I wanted to write this blog post today to share with everyone that no one is perfect. We all make mistakes. We all have embarrassing moments. We all have cock ups. Okay so that sounds pretty deep right? And could … Continue reading
I’m always comparing myself to other people, I’m awful at it. They’re faster than me, they’re stronger than me, they’re more confident than me. As I’ve been learning to run I’ve constantly been comparing my time and pace to others, … Continue reading
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how overwhelmed Zebby is when he gets to busy places, either where there are lots of people, lots of dogs and/or a combination of both with added new smells and lots going on, … Continue reading
When we want to change a dogs behaviour there’s often a lot of different tools and options we can use to try and do this. One of the most common dilemmas we can find ourselves in is the choice between … Continue reading
I don’t do early mornings, so for me to be pulling up outside of my friend’s house at 7am in the dark to head off for a dog training conference I must either be ill or expecting something brilliant. And … Continue reading
It’s true. I use a flexi lead a lot. I actually love my flexi lead. And I’m going to explain why. Flexi leads, also known as retractable leads, are long lines where the lead extends out of a plastic handle … Continue reading
For a while now there have been calls and campaigns for a 4th height to be added to Kennel Club (KC) agility. To briefly explain, at the moment there are three jump heights in KC agility; Small, Medium & Large. … Continue reading
I’m sure you’ve heard that famous saying… “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas.” I’ve seen a few blog posts popping up about this now and I know that some rescue centres won’t rehome dogs in the week … Continue reading
Dog poo… it’s not a pleasant subject (which is why I’ve waited until after tea time to post this) but it’s one that needs to be discussed. Dog foul is one of the most complained about environmental issues to local … Continue reading
I know I’ve already blogged about bonfire night but I just really want to emphasise how important it is to look after your pets tonight, all pets, not just your dog. If your cat is normally outside it may be … Continue reading
Okay so this bat aint so scary, but seriously, it’s actually a really unpleasant time for dogs at the moment. Halloween, as fun as it can be, is full of people in weird-looking costumes that smell funny, all very confusing … Continue reading
The nights are drawing in! Isn’t it funny (and annoying) how you find yourself repeating those clichés your grandmother and your mum used to say… you know, right about the time you think “I’m starting to sound like my mother!”. But … Continue reading
This morning a notification popped up on my phone telling me that lots of folk were tweeting about #NationalDogDay (don’t you just love technology)! Who knew! There’s a day for dogs?! It’s hardly surprising that man’s best friends has got a … Continue reading
Today is Guinness’ 6th birthday! He’ll be getting lots of fuss, long walks and fun! 6 feels pretty old, but the truth is he still runs around the place like a hooligan, he still plays all day and sleeps all … Continue reading
So you’ve decided you want a puppy. You’ve got the time to give a new puppy, you can afford the lifelong cost, the whole family are on board and you’re ready to get one… but hold on! Now that you’re … Continue reading
Do you follow Victoria Stilwell’s page on facebook? If not I strongly suggest you do! Couldn’t have put it better myself! It’s time to move on, for the better.
Not a chore. Not a battle. It should be engaging, pleasurable, beneficial. So many dogs are rehomed because they are “not useful” to their owners. Is your dog useful? Do you get something out of having your dog? We all … Continue reading
Yesterday afternoon I was sat on the floor of the NEC with a latte still contemplating what I was going to write about. And then it dawned on me how Crufts has become split into two halves, especially so over … Continue reading
If you only read one thing this year… please read this!
Dig It Dog Training Club have published a blog that busts some of the most common dog training myths! In this day and age a lot of us now know to ignore Cesar Millan, not to bite our dogs ears and to treat them with kindness and respect.
However some of us still need a gentle reminder and education of what is correct!
This blog answers questions such as;
- Should I alpha roll my dog?
- Do I need to eat before my dog?
- Is my little pug a wolf at heart?
- Can I let my dog sleep in my bed with me?
Please follow the link and find out the true answers!
Crufts is an exciting time of year for all dog owners and lovers. As a competitor it is the agility that really catches my eye. Ever since I was young I watched the agility on the TV and said, “I want to do that one day”. As I’ve got older and wiser I now start to notice the slips on the carpet, the lack of rubber and the bouncy seesaw, however lets not dwell on the bad.
Shopping is a big part of Crufts. Toys, treats, equipment and clothing. You can buy any sort of toy at Crufts! Cage balls, tennis balls, fleece, stuffed animals, fur, you name it. My ideal agility toy is something on a bungee tug that is high value. Voila, I found a tennis ball on a bungee! Perfecto. There were a few stalls selling garden agility equipment, easy put together jumps, hoops, tunnels and weaves. They’re ideal for having a bit of fun with your dog which is the perfect way to introduce agility to pet dog owners.
Health equipment is also growing in popularity and promotion of health products and activities were seen throughout the show. Hydrotherapy, herbal supplements, tablets for joints, digestion, you name it and you can find something which “helps”. Plus peanuts, balance cushions and fitpaws!
The DogBooksOnline.co.uk store left me quite confused! There was a huge choice of agility books to buy, including course diagrams and training exercises. I really didn’t know which to choose so I played it safe and left them all!
What really caught my eye was the Halequin Agility demo on the Eukanuba stall. I arrived just in time as a lovely lady with a great dane was demonstrating wobble cushions and the exercises to do on them with your dog. She talked about muscles and strengthening exercises and was really enthusiastic about keeping dogs fit. It was brilliant to see and I hope it wasn’t just me that thought so. It’s so enlightening to see more and more health and fitness demonstrations appearing.
I challenge you to go away from Crufts without learning something new, no matter how knowledgeable you think you are! The Kennel Club have a big activities section with a little box full of people to answer your questions on agility, as well as free handouts. The activities ring also held some agility demonstrations throughout the day.
I was most interested to see Agility1st there! Set up by former KC International Team Coach, Steve Croxford, and current KC GB Team Manager, Mark Laker, Agility1st is a training and accreditation scheme for Agility instructors and coaches. It not only offers you a chance to be recognised and proven as an agility instructor it also offers you training and improvement opportunities! This is the first Agility specific dog training scheme that I have come across and I think it is a hugely positive step forward for agility! (Unfortunately I didn’t get chance to speak to them).
Into the main arena and this is where the magic happens! I could sit in there all day (at least until the Group judging starts perhaps). There are plenty of big competitions held at Crufts and its one of the sought after goals for many agility careers. Novice, ABC, International and Championship classes allows for a wide variety of people to get their chance in the limelight.
I really enjoyed the courses this year (apart from a few contacts-into-nowhere) and they all ran fast and flowing! There seemed to be less slips and skids than I’ve seen before (maybe due to course design or the dogs being more prepared) and there was some tight competition! The crowd love the agility and there was one person behind me in particular that was squealing, gasping and whooping! I love hearing other people’s enthusiasm. My friends and I enjoying watching the decisions made by competitors, talking about what we would have done and discussing the different international handling styles and methods. Plus the best thing is you can go home and watch all again on youtube!
Crufts is becoming more and more diverse and I feel that the attention is starting to creep away from the show dogs a little. Of course it will always be the biggest and most prestigious dog show in the World, however you can certainly enjoy a visit even if you have grubby farm collies at home and no interest in hairspray for dogs.
I went home full of ideas for my agility classes, motivation and inspiration to work on my own training and my purse was much lighter! A great weekend!