Saturday, December 18, 2010

Rita Mae Brown

I recently started reading a series of books by the above author and have enjoyed them so much I just had to share. They main character is Jane "Sister" Arnold and she is MFH(Master of Foxhounds) of the Jefferson Hunt Club. The stories are essentially murder mysteries but they are so much more than that as well. I love reading about the beautiful countryside in Virginia and the care of and connections made with the foxhounds and horses. I have been having a hard time putting them down at night(which is about the only time I get to read) and am nearly through the fourth book in just a couple of weeks. If you get a chance I suggest you try a read. Here is a link to all the books in the series:
Things are going well here at home. All the dogs are in lovely condition and enjoying their runs outside, followed by a sleep on one of the many dog beds spread around the house.
Hope your Holidays are going well. Only seven more sleeps as my daughter would say! :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Michael Ellis

There are so many ways and methods to train dogs. Most types of training nowadays leans towards positive training thank goodness. Gone are the days of popping collars and jerking chains to get your point across. Granted, this method worked for many dogs but generally that was because they wanted to avoid another correction not because they wanted to work for you.
My very favourite trainer is Michael Ellis. Having been involved with training working dogs in the working dog sports(schutzhund, mondio ring, french ring etc..) he really understands how their minds work. He uses marker training(this is when you "mark" a correct behaviour..some people use a clicker to mark, others use a voice command), and mostly positive methods. There is some compulsion(correction) in his training but very little and I believe that dogs need this. It helps them to learn to handle a little bit of stress, as well as helps them learn more quickly.
If you are interested in learning more about Michael Ellis's methods here is a link to him giving a lecture at the beginning of one of his training seminars:
He has several DVDs(yes, I have them all) and they can be ordered here:
He has definitely brought my training to the next level.
Happy training everyone!