Gemma's Blog

Blueberry & Coconut Soft Dog Training Treats

People often ask me about alternatives to the Liver Cake we recommend. This is a really good one if you’re not keen on handling organ meat or the like – it smells delicious and the dogs LOVE it 🙂 Ingredients 400g Blueberries 250g Flour 100g Desiccated Coconut 100ml Coconut Milk 100ml Blueberry Smoothie (NOT with grapes)

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How To Avoid Evening Puppy Zoomies!

Every night around 7pm-9pm our dog goes loopy. She gets over excited for no reason and is starting to get snappy while she is at it barking and appearing quite aggressive. We have tried ignoring it, distracting her, putting her in her crate which she then tears about. The rest of the day she is

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Dog Walks: Goblin Combe

This is one of my favourite walks first thing in the morning – the steep climb up the Combe might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it will certainly wake you up! The best way to find this walk is to use the postcode of the Goblin Combe Environment Centre’s address: Plunder St, Bristol

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Exploring new ways to share dog training knowledge

  I’ve been interested in how quickly Friday rolls around each week – and I’ve decided that if this trend continues I need another 24 hours in a week please! 😉 My job is rich with interest and passion, but poor on time to plan expansion in order to help more owners discover how to get the

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Will you be watching Crufts 2016 this weekend?

  The biggest dog show in the world started yesterday, will you be watching any of the activities taking place this weekend? Usually we organise a trip for our members to go and watch some of the action, but we’re taking a break this year for the sake of everyone’s credit cards 😉 Of course

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Picking Your Next Performance Puppy?

When you enjoy training and competing in a dog sport with your dogs, I think you have to take even greater care about selecting your new puppy or dog. Because the lifestyle you have in mind for your new puppy is out of the ordinary range of experiences that most pet puppies will face 🙂 For

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February’s Stars of the Month

We teach some very special dogs and handlers at Daybreak, so picking just one dog training star and one agility star is tough! But the team and I thought we’d give it a go to honour the effort and commitment our clients show to their wonderful dogs. February Star Dog Trainer Mandy Reed & Loki (Rottweiler)

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March Special Offers!

  Wow! Haven’t we all been lucky with some beautiful spring weather this past weekend – a nice change from teaching agility in the rain 😉 The best part of spring is the evenings getting lighter – being able to meet friends after work to take our dogs out for a run together. Wonderful! We

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Vodka’s Training Diary: Know Your Triggers

  When you first start working with a dog, one of the first things to start noticing are their triggers. The things that cause that cause an emotional reaction – be it excitement at one end of the spectrum, or anxiety at the other. This is important for a few reasons. One is that forewarned

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What Dieting & Dog Training Have in Common

No I haven’t gone crazy. There’s one important thing that dieting and dog training have in common. Let me explain! This week I’ve been paying particular attention to loose lead walking with my clients. Not especially because they have been concerned with their dog’s skills in that area, but because they’ve consulted me for other problems

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Dog Walk: Bourton Combe

  This is a very special place to walk that my Dad introduced me to many years ago. It is a typical English woodland with beautiful bluebells in the spring which later make way for wild garlic – the smell of which is simply amazing, and the startling white of the flowers is quite something

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7 Ways To Train Your Dog Every Day!

  Finding training time doesn’t need to be difficult or stressful. And if you incorporate it into your day with my suggestions below you’ll see an improvement in just one week! First thing in the morning Ask your dog to Sit before letting them out of their crate or out into the back garden. If

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Have you taken your training on the road?

  One important aspect of your training plans should be taking your training on the road. That is rehearsing the skills that you’re doing with your dog in your regular training environment and practicing them in new places. Going somewhere new adds a different complexity to your training because several factors are likely to be

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How To Be The Best Agility Competitor You Can Be

  When I compete I have trained my brain to focus on being the best my dog and I can be – using OUR personal strengths and skills to best effect around the judge’s set course. But here’s the bit I want to focus on in today’s post – how to improve those personal strengths

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Dog Training

Why is walking your dog so important anyway?

  On a day when the UK is being battered by stormy weather, this is probably a question crossing the minds of a few people this morning! And especially if you have a big garden which you dog loves to race around in and play with their toys, you might find yourself thinking that they

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DVD Review: Susan Garrett’s Crate Games

  Whether you’re a first time dog owner or an experienced agility competitor, I believe there’s a place for Crate Games in your home. And no, watching YouTube clips online is NOT the same as having watched the DVD 😉 My team and I had a review of our week two Youngsters class a couple

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January’s Stars of the Month!

  We teach some very special dogs and handlers at Daybreak, so picking just one dog training star and one agility star is tough! But the team and I thought we’d give it a go to honour the effort and commitment our clients show to their wonderful dogs. January Star Dog Trainer Ian Smith &

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February Special Offers!

The team and I have been busy throughout January, and have already made some significant progress with this years agility goals and ambitions. If you need some help with yours, check out my blog post with advice on how to structure them for maximum success. I’m also delighted to report that the dog training goals

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Body Awareness Exercise: Walking Backwards

In order to perform to the best of their ability, our agility dogs need to understand and be aware of how their bodies work. And more and more research is being done all the time to improve the training we do with our canine athletes. Teaching your dog to walk backwards is just one simple

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Book Review: Susan Salo’s Jumping Grid Workbook

Having been a fan of Susan’s jumping methodology for many years now, I was excited to see the contents of this book. I wasn’t disappointed! The book is a combination of articles she’s published and the grids she created to help teach dogs of all shapes and sizes understand the job of jumping in more

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Dog Agility

Self-Control Exercise: Settle

This exercise is included in the Daybreak puppy course syllabus as I strongly believe it’s something dogs should be taught from day one. The Settle is the ‘do nothing’ or ‘chill out’ exercise – something that some dogs find incredibly hard to do. You’ll need to start somewhere quiet and peaceful – somewhere that you

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Self Control Exercise: Permission To Eat!

I’d like our dogs to realise that access to all the things they love are provided by us and that they can be earned by doing simple tasks. This improves their focus and levels of self-control as they learn that in order to get something that they want, they need to do something that we want.

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DVD Review: Stratergies for Start-Line Confidence 2-DVD Set

Regular readers of my blog will know that I’m a HUGE fan of Dr Kathrine McAleese’s work. Her teaching has exponentially improved the quality of my agility, my business, my relationships – my life in general really! 🙂 What you’ll find in this DVD is Mind To Win magic at it’s best. It follows Dr

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7 Ways to Improve Your Dog’s Manners

Good manners involve saying please and thank you. And whilst I’m not expecting my dogs to offer me those words 😀 , I am looking for behaviour that indicates the meaning behind them. A recurring theme in my private training classes is that most of the lovely dogs I get to teach lead very privileged

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Dog Agility

Do You Have SMART Agility Goals?

I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. I find they generally give people permission not to achieve them, which is exactly what stops people moving forward to where they want to go. I prefer instead to invest time in setting really good goals. Tangible way points along the year that I can see clearly

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Dog Training

Have a Dog You Can Be Proud Of

Do you enjoy living with your dog? Are you happy leaving them loose in your home as they’re quiet and well-behaved when you do so? Do you look forward to picking up your dog’s lead and taking them out on a walk? Do they walk politely by your side and greet people they meet appropriately?

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Vodka’s Training Diary: Celebrating Success

Vodka is now almost 12 months old and she’s now a dog that I thoroughly enjoy and look forward to going out walking with. That wasn’t always the case to start with! As I type, Vodka has curled up next to my desk in front of the heater – as she dries off from being washed clean

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Dog Agility

January Special Offers!

Happy New Year! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to 2016 with as much excitement and anticipation as my team and myself. We have a lot planned for you all, and a great place to keep track of all our upcoming events is on our Daybreak Dogs Facebook page here. I’m

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Dog Agility

Do You Make These Mistakes in Dog Training?

Dog training is a mechanical skill – just like learning to dance, or ride a bike. And you wouldn’t expect to get away with learning either of those skills without making a few mistakes along the way now would you? As a dog training professional, I see first-hand the struggles that people have with learning

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Dog Agility

Top 10 Christmas Presents for Agility Enthusiasts!

The next time someone asks you “What do you want for Christmas?” be sure to have this post handy to share with them! 1. Tug-E-Nuff Dog Toy/s! Ordinary dog toys just don’t cut the mustard. If you’re looking for a toy to motivate and reward your dog, then Tug-E-Nuff is the place to go. My

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Dog Agility

The Secret to Successful Dog Agility Training

Choose a successful breed? Choose a puppy from agility lines? Go to every training workshop you can get to (regardless of what handling system/ training methodology they use)? Actually it’s something much simpler. Learn how to be a better dog trainer, be prepared to fail and recognise that your dog will only ever tell you the truth

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Dog Training

How to avoid your dog guarding their treasures

IMPORTANT NOTE: If your dog is growling and snapping when you approach them and you don’t feel safe to put your hand anywhere near the item that they are guarding, PLEASE get in touch with a qualified behaviourist for more detailed help. The APBC is a good place to find one. This question is often asked regarding favourite

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Dog Agility

My Challenge to You: Measures of Success

Having Specific Goals I have to admit that I’ve never really been a big fan of Autumn. For me, it’s been the time that the things I love most – the warmth of the sunshine, the airiness of natural light and, of course, my Birthday! – disappear for another year. However, in recent years I’ve come

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