New Year 2019

LUXLIFE MAGAZINE | 67 New Year 2019 school run, in the park, on holiday or at the café or pub garden. I could go on, but I think you get the general idea of the sort of behaviour I admire and encourage in dogs. All of this is easily achieved with a little work on our part. It’s worth every bit of effort we put into a puppy when the result is a grown-up, well-rounded dog that can be taken anywhere, one that can cope with all situations – a dog that has good life skills in fact. In 1992, the Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme was introduced in an attempt to combat anti dog negativity. It incorporates a comprehensive learning structure that is focused around domestic dog owning situations. My dogs all took part in the scheme, Blue, achieved Gold medal status and was chosen to represent the Kennel Club at Earls Court and the NEC three years running as part of their Gold Level demonstration team. Seb had his Silver, which was quite something for this particular rescue boy. Gus passed his Puppy Foundation test at 16 weeks, his Bronze award at six months old and then later on his Silver award – even Daisy the Shih Tzu had her Bronze! Riff has her Bronze, Silver and Gold which she achieved amazingly all by 12 months of age. As for my youngest Bouvier at seven years old, Mack, he has his Bronze, Silver AND Gold amongst his very many other accolades. Currently, Mack is the only Bouvier des Flandres in the world to hold both the English and American Trick Dog title of Champion, and so he has all sorts of letters after his name. In addition, he spends a lot of his time demonstrating to our classes or visiting schools or other groups. Fast-forward to years after the bus rides to training classes with my collie and sadly many dogs later, I still get that same feeling when I see a well-behaved dog and owner partnership and get a great buzz from seeing new and experienced owners enjoy teaching their dog something new at my classes. Over the years I have shared my life with some truly wonderful dogs, from Great Danes to Shih Tzus. To this day, I still marvel at how our dogs manage to understand what we want them to do, even when the body language they study so closely tells them something different almost every time. That is a testament to how fantastic their understanding and intelligence is – and of course their desire for a yummy treat or two whilst learning! These incredible animals interpret what we want and decide whether to do it in a split second. All of my classes are positive reward-based experiences for both owners and dogs. They aim to help both dogs and puppies learn life skills, as well as provide the socialisation and experiences that allow them to take their place in the family. We have a pretend pub garden and pavement café, equipment to gain confidence on in preparation for steps and bridges in the big wide world, visits to class from police officers to help puppies learn about uniforms, hats and walkie talkie type noises. In addition to this, we also have a PA system to get our dogs used to the noise at summer fetes and country shows by playing music and announcements during classes, which can be frightening if they are not used to it from young. Our Skool is full time with lots of classes during the week and at weekends. We not only teach life skills and what used to be called ‘obedience’, but also Flyball, Agility and hold Tricks Workshops (the dog world’s word for behaviour). I have now also been qualified as a Coape (Centre of Applied Pet Ethology) Behaviourist since 2009 and see many dogs for 1-to-1 behaviour consultations who have not had this wonderful start in life or who have become troubled for some reason. Helping them back on the right path is incredibly satisfying. Overall, I think I must have the very best job in the world! Contact: Janet Garrett Company: Janet’s Puppy Skool Telephone: 01793 727158 Web Address: