Thursday, 26 February 2009

What has happened since last?

Well, the gorgeous Jax has come back to us for another long stay, until 14th April. Jiipii! Jax and Charley have been enjoying each others company so much today. I think Charley has missed having a friend to play with here.

Saturday we finished a puppy class that Katie Aquilina has been running and they are now moving on to a Basic Obedience course, also run by Katie (and me assisting). We just have to find a 4th dog to join their little group.

Pictures of their finale lesson and the other puppy classes that day are now up on the DogBasics Dogs gallery

We had the first special Basic Obedience training session on Sunday and I really enjoyed that. It was a big group of 9 dogs of different sizes, but it worked out very well. I liked the fact that we could move on very quickly from one exercise to another, because everyone knew what was expected. I might even put these sessions in a bit more often than just once per month. Watch this space!

Today I've been made aware of the WWF's Earth Hour campaign. I don't know how I could have missed it before now, but no harm, I've signed up and I've put a link to the page on all my web sites. Here is the same link for you, so you can sign up:

I've added a couple more video's to my YouTube account. Both are from socialising sessions. One is from 2005 with Jez Beagle, Frankie Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, Treacle Labrador, Humphrey Dandy Dinmond Terrier. The other one is from a social last year (2008) with Eddie Akita, Molly Springer and Sydney Golden X.

That is it for this time. Take care.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Jumping and nipping puppies

Recently I've had lots of questions about puppies that jump and nip. For those of you with new puppies and who haven't had puppies before, please let me reassure you that this is perfectly normal for puppies. It might seem full on and sometimes even deliberate, the way they charge at you and bowl you over, but it is just play on their part. If they had done the same to another puppy, they would most likely have got a great chase game out of it, but when they do it to a human the response is usually not very positive.

So how do you solve the problem? It is a natural behaviour for them, but we can't live with them behaving like that...

For the jumping up, I would set up as many training sessions as possible, with as many different people as possible, to help your puppy generalise that you should greet all 2 legged creatures without jumping.

Set the training up at home, where you can work with one person at a time. When they come through the door they should be prepared to turn their back on your puppy, if he/she jumps up. They should turn their back and make sure they don't talk to, touch or look at the puppy until he/she has all 4 paws on the ground. Lots of fuss if they puppy comes up with all paws on the ground from the beginning. You can alternate this with setting your friend up with a bag of treats before they come through the door and instruct them to be ready to drop a handful of treats (can also be the puppy's dry food) on the floor, before the puppy reaches them. This will give the puppy a chance to stay on all 4 paws, eating the treats, while the guest gives them a gentle stroke over their backs and moves along into the house, settling into a chair. This will teach the puppy that they don't have to greet guests by jumping up. Dogs often jump up to get to the corners of our mouth, to lick us there. It is their way of showing us that they are not a threat, that they are submissive. That is why it is so hard to get rid of the jumping up issue. The more aggressively you try to teach them not to jump up, the more need they feel to jump up! Poor things will be utterly comfused...

Friday, 6 February 2009

Snow, snow and more snow!

Well, it has been a very quiet week. No day dogs on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Well, Pippa did manage to come over on Wednesday, but she only lives next door. Leo managed to make his way up here today, but I fear he might not be able to go home tonight... it just won't stop snowing! We've got about 2 if not 3 decimetres of snow up in Offley now.

We did manage to go ahead with the Basic Obedience class on Wednesday, but Rufus's car ended up stuck in the snow and it took 4 of us to get it out. We did search exercises and recall mainly, so the dogs wouldn't have to spend too much time on their bottoms in the cold snow. They had a fantastic time playing around in the snow though.

For those of you with long haired dogs, I can give you a tip on how to get rid of the snow balls they get stuck in their leg and belly fur. Use a dog brush with thick metal pins (not the little bent pins) and brush their fur with when you get home. It will break up the snow balls and then you can just dry them with a towel! Saves an awful lot of time and saves the dog the pain of us trying to drag the snow balls out of their fur.

I've managed to work out how to add the YouTube video's to the blog, so you can see them above now. Not all the DogBasics videos are showing at once, so if you go to, you'll be taken to the YouTube site and you can not only see the video in a larger size, but you can also see ALL the DogBasics videos (they are saved under the username of LocalPetPeople). Maybe your dog will be in one of them? We've got Buster Chesapeake Bay Retriever and Bramble Lab, Amber Boxer, Lola Golden, Milo Boxer, Rosie Bulldog, Dillon Golden, Rosie Lab, Frida Golden, etc.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Life after tax returns...

I'm sorry I haven't written anything for quite a while, I've been trying to concentrate on my tax return. I'm one of those people who need the panic to set in, when I realise I have less than a week to complete it, to actually get it done. For the first time ever, I manage to finish it about 24 hours before the deadline!

We had a great weekend with all the dogs in both puppy classes and Basic Obedience classes doing really well. Shame it was so windy and cold though!

I've got some really nice groups running at the moment and they are all doing so well. I must remember to bring my camera with me, so I can take pictures of all these gorgeous dogs, especially when they are training. If you've brought your camera to class at some point and have pictures of the training, please send them to me. You can see the playing pictures of your dogs on

Just had a discussion about training in the snow with Pam Haynes ( She's hoping it disappears by the weekend, but I would rather it stayed. My personal experience is that the dogs are easier to get into sits, downs and stays in snow, than it is to get them to do it on wet muddy ground. What is your experience with your dogs?

I hope you can all enjoy the snow while it is here. Today is a glorious day for dog walks!