The Tommy Doggy greetings card range launched nationwide at the Spring Fair at the NEC in Birmingham. The full range of 8 designs was displayed at one of the biggest UK greeting cards trade shows by publisher Otter House. Hopefully you will start to see Tommy Doggy cards pop up in shops around Britain and they can also be bought online from animalgiftclub.com.
The most crucial piece of feedback that we got on the first card range when it was developed last year was that Tommy Doggy needed some friends. One of the main inspirations behind the Tommy Doggy range is to show the fun and mischievous side of dogs. So the new characters need to be playful and cheeky with illustrations that depict a range of dog personalities. The work on the new characters is still in the early stages but here’s a sneak preview of Monty the black Labrador and Daisy the border collie. As the illustrations develop over the next few months we’ll tell you more about them. If you have any character ideas to share with us to help inspire the range we’d love to hear from you.
Our new year’s resolution was to increase our behaviour training because Tommy is an anxious and reactive dog who needs help to de-stress. In January we met with a new dog trainer who had been recommended by the Dogs Trust. The main areas we have been advised to work on are …
2. Trying a new food. The behaviourist recommended that we try a new food called Breakthrough which has been developed to help to try and calm dogs with anxiety issues. We have been sent some food to trial and will see if we notice any behavioural changes in 3 – 6 weeks. In this first week we've not noticed any obvious changes but he has started to not eat it all in one go and has started to break from eating and then return in a few minutes. We're not sure if its because he doesn't like the food or if he's becoming calmer around food. We’ll repawt back in the March blog.
3. A main behavioural issue we wanted to tackle is Tommy’s behaviour around visitors. With the trainer we learned settle training which rewards the dog when they start to relax in a certain spot. If any attention seeking behaviour such as barking is shown then the dog is removed from the room and only allowed back when the barking stops. With the dog trainer it took nearly an hour for Tommy to calm down. We were told that average dogs only take 10 -20 mins. So a daily exercise is to encourage Tommy to settle in his bed whilst on a lead is in progress. With no strangers in the house he normally relaxes in about 10 mins so it will be interesting to see how he behaves when the dog trainer visits again.
Our training treats of the month are from Beautiful Joes; they are dried liver which are great for keeping attention levels high. The wonderful thing about Beautiful Joes is that for every bag of treats you buy they donate one to a rescue centre. As we have learnt a key part of a rescue dogs day is training and good treats to do this are an important part of the re-homing process. So it's a big well done woof woof to Beautiful Joes from us!