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Walkies!

Welcome to our new Blog section!  We hope you will find this a fun and informative section of our website to keep you entertained and up-to-date with the latest doggy news.

Welcome!

12 November 2018

In our new Blog section, we hope to keep you up to date with our latest news, articles and information about our furry friends!


So first, a little about us.  In our house, we have 3 children (13, 9 and 8 weeks) and two Staffordshire Bull Terriers, so we're always busy, busy, busy.  Our dogs, Oaken, 18 months, and Luna, 17 weeks, are a huge part of our family and keep us on our toes.  We must be the only family who says a new baby is the easy one!  


Between us, we have had dogs in our lives since we were children, and after an accident at work has put me out of Carpentry and made deciding to turn our love of dogs into our business, we haven't looked back! 


We absolutely believe that training our dogs to a high standard improves not only makes our life easier, but makes for a happy, structured pet that understands exactly what he or she needs to be doing, thus less telling off and much more fun time spent with our pets!


I hope that gives you a little insight into my little lot, don't forget to check back regularly for new articles and tit-bits!  We love any new doggy information we can lay our hands on, and will gladly pass on anything we think may be of interest.  If you have anything you would like to see here, please don't hesitate to email [email protected] and we will pop it in for you.

How to pick the right puppy for you

22 November 2018

One of our most popular services is Puppy Training.  Some people want to know how to get the best out of the basic commands, some people know they have a difficult breed and need breed-specific advice.  Unfortunately for a lot of people, the puppy they have chosen maybe isn't right for their home, and they need to learn how to manage!


Luckily, we rarely come across a situation that can't be resolved but here are our top tips for picking the right puppy for you.


-  Take Your Time

Once you have decided you want a puppy, take your time to research the right breed for you.  Remember that you are taking on a 15-20 year commitment, so you need to ensure that you know what you're buying.  


When you look at a litter or rescue pup, don't choose the first one you see!  As hard as it may be, choose a friendly, confident dog that comes to you.  A shy or fearful pup can give you many problems later on, and whilst these behaviours can be trained out, it's a lot of time, work and money.


Take notice of the breeder.  Are they informative and forthcoming?  Are the pups Kennel Club (KC) registered if you are looking for a Pedigree?  Have they bred from the bitch before, and how many times?  Make sure you see the mother, and if possible the father to the pups.  Check for any health issues.  There are many, many considerations, but with the correct research, you should be able to cover the main bases.


-  Private Breeder or Rescue?

There are pros and cons with both.  If you have definitely decided on a puppy, make sure you have researched the breeder properly and remember the following:


Puppy Pros:

- You know exactly what breed you are getting and can make sure it is the right breed for the family.

- A good breeder will have had the genetic health of the dog checked.  Make sure you see this to ensure you get a healthy pup.

- You can see the mother, and the environment the pup has come from.

- You will be able to train you pup to be your perfect pet.


Puppy Cons:

- Puppies bring an awful lot of work!  You need to be prepared for accidents, chewing and whining, to mention but a few!

- Puppies need a lot of training!  If you don't put this work in, you will have an out-of-control adult dog, and retraining later on is much more difficult.

- Pedigree/pure breeds tend to have more health problems.

- Buying from a breeder is a lot more expensive


If you decide to look at taking on a rescue dog, bear in mind that the stigma of not knowing the dogs background is not as common as you think.  A lot of dogs have been re-homed due to a change in family circumstance rather than stray or mistreated, and your local rescue centre should be able to advise you.


Pros:

- Most dogs will already have been spayed/neutered and microchipped and have all their vetting completed.

- Most dogs will already be toilet trained, saving you a lot of time and work.

- A rescue centre will be able to give you history and the personality of the dog so there are less surprises when you get home.

- If you find the dog is not suitable, you may be able to discuss returning the dog to the centre, and give another rescue dog a chance.

- Mixed breeds tend to have less health issues than pedigree breeds

- The love you will receive from a rescue dog will be unrivalled!


Cons:

- You may not know how a rescue dog may behave in your home.  Although rescue centres do their best to provide you with as much information as possible, you may never know exactly how the dog may react to various situations.

- You may not know exactly what breeds your rescue dog is mixed with - this can affect character and training.


Research your breed


Whatever you do, don't choose a breed just because it's cute, or a popular dog at the moment.  Take care to look into the good and bad sides of the breed you like....


- Is the dog the right size for your home?  

- Can you give the dog the right amount of exercise?

- Is the dog difficult to train?

- Can the dog be left at home if you work?

- Are there any breed specific health issues you should be aware of?

- Is the breed suitable for your family life?  Do they like children or other dogs?


There's lots of information online, in the library, ask your local vet or give a trainer a call.


There are many other considerations that are unique to your own family setting.  We never recommend getting a puppy for Christmas, but if you have looked at all the pros and cons and are still sure you are doing the right thing, then get in touch when you have made your choice and we will be pleased to help you train your pup to be your best friend!


Naughty & Nice List... What to feed your dog this Christmas

10 December 2018

It's creeping up and fast....Christmas is upon us!  Good food, good wine and worry about the diet in January!


Sadly it's not just the post Christmas bulge that our furry friends have to worry about.  Although a lot of our Christmas treats are delicious to us, to our dogs they are often poisonous.  Thanks to our local vet, we have collated a list of human foods your dogs can enjoy, or should avoid.


The Naughty List


Mince pies and Christmas cake

Currants, raisins, sultanas and even grapes can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, uncoordinated movement and acute kidney failure.


Chocolate

Chocolate, along with coffee and caffeine, affect the central nervous system, cardiac and skeletal muscle.  Dark chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate but all are best avoided.


Stuffing

Onions, garlic and chives can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and destruction of red blood cells.  Onion and garlic powders can also be found in a lot of pre-prepared foods such as gravy.


Sweets

Xylitol, an artificial sweetener, ingested at high levels can cause insulin release, low blood glucose and liver toxicity.


Eggnog

Some dogs will be unable to digest the sugar found in dairy products which may cause mild diarrhoea.  Remember alcohol is also unsuitable for dogs!


Meat Bones

Do not give your dog any meat or fish on the bone.  Small bones splinter easily and can cause serious injury to your dog's mouth and digestive tract.


Nuts

Nuts, especially Macademias can cause dogs to vomit, have an increased body temperature and experience weakness, tremors and depression.


Bread

Yeast dough can cause an accumulation of gas in your dog's digestive system as a result of the yeast rising.  Apart from causing pain this may also cause their stomach or intestines to become bloated or blocked.


The Nice List


Turkey

Your dog can enjoy small amounts of boneless, skinless white meat.


Vegetables

Most green or mixed veg is fine for dogs.  If you do a mashed carrot and swede with your Christmas dinner your dog is sure to love that, but don't add butter or seasoning to their portion.  Avoid corn on the cob and bulb vegetables such as onions, garlic or leeks.


Their usual diet

Remember, although it's lovely to share the odd treat with your dog, it's  best to keep them on their usual diet and avoid any tummy upsets.


Dog specific treats

If you want to spoil your dog, give them the occasional dog specific treat, provided they have had them previously and they agree with your dog.


Walks

There is no better treat for your dog than to spend time with the family and go for a long Christmas Day walk!