Gemma's Blog

Sometimes the best teachers have four legs and a waggy tail

Last night I planned to teach my beginner agility group how to perform a front cross handling manoeuvre. When you’re learning anything for the first time you’ll usually struggle, but add the complication of giving information to your dog who’s never done it before either and it tends to make the situation that much harder!

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Finding the right dog training class

Recommendations Word of mouth is probably the best way to find a good training class – preferably with someone who’s had dogs before and has been to more than one as they’ll have greater experience of what’s out there. What did they enjoy about the class? Did they find the instructor friendly and welcoming? Would

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The Problem With Poo!

Now you don’t need to be a dog trainer like myself to appreciate the problems of owners not cleaning up after their dogs. Apart from the fact it’s unsightly, stepping in it is pretty disgusting, and it’s a potential health hazard too. It’s also fodder for the anti-dog lobbyists, who would have dog owners restricted

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Attention to Detail

You’ve set off early in the morning to get to the show, you’ve walked your courses and now you’re setting your dog up on the start line for your first run of the day. The next 30 or so seconds goes by in a blur as your dog takes the first jump before you were

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House training – where to start?

Bringing home a puppy for the first time is exciting, but it can be daunting too – especially when it comes to the rather important subject of house training, and teaching your puppy that the best place to toilet isn’t on your best and most expensive rug! Fortunately house training can be very simple when

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Post Christmas Dogs Walks, 2013

An opportunity to walk off the Christmas food excess and meet up to share the dubious knitwear you’ve received as presents throughout the festive period 😉 We split our Christmas Dog Walks into two – one for Small/ Medium sized dogs, and one for Large dogs. This allows everyone to have a nice, safe walk

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Christmas Meal, 2013

Handlers only do! A chance to unwind with a glass of fizz and celebrate the dog training and agility achievements of 2013 with your fellow class mates. It’s a rare opportunity for glitz and glamour in a world of tracksuit bottoms and muddy trainers, and we look forward to sharing an evening of fun and

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Christmas Puppy & Dog Training Party, 2013

Having worked hard all year it’s time to kick back and enjoy the festive season with your friends and their lovely puppies & adult dogs! We have lots of party games planned for both the Gold star students within the club, and those just beginning their puppy training. We hope it will be an exciting

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Christmas Agility Party 2013

Having worked hard all year it’s time to kick back and enjoy the festive season with your friends and their agility superstars! We have lots of party games planned for both the seasoned agility pros within the club, and those just starting out on their agility training. We hope it will be an exciting event

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New home for Dervish Agility

You may or may not of heard that Martin Tait’s Dervish Agility club will be changing it’s base in North Bristol from the end of November 2013. Since he’s moved to Congresbury, he’s found travelling back and forth to Bristol increasingly difficult as he does his agility teaching in addition to his full-time job with

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Dog Training

Click = Reward = Success!

Our training options Dog training is basically a handler reinforcing the behaviours that they would like to see repeated from their dogs.  There are four types of reinforcement available to trainers: Positive Reinforcement Adding something that the dog considers valuable such as a titbit to a response, to increase the likelihood of the dog offering

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“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.”

Achievement is different from person to person. No more so than when playing the agility game with our canine friends. For some it will be about nailing elusive contact points, or hitting weave entries with the same accuracy as in training. For others it will be gaining confidence in start line control, or attaining tighter

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Journey to the World Agility Open, Oviedo, Spain 2013

It’s been a busy few days. On Tuesday afternoon I set off with my Australian friends Tracey Wansbrough & Frank Fitzpatrick for the ferry at Portsmouth along with our two wonderful dogs, Ella & Spud. They are borrowing our two special dogs to compete with at the World Agility Open in Oviedo, Spain – an

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Liver Cake Recipe

At yesterday’s Kennel Club Good Citizen classes the focus was on reward, on what exactly it is your dog LOVES! It’s important for us to be specific about what rewards we’re using so that we can get the best responses from our dogs, and improve our training communications. Here’s the recipe for the delicious liver

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UKA South West, Bridgwater

What a fulfilling day! It’s been a long time since I’ve packed the van up ready for a one-day agility show, and I’d forgotten how much I love the early start! 😉 My three girls had no such qualms, and were keen to get into their coats ready for the van – needless to say

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Happy New Year!

Hope you’ve all had a wonderful Christmas, and a very happy new year to you all! We’ve been busy behind the scenes preparing for new courses starting next week, with some new faces joining us to assist, plus plans for further courses to being in February. So all go as usual! Look forward to meeting

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Christmas Safety Advice

Health Advice Not really Christmas specific, more autumn/ winter advice, but if the weather is particularly cold or wet, ensure any older dogs or those with thin fur wear coats outdoors. Personally I’d have any dogs that live indoors wearing a coat if I have to put one on myself when heading outside. As they

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Christmas Present Ideas

If your other half or children are having trouble thinking up the perfect present, get them to take a look at this list 🙂 Clever Dog by Sarah Whitehead http://www.amazon.co.uk/Clever-Dog-Secrets-Your-Wants/dp/0007444087/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pdT1_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=R4TRIUWSG8B0&coliid=I2G868TFFA7I1X Say Yes Dog Training clothing http://www.cafepress.com/sayyesdogtraining.608362447 Bones would rain from the sky by Suzanne Clothier http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bones-Would-Rain-Sky-Relationships/dp/044669634X/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=R4TRIUWSG8B0&coliid=I3PKU44TZJO62D Hedgehog pods for body awareness fun http://fitness.d2fgroup.com/store/functional/balance/products/hedgehog-pods-set-of-6/default.aspx A few

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Canine Bedtime Stories Prepare Dogs For Bonfire Night Fireworks

The fifth of November can be a nightmare for dogs who are afraid of fireworks – and for their owners. Unfortunately these days, fireworks tend to start in October and continue through to Christmas, in a seemingly never-ending celebration. There are a variety of ways to help your pet stay calm during bonfire night and

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Happy girl!

Had to share this lovely email I received today: Hi Gemma, Just wanted to say Thankyou for all your help and knowledge as a trainer, it is so appreciated!! I have just been to the vets with Skye with what I guessed was mild conjunctivitus. I’ve been using optrex with chloramophenicol and wanted to just

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Happy boys! 🙂

  This morning I received a lovely email which I thought was too nice not to share – it was from clients at my Kennel Club Good Citizen classes on a Monday evening. Here’s what they had to say: “Under Gemma’s guidance our boys, Ollie & Murphy have gone from strength to strength in both

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“Adventure is worthwhile” – Aristotle

What a whirlwind few days! The trip to Belgium was relatively uneventful, and as we didn’t head off till just after 2pm we were lucky enough to miss the French/ Belgium traffic that earlier travellers to the WAO had been caught up in that afternoon. Late night though, and what with early start on the

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Busy day of agility ahead – bliss!

Tracey Wansbrough arrived yesterday, and is settled at my friend Sara Bingham’s home in Kingston Seymour for her UK stay. I’m hoping she’ll have had a good night’s sleep as we have lots of agility planned for her today 🙂 Maria & Ella had another great session together yesterday with Martin at his field in

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Agility and the Korthals Griffon

This article first appeared in the Korthals Griffon Club of Great Britain Autumn newsletter. Written by our very own Jamie Gordon, owned by the indomitable Ruby (Korthals Griffon). I started doing ‘agility’ with my Korthals Griffon – Ruby a couple of years ago now, because it’s something that really keeps her physically active and also

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Musings on agility greatness

I’ve just watched a video of Silvia Trkman’s dog La, and then seen another video of Lisa Hughes’ Beep (Ella’s daughter, Borderspirit Amazing Grace at Perranfell). Both stunners, one having proved her potential and now towards the end of her career, the other showing it at the start of hers. Driving home from another fab

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UK Agility Beckford

Well some success at the UK Agility Easter show yesterday, 2nd in the Beginners Standard Steeplechase, and although unplaced because of faults in the rest of her rounds she worked really well. The bloomin’ weaves are letting us down and I’m seriously considering petitioning the Kennel Club & UK Agility to ban them! A photographer

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Out of little acorns..

Some lovely things of this past week or so: 1. Baby Callum giving me and my mum his first smiles – aaah!! :-)) 2. Having a lovely evening out with my husband Mike on Saturday for his hockey club’s annual dinner 3. Lel & Hattie winning Grade 1 agility on Saturday – go girls! 4.

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Susan Garrett

Two of my Christmas presents to myself were DVD’s of Susan’s – one on her 2×2 weave method, and the other on her crate games. I love watching her teach and hope to get on one of her workshops the next time she’s over here in the UK. Both DVD’s have inspired me so much

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