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Free Printable of All Year Round Dog Friendly Beaches in Cornwall – 2017

Beaches you can take your dog on in Cornwall 2017

Beaches you can take your dog on in Cornwall 2017

Free Printable list of the beaches in Cornwall that you can take your dog on all year round in 2017, including in the summer. Make sure you are not disappointed when you go on your holiday in Cornwall and choose a dog friendly beach that you can all go on.  

Before Easter, in Cornwall, you will find dogs being walked on all the beaches – once the Easter Holiday strikes a many of the beaches become off limits for your dog.

Here I list the beaches, in a free printable booklet,  that are Dog Friendly all year round in Cornwall2017. So if you want your dog to enjoy your holiday as much as you make sure you choose the beach that all the family can enjoy. 

Click here for free printable of Dog Friendly Beaches in Cornwall 2017

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How to train your dog to play ‘give you a cuddle’

How to train your dog to play ‘Give Me a Cuddle’ 

Learn how to train your dog to play the ‘give me a cuddle’ game and reinforce a good training habit that both you and your dog loves to do everyday ! 

How to train your dog to learn new skills and play games with you builds a stronger bond between owner and dog. It simulates your dog and reinforces positive engaging play and learning. The best way to train your dog is to keep the training sessions short, rewarding ( usually with treats) and done on a regular basis. 

French Bulldog and English Bulldog
Sisters giving each other a cuddle

The most important thing to remember when training your dog is to never force a behaviour, feed into their natural instincts and read your dogs mood. You will always get the best results if you work with your dog and not against them.  

So to the training…

I love when I get a cuddle from my two dogs and they do most of this game naturally so this game is a good one to start with 

Before you start with this training why not check out the four most important training lessons you must teach your new dog or puppy – this will then lay the basics down – Four most important lessons to teach your dog

 

 

  1. Invite your dog to sit on your on your lap, try to get them to sit facing you , making sure that your dog is secure and that they can not fall off.
  2. Gently lift their dog paws and place them on your shoulders and say your command – I say ‘give me a cuddle’ 
  3. Stop this training if your dog becomes excitable as they really need to be nice a calm to do it so neither you or your dog gets hurt. 
  4. This is a great training exercise that you could introduce hand signals
  5. Cross your hands over your chest and tap your shoulders, give your command and after a little while just do your hand signal.
  6. As your dog comes towards you praise them.

As I said this is a great training exercise to begin with and can really help bond you and your dog / puppy 

Why not try training your dog to tidy up their toys training

Books to buy to help you train your puppy

Good luck and please let me know how your cuddle training goes ( photos are always great and I love a good dog cuddle human photo to cheer my day up!) 

Emily xx 

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The four most important training lessons for your puppy / new dog

   

If you have a new dog or puppy, here are a few simple things that you can do to make sure that your dog becomes a well-balanced, happy canine.The one thing that you hear a lot about is the ‘S’ word. Socialisation is a very important thing in the dog world but repeatedly it goes wrong. Here Emma from eccaines who is a professional dog trainer and runs training classes and flyball classes, tells us her top four must puppy training areas that will help your puppy become calm, happy and on the road to being a well-behaved, well-rounded adult dog. 

Emma says that she trains dogs by, “…using patience and the latest in dog knowledge we can train your dog the way dogs are meant to be trained. No more forceful techniques or gadgets, EC Canines will allow your dog to be itself while teaching it how to behave”  So who better than Emma to give us puppy or new dog owners ( including people who may have an older rescue dog) some tips.

Emma writes her top pointers …

How to teach your puppy how to approach dogs :

Socialisation takes place every time dogs meet. Teaching your dog to approach and greet dogs calmly goes a long way to the meetings being successful. Small puppies go through a fear period anywhere between 6 to 12 weeks depending on breed. During this period, it is very important that any introductions are done very carefully. Teach the dog to walk past other dogs without fuss and ignoring them. This is important as not all dogs want to be approached. Remember, once your dog is an adult, it will come across young dogs. Your dog will then become the teacher,

 

 

 

The next best thing to teach your dog is how to act while in the presence of humans, big and small:

Not all people love dogs as much as we do and dog hair is not a fashion accessory for them. Having your dog meet new people calmly, or even ignore them when asked, can be very important. Especially for small children or frail adults, who may easily be bowled over by even a small excitable dog.

Teaching your puppy how to stay calm:

Having a calm dog may seem to be impossible when you have a bouncy puppy or anxious rescue but it is an important part of training so start at home when your dog is lying quietly. Take time to sit with them and treat and stroke and cuddle them when they are calm. When they are being over the top and excitable, try to find out the reason. Walks, training and food all become a factor if a dog is constantly over excited and if you are unsure of the reasons a professional dog trainer will be able to help.

Out on a walk, your dog should also stay calm and walk on a loose lead. Training this from as early as possible is the best way with a puppy, though, with dedication can become possible for your older dog too.

Calmness can also be achieved by practicing impulse control. For higher energy, more excitable dogs, this can be the best way to teach them. By teaching the dog this you can also teach them when they are allowed to be excited e.g, during flyball, agility or even just out on a run, to burn off some of that energy. After all, we don’t always want our dogs to be laid back layabouts!!

 

The sit, down and stand command:

To cope with the times your dogs can get truly excitable, good basic commands can help. Having a strong Sit, Down or Stand, Stay and Recall, can help control a dog that is boiling over with excitement or anxiety.

Everyone who owns a dog, especially obedient ones, consider themselves a dog trainer, and if you are out and about with your unruly mutt it can get truly overwhelming with the amount of information that is out there, and with everyone thinking they know best about how to train your dog.

 

Points to remember when looking for a dog trainer:

When looking for a dog trainer, keep an eye out for words like Positive reinforcement, gentle handling, and treating your dog as an individual.

Stay clear of: 

Try to steer clear of those claiming to b a ‘pack leader’ and needing to punish or reprimand your dog.

 

With training there are no quick fixes: 

With true dog trainers and behaviourists there are no quick fixes. All punishing a behaviour does is to repress the behaviour, instead of trying to find the reason behind it.

Today, Dog trainers are more like psychologists and should be willing to work with you and your dog to help your dog overcome anything that may have become a problem, working on long-term fixes and not quick fixes.

To find out more about this type of training, go to my website eccaines and have a look.

 

If you need a dog trainer closer to home, check the IMDT website, which will give you the names of qualified dog trainers in your area.

We would like to thank Emma for her advice and we can’t wait to here from her again

If you would like to talk to others who own dogs / puppies why not join our friendly Facebook page All things Dog 

 

This post was kindly written by Emma Carpenter who runs classes in Cornwall, she offers group classes, one to one and flyball – to contact her please click on her website link below 

E C Canines

www.eccanines.co.uk

Duchy Dashers Flyball Club

www.ddflyballclub.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

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Instructions on how to train your dog to tidy up their toys.

Instructions on how to train your dog by playing games

Instructions on how to train your dog how to tidy up their toys and how to make it into a game your dog will love to play. Follow these easy instructions to train your dog by doing only 10 minutes a day. This is part of a number of posts I write on dog training. take a look at my other games including ‘giving you a cuddle’ and ‘high five’. 

How to teach your dog to tidy up their toys

 

Why not teach your dog to clear up their own toys, you can by making it into a fun game. 

What you need

Toy Box / Toy Basket

Dog toys

Healthy small dog treats

Important information before you start :

The best way of teaching this game is to not to make the training sessions too long – good amount of time is to do about 5 to 10 minutes a day

Only play this game, if your dog is enjoying it and is actively engaged with the game. Don’t ever force your dog to do any action or game if it is causing them distress…now to the training

  • Put the toy box in a fixed place and place the toys near to the box.
  • Show your dog one of their favourite toys, such as, our French Bulldog, Dinky Daisy, loves her mini antler toy, I know she will always be willing to take it from me. 

 

  • Show this toy to your dog and encourage them to go with you to their toy box.
  • Hand this favourite toy to your dog so they are holding it in their mouth
  • Now is the clever bit…holding a treat in your hand, show your dog the treat and offer it to your dog so they drop the toy that is in their mouth into the toy box. As they drop the toy say the command you are going to use for this game – I say ‘tidy up’ 
Come on Grace time to tidy up !         

 

  • Practice just this a few times a day until your dog understands what you want them to do when you say your command.When your dog has understood, start introducing                   more toys, giving a treat on the second drop.
  • Keep practicing this everyday and in no time at all your dog will on command tidy up their  toys ! 

 

 Enjoy this training session and I would love to hear how you get on with your dogs new-found confidence in tidying up their toys – comments and photos of how your training is going are welcomed and you never know, you may end up on the next post ! 

If you need a new toy box why not buy this – clicking on this link costs you no more but gives me a few pennies to keep this blog going. 

 

Have a good day, Emily x 

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Activities for both your children and dog to do together

Activities for children and dogs to do together

              credit to photographer 

This blog is written to help you parents of both children and dogs these are some activities that are based for your children and your family dog to do together – please read on to find activities for children and dogs to do together.

You have been so busy you haven’t even had time to have a wee in the last 4 hours, it is a Saturday and you still have the whole house to clean which looks like a tornado has whipped through it and then you hear those dreaded words from your children … “I’m Bored”. You say something like why don’t you all play out in the garden – but you know deep down that this is not going to wash as an idea, that they can sense that you have just relied on the old go play out in the garden line that you always fall back on . That there is no way they are going to say ”what a wonderful idea Mum, you are so amazing” whilst running out in to the garden  singing your praises , leaving  you to clean the house

credit to photographer

 

They are looking for more from you and before you have even pressed the on button on the Hoover the little angels start the bored routine – jumping on the sofa, fighting with each other until one ends up crying and running around the house hitting each other with anything to hand – empty toilet rolls, socks and towels were always a favourite in our house.

Then you see your dog lying in its bed waiting for something exciting to happen like the appearance of the lead or food bowl…now you feel guilty that you haven’t walked the dog yet or spent much time with her. So two lots of guilt, bored children and bored dog – it is time to come up with a plan. Games for both children and dogs to do together.

Activities for children and dogs
Grace the English Bulldog looking at me to entertain her!

Encouraging and building a trusting, respectful and bonding relationship between your children and your family dog is vital for your dogs well-being and health, it also teaches your children so many life skills. It is important that your children know how to treat their dog with respect and care and that they have the tools  to give their dog direction and commands that your dog follows.

One way to do this is to use fun activities that both your children and dog can to do together.

Hopefully this list of activities will help

1. Treasure hunt

This needs a bit of fore thought, but worth the bit of effort– go and hide little treats for your children ( in little Tupperware boxes , so your dog doesn’t eat them by accident), Easter is coming  up why not do it with little Easter eggs and a treat for your dog around the garden – write clues indicating where the treats are on pieces of paper  folded in half and put in a jar.

One child reads the clue and calls the dog to her/his side – gives the command to sit and  gives her a small treat to get her interested in the game.

The children will take it in turns to go outside to find the treat following the directions on the clue – the child that reads the clue is the one who is in charge of the dog and calls the dog to looks for the treat, do this by pointing under things for your dog to look, voice tone (e.g excited tone when asking the dog to sniff in a certain places, a normal tone if telling the dog that the treat is not there). The rest of the group sits down and supports the child looking for the treat by giving ideas where the treat might be.

Dinky Daisy looking for a treat.

Once the treat have been found they can start again – another child can choose the clue from the jar – now it is the turn of that child to be charge of the dog – starting the process with giving the dog a small treat again.

This could be done on the time trial basis – see which child can do a clue the fastest, the children who are not looking for the clue can not help but instead time each other.

 

2.  Join the Junior Kennel Club

This is a club based with the Kennel Club and has amazing things for your child to do with their dog – If I was a child I would have loved to have been part of this club. It is only fifteen pounds for the year, and for that you gets loads.

Read their Blurb from the Kennel Club Website

“Members receive FREE tickets for Crufts and Eukanuba Discover Dogs, access to our dog training days, entry to our great competitions and events, so there are always opportunities to make new friends – furry or not!

When it comes to learning whilst having fun, you’ve come to the right place. You and your dog will get the best training there is, with Kennel Club experts teaching:

  •  Dog Agility
  •  Dog Grooming
  •  Dog Flyball
  •  Competitive Obedience
  •  Junior Handling
  •  Heelwork to Music

Our senior members are also there to help when you need. They’ve often been with us since they were very young, so they’re the best people to lead our activities.

Lots of our members take part in Crufts each year, in a variety of dog activities. Some of our members have even taken their passion for dogs to the screen, like Ashleigh & Pudsey  ( who were Junior Kennel Club members) who went on to win Britain’s Got Talent! But it’s not all fame and competition – far from that. Our proudest achievement is that we’ve brought together a community of young dog lovers. And we want you to be a part of it for only £15 for the whole year!”

Click here to visit The Junior Kennel Club

 

So back to some more activities for children and dogs

So if it is raining outside and your children need to do a quieter activity why not get them writing, how about a blog…stay with me on this,

3. As a librarian and avid writer I would like invite your children to send a blog post to be added on Yoga Dogs.

I love to have dog stories on my blog page so…

Why not get your children to write a blog post and tell them that it will be put on the internet for others to read.

They can write about anything dog related – it needs to be one piece of A4 or shorter in length – include a photo or photos (  no photos of the child writing needs to be sent, as I know a lot of parents do not want photos of their children on the internet) so think dog photos, action shots, holiday snaps – get the idea.

This piece needs to be written on a Word Doc so I can transfer it to my site – with a bit about the Author, how old and about their dog and a contact email so I can let you know when the post is added.

Ideas for blog posts;

  • A holiday they have been on and what they did with their dog, was the holiday destination a good choice for their dog, what places were good with dogs and what were not dog friendly, good walks they could share with others.
  • A dog training blog – how they have trained their dog to do something including instructions so others can try
  • A recipe for dog healthy treats
  • A fiction story where the main character is a dog

Send their finished blog post to me emily@yogadogs.co.uk and leave a comment under this post to let me know that you have submitted a post.

 

4. Hide and Seek

In this game one of your children is in charge and tells your dog to ’stay’. Either that child or one of the others goes and hides with a dog treat in their hand – tell them not to hide in a really hard place the first few times so your dog can learn what she needs to do in the game. Give the dog the command ‘find’ and send them off to look.

When they have hidden they call the dog’s name about three times and they then do not say anything to give the dog time to work out where to find them. Each time they play this game they need to hide in harder and harder places to really challenge the dog.

This is great training for your dog and soon you will be able to hide the dog treat without someone holding it – you can then move on to hiding a toy by showing your dog a toy and then without the dog seeing hide the toy and give the dog a command like ‘find’ to start the game

5. Write a book

You will need some paper, folded in the middle to make a blank book, pens and a camera / phone camera and colouring pens – put supplies on a table with chairs around.

Ask the children to write a story called ‘My adventures with(Your dog’s name). Tell them they need to come up with a make-believe adventure that they have been on with their dog.

How about;

Me and my dog went into space

Me and my dog had to find who stole the towns gold

Me and my dog stepped into another world

Me and my dog got into our time machine that we had hidden in our bedroom and ended up in the year…..

Once your children have an idea it is time to make the book cover,  give them some books to look at so they get an idea what needs to be on the cover – such as a catchy title, authors name and picture of the story – make it special for them to write their story -writing to me is everything and maybe this could be the start of your child’s writing journey – Often the relationship between your dog and child is very strong – often they have grown up together so for your child to write a story their dog will be a great start to a journal that can develop as they get older and add to it – I love the look of the Diary of an Awesome kid as a keepsake type of journal. 

Now it is time to leave them to write their story – they need to write on one side of the folded paper and the other side is to put a picture on or a pencil note of the sort of photo they would like.

When they have written the story it is time to make the pictures they want to put in – they can do this by photographing the dog. I would suggest watching the dog carefully as he or she goes about their daily business as opportunities for snaps will present themselves – or if the dog is in the mood they can try and set up scenes, remember to make these photo shoots fun and rewarding for the dog.  ( It is important to explain to your children that your dog is not a professional model and so may not pose in the way they want and to never to force your dog to do anything they are not happy doing ) tell them they could have a page for outtakes !

You will now have to upload the photos onto the computer and get them printed – either with the use of your own printer or you can always find great deals online to get them sent to you printed ( it is kind of fun to get you photos through the post ) – Try Super Snaps, get your photos printed and to help with the cost I am offering you 10% off when you click the link below ! 

10% OFF Super Snaps – Promo Code SUPER10

Once you have the photos get them to stick them into their books – time to read their finished product.

Hope you enjoyed the above activities, please feel free to add your activities in the comments – we can all do with ideas sometimes to help our day go that little more smoothly and it is amazing to see your children and dogs play side by side.

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Dog Books – Must Reads

Dog Books – Books I Love

My day job is that of a librarian, I love books and I read a lot. Of course you all know that my other love is dogs so combining these passions are a must for me. Dog Books !!

I thought I would share my favourite dog inspired books – this list will be added to as I continue my reading so please check back from time to time

  1. Five Hundred Mile Walkies by Mark Wallington

This read is what it says on the title; Mark Wallington walks the South West Coastal Path with his friend’s dog. They start in Somerset and walk the five hundred route through Devon and Cornwall.

Neither of them are prepared or your standard ‘walker’ and his dog  is more used to travelling on the London Underground than seeing rabbits and the delights that the countryside has to offer them both. I love the personal journeys that they both take in learning how to understand the walk that they are undertaking.

This book follows their adventures walking from place to place, with descriptive narrative on each place they visit – I think this is a go back to book, not only as a story but as a guide to amazing coastal walks.I have used this book time and time again and found some astounding places in my home county of Cornwall.

 

  1. Marley and Me by John Grogan

You might have seen the film; to be honest I cannot watch the film without crying like a baby. The book is just as good or I would say even better. This is a get wrapped up in a blanket, get a cuppa, turn off the phone and read type of book.

  1. I have ordered my next choice and I cannot wait for it to arrive…

 

Think Dog: An Owner’s guide to Canine Psycology by John Fisher

This book looks at how our dogs see the world – it is a dogs point of view on things.

I can’t be the only one that looks at my dog and wonders what they are thinking – I am hoping this book will help answer that for me.

“In this seminal pet psychology book, John Fisher examines the mind of the dog with examples taken from his practical experience, with the aim of explaining to owners how the world appears from a dog’s point of view.”

Then in the second part of the book he looks at the A – Z of common dog behaviour problems

I will let you know what I think once I have had a read

4. This is my holiday pick

A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

What a lovely book, this one is to be read whilst sat on a sunny patio or in a hammock on a beach holiday, holding a cool drink – this book is going to make you smile. It is a  “…dog’s-eye commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man’s best friend. A moving and beautifully crafted story teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose”

Pets at Home homepage

Hope you have enjoyed my top dog book picks – as I said this post is in working progress – so if like me you love books keep following to find out my next reads.

Enjoy reading

Emily, Grace and Dinky Daisy x

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Treat puzzles for your Dog

My top five interactive dog toys :

I do have to work, at home, but still I need time where I don’t need to be entertaining my  French Bulldog, Dinky Daisy and English Bulldog, Grace. When I am trying to do something it only takes 5 minutes and my dogs are bored – I am looking at five interactive dog toys that will boredom bust

Interactive toys are great – They keep changing what they do, make your dog use its brain and keeps them busy and focused.

How about the Bob-a-Lot toy – keeps moving – they push and it comes back up, and they have to work out how to get the treats ! This is a good starter interactive dog toy if you have not tried them before

  1. Starmark Bob-a-Lot Interactive Dog Toy, Large

 

Or I love this two toys that are a bit like board games for dogs – the first one is a game that your dog can play on their own.

2. Trixie Dog Activity Flip Board 23 cm

or you could try  3. Dogit 3-in-1 Mind games ( this one is a game to play along with your dog – kids and dogs entertained at the same time, can’t be bad)

 

 

4. This is on my wish list of dog interactive toys – I think my French Bulldog, Dinky, would enjoy working this out – hours of fun !

 The Nina Ottosson Dog Brick Activity Toy boasts the following…

  • Part of the Nina Ottosson range of Interactive games, designed to help stimulate and entertain your dog.
  • The games are great if your dog is bored and being disruptive, as they help occupy his time and his mind.
  • Each model has a unique mechanism, that requires mental as well as physical dexterity to work through the challenges and reveal hidden rewards.
  • Each game can be set to different levels of complexity and the games vary in the level of skill required.
  • The Dog Brick has removable bones that slide across to a wider section of the groove. The dog learns to slide these across to remove the hidden treat – MEDIUM Level. Tough, hard wearing and dishwasher proof.

5. Now, I am not sure if mine would be able to work this out, but if you have clever dogs who need an extra challenge then this is the must interactive dog toy for you

Trixie Dog Strategiespiel Gambling Tower

This involves your dog pulling the platforms in a certain order to get the treats – Do you think your dog is clever enough – challenge on !

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Healthy Dogs: why I have changed my habit of giving my dog leftovers

Human foods you should not give your dog

In this post we look at what foods makes your dogs healthy dogs , do you give your dog human food treats, see what foods you can not give your dog and what human foods you can. Make sure you have  healthy dog , and the human food that you are giving them is not harming them. 

 

“No, Grace you can not have the doughnut”

How hard is it to say no when the eyes are pleading with you – “pleeeeaaaasssseeee can I have a little bit of what your eating”

Well, I have been looking into what human foods dogs can and can not eat – hopefully I can then come up with some healthy dog treats that I can make at home to replace the shop treats and leftovers off my dinner plate.

It may sound like a huge leap to now start talking about The Animal Welfare Act 2006 but stay with me on this – The PDSA PAW report 2016 looks at the welfare of our pets.

It states that in 2016 the PDSA found that over 4m pets are fed leftovers as part of their main meal – If you are planning to give your dog human food as a treat the advice on is that you should give no more than 5% of their diet, the rest being made up of their own dog food. Information found on pets.webmd

Giving our dogs our leftovers is harming them – they are becoming obese and poorly. So back to the Animal Welfare Act – it gives pet owners 5 welfare needs that have to be met- One of these is ‘the need for a suitable diet’ and another is ‘the need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease’

Here is the extract from The Animal Welfare Act 2006 – why not have a read

Promotion of welfare

Duty of person responsible for animal to ensure welfare

(1)A person commits an offence if he does not take such steps as are reasonable in all the circumstances to ensure that the needs of an animal for which he is responsible are met to the extent required by good practice.

(2)For the purposes of this Act, an animal’s needs shall be taken to include—

(a)its need for a suitable environment,

(b)its need for a suitable diet,

(c)its need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns,

(d)any need it has to be housed with, or apart from, other animals, and

(e)its need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

(3)The circumstances to which it is relevant to have regard when applying subsection (1) include, in particular—

(a)any lawful purpose for which the animal is kept, and

(b)any lawful activity undertaken in relation to the animal.

(4)Nothing in this section applies to the destruction of an animal in an appropriate and humane manner.

To read the full Act please follow this link The Animal Welfare Act 2006

So we have a legal responsibility to feed our dogs the correct diet and not contribute through poor diet pain, suffering and disease…I know when I share my bacon sandwich with my dog that it is not good for her, but I think that I am rewarding her, treating her. I am going to change my habit – no more sharing my food with my dogs, I want them to stay well, healthy and active – not obese and having a shortened life span.  Continue reading Healthy Dogs: why I have changed my habit of giving my dog leftovers

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Welcome to Yoga Dogs

 

Can I have a treat Mum ?

Being the owner of a French bulldog and English bulldog, Grace and Dinky Daisy, I have struggled on a daily basis in training them. I took them to puppy classes at my local vets and I was told that they were, what is called ‘food motivated’ – really a posh way of saying that they will not do much unless food is involved, or as I call it greedy!

It is true, Grace will not sit on command for much less than a slice of chicken breast, it appears to be a trade off with her – the better the treat the more she is willing to give… returning when called is a massive trade deal – in this instance she has been known to turn her nose up at most of the shop premium treats. I am the dog owner that is screaming down the field ” Grace..Grace…come back now..no Grace stop rolling in that sheep poo….come on…GRACE IF YOU DO NOT COME BACK NOW I AM LEAVING YOU IN THE FIELD I can feel the look of disapproval of all the other dog owners in the field,  as I rummage in my pocket and start waving a dog treat  !!!!  Then she gives me the look over the shoulder and her eyes say…I will return and stop your embarrassment for a treat… but it has to be something REALLY good… I can’t just rely on commercial treats to train them – I need to look into this and other dog things too

This is why I have started writing Yoga Dogs, I want to be a good dog parent, I am going to do my own research and start looking at All things Dog, So it is time me and my side kicks go out and about and become better…

Please join us on our journey looking at the Important, funny, just plain strange, makes and bakes and reviews to name a few

If like me you are trying to become a better dog guardian / parent then have a look at these training books – might help

Dog Training For Dummies 3e

Brain Games For Dogs: Fun ways to build a strong bond with your dog and provide it with vital mental stimulation

Puppy Training: How to Housebreak Your Puppy in Just 7 Days! (puppy training, dog training, puppy house breaking, puppy housetraining, house training a puppy)

Train Your Dog Positively: Understand Your Dog and Solve Common Behavior Problems Including Separation Anxiety, Excessive Barking, Aggression, Ho

Good luck and look forward to getting to know you and your dogs xx

Emily, Dinky Daisy and Grace

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How being more dog can help improve your Mental Health

Good Mental Health
Good Mental Health by being in the moment

Do you worry about the little things in life? Do you worry about what is going to happen in the future ? Why not improve your Mental Health by following the example of dogs. Read on to find steps to improve your Mental health

 

 

 

Sat on the sofa watching my French Bulldog, Dinky Daisy, in front of the fire on her bed, chewing her ‘antler’ toy – a favorite at the moment, it makes me think that she looks so content and happy.

mental-health-blog-dinky

Dinky Daisy – relaxing x

As I sit, I am not completely happy, I always have that worry in the pit of my stomach – what haven’t I done, what should I be doing, I can’t cope with what life is throwing at me, I will not cope with what is coming up…

I am sat thinking that I am looking old, that I should be exercising more – my Joe Wicks book still sat on the shelf. I am sat feeling guilty that I am not a good enough wife, mother, sister and daughter – I haven’t sent my nephew a Birthday card…I should have done that. 

I have all the self help books,   ‘ overcoming worry’, ‘how to succeed in life’, ‘CBT to help anxiety and depression’ but maybe I am looking in the wrong places to  – I look down again at my feet where my French Bulldog is still chewing away stopping just to glance at me with love and happiness in her eyes, well she does also have a little ‘don’t you even think of having my antler bone – it is mine!’ but we will brush past that look – lets stick with the love and happiness look

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This may sound completely barking, excuse the pun, but maybe I should learn some lessons from my best friend, Dinky Daisy. I don’t know call it dog mindfulness, becoming more zen dog.

I understand that dogs do not have the pressures that we have as humans, but surely I can learn something from my dog, can’t I ? She is not anxious, depressed, she is confident and happy – so what can I learn from my dog ? 

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  1. Walking, Running, Exercise

Dinky Daisy needs exercise, she becomes stressed if I don’t take her out for a good old walk in the fresh air – she loves to run and she would be outside all the time if I let her. So how can I use that for improved Mental Health. Well it is a fact that exercise increases the feel good hormones, helps to relax and improves mood. Walking is great and having a dog makes you go out everyday, even if you don’t feel like it, I always feel better after being out on the windy moor where I live. 

2. Can sit quietly, completely content

Now this is something I know I can’t do, not like her, she can sit there on the sofa, still, happy, content and quiet – I do everything in my power not to sit with my thoughts as they are not very good company, they are my arch enemy – best if I stay busy. If I sit quietly I will start the self loathing cycle or the worry cycle – why would I want to do that – I can go from ok to feeling useless in less than 60 seconds just by sitting with my thoughts. I should make myself sit quietly for at least 10 minutes, empty my head of the bad thoughts and replace them with thankfulness and appreciation. Yoga meditation is great for practicing this and I have found many free Yoga videos posted online. 

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3. Staying in the moment

Dogs don’t think in the future, they are in the present, in the moment – worry is mostly about the future…I am going out with friends tomorrow night..great, I am so excited – but wait (let the worry commence), what if I can’t find the new pub we are meeting..Oh god, what if there is not a parking space and I have to parallel park, what if I am not on form and have nothing interesting to talk about..Oh no, I had forgotten about the ‘what am I going to wear nightmare’ I am sure I have put weight on since I last saw them – bet they will think I am looking ugly whatever I put on…and so it goes on – by this point I don’t want to go, I could call and say I have to work late, I have food poisoning…so by thinking about the future I have put myself off from going to what would have been a great night with my best friends.  So by not staying in the moment I have not only ruined tomorrow night but also today as I will now spend the next 12 hours worrying, that is a lot of hours to miss what is going on right now. 

4. Asking for what she wants with not guilt or embarrassment

Another thing I am terrible at doing, Dinky Daisy lets me know exactly what she wants. she doesn’t go around the houses when asking me to give her a cuddle, a toy, a walk – she lets me know that’s what she wants and needs from me. Me, if I need something I may feel guilty that I need it, afraid to ask in case the answer is no or I am seen as ‘silly’ asking – do you know what I mean? – example – I am feeling low, upset and all I want is some comfort from my husband, I want a cuddle and 5 minutes to explain that I am feeling low and not sure why- so instead of saying something to him I fester, nag about other things, get frustrated and start snapping at those around me, work myself up and get upset about the smallest things. If I changed that into letting those who love me know exactly what I needed and tell them ‘ I woke up feeling not great can I have a cuddle and talk it through for a minute’ he would most likely do it – this could be enough to change the whole day – make me feel supported, listened to and I might even be able to discover what it is that is upsetting me so I can move on from the feelings. 

6. Time

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“canines are equipped with a natural instinct to live in the moment, despite having an understanding of the concept of time. It’s that devil-may-care attitude that allows them to forget about what happened yesterday — good or bad — and not worry a bit about what will happen tomorrow.” Click here to find out more

So dogs do have a concept of time, but not in the way us humans do – dogs tend to live in the moment and do not have an instinct to look to the future and worry – I live by the clock, time is either going to fast or slow – usually fast – I worry that I am not going to get everything done in the day – but do I put to much emphasis on time, I understand that we have to clock watch when we have to, for example, get to our  jobs, but on those days off – do I really need to clock watch and worry about what I am not doing, and when I am doing something thinking about the other things I should be doing or think I should be doing ! Living in the moment could lessen the anxiety that clocks bring to my life

5. Play

Dogs play, with out embarrassment,  watch your dog play with a ball – pure joy on their part – and fun for us humans to watch. Watch your dog chew at their favorite toy or drag their teddy around – they are completely focused on playing. When dogs are young they play to learn and practice new skills, but they still play when they are adult dogs – to me they continue to play as a release, they enjoy it – Daisy doesn’t care what I or anyone else thinks of her when she plays – Have you seen the TV where it shows wild animals play – why do they do it ? As adults we stop playing, why? Maybe we would feel a whole lot better if we did play – I am not talking all the time – but maybe we should incorporate it into our day – learn to do something we enjoy and do it once a day – live life, to not see playing as a waste of time but as a vital part of having good mental health so we can tackle the harder things that life throws our way…just a thought 

6. Have people around you that love you

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Dinky Daisy would not be as content and healthy if it was for not of the love of my husband and I – Dogs are only these things when they have a human family who love and care for them. This is the most vital point in her contentment – she has all she needs to flourish into a healthy. well-rounded dog that is provided by us. If this care is withdrawn the dog becomes anxious, aggressive, withdrawn – just look at dogs who have been abused by their owners…same for us as humans – we also need to surround ourselves with people who nourish us for us to flourish. 

motivation-1992299_12807. Transparent emotions /  show your happiness

When I have been at work all day and I walk through the front door I don’t even get the chance to put my handbag down as Dinky Daisy jumps madly onto me, her bum wiggling ( her  attempt to tail wag), running manically around the living room – if she could talk I am sure she would be shouting at the top of her voice …I AM SO HAPPY YOU ARE HOME !!  

on the flip side if she is upset, nervous, angry she shows me – she doesn’t hold back showing her emotions, non of this suppressing it – so why do I suppress my emotions ? 

After being at work I am happy to be home and see my family, but often this gets buried deep and for some strange reason I will walk through the door and start moaning, either about my day or the mess that is presented to me as I walk in – should it not matter more that I walk in showing the same as Dinky Daisy … you know the…I AM SO HAPPY to be home, that I have a wonderful family and I am now home with them…the human equivalent of the tail wag. 

10. Don’t worry or think about what others think if you

Example ; I feel fine leaving the house, I go into town and stop for a coffee – I have mobility problems which means I can walk funny -stiff with a bit of a swingy leg – a woman at the table I walk I think looks at me ‘funny’ – what is she thinking about me? is now all I am thinking about…if she is thinking it everyone else is noticing my swingly leg and thinking I look like like an idiot? I wish I hadn’t come out. Believe me those negative thoughts then start to spiral – bet people I have walked past have thought how fat I am, ugly I am, stupid I am, old…now I am not looking forward to my hot chocolate (with cream and little marshmallows), now I just want to run home and curl up in bed. So what happened – I let my perception of ‘what I think others are thinking of me’ to ruin my day. You know what, I bet that woman in the shop didn’t even look at me, you usually find, if we asked, most people are not looking at you and forming a negative judgement about you – it’s in your head ! 

11. Don’t judge others on appearance, religion, ethnicity, sexuality  and don’t let what others bother you

Dinky Daisy does not judge anyone by what they look like, who their partner is or what they believe – she judges others on how they treat her – Treat Dinky Daisy well and she will love you unconditionally, treat her bad and she will not want to be near you – simple. 

She doesn’t look at me sat on the sofa in my PJ’s and thinks oooo she should be dressed by now… no she comes over and wants a cuddle. My friend doesn’t believe in God but I don’t see Dinky Daisy going over and saying – “no don’t tickle my belly as you are a non – believer !” We definitely should learn that from dogs – not the belly rub thing, the non-judgement thing.

These are just a few of my late night thoughts on the subject and I will look at each one in more depth, and might even add some more as I continue to talk to people and read on the subject.

Please if you have any thoughts on this subject or would like to guest blog for me on the subject of Dogs and Mental Health then comment below or contact me via the contact tab.

Have a ‘More dog than human day’ and have fun…