Monday, 23 April 2012

It has been way too long ....

Okay, it has been ages. In fact way too long, I don't know where the time flies....... We are back in Canada, again, we can't stay away, I love the Say Yes programme and spending time with susan, Lynda and her students. It is just so much fun out here and even though we are manic busy we can't resist another family trip out here! The weather is just lovely - torrential rain, snow and winds .....but the food and company is great and we are very lucky to be here, really! The next few days are manic and I have loads of new and challenging courses to work with as well as loads of questions to ask - it is all good. Fiji has been raised with two of the best instructors influences - both Susan and Greg are phenomenal and we are lucky enough to be able to work closely alongside both. I have to say being able to live in the house with susan and swagger makes you realise how important relationship is. We are very lucky to be able to spend the time here with friends, share ideas and learn from the best at the same time - that rocks!!!!! Anyway for those of you who are coming to our camps in Devon this year your schedules will be with you soon if you have not yet seen them?? We can't wait - and for those who didn't make it on to the camp then there is a new camp in Aug - just a two day foundation, skills and core work for all ages of dogs including puppies, please don't miss out on this one, I think it is crucial to your dog training - don't miss out. We also have a two day jump weekend - again it is core to your learning - email Hope to see you all soon, Lauren

Monday, 19 March 2012

What a great day at Training In The Ring, fantastic weather, people, dogs and environment and some EXCELLENT training runs. The winners of our training runs were Di and Lily, Helen and Maisie and Manda and Wookie. Congrats - your vouchers are in the post to you and what a fantastic job you did well done! More photos to come.........

I am so manic right now I cannot think and where have the last 5 weeks gone. We are off to Canada tomorrow Pm and our feet have barely hit the floor. If you are planning on coming to training over the next few weeks you are in for a treat, new ideas, new lessons and some better weather it seems. We have some great new dogs coming on and fantastic instructors coming through the LLAAI programme. If you would like to chat to me about any of this you are more than welcome.

I hope to write a much fuller blog soon, we are very busy yet still excited, Oh Canada here we come......:)

Sunday, 19 February 2012

“Birth is the sudden opening of a window, through which you look out upon a stupendous prospect. For what has happened? A miracle. You have exchanged nothing for the possibility of everything.”

Eliza Langman-Rouse was born at 2.59am on Thursday 9th February. I can honestly say it is the most painful yet amazing experience I have ever imagined. Seeing her looking at me with her big brown eyes, exquisite and inquisitive all at the same time melted both of our hearts and healed so much in less than a second. She has already changed our lives and yet made everything so complete. Very surreal!

We are completely touched with the generosity and kindness of our customers, friends and family. Eliza now has not only her first bank account but bouquets of clothing, see above, the most beautiful flowers from Greg and Laura who are currently in Oz, beautiful clothing, a portrait of Reef for her nursery, a beautiful picture frame, teddies, bouncers and more. We feel overwhelmed by your cards and kindness in welcoming this little treasure in to the world.

Below notice the card collection around the beams, we shall keep these in her box of things to look at when she is older. There is so much we want to give her, the best life, gorgeous mementoes and to do our very best by her.

Below: Eliza meeting my best friend Lois and Popi. The dogs have been great, curious yet very accepting of our new baby girl, I don't think they know she is staying yet!

And then we jump back to reality, training is all running as usual. I have to be massively thankful to the awesome team I have behind me - you all know who you are.

What do we have coming up?

Mark Laker - 10th March Course Running Day - This looks like an excellent day where we will be running a number of courses and trying to find the fastest and most efficient lines and testing the value of some of our behaviours under a bit more pressure. This day is aimed at the competitive handler only and really is looking to push you to the next level!

25th March Mark and Karen Laker - this day is really aimed to push you to the next level of your agility training. Karen is covering
Rewarding key positions
(any level)
Tunnel turns
(any level)
Movement, attention drive
(any level, incl foundation)

Jump Grids (any level)
She will, as usual, work with all different abilities and we currently have one or two spaces in each group available. Dont miss out on this with your youngsters, dogs that you are improving jump work with and all levels of dogs in the tunnel workshop. Last time I attended this workshop it was awesome and Karen insists there is more to come. As we all know placement of reward is VITAL so dont miss out on any of these. These could be combined so that you attend more than one session.

Mark is working on
Pre season circuit training (G3-4)
Pre season circuit training (G5-7)
Warm up for 2012 courses to get you in the mood

This is aimed at the competitive handler and will really push you individually with some great groups available. The pre season circuits work all of the drills and challenge both you and your dog. Dont miss out on this opportunity to get ready for the competition season and achieve your potential with these top class trainers on your doorstep
9.00 – 11.00 Grade 1-3 handling
11.30-12.30 YD Contacts/Weaves
1.30-3.30 Grade 4-7 handling
4.00 – 5.00 Young Dogs

These workshops are not to be missed. Jo has been working regularly with DD and we will continue to ask her to come and work with us whilst you are enjoying working within the GD system.

Lastly Jans Canine Development Day - this is one not to be missed!

These have been going down a storm and helping people to work with different types of dogs. On the 4th March we will be covering how do dogs learn?

·         Classical and Operant Conditioning

·         Aversive and Rewarding Reinforcement

·         Stress, Anxiety & Depression

·         Counter Conditioning & Extinction 

This day is aimed to refresh and renew your understanding of dog behaviour, both for professionals and those who are interested in their own dogs learning.  It is a day not to be missed with invaluable learning opportunities.

Also we now have our new, 'recommend a friend scheme.' We have new DD cards where you can write your name on the back, each time a customer books we will ask them if there is a name on the back of their card, if they make a booking you will recieve a £5 money off your next booking voucher and we will also add you to our list for our Christmas draw. We want to improve positive dog training and you can help us to access the people that need it most! If you need any cards please see Fern, Lauren, Kim, Mandy, Vivienne, Sian, Jon, Kelly, Fran, Carole or Matt.

Wishing you all much happiness in your training and hope you take up these days if you haven't done so already!

Lauren, Matt and baby Eliza xxxxxx

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

"Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, rarely an opportunity."

I haven't written in such a long time, there is always so much to do, and it seems it will get busier! Today is my due day, it is odd as you can be early, late or on time, now which one would you predict for me, those that know me too well, my friends will know! Matt is on call, marigolds and all.......;)
My friends, I have really appreciated you, all of you, I have certainly been a responsibility, and I hope not too difficult a responsibility but you have all looked after me so well, sweet gifts, hot food at training, drinks, gorgeous baby things - it is really funny how you suddenly realise how many lovely people there are in your life at times like these, a real transitional time. Thankyou all......:)

I am lucky, my body has looked after me incredibly well, if the baby is not here by Thursday I will still hope to be working, I have not had to take any time off, just had to adjust my hours, call in the DD LLAAI to help with some of my regular commitments and ask other people to be as flexible as possible. Everything has gone so well and I can't believe that 40 weeks can pass so quickly.

Attending the midwife appointments has been interesting, they think we are barmy, yet dedicated - probably a fairly accurate interpretation. We have enjoyed it and it is certainly informative, we are complete newbies like those pet owners asking about food/crates/beds/routines - it is no different - we are clueless, but getting more knowledgable all of the time!

In the mean time we have been walking ALOT and training regularly. We live in the most beautiful area - we are very lucky....Below is Glen Free x Reef and Fiji my Darleyfalls baby :)

Training is going really well even though it has been cold people are still arriving - well done to you all!! We have just let people know of some last minute spaces available, here is what we sent out;

Canine Behaviour day – for all of you who have a want to understand more about your own dogs, we have an excellent day on 18th February which will cover relationship building for both puppies and adult dogs, with our excellent Dog Behaviourist Jan Windsor. This day should be full of variety as well as great for those of you that want to add it to your CPD. Her Day 2 on 4th March – How do dogs learn? This will cover Classical and Operant Conditioning, Aversive and Rewarding Reinforcement, Stress, Anxiety & Depression, Counter Conditioning & Extinction. This day is aimed to refresh and renew your understanding of dog behaviour, both for professionals and those who are interested in their own dogs learning. It is a day not to be missed with invaluable learning opportunities.
Life Skills dates – the next one we have available is on 12th February, we currently have 2 spaces available. This is invaluable for all young dogs, and dogs currently in obedience/foundation training. The next date is 14th April and we cannot recommend these days highly enough.
Walk the Course – our February DD membership offer is a great one. We are offering you the opportunity to buy one – get one free. The Walk the Course workshops are paramount to your learning of how a course works, and being able to talk through the various exercises in a comfortable atmosphere.
Kamal Fernandez Obedience Maestro – we have one working space left on 12th February, this is a must for all of you who are developing attitude with your agility dogs. The day is aimed to cover lots of motivational and control games to add to your box of tricks. He is not only an entertaining trainer, but a vastly knowledgeable one and we are very fortunate that he has travelled down to the South West especially for Devon Dogs. We also have unlimited spectator spaces on both 11th and 12th February.
Sian’s next workshop is on 31st March. The Young Dogs group is completely full, however there is currently one space on the Grade 3+4, one space on the Foundation, and 2 spaces on the Grade 5-7. If you or anyone you know of that would benefit from Sian’s championship and international level expertise, please come back to me.
Her partner Anthony Clarke is also visiting on 3rd March and he currently has one space on Young Dogs, and 2 spaces on Flatwork. Again if you are interested contact me asap as we expect these spaces will go quickly now that we have let people know of their availability.
Training on the Ring day is on 17th March, this day is invaluable to all customers and we thoroughly recommend it. The day is not only of huge value to your learning but also an opportunity to meet and talk to lots of other like minded folk.
We also have the Lakers visiting on 10th March for the day, Karen working with Relationship Building, and Mark working with Pushing Your Course Work, we currently have one space available on Karen’s day and 2 spaces available on Mark’s day. They are also visiting us on 25th March where Mark currently has space in his G3-4, G5-7 and G3-7 and Karen currently has some space on all of her workshops.
Lastly Jo Tristram is with us on 8th March, here G4-7 group is full, however she currently has space on her Contacts and Weaves, G1-3 and Young Dog sessions.

If you havent already joined keep an eye out and do join for free newsletters and tips - we have recently submitted an 'Ultimate Instructors' article which should make interesting reading for you all.

We really hope to see you all very, very soon. Takecare, please contact us if you would like to come along and join in the fun, you will be made more than welcome here.

Lauren for enquiries

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Dream on....

Some weeks are good, others aren’t so, you have to learn to dance with the flow of life and enjoy even the slightly more difficult situations. Note to self - learn - I am certainly in the learning phase of this....We are lucky enough to have a lot of wonderful people around – I really do enjoy the DD team which seems to be ever expanding and just getting stronger. We are also getting more knowledgable all of the time - love how training is moving forward!

We had a great weekend, we visited our most local show,caught up with a lot of great people and came home very pleased with the dogs. I sometimes am frustrated with things but I am certainly learning to enjoy each dog for their individual merits, I am less likely to blame the dog for I am more aware than ever that their limitations really are my own lack of time, creativity or willingness to listen to the subtleties that they are trying their very hardest to show me. My favourite run of the day had to be Coastys - he really was flying although Matt and Riot are certainly looking unstoppable and Tikis weave entries are impressing me!

I cant believe how time is flying either, Matt and I have just 11 weeks until we will officially become, dare I say it, parents. This is seriously life changing and scary and I certainly have ups and downs with it I shall blame all that on the hormones however I can say that on the whole it has not been a bad few months and I am very lucky to be 29 weeks pregnant and still running around courses - thankyou body!
On another note Relocation Relocation was on again the other day. It reminded me how much life has changed in a year and how lucky we really are. I feel amazed that one of my fairy tale dreams completely came true.The dreams just keep coming - I think I am beynd obsessed now and at the point of possessed :)

I hope you have all had a good week - the last few weeks for us have been a real pleasure down at Bowerland with great workshops and lovely customers, it really has been very enjoyable. If you are not already visiting for a workshop do check out the huge variety we have going on down here. We are so lucky - take advantage from jump days to puppy days to lifeskills!

Take a look at our website on the courses and bookings page and have a browse for yourself. We have some availability on the following workshops:

One space on Awesome Handling this weekend 26th Nov

Lifeskills 2011/2012
Stretcholt 2012
Rebecca Sharples 15th Jan Physio Day
14th January - Canine Conditioning and looking after the Canine Athlete
Canine Development Day March 4th

March Jump Day
Anthony Clarke Jan 8th Attack The Course
Tues AM workshops / Tues PM workshops
Jo Tristram Young Dogs Day - 4th Feb
Jo Tristram Awesome Partnerships Day -Jan 21st

Puppy Development Day 1st April
4th Feb and 31st March Sian Illingworth
Dave Munnings and so much more....

We have so much to offer please see the website to look at our whole selection of workshops and we really hope to see you soon.

If you are not already a DD member please see the information on the website and also our latest newsletter. This month there is an offer on workshops - spend £100 and save £10.

Feel free to send over the bookings as soon as you know what you would like to book on, we look forward to hearing from you.


Saturday, 5 November 2011

So much to do.......

I am so pleased that Lesley Huggins could take some photos of the pups, we have had so little time over the last week it would have been a real shame to miss them!

If you do want any agility/contact/action/weave pics Lesley uses the field at weekends quite often to capture dogs - let us or her know and I am sure she would be more than happy to take pics for you. The canvases she has printed are excellent.

Above are Boost and Spider - both pups are now happily in homes. This week I have been reading Appleby on Habituation and Socialisation. Habituation is described as 'the process whereby an animal becomes accustomed to non-threatening environmental stimuli.'

Although counter condiditioning is an option correct learning is always preferable. Another interesting piece of information for me is that experiments show puppies who have experienced pre stress in early life have a good capacity to cope with it later in life whereas those who do not, cannot cope.

On another note we have had the busiest week and it just seems to get busier, Ultimate Handling only has 24hours until sign up closes so make sure all of you DD people get signed up - what an excellent opportunity to learn from one of the best. See, sign up closes 6pm tomorrow evening. Lessons will cost £8.30 each. Dont miss out!

Lastly thankyou for your lovely emails re the LLAAI - I had a ball teaching it and cant wait to teach next years level 1s and level 2s!

Lauren xx

Monday, 24 October 2011

'It's what you learn after you know it all that counts.'

I love learning but this week I have learnt a lesson I needed to learn much sooner - oh my gosh how much effort goes into planning a big course even when all the paper work is done there is so much to sort from lunch menus and ensuring that lovely Sue knows dietary requirements for a lot of people to projectors, large screens, day care for dogs, people management, filing, information, resources, sales items, helpers and most importantly great information. It has been a long process but it is all now coming together. If you are interested in the LLAAI Instructor course level one or level two you can access these via Devon Dogs courses and bookings. There are 8 spaces available to people looking for level one and spaces available for level two on completion of level one. We aim to run two to three courses a year depending on time and venue availability. £50 deposit secures and we will hold a waiting list once full. We will cover topics from group dynamics, managing safe environments, awesome contact and weave training, fantastic groundwork and more.

In addition to this the pups are full on, please come and visit Devongem litter 4 if you have time they are fat fluff balls and very cheery souls, Fiji is a dream to work but a monkey 24/7 as she is into everything her confidence is lovely, the other dogs are patient and life goes on - I am also now over 6 months pregnant and I can't believe it is over 6 months now, very scary!

Ultimate Agility is also taking off - if you have not already had time to register please visit The free article is excellent.

We also have an action packed winter training programme, please see Fern, Kim, Mandy, Sue, Matt, Vivienne or I if you have not yet had one or email

I really think that life is for living, and life is what happens when you are busy making other plans. I feel very lucky to have a very supportive team around me  - thankyou all :) 

Lauren and Devon Dogs