Thursday 8 December 2016

Turn your dog’s favourite pastime into your favourite hobby

Detector dog – A Talking Dogs Scentwork® Manual

Next spring sees the release of a great new book that just might turn your pooch into a genuine sniffer hound …

Dogs love to sniff and smell their way through the day, and Detector dog – A Talking Dogs Scentwork® Manual will guide you through the steps that will help you teach your dog how to detect a particular scent, no matter where it's located. Hidden in a bag, under a sofa, on a car, or up a tree, searching for this scent will turn your dog's favourite pastime into your favourite hobby. 

Author Pam Mackinnon has been a professional dog trainer for almost 30 years. An ex-dog handler for HM Customs, a trainer for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, and now the behaviourist for Wood Green Animal Shelters (not to mention puppy trainer for Dr Ian Dunbar), Pam now focusses exclusively on scentwork.

Combining her practical and behavioural skills, Pam founded Talking Dogs Scentwork®, the UK's most successful scentwork training programme that teaches all dogs to become detector dogs.

In Detector dog, Pam takes you through each stage of scentwork, beginning with introducing your dog to a specific scent, starter searches, and on to advanced work, both indoors and out.

Brain training beats boring walks every time, and aided by illustrations and full-colour photographs of many different breeds at work, Detector dog opens up a whole new world of activities for you and your dog to enjoy together … an endlessly rewarding process for dog and owner: positively addictive!

Detector dog is due in April 2017, and features …

  • Training techniques suitable for all dogs – not just working dogs 
  • An emphasis on working in co-operation with your dog: true teamwork!
  • Clear, coherent and comprehensive breakdown of how to teach scentwork
  • Dedicated to searching for specific scents, rather than confusing a dog with tracking
  • Scent teams are taken on a journey, from starter to advanced searches
  • Addresses handling skills front and centre as keys to success
  • Includes a great variety of ideas for searches, indoors and out
  • Technical and practical explanations for searching in specific ways 
  • Reveals how safe searching is integral to good scentwork practice
  • Based on operational skills combined with training and behavioural knowledge

Detector dog – A Talking Dogs Scentwork® Manual

Detector dog guides you through the steps that will help you teach your dog how to detect a particular scent, no matter where it's found. Hidden in a bag, under a sofa, on a car, or up a tree,  searching for this scent will turn your dog's favourite pastime into your favourite hobby. 

HH4963 • Paperback • 22x17cm • £12.99 • 112 pages • 79 colour and b&w pictures • ISBN: 978-1-845849-63-4 • UPC: 6-36847-04963-8

Visit the Hubble & Hattie website for further details

Monday 14 November 2016

From Summer Hot dog to Winter Frankfurter

In this post, we're handing over to our friends at Kyrenia Animal Rescue for a heartwarming tale of hounds and homes …

It is always nice when we help to relocate pets – but even nicer when the pet was homed from our Rescue Centre.

Tinky had come into KAR after having being found just lying in the rain in a ditch – seemingly having given up trying to find somewhere warm and dry to rest. She was such a sad, sorry, little, wet and cold dog.

Tinky had only been with KAR a few months, when she caught the eyes of Sylvie and Heinz, from Germany. They already had a KAR rescue dog, Arap, who they homed in 2006, and wanted another to share their home with. Everyone was delighted when, after a few false hopes and starts, and, sadly, them not being able to have their original chosen dog, they were drawn like magnets to Tinky as soon as they saw her. 

Throughout the long, hot summer, with temperatures in the high 30s, Tinky was told “not long now.” When she was lying at the back of her kennel with her friends trying to keep cool in the shade, the message was “soon be time.” When she was having a bath, she was reminded “this feels like the rain that you need to get used to." For Tinky, it was a very long, humid summer – she was one of the many Hot Dogs at KAR.

At last, as the summer began to draw to a close and the temperature dropped, it was Tinky's time. Time for her to travel. Time for her to go to Germany. 

It was decided that Tinky would travel as an “accompanied pet” with Turkish Airlines, as opposed to travelling as a cargo booking. For some pets/owners this can be a cheaper alternative to cargo bookings, but it is not possible for pets flying into the UK.

Her flight was booked, all of the paperwork was finished, and Tinky set off. Owners often worry about how their pets will be handled during their loading, flight, and offloading, so it's nice to see from these photos the careful handling of Tinky by Ercan ground team. 
KAR Pet Travel has worked hard with everyone at Ercan who deals with their travelling pets, and these photos show that the hard work has paid off – Tinky was carefully carried onto the aircraft and strapped into her special area of the hold. 

Ground staff, Captain, and cabin crew liaised about Tinky, and the necessary reassurances for her travel were given. Tinky was off – she had a short transit, and a change of planes at Istanbul, and then continued on her journey to Germany.  

After completing all of the entry processes and checks on entry to Germany, it was time … time for Tinky to be taken out of her travel box and be with Sylvie. There were tears all around, but they were happy tears. Tinky was delighted to be snuggled up in Sylvie’s arms – after all, no one had told her that this new place was going to be so cold!

She had a comfort break and walk outside – and even had time for a quick stop at McDonalds, before setting off for an hour's journey to her new house – all of the time being told “This is it Tinky – this is Germany – this is now Home.” 

This is her new house, and her new friend, Arap.

She will even have a lake of her own to cool down in – won’t her KAR Hot Dog friends be envious!

Tinky won’t be a Summer Hot Dog again: she's now a Winter Frankfurter through and through!

Make sure you keep up with all the latest news from KAR via facebook, and its website.

Friday 11 November 2016

Buffalo Bats

Regular readers of our blog will know how we like to spread the word about companies which do that little bit extra for our animal chums, and we've found yet another great example that we'd like to share.

Do you remember our Subaru Loves Pets blog post? Well, Subaru isn't the only auto giant to appreciate the importance of looking after wildlife. Let's head on over to Buffalo, West Virginia, to find out more …

Toyota Makes Homes for Flying Mammals … Just in time for Halloween!

BUFFALO, W. Va, Oct. 31, 2016 – OK, say you’re a bat and you’re in the vicinity of Toyota’s powertrain plant in Buffalo, West Virginia.  It’s almost Halloween and, contrary to popular folklore, you are NOT getting psyched to go all “vampire” on everybody.  NO!  You’re actually hunting for a place to hang out (no bat-pun intended).

For the Bats of Buffalo, Toyota has a treat this Halloween season:  Bat boxes!  Little wooden bungalows where these mosquito-eating machines can snuggle in for a spell and hopefully take up residence during the warmer months to help control the insect population.

“The bat houses are just one part of our biodiversity plan here at the West Virginia plant” says Marc Crouse, specialist and resident Batman. “Visitors to our one-mile green loop can stroll through to see the bat boxes and appreciate other aspects of biodiversity.”

Those other aspects include native plants and a pit stop for Monarch butterflies during their annual migration.  “I like to tell people that being a mobility company means more than building cars, trucks and engines and transmissions.  We also want to contribute to the mobility of the critters who share our West Virginia home.”

In addition to this being a great place for a bat to hang out, Toyota’s bat box project is nominated for a Wildlife Habitat Council Award. This year’s winners will be announced at the council’s annual meeting in Baltimore later this week.

Well done Toyota: we (and the Bats of Buffalo) thank you for your great efforts … keep up the good work!

Thursday 10 November 2016

No! to animal testing … yes! to great hair

Taking a strong ethical stance is something we're used to at Hubble & Hattie HQ, and when we hear of other companies doing the same, we like to spread the word …

In this post, we're highlighting the work of one of the high street's biggest brands. Many of you will be familiar with Paul Mitchell: it's been making hair products since 1980, and is a mainstay in some of the largest creative hair salons worldwide, as well as thousands of smaller, independent salons.

The company's products are known for their effectiveness, and for being free from harmful additives such as parabens. But, something many of you may not know, is that all of its products are also cruelty-free. In fact, they have ALWAYS been cruelty-free. From styling products and hair care systems, to cutting edge styling tools and colourings, Paul Mitchell has never tested on animals … and it never will.

As the first professional beauty company to stand up against animal testing (shame on you, other brands!), Paul Mitchell is putting its money where its mouth is by donating the proceeds from the sale of all of its retail bags to Cruelty Free International, creator of the Leaping Bunny logo, the only recognised symbol guaranteeing that no animal tests were done in the development of a certified product. Paul Mitchell estimates this year's donations will exceed £15,000.

Of course, it's all very well us having beautiful, luxurious, cruelty-free hair, but what about our pets? Not content with making pampering potions solely for us humans, Paul Mitchell has applied its ethical stance and hair care expertise to a range of pet products: JP Pet®. Dry, flakey pooch? Try the Tea Tree range. Irritated, itchy cats? Calming Moisturizing Shampoo is just the ticket.

As well as a great range of pet shampoos and conditioners, suitable for cats and dogs, the JP Pet range includes Body & Paw Pet Wipes (ideal for keeping the outside off the carpet), Tooth & Gum Wipes (perfect for those pet selfies), and even Ear & Eye Wipes … with the party season about to start, there's now no excuse for you and your pet to be anything less than red-carpet-ready!

Head over to the John Paul Pet website to see the entire range, as well as pickup some excellent doggy grooming tips and pet-related news. It's so refreshing to see a big brand caring for our animal buddies. Paul Mitchell and JP Pet can be found on social media … checkout all the #JPPETFAN pics!







A History of Britain in 100 Dogs

Although usually completely involved with our own fabulous forthcoming publications, an excellent new title from History Press has caught my attention … 

A History of Britain in 100 Dogs is a colourful and comprehensive (256 pages) celebration of the nation’s favourite four-legged companion, which details how dogs have been by our side as our friends, companions  and helpers throughout history. In everything from art and religion, to war and royalty, dogs have played a part – and one that has often been vital.

It all makes for fascinating reading, though it saddened me greatly to read about some of the less commendable ways that our faithful companions have been used, such as in bear baiting and dog fighting: both dreadful activities that cannot ever be condoned. 

All in all, a great publication that serves to remind just how much we are indebted to our four-legged friends.


You can read more about the book here, see a 'bite' from the book at YouTube or download the Press Release, here.

Wednesday 9 November 2016

A star in the making?

Kyrenia Animal Rescue is an organisation very close to Hubble & Hattie's heart. From its headquarters, high in the Besparmak Mountains of Northern Cyprus, it's been undertaking sterling work, helping strays and providing refuge to over 200 dogs and cats. Here, we take a look at one of KAR's residents, who one day could be the next big screen star … 

All owners think their pets are the best, and the same is true of KAR staff and volunteers, and their 'best' 400-plus cats and dogs. However, one of the centre's dogs has recently attracted a movie mogul's attention. The dog in the spotlight is Taggy, and she came into KAR's rescue centre as a puppy in 2012, and has remained there ever since.

Kim Betts, from KAR Pet Travel, saw an appeal from Janine Teerling, a film producer from South Cyprus, asking for a doggy double for a Dutch 'actor.' Animals are banned from travelling between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) in the south, and with a considerable part of the film's plot taking place in the RoC, a doggy double residing in TRNC was the way to go.

Discussing the requirements with Janine, and liaising with the Centre Supervisor, Elaine, it was felt that Taggy could be the perfect pooch. Photos of the Dutch star and Taggy were exchanged, and Janine, and the Director/Writer, Marios Piperdes, agreed that Taggy should be auditioned at KAR's Karakum Office, with Janine travelling over from RoC to meet Taggy.

There were some concerns about how Taggy would respond outside of her 'home' environment, and whether she would remain calm and well behaved for the audition … after all, she had only ever been to the vet, and out in the mountains with walkers – it was all a big, new experience for her.

When Taggy arrived at the office, she was remarkably calm and quiet, but very interested in everything around her. She walked in beautifully on her lead, and then lay down with a bemused look at all the attention she was receiving.

Janine arrived, and the audition began. Most remarkable of all, was that Taggy appeared to listen to everything that was said: her eyes followed whoever was talking about her … and, like a true Hollywood star, she put on her most beautiful expressions for Janine! She behaved impeccably, and Janine agreed that, with a bit of makeup, her colouring and coat – and, of course, her demeanour and expressions – Taggy would make the ideal double for the Dutch doggy star.

Taggy was delighted, standing to attention at the promise of fame and fortune (well, maybe not!). Then, the tape measures came out, camera angles were discussed, and continuity considered … but, alas, Taggy was just too tall … and there was no way they could film her to appear smaller, to suit the size of the Dutch doggy. Everyone was so deflated and sad … Taggy's 15 minutes of fame were never to be.

The audition ended, and a very sad Janine, Kim, Margaret, and Taggy, all said their goodbyes with the promise of keeping in touch – just in case another potential star was found before filming commenced. Taggy enjoyed her outing, and returned home to the centre, still a star, and 'simply the best' in our eyes … and with a few tales to tell her pals about her time on the casting couch!

The film – Smuggling Hendrix – is a black comedy looking at various aspects of the divide between North and South Cyprus from the perspective of an ordinary person, and has already won an award for its script. A release date has yet to be set, but we'll let you know more as soon as we know. 

Catch up with all the latest happenings at KAR on its website, and on Facebook.

Thursday 20 October 2016

Babies, kids and dogs

Creating a safe and harmonious relationship

New from Hubble & Hattie this month is this wonderful blend of science, compassion and respect, from Melissa Fallon and Vicki Davenport, a must-have for anyone with kids and dogs.

As with adults, children and dogs alike benefit greatly both mentally and physically, from living together, if carefully managed. Babies, kids and dogs will help you to develop lifelong friendships and skills, by providing guidance on creating safe relationships between your dogs and your children.
Despite its modest 96 pages, the book is absolutely packed with essential information and guidance on how to develop the very best relationship between children and dogs. It provides step-by-step exercises to prepare dogs to be around babies and children, helps manage first interactions, teaches children how to behave appropriately around dogs, and encourages positive relationships.

Champ & Charlie help engage younger children.
Included within are instructional colour photographs, tables to assist with assessing and training your dog, and step-by-step exercises. Educational 'Champ and Charlie' illustrations help engage the interest of young children, in order to teach them about behaving appropriately when interacting with their canine friends. Throughout, you'll find suggestions for ways to promote safe interactions, and develop lifelong friendships.

This really is an important book, whether or not you already have a dog and children in the house.

Babies, kids and dogs

Creating a safe and harmonious relationship

With information and guidance on how to develop a safe and harmonious relationship between children and dogs, this book contains step-by-step exercises to prepare dogs to be around babies and children, help manage first interactions, teach children how to behave appropriately around dogs, and encourage positive relationships.

• Kindly and easily train your dog to behave well, and be safe around babies and children
• Help your children learn how to behave appropriately around dogs
• Guidance on promoting positive, safe and harmonious interactions
• Step-by-step exercises to prepare your dog for living with babies and children
• Educational illustrations that will interest and engage children
• Specially-commissioned colour photographs assist with training
• Developing an understanding of bite prevention
• Developing lifelong skills around animals
• By authors who are canine trainers, behaviourists – and parents!
• Written with your dog’s welfare very much in mind

HH4890 • Paperback • 20.5x20.5cm • £13.99 • 96 pages • 108 colour pictures
ISBN: 978-1-845848-90-3 • UPC: 6-36847-04890-7

Babies, kids and dogs is available directly from Hubble & Hattie, or from all good vendors

Tuesday 18 October 2016


Can't be bothered to read a proper book about dogs?
Then this is for you!

Let's face it, there are lots and lots of amazing animal books out there (and we should know), but, sometimes, reading is just too much trouble. Hubble & Hattie has teamed up with Scrabble, owner of human Mike Dicks, to make a book especially for those moments when words are a little too … uh … wordy.

Thanks to my hobbies, I'm used to reading books with some very strange words (Chlorophyllum rhacodes, anyone? Or would you prefer Neocallimastigomycota?), but, sometimes, it's just too much for me to take in. At times like these, I like to pick up a book that's a little easier to digest … and just the thing is coming to Hubble & Hattie soon …


A guide to training your new Human

Mike&Scrabble is best described as a simple picture book for people who can't be bothered to read a proper book about dogs. It's a picture book for adults: a funny, sometimes melancholy, and – occasionally – accurate guide to understanding the relationship between a dog, and her human pet.

The book began life as a series of illustrations, originally created as a therapeutic exercise, when Mike suddenly became a dog owner one January. A funny look at pet ownership from the perspective of the dog, Mike&Scrabble already have a loyal and growing following on social media. 

We can't wait to see the book in print, but, until then, checkout Mike talking about the book, below.

… and make sure you checkout Mike&Scrabble on Facebook and Twitter for some sage advice for your dog on human ownership, and read all about the book over at Hubble & Hattie … and if that's not enough, we will be releasing a special eBook version, complete with animations and sound effects!


A guide to training your new Human

Monday 17 October 2016

Oldies Club

Helping old dogs find loving homes

As regular visitors to our blog will know, we like to shine a spotlight on the great work that is being done by organisations worldwide to help animals in need. You’ll also know we love older dogs, so, in this post, we turn our attention to the Oldies Club, Warrington. 

As the name suggests, Oldies Club helps to find homes for older dogs, and has been steadfastly helping our older canine friends since 2005. We asked Amy at Oldies Club to tell us a little about how they came to be, and the great work they do … take it away, Amy …

"The Oldies Club is a dog rescue, run solely by volunteers, that specialises in rescuing and rehoming older dogs – aged 7 years plus.We first came into existence in the spring of 2005, and in March 2007 the Oldies Club proudly became Registered Charity number 1118246.

"The Oldies Club rescue grew from an initial idea on an internet dog chat forum by a group of people who felt great empathy with the plight of elderly dogs who find themselves homeless.

Sasha … the lead and collar says it all! Can you help her find a home?
"The initial inspiration behind the idea was a 13-year-old Collie we called Ted. Ted was blind in one eye and was terrified in the noisy, stark pound environment. He had to stay in kennels as a stray for 7 days but when no owner came forward to claim him, steps were taken to get Ted into a domestic situation immediately. Once in a foster home Ted thrived: the skinny, dull-coated, nervous boy became a healthy, active and rejuvenated character and a star of the internet.

"We do not have kennels or a central base as, rather than placing our dogs in kennels, we prefer to care for them in a normal home environment. We therefore use foster homes.

"Our foster homes are spread around the country, and each of them has been carefully checked. Before we place a dog in a foster home, we try, as far as possible, to ensure that we know the likes, dislikes and needs of the dog to ensure the foster home is one he or she will be happy in.

Trixie is another Oldies Club member looking for a home.
"Since its creation, Oldies Club has rehomed nearly 800 older dogs, and given sanctuary to many more who were too poorly to rehome. The latter are known as our sponsor dogs and remain in Oldies Club care for the rest of their days as part of their fosterer's family. They receive all the medical care they need and all the love they could ask for.

"Being a non-profit & 100% voluntary charity we are very grateful to our wonderful supporters who donate their time & resources into helping older dogs in need."

We think Oldies Club is doing an amazing job. As Amy says, it's a non-profit organisation, and as a voluntary charity, it needs all the help it can to give these wonderful older dogs a new home.
Patch – one of Oldies Club's current sponsor dogs.
With a nationwide network of dedicated foster carers throughout Britain, you can help wherever you are in the UK – whether it's rehoming or fostering, or helping with fundraising. To find out the many ways you can help, visit the Oldies Club website …

or get social on Facebook and Twitter …

Head on over to see all the ways that Oldies Club is helping our older canine friends, and learn how you can help!

Do you have an older dog? We have some titles that may help you and your canine companion …

Subaru Loves Pets

A refreshing approach from an automotive giant

Auto company Subaru will be familiar to many people. Producing vehicles since the early 1950s, its rallying exploits have given it legendary status in the motorsports arena, and its cars have acquired a very apt nickname, for us animal lovers: Scoobies! Well, it just so happens that Scooby Doo … sorry, Subaru … also loves pets, just like us. Over half of all Subaru drivers are also pet owners, and, this month, Subaru America launched its 'Subaru Loves Pets' initiative.

Subaru Loves Pets is part of its 'Love Promise' programme, a commitment to safety that includes ensuring drivers and pedestrians are safe through in-vehicle safety, and minimising environmental impact with eco-centred technology. Of course, Subaru also recognises that pets deserve the care, respect, and help of companies such as itself … after all, they're part of the family, too.

Working with a number of partners, including local animal organisations, retailers, pet equipment manufacturers, and pilots, Subaru is doing its best to help animals in need across the US. Why not take a few minutes to read about all of the fantastic efforts that Subaru and its partners are making to help spread a little more 'animal magic' …

Subaru of America celebrates its love of pets during October "Subaru Loves Pets" initiative

Throughout October, Subaru works with several partners to help improve the safety and wellbeing of pets in need

Cherry Hill, N.J. -  This October, Subaru of America, Inc. has once again kicked off its “Subaru Loves Pets” initiative as part of the brand’s Love Promise platform. More than half of Subaru drivers are also pet owners, and the automaker remains committed to keeping the entire family safe, including beloved pets. As part of this commitment to animal welfare, Subaru retailers across the country will activate several programs that will help animals in need.

Pet Supply Drive

In celebration of “Subaru Loves Pets”, Subaru retailers across the nation will work hand-in-hand with local animal organizations to host pet supply drives in order to help support animals who lack the necessary materials to live healthy and happy lives. As a team, the retailer and local animal organizations will collect critical items, such as pet food and treats, toys, dog beds, grooming supplies, collars, harnesses, leashes, and more, to give to animals in need and in turn, increase their overall chances of adoption. Throughout October, Subaru encourages customers to visit their local retailer and snap a photo with their furry friend with a fun pet-friendly photo frame, or sign up to volunteer at a local animal organization. As a token of appreciation, Subaru retailers will gift those who donate an all-new 2017 Impreza dog toy, while supplies last. For more information on how you can help pets in your area, please visit your local Subaru retailer to find out how you can get involved.

Pilots N Paws

As part of its longstanding partnership with Pilots N Paws, an organization devoted to rescuing thousands of shelter animals surrendered in the United States, Subaru has once again supported its annual flyway mission, during which pilots transport at-risk animals from kill shelters to no-kill shelters, foster care and new pet parents. During this year’s rescue mission, which took place on October 1st in Kennesaw, GA, the automaker assisted with ground transportation, food and accommodations for pilots, as well as travel kits for the rescued animals’ journey to safety. With the help of 40 pilots and 40 planes, the mission successfully transported over 220 dogs and cats to safe havens and loving homes. For more information about Pilots N Paws and to volunteer for a future event, visit

Pet Philanthropy Circle – 2016 Pet Hero Awards 

For the fifth consecutive year, Subaru will partner with The Pet Philanthropy Circle and support its mission to improve animals’ quality of life, by generating greater public awareness around their welfare during the annual Pet Hero Awards. Subaru has been the exclusive vehicle of the organization since its inaugural year, and will sponsor the 5th annual Pet Philanthropy Pet Hero Awards on October 7th in New York City. The Pet Hero Awards celebrate individuals, associations, professionals, pets and business organizations that demonstrate a commitment to improving and protecting animals’ lives. To learn more about the Pet Heroes Awards, purchase tickets or view this year’s award recipients, visit

“Subaru Loves Pets is all about showing our pets the love that they show us each and every day,” said Thomas J. Doll, President and COO of Subaru of America, Inc. “We are very pleased to partner with organizations like Pilots N Paws, The Pet Philanthropy Circle and many local animal welfare groups, to help improve the health and well-being of animals across the country, and help them to find new homes.”

For information about Subaru Loves Pets and to find out more about the partners that Subaru supports, visit

So, as you can see, Subaru really is doing its bit for animal welfare. Hopefully, it won't be the only company to realise the importance of pets and animals … WELL DONE SUBARU!

Wednesday 21 September 2016

VIDEO: Worzel Wooface – The quite very actual Terribibble Twos (Trailer)

The world's actual favourite literary lurcher is back! Check out our new Facebook video trailer.

NEW! Worzel Wooface – The quite very actual Terribibble Twos by Catherine Pickles.

Things look like they just might be settling down for Worzel. After a year in his forever home, he's come to an almost peaceful truce with most of the cats, persuaded his Mum and Dad that ‘sit’ isn't essential, and – most importantly – established his place in the middle of the bed.

No longer a cautious puppy, Worzel has discovered an independent streak, and his somewhat dodgy recall has become non-existent. Worzel has reached the ‘terribibble teenage twos’ – that time in every dog's life when their owners wonder if the work, patience and dedication spent in the early days was pointless … and why everything their dog previously understood has suddenly become, at best, optional, but, more often, ignored! More info.

Friday 16 September 2016

Worzel – Dogs Today's latest cover star!

Worzel Wooface is the literary Lurcher who needs no introduction to Hubble & Hattie followers, or readers of doggy magazines – Dogs Today and Dogs Monthly magazines awarded him the Dogfest 2016 Hero Award! Now he's been honoured again as the cover star of Dogs Today's October issuer!

Yes – all at Dogs Today have been, in their own words, "Wooed by Worzel." 

They're only hoomans, after all. 

Covering how Worzel's first book, The quite very actual adventures of Worzel Wooface, came to be, Dogs Today caught-up with Worzel (and his mum, Catherine Pickles) to find out how he became such a literary star, and how the second book, Worzel Wooface – The quite very actual Terribibble Twos, came about.

It's a great article, and a brilliant peek into Worzel and Catherine's wordy world. We're all waiting eagerly for our copies to arrive. There may even be a few framed covers appearing on the walls at Hubble & Hattie HQ. But then, who could resist such a luffy boykin?

You can get the October issue of Dogs Today from all good newsagents, or you head over to the brilliant Dogs Today website and order a copy … you can even get it through one of those new-fangled iPad things.

Worzel's latest exploits are always on Facebook …and Twitter … 

… and you can get copies of Worzel's books on the Hubble & Hattie website: click on the covers below …

Monday 22 August 2016

An interview with Kathie Gregory

Kathie Gregory is a qualified animal behaviourist and trainer and has worked in the industry since 2001. Passionate about raising standards and awareness in how we teach and work with animals, she encourages everyone to use the best methods available. We caught up with Kathie for an interview, to find out a little more ...

How did the book come about?

KG: I was so thrilled to own horses for the first time that I kept a diary documenting their progress.
When meeting Charlie and Star, people commented that they were not typical of the reactive Thoroughbreds they knew, and how lovely to see chilled, content horses. They could see what a difference I'd made, and said that others would be interested in my methods and how I achieved what I had. Of course, that got me thinking. I realised I had the bones of a book already in place by charting their progress, so after discussing it with my husband I began the process of writing A Tale of Two Horses.

Can you explain the concept of free will teaching?

KG: Yes. It focuses on advanced cognition and emotional intelligence. By enhancing an animal’s cognitive abilities and awareness of self, he is able to make decisions and choices for himself. I then teach him how to manage his emotional responses, so he can regulate his emotions, enabling a balanced response to whatever situation he finds himself in. It gives him the autonomy to think and behave freely, and I can trust that he will behave appropriately for the situation with little, if any, guidance from me.

How do you use free will teaching in day-to-day interaction with Charlie & Star?

KG: Free will teaching is a way of life, so it is used in every single decision and action. My mindset, body language, and speech are all part of free will teaching. How I approach managing the horses’ environment, teach them, respond and adjust during our conversations every day, are part of the whole concept.

What are the main benefits for the animal(s)/people of FWT?

KG: The list is huge, but I'll keep it to a few key benefits!
*You don't have to put time aside to do specific exercises: free will teaching is not something you train; it informs your approach to everything you do, whether working directly with your horse or attending to management and husbandry issues. This means you are using it all the time and it naturally progresses and develops the mind.
*Safety and reliability is a huge issue when working with animals as large and strong as horses. Problems occur when horses cannot control their emotional response; FWT shows them how to manage their emotional mind so they can cope with situations without going into a blind panic and acting on instinct. They are capable of controlling their reaction to assess the situation and give an appropriate response, unless, of course, they genuinely do feel threatened. The point is they learn to be in control of their mind to make that distinction.
*Every part of it is force-free, ethical, and with the best interests of the horse at heart. A contented, happy mindset free of fear and anxiety results in a well balanced horse who can achieve his full potential, and take you further than you thought possible.

Did you face any challenges with Charlie & Star? How did you overcome them?

KG: Yes, I did. During the first year, Star suffered an eye injury that required drops to be administered several times a day for over a week. Overcoming Star's reluctance for me to do this took a little time and patience. I worked on getting closer to her eye in small steps that she could cope with. When she was not comfortable I moved away and we started again. After a couple of days the procedure was down to a fine art. Star stood with her eye open, and I put in the drops: it took about 3 seconds.
I also had a challenge with Charlie. He applied active defence strategies when he realised he had a voice and a choice. It resulted in a strong offensive of biting and rearing to let me know he was not going to do anything asked of him. This outcome is anticipated and expected when an animal reclaims his ability to express himself and it is often a necessary part of rehabilitation. It was resolved by understanding the reasons for the behaviour and adjusting to defuse the situation and increase his sense of safety, rather than try to combat and suppress his actions.

Do you work with dogs as well as horses? Any other animals?

KG: Yes, I work with dogs, too. I have many clients around North Devon teaching their dogs language, choice and decision-making, with great success. I occasionally work with cats, but concentrate mainly on horses and dogs.

What can people find on your new website? When will it launch?

KG: I'm really excited about the new website. It has the concepts of FWT and more detailed information about what I do. My blog is now included in the website, so you can catch up with Charlie and Star, and meet my puppies, Wolfie and Remy. Look at the Courses page for more details of my book A Tale of Two Horses, along with the workshops and seminars I teach. I also have a new course in the pipeline, so keep checking in for updates and news. My website is about to be launched, so there is a good chance it will be live by the time this newsletter goes to print.

Find out more in Kathie Gregory's book A tale of two horses – A passion for free-will teaching, available now!

Two horses with behavioural problems embark on a rehabilitation programme using only positive, reward based methods, developing into self confident, well balanced horses. Woven throughout is the story of their owner’s life on a rural farm, and insights into her work with dogs, cats and other species as an animal behaviourist.

Create a true partnership with your horse! More info.