An introduction to Dogmatise

My name is Jen and I love dogs.

I’m a qualified dog trainer, but the primary purpose of my blog isn’t about training. I’ve started this blog to share with you what I’ve learnt from my own dogs over the years, and if it helps you in any way with yours then that would be a great outcome. I’ve always aware that having a canine family is such a privilege, and I’m always so aware of my responsibility to provide my dog family with their best lives possible.

As I post if you are looking for further information on a topic, please contact me using the link provided and I will endeavour to point you in the most appropriate direction. In this case it might be helpful to indicate where you are geographically.

The views I express on this blog are based on my own experiences and are not intended as a substitute for advice from a Veterinarian. If you are at all concerned about the physical or mental health of your dog, then your registered Vet practice should be your first point of call. Vets have access to a wide range of specialist clinical, therapeutic, complementary and holistic expertise through their referral processes. The relationship you have with your Vet is vital for the welfare of your dog, and I will talk about these benefits in future blogs.

My Canine Family

I have wanted my very own dog family ever since I read about George and Timmy’s adventures… a long time ago. As with many other children I was not allowed a dog, and at the time I felt this was grossly unfair. Nowadays, I think it was absolutely the right decision as Mum and Dad were out all day, I was at school with after school activities. Not the ideal environment for the high energy dog personalities I love. As a child I would spend school holidays with my grandparents walking in Snowdonia with them, I promised myself that one day my own dog would be at my side.

My first dog was a Golden Retriever called Winston, or “Biscuit” when walking over the fields. Learning recall took me a while and calling from distance wasn’t covered in the dog training classes we went to back then, nor did YouTube exist! Nowadays I would never let a dog off the lead if their recall wasn’t up to it, they’d be on a longline for safety until their recall was reliable.

Rosie came along a few years later, a Samoyed-Retriever cross. She absolutely knew her own mind, very astute, and when interested she was a quick learner. Rosie was 13 when she joined Winston at Rainbow Bridge.

Then came Jake. A Lab-Springer cross and highly tuned to people. He joined me at 9 months as a ‘failed’ working dog. He was phenomenally bright and eager to learn new things. Due to his energy and bouncy nature people thought he was much younger! He loved absolutely everyone, and especially loved all the attention when visiting the Vet. Sadly, following a short illness Jake passed away in December 2021. He was very nearly 14 years old.

Leo a Springer Spaniel was next, he joined us when he was 2 years old. He was ‘matched’ with Jake by a behaviourist as he was very timid, anxious, and reactive to men and teenage boys. Jake provided him with the calm canine mentoring he needed, and I introduced him to as many socialising activities I could. He was a great scent tracker and loved to do flyball for fun. Tragically, Leo left us after only 6 short years due to a diagnosis of end stage liver disease.

Then there’s Truly. Truly is a Husky-GSD cross who joined us when she was 5 years old. I had thought Rosie was independently minded… but Truly is a regal character. When Truly arrived she was suffering with an undiagnosed bowel condition. We had a lot of Vet support to manage her symptoms, with detective work by me to find the triggers, all food related. She absolutely doted on Jake. Although, despite a great deal of ongoing work Truly remains very hand-shy and can be reactive to other dogs. Consequently, I don’t let Truly off the lead unless in a contained field where we have sole use of the space. My position in this is reinforced by current legislation, something I’ll also cover off in a future blog.

 

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