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Harry the Xmas (& Beyond) Dog

Not Just for Xmas

As a volunteer instructor at a local dog club, I’m often asked for advice on choosing a dog. A common misconception among prospective dog owners is that the main concern is matching a dog to your living area.

Son meets our adopted dog

A Forever Home

Jet joined our family on the 8th March 2014. It had been two-and-half years since we'd lost our dear old Lab, Harry, and Jet was just on two-and-half years old at the time. It seemed a good omen.

A well trained dog

A Well Trained Dog

Walking to the local coffee shop one morning, my dog, Harry, alongside me on-leash, I overheard a passer-by compliment, "Look at that well-trained dog." "Nah," retorted another. "You should see the two big dogs outside the coffee shop. They walk off leash."

When Harry met baby

New Baby in the Pack

The response from friends and family when told my wife and I were expecting our first child was, "Harry's nose will be put out of joint!" I was determined our 3-year-old Labrador's nose would not be put out by, nor would he be shooed outside, away from the new baby in the pack.

Blind faith in a dog

Blind Faith in a Dog

My local dog club runs a season-ending Fun Day with events designed to be fun and to test the bond between members and their dogs. Our most popular events include fancy dress, an agility-type slalom, a saveloy race (relay, not eating!), the waggliest tail and an event we call the "Ned Kelly".

Toy dog eating dinner

Can I Pat That Dog?

Last year I gave a talk to the children at my son’s childcare centre about dogs, titled Can I Pat That Dog. I divided the talk into three parts: 1) How to approach a dog; 2) How to look after a dog; 3) Dog training and tricks.

Dog playing with a tug toy

The Power of Play

In addition to basic obedience commands, I like to demonstrate the power of play in my dog training classes. I don’t let the dogs run around and chase each other in mad circles. Instead, I demonstrate with my dog, Harry, how to motivate and reward your dog by playing one-on-one with it.

Grey muzzled dog

Old Dog, New Trick

My Lab Harry is almost eleven and half-years-old. He’s never been a very energetic dog – as I’ve commented to my training classes, his heeling in dog obedience rings was like dragging around a reluctant sack of potatoes!

IKEA Store

In December of 2012, I told a friend I actually enjoyed a bottle of Barefoot Sparkling Wine, but the guy turned out to be an informant for the League of Very Relevant Wine Bloggers, who subsequently banned me from writing about wine for 40 months.

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