Bruff's Bark Blog: 2011

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas from Bruff's Bark

Merry Christmas from Bruff's Bark!

Rhu, Skye and myself wish you a happy holiday and if your four legged chum needs a walk whilst you're nursing an over stuffed belly or sore heid we're only a phone call away!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Play time - More outdoor fun with Rhu, Skye & Winston

Here are two more videos of Winston out playing with my girls Skye and Rhu. Winston just loves Skye and follows her everywhere - she watches out for him as well and it is SO sweet! You can see them catching different scents, separating and them going back to each other and back to me when called. They are so good with each other and proves even the most different breeds of dogs can be friends and play well, just takes training, patience and watching them.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Yum Yum Yum!!

Here's a short video of Winston and my girls Skye and Rhu eating cheese and fruit pudding baked into empty bones. It's a great treat for them and keeps them occupied and gives me some peace to have a cuppa :) Look at how well behaved they are - bliss!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Go Buster go!!!

This is a great recent video I took of Buster running alongside me as I cycled along our usual path. As you can see he loves it! This is a fantastic way of exercising dogs - it tires them out, its loads of fun for you and the dog and it keeps them concentrated.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The Power of the Pug! Batteries NOT included

Winston - This little ball of energy is my girls' new best friend - well, Skye's at least.

He lives round the corner and is 15 months old. I picked him up on Friday afternoon and delivered him tired, happy and hungry to his mum on Saturday afternoon. In that time he had brought Skye to near exhaustion!

He munched his dinner...

...attacked my flatmate with his rambunctious energy...

...and kissed his girlfriend Skye.

He did sleep - after playing for a good couple of hours and then it was playtime again!

It is great to see Skye play with Winston, she does try to play with Rhu, but as you can see from the video Rhu sat on her throne and let the youngsters play.

George is back!

The girls welcomed George back a week later! He arrived on Thursday, had a play, a wander along the path and a sleep!

It is great when I can introduce a dog once to my girls and the dog can come and stay all the time. The only way you can introduce this sleepover is to have a very passive but TOP DOG which in my care is Rhu.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Bruff's Bark Prices and Services List

Please check out the updated Bruff's Bark price and service list.
Any questions please give me a call!

George the Basset Hound came to stay for the weekend

Overnight stays are a service Bruff's Bark offers. Weekend boarding is available although subject to the dog and conditions but we've boarded several dogs of different breeds and dispositions with nae problem. In a warm, safe environment after a good walk and play every dog can learn to settle and enjoy their own holiday!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Possum, Jess, Abbey and Saskia playing

Here's a fun video of three regular Bruff's Bark dogs playing with their friend Saskia. Play is a vital part of dog walking and training - if you show's them who's boss but then trust them to behave and allow them friend the rewards are... well, watch the video to see the results :) Enjoy!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Kisses for my girl

                                           THE STUD!

Rhu and Buster sitting in a tree k i s s i n g !

I have my stick!!

i love you!  
Big boy Buster is back in the scene!

He is very taken with my girls, kisses and cuddles all round. Buster is a YEAR OLD !!! It is amazing to watch the personality, the size and the determination of the this young man.  He wants it he will get it!  Buster has had the best socialisation with other dogs since he was a wee man. Puppy classes, his mum and dad and now me.  

I do the follow on from puppy classes, if you continue to challenge your dog with training and problem solving they will be a happier healthier pooch.

WOOF WOOF - not in my house!

Georgeand Skye havn a snore

I am not moving!

MMM, Nice!
Now this is George , the 11 year old Bassett Hound who I was told was  a naughty boy. I dont't know about you, but if I am told enough times that something will not work I usually keep at it.  George arrived on Saturday and left on Sunday morning and  I have to say - No Naughtyness!

He does like to hear the sound of his own voice - at his house! At my house differnt story, in the hours that he was with me it averaged out 15 mins of barking the whole time!

He really enjoyed the company of Skye she was his pal for the evening.

Again it was a matter of swapping bankets with the clients so that both sets of animals were aware of the scents and having a couple of walks with the dog.

George was great and a little bit of TLC goes along way!

Friday, 18 November 2011

The Lady Hana

I was away dog sitting for a week at the beginning of November, I do do dog sitting but I don't think I would be able to get  away with it again- for a week. My girls were not impressed!


Now this big boy is a favourite of mine. He takes me back to where I am happiest- Costorphine Hill.

Because the weather has been so good the trees and paths up there are lovely.

He is a 9 year old Alsatian male who is a joy. He was a rescue! Had a very tough time when he was growing up, his new owner have loved him to the dog he is today. He had a few medical problems when he arrived, one being his food, he was unable to eat.  Because he was kept out side with little or no food he would eat the mud and the grass. This upset his tummy a lot. So when his new mummy and daddy took him home to his safe warm INSIDE home they spent 18months getting his tummy under control.  He has a diet of a bone and mixed dog food. It works he is happy healthy dog, it takes time for any dog or person to settle into a new environment. 

Slowly and carefully is the best way.

Abbey, has a new brother- Wilf

Abbey has a new friend to play with - a 2 year old Cockerspaniel, Wilf.

He is a great wee thing though. Bonds very quickly with people - it is in his nature. Has no problem staying in a new house with a female dog and female cat. 

If you are thinking of getting a new dog, make sure you introduce them outside the original dog comfort zone, try to get a blanket or towel with the new dog sent on it and give a blanket with the original dog sent on it to the new dog.  Taking them out to play introducing them both to the same things helps them bond, when feeding always feed the original dog first in its usual place, when the new dog eats- place its food in a completely different area. Make sure the original dog is another room - it means later you are able to feed the dogs at the same time and in the same place.
You must be around for the first couple of feedings so that you can intervene if there are any problems with the dogs. If you take it slowly and calmly the dogs will understand you will not put up with any nonsense.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Big Bad Buster

There he is, in all his chocolate glory! This young lad really puts a smile on my face, he just makes me laugh.

Buster came to me because of his naughtiness on the lead and his utter deafness to his mum and dad.

He went to puppy classes, which are great  until they grow a little bit bigger- like this wee man.

If you have more than one person walking the dog you should keep the commands the same.

Buster had lots of words that he knew but they were used all at the same time which confuses the dog.

I had Buster for 4 weeks and the difference on the lead is much better. He has ONE word for walking on the lead and when he is off the lead. By doing this Buster understands and enjoys his walks much more.

When working with the family I took some of them out and gave them the commands and worked with them so they got the same reaction from Buster.

It is not just working with the dog, it also working with the family or owner so that the dog succeeds.

I can't wait to see Buster working for his family and having fun!

Zero back in the house

We has Zero back with us in September. A home from home.  Lots of play and running with the girls.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Under control

Stockbridge Edinburgh shared Scottish SPCA's status update.
Can any owners walking their dogs near Inverleith pond in Edinburgh please ensure their dogs are under strict control. There has been a drainage issue which has meant swans normally on the water are now standing in mud. Unfortunately, two swans have already been attacked by dogs, with their injuries currently being assessed. Thank you

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Do I need to buy a new sofa?

Since taking on dogs and bringing them into my house I have wrapped cover in old duvets and cushions in pillow cases, but I have become more and more aware of I do not have a seat in my own house!

It does not take long for a dog to figure out where it feels most secure and that is on my sofa!

Fun in the sun!

What a day to be out in! The sun was shining people were smiling and the dogs were having a great time!

It was great to have Sashka out playing in the park today, Abbey, Jess and Possum were also out in the park , so it was a great time of playing . I brought toys, but Sashka and Abbey were having too much fun to play with toys

you move no you move!

So cute little and large running together.

Dogs in the house!

I have been given the responsibility of looking after 2 dogs 5 days a week from early morning to 6.30pm each night.  Lennox, is a 7 year old Doberman and Diesel is a 9 year old Staffy.  I pick them up in the morning and they come to mine for their breakfast and dinner.

At the moment I am working with Lennox for his barking,chasing bikes, rucksacks, hats really whatever he feels as a threat, he will bark, pull, strain and generally stress himself out. 

Dobermans are built and programmed to defend.  If you don't let the Doberman know who the boss is,  they will walk all over you. They have to feel secure, you have to be able to show them that you are the leader and they will follow.

Working with Lennox is great, he is a smart boy, but because he has got away with so much he thinks he can push me around-  BIG OOPS on his part.

Breaking his usually reactions has been going well. Giving  him the opportunity to make the right decisions when he is out and not getting stressed when dealing with any of his HATES helps him relax when walking.

My girls are great when they have friends in there houseI do not let any barking, growling or food stealing in my house. If a doggie comes to mine they go home better, happy and educated.

Dog sitting

This mature lady is Hannah, she is a 11 year old collie cross. She has a great temperament, and is full of stories.

Her mummy went on holiday for a weekend and I went to look after her. 

I spent a couple of weeks coming and going from her house, giving her walks and feeding her. This way I was able to bring about a relationship with the dog before I came to stay.  Her mummy explained that she is set in her ways- well she had her mummy fooled! This lady ate all her breakfast, dinner, went for walks and played lots into the garden.

It was a really good couple of days for Hannah, she felt secure happy and relaxed for the time I was there and it only took a wee bit of work but her barking has calmed down.


The summer has left us....what summer I hear you say - I would agree. As during the summer I had to go and buy more WET GEAR.

It has not stopped my charges and me getting out in the rain and wind - they love it!

Possum and Jess are making so much progress.  Barking, pulling, returing and playing well with other dogs has gone really really well.

Possum with her ball, and Jess with her "good boy toy"

Jess had the real problem of barking when her owner left her in the house. Now, over the last couple of weeks I have taken Jess and ran her ragged. The barking has stopped, unless you go to the door. She has a routine, and understanding of words now. It is great to see her chilled going into her house and looking forward to having a rest.  Before it was a nightmare trying to get her on the lead getting her to understand to go to the toilet outside, this little lady is a smart little thing and the shine that is in her eyes makes all her hard work  happy.

Wee Jess out and about playing.

More pals

Here is Abbey and Jess running wild in the park. These two are great together they swap toys, tug on toys, chaise each other, tell each other off and really have a great time.

It is good to have a older dog play with a younger one. They get taught manners and learn how to play not so roughly with the older characters.

Abbey has been with me for a month or so now and the difference in her walking on the lead recall and learning has been so much fun. She always has a big smile for me when I pick her up, although she makes me feel so guilty when I take her home. It is all in their eyes!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011


Maria Galea (
Sent:22 August 2011 22:33:51

Hi Hilary,
I am attaching a contribution for your webpage.
Is this what you were after?
Do not hesitate to let me know if you wish something more
formal in terms of reference.
I will be in touch shortly with dates for the September
George is away just now and has not left me with exact

We went away for 3 nights and left our whippet Zero with Hilary and her two girls for the first time last month.
 Zero was made to feel welcome, given as much exercise and attention as a young whippet desires and came back to us calmer and more responsive!
 Hilary is reliable, knowledgeable and confident. Most of all she is passionate about four legged creatures!
We feel we can go away without worrying about Zero. It’s a home from home!
We have no hesitation in entrusting Hilary and her girls with our Zero again!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Three happy little ladies

JessPossum, and Abbey were enjoying the SUN yes the SUN was out ! We were off  playing in the big park with toys and sticks. They were able to run around without getting muddy or smelly.

The girls are really very tolerant of each other. Abbey is the youngest, but thee biggest.  She watches the other two and runs with them. It is great when you see  the temperament of the dog change as it gets introduced to new experiences.

What a pretty picture, three terrors, three toys and the most important three tails that are all wagging.


I have been looking after two sisters Jess and Possum this week and I have had Abbey out as well. This was a fun day - again it was RAINING - Summer it is not!  So once again poor wee Abbey was soaked. She must see me and think - " wet again"

Although they were wet they had a great time. It is good to let dogs play and introduce themselves to others while they play. They are distracted, but if they have a toy try to get it before introductions as sometimes there can be a bit of a growl.

Abbey Jess and Possum all wanting the same ball


It is great fun watching these wee ones running about. Jess and Possum have a throw ball which they just stole from Abbey.
Having these three out at once is really good for their confidence and acceptance of other dogs.
After a good play these three were ready to do some work, they sit together, they go down together and they walk well together.

It always helps to have a good play before you do work with the dog, it shows you are fun and the dog becomes more responsive.

Double trouble, but in miniture!

Now these two little ladies are sisters. And they defiantly do it for themselves. They live in different houses and have been trained in somethings and not others.

My job was to make the transition from one house to the other easy for doggies and owner. Jess moved into  Possum's house last Saturday, it was a happy day for Jess. She is lonely wee girl, she likes to have people around,  cuddles or have her sister close.  Jess is an amazing wee thing, she just doesn't feel secure. 

That can be a real problem for wee doggies being left, wanting attention because they are small and cute we either give them too much or nothing at all. It has to be consistent when you wish to give it not when they bark jump or whine.

Having Possum as an influence has helped Jess with her toilet training, company and understanding of being indoors.

Possum is Jess's little sister she loves being out running for her ball, she was an easier case than Jess, but their were little thing that she is much better with now.  Barking and whining were here main bug bares.  This is an easy thing to fix just a wee noise and praise eventually the doggie gets it- if I am quiet I will get attention!

I have had these two out morning afternoon and evening - and it has been great.  They have learnt alot in the time I have had them, walking better on the leads, understanding "Busy"= Pee "Busy Busy"= Poo, recall and greeting other dogs.

Look who it is - Buster !!
We were all in the park together having a run jump and play, poor Buster had no chance the girls they ran rings round him it was a lot of fun to watch. Both girls had toys and Buster poor lad couldn't play with either, but the one I gave him wasn't what he wanted!

I have noticed that whatever the other have they want, it reminds me of kids " I want that one!"

This one is mine that one is yours!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Baby baby, she is back!

And here she is back with me! Abbey!  This darling girl has been a bit naughty in the time she was a way from me- eating her daddys mattress and couch! Not so good.  Abbey cameback to me 2 weeks ago and the difference in her is considerable, she has learnt a new command "PLACE" which is great for rubbing her down after getting soaked, but also it is handy when you want her to sit somewhere specific.

So this little madam is back playing and learning.  Abbey doesn't like load noises or traffic so we have been taking trips across Ferry road to get to Inverlieth park.  Treats and pats and "good girl" have enabled this little lady to walk to heel across a busy road without stress.  Abbey is a great wee dog and my girls are fond of her.

Poor Abbey, for the last couple of trips out it has been raining! Not just a wee bit, the torrent that you come out of your house and you are wet by the time you get to the gate.  She has been a great wee sport though, she does enjoy a good old rub down when she gets back in from her adventures.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Greyhounds they are not!

I love my girls, but after you have them active for a few days they like to take it easy!

So in an effort to get them moving we have been standing some distance apart and getting them to run to us. This is a picture is pure joy of knowing by them that they are getting a treat at the end of their sprint!

New boy in house!

I haven't had chance over the last week to put on my doggies.

I have had a border for a few day  last week Zero.

Now my wee man who stayed with me last week was Zero, he was a skinny wee man but had the appetite of a horse!! Now this Whippet is 4 years old and is owned by Dr Galea and here husband another doctor- they live up Ravelston Dykes.  He arrived on Wednesday night and left us on Saturday night.  My girls were very upset and lonely. 
Skye had a great time, she had someone to run with chaise and cuddle. 

Rhu wasn't really that bothered, when he arrived she pottered lay on his bed and then went to her own.

The girls and Zero had the best couple of days they got to play with all their friends.

We also had Gorgeous George out and about in the park, having a run about. It was a contrast to see a Basset and a Whippet standing near each other. Not just body types, but the personality.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Hello Hello Hello

Now this boy is a Pro Bono case, his name is Levi and he is a Staffy Collie cross. He is about 10 years old and has had no training. He is seldom on a lead, likes to run away and not come back.

I have taken on Levi, and already he can walk on a lead, sits and waits at road crossing and the main bug bare is BARKING - it all comes down to is exercise,attention,stress and fear.  I am not a fan of barking doggies in a good or bad way.  I have been working with Skye with her barking - she does it out of fear. That is a hard one to crack, fear. Sometimes she can be fine but sometimes she can go mad.

Levi gets on well with most dogs but you have to be careful, because of his age and his breeds he can be possessive of toys.  I bring my own toys to the park so that no dogs can get to attached to one toy.  Levi has come on leaps and bounds he has calmed down he does not bark in when I have him out he has stopped going mad in his house because he is exercised.

Working with dogs that have problems is so satisfying it puts a smile on my face. To have other neighbours comment and watch the dog progress in a short period of time is very good.

Look look I have the toy!!

Now this big boy is Reo Hepburn the black lab.  He has had a ruff couple of months, he is a very brave and durable boy. He was attacked by another dog in March this year.  He was badly injured, he had hurt his back and front leg, it was a scary time for the owner. I was in the park at the time and was  hand to give help and assistance.

You can see in the back ground Rhu and Buster, now I shouldn't be happy about this but my lovely Rhu has been teaching Buster to find apples! He follows her round and whatever she has a look at, taste or pee on he will follow!

28th May 2011
To whom it may concern,
I have known Hilary Bruff for around 6 months, and at all times have found her to be pleasant, friendly and warm. She is a very helpful and responsible individual.
Hilary is able to act calm and rational in emergencies, as she did when my own dog was injured and rushed to the vet one evening. She is well-informed in dog behaviour, and how dogs can react in particular situations.
Whenever I have seen Hilary with her own dogs/others she is always well equipped with toys and such like and they always seem very happy! Therefore I would trust Hilary 100% with my own dog, as I know he would be safe and enjoy the time, and recommend the same to others.

Joanna Hepburn