Dogs are intelligent, eager animals who love to use their brains.
It’s great to have activities to do together, for fun, enrichment, friendships. There’s a world of activities to enjoy once you’ve done the basic training. .
Activities…..What to choose…
Selective breeding may have given high drives for certain types of activity,which can give clues as to what a dog would enjoy the most. In our experience, most dogs will enjoy most activities providing they are taught well, so choose something you’d enjoy too!
The following are run as courses, workshops and personal sessions.
Harness your dog’s amazing natural ability to follow a track and search for items on that track.
Tracking can help calm an excitable dog, develop the confidence of a worried dog, and help develop the bond between you both.
Everything is done on a long line, so it’s suitable for dogs that can’t free run for any reason. All breeds enjoy using their nose!
You don’t need to be an athlete, but you will do a fair bit of walking in each session.
Gun Dog Retrieving
A highly rewarding activity especially for those dogs who have been bred to retrieve. Handler and dog work in partnership to retrieve “dummies”, eventually from increasing distances and in difficult terrain. It’s an excellent bonding exercise, as well as improving the dog’s steadiness and getting them use their highly developed nose, very fulfilling!
You don’t have to shoot or work with game etc to do this activity. From personal choice, all of our retrievinguses dummies only. We use the same positive, thoughtful, kind methods to teach this as any other activity, and to a high standard. Sadly in the gun dog world there is still a great deal of rough handling which is unnecessary and unpleasant, promise you will not see that with us!
We hold courses for beginners and drop is sessions for improvers, and personal programmes.
(You may see a local group at country shows who chose a name similar to our existing one… they have no connection with us and do not represent us in any way).
Triebball / Collie Balls
Triebball involves your dog ‘herding’ large balls around a field, aiming to get them into a goal… a bit like working sheep but without the wolliness!
Huge fun. Your dog doesn’t have to be super fast, as technique is the important thing. Looks easy, but there’s a lot for your dog to learn, so this is a great way of improving your dog’s focus and self-control.
All breeds can do and enjoy this, not just the herding breeds (although Tally the Labrador does try to pick up the ball to bring it back)!!
This is done off lead so your dog MUST be comfortable around other dogs, if they are not at that stage yet, there will be an appropriate course to skill them up, or you can practice individually.
Dogs love to use their noses. The “Sniff & Tell” workshop and course is a great way of harnessing this as a way of entertaining and fulfilling your dog. They search for a specific item and tell you when they’ve found it. A great way to enrich walks or times at home.
Agility can be great fun and if taught well, can give a dog both a mental and physical workout. We don’t provide agility trainingso I feel its ok for me to offer some thoughts if you are seeking a trainer….. There are fast moves in agility, especially turns, which can put a real strain on a dog’s body.
Choose a trainer who understands and respects the need for warm up and cool down. Choose a trainer who will take a number of lessons to show you and the dog how to use equipment, covering all the basics systematically and thoroughly and gradually building up.
It might feel a bit boring when all you want to do is get running around, but you can save yourself years of grief (we reckon that the majority of behavioural cases we see are in some way pain related; not acute pain but “small p” pain, aching backs etc).
Ask searching questions, go and see before taking your dog!