George the Collie Vs Training Pt.5

How size matters more than you may have thought….


Size matters. Apparently.

I don’t know if it’s the same for everyone else but one of the biggest training problems I experience is retaining the attention of the dog.

One of the contributors to this lack of attention could be the size of the treats and treat size vs dog size.

George would probably be classed as a medium sized dog when fully grown but, at 6 months old, he is some way off his maximum.

As a result, the size of the treats being used is quite important when it comes to getting and keeping him engaged.

When he does something right he is given a treat to re-inforce the good behaviour but if the treat has been too large, he takes time to eat it. As well as that, George likes to take his time over larger items and eat them away from others. This breaks up the flow of the training.

I have taken to using the smallest treat I can find for training. It’s easier as it’s a very quick treat and it reduces the break of attention.

The longer the training goes on, the more this seems to work.

It’s just something to consider – your dog will want the biggest treat they can snaffle off you but it may not be the best things for the learning.

George the Collie and the #DogBlog

Keep on posting, keep on writing and keeping the faith.

Over the years, I’ve had a dabble at writing a blog a couple of times but never really got it to stick. It might be motivation that was the issue but the whole ‘dog’ thing is a nice hobby, a good distraction from the downsides of general life.

Third time lucky maybe as I am managing to publish posts with some regularity. 

I know most of it is dog related and this probably helps with the posts as George is a fairly regular source of inspiration for content.

I do a lot of posting on social media and that does alright for contacts and it’s nice having that interaction with so many people. It would be nice to have that level of contact via this blog too.

I know that, for some people, this is their job, their life and they have made a business out of it – I certainly don’t have time for that – but that is not this blog. You see some people tailor their content to suit the current issues of the day and, again, that’s not this blog. 

There will be some ‘current’ stuff being posted but, mainly, its dog related and maybe that’s why blogging is so punishing to the writer. A post on social media can garner a lot of attention and validation for the poster but, on this platform, that’s not how it works.

I am still finding my feet. 

This is sometimes me just emptying my head in the guise of a pooch and now and again I’ll get some feedback which I really appreciate.

It’s just odd sometimes. 

A friend of mine joined Twitter some years back. They were on Facebook and, for some reason, presumed it worked the same. They started following a few friends and celebrities and made a few posts but then complained that he wasn’t getting any interactions with anyone.

His posts were like ‘Wow, big night. BIG head this morning’. Harmless enough but he had no #hashtags and , most importantly, no followers. I explained to him this was the equivalent of sitting at home alone talking to the TV 📺 but I don’t think he understood. 

But, writing these posts, I can help but think if I am doing something similar – almost. As I said, it’s nice getting comments and chatting with viewers but it can be disheartening. 

I will carry on though. If anything, it’s cathartic – almost confessional at times – and good to get things out of my head rather than have them fester.

So, to those that do view my posts, to those that take time to comment and give me feedback, I thank you. 👍🏻

A short, behind the scenes interview with a young Border Collie dog about his preference in toys.

Just a short interview with a dog.

George the Collie Vs Dogs in Advertising.

As much as George wants to eat it all, don’t believe the hype.

I’ve noticed recently (I’m only 5 1/2 months) that there is a lot of advertising for dog food.

LOTS of advertising. Nearly as much for pet food as there is for human food.

It’s not that I don’t get to see much of THAT food, it’s the animals in them. It’s like the Border Collie mafia have control of advertising.

I know we are easily trained and have expressive faces but we are everywhere .

Now, Collies are beautiful and there are lots of us so using this breed may give you a good market share but the side track, the sub story to these adverts is the hook.

Farm dog, inferred farm produce = ‘Got to be better’ 

The same as human food. Stick it in a box marked ‘farm’ somewhere and people hoover it up even though it’s probably never been rural since it was slaughtered. I’M more farm than that and left my farm at 10 weeks old!

I just think that, like with human food, people are getting mugged off with an idea that something is more natural than it actually is.

I am not saying don’t buy it, just don’t believe the hype. 👊🏻

George the Collie Vs Sexy Football.

The day the music died…..

Do you follow football? Or soccer ⚽️ as it’s also known?

Do you remember when the English Premier changed from a rebranded Division 1 to something actually special? It was a commercial decision and made to relaunch the league with a new TV deal bringing untold fortune to clubs, making the Premier league ‘The Promised Land’.

We had players from all over Europe joining clubs – some you’d even heard of! If you had a non-GB passport and were half decent then you’d likely get a contract somewhere. It worked for the guy who wasn’t the cousin/nephew of George Weah – for about 20 minutes.

For me, the changes came with the foreign managers coming in, bringing new ideas, tactics and skills.

It was electric, it was (as Ruud Gullit says) sexy.

As revenues went up so did interest from ‘investors’ and clubs started to get bought up by some of the weathiest people in the world.

The product got structured and polished and the public rinsed of as much money as possible.

But, whilst the transfer fees and players wages increased, for the most part, the quality increase did not keep pace and we ended up with a very expensive, often dull, spectacle.

It has is moments of course but the revolution was over years ago and, with it, the death of sexy football.

George the Collie & the Christmas Joke.

The funny side of Christmas detritus…..

So we were moving furniture around in the dining room the other day and, as ever, George is in the thick of things. ‘Helping’ he calls it.

Suddenly he scoops up a little piece of paper that’s slid behind a unit and he’s off.

‘George, don’t eat that!’ I yell, hopefully, after him but he’s already gone out the back door.

Two minutes later he’s back. Back for more? No. He’s got a joke.

‘It’s a cracker Dad, honest’

I acquiesce.

‘Why did Scrooge score the goal?’

‘What?’ I ask, surprised by the festive theme to the joke.

‘Why did Scrooge score the goal?’

‘I don’t know, why?’

‘Because the the Ghost of Christmas passed!’

‘It’s June 1st!’

‘I told you it was a cracker!’ He laughs. 

George the Collie Vs Dog Food



This isn’t George. This is Harry the Dog. One of his predecessors. He was a VERY good boy and, as such, received lots of treats. So, George strives to be as good boy too.

This is Harry with a filled bone. Harry could, and would, eat almost anything (not off the table though after having mustard put on his nose) and never complained about what he was given. A really good boy.

After having some problems with Ted, the dog after Harry, that was when we found out about dog allergies. It was never anything i had really thought about. We were aware of the rise in the number of reported and diagnosed allergies in humans compared to a century before but, in pets?–> window.yumprintRecipeDisabled = true; Did your grandparents have food allergies? Mine sure didn’t. A stark comparison to the growing epidemic of food allergies, worsening with every generation. According to a study released in 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies among children increased approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011 (1). […]

via Why your grandparents didn’t have food allergies…but you do — How to Provide

A bit of research with dog food manufacturers showed a whole market for Wheat Free and Grain Free dog food and products for allergic animals.

It was surprising and also made you wonder if you’d been feeding your dog incorrectly for a long time.

These thoughts were then checked by the rational part of the mind that said ‘Dogs eat anything’, ‘This is a gimmick’,  ‘Guilt trip to make you pay more’ but i took a punt and purchased a wheat free product from The Laughing Dog food company.

I was surprised at the impact it had on the the dogs temperament. He seemed calmer overall and, happier?, yes, i guess so. Certainly more relaxed as if he had been in some general discomfort.

This is not scientific process by me – far from it – as we never went so far as having Ted diagnosed but it certainly seemed to help. Ted’s other problems are a different story, see my first post  ‘A New Hope’ about all that.

What it did give us is an idea of a healthier diet for our dog. It seems a lot of advertised dog food is created to look almost edible for humans – beef with peas, carrots & gravy – like we’ve just given him a Sunday dinner. I very much doubt most of us would eat a Sunday Roast dinner every day so why would we give it to a dog? Can that be healthy?

Either way, my dog, my choice and he eats healthy. Yes, he gets lots of small treats and i mean LOTS but he is being trained and a lot of these ‘treats’ are actually just pieces of his standard kibble.

It may or may not have been something you’ve considered before but, if you care about your pets, it’s got to be worth a few moments thought.