So, although most races are still postponed, Maddi has just spent the week with Vicki Pullin at her amazing summer camp. Learning new skills, like bikejor technique, caring for the dogs, fitness tests and water activities.
She has had the most amazing time and can’t wait for the season to start, she’s so hooked on bikejor she’s also going to enter for the junior school age bikejor at the British Championship.
Arctic Quest and training with Vickie Pullin
Vicki Pullin’s summer camp is an amazing opportunity for kids to come and stay for 5 days working and living the sled dog life with multi-time British Champion and International sled dog racer Vickie Pullin and her amazing team of dogs, along with some fantastic Staff.
This jam packed week of adventures included running dogs, caring for dogs, cuddles with dogs – all things sled dogs! Arctic Quest work with kids that one day dream of becoming world champions in the sport and other kids who just love to hug a Husky, we have something for everyone – to top of the dog activities we also include a lot of land based activities, team building and water sports.
Like many other agility competitors our dogs have been brought up to love training and competing.
As lockdown eases, we are carefully able to resume weekly training and training days etc. Some COVID friendly competitions have even been run and I’ve done a Summer League with my own customers just to keep up training with an end purpose.
Personally, I have used this down time to also take a look at other dog sports for new challenges.
All the different activities I have researched have one thing in common – awards and/or titles. This is the focus we use to motivate us and give us something to aim for.
So, what about a COVID K9 programme incorporating all the skills our dogs have had to develop recently?
Aim – to enjoy daily moments of living with your canine.
Pictures of dog sleeping,
Dog posing for yet another photo
Dog being taken for yet another walk with each member of the house as they go outside for a break/ daily exercise.
Aim – to show how adaptable your dog is.
Dog settled for several hours in order to watch another box set/classic film.
No barking when someone comes to the door as nobody ever comes in,
Dog playing with hose whilst you are finding something in the garden shed (which tbh you didn’t even know existed),
Dog not bothered by furniture being moved around/decorating etc.
Lockdown Agility Dog
Aim – to show how obsessive we can be.
Dog enjoying ‘going back to basics’ on all training as they have time and they will now be able to get it perfect with handler sat down and using verbal commands only.
Dogs completing a 20-obstacle course in the garden avoiding the shed (which is now filled with garden agility equipment and actual gardening stuff), the new wildlife pond and bee attracting flower bed and still nailing that weave entry.
Outside the House Dog
Aim – to display any old dogs can learn new tricks.
Dog can at last walk on a loose lead (after all no rings to pull to, no exciting training to get to and no room for off lead zoomies), lead is obviously only 2m maximum.
Without instruction the dog automatically sits by your side when they see someone new, a new dog, someone on a bike or someone on a horse.
*New Outside the House Dog July 2020 – dog does not freak out when it sees you with a face mask on.
Easing of Lockdown Dog
Aim – no idea frankly as rules get a bit hazy.
Dog does not bark once whilst, yet another driver takes a photo of you receiving home improvement/ gardening/ bike accessories deliveries or dog barks continuously for the whole 10 minutes.
Dog wags tail furiously from a suitable social distance and does not leap all over their trainer that they had always leapt on since puppy class.
Dog can recall off other dogs, bikes and horses most of which have gone back to pre-lockdown activities never to be seen again.
Good Pub Dog – evidenced by dog relaxing in pub.
Character Pub Dog – evidenced by dog winning over all staff and being given any leftovers.
Think about what great skill/character trait your dog has displayed this year that they should be honoured with.
Whatever your dog would win an award for, there is no doubt that their unfailing companionship is priceless in these times.
“This is some of my team that have been shepherding in a number of Lake District valleys for shearing feed on CSJ ‘Hike on!’ and CSJ ‘Complete Tripe!’ I’m seeing good results from CSJ and wouldn’t feed anything else now.”
As lockdown gradually eases in most parts of the UK, people are adapting to the new ways of living and working with Covid-19. I’ve recently changed roles in my daily work life and having a vertual interview, meeting my new colleagues and team all online virtually, has been an interesting experience. Going into an office is an unlikely prospect for me until sometime in 2021.
Talking about new roles, my successor as Agility Team GB Manager, Greg Derrett is now in place. I’ve been in touch with Greg a few times and offered my support as he gets up to speed in the role… although I don’t think it’ll take him too long. Greg has a wealth of experience and a lot of passion for our sport – I’m sure he’ll do a great job.
It’s strange times for many sports
Some activities are still very much stopped, others are easing their way back and the more innovative ones are finding new ways to play. I’ve spoken to people who are taking stock of their interests… dare I say life, and considering their future direction in this new Covid-19 world. Many people have already adapted to a different way to life over the last four months and are enjoying spending more time with their families, appreciating the natural world more, taking more exercise and making different use of their time.
As someone interested in psychology, the ability of humans to adapt and change according to our environment both fascinates and worries me. I’m shocked how people can be so destructive to one another and our world, but also amazed by how creative and resourceful we can be too.
One things for sure, those of us reading this article will always gravitate and find solace in our dogs.
Back in March/April I contacted Ceri for advice on Bella our Spaniel. We’ve always struggled with her weight, she has spent most of her 2 years looking too thin. It’s a constant battle with a high energy dog who spends little time sat still!
Ceri arranged for the lovely Nicki (nutritional advisor) to contact us. We spoke about her exercise levels, days she is working, rest days, food amounts. 2.5 months later and after I implemented Nicki’s advice, she is looking in amazing condition, her weight is now ideal, her coat is shining and her flakey skin has gone!
“This is the best brand of dog food I have ever tried. I have my 19 month old dog on Herbie Ringsand Billy No Mates! Everyone comments on how amazing her coat is. She gets 1 cup per day and keeps the weight on.
She isn’t a big eater, so won’t eat any more, but this is the only company with dog food that works for her. This is a brand, I will never be switching. I have told everyone at dog training and Jessies followers on tiktok.
She was 16kg and now 20kg but still looking lean. She does agility classes and training, so she is always getting watched since changing our food. We have always have good comments.
“I highly recommend CP30. A Fantastic food. I now feed all my dogs on CSJ. I finally found a food that really gives my dogs the energy thats required for a busy day working, training & running in field trials.
I also feed it to my whelping bitch to ensure she remains in top condition & it provides good quality nutrition to the pups to help in growth & weight gain.”
Life is strange at the moment isn’t it? We live in a peaceful world (mostly) with people who love to spend time with their dogs. For us particularly, that involves training our dogs to be great at agility. With no shows to attend for the foreseeable future, we’ve taken the opportunity to establish and enjoy more relaxing routines and weekends.
Our dogs have been brought up to utilise their energy and enjoy regular training. They’re fed high-quality food to enhance their performance and maintain tip-top fitness. With no shows or training classes to attend, like many agility competitors we’ve scaled down the agility training.
In our household we currently have four border collies and a terrier-cross and they love learning and being active. They’re on a training programme of: learning how to just chill-out and relax around the house and garden; learning how to loose-lead walk and practicing social distancing around the extra people, bikes and horses we meet on our usual walks.
The Border Collies and Pikachu’s all love working, and although running round an agility course is the most fun in our house, anything that involves figuring out what we want them to do is fun too.
We’ve started using other activities to channel their mental and physical energy. These include:
Waiting in their beds patiently while their dinner is being prepared.
Waiting at doors & gateways until they get called individually.
Waiting for their turn to fetch their toy (Torro (old boy) doesn’t get this and gets 3 x as much exercise whilst we are doing this with the others). And Pikachu was a bit snooty of joining in, but now has her own toy which nobody else can have.
Doing sit, down, stand or a left / right turn before or on the way to their toy.
Loose-lead walking – in the past the main time they were on a lead was on the way to the agility ring and no one was interested in doing that calmly. J
Walking and balancing on logs.
They play most of these games all together, which challenges them further and its intriguing how they learn as a pack members and as individuals.
As we come out of lock down and small training classes are restart, it’s noticeable how some partnerships have definitely got tighter with this extra time we’ve been spending at home with our dogs. We’re going to keep up some of the fun training we’ve been doing as we all enjoy it.
We hope you and your dogs are keeping safe and well.
Madison and Bronte took part in a virtual 10 mile event on the weekend, where canicross groups across the UK were competing with each other. Each member had to run 1 mile and the fastest combined 10 mile team won!
Madison ran for team k9 trail time. She teamed up with our English Pointer Bronte while other junior Elsie ran our GSP X Lilly.
Madison managed a great time of 6 minutes for 1 mile.
There’s an unusual family history behind CSJ – the British natural dog food, herbs and treats company – and it’s now on YouTube.
In a fascinating 2 minute watch the pictorial story unfolds of Ceri Rundle’s and her late father H. Glyn Jones’s background in working sheepdogs and huge success in trialling and breeding their world renowned Border Collies.
Packed with old photos of Ceri and her dad though the ages with their dogs – and even one of her shepherdess Great-Grandmother – we also see the dazzling breadth of top winners who swear by CSJ in canine activities from sled-dogs to agility dogs whilst not forgetting ‘the little dog next door’.
In its own quirky and engaging way the video illustrates why CSJ has been so successful over the last 20 years and become probably the best loved pet-food in the UK … developed by dog people … for dog people!