Dog Fit Diary – Working with Distraction.

So today we all went for a walk to Chorleywood , all the dogs passed other dogs on leads, heavy traffic, lorries rolling passed and lots and lots of shoppers and commuters hustling and bustling pass. Our dogs did so well, not so much as a half bark , they were all happy and focused on their handlers. We then upped the distraction by all 6 dogs walking down the underpass and up onto the train platform and whilst all in the sit and focused waited for the Tube to arrive. 

TFL would be proud as it rolled in on time, passengers came on and off and the train left. The dogs all remained in the sit calmly. It was fab especially as 3 dogs had never been so close to a train before. We drew lots of admiring looks and some passengers came over and spoke to us. On our way back we stopped outside a Care Home and one of the residents came up and spoke at length to Denise and Jinny. He was a dog lover but could no longer have a dog as he was in a care home and thought our group was lovely. It made his day.

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Dog Fit, A Group Dog Walk with a Little Training Thrown In

We had a Successfull first DogFit session despite the weather. There are no fair weather dog handlers at Doberdayz 🙂 Everyone wrapped up warm, put on their waterproofs and braved the rain. Thank you all for supporting us on this fun new dog training course.

These group dog walks run every Monday and are only £10 a session. Keep fit in the nicest way possible, with your favourite Canine companion. The walks are held in and around Chorleywood, Hertfordshire. Let us lead you over the beautiful Chorleywood countryside in a 90 minute walk which will include a little dog training and dog socialisation. It’s a wonderful way to spend a Monday morning.

Please get in touch if keeping fit with your dog is something you would like to try. And well done to all those who joined us, see you next week for round 2!


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Tip Top Trainer’s Top Tip: FOCUS!!

Building relationships Using the Prey Dummy

For all new customers joining CCE/Doberdayz one of our first pieces of  advice is usually to purchase a prey dummy from us to use as an interactive teaching toy. A prey dummy is the perfect aid to help in training your dog and building a happy, focussed and fun relationship with him/her.

To focus your dog on you, and keep him interested, despite a wildly exciting outdoor world, full of exciting smells and things to chase, takes hard work and commitment and a little bit of help from your friend the prey dummy. What we are effectively teaching the dog is that it is much more fun to stay with us and play than run around the fields amusing himself and getting up to all sorts of mischief of his own! The prey dummy will become more exciting than that quicksilver squirrel, or that tantalising bunny hopping over the horizon and if taught properly your dog will never leave your side!

The first exercise is to get your dog interested in your prey dummy. This is done by filling it with tasty smelly food such as cheese and sausages. Your dog won’t be able to resist the smell! Next let your dog have a good sniff and open it to show him what is inside, let him put his nose in and help himself to a snack. Do this few times and then seal it back up and drop it on the floor in front of him and encourage him to pick it up. If he does so, gently take it and again reward him from the prey dummy. Do this several more times. I advise that you should always keep your dog on a lead at this stage as you need to ensure that the prey dummy remains your property and he is not able to run off with it to chew in a corner. If your dog is picking the prey dummy up and letting you take it you are ready to move onto the next stage. If your dog isn’t a natural retriever all you need to do is persevere a little longer, just rewarding him for touching the prey dummy with his nose at your feet. With a bit of encouragement from you your dog will eventually understand and start to pick the prey dummy up himself.

⬅️The next stage is to throw the prey dummy out and ask your dog to retrieve it. Again keep your dog on a long line until the retrieve has been conditioned by requiring him to bring the prey dummy back to you whereupon he gets rewarded from it as above. Do not be too ambitious and throw it too far whilst still conditioning the retrieve.

?When your dog is happily retrieving the prey dummy reliably you may move onto hiding it and getting him to find it. You can do this indoors to start with and move it to outside in your garden and then start to use it in this way on your walks.

☺️♥️?One of the most important benefits of using play with your dog is that it helps strengthen the relationship between you and your dog. Play is fun, and involves both you and the dog. It makes you a team. Finding a game that you and your dog enjoy and then using that game all the time increases your value to your dog and helps your dog enjoy you more. With a deepening relationship, every interaction between you and your dog is more fun and more rewarding. With play, you can create a dynamic that will enrich not only your training, but your lives together

??‍♀️Final tip : Why not use your prey dummy to feed your dog on your lead walks every day? In this way your dog will learn to trot alongside you taking his food and imagine how focussed and excited he will be every time you pick your prey dummy up?

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Daycare Developments

?We are very excited to announce plans for updating and improving our daycare centre. We are privileged to have 16 beautiful secluded acres of land in the Chorleywood Countryside which is the perfect place for any dog to spend their days playing. We have lots of plans to enhance our premises and make them even more exciting and fun.

?Improvements include a brand new search area which will be specifically fenced and set up with lots of different exciting objects for our dogs to climb over and under, allowing them to explore to their hearts’ content. This type of interaction will be far more satisfying for your dogs and will tire them much more quickly than a run round the field, although they do of course love to do this too!!!!

?We are also building a ball pit, dog trampoline, tunnels and sandpits in a new play area, for the dogs to enjoy with our daycare team. Together with the paddling pools, and all the toys we already have available, this promises to be another very exciting area for the dogs to play in.

?All of these activities will make a visit to Doberdayz Daycare even better than it already is and of course as we all know, mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise for all our dogs’ wellbeing.

? We will also be installing a new “dog wash” which will make it easier to clean up some of our hairier friends.

?‍? Our Daycare team receive regular training to ensure they are able to handle the dogs easily and professionally and that the dogs in their care enjoy the best possible environment whilst they are with us.

? With all these improvements in mind Emma Rapp and Sara-Jane Larner recently attended the two day Open Paw Seminar hosted by the National Animal Welfare trust on 27-28 July at which guest speakers Kelly Gorham Dunbar and Clare Williams spoke about creating a calm, happy environment for all dogs whilst in kennels or a rescue facility. Whilst some of the content was not relevant to us as a daycare centre, we thought this would be an interesting seminar for the girls to attend to see if there were any hints or tips that we could bring back to Daycare. Sara and Emma did pick up some tips and hints on how to enhance our facility however we were happy to discover, that most of their recommendations are already implemented in Daycare?

? Do look out for the pictures of our new improved Daycare facilities on our Facebook page, which if you haven’t already please like and share!!

 ? Don’t forget that if you recommend a friend to our Daycare centre who then goes on to use our services you will earn yourself a free daycare day or a voucher to use for any other of our services so get recommending!

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Working Trials: La Crème de la Crème of Dog Sports

What is Working Trials?

?Dating back to the early 1920’s when the Association of Sheep, Police and Army Dog Society organised their first event, Working Trials was basically designed to test the ability of working dogs.

?Today Working Trials is the civilian equivalent of Police Dog work. The following sections are required to be trained to the highest standard and tested at a Trial:

?Heelwork (on and off lead) no vocal commands or hand signals may be given. The dog must stay by your side in all paces and in all directions and sit when the handler halts.

?Sit and Down Stays out of sight of 2 minutes and 10 minutes duration respectively

?Nosework – must retrieve at least four articles by smell from a 25 yard search square

?Agility – Clear jump 3 foot, long jump 9 feet, and scale 6 feet, all under the control of the handler

?Formal Recall with present and finish. The dog recalls from a sit stay position and sits in front of the owner, returning to heel on command.

?Dumbell Retrieve with present and finish. The dog should retrieve a dumbbell thrown by the handler and hold it until hander is instructed to take it.

?Send-away – this is where your dog is required on command to run in a straight line to a designated spot on command and wait there until released (advanced sendaways require redirections left and right)

?As you get to higher stakes in Working Trials other elements are brought in such as Tracking, your dog must follow a track laid by human scent, steadiness to gunshot pursuit and detention and speak.


?As with all Barking Mad Rickmansworth training we make it FUN FUN FUN!!!

?To us we are training our dogs to do certain things, to the dog each element should be fun and perceived as a game!

That is how we get to where we want to be!

?Working Trials is true Teamwork and involves so many fun elements that you and your dog can learn to progress in together. 

? Working Trials is open to all breeds of dog no matter what breed or size. Your relationship with your dog will be amazing.?

?Fancy joining us? The next Monthly Working Trials Club is meeting Saturday 26th August at 12:30pm with Mark

Come and take the challenge!!! There is no other dog sport like it!!

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Platforms, Puppies & Pesky Pooches

Wow! What an action packed weekend it has been, we are all thoroughly tired not least Monty our very youngest addition to the Barking Mad gang. Monty joined Annie’s 13:30 puppy class today and despite being small in stature he made a big impact! 

Sarah’s puppy class is now on week 4 and everyone is doing brilliantly. The Border Terrier Brothers Billy & Alfie are wowing us all with their lovely focus and heelwork, Daisy the Golden Retriever and Sammie the Cavapoo are our Trick Queens with fab displays of ‘Touch’, ‘Spin’ and ‘Paw’. Phoebe has fantastic drive for a toy and her owner Claire is building on that drive to work on retrieve and recall. Alfie our clever and curious Staffordshire Bull Terrier has shown that he has the edge in competition, he performed for his owner Andy to help his team come from behind to clinch the half time competition? It is brilliant to watch the pups grow (so quickly Sammie!) and progess. Well done everyone ??

Lovely Annie hosted our very first Platform Taster Session yesterday. Both handlers and dogs tackled the training with gusto and did amazingly well. Platform Training has a range of benefits, ranging from improving your dogs position for heelwork, helping your dog to stay in one place when performing distance commands and as a low impact exercise for when your dog may be recovering from illness or injury. Karen, with Millie, a blond Labrador, found it ‘very interesting, with challenges and good fun!’ Further sessions will follow in the future – so watch this space ?

Lots of obedience classes took place today. Annie’s 11:30 class ventured to Chorleywood House Estate to incorporate some Out & About training into the regular lesson. Incorporating what we learn in lessons when you’re out on a walk is an invaluable way of proofing your dogs training. We often hear that dogs can ‘do it at home’ which is brilliant. The next step is to work on him being able to do it when he is outside and faced with a myriad of distractions, whether it be on the training field or out on a walk. To achieve solid reliability and focus from your dog practise what you learn in training when you are out and about… and don’t be shy! Your dog will love it and you will soon be the star in your class! ? 
Annie’s class faced all manner of distractions this afternoon…from a football tournament, with children and footballs passing close by ⚽️, a burger van with a very tempting aroma ? and one or two pesky pooches who obviously realised that we were having so much fun that they wanted to join in… Nonetheless everyone’s heelwork, distance work and recall & focus was brilliant (almost brilliant if your name is Mikey ?).

The gang also worked on shaping exercises – sending their dogs out around a tree and  search and retrieves for small articles such as toothbrushes, spoons, socks and bizarrely a tourniquet ?

Thank you to everyone who trained with us this weekend, we hope you had as much fun as we did!?

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Better Pivots than the English Netball Team ?

Beginners and Advanced Agility met today, on what turned out to be a glorious spring day.

The Beginners Agility group welcomed three new members, a very clever cockapoo called Rue, a brave and dashing cocker spaniel and a beautiful Gordon Setter, Georgie. The class was held by Lovely Annie and it started by introducing  the dogs and their handlers to some warm up exercises, including stretches, light massage and an introduction to foot placement and spatial awareness. Luckily Mark, one of our trainers, and his two year old Dobermann Zeus were on hand to show everyone how it is done. Zeus wowed the class with his fabulous pivots, gamely rotating around the bucket with two legs on the ground and two on the bucket.  Mark cued the direction that he wanted Zeus to move in by moving his body around the bucket and without luring with food.

The class then went on to introduce their dogs to the various pieces of agility equipment. All dogs did extremely well and tackled each obstacle confidently. 

More experienced members of the groups went on to perform more complex tunnel work and redirections.

The advanced Agility class met later  and after a similar warm up spent some time practising the welcome art of sending dogs over jumps without the need to run with them. This involved working on impulse control and ensuring that the dogs understood handsignals and directions. Much of the redirection work that we learn in obedience classes comes into play during Agility training and as a handler you become very aware of how important it is that your hand is in the right position, otherwise you watch in dismay as your dog races around the wrong course….?

??Spring was definitely in the air, and in the dogs paws… it was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. ??

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Dedicated kids train their dogs in the rain ☔️ Junior Dog Handler

Junior Dog Handler Training

The hardy gang at KidsClub braved the elements on Saturday to practice their junior dog handler training skills in chilly Chorleywood.

Molly and her Beagle puppy Bailey battled  the flooded lanes and highways from Watford to get to training. Adam and his Border Collie Jake travelled from Hemel Hempstead to ensure they made their fortnightly training session. Having taken a couple of weeks off over Christmas both children and dogs could be forgiven for being less than enthusiastic.  But everyone was in high spirits and raring to go.

After a warming round of heelwork to get us going Adam and Molly persuaded their dogs to perform impressive recall exercises.

The children have been working very hard on developing their relationship with their dogs and this was fantastic to see during this exercise.

Both dogs are immature males, but their focus on their young handlers was fabulous to watch.

Working on the sit/stay command has been a gradual process, keeping both kids and dogs calm has been a challenge in itself! However Adam and Jake made this look effortless this week. Adam was able to leave his Border Collie using the stay command. Molly and Bailey the baby Beagle worked a short distance away. Both handlers have worked a great deal on the focus they get from their dogs and this is becoming increasingly obvious.

The picture below shows both handlers and dogs weaving through bowls of food. No mean feat considering the bowls contained chicken livers. Both dogs performed this brilliantly and gave the children an opportunity to work on the ‘leave it’ command. The dogs did leave it, which we were ALL relieved about! We celebrated by revising our trick routines. Both dogs are now spinning, twisting and weaving through legs. Adam and Jake spent a great deal of their time giggling too! Didn’t our junior dog handler Jake do well!

Both children are working towards a achieving their Bronze Star award.

junior dog handler

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Doggy Christmas Party ?

?Great fun was had by all that attended our  Doggy Christmas party. There was something for everyone, including Flyball, Agility, Steeplechase, Party Games and a Fun Dog show including best fancy dress costume.

?It was absolutely fabulous to see so many people there including dog training clients, doggy daycare clients and also some new faces, from Rickmansworth, Chorleywood, Watford, St Albans and Northwood.

?The dogs were brilliantly well behaved and looked marvellous in their outfits.

☀️The weather was kind to us too and our fully secure training field looked beautiful in the winter sunshine.

?Many thanks to Natalie Greenbank for attending and taking some truly beautiful pictures of our dogs.

?We are already planning next years extravaganza so keep your eyes peeled – it’s going to be better than ever!

See what other events we have going on here!

































doggy christmas party



doggy christmas party





doggy christmas party









doggy christmas party


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