Fox Terrier About Town

Adventures of a Vivaceous Pup in Fancy London

Best In Show and Batman Capes

\"Onions\" Fun section of the British Wire Fox Terrier Association site

Ben warns me about getting too Mumsy with Dashwood, as Tamara has brought him back home after my trip to the Cannes Film Festival, dressed with a Batman cape! (photo reserved for Halloween this year as this is one of his possible outfits). I should have told her this year was Kung-Fu Panda euphoria…

I do get to see the film and his point on people that simply go a bit over the edge regarding their dogs. I still laugh with this picture, although I would never subject Dashwood to outfits such as those – well, he would simply not put up with it (this is why there is no picture of him as Batman in the first place….)

Burns Mini Bites for Puppies

Burns Mini Bites for Puppies

Burns Mini Bites for Puppies

If you want to give your puppy a balanced nutrition, you can combine raw and prepared dog food. But not all the brands that the supermarket offers are good. Literally, stay away from Cesar’s for reasons we will explain in detail, so the people at Cesar’s don’t think we just like to rant. It is all about the food inside the pellets. Think about it this way: there is MacDonalds and there is Whole Foods, and it is all about educated choice.

So I choose Burns and will explain why. What’s in this bag of Burns Puppy food?

Brown Rice, Chicken, White Rice, Oats, Peas, Chicken Oil, Sunflower Oil,Ocean Fish, Seaweed, Minerals & Vitamins. Oh, and the chickens are NO BATTERY CHICKENS.
Typical Analysis/100g: Protein 21.0%, Oil 11.0%, Fibre 2.0%, Ash 7.0%, Vit A 10000 iu/kg, Vit D 1500 iu/kg, Vit E 80 iu/kg, Moisture 9%, Copper 15mg/kg, Sodium 0.48%, Calcium 1.6%, Phosphorus 1.0%, Magnesium 0.1%, EFA 3.33%, Carbohydrates 51%

Who is Burns? John Burns BVMS MRCVS is a Veterinary Surgeon that has developed nutritional recipes for dog, cats and rabbit based on his veterinary experience of pets with diet related health problems, and concerned about the ingredients used in many commercial pet foods.

How to put Burns to the test? If you feed your dog raw, that is, bone with a bit of meat and a bit of fat, and your dog chews at it for hours, you will notice that his poo is in less quantity than with prepared pet food and harder. This means that his body has absorbed most of what he ate, and hence less waste was disposed of. This is why raw is a good thing to add to a dog’s diet every now and then.

When your dog eats Burns, you will notice how his waste is also much less than with other brands. This is the logic, this is the proof – if rudimentary, but basically faultless.

I do not get paid by Burns or have perceived any free samples from them. But I just love passing around good tips and this is one of the best ones.

Jumping and Barking

Jumping up and barking are both attention seeking behaviours, e.g. when they bark or jump up they get rewarded with attention either by touching or speaking to them.

Puppies are cute and small so people tend to bend down and pat their legs which encourages the puppy to jump up. Teach your puppy that the only way of getting attention is by sitting. This is very important when your puppy meets children. Ask people in the street to ask your puppy to sit before they stroke them.

Remember ignore the bad behaviour and reward the good behaviour.


Playing is fun and exhausting... Downtime is a blessing

Playing is fun and exhausting... Downtime... a blessing

One thing that became obvious from minute one is that little Puppy knows which stuffed animal toys are for cuddling and sleeping with – Blue Teddy Bear, which ones to play with – Australian Kookaburra, and which to shred to pieces and destroy – the semi-real country Rat, the Sniffany’s cushion that Alicia bought him which is a stuffed toy replica of the New York jewellery firm. Kookaburra is a mix of love-play. He either sleeps with it or shreds it and shakes it. The curious thing is that Blue Teddy lives inside the Puppy house. Always. Little pup takes it out sometimes, gives it a spin around the house, and in it goes back to the little house. Blue Teddy was his first cuddly toy and it must smell full of memories.

A puppy is a little child that has feelings for his toys. Don’t you be mistaken that he treats the chewing sticks in the same way that he plays and invents some theatrical antics that resemble hunting scenes when he gets a hold of a “shake and shred” toy. His imagination runs wild and he can spend hours playing, tossing a toy in the air as if it was trying to escape, et cetera.

No wonder he is so exhausted when the evening comes and he just collapses anywhere in the lounge… Kookaburra also knackered next to him…

Sleeping At My Feet, Following Me Around

Find the hidden puppy in my study

Find the hidden puppy in my study

Dashwood is a puppy and hence he sleeps most of the day. He sleeps wherever I am, by my feet. It is because he is also a dog and as a pack animal, in the wild, he would never be on his own. Dogs in a human society need to learn from an early age how to cope with being on their own. This is what dog psychologists call “Separation Anxiety”.

Crates help puppies to learn that being left alone is fine and that someone will return soon. Puppies learn that they cannot follow you everywhere you go when they are left in a crate, and that you come back as if nothing has happened and let them out. You can gradually increase the time your puppy is left in the crate a minute at a time to start with. Remember only to let your puppy out of the crate if they are quiet.

I started leaving Dashwood by himself in our big open plan kitchen when he was about 12 weeks. Little by little he started being used to it. When I came back to the house I made sure I gave him lots of treats to reward him for having been such good puppy, not broken anything or chewed stuff. Giving him treats is also an incentive for him as he associates that when I leave, as soon as I return is “Treat Fest”.

Teething and Chewing

Chewing on a Breitling strap... not a good idea

Chewing on a Breitling strap... not a good idea

Teething can make your puppy’s gums very sore and chewing can help to relive the discomfort. Make sure your puppy has plenty of chew toys. Tug ropes and old tights tied in a knot are a great way to help the baby teeth fall out.

Your puppy will have all their adult teeth through between 6-8 months old. Some smaller breeds can sometimes retain some of their baby teeth and if this does happen they will need to be removed.

If your puppy’s gums are very red and sore you can use baby teething gel.


Start by practising recall in the house, say ‘dog’s name’ and ‘come’ in a loving, enthusiastic voice, and bend down to his level if necessary. When he comes to you give him lots of praise and cuddles and a food treat. When he is coming towards you remember to encourage him all the way.

A whistle can also be a great recall aid for some dogs. You can use the whistle in the park when your dog has gone past your boundary i.e. gone too far away. First you will need to teach your dog that the whistle means the same as come. Try not to over use the whistle in the park, as this will reduce the effectiveness, as your dog will start to block it out and not listen.

Keep yourself exciting so your dog wants to come to you. When they get to you take hold of his collar gently and give lots of praise and a treat, and let him go off to play again. This makes sure your dog doesn’t learn that when he comes to you that his walk is over. When there are 2 or more people walking in the park call him from one person to the next as a game.

You must always encourage your dog as he is coming towards you, if he slows down or stops to sniff, just keep patting your legs and calling. It may help to start walking in the opposite direction so he follows you. Remember if you have to keep going up to him to get him he will learn he doesn’t need to come as you will always be there and come to him.

Scale his recall 1-10, 10 being the best recall i.e. he comes when called first time, very fast when there is lots of distractions. 10 should get his favourite food reward e.g. chicken and big cuddles, scaling downwards to 1 i.e. he takes ages to come back, this means he only gets a small amount of attention and praise. Your dog will soon associate the quicker he comes the better the reward.

Remember if your dog gets attention all the time for free at home then you have nothing to barter with when you are in the park. Your attention will have no value!