Here at Tug-E-Nuff Dog Gear, nothing puts a bigger smile on our faces than seeing talented dogs and their owners having fun.
So just imagine our delight when we discovered Paws For Thought. They are a dog display team with a difference.
Forget everything you normally expect to see in an obedience routine. With Paws For Thought, it’s all about fun. They create captivating, fast-paced routines that entertain the whole family, and include races, games and tricks.
Their performances even include fire!
But although the routines are fun and informal, a lot of hard work goes into training the dogs that take part. It’s not surprising they have now performed at venues across the UK, including at Crufts.
We created our dog training toys to help owners take their training to the next level and to have fun with their dogs, so it seemed like a perfect match for us to become a new sponsor of Paws For Thought.
So where did the team begin?
‘The team was started in 1988 by Stuart Brace who is a retired Police Dog Handler,’ says team member Jacqui Payne.
‘Stuart is the man who breathed new life into the routines and he is still part of the team, taking part with his rescue dog Chas and also doing the commentary.’
As well as practising at home every day, the team get together once a week for jam-packed training sessions that include elements of agility, flyball, fire jumps and obedience.
During the summer months, every weekend is taken up with performances at various shows around the country.
Jacqui says: ‘It’s pretty full on, but I love it.
‘I have two reactive rescue dogs, Dil from Ireland and Basil from Romania, and the support of the team has helped me to deal with bonding issues and to find coping strategies for behavioural issues.
‘The dogs have a fab social life, travelling all round the country performing for the general public, being made to feel like the stars that they are.
‘For me personally, I love being around like-minded people and the social aspect of being in the team.’
Last year, the team were selected to perform at Discover Dogs show at the London EXCEL arena.
It was a particular highlight for Jacqui, Dil and Basil.
‘I felt so proud of the team and how far all of the dogs have come, particularly my two.
‘Training hasn’t always been easy for us. For instance, Basil didn’t seem to know how to play when he first came to me so I have worked hard on this using dog training toys from the Tug-E-Nuff range.
‘Now he loves chasing the toys that have real sheepskin attached. It’s helping him learn to trust me and it’s brilliant fun.’
Open to everyone
The team features dogs of all shapes and sizes, from collies and Labradors to Rottweilers and spaniels.
As well as entertaining crowds, Paws For Thought also uses its time in front of the public to educate dog owners about the importance of taking responsibility for their pets, from staying in control at all times to cleaning up after them.
As bookings come in thick and fast for the summer months, the only way is up for Paws For Thought – and we are thrilled to be tagging along for the ride.
For more information about the team, visit their website and check out the video below.