My Top 6 Dog Walks🐶

So now Autumn has come, it’s my favourite time to take the dogs out for a long walk!

So I thought I would share my favourite places to take the dogs.

1. The Light House

Located in Marshfield, Cardiff.

The light house is a lovely walk along the coast line, and if you time it right with the tide you can walk along the beach.

It also has a campsite and pub/restaurant which are dog friendly.

2. The Forest Of Dean

Located in Gloucestershire.

This is probably a popular choice and very well known, but I do love the Forest and all the different routes you can take.

It also benefits from a range of outdoor activity opportunities.

3.Roath Park

Located in Roath, Cardiff.

This is a popular choice if you live in Cardiff, but definitely one to take the dogs.

With the lovely view of the lake and in summer being able to go on the paddle boats.

There is also a pretty garden you can walk around.

4. Castle Coch

located in Tongwynlais, Cardiff.

Of course I had to put a castle in the mix as they’re a few to choose from in South Wales.

Castle Coch in English means red castle!

The castle is on the outskirts of Cardiff, and is the ultimate fairytale castle.

With having a beautiful forest scenery surrounding the castle, making it a lovely long walk.

You can choose from a range of different walks, with a map showing you different routes at the start by the Castle.

5. Tredegar House

Located in Duffryn, Newport.

Tredegar benefits from a forestry, lake, gardens, and a long field.

This has to be my dogs favourite place.

Tredegar is a National Trust.

The house also have events going on throughout the year which are not too be missed.

6. The Forest Drive

Located in Cwmcarn forest, Newport.

The Forest Drive benefits with rivers, a lake, and hills.

Walk through the hills of the peaceful forest to find the gorgeous views from the top.

The Forest offers a range of activities and events, with also a cafe at the bottom to help refresh you and your dogs.

7 Tips For Dogs With Separation Anxiety 🐶

At university I studied Animal Behaviour & Welfare, and volunteered at a dogs home. I found that a lot of rescue dogs suffer with separation anxiety!

What is it?

Separation anxiety is when a dog shows signs of distress and behaviour problems when separated from their owner.

This can be from a range of behaviour problems such as: barking/howling, pacing, become destructive, escaping behaviour, urinate/defecate in the house, cower or harm themselves. 

This behaviour problem can be very distressing for dogs and owners, so it very important to get help in order to reduce the problem (it may never be cured only reduced).

So with my combination of  research and experience here are my top tips to help dogs with separation anxiety:

1. Exercise

If you know you are going to be away for a few hours that day, tire your dog out on a long walk or play with them.

So when it comes to leaving them they will hopefully be too tired to notice your absence.

2. Leaving Cues

Dogs are clever they know when you are leaving by your routine you do before you leave. Such as putting your shoes on, coat on, picking up your keys, locking the back door etc!

This is when your dog starts to get wound up, as they don’t want you to leave obviously.

But there is a way around this. If you do these leaving routines a few times a day without leaving the house, the dog will no longer connect them to you leaving them.

So go to put your shoes on but just walk around the house and sit back down, once your dog has settled praise them with a pat or treat.

Then when you go to leave the house the dog won’t get as wound up as they won’t realise.

3. Build it up

If your dog isn’t used to you leaving them, building up the amount of time you leave them may help so it’s not a shock.

For example, leave the house for just 5 minutes (Do not stand outside the door, they can smell you!) Just walk around the street or something.

And then build the time up for how long you leave them for 5,10,15,20 minutes etc!

Now heres the hard bit, do not give them attention when you come back in the house (when they are all excited) as this will praise them for being all wound up.

When they have calmed down you can then say hello and give them attention (praising them for being calm). This is probably what I struggle with most as it’s so lovely to see your dog so happy to see you! But remember it’s for their own good!

4. Safe Place

Have a place where your dog can go and feel relaxed (Bed or crate).

Crate training can be very useful with dogs with separation anxiety (start it early), leave some toys, food, and a blanket that has your scent on creating a safe heaven for your dog.

Get the dog used to the crate, and start leaving the room with the dog staying in the crate. If the dog follows you go back to the crate to suggest to go back in, once the dog has calmed down leave the room again and so on..(have to be patient!). 

The aim is for the dog to feel secure and safe enough to stay in the crate without you being in the room.

 

5. Distractions

Giving your dog something to do for when you leave, can help distract them.

Such as giving them a big bone with treat in the middle of them that take hours to get, or a treat ball!

There has also been research found that Classical music help calms dogs in rescue centres, so maybe leave the radio on for them.

You can get a plug in calmer that gives out a scent that helps calm your dog down, I found it used to really help my lab with fireworks.

6. Obedience training

Obedience training is very important for dogs with behavioural problems, if your unsure take your dog to classes with other people and dogs (get them socialising with others not just yourself).

Just even basic obedience training can help such as sit, lie down, stay , etc.

Teaching your dog to stay whilst you go in another room can also be useful to let them know its ok not to be with you 24/7.

This will help build a stronger relationship with you and your dog, with also giving your dog purpose and trusting you as the leader.

7. Confidence building

Separation Anxiety effects the dogs self confidence in them not wanting to be alone. 

Build their confidence by praising them when they play and show independence, but ignore them when they whine for your attention and bark.

Give your dog attention by being really positive and encouraging towards them, only when they are calm and quiet as a reward. 

This also links in with Obedience training, as learning new tricks can increase their confidence and obedience towards you. 

Also try leaving your dog outside alone for a few seconds and then going out and rewarding them for being calm, this praises the dog for going outside on their own!

 

So there are my top tips!

It is also to note that you should never leave a dog alone for too long 4hours MAX!

If you do have to leave them for a long period of time, get a friend to pop round for a couple of hours. Or you can take your dog to doggy day care, or hire a dog walker.

If you have any questions or any tips yourself, don’t hesitate to contact me or comment below.

Jen x:)

Gatcombe Horse Trials!🐎

If you love Horses and Dogs then Gatcombe is the place for you! 

This Saturday I had the day off work (Hurray!!) to go spend the day at Gatcombe. 

Show Jumping!

This was my first time here but definitely won't be my last! 

Gatcombe is a good day trip as you can get most of it done in one day as it's not too big or crowded(On for the whole weekend!).

At the start of the day we sat down and watched the show jumping! 

Dressage

If you fancy going to a quite place to sit down, why not go watch some dressage! I found it quite peaceful and quiet watching dressage(also very beautiful to watch).

The Main Event

Cross Country!!

Theres loads of different places to go watch the Cross Country (when it stops raining).

My favourite spot to watch it was by the Land Rover jump on the hill, as you can see most of the other jumps and see them canter off towards the finish line.

Unfortunately when we went to go watch the Cross Country it starting bucketing it down with rain, thunder and lighting so I had to buy a new coat as I found out mine wasn't very waterproof!

But luckily there are loads of clothing stands with SALES on (Bagged myself a warm coat for £10!!).

Action!!

One of my favourite shows that we watched had to be the action horses (Used for tv&film like GOT!).

The bond they had with their horses were unbelievable, and the stunts they created were amazing!

It crazy how much trust they have on those horses to be able to do stuff like this.

Dogs Dogs Dogs!!

If your dog loves a long walk and can handle lots of rain and thunder, then they will love Gatcombe! so lovely seeing all the dogs there.

SHETLAND GRAND NATIONAL!!

Lastly but not least, THE SHETLAND GRAND NATIONAL! What can i say about this?! Apart from how entertaining this is to watch!

It's such a fab idea! Seeing those little ponies getting an attitude racing each other, Absolutely hilarious.

My tips:

  • WEAR WELLIES!! And take umbrella!!
  • Take a picnic! Can be nice when watching the cross country.
  • Buy the brochure, theres so much going on, so don't miss out.
  • Take cash! Most places take card but when buying food and drink you need cash.
  • Move around! There is so much going on everywhere try not to miss out on anything.

Rhino Horn Trade Ban

I visited a game reserve in South Africa last year where I learned about the Rhino poaching problem. This then influenced me to do my dissertation on the rhino horn trade ban.

I basically found that a lot of the public were uneducated on the subject with most people thinking rhino horn is ivory! Which shows how even in the UK there is a need for education of how serious and important this subject is!

So I thought I would add my own opinion and stuff I’ve learnt!

Continue reading “Rhino Horn Trade Ban”