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Sunday, 31 July 2011

My Dog’s Other Name is “You Black Bastard!”

What's the most common name for a gundog? Is it Teal, Drake or Duke .......? Well if what you hear shouted on a shoot day is anything to go by, it's "You (insert colour of dog here) Bastard!"

The other thing that you are highly likely to hear is the keeper shouting at some poor soul to get is dog back into line, as Harvey rockets off through all the best drives on the shoot, scattering birds back over the beaters, leaving the guns to wonder why all the birds have gone out of the side of the drive. Hence the name of this blog.

Dogs misbehave.

Owners screw up. Such is life......

This blog is going to attempt to address some of the thorny issues when it comes to getting Harvey out onto the shoot, without too many tears. Yours, not mine.

I've chosen the name Harvey for the dog, as this is the name of probably the worst Labrador I have ever seen. Owned by a guy that I know who is a complete tosser. This guy got his leg badly lifted by a keeper in Scotland when he was sold Harvey at about a year and a half old. Harvey was been sent away because "he's a ladies dog." In all honesty, nobody in their right mind sells a year and half old dog, unless there is something wrong with it. If you understand that, then it's OK to buy a part trained dog – you have to decide if you can live with the fault(s). Harvey however is a slow motion train crash....... bungalow.....absolutely nothing upstairs. Greedy, ungracious, badly mannered and likely to run in – that's just his owner. The dog is worse!

Some of the early posts in this blog have appeared elsewhere, either on my website or FB page under the "Trilly's Training Tales." For the sake of completeness I'll include them here as well.

It's also worth saying that when it comes to training dogs, there is a lot of crap talked. Opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one. Everyone has a method. If your opinions and methods work – stick with them. If they don't, try mine; or don't! I honestly don't care.

Like kids, when it comes to training dogs, I believe in discipline. Not kicking the dog all over the park discipline, but firm, fair and consistent discipline. So if you are looking for tips on clicker training – you have come to the wrong place. You won't like my methods and chances are I won't like you.

I don't believe in using food as a training aid and I believe that e-collars are not cruel and have a specific place in the trainer's armamentarium, but should only be used with proper tuition, by people who know what they are doing. I don't like the Kennel Club or what it stands for, but for the moment I tolerate them and I am deeply sceptical about the world of Field Trials and I would rather eat my own testicles than run my dogs in a trial

Oh and if you are looking for an instant cure for a deep seated problem – there are no quick fixes. In the real world Ceasar Milan can't transform a canine hooligan into a textbook dog overnight.

Right; I assume that has pissed off the pink and fluffy brigade, so if you are still reading, thanks for staying the distance. I hope I can help.




  1. Just checked, have arsehole, have opinion. Dead right on no total solution, miracle answer etc. Clicker does have uses but isn't a total answer. Have you read Temple Grandin, animals in translation. Totally brilliant.
    keep blogging.

  2. Hi Simon, Thanks for the comment and the encouragement. I'll check out Temple Grandin.