Toys, games and other fun…
www.dog-games.co.uk This is a brilliant site selling all kinds of items for your dog including the wonderful fleecey harnesses – standard and perfect fit – that I recommend to those who come along to any of my classes or private sessions. It is a must for recall training. Also plenty to read and discover about how dogs learn and different aspects of training.
www.tug-e-nuff.co.uk Here you will find different kinds of toys and training aids that are specifically targeted at the agility community. Lots of great toys! www.klassycaninebakery.co.uk Here you will find a tasty selection of treats with which to tempt your hound, plus some rather strong fleece leads (the thickest of these have proved their mettle in the face of even Nellie’s scissor teeth!) and some toys to encourage play.
I’m not a fan of head collars, preferring to train my dogs to walk nicely on a lead using the dog games fleecy harnesses, but I know that not everyone has the time or the experience to work through that aspect of training in this way, so I offer these links below in case one of these can help you.
www.southwestagilitygoods.co.uk Again loads of great training toys that you won’t find in your high street pet shop. And they have created a very clever fleece head collar that has had good reviews from agility people and which has helped many people cope with a dog that pulls on a short lead.
Health and welfare
www.animaltherapy.co.uk Amanda and Stephanie are both members of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists and Veterinary Physiotherapists. Suttons Animal Physiotherapy is based at Littleton, just outside Winchester. They specialise in:
· Spinal pain management and evaluation
· Enhanced performance for working and agility dogs
· Teaching massage and rehabilitation plans for dogs and horses
Working alongside them is Cheryl Sears, a qualified vet who also specialises in holistic medicine.
Both Henry and Pop benefitted hugely from their combined expertise in dealing with, in Henry’s case, a prolapsed disc (he had regular massage and acupuncture) and in Pop’s case five years ago, a spinal problem that had eluded two different vets and a chiropractor despite two soft tissue strains in her groin area (Pop was diagnosed by Amanda and had spinal manipulation, massage, acupuncture – with Cheryl - and rehabilitation plans that I put into practice daily over several weeks and months). Amanda and Stephanie work on referral. Cheryl, being a fully qualified vet does not need a referral but will discuss with you what further information she needs.
I’m afraid I have learned the hard way never to accept vet advice to simply give pain killers and rest. It might be a stop-gap start but it never resolves the whole issue. Soft tissue strains, especially recurring ones, are, in my experience, almost always a sign that there is something underlying going wrong. Amanda has been immensely helpful to me with my dogs at different times with her skills and input. Because of my experiences with Pop and Henry, Nellie, Archie and Deedee enjoy regular soft tissue check-ups every 3 months as an on-going part of their care as active dogs. I want to maintain their mobility, flexibility and strength in as many ways as possible; Nellie is in her prime at 6 and I want to safeguard her fitness and muscle tone, Archie’s age makes this important for him while Deedee, my youngster at 8 months now, has check ups to ensure she is used to being handled and is growing properly.
www.naturalinstinct.com As someone who has fed a species appropriate diet to my dogs for the past 8 years I can recommend this company. They also do cat food. You might be lucky enough to live near a supplier you didn’t already know about. I do my own mince/offal/bone arrangements because when I started raw feeding there were no options like this company offers. Old habits die hard and I still do it the way I started with the odd tub of their free range turkey mix. Not everyone wants to get down and dirty with sourcing bones etc or may want to feed raw but not feed bones. This could be the answer you have been looking for. www.woldsway.co.uk While Nellie is quite capable of periodically catching, killing and eating her own wild rabbits I also buy these to form part of her raw diet on a regular basis. Archie likes the blood but not the meat so he has chicken wings when she has rabbit. I discovered this company a year ago and buy their whole wild shot rabbit, skinned and in 6 portions. Wild shot rabbit isn’t always easy to get hold of but personally I don’t want to buy farmed versions, though the company do sell that too. I find rabbit adds variety as well as the beef, pork, lamb, chicken and turkey they both have and that I source from a range of suppliers. Anyway, Woldsway have provided an excellent delivery service thus far. Nellie definitely approves and, while Deedee has never actually yet seen a rabbit let alone caught one (despite going to all kinds of places where they might be) she thinks rabbit segments are very yummy, thank you very much…