Doggy training tips

Puppy allergies

When I was a young lad I suffered terribly from some kind of allergy that manifested itself in different forms.

Eye infection
My first eye infection happened when I was just three months old.  You’ll see from my pictures it looked pretty bad.  It gave me, and my pawrents a bit of a fright.

Eye infection Aug 2016
My first eye infection at three months.

The vet suggested it may have been something I came into contact with whilst walking through the summer grassy field. That was a reasonable explanation. That was until my second infection occurred around two months later, and a third when I was six months.

A human antihistamine helped me on these occasions.  Be very careful as many over the counter antihistamine brands contain a decongestant which is dangerous for dogs, so always administer upon your vets recommendation.

Eye infection Oct 2016
My second eye infection at five months.

Skin allergy
The evening after my third eye infection I developed what looked like dandruff (dry flaky skin).  It soon developed into something quite serious when it became itchy and blistery.  I was in so much pain I had to be soothed with coconut oil.  My break out began late at night so coconut oil was the only thing my pawrents had that seemed safe and natural to try and ease my discomfort, and thankfully it did.  I went straight to the vet the next morning.  My skin had began to heal but my pawrents had taken photos of my breakout to show the vet. It turned out I healed pretty well overnight.

They started some tests to try to illuminate different factors.  At first fleas and mites were ruled out.  The vet, like my pawrents, didn’t find any sign of life from using the flea comb and I wasn’t showing signs of scratching. Nevertheless, the whole house was disinfected just in case.

On my check-up visit a different vet noticed my flaky skin and thought it could be a form of mites known as ‘walking dandruff’ the medical term ‘cheyletiellosis or cheyletiella mange’.  Unlike other mite conditions this disease results in virtually no itching at all. This is an extremely contagious, non-seasonal skin disease of dogs, cats, rabbits and sometimes people caused by surface-dwelling parasitic mites. Well this caused panic in our household.  The vet had prescribed a precautionary flea and mite medicated shampoo treatment. A skin-scraping sample was taken to detect the mites that are not visible to the eye.  But my mites tests were negative.

Food allergy – hypoallergenic dog food
This left two further main possibilities; my environment, or my food.  Was my house too hot, was I allergic to the washing powder or something else in the house.  It turned out my allergy was due to food sensitivity.  My pawrents started to look at alternative natural food options moving me only a locally sourced dog food called Millies Woofheart (  They produce a bespoke recipe dog food formulated without gluten and grains, and are naturally hypoallergenic.  Luckily for me their mixes are extremely tasty – the countryside mix is my favourite.  After a few weeks my skin condition cleared up and my coat was looking glossy.   Be careful though; the key to changing our food is to do it gradually.  My new food was extremely rich and the change needed to be more gradual than the brand suggested, this was probably due to my sensitive tummy.   It’s just trial and error at this stage I’m afraid.

Late Nov 2016
Happier and healthier at six months. New food – new me!

I’ve been happier and healthier since changing my food. Thank goodness it wasn’t my environment – I love my family home. And I’m so glad I found this delicious new cuisine too.  After all I am a Labrador, so I’m ruled by my belly!

Common allergies in Labrador Retrievers
According to Labradors tend to be more allergic that other dog breeds due to their immune system.  Check out more at

Dylan  Paw Print

Doggy friendly places to eat & drink

Our first trip to The Kitchen, Harrogate

Last Saturday I discovered a new gem of a place to visit in Harrogate.   We’d driven passed this unassuming pretty looking café on a few occasions but never had a reason to visit. It wasn’t on one of our normal walking routes. Well how wrong we were not to have stopped at this watering hole sooner, and how we’ve been missing out.

Dog friendly cafes
So we were invited for a Saturday morning coffee, which turned out to be morning coffee and lunch. Hanging out with hoomans is a hobby of mine – one which I thoroughly enjoy. Sometimes I prefer their company to dogs! I’m also becoming accustomed to hanging out in dog friendly cafés. You know the ones that welcome you with a smile and a ‘hello doggy’.

Doggy Bar at The Kitchen, Otley Road, Harrogate

Doggy treats on a plate
A lot of places have upped their game by putting out a dog bowl and ensuring it has fresh clean water throughout the day. Well the Kitchen has set a new level. I got served my own plate of dog treats ‘here you go sir, I hope you’re allowed these’. Sold – The Kitchen is my new favourite haunt. You just can’t beat that kind of 5 star service. Oh but you can – despite taking up a lot more room than a little doggy, the staff and other guests were just so nice to be and many came over to say hello. Including a little girl who had the most beautiful curly hair and a stuffed cat called Jess. Other doggy’s came and went, so it seems to be a well-known place for dogs in the know.

Gravy bones at The Kitchen, Otley Road, Harrogate

Child friendly lunch stop
It’s baby friendly too. My bestie Harry was throwing me some scraps of his lunch, not his gently warmed beans though – that would have been messy!

My bestie, little Harry.

It appears the coffee and lunch dishes were delicious but I can’t vouch for that – there were no leftovers to try and steal. The bacon did smell delicious. I hear that we’re going back soon to try the homemade cakes and boy did they look paw licking good.

Mozzarella, pesto & tomato toasted sandwich

Family run café with quality produce
It’s a wonderfully cute, bright and airy family run business with top quality food. Check out their insta account for some mouth-watering images of their creations from their small but perfectly formed menu, with interesting on trend dishes to compliment all-day staples such as the bacon sandwich.

The Kitchen, Otley Road, Harrogate
Dog walks at Harlow Carr Woods, Harrogate

Local walks
Its located on Otley Road between Harlow Carr and Valley Gardens, so plenty of places to work off those gravy bones. We took a stroll to Valley Gardens and then through the woods towards Harlow Carr. Its dog walking heaven there, I get to run around and explore off the lead.

Found myself a new pad at Harlow Carr Woods, Harrogate.


Doggy training tips

My first spa treatment – a treatment for anal glands

So I had my first spa treatment last weekend. A treatment which I believe is similar to what you hoomans call a colonic irrigation. In our dog world its known as having your anal glands emptied. I’m not sure why I’m telling you my intimate details but as there may be others out there suffering in silence like me – I thought I’d ‘man up’ and share. This isn’t a problem shared by all dogs, many can go though life without having to think about their glands at all.


What are the signs of anal gland issues
In my case I wasn’t showing any of the typical signs of the disorder, which include:

  • dragging your butt on the floor
  • excessive licking and/ or biting of the behind
  • sitting uncomfortably
  • a foul smell
  • chasing our tails
  • licking paws, both front and back

But some of the above can result in fishy smelling breath and that’s when my pawrents realised something wasn’t right. After all I regularly clean my teeth!

Natural activities of the anal glands
Us dogs can’t voluntarily empty our anal glands. That happens naturally when we need to go, if you know what I mean. These glands excrete fluid that helps us mark our territory. Occasionally these glands fill up. A common reason for this is a result of a period of diarrhea. Glands fill due to insufficient pressure being excreted to empty the glands naturally. Some dogs can’t empty their glands and if the fluid is left to thicken they can get blocked. This isn’t a breed disorder so it can happen to the best of us.


Emptying anal glands
Full anal glands can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful if they become infected.   Luckily I avoided an infection but if your dog is showing any signs of anal gland problems then contact your vet. Your vet will empty the fluids and if necessary, your vet can teach a pawrent how to do it if it becomes a chronic problem. Our anal glands normally need emptied around every 6 weeks. Be aware that applying pressure to an full or inflamed anal sac could cause the gland to rupture – that sounds painful – so should not be carried out without the right training to do so. There is a great article written by vet Marc Abraham published on the kennel club site that talks about anal gland impaction in dogs: its treatment and prevention.


High fibre diet
The good news is I’ve discovered porridge and its good for me. My new high fibre diet should bulk me out and assist in the natural gland emptying process.

Dylan Paw Print


Doggy training tips

Battling biting: Passing on the puppy secrets

My pawrents went through a really hard time with me when I was biting as a puppy. Out of nowhere, suddenly every time we went for a walk I liked to dig my little teeth into my pawrents legs and not let go! Apparently it hurt like hell!

My parents tried most things: standing still, turning their back and ignoring me. Squealing like a dog, clapping or making a loud noise. I just held on strong and kept tugging away. They tried to hold me away from them but it just felt like more of a game, and I could reach most wrists. Then, they tried placing me at the other side of the wall or gate. Now this worked – I couldn’t get at them but I found a way round this – open spaces like in the middle of a field where there is no getting away from me. I win!! Or so I thought. Actually to tell you the truth I can barely remember these incidents and certainly wouldn’t have wanted to cause any pain. I even caused my own pain, as at one point I cracked a tooth trying to bite off a buckle from a welly boot still attached to my pawrents leg.

My chew proof chair – apparently the towels stopped me ruining the camping chair! The only chair I was aloud on at this stage!

I had entered into phase of over stimulation. I’d got myself so over excited that my hyperactivity was resulting in me behaving erratically, running around and chewing or biting things I wouldn’t normally show interest in. It was like I had been possessed and nothing could coach me out of it. During these times we can appear to be aggressive and some people mistake that we are biting because we are fearful. In my case it was just that I was over excited and had become mouthy and nippy. We play bite with other dogs all the time, I just didn’t realise I shouldn’t do this with my fellow hoomans; they don’t like it. And if you bite too hard sometimes they cry, especially that one time I pierced their skin.

I’m sorry – i didn’t mean to bite like my crocadile toy!

Toning down the stimuli is the solution but sometimes this is difficult when you don’t know just what exciting things on a walk may cause it, or you’re not familiar with the signs from your dog.

Understandably, my pawrents were at their wits end and didn’t know what to do. They begun to investigate getting professional help and started sharing their challenges with other dog owners. Listening to similar stories from some friends and colleagues they heard about one solution they hadn’t tried that may have potential. Some remedies for one dog won’t necessarily work for another, as we’re all different, so it’s trial and error.

I’m really a softy at heart!

The answer in my case was a can of compressed air. Yes you read correctly – not hot air but compressed air in a tin! When I entered into the phase of overstimulation, my parents were able to refocus my attention and get me out of my fixated state by letting off compressed gas into the air. It made a hissing sound that shocked me. I suddenly woke up returning to the adorable soft puppy that I was, and wondering what the hell had just gone on. But it worked a treat. It kept me, my pawrents, and potentially others safe from any unintentional harm. It took 2-3 weeks for me to outgrow this stage and allowed my pawrents to notice the tell tail signs of the beginnings of my over excitement.  This allowed them to stop, sit me down, and stroke me for 5-10 minutes to avoid my hyperactivity before continuing on our walks. Everyone was happy and to think I’m such a friendly softy today.  I will only lick you when I’m excited and potentially hit you with my very waggy tail; unintentionally of course. The excited tail can’t be tamed and who’d want to come home to a dog with no friendly, so happy to see you, waggy waggy tail!


Paw Print

Dog walks in Yorkshire

Harewood Estate, Harewood, North Yorkshire

Take a walk along Church Lane at Harewood and you’ll find yourself wondering into the grounds of Harewood House, one of Yorkshire’s finest stately homes. Built in the 18th century it’s meant to house an art collection that rivals the finest in Britain. Well, this is what I overheard my pawrents discussing and when they’d next visit. We didn’t venture into the house but we did walk around some of estates 700 acres. It includes 100 acres of gardens. Can you believe it? If only my own garden was a fraction of that size. Check out more on their website


On our walk around the estate we passed a herd of deer, such beautiful creatures. I was outnumbered significantly so I politely watched them play from afar rather than joining in on a game of tig (aka tag).


We ventured on down the hill through the woods passing lots of other furry and non-furry friends and their siblings. It was very interesting to see other families out and about. Some young ones were learning to ride their bikes.

A word of warning there are some grids. Apparently these are to stop cattle roaming out of the grounds. Be warned that these are not easy to jump. My advise is to listen to your pawrents who recommend to follow them through the gates at the side of the cattle grids that way you don’t get hurt or stuck right in the middle. Although it mostly bruises your pride!

Harewood 2

A very scenic walk but it’s not exactly roaming heaven.  It’s more of an on the lead walk – see my dog walking guide below. There was a small amount of private traffic on the ground, and lots of families as well as other dogs both on and off leads. Most did not venture far from their masters side. I haven’t learnt that skill just yet!

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Dog walks in Yorkshire

Dog Walking around Ripley Castle, Ripley, North Yorkshire

Ripley is a wonderful historic little village on the outskirts of Harrogate, home to the picturesque Ripley Castle – a 14th century country house. The village of Ripley boasts a famous ice cream store, as well Chantry House Gallery with a reputation for being one of the most interesting and affordable art galleries in North Yorkshire. Unfortunately I didn’t get to visit either, or take a guided tour of the castle but I did visit it’s website to see what I might be missing

Instead I wondered down Hollybank Lane into the grounds behind the castle. A pathway that leads onto a number of walks taking you to Bedlam, Clint Bank, Hampswaite & Burt Yates.


On route I was very tempted to take a plunge in the Castle pool but it turns out it’s a feature waterfall and not a swimming area for dogs!

IMG_0584 2

It’s a thoroughly enjoyable walk; quite busy at times on the main pathway, other dogs taking out their pawrents and hooman siblings.


It’s well worth a visit. I’d class this as a popular dog walking area – see my dog walking guide below.

Screen Shot 2018-01-07 at 17.22.19

I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve been on this walk and hear which path you took?


Paw Print

Doggy training tips

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Hips – Puppy Walking

As a puppy it often felt like we had just got going on my adventures rambling the local countryside, when we we would  turn round and go home. It turns out it was for my own good. The vet told the pawrents that puppies, particularly Labradors, are prone to issues with joints (mainly shoulder and hips) and should only be walked for 30 minutes at a time with sufficient rest (minimum 30 mins) in between walks. Who knew! Is this why a pit stop at the beer garden was invented?

Concurring the stairs aka My Everest
For the same reason I was never able to tackle those stairs until I was 1 year old when my bones and joints had developed. Although many times I was keen to concur that Everest but when I did I’m so glad I was prepared!

Brain games
It was difficult to entertain me at a young age when I had so much energy and a couple of bouts of ‘crazy puppy hour’ a day. I enjoyed the brain games we played. You know; the usual, sit, lie down, we missed out the roll over but we played guess which box the treat is under, hide and seek, and watch me (a staring contest). It was heaven.

A whole load of treats for the simplest of things but turns out this was pre-school. I’d been tricked – played like a dog. I was being trained on my basic manners. I thought it was a game where I play the human to get a treat. Anyway I’m sure the mental stimulation has developed me into a marvelous young dog and it was fun.

Surf the web there are loads of ideas for DIY brain games for us doggies – have fun my friends. And feel free to post some ideas for my fellow hoomans and their puppies in the comments below?

Dylan  Paw Print

Doggy training tips

Tips for teething: Passing on the puppy secrets

My pawrents were introduced to the secret by another puppy owner and have been passing it on ever since.  The secret of frozen carrots! There’re like the ice lollies of the doggy world. They sooth the gum, taste great and apparently are rich in Omega 6 fatty acid, vitamins A and K and potassium. So maybe more like a frozen yogurt than ice cream! Hopefully this will distract your bundle of joy from chewing up everything and anything in the house to chewing on some nutritious veg.


Watch out they are also high in fibre so not too many or we’ll have a different type of trouble!

Ice cubes work too, very handy if you’re in the local pub or beer garden….


What’s your teething tips? Feel free to share below.

Head back for another installment of tips from my time as a puppy next week.

Dylan Paw Print

Doggy training tips

Tips from my time as a puppy: Passing on the puppy secrets

Every puppy and dog is different. What works for one doesn’t always work for another – that’s why you love us – we’re all so unique!

Mastering toilet time

I was lucky I was toilet trained in 3 – 4 weeks. Not bad eh! I think taking me out every 2 – 3 hours to get me in the habit of going to the loo outside came at a cost for my pawrents. Having to keep a constant an eye on me, and getting up 2-3 times in the night to take me out.

I’m sure the sleep depravation and increased grumpiness vs. me leaving surprises in the house was worth it.   Typical Labrador I’m very easily convinced by the praise and treats for always doing my business outside. Any time I thought about doing it inside I heard a very strong NO and was quickly escorted off the premises to the garden! The technique isn’t for everyone. One of my fellow doggie friends is leaving treasures at seven months – she’s in trouble!

According to the wizards on the World Wide Web a puppy can hold their toilet time in hours equal to their age plus one. This means a two month old puppy can hold their toilet for three hours.

Puppy training pads

My Pawrents once tried those doggie pads for toilet training. Apparently they’re not for eating. I got my family a little worried when I digested one, something about worrying that it would absorb all my fluids, get stuck in my intestine track (this sounded bad to me) and not come out the other end. Luckily there was no need for the panic as some many hours, which seemed like days later there it was a little bit worse for wear! I think I only just avoided a trip to the VET by the skin of my teeth that day! Although I like the VET, I get treats there and I get very excited about seeing other different looking animals (what the hoomans call cats and rabbits) but apparently that’s not normal?

Puppy tips

If you’d have any tips to share regarding your training, or want to talk about your experiences at the VET pen a comment below? It would be nice to hear your story. Sharing is caring……….

Head back to the blog next week for another installment of tips from my time as a puppy.


Doggy friendly places to eat & drink, Doggy friendly places to stay

My holiday tails by Dylan the dog

Lord Crewe Arms Blanchard

This time last month I went on my first jollies to the Lord Crewe Arms in Blanchard set within the picturesque North Pennine moors of Northumbria. What a place. Lord Crewe Arms - Sleeping in the master suiteIt was like a home from home. Dogs are allowed just about everywhere. I even discovered the luxuries of a bed. Lord Crewe Arms - Comfy bedI often wondered where my pawrents went at night time to sleep. I’m not allowed upstairs at home but it turns out there are no rules on your holidays, well not as many. Sneaky buggers hiding such comfort from me but I got my own back. I jumped into bed for a cuddle at 4am – wakey wakey room for a small one!

Lord Crewe Arms - Log Fire

Food at Lord Crewe

The food smelt amazing. I had a cheeky sausage from breakfast, very tasty. Absolutely approve of the organic 90-98% pork butes from Franconian Sausage Company, they’re banging. Top choice well-done chef! Full English next time and maybe a Lord Crew Brew?

Relaxing at Lord Crewe

I’m not sure if my favourite part of my weekend away was hanging out with the other doggies in the very cool crypt bar; the abundance of affection I got from the staff and other guests – lapped that up; or if it was my adventures along the river. I’m a little obsessed by water as you can see from my video on my instagram. There’s nothing like a dip in the Derwent – no bath in the boot room needed!

Lord Crewe Arms - Bonny

Described by the Sunday Telegraph as one of the fifty most romantic hotels in Europe. I certainly I fell in love. I’d definitely recommend a visit and I can’t wait to return.   See you soon lovely people at Lord Crewe

Dylan Paw Print