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D-Day Dogs of World War II

D-Day Dogs of World War II

As they prepared for D-Day and the fight against Nazi Germany, the 13th Parachute Battalion of the British Army developed a new weapon: parachuting dogs. One heroic hound would even earn a medal for his service. 

Brian was a tough paratrooper, he trained hard for his deployment with the British Army during this time, he learnt how to identify minefields, keep his comrades safe and alert of any incoming enemy, the dogs had to have a high level of fitness just like their two legged counterparts.

On D-Day, he parachuted in under heavy anti-aircraft fire to land in Normandy to help detect enemy, he was there when the Allies liberated it. A few months before the war's end, he had parachuted into western Germany, from where he marched to the Baltic Sea with soldiers on foot for miles. Less than two years after the war, Brian was given an award to recognise his "conspicuous gallantry." 

The Story:

During World War II the 13th (Lancashire) Parachute Battalion started an adventurous experiment as it prepared for D-Day: enlisting dogs into their ranks. The so-called “paradogs" were specifically trained to perform tasks such as locating mines, keeping watch and warning about enemies. As a side job, they also served as something of a mascot for the two-legged paratroopers. 

Andrew Woolhouse, an amateur historian, writes that the battalion first got the dog in early 1944 because Lance Cpl. Ken Bailey "had a veterinary background." Woolhouse researched the battalion for five years and gathered the writings of a number of battalion members from both before and after D-Day.

At the time, Bailey had been assigned to run the "War Dog Training School" in Hertfordshire. In 1941, the British War Office had made radio appeals for dog-owners to lend their pets to the war effort. This led to the first batch of animals at the training school though the sheer number of people trying to get rid of their dogs during the war soon made it somewhat of a shelter with lots of dogs being donated.

 Among these animals was the above mentioned 2-year-old dog Brian. In January 1944, Bailey wrote in his notebook: "One of the dogs selected from the training school in Hertfordshire was 'Bing' a 2 year old German Shepherd - Collie cross. Bing had been called Brian by his civilian owner, Betty Fetch, and was the smallest of his litter and due to wartime rationing he was given up."

In addition to Brian, now called Bing, Bailey took two other dogs into training: Monty and Ranee, both German Shepherds. These three would number among Britain's paradogs during the war, with Ranee being the only bitch on active parachuting service in the war.

Training began with getting the dogs used to loud noises, at the base in Larkhill Garrison, the dog handlers had the dogs sat for hours on transport aircraft with their propellers spinning. They also trained the dogs to identify the smell of explosives and gunpowder in addition to familiarising them with possible battlefield scenarios, such as what to do if their master was captured, how to track down enemy soldiers and how to behave during firefights, all things the dogs that work alongside out troops these days are still taught.

Training on the ground lasted roughly two months, but then the dogs started what wasn't part of the training of the other search dogs in the war: parachuting manoeuvres.

The dogs' slim bodies proved to be advantageous because, during their test jumps, they could use the parachutes that had actually been designed to carry bicycles. In order to make it easier to get the dogs to jump out of the aircraft, they weren't given anything to drink or eat beforehand. 

On April 2, 1944, Bailey wrote in his notebook about the first jump with the German Shepherd bitch Ranee, he noted that he carried with him a 2-pound piece of meat, and that the dog sat at his heels eagerly watching as the men at the front of the line jumped out of the plane. Then it was their time to jump, which Bailey describes in this way:

"After my chute developed, I turned to face the line of flight; the dog was 30 yards away and slightly above. The chute had opened and was oscillating slightly, she looked somewhat bewildered but showed no sign of fear. I called out and she immediately turned in my direction and wagged her tail vigorously. The dog touched down 80 feet before I landed. She was completely relaxed, making no attempt to anticipate or resist the landing, rolled over once, scrambled to her feet and stood looking round. I landed 40 feet from her and immediately ran to her, released her and gave her the meat."

Jump, land, eat: With each training jump, the dogs started enjoying their job more and more, in fact the dogs sometimes allowed themselves to be thrown out of the planes or leapt out without any coaxing from the soldiers what so ever.

Jumping in modern times now with the dogs we aren’t as comfortable just to allow the dogs to have their own parachute and own landing. The dogs today are strapped to their handler as they jump from the aircraft. The dogs are muzzled for handler safety and even sometimes wear goggles to protect their eyes just like their human counterparts.

Amazing picture example of a modern day jump with Steve Conroy showing us all how its done over in the USA with his dog Kaia.

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Then came the day that the dogs had trained for, D-Day, June 6, 1944: The three planes carrying the members of the 13th Battalion took off at 11:30 p.m. on the previous night and headed for France, at 1:10 a.m. only 30 seconds behind schedule, the airplanes reached Normandy. Each plane held 20 men and one dog, everything seemed to be going according to plan until the hatch was opened and the planes were surrounded by bangs and whizzes which threw yellow light onto the grey clouds all around them.

Bailey and Bing flew on the same airplane and were the last ones in line to jump. But after Bailey boldly sprang out of the hatch, his four-legged counterpart turned around and holed up in the back of the aircraft. In battalion records, it says that the jump master on board, who was responsible for coordinating the jump, was forced to unplug his radio equipment, catch the dog and toss him out of the plane.

What's more, Bing's jump reportedly didn't go as smoothly as his training jumps had, shortly before setting his four feet on the soil of occupied Normandy, he was hanging in the branches of the tree his parachute had got caught in he had to wait for two hours until his comrades could find him and cut him down, he had two deep cuts to his face, most likely it was believed from German mortar fire. 

In what followed, as one soldier in the 13th Battalion later noted, Bing and the other dogs proved to be very useful, especially for locating mines and booby traps. "They would sniff excitedly over it for a few seconds and then sit down looking back at the handler with a quaint mixture of smugness and expectancy," he wrote, noting that the dogs would then be rewarded with a treat. "The dogs also helped on patrols by sniffing out enemy positions and personnel, hence saving many Allied lives," he added.

However, in addition to being saviours, the dogs were also victims. Monty was severely wounded on D-Day, while Ranee was separated from her battalion shortly after landing in Normandy and never seen again. But they were later replaced by two German shepherds who had switched sides and soon became friends with Bing.

Bing survived the war and went on to receive the Dicken Medal, the UK's highest honour for animals that have displayed "conspicuous gallantry or devotion to duty while serving with any branch of the Armed Forces or Civil Defence Units." 

But that was not the last honour for Bing's service: When he died in 1955, the former paradog was buried in a cemetery of honour for animals northeast of London. Today you can also find a life sized replica of this four-legged hero in the Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces Museum in Duxford. He is naturally shown wearing his parachute and next to his medal of honour, which bears the words "For Gallantry" and "We Also Serve.”

Bing or Brian was reunited with Betty Fetch at the end of the war:

 

To visit the museum please see: http://www.paradata.org.uk 

Photo credits: Paul Conroy for the modern colour photo of him exiting with dog.

References:"13 - Lucky for Some: The History of the 13th (Lancashire) Parachute Battalion," Andrew Woolhouse

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DOGS AND THE HOT WEATHER

DOGS AND THE HOT WEATHER

Dogs in cars

One of the most life-threatening mistakes people can make is to leave a dog in a vehicle during hot weather. Dogs can’t perspire (sweat), as humans do, to cool themselves off through evaporation, so they have to pant to cool themselves. If the air that they are breathing in is also too hot (as it is in a parked car in hot weather), then panting has little cooling effect and the dog quickly overheats.

Many people think their dog will be OK if they leave the windows open, but even with the windows wide open, the car can quickly become too hot for the dog. When it’s 22 degrees outside, in a car it can reach an unbearable 47 degrees within an hour which is hot enough  to cause heatstroke, brain damage, and even death. Your pet may pay dearly for even a few minutes spent in a sweltering car, please leave your pets at home during hot weather.

Heat stroke in dogs

Signs of heat stroke include heavy panting that does not resolve as the pet rests, increasing distress, their tongue will change colour to a dark red/purple, weakness or collapse, hyper-salivation, vomiting and laboured breathing. If you suspect a dog is suffering from heat stroke, move him to a cooler environment immediately and apply cool water to the abdomen, ears and foot pads. 

Don’t pour ice water over the whole animal, just submerge him in a tub of cold water or cover him in a cold, wet blanket. Once he is stable, get him to a vet as quickly as possible, even if he seems to be cooling down and his temperature seems normal. Things may be happening on the inside that are not obvious from the outside.

If you spot a dog in a car that looks to be suffering from heat stroke this is what to do:

  • Establish the animal's health and condition. If they're displaying any signs of heatstroke dial 999 immediately.
  • If the situation becomes critical for the dog and the police are too far away or unable to attend, many people’s instinct will be to break into the car to free the dog. If you decide to do this, please be aware that without proper justification, this could be classed as criminal damage and, potentially, you may need to defend your actions in court.
  • Make sure you tell the police what you intend to do and why. Take pictures or videos of the dog and the names and numbers of witnesses to the incident. The law states that you have a lawful excuse to commit damage if you believe that the owner of the property that you damage would consent to the damage if they knew the circumstances (section 5(2)(a) Criminal Damage Act 1971).

 Document the whole process on a mobile phone if you are ever in the above situation.

Once the dog is removed from the car follow the steps above for helping a dog with heat stroke. If the dog is not responding at all and you think there is no breathing or heart out put you can commence CPR - see picture below for instruction on how to perform this on dogs:

Walking a dog in hot weather

If you walk your dog on lead, keep in mind that tarmac can get very hot during the summer. In fact, it can get hot enough to burn a dog’s pads, causing him pain for days. You might want to do only short walks early in the morning or later in the evening, when the temperatures are lower. Before taking your dog for a walk, check the ground with one of your own hands or bare feet. If you can’t keep your hand (or foot) on the ground for more than three seconds, it’s probably too hot to walk your dog on. Dogs who are older or overweight, have a thick coat or dogs which are brachycephalic (such as bulldogs, Boston terriers and pugs etc) are especially at risk of overheating. If you need to walk in the heat try to take water and a collapsable bowl with you or know where a natural clean water source is for the dog on the walk.

The same goes for anyone working dogs in agility, heel work, bite work etc dont do it in the midday sun work the dogs early in the morning or evening time for the cooler weather.

Provide water for a dog at all times

Providing water for your dog is always important, but it’s especially critical during hot weather. If your dog is inside during the day, make sure you supply fresh, cool water that remains in a shaded spot throughout the day, since sun coming through a window can heat a bowl of water. Most dogs won’t drink hot water no matter how thirsty they are.

If your dog stays outside during the day, make sure his water bowl isn’t in a place where he will tip it over. Water bowls can be tipped over by dogs trying to make a cool spot to lie down. If necessary, buy a tip-proof water bowl. Also, make sure he has a shady place where he can get relief from the sun. Paddling pools are a nice way to give dogs their own clean puddle in which to play.

 

Seasonal grooming considerations

Grooming all dogs, even dogs with short coats, helps to keep them comfortable as the seasons change. A natural coat that has been groomed offers protection from sunburn and acts as cooling insulation. Shaving your dog’s coat will take away that protection. If you give your dog a close cut for summer, they may need protection from the sun, so consult a vet about whether your pet needs a sunscreen on exposed areas. Dogs with bald patches or minimal coats may need sunscreen, as well as Nordic breeds of dogs, who are prone to auto-immune-related sun diseases.

There are products on the market to help cool the dogs - we sell a Ruff and Tumble drying coat which can also be soaked in cold water and used as a cooling rug or even blanket to lie on. 

The best rule is if its too hot for us to stay out in the sun and it feels uncomfortable - imagine how the dog feels when it cant sweat the same way as us and also cant take their coat off!!!

 

 

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Anti Poaching Dog Murwi at the Imire Rhino and Wildlife Sanctuary Zimbabwe, Africa.

Kit4dogs are so excited and honoured to be involved which a project that hits right to the heart of saving and protecting future Rhino populations across Africa. Extremus K9 have allowed us to provide the kit including the Modern Icon Patrol Harness and Modern Icon 2" Rigid Collar that Extremus Murwi will be deployed in when at the end of April 2018 she departs to the Imire Rhino and Wildlife Sanctuary.

This is a front line of operational Anti Poaching Dog units, not just to deter would be poachers in poaching hot-spots, but also to act as sworn protector and defender of a world renowned Rhino breeding programme which is more crucial now than ever before. To agree with Darren Priddle from Extemus K9 “To say this is a special and meaningful project is an understatement, this is the future of conservation.”

 

 

Support for the project comes from donations and on going fund raising from Harare International School , founded in 1992, Harare International School (HIS) is an independent, non-profit institution, serving students in Early Childhood 1 (EC 1) to grade 12.  HIS enrols a diverse student body of approximately 450 students representing over 60 nationalities. Without the inspirational effort of the teachers and students alike the funds to supply Murwi to Imire Rhino and Wildlife Sanctuary would not have been possible. 

Follow their story - H.I.S 24hour

With this on going funding the project will be able to receive continued conservation support in the form of handler training, equipment, food and veterinary costs.

There is a go fund me page for this amazing on going project if you would like to donate some money please visit: Murwi Go Fund Me Page - Please use reference ProjectMurwi for any donations made - many thanks.

Murwi the name of the dog was chosen by the pupils of Harare International School is Shoni (the local dialect) and means Warrior when translated into English, which is exceptionally apt for this amazing dog. 

 

Imire -“the meeting place” in Shona, was founded in 1952 by Norman and Gilly Travers. Located 105km east of Harare, and having over 4,000 hectares of conservancy, Imire's animal sanctuary contributes enormously to the conservation of Zimbabwean wildlife. It's most renowned for breeding and releasing black rhinos into Matusadona National Park, as well as providing orphan elephants and other animals a home/refuge. 

To date Imire has successfully released 11 rhino into the wild. The Black Rhino Breeding Programme is world-renowned, helping to protect Zimbabwe’s heritage with the successful re-introduction of this incredible endangered animal back into the wild.  Imire is dedicated to protecting wildlife and strongly believes that rural communities and conservation programmes can successfully thrive side by side, working together to ensure the protection of their natural heritage.

Their vision at Imire is to enhance the relationships between tourism, conservation programmes and community areas through long-term, sustainable environmental management and positive community projects.

This project, alongside the protection and prevention of wildlife crime, aims to inspire children and future generations across the globe to take part in and be actively involved in projects like this and other conservation efforts; this will be an integral part of Project Murwi.

Kit4dogs feel very honoured that Extremus K9 have allowed us to be a small part in what is an incredible project and we aim to show that every single individual has a part to play, no matter how small that may be, in the conservation of animal species in both Africa and across the World. We will bring you updates and pictures of how Murwi is getting on in Africa when she is there at the end of the month.

There is a donations page for this amazing on going project if you would like to donate some money please visit:  http://www.imire.co.zw/support/ - Please use reference ProjectMurwi for any donations made - many thanks. 

All the kit that Murwi will wear in Africa is available to purchase off the website.

 

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A weekend away in Brecon - a very dog friendly town

A weekend away in Brecon - a very dog friendly town

Miles of open moorland, lush green valleys, hidden waterfalls, fern-filled gorges, four spectacular mountain ranges including climbing the ultimate Pen y Fan, it really is a dog walkers paradise. What more could you ask for? Well it keeps coming because Brecon was one of the most dog friendly places I have visited, lots of shops and cafes even having their own dog already in the venue.

We started our weekend by climbing Pen y Fan, which is the highest peak in south Wales at 886 metres above sea-level. Its not for the faint hearted but you don’t have to go all the way to the top. Plenty of people were walking short distances up if you do get to the summit make sure you take a picture on Jacobs Ladder signalling the last push to the top! There were plenty of dogs out walking, you will find sheep and horses on the climb so make sure if your dogs are off the lead they are completely stock proof and all dogs should be kept on leads during lambing season or when ewes have very small lambs at foot. We recommend climbing with the dog in a well fitted Harness for safety, we love the fit of the Modern Icon Patrol Harness for days like these comfortable and completely reliable.

 

What you will find at the top: 

Image result for pen y fan

After our climb we definitely needed a coffee so I put Max’s Ruff and Tumble drying coat on to make sure he was warm to stop his muscles from stiffening up and to dry him off to save the car from “dog water shake off”.

We headed off fully expecting one of us to go and buy some take away coffees and find a wall to sit on but the Coffee Box off Lion Street was more than welcoming to any dog. We took his coat off laid it on the floor and he had a make shift bed to lie and sleep on while we indulged in very good coffee and cake.

Image result for the coffee box brecon

For our evening meal we went to The Bank Bar and Grill it was a Saturday night and we had great food, large portions and there was a good atmosphere, which included everybody’s dogs! The staff were more than accommodating to the dogs who got their own bowl of water and biscuits to the table, dog beer was offered!! They even wrapped up left over meat for the dogs to “take out” as we left about 9.30pm there were door staff on the doors and apparently the place is a lively place to be on a Saturday night in Brecon with live music and a late license.
They even offer this:

 

There are many places to stay in and around Brecon which accommodate dogs - two places we found were:

Borderers Guest House - 47 Watton, Brecon, LD3 7EG  

Or

Vale Farm Cottages Vale Farm Lower Chapel,, Brecon, LD3 9RE

Somewhere which doesn’t allow the dogs in is Nant Du Lodge Hotel and Spa but its well worth a visit to get a massage for tired muscles and a loosen off in the indoor pool and hot tub. The food was also good with very accommodating staff. 

 So if you fancy a nice weekend away with the dog visit Brecon you really wont be disappointed and they will get to join in the whole weekend with you. It could just rain a bit!

 

 

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SNOW!!! Tips to keep you dog healthy over Christmas

SNOW!!! Tips to keep you dog healthy over Christmas

The snow is here!!!

We all turn back into children the minute the snow arrives and a snow ball fight is a must!! The dogs (well most) love the snow too bouncing through it, rolling in it and catching snowballs that magically disappear.

As much fun as we are all having there are a few things to look out for in cold and frosty weather with your dog:

1)Paws can crack in the snow and ice: the best advice is to try applying a moisturiser after you have cleaned and dried the feet if they are cracked. When you have applied anything to a dogs paws, keep them busy with a puzzle ball or treat so that they won’t lick it straight off. You can try preventing this type of damage by putting your dog in booties or by cleaning the pads of their paws each time they come inside.  

2) Be vigilant of rock salt and antifreeze: 

Rock salt is going to be everywhere when it has got icy or snowed, so try and stop your dog from eating it, it isn’t actually toxic to them but it can upset their stomachs and cause sickness just the same as if a human were to eat too much salt. It may also rub on the pads of their paws and cause irritation and cracking like we mentioned above. 

Antifreeze is extremely poisonous to dogs (and cats) It tastes sweet to them so they want to lick it off pavements and drive ways or worst case even the bottle. If you notice you dog doing this consult your vet and if you start to notice the dog has a “drunk” appearance you need to take them straight to the vet as an emergency. Many dogs and cats die every year from Antifreeze poisoning. 

In the USA it is now law that all products with EG (Ethylene Glycol) the sweet active ingredient in antifreeze have to have a bittering agent added to them to make the product taste bitter and horrible to try and prevent animals wanting to lick up the deadly liquid.

In the Uk there is a petition on going at the moment trying to gain enough signatures that the government will have to review a similar procedure to help make UK antifreeze safer for our dogs, cats and wildlife. 

 

To sign it visit: https://www.change.org/p/uk-eu-parliaments-law-defra-ban-all-antifreeze-preparations-unless-they-contain-a-bitterant

 

3)Think about whether the dog is cold before they start to show you signs that they are:

If the temperature has dropped enough that you have put on a big coat, scarf, hat and gloves chances are the dog is feeling the same drop in temperature, there are many coats and rugs on the market today some that can be worn outside and some that are specially designed for drying wet coats quickly to stop a chill setting in, like our Ruff and Tumble Drying Coats - great as a layer for outside or even better for drying them out when they come back inside or get into the car.

Think if you are cold and want to go in then chances are the dog has had enough time outside!!

Try to avoid clipping the dogs in cold weather if it isn’t a necessity for their health. They need their natural coat to be able to keep warm in cold conditions. 

4) When the weather is horrible the dog might not want to have a wee etc just kicking them out the back door will not mean they will go to do what they need to do. You still need to actively take them for a walk and keep a normal routine, when you are walking and moving about it is much easier to stay warm for you and the dog.

 

5)Finally around the Christmas period you need to remember there will be a lot more food and goodies in the house including chocolates on Christmas trees easily available to steal. Items to be particularly careful of:

 

Chocolate: is very poisonous to dogs the darker the chocolate the worse it is because it has more of the ingredient theobromine in which the dogs cannot tolerate. Keep all chocolate away from dogs even the ones hung on the tree and remember if you want to treat you dog to some chocolate you can buy dog safe chocolate for them to enjoy.

Alcohol: Dogs are a lot more sensitive to alcohol than humans and it is not good for them, so mind those glasses popped on the floor haven’t had a helping taken out of them, some alcohol mixes are sweet and would seem appealing to the dog.

Bones: Raw bones are great for dogs and they really enjoy munching away however cooked bones can cause serious health problems including ruptures stomachs and guts. When you cook bone it becomes very brittle and can break off and splinter inside the dog or lodge itself in mouths and throats either way causing serious problems. Make sure where every you dispose of your cooked bones the dogs cannot steal.

Macadamia Nuts: yes very specific but can cause quite dramatic effects of vomiting, ataxia (wobbly) weakness, fever, muscle tremors and depression all of which won't make for a very Happy Christmas.

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Remembering our Canine Heroes

Remembering our Canine Heroes

Celebrating Military Dogs on Remembrance day

On November 11, we will remember and honour friends and family members who fought for us in battle. Because we love dogs so much at Ruff and Tumble, we thought we would honour and remember them too! The loyalty and bravery of dogs is never more tested than in war. Did you know that 65 dogs have won the Dickin Medal – the Victoria Cross for dogs? And that German Shepherds were parachuted into Taliban strongholds with video camera equipment? Dogs surprise us every day, but these dogs will humble your heart.

 

Judy
This plucky English Pointer was saved by Frank Williams in a POW camp, which they were not freed from until 1945. Judy - who was clearly multi-talented - survived two torpedo attacks and was a POW twice. She fought the guards when they attacked the men, as well as tigers and alligators! This brave pooch swam to rescue soldiers from a sinking ship and found fresh water for them when it ran out. After the war, Judy was awarded the Dickin Medal and she and Williams remained inseparable for the rest of their lives.

 

Lex

Loyal Lex, a German Shepherd, and his handler, Cpl. Dustin Lee, were struck by a mortar in Fallujah. This loyal dog was struck by shrapnel, but managed to crawl over to Lee and lie on top of him, protecting Lee until medics arrived. Other soldiers reportedly had to pull Lex away so that Lee could be helped. Sadly, Lee died, but Lex, who had 50 pieces of shrapnel in his body, was adopted by Lee’s family, and continued to work to support and comfort veterans.

 

Treo
Treo, a beautiful black lab, started out in life as a bit of a naughty boy, and was donated to the army by his owners who hoped that he would be straightened out! Army life clearly suited him however, and in 2010 he was awarded the Dickin Medal for saving lives of soldiers and civilians. He was so good at sniffing out explosives that he gained notoriety amongst the enemy who referred to him as ‘that black dog’ on intercepted radio traffic! In 2015 he was buried by his owner, Sgt Heyhoe, with his medal and the Union Jack.

 

A massive thanks goes to Ruff ad Tumble for all the above information on our canine heroes.

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How to - Train a Heel and Sit Command

 How to - Train a Heel and Sit command:

 

 1) Make sure the dog is on the appropriate lead - in most cases I think this should be a slip lead that applies pressure for a negative behaviour but releases immediately when the dog performs what is asked of it. There are exceptions to this so make sure you get advise from a professional.

 

2) Make sure that when you start off training the command, as with training anything new you are in a safe environment for you and the dog and there are as few distractions at this stage as possible.

 

3) Have a treat or reward (ball/tug/toy) which ever you have chosen to use ready. Have the dog on your left hand side by your feet - hold the treat or reward in your left hand just above standing head height of the dog and lead in the right hand across the front of your body - walk off and command (name of the dog) and heel and then go - walk forward at a normal pace and encourage the dog to come with you straight by your left hand side with the treat/reward held just above the dogs head height.

When the dog comes with you with no pressure on the lead and walks nicely by you reward this with giving the treat/reward and saying “yes” at the same time as the treat/reward is given out. This treat/reward giving and the word “yes” must happen within 3 seconds of the dog giving you the correct behaviour - this way the dog can link the behaviour with the reward, any longer a time period and the dog will not associate the good behaviour with the reward. You are then in essence rewarding nothing.

 

4) Once you have the dog walking to heel you can also practice putting a sit command in, all you need to do is stop and as you do command (name of dog) sit and raise your left hand with the treat/reward  upwards on the left hand side of your body just  above the dogs head. The dogs head should come up which in turn creates the bottom to go down and creates the sit. The second the dog puts its bottom on the ground treat/reward with the simultaneous “yes”. The dog needs to understand what it has just done is a sit - this comes with a lot of repetition and practice. In some cases if the dog doesn’t put its head up and bottom down you can encourage the sit position by using your right hand across your body to hold lead and treat and the left hand can slip down the dogs back and apply pressure to encourage the bottom to go down - the same instant reward system applies. 

 

 

 

Some Common Problems:

My dog isn’t interested in treats or balls etc so how can I train the above? This is quite common with well fed dogs that are already full enough. If this is the case prepare the dogs meal as normal into its bowl etc, but then put the dogs lead on and practice the above stages but take the rewards from the bowl and use each meal as the dogs training time, so it gets it meal by a reward system.

 

The dog chews the lead or gets its paw over the lead? The dog should wear the slip lead just behind the ears and the lead should leave the dog in a straight line to you. There only needs to be just enough lead for the dog not to have pressure applied when it is performing correct behaviour.

If you are moving forward and continuing to do so its very hard for the dog to do this especially when you are using the above reward system, the dog will be more interested in that. If it does happen remove the paw or lead from mouth and carry on as quickly as possible making as little event over it as possible - the behaviour will quickly subside. 

 

The dog walks all over the place and trips me up? This means the lead is too long and you are allowing the dog to take control of the situation. The lead should be in a straight line from the dog to you with just enough slack that there isn’t any pressure on the dog when it is doing the correct thing. The dog should be positioned by your left side level with your feet if sat or your stride length if walking. If this isn’t happening check where you are holding the reward or toy and check you lead length and above all just walk - go…. the dog will have to position itself by you if the lead is on correctly at there correct length. 

 

The only way to teach the dog a command is repetition repetition repetition - there is no quick system you just have to use the correct method be consistent and stick at it. Good Luck 

 

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National Dog Walking Week 1-7th October with Ruff and Tumble and Kit4dogs

National Dog Walking Week 1-7th October with Ruff and Tumble and Kit4dogs

We’re walking and we’re talking……. National Walk your Dog Week October 1-7

How many times do you do it a day?

The experts recommend twice for 30 minutes at least.

We’re talking dog walking folks, so calm down! The sad truth is that some people don’t walk their dogs at all, and think that letting them out of the back door is good enough. With 35% of dogs being overweight, (let alone their owners), there is even more reason to get out there and get walking.

With eight healthy hounds between them, Alison, Ed and Richard at Ruff and Tumble have walked hundreds of miles with their dogs, and they thought that you may like to know where they stride out and switch off.

Alison’s Amble

Alison has so many walks she loves in her home county of Norfolk, that it was hard to choose one. Brancaster Beach is a favourite because it is wide and long, and the tide goes out for miles. You can park by the beach, though there is a charge, but you’ll be lucky to find a parking place in the summer. At this time, you’ll only bump into Alison if you’re walking before 6am or after 8pm, when everyone has gone home! She also recommends the walk along the Choseley Road near Brancaster, where you can park your car in a layby, follow the track to the beach, walk through the trees and over the boardwalk, splodge through the marshes and return to the village, stopping off at the dog friendly Ship for a drink! She takes some bikkies for herself and the dogs, a thermos with tea and one with water for the dogs, and a collapsable bowl. Despite her busy lifestyle as owner of Ruff and Tumble, she always finds time to walk the doggies twice a day for at least 30 minutes, and says she wouldn’t miss it as it’s such a great opportunity to relax and think about new product ideas for Ruff and Tumble.

 

Ed’s Evening Stroll

Ed loves Norfolk too, but his fave spot is at Wells. With Red being rather fond of her frisbee, there is lots of space on the beach to throw it without worrying about hitting anyone. What both Red and Yoshi particularly love is snuffling about in the woods behind the beach, which are beautiful on a bright and sunny day in Autumn with the green pines against a cloudless blue sky. Norfolk is Ruff and Tumble’s happy place, and at the end of an hour’s, (Ed’s recommendation) walk, Well’s Beach Cafe is Ed’s happy place, especially if he has a giant piece of Victoria sponge in his hand…

Richard’s Ramble

Richard loves walking more than anyone, and can regularly be found at Burghley House, near Stamford, which has glorious deer filled parks which are free to roam in from dawn till dusk. He takes Coco, Rocky and Hooch there most days, and recommends a walk ‘no less than half an hour’.

There is a fantastic Sculpture Garden, and a water experience called ‘The Garden of Surprise’, but sadly dogs aren’t allowed in these. Take a picnic with you too, as although there’s a lovely restaurant called The Orangery, dogs aren’t allowed here either. Don’t let this put you off though as it is a beautiful place and the house is stunning. If you go, do not forget to pack your Ruff and Tumble Coat though, as Richard’s dogs always jump in the lake by Lion Bridge and roll in the deer and sheep poo, so a Coat is an essential on the way home!

KIT4DOGS Kick start to the weekend

Kit4dogs favourite weekend spot with Max, Pepper, Barney and Onion is the gorgeous stepping stones at Dovedale in the Peak District National Park.The dogs love to swim in the river and the current is not too fast flowing for even puppy Onion to have a splash at the shallow waters edge.

Close to the Tissington Trail which its a great safe place to do plenty of off lead walking and also take a bike to put some real miles in with the dogs. A great stop off pub is the Old Dog at Thorpe with a great menu. The dogs are very welcome in the pub and always supplied with their own bowl of water - a perfect place to wear their coats to dry off after a long swim and walk. 

 

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How to - Train a recall command

How to - Train a recall command

来这里吧 understand this? No? What if I shout it at you more loudly and start waving my hands around? Still don't understand???

No and neither does your dog if you haven't actually trained a word/instruction you can't expect your dog to perform it. So many people think that screaming here or come at the tops of their voices across the park will make the dog one understand what they want and two actually do it - it won’t trust me. Now if I teach the dog what here/come means and make it a better incentive to come to me than carry on with whatever it is they are doing across the other side of the park, now I have the beginnings of a recall.

 

There are many methods and ways to teach a recall, this is just my preferred method:

 

  1. Ideally start when they are puppies and make it all food orientated - not their normal biscuits that they find in their bowl but something really delicious something they want to “win” like sardines or hot dogs or a bit of chicken. Start sat on the floor in an enclosed space and let the puppy look away even turn away and call here/come/close whatever your chosen word is - once you have chosen it though it needs to stay the same for every person that handles the dog. Call the word once and you will get the puppies attention say “yes” and offer the food all within 3 seconds. The 3 second rule works from puppies into adult dogs and it is the amount of time that the dog still associates the reward for the behaviour it has just offered and this is the link you need to create to get the dog to properly understand a command.

 

  1. Once the puppy does this repetitively 3 or 4 times a day (only 5 minutes at a time) allow the dog to venture a little bit further away in the enclosed space and repeat the exercise. If you are feeling really confident you can put a distraction in the room that you allow the dog to go to and then you can call it away from the distraction - always remember though what you are offering as a reward needs to be more appealing than the distraction.

 

  1. Once you have achieved this you can put the puppy on a slip lead and practice the same thing outside, you step back three/four paces to the end of the lead and then call and the puppy should come and present in front of you - “yes” and food simultaneously. You can build the length of the lead up so you are eventually moving quite a distance from the dog.

 

  1. As puppies mature into older dogs some people prefer to substitute the food for a toy or ball. This really depends on how high drive the dog is for a toy - some food crazy labradors for instance may always prefer to come back to a bit of chicken than a ball!!

 

  1. Don’t over use the word, a dogs hearing is very good and they will have heard you the first time, shouting over and over again at the top of your voice just creates a dog that just blocks you out and then they actually train themselves they don't have to listen to you. If the dog isn't returning to you - go over put on the lead and go back a step in training until you know that the command is confirmed for the dog.

 

  1. If your dog doesn't come back immediately and it takes a slightly deviated route back please DON’T get angry with the dog. It has done what you asked (eventually) but if you get angry with it you create confusion in the dog’s head, it thinks it is being told off for returning - you run the risk of having a very confused dog or even worse a dog which won’t return at all for fear of being told off. Keep a high pitched excitable tone at all times - remember you want to be more appealing and a better option than whatever else the dog has found or is interested in.

 

A few other tips to try along side the general rules:

 

Socialisation is great and I am a big advocate that dogs should be socialised from a young age and they should understand each others body language and react accordingly to it which is learnt from socialisation. When a dog has learnt these things what they don't in my eyes need to do is run off to speak to every other dog they see without permission from the handler. It creates a dog that has an attitude of “I do what I want” and if this starts to be their ethos you can forget a good recall they only come they they want to. If you allow your dog to run up to every person dog cyclist etc they assume that they can do this to everyone when ever they want - whether that is across a main road or not!!! If they are less likely to want to go and greet everyone and everything you have a much better chance of having a better recall in place.

 

Don’t ever chase your dog - mainly because you won’t catch them and they will realise this. You have a far superior brain to your dog so use it, play games where the dog chases you and then when they “catch” you there get rewarded for it. Then when you need them to come back to you you can simply stop and turn around and walk briskly in the other direction - the dog senses a game and will come and then you can reward (however you wish) that the dog has returned to you. 

You don't even have to put a command in with this, just do it and get the dog to be aware of where you are and search for you. If the dog starts to get less bothered about following you then hide (when you are in a safe environment to do so away from roads etc) behind a tree or something similar out of direct sight of the dog and watch them come and look for you, when they find you praise and reward the dog. It definitely sharpens them up to be more aware of where the handler is and react to your movements.

 

Please remember no matter how much you train and however many bits of chicken are in your pocket they are dogs at the end of the day and there is always a chance that they may not come back to a recall and may find something just to distracting. You therefore need to be aware of the safety of the environment you allow your dog off the lead in and always be aware that just because you are a responsible dog owner sadly doesn't mean everyone is. Help your dog not to make the mistake. 

 

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