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Showing posts from January, 2011

Pillow Talk

Robbie went home today after his five day stay. We'll soon be seeing him again. Training continues to go well with both Brook and Dexter. With Fran's dog Maddy, I took both of them for another long walk, during which all training was reinforced. Both sit and stay at gates and do not go through until allowed to. Both heel off their leads (and on them obviously). At the various stages both are at I'm very pleased with how things have gone. Good pupils the pair of them. I couldn't help but post another photo of the two of's not everyday you see a Great Dane using a Cocker Spaniel for a pillow. Mind you, it's not every day that a Cocker will allow it!

Backgrounds !

I hope you can keep up with the different backgrounds of my blog! Paul is constantly playing around with getting things "just right". The last one does rather sum up when the blogs are being written the end of the day when the dogs are sleeping soundly.

Oldies hit the peaks

Paul was out and about for some considerable time this morning with Robbie, Jaffa and Roma. Having parked in Dufton he then opted for a walk onto the Pennines - rather bleak and lonely according to him.                       Meanwhile Dexter and Brook were back in the classroom...albeit with seperate lessons. D., as he's being called within the family, was on and off the lead - to heel! It wasn't all training though. We had a great playtime together in a local wood and the enjoyment he was having was so obvious. He is so different to the dog that arrived just 9 days ago. He welcomes all the family when they arrive and is so comfortable with any other dogs - brilliant! And Brook? What can I say about Brook? She is certainly going to be missed when her owners collect her! Her training continues to be successful and she is not allowed to get away with much - no more missing socks! She is still beside herself when she delivers a slipper or shoe to me, though the praise she recei

Siamese Twins

Two friends who sleep on the same bed, play together and enjoy the fire together. Thank goodness dogs don't insist on bathing!

Sunny Days

Just back from a lovely walk over fields and along the River Eden. The dogs thoroughly enjoyed it and the gorgeous weather made things perfect! Dexter was soon off the lead and I'm delighted to say that the whistle still has the magic power of recall. Meanwhile frost on the ground was no deterrent for more swimming for one young dog. Brook was not content with a mear splash - water had to be over her back or it wasn't worth the effort! No water for Robbie though - more a game of chase. He socialises really well with the others. I had Paul's dogs Roma and Jaffa with me. Jaffa will soon be 12 yrs old but it's quite clear she's no idea of time - you only have to see her sprint! He bought her from Weatheral as a rescue dog when she was only 7mths old, having been picked up on the streets of Carlisle. He maintains she's the best dog he's ever had and I can understand why (although she does have some annoying habits!!!). As for Roma ! Ask any dog who keeps o

A day in the sun....

Quite a day for my three dogs! Star of the show today has got to be Dexter, who after one week is now off lead on the walks and returns to the whistle. This past week has seen him turn into a pretty chilled out lad. As I write he's sound asleep in front of the fire. And a new swimming champion is in the making. Young Brook was not content with paddling in the river so took herself off for a swim ! She was perfectly safe in the shallows but was in no rush to get out! Meanwhile Robbie wasn't going to be left out of the action - especially with his mate in the water. So all in all it's been another good day. My two training dogs go from strength to strength while Robbie has everyting reinforced.


Did I say that Dexter was relaxing.......or that Brook was a good influence on him??

Fun Fun Fun !

Another eventful day with 6mth old Border Collie Robbie being introduced properly to Dexter. Age was the dominating trait - or should I just say they were puppies! An hour of running and playing on the lawn (and in Paul's vegetable plot!) burnt alot of energy off. They both had seperate walks and training sessions but it was lovely for me to see Dexter starting to really relax. I am very pleased with the way he has developed over the past week. The dog that pulled his owner down my drive has long gone, replaced by one who is now listening and doing as he's told - and not pulling me anywhere!! While the two big dogs were chasing each other, little Brook was doing her Wimbledon impression - namely sitting and watching their every move while at the same time swivelling her head to keep up. She is such a little character, full of mischief - if you let her get away with it. Robbie completes the trio that are currently staying and he's just slotted in again - he gets on so we


When he first arrived, Dexter, a one yr old Great Dane, was rather anxious and stayed that way for the first couple of days. But he's slowly come out of his shell, helped in no small part by Brook, the 6 mth old Cocker who is also staying for a month's training. Unlike Brook, I'm pleased to say that Dexter doesn't like laying in front of the fire! Fran's little Cocker Maddy and my Clumber pup Tilly have all contributed as well. The socialisation that Dexter has been experiancing with the other dogs has been so good for him. Dexter likes to roam from the utilty room through into the living room. While other dogs tend to favour being near the fire in the evening, or close to my feet, for Dexter the knowledge of where I am is sufficient.

Exercise......then training !!

I thought I would post a couple of photos which Fran took today. It shows me playing with a new toy - a stick!  I never thought the dogs would have so much fun from something so simple. "Get the stick!"                               "I knew that stick wouldn't hold my weight !!"                           Whistle in the the serious stuff                                           As for Dexter. I let him off the lead on our walk and he really loved the freedom of running around. Although off lead, he never ran off or went too far away. The habit he had of trying to sit on chairs etc. when he first arrived has now gone and he's learning very quickly that he comes through doors after every person. He sits and waits patiently until invited in - or out. This makes life so much simpler, irrespective of the dog size.

My Big Brother

I'm so pleased that I have the opportunity to have two such lovely dogs staying with me as I have at the moment. Dexter and Brook really are extremes in size but that minor point aside, they are really starting to develop a bond. It's wonderful to see Dexter coming out of his shell and running about on the lawn, either chasing or being chased by Brook et al. Today we've been getting to know each other. He had a good walk along one of the rivers and was "full of it" when we came back! As I write he's sound asleep on his bed nearby. Maybe he's tiredness was brought on by that - or maybe the constant playing with new mate Brook..............I'll let you decide !!                                              Leave some for me!                                            Stop tickling me !!!                                                                                                                         .... Brook's new bed........

Dexter has arrived !!! (just ask Brook)

Brook has some company....we all have, with the arrival of Dexter, a year old Great Dane. He's in for a month's training and really is a gentle giant. However, one thing I'm going to sort out very quickly are his seating requirements. I have never met a dog who likes to perch on a settee or chair! But say "off" and he's off! Dexter has met my dog Tilly and Fran's Cocker Maddy. They both took the introduction of a large dog in their stride. Without doubt, this is down to him having a very kind nature and unthreatening manner about him. Brook has been getting on very well with him, even spending time on his large bed - so she's not as terrified as this photo may imply!
Robbie was collected this morning by his owners. He's a lovely dog and I hope to see him again soon. However, young Brook is still with me and by the looks of the photograph, very much at home! I'm really pleased with the way things are progressing, both in terms of her training and her socialising with other dogs. She's half the size of my dog Tilly but nobody has told her that. And Tilly's ears seem to be a favourite target. One thing that's noticeable is that Brook will now bring things to me - or my family. When she first arrived, a sock was a prized possession that just demanded a game of catch!! Now, things are much different. We see her with something - frequently Paul's slippers - then just call her name and tell her to "bring". With her tail wagging off her bottom and walking forwards with a very definate twist in her body, she just "gives" when told to do so. She's a lovely little thing.

Brook and Robbie

Today has seen some real progess in the training of both Brook and Robbie. Brook's first week has started to catch up with her. On this morning's walk she played alot with Robbie. He's a fun dog and her age so they get on very well. Her manners are really good - basics plus sitting and staying at doors / gates. The afternoon was spent on some more training. She's only young and I didn't want to exhaust her.                                                                                                              Robbie This afternoon I've spent more time with Robbie, a lovely Border Collie who's he's a quick learner. I let him off the lead for the first time today and told him to stay. The photo below shows he passed his test !!

Fun in the mud

After 36 hrs non-stop rain, my lawn has started to show a few signs of mud! I couldn't help resist putting this photo on the blog. It shows Fran's dog Maddy - a 7mth old working Cocker - being persued by my guest dog Robbie, a 6 mth old Border Collie (more to follow on him). She is so fast but poor Robbie did not want to be beaten!

Who said Paramo ? !

Outside for two long spells in torrential rain and winds. Unfortunately my clothing has failed to be 100% waterproof ! Training was difficult today, with all instructions being blown back into my own face! But there is always indoors and that's where I've spent some time with Brook. This teeth grating little character has really made herself at home. When not training, she's either asleep near the fire or else looking for trouble with another of the dogs! One thing I'm really pleased with is her attitude to socks. From being a dog who thought that taking a sock was a game which led onto hide and seek, she is now following the command to come and "dead", whereby she will drop it into my hand!

Brook meets Pan

After an unfortunate start to her short life, things are really starting to improve for Brook. With the approval of her owners, I have slowly changed her diet and am very pleased that she has put on 2kg. If today is anything to go on - and it really is the norm - she needs that extra energy. Training has included heel work on the lead and she responded very well. Later on Brook had a walk with a very different animal - Fran's Palamino horse. At 18mths he's not fully broken in so at the moment she takes him for walks - which also gets him used to all traffic etc. But isn't it usual for everyone who lives in the country to walk their horse? (and this was obviously not taken in January!)

Brook becoming hynotised.......

I couldn't resist photographying Brook ! This really does sum up life in this household.....relaxed........

Into the Valley

The weather and particularly temperatures recently have been verging on the extreme. So it was a lovely surprise to be out and about in very mild weather today. And so it was that Brook and Tilly came with me to one of the valleys in the Fells. My eldest daughter Rachel came with us and was able to see the two dogs enjoying themselves. Both are Spaniels and this was more than evident by the time they spent with their noses glued to the ground, exploring smells that only they knew were there! Until Brook has demonstrated to me that she will return on the "recall" - everytime(!), she's on the training lead. This allows her quite alot of freedom while at the same time giving me total control. In truth, she's started to pick things up really well and training her is becoming a real joy. Having Tilly around is also beneficial for her - though I'm not so sure Tilly wants to put herself forward as a teacher!


8.20pm and I'm surrounded by the pack - all sound asleep close to the fire. By my feet is Brook, who has had a full day of training and playing. Tilly, my 8mth old Clumber Spaniel has become used to the sight of this new guest and the two have been charging around my lawn in pursuit of each other. Brook is starting to realise that "sit" is a command, and that she is to "stay" until told to do otherwise. Using one of the country lanes we then worked on heeling. Everything is being carried out on the lead but these are early days and it won't be long before she's given more freedom - on my terms!


Brook arrived yesterday and has settled in really well. She has already learnt one command - "Out".  I don't favour the dogs being in the kitchen. I don't want a dog to beg as I'm preparing dinner and for their own safety, I want them out of the way as I drain off pasta or such like. So the simple command of "Out" is always used. And it was the same for Brook. So I was delighted when after only the 5th time, she not only went out, she even SAT at the threshold ! All that early training and meeting and playing with other dogs finall took a toll on her, judging by the photo. When I took this picture the weather was horrible - rain and winds - so she certainly was in the best place - close to my fire! Janet

Advice - rest your leg.

Not the advice a dog trainer wants to hear but I was told that by my doctor when she came to my house today to see my badly swollen knee. It has alot of fluid on it apparantly. I've had to cancel four appointments as a result - one yesterday, two today and the fourth tomorrow! I have every confidence for next week though, when I have a month long residential guest arriving. And he's due to be joined at the end of the week by another month long stay. Both are young dogs and I'm really looking forward to meeting them. Who knows, I may even start to take some photographs and build up my gallery! Janet

Crash Bang Wallop !

I spent part of the morning nursing my wounds, having slipped over on the only piece of ice and gashed my knee! But with a limp and a half, I drove to my afternoon client and the case of the Wheaton Terrier who was showing no respect. It was a pack leadership problem really. But by the time I left this behaviour case, due respect was being given to the owners! Received confirmation of another residential training guest - this time a Great Dane!. He's due to come in late next week. I'm looking forward to meeting this character, who's staying for a month. In the meantime I have some more training cases and a couple of behaviour cases. A new year and I'm busy already.

Out with the old ....thank goodness

After last year's events I was pleased to see the back of 2010. But it's now 2011 --> onwards and upwards! A rare "dog free" moment. Fran is out with her cocker Maddie and my dog Tilly on a 2 person shoot. This is the first outing for them as we're training them to be gundogs - something quite different to basic training that is required by most dogs - and their owners! An early training session was posted onto YouTube a few weeks ago- Happy New Year to you. Janet