Archive for June, 2012

Repetition Repetition Repetition

Jean is proving to be a wonderous mentor…she knows what works and what doesn’t when it comes to dog training. It’s been tested on thousands of dogs through the Academy teaching.

She gave this advice in several of her books and in tonight’s Academy webinar..Repetition Repetition Repetition. Dogs don’t understand a command after 1, 2 or even 12 reps. It takes hundreds of reps. And we as dog trainers enjoy it! Dog owners…not so much.

We dog trainers are there to train the dog not make mini me trainers out of owners! We need to remember that owners are pushed for time and dogs are great discriminators…they do what works for them. Behaviour in a nutshell.


That’s it…So the puppy which does so well at puppy class but is the devil in disguise at home isn’t trying to be obtuse or embarrass his owner; he has simply learned he behaves one way at school and one way at home. I recall my children being the same at one point. Angels at school, noisy monkeys at home!

So when a client exclaims ‘it’s not working’ ‘I tried everything’ it is more likely to be a repetition fail. You gotta keep going until you get it right. Like learning to drive, play a musical instrument, a second language or in my case learning how to touch people without freezing or freaking. If you want it or need it that badly you’ll do what it takes right?

Make this your mantra…Repetition Repetition Repetition.

Ok so not dog but my cat likes to do what works for him too


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Cha cha changes

Please hum the tune of Changes by David Bowie while reading the title.

Me again. I’m trying to make my life a bit more simple. Currently I run the training from one website and the pet-sitting from my other site

Sooo without wishing to be a pain in the rear, I’m gong to ask everyone to bear with me while changes happen. Charley at is working on a new logo for me and I’m starting to shift things over to verypets. I’ll have to get new workwear printed and stationary re-done and change logo’s on the free stuff etc etc but long term it should make life easier.

Basically I don’t just work with dogs and I don’t train just dogs! Cats, chickens, hamsters, donkeys, rabbits even pigs have been trained by little old me. Why not have an umbrella company which prospective clients can look at all the services and make their choice rather than sending them to trawl through another website (nice as it is)!

I’m looking forward to being back under one roof, it’s come full circle. I started out like this all those years ago…my eclectic brain got the better of me and chose to experiment and split the business and thus trainabull was born. Only there is some confusion as whether I train bulls (think cows) or balls (think round objects). So anyway here I am again at yet another crossroads making a decision which will cost me more than budget allows and may change my mind. Again.

Happy Jubilee everyone, hurrah, pip pip and all that.

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Cats and Dogs

My cat often comes out with us on local walks. Does anyone else’s do this? We get some funny looks and the occasional person tells us their cat used to do the same. What upsets me though is when children tease my cat; one little girl was hissing at him last week and my daughter told me about two boys who exclaimed they couldn’t coax him into their garden now. Why would they want to do that? Another young boy tried chasing him by riding up to my cat on his bike then screaming at him! WTF! You hear people say things loud enough for you to hear but they rarely say it to your face. Rude.

Admittedly my cat (his name is Lego) can be annoying at times…he demands his bowl be topped up with food even though there is only a tiny bit of the bowl visible underneath the cat food already in it. He will demand to be let out of the front door even though the back door is wide open. He pounces on you as you walk up and down the stairs or if you ignore him while he is making one of his numerous demands. Even my dogs, Bull Terriers of friendly sweet disposition are under his thumb. if said kitty has been in a fight, the stress it creates causes him to bat one of them if they dare to pass by him. If he is drinking from the water bowl they will form an orderly queue behind him. If he is sat by a doorway they will wait for him to move first. Yet you often hear people say cats and dogs are natural enemies. I’m confident my dogs would not hurt the cat. But I’m less than confident about the people in my neighbourhood.

Lego has an excellent recall. I love it when we are a little ahead of him and he yowls that we are too far away so I turn and call him, he runs toward us then right between the dogs while they are on lead. They don’t fuss or get excited. Sometimes if off lead one of them will be really playful and try to invite him to play with them. He doesn’t.

I’d love to hear if anyone else has such a cat!

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