Monday, 31 August 2009

College Soon for Two of Us!

Daniella got her GCSEs this week, she got 4 Bs and 5 Cs which is more than she needed for college, I was very proud. She enrolled on Thursday after she got her results. She is doing Business, Accounting, Economics and Psychology! Daniella has been helping me dog walking over the Summer but she will be in college now from next week. I start back at Bishop Burton at the end of September.

I went to the RSPCA last week to assess a couple of dogs and I’m back there tommorow. We discussed putting together some rehabilitation programs for each dog and also reducing the barking in the kennels using a clicker method by Karen Pryor. They have some really nice dogs in at the moment. They have a show this weekend coming at Clarence Park so we will be there.

We have been working on the daycare rooms at Waggawuffins this weekend and also finishing off the artwork. Jamie, Wordsworth and Hong Kong Phooey are complete. One rest room is complete and the main room just needs a couple of finishing touches. Dinky, Snoopy and Taz have been with us at the centre playing all weekend.

I have been arranging with a couple of students to have a clicker training weekend at the centre which we plan to do in October. Really looking forwards to that, it will be good to catch up on where everyone is up to with the Advanced Dog Training Module.

Friday, 21 August 2009

APDT Assessment

On Saturday I had a practical assessment with the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT).
I set off to Bradford around 12pm, my assessment started at 1.45pm. Along with the stress of having assessment it decided to leather it down and driving over the Pennines on the M62 was not much fun.
My assessment was in an equestrian centre, once I got there everyone was really nice and friendly, I met my class and their dogs and chatted with them for a bit.

The assessment!
I had my class plan and notes, loads of treats, clickers and some cones. I’d put a little note on the top of my sheet reminding myself to breath! I was really nervous.
I taught a down, leave and loose lead walking. All with clicker, as the dogs and owners had not used clickers before I had to do a quick crash course at the start. I then progressed each of the exercises.
After the practical assessment I had a 15 minute break before the oral assessment which took 45 minutes. After that I had another brew and set off back home. They told me that it can take up to 2 weeks for me to receive the results.

I’ve been staring at my email account ever since lol waiting for that email!!!!

Yesterday I was just printing off stuff for training class wondering how I was going to survive through the weekend without knowing and the email popped into my inbox……….

I Passed!!

The feedback said that they would Highly Recommend me for membership, so my application form is in the post!!! I was so pleased and relieved. The waiting was driving me insane.

The APDT is the biggest dog training organisation in the UK and has a strict Code of Ethics regarding the use of positive methods only. Their assessments are very thorough and members must have demonstrated not only that they use positive methods, they truly believe in them and also have excellent training and teaching skills.
This means that people looking for a dog trainer know they are going to get a skilled dog trainer and their dog is not going to come to any harm.

Of all the things I have achieved in studying dogs and training, this to me is my biggest personal achievement.

I’m really proud to be able to become a member

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Rain Drops, Clicks, Ducks and Petitions

We it doesn't seem to have done much other than rain over the past few weeks!! I seem to be carrying most of my clothes in the van with me. The other week I got caught in a shower and went into sport soccer soaked and bought a T shirt and pants to change into. I dont mind the rain or getting wet its when the weather changes and I get caught its not much fun. Non of the dogs I walk mind the rain at all except for Ollie the Shitz Tzu he would rather stay on the sofa and watch TV. Ive added a short video of some ducklings me and Xanthe the Cocker Spaniel were watching in the rain the other day, very cute!!

I went on Lynda's Clicker Saturday this weekend which was great. We had to free shape Lynda to do a behaviour we had written a training plan for and then did some targeting. I got Dinky to touch the side of a tiny cone out of a toy car set with the bottom of her paw. The cone is about an inch tall. This got me a beautiful ballet type move so going to do the other foot, fade out the cone and use it for my HTM routine. I've decided to do my routine to Mudfootball by Jack Johnson. We also made some progress on spinning on the box as I was struggling to get Dinky to turn her back on me to get a full turn, but I free shaped her to look away from me. My homework is to get a backwards circle round an object.

Sunday I popped down to the RSPCA show, it was great to see everyone and catch up. I also saw one of the dogs from classes Ozzy, he managed to get himself a free bath in the Dial a Dog Wash Van and his picture taken by the local press. Steven from Dial a Dog Wash has just set up his business and I had a good chat with him, he seems really nice.

Dinky slammed into a parked car a few weeks back, well she tried to fit between a parked car and a post that was only half as wide as she is and damaged her shoulder so I havent been doing anything with her for a while as she has been resting. She is much better and getting backinto things

Finally CABPT that I am a member of have set up a petition against harsh dog training methods, please take some time to sign it and support positive methods . Its called Ask Why Say No.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Wagga-Wuffins Activity Centre Update

Well a long awaited update!

I think this has been one of the hardest things I have done in my life.WaggaWuffins is open!!! My office/consulting room is still a work in progress and there are still some bit and bobs to do and the Daycare chill out room is still a work in progress too. The Environmental Health sent me a huge document by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health with regards to Pet Sitting and Daycare which has enabled us to make sure we meet all their requirements in the building work.

The new Windows and Front Door have finally been fitted!!!! Its looks smart from the outside now and the grills will be fitted this week. There was a little accident while removing the old windows and I am now minus a toilet lol!! A new one is being fitted tommorow. The posts are all padded up too in florescent orange water proof material.

I took my dogs for a test run before we opened and they loved it. Snoopy was running round with a ball in his mouth, he never plays with toys. Everyone who came really likes the place and are very impressed especially those who have already been training with us. The dogs really like it to.
Quite a few people have come to watch the classes before they book on too, it’s great to have the space to do this. I love having my own place, its been hard but so worth it.

We filled the beginner’s classes on the Wednesday with some really nice dogs and have just one place left for the August course.

I picked up the agility set last Sunday which is all painted in red and blue to match the centre colours, its looks really smart, the instructors gave it test run Sunday afternoon, after I gave them a team building exercise to put it together! The first course starts on the 4th August which is fully booked. Next one will start at the end of August.

Then I will focus on getting the RingCraft going on a Friday. Saturday training will start at the end of August as I have other things booked in August on some weekends.

I’ve finished my second year degree and have a bit of well needed rest now until September when I start my third and final year.
Promise there will be photos this week I keep forgetting the camera