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.
Starters Agility and progressing… with Free Work
Agility is a great way to build a great bond with your dog, and provides wonderful mental and physical stimulation. Its the greatest fun BUT (and its a big but) the fast turns and jumps can cause strains and injuries, and its very easy over-hype a dog in the exciting atmosphere of an agility ring. We held off offering agility courses until we found a trainer who understands and focuses first and foremost on the physical and emotional needs of the dog, in the way that all other Hamble Hounds activities do.
So if you are wondering what to do next with your dog, come and join Gracie in our Starters Healthy Agility course. You’ll see how to ensure that, alongside the fun and excitement of learning agility, you can give your dog the space, time and tools they need to progress at their own speed, which in turn builds greater trust, confidence and communication between dog and handler.
Starters Agility is for complete beginners with no prior agility or hoopers experience, who are looking for a fun activity to do with their dog. During the 6 weeks you will learn the basics of agility handling, running through hoops and tunnels, around barrels, as well as other obstacles to teach the dog “contacts” and proprioception in preparation for the A frame, dog walk and seesaw normally found on an agility course. The course will teach you and your dog the basics of agility handling, along with vital key techniques about safe warming up and cooling down.
We use a low impact environment that is suitable for dogs aged around 1 year and over. There is no upper age limit, but your dog must be fit and healthy (or with vet clearance if they have any known medical issues).
Our approach enables dog and handler to learn the cues and run a course without the dog spending hours doing lots of high impact jumping, which can be detrimental to their joints, but by the end of this course you and your dog will be ready to progress safely to more complicated equipment including more jumps. We can also offer progression for dogs that can’t use the high impact equipment because of age or other reasons.