How to be a responsible dog owner – and not see it as a chore!

How to be a responsible dog owner – and not see it as a chore!

We have had a number of heated discussions on our social media over the last couple of years about responsible dog ownership… so we are very pleased to introduce our newest guest writer – Emily Birch, an expert in this field.

 

Over the next few months, I shall be writing a number of articles for the dog owners among you about, well, dogs. You may have seen that last year Brackenhurst partnered up with The Kennel Club to help create a place for dogs and owners from all walks of life. We do have a website (www.ntucaninecentre.org) and a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ntucaninecentre) so do follow us if you’re interested in knowing more about what we are doing. In this article I’m going to discuss how you can be a responsible dog owner and love doing it (sometimes it may feel like all we do is get nagged!).

So first let us imagine two scenarios…

 

Scenario One

There are two lovely owners on a walk with their own dog. One owner has a nervous dog, the other a very friendly dog. The two owners meet along a footpath and it goes something like this. Nervous dog owner holds their dog’s collar and tries to get it out of the way. Friendly dog owner tries to call their dog back but it’s seen a potential new friend and is off. Nervous dog owner panics and tries to move their dog out of the way more. Friendly dog rushes up to say hi, nervous dog has no way to escape and so snaps aggressively at the friendly dog. Friendly dog leaves and both owners carry on their walk. Fast-forward 6 months of this sort of situation. Nervous dog will now actively bite dogs who come and say hi and they will defend their space aggressively. Friendly dog is now conflicted about meeting dogs (wants to say hi but doesn’t want to get told off) so becomes frustrated and stressed and ultimately aggressive. Both owners are now scared to let their dogs off the lead. This becomes a vicious circle.

 

Scenario Two

There are two lovely owners on a walk with their own dog. One owner has a nervous dog, the other a very friendly dog. The two owners meet along a footpath and it goes something like this. Nervous owner recalls their dog, pops them on a lead and asks them to sit. They have moved off the pathway to increase the space that their dog has. Friendly dog owner recalls their dog and gives them a brilliant reward for coming back. Both walk past calmly and owners say hello (and possibly even chat), whilst both feeding their dogs treats for paying attention to them. Fast-forward 6 months. Nervous dog doesn’t worry at all about other dogs on a walk as they know their owner helps them find space and listens to them. Friendly dog owner has a friendly dog who loves saying hi but knows how to do so appropriately and only when suitable. In this situation, both owners could start walking together having created situations where dogs don’t feel the need to show aggression.

 

Out of these two scenarios which would you prefer? I’m pretty sure its scenario two… but the question is how to we get to that point? Well below are a few pointers to start with.

  • Teach your dog a reliable recall – it leads to a great amount of trust between you and your dog and ultimately more freedom for both of you. We do run specific recall workshops over the year (like our Facebook page to keep updated) that teaches your dog lots of games to create a brilliant recall. However, the main aim is to make sure you’re more fun than whatever else it is they like to do. Be exciting and fun and run off in the opposite direction whilst calling – when they catch you having a big game of tug of war or some great high value treats, then let them go off again.
  • Teach your dog you’ll look after them – if you listen to their whispers they won’t need to shout. Give them a choice about who/what they interact with and space when they don’t want too. If they tell you politely they don’t want to say hi, listen to them move out the way with them. It means they never need to climb up the ladder of aggression. If you are interested in understanding what your dog is trying to tell you, we hold canine communication seminars that teach you what those subtle signals are.
  • Take treats or a toy with you – it’s not about bribing them, it’s about paying them for their actions. If an action has a positive consequence, they are more likely to do it again. If it has a negative one, they are less likely to repeat the action. When you’re angry and can’t get your dog back think about what your dog sees… Currently, they are having fun sniffing things and running around, why would they return to an angry, shouting human?
  • Lead by example – the dog owning public can, at times, come under bad press due to some not so responsible dog owners. Rather than worrying about things we can’t control (because we can’t control how other people behave) instead let’s lead by example. If you see some people coming and you know your dog is friendly, call them back, pop them on a lead and walk past, rewarding your dog for ignoring the walkers. Pick up after your dog – every time someone walks in dog poo, every dog owner is tarred with the same brush. And please don’t be tempted to sling said poo bag into a bush! If we lead by example, these behaviours become the normal thing to do and others will start to follow suit.

We would love to know – What do you think makes a responsible dog owner ?- share in the comments below

For more tips to help with dog training, follow our Facebook page where every Monday we give a new tip for dog owners. If you would like to know more about the canine developments at Brackenhurst, book on to a course, or indeed come along to one of social walks, have a look at our website (www.ntucaninecentre.org) or email Emily (emily.birch@ntu.ac.uk).

We look forward to meeting you and of course your dog(s)!

Emily Birch

Emily Birch

Clinical Animal Behaviourist

Emily and the team at ntucanine offer a number of training workshops and events throughout the year.

For more info visit : www.ntucaninecentre.org
FB : www.facebook.com/ntucaninecentre
Email Emilyemily.birch@ntu.ac.uk

Meet Rebecca White creating a delicious hide-away to help time fly by …

Meet Rebecca White creating a delicious hide-away to help time fly by …

Driving through the villages surrounding Southwell it would be easy to miss The Clock House Cafe yet if you are looking for somewhere to escape to for a an hour or two then this little hide away is worth a visit. Not only for the tranquil setting which forms part of the historic British Horological Institute but also for the delicious home made food created by Rebecca White, a chef who loves bringing a new lease of life to your home kitchen as well as seasoning up those vegetarian and special dietary dishes.

Meeting Rebecca it is clear that she loves the area and has a real passion for creating high quality food which delights as well as nourishes…Her cooking style has evolved over the last 20 years and her driving principles are to create well seasoned, homely food which taps into the local area as much as possible – Not only is The Clock House Cafe now officially ‘The Home of the Bramley Cream Tea‘ but it is fast becoming THE place to go for a hearty breakfast…. Rebecca has grown a strong following through her previous businesses Mama Whites Pancake Parlour, The Full Moon at Morton and The Waggon at Halam.

aubergine-casserole-cookery-class-rebecca-white-southwell-clock-house-cafeYet Rebecca’s real passion is for the intimate dinner get together – a small cafe full of people enjoying fine food and relishing each others’ company at times of celebration or just to enjoy foods in a new way. Vegetarians, Paleo and anyone with dietary requirements will be pleased to hear that these aspects of cooking are her speciality, being both diabetic and gluten free is a driving force for more creativity.

It isn’t enough to delight the taste buds once in a while – Rebecca is inspiring others to be creative too by hosting monthly Cookery Sessions – bring your own ingredients – try out new dishes and then recreate the spice of life back at home….

So do see Rebecca’s website for more information and be sure to pop in to the Clock House Cafe when driving through Upton and taste for yourself the choice of locally produced breads, cakes, drinks and of course Rebecca’s signature dishes.

 

 

 

5 ways Zumba helps boost your confidence

5 ways Zumba helps boost your confidence

I am very proud to say my classes attract people of all fitness levels, shapes and sizes – this isn’t surprising as Zumba, the Latin inspired fitness program is exhilarating, vivacious and addictive – But there is more to it than that…

It is one of the most popular and effective programs for weight loss, metabolism-boosting, body-building and brain-strengthening. Furthermore Zumba is an excellent way of releasing stress and improving confidence.

Here are 5 ways Zumba can help to really boost your confidence…

 

  • A Zumba workout loosens your body and relaxes your nerves. The more comfortable you are, the more confident you will feel.
  • Dance is an excellent exercise for weight loss and fitness. If losing a few extra pounds will get you back into that favourite summer dress, then just shake them off with Zumba.
  • Zumba improves your stamina. Making walking up those stairs less of a marathon.
  • If you have been feeling shy or lonely of late, a Zumba class is a great place to meet people.
  • Have you ever been afraid of dancing in public? You don’t have to be a dancer to enjoy Zumba. Just feel the rhythm and move to the beats – it really is liberating.

Which area are you looking to improve, if any….? I would love to hear in the comments below.

Zumba Class

If you are thinking of Zumba to help with any of the aspects mentioned, I am happy to talk through any concerns you may have and what to expect from the classes – feel free to contact me on the details below.

Zumba-logo-nottinghamshire-Paula-Drakeford

 Happy dancing!

Paula Drakeford

Paula Drakeford

Zumba Instructor

Southwell: Monday 20th March 9.20-10.20am & 6.30-7.30pm
Oxton: Tuesday 21st March 7.15 – 8.15pm
Rolleston: Thursday 23rd March 7-8pm
DW Gym, Nottingham Sunday 10.30-11.30

To book call/text 07583579017
Email paula.drakeford@gmail.com
FB: www.facebook.com/ZumbawithPaulaDrakeford/

More about Paula 

Wine Tasting bringing networking to life…

Wine Tasting bringing networking to life…

The Southwell & District Business’ Networking meeting in February 2017 was all about being social – and learning a thing or two about Wine!

Wine-Bank-Southwell-Nottinghamshire-Independent-Wine-Merchants

Spaces were limited and sold out.. … needless to say it was a great success all round. If you are wondering whether any business networking was done – of course it was – this style of meeting is perfectly suited for the following reasons:

1 – We attended a local Independent Wine Merchants – the very successful Mr & Mrs Fine Wine – it was an opportunity to showcase one of the businesses in the area as well as bringing together other business owners.

2 – We are all really busy and networking meetings can feel like a chore after a long day – this helped members to relax and unwind whilst still talking shop.

3 – Trying something new within a group is always an icebreaker – the conversation flows naturally as people have an instant common focus and discussion point to get the ball rolling and without effort, new connections are made.

4 – Where people relax, conversation flows – so do ideas… The heart of a strong local business community are the collaborative ideas that then come to fruition  –

Thank you to all who attended and especially to Chris and Gosia for their superb hospitality. Everything about the evening was memorable, wonderful wine – the knowledge from Chris really connects you to your palate and helps you appreciate the subtle differences – Great company and new local connections to call on in the future.

We would love the Southwell Business Club to drive forward business growth in the area and this can only start from meetings such as these. There are more planned throughout the year.
All are welcome to attend our monthly meetings – the next takes place on 29th March 2017 – The Reindheer Pub, Westgate – Southwell at 6.30pm – this time with a Speaker, Richard Shaw -will talk through the recently proposed changes to National Insurance contributions on micro and small businesses. We hope that the other accountants in our midst will share their views.

We hope you can make it and help strengthen the business community within the Southwell & District area.

Wine-tasting-business-club-networking-southwell learning-about-wine-business-networking-nottinghamshire

 

Zumba in a village near you !! Southwell, Nottinghamshire

Zumba in a village near you !! Southwell, Nottinghamshire

There is a new Zumba teacher in the area – Paula Drakeford and as a local lady she knows that it isn’t easy for everyone to travel from villages even into Southwell Town…. so she is bringing Zumba to you – Starting first in Rolleston and Oxton as well as Southwell.

We asked Paula what drives her to teach Zumba … here is Paula’s response .. x 

“I took my first Zumba class 5 years ago.  Very quickly I was smiling broadly. Not only was the music amazing, I was dancing, sweating and having fun! I left that first session buzzing and I knew I’d be back the following week.

What I didn’t expect to happen was a spark of desire to become a Zumba instructor. I’ve danced and been involved in fitness all my life but only as a hobby. Whilst I wanted to become a dancer as a little girl it seemed a dream I had to put aside to pursue a more ‘sensible’ career.

With each Zumba class the desire to become an instructor grew but I brushed it aside. I couldn’t just change my career now could I? I was in my forties and besides my career was meaningful and helpful to people. A purpose I felt I was put on this earth for. So that’s what I should stick to.

But wait! I realised that I loved dance, movement and Zumba so much because not only did it help my physical fitness and flexibility it helped my mood and subsequently my confidence. I looked around at other participants in the Zumba class. They were all shapes, ages, abilities and from all walks of life and they too were smiling.

I thought then if Zumba had such a transformative effect on people it surely would affect those people around them. Their families, their friends, in fact anyone they came into contact with. If you’ve ever smiled at someone on the street and had them smile back at you then you know that happiness and confidence is infectious.

And so I decided then to change careers and train as a Zumba teacher.  I would still be doing something meaningful and helpful, providing a service which aids physical and emotional wellbeing.  Not only that, as a Zumba instructor  I would be going some way towards fulfilling a childhood dream……to dance for a living!”

If you are intrigued – Paula offers a taster session for FREE – no obligation to book further sessions – worth the little walk down the road don’t you think !!! 

Related Blog Post: 5 ways Zumba helps boost your confidence

Paula Drakeford

Paula Drakeford

Zumba Instructor

Southwell: Monday 20th March 9.20-10.20am & 6.30-7.30pm
Oxton: Tuesday 21st March 7.15 – 8.15pm
Rolleston: Thursday 23rd March 7-8pm
DW Gym, Nottingham Sunday 10.30-11.30

To book call/text 07583579017
Email paula.drakeford@gmail.com
FB: www.facebook.com/ZumbawithPaulaDrakeford/

FREE TASTER SESSION – Contact me for details.