Sarah's Blog

Welcome to my blog


Please keep checking for updates...

By Sarah Bartlett, Nov 18 2017 03:24PM

We like to keep you up to date of what we have been up to and find facebook is more user friendly, you can respond, ask questions and comment more easily there.

I will be taking delivery of a new furry addition very soon, I'll be keeping you all upto date on Ripple's journey and progress through our facebook page.

I also have plans to create a mailing list containing training tips and useful information very soon, the Hound Helpers Ltd facebook page is where you will find more information about this when it goes live.

See you over there, Sarah

By Sarah Bartlett, Feb 8 2014 05:25PM

Happy New Year!!

It's been a busy one so far. We have a second new team member, Vicky. She is assisting with dog walks and puppy visits and is enjoying every minute, and yes even in the rain! You can find more details about Vicky on our Meet the Team page.

I thought I would tell you more about what makes us different, what sets us apart from other Dog training and Pet services companies.

We are the only company in the area who are a registered Limited company, who take card payments with our wireless card machine and who have also won awards!

We also offer the largest range of services and have the biggest carefully trained team to spoil your pets!

We pride ourselves on our flexibility for last minute bookings to help out when things crop up when least expected. We helped out an owner only last week who had unfortunately broken down and was worried about how long her dogs had been left. Sarah went to visit her dogs at 10.30pm and sent her a text to let her know that the dogs were fine to put her mind at rest whilst she waited for a recovery vehicle to arrive.

We as a team view our jobs as more of a lifestyle and not as 'something we thought we could do for some money'. We have heard reports of other dog walkers recently either giving up dog walking alltogether or not walking the dogs for the length of time they are paid to do, this is frustrating as it puts a bad light on all of us fellow dog walkers / pet carers.

As we are now in our 7th year of business we pride ourselves on time keeping and not cutting corners, you need not fear that we will let you down. Plus with us now being a team of three if we have illness or holidays there is always cover for your pets.

We usually send a text and sometimes a picture message to let you know how much fun your dog has had with us.

Puppy Visits – We cover all the basic commands, and train your puppy to walk nicely on the lead and interact with other dogs correctly. Now this does not mean you can just leave it to us to train your puppy, but we will not let them get into mischief or bad habits whilst in our care and do our upmost to improve any training you have done. All three of us are usually involved in puppy visits as the more people that are training your puppy the more they will accept that that’s how they have to behave with everybody, not just us and you as owners but also visitors etc. Training is an excellent way to tire your puppy out - at a young age we are mindful that you can over exercise them and so do a mixture of walking, playing, feeding if required and training appropriate to age, size and breed. Puppies get priority for times with lunchtime visits as we understand their little bladders can’t hang on for too long.

Dog Walking – We will walk your dog with other dogs or without; it depends on what you want. We always train dogs to walk nicely with us as this makes for more enjoyable walks for both us and the dogs not to mention also preventing injury for the dogs (and us too of course). I must stress that you may not necessarily see an improvement in your dog’s lead walking with you because dogs learn by association and associate us with walking in a certain way. That said we do hear from clients on a regular basis saying how much their dog has improved on lead, or on lead when they pass or see other dogs. Just like with puppy visits we will not let them get into mischief or bad habits in our care, this is mainly through careful management, keeping an eye out for other dogs when on and off lead and rewarding them for all their good behaviour. We walk dogs of all shapes and sizes, ages and breeds and will never walk more than four dogs at a time – if and when we do walk four dogs at once it is only ever dogs that we have got to know over a long period of time, who we have trained to fairly high level and who are carefully selected to be compatible together. Most of our walks there are only one or two dogs with one of our dogs in the mix from time to time. We tend to do most off lead walks away from large numbers of dogs, or busy footpaths as this reduces the risk of any harm coming to your dog from other dogs being walked by the public. We are all trained in various methods to scare away any loose dogs that may cause harm to the dogs we are walking. We consistently hear glowing feedback from clients about how much more settled and happy their dog is since employing our services. Although there are three of us we do not get duplicate keys cut to your property, we simply meet up on a daily basis to swap keys.

Training – I (Sarah) specialise in training for multi-dog households, it is hard work for all involved but the results speak for themselves. I also specialise in training for reactive dogs, dogs who react badly (either by nervousness or aggression) to either people or dogs. Each training program is tailored to you and your dog s individual needs and I also offer training whilst on walks to help lessen the workload for owners and speed up the results.

Grooming – our salon is set up for only a small number of dogs at a time, no more than three at a time but we also cater for grooming training for your dog, if your dog is very aversive to being groomed this is something we work on with you, either with or without other dogs present. 1st Puppy grooms are something we do regularly to ensure the best start to your dog’s grooming training and make sure they have a good time. These services are alongside loving grooming practices for dogs who just need a bath or a full groom.

I (Sarah) am now a qualified Canine first responder, certified to give your dog CPR and deal with any serious injuries such as electrocution, broken bones and choking etc.

We are constantly updating our knowledge by investing in courses and seminars.

Please if you have any feedback or suggestions of how we can improve let us know!

Hopefully the ground will be a little dryer for my next post!


By Sarah Bartlett, Nov 10 2013 03:35PM

Another long break between blogs! I can only apologise, but as you read on I’m sure you will understand.

It has been a busy year, so I will summarise. We now have another dachshund, a bitch called Fern who is now 9months old, she has been a challenge but as I always say they are all sent to teach us and she is definitely doing that! And yes even trainers have dogs who aren’t perfect  - just to clarify, no dog is perfect, and neither are we otherwise life would be very boring.

I have attended more courses this year, some being with Shaun Ellis ( The wolf man), Grisha Stewart on BAT ( behaviour adjustment therapy), Dr Isla Fishburn, Patricia McConnell, Kay Lawrence, a Course on Rally Obedience, grooming training, a Kennel Club Breeders Education weekend and more that I have organised through our events company. I will soon be attending a course on canine first aid to keep my skills up to date too.

I am currently in the process of co-writing a Puppy development book with a very good behaviourist friend of mine; we hope to have it finished for summer 2014.

The exciting news is that I have a new team member on board, she is called Sam and you can find out more about her on the ‘Meet the Team’ page.

Sam has been a client of mine for over a year now with her two Boxers, both of whom have come a long way due to Sam’s very hard work and my guidance. It is because of this she is ideal for the position of Dog Walker, she is very familiar with my training methods and will keep up any training I have done with dogs she will be walking and is very competent in reading dog body language which is an essential skill to have. We will however be looking to take on a second Dog Walker in the New Year, so if you know somebody who may be suitable, please ask them to get in touch.

I apologise for the lack of advice in this blog but as always, I have to dash out to see a client, promise not to leave it as long this time!

Over and out,


By Sarah Bartlett, Nov 19 2012 12:42PM

Wow, what a busy 8months it has been!

Merlin came through his Spinal Operation and after months of rest and Physio on the Water treadmill he is now as good as he is ever going to be, the specialist is very happy with him stating ' he has had a textbook recovery' . We can go on walks now but still have to be mindful of how much he exerts himself. I dont think Merlin has a clue what he has been through as he is as lively as ever, we cannot do any gundog training now but I am hoping to start doing a dog sport called Rally 'O' with him ( more on that later ).

My absence of posts has been mainly due to mine and Marks Wedding in September, a wonderful day and of course all four of our dogs were there to share the day with us. Our Honeymoon consisted of Camping with the dogs in Devon. It was the first time since january that Merlin could be a 'proper dog' charging around on the beach it was great to see!

The 25th of September was the anniversary of losing our beloved Jazz but also the Pups' 1st birthday. All of the owners came for a very wet walk in Derbyshire where Jazz's ashes were spread. It was lovely to see them all and how they have matured and I cannot thank the owners enough for making such an effort, one couple came all the way from Yeovil!

Moss (our pup) has been keeping me busy with shows and training, he acheived his Good Citizen Silver award at just 10months and also completed it at the same time as his brother Stanley. This was a real distraction for both of them but they still did it and im so proud, Moss is being tested for gold in the next couple of weeks. As for Showing, he did well in the puppy classes, getting placed 3rd or above at every show, qualifying for crufts many times over. The adult classes is where it gets harder but fingers crossed he will do well.

I am still looking for another Dachshund Puppy but am hopeful about a few litters to be born early in the new year.

Since my last post I have of course been on yet more training courses and also booking courses in for next year.

I will also be starting a new class alongside our usual courses in the New Year. Rally 'O' - a fun new dog sport which is like a mixture of Obedience and Agility but very controlled, ideal for owners who love to have some one to one time with their dogs and also enjoy the social side of training. Start dates coming soon.

Some useful advice regarding Spaying and Neutering coming in my next post!

Take care, Sarah (now Bartlett)

By Sarah Bartlett, Apr 9 2012 04:05PM

Apologies for such a delay – I will try and recap the past few months.

First things first I would like to introduce you to ‘Moss’ (pic below)the puppy we kept from Jazz’s litter ( see previous blog).He is now 6months and is a little star. Since my last blog I have been on a few more training courses –Roger Abrantes and John Rogerson to name a couple, not to mention ones that I have hosted through our sister company ‘Wholly Dog Events’ ( see Events/seminars page).

I promised to update you on how the case against the vets with regards to jazz was going. We have lodged a complaint with the RCVS and are currently dealing with the vets insurance company. Progress is very slow, and no matter what the outcome it will never bring our baby girl back but we hope to prevent it happening to others in the future.

More recently it was crufts, the highlight of my year. I was overjoyed to have both Merlin and Moss on Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme display teams so I was there all four days. I came away very tired and with an empty bank balance, but most of all both Merlin and Moss had a great time, so here’s looking forward to next year.

We have had some sad news about Merlin ( our Flat coated Retriever) was first diagnosed with Spondylosis ( fusing of the spine ) and since an MRI scan last week he has also been diagnose with degenerative disc disease – Merlin is not yet 4years old. The Vet has said it is very uncommon at his age and he is very unlucky to have both problems.

The Mri scan shows that a disc is out of place and putting pressure on his spinal cord. Merlin is booked in for Spinal surgery for the 18th of April.

On a lighter note I recently went to see a Miniature Longhaired Dachshund puppy with the intention of bringing her home to enable us to carry on our line by breeding in future.

The little bitch puppy was stunning at 5 ½ weeks very curious, sweet and outgoing – not forgetting the puppy breath ;). The problem was I felt nothing for her, the breeder was great, ticked 90% of the boxes I look for which is rare, but it made me realise that emotionally I’m not ready yet for after losing our wonderful Jazz. Having said that it is not stopping me researching breeders, litters, prospective pedigrees etc which brings me onto –

What to look for in a breeder /puppy when looking for a companion dog

( for reasons why these points are important please contact me)

Puppies should be reared in the house – not in a garage / kennel/ shed etc

Never take home an only pup ( only one survived, only one born)

Ideal litter size is 5 for a well rounded/ temperament puppy (but not a crucial point)

The mother of the pups shows no signs of illness, distress or spooking

The mother should be seen with the pups (not in a separate room to the pups)

Breeder should have carried out relevant health checks for the breed on both father and mother – this includes health checks for both parents of Designer breeds, labradoodles etc

The breeder should ask you about your lifestyle, work hours, intentions for the pup etc

The breeder should be able to tell you all about the breed but also should be asking you how much you know about the breed

Never take the last pup if you have only seen that puppy and not seen it with its litter mates

Try and view the pups before they are old enough to go to new homes, giving you a chance to avoid the temptation of those puppy eyes pleading you to take them home the same day despite many things that may not tick boxes above and below

It is very important to have plenty of toys in with the litter at all times

It is also important that at feeding times there are plenty more bowls than puppies (to reduce the chances of food aggression when they are older)

The puppies should have two separate surfaces in their pen/area this helps with toilet training to distinguish between places to toilet and sleep

Never take any puppy from a breeder who offers you or lets you take more than one from the same litter

The breeder should offer advice for the lifetime of the dog

Breeder should not have more than four separate breeds

If the breeder is breeding more than four litters per year they should have a licence and this amount of litters classes them as a puppy farmer avoid like the plague!

A breeder Ideally should breed no more than two litters per year, if that.

Pups should be weaned onto a wide range of different food to avoid allergies, puppies should never be weaned onto just one complete food

The mother of the puppies can separate herself from the puppies as and when she pleases (even if it is a shelf above the puppies)

The breeder should be able to tell you of all the places they have taken the pups ie in the car, the vets, the garden and also how many different types of people the pups have met, young, old, with hats, without, glasses, sticks, different races of people etc.

The breeder who only offers you a pup on breeding terms should also be avoided

Breeder can tell you about the different personalities of the pups and advise on which may suit you best.

Over and out until next time with updates of Merlin post op


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