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To crate or not to crate…

To crate or not to crate…

Right now I have five crates in the house, six in my training room and three in the car. They are all used regularly. I started using a crate with my first dachshund when we were competing in the conformation ring. The practice was sold to me as ‘just the done thing’, which we ignored for a couple of shows before we realised a couple of things:...

Getting flowery

Getting flowery

Many, many years ago when I started showing my dachshund, Sigmund, in the conformation ring, experienced handlers recommended that I use Rescue Remedy to help with nerves. I’d never heard of it, but tracked it down and started dosing the little man before shows. It took a couple of months until some kind soul suggested I take it, not him. It...

Two at a time (new challenge)

Two at a time (new challenge)

Thank you everyone who participated in the Get On Up Challenge – I really enjoyed watching your videos. What I particularly enjoyed was the different types of props you all found and how used them! Great stuff. So – Challenge Two. Two because it’s the second month, the second challenge and because it’s Valentine’s Day as I write this, it’s all...

Get on Up Challenge

Get on Up Challenge

I heard recently that most people abandon their New Year resolutions before mid-January. So before we get there, I thought I’d post a January Challenge to motivate us and keep us training fun things. Have a look: https://youtu.be/h1632J7Zo7I Get the theme? The challenge revolves around doing things with your dog on one object. Teach your dog to...

K9@play

K9@play

Twice a week (all being well) I get to take my dogs to a very special place where they can just run and be dogs. What makes it so special is that I have it all to myself. I’m honestly not the most sociable person on the planet, so this suits me perfectly. Over the years I’ve had various dogs (dachshunds and Bouviers) attacked out of the blue by...

Omega treats

Omega treats

An enterprising crowd in Cape Town is making the most amazing salmon treats. A friend of mine’s sister sent her some to see if it would help her Golden Retriever – he’s had a bald spot on his tail for years that no food, spray or medication has helped. A few months of using these treats and the accompanying oil and he’s got hair again. I had to...

A client’s perspective on training

A client’s perspective on training

One of my long-standing clients, let’s call her ‘Anna’, came to me on advice from a friend who was already coming to my trick classes. She has a cross breed Brown Dog of unknown ancestry who she described as “smart but stubborn and lazy”. We have a habit of labelling our dogs instead of their behaviour, but this client looked deeper. She sensed...

Quality time

Quality time

Steve Mann (www.stevemanndogtraining.com) strongly believes that we do everything too fast with our dogs and that we should chill out and spend more quality time with them. I agree with him. https://youtu.be/d5ldRn9iS5Y?t=54 Exercise is important, but let’s face it – you will never get fitter than your dog. I believe dogs get addicted to running...

Chill out!

Chill out!

It’s Wednesday. One of the four days a week that Other People are on my property. This routine has, in some form or another, been in place for YEARS. You’d think we’d all be used to it by now. But we aren’t – all four dogs will spend most of today awake. By the end of the day everyone will be stressed and exhausted. Tendai will only manage a few...

Training with food

Training with food

I’ve used food as a reward in dog training right from the beginning. Training for the conformation ring taught me how to use food to get the dog the stay in the perfect stack (that can be decoded as: ‘stand still’ in case you didn’t know). Also how to sneakily use your high value food to subtly distract your competition from what they are meant...