Making dog beds for the game fair

We are currently preparing for the Scottish Gamefair at Scone Palace. This is a yearly event for us and Tuffies has been selling dog beds at this show for the last 15 years.

The Scottish Gamefair must be the friendliest show of them all. People who shoot and who are genuinely interested in the country side and the animals living there, all come to this show. Maybe not every year, but it’s a place most will go to on a regular basis.

Apart from looking at which luxury dog beds or maybe chewproof dog beds to get, everyone is shopping for food, shooting gear and fishing equipment.

There is also a ring with all sorts of entertainment, showing hawks, gun dogs, horses, pipe bands of course.

Dogs are very welcome and next to our stand is the famous and much visited scurry. People queue up waiting to take their dog to this competition on speed. It is all about how fast your dog can retrieve two dummies. The first one is thrown only about 30 meters away, but the grass has been left to grow and it is not always easy to find the dummy in this tall grass. Once the dog has brought it back, you put it in a bucket at which point the clock stops. Then, when you are ready, there is another dummy thrown at the other side of a small fence and again the dog has to run out and fetch this one. The scurry competition has more to it than this simple exercise. The fact that dummies have been landing all over the grass for the whole day makes it harder for the dogs to scent them for locating them. Also, for male dogs, once someone has been cocking his leg, they are all at it. Further, the fact that there is an audience watching all the time all around the ring makes it a different experience for the dog and it can be challenging, especially for a young dog.

Tuffies sponsor the scurry every year and we give a beautiful Durasoft mattress dog bed complete with a Luxury Fleece Cover for the fastest dog every day for the three days. One year one dog won two waterproof dog beds at the event because it managed to be handled by a lady on the lady’s day and a child on the junior day, hence going home with two brilliant, washable dog beds. A happy dog.

The Tuffies stand at Scone gamefair last year.

The Tuffies stand at Scone gamefair last year.

Do come and visit us and the fair, it is a lovely venue and you might find a durable dog bed you like….

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Cooling Dog Beds for hot weather

Your dog may be suffering a bit in the heat wave. Imagine having a coat like a Labrador or even like a Newfoundlander and never be able to take it off! It is a miracle that dogs don’t die from heat stroke more often than what is the case. If a dog is in a warm dog bed, he or she will be able to get off to cool down, but he can’t take his coat off. If you plan to strip or shave your dog, this is a good time to do it. At this time of the year the farmers shear the sheep and it is probably only in our minds, but it looks like the sheep are so much happier when they come back out on the grass after the shearing with their heavy jumpers off.

The danger of leaving a dog stuck in a hot car is something we are all aware of and every effort is made by dog owners to ensure that dogs don’t cook in the cars in the summer.

Taking all this in to account, there is still the question of which type of dog bed you should get for your dog in the summer. During an acute heat wave you will kind of need to allow your dog to lie where ever he is most comfortable. If that is the tiles in your utility room, then he should probably be allowed to lie there. It is a hard floor and not the best for joints and elbow callus, but even during a two week heat wave, the tiles are not going to do him any harm.

However, as a standard dog bed for the summer, it might be a good idea to change from a cosy, warm nest dog bed that your dog enjoyed in the winter to a flat mattress bed that allows air to flow and cool around him.

If you prefer to have covers that can be machine washed, we have now got two types of covers: The Twill Cover in a 100% cotton:

Tuffie Twill cover with stars

Tuffie Twill cover with stars

And the Summer Covers that are 100% Polyester:

Tuffie Summer Cover

Tuffie Summer Cover

Both of these light, airy covers are great for helping your dog to stay cool during a normal, warm summer.

The best idea is to allow your dog to have a choice between the mattress dog beds and the nest (if you have the space for this).

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Dog Beds for the Summer

Just like when we kick the heavy, high TOG, winter duvet off and eventually put it away for the summer, our dogs are also benefiting from a lighter version of their dog beds during the warm summers. Should a dog get really hot during the night, he will of course just flop on to the cool floor and be happy, but the truth is that he will be better on a supportive dog bed if you can get him one that gives him the right amount of freshness during the summer.

If your dog is treated to a Tuffie nest usually, he might find that it is a bit hot and a plain mattress bed in Durasoft or Wipe Clean is likely to give him just the right sort of dog bed, where he is supported and comfortable, but not smothered in heat. It might seem a bit extravagant, but to give the dog the choice of bedding is a good idea and at the end of the day, dogs spend an awful lot of time on their beds, so dog beds are an essential part of dog owners’ equipment with little else of much importance. Just the food, food bowl, lead and collar seem to be what is needed. Dogs are not demanding creatures, but they do spend all their idle time on their dog beds, so they deserve the best.

You might have one of the mattress beds with a warm, cosy Luxury Fleece cover, which is fantastic for winter use and all you need to do is to take the cover off, wash it and leave it off for the summer. Your dog then has a cool place to sleep if he is hot.

For travelling in the holiday period, the Tuffies Puppy Tuffie/ Travel Tuffie is ideal. First you can of course use it as a puppy bed, but it is designed to be folded out to double size when puppy has grown. In the out-folded version it is light and easy to put in the back of the car and take along with the dog. You can take it to the holiday house or friends’ and again, you can use it with or without the Luxury Fleece cover depending on the weather.

Finally, most dogs prefer to be outside on their dog beds and when the weather permits this, they love to spend the whole day outside. If you give them a comfortable bed, it is best for them. There might be a sneaking cold draught, so it is advisable to still have a dog bed with sides on. The Tuffies Raised Bed is fantastic for this. The warm liner makes it cosy and the surrounding walls give draught protection.  Just perfect.

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From Puppy Dog Beds to Big Dog beds

Nothing is more delicious than taking the new little puppy home. It is almost like taking the new baby home from hospital as you kind of set aside everything else in your normal, busy life and devote the day to take in this next chapter where the new little being is going to be part of your future life and your house. You reluctantly let go of the puppy in your lap and place it on the puppy dog bed that you have bought in advance in order to give him a little time to sleep on his own. You might even have left the new, soft dog bed with the puppy’s siblings for a while to bring the smell home with you. Friends come round to see the new arrival and there is no end to the warmth and excitement. You will always remember this day as a very special day.

You have most likely got a crate for your new puppy. The ideal puppy dog bed to have in there, is the Tuffies Puppy/Travel Tuffie. The clever thing about this dog bed is that it starts off as small and exceptionally soft and cuddly, fitting your infant exactly. It is a thin, waterproof dog bed with a beautiful, thick fleece cover, which you can take off for washing. The cover washes and dries very quickly, so if puppy has an accident it is swiftly dealt with. The best trick about this dog bed is that it is designed to be opened up to double the size once puppy has grown out of it. There is very little point in buying a dog bed small enough for a puppy, when it will only be used for perhaps three months. With the Puppy/Travel Tuffie, you will find that this bed is useful, especially in the car, as a light travel mat for years to come.

Pontus, the GWP, was 26Kgs at six months old and 30Kgs at 12 months. This shows how fast they grow into almost adult size, where they will need a bigger bed.

As a folded-out bed this is very practical solution because it won’t fill up your boot so you can’t get much else in. It is not a permanent dog bed because it does not give nearly the support that our Tuffies Mattress dog beds give, but it is fine for a week away or during the daily trip somewhere, maybe to come with you to work or the long, muddy walk.

As you progress and puppy becomes a big, adult dog, you may like to offer him a more cosy and draught proof nest dog bed. This is especially welcomed for dogs in any kind of cold or draughty room. The Nest dog beds provide security and warmth at the same time.

 

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My Dog is Chewing his Dog Beds

Dogs chew their dog beds for many different reasons.

Boredom, Anxiety, Loneliness, Discomfort, Insufficient exercise, Insufficient mental stimulation, Habit, Copycat behaviour, To relieve itchy sore gums as puppies when teething.

There are several ways you can relieve boredom and anxiety, sooth sore gums, overcome habitual chewing and prevent copycat behaviour while protecting your home and the dog beds that you would like to have for many years.

The following suggestions apply whatever the cause of the chewing/destruction may be and whatever the age of the dog or puppy.

1) Confirm with your vet that your dog is physically fit and well. An underlying ailment can lead to inappropriate behaviour.

2) Ensure your dog’s freedom is restricted to an area (preferably a house cage or kennel) where he/she has sufficient chew toys that are safe for his or her size. In the beginning of the training, your dog should have nothing else in there while you are not near. Not even a dog bed, EXCEPT if you have one of our guaranteed chewproof dog beds, The Really Tough Tuffie.

3) Make sure your dog has sufficient exercise before being left for any period of time.

4) Make sure that the exercise you give your dog is interactive with you, mentally stimulating and rewarding.

5) Leave a radio playing softly.

PLEASE DO NOT PUNISH!

Do not punish your dog for chewing his dog bed. Such behaviour happens within the first 30 minutes of being left so when you return 2 or 3 hours later, although your dog may look guilty he/she has no idea why they are being punished. They do know, however, that their owner’s homecoming his not a pleasant experience and as a result the dog’s anxiety increases and probably so will the chewing and destruction. Remember your dog is a pack animal and it is up to you to teach your dog to enjoy being left alone.

Does your dog have plenty of toys and chew toys? If they are left with your dog constantly they become virtually valueless simply because they are there all the time. If your dog has 10 toys, remove all but 2 of them and CHANGE THEM OUT ON A DAILY BASIS. That way, they retain their value to your dog. Make sure play toys are safe to be left with your dog, such as Nylar bones, hard rubber rings etc. Squeaky toys are too easily “de-squeaked” and cuddly toys too easily lose button eyes etc.This is also the reason why you should not leave a chewing dog with dog beds, except guaranteed chewproof dog beds as this can be dangerous for the dog (ie life danger or large vet bills).

Edible chew toys are great and should be:  Bones (knuckle or shin, raw or roasted. Sterilised bones (stuffed) or Kongs (stuffed with frozen mince or any other stuffing that is hard to get out).

Remember, that in time, when your dog becomes accustomed to being home alone, relaxed, he will be able to have his dog beds back and it is then a great idea to have waterproof dog beds that are easy to clean as they will get rather greasy and dirty with chew toys and food.

UPON YOUR RETURN

When you come home and greet your dog and take him out etc, then remove the toys and chew toys and food toys. Wiggle out those really tasty bits at the bottom that he maybe could not get out (and you will be considered a hero).

Allow your dog to have his dog bed back as you are now around to supervise and distract your dog in case he has a go at the bed. A good long walk with interaction and fun on your return is a great way to make the transition from being home alone and home with you and on to a comfortable dog bed.

BITTER ALOES

If your dog is still trying to chew his dog beds, even in your presence, you can spray bitter aloes on the bed in order to dissuade the chewing. You have to ensure that the spray is totally dry before your dog gets back on his dog bed as the substance can otherwise go on his coat, where he will find it unpleasant if he licks his coat. Your local pet shop or vet may stock this. But this is NOT a guaranteed solution.

Tuffies stock one large Really Tough Tuffie and one small. Both money back guaranteed chew proof dog beds.

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Comfy dog beds.

At last it looks like we have one dog that is not getting wound up about passers by. In all the time we have lived here with our dogs, it has been a set, daily pass time (or sport more like) to go nuts when a cyclist rides past the garden. The dogs leap from their comfortable dog beds and sprint down the garden along the fence line barking furiously. It does annoy me and it just isn’t good for neither dogs nor cyclist. Why, when they have both warm kennel dog beds and waterproof dog beds sitting on the patio, do they have to get off and bark?

Our new Pontus is, however, not like that. When I hear the barking and look out the window, Gaia and Gollum are racing along the fence line in the logical belief that if they bark enough, they will make the cyclist go away. Clearly they get the right result every time and it makes them feel very satisfied when the cyclist reaches the end of the fence and seem to be escaping up the road with his tail between his legs…. All along, Pontus is barely opening his eyes as he is just gassing on his cosy and warm dog bed. He can’t for his life see the point in getting so excited over a bike rider.

The dogs all have nice dog beds to lie on and in fact, if they have been out on long, long walks, they will still have a good go at the bikes.

I took them all to the beach last weekend and they absolutely loved the sea. I was watching how Gaia actually seeks a little surf on a wave. She would dive in to the sea and just wait for a wave that was big enough for her to leap on and she allowed it to take her in. Amazing to see dogs play just like humans.

They all really loved the beach and as it was on a Saturday morning, I allowed them to keep going. I did get a little worried as they just kept running till they were just little dots, barely visible. But they came back, flattening a runners nice Collie dog on the way.

As I drove home, they certainly enjoyed their warm, waterproof dog bed in the back of my pick up car after all that running and swimming.

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Bespoke Dog Beds

If you like nice things, you will probably like the idea of your dog beds fitting beautifully in to whatever space you have allocated to your dogs. Especially if you have opted and invested in one of our top quality dog beds that has a thick and supportive futon mattress inside it. Thick dog beds are not so easy to bend and they tend to look messy if they don’t quite fit in to their space.

Here at Tuffies we can make just about any size of mattress dog bed that you may want. So if you for example want to fit a dog bed in to a special transport box, we can make the bed to fit. All you have to do is to measure your space and tell us what it is so that we can give you a quote for the dog bed.  Philippa Hughes did just that and sent us a photo of her beautiful agility dogs in her car transport box. She wrote:

Hi Team Tuffies,
Attached is a photo of my agility Lurcher, Tansy with Tig, (a wee JRT rescue pup and agility wannabe) trying out their new bespoke Tuffies Durasoft mattress. They certainly approve!
Kind regards,

Philippa

Philippa Hughes' dogs in the bespoke dog bed in her car.

Philippa Hughes’ dogs in the bespoke dog bed in her car.

It seems that many of our customers make space for their dog beds under the kitchen work tops. That way the waterproof dog beds are out of the way and the dogs obviously enjoy that they can be near their masters in the kitchen. And, even better, they can spy any crumbs or scraps falling on the floor during food preparations.

You can, if you want to consider the details in terms of hygiene, whether you want a Durasoft or a Wipe Clean bed. The Durasoft is very strong and a good stable bed, while the Wipe Clean is easier to keep hygienic.

You can also have a cover put on the bed, which you can take off and wash in the washing machine. We make all the bespoke dog beds with an option of extra covers. The Luxury Fleece cover being the most popular. Here is a photo emailed in by Judi Gunning. She had a bespoke dog bed made to fit in this little alcove.

Judi's dogs on their bespoke dog bed.

Judi’s dogs on their bespoke dog bed.

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Must be the Luxury Dog Beds

Here is Pontus, he won his Puppy Class and came second in the Novice class at our Working test last weekend.

Pontus holding his rosettes from his wins.

Pontus holding his rosettes from his wins.

It must be partly due to the training and partly due to the lovely waterproof dog beds that they have. LOL.

I took Pontus to the competition on Sunday and he thought it was great fun meeting all the other dogs. A lot of the competitors also have Tuffies dog beds to sleep on and to travel on their cars, so to be honest, Pontus’ performance was probably mainly down to the training we have put in.

The puppy test was very easy, doing a little hunt in the trees where he turned quietly and kept an eye out for me. I was asked to sit him down at a distance and he duly did so.  He then had to walk out with me where I threw a dummy and walked back with him. He then had to run out and get the dummy, it’s called a memory retrieve. Here is pictures from last week practising this.

Walking out with dummy.

Walking out with dummy.

Throw and allow the dog to mark the fall.

Throw and allow the dog to mark the fall.

Walking back.

Walking back.

In a competition you have to wait till the judge tells you to send your dog.

Looks like he still remembers where we left it.

Looks like he still remembers where we left it.

Picking the dummy.

Picking the dummy.

Triumphant retrieve.

Triumphant retrieve.

There were five exercises in each class and he just managed the split retrieve. As Anne, who judged, said, it is a sign that most of us train dogs without a helper because when one dummy has been thrown, the dog just looks at the handler and does not take any account for the next one landing. I had to handle Pontus out as if it was a blind, so it became a little messy because he is not quite used to that.

The little working test is always a nice occasion and I missed it last year because I was whelping Gaia exactly on that day.

Tuffies always donate one of our luxury dog beds for this competition and it’s a big draw for the raffle.

Always good fun.

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Dog Beds for Very Large Breeds

Time and time again, we receive the most wonderful testimonials both as emails or accompanied by pictures. This is because our customers get so very pleased finally to have a dog bed that lasts. The problem with the very large breeds is their weight. All dogs will spend a considerable amount of their day sleeping on their dog beds and it is therefore important that they get a bed that they don’t trash in a short time.

Very large dog breeds that have a fine coat will be best served with a nest type dog bed as this helps keep the  draught out and keep the dog warm (owners should be vigilant when it comes to the temperature near the floor, as this can be much colder than you might think). The nests are more elaborate than mattress beds and if you buy top quality, then they will be fairly heavy to lift. Certainly, the Tuffies nest in XXL weighs around 20 Kgs, so it will not be dragged round by even the largest dog and it won’t be sliding round on the floor when a Great Dane comes bounding in and jumps on it.

Customers speak more than anything we can describe and here is the latest testimonial from a very happy customer:

Hey guys,
Just a quick message to say thank you for the amazing service and product! I never thought I’d find a bed that could entice Frank off our sofa but this did the trick. He’s had the bed about a year now and it still looks like new. I wish I’d have got one of these to start off with instead of paying £70+ every 6 months for a replacement bed big enough to support the great weight of a Dane. As you can see he has plenty of room in there and likes to roll around after a long day, he can fully stretch out on his side in it too which is great. Thanks again! Charlotte & Frankus

Charlotte Hemmingway' Frank in an XXL Tuffies Nest, Teal Durasoft.

Charlotte Hemmingway’ Frank in an XXL Tuffies Nest, Teal Durasoft.

If you are happier with a more manageable mattress bed, then that is the cheapest and easiest to have. If you do have a dog without much coat, he or she will probably  appreciate a bit of extra fleece on top, such as one of Tuffies Luxury Fleeces for the Large Mattress dog beds.

Here is a lovely testimonial to that effect:

Dog Beds from Tuffies:

Flint doesn’t like his new bed, he LOVES it as you can see! Spoilt rotten but well worth it. Thankyou. JM yorkshire.

Flint on his Tuffie bed with Luxury Fleece.

Flint on his Tuffie bed with Luxury Fleece.

Or you can give your very large dog a bed with a tunnel cover. Here is another testimonial, which tells a lovely story:

Dog Beds from Tuffies:

The tunnel cover arrived today for Sapphire’s bed. She is a blue great dane and we adopted her 10 weeks ago, through Daneline UK.

As you  can see,  she finds the bed extremely comfortable and we are delighted with the quality and workmanship. The fleece is thick and luxurious and will keep her cosy throughout the winter.

Thank you so much for your attention to detail and prompt delivery. We shall gladly  recommend Tuffies to all our friends. Please feel free to use this on your testimonials page, if you wish.

Many thanks
Rosemary Webb.

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Post surgery dog beds

Hopefully one would not be needing perfect post surgery dog beds very often, but when your dog has had an operation, it is very important that you get the right firmness and comfort for the time when the dog recovers after the visit to the vet.

First of all a waterproof dog bed is good if there is some discharge from a wound. Washing waterproof dog beds and keeping the bedding clean is important due to infection risk, so as a start, a waterproof, even wipeable dog bed is a great advantage. Disinfecting the bedding should be done regularly and the Wipe Clean Tuffies mattress beds are ideal for this. To give extra warmth and comfort Tuffies also supply fleece covers for all the waterproof beds. These are easy to change and can be put on fresh and washed every day if necessary. If you are looking at big operations with a prolonged recovery, it would be advisable to have two washable covers so you have one in the wash and one to use.

Tuffies also offer a bespoke dog bed service so if your dog has to be in a cage for restricted exercise, it is good to have a comfortable dog bed that fits the cage exactly. This means that everything is neat and nice and that there are no lumps and bumps as a result of squashing the bed in to a space too small.

Finally, the comfort is absolutely crucial. We know that Tuffies sells waterproof dog beds to many, many veterinary surgeries all over UK. They are used to give the best possible recovery environment in the recovery kennels immediately after surgery. In vet’s surgeries the beds often get a little blanket put over them so that it is extremely easy to take off and change. This is because dogs immediately after surgery tend to be very still and not move their dog beds much. Once they feel a bit better, they will start to dig around a little bit and will soon take off a loose blanket. Fitted covers work much better for that purpose.

So in summary, if your dog is going in for surgery, it is a good preparation to have a well supporting and waterproof dog bed ready for the home coming. With washable dog bed covers in addition, you can keep everything fresh and clean. The thing is, this comfortable dog bed will be a great asset for the dog also when he or she is perfectly well and recovered. Good dog beds with support and durability is what everyone needs for the welfare of their dog.

 

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