- October 4, 2014
Daniel – AKA Spot.
As a military dog trainer of over twenty years I estimate that I have trained, supervised or handled over 300 dogs. Some of these were average and some were fantastic but none of them are a patch on Daniel who is without doubt the best dog I have ever had the pleasure of meeting let alone owning.
Dan came to us from WARS in Worcestershire and having previously trained a working Trailhound for the military I was completely smitten immediately. The picture on the website was so similar to my previous Trailhound, Jasper, that I knew he was coming home with us whether my partner, Ceri, liked him or not. Fortunately a quick temperament check and an assessment as to his ability to learn showed he was a loving and bright lad if a little shy at times. On a day pouring with rain we spent over an hour playing with him and walking him before signing on the dotted line. I didn’t even realise it was raining so smitten was I.
Dan was originally called Spot but he quickly settled into his new name and his new environment. We have only ever had one accident in the house and to be fair to Dan it was on the first night and I didn’t realise what he was telling me when he was asking to go out. He did escape out of the garden a few times when we first got him but since settling in fully we have had only had one incident where the garden gate was open and he snuck out. He was found lying outside the front door waiting to be let in! His recall has never been a problem, but to be honest I didn’t realise Trail-hounds could find this difficult so I just trained him the same way as my working dogs and he can now be trusted off leash anywhere and will even walk nicely off leash through the estate.
Dan comes into work with me every day and is often used to demonstrate techniques to the other handlers. He is good with other dogs, and the first order of the day is a two mile run with around nine other Military Working Dogs and his best friend, Cobi, a Husky-Labrador cross. He loves agility especially if there are other dogs around and although his heel-work is “scruffy” his general obedience is pretty good. He is also learning to track, (not trail) on a line and I am pleased to say that despite initially hating the restriction and trying to do it his way he is progressing well.
At home he is a joy, we can leave him in the house, I suspect all day if we needed to, and he is never a naughty dog. He is very affectionate and likes nothing more than a cuddle or play fight on the floor. Ceri has taught him to bay on command and if you ask him if he’s “ready” for a walk you are left in no uncertain terms that he is. He is very well behaved and we take him everywhere – the pub, on holiday (he loves a run on the beach), or shopping and everyone always remarks on how well behaved and calm he is. Extremely gentle around kids or the elderly we recently had him assessed at a Pets as Therapy dog and he is starting to do work in one of the local respite care centers.
He has even won a rosette, and not just in a fun category either! We went to the WARS open dog show in 2010 and for a bit of a laugh I entered him into the hound category of the KC show – well blow me down if he didn’t come third! I suspect I might have upset some people doing this but hey it put a huge smile on my face and Dan loved his prize – tripe!
So should you get a trail hound? God YES! We have had him just over a year now and I have absolutely no idea what I would do without Danny, he is such a big part of our life, and although I would recommend that any beginners get help with some aspects of owning one, especially training the recall, I would say that this is a dog that anyone could own.
Well – at least if you can find one as good as my Daniel.
Chris,Ceri and Daniel 2010