April 26 – May 30, 2024


Going public

one likes to have their histories made public. I have received some detailed and fascinating information about certain family lines that are ‘for my eyes only’ and cannot be included in my wider, more public, research. Howev- er, they are a useful independent verification for research I am doing and can be mentioned in very loose terms. I very much welcome finding other research that has connected to me or my family members, but I always question what efforts the author or their researchers went to obtain my express permission first before going public. I encourage the publication of historical research because it is for the benefit of all, but it needs to be done in a considered way. Treating everyone’s in- formation confidentially and sensitively is a key starting point. All we can ask is that we all handle with care and hope recipients of this information do the same. Going public is not entirely without risk but I would encourage you to document your own family history. Questions for future articles or private client services can be emailed to DNAmatching- Follow the West Cork DNA projects on Facebook ‘My Irish Genealogy & DNA’. But, often clients start think- ing of what happened the last time they tried to teach a com- mand and it didn’t work. For example, the dog walked away, stood and stared instead of per- forming. This could be because they have that picture in their mind of them doing some- thing totally different. Lo and behold, that’s what the dog does because that’s the picture you presented. Apart from anything else, you are being indecisive. Dogs thrive on direction. 6. Don’t stop training. It’s so easy to think that once your dog knows all the commands, he’s fully trained. Not so! You need to practice those commands everywhere and anywhere, whenever appropriate: at feeding times, in different parts of different rooms, in your front and back garden, on walks. DON’T overdo the training but DO make it fun and ran- dom. You’ll be surprised at how rewarding and fun it will be!

and private domain. For some of my advanced projects I pro- duce detailed reports or research papers which are shared private- ly amongst those who have collaborated and contributed their DNA to the study. I tend to update these once every couple of years, whenever I have more data and revisions to make. All are living projects and will never end. These documents are usually in the form of PDF files and include historical context, descriptions, family trees, stories, DNA analysis, informed speculation about solved and unresolved family mysteries, location maps, diagrams,

and photos. Some have been running for so long and have so many contributors that they are reaching 100 pages. For those participating there is an understanding on sharing such information that connects us for the benefit of the group, within the group. This sounds fine. But is it? When in the clear pub- lic domain, such as writing newspaper articles or magazine features and making presenta- tions, it is important to limit the narrative so as not to include living people. On rare occasions living people are included, but it is only with their express permission and it is usually only to help present a specific point of research for a case history or advertise their interest more widely to potentially like-mind- ed researchers. More of us are publishing online using personal blogs about our family history and DNA research, perhaps printing off booklets or hardbacks that are limited editions of family histories for private circulation. My West Cork People column is just one example of ways to connect with others with the same interests. It is a fact that whenever you share online or through a printed document, or even send an email or file to one other person you are no longer in con- trol of that information and it to teach a person is to only ask JUST ONCE for a command. Think of it this way, do you like being hustled along by someone constantly chivvying you? Personally, I become hassled but also resentful at this form of coercion. If you keep repeat- ing yourself, your dog turns off until you lose the plot and shout at him. ‘Ah, yes’, he says. ‘I guess you really do mean it!’ But, again, there has to be something amiss if you have to keep asking. You ask for a sit or a stay and then you wait to give your dog a short time to do it. He sits and you reward him. If he doesn’t seem to understand what you want, then you should be able to pick up on that, in which case, you chunk down the com- mand into small pieces until he performs each part of it and understands. However, sometimes, your dog will just stubbornly look at you with no intention of doing what you ask. If that happens,

is effectively no longer private. Once issued you do not how that information may be passed on and used. There is no such thing as ‘for private circulation only’. In accepting of that fact, in all forms of publishing it is considered an essential courtesy to contact anyone you may be mentioning in any document or publication who is living to ensure they are content that they are included or the facts are correct. If not, you should not include them. A newspaper nor- mally reaches out to individuals and invites them to ‘comment’. It can be a major task to seek all the approvals you need and is an aspect of historical research that is often forgotten, which is why it is so much easier to wind up your narrative before reaching the living and potentially running into legal issues by disclosing things you should not. As part of the EU and in pub- lishing in Ireland we need to be aware of GDPR. This directive ensures people’s right to priva- cy. In the definition of ‘personal data’ it means “any information relating to an identified or iden - tifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be iden- tified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location then you need to ask your- self why, go back to absolute basics, call for help, because there’s something fundamen- tally wrong in your dog/human relationship. 3. Another common mistake is to ask your dog to do some- thing and he’s already doing it. For example, you ask your dog to Sit – and he already is sitting! Asking after he’s performed the command only causes confu- sion in your dog. You can almost see him look- ing at you, eyebrows raised say- ing: ‘But, I’m already sitting/ looking/staying/lying down’ – whichever is appropriate! 4. There are some dog train- ers who swear by a clicker to teach dogs the basic commands, tricks, and more, by marking their behaviour and rewarding them. While I do find them a useful tool in my kit, I prefer to add a verbal marker especially with beginners. The clicker must be applied immediately after the desired behaviour is

data, an online identifier.” Simply put, if your historical narrative and family description starts to include the names of living people and where they live, you risk contravening GDPR and perhaps having your publication withdrawn if there is a legal objection by some- one who had not agreed to be included or facing legal redress. You are OK, for example, to say that the now deceased Mr and Mrs Sullivan lived in Clonakilty and had three children, but you would be crossing the line if you mentioned the names of their living children or men- tioned that their son ‘John’ and his wife ‘Mary’ were currently living in a particular village nearby or other identifying information. From my personal perspec- tive, I would not usually decline being mentioned in research or publications, as long as I was able to receive a pre-issue copy to ensure it was factually correct and I was happy with what was written with regard to both the historical narrative and my data protection. It is to my advantage to be included where I have ex- pertise to offer. In many cases, my own body of research would have something to contribute and I am always willing to collaborate, review, be cited or provide insights based on my 45 years of experience. You just need to bear in mind not every- performed. If not, you might be reinforcing an unwanted behaviour. It can be quite daunting when first training your dog to specific commands. You teach him the cue, set it in motion and when he performs, you reward him. In between him complet- ing a command I like to add a verbal Good/Yes to mark that behaviour and then follow up with the reward. I find the verbal marker fo - cuses the mind as the command is being performed and the reward and/or praise is an easy follow up to it. 5. Subconsciously setting yourself up for failure. When I’m training a new dog in the basic obedience commands, I automatically focus on him carrying out each specific com - mand as I ask for it. As dogs are so intuitive, he can read the pic- tures of him sitting/staying that I’m imagining and he knows exactly what I want. That makes life easier for both of us.

THE DNA OF WEST CORK PEOPLE Mark Grace Mark Grace is a genetic genealogist and family historian at Ballynoe House, Ardfield, Co. Cork A s a family historian and genetic genealogist, I work both in the public


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Common mistakes when training your dog

trated, inclined to turn off and never want to do it again. There are a few pitfalls to this training game that can be easily avoided to ensure fun and enjoyment during a session. 1. Don’t take yourself and your dog too seriously! Training your puppy and older dog should be fun. If you turn the session into a game, it becomes more enjoyable for both of you. For example: when you’ve taught your dog the Stay and Recall, you can play a game of Hide and Seek. You get him to stay in one room while you go and hide in another and then whistle or call him. He finds you and you make a big fuss of him with praise/treats. However, if you make it so serious that you lose the plot if your dog is a little slow to obey commands, becoming angry and impatient, he’ll underper- form because he’ll be nervous at your negative behaviour. 2. Don’t repeat yourself. I find one of the hardest things

CANINE CORNER Liz Mahony Liz Mahony is an experienced Dog Trainer and Holistic Therapist for all animals. In her monthly column, Liz aims to promote mutual respect between carer and dog. Contact Liz at T raining your dog should normally be easy. It should never be so time-consuming that you and your pet become bored, frus-

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