Dog Training and Dog Care advice from UK Professionals


ChesterThis is me, Judith Billingham, and my dog Chester.

My husband had been on about getting a dog for a while and we'd both agreed that a Golden Labrador was the breed for us.

One day, he picked me up from work and we drove out to Cramlington, past Newcastle, to "Have a look" at him. This is ridiculous, really. We all know you don't go to "Have a look" at a puppy. I managed to hold out until we got back home and I was straight on the phone "Can we please have him?" I've never looked back.

Chester was 3 1/2 months old when we got him and I've never had such a lovely, obedient, willing puppy. He came housetrained, leash trained, crate trained and ready to roll! He's such a good dog that I can't imagine life without him, and we've only had him three weeks. It must be puppy love!

He's recently discovered how to make his toys squeak, which is an excellent trick when you're trying to watch TV and he's tearing around the house with a squeaky football in his mouth!

He loves cuddles but is still a bit afraid of the dark and doesn’t like going out at night – he sticks really close to us when we take him out after dark. He’s a sociable little fellow, who enjoys meeting other dogs and people, but is relaxed and easygoing enough to fall asleep in the middle of the room when he’s tired, regardless of what’s going on around him.

ChesterWe’ve had all the best enjoyment out of him without any of the drawbacks, he sleeps through the night in his cage, doesn’t chew anything he shouldn’t (so far) and we haven’t had any accidents in the house to deal with yet.

We’ve just booked up to go on holiday, and have had no shortage of offers from people to look after him while we’re away – that goes to show how popular he is with family/friends already! Also, the kids next door were terrified of dogs until we got him, but he’s been fantastic with them, really placid and laid-back, so they’ve both managed to overcome these fears and really enjoy playing with him all the time now.

I just love my little guy so much! He’s so loving and affectionate, and funny to watch when he plays with his toys outside. There’s something very humorous about seeing a little puppy carrying a football in his mouth when the football is about the same size as him – sometimes the ball hits the ground and Chester’s momentum keeps him travelling over the top – forward rolls and somersaults. The best thing is, knowing that no matter what kind of day I have had at work or what kind of mood I’m in, there is someone there who is waiting to see me, and who is so excited when I come in that not only does his tail wag, his entire back half is wiggling with joy!


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