Ted is an adventurous fox red lab that forms one-third of the trio; Tales of Ted. We chat to Ted's owners, Annalie and Ross about how they lead such an active lifestyle with Ted, activities you can get involved in with your dog, and the benefits of dog-friendly holidays.
What made you decide on getting a puppy?
It sounds like a cliché, but it was one cold, rainy winter’s day. The Christmas and New Year hype had passed and there were so many horrible things going on in the world and in the news. We usually sit and book a holiday to try and cheer us up, but we started talking about how nice it would be if we had a four-legged friend in our lives to perk us up a bit and come along with us on all of our adventures.
As a couple, we think everything through massively- some say too much. We like things to be right though and are never comfortable jumping into something without really thinking about it.
Call us geeks, but we made a list! We considered:
- Lifestyle: Does our lifestyle suit a dog?
- Time: Would we give the dog enough of our time? Would we have the time to train him both indoors and outdoors?
- Cost: could we afford a puppy, the vet’s bills, pet insurance etc.?
- Children: We would love a family in the future, so is the breed that we’re thinking of good with children?
The answer was yes to all of these questions. We started researching breeders and were initially looking at getting a chocolate working cocker spaniel, but then my Husband found a Labrador breeder based in Doncaster and his Fox Red Labradors were absolutely stunning. I’ve always grown up with Labradors, so it just had to be. The timing was perfect too as I am a teacher and they were due to be born in May, ready to be picked up in July, which meant that I would have the whole summer holidays with him. Picking him up was one of the best days of our lives and we have never looked back.
You lead a very active lifestyle; how did you get Ted involved with this?
I’ve always been inspired by people who get their pets involved in things that they love to do. We treat Ted like our first child(!) so it was super important for him to be with us on all of our adventures. We have tried to ease him gently into everything, creating positive associations with each activity, along with plenty of praise and treats!
One of our favourite things to do is packing up the camper van and heading out to different locations so it was very important that Ted felt comfortable travelling in a vehicle. We got him used to being in the van by initially spending lots of time playing with him in the back with the engine running so that he got used to the noises and space around him. This was developed by taking him on little trips here and there. He now associates the van with hopping in and going straight to sleep, which we are forever grateful for! It’s been the little things like this that we have spent a lot of time working on as we know that in the long run it will benefit us all.
What is yours and Ted’s favourite activity?
That’s a hard question as there’s so much stuff that we like to do!
We are all happier people when we’re outside. We love going away in our camper as we’re that little bit closer to nature and it’s great for keeping the mind healthy so that’s our first favourite activity, especially in one of our much-loved places- Cornwall. Over the summer we had the van renovated so it’s made camping so much comfier for us. We only had the basics done but Ted loves it and we’re so excited for more camping adventures in 2019.
Wherever we go, we always suss out the best activities to do, so if it is Cornwall then we’ll plan in some stand-up paddle boarding and surf time, but if we’re heading to the Lakes then we’ll crack out the maps and plan some pretty hiking and biking routes.
What advice would you give to others looking to starting outdoor activities and adventures with their dog?
Our number one piece of advice would be not to rush your dog into things. Take it slowly and one step at a time, as you don’t want to scare or force them into doing something that they really don’t like to do. Really think about the different things that you need to expose your dog to, so if it’s mountain biking, you’ll need to get your dog used to the bike: the sounds and movements that it makes and walking alongside it in a big, open space. Praise and treats are key! Ted can do loads of things now, but it’s took a year and a half to get to where we currently are (we’ve taken him training every Sunday up until just recently) and there are still some activities that he’s a little unsure of. Start them off young and you’re onto a winner.
What made you decide to start going on holidays with Ted?
We got married this year and had our first holiday away without Ted, on our honeymoon. It was incredible and a once in a lifetime trip, but I was so ready to get back to see him! It really made me think about our future holidays and how we can get Ted involved too. Now, a perfect holiday for us is one that we can all enjoy together – so as we consider Ted to be part of our family, nothing gives us more pleasure than seeing him having just as much fun as us. The UK has some awesome dog-friendly places including cottages, hotels, log cabins and quirky lodges; having a camper van has also really opened the doors to going away with him.
What would you recommend when looking for the perfect dog-friendly property?
Dogs are really unique and each one likes different things. Some are used to peace and quiet, others like to be right in the midst of activity. Ted likes quiet places with a bit of garden to run around in and a log burner to settle down next to in the evening! We’d definitely recommend you consider your dog’s needs, wants, likes and quirks. Every dog is a creature of habit so taking them away from their home comforts could prove to be stressful for your pooch. We always make sure that we pack Ted’s favourite toys and bed to make him feel right at home straight away. We also keep the structure of our day as close as possible to the one we have at home. Whenever we book something we think: if Ted chose, what would be on his holiday wish-list as well?
Do you have a favourite place for a dog-friendly holiday?
We’ve just written a blog about this, actually! Our number one dog-friendly holiday has to be Cornwall. Returning year after year, this place is mega close to our hearts. We’ve made some incredible memories here as a couple, with our family, friends and not forgetting Ted. The coastal scenery is out of this world; blue water like you’ve never seen before, and Stein’s fish and chips in Padstow are to die for! Some our favourite things to do in Cornwall include biking the Camel Trail, body boarding and surfing at some of our favourite beaches and having a relaxing mooch around Padstow (home of the UK’s best pasty!). The Lake District and Wales also made our top three most awesome places for a dog-friendly holiday, simply because they are both undeniably beautiful locations.
Why would you encourage others to holiday with their dog?
…because it’s so much fun! Ted is a big part of our family, and we hate thinking that he’s missing out. He makes sure that we see more of the great outdoors; we actually meet loads more people when he’s with us and most of all you don’t have to worry about getting somebody to look after your dog! There are some amazing companies out there that cater for dogs including plenty of dog-friendly eateries, so you really don’t have to miss out on the luxuries of a relaxing holiday with your family just because you have your pooch with you.
Why did you start your blog ‘The Tales of Ted?’
For us, adventure is not just a thing that is done once every so often, it’s a way of life. Whether it’s going for a long hike, run, bike or surf session, we adore getting out into the great outdoors and exploring new places whenever we get the chance… it just so happens that we now have our little Labrador to enjoy these exciting experiences with us too. We are firm believers that the great outdoors works wonders for your health. Combine this with a dog and it makes us feel great. We want to make others who read our blog and follow us on social media feel great too. We want to inspire people to try out different things, explore new places and most importantly, have fun!
What does 2019 have in store for you?
We’re sad to see 2018 go, but also very excited for 2019. I feel super proud of what we have achieved this year so we will definitely be raising a glass to that! The other day we sat down and had a chat about what we want to get out of 2019. Because we have no wedding to plan anymore, we feel like we’ve got a lot more freedom! The bucket list is being added to all the time, but we know that we’d definitely like to get better at paddle boarding and surfing, work with some more amazing brands and explore more of the UK and, who knows? maybe even Europe and beyond!
Find out more about Annalie, Ross and Ted’s adventures over at www.thetalesofted.com
If you're feeling inspired by Annalie, Ross and Ted's adventures, then start planning your next dog-friendly break right here on our website! We have a whole section dedicated to finding you the perfect dog-friendly holiday in the UK. From dog-friendly holiday accommodation, to area and walk guides that you can enjoy with your dog. Start your dog-friendly holiday search here!