Soaring temperatures are not kind to our dogs. The Hanson's Hounds pack have been struggling in the heat and we have had to adjust how and we spend our time.
When it has been safe to walk we stay in the shade in woodland, by running water and taking our time whilst the dogs focus on sniffing around and paddling to keep cool. Journeys are kept short with maximum ventilation in the van.
When its too hot to be out and about we have play dates at my house. The doggy paddling pool is topped up, we have dog friendly apple ice lollies and have a short stroll in the private wood at the rear of my house alongside the stream. We have aircon in two rooms and cool mats laid out so the dogs can get some respite from the heat. Our garden is overlooked by woodland so there's plenty of shade outside too.
As long as they have some other kind of mental stimulation, dogs can manage fine without a walk when its too hot; . There are plenty of ideas on the internet for canine enrichment, you dont have to buy expensive, plastic puzzle toys (no good for the environment either). Our favourite games are toy and apple bobbing in the paddling pool, treats hidden in old knotted T-shirts or tea towels, treats hidden in tightly scrunched up newspaper packed into boxes.
Just wanting to raise awareness and share my experience about muzzling. Not wanting to criticise or judge. I've learnt about muzzling through trial and error and making my own mistakes.
Training, is of course, the first port of call before considering muzzling but muzzles do have their place.
Muzzles worn for exercise can be very useful if used correctly and not for punishment; they should be fitted properly and allow the dog to pant and drink.
Over the Summer I've seen some dogs out and about wearing muzzles which probably aren't the best type for exercising.
One muzzle I've seen on a couple of dogs is the black neoprene sleeve type which keep the dogs mouth pretty much closed, best used for short intervals like a vet visit and not for exercise.
The other type I see which are commonly found in pet shops are the plasticky beige coloured ones. They aren't too bad but still dont allow a dog to fully pant during exercise. The space around the jaw is restricted.
In the photos, the adorable Doris wears a muzzle because she can resource guard from other dogs but she loves being out with her pack so without the muzzle she would be always on the lead and solo walked.
Lovely Leonard practices Copraphagia (poop eater) which has made him very sick in the past. Without his muzzle, he too would be always on the lead on a tight rein and not allowed a good sniff around, which we know is a natural behaviour and essential for a dogs wellbeing.
We get our muzzles from the very knowledgeable Fiona at The Muzzle Shop, she will work with you until you get the right muzzle for your dog, for whatever the issue. They arent expensive either, all ours have been under £ 15.
Owners who muzzle their dogs are taking responsibility, it's a good thing.
I encourage you to ask more about muzzles if you think they can help your dog, chat to Fiona from the Muzzle Shop, she knows all there is to know.
A muzzle should be a guard around the mouth with space to fully pant and drink, it shouldn't be a gag.
Hope that's useful info, I know muzzling can be controversial but please read the above with an open mind and have compassion for those owners who need help.
Thanks for reading and hope you are all in good health. x
During the lock-down I have been putting my time to good use and over the last couple of months I have completed my Animal Welfare & Pet 1st Aid Training as part of my continued professional development. I passed with distinction - just saying!
Seriously though, this is not to brag but just to reassure you that I have undertaken relevant training in my area of work which should give my customers some peace of mind when they ask me to look after their dogs. My years of experience and this recent training all help towards giving the dogs the best care I can.
This achievement alongside the "Highest Standards of Care" that was awarded to Hanson's Hounds from Leeds City Council, for our Home Boarding service, make me very pleased to be part of the group of the best animal establishments around Leeds.
In case you want to know what the training entailed, here are the modules I completed;
It never hurts to do a little extra formal training.
Although there is lots of love in the world, sadly there is also hate. Dogs don't hate, they live in the now.
They dont care if you or another dog is a different colour or gender or where they grew up or if they only have 3 legs instead of 4.
They just go on what is right in front of them, in that instant. If another dog shows signs of submission, aggression, play or aloofness then they just deal with what they pick up on in that dogs behaviour. They dont hold it against them. They adjust their own behaviour accordingly at that moment. So if a bouncy lab approaches a husky and it tells them off as it doesn't want to play - they dont go away thinking "Them huskies sure are miserable, I hate Huskies, I'm gonna make sure I tell all my friends that they should stay away from Huskies".
So what if we learned from dogs, what if we took people for who they are regardless of if they are different to us? What if we opened our eyes and arms to difference and tried to find a common thread of understanding and appreciation? What if we were more Dog-Like?
I'm going to be more Dog.
So if you see me out and about chasing balls and sniffing dogs bums please dont judge me!!!
If you aren't convinced, just look at these photos of dog tolerance and love, its pure, its beautiful.
It's our first week back, we are open for business with some restrictions in place to make it safer for everyone who uses our services.
We nearly have the full crew back on their walks and we have a few boarders booked in over the next couple of months.
As usual the dogs just get on with living their lives to the full and they have all taken well to the return of their pack walks. Its been a joy to be reunited with them all, we have missed them so much.
We've had some very warm days, which Doug has loved but Doris not so much. Every so often we have to have a little rest in the shade as Doris plonks her bum down under a tree or a bush for a cool down. Doug wasn't happy when the rains came and was fairly indignant about having his raincoat on and soon tried to ditch it!
I think the pack has been impressed with Jew-Li as she has come on really well with her training, they last saw her in March and we'd only had her for a couple of months then, she was a bit wild. But a couple of months on with one to one work and she has come on exceptionally well. More about our new recruit Jew-Li later on.
Ella and Pebs were overjoyed to be reunited over their love of balls and have found at least four balls between them this week, dont ask how many we have lost! Tiger and Billy were excited to be out with their pals too and I had plenty of kisses from them both, no-one can resist Tiger and Billy licks.
We are looking forward to seeing Geoff and Piper back in the pack when they are ready and we will be happy to see our regular boarders return soon too. Missed them all so much.
Just want to say a huge thank you to all our wonderful pooches and their families for supporting our business over this difficult period, you have been so kind, understanding and extremely generous, I am truly grateful to you all. THANK YOU xxx
We are utterly delighted to have passed our Leeds City Council Home Boarding Inspection reaching the Higher Standards of Home Boarding Provision.
Our Council Inspector visited us on the 6th August, 2019 for our renewal inspection and spent a good two and half hours thoroughly inspecting our premises and paperwork.
She was impressed with our policies and procedures which range from Managing Canine Interactions to our procedure in caring for our dogs in Extreme Weather and every procedure in between! Our customers are able to view our full range of policies and procedures.
Our Inspector was pleased with our hygiene procedures which include disease prevention and health and welfare monitoring of all our dogs. We use DEFRA high level disinfectants for sanitising everything from our dogs feeding bowls to their toys and bedding. We are also supported by our local Vets at Towerwood who agree to provide veterinary care to all our dogs for your peace of mind.
One of our regular boarders, Pebble, was staying with us at the time of the inspection and she made sure she was available to show our Inspector how we roll. Pebs also showed our inspector our transport which is a high spec Police Dog Handler vehicle.
Another area of provision our Inspector also admired was our programme of Canine Enrichment which not only includes stimulating walks in areas with woodland, water and natural obstacles (and lots of opportunity to sniff and explore); she also liked our supervised and voluntary play time which promotes our dogs physical and psychological health.
It was a pleasure to show off what we do here at Hanson's Hounds. We hope you come and visit us soon.
If Hanson's Hounds can't fit you in please always choose a licenced Home Boarder provider. A list of all the licenced providers in your area should be available on your local authority Animal Welfare web page.
EL PERRO - Google reliably informs me this is the Spanish term for 'dog'.
Here are our two Spanish pups enjoying the facilities at Hanson's Hounds. Pumpkin and Sally are two gorgeous Spanish rescues who must have some tales to tell about their travels!
The girls enjoyed a couple of nights boarding with us and were absolutely adorable. It was love at first sight. To be honest, they were the perfect house guests and spent most of the time snoozing on the sofas, it was very cold outside!
Sally is approximately 12 years old and a little terrier type who likes to chase squirrels, who doesn't? She's a quiet girl and you forget she's there apart from the little sneezes she gives every now and then. She's more cautious than her sister, Pumpkin and she likes to stay close whilst she's out and about, except when she spots a squirrel. She's been in the UK about 19 months or so and has settled in well. She loves a cuddle and will make sure you know this, by giving you a gentle tap on the arm with her paw if you dare to stop stroking her. She loves her food but wont eat unless she's got a quiet place to chow down and is not disturbed. What a gorgeous girl.
Pumpkin is about 8 or 9 years old and is a Spanish Pedenco Canario, which means Canarian Hound, originating from the Canary Islands. They were used to hunt rabbits and are an excellent sight hound. Unfortunately, our Pumpkin is completely blind due to progressive retinal atrophy, over the years her sight has failed her. She also has diabetes, so the two could be linked. Its likely her diabetes wasn't managed when she was a street dog in Spain and so her sight failure could be a result of that. However, this girl has adapted brilliantly and you would be forgiven for thinking she could see.
She is amazing and nothing seems to faze her. She is, of course, cautious of steps and understandably hesitant and needs a helping hand. But apart from that she gets around very well. Her other senses have likely become highly sensitive to compensate. It was clear whilst we were out on our walks that her nose works incredibly well, she was sniffing and catching scents and following these without a problem. She enjoyed being off lead in open fields and navigated her way like a pro. Although she loved being out and about she does take some encouragement to get off the sofa!
Her diabetes is managed by twice daily canine insulin injections. Her lovely owner, supervised me doing this and it was OK once I got the hang of it. Pumpkin loves her food, she gets so excited when she hears the bowls being put out and she can jump as high as the kitchen counter, eager for her meal. She has a special diet to manage her diabetes so she couldn't really have any treats but she does enjoy a bit of chicken.
These gorgeous pair of girls now have a wonderful, safe home to live in, thanks to their amazing mum. She is an angel to take these two girls from overseas and give them all the love they deserve. They give that love back in spades and of course, we are very pro-rescue here at Hanson's Hounds and these two girls just go to show what incredible dogs are out there desperate for our love and care.
PLEASE DON'T SHOP - ADOPT xx
MY FAVOURITE RESCUES; but there are lots of other amazing rescues too.
Yes, shes got the shiniest coat of the gang. But she loves water, mud and rolling in stinky stuff so she doesn't stay clean for long. Luckily she stands well for a hose down or a sponge bath.
Have you seen her unique swimming style?
She points her front legs straight out and seems to flail around but it works for her.
There's a video of her showing Geoff and Kato how its done on our FACEBOOK page (if only I could work out how to post a link here?????)
Pebble is super smart too. She reads body language so well, I have never known a dog as good as she is at picking up whats needed just by a word or a gesture. She is a pleasure to care for and regularly boards with us, always a fun house guest.
She makes the most of her walks and bombs around, always with a wagging tail. Such a happy girl with a fantastic disposition. We adore her. She is as brilliant as Boo is, at finding stray balls, others have lost. There isnt a walk goes by where she doesn't find someones tennis ball, she brings it right to me and drops it at my feet. She will chase a ball all day unless Geoff grabs it before I can throw it. GEOFFFF, he never brings the ball back and definitely wont share. Pebs is getting wise to this and when she see's him approaching she grabs that ball until its safe.
AND Pebs does these amazing smiles when she sees you. I've got to get a photo of her tooty grin. Its the best.
Pebs & Geoff Doug & Pebs
Sadly our gorgeous girl Lara passed away yesterday morning. She had been a wonderfully brave girl for many months following surgery and numerous infections in her rear legs.
Despite her mobility troubles she was the happiest, sweetest lady and always had a wag and a snuffle for me when I visited and often brought Sebbies yellow ball to the door in her own unique greeting.
She never complained and just got on with things, happy to have a potter and sniff about and always ready for a treat. She knew exactly which pocket the treats were in and made a bee line for them every time.
It had been a while since we had a walk together as she couldn't manage to walk too far in the last few months but I saw her several times a week when I visited. to walk her brother Sebbie.
Lala as we like to call her, always got up to say hello and came to see what treats I had brought her and we always had a chat and a cuddle after she had a potter around the garden.
She had such an amazingly, gentle disposition and was never bad tempered even though getting around could be tricky for her.
Lala was the most loving and adorable dog and we are bereft she has gone. Both Sebbie and I were sad today and I know he misses his sister. Its not accurate to humanise dogs emotions but they definitely grieve and Sebbie was reluctant to come out today. I had brought my 2 old girls along to cheer him up and once he saw Otty and Nish had come to keep him company and support him, he had a little harumphhhh and settled into his walk.
So its lots of extra kisses and cuddles for Sebbie and the company of his favourite pals out on our walks will surely help him along.
Lara was a rescue and her owners gave her the most wonderful home and she had a fabulous life with them. She was their special girl and mine too.
Lala had fantastic genes - Rotweiler and Alikta or as her mum says, Rokita!
Lara was a Rokita through and through, she rocked it in every which way.
Just take a look at her portraits if you dont believe me.
Night night beautiful girl, it was a pleasure to have you in my life, love and miss you.
Here's Bear, a lovely 19 month old Akita.
He's such a gentle boy and loves meeting new dogs.
He doesn't get flustered by anything. Today we were walking down a track in the woods and a runner came up right behind us at a fair speed, we didn't see or hear him. He startled me and Byron had a bark at him as he also didn't see him but Bear just looked at him and didn't make a move or a murmur.
He has been the perfect house guest and loves to watch the world go by, staring out of the window. And he adores the water, makes a beeline for any river or stream.
He's not quite mastered the art of getting in the van yet. Don't know how much he weighs but I have to place his front feet in first then heft his behind in, a bit undignified but he doesn't mind being man handled at all.
He's a thoughtful boy but got confused when he rolled his ball down a foxhole. He couldn't get down there but wouldn't move away from the hole. I think he thought the foxes were going to throw it back up the hole for him!
A BIT ABOUT ME......
We're three years on from the inception of Hanson's Hounds and its been a wonderful ride.