July, 2019

Please email your blog entries to dianekunas@yahoo.com

New Member Welcome

by Estella Vaz

Guinea pigs were the pets I was allowed to have as a child and I loved them, but really I wanted a dog.  So eleven years ago, I decided that the time was right for a dog and I walked into my local rescue center and asked if they had any terriers.  The lady I was talking to answered “yes, we have lovely male fox terrier cross”.  Needless to say, a week later this young fox terrier cross came to live with me and changed my life.

As the dog ran off with my Birkenstocks for the umpteenth time, chewed up the telephone, pooped on the bed, piddled up the fireplace and had daily standoffs with my husband, I realised that this dog was not quite so ‘lovely’ and a bit of a handful.  Never one to hide from a challenge off to doggy training school we went, along with the implementation of a routine and an exercise program.  I learnt how to manage and understand his needs and as a deep bond with him grew we became a team.  Eight months later, I was back at the kennels – a Jack Russell terrier bitch joined our family with a whole different set of issues that needed addressing. 

After completing training with the JRT, I started helping as an assistant at the training school.  I found that I enjoyed helping people learn with their dogs and as a bonus I got to cuddle lots of puppies.  The instructor who owns the training school also performed temperament and behaviour assessments at the local rescue center. This seemed a natural progression and allowed me to expand my understanding of dogs by observing and handling a great variety of breeds. This work, as anyone who works with

Estella Vaz

rescue dogs knows, can be very emotional and as a result a couple more terriers came to join our expanding family, each with their own little character and issues.

Eventually, I decided that I could only learn so much studying on my own and it was time to commit to a formal canine education.  Therefore I started studying with the Cambridge Institute of Dog Behaviour & Training and over the years I have gradually worked my way through a number of the courses and workshops.  Eventually I was able to start my own practice ‘Doggie Delinquents’ providing behavioural consultations and 1:1 training for puppies and adult dogs, covering part of East Midlands (Leicestershire, Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire).  Having lived with behavioural issues with my dogs, I can truly understand how challenging and stressful this can be for owners, so I get a lot of satisfaction from helping owners work their way through their issues and improve not only their lives but their dogs too.   

As for the dog that started this journey, he still has his moments but we both have certainly come a long way from those early days.

Estella Vaz, MCFBA

International Book Award for Lez Graham


                                      Mainstream & Independent Titles Score Top Honors in the                                              10th Annual International Book Awards 

Simon & Schuster, St. Martin’s Press, HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, John Wiley & Son, Rowman & Little Publishing Group, Taschen, New World Library, Forge Books,  American Cancer Society and hundreds of national and international Independent Houses contribute to this year’s Outstanding Competition!

Animals/Pets: General
                             Manners not Mayhem : A common-sense approach to raising, training                                      and living with your puppy by Lez Graham, MA
Braidwood Books

More Good News for Lez:               

The Pet Gundog was in the top 1.3% of all books sold on amazon last week!

Congratulations Lez!

Lez Graham, MA. FCFBA

CFBA Member Discounts

A Reminder of all CFBA Member Discounts

20% off of all courses for CFBA Members using the code cfba20 at the checkout.

Benyfit Natural

20% Off all products for CFBA Members when using CFBA20 at the checkout.


10% off of trade prices when ordering 10 or more units (mixed). You will need to email your order to info@gencon-allin1.co.uk

You can also get 10% off of retail prices when ordering less than 10 units using the code CFBA10 at the checkout.

Sara Abbott Artist


10% Off of a bespoke artwork experience. (Visiting the home, taking photographs, choosing an image and an oil on canvass  delivered back to you). £50 will also be donated to a dog rescue organisation.

For Dog Trainers

15% Off all products using the code CFBA15 at the checkout.

KJK Rope Dog Leads


20% Off of all products. Must be ordered by telephone 01884 254191 or email customerserviceskjk@btconnect.com


10% off of all orders using this link: https://gravyo.co.uk/discount/CFBA10INTRO or simply using the code CFBA10INTRO at the checkout.


Members of the CFBA are invited to join the referral scheme – you will receive a unique reference number to provide to clients and when they place their order the client receives a free full size product with their order and so do you as a thank you for referring. Excellent products.

The Golden Paste Company

10% Off all products when using the code ‘Canine&FelineAssociation’ at the checkout.

June 2019

A Message for all CFBA Members

A message for all CFBA members,

This is just to remind all members who have signed up to the new membership subscription payment service, your payments will be taken automatically on their renewal date.

So if you’re a full member, your payment of £175 will be taken annually, or £43.75 every three months – depending on which subscription you chose.

Likewise if you’re an associate member, your payment of £65 will be taken annually, or £32.50 every six months – depending on which subscription you chose.


You can of course cancel your subscription payment at anytime by signing into your PayPal account – or just get in touch with us and we can cancel it.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you need to clarify anything about your membership.

John Bowe

Dog Train-ing A Guide to Taking your Dog on the Train

Half of British dog owners (51%) refuse to go on holiday without their pets according to new research. And, a further 32% insist their dog is as much part of the family as their children. 

In addition, a staggering 54% would prefer to go on holiday with their dog than their partner, claiming they are better company (48%), better behaved (39%), don’t snore (30%) and don’t hog the bed (26%). 

The study of 1,000 British dog owners, commissioned by East Midlands Trains to celebrate the launch of a new range of pup-friendly provisions on selected routes, found that our four-legged friends are surprisingly well travelled. The average pooch ventures 500 miles every year, a third of dogs have been to a dog-friendly health spa (31%) and nearly a fifth (18%) have even attended a festival. 

However, many owners are unsure about rail travel, with 59% admitting they don’t know the rules concerning taking dogs on board. A third of people (30%) believe dogs aren’t actually allowed on trains, with nerves being the main reason for the majority of dog owners to avoid rail travel (55%) with their furry friends. Despite this, half (50%) of those polled said they would take their dogs on the train if they understood the on board rules. 

In response, East Midlands Trains has partnered with canine behaviourist, Colin Tennant, to devise the ‘Dog Train-ing’ guide specifically designed to help make travelling with four-legged friends as easy and as passenger-friendly as possible. 

Dog-owning passenger’s biggest travel concerns are addressed in the handy guide and video which sees Colin showing how our pooches can actually be the perfect train traveller. Major worries include the likes of dogs being too big to travel on board (36%), drooling (31%) and getting too excited (55%).  

The rail operator is also rolling out a range of pup-friendly provisions, including dog bowls at main stations and doggie treats (donuts bespoke for canine consumption) on board, to make travelling with pooches even easier.

Jake Kelly, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains says: “We welcome well-behaved pets on board and know there are plenty of advantages to travelling by train with your pet. However, it’s clear that some owners are unsure of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to bringing a dog on board. To help out, we’ve created a handy guide and are launching brand new doggy provisions on selected routes so that your dog, you and all other passengers are as comfortable as possible when using our services.” 

The research also discovered that most (69%) dog owners believe their fellow passengers are friendlier when they have their four-legged friend in tow, with two thirds (68%) polled revealing they have more conversations with their fellow passengers (68%) when accompanied by their pooch. Half of male dog owners even went as far to say that they could see these conversations leading to a date, compared to just 38% of women. 

Male dog owners also thought their pooch travelled better than their partner (32%) – twice as much as women (15%). So, it seems dogs really are a man’s best friend. 

Elsewhere in the research, the study found that the average pooch had visited three countries in its lifetime, so it’s not surprising that more than half (56%) of owners aged 18-29 year old owners said their dogs are more seasoned travellers than their parents.

Whilst a third (31%) of British dog owners admit to taking their dogs abroad with them, 14% confess they only take a UK staycation where they know their pooch is welcome. Blackpool Pier (16%), Stonehenge (16%), Land’s End (15%) and Big Ben (14%) are amongst the top tourist hotspots Brits love to visit with their dogs.

To download the handy ‘Dog Train-ing’ guide, and find out the services rolling out the doggy perks, visit the East Midlands Trains website:


May 2019 Newsletter

Introducing the New CFBA Magazine Forum

Editor Introduction

Dear Members,

Please allow me to introduce our new magazine forum!  Instead of a quarterly PDF containing anywhere from 8 – 12 articles, I will send 2 – 4 article blog updates via email, similar to what you have received here.  I will email the blogs when relevant news and news of interest is brought to my attention, and where applicable I will source further, complementary articles to add to the theme of the blog.  Once published, updates will only be made available to CFBA members, to include a blog archive.

I always welcome unsolicited articles, and will still request articles or input based on the subject at hand, at which time I hope you will embrace the opportunity to share your expertise.  Many of you have been diligent about doing so, to include a series of formerly published small business articles recently sent to me by Dean Hart (which will be used in upcoming marketing blogs).


As another example, one of the articles in this blog is written by me – an editorial of one of our member’s books.  I know there are many published authors within our association, thus, and again, I encourage you to share your work with the rest of us, whether you provide your own summary or submit an editorial or testimonials written by others. 

I am also interested in breed articles, rehabilitation challenges and successes, and insight into your individual work …

For this blog, and in addition to this introduction and member book editorial, I also welcome new member, Sam O’Connor.

Diane Kunas, MA, MCFBA

New Member Introduction by Sam O'Connor

I know it’s a cliché but I have been obsessed with dogs ever since I was a child.  I have no idea where my interest came from – we didn’t have pets in the family at all, I wasn’t allowed a dog as my parents worked all day but from as early as I can remember I would invent imaginary dogs that I pretended I was walking round the garden and was desperate to play with my friends dogs all the time. I was forever going up to stroke dogs I didn’t know that were tied up outside the supermarket, which not surprisingly resulted in me getting snapped at quite frequently!  This never put me off though and dogs held my interest throughout childhood, even doing my work experience placement at a local boarding kennels, until eventually I came to a bit of a crossroads and a huge decision to make – do I go to University or do I go and work with dogs?

When I was 18, going to University was the thing to do.  Everyone at my school went, and I would never have imagined that I would be any different or have the confidence to be different.  Animal behaviour degrees weren’t on offer back then and the closest thing I could get to anything related to my interest was Zoology and I tailored my A-levels towards this.. However, soon after my work experience, I spotted a tiny advert in the back of “Dog World” newspaper for Bellmead Kennel staff Training College in Berkshire, the largest & most popular animal boarding facility in the South East.  Bellmead was offering a year’s placement to study for an NVQ in Animal Care & Management and whilst this was “going against the grain” as far as my school was concerned, ultimately, I decided this was the right route for me and at 18, I took a leap of faith. 

Bellmead wasn’t just a dog & cat boarding facility and a training college, it was also the country residence for the most famous rescue in the UK, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. 

Right from the start I was in my element, surrounded by dogs of all shapes and sizes, some who had owners, some who didn’t, but it wasn’t all fluffy puppies & cute kittens, it was really, really hard work!  Having sad that it was probably the best year of my life – I was out in the real world feeling really lucky that I was getting to do exactly what I had dreamed of, watching and learning how to handle and train dogs.  

That first year at Bellmead turned into a 23 year career in the animal welfare industry working in numerous different roles including running & managing a rehoming department, collecting stray dogs as a Local Authority dog warden, working as a canine temperament assessor, handling and training dogs of all ages, breeds & temperaments & most recently in an extremely emotionally challenging position as an intake co-ordinator for Battersea, helping people who were no longer in a position to care for their dogs.

I’ve owned two dogs of my own – Tia, a Border Terrier X who suffered with nervous aggression towards people & dogs and Dudley, a deaf Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  I worked so hard with Tia’s issues and we made such great progress together that she went on to compete in agility and was also a Battersea mascot, making appearances & greeting guests at various red-carpet events, attending photoshoots and starring in an TV advert for the Home. 

So here I am now with a wealth of knowledge and experience to share. My skills have come from observing, handling & training literally thousands of dogs but I feel my full-time career within animal welfare is drawing to a natural close. Not because I don’t genuinely love it, I do, but because, like many jobs that involve such heightened emotions & hard-hitting issues, it definitely gets harder to cope with as you get older!

My choice now is to put everything I have learnt along the way into practice and utilise it to prevent more dogs ending up in rescue.  I am passionate about educating people in how to raise and socialise their puppies in the very best way so as to avoid the sorts of problems I faced with my own dog & have seen in so very many of those who come through rescue and I want to work with those owners who are struggling with their dogs but who are committed to working through problems.  

I have recently committed to updating my education and am currently working towards a Higher Certificate in Professional Canine Behaviour Practice with Cambridge Institute of Dog Behaviour & Training.  Late last year I was ackowledged as a Master Trainer with the Guild of Dog trainers and am proud to say I am the newest full member of the CFBA. 

I offer private, 1-2-1 training for puppies & adult dogs and behaviour consultations throughout Surrey & West London.

Sam O’Connor, MCFBA


Puppy Coach by Jo Croft: Book Review by Diane Kunas

I recently welcomed a puppy to my home!  It’s been a while, so I thought it a good idea to brush up on what is new in the land of puppy journalism – for both my puppy and professional benefits.  What better way to start than to check out what my CFBA colleagues had to write on the subject! The reading began with Puppy Coach by Jo Croft (2017). 

Puppy Coach is literally everything and all-encompassing puppy: 30 Chapters and 300+ pages, all of which I read in a matter of days.  Of course I was very motivated by the impending arrival of my pup, but my eagerness to keep reading went beyond my own puppy-brain – it is an incredibly solid and immensely practical book! 

Another sign of a good (and again, practical) book are the number of pages that are dog-eared, and mine looks like it’s prepared for a lecture.  And while I could list the depth and breadth of what is covered, much of which, to my knowledge, has not been covered in so much detail and in one place, my biggest takeaway was an overarching theme of keeping calm regardless of whether you’re training, engaging in play, socialising, or when you’re dealing with the whole realm of common puppy problems.  This may seem like common sense, especially when you work with at least one puppy every other day of the week, it is different when the puppy is your responsibility every second of their critical, early developing life!  Therefore, and with this said, maybe the best sign of all is that I believe either I have an exceptionally remarkable puppy, or I am doing an exceptionally remarkable job –  I am inclined to say the latter, because at the top of my mind and at every moment (even when the ‘mini monster’ horns were full-on out), I stayed calm, and what is shaping before me is a calm and balanced dog. I’d like to think that this book reminded me of what I needed to remember most, and it set me up to success!

In perfect world, all new and novice dog owners would be required to complete the tasks at the end of each chapter.  If one doesn’t have time, inclination or interest to do so, perhaps they are not ready to take on a puppy!