Friday, 10 October 2014

Training dogs not to chase sheep !

My working week introduces me to new dogs and owners all the time, and while I often get emails thanking me for how the dog now behaves, I rarely get a photograph. But that changed this morning and it's made my day ! Zee, a beautiful GSD, couldn't resist chasing sheep and even more alarming, grabbing a mouthful of fleece. So I worked with her on this bad habit and she now has a lot more respect for the animals. But I only did the ground work. Well done to her owner - A - for continuing with Zee's training.



A recent email mentioned a breed I was unfamiliar with - a BRT. The Black Russian Terrier is a mix of approx. different breeds, inc. Giant Schnauzers and Rottweilers. One of their key attributes is a strong protective instinct, which is why the owners had purchased theirs'. But at only 14 weeks old, I didn't have too much to worry about when I made a home visit to help out. The two pics are off the web as I didn't have my camera with me at the time.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Keeping it in the family

With day courses, training lessons, residential training dogs and boarding dogs starting to put a strain on us, we have asked our eldest daughter Rachel to join the business - something she did with a huge smile on her face !filling up my days from dawn to dusk, Rachel is very capable of working with dogs, be it training or walking on the hills, though her main work is being a Reiki Practitioner working with animals.
Her first role - and with the blessing of his owner, has been to train the basics to a 5 month old Miniature Schnauzer who goes by the name of Henry.
Proof of her ability to train has been demonstrated over the past 2 weeks since Henry arrived. He'd become far too big for his boots at home with no respect for his owner, whose hands he would bite !
However Rachel's calm but firm approach has seen this little lad change from a thug into a dog who fully respects her and the commands she gives. At 5 months of age there's still much he has to learn but he has made a brilliant start. Well done Rach !

"I love you Rachel"!
Meet Henry

A day in the life of ..... Janet finished late this afternoon working with two dogs, one of whom was aggressive towards other dogs. It was interesting to see how she dealt with them, from the moment they were brought out of their car, hyper and with tails in the air, to the moment they returned, calm, tails down and altogether much better behaved.
The "aggressive" one became very passive when introduced to three other dogs ..... no doubt realising just who was on the other end of the lead ! (Paul)
Janet in full flow

Paul and me have often mentioned that we should keep some sort of record detailing a training dogs' progress as it stays with us, and now having decided to do so, the lucky dog we have chosen is Bonnie !
For obvious reasons we can't say too much about her background, other than to say her socialisation was very limited and sadly she appears to have missed out on being walked.
But she is making up for it now as she progresses with the training. Paul and her have really hit it off and after a week of being with us she has learnt to sit, to stay at a distance, and to walk to heel on a slack lead. But best of all she has learnt to have fun ! Paul had to encourage her to run as he held the 25 ft lunge line, which was quite fitting as Bonnie decided to run around him just like a horse. But as the pics show, she's also found that a rubber ring can be fun. She has so much more to learn but she is a lovely girl, wanting to please which makes training her really enjoyable and rewarding. Watch out for future posts on Bonnie !!

Bonnie

Toddle Cottage. Home of a melancholic Clumber named Annie.
"Cheer up Annie, you could be on the floor with the rest of them !"
Annie

Before any dog boards with me I need to have them stay on a 24 hr try out, so as to see if basically they like us and we like them. I don't want a highly stressed dog staying with me .... but there again, I don't particularly want one who puts their feet under the table too quickly - or on it !!
Meet Sage, who Paul caught as he came inside having taken a couple of snaps outside. As you can see, she was in no rush to get off !
Next visit we'll lay new carpets for Sage

OK, every family has a wally, but in this case it's a Charlie. Can you see where the lad is watching Jet from?
Where is Charlie ?!!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

And now for the sad news.

Wally needs a new home.

This 2 year old Collie
who has been staying with me for residential training over the past few weeks.
For personal reasons, Wally's owners are unable to have him back, meaning he is now looking for a new home.

So what does this lad need ? At the very least :-

A person / couple with experience of the breed is a must.
No families.
A rural home.
The person / couple must be prepared to give time in continuing with his training must have patience in abundance.

Wally is a young lad with issues ( NOT due to his owners), but as I have found, if you work hard you will slowly gain his trust, the issues diminish and with it he obeys commands.

I have put alot of time and emotion into this youngster and we have started to really bond so expect a few tears from me when I say goodbye to him.

If you think you could offer Wally a home with the above and a whole lot more, contact me through FB or my website - 
http://www.cumbria-dog-training.com/
But please, only serious enquiries.

Janet

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

What a wonderful "job" I have.

The challenges thrown up by a dog staying for residential training can be many and varied - that's why they're here in the first place.
Wally, a young Border Collie is a prime example. A real fear of traffic made lead work very difficult, with the young lad pulling furiously, but little by little we are achieving success. These are still early days, but I feel Wally is trusting us more and more and with that will come even better results.
The sight of a loose lead when faced with on-coming traffic is wonderful - well done Wally !


A loose lead on a relaxed dog

The sharpness of Wally's eyes

"Car ? What car Janet ?"

A beautiful young dog giving me his undivided attention.
The BFG -aka Chester- has returned for a few days boarding. By the looks of things, his relaxation in the river was quickly disturbed by Sumo- who can't understand why any dog would want to relax on holiday. Surely that's when you can have more fun than usual ?!
Poor Chester ! He ends up looking broken, sitting on his bottom holding only a small piece of "his" stick. Same time next year Chester ?

Time to relax ......
... before that pesky Sumo bothers me !
One big dog with a stick
One little dog with the same stick
One broken and dispirited dog with the end of his stick !
The feeling I (and Paul) get from training gives us a real sense of satisfaction and the drive to carry on with even the most difficult of dogs. One such dog was Magda, a young Cockerpoo. 
She was very uneasy around other dogs, wouldn't think twice about having a snap at a hand ( through nervousness) and would be the last dog to have outside the house without a lead on.
But how things have changed !
Paul has worked hard with her and she is now a different character. Today he decided that she was good enough to be trusted off lead on a "proper" walk, and to his great delight she rarely went further than a few yards before checking in with him. No interest in sheep or running away either and as usual, he had his camera at hand to record the event !



No lead, just a beautiful view which Magda is enjoying

The freedom to run for miles - but she never does
We've hit the summit, out of breath but happy !

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Me and my girls

Dogs have always been a part of my life, even as a child. But it wasn't until the summer of 2010 that I finally had my own dog.
I collected Tilly, a Clumber Spaniel when she was only 8 weeks old and I think the world of her. Training was not always easy due to her stubborn and headstrong nature but I persevered and she's turned into a wonderful dog and friend.
Last year she had a litter of pups and I kept one - Annie.
On a recent (and rare) day out with just our own dogs, Paul took these two photographs of me and my gang !

This is my advanced training class
Me, Tilly and Annie
The only dog I lack confidence in handling personally is an Akita - and the reason is simple. 
Several years ago I was attacked whilst training. One minute I was standing, talking to the owner, the next I was on the ground trying desperately to defend myself from being bitten (in vain), as the owner finally managed to drag the damned animal off me.
Now you have a little background information, it' s quite clear why these pics of Troy are always with his owner !
Troy came to me today for "sheep chasing" amongst other things, and despite my "hands off" approach, the two hour lesson went very well and was successful. And judging by the 2nd pic, Troy never wants to see another sheep in his life.
Troy, a young Akita
Troy never wants to see another sheep again !

Paul and I are both feeling sad for a dog who isn't even ours.
Blue, a 13 month old German Shepherd, arrived a matter of days ago for 2 months of residential training. Paul ( a fan of GSD's) began the initial work and immediately mentioned that the youngster didn't sit or really walk as he should.
A trip to the vets (with the owners consent) for an x-ray has revealed advanced hip dysplasia and the knowledge that Blue is in a lot of discomfort. So this weekend his owners are coming to collect him and poor Blue has an uncertain future.


Paul’s young lad Sumo has just had his first birthday. If ever there was a Mutual Appreciation Society these two would be in it !

"Is this okay for you Dad "?






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 ! 

Sophie
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 !


Buster

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.

Sophie
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