Hello, I’m Jen and I manage Fetch Club, a dog walking company based in Bedfordshire.
With the arrival of Belgian Malinois, Red, into my life came the realisation that I love all things dog! From learning about different breeds to trick training and understanding the various needs of dogs, I have become obsessed! In my mind, and in my home, a happy dog is one that has been well exercised, mentally stimulated, fussed and has had a daily adventure.
This can be hard with today’s busy lifestyle, which is where I can help. With me, your dog is guaranteed not just any old walk, but an adventure filled with exploring, sniffing, play, affection and as much running as they like. Bedfordshire has a wealth of beautiful walks to offer and I love nothing more than to help your dog explore them while we are out walking.
I have participated in a wide variety of training classes and dog sports, not only in Bedfordshire but I have also travelled to other places in the UK to learn. In cooperation with you I can use lots of different training techniques to help reinforce the things you may be working on already at home.
There are some essential things I like each Fetch Club dog to know and it is what I call a ‘Fetchucation’. These are seven things I go over with every new dog to make sure we can have as much fun as possible:
- Marker words. I want to make sure that each dog understands me and what yes, no and good mean.
- Recall. This is a vital part of off lead safety. I thoroughly check the recall of every dog in a variety of ways before coming off the lead for the first time. In addition, their recall will be tested every single time they are off the lead. I like to take a proactive approach and practice as much as I feel is necessary; practice makes perfect!
- Sit and wait. This is a key behaviour that comes into play multiple times throughout the walk. For example, I might like your pup to sit and wait before I put their lead on or take it off, through doorways, at the side of a road or before I give them a treat. It also informs their impulse control, which helps a lot when there are distractions around like squirrels and birds!
- Thresholds. Similar to sit and wait, it’s important to me that all the Fetch Club dogs are polite with thresholds. This is because I don’t want to instil a habit of rushing doors or gates. There will be plenty of time for running around, but we must behave in doorways.
- Lead walking. When I take on a new dog to Fetch Club, I will spend time ensuring they walk alongside me on a lead and don’t pull. This is so that when they are walking with a pack, they stay with the pack and don’t pull ahead.
- Look. The look command is a brilliant way to engage with your dog, and help keep them from running after distractions (like squirrels). When I am able to ask each pup for their focus we can all have more fun.
- Van behaviour. Fetch Club dogs will travel in the van in their own individual crate between the walks. Each crate is kitted out with hygienic bedding and a water bowl. I have provided everything a dog will need to stay comfortable because that’s exactly what I want them to be for their journey. Some dogs can be a little nervous of vehicles, and for that reason I like to make sure that I introduce them to the van patiently and encourage them to relax once inside. Again, I will also ensure that they understand thresholds, so that when I open their door, they can exit the vehicle calmly.
Watch a video on what a walk with Fetch Club is like on my Fetch Club Pups page!