Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Winter means more running!

The cooler weather can only mean one thing for us – finally it’s time to head for the hills with our dogs!

If you want to get ready for the new Canicross season, why not check out our September workshops

Saturday 22nd September (York)
  • 10am Introduction to Canicross – dedicated individual kit fitting and checking, teaching the basic skills and learning to work as a team. Ideal for dogs 1 year and older, humans do not yet need to be running fast or far.
  • Book Intro Workshop
  • 2pm Improvers workshop – building your core skills, practicing race starts, passing on the trail and simple drills to build your fitness.
  • Book Improver Workshop

Weekly Canicross Classes (York)

Starting from Tuesday October 16th, a 10 week course designed to develop your canicross techniques, build on your teamwork and challenge you and your dog in a range of different environments.
  • Either book individual sessions OR
  • Book all 10 sessions and use this code COMMITEDCANI-X to get one session free!
Pre-requisites: Have completed an Introduction to Canicross workshop.  Participants who have not done so MUST book and attend for week 1

Book Canicross classes

But what if your heart longs for something more?


Wouldn’t you love to go on a really big adventure with your best friend?

Even if you don’t fancy racing in a big event, or trying to complete an ultra, there’s nothing more glorious than the freedom of plotting a route on the map then running it together.


Don’t let the guidebooks and groups runs restrict you to well-known routes.

Feel the fear of running in a new place, and take control!

Come on our Adventure Challenge and broaden your canicross horizons.

Saturday 13th October at the Yorkshire Cycle Hub (£120/person & up to 2 dogs)

  • 8.30am registration
  • Morning – Attend clinic with a max of 4 people, take a coffee break and then swop round
  • Navigation Clinic / Canicross Running Clinic
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon – Find and run the route with your team mate and collect the stamps! You’ll have a choice of two route lengths (short 4ish miles, long 8ish miles)
Book here:
Get Adventurous with Canicross

Your trainers
Morag Heirs – experienced canicrosser and ultra runner, hillwalker, remedial & sports massage therapist for both humans and dogs.
Laura Tucker – experienced canicrosser, hillwalker and route finder. Formerly a Ranger for North York Moors National Park.

Happy Running

UltraCanicrosser, Firewalker, Clinical Animal Behaviourist

Local'ish races and events

Dalby Canicross  https://www.northyorkshiresport.co.uk/events/tags/Dogs
Sunday 16th September
Sunday 28th October

K9 Karnage 5K  https://www.facebook.com/events/269959073829460/
Sunday 7th October

CaniX races http://www.canix.co.uk/index.shtml
Saturday, September 22  Hamsterley Forest CaniX
Sunday, September 23 Hamsterley Forest CaniX

*if you know of any events please let us know and we'd be happy to promote them!

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Relentless follow-up with a side order of caring compassion - why you should be providing it (Love Your Business)

Do you know why clients vanish rather than replying to your emails, texts or phone calls?

Did you send out an amazing training plan, but heard nothing back?

Was the person super keen on the phone, but hasn’t actually booked their session yet?

*pssssst secret coming up*

It gets in the way – even if it’s not a major crisis. But often big stuff happens and replying to your email or call slips off the list.

And then it's been weeks since they spoke to you.

Instead of making assumptions about why that client didn’t get back to you 
(Were you too expensive? Did they not believe you could help them? Has the dog bitten someone?)
just keep following them up until you find out!

When do you stop following them up?

Well, that’s up to you. For me, if it’s a behaviour client then I’m going to follow-up until they

  • reply to tell me why they don’t want to continue
  • book the follow-up call

And after three months I send my very final closing email and text that lets them know I’ve taken them off our active client list.

Am I annoying? Maybe a little!

But it’s done with humour and kindness. 

Because I know life gets in the way, and I promised to help them and their dog.  And follow-up is one of the ways I help people.

Today’s happy follow-up story


I just came off a really positive Skype call with a behaviour client. Since I hadn’t heard from them in over two months, I wasn’t sure how it would go.

I saw them back in June 2018. We went through the usual phone consult and vet referral process. A face to face assessment was provisionally booked in but I had to chase several times by email to make sure it was all confirmed with payment.

The session was brilliant, everyone made so much progress and the dedication was clear to see. The detailed plan went out by post and email, with the link to book a follow-up call as part of the package.

Absolute silence…

My heart used to sink at times like this. 

Had something really bad happened? Were they disappointed with the session? Had I given them too much homework?

I sent out my usual follow-up reminder emails about three weeks apart (and yes, I have a template for those too!)

And then suddenly I saw they had booked a follow-up call.

Tonight, they told me that things have been going so well they were able to take their dog on holiday with them. He enjoyed visiting local shops and spending time at the seaside with his precious family – and wasn’t worrying about strangers! Even the vet had commented on the big change in the dog’s attitude and confidence.

And now we have a wee plan to work on the other problems, and I’ll chase them in a friendly way to make sure the follow-up calls get booked in.

As for the follow-up emails and texts – they loved them. Between job stress, family stuff and lots of hospital appointments it was too easy for them to lose track of things. They said thank you for the regular reminders and chases.

Can't imagine spending all that time or effort?

Did you just read this whole email thinking “yeah that’s fine for you, Morag, but I can’t afford to spend my time following up clients…..”

Really? Because that’s an important part of what we do. And it should be reflected in your pricing.

If pricing is a dirty word for your brain, why not book onto the next Love Your Business webinar all about setting your prices, how to estimate costs, and when to discount.

Thursday 30th August 7pm

Each webinar is recorded and available for 30 days BUT you must book on to get access! 

Just click the bold date in the calendar below to grab your space, and don't forget your discount code if you are an APBC or APDT member.

Is it time to stop running away and start training?

When you live with a frustrated or fearful dog, you know that one of the biggest challenges is moving from management towards putting all your hard training into practice.

Don’t get me wrong, management really IS important. But for lots of us it’s not enough. 

If your goal is to get closer to other dogs, and be able to pass them on a street walk, then that’s what we need to be working towards.

But the real world is so damn unpredictable! 

Guessing what the other people or dogs might do is really draining, and I often wish I had a radar strapped to my back.

Planning set-up sessions with other people and their dogs in safe predictable locations can be a great starting point. 

Before you try to recruit a helper or practice dog/person, here’s some homework:

  1. Write a brief (150 word max) introduction to your dog, and the things they find difficult in the world. Don’t get bogged down in the whys, just describe the dog you have right now
  2. Now write down three realistic scenarios that you would like to get more practice in e.g. watching a playful or active dog at a distance of 30 metres. Get Specific!
  3. And then think about what you and your dog, or other dogs if you have them, could offer to someone else. What if you were the stooge? Is your dog an unusual colour or breed? Do they love to tug (a great distraction), or are they gentle with puppies?

Now you’re ready to find some people to practice with!

Planning a set-up

  • Communicate BEFORE you meet up – make sure you both understand what your dogs need out of the session and share the homework you just wrote
  • Check what the other person usually does, and what they’ve found most successful. What methods or techniques are they using?
  • Set your boundaries e.g. distance between dogs, length of sessions, how you will handle any meltdowns
  • If you’re working with a behaviourist, involve them in the planning stages!
  • Discuss the location and potential problems, or rent a secure field for the first couple of practices
Use any resource groups your own trainer or behaviourist has set up, as working with people who have had the same basics makes it all a lot easier.

If you need to cast your net a bit wider, why not look at the Reactive Dogs FB group? https://www.facebook.com/groups/1633448230248202/

Our WCC Rehab Club is all about setting up real world situations, but safely. If you’d like the chance to feel secure and calm while your dog practices the difficult stuff – just book yourself on to a session (open to all our behaviour & training clients). 

If you’ve worked with another behaviourist please just drop us an email to arrange a brief assessment as we may be able to help! (info@wellconnectedcanine.co.uk)

WCC Rehab Club 19 Aug 2018

This weekend we got super lucky with the weather despite a less than encouraging start! Three delightful dogs and their support teams attended (Caddy, Merlyn and Dora) the first 2-hour Rehab Club session.

For us as trainers (Morag, Clare & Kady) we loved having you for that bit longer. Much less rushing around and we were able to get at least three working sessions in for each dog too. We can’t wait for the next one!

It was lovely to have Dora and Caddy coping so well at a little distance while Merlyn practiced polite greetings and play with our secret gundog team (Laird GWP, Summer Flatcoat, Poppy WCS). And all in the safety of knowing no other random dogs were going to appear!  Your homework emails plus resources are on their way.

Resources for everyone

WCC Rehab Club dates for the rest of 2018 are available for booking!