“One step at a time…” says Mark Laker

“One step at a time…” says Mark Laker

By Mark Laker

It’s been a year.

‘One step at a time’ a message which will forever remind me of Captain Sir Tom Moore motivating the nation with his incredible fund raising and life story – what an amazing man.

Taking one step at a time in my pre-lockdown world wasn’t easy

For the last 10 years I’ve had to be very flexible in my career as a Project Manager. I’d have a few days working from home, then I’d be away on business trips for 3-4 days, then a couple of days spent on-site locally. No day was ever the same. That all changed in March 2020 when we went into the first National Lockdown.

Since then, I’ve definitely been taking life one step at a time

That doesn’t mean I’m not planning ahead (I love planning), but for the first time in many years I’m now time-rich (sounds like consultant talk). I’ve had time to plan ahead, consider what I want/need to do, do it properly i.e. not rushing because I may not have time again, finish it, check it’s finished and then really make sure it’s finished. This may sound like common sense, but it’s surprising how many times we think we’ve completed a task/activity and then discover there were still some loose-ends. I suppose in dog training terms, it’s like proofing what you believe you’ve trained is the desired behaviour you’re getting.

And what about our dogs, how have their lives changed over the last year?

They’ve had even more exercise. Over the last year I’ve challenged myself to walk at least 5K every day. Karen has had time to brush up their existing skills and train new ones and of course they have our company at home all the time. Dogs are incredibly adaptable though, I’m sure they will soon adapt to the next routine as life changes again as lockdown restrictions lift.

I’m not sure what our next routine will be

I’m beginning to dislike the over-used term ‘new-normal’ because, I don’t want normal. It sounds boring, repetitive and non-eventful. I’m hopeful it will not be a new-normal, but life will be interesting, exciting and present different opportunities. I also hope there’ll be more appreciation for how fragile the planet and our lives are, and we’ll start seeing more proactive steps being taken to look after what we already have.

One step at a time.
———————-
Best regards,

Mark.

CSJ’s pure Salmon Oil – world class!

CSJ’s pure Salmon Oil – world class!

Press release – 24.2.21

Salmon oil is a great supplement for all dogs and cats but not all oils are the same.

Most companies tend to buy in their oil which has been heat extracted and separated by a centrifuge – which can ‘damage’ the product, but not CSJ!

Their highly successful Salmon Oil is unique in that it is cold pressed – so preserving the important unsaturated fatty acids, which can be damaged by other methods of manufacture.

Continuously committed to providing only the best CSJ did exhaustive research in 2012 to source a supplier and eventually found the only company to manufacture salmon oil in this manner.

100% pure from freshly caught Norwegian Salmon then cold pressed within 24 hours CSJ Salmon Oil is highly beneficial by strengthening the immune system, increasing fertility, helping skin and coat and aiding mobility whilst reducing the risk of heart disease.

Now used for many years by successful dog handlers and owners in all fields of canine activity CSJ Salmon Oil has proven to be in a class of its own.

For more on CSJ products visit www.csjk9.com

Or call: 01745 710470

Follow CSJ winners on Facebook: https://facebook.com/specialistcaninefeeds/

Twitter: @CSJDogFood

Instagram: @CSJDog_Food

YouTube: CSJ Specialist Canine Feeds

Jayne Caudy’s huskies love CP All Rounder!

By Jayne Caudy

 Hello, I’ve just started feeding my huskies CP all rounder and they absolutely love it!!… Bow, Dolly and Amka. Bow on the left is 7 years and retired due to hip dysplasia and elbow arthritis. Dolly is 5 years and my canicross partner, Amka is 9 months and my future star! She is going to be shown and worked. Already started canicross training and hoping to get her into bikejor or scooter. They are all powered by CSJ and love it! Bow is a fussy eater but not with CSJ. We also loved the energy bars for long distance runs or a snack after a hard training session

Jayne 

Dog sports…Agility handlers…? How did you get on with last months questions on motivation?

Dog sports…Agility handlers…? How did you get on with last months questions on motivation?

By Mark Laker

These are two questions I ask my new coaching students – it gets them thinking… and not just ‘what a daft question’!

Motivation is a complex subject, it fuels our interest to do things, it generates our intrigue to learn and develop skills. The motivation cycle is fascinating too. Motivation builds and plateaus to a point where the topic (in our case dog sports) becomes a habit. Then the habit becomes a way of life and before you know it, we have multiple dogs, a caravan or a motorhome, a dog vehicle, all our holidays are at competitions and we’re on the dog sport hamster wheel. Now ask the question ‘why do you do dog sports?’….and the answer you’ll get is: 

‘Because I do, I’ve always done it’. 

That’s the answer I often got – until I probed more (asking five why’s) until I uncovered the real reasons. 

The Five Why’s

Asking five why’s takes the emotion out of the subject and gets to the deep rooted reasons often forgotten over time. Of course there are no right or wrong answers with this exercise, what’s important, particularly at times like now when external pressures have stopped the hamster wheel, is that we remember why we got involved in the first place. 

From my experience these reasons include: 
               * I’ve always been around dogs
               * I’ve always been involved with competitive sports;
               * I like the social side of the sport;
               * I enjoy teaching my dogs new skills;
               * All of the above !

It’s important to understand what form of motivation drives each one of these root causes. When you know that, you can channel that motivation in other directions if you need too. 

For example, if you enjoy teaching dogs new skills but you can’t do your sport at the moment, you may get that ‘motivation’ feel from virtually teaching new skills to help people. If you’ve always been involved with competitive sports but you can’t do your sport at the moment, then is there another sport you can find out about, do you have a transferable skill you can offer to another sport or person.

We often get so caught up on the hamster wheel that until something like COVID, a recession, or a change in personal circumstances comes along, we don’t stop and look at other options.

Maybe it’s time to ask what motivates us and how can we use them to keep going in these unprecedented times and expand our interests.

I hope you are keeping well.

Best regards,

Mark.

Mark Laker

Herbs for all seasons

Herbs for all seasons

LYNDA WARD
Pet Trade SOLUTIONS
lyndaward@pettradesolutions.com tel: 07946 743784

Press release – 16.12.20

CSJ’s Skinny Herbs are getting 5 star ratings from happy customers.

CSJ says, ‘Not all skin problems are caused by insects but may be caused by stress, sensitivity to the environment, products used around the home or even products used to clean dogs after muddy walks.

We asked our highly skilled and respected herbal expert to formulate a natural herb mix that can help dogs coat and skin …

The result, Skinny Herbs, is composed of a gentle blend of Echinacea, Nettle, Neem Leaves, Marigold Flowers, Thyme, Burdock Root and is simply sprinkled on food.’

Don’t just take CSJ’s word for it – here’s just one example of feedback, “My gundog was diagnosed as having alopecia which the vets said he’d just have to live with as there was no treatment. I tried a host of products and treatments with no success and decided I’d try Skinny Herbs as the reviews seemed positive. Six weeks later my boy has regained 80% plus of his hair and is improving by the day. Couldn’t recommend it highly enough.”

For more on CSJ products visit www.csjk9.com or call 01745710470

… and follow CSJ winners on

Facebook: https://facebook.com/specialistcaninefeeds/

Twitter:  @CSJDogFood

Instagram: @CSJDog_Food

YouTube:  CSJ Specialist Canine Feeds

http://www.awaywithdogs.co.uk

‘Oh no here we go again’ or Oh yes, here we go again’!

‘Oh no here we go again’ or Oh yes, here we go again’!

By Mark Laker

‘Oh no here we go again’ I read recently about lockdown 2. It was followed up by various views about the coronavirus pandemic, Britain’s attempt to bring it under control and the response from different people. 

Photo from Mark Laker’s blog

‘Here we go again’ – an opportunity to try again, build on the past? Or, ‘Oh no, not that again’, more bad things. It reminds me of that well known quote by unknown – who by the way has written some great quotes:

‘Whether a glass is half full or half empty depends on the attitude of the person looking at it.’

So where’s this blog going? We can look upon lockdown 2 as a miserable, boring and negative time that’s making me feel like my glass is definitely half empty and I could selfishly ignore all the experts advice and think of my short-term social life. Or, I could see this as an opportunity to try something new, benefit from the precious time given back to do something for the long-term and possibly save lives and help society get back on its feet.

I’m going to be using this time to increase my  writing, something I really enjoy and something I’ll have time for now my other commitments and energy-sapping activities through the summer have levelled off (a bit).  

I plan to make the most of the increased evening and weekend time available by writing my blog more regularly, setting myself a lockdown challenge (more of that later) and topping up my coaching skills.

Another lockdown 2 comment I recently heard was, ‘it’s not what you could do, it’s what you should do’. Particularly important as the country tries to control this devastating pandemic. 

Stay safe everyone and continue looking for positive opportunities

Best regards, 

Mark.

Mark Laker

Follow Mark Laker’s blog on: https://inneragility.co.uk/blog/

Welcome to the second blog from Suco sled dogs… training and meet Akeira the husky

Welcome to the second blog from Suco sled dogs… training and meet Akeira the husky

By Colin Spalding

We have had 4 training sessions this week, conditions have been very wet and on the warm side and humidity has been on the high side. Humidity is one of our main factors in deciding if we train or not, as it does affect the dogs’ performance, speed stamina and recovery. In my experience the hounds suffer more with high humidity than the Huskies do.

We trained Wednesday am, Thursday pm and Saturday and Sunday mornings. Gonzo and Dexter covered 24km over the 4 sessions. Two were speed sessions and 2 steady sessions, Diamond, Granite, Akiera and Sapphire covered 20k – again a mix of speed and steady sessions.

At the weekend we had visitors training with us and a total of 21 dogs there, which had the teams hyped up and we focused on passing and speed work and had two good sessions in muddy testing conditions.

Akeira

Each blog, we are going to do a biopic of one of the dogs, starting with Akiera who in January 2011 was our first husky. We naively purchased her over the internet, not really knowing what we were doing and joined in with people who were training Huskies locally and progressed from there.

She has always enjoyed running but is famous for not being fully focused and would much rather have a good nose at what’s going on round about her, while running at full speed, which leads to some interesting moments on the trail.

Even on Thursday evening’s session, chasing a rabbit into the trees resulted in me rolling about the trail in darkness. She has over the years had numerous wins and places as part of a 3 dog team with Kiera and Sapphire and at nearly 10 years old still loves her running, but most of all loves her roll about in the mud when she finishes her training.

She was the start of the amazing adventure we have had and will always be very special to us.

Dogs’ weights

Dogs’ weights this week:

Gonzo – 31.3k
Dexter – 24.8k
Cupar – 21.5k
Diamond- 17.6k
Granite – 18.6k
Akiera – 19k
Sapphire 18.1k
Kiera – 17.6k

We have been looking to add some weight to Gonzo and Dexter as they were feeling a bit light after the girls being in season so we have upped their feeds.

Suco Sleddog blog – training during winter 2020 season

Suco Sleddog blog – training during winter 2020 season

By Colin Spalding

Due to the current restrictions it looks unlikely SUCO Sled Dogs will have any further races in 2020. We have decided to set up a weekly blog to keep you updated on the teams training, nutrition and what’s all going on with them.  

Last weekend we all had a trip away to Aviemore with the dogs staying in the van loads of new bedding in for them.  We arrived in the Friday and after hydration and toilets and lots of attention on the stakeout line we ran Gonzo and Dexter round the Glenmore trail 4.2 miles at a steady pace and walked Cupar, Diamond, Granite, Akiera, Sapphire and Kiera in Glenmore forest around the stunning loch Morlich.  The dogs were then on the stake out for the rest of the day getting loads of attention before feeding more walks and bedding down for the night.  

We were up bright and early to walk and hydrate the dogs before running them back at Glenmore.   Gonzo ran biker with me and we did a fast run recording a time of 11.58 for a hilly trail, we then ran Dexter and Cupar bikejor round the trail at a good steady pace, Diamond and Granite ran together bikejor along with Akiera and Sapphire around a shorter 3mile trail all having good runs.  We then set up camp at loch morlich for the rest of the day.  

Sunday was more of the same Gonzo recording a time of 11.59 showing great consistency in his 3rd run in 3 days all the other dogs had good runs again showing a good level of fitness and another day camped out at loch morlich while I paddle boarded.  Monday we walked the dogs a final time round Glenmore forest before heading back home, Monday and Tue are rest days for all the dogs, we will be back out training on Wed morning at our regular training grounds. 

The dogs are all fed on CSJ perf 30 twice per day and are the following weight and get the amount of CSJ Perf 30 at each feed all bowls filled up with cold water to ensure they are hydrated Billy no mates are added to all feeds to keep ticks at bay, , bowls of water are always available for them.

  • Gonzo weight 29.8k 2.5 metric cups at each feed
  • Dexter 23.7k 1.5 metric cups at each feed
  • Cupar 21.2k 1.25 metric cups at each feed
  • Diamond 17.3k 1 metric cup at each feed
  • Granite 18.5k 1 metric cup at each feed
  • Akiera 18.4k 1 metric cup at each feed
  • Sapphire 17.6k 1 metric cup at each feed

Dogs are all handled daily to check condition and how they feel and meals adjusted accordingly.  

The hounds stay in the house and the Huskies have kennels and a run outside but are in the house daily for cuddles.  

We are currently training 4 times per week with no racing imminent it is general conditioning, some hill and speed work and working on commands.

Fergus polishes off dinner in one go

Fergus polishes off dinner in one go

By his owner – BG

Hi, just wanted to say a big thank you for sending the samples for Fergus to try.

All 3 went down well, one so quickly that it instantly came back up! In the end we decided on the CP27 puppy as it had the added glucosamine (he’s had problems with lameness after a run).

At nearly 9 months old, Fergus has gone from being a dog who turned his nose up at breakfast and grazed all day, sometimes not finishing his dinner until 10pm to a dog who actively looks for his breakfast and polishes it off in one go. He also sits in front of the cupboard from about 3pm looking for his dinner.

Thanks again, he and we are very happy customers!

Catch up with Ystwyth Racing’s latest season update

Catch up with Ystwyth Racing’s latest season update

By Chelsea-Anne Lee

Just a quick message to say a huge thank you for sponsoring our team of rescue sled dogs last season, we were over the moon to have this opportunity from you. The suggestion of using CSJ Xtra too has also ensured that Nero held weight fantastically all season and we have recommended this to several other mushers.

Although covid scuppered a few plans we still managed to do incredibly well and held our own against the Eurohounds and racing line Nordic breeds too. Below are some of our highlights from the season:

  • 2019/2020 1st Place Champion at Newnham Bark for bikejor – This was with Nero our rescue Welsh Sheepdog
  • 2019/2020 1st Place Champion at NATB for 2 dog bikejor – Kai and Nero
  • Tri Dog (Annual Dog Triathlon) 3rd Place – Kai
  • NATB 4 Dog Open (although we only ran 3 dogs) 2nd Place – Kai, Nero and our new rescue Nala

As well as some other podium placings…

This was Nala’s first season running so hopefully more to come from her this year. In addition to this was Kai’s first season racing again after 12 months off having knee surgery. The key is that all our rescue dogs train at their own pace and build confidence so they can enjoy the sport. Therefore, we hope that all 3 of our team will continue to develop and be even more competitive in 2020/2021 and earning a UK ranking this year with BSSF.

We also have some long distance canicross events planned including a half marathon next month, TDM a multi day race in the French Alps and a 4 day ultra event in the Brecon Beacons in 2021.

We have had race tops, coats, and a logo on our van representing your company (although just purchased a new van so would need to get a new van decal). You can also check out our story highlights on Instagram where we have saved our CSJ featured stories as well as regular mentions on our team Facebook too. 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ystwyth.dogs/

Instagram: @YstwythRacing