one cheeky and very affectionate lad living with me. This photograph seems to sum Buster up !
At the moment he's working in my field on the long line but it's only a matter of time before this is removed and he'll have more freedom ..... and I'll be confident that he will return to me on his name or whistle every time he hears it !


Wednesday, 12 March 2014

My residential training guests

Meet Dolly, a young German Shorthaired Pointer who's a residential guest of mine. She really is a lovely dog and has grown in confidence over the past three weeks. On arrival she wouldn't sit to the command and never have stayed - how things change !
Her willingness to please has made Dolly a real pleasure to work with.

Dolly enjoys a blow dry
Ten month old Sophie arrived only a few days ago for residential training. A German Shepherd, she had started to make her owner's life somewhat of a misery with her antics and behaviour.
Paul, who likes German Shepherds, has been helping me to train her and we agree that she is on her best behaviour with both of us. Sophie's road work, heel work etc. is really good and I think this photo says alot about her. Being early days, she is not off the lead but being trained in our field on a long line which in time will come off when we're confident she will come to the recall every time.

Recent floods have been a welcome relief for some dogs, fed up with walking in continuous rain ! My dog Annie floods them more than most !

Annie the Working Clumber

Now here's a dog in a hurry ! Paul's 10 month old Working Cocker Sumo is a water babe through and through.
But what's he in a rush for ?

Why the rush Sumo ?

Now this looks interesting. But what's he looking for ?

No snorkel needed

Good grief  - how did he know that was there. He really has a fantastic nose on him when he can smell through water !

Treasure found

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

BIG DOGS .... and little ones

Rottweilers are a majestic breed though bad press over the years has tarred them as a dog to be wary of. But as the past owner of a beautiful – and soft – Rottie, I believe that a lot of it has been unjustified. 
Recently I worked with 10 month Anna. This beautiful rescue dog had travelled with her owners from Cheshire for one of my day courses and was a joy to work with.

A proud looking Anna

Last week I had clients who'd travelled all the way from the Isle of Bute for one of my day courses. Lara, a Mastiff, and her owner stayed locally, allowing them to be wide awake for the day ! It was wonderful to work with a very dedicated owner and his young dog who'd been collected from a rescue centre just two months ago.
Lara .........
........ paying attention at the right time.

Meanwhile Bonnie has gone home. She arrived in September for residential training and stayed much longer than usual due to her owners commitments. She was somewhat lost when she arrived though slowly Bonnie became an obedient and confident little dog. I'd really become attached to her and saying goodbye was a tearful affair ! But that's what dogs can do.
A last hug with Bonnie before she went home for good

Working down the size order of dogs, my next guest is Lulu, the Yorkshire Terrier. Yes she is cute, to use an Americanism. Trotting around the kitchen with her jumper on, I call her name and she comes to me with a smile on her face. Sadly she is not a fan of other dogs so shies away from playing with them ...... in favour of a nice warm lap !!


Another recent guest was Cedar, the Brittany Spaniel. Give her an inch and she'll take a mile but she is a very loving dog. She always wants to please which makes her a real pleasure to have.


And finally meet Nellie, the car surfing dog. She is one of Fran's Working Cocker Spaniels. Fran's three dogs would accompany her on her gamekeeping duties with the older two in the back and the youngster in the front. Trouble is daredevil Nellie sometimes looked for an adrenalin rush. A closer look at the photograph will show it doesn't get much better than having an 8 month old brother at the wheel !!

Nellie on top, Cash at the wheel and Maddie playing it safe at the back

Friday, 3 January 2014

It's been rather wet

The recent weather has dominated things at Toddle Cottage, as the photograph further down shows. The rain and floods are one thing but when the winds become gale force for hour upon hour, it sadly restricts the height Paul can walk the dogs at. However, road walks ensures that heelwork is kept up to scratch !

However, meet anxious looking Arthur, who has travelled up from Bristol to spend a few weeks with me.
This little lad has plenty of behavioural issues, but given time I'm confident that I'll be able to sort most of them out and give him a new lease of life.

One concern he arrived with was a sudden need to bite one of his legs when out for a walk. It's wondereful that the little dog  seems to have forgotten about this and is enjoying being out ..... now for the next problem !


Two photographs featuring Honey, a lovely young Lab who's also just arrived for residential training.
The first few days showed me that I had a rather stubborn youngster on my hands but we've now gone past that stage and are now working on the basics with very satisfying results.

....... and again

It's hard to imagine that only 4 hrs before this photograph was taken I was in the field training one of the dogs. At the time, only the far end was flooding, but as you can see, things changed rather quickly !

It's been raining !

Paul took this photo of Annie as she sat on my lap (dog trainers do have a soft spot!), looking at me turning the light on. He always seems to have his camera close at hand and noticed just how much my 6 mth old concentrating.

" Watch what happens when I pull this !! "

And finally, Paul was very pleased with the new bed I bought for his young lad Sumo. Unfortunately his dog viewed things differently and proceeded to treat it as a bone ! But his loss is another's gain - though quite why Charlie thinks "his" new bed needs a peep hole is beyond me!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

I've gone back to school

Annie is now 5 months old and being a Clumber Spaniel, she's been blessed with a wonderful sense of smell. 
With the help of two members of the mountain rescue I've opted to put this to good use by training her to track, rather than the alternative gundog. These are still early days and as a young dog with alot of growing still to do, distance is limited but so far things look really promising.

Paul lets Annie sit on the front seat while I've popped into a shop !

Seeing four dogs of the same colour and size looks contrived but trust me it's not.
I caught these four sharing one bed in front of the Aga. Now if this is not cosy then what is ??
Paul tends to leave his camera in the kitchen which allowed me to use it without any disturbance, although on reflection I doubt anything or anyone could have made these four move !

l to r: Charlie Maddie,Nellie and Cash

Meet Swift, a sevn month old Vizsla who decided to show me his serious and scary look ! But these looks do not portray his character, which is that of a lovely soft lad.

Swift without ears ........

........ and with ears.

I see beds of all shapes and sizes, but sometimes it's not the actual owner who sleeps on it - just ask poor Milo. The only time he would have fitted onto this bed would have been for the first few days of his life !
Given how the lad may have been feeling Paul felt that the "red eye" problem (from the flash) was very apt


And these are the dogs claiming squatters rights on Milo's bed.It's obviously not a guilt that keeps any of them awake !

Charlie Tilly and Cedar
Yet again Charlie is more than happy to doze off anywhere - and use anything as a pillow.Pity HRH withat big head on her !

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Saying "goodbye".

Not many things tug at my heart strings and cause me to reach for the tissues, but dogs are the exception. So you can imagine how I was when it came to saying "goodbye" to two of the three pups I had.
My lads are now living in Kent with fabulous owners who are fully experienced with Clumber Spaniels. It was wonderful to receive this photograph of Bill, having made himself at home !!

Travelling from Cumbria to Kent is a tiring journey !

Running the business means long hours, with early starts and quite late finishes. Paul was on "early" duties recently and was met by this beautiful sunrise.

It's not always raining in Cumbria
Our Chihuahua Honey is never left out of anything - she makes sure of that ! And like all the dogs, travel means riding in the safety of the transit box in our truck.

Back seat driver Honey
Meet 9 mth old Sidney, a Dutch Shepherd who has travelled from Portsmouth to stay with me for the next few weeks to be trained. Even at this young age he is a very strong dog, though thankfully the pulling he arrived with is a thing of the past !


Friday, 4 October 2013

Good enough to eat ?

Bonnie arrived earlier this month for training and the first problem I encountered was a simple one - to make her sit. While she would do so on hearing the rustle of a sweet wrapper in my pocket, the actual command was met with stubborn resistance !
But thankfully my persistence has paid off.
This little dog is testing me in many ways and she is not an easy case. But Bonnie has different issues and problems and no doubt because of these, I've developed an even softer spot for her than I usually do with my guests.
"Janet .....
.... I like you !"
Meanwhile live wire Albert is really doing well - when he stops wagging his tail and bottom ! This young Springer is also in for training and after a few initial hiccups has turned the corner and is really doing well. The long line is a distant memory with only the lead still occasionally needed, though as this photograph shows, that will be off soon.
Albert focusing just on me
Now what on earth is going on here ? Is there a hunt going on ?
It certainly looks that way as the sharks circle in on their prey ! Run Honey, Run !!
"I don't know about you Bill, but from this angle I think we're looking at  ....
... DINNER !!!"