Thursday, 19 July 2018

Jets, sheep and grouse - oh my!

or What happened on my holidays, and why I love resilience


Well that was an exciting holiday week to say the least.  Wales was beautiful of course, and the hills were satisfyingly high.

I hadn’t bargained on the level of distractions at the “idyllic” cottage though.

  • Grouse breeding pen in the garden
  • No secure boundary (three exits, two leading onto roads)
  • Randomly increasing numbers of ewes and lambs appearing in the garden (7 on the last day)
  • Mach loop flight path (half hourly low-level flyovers from 9am into the night)

And for context, we already knew it might be a challenging week since it was the first time everyone in our group had been on holiday since all the additions. Our party had a total of 8 adults, one baby and five dogs (baby and two of the dogs are new). 

What did I learn from my holiday?

That my dogs are bloody amazing. And I probably don’t give them enough credit. 

Yes I was sensible, and they were largely on leash in the garden but certainly not all of the time. 

My beasts coped beautifully with Ellie the baby (Laird and Ellie are rather smitten with each other), no one chased anything, and Freya barely flinched at the jets!

We did have a bit more bad luck on the narrow roads requiring an emergency stop (blind bend with road works and a red light but no prior warning). Freya was understandably upset, but she recovered after a day or so – which is amazing given what she’s had to deal with in the last year.

The secret to our success?


The ability to bounce back and cope even in difficult situations.

Freya’s resilience is hard won – we’ve had to work damn hard with training, confidence building and drugs to support her.

Laird on the other hand seems to have the benefit of a super solid temperament from both his genetics and early life. He really is one of the easiest dogs I’ve ever lived with despite the black eyes and adventurous eating habits…

And that made me think of the lovely people who have just booked a phone session with Clare. They want to find the right puppy for their family, and they’ve asked us to help them!

If you’re thinking about adding a puppy or a rescue dog to your family, or you have a family member who might - why not talk to us before you fall in love. Get expert advice on what to look for, and the red flags to run away from.

It’s okay to have a wish list for your next dog, so long as it’s realistic. The perfect dog (or human!) simply doesn’t exist. But you can stack the odds in your favour if we help you to sift through the pages of possible second chance dogs, and resist the new puppy smell when you meet a whole litter of adorable puddings.

I met several potential dogs before I brought Laird home. I’m not just lucky that he is amazing, I had a clear idea of the essential characteristics needed to enjoy living with me. 

Book your “new family member” chat with Clare and start off in harmony: booking link

What’s going on in WCC Land?

Quite honestly what’s not – we’re back from our holidays and super motivated to spread the word about positive training and awesome relationships.

  • Helpful Hounds (Sun 21st Oct) – a foundation workshop to teach your pooch the skills of an assistance dog

  • Dog Training Fundamentals  - 29th & 30th September - a practical weekend for anyone interested in learning more about effective teaching methods for people AND dogs.
  • Teaching with Confidence - 17th & 18th November - understand how to create successful learning experiences for both humans and dogs in a class environment. Plenty of practical teaching and videoed feedback sessions

Webinar programmes

  • Deaf dogs – from getting started with recall to dealing with aggression and shadow chasing (starting 31st July)

PS The winner of our impromptu competition from the last email/blog was Alex with Super Cooper. They were the first to reply with Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” and have won a tennis ball bungee tug toy!

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