Children having fun with dogs – Sign up now!

Isn’t this great?  It’s my nephew Llewi having a go at agility with Luna the superstar.  Llewi was visiting us last year from Melbourne and I took him and his brother to the field for some fun.

This is what I am passionate about – children and dogs having fun together.  Safely (with the odd slip!) and under control.  Luna is well-trained, so she is able to work with anyone, which gives children who don’t have dogs the chance to enjoy them as well.

Before you all rush to contact me, I should say that I am NOT an agility trainer.  This is not my field either – I am currently training in a park, until classes become established.

Training for Fun Classes

Following on from my successful Taster Sessions, I will be taking names for blocks of classes, which will start in JANUARY 2017.  I would therefore like to hear from you, if you meet the following criteria:

  • Are 8-13 years old
  • Like dogs (no experience necessary)
  • Live near Milton Keynes (Classes to be held near Caldecotte Lake)
  • Can come to class after school

Times and dates will be confirmed once the level of interest is established.  Ideally I am looking for around 8 children per class and classes will last for around 45 minutes.

Activities include:

  • Recall – will your dog make it through the tunnel of temptation?
  • Stay – can you hide while they wait for you?
  • Everyday care of the dog – grooming, health checks, cleaning up after them
  • Play – what games does a dog like playing?
  • Rewarding – it’s not just sausages you know
  • Meeting and greeting – how to say hello to a new dog
  • Basic obedience – heelwork, simple commands (sit, down etc)
  • Much more!

No Dog Required!

I am able to use my dogs for the classes or you can bring your own.  It’s up to you!

CONTACT ME NOW to register for classes?

Six Months Old – and growing fast!

Haven’t they grown!  This is what a six-month old Border Collie should look like 🙂  Some really lovely comments as well:

This is boring, let’s go! Charlie at 6 months

“Charlie is awesome, very much the teenager. Currently with a dog sitter until next week, so crossing my fingers that he won’t have acquired any new bad habits (beyond chewing absolutely everything). He’s a good boy :)”

Ebbie – golden girl

“Ebbie is doing very well, she is full of beans and is loving her longer walks now she is six months. She is adored and given lots of love and cuddles on an hourly basis. She has us all in fits of laughter and is a real character. She adores my niece and all children adults and dogs for that matter.”

Still a bit of growing to do Ebbie

“Flynn has settled in extremely well.  He is good friends with our two cats, our existing dog, and the horses – one horse in particular is besotted with Flynn and we use Flynn to keep him calm at events – see pic.   Our only issue with Flynn is he is eating our sofa……it looks like something from the local tip now!   John takes Flynn to weekly dog training sessions, and John said after the last class “it’s almost embarrassing having a collie because he’s so clever and obedient”.   Recall is good, but we took advice from the puppy class to reserve tuggy toy for times when it looks likes recall might fail, to entice him back.  Works well.   He’s not food motivated at all.

“Flynn’s a really handsome and affectionate boy, we adore him, as do the extended family and a lot of our friends!   His coat is so gloriously thick and glossy with an enormous basil brush tail.”

Keep calm and trot on – Flynn at 6 months
Thornton – lovely boy

Thornton called in to see us on Saturday – such a beautiful boy and very polite!  He is obviously so loved and has an amazing life, out and about all day every day, running with the tractor or helping out in the garden with some digging 😉

I have been extremely lucky to have such amazing homes for this litter.  (Beck is currently away with her family)

Thornton – a classic collie




Persistence Pays Off

Be patient, you will get there in the end!  That is the message I have for you this week.  Sometimes it feels as though you will never get there, but if you stick with it, you probably will, eventually.  Here’s some proof –

Chris and Luna proudly showing off their prize

On Sunday 9th October we went to an agility show.  We haven’t been to many shows this year, for various reasons, but we’ve been plugging away at training.  Luna is 6 years old now – at her peak, really.  I did her initial training but then two years ago, in March 2014 or thereabouts, Chris started doing agility with her.  They work really well together and have already had quite a few rosettes, culminating in their first ever win on Sunday, taking them both to grade 4!

On Wednesday I was back at training with the two ‘youngsters’, Aura and Busy.  They have both been doing agility since before they were a year old, yet both of them are still learning.  I have been doing agility now for 9 years.  I’ve been to hundreds of hours of classes, trained up four dogs from scratch and worked pretty hard with those four.  I am extremely proud of Chris and Luna’s achievement, feeling that it is well deserved on their part and that I have contributed in no small part to their success – it’s a team effort.

Yesterday I was watching one of my other puppies working with her owner and the trainer to learn to do one piece of equipment.  It really demonstrated what a complex, long-term process training a dog can be.  Everything must be broken down into easy stages and practised.  Practised over and over again, with a bit more practice and then still more practice.

One step forwards, two steps back

What is also noticeable when training dogs is that there are many setbacks along the way.  What seems easy one week can be really challenging next week.  What is easy in one place becomes much too difficult somewhere else.  A good example of this was Aura’s runs at the show.  She has made such great progress at training and is running around coping with most of the obstacles really well.  Yet in the ring, with the added excitement of it all, the other dogs and people around and the unfamiliar equipment, Aura becomes slightly hysterical and cannot cope with it all!  She finds it tremendously exciting and forgets everything she has learnt.  Watching her do a run with Chris, it was obvious that she wasn’t listening to what he was telling her – it was just too exciting!  Never mind, she had fun.

Have fun!

That is something that is vital to remember when training a dog – have fun!  It is the main objective I have in the lessons I am putting together for Training Classes for Dogs ‘n’ Kids.  I want people to understand that owning a dog should be about the pleasure it brings and that working with your dog is what gives you the most pleasure.

Of course, many of the lessons we learn in training our dogs apply equally well to other life lessons.  If you want to find out more about other work I do in helping people with their businesses, please head over to IndePenDent Inspiration.  Or leave me a comment about your training triumphs?


Playing Games – What do dogs play?

Chase me chase me!  This is a video of Luna and Aura playing tag, in the woods.  They play this game in the same spot on this particular walk and almost nowhere else.  It’s as though the bracken is just right.  Or perhaps it’s just the routine they have.  It makes me smile every time, they have so much fun!

Aura is great at getting the others to play particular games with her.  She will play ‘share-a-stick’ with Sunny.  Normally, when I throw a ball, Aura will be the one to catch it, or get to it.  She then drops it by Sunny, who brings it back to me.  This happens most of the time, although sometimes Aura brings it back to me herself, or sometimes Sunny gets to the ball first.  Occasionally Busy steals the ball once Aura has put  it down and she then taunts the others by running past them, laughing and refusing to give up the ball. Luna never gets the ball on a walk, although she likes joining in ball games at home and loves playing with a toy at training.

In the woods though, I refuse to throw the ball, because they are supposed to be enjoying the woods.  I also refuse to throw sticks, because they are dangerous (we now know).  So Sunny gets a stick and shows it to me, but then Aura takes it out of her mouth and runs past with it.  Or they both run along, side by side, holding the stick.

Another popular game, especially with youngsters, is ‘snap snap’.  Two dogs lie on the floor facing each other and snapping the air in each other’s faces.  They get as close to each other as they can without actually biting, but making loads of noise and dodging round each other.

As you can see, when you have a pack of dogs, you can spend hours watching and enjoying their interactions with each other.  All of which informs how you play with your dog.  They enjoy active, energetic and sometimes slightly rough play.  Most of all, they love to engage with you and have fun!  Why not give it a go?

This is one of the topics I am covering in my Training Classes for Dogs ‘n’ Kids.  Please Contact me if you would like to enrol on the classes?