Hello and welcome to the Active Dogs website. My name is Joanne and I’ve decided to set up a blog to share my experiences of working (and living!) with high energy dogs in the hope that I can help other owners and their pets to have the happy and active life that they deserve.
So, how did I get here? Well, when I was a little girl I desperately wanted a pet dog, but my Dad didn’t like dogs! Eventually, after years of nagging and begging on my part, my Dad came home from the pub and announced that we were getting a Border Collie puppy from a shepherd who was a friend of a friend! I had desperately wanted a pet dog for so long, I didn’t even know what a Border Collie was, but it was a dog, and that was good enough for me! My mam told me that they were sheepdogs, I thought she meant Old English Sheepdogs, she didn’t! Anyway, on my twelfth birthday (in the middle of a room full of kids enjoying a birthday party – terrible planning on somebody’s part!) Jess arrived in my life. Little did I know then how much of an impact dogs in general, and that breed in particular, would have on me as I grew up.
As a family we went on to have another two Border Collies, Floss and Midge, and I loved learning about how to train them and took them for long walks after school, I was always buying them new toys and trying to teach them tricks. My Mam told me Collies were too clever to perform tricks – she lived to eat those words!
Once I left home and had my own house I was desperate for my own dog, but we worked all day and everyone kept telling me it wasn’t fair, blah, blah. They were right, of course, but it was only a matter of time! The husband (now ex!) wasn’t too keen on dogs either. Anyway, the youngest of my parents dogs, Midge, was to be mated, and that was just too much temptation for me, so, in 1995 George became part of my life. I loved him so much, we walked for miles every day and on weekends we went out to the beach, or woodland walks. I taught him the basic obedience stuff that I had learned with the family’s dogs, he was a pleasure to train, really clever and quick to pick everything up.
When George was around six months old I was watching Crufts on the TV and I saw the flyball, obedience and agility competitions. Almost all of the dogs competing were Border Collies. The obedience looked a bit straight laced for my tastes, but the agility looked like loads of fun. Anyway, long story short, me and George got ourselves enrolled in a local class and we loved it! From there on it became my main hobby and we would train whenever we could, we travelled all over the country going to competitions and my doggy family grew rapidly.
So, in the 23 years since George arrived in my life I have trained seven Border Collies of my own, studied canine behaviour, led obedience and agility training classes, judged in agility, and gained a wealth of information and experience about active dogs along the way.
WHY I SET UP THIS SITE
Over the years I have had the pleasure of working with some amazingly talented dogs and their owners. Of course there have also been the more difficult to train dogs (and owners, but that’s another story!), and they’re the one’s who’ve taught me the most. I have had two dogs myself who have brought all range of challenges, one of them is sitting at my feet as I type this, as if butter wouldn’t melt! I believe passionately about providing our pets with the best that we can, and that isn’t about how much we spend on them, or how many fancy things they have. It’s about giving them the best of our time and teaching them to be happy, confident, well-mannered members of the family. That is what this site is about, its about sharing what I have learned over the years with others in the hope that I can have even the tiniest positive influence on a dogs life.
WHAT YOU WILL FIND HERE
As I develop the site I intend to provide loads of advice and ideas for dog owners to use with their own pets in the hope that they can improve the bond they have with their pets, as well as sharing my experience with my own brood. I hope to build up a great set of resources that will help with the basics of dog life, as well as some innovative ideas for ways to interact with your pooch that you might not have thought of. Ultimately I hope that you will find things that are helpful and informative, and that you will also interact on my blog posts to provide feedback and ideas too.
If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.