Would you like to do your bit to support your local shelter with the Tour De Rescue?
If you live in the North East, Derbyshire, the Peak District or North Wales then you can get involved in a fantastic series of events celebrating rescue dogs.
Dog trainer and author Dominic Hodgson is saddling up to ride 300 miles in four days visiting rescue centres across the UK.
He’s putting on events where people can meet dogs, learn about the adoption process and why rescue dogs rock.
Plus Dominic, 41, from Sunderland, has rounded up dog trainers and experts from across the country to speak about how to settle in rescue dogs and train them.
Regular readers will know helping rescue dogs find homes is something I’m passionate about so I spoke to Dominic to find out more.
To watch the first Tour De Rescue, tune in to my Facebook page live from 6.30pm next Monday, September 9th – @ThePawPostUK on Facebook.
What is the Tour De Rescue?
It’s an event I’m doing next month which will see me cycle around the country visiting small local rescue centres.
It’s to raise awareness about the fantastic work that local shelters so and highlight the dogs in their care which often make the most amazing family pets.
I’ve had three rescue dogs myself so I know that’s true.
We are setting off in Northumberland on Monday 9th.
On the evening Rebecca Ashworth of Raven River Dog Training is hosting a fundraising evening where a bunch of local dog trainers are coming along to share their best training advice for rescue dogs.
Then we head to Teeside on the 10th, Derbyshire on the 11th and North Wales on the 12th.
Where did the Tour De Rescue idea come from?
I’ve always been passionate about helping rescue dogs.
My original business in 2011 came about because in my spare time I was walking dogs who were looking for homes at my local rescue centre.
I’ve also been teaching and speaking all over the UK for a few years now and I’m a big cycling fan – especially the Tour de France.
I wondered if I could combine teaching and cycling and help rescue dogs at the same time, so the Tour de Rescue was born!
Why have you chosen to support the specific rescues?
I’ve got nothing against the bigger rescues but they often have more resources available to them.
I was keen to help the small one and two people operations.
They really do survive hand to mouth, have little time to do anything but get the dogs re-homed as quickly as possible.
In my eyes, they need the most help.
What’s the message behind the Tour De Rescue?
It’s two-fold really. I want to raise some money to help the rescue centres, and also to take some of the stigma away from rescue dogs.
Many people have this pre-conceived idea that rescue dogs are damaged or broken.
Often they aren’t at all, they’ve just not been given enough structure and exercise, or they’ve been bought by someone who just doesn’t know how to look after a dog.
We need to end this idea that dogs are disposable, they aren’t, and they shouldn’t be thought of this way.
If dog owners would do a few key things with their dog, they would never get to a point where they need to give the dog up.
So, education is the other part of the message.
As dog trainers and pet professionals we have a duty to help the canine community to keep dogs and owners together.
I think by putting easy to action information out there we will make it easier for inexperienced dog owners to exercise, care for and control their dogs.
This in turn will make them easier to look after and less likely the dogs are given up.
Tell us about the events, what can people enjoy?
The events are going to be amazing.
I’m really looking forward to telling the stories of the rescue dogs, and to hear the advice from the dog trainers who are giving up their time to speak.
We have over 15 speakers who have decades of experience between them and they are going to be sharing the absolute cream of their knowledge.
We’re recording the whole thing so we will have lots of great content to put out there afterwards which will hopefully help dog owners for years to come.
What’s the biggest misconception about rescue dogs?
That they are in rescue because they are bad dogs.
They really aren’t, and with the right routine in place they often make the best family pets.
The reason they are in rescue is usually because the first owner didn’t give the dog what he needed to be happy and settled.
People baby-fy their dogs, give them too much freedom and not enough exercise, and set unrealistic expectations on the dog.
It’s no wonder they become too difficult to handle and so the owners end up falling out of love with them.
You should think of your rescue dog like a good second hand car.
With the right care, your rescue dog will turn out to be more reliable, cheaper to run, it will last you a long time.
And you’ll get just as much enjoyment (if not more) than you would with a new dog
What would you say to anyone considering a rescue?
I think if you have the time to commit to looking after a dog then you should definitely consider a rescue.
These are dogs who’ve lost everything they’ve ever known, through no fault of their own, and you give them a second chance.
The really magical thing about adopting a dog is they rescue you too. Owning a dog can give your life a whole new purpose, it certainly did for me.
How can people get involved in the Tour De Rescue?
People can like the Facebook page and follow along with the event on the blog page of the Tour de Rescue website.
You can also get tickets to come along to one of the seminars which means you’ll learn something and be raising money too.
You can get tickets for the Morpeth seminar here: Northumberland Dog Training Tour De Rescue
If you’d like to attend Teeside click here: Dogwood Tour De Rescue
The Peak District event tickers are available here: High Peak Dog Services Tour De Rescue
And if you’re in North Wales, click here: North Wales Tour De Rescue.
And you can sponsor Dom here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DominicHodgson4
If you’d like to see what goes on at the first Tour De Rescue event I will be streaming it live on my Facebook page – follow The Paw Post on Facebook to tune in from 6.30pm on Monday September 9th.