SDOS Episode 42 – Talking Canicross and Deaf Dogs with Morag Heirs

SHDOS Episode 42 – It’s not very often you come across a dog trainer who likes doing 50 miles runs, thinks everyone should have a deaf dog in their life and has purple hair to boot! But you get all that and more in episode 42 where I interview dog trainer extraordinaire Morag Heirs. Morag runs Well Connected Canines in York where she helps distressed dog owners to fix their dogs behaviour problems. We talk about why you don’t need gadgets to train your dog, why dogs pull on the lead, What Cani Cross is and how you train a deaf dog and why Morag never forgets to breathe in her training classes (top advice). Don’t forget to leave a review  on ITunes.


[0.02] Outtakes [1.30] Meet the new van/studio [2.36] Why you need to invest in your dog business [3.20] Why were Dom and Alex in Ireland [4.49] Todays guest is Morag Heirs [6.30] The Greyhound round [8.36] Who was Morag’s first grumpy family dog [11.51] When did Morag decide to be a dog trainer [12.58] What are the most common problems that Morag deals with in her classes [14.49] Why do dogs pull on the lead? [] Why you need to get to the heart of the training problem BEFORE you look for the solution [19.00] What is Cani Cross? [20.47] Why is Morag running 50 miles with her dog [21.44] What are the challenges of teaching a deaf dog (apart from the obvious one!) [24.05] Why you don’t needs gadgets to train your dog and why everyone should have a deaf dog in their life [25.06] What’s the best advice Morag has ever been given [26.16] Where to find out more about Morag Heirs [27.25] How Morag chills out [29.20] Coming up on next weeks show… Dom’s new dog, Derek the Dogue de Bordeaux!

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Full Transcript

Dom :    Right, my guest today is a good friend of mine called Morag Heirs. It is Heirs, isn’t it?

Morag Heirs:      It is, well done.

Dom :    We’ll do that again. We’ll do that again.

Alex:      [inaudible 00:00:06] a good friend

Dom :    Well we know each other from other things as well, don’t we Morag?

Crew:    [inaudible 00:00:14].

Dom :    Stop putting me off, Alex. Here we go, we’ll start again.

What’s the most common problems that you have to deal with, with the pet dog owners who come to you?

Morag Heirs:      So.

Dom :    Oh, Skype’s just stopped there now buddy. It’s kind of. Shall I stop it and call her back?

And it’s goodbye from me. I’ll do that again, that was terrible, where can I go from? Oh god. From the start of that or what?

Crew:    Nah, just sort of that’s it.

Dom :    Yeah, okay. Hello my [inaudible 00:01:11] and welcome to episode 42 Alex, of the Superhero Dog Owners Show.

Alex:      42, the meaning of life and the universe and everything according to the Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy.

Dom :    Oh right. Not a book I’ve read.

Alex:      Neither is it mine, I’ve just heard that fact. That one fact, that’s all.

Dom :    There you are, you get all the best information from me Alex.

Alex:      Yeah, that’s it.

Dom :    So welcome back everybody, we had a little hiatus when me and Alex were rather busy weren’t we

Alex:      We were a bit.

Dom :    But you will notice that. Alex I’ve bought you a brand new studio.

Alex:      Oh, thanks very much Dom. Appreciate it.

Dom :    Which also doubles as a dog van.

Alex:      Well there you go, win win.

Dom :    When we’re not using it for podcasts. Yeah, so we’ve got like three seats now on the front. We’re gonna have a little Graham Norton situation going on here couldn’t we. We could have multiple guests in the van. Might be taking it a bit too far.

Alex:      Bit cosy but yeah, we could do.

Dom :    But it’s important to invest in your business, obviously you know. Whether it’s in stuff like new leads, new dog beds or new vans, websites, training as well you know. Especially dog people, they tend to be very big on CPD and you know, constantly want to improve and get better at what they do. One thing the dog people don’t do very much of, dog business people don’t do very much of is, think about their marketing [inaudible 00:02:30] with their business. So something I’ve been doing a little bit more of, well a lot more of actually, coaching and we’ve got various events we’ve doing seminar tours around the UK. Teaching pet business owners how to implement the type of direct response marketing that I do in my own business, and it’s been going down really well as well, it’s been going down good. So a really good introduction for you to find out more about how can you grow your pet business, would be to sign up for my 33 ideas, 33 free ideas, you get one Email sent into your inbox every single day and you can sign up for that at

And we recently did a bit of CPD didn’t we Alex?

Alex:      We did.

Dom :    ’cause we went to Ireland, I was learning, you were filming.

Alex:      Yes and I was learning as well, behind the camera. I was listening intently to Mr John McCulloch, the evil bald genius himself.

Dom :    Indeed. My mentor.

Alex:      Yes, indeed. Yeah he knows a lot about marketing, a lot about business. Big business, small business.

Dom :    So what was your key take away from the event?

Alex:      For me, having absorbed as much as I could, ’cause I was filming and stuff, and I’ll be learning more when I sit down to edit it. But I think the key take away for me was like, the whole expert’s authority positioning thing, you know ’cause, I wrote an Email about it as well and I said no one is gonna come along and anoint you an expert, you know after X amount of time in the business. And I think a lot of business owners are kinda stuck in this thing of oh, well Jimmy down the road, he’s been doing it longer than me, so he’s the expert and I’m not gonna be as much of an expert as him, and it’s like, well who says? You know

Dom :    Yeah for sure.

Alex:      It’s not necessarily the case.

Dom :    For sure. Yeah, yeah.

Alex:      You’re the one who decides if you’re an expert.

Dom :    You have to be good, you’ll sharp get found out if you aren’t any good won’t you. But you know, most, yourself you’re excellent, I’m okay. You know most of the pet business people are coming across with the coaching and stuff, they’re really good at what they do. They don’t really need to be learning how to be any better dog trainers, it’s the marketing that they need to.

And funnily enough, today’s guest on the show is somebody who I came into contact with through a business mentoring group as well.

Alex:      Ah cool.

Dom :    Morag Heirs, we both were part of a, we’re both still part of a business mentoring group ran by Vicky Fraser. So that was how I came in contact with Morag, and so this is why I, that wasn’t the only reason, but that was one of the reasons why I invited her onto the show.

So today we’re talking to Morag Heir, who runs Contended Canines, just down the road in York. And Morag gave us this awesome interview, which Alex is going to show us right now.

Alex:      Here it is.

Dom :    So my guest today is a dog trainer and behaviourist, originally from Scotland but now she’s just down the road from me in York. Where she runs well connected canines, and she helps dog owners give them the skills to better communicate and understand their dogs more easily, using kind, fair and effective methods. My favourite kinds of methods. I’m delighted to have her on the show. Welcome Morag.

Morag Heirs:      Hi. Nice to meet you.

Dom :    Nice to meet you too. How’re doing?

Morag Heirs:      I’m not bad thank you. Pleased to be indoors instead of outside in the soggy rain today.

Dom :    No I know, it’s really nice. We’ve got the fire going in here today, so.

Morag Heirs:      Sweet.

Dom :    Enjoying it. Have you had a busy day?

Morag Heirs:      Yeah, not bad. Been off to the vets with own dogs, they needed their regular boosters. So to be honest it’s a big treat for my guys, they love going to see our vets. So they rush in, they snog the receptionists, there’s three of them. They argue over who gets to sit on the weighing scales first and then they dash into the room, because it’s always the same vet and the same consulting room. So they know the drill and they’re just like oh my god, Helen. Helen has cheese for us and we know it.

Dom :    Brilliant.

Morag Heirs:      So yeah. We’ve been to the vets this morning, which is a fun trip.

Dom :    That’s nice, that’s nice.

Morag Heirs:      Yeah, makes a change.

Dom :    It does, it does. Yeah, yeah. I like to start the show with a Greyhound round okay? This is a quickfire round where people can get to know you a little bit better. Are you ready to go off the leash?

Morag Heirs:      I’ll try.

Dom :    Do your worst. Are you an early bird or a night owl?

Morag Heirs:      Definitely an early bird.

Dom :    What’s your favourite superhero? Who is your favourite superhero?

Morag Heirs:      Nightcrawler. Nightcrawler from X-Men although, preferably from the X-Men Origins cartoon series to be really specific.

Dom :    This is good. I love it when I get a real cartoon geek on when I’m talking for the superheros. You know, they don’t just say Batman or Superman, it’s like no, and it’s this one from this edition you know, yeah.

Morag Heirs:      Yeah, yeah. Geek at heart.

Dom :    Would you prefer to walk Weimaraner in the woods, or a Poodle at the park?

Morag Heirs:      Any breed in the woods for sure. The park is really only for doing your like, distraction training. The woods sounds more fun.

Dom :    Okay, definitely yeah. I like the woods too. What’s your favourite doggy film?

Morag Heirs:      Well it’s a film that technically doesn’t have dogs in it, but I still think it’s a dog film. So How to Train your Dragon.

Dom :    Ah, yeah. Good one. Yeah, yeah. That’s nice.

Morag Heirs:      It’s basically, it’s like the ultimate in rewards based training methods, applied to misunderstood animals. And every time I watch it, I’m reminded that toothless is a lot like Bronte, whose my deaf, part blind Border Collie, who doesn’t act a lot like a dog much of the time, and I just think they have a lot in common.

Dom :    Yeah, no, they really do. Yeah, I haven’t seen that for years actually but we used to love that when my kids were younger, yeah. Brilliant. Good choice. What’s your favourite animal that isn’t a dog?

Morag Heirs:      Probably a horse. I used to work a lot with horses, I was the traditional little crazy kid who went up to the stables at 8 o’clock in the morning and stayed there all weekend working for free. So I’d say probably horses if I had to choose one.

Dom :    Very good, very good. Good answers Morag, good answers. I’ll give you nine out of 10.

Morag Heirs:      Oh, thank you. Why only nine?

Dom :    Oh god, here we go. Competitive dog trainers. I’m gonna stop giving marks, that’s gonna be it.

Morag Heirs:      We always want to know why we didn’t get 100% you see. Overachievers the lot of us.

Dom :    Because I say so, that’s the end of it. So let’s go back in time a little bit Morag. I know you’ve got loads of stuff going on in York, we’re gonna talk about that in a moment. But let’s go back to the beginning when you were a little growing up and helping out with the horse stables. What was your experience with dogs? Did you have a dog when you were growing up or?

Morag Heirs:      Yeah, I guess like a lot of trainers, I grew up around animals. So I grew up originally with a rescue dog that my mum had before she had me. He was fairly aggressive to other dogs, he was not stranger friendly but he was amazingly tolerant with me, and was very safe to be around, thank goodness. And then after him I grew up with a variety of Bearded Collie’s and Collie Crosses, my moms were kind of pets/training dogs, and my dads were for search and rescue, so mountain search and rescue.

Dom :    Wow.

Morag Heirs:      So, mostly I was either messing around with the dogs, taking them for walks or shoved in a sleeping bag, stuffed at the top of the mountain and left there all freaking day, because I was being used as a body on a search mission. I kid you not. So my childhood was basically either walking up and down hills in Scotland or, being walked up a hill and then left, if I’m lucky with a flask tea and a Mars bar, and hoping like heck that the trainee search dog is actually as good as they’re claiming and is gonna find me.

Dom :    Yeah, that’s some test yeah.

Morag Heirs:      Otherwise, it’s a very long afternoon in the rain, shoved in a sleeping bag.

Dom :    But they always found you obviously.

Morag Heirs:      Yeah, yeah. Eventually.

Dom :    Eventually.

Morag Heirs:      And apparently my dad was never tempted to actually leave me there, although I wouldn’t really have blamed him. Yeah so, working dogs, working Collie Crosses and everything else in between.

Dom :    Brilliant. So was it your parents that kind of inspired you to work with dogs or what? Was that something that you always wanted to do, or was it something that just happened later on in life?

Morag Heirs:      When you do like the career’s advice stuff, I wanted to work with animals, but the only options it really gave you was to be a vet, and I had not great experiences with the kind of the farm animal vets in my local area, who given the benefit of the doubt, they were probably overworked and underpaid, but they appeared to not give a damn about companion animals, and that just made me go I don’t think I can do that, I don’t think I can survive in that environment. So I studied Psychology and Sociology at university. I specialised in humans, human psychiatric stuff and research methods obviously.

And then I adopted a rescue dog who came with all of the problems in the world and I kind of went “Oh, so I know the theory of how to deal with this stuff, I guess I better learn how to do it practically pretty damn quickly, because either I can work with him, or if he goes back to into rescue, he’s going to be put to sleep because his problems are pretty severe. I’ll give it a shot and see where we end up”. And that kind of meant, a parallel work. So I carried on being an academic while I was also working with my own dog and that led me into working with other peoples so.

Dom :    Brilliant. And what was-

Morag Heirs:      Eventually, I ended up working with animals like I wanted to, without having to be a vet. Hooray.

Dom :    Wow, yeah brilliant, yeah. And I’m sure all the pet dog owners who you help will be very grateful for that. So was there a moment when you kind thought right, that’s it now I’m gonna be a dog trainer?

Morag Heirs:      Yeah. Well, so my kind of, I always have like two or three jobs going at any one time. So my other job was doing body work with humans. So remedial massage and myofascial release, I went over to the states to train. And then I started doing that with dogs, and that was going really well and I kind of went, oh maybe I could like move everything that I’m doing into the canine world. Meanwhile, to be honest, the other stuff that I was doing wasn’t fulfilling. I didn’t get enough control, I love working for myself. I like being in charge of decisions. So it just made sense to shift over. So my business has been full-time as a limited company for two and a half years now, but I’ve been running it between three quarters and full time for about six years. So it was kind of a gradual process, but I always knew it was gonna be a profession, it was never a part-time hobby, it was just I can only fit it in two days a week. Do the best I can in those two days.

Dom :    Right. Let’s talk about some of the things that you’ve got going on at Well connected Canines. What are the most common problems that pet dog owners are coming to you with down there?

Morag Heirs:      Do you mean kind of like training class problems or behaviour problems?

Dom :    Well, lets do both.

Morag Heirs:      Okay. So I guess for training class problems, it’s a mixture of baby puppy stuff. So mouthing, toilet training, not chasing the cat, not eating the child, the regular stuff.

Dom :    Yeah.

Morag Heirs:      For the older dogs, it’s almost always about recall and some loose lead walking, but it’s more about recall and lack of attention. And then I guess for our behaviour work, because we take a lot of vet referrals, so we tend to get fairly severe cases. So most of the time I’m dealing with sort of extreme fears and phobias, like dogs that just won’t leave the house or dogs that are having full blown panic attacks at particular sounds. Plus the usual kind of dog aggression, where they’re either scared of the other dogs, or whether they’re scared or not, that they’ve done damage.

Dom :    Yes.

Morag Heirs:      So, kind of the scary stuff.

Dom :    Yeah, definitely, yeah. Obviously a lot of the things that you mentioned, regards the behaviour thing, those are issues where people if they can afford it and you know, they really should be trying to contact a reputable behaviourist shouldn’t they, to help them out with. It’s gonna be much safer all round. What about stuff like the recall and say pulling on the lead? Do you know what I mean? ‘Cause obviously we’re gonna have people watching who are gonna be suffering with their dogs pulling on the lead and spoiling the walks you know. What would be some easy things that people could do to try and get a bit more focused do you think? What would you recommend?

Morag Heirs:      So I guess my kind of irritating answer would actually be to take a step back and go, why is it happening? Because the thing is, most of the people I’ve ever been to see who say it’s pulling on the lead and they’re like “I just want my dog to walk nicely on the lead”, and you’re like okay well, how about we look at why they’re pulling on the lead. Is it just because well you keep walking? So obviously they keep pulling ’cause it’s working. And the thing is actually, it’s almost never that. I mean it is part of that’s the reason, but for most of it, it’s well actually, your dog doesn’t even know you exist in the house, so you don’t stand a chance when you step out the door.

It’s not about pulling on the leads, it’s actually about your dog remembering you exist, and that you pay a good salary when you get their attention. In whatever currency your dog values. Whether it’s food, toys, treats, praise you know, whatever. And it better not be a dry dog biscuit because that’s like below minimum wage, and we wouldn’t work for it and I don’t think we should be making our animals work for it either. So most of the time with problems like that, I think when you see people ask on forums or the dreaded Facebook group, what they get is, but it’s true. What they get is a bunch of people saying “This is the technique that worked for me”, “This is the tool”, “This is the harness or the head collar” and you’re like lovely, you have not checked why the dog is doing it.

So there’s a little Wire Fox Terrier I went to see who genuinely, I don’t think has ever walked on all four paws when she’s out on a walk. Like she has this amazing ability to do like Superman down the street on her back paws, full body leaning into, if it’s a collar she chokes herself. If it’s a harness, she doesn’t choke herself as much but she basically flies. The reason she’s doing it is ’cause she’s desperate to chase the traffic, because she’s really frustrated and bored, and she’s really excited about chasing the cars. Their problem is not loose lead walking, I mean that’s like a separate thing we could teach, but the bigger issue right now is, you keep walking her down a busy lane and she’s getting excited and trying to chase the traffic.

So I think with almost any problem like that, rather than looking for a specific tool or technique, and this is the annoying behaviourist answer. It’s actually quicker to check why it be happening, because you can shortcut trying out a lot of techniques that are not gonna make a blind bit of difference.

Dom :    [inaudible 00:16:52].

Morag Heirs:      If the dogs terrified then, it doesn’t matter what kind of bit of equipment you put on it, you need to deal with the fact the dog is scared about going outside.

Dom :    Yeah, yeah definitely, yeah. No I think that’s really, really good advice yeah. Because I think you could probably find, you know by dealing with the frustration or the lack of exercise or the lack of focus or whatever it is, that you could probably end up fixing quite a lot of problems couldn’t you, by going right to the kind of cause of it, you know like that? Yeah so, it’s not an annoying behaviourist answer at all, that was an excellent answer.

Morag Heirs:      For the people who want the quick fix, it can be annoying ’cause like I’m not gonna tell them what to do. ‘Cause without seeing their dog most of the time, I probably can’t. But if I can get them thinking through the process, and they do the problem solving, actually the other thing is you might not need me, which would be amazing.

Dom :    Yeah, yeah.

Morag Heirs:      Because then I know they can problem solve the next time they have a question, and the next time, rather than waiting until they come to class or having to Email their tutor or something.

Dom :    Definitely, yeah definitely. And there is lots of problems that they can, lots of things that people can fix on their own isn’t there? As regards focus and engaging, and then, I don’t necessarily think it’s gonna put dog trainers out of business, I just think that then they’ll end up coming to say you and me and other people to learn how to do more fun things for their dog, rather than having to deal with their problems.

Morag Heirs:      Or even just you know, tweaking it. So like my favourite kind of person is the person who says “I have a great relationship with my dog, we’re having a really good time but I think I’m not challenging them enough. Can you teach me some new games or can we learn some new skills?” And I’m like, yeah absolutely. That sounds like my idea of a day off frankly, that would be lush. But for a lot of people it’s a harder concept, they just want to fix the problem and make it go away and thinking about why it’s happening is tricker, but the same is true for human behaviour change.

Dom :    Yeah. Yeah, yeah. No doubt. Yeah, no doubt. Let’s talk about some of these more pleasurable activities that we can do with our dogs then. I know you’re preparing to launch your CaniX classes, you were telling me about that. Explain to us what CaniX is. I know, but I don’t know a lot about it.

Morag Heirs:      Basically CaniX is trail running with your dog, where your dog is in a specially designed harness. They’re on a bungee lead, which has nice stretch and give in it, and they’re hooked onto a waist belt, which is designed to be running with dogs specifically, not one that sits up round your waist like a climbing belt, ’cause that’s really bad for your lower back and your kidney’s and you will hurt yourself. And the idea is the dog is meant to pull, which for a lot of owners is a terrifying concept but I can absolutely promise you that the dog very quickly learns the difference between the feel of the CaniX harness and where you go and how you set it up versus, for me your clipped on either the front point of a harness or on a regular collar, that means your walking by my side.

So for my guys we use it for walking and hiking, ’cause I do a lot of walking up in the fells and in Scotland, we don’t know if there are sheep round the corner and yes, I can teach you reliable recall, but I have a deaf dog and a deaf part blind dog and I’m not gonna take the chance that they don’t do a check-in at the right moment and I risk someones livestock. So they’re usually gonna be on a long line or, preferably a bungee lead, which means it’s on the harness and my hands are free for when I slide down hill, climb the styles, you know all the normal stuff that we pretend doesn’t happen but it totally does.

Dom :    Pictures please, we need pictures.

Morag Heirs:      I can provide pictures, that’s not a problem.

Dom :    Tell me about the event you’re training for as well, next year.

Morag Heirs:      So in theory, if all goes according to plan, in the middle of March I’ll be running the Hardmoors 55, which is a 55 mile ultra race in the North York Moors, with Freya my littlest Collie, who is my ultra Collie. She has a bandanna to say it and everything. The furthest we’ve done up ’til now is the Princess, which is a 32 miles race. So I have no doubt that she can do the distance, but I’ve had some kind of me issues, so it’s more a question of making sure I can make it through, ’cause she’ll be fine, she’s quite likely to be trading me off for someone whose moving faster to be honest.

Dom :    So all being well. All being well.

Morag Heirs:      Yeah, all being well Hardmoors 55. If not, we’ll find something else, but we will make it to something that’s over 50 miles, that’s my goal for 2017.

Dom :    Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. Another thing you’ve been doing is developing resources and guides for owners, you just mentioned there now you have deaf dog, visually impaired dog. You’ve written a series of articles and stuff. What kind of challenges does a deaf dog present, apart from the obvious one, which is they can’t hear you? How do you go about getting around that? ‘Cause I would imagine, much in the same way as kind of when my Cocker first kind of got a cruciate injury and I thought, oh my god my life’s over, he can’t exercise anymore. I would imagine for somebody whose dogs are gonna … they’re deaf, they think oh my god, that’s the end of it do you know what I mean? Tell me a bit about that.

Morag Heirs:      There tends to be a fair amount of panic. So I’m the behaviour advisor and I do a lot of support for the Deaf Dog Network, which is a UK based kind of loose organisation. We have a Facebook advice page, we give advice to and we help support breeders who are trying to re home deaf puppies, rather than having them put to sleep, which is an enormous positive step in the right direction, and quite new I have to say. We also support people who’ve just gotten a dog and realised it’s deaf, or people whose older dogs are going deaf. And in most of those cases there’s a bit of abject panic. Oh my god, my dog is deaf, I won’t be able to train them or I don’t know what I’m doing. And the bottom line is, actually you’re fine, you know most of what you’re doing, you will end up being a better trainer and you’re mostly going to learn to shut up and to be fair, you should be shutting up anyway ’cause it ain’t making much difference to your dog. And I say that as someone who clearly talks too much.

So what we do as trainers and what we do as human beings is we try and tell our dogs what they want to do, rather than training their behaviour and then sticking the verbal label on it. Well with a deaf dog you can talk all you like, it make no difference. So it teaches you to focus on using hand signals, using fiddlers correctly, having a hand signal that tells them when they’ve got it right, so that’s usually a generic thumbs up. If you want to do clicker training, it looks like that. So it’s like a hand flash, that’s what I use, because nobody does that by accident, and then you reward the dog when they get it right.

So actually, your first step is, teach them good reliable attention signals, reward them for looking at you of their own volition, not when you’re poking them. And keep rewarding that attention ’cause if they’re paying attention to you of their own free choice, everything else is easy. It’s just a question of following hands and teaching signals. So my deaf part blind dog and my deaf dog go off lead far more than my hearing Collie does, they have much more reliable recall. They will check-in every 30 to 40 seconds, even if they’re chasing after something they’ll stop and ooh, hang on, I haven’t seen mum for a while, should probably find her. At which point you can signal them to come back. Like we said at the beginning, if you get the attention and you pay for it, then you’re set, and it lots of ways, they’re more likely to look to you for information, because there isn’t as many distractions. So it actually is way easier than training a hearing dogs once people get their heads round it.

Dom :    Brilliant.

Morag Heirs:      It’s blissful. And the thing that you really don’t need, is you don’t need gadgets. So the biggest question we get is do I need a vibration collar, you know to get their attention? And the answer is well you can, and they have their place sometimes, but you shouldn’t really be relying on it because what happens if they go out of range, it gets wet, it doesn’t work? It’s the same as relying on having to pull your dogs lead to get their attention, you shouldn’t have to do that.

Dom :    Yeah, yeah. Brilliant.

Morag Heirs:      Everybody should have a deaf dog in their life, absolutely anybody and everybody.

Dom :    Yeah, yeah, no I imagine it teaches you so much, yeah that’s absolutely fantastic. Wonderful, wonderful. So what’s the best bit of advice you’ve ever been given? Dog related or something else.

Morag Heirs:      Ooh, that’s a tough one. Probably when I’m getting stressed or I don’t know what decision to make, whether that’s about dog training or anything else, is to go sit down and breath. Just do seven eleven breathing, and then see how I feel afterwards and don’t make that snap decision in the heat of the moment. And that’s equally true whether it’s, do I give up on training this exercise? Do I decide whether I’m putting my dog on Ebay? I’m mostly kidding, ’cause sometimes we all have days like that come on.

Dom :    Definitely.

Morag Heirs:      Or whether it’s you know, oh my god that’s a really difficult question from someone in class, what do I do now? Actually what I do is I smile and say “I’m gonna get back to you on that”, go do a couple minutes of breathing and then I’ll know what to do. So stop and breathe.

Dom :    Stop and breathe. Yeah, brilliant advice for everything. I love that, I love that Morag, that’s fantastic. Where can people go when they want to find out more about you’re doing? I know you’ve got a lot of exciting things planned for next year, we’re in a little group together, so I’m aware of some of the things you’ve got going on and it’s really exciting to see how your business is gonna grow and stuff, and how many more people you’re gonna be able to help. So where can people go to find out more about you?

Morag Heirs:      Best place is probably either our website or the Facebook page, well connected canine. We put all of what we’re doing up there, and from there we can point people towards the deaf dog projects that we’re working on. We do other dog trainer training programmes. So we teach dog trainers how to be better at coaching people, ’cause sometimes we’re not always great at dealing with people. Not always, but sometimes. And that’s where we’ll be launching the CaniX classes from as well, all going according to plan, assuming I do not break myself next year running in ultra.

Dom :    Brilliant, brilliant. I’ll put those links up as well so people can be able to get easy access to them to find out more about what you’re doing.

Morag Heirs:      Thank you.

Dom :    And I’m gonna come … you’re only just down the road from anyway, so I’m gonna come down and see you I think. We’ll come down and see what’s going on down there.

Morag Heirs:      Come and learn scent work with us. We’ll teach Talking Dogs Scentwork, life will never be the same again.

Dom :    Ah right cool. Yeah, well we’ve done some scent work as well but I’ve never done Talking Dogs so that’s good yeah, we might do that. We might do that. How does Morag Heirs like to chill out when she’s not doing one of 50,000 jobs that she does?

Morag Heirs:      Currently trying to learn how knit dog coats, but that’s been like a two year project and I haven’t gotten one finished yet.

Dom :    Chihuahua’s or Irish Wolfhounds?

Morag Heirs:      Well I was going for Staffie size, for [inaudible 00:27:53] dog rescue, but the thing is I didn’t dare tell them I was doing it and it’s just as well, because I have failed to make any progress. But that, and Ripper Street is my favourite guilty secret viewing pleasure.

Dom :    Brilliant, it’s not a secret anymore.

Morag Heirs:      No, I know. It’s better, it used to Desperate Housewives, I mean that was embarrassing.

Dom :    Well, you have moved on a bit. Yeah that’s good. Excellent. Well I want to thank you very, very much for your time Morag. I’ve really, really enjoyed talking to you. And I’m sure, I know that you’ve given a lot of good value, a lot of good advice. Been great to hear about deaf dogs and dogs that have sight impaired problems as well because we haven’t talked about that yet on the show. So thanks very much for your time.

Morag Heirs:      You’re welcome.

Dom :    And we’ll see you on the show next time.

Morag Heirs:      Speak to you soon.

Alex:      Thank you.

Morag Heirs:      Bye.

Dom :    So Alex.

Alex:      Yes Dom.

Dom :    How awesome was that?

Alex:      Pretty awesome. I enjoyed that.

Dom :    She’s is really cool isn’t she?

Alex:      Yeah, she is. Very similar the pair of you’s. Obviously seeing that you’re both in the same business groups and stuff.

Dom :    Yeah, yeah, yeah. She’s doing some really good stuff. I mean since we shot that interview, she’s really mortared on Morag. She’s doing a lot of stuff. She’s really niching down into the deaf dog side of things because she got a lot of expertise there and you should do the thing that you’re really good at. So that was a really good interview with Morag. Next week on the show, we’re gonna be talking about our new edition.

Alex:      Oh yes, yes.

Dom :    Not the van. Not the new van but we actually took on a new dog recently called Derek the Dogue de Bordeaux. So next week we’re gonna be talking all about Derek. If you’ve just started watching the podcasts, you need to rewind a few episodes because you’ll see that we had Barry and then we lost Barry and then we weren’t gonna get another dog and now finally we’ve got another dog to go alongside Sydney.

Alex:      It was pretty much like I came round one day and you were like oh by the way, I’ve got another [inaudible 00:29:47]. I was like oh wow, okay, it’s happening.

Dom :    So next week we’ll be telling the story of how Derek the Dogue de Bordeaux came into our lives via the Dogue de Bordeaux rescue and re homing. So if you have a rescue dog or any kind of dog at all, and you want to learn how we’re dealing with getting Derek settled into our new life together then you need to check out next week’s episode. So that’s it for today Alex, it’s goodbye from me

Alex:      It’s goodbye from him.

Dom :    And we’ll see you next week. And if we don’t see through the week, then we’ll see you through the window.

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Dom Hodgson