Saturday, 13 November 2010

College, Graduation, Training Days and Poorly Doggies

loads of stuff has been happening over the past few weeks. Matt started his FdSc in Canine Behaviour and Training, I started my BSc in the same subject. Matt has done a block weekend and has a block week coming soon. I had a block week in October.

I’ve decided on my dissertation and I’m going to research the time it takes to train dogs using different methods.

We had two CAP2 training days which have been really good the last one is next Sunday.
I did my first Clicker Free-Shaping Workshop with was full and got lots of great feedback so more of those to come. It’s the Clicker Gundog Training Day tomorrow, really looking forwards to it!

Last Saturday I graduated a Beverley Minister in East Yorkshire with FdSc in Canine Behaviour and Training. Jon and my Mum and Dad came along, it was a great day!

And finally I have a featured behaviour case history in Decembers Dogs Today Magazine, its their 20 Year Anniversary edition!

I’ve been keeping updated with the Animal Training and Behaviour Council and the changes the organisations are making to fall inline with the plans. It looks good.

Pickles has been poorly and ended up at the vets on a drip, but is much better now. Taz had to have 2 lumps removed and tested, thankfully they are benign. So we’ve had a few visits to the vets over the last few weeks and lots of stress!

I have decided to close the Doggie Daycare for the time being due to other work commitments we have for 2011. We have been sending enquiries over to Mypetstop in Denton which is a great place just off the M60. We are still offering a dog walking service.

I’m currently (along with everything else) writing courses and setting up a new business venture, more of that soon!

The shop is full of doggy goodies for Christmas and I have Christmas Parties to Plan next week!

My PC crashed and died this week so have lost all the emails received, so if you have sent an email and had no reply, please resend or phone the office with your enquiry

That’s all for now!!!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Beginners Pet Dog Agility Training Day, Bury, Greater Manchester Lancashire

We have an Agility Training Day In December for Pet Dogs

Controlling Predatory Chase Behaviour Using Positive Reinforcement

Thought I would share a story of overcoming an issue with one of my own dogs.

Dinky my leonberger has a very high chase drive and as a pup was a nightmare she was into everything but me! When I took her out she would totally ignore me.

I know the ignoring me was an operant thing meaning a choice and I needed to be more exciting but I also had this predatory recall issue.

There is a big difference between a poor recall and predatory chase behaviour. A poor recall is when the dog chooses not to come back becuase is just would prefer to carry on doing what it is doing.
A dog with a strong predatory drive chases things, other dogs, cars, small furries etc. The movement of the 'prey' triggers the dogs predatory motor pattern into play. This is like a reflex action and the dog is then in prey drive. This is hard for the dog to control and is very intrinsically rewarding. They enjoy it and can start to become obsessed looking for opportunities to do it. If you have a dog with predatory chase behaviour you will know because you can see the dog 'switch' especially when playing with another dog.

By 10 months Dinky just wanted to stalk and chase everything living. She had also learnt that if a dog was not running if she ran up and scared them they would run and she could then chase them. Not really appropriate when you’re a dog trainer and your huge dog is going up to toy breeds in the park to scare and chase them!!!!

She chased two sheep half down a mountain on holiday, I was mortified and just stood on the top of the hill hyperventilating as the farm was at the bottom of the hill and I thought she was going to get shot!! Dinky ran into a tree and came back!

I couldn’t let her play with dogs that ran because she would ‘switch’ into predatory chase behaviour.

She would look for birds, ducks, cats, dogs, rabbits, squirrels and if there was nothing around she could always stalk and chase Snoopy my other dog.

I spent lots of time trying to find motivators/rewards etc to distract her. Toys, food forget it!!

The thing is with a leonberger is its not like a collie and they don’t become ball obsessed. There is big difference to a live animal and a toy and they know it.

I spoke to a friend who advised me on the chase recall. She said if you can’t call her of a ball you won’t get her off an animal. The issue was I could call her off a ball!! Although the concept of the chase recall and starting with easy stuff was my step forward.

I had also read Ray Coppingers book 'Dogs' and understood the predatory motor pattern and applied the advice to this, if I can’t get her attention off ‘eye’ or ‘stalk’ then I can forget chase.

I took Dinky to a 'positive' trainer and we let her off. She chased one of the other dogs and one of the comments was ‘***%^*$$”* that dog can move!!’ I was advised that this behavior could'nt be solved with positive reinforcement the most effective solution was a shock collar!!

I was getting frustrated and desperate and I thought about it. I was so disheartened, was all this positive training rubbish when it came to serious problems.

I decided ethically it goes against everything I believe and as a positive trainer I must prove them wrong, this behaviour can be changed using positive methods.

So taking all the little tips I’d got from different trainers I set to work, first getting Dinky’s attention in a distracting environment. I used a tip from one trainer and went on the field held her lead, ignored her and waited for her to offer attention (Instead of my usual begging for it).

17 minutes and 23 seconds later, freezing my **&% off Dinky eventually looked it me and I clicked and treated bounced about and had a play with her. The next day we went out and it lasted 5 minutes before she looked at me and we played. Then every time we went out she would offer me her attention straight away, I started to introduce some basic training into the play and treats.

Now I had managed to get her to acknowledge I existed we started with some ‘leave’ training. I took Dinky in a 6ft lead to all sorts of places and worked on leave. My initial criteria for ‘Leave’ was you can look at it but your lead must be loose. ‘Self control’ I also worked on stepping back and getting her to come away. We did this where other dogs were playing, by the lake with swans, geese and ducks in the woods with squirrels and on the field with the black crows.

The Crows were probably my biggest help as they do 2 circles low to the ground and then fly up and off. This was a ‘safe’ chase. So when she did a good ‘leave’ I’d clip her off and give her permission to chase. This beat balls, tuggies and food and motivated her to leave.

My main aim was to break to ‘eye’ behaviour and once I could get her to look away to the cue ‘Dinky’ from the distraction we moved on.

We then moved onto the stalk, I found as I had a good ‘down’ when she started to stalk Snoopy I could get her to drop into the down, but I couldn’t break the stare initially once she had started to stalk. So I worked on getting the down and approached dropping treats on the floor between her front legs. She took the treats and this actually distracted her. We progressed to putting the treats at the side of her so she was turning away for them. Then I attached her lead and walked her out rewarding her. Sometimes I let her chase with permission.

So we had progressed I could control the eye and stalk, so lets ‘cut to the chase’

It took months of hard work to get to here………………..

I incorporated the really reliable recall training and started with the chase recall. I would throw a ball and then call her off it, which I could do, her reward was that I ran and she chased me. Chasing a human is better than a ball!

So my recall motivator was stronger. When I work with other breeds that are toy motivated I call off a hand thrown ball and reward with owner running and then launching ball in ‘chuck it’ With Dinky I got out a tuggy and she could grab that once she caught up to me.

All this did was give me the opportunity to give high value rewards and Dinky started to like them, they were good fun.

I just gave her more and more freedom on the line as we progressed. Never moving on until I had 100% control at a specific distance. Which was a permanent loose lead with all distractions.

If she ever ignored me or attempted to chase the consequence was we went home. Game over!
Using my non reward marker of ‘Whoops’ I like this word as it’s hard to say in an angry or frustrated tone as some people do with a non reward marker.

As we progressed I found sometimes Dinky would try really hard to control herself and couldn’t. The training had made her become aware of her behaviour and she now had to learn to control these drives, this wasn’t easy for her.
This was a turning point actually understanding that this was really hard for her to do. Sometimes she would chase and come back as though she was really disappointed in herself when Id seen her try to stop herself initially.

I realised at this point how much she needed my help, support and encouragement now more than anything and how unethical punishment would have been. It would have been like electrocuting someone for falling off a tight rope when they had never walked one before.

Dinky was learning how to control her predatory chase behaviour. This in the end was the most rewarding thing to her, she is so proud of herself when she stops herself now.

A fast moving animal will still trigger her but she can stop herself and come away. So after over several months work and it wasn’t all great we had many set backs, bad days etc I could walk her off lead and get her to leave other dogs, squirrels, birds, cats and Snoopy.

Sheep The Ultimate test!!

Two years ago I took her on a herding day which was brilliant. Dinky took her initial assessment with the sheep and didn’t have any herding behaviour and the shepherd said she just wanted to chase or play with the sheep. (yeh I knew that)

After an introduction to sheep in the pen, he let out two sheep from the pen and Dinky chased them round the pen, I could see her getting that ‘mad determined look’ and he told me to call her, I think he saw it too!. I think it was panic type screamy recall at her but she came off them!!!! Hurrah job done!!

Now wherever I go Dinky only wears a lead when she needs to like at roads and she can play with other dogs that run, because I can call her away if she ‘goes predatory’

So if you’re struggling with anything keep going and don’t give up and.....................

You can modify predatory chase behaviour without the use of Positive Punishment.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Teaching your puppy Loose Lead Walking or 'Heelwork' using Clicker training

I added some videos to our youtube page of Pickles learning to walk nicely by my side.

As this method is hands off, no yanking or jerking, I would only actually use a lead if I needed to secure my dog because of safety or distractions.

Lessons One and Two

Lessons Three and Four

Friday, 8 October 2010

Sponsored Dog Walk in Bury This Sunday!

Its the Annual Dog Walk in Aid of the Joe Geeling Trust this Sunday organised by Dog Trainer Gordon Salmon.

More info here

We have sponsor forms at the centre and are open all day today till 9.45pm and tommorow 8.30am till 1pm

Monday, 4 October 2010

Gundog Training Day

We have arranged one more event.
An introduction to Gundog Training for Pet Dogs.
We are planning to run a Clicker Gundog Day with Helen Phillips in the New Year and this course is preparation for that.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Grim Reaper spotted on the A1 and Show Ring Success

I took Snoopy to Driffied Championship Dog Show on Thursday
The journey was a bit hectic, the traffic was terrible on the M62 and I was running late. Once we got onto the A1 it was much better and thought I would just make it in time. As we got close to the junction a lorry cut infront of me and drove me over into the fast lane and an oncoming chunk of wood bouncing down the lane!!! Where it come from I dont know, the wood hit the bumber and bounced off and up and headed towards the windscreen!! I thought my number was up it was like a final destination moment. The wood hit it right infront of me but it did'nt break!!! Lucky!!!
In all my stress I missed the junction! I arrived at the show at 9.15 and judging started at 9! I just got snoopy out and his lead and swifly made my way to the ring, they had put judging back 30 mins due to the traffic, pheeewwwwww!
There is a great big dent in the bumber which is metal so it must of took the force of the wood saving my windscreen and me!
Anyway the day improved greatly, we came first in Open Dog and the Good Citizen Class. Then went on to win the Reserve Dog Challenge Certificate!

Snoopy now has 3 Reserve CCs and 1 CC

It was a nice day and got to catch up with everyone including my leonberger friends. It was shame that where was some poor sportsmanship around the Polish Lowland Ring especially after seeing the support and friendliness around the leo ring. It certainly doesnt do anything for the popularity of the breed its a shame!

No more Shows for Snoopy now till 2011
Freeshaping day is nearly fully booked up, get in touch soon if you want a space!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Clicker Training Day - FreeShaping

We have organised a clicker Training Day on 24th October 2010 at WaggaWuffins

Monday, 20 September 2010

The Results Are In!!

I got my results for my degree on Friday and I passed! I can now use the letters FdSc CBT after my name. That’s a Foundation Degree in Canine Behaviour and Training. I graduate at Beverley Minster on 5th November 2010
I start the BSc next month.

We put two dogs through their bronze last week and both passed, well done Izzy and Boris. Sue McCafferty from Dogs Can Do assessed them for us.

It’s the second CAP2 this weekend, looking forward to that and Snoopy is at Driffield next Thursday. Pickles is great loving training her. There are videos on our youtube page if you want to have a look.

We have our new safety floor in reception which we think looks great!

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

September is nearly here already!!

A quick update, my puppy has been keeping me busy over the last 4 weeks, she is 12 weeks now and allowed to go out. She is fab and so much fun. We went to the Cheshire Game fair on Monday with Jayne and her husband, we took Pickles and Taz and Jayne took Cara.
Jayne took Cara in the Scurry. She ran out really well but stopped before the dummy which went much further, so Jayne did a great retrieve instead :-) !
Pickles wasn’t bothered by anything, dogs, people, chainsaws, gunshots so we were really pleased. She got tonnes of attention!!

It was the first CAP2 last Sunday we have two new additions to the course, Rae from club and also Gillian who came all the way from Glasgow who is on the Bishop Burton degree! Everyone got on really well and we had a great day. It was good to get some more stuff to do. I’m freeshaping Dinky to wag her tail along with some other stuff.

Matt is off this week, he has gone to France with Teal on a road trip to visit Teal’s breeder for the week!! So I’m dog walking all week and training everynight! I’ll probably need a week off when he gets back! At least the weather looks good for walking this week! Poor Matt has got soaked recently, it will take him a week to dry out!

We were business of the month in the Bury Times for August, many people commented on what a great write up it was.

Its been quiet this last month but always is with everyone away on holidays etc, September is booking up now, puppy classes have around 5 places left for September across all 5 classes and DayCare is busier in September than its been so far so that’s good. The Bronze Course for September has one space left due to a cancellation.

We finally laid a new floor in the office last week which has been bare since the flood! We are getting a new floor delivered this week for the reception area, its non slip polyfloor, this is going to enable us to expand the daycare having an additional quiet area!

I get my results for my Degree in the next week or so, scary!!!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Show Success for Ringcraft dog

Holly the Hungarian Puli and her owner Elaine attended their first ever Championshipship Show last weekend, Elaine said Holly behaved really well and gained a 2nd place in Puppy. This means they have qualifed for Crufts 2011. A massive well done to Elaine and Holly.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Silver Awards and a New Arrival

Sue from Dogs Can Do came on Sunday and put 4 dogs through the Kennel Club Silver test and all passed with flying colours! Well done Carl and Bonnie, Sue and Zac, Gail and Branston and Dee and Diesel.

I’ve finished my degree now, just waiting on results, it seems so weird waking up with no assignments to stress about! Guess it will all start again in November!

I picked up my new puppy on Wednesday from Country Durham, we have called her pickles, she is a liver working cocker spaniel and is 8 weeks old.

I’m hoping to do agility, heelwork to music and field trials with her! She has been introduced to the clicker and is very smart, there is a video on the WaggaWuffins YouTube page. The field trials is something totally new to me to we will be visiting Helen Phillips for that. It’s CAP2 first day on Sunday I’m really looking forwards to that.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

WaggaWuffins Kennel Club Good Dog Citizens

We had our Kennel Club Bronze tests on Sunday and 7 dogs passed. Our Assessor was Keith Davis
Well done to Chris and Mille, Mike and Willow, Bev and Ellie, Natalie and Ruben, Carl and Bonnie, Catherine and Indy and Kate and Brae.

It’s a Silver Test next on the 8th of August with Assessor Sue McCafferty and another Bronze and Gold at the beginning of September.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Lots of Local Fun Shows this weekend!

There is loads on this Sunday 18th July for some fun with your dog!

The Lancashire Dog Training and Behavior Centre and Rochdale MBC have an Exemption dog show at Queens Park, Heywood, 1pm reg, 2pm start

Bury and Oldham RSPCA have a Summer Fair with a fun show at Rhodes Bank Oldham 11.30am

Pets In Need have Summer Fair on at Greenmount Old School 11am

Bury Dog Club have an open fun day at Phillips Park 11am

Monday, 5 July 2010

ABTC - Animal Behaviour and Training Council

The Animal Behaviour and Training Council is the newly formed regulatory body that represents animal trainers and animal behaviour therapists to both the public and to legislative bodies.

It sets and maintains the standards of knowledge and practical skills needed to be an animal trainer or animal behaviour therapist, and it will maintain the national register of appropriately qualified animal trainers and animal behaviourists.

It promotes the welfare of animals in their interactions with humans, lobbying for humane methods in training and behaviour modification, and for the education of the animal owning public.

The Animal Behaviour and Training Council has developed out of a working party co-ordinated by VETNET LLN. This was formed in response to the invitation from the Companion Animal Welfare Council (CAWC) to respond to its recommendations for the self-regulation of the dog training and behaviour therapy sector.

The Council has followed CAWC’s lead and has initially focused on animal behaviour therapists and dog trainers, as dog trainers form the largest group of animal trainers in the UK. However, trainers of other species will soon be included and organisations representing their interests will be invited to join the Council in April-May 2010.

The Council is made up of the major professional organisations from the veterinary, re-homing, behaviour therapy, and dog training sectors of the industry. The Council is supported and guided by Lantra, Defra and the Animal Welfare Departments of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland governments.

Im a member of two of the current members of the council the APDT1058 and also CAPBT

More info here.....................

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Last Block Week and Sunshine and Success at Blackpool

I had my last block week at college last week, My Mum, Matt, Jayne and Stewart looked after WaggaWuffins for me. Thanks Guys!
We had some lectures at college and also got to spend time in the lab analysing dog food! It was really interesting and a bit scary, we had to break down the food and find the ash, protein, fat, fibre contents and calorific value. Then compare to what it said on the packet. I had Hills T/D.
The weather was lovely and most of us were staying at Robeanne, so we had a good laugh in the evening together, it was more like a holiday than college. We had to do a presentation on the Thursday for the Psycho Pharmacology module and we all passed that, it was the last practical assessment to do! I have 2 assignments to complete and then I have finished. We get our results in September and Graduate at Beverley Minster in November. I have received provisional offer of a place on the Bsc in Canine Behaviour and Training 2 year top up too.

Sunday was Blackpool Champ Show and it was very hot, I took Snoopy and Dinky. It was Dinky's first show in 3 years and Matt had a go at handling her something he has never done before, Matt did a great job but Dinky didn’t get placed.

Snoopy however won a strong Open Dog Class and took the Dog Challenge Certificate. We were very pleased and I think I got my showing bug back!! Snoopy has 2 Reserve CC's but this is first CC, two more and he gets the title of Champion, I will certainly be chasing those now!

Jayne entered Jed her Swedish Vallhund in post graduate dog and he got a 2nd place which means he has qualified to compete at Crufts 2011.

Well done Jayne and Jed!

We should have more show results from our friday ringcraft class dogs as two of them have their first shows in August and September.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Happy First Birthday WaggaWuffins

We are coming up to our 12 months anniversary soon and I will also have finished my degree about the same time!

It’s been a chaotic year, stressful, exciting, tiring, educational and scary. Lots of people have been supportive and helpful. I have met some lovely people and their dogs and made many new friends.

It’s nice to see how the WaggaWuffins has grown out of Elton Dog Club. It’s not been easy, but I wouldn’t change it for the world! I’m one of those few people who love change and moving forwards so I know Wagga-Wuffins will never get stuck in a rut and I love the challenges it brings me.

We now have 18 classes a week and struggle to accommodate everyone. The daycare started only 3 months ago and is picking up nicely and we have some wonderful dogs, it is certainly the best job in the world.

We also are becoming an educational base for other instructors who come to us to develop their skills and knowledge and pick up some tips. We’ve had dog trainers attend courses at Wagga-Wuffins from Bolton, Rossendale, Swinton and even as far as East Yorkshire.

It is also nice to see my own trainers continually develop and improve themselves, they have all achieved great things over the last year and I’m very proud of them.

My Plans for the next 12 months are starting a 2 year top up BSc in Canine Behaviour and Training and a new Puppy. Plans for the centre are more events and instructor courses along with the continual improvement and development of our current courses.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Distinctions all Round!

It’s been a busy week! Jayne finished her COAPE ‘DogWise’ course and her results came through and she passed with distinction. Well done Jayne.

On Saturday we got together for a bit of a training session and an injured homing pigeon found it way into the centre! Brave thing when there were two spaniels and labradoodle there!!!
We put it in a dog cage in the daycare room with some water and bird seed and reported it online as it had a ring on its leg.

Sunday was the final CAP1 workshop and assessment day. Everyone did exceptionally well and we all passed CAP1 with distinction. A massive well done to everyone, Stewart, Jayne, Matt, Anne-Marie, Jackie, Cas and Sue.

Matthew got the Teachers Award off Helen, Helen got her Kentucky and Sue’s husband happens to keep pigeons so she got to take the pigeon home!

We start CAP2 next in August and Helen got us started with ideas of what behaviours we are going to do. We have definitely 1 space available and maybe another on the CAP2 which is 4 workshops run over 4 months. If you are interested email me

We had our first Heelwork to Music Training class on Wednesday which was great fun and it’s our first Friday of classes this week, Mixed Activities, Puppy Socialisation and Ringcraft.
We are all off to Blackpool Champ Show in a couple of weeks so we will be practicing for that on Fridays!

Friday, 4 June 2010

Finding Suitable Care for Your Pet While on Holiday

With the sunny season approaching several of our customers have been asking advise on boarding and suitable care for their pets when they go away.
There are now lots of options as to what you can do with your pets while you are away on holiday.
• Boarding Kennels
• Pet Sitting
• Home Boarding
• Dogs stays with family and attends a crèche during the day
• Or take them with you!

People are always weary and concerned about leaving their pets and quite rightly so.

It is important when choosing that you consider the following:

• Always go and have a look round first make sure you are happy with the facility and also the staff, as these are the people who will be looking after your pet.
• Check they have a valid boarding license (Kennels, home boarding and crèches require then)
• Check they are fully insured
• Make sure they are conforming to the license and insurance conditions as if they are not they may be putting your pets as risk and their insurance may not be valid if conditions are breached
• Make sure anyone coming to sit at your home is CRB checked
• Home boarding should not have kennels or crates as you are paying for the luxury of your dog being in the comfort of a home environment.
• The number of dogs allowed on the license is not being exceeded.
• If you are leaving your pet in a boarding establishment of any kind you will need to make sure vaccinations are up to date and also your dog has been vaccinated against kennel cough.

Licenses are there to protect the safety and welfare of your pet. You can check your local council’s license conditions by contacting the council.

Happy Holidays

Monday, 10 May 2010

Polish gets Pampered in Prestwich

On Friday I booked Snoopy my polish lowland sheepdog for a groom at Woof ‘N’ Tumble on Whittaker Lane in Prestwich.
Snoopy had a full groom and nails clipped at a bargain price, the staff followed all my specific requirements and he came back well groomed and looking just great. I was very pleased and I would highly recommend them.

May Update

We had our CAP1 second session on the 4th of May which was really good. Matt has free shaped Teal to stand all four feet on the box which is very cute and little Cara took to the target stick really well doing a beautiful figure of eight.
Everyone enjoyed the day and Helen got her Kentucky Fried Chicken Treat for lunch! It's assessment day next time and we all have plenty to work with till then.

Daycare is picking up we have 3 new dogs, Molly, Inca and Harvey and another coming to view this week.

We have new classes starting in June. On a Friday we have another beginners mixed activities as all the others are full, another puppy socialisation class and also weekly ringcraft, there is also Heelwork to Music/Freestyle starting on a Wednesday at 6.20pm.

I am now only available for one to ones in the daytime Monday to Friday. I’m currently not doing any behaviour consults but we have someone we can recommend should you require that service.

I sent off for an order for the Kennel Club Good Citizen Scheme Stationary today including rosettes and it came to over £100!! I can understand why so many clubs didn’t renew this year with the new charges and membership increase. When I was only doing 2 nights at the Church I would have struggled to afford it, but then I wouldn’t have needed as much stuff as I do now.

As we will now have 18 classes per week we may have an opportunity for a qualified and experienced positive dog trainer to join our team in the next month or so.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Matt and Teal get a special mention

Leaming bar report on the Gundog Club Website

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Dog Walker in Wigan, Leigh and Lowton

Emma Hill who used to help out with our training classes at Elton Dog club and WaggaWuffins has finally set up her own business Dog Walking.

We'd like to wish Emma the best of luck with her business

Emma is very experienced with a Degree in Animal Behaviour, she has great empathy with animals and we highly recommend her services, so if your in Wigan or Leigh and looking for someone to look after your dog while your at work Emma is the person to contact.
To find out more about Emma and her services check out her website

Easter Holidays and CAP1

As usual I have been rushed off my feet! Matt was away over Easter on holiday working on a farm in Wales!! Lucky Amy who came to our puppy socialisation classes was back home from Bristol University where she is studying veterinary science and helped the week Matt was away with doggy daycare etc. Amy brought her working cocker Archie who got on great with Xanthe, I think she’ll miss him. We also put Archie through his silver good citizen and he passed. Well done Amy and Archie , I wasn’t surprised after Amy practised her 2 minute stay in the daycare with dogs running around and he did it no problem. Archie and Amy do Gundog Training with Helen Phillips.

Daycare is picking up nicely, we now have 7 dogs who come regularly

All the dogs get on really well, we have a new sofa donated by my brother for the daycare rest room which the dogs like alot.

We have a new staff member Natalie who started this week to help with Daycare. Natalie has lots of academic qualifications and practical experience related to animal care and came highly recommended, she also has the cutest Chinese Crested Powderpuff called Lola.

On Easter Sunday we had our first CAP1 training day. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. There was me, Matt, Stewart and Jayne, two handlers from our classes Jackie and Anne-Marie and 2 APDT trainers Cas from Yorkshire where Matt did his gundog tests and Sue from Dogs Can Do in Rossendale. Everyone was really nice and we had a really good day. Helen is a great instructor and we all learnt a lot from her.
I have requested some dates for CAP2 starting in summer and we are looking at K9 Multisports.

I got some new material for the posts so they are now blue and match the rest of the centre!!

Its really busy at the moment, I’m booked up till the end of May for one to one and behaviour but hopefully our new addition to the team will enable me to commit more to this, I now have clients travelling from as far as Preston and Cumbria!!! We have a waiting list for mixed activity classes, puppy class availability is from the end of April and Adult beginners is May!!

I had lots of enquires for Freestyle/HTM classes so we will be starting these in the next few weeks.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Congratulations Matt and Teal

Just a quick update! Matthew and Teal went back to Leaming Bar this weekend to take their grade 2 Gundog Club Hunting Retriever Test. They passed with yet another distinction with a score of 99% dropping just 1 point on heelwork.

They are now preparing for Grade 3!

We have the first session of our clicker Workshop with Helen Phillips in a couple of weeks, cant wait for that! We have 1 space available due to a cancellation if anyone is interested in a space.

We are hoping to hold some more events in Sundays this year with a Canine Freestyle Workshop in the pipeline. I’ve started on a whole new routine and piece of music with Dinky.

Classes are busy as usual and day care is picking up and achieving our projected targets. Trawling through course work amongst everything else at the moment we have 2 new modules started, the last ones I think!! Nutrition and Behaviour and Psychopharmacology!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Daycare and CAP1

Just a quick update! We have been really busy over the last few weeks. Our Day care has opened and we have a few regular dogs having fun each day with us. Because the daycare has now opened we have a job vacancy for a dog walker which needs to be filled in the next few weeks. Matt is currently covering the dog walking and I am in the centre.

Our Mixed activity classes are full so we need to look at setting up another to accommodate the demand for these. We had some fun on our last tricks session and taught the dogs a behaviour and then added a cue which was a card with the behaviour written on instead of a verbal one, so it looked like the dogs can read! It was Games week last week and it was fun to see everyone’s competitive edge come out. This week is scent week, the dogs just love it!!

We have booked Helen Phillips from Wagmore Barn to come and do a Clicker Trainers Assessment Program Workshop at the centre. This is called CAP1. The course runs over 3 months and includes a daily attendance once a month. The dates are Sun 4th April 2010, Sun 2nd May 2010 and Sun 6th June 2010 9am start till 4.30pm. The course is limited to 8 places and there are 4 available as of writing this blog. The course covers foundation clicker training and is really good.

That’s all for now, must get back to playing with dogs!!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Defra, Doggy Dancing and Doggy Daycare

Well this month has been chaotic, it took three weeks for the floor to dry. We are all back to normal how except we still need to get a new office carpet. The reception, training area and day-care are all sorted. The landlord supplied us with lots of fans and dehumidifiers and also some guy came and sprayed the centre with some antibacterial stuff, that kills bacteria and stops mould growth and stuff. He used this machine that looked like Nu Nu off the Tellytubbies

I went to college on the 25th for a block week. It was my birthday on the Tuesday and we all got together for some drinks in the evening which was fab. I even got a chocolate birthday cake.

My freestyle assessment for the advanced dog training was at 9am on the Thursday and the practical coaching assessment for the counselling skills and case histories was at 10am!

On the Wednesday some researchers came from Defra to explain some research they are doing on electric shock collars. They are testing the resistance across the skin of different dogs and also on wet and dry skin. They have this specially altered collar that sends an extremely mild current and records data. They are also doing some research into stress and cortisol levels. They asked if any of the students would let them test on their dogs. They were allowed to feel the current themselves first and also could stop the testing at anytime if they felt they wanted to. Some of the students did and most of the dogs did not even react in any way, but a couple showed a response that they felt something. As they were looking ideally at small dogs I decided not to. I will be interesting to see the outcome.

Wednesday afternoon I took Dinky into the training area and ran through our routine, she did it perfectly, which was a little worrying, would she do the same tommorow??

I didn’t sleep well Wednesday night and was up bright and early. We got to the training area and I had a bit of play with Dinky and did some moves to get her going.
Pauline and Lynda turned up armed with assessment papers and video camera.
I was a bag of nerves and Dinky picked up on it and decided to switch off. The routine started pretty badly and at one point I was considering just stopping! I was determined not to turn it into a training round and get my treats as I would lose 50% straight away for this. So we carried on, we managed a full routine, I got Dinky going again several times and we got through it and I passed!!!!!

I was really disappointed as I had worked so hard at it and it came down to those 3 1/2 minutes, but I guess that’s just dogs for you!!!

My 10am assessment was much less stressful. I went over time a bit and was penalised for it but I passed.

Thursday I was shattered and set off back home. I was back in Work Friday walking dogs and then training later. Matt walked all the dogs for me and Stewart, Jayne and Matt ran the classes while I was away.

We started another puppy class on Saturday due to the others being fully booked up till March!

As the last of the flooring was laid at the weekend we made an appointment on Friday for the council to come and inspect the daycare facility and they have issued us with a boarding license.

So we start offering daycare as from Monday.

Oh and in all my busyness this month I forgot to enter Crufts!!! It will be the first time in 15 years I have not competed!!

Thursday, 14 January 2010

It never Rains it Pours!

At 5.45am Monday morning I got a phone call!. It was the landlord, I thought oh no whats happened. He said the electrician was at the mill and had seen water pouring out of the fire exit at the back of the unit. I thought great the pipes must have burst or something.

Panic, clothes on and in the car! I was driving there half asleep trying to convince myself that it’s not that bad the floor is rubber and can be dried and carpet tiles can be dried out. As I arrived and opened the door I could hear gallons of rushing water, it was deafening, my stomach turned I didnt want to go in.

I switched on the lights on. There was water everywhere and I waded to the toilet. All the pipes were fine!!
Then I noticed there was water dripping from the ceiling in the toilet, I stepped back out and then looked up. There was water pouring in all along one side of the unit down the wall and through the ceiling. I quickly left the building and rang the landlord to tell him it was coming from above. He sent the electrician to find the leak. Jon had arrived at this time and we found the electrician on the top floor drenched holding on to a split pipe gushing with water that he could not stop. I said ‘just bend it out of the window’ and so he did. He then found the stop tap and switched the water off.

Jon the electrictian and some of the other mill workers then started to sweep the water from the top floor, then the next one and then got to mine. The water was obviously still coming through but was easing off. It was about 7.50am and I thought my alarm is going to go off in a minute and I’ll wake up in bed and it will have been a bad dream. I was beginning to feel a bit sick at this point, when would the water stop, how long will it take to dry? what’s ruined? how long will we have to close? I have a heelwork to music routine assessment in two weeks, this wasnt in my schedule!!!!

As the water had come in through the ceiling it had soaked the office, kitchen and daycare area and come through those ceilings. We got a pump and started to pump the water out from one side of the unit and then onto the other. The running water had eased off now too, I started to feel a bit better seeing the water level inside the unit go down. The rubber floor is sealed except for the edges so we knew the water would have got under there.
We mopped the excess water off the rubber and then began to lift the floor with the help of Matt who has been out walking all the dogs for me!! The rubber floor weights just over 2 ton! Once we has lifted and rolled all this we dried the DPM and then lifted that. The concrete floor was wet but not too bad. We mopped the excess off and lifted all the carpet tiles and put them all on their sides to dry. The office and kitchen were fine except for the floor and carpets which had to be ripped up and binned. The daycare is all UPVC lined and tiled so most of this is fine but the ceilings have some damp patches that need to dry.

We decided that the show must go on and after some last minute contingency planning we laid out our old rubber mats from the church hall which I still had and ran classes as usual. Stewart did Mondays classes and I went home to bed! We even managed agility but we had to have all the contacts low and on the rubber mats. We decided due to the restriction of equipment we would have to be creative and set up a mixed agility and rally obedience course which the classes thoroughly enjoyed.
The centre is drying nicely now thanks to the help from people at the mill and lots of fans and humidifiers and we should be able to re-lay the floor at weekend and back to business as usuall!!

The carpet tiles and rubber floor are all dry and nice and clean, my books are fine and the water was clean water so its not soo bad! Lucky for us there is actually very little damage at all.

Must get on with that routine!!!

Friday, 8 January 2010

WaggaWuffins Jingle

One of our Customers sent us this Jingle,
Thanks Ann and Brian with Amy :-)

If you want to train your dog instead of doing nothing,
come on down to Bury town and come to Wagga Wuffin’s.

We will help you train your dog to walk and sit and stay,
and you will feel your confidence grow stronger every day.

Your dog will train to do its bronze, its silver and its gold,
and very soon you will find your dog starts doing as it’s told.

And when you finish training there are other things to do,
like agility, and finding treats and jumping thru hoops too.

And if you decide to come along, you will find lots of friendly staff,
who are always there to lend a hand and also have a laugh.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Happy New Year

I hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Year.

Snoopy decided on Christmas Day Evening while we went for a nap to steal the leftover turkey off the side!!! It was Christmas Carnage on Boxing Day and Snoopy ended up spending most of the day outside!! We were worried that the cooked bones would splinter but he’s all ok now. The dogs never take anything off the sides, but the turkey must have been too much temptation!!

We are all back to normal now at work. I have managed to dig the car out of the snow and get on with things. Me and Matt have managed to get to most of the dog walking customers by car and some I have parked up and walked where it’s bad.

We had some disruptions due to the show, the Christmas Party was cancelled and rescheduled.
Some of the Evening Classes were cancelled but we are all back to normal now and hoping there is not going to be anymore snow!

The extra time has meant I can get on with the boring paperwork. I’ve uploaded some videos of the parties and also updated the website.

We have made a few changes to the classes. Firstly deciding to change the beginners training into mixed activities for beginners so it’s not all obedience training making it much more fun.

In the mixed activities we have also swapped the ‘Competitive Obedience’ Night to ‘Rally Obedience’. I have got all the stuff and we had a trial run with the Monday class this week and all the feedback was good.

If you want to know more about Rally O click on this link

It’s been cold in the centre but thankfully we got the heaters fitted in December just at the right time!!!

Jayne has been updating me on her puppy antics and sent me some cute pictures, cant wait time she joins the puppy classes

I have managed to get my assignments completed in time, but not done much on my routine and starting to panic a bit now!
I’m currently reading Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman which is a really good book and may help me a bit with the comparative psychology assignment.

It’s been a busy and tough year but no regrets. Here’s to the next one!