Graeme’s TED Talk Hits YouTube

Written by Graeme Hall on . Posted in Dog Blog

“Why Using Dog Training Psychology To Train People Makes Sense”

Have you heard of TED talks? They’re quick twenty minute talks that are recorded live and put online where people share interesting ideas. Previous TED talkers have included Bill Clinton, Bono and Richard Branson so when I was asked to do a TED talk last year I was rather pleased with myself.

What was the idea I was dying to share with the world? Well surprisingly, perhaps, it’s around training people, and how using dog training psychology to get more of the behaviours you want and less of the stuff you don’t want, It works a treat. Well, absolutely without treats to be precise.

If you’d like to hear how to motivate people, dogs and even yourself – and how I used it on myself to win dancing competitions (yes, really), you can see my 16 min talk here

Celebrity Dog Trainer

Written by Graeme Hall on . Posted in Dog Blog

It’s not everyday I work with an X Factor winner, but the opportunity arose earlier this year when Little Mix star Leigh-Anne Pinnock needed a little expert help with her dog, a cute Pug cross called Harvey.

Leigh Anne and DogfatherIt turns out that winning a TV show like X Factor throws up some interesting dilemmas. For a start: What do you do with the puppy you just got when you’re about to undertake an unforeseen six month tour of the United States? It’s not the sort of problem most of us ever have, eh?

The trouble is, this formative period is what shapes a dog’s behaviour in later life. Mum Debbie did the very best she could but three years on the upheaval had left it’s mark. Harvey, he’d decided, was firmly in charge of security, barking at everyone who passed by. It worked – up to a point  – because they kept on passing! “He is a complete law unto himself” said Leigh-Anne “He will obey a few commands – but only when he feels like it.”

It’s not so uncommon. Admittedly, winning X Factor is rare but life being turned upside-down happens to many dog owners. People move house, divorce, even die, and the changes sometimes precipitate behavioural changes and anxiety in dogs. The end result is that neither dogs or owners are very happy. Which is where I come in.

I spent a morning with the delightful Leigh-Anne and her family, talking through the various issues and demonstrating the right techniques for Harvey (for barking his head off at unsuspecting pedestrians wasn’t his only party trick). By the end of it, we had an action plan in place to improve things.

It’s very rewarding, this making dogs and people happy together malarkey (whoever I’m working with). If I can help – and you don’t need to be on the telly – pick up the old dog and bone and give me a call.

Michael and Sarah at the Dog Friendly Hotel

Written by Graeme Hall on . Posted in Dog Blog

We all love what we do here at Dogfather but everyone has to have a break sooner or later, so we sent Client Managers Michael and Sarah off to a dog friendly hotel in Yorkshire for a weekend. The only catch? Muggins here had to man the phones. It’s a hard life! Here’s what they had to say. Sounds lovely! Graeme

 

Ox Pasture Hall Hotel – (Two night stay in February 2016)

It was clear on arrival that you are in a stunningly rural area of Yorkshire – the hotel’s location makes you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere, which is perfect if you are staying here with your dog(s).

As you turn down the sweeping drive to the hotel, with woodland and fields all around you, you are presented with a beautiful old building and immaculate grounds and a very large car park.

As you enter reception it feels very homely and cosy and the staff are very friendly and helpful and nothing is too much trouble. On a notice board in the reception area it is lovely and reassuring to see ‘Thank you’ cards from previous clients and their dogs about their amazing stay.

We were staying with our dog Josh, a Pack Beagle, in one of the hotels ‘dog friendly’ suites and were shown to our room by Paul who was very polite and helpful.

Entering our room we were stunned by the tranquil colours and quality of the fixtures and fittings – everything was in neutral colours and done very tastefully. However, possibly a worry to us and others visiting with dogs was there may be evidence that dogs had stayed in the room before, however, no such evidence presented itself which was fantastic. The room we stayed in was spacious so allowing the dog and us plenty of room to settle in and be very comfortable during our stay.

Our room had beautiful views over the rolling countryside and over the lake in the grounds of the hotel. It had, as I believe all do had free wi-fi, Freeview television in both the lounge and the bedroom areas an endless supply of tea and coffee, complimentary bottles of water and all the other facilities you would expect in this level of hotel ie hairdryer, bathrobes, and complimentary toiletries.

On visiting the actual hotel dogs are encouraged to join their owner(s) in almost all areas of the hotel, and water bowls are left out or the dogs to help themselves.

On our stay the hotel had other guests visiting with dogs and some without but at no point did we feel that dogs were intrusive with our or their stay. Due to our visit being in the winter we only stayed within the grounds of the hotel which had a good mix of pathed walk ways and grass areas in the grounds and around the lake which makes the walking of your dog(s) in poor weather still a pleasurable experience. It should be noted that at no point did we see any dog waste in the grounds of the hotel – this is obviously well managed by the staff and the responsible dog owners visiting the hotel.

In the grounds there are numerous outdoor seating areas both covered and uncovered with a mix of seating to suit different occasions – How lovely would this be to sit outside with your dog on a summers evening?

At breakfast we ate in the bar restaurant which means your dog is allowed to eat with you. On this occasion there were other dogs and their owners eating also but this certainly caused no issues and was not off-putting. At all times if eating in the bar dogs are made to feel like one of the family. Water bowls are provided next to the table and the staff are always keen to meet yours and the dogs needs.

As an aside the quality of all food but especially the evening meal is outstanding, whether it be the superb quality of ingredients, the presentation of the plates or the flavours of the food – we have eaten in a number of top restaurants without our dog and this certainly matched and possibly surpassed some of those but the advantage this time was our dog was with us to share the experience.

We talked to Lindsay, the General Manager of the hotel, who was incredibly professional and friendly at all points during our stay. She informed us that all breeds and all sizes of dogs are welcome to stay at the hotel and it is not uncommon for people to bring more than one dog, and indeed this happened on our visit.

So, in summary we would recommend this hotel for dogs and their owners if they like to be spoilt (with their dog(s) both by the beauty of  what the hotel has to offer but also by the surroundings of the beautiful Yorkshire moors, and we certainly would look to re-visit in the future with our dog.

 

“One of Britain’s Top Dog Trainers”

Written by Graeme Hall on . Posted in Dog Blog

When Countryside magazine were looking for a dog trainer, we were delighted they chose The Dogfather “One Of Britain’s Top Dog Trainers”

Countryside Cover Oct 14

I love training people and dogs and it’s a subject I can talk about with anyone who’ll listen. I’ve been Countryside’s resident dog expert for a while now and since March 2013 I’ve had my own regular full page in the magazine. You can’t miss it – they’ve called it the Dogfather Page. (I’m honoured!).

The page includes a column from me with a dog behaviour Q&A most months. I have to say I’m delighted because the mag’s a great read – in fact I was a subscriber long before I was a regular contributor.

If you’d like to see a sneak preview of this month’s copy, or to check out their offers, check out the Countryside magazine website.

Lessons For Dog Owners From Mazda..?

Written by Graeme Hall on . Posted in Dog Blog

I bought a Mazda MX5 recently. Everyone thinks I’m having a mid life crisis. It’s back to my automotive roots really as my first car was an MG Midget. I competed in sprints and speed hillclimbs with another MG too in the Nineties. (It’s not the size of your sportscar, it’s how you use it you see!)

MX5Mazda hit on a great formula for the MX5: 1) Keep it simple 2) Stick to some well known principles that work and 3) Continuously improve everything in little ways. It worked a treat because the MX5 is great fun to drive and with a reliability record that shames expensive makes such as Porsche and BMW. It’s become the most popular sportscar in the World.

What’s all this got to do with dog training? It’s that those three principles are at the heart of the Dogfather way of dog training in a nutshell. Dogs and people respond to simple things that work. Everything we do here is based on sound scientific principles and we’re always looking for better ways of doing things. In fact, lots of small incremental changes often add up to a big difference. That’s the same whether we’re talking about the effort you put into training your dog or the care we take in continuously improving our systems to help you do it.

As for my mid life crisis, I’m beginning to think it may be true because the MX5 was such a great choice, it’s actually very sensible. Sensible, for goodness sake! Oh I didn’t notice that creeping up on me. Bah!

G

An Evening With The Dogfather – Friday 29th November

Written by Graeme Hall on . Posted in Dog Blog

Back by popular demand! An entertaining Dogfather seminar held at Moulton College, Northampton covering the basics of dog behaviour and dog training – How your dog thinks and learns – and how YOU can change YOUR dog’s behaviour for the better.

I’ll tailor the night to what you want to get out of it. More info on this great fun event:

 

Evening Seminar 29 Nov 2013

 

To book, call now: 01604 493152

Lead Walking Workshop – Sun 29th Sept

Written by Graeme Hall on . Posted in Dog Blog

Ooops – Did you miss it? No worries! Contact us to see how we can help with lead walking

 

Dog Pulling Your Arm Off On Lead..? I Can Help!

Dog training for relaxed and happy lead walking: Following the sell-out success of our previous Lead Walking Workshops in support of Moulton College Animal Therapy Centre, Northampton, we’re holding another limited availability low cost

Dog Training Workshop on Sunday 29th Sept 1pm – 4pm

This one’s especially for dogs that pull on the lead.

 Man pulled

Tickets are from £25 (or £35 if you want to bring your dog and have Graeme train him with you)  – That’s a fraction of the cost of a Dogfather One to One consultation. Come along and find out how to train the perfect lead walk. It’s easier than you think. Here’s what Tracy from Northampton said about our last one in February:

I attended the lead walking seminar yesterday and would like to say I’ve been trained!  Today both walks have been lovely, calm and without me nearly having my arm pulled off! It just goes to show how it isn’t the dogs that have the problem it’s us owners! On walks now Bella has time to sniff at every blade of grass but now it is when I say so, not all the time.

Availability for this event is limited, so please call today to reserve your place.

Please note bookings are direct with the lovely ladies at Moulton College Animal Therapy Centre on

01604 493152

Dogs and Cats Living Together

Written by Graeme Hall on . Posted in Dog Blog


The question of getting cats and dogs to live happily together often crops up. It’s tricky – but possible. I was recently asked my thoughts. Here’s the question and my answer.  I’ve changed the enquirer’s name to protect the innocent!

 

dog_and_cat1Dear Graeme,

I am hoping to be able to get a cat and a dog next year. The dog will probably be a puppy but the cat doesn’t necessarily need to be a kitten.

Based on exercise and temperament levels, I am leaning towards a Border Terrier at the moment. I am reluctant to get both at once because I fear I might fail to do one or both the animals justice. Similarly, I don’t want to get one pet and then wait years to acquire the second. Which animal should I acquire first? Fred

Dear Fred,

Thanks for your enquiry. It’s always a tricky one to advise on without seeing individual cats and dogs but here’s a few general thoughts for you:

  • Mostly dogs and cats live together in harmony when the cat is a relatively feisty one who will stand up for themselves if necessary. Dogs quickly learn respect for little paws with retractible claws!
  • Scaredy cats who run away tend to be chased. Dogs usually love chasing small furry things. Terriers more than most! Not a recipe for a harmonious household!
  • I agree that it’s harder to get two pets at once and do both justice. They take a lot of care in the first weeks!
  • Getting a puppy at 7-8 weeks old is probably ideal. Socialisation is very important. So many problems with adult dogs can be prevented with good socialisation.
  • There’s a key socialisation period 8-12 weeks old when puppies ‘imprint’ things around them into their mental catalogue of what’s normal. Of course, you can only socialise a puppy with a cat that you already have.

Your best bet, then, is a cat who’s not a scaredy cat but a confident and steady character, probably not a kitten. Get the cat first and introduce the puppy to a cat who’s always been around. The only part of your thinking I’d question is whether or not a terrier is the best companion for a cat. It’s certainly possible and I’d seen countless terriers living with cats, but there’s a selectively bred instinct there usually to chase small furry animals! I hope that helps!

Graeme

For more FREE dog training & dog behaviour advice as published in magazines, check out:  More expert dog training tips and articles here

Would you like to see more info like this? Check out the Dog Blog here!

Graeme Hall MGoDT, ‘The Dogfather’ is one of the UK’s leading dog trainers. Based in Northamptonshire, covering all of the UK. I’m a Master Dog Trainer with the Guild Of Dog Trainers. I’m recommended by vets. I’m one of the few dog trainers chosen by the Hollywood film industry and you’ll frequently hear me on BBC Radio.


If you’re looking for a dog trainer or dog behaviorist I can come to you wherever you are – and wherever there is a dog behaviour problem to fix or dog expert advice needed. Contact me today!

 

Dog Recall Workshop Sunday 23rd June SOLD OUT

Written by Graeme Hall on . Posted in Dog Blog

Dog training for a GREAT recall. Every time!

Following the sell-out success of 2012’s Dogfather Recall Workshops in support of Northampton’s Moulton College Animal Therapy Centre, we’re holding another limited availability low cost Dog Recall Training Workshop. Come along and learn how to get your dog to come back every time – even when there’s a distraction.

It’s on Sunday 23rd June 2013 from 1pm – 4pm with Graeme Hall, ‘The Dogfather’.

Call 01604 493152 today to book. (Places will go quickly!)

Dogfather June Recall Workshop

There are two key questions that you should always be able to answer if you want your dog to come back every time. Come along and find out what they are and learn how to train the perfect recall – even when there’s something more interesting that you in the area!

Ticket prices are from just £25 – That’s a fraction of the cost of a Dogfather One to One consultation

Availability for this event is limited, so please call today to reserve your place. Please note bookings are direct with the lovely ladies at Moulton College Animal Therapy Centre, Northampton on 01604 493152

Lead Walking Workshop – Sun 26th May 2013

Written by Graeme Hall on . Posted in Dog Blog

 

Dog Pulling Your Arm Off On Lead..? I Can Help!

Dog training for relaxed and happy lead walking: Following the sell-out success of our previous Lead Walking Workshop in support of Moulton College Animal Therapy Centre, Northampton, we’re holding another limited availability low cost

Dog Training Workshop on Sunday 26th May 1pm – 4pm

This one’s especially for dogs that pull on the lead.

 Man pulled

 

Tickets are from £25 (or £35 if you want to bring your dog and have Graeme train him with you)  – That’s a fraction of the cost of a Dogfather One to One consultation. Come along and find out how to train the perfect lead walk. It’s easier than you think. Here’s what Tracy from Northampton said about our last one in February:

I attended the lead walking seminar yesterday and would like to say I’ve been trained!  Today both walks have been lovely, calm and without me nearly having my arm pulled off! It just goes to show how it isn’t the dogs that have the problem it’s us owners! On walks now Bella has time to sniff at every blade of grass but now it is when I say so, not all the time.

Availability for this event is limited, so please call today to reserve your place.

Please note bookings are direct with the lovely ladies at Moulton College Animal Therapy Centre on

01604 493152

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