Sunday, 27 January 2013


Phoebe (My now 4 months old Rottweiler) hates getting her feet wet or dirty.

We went for a 7 mile walk today, along the canal so nice and flat for her. The track was very we, of course and some areas that were well trodden, muddy and some puddles. The lengths she would go to to avoid getting her feet either wet or dirty. She did make me laugh lots. She teetered on the very edge of the canal, almost falling into the canal which would have seriously shocked her.

We walked to The Dragon and enjoyed a drink. She got lots of fuss and we enjoyed the return walk.

Friday, 25 January 2013

How do they know?

One of my boarding dogs, a Golden retriever, Knows which is her unit!!

I watched with fascination as Tilly would come out into the big run, exercise and do what she needed to do and then go to a unit and bark, obviously wishing to go back in and who can blame her as it is freezing outdoors and they all have underground heating on. What fascinates me is that of the 15 units, which all look the same, she went to hers. All items inside are from hear i.e. carpet and bedding so how did she know exactly which one she came out of?

Dogs are soooo clever.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Clean car!!

I have found a mobile car valeting company who have given my car a great clean (in the deadfall snowy weather) and it didn't cost a fortune either.

As a dog owner plus the fact that I often pick up and drop off my customers animals my car does get a little messy. I don't know about you but I find it very difficult to get all the dogs hairs out of the carpet, in the boot. I do have a rubber mat but the hairs still get down the edge. Anyway, Tim Horobin from MCV (0800 988 1302) has done a great job and he comes to your home so we can get on with other jobs too.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Jade meets Cocoa

Good morning 

Cocoa (Labradoodle) and Jade (German shepherd)  had a great time chasing, wrestling and generally having a great time with lots of freedom. They are both quite young dogs and of a similar size, I have had to put them back into their own units for a rest or they would still be playing out now.

I have closed the hatches down for a while to keep the heat in from the under floor system. The dogs in my care have all had 2 good play times so I think they are happy for the rest. It is all quiet anyway.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Snow and ice everywhere

My boys had a day off school today, much to their delight.

The dogs had great fun, running and playing in the snow. I cannot believe how much they love to get a piece of ice and toss and catch it in their mouths. They spent a long time trying to take it off one another too.

The horses are coping well as they are having fresh hay put out 3 times a day and hard feed too. I do think they do better in many ways out in the fields and able to wander where they like to. They all have good quality rugs on so are lovely, warm and snug.  If we had stables (which we haven't) they would be stuck inside for many hours, unable to wander and confined to a relatively small area.

Spring is just around the corner :)

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Well done South Derbyshire Council

My son works on a horse stud farm 8 am till 4 pm every Saturday. It is very much off the beaten track so I suggested we set on 1 hour early for a, usually 20 mins journey. We had on our wellies, hat, coat etc. Filled the car with all the "just in case" kit and off we set. Astonishingly the roads were clear (a good few inches at the sides) The only difficult bit was the last drag up a single track, very steep slope but we made it. Low gear, all the way.

I did consider my fuel consumption and the things we do for our children as it probably cost me more than he earns but for me it is worth it as not once did he complain about having to go to work, out side in these difficult conditions.

I do just hope the return journey is equally as easy :)

Friday, 18 January 2013

Play time!!

Come on, lets play :)

The Rottweiler has eaten my head!!

Doris came for a sleep over and my youngest son (age12) and I took them both to their training class. The attendance was poor, I guess due to the threatened snow. The puppies were very good, especially Doris who didn't have her Mum with her so had to obey commands from completely different handlers. She did great.

Phoebe found it quite confusing as sometimes she was with me but others with my son so it was a challenge to gain and maintain her attention. She did very well too. In fact I felt very proud of them both.

OK so we haven't had the predicted snow, yet, but any photo opportunity :)

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Getting out

I took Phoebe out to a friends today. There are dogs, horses, chickens and cats so a great educational opportunity for her in that she was not allowed to chase/eat the chickens and the cats put her in her place even though she really wanted to push the boundaries. She was very submissive with the dogs which is just how I want her to be too.

She was a very good girl and as always she was off the lead and never ventured too far away and came when called, almost straight away.

Her training continues along the right lines in that I am really working on her "stay" command and as she is so very fond of food I make her sit, stay and wait before she can eat. I can see it is torture to her but it should help to get a very clear message to her and form good foundations to her training.

Her heal work is doing ok but I think I may need her on a lead a little more to establish very close work and I don't really want to do this. I shall see what our trainer says on the topic tomorrow.


We are never happy are we?

First too wet, now too cold/frozen as I watched my horses trying to break the ice on our moat, which is where they drink from on the whole. They first used their muzzles then used their hoof. It took a few attempts but they managed it. At this time of year we feed hay and hard feed. I do soak their hard feed (cereal) but the hay, of course is very dry so they do need lots of water. One of my sons went down this evening to break up lots of ice to ensure they can get at the water with ease.

My eldest was supposed to be show jumping this evening but weather has stopped play as even on a prepared surface it is too hard/frozen and dangerous for both horse and rider.

Spring is on it's way :)

Sunday, 13 January 2013

No snow :) :(

The temperature has dropped and about time too. I have gone to the trouble of having under floor heating for the dogs which is thermostatically controlled and it has barely come on this winter ( I am happy really as no huge electricity bill).

I have a cast iron wood burner which I am having installed into the dog boarding too so there should be no complains of cold from our guests.

Bookings are coming in thick and fast as people are obviously planning their holidays and don't want to miss out on a space at Dogs Paws. For me, for a new business this is very encouraging and continues to build my confidence in it being the right decision to make the significant investment.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Training has begun

Phoebe had her first training class last evening.

She was a good girl for just 17 weeks old.

I did make a mistake in letting the boys play with her for a good while before we went so she got very tired and lost concentration but for her first time I was pleased with her. Her basics are good but if I had the treat in my hand when giving a command she was tempted to jump up. If I just pretended by closing my fist she was so much better. I do not want her jumping up as a full grown girl.
Close heal work and stay are going to be my focus for this week.

Dorris (Mel's Rotti) went too and she was great.

Having watched them both and observed how eager to please their owners they both are and once off the lead they remained loyal to us, I do think that Rottweilers are such lovely dogs and both Mel and I are working to ensure they stay that way and see if we can dispel the bad reputation the breed has. Well we won't be doing it any harm :)

In our home she is never left un attended and loose, I put her in her crate or I have a small pen to contain her. She is given things she can chew and play with and of course, hasn't damaged anything as yet and nor should she. The size and sharpness of her teeth, she could chew through cables or shoes in no time :)

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Water Water

I do watch with interest, where the dogs in the boarding drink from.

I have put the self filling water dispensers into their individual units. That way I ensure they all have fresh, clean and cool water available at all times but I also collect storm water into a butt and have a bowl below which I keep filled. As the dogs are let out regularly they have a choice and many do prefer storm water. This will not come as a great surprise as many of you have told me your pets enjoy drinking out of puddles, often muddy. Here they have a choice too :)

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Mesmerised !

No she wasn't a help with decorating the tree and yes she did manage to trash a few decorations but what fun we all had in the process. Phoebe got quite good at pulling crackers too although she was very nervous of them at first.

My boys have been doing some training with her too ad teaching her to roll over, turn a circle and play with her own tail. All good fun and any training opportunity has to be good for her.

She continues to be a good girl with things like socialisation, recall, heal, sit and down. As she comes to work with me I am trying to stop her running up to our guests owners as they arrive to collect or drop off their dogs as they may be un nerved by a Rottweiler. She is getting better which is great as I am really enjoying having her with me all the time.  She also needs a lot of practise with the "stay" command as she wants to be with me.
Our formal training starts this week so lets see how we get along.

Leaving us :(

My boys have called him Foxon. A Cockapoo, of course (Toffee is his Mum)
He is leaving us today for his new home.
10 weeks old and full of fun.
He has been on his own for a couple of weeks so has had oooodles of attention from us. He has been running out with my adult dogs and wrestling with Phoebe. We will  all miss him but I do know his new family will enjoy him and make a great fuss of him.

We actually have had 3 days with no rain and the sun has been shining too !!!
Long may it continue :)