I started volunteering at WGW about 3 years ago. After seeing my face a bit too often Denise asked me one day in her very unique dry manner “ Do I work?” and “ Do I want a job?” Yes and yes were my answers and there started my life at the kennels!

Jack of all trades comes to mind when I try and describe a kennel hands job. Some better than others at doing the range of tasks from cleaning gutters to first aid, to handling 70 odd kilo worth of dog pounding at the door to the most glamorous task of picking up poop!

All in all I think you could say we are a relatively rare bunch of women. All different in many ways, different opinions, different views, different priorities, but the 1 thing we do share is the same love for this gentle, kind creature the greyhound.

There is that saying, you are either a people person or a dog person ( or the very rare breed of person that is the amazing Carol who manages both perfectly) Like the tea mug in the kitchen says  “I wish I was more like Carol”. If you know Carol you will know what I mean!!

I hope Denise doesn't mind if I point out that we have what you would call a dog person at the helm of our kennel ship! In dealing with humans Denise takes no prisoners but her devotion and commitment to the hounds is unmatched.  I can't think of anyone else who could/would do her job. Who else could try and manage the emotional blips of a dozen women and then keep sane yourself!! Not me!

So that's my intro out the way. I'm off to find us a male kennel hand to shake things up around here and to get some cake........and most importantly invite you to learn about Jan Fennell and her amazing dog listening method.

An insight into Dog Listening

Is the relationship between you and your hound becoming strained because of undesirable behaviour such as :

  • Pulling on lead
  • Incessant barking
  • Picky eater
  • Separation anxiety
  • Follows you around the house
  • Aggression
  • Fearful of loud noises
  • No recall
  • Jumping up
  • Obsessive/ nervous or fearful behaviour
  • Panting excessively
  • Soiling in the house
  • Destructive chewing
  • and many other non medical related behaviours.

This is a list of behaviours typically exhibited by dogs who believe they are the leader and therefore responsible for the welfare of you and everyone else in the pack/family. Dogs live in a human world and are therefore not equipped to cope with this responsibility. These problematic behaviours are a way for them to release the stress.

There are a multitude of experts when it comes to dog training, how do we know who to choose? The real experts are of course the dogs themselves...

With this in mind, Jan Fennell the international best seller and renowned dog listener took to the wild to observe the ancestor of the domestic dog, the grey wolf.  Discovering a hidden language and intrinsic communication system Jan adapted what she learnt into a method that we can now use to communicate with our own dogs.

The Jan Fennell dog listening method uses kind, holistic, non threatening techniques that work with the dogs natural behaviour and instincts without the use of shouting, bullying, reprimand, gadgets or drugs. The process is gentle and non confrontational.

Dogs have their own natural instincts, psychology and rules for living. Before domestication they lived in packs, with the alpha pair responsible for the welfare of the pack. If your hound believes you are not the leader then he will take on the role himself. The result is,  rather than you being responsible for him,  he starts to feel responsible for you and why we start to see problem behaviour.

 The Jan Fennell method of dog listening demonstrates how we can remove this responsibility and stress from your dogs life by simply taking control of these 4 key areas in a dogs life

  • Food
  • Status
  • Hunt (walk)
  • Perceived danger

When you start to relieve your hound of leadership the results are remarkable...

I was first introduced to Jan Fennell in early 2000. At the time I owned a 3 year old rescue lab cross called Bobbie. Bobbie was 24 hours away from being euthanised, such was her aggressive nature. Bobbie was a challenge. For months I tried what seemed like every dog training method on the planet, from clicker training to 4 different behaviourists. Nothing was working. I didn't want to give up on Bobbie but the future was bleak and I admit I was scared.

It was only when I went to see the world famous horse whisperer Monty Roberts that life would change for Bobbie and I. At the end of the show Monty talked briefly about Jan Fennell, describing her gentle and kind training method for dogs. I read the book. I followed the programme. Within a week Bobbie was a different dog. Finally I had found a way to effectively communicate with her. The aggression disappeared, and Bobbie lived a stress free, happy life until she died of old age.

The experience inspired me to travel to England so I could become a Dog Listener.

Now many years later the new love in my life is my hound Rua. When I first started working at WGW and mentioned that I would like to home the most troubled hound all the lovely ladies pointed me to one direction, Rua's!!

Lets just say Rua found kennels a stressful and frustrating place. I remember Dawn making me laugh one day when she said that he would 'tell her off' if she was a teeny tiny bit late letting him out or if he didn't make it out for a walk. Rua soon stole my heart and now I wouldn't be without him but to be honest it took a long time for me to click with him. I would come and walk Rua at the kennels but there was no connection there, instead I was in love with a big sweet lad called Flash! For a short while I was torn but ultimately I knew Rua needed Dog Listening  more than any other hound so off we went home.  We tackled the stairs to my flat together and as they say, the rest is history!

Oh yes, Dog Listening changed Ruas life for the better but I never thought for 1 minute it wouldn't. Turns out that Rua is actually a very gentle, quiet and kind soul who never leads with aggression, completely opposite to what he portrayed in kennels. He can relax now that he no longer has the weight of the world on his shoulders, that's my job!

Now he runs off lead, lays about, dances on occasion and does what dogs do best, just be a dog!!

For over 10 years I have been the proud holder of the Foundation and Advanced certificates in Jan Fennell Dog Listener Canine Communication. Although I have never made Dog Listening my full time occupation I still have helped many people have a more rewarding relationship with their dogs.  Let me help you.....

Please feel free to contact me on the below methods and start communicating with your hound in a language he can understand......his own!

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: I can be contacted at the kennels on 01932 221516

Kind regards

Susan

FIREWORK NIGHT/ FEAR OF NOISE

Are you and your hound dreading firework night? Unfortunately dogs live in a world they don't understand. Loud noises in particular is most certainly something your hound doesn't understand and many will react violently.

The most natural (but also the worst) thing to do is to comfort them. This only confirms to the dog that there is something to worry about and you are also worried.

Be a calm presence for your dog. For example if your hound is afraid of fireworks , try sitting on the floor near your dog with a magazine or book but do not interact or make eye contact.

Your calmness will have a powerful effect on your dog but of course this is multiplied if you have already started to relieve your hound of his responsibilities prior to firework season.

If your hound is barking excessively or exhibiting stressful behaviour such as spinning or running around the house gently put a lead on him ( but only if you feel it safe to do so) and keep him by you but again do not interact, continue reading or occupy yourself.

A dog will always look to his leader for guidance in a stressful situation. Staying calm is the key.