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Training Gem

Ingrid Grayling - February 2013 Blog

February is usually a wet and windy month and this year has proved to be no exception. Gusts of wind whipping across the Cumbrian fells carrying with it heavy rain and hail doesn't help with the dogs that are in for residential training. Apart from being unpleasant to work in it can be very distracting for them, the strong gusts of wind that whistle past us carry all sorts of interesting things like leaves, torn segments of paper and bits of hay that have blown off the back of the tractors which go up and down the lane feeding the sheep in lamb. For both of us concentrating on the training lesson can be quite difficult.

At the time of writing this I have a very sweet little Jack Russell cross Dachshund in called Gem. She is in for one month's basic obedience training. She is very young and inexperienced, she hasn't experienced much of the world yet. So to her any rustling and movements are viewed with great interest!

Gem is a great little character she is very switched on and bright but at home she was running rings around her owner. Although the owner has had dogs all her life she was tearing her hair out and finding this young, energetic and strong willed little soul hard to handle. So Gem was booked into Boot Camp.

I think Gem imagined that coming here to me was going to be the same as being at home where she was the boss. However, after a few days of her being here and a few trips out on little walks we started to get to know each other and after a power struggle (both of us stubborn) Gem realised that she was at boot camp and that I am the boss here.

Having accepted that fact she then relaxed, and over a few days of training she started to give in. Then we really got down to work, getting on really well with each other with great respect on both sides. Little Gem is now half way through her training and we are both enjoying each other's company - she is so thrilled when she gets praised for doing the training correctly her little tail wags like mad. She has her play times before and after each training session and she plays with my two Labradors whom she loves, especially Twinkle the younger one who she followers around and watches everything that she does.

Let's hope that the weather is kinder next week as Gem will be meeting my sheep for the anti- livestock chasing training. This is a must in this part of the world where livestock are all around us, if the field is dry it makes it more pleasant doing this work. After an encounter with the enemy (to a dog, that's sheep!) Gem will then be allowed off the lead with my two dogs for freedom under a controlled walk. She will be able to go into the woods and field having fun but continuing her training (although she won't realise that at the time).

When Gems owner arrives to pick her up I will then spend a couple of hours with her training her and showing her all that Gem has learnt at Boot Camp. It's always hard to hand the dog back to the owner as by then we have become bonded together and it's hard for dog and trainer to say goodbye. However I know that little Gem will be coming back for her holidays to my kennels and I know that I can look forward to seeing her lovely brown eyes and her wagging tail again. So, perhaps February isn't so bad after all as I have made a new friend in Gem!

About Ingrid: Ingrid Grayling has become one of the UK's leading experts in professional dog training and obedience, and runs a highly successful business in the heart of rural Cumbria offering training and residential care as well as a training school in Bath, Somerset. With over 25 years' experience, Ingrid has built up her business which sees clients come from all over the UK to learn her unique training techniques. Services include: personalised training on a one-to-one basis, training the owner to train their dog, residential training and day courses, help with livestock worrying & behavioural problems, pre-puppy pack and active holidays for dogs.
www.ingrid-grayling.co.uk
00 44 931 715282

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Blendbetter Carlisle. Blendbetter Pet Foods, Westlinton, Carlisle. CA6 6AA.
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Website By StevenAskew.co.uk