All posts by Affinity Trainers

Ohhh it’s all gone wrong and there’s one thing to blame- manflu. Everyone caught it (even Sue). Thank goodness for the labs being considerate and the beardies making us laugh. They’ve certainly kept our spirits up.

But there’s been a casualty- the phone. It went missing yesterday and Stu found it this morning (wed)  under a chair with a shattered screen.

We don’t usually plug our landline in (so many sales calls), but we have today. If you have reached out recently to no reply or need to contact us, then please ring 01604 947728. 

We’ll get an new mobile asap. Many apologies!

Where to hold and how to move your treats

With “lure- reward” training, the dog follows the treat and so it is easy to get them into position. Here we show how to get your pet to sit, lie down and stand up.  Once they are in position, give them the treat and teach them the word. Most dogs need a little practise- but they will soon understand what you want. When the penny drops, you can then reward less frequently or make things harder- try chaining things together. Pay attention to your hand positions- if you are consistent you will be able to signal to them- in fact they usually learn these signals faster than the English- no surprise when dogs are masters of body language!



Start with the dog standing up and, using the treat, encourage them look up. As they strain to bend their necks, they will often sit down. Try starting with the treat near their nose, where the “x” is in the photo and move the treat, following the red and white lines. If they are inclined to walk backwards, try positioning them in the corner of the room first.

Here’s our eldest, Poppy.



Look at Barney, on the left.

With the dog in the sitting position, move the treat in an “L” shape. Encourage the dog to put their nose near their paws and then draw the treat across the floor so they lie down. Again, don’t forget to teach them the word and reward them as they do it. Most dogs need to repeat the process several times before they understand. Let us know if their bottoms keep popping up.

Our darling Widget is on the right and they’re siblings. He was born 7th and she 9th in Smudgey and Cosmo’s litter of 10- I think they look like twins!



This command is quite useful when you’re grooming and putting on a harness. Encourage the dog to stand up- try and be quick with your rewards here and treat them before they take a step.

Here’s Widget again.

It’s one of those days already and it’s only half past one! It’s Saturday the 15th but feels like Friday the 13th!

Someone cut Stu up and the van can’t be fixed til Monday

We had an appointment this afternoon in Daventry, but we cannot get there and we don’t seem to be able contact the lady … here’s hoping she’ll see this and give us a call…..

Wish we could rewind and start the day again lol!

Born today, all doing well- 3 boys and 4 girls. We’re proud and delighted.


Here’s some photos from today’s new set of puppy class- which included a few familiar faces from Smudgey’s litter! I must admit I hardly slept last night, I was so excited- fantastic to see the cute pups again.

Appropriate greetings- Barney’s too excited! A famous beardie bounce …


Gaining focus isn’t easy with new friends and family in the room…


Here they are learning the basics- sit, down and stand

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Walking to heel nicely is difficult, but it does get easier each week!


Well done everyone- really looking forward to next time 🙂



Smudge and Cossie’s puppies are doing amazingly well! Here’s some photos taken by Callum Burns- his website is here .



Fourth to be born is a boy


Mrs. 5


Mr 6, our first brown puppy


Mr 7


Mr 8


Number 9 to be born is our brown girl, Widget


Number 10




Smudgey’s still smiling and the pups are getting bigger- their little tails are beginning to work and their eyes look less tight.


Getting the pups ready for their new homes is forefront in our minds. Their ears and eyes will soon open and when they do, they will hear all the sounds of a normal household- hoovers, radios, video games, the TV and  the washing machine, which being used relentlessly at the moment. It will be interestng to see what happens when they hear music- they seem to have favourites- I played Mozart (Queen of the Night, from the Magic Flute) to our last litter when they were around 5 weeks old and it made them all bark! They’ll also hear us talking and laughing. Dogs love it when people are laughing and most rush over to see what is going on.

As trainers, we recognise the importance of socialisation and thankfully we have no shortage of volunteers to come and visit the pups once their eyes have opened. Ian Dunbar stresses how young dogs must become accustomed to people and in order to be well rounded adults,  he recommends that puppies see between 2 and 3 new people every day. The postman has also agreed to see them occasionally while he is in his uniform. Our young relatives and friends have been invited and we are really pleased that some of the children from our class has agreed to come and help us with some basic training.

If you are, or have been a customer of ours and would like to visit the pups, please call us! 07 51 976 2411



Here is Smudgey and her 10 babies, a week old today! They are all gaining weight and progressing well, we’re so proud of Smudgey and Cosmo!

Tip of the week!- Stop your dog chasing their dinner bowl across the floor

P1020366If you have a tiled or wooden floor and your dog’s bowl slips about as they eat, it is very easy to keep the bowl in the same place by putting a tea towel down first. The bowl stays stationary, the dog can eat their dinner in the one place and there isn’t the unpleasant scraping noise as it moves around the floor.

If they are a messy eater it doesn’t matter as the tea towel is easily washed.

It’s a quick and simple solution to an irritating problem (for dogs and people) which is also cost free- fantastic 🙂

Check out  our tips for healthy, happy, easy lives here and info about dog training theories and methods here

Thank you!

P1020349Thank you to everyone who helped to make this event a great success! We have, so far, raised £150 for, a new website which will provide invaluable information about this relatively unknown disease. CRPS is the most painful long term problem- more painful every moment of day than a woman in labour, classified as neuro-immune CRPS can start with damage to a nerve (as in type 2, like Sue) but it is most likely to begin with a fracture or minor injury (type 1). CRPS is said to be most like MS in pathology.


This week marks the 32nd anniversary of Sue’s accident (a hit and run when Sue was a child) and we could not think of a better way to honour this date than to raise money and awareness.

The website is an international project, linked to a facebook page (CRPS research and developments). The website is needed as doctors are largely unaware of the serious disease and Sue wishes she had a pound for every time a doc has said “CRPS? Whats that?”


 We didnt manage to get all the way round the Racecourse, but no-one seemed to mind and everyone looked like they were having a good time. Many many thanks to all involved – so very proud of you all right now!