We often get questions in the shop about dog training in and around Leek, we are happy to recommend organisations which we have personal experience of, in fact we would not think of recommending them if we did not know them individually. Love Walkies which is owned by K-9 behaviourist Rachel Trafford holds classes every Sunday at Longsdon Village Hall. Rachel has over 20 years working experience with dogs initially as a veterinary nurse and then with greater focus on re-training and re-homing rescue or “difficult” dogs. If you want to find out more about the dog training offered by Rachel and her team then why not pop along to the Love Walkies website.
We just love this poster which describes why dogs need their own space and how what one owner thinks is Ok for their dog might not work for you. We often get worried ourselves on walks when a big dog runs up towards our two pooches so no wonder sometimes our dogs get scared too!
This and other posters from the talented Lili Chin will be on display in our shop in the information area so watch this space for more of these great designs which we think get the message across in a very colourful way.
What do you think, do you let your dogs off the lead to run up to other dogs? Have you been scared of a strange dog running towards you and yours at speed?
It has been a few years (15 to be precise) since I did any type of proper dog training so I was interested to see how training methods have changed over the years. Off we trotted with Ozzy McDougal last night to his 1st puppy training class. It was great fun, I have never seen so many grown men and women smile so much, just seeing the variety of pups with their owners, comparing stories of house training accidents, chewing incidents and general misdemeanours executed by their respective bundles of fur reminded me why I love dogs. Each pup had their own personality, the cute as a button Henry the poodle won the prize for his scampering while looking uber cute ability. Alfie the minature schnauzer was more than a match for our rather boisterous pup, who always barks above his weight and will tackle a larger dog most of the time, (more of that later). The very well behaved Benny a beagle who was excellent at walking to heel, sit and down, most of which Ozzy excelled in being terrible at. To be fair to the little guy last night was the first time he has been in an enclosed place with so many dogs and people, so his excitement button was turned up to the max! Being a completely bad dog mother I had forgotten that I should not have fed him before the session, or at least I should have given him reduced portions, never the less he did almost chew my thumb off trying to get to his treats. Not because he wanted the treat really, more because he wanted to remove the distraction that was stopping him getting to anyone or anything except me. So the class started with teaching the sit command, Ozzy can manage this at home as we always make him sit before he gets anything, a toy, a treat, his food so he managed that one OK, in between anxious glances to the rest of the room. Next came down or lie down, his performance at this was useless and all I managed to do was confuse the little tyke, so some homework for us both I think. We then tried the watch me command, he was not too bad at this having got a little more used to the level of activity around him, but the behaviour was more snap the treat and get on to watching something more exciting. Fetch was next and he was a little star...almost, we do this a lot at home so I waited patiently for my turn, and told him to fetch, he did not disappoint he went straight for the toy turned around, noticed his audience and went to pieces. He was a lot more interested in getting to the other pups and people than fetching a silly old toy that wasn't even his. ( Bad dog mother again forgot to bring his own toy) He had a little play with some of the other pups while the other dogs were trying to fetch, then it was time for the finale. Heel work while weaving in and out around the other dogs. I had a little tuition about how to get the heel position correct..treat in left hand, dog on left and lead in right hand. I would give him about a 3/10 for his performance on this, but it was his first time. The training methods were a lot gentler than 15 years ago, no yanking of leads, or yelling which has got to be better for the dog and the owner. I can honestly say that I felt like I had been at the gym for an hour, I think Ozzy felt he was in doggie heaven, treats, dogs and people, all the things he loves. We have homework to complete so hopefully next week will bring a greater sense of achievement for both of us, but whatever happens Ozzy and I will have fun. As we said our goodbyes to our new friends, outside the next class was waiting to start their class. Ozzy, full love for everyone as usual, heard voices and yipped in delight at the thought of meeting even more pals...the two huge german shepheards were beautiful both in looks and behaviour. Ozzy was amazed, never having seen dogs as big as this and somewhat calmed by the exertions of the previous hour, he stood nicely, had a sniff, wagged his tail and was a perfectly good boy! Then he hit the deck, it was the closest he got to the down command all evening. We can't wait for next week and neither can Ozzy.