Monday, 28 March 2011

Why I Won't use Extending Leads

 One of these leads has either snapped or been chewed through. The other has definitely snapped as there's no lead there any more!

Most of my regular clients know that I don't like extending leads and won't use them. If that's all a dog owner has, I'll bring my own, it's not a problem. I've recently read a couple of blogs where a dog trainer has done some research and compared them to guns (only in America!), and a blogger who works his terriers in the States also agrees they are dangerous.

My assistant once said "I know you don't like them", but that's not the case. I believe them to be dangerous - as do the manufactuers who have a very, very long safety notice on the product. Possibly the smallest injury could be cuts to your fingers, if you grab the lead - you can't reel the dog in without the dog's co-operation as they have to relax the pressure. If they don't, then you have to hold the lead to allow the mechanism to work. If the dog pulls at that time - cuts all over your fingers, which, like, paper cuts, may not be life-threatening or bleed, but are very, very painful! Finger amputation is apparently a real worry.

If you have a small dog. and he pulls it out of your hands - if it retracts while he's running and hits him in the back of the head it can cause a lot of damage, even death. If this is avoided, dogs have been known to be so scared by the noise of it dragging along behind them they've run away in panic, getting lost - if you've been walking your dog on the side of the road - he could run out into traffic (a danger when he's on the lead as well). Dog have also been known to jump obstacles, that chunky handle getting stuck, the dog can't reach the ground on the other side and slowly strangles.

If you use a flexi lead because your dog doesn't have a recall, please contact a good trainer in your area who can work with you to improve that for you.

They also encourage your dog to pull on the lead, something you may be dealing with for the 10-15 years of your dog's life.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Searching, searching, searching

On my week off I've been in Hertfordshire with my dog Fred learning yet more games to play - tracking and trailing as I did in India, so now I'm looking for a couple of dogs to come with me to a Network Scout event to get those Scouts up and moving and laying tracks, hiding in the woods and murdering people and hiding body parts in fields.

That last bit we may have to simulate with rancid pork! Whoever said dog training had to be boring?

Let me know if you want more information or have a few hours spare on a Tuesday night. I promise it is getting warmer out there in the evenings.

I've also signed up for geocaching. This is like a treasure hunt, where all over the world people have hidden caches - anything from a large box filled with treasure, to teeny tiny containers holding just a strip of paper to note down your name to say 'I found this!'. I'm hoping it will introduce me to new places to walk the dogs, but fear I already know all the best places for fun and games. The best bit is that the dogs help me find the caches - as they're all encouraged to tell me if they find something lying on the ground (you never know they might find a £20 note!) they know to help me search for anything with human scent on it.

Current Vacancies

Dog walking & puppy sitting

Due to high demand I have no vaccancies at the moment for new dogs to come onto my dog walking or puppy sitting service as I am completely full and I can't squash any more dogs in.

I hope to reopen my books in September 2011.

I'm always happy to take enquiries from people wanting to work with dogs!

Cat Sitting

Lots and lots of space for lovely cats - summer bookings being taken now!

Home Boarding

Summer holidays are fully booked - I may be able to squeeze in a short stay, but nothing more than a few days.

Dog & puppy training

Weekends or from 3-7pm. I'm trying to put together a little team for tracking and trailing fun training - all dogs stay on leads so no problem if you're not sure of your recall - although I can teach that too!

Terriers a speciality!

Monday, 14 March 2011

Guest Post on Intellidogs


Some of my readers may have found your way here through my guest post "10 tips to find a GREAT dog walker" on the Intellidogs website, and not know who I am, so I'd like to introduce myself.

I'm Linda Ward, a dog walker from Brentwood in Essex, and I've been doing this job (more like a vocation) since 2006. First unpaid as a foster mum for rescue, and walking kennelled greyhounds, then from 2008 as a professional dog walker. I usually blog about the dogs and cats I look after, but also include tips on dog & puppy care, training and advice.

Here are some of my favourite Diary of a Dog Walker posts:

I hope there's something there you find interesting!

If you didn't find your way from Intellidogs, go visit!