Why structure matters for working spaniels

A lot of people, especially in the working spaniel world, look down on dog shows – they’re seen as being about appearance and, as such, an unnecessary vanity. It’s all about PERFORMANCE for working cockers, so appearance doesn’t matter! The implicit subtext is that this focus on performance is somehow morally and ethically superior – and in all honesty, once upon a time, I embraced this attitude as well.

Some thoughts on joint health and dog development

I had a conversation with someone* a few months ago about dog joints, structure, movement and breeding spaniels, and during the conversation we had a hypothesis about why there are more joint problems today. Hypothesis 1: In the past hunting spaniels like cockers and springers (in the UK) would have been removed from the geneContinue reading “Some thoughts on joint health and dog development”

Not all ball throwing is bad

Some people are really against balls for dogs and I can totally see why. Some dogs, including mine, get obsessed, a little possessive, and running after a ball can also cause injuries – something we’ve also experienced. So why do I not ban them entirely? Because they are incredibly useful for me to keep myContinue reading “Not all ball throwing is bad”

Grace meets agility

Our agility class had only a few participants around last night so the teacher invited Grace to join too (adapted to her age of course). This is Grace’s first time experience of agility equipment and she was totally unfazed by it – even the bendy tunnel that some dogs fear because you can’t see theContinue reading “Grace meets agility”

Balance training in nature: sniff game on a tree trunk

I try to make use of the natural environment to get the dogs to practice things like body awareness and balance, and although Grace does her own practice on the edge of our sofa, it never hurts to do some deliberately. Here I’ve sprinkled some treats on top of a wide, mossy trunk which meansContinue reading “Balance training in nature: sniff game on a tree trunk”