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A cartoon and a training session

Tim Glass, author of Just This Side of Heaven sent me a link to a cartoon depicting what it can be like being an author with a dog at a book signing. I told him not to take it personally if people want to meet one of his lovely Beagles with more enthusiasm than they do him. Apart from the fact that dogs are usually cuter than their accompanying people, they are just more approachable too. You don't feel at all self conscious when greeting a dog, even a celebrity one.

As I mentioned during Crufts, I always leave celebrities in peace in the press room, but I couldn't resist asking to meet canine celebrity Endal.

On a completely different subject, Jenny and I took part in a session today where trainee dog trainers were being assessed. Obviously, Buddy and Star took part too. This was really interesting, as usually the instructor in the room is the source of authority, and suddenly that person was being scrutinised by two assessors, which made me really try hard to do it all right, so as not to mess up their chances. Our session was about clicker training, and there was a range of dogs from eleven months old, up to six years, and the youngest handler was a little girl of seven. The dogs had also had very different amounts of previous training. This made for a challenging class, but the trainer in question coped very well, and it did give her a chance to demonstrate versatility and different training approaches.

Buddy was his usual enthusiastic self, and she showed me a brilliant technique we haven't tried before of getting him to target my hand to get him to walk well at my side. I'll be working on that as an alternative to our usual "close" command as that could be more versatile, and possibly useful in heelwork-to-music, which I'd like to do more of. Star was an unknown quantity, but she was very focused on Jenny, and although she rejected several of the treats on offer with her best expression of disdain, she did everything asked of her with calm and confidence. She's so different from the dogs I've known so far (Lab, GSD) and never ceases to surprise me. Food doesn't motivate her, but do you know what does? - being allowed to lick Jenny's chin. It takes all sorts.

Take care,

Julie x


275 - Controversial advice from Chloe Cavoodle: stop interactions with unknown dogs

Chloe Cavoodle is an assistance dog who posts all about her life in Sydney - her human, Liana, suggests we stop interactions with all strange dogs. Hear why! Plus hear the first chapter of Julie's book Crufts or Bust about Julie and Buddy's attempts to qualify for Crufts.

189 - The Dog Healers and War Dogs Remembered

In this episode you can hear Mark Winik talk about his debut novel, The Dog Healers, and listen to Julia Robertson explain why she founded the charity War Dogs remembered. Plus there's the DogCast Radio News, and what Mischief the German Spitz puppy has been up to.

188 - Service Dogs UK and Roxie the Doxie Finds Her Forever Home

In this episode you can hear about Service Dogs UK, a fantastic charity which trains assistance dogs to support veterans of any service - military personnel, police, firefighters, paramedics and the coastguard - who develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to their job. Also, listen to Dr Jody A Dean, a clinical psychologist talk about how her book, Roxie the Doxie finds her Forever Home, is helping children understand and talk about adoption and other family issues. Plus the DogCast Radio News and some thoughts on the alpha dog myth.

187 - Muffins Halo and Chorley Fun Dog Show

In this episode you can hear about Muffin's Halo for Blind Dogs, and what motivates people to enter their dog in a fun dog show. In the DogCast Radio News, listen to stories about the latest dog related research. Plus there's a new member of the DogCast Radio team!

186 - Maxwell Muir on wolves

In this episode you can hear trainer, behaviourist, writer, broadcaster and wolf expert Maxwell Muir talk about what wolves mean to him personally, their plight in a modern world, and his hopes for their future. Plus we have the DogCast Radio News.