8 Things I learned during 'The Dog Garden Dog Sitting' Trial Week

This week I completed what’s called a ‘soft launch’ that is I began my dog-sitting service in my studio, The Dog Garden.  I borrowed two dogs along with Barney my own, and herewith the key things I learned along the way.

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What Does a Dog WANT To Play On?

Let’s Think Dog!   

If I were a dog, I’d want to lie, sniff, possibly dig, jump, rest and play on the ground in the sunshine and likely in the rain too.  My four paws wouldn’t want too much in the way of small gravel and I’d need some purchase from the ground I play on!

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How do I ACTUALLY Paint my Dog Portraits? Part Two of Tools & Techniques I employ to make your painting.

I begin to paint.  In my last post, we talked about the tools and techniques I employ to get the drawing of your dog onto my painting surface. (you can find it here).  In this second post, I’ll be writing about the actual painting of the canvas.

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How Do I ACTUALLY Make My Dog Paintings? The Nitty-Gritty about my Tools & Techniques.

How Do You Actually Make Your Dog Paintings?  is a question I’m asked from time to time.  I’m always happy to chat through my portrait process, but here’s a post that goes a little bit deeper into the techniques I employ.

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ipaintdogs Newsletter, March 2019.

Are you on my mailing list? I hope so, in which case you will have received this today. I NEVER over-use my list and NEVER-EVER bring you tat! All letters are full of information, new offerings and oodles of dog-related news. Couple that with being the first to know about new offerings, sales and more - You can join up below and enjoy first dibs on everything!

Sam x

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Is Your Dog Bored? Do This One Thing....

Be truthful - is your dog bored?  Powerful question I know, one that packs a punch - but apart from your daily walk and his/her daily feed(s) how is your dog in between?  Sleepy, dozy and happy….or in truth, sleeping out of boredom?

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A Winter Walk with Suffolk Dog Day - wet and wonderful!

Do you struggle to find your dog-walking mojo when it’s cold, wet and windy as it was today? Today Carl, Barney and I found the PERFECT solution - wrap up and join The Suffolk Dog Day team for their Winter Fundraising Walk at Helmingham Hall.

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You've Won A Two Week Holiday in The Caribbean - What will you do with your Dog?

Have you ever considered using a Dog Sitter?  Home-boarding for your best friend when you are on holiday or away for business?  Researching the options makes interesting reading.

 
Dog Sitting Options, Holiday Care for dogs, Samantha Barnes, ipaintdogs.com
 

When Barney was little (my Cocker Spaniel) he used to go to a Doggy Day Care Centre when I had appts all day.  He loved it. He attended both Happi Days & The Suffolk Canine Creche, both of which are local to me and he really enjoyed himself.

He was a bouncy boy and as such he was best suited to morning sessions rather than afternoon.  I was told that his barrelling into play at 1pm, after lunch - just as the dogs are setting down for an afternoon nap wasn’t conducive to an harmonic atmosphere in the centre - wow, they take this so seriously.

The days he spent at the centre weren’t regular, painting my dog portraits in my studio day to day, he spends his day with me, walk first, painting second - not a bad life at all.

So his days at the centres were really up to about the age of 3, when he needed imput and to be around other dogs.

Then something happened around the age of three.  On one of our usual walks, he met a black labrador.  They greeted as usual and the lab jumped and snarled. Not the owners fault but somehow this exchange changed Barney.   

From that moment onward he is shy of other bigger dogs. He isn’t aggressive, just very wary.  Once he knows them, he is absolutely fine but when meeting a black lab on a walk, Barney’s ears go down and he stays stock still, waiting for it to pass.

Now nearly 6, Barney is happy and content with me each day and happy to spend time apart when exercised, his separation anxiety is fine for up to 4 hours - I wouldn’t want to leave him for longer as a: it’s not advised and b:  he may well need a wee!

But what happens if we go away?  Well, we are lucky to have family nearby.  He once stayed with ‘Pampered Pets’ a dog hotel nearby which was a great success, but now that he is older and it’s not regular for him to be with a number other dogs, I think he may well struggle.

So, should the need arise for us as a family to spend 2 weeks away on a Caribbean Island (no sense in aiming low) and our extended family happened to be away - what would we do with him?

I’ve been doing some researching, speaking with agencies that organise holiday care and quite frankly I’m impressed with the level of service.

There are uber levels - posh pet hotel with concierge services - these are a little high and unnecessary for Barney as that’s not usual in his life (much as am sure he would go for it willingly)  Not to mention expensive.

Dog Creche Services that run to overnight care in single bedrooms complete with beds are an option, though again, am not sure this is for Barney. Another option is family care where Barney could stay with another family for the duration and the final option is a basic kennel option - am sure he would find this stressful.

So family care looks appealing.  

A stay with another family, perhaps with children and either 1 or 2 other dogs, is absolutely the best option for Barney.

This option seems to be around £35 - £50 per 24hrs.

Sadly we aren’t actually off the Caribbean but if we were, I know the best option for Barney and in truth, am considering offering this service, family care myself - we would LOVE to have other dogs join our family for short periods, although our dog-visitor may well end up on a canvas!

More soon,

Sam

About Samantha

Dog Holiday Care Blog Post by Samantha Barnes, ipaintdogs.com

Sam is a practicing artist of 25yrs with a deep love of dogs.  Her drawings, paintings and prints are exhibited in galleries throughout the country.  In 2017 she painted her dog Barney and clients began to ask for bespoke portraits of their own best friends.  Since then, Sam has successfully painted over 60 personalised commissions and sends her dog paintings all over the world.  

She has a stand-alone testimonial page on Trustpilot and is proud to support canine charities too.

To talk about having your own dog painted or to give as a gift, email Sam on info@samanthabarnes.co.uk today.



New Canvas Sizes, A Perfect Answer.

Sometimes, over-thinking a problem doesn’t help.

For about 5/6 months now, I’ve been considering a change to my prices and loathing even the thought of doings so.  I am so comfortable with them, they have a great uptake and happily seem to be in the sweet-spot of acceptance for those wishing to have their dogs inmortalised in paint forever.

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Sometimes new ideas spring from nowhere - Welcome to my 'Dog Ditties' (2/3 min read)

Last week I took my dog for a walk which culminated in George (another beautiful Cocker Spaniel) taking a bath in the muddiest puddle possible before having a good old shake in my car, all over clean 12 shirts waiting to be ironed.  My bad completely for leaving them in the car, but his good for giving me a idea.

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What Breed of Woofer is Britains Number 1 Choice for 2019? Read this..

Britains Top 100 Dogs for 2019.  ipaintdogs.com

Yesterday I gave myself a lovely 150 minutes on the sofa, notebook in one hand & bottomless cup of tea in the other.  

Just Barney & I watched Britain’s Top 100 Dogs. Sheer bliss.

Ben Fogle & Sarah Cox ran through our nation’s best furry friends.  There were some surprises - who knew that our VERY favourite woofer is the one that is the hardest to rehome?  Read on dear hearts, read on…

If you are considering gaining a new member of your family, do make sure to do your research first.


BRITAIN’S TOP 100 DOGS

100 Otterhound

99 Afghan Hound

98 Australian Shepherd

97 Leonberger

96 Normon Sproodle

95 Chinese Crested

94 Irish Wolfhound

93 Sussex Spaniel

92 Borzoi

91 Hunagrian Visla

90 Boston Terrier


89 Schipperke

88 Chow Chow

87 Cairn Terrier

86 Bull Mastiff

85 Wire Fox Terrier

84 Samoyed

83 Welsh Springer Spaniel

82 Gordon Setter

81 Airedale Terrier

80 Pomeranian


79 Maltese

78 Japanese Akita

77 Scottish Terrier

76 Bernese Mountain Dogs

75 Norfolk Terrier

74 St Bernard

73 Saluki

72 Parsons Terrier

71 Alaskan Malamute

70 Irish Setter


69 Puggle

68 Sealyham Terrier

67 Bearded Collie

66 English Pointer

65 Rough Collie

64 Bichon Frise

63 Lhasa Apso

62 Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

61 Bloodhound

60 Basset Hound


59 British Bulldog

58 Irish Terrier

57 Siberian Husky

56 Olde English Bulldogge

55 Newfoundland

54 Yorkshire Terrier

53 Welsh Cardigan Corgi

52 Bedlington Terrier

51 Chihuahua

50 Hungarian Visla


49 Old English Sheepdog

48 Rhodesian Ridgeback

47 Pug

46 Manchester Terrier

45 Poodle

44 Schnauzer

43 German Short-haired Pointer

42 French Bulldog

41 Shitzu

40 Greyhound


39 Whippet

38 Rottweiler

37 Lurcher

36 Shetland Sheepdog

35 West Highland Terrier

34 Irish Water Spaniel

33 Tibetan Terrier

32 English Bull Terrier

31 Beagle

30 English Setter


29 Great Dane

28 Welsh Pembroke Corgi

27 Border Terrier

26 Springador

25 Dalmatian

24 Lakeland Terrier

23 Sprollie

22 Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

21 Cavapoo

20 Jack Russell

19 Doberman Pinscher

18 Dachshund

17 Weimaraner

16 Welsh Terrier

15 Cavachon

14 Dandie Dinmont Matt Terrier

13 Labradoodle

12 Miniature Schnauzer

11 Flat Coated Retriever


Britain’s TOP TEN DOGS 2019

10 Mixed Breeds

9 Golden Retriever

8 German Shepherd

7 Border Collie

6 Boxer

5 Cocker Spaniel

4 Springer Spaniel

3 LABRADOR

2 COCKAPOO

1 STAFFORDSHIRE BULL TERRIER!!!  (Well done the Staffie!)

Hooray for the Staffie!  This dog has suffered so much labelling in the past, most of which is unfair and biast.  

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier suffers for its negative press, sadly their stay in the rehoming centres up and down the country are the longest.

Hopefully it new status as Britain’s Top Dog, as chosen by over 10,000 participants will see them out of the centres and into loving homes faster.

Think rehoming dear hearts, please.

Sam

Samantha Barnes is ipaintdogs.com

About Samantha

Sam is a practicing artist of 25yrs with a deep love of dogs.  Her drawings, paintings and prints are exhibited in galleries throughout the country.  In 2017 she painted her dog Barney and clients began to ask for bespoke portraits of their own best friends.  Since then, Sam has successfully painted over 60 personalised commissions and sends her dog paintings all over the world.  

She has a stand-alone testimonial page on Trustpilot and is proud to support canine charities too.

To talk about having your own dog painted or to give as a gift, email Sam on info@samanthabarnes.co.uk today.




Thanks to hannah-lim-708852-unsplash for the dog photograph

Does Your Dog Do Silly Things?

I absolutely love to see dogs doing silly things but sometimes they are just not silly enough - to counteract this, I'm going all out silly woofers in a new collection of paintings I'm working on.

As I am sure you have recognised now, I'm a bit in love with my own dog, Barney and pretty much everyone else's too.      I've always loved them, they just make me so happy.  

With this in mind and from all the studying I have been doing for my bespoke dog portraits (www.ipaintdogs.com) I'm going to go doggier crazy and mix them into my paintings.  Dog Groomers, Elvis Dogs, Dogs on a day out - all are in the planning stage but for now, I thought I'd show you some of the paintings I've just finished - you can see them under 'Fun Dog Paintings'.

Am utterly delighted to report that they are going down a storm.

Woof!  Sam x 

'Happy Doggy Bus'

'Happy Doggy Bus'

'Circle Time'

'Circle Time'

'Dog Park'

'Dog Park'