Supporting agility dogs with specialist lifetime cover

by Barbara Sykes
Reviewed by Michelle Townsend

Description: This book is a common sense approach to puppy management. It includes topics such as how to introduce a well balanced die and how to correct training by understanding your dog's instincts from day one.

Contents include:-

  • Introduction
  • Creating a picture
  • Natural instincts
  • Early learning
  • A balanced diet
  • Follow my leader
  • Fun and games
  • What, where and when
  • Index

Best Features:  A nice, easy to read book. It is not like the usual puppy book you can pick up at anywhere which mainly covers basic obedience, feeding and housetraining.

I liked the way the author has a different way than the 'normal' methods of training. For instance, the author suggests that chewing objects and toys are only given to puppies when they are in their cages. For far this has worked with my nutty pup.

The book also teaches you to think 'dog.'

The best bit though is the review and the end of each section.

Worst Features: I felt there wasn’t enough mentioned about socialising young puppies. Plus I don't feel it was covered older puppies (i.e. over 16 weeks) as well. As it is mainly focused on taking over straight from pups mother, I am not sure this would be such a good book for first time dog owners. Nor do I think that experienced agility handlers would agree with the author's advice as, in general, they like for their dogs to work for food or toys.

Presentation: Nice all round design really with lots of collie pups. Could maybe have been more colour pics?

Value for Money:  Yes, it is. It has lots of different ways of sorting problems/training. It will be very useful to me as I have a puppy from birth so I can see if it works!

Price: £9.99 + £2.00 postage (UK), £3.00 (Europe), £4.00 (rest of the world)

Overall rating: 8/10

To receive a signed copy of this book write direct to the author Barbara Sykes at:-

Mainline Border Collie Centre
Dept. AN
Golcar Farm, Spring Lane, Bingley, West Yorkshire BD16 3AU.
More info
Also available from all good bookshops or from the publisher:-
Crowood Press
The Stable Block, Crowood Lane, Ramsbury, Marlborough, Wiltshire SN8 2HR
Tel: 01672-520320

The Author
Barbara Sykes
has been associated with Border Collies all her life. Her own dogs are all working dogs and most of her line is related to Meg, with whom she gained bother National and International trialling status. She has always had an empathy with the breed and is passionate about maintaining the strong working instinct.

From her farm on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors, she owns and runs Mainline Border Collie Centre where she devotes her time not only to training sheepdogs and handlers but also in helping the companion owner to have a better understanding of their dog. She believes that although the Border Collie is not always employed in shepherding, owners can gain a close understanding of the breed if they learn more about the dog's working instincts.

Barbara produces a bi-monthly magazine Freedom of Spirit and has written one previous book with Thomas Longton for Crowood Press called Training the Sheep Dog .

The Reviewer
Michelle Townsend (25) lives in seaside town (and doggy heaven!) of Exmouth, in Devon, UK with her partner Tim and their 2/12 year old son, Harry and six dogs - one Goldie, one Goldie X, and four Border Collies, ranging in age from seven years to the newest three months.

She currently only work my little Goldie Holly. After four years, they are still waiting for their clear round!! She has recently begun training with her 13 month-old red Border Collie Ziggy who is very keen to learn.

Tim is the main trainer at their club, Honiton & District Canine Society, Michelle assists with Beginners classes.

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