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Dog Walking in Barry with Hugo and Harry

Dog Walking And Pet Sitting In Barry

I was thrilled last year to start dog walking and pet sitting in Barry for the delightful duo Hugo and Harry. They are two beautiful teacup Shih Tzus who are now both 3 years old.

Hugo and Harry’s mummy initially intended just to get the one Shih Tzu. She had been following Karashishi Shihtzu on Facebook for a few years after she lost her beloved Chloe, a Cocker Spaniel. As you can imagine there were lots of cute puppies on the pages but one day a gorgeous face appeared and she instantly fell in love! She contacted the breeder to ask if she could reserve him, paid her deposit and asked if she could start calling him Hugo. Below is a picture of Hugo as a puppy.

Hugo as a puppy

On arriving at the breeder’s house, Hugo and Harry’s mummy was immediately greeted by two tiny fluffy puppies running towards her (the size of a small guinea pig). The breeder said that they weren’t related as they were 3 days apart but they were best friends, loved each other and would not leave each other’s side. Hugo was initially quite standoffish and sat there staring with attitude but the other one was giving plenty of cuddles and kisses. Needless to say, she decided there and then to have them both and named the other one Harry! Below is a picture of Harry as a puppy.

Harry as a puppy

Hugo and Harry share their home with Suky, a beautiful 19 year old cat who most definitely is the Lady of the Manor. They generally get along  just fine although Hugo once tried to jump on Suky’s back to play and Suky socked him one in the eye with her paw. This unfortunately caused Hugo to have an abscess in his eye. The vet’s bill came to £1600 but Hugo is now fully recovered with no after effects. Needless to say, Hugo now looks the other way whenever he passes Suky.

Lady Suky

Hugo

Hugo is 3 days older than Harry and when I first started dog walking and pet sitting in Barry for them, their mummy warned me that Hugo was the boss! He is such a character. He’s the smallest and has such tiny teeth that he can’t bark but squeaks. This in no way diminishes this little man’s courage, however, as if he sees any other dog on TV or out walking, he’ll puff his little chest out, put on a walk like he’s 6 foot tall and start having a fit! He’ll squeak like crazy at the other dog and do all possible to try to get to them. When this happens, both myself and Hugo’s mummy will usually pick him up and carrying on walking. Hugo is such a character. He just loves to watch TV and will squeak and jump if he sees any animal on TV.

Hugo watching TV

Hugo gets very jealous if he sees anyone giving Harry affection or attention and as his mummy says he will kick off and attack! I follow a set routine as advised by their mummy whenever I get them ready for a walk. I have to get Hugo ready first, put his coat and harness on and then put him in the cloak room while I get Harry ready. If I was to get Harry ready with Hugo in the same room, he would squeak uncontrollably, shake with temper and try and attack Harry.

Hugo is adorable though and he likes nothing better than lying on his back, with his legs spread and staring into space. He will often adopt this pose if he sees me giving attention to Harry bless him. I think it’s because he knows he looks super cute when he does this!

Hugo’s favourite position!

Hugo also likes nothing better than being held like a baby in your arms. Below is a picture of me with Hugo when I was pet sitting in Barry for them.

Harry

Harry is not as feisty as Hugo and doesn’t bark at or want to fight other dogs. Harry tends to freeze if Hugo tries to bark at him or antagonise him. Whereas Hugo walks with attitude (his owner and I joked he walks like John Wayne), Harry tends to be more regal and elegant in the way he walks. I think it’s safe to say that Harry is the more refined one out of the two! He also likes to walk on the left hand side and is very particular about this. Harry is a very loving little dog who likes nothing better than playing with his favourite squeaky toy the pink pig!  Although his mummy has felt like throwing it out the window at times after the incessant squeaks!! Harry is not so refined though in taking treats as he tends to grab it and run (maybe he is worried Hugo will steal it from him!).

I love my squeaky piggy, though it drives Mummy insane!

Hugo better keep his paws off my pink piggy!

When travelling in the car to locations for dog walking in Barry, I have to put Harry in the front seat first and then put Hugo in the back. I try to arrange things so that they can’t look at each other in the car as Hugo has a tendency to try and antagonise Harry. They often have ‘face-offs’ in the car, instigated by Hugo, where they will bark at each other. Hugo can get himself quite worked up where he will shake in temper! I usually tend to play some nice classical music when I am in the car with them, to divert any squabbling! Below is a picture of them both having a ‘face-off’ in the car.

Face-off time!

Here’s Hugo doing his level best to antagonise Harry who is sat in the front seat of the car…..

And as you can see from Harry’s face below, he sure isn’t impressed!

They are such a comical pair though. Once their mummy just popped out of the car for 5 minutes to pay for something in the petrol station and before she knew it the car alarm was going off, the lights flashing and all she could see in the car window was Hugo and Harry’s heads, bobbing up and down, barking at each other. They had set the car alarm off!! Here’s Harry peeping out the car window after setting the alarm off!

In spite of their differences and squabbles, Hugo and Harry really do love each other and they like to sleep close together as you can see in the pictures below.

Bed byes

Sleeping beauties!

They also enjoy going out together on their walk, after Hugo calms himself down.

Walkies!

I hope you have enjoyed reading all about Hugo and Harry and their wonderful characters. Perhaps you are lucky enough to own one of these lovely dog breeds and have some interesting insights or stories to share. We’d love to hear from you! Please add your comments in the comments box.

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Pet Sitting In Barry With Ernest

Pet Sitting In Barry And The Vale Of Glamorgan

I love doing my pet sitting in Barry and The Vale of Glamorgan and in February I had the absolute pleasure of looking after Ernest, a gorgeous Jug, who lives just around the corner from me in Barry. Ernest is 2 years old now and shares the same birthday as his owner’s eldest son so they are forever Birthday Buddies! Here are some gorgeous photos of him taken as a puppy.

The Jug is a hybrid created by crossing two pure breeds – the Jack Russell Terrier and the Pug. First bred in America in the 60s, the Jug has become one of the most popular hybrid dogs around. They are also known by the names of Jack Pug and Pug Russell. They tend to be slightly lighter than the Pug but sturdier than the Jack Russell with a muscular frame and short legs that are well muscled. Jugs have also inherited the curly tail of the Pug.

Ernest with his curly tail! 

Although Jugs can still suffer from the breathing problems typically associated with the Pug, they suffer less so due to inheriting the slightly longer nose of the Jack Russell. Jugs have large expressive eyes and have the furrow or frown when they are alert or interested in something which adds to their endearing look. When Ernest’s owner first went to see him, she described him as being doe-eyed and super cute, with really unusual tri-colouring. He looks like he has freckles on his legs. 

Ernest with his freckly legs

Jugs are high energy dogs due to the Jack Russell in them. The often over the top Jack Russell energy, however, is tempered down somewhat by their Pug side. When Ernest’s owner first brought him home she describes him as being an angel on the car journey home which was terribly misleading because once he settled in at home, he was a crazy bag of endless Jack Russell energy! Jugs need about 30 to 40 mins exercise a day to keep them happy.

Dog Walking In Barry And The Vale of Glamorgan

There are so many fantastic locations for dog walking in Barry and The Vale of Glamorgan and since Ernest’s family moved to Barry, he’s especially loved his trips to the beach. When I was dog sitting for Ernest, I loved taking him to Whitmore Bay and over the clifftops to Jackson’s Bay in Barry. Dogs are allowed on Jackson’s Bay all year round but not in the summer months on Whitmore Bay.

Ernest at Jackson’s Bay, Barry

Ernest always keeps a close eye on his two human brothers as they explore the rocks and paddle in the sea. Ernest doesn’t like the sea, however, and prefers to keep a safe distance from the water. Some Jugs like swimming whereas others don’t even like getting their feet wet! I’ve found that some Jack Russells also don’t like the sea. They love playing fetch on the beach but will shy away from getting their feet wet! Some Jugs have flatter faces and can find it harder to breathe when they are in the water so care should always be taken if they go swimming.

Ernest keeping an eye on his 2 human brothers.

Ernest overlooking Whitmore Bay in Barry

 Jugs Love Their Food!

Jugs have inherited their love of food from their Pug side and you have to watch out for weight gain. Ernie has developed his unique particular skill of walking and standing on his two back legs for an extended period of time as he hunts for contraband/food left on the kitchen work tops.

When I was preparing to do my pet sitting in Barry for Ernest, his owner advised not to leave anything on the kitchen work surfaces as Ernest would hunt it down and eat it! Ernie is very partial to a stolen sausage or chicken nugget! He’s also a fiend for the rubbish bin. His owner once found him as a puppy head first inside the rubbish bin, see-sawing with his chubby tummy stuck on the rim of the bin and his back legs frantically kicking in the air!

Do Jugs Make Good Family Dogs?

Ernest with his toddler brother

Jugs are fun loving and endearing little dogs and can make wonderful family pets providing they are socialised from a young age. As they can be quite boisterous and high energy, however, they tend to do better in households with older children who therefore know how to behave around dogs. There’s also always the risk of them knocking toddlers over.

Jugs can also be quite sensitive by nature and Ernie is prone to a lot of anxiety. His owner tried many different routines and approaches to try and manage his anxiety while always keeping him around the family but she found his nervous energy really difficult to handle. Ernie also struggled with training as he was way too excitable to focus on anything more than learning a basic sit command.

Ernest playing with his favourite toy.

When I first met Ernie I could see how high energy he was, particularly around his younger human brother! Together they were a mass of unleashed energy! During my week of pet sitting in Barry for Ernest, however, I found that after walking and playing with him, he would eventually calm down and learn to settle in the living room. I would stroke him and talk calmly to him, whilst ensuring he did not jump up on the sofa. We got to the stage where he would contentedly fall asleep each night by my feet whilst I watched Emmerdale!

Ernest asleep on the rug

I sent some photos of Ernie relaxing and asleep in the living room to his owner. She was so pleased to see how well behaved he could be when given some calm adult attention. When Ernie’s owner returned home, she changed her toddler’s bedtime routine to enable her to have quality adult time with Ernest and this has payed dividends!.

Ernie is now so better from this change that he is like a new dog! His daily bad stomachs have completely cleared up! Ernest is now mostly happy after his walk to stay out of the toddler’s way knowing that he’ll get uninterrupted attention from his mummy in the evening. Now Ernie’s owner really enjoys her quality time with him and it’s created a really strong bond between them. Ernie is now even allowed up on the sofa as he loves to snuggle up in the blanket for a nap!

Snuggle time on the sofa with Mummy!

I hope you have enjoyed reading all about Ernest. Perhaps you have a Jug and would like to share some interesting insights? Or perhaps you know of some other good locations for dog walking in Barry and The Vale of Glamorgan? We’d love to hear from you! Please add your comments in the comments box.

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Dog Walking In The Vale of Glamorgan With Coco & Millie

Dog Walking In Barry And The Vale Of Glamorgan

As I provide dog walking in Barry and The Vale of Glamorgan, I also cover St Athan which is where the beautiful Coco and Millie live. They are two beautiful Sprocker Spaniels which I started walking last year. Coco is 2 years old and was bought from a breeder in Chichester, West Sussex. Millie is 1 year old and was bought from a breeder in Caerphilly.

Coco as a puppy

Millie as a puppy

Coco

Coco’s owner describes her as a very sensitive dog, in her feelings, demeanour and stomach! She is very loving but very excitable and it can be hard to calm her down when she is on one! Recall was a big challenge for Coco. She did well as a puppy but her owner believes this was more to do with anxiousness than training. As soon as she felt confident on regular walks, she’d do ‘runners’ terrifying her owner. She would always come back but not until she was ready! This is understandable as Sprockers are known to have selective hearing at times and a stubborn streak.

Her owner persevered with training using an extendable lead and recall with a treat each time. They practised on walks and in the garden and after a month of intensive training they got there in the end. Coco’s recall is excellent now and she always comes back. Sprockers, like most Spaniels, are extremely food orientated and this with their high intelligence means they are highly trainable when there is a treat involved!

Another challenge faced by Coco’s owner was that Coco had to say ‘hello’ and be loved by everyone when out, including small children, who would be terrified of this very excitable dog running towards them at top speed. Sprockers are outgoing by nature, very affectionate and love to play with children. The recall training really helped with this and Coco was put on a lead and allowed to say hello in a calmer manner.  Coco will now come back or move away from people upon instruction.

Millie

Millie is described by her owner as being the boss! She is not afraid of anything and can be very demanding at times. She will paddy if she doesn’t get her own way by barking. Millie has always been very good with recall, until she could see that Coco was getting away with it so her owner used the same training techniques with her as she used with Coco and Millie now has excellent recall. She is very nosey and needs to be involved in everything Coco does, to smelling the same area, pinching a toy from Coco’s mouth or chasing Coco to stop her in her tracks and bark in her face when out at the beach.

The barking in Coco’s face has been a big challenge with Millie. Every time this happens, both her owner and I will put Millie on the lead so that she learns that if she does this, she’ll be stopped from running around and discovering new smells. This now seems to be working as the frequency with which she does this to Coco is becoming less on each walk.

With regards to taking toys from Coco’s mouth, this is still an on going issue with Millie. Her owner uses the finger jab technique as her mum would have done to tell Millie to back away.

Places For Dog Walking In Barry And The Vale Of Glamorgan

Bred as working dogs to flush out and retrieve game, Sprockers need lots of vigorous activity to keep them happy and they love the great outdoors! It’s recommended they should have at least 60 to 80 minutes exercise a day.

Coco & Millie’s owner chose Spaniels as she wanted fun dogs and wanted to be able to do long walks and explore new places. She says you have to have the time and commitment to train them and always be able to keep them entertained as long walks aren’t enough for this clever breed!

Gileston beach

A lovely place for dog walking in Barry and The Vale of Glamorgan is Gileston beach or Limpert Bay as it’s known. Gileston is a small village located between Barry and Llantwit Major. It became a designated conservation area in 1970 in recognition of its special architectural and historic interest. I just love walking Coco & Millie here and taking photographs of this beautiful area.

At the centre of the the village is a small green on which sits a Grade II listed red telephone box, one of the last remaining. The winding lane leading to the village is lined with high listed limestone walls. It’s a beautiful village with the Church and Manor House at it’s centre. It also has Rose Cottage, a Grade II listed building dating back to the 17th Century. Gileston village has held the prestigious title of ‘Best Kept Village in the Vale’.

Rose Cottage, Gileston Village

Gileston Village

The beach is mainly pebble and rock, rich in fossils but at low tide lots of rock pools and expanses of sand is exposed. The beach is overlooked by Aberthaw Power station which was built on the site of the old Barry Golf Club. Coco & Millie just love this beach and there are magnificent views across the British Channel to Exmoor and Minehead. There are also some fantastic sunsets there!

Coco & Millie exploring the rock pools at Gileston Beach

Coco & Millie, Gileston Beach

Sunset at Gileston beach

The beach has a free car park. Located here is The Limpert Guest House, originally a 15th Century boat house and also the remains of a cottage which was certainly inhabited in the late 1980s.

Gileston beach car park with the Limpert Guest House and remains of a cottage in view

During World War II, Gileston beach’s defences formed part of the Western Command’s coast crust defences for The Vale of Glamorgan, resulting from the perceived threat of a German invasion from Ireland. At the top of the beach, running alongside it, you can still see the anti-tank stone cubes and some of these were signed by the soldiers who worked on them in 1940-1.

Anti-tank cubes from World War II

Millie overlooking some of the anti-tank cubes at Gileston beach

Gileston beach runs adjacent to the Wales Coast Path. The Wildlife Trust for Wales has helped record over one thousand species at this location. Coco & Millie just love exploring this vast expanse of fields and pathways. They love to get their nose into every nook and cranny of this beautiful landscape, interspersed with little streams, mud banks and grassy mounds.

Climbing the mounds on the Wales Coast Path, Gileston

Coco by the stream, Wales Coast Path, Gileston

Coco exploring the stream, Wales Coast Path, Gileston

Sprockers love to dig and flush out small animals, in keeping with the hunting instincts of their ancestry.

Enjoying a good dig, Wales Coast Path, Gileston

Millie has flushed out a mole, Wales Coast Path, Gileston

Spaniels also have a natural affinity with water and Coco & Millie never miss a chance to leap in whenever they can.

Coco & Millie enjoying the water, Gileston

Getting ready to delve in the stream, Gileston

In the months when we had lots of rain, there was a lot of flooding along the Wales Coast Path and Millie and Coco took every opportunity to enjoy the water.

Flooded fields, Gileston

Coco & Millie enjoying the flooded fields, Gileston

Flooded fields, Gileston

In spite of their differences, Coco and Millie adore each other and their owner says she could never be without them. I have enjoyed every minute of walking them and experiencing the wonderful Gileston beach and the Wales Coast Path.

Togetherness, Gileston

Perhaps you may know of some other lovely places for dog walking in Barry and The Vale of Glamorgan. Or perhaps you have some interesting insights into owning Sprocker Spaniels. We’d love to hear from you in the comments box. Get all our latest news on our FaceBook page!

 

 

 

 

 

 


Pet Sitting In Dinas Powys With Buddy & Betsi

Pet Sitting In Dinas Powys With Buddy & Betsi

When I started pet sitting in Barry and The Vale of Glamorgan, I came across Buddy and Betsi in Dinas Powys. They are two Jack Russells from the Many Tears Rescue Centre.

Buddy

Buddy’s owner initially wanted a big dog. When she arrived at the Rescue Centre she was asked what qualities in a dog she was looking for. Loyalty and love. ‘I know just the one’, the shelter owner said and took her to Buddy. Still wanting a big dog, Buddy’s owner moved on and chose another dog but he had already been reserved for someone else. ‘Don’t worry, I know just the one’ said another worker and was taken for a second time to Buddy!

Still with the mindset of wanting a big dog, Buddy’s owner started to leave but was stopped by the manager on the way out. ‘I know just the one, a special little dog’ and for the third time was taken to Buddy!! Buddy’s owner then realised that this special little dog was coming into her life for a reason and Buddy transformed her life!

Buddy looking worried on her first day in new home

When Buddy was taken to her forever home, her owner realised that Buddy had never been in a house before. She couldn’t get Buddy off the rug as she was too scared to move. Buddy couldn’t go through a door as she didn’t know what it was. She fell down the step at the back door as Buddy just didn’t know how to negotiate a step. Many rescue dogs have never before been in a home environment and plenty of love and patience is needed to help them settle in. .

And look at her now …….

Buddy amongst the buttercups

Buddy is now nine, has epilepsy and liver problems but is a real trooper who enjoys nothing better than being by her owner’s side, going to the beach, playing ball and food!. She’s a bit of a worry wort is our Buddy but is definitely her mama’s girl!

Betsi

In 2018,  Buddy’s owner decided they needed another companion to complete her little family and again went to the Many Tears Rescue Centre. Betsi was in a group of 4 and lunged at the fence to be the centre of attention, trampling on her brothers and sisters, pick me, pick me! Below are some shots of Betsi on her first day in her forever home:

 

When Betsi first arrived home, she was a wild thing! No clue how to act around other dogs and lots of destructive behaviours. It took much longer than first anticipated to settle her in and make her feel secure but again with much love and patience they got there in the end. Now Buddy and Betsi muddle on by together. Buddy is really good with young Betsi, really laid back when the boisterous pup gets her manners wrong.

Young Betsi is now 2 and full of energy, excitement, love and affection. Her owner describes her as ‘the biggest cuddle monster’ with no sense of spacial awareness!!. This is indeed true as when I sit for these two beautiful dogs, I get ‘Betsi bombed’ as soon as I go through the door. I am showered with kisses and cuddles from Betsi. I absolutely love pet sitting in Dinas Powys for Buddy and Betsi. Two dogs with such different personalities but both with very kind souls and spirits.

Dog Walking in Barry and The Vale of Glamorgan

I often dog sit for Buddy and Betsi when their owner goes away and I love our adventures together when we go out walking. Jack Russells are high energy dogs that require lots of exercise and stimulation. They certainly are not dogs to doze on the sofa all day!

There are so many terrific places for dog walking in Barry and The Vale of Glamorgan. Betsi is always up for a walk. Buddy needs a bit of coaxing due to her age and ailments but when she is out she does enjoy it. Walking them on lead together is hysterical because Betsi wants to go at 200 mph as she is so scared Buddy will get 1cm in front of her! She shouldn’t worry though as Buddy is a real plodder!

I love taking them to Whitmore Bay and Jackson’s Bay in Barry. Being Jack Russells with high prey drives, they like nothing better than chasing anything that moves so love playing fetch.

Betsi – Jackson’s Bay, Barry

 

Buddy, Jackson’s Bay, Barry

 

Betsi overlooking Whitmore Bay

After  a couple of hours dog walking in Barry, I always like to call into one of the many dog-friendly cafes down by the beach.  The Cove is a firm favourite of mine and it’s so nice to be able to relax and have a rest there with a nice Cappuccino and one of their delicious walnut salads. Whitmore & Jackson, Bay 5 Coffee House, K9 plus 1 Cafe are a few other dog friendly cafes in Barry close to the beach.

Myself & Betsi chilling at The Cove

There are also some fantastic places for dog walking in Dinas Powys. I love taking Betsi to Parc Bryn-y-Don. As you drive through Dinas Powys on the A4055 towards Barry, the entrance to the park is on the right. There is ample car parking space here, a skate-board park and big fields and woodland areas perfect for dog walking.

Parc Bryn-y-Don

 

Parc Bryn-y-Don

 

Parc Bryn-y-Don

What I love about Parc Bryn-y-Don is the nature. I love taking photographs of the trees as they have a natural beauty. We’ve also spotted lots of squirrels, which Betsi loves and Robins.

 

A cute Robin, Parc Bryn-y-Don

 

Squirrel in the tree – Parc Bryn-y-Don

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading all about Buddy and Betsi and also about the great locations for dog walking in Barry and The Vale of Glamorgan. Perhaps you know of some other great locations? Please add your comments as we’d love to hear from you. Get all our latest news on our FaceBook page.

 

 

 

 

 


Dog Walking In Penarth With Chase

Dog Walking In Penarth With Chase

Chase having some training with his owner

When I started my dog walking in Penarth and The Vale of Glamorgan, Chase, the handsome German Shepherd, was one of my first clients. Chase hasn’t been an easy dog as he had some challenging behaviours at times and comes with his own training needs but the effort and dedication that his owner has consistently put into his training has worked wonders!

I have worked closely with Chase’s owner to ensure I practice his training on our walks and I can honestly say that we have grown in confidence together!

Places For Dog Walking In Penarth

Chase enjoying the puddle in Cogan

Chase enjoying the big puddle – Cogan

There are some fantastic locations for dog walking in Penarth and The Vale of Glamorgan. I’ve enjoyed walking Chase in the big field by Cogan Leisure Centre where he loves nothing better than to get muddy whilst playing fetch and the great thing about this field is that when it rains it has some fab puddles which Chase absolutely loves!!

Chase enjoying Penarth beach      

Then of course there’s the lovely Penarth beach and clifftops.  Chase’s owner says that Chase can go from walking with a very loose lead to a tank pulling cranes in seconds when he hears the sea! Once he sees the sea in sight he’s just so so desperate to jump straight in and then he is in his element! He is one hard dog to get back out of the sea though once he is in it!

Chase in the Dingle

Another good place for dog walking in Penarth is the Dingle or Alexandra Park as it is known. I recently took Chase here before the lock down and he absolutely loves it. The Dingle Path was formed in 1883 by the Windsor Estate and is just off Windsor Road in Penarth, providing access from Penarth town and railway station to Windsor Gardens.

 The German Shepherd

The splendid Chase

The German Shepherd was originally bred in the late 1800s in Germany for herding livestock. They are balanced, confident, watchful, courageous, intelligent and loyal with strong protective and guarding instincts. They belong to the top 3 smartest dog breeds. The first ever Guide Dogs were also German Shepherds. They get their intelligence from their ancestors in the days of herding livestock as they needed to be sharp, attentive and use their logic to herd livestock.

What Questions To Ask If Getting A German Shepherd Puppy

Chase as a puppy

Chase’s owner highlighted how important it is to do your research and ask the right questions before buying a puppy. She was so bowled over by the gorgeous Chase that she didn’t realise till the next day that the guy she bought him off had lied about the information he had put up on the advert – by this she means that Chase wasn’t vaccinated and there was no Kennel Club documentation that the breeder had promised he would send her.

So Chase’s owner had a 14 week old puppy who she couldn’t take out for at least another 6 weeks until he was properly vaccinated. This meant that Chase as a puppy missed out on his socialising skills. Socialisation and obedience training at a young age is so important in German Shepherd puppies in order to prevent over-guarding and aggressive behaviour.

So if you are thinking of getting a puppy ask if they have been vaccinated and see proof of vaccinations. health checks and worming. Check if the puppy has been microchipped. It is a legal requirement in the UK that all dogs must be microchipped by 8 weeks of age unless they have a certificate of exemption signed by a vet. Ask what training or socialisation the puppy has already been having. If they are registered with the Kennel Club ask to see the certificate.

Are German Shepherds Good Family Dogs?

Chase loves his big brother!

Chase is the third German Shepherd that his owner has had and for her the thing she loves most about Chase, and indeed about German Shepherds as a whole, is that they like nothing better than to please you and the family to which they belong. She says they make excellent family dogs and loves to see the bond Chase has formed with her son.

German Shepherds are very caring and possess a protective attitude towards their owners. Whilst some German Shepherds can have aggressive tendencies, they are not by nature an aggressive dog. With the right nurturing, socialisation and training from an early age, they can be a loving and protective family pet.

German Shepherds Are Highly Trainable

Chase training with his owner

One of the greatest challenges for Chase’s owner has been his training and learning the social skills when it comes to meeting and playing with other dogs. She soon discovered an excellent breakthrough, however, in the form of sausages! These were used as the reward factor in positive reinforcement, getting Chase to focus on her. I also take the sausages out with me on each walk I do with Chase, practising his walk to heel and basic commands.

Chase has come on so well these last few months. What is particularly inspiring is that Chase and his owner have never been to any training classes. All the consistent and dedicated work has been done by Chase and his owner together, using sausages and U Tube videos. German Shepherds flourish with owners who can give them focused attention, exercise and training and this has certainly been the case with Chase and his owner!

Myself with Chase and his owner

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about Chase. Perhaps you are lucky enough to own a German Shepherd and have some other tips and ideas you’d like to share. Or you may know of some other great locations for dog walking in Penarth and The Vale of Glamorgan. We’d love to read your comments!


10 Simple Boredom Busters For Your Dog

Well normally I’m busy dog walking in Barry, Dinas Powys, Penarth . Now we’re on lock down, however, I’m getting bored! Just like us our dogs get bored and bored dogs can bark excessively, chew your treasured possessions and destroy your home! But how can we relieve boredom in dogs?

In this article I’ll introduce you to 10 easy ways to help you do just that!

1. Freeze That Kong!

Fill a Kong 3/4 full with dog friendly peanut butter or cream cheese, mix in some kibble then pop it in the freezer. When ready to give to your dog, add some unfrozen peanut butter or cream cheese to the remaining quarter and let your dog loose on it! He’ll need to work to get at the good stuff! Great for the summer too!

2. Make Them Work For Their Food!

Dogs are natural scavengers so try hiding treats and food under their bowls, around the house, garden or yard. Use things like the Snuffle Mat to hide treats in or interactive food bowls where your dog has to figure out in which compartment the treat is hidden in. Try doing a treasure hunt with your dog, leave some crumbs about that will lead to the hidden treats or kibble!

3. Give Them A Job To Do Around The House.

My client has a dog who helps with the recycling and even fetches her a towel after showering! Try training your dog to put its toys away or do the recycling. If your dog already knows the ‘drop it!’ command, train them to pick up a toy or piece of recycling and give this command when they are by the toy box or recycling bin.

4. Play Hide And Seek With Your Dog

This is something I used to love doing with my own dogs and is great fun. If your dog knows the ‘Stay!’ command, get them to stay while you go and hide or get a friend or family member to stay with your dog while you run and hide. Playing this can help tire out your dog whilst providing stimulation although I can’t guarantee they’ll be able to count to 100!

5. Build A Digging Box Or Sandpit

If your dog loves digging, particularly if you have a Jack Russell or other terrier, why not build them their very own digging or sand pit for the garden or yard! You can bury their toys in there and encourage them to find them.

6. Rotate Their Toys

Just like kids, dogs can get bored with the same old toys. Get a variety of toys for your dog but don’t leave them out all at once. Rotate them so that they don’t get bored, so that when they come back into rotation, the toy seems like new again!

7. Provide Dog Friendly Chewing Toys

Chewing is perfectly normal in dogs and helps to keep their teeth and gums in good shape. Rope and ridged rubbed toys are good as they are designed so that the ridges and rope get in between the teeth to remove plaque.

8. Making Your Own Dog Toys

Get an old tennis ball, cut a slit along the seam and fill it with treats. Get an empty water bottle and put inside an old long sock. Just tie a string around the sock’s opening to keep the bottle in and dogs will love the crinkly sound the bottle makes when chewing on it. Get an old glove and put some dog treats in its fingers. Plastic bottles can be used by making some holes in them and filling them with dog treats. Try filling some old cereal boxes with dog treats and taping the box up. Add difficulty level by putting the boxes inside other other boxes and placing treats or kibble between each layer.

9. Do Some Simple Obedience Training Each Day

Training your dog to do the basic commands provides lots of mental stimulation. Try doing a few 10 mins sessions each day to teach the basic commands of sit, lay down, shake paw, stay and come here.

10. Get Your Dog A Jolly Ball

Jolly Balls are made from strong, non toxic and durable material and as they don’t require air they can’t deflate! Very durable but soft enough to bite. They come with and without a handle.

Conclusion

Bored dogs can often have a lot of pent up energy which can often lead to destructive behaviours and an unhappy dog. Do you have any other useful tips for relieving boredom in dogs? Please add your comments in the comments box. Find us on FaceBook


Pets Are Good For Our Mental Health

Mental health problems sadly affect many people and now that we are faced with the possibility of increased social isolation amidst the Covid-19 outbreak, some of us may find ourselves struggling with our mental health. Long term isolation can have a profound effect on our mental health and as this terrible pandemic continues, all of us are going to have to come to terms with being increasingly cut off from society. According to MIND, 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. The number of people who self-harm or have suicidal thoughts are also increasing.

But there is good news!! Our pets can make a massive difference! Independent research by Vets4Pets in 2018 reports that 56% of people believe that having a pet relieves stress and anxiety. It is also believed that people with pets are less likely to suffer from depression than those without. Our lovely dogs and cats can be a huge comfort to us and particularly so for older people they can be a vital emotional support. Spending quality time with our pets, seeing their happy faces, receiving kisses from them and cuddling them can create a special bond which promotes the production of oxytocin – a feel-good hormone, helping us to feel relaxed and happy.

So let’s hear it for our pets guys!!! To help celebrate the enormous joy our pets can bring us, please add your comments to this blog to tell us about the 3 best things you love about your pet and how they make you happy and post up a selfie of you with your pet on our Facebook page!!. Let’s celebrate our furbabies, particularly amidst these troubling times of the Covid-19 virus. Lets smile with our pets!


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Wiggles Pet Services provides professional pet services including dog walking in Barry and The Vale of Glamorgan as well as pet sitting in Barry and surrounding areas!

 


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