Our Intensive Training by Jan T.
The Old Dairy
My husband John and I, together with our three dogs, Jack (5), Benjamin (11) and Leah (12), travelled to Bowerland primarily for the Intensive Training Package. It was such a delight to arrive at such a pretty setting. Not at all the ‘farm’ setting I was expecting. We were impressed not only with the planters and plants edging the driveways, but also the lovely garden and planting at the Old Dairy. The Old Dairy itself was homely and had pretty much everything you would need for a week’s stay.
The local scenery really is quite remarkable. We took a walk behind the Fox & Hounds and it really was a delight and I found it quite a magical place. We also took the walk around Meldon Reservoir, which we all loved. The walk with Michelle, which included part of the Granite Way, was fabulous. The views were wonderful! It was great to see how far Jack had come. He didn’t bark at the sheep, cows, horses or other dogs in an up close & personal manner, which was his tendency prior to our training.
The break was primarily for 1-2-1 ‘Intensive’ training for Jack and myself. I was very nervous on the first day of training; however, by the end of day 4, it felt as though light has been switched on! I loved Michelle’s calm approach and understanding of my failings.
Basically, being a multi-dog owner, I now realise that I had not ‘played’ with my dogs enough to get them interested in me, rather than what was going on around them. I thought that taking them for a nice long walk and letting them gambol off-lead was the right thing (albeit quite a nightmare when he would run off to say hello to people and dogs who didn’t want to know him). How wrong could I be? Exercise through play and mental stimulation is far more rewarding.
Now I’m looking forward to see where this new relationship with Jack will lead.
Looking forward to the challenge
My last training day with Michelle was like leaving school and starting a new job. I was a tad nervous wondering how I was going to adapt my old routine to incorporate all of this new knowledge.
- How was I going to manage my multi-dog life with what I know now?
- Will my dogs cope with being separated so I can dedicate time to each of them?
- Can I fulfil my dog’s potential?
Only time will tell but I am genuinely looking forward to the challenge. Thank you all.
About the Author: I currently work part-time in the NHS and have a degree in Ceramics. I am lucky enough to have a studio in my garden to escape to and throw a few pots when the mood takes me. I have had many dogs of my own in the past and over the years I have fostered well over 25 Poodles for a rescue centre and I only wish I knew then what I know now. If I had attended the Devon Dogs training centre years ago, my life and the lives of the dogs who have passed through here may have been a bit more fun.