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My doggy blog has moved

Dear friends

I’ve updated my blog and it’s moved to here You’re on the right track if you’ve failed your dog

At the bottom of my new blog is a little box to subscribe – just by the comments section.
See you over there!
Bernie x

Win some Great Prizes in our Christmas Raffle!


I’m having a Christmas Raffle with Everyone signed up to my monthly newsletter!

You can win a Coaching Session with Me and a fantastic bag of Goodies for you and your dog, like grooming tools, books, phone covers and more!

All you need to do is Pop on over to my website and Enter!

prize dog

The raffle will be held on Jan 1st 2013, Good Luck and Happy Christmas!

BSL- Could Lennox’s story be the final straw for change?

In case you have been in hiding or just not connected to the internet over the past week, the story of Lennox, a family’s pet dog taken and impounded by Belfast City Council for the last 2 years came to a tragic end today when he was put to sleep by order of the county court after drawn out court cases and appeals by his family.

The reason – he looked like a ‘Pit-Bull’

Lennox’s story went viral on social media after his family released a statement that they could go no further with their appeal, they had reached the end without seeing their boy for nearly 2 years and they had no hope left.

Facebook and Twitter exploded and even Victoria Stillwell (It’s me or the Dog) tried to step in and help to no avail. Hear what she has to say here

BSL if you haven’t heard of this before is Breed Specific Legislation, in the UK and N.Ireland it’s the Dangerous Dog Act 1991, but there are BSL’s either in force already in some countries or trying to be brought into force in nearly any western country you can name. The one thing we do know about Breed Specific Legislation is that it doesn’t work.

Cesar Milan made this statement on his website today While I cannot comment or speak to this dog specifically, since I have not met him, I want to say that in general, my belief is that it is not the breed that causes behavior issues. I do not support breed bans or breed specific legislation in any way and with any case of aggression or behavioral problems, I advocate for rehabilitation as the first recourse.

BSL has almost made owning a so called ‘Dangerous Dog‘ a statement for the nutters, the criminals and the wanna-be’s  ‘Hey look how hard I am’. The truth is that breeds like the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a fantastic, robust and loving breed has been brought almost to the brink. There are more Staffies and Staff  crosses, as a breed, in most rescue centres, shelters and pounds than any other breed in the UK and Ireland. And sadly,most of them have to be put to sleep because there are just too many of them and not enough homes.

So the question is Will the sad story of Lennox finally unite the experts and nations of dog lovers needed to make this shift in getting breed specific legislation changed? I hope so, in the name of Lennox

If you were fighting and writing to help Save Lennox, then maybe you can do something for the poor ones still waiting in dog pounds, shelters and rescues. Maybe help out by walking, helping in the office or posting photos for the rescue on social media sites. Offer to do some fundraising, give old bedding, towels and dog stuff to the ones who need it or if you have the time and love, offer a temporary foster home for a homeless soul who needs one instead of sitting in a concrete cell, alone. It’s time we all put our money where our mouth is and actually help make a difference.

Sign a petition to change BSL-  Lennox’ Law

Help a breed rescue – The Kennel Club Breed Rescue

I know Dog Lovers as a Breed CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Bernie x

The Dog Owners Coach

Time for a Vacation – What about the dog? 6 Reasons to Hire a Petsitter

We would all love to take our dogs on holidays with us, some people do but if we want to go a  little further away sometimes it’s better to leave fido at home. So then the big decision is ‘What about the dog?’

I meet a lot of dog owners in my line of work and many of them tell me they haven’t taken a holiday since they got a dog. Usually when asked why they reply with ‘ we couldn’t put him/ her in kennels!’ or ‘we tried kennels once, never again’. It seems guilt is a big factor in leaving the dog behind and then to have to leave them in a big concrete building away from all their creature comforts is more than most owners can bear.

Most modern boarding kennels are heated, are comfortable and dogs get their daily walks and attention but if kennels aren’t your thing then there are plenty of other options. There are Home Boarding which is someone who will look after your dog in their home, you will probably still have to show your dog is up to date with vaccinations and parasite treatments. But they will have 24hr care and usually all their home comforts. Obviously if you can get a family member or friend to look after your dog while you are away is always a great option, if you trust them to do the job right but, the next best thing to that is to hire a Petsitter.

6 reasons why a Petsitter will fit the bill

  1. You will have someone not only looking after your dog(s) but also your home; most petsitters will do home services too like collecting mail, watering plants, leaving out bins so you dont have to worry about coming home to a pile of mail or dead plants. It will all be taken care of. Most petsitters will take care of other pets as well as dogs and cats but check first.
  2. A Petsitter will usually charge you for the time you are away, not by the number of pets you have, therefore if you have lots of pets a Petsitter could be a cheaper option in the long run.
  3. By remaining in their home environment most dogs and cats are a lot happier and therefore seem less likely to pine or worry while owners are away, why would they, they’re at home!
  4. Pets get to stay in their normal routines for feeding, walks, play time, nap time so there is no big changes which could make your pet get stressed. Plus they have someone taking care of them the whole time you are away.
  5. If you have a pet that needs specialist feeding or medication, this is always an added worry in kennels that the same person will do this properly. With a Petsitter you can show them and make sure you are happy before you leave knowing that that person will do exactly what you have shown them and your pet is in good hands.
  6. Petsitters usually get their work from repeat business and word of mouth, someone who does a good job and is trusted will always be recommended, so ask friends or other dog owners who they use to look after their pets. You might be surprised to find there is a local Petsitter in your area.

Most Pet sitter have many years experience with looking after different animals, including their own.  Don’t be afraid to ask them about their experience, many professional Petsitters will bring references from other clients, insurance certificates and a contract for you to fill in to keep everything legal, professional and both parties happy. They will usually do an introduction interview to say Hi and answer your questions and of course to meet your pets, obviously the petsitter wants to be happy taking on the job as much as you will want to be happy hiring that person to look after your home and pets.

If all goes well then once your petsitter has been hired you can go on holiday with the safe knowledge that your dog, cat or bunny is being well looked after and in safe hands and you can relax. Don’t be afraid to ask your petsitter to send you a text or an email for updates if this is the first time away from you pet, they will understand. I am always happy to text worrying owners and even send them photos of their pet having a good time, we all worry a little when we leave our pets.

I hope I have helped you take a bit of the worry out of going away and leaving your dog or pets at home. If you live in N.Ireland you can find my petsitting services HERE

I would love to hear your experience of going away and who you use to take care of your pet, please leave a comment below.

Bernie – The Dog Owners Coach

Happy St Paddy’s Day to you and your 4 legged friends

It’s the first proper Bank Holiday for us here in Ireland and if you are as lucky as this dog house you’ll get 4 days off instead of 3! Rudi is back home and recovering from his op, he’s still a bit whiney and looking for cuddles (I can be a mammy for 1 more day) Glad he’s home and no worse for wear. Celebrations tomorrow!

Happy St Patricks Day from all of us her at 4dogday x

Bernie, Solo, Luna, Bracken & Rudi

worried mammy- he’s all grown up!

It’s funny, I’ve had dog’s all my life, I’ve worked with dogs since I was 15, including running a rescue shelter for 2 years and I’ve always believed in neutering dogs that you aren’t going to breed from. I believe it’s kinder and healthier for the dog. I know some people think this isn’t the case and I’ve heard some scary stories of spays gone wrong but most male castrations are pretty simple and straight forward. I still cant help but be worried for my boy Rudi.

Going under anaesthesia for any animal has it’s risks, I know he’s a big, healthy boy but I’m a worried mammy. My head says, he’ll be fine and then he wont be annoying the 2 girls so much and things will settle. My heart says ‘me baby!’, LOL

I’m just going to think of it as part of the growing up ritual and try not to think any more about it……

I’ll let you know how he got on at the weekend.

Here’s my Website

Please leave a comment and let me know if you’ve been through this kinda thing

Cani x for 2012

Hi all, for 2012 we are trying canicross to get ourselves fit! Luna, Rudi and I are going for runs 3 times a week to build ourselves up and get fitter. We’re aiming to be running 5k in 10 weeks. We are now 3 weeks in and are running/ walking about 3k in 30 mins so far. The dogs are loving it, when it’s time to jog Rudi takes off and has to be urged to slow down in his excitement. Luna sets her pace and she sticks to it at my walk or running pace (that’s what Borders do). She’s a perfect running partner!

I’ve bought a new running belt with bungee lead for the Rudester as I already had one to start off with, so both dogs can run along and my hands are free. We’ve tried a few different places to run and different terrains to keep us all from getting bored. Will get some pics up of us all soon.

Food wise, Rudi is getting extra fresh fish in his diet and some extra protein, Luna has gotten fat over xmas so she’s a bit miffed her food ration hasn’t gone up like the boys 🙂

meat day!

So so tired after a long day, what with halving whole chickens and packing them and chicken legs for the freezer and then my order from Natural Instinct arrived late this afternoon. Hauling over 100kg into the freezers, I think it’s time for a shower. The dog’s have been following me around all day – I probably smell like dinner to them! lol

They sampled the big juicy legs and heartily agreed that they were of great quality and could they try some more later. They got mince beef and salmon strips instead but they weren’t that disappointed really.

looking forward to the weekend where we can all go for a nice walk by the river if the weather keeps up, hopefully get some good photos.

ciao for now

OMG where has half the week gone!

Well smells of baking dog cookies are wafting around the house and the tribe have all taste tested the new gingerbread bones (paws up)

Lots and lots of raw food arriving tomorrow to fill up my 2  near empty freezers so all the doggies will be happy in the north west!

Check out my treats website at

Have a good evening and normal service should resume eventually!

monday monday

It’s been a lazy day, dog’s had a lamb chunk breakfast and played in the garden all morning in the sunshine. Rudi chasing our chickens up and down the fence and giving them some exercise too on this, another beautiful day. That’s 5 in a row, we’ll be getting too used to this malarky! Although I do think you cant beat a crisp, chilly Autumn morning for a great dog walk.

We must have seen gaggles and gaggles of swans flying in or out all day towards the estuary so it’s been a great bird watching day too!

All the dogs are inside now as the temperatures have plummeted since the sun set at about 4.45pm. Solo and Bracken were chillaxing in the living room while the other too played in the kitchen. Change over! Rudi is now wrestling with his flying squirrel toy upside down while Bracken watches on unimpressed and staying out of his way as he squeeks it in everyone’s face. This is his ‘mad hour’ after running around outside most of the day, he needs to wind down so he’ll try and get anyone and everyone to interact with him. Usually he rubs himself like a cat against any legs in the vicinity!

Salmon strips for tea!

Just found this site for good grip in the winter months- worth a look Ice Grippers