5 October 2013,
Dear Ann-Jo & Hugo,
Everything we could have wanted and more. We have all had an amazing time and have learnt so much. We are leaving wanting more, and sharing in your passion. Thank you so much for giving this to us.
What a wonderful way to discover this region of France, and Hugo’s food!!!!
Once again thank you for everything!
Joanna, Will & Enzo xxx
I would like to thank Ann-Jo for her time and patience with me and my Blond Kelpie Summer.
I had been to a number of people for help and guidance during our journey into Man Trailing.
Whilst I had some prior knowledge I also had some very bad habits which had over time eroded the trust in our working partnership and was leading to lost and missed trails.
Ann-Jo help me spot them and gave me guidance to sort them out.
Most importantly the week end was fun. It was good to see dogs at different stages working and the methods used to get them started.
I look forward to spending more time with you in the future.
Dog-adventure is definitely a paradise for dog lovers located in the heart of the beautiful Morvan’s Regional Park, west of the Côte d’Or in Burgundy, France just a few hours away from Paris. Ann-Jo and Hugo have created comfortable and tasteful accommodations tailor-made for welcoming dogs and their owners. Important details such as fully fenced play areas as well as well a fenced agility ring, allow dogs to relax in a secure environment far from city noise and turmoil. Water bowls and garbage cans are discretely placed for the use of responsible dog owners. A small shop will conveniently provide any dog accessories or dog food that may be needed during your stay. The open kitchen/living room area overlooking a fabulous panoramic view of the Morvan’s wooded hills is an inviting area conducive to chatting, reading, browsing through the internet (Wifi friendly) or simply sharing a TV program. The Morvan is also a paradise for hikers, fishers and lovers of outdoor activities which are easily accessible within walking distance or 4-10 km radius.
As a first time, inexperienced owner of a female Jack Russel, (1 Year old) my stay at Dog-adventure was truly an eye opening experience. I participated with my dog in the Man-Trailing activity which proved to be a success both of us.
First of all, we happened to be an international group of guest from France, The Netherlands and the USA. Most of which were experienced dog owners and had more than 2 dogs, big, big dogs I may add (Leon Berger, Swiss Berne, 2 Labradors, Malinois, Cocker Spaniel, 4 Flatcoated Retrievers). This factor was an essential component to making my stay most enriching because I received input not only from experienced dog owners but also different cultural perspectives on dog etiquette and dog training.
Needless to say, the knowledge I am taking back with me to Paris is priceless.
The first ground breaking discovery I made thanks to Ann-Jo was to change my dog’s food to NATYKA. Since I have started with NATYKA, my dog has picture perfect stools which were problematic to say the least. As you know, Jack Russels are known to be finicky eaters…. All her intestinal problems and costly treatments have disappeared…
Secondly, the Man-trailing activity has helped me better understand how my dog functions and behaves as well as brought out into the open where my own weaknesses reside in my efforts to teach my dog certain skills. This new awareness is the key to successfully building a strong relationship with your dog as well as helping the dog acquire those necessary skills you want your dog to have. A combination of patience and a relaxed joyful attitude is fundamental to teaching your dog something new.
Thirdly, I learnt that motivating your dog to achieve and succeed in performing a new exercise is not only about how enticing the food is although that is definitely important, but on how the dog is psychologically. Is the dog really ready to listen or is the dog too stressed? Reading your dog is essential. There is no one rule for all dogs but general guidelines which you apply as need be.
Thank you Ann-Jo for helping me understand all of this in such a short time. I look forward to coming back in August for level 2 in Man-trailing, an essential skill for city dogs to enable them to focus on other things than street noise.
Pascale & Fidès. July 2012
Chien sans frontiers with weight loss in France 2012
Second time to Guise for a SAR workshop with Ann Jo at ‘Dog Adventure’ in The Morvan National Park. This year there were more people and dogs, a mix of Netherlands and UK based handlers – UK both from Berkshire SAR Dogs! Breeds GSD. Malinois, Cairn Terrier, Collie and Lab. Ann Jo’s Kelpies and Willow the Spaniel came out to give master classes from time to time.
The week covered hasty, area and man trailing training as relevant to the handler teams. After an initial assessment of progress for Ella and me from last year, we embarked on a personalised mix of motivation and search training. We trained in forests, managed woodland, agricultural land and small and large villages that gave plenty of opportunities for working in fresh environments. We used at least two different venues a day (either side of lunch which was back at base, although the picnic lunch on Thursday in a clearing in the forest was huge and delicious). We used many venues that were new from last year. Ella was able to work a sports field and changing rooms as well as a play ground. It was something to watch her working out where the misper was in the play ground. Suddenly she realised the misper was ‘above you’ as opposed to ‘behind you’ – lying down on the top of a climbing frame and I’ll swear she jumped when she looked up! However, I think she got me back later when she head butted me and knocked me out, we were having a boisterous reward play at the misper when her head connected with mine and the next thing I remember was rolling down the slope. Ella didn’t notice. I guess that proves that Lab’s skulls are pretty solid! Unfortunately the video was switched off too early so sadly there is no entry for ‘You’ve been framed’ or the golden poop scoop.
We had the opportunity to do a 2km hasty, it was hot and there were hordes of black flies but she found on 2 separate mispers at generous 25ms off the track before it ended with a find on two mispers sitting by a 4×4, (Zab had the deck chair out) so that’s mispers hidden in plain view touched on! On Friday Ella had the opportunity to work a scent across a river, something she did impressively well. Standing in a river as your dog alerts on you is a damp experience!
The weather ranged from sun with 30 degrees on the first day to rain and 3 degrees the next day, so we experienced all four seasons whilst there, but generally it was dry and warm enough to be comfortable working. We got on really well as a group of people and dogs and listening to others talking about their experiences was handy. I took Destiny (my non working dog) as well; she had plenty to do watching the days, barking occasional coarse comments from the side lines and enjoying the general walks and swims at the end of the sessions.
The man trailing dogs worked both in the villages, water side and rural areas and they had a great time too. Maybe I’ll get another dog to join them?
Full feedback was given post exercise and in depth with video at the evening debriefs before the excellent dinner to round the day off. Accommodation was very clean and comfortable as before. Good value for money.
The locals when encountered were bemused by the mad Anglais but friendly. Local vet excellent.
Once again a very enjoyable course that was a holiday as well. I hope to be able to go back next year, especially as I worked out a route that avoids Paris!
Andrew & Ella