Archive for February, 2010

Control Points

Posted on February 22, 2010. Filed under: 3. Trainer On Call | Tags: |

When training your dog, maintaining control points is the most important tool you can use.  A control point is a point in time when your pet is focused directly on  you.  They are not running around excited, they are not sniffing around looking for something else.  The best control point is when your pet is sitting in front of you looking up at you.  They should be calm, waiting for their next command.

When wanting to train a new behavior, start with control points to get your pet focused on you.  If their attention strays from you, bring it back to you by reinforcing a control point with a treat.

For more information on how to utilize control points during training, e-mail me at

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Easiest Tip Ever

Posted on February 7, 2010. Filed under: 3. Trainer On Call | Tags: , |

My tip this week is one that is so easy, that I even take for granted.  

On a daily basis or at least weekly basis, give your pets a good “looking over.”  Look for any bumps, masses, torn nails, skin irritations.  Anything that looks out of place.

About 2 weeks ago, Dylan noticed that Faith had a growth in her ear.  She gets bumps every so often with her age, and I was aware she had a few little growths, but this one popped up quick.  I clean the dogs ears on a semi regular basis, and I had cleaned them not too long before.  And what seems like overnight, she developed a rather large “bump” on the inside of her ear.  It is bigger than the others on her skin, and seems to irritate her because she is scratching at it at times.

We tend to love on our pets and pet them, and not really notice the areas that we aren’t petting.  (like inside the ear)  So give your pets a good looking over every so often to catch the little  things that could develop before they become big problems.

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A Dog Named Jasmine

Posted on February 7, 2010. Filed under: 3. Trainer On Call | Tags: , , |


A Dog Named Jasmine

 I got this email from my mom and thought it was so adorable……

In 2003, police in Warwickshire , England , opened a garden shed and found a whimpering, cowering dog.  It had been locked in the shed and abandoned.  It was dirty and malnourished and had clearly been abused.

In an act of kindness, the police took the dog, which was a Greyhound female, to the nearby Nuneaton Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary, run by a man named Geoff Grewcock and known as a willing haven for animals abandoned, orphaned or otherwise in need.  Geoff and the other sanctuary staff went to work with two aims to restore the dog to full health, and to win her trust.  It took several weeks, but eventually both goals were achieved.

They named her Jasmine, and they started to think about finding her an adoptive home.

But Jasmine had other ideas.  No one remembers how it began, but she started welcoming all animal arrivals at the sanctuary.  It wouldn’t matter if it was a puppy, a fox cub, a rabbit or, any other lost or hurting animal.  Jasmine would peer into the box or cage and, where possible, deliver a welcoming lick.

Geoff relates one of the early incidents.  “We had two puppies that had been abandoned by a nearby railway line.  One was a Lakeland Terrier cross and another was a Jack Russell Doberman cross.  They were tiny when they arrived at the center and Jasmine approached them and grabbed one by the scruff of the neck in her mouth and put him on the settee.  Then she fetched the other one and sat down with them, cuddling them.”

“But she is like that with all of our animals, even the rabbits.  She takes all the stress out of them and it helps them to not only feel close to her, but to settle into their new surroundings.  She has done the same with the fox and badger cubs, she licks the rabbits and guinea pigs and even lets the birds perch on the bridge of her nose.”

Jasmine, the timid, abused, deserted waif, became the animal sanctuary’s resident surrogate mother, a role for which she might have been born.  The list of orphaned and abandoned youngsters she has cared for comprises five fox cubs, four badger cubs, 15 chicks, eight guinea pigs, two stray puppies and 15 rabbits.

And one roe deer fawn.  Tiny Bramble, 11 weeks old, was found semiconscious in a field.  Upon arrival at the sanctuary, Jasmine cuddled up to her to keep her warm, and then went into the full foster mum role.  Jasmine the greyhound showers Bramble the Roe deer with affection and makes sure nothing is matted.

“They are inseparable,” says Geoff.  “Bramble walks between her legs and they keep kissing each other.  They walk together round the sanctuary.  It’s a real treat to see them.”

Jasmine will continue to care for Bramble until she is old enough to be returned to woodland life.  When that happens, Jasmine will not be lonely.  She will be too busy showering love and affection on the next Orphan or victim of abuse.

From left, Toby, a stray Lakeland dog; Bramble, orphaned Roe deer; Buster, a stray Jack Russell; a dumped rabbit; Sky, an injured barn owl; and Jasmine with a Mother’s heart doing best what a caring Mother would do.. Such is the order of God’s Creation.

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