Tag Archives: puppies
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A mini training session

24 Jul

Most days i like to spend a few minutes like this with the dogs practicing some of their little “tricks”.

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The beach can be fun!

17 Jul

At 6 months old, so far Max hasn’t been keen on the beach, and even less keen on swimming! In fact, he hates getting wet. Until today!

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First it all started with me getting my feet with. Just as a did with Maya, i took the dogs to the beach when it was calm and warm, took off my shoes and socks and in i went. It never takes long before they follow me and tip toe (or paw) into the sea towards me.

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Ok, so he wasn’t sure at first and just hovered around where it was shallow. Each time a wave came he tensed or ran back.

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Maya on the other hand, already knows how to swim and loves it! She loves it even more when she has a friend to swim with and seemed to be really happy that i joined her in the sea! Something i’ve not really done properly since she was a tiny pup. She quite literally swam circles around me!Image

So, what was it that eventually got Max to get right in the water and go for his first real swim? Seagulls!

Both of my dogs love chasing seagulls along the beach, and little Max never gives up on a chase, so in he went!

Of course, Maya was there to make sure he was ok!

Stormy sky, rough sea, sandy beach

23 Jun

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Oh, and two dogs.

Training session rules

26 May

I guess it’s pretty much up to you how you train your dog, but there are some hints and tricks that work pretty well that you might like to follow!

 

1. Keep it short.

Think you don’t have time to train your dog? What if i told you each session only really needs to last 5 to 10 minutes? Really, that’s as long as it needs to be!

2. Keep it fun. 

Only train if you are in a positive mood. If you are enjoying yourself, so will your dogs (and they will be much more likely to respond). I often take short breaks during the session (particularly with Max) to do something fun, like throw a ball a couple of times. If it’s nice out, i will always take them out into the garden after training for a few minutes play time.

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Max is great at fetch and this works well both during training and afterwards as a way of keeping things fun.

 

3. Stay positive. 

Reward them when they do something right, ignore it when they don’t. The opposite of reward, is no reward. NOT punishment.

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Ok, so there wasnt really a picture i could use for this one…so, ill show you a smile instead

 

 

4. Motivation. 

Why would your dog want to sit and wait patiently for no reason? They need some reward. This means choosing your reward very carefully, you need to use something of high value. If your dog is very food orientated (most are) then use food based treats (or some of the breakfast/dinner). Food treats need to be small, no bigger than a finger nail, something that they can gulp down quickly without getting distracted by it.  If your dog is toy orientated, use a toy (or several). If praise is enough, reward them with high pitched, singsong tones and lots of enthusiasm.

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Click, then reward

 

5. Timing is key. 

You probably all know by now that i highly recommend the use of a clicker. It is important that you can place a marker of exactly when your dog does what is asked. A clicker allows for this. For example, if you ask for a sit, you click as soon as your dogs bum is on the floor. They know exactly what they have done right, and then receive their reward for it just seconds later.

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Maya and Max know the clicker well. As soon as they hear it, they know a tasty treat is on its way to them.

 

6. Short commands.

Dogs generally only absorb the last syllable of every word you say. Therefore a short command works best. Whilst you might use “lay down”, really all your dog is hearing is “down” so why not stick with that.

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7. Vary the routine. 

If you carry out the same routine over and over again, the dog will learn this. Whilst that is very good, it doesn’t really mean that your dog is listening and obeying you, more that it knows what you expect. Do you hate your day job where you do the same thing day in day out? Yeah, that’s the way your dog feels about doing the same training session over and over and over. Its boring. Remember number 2? Keep it fun!

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8. Take your time. 

To begin with, your dog might only stay sitting in one place for a few seconds. It may only focus on training for a couple of minutes. If you want to increase the time, you need to take your time. Training is a slow and gradual process, and a life long commitment. Work on your basic obedience first before going onto “tricks”. A dog that can sit and wait can avoid potential danger, a dog that can spin in a circle, not so much.

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Maya is great at waving, but she is always practicing her basic obedience which needs improving still when on walks.

 

 

9. The environment. 

To begin with, you want to train somewhere with no distractions. This means no sounds, no toys, no other animals or people. Gradually switch things up. Eventually you should be able to get to the point where you can stop in the middle of the woods or along the beach and have a quick five minute training session during your walk.

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Before you can get a nice sit outside, you need to work on it indoors

 

10. Eye contact. 

By eye contact, i really mean focus. This isn’t a rule as such, but something i have come to appreciate. I can tell when my dogs want to please me, when they are enjoying their training and really focusing on me and what I say because they make eye contact with me.

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All of their focus is on me. It’s the same when i give them their food, they look at me, they wait until i say go, then they eat.

 

 

Happy training!

 

 

 

Adventures in the sunshine

26 May

Now that Max is finally able to go out for walks again (after having his dew claw removed), he is getting up to all sorts of mischief with his big sister. Lucky for these two sun loving hounds, it has been a beautiful weekend, and that of course, means i have had my camera out.

 

 

A long, long walk:

 

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The best thing about the sunshine is that we can go on nice long walks (until it gets too hot that is). This was Max’s longest walk yet, through the woods, to the beach and back again!

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            You want to point that camera at me? Here, is this close enough?

 

Going for walks is a great time to keep up with practicing recall training. The dogs have a great time roaming about and having a sniff, but every time they get to a certain distance (i go with the approx length of the garden), call them back, whistle, whatever you do. See how quickly they come running, its great practice for when you need them to come back in an emergency.

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Coming back to the whistle like pro’s. Both with a “smile” on their face, bonus!

 

Here Maya spotted a deer in the distance. This time, she just stood and watched for a moment before we called her back. Later in the day a deer jumped out right in front of her, and off she went, hot on its heels. Don’t worry, she came back once she had had enough! In this isntance, the deer was much more exciting than her recall response!

 

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The best thing to do when the sun is shining and it’s hot out? You got it! SWIMMING!

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   Fancy a dip anyone?

 

 

One of the nice things about where i live, is all of the bird reserves. Here we are taking a peek from one of the hides. Max was particularly interested, we didn’t see many birds though!

 

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After all of those adventures, we wondered if little Max would even make it home. He hopped straight into the car and collapsed.

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A long walk makes a tired puppy!

 

Oh look! The sea!

Ok, so this little trip wasn’t entirely planned.  When the dog’s get messy, what is the easiest way to clean them off? The beach!

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Sorry we got so mucky and smelly…. we really didn’t mean to “fall” in the swamp.

 

Really, when you have two “big” dogs, bathing them isn’t always easy. We try not to get into situations where we have to put them in the bath, its dirty, smelly and they scratch the porcelain. Then of course, too many baths isn’t good for these dogs anyway. Why bath them when you can take them swimming in the sea anyway?

 

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Maya is much happier to go in the sea now that she is a big girl, little Max wasn’t so keen to follow her. So, my shoes and socks came off and in i went!

 

Sunbathing:

 

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Maya was born for the sun

 

 

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Even indoors these two find the sunshine and make the most of it!

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Garden fun, and bubbles!

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floppy ears! The bubble is getting away!

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Come on! Blow some bubbles!

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Just before the big jump!

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Throw the ball! Go on, throw it!

 

The end!

So, sorry again for being not posting much lately, but hopefully these pictures of the terrible two will make you smile!

 

Licks and cuddles from Maya and Max, keep wagging!

 

 

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CUDDLES!

13 May

CUDDLES!

I don’t think i have ever seen two animals get as cuddly as this. My doggies really do love each other.

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Having a chat

2 May

Maya and Max will spend about ten minutes at a time just chatting and cuddling.