We purchased Dex, a springer who puts the 'spring' in springer, as an 8 week old puppy to train him to work alongside Clyde our 3 year old chilled out sprocker when out with our bird of prey. Although the dogs work they are pets and outside of work-mode are treated as pets.
Although at home Dex was a very confident, 'normal' springer puppy (in other words a nightmare) who loves playing with Clyde and interacts well with us, his alphas, when he saw other dogs he became a scared quivering mess who would hide between our legs and pee on anyone and anything due to being scared. This was new to us as Clyde basically ignores other dogs as no matter where we take him he is too busy searching for scents. We also found it strange as he plays with my sister's dogs - it was not like we had kept him isolated and not attempted socialisation with him.
I thought he would grow out of this as he got older but one day when at the vets he had a barking fit at another dog and I realised we needed help to increase his confidence as I did not want another dog going for him or him ending up turning to 'fight' instead of 'flight'.
We took Dex to one trainer but I came away feeling very confused and 'told off' by him and I could not face going back to him.
Steph came highly recommended from the canine hydrotherapy centre we use and we booked a one-to-one with her so she could see how he behaved and interacted with Clyde. Dex was about 4.5 months old at this time. We explained to Steph that our main aim was to have the skills to increase Dex's confidence around other dogs. Steph was confident that this could easily be achieved and we booked on Steph's 6 week socialisation and behaviour course.
At the start Dex was a barking, quivery, peeing scary-cat, but as the weeks progressed he became much more relaxed and by the end of the course he was a totally different dog, much more confident in social situations and much easier to handle.
The skills Steph taught me have been invaluable to giving Dex the ability to be a well rounded puppy and have given me the confidence that I can help Dex with his going development.
Steph imparted her knowledge and corrected MY bad behaviour in a pleasant and non-judgemental manner and I never once felt confused or like I was being told off.
I was also extremely grateful that Steph did not mind me picking her brains at other things he was doing and giving advice on the best methods of distraction to alter the naughty behaviour.
I would highly recommend Steph and the socialisation/behaviour class to anyone with a dog, no matter what age as she covers so much in the class.
Vic & Dex
Monty, my beautiful 7 week old chocolate Labrador puppy was lovingly welcomed into the family home with our two older Labrador dogs, Morgan 11 and Jaffa 10.
From quite an early age, and especially when Monty was able to go out for walks I became increasingly concerned about the lack of connection between Monty and myself. He seemed to look to Morgan and Jaffa for guidance rather than myself and saw them as the leader of the pack rather than me. As a result of this I felt as though he didn’t listen or follow any commands that I asked of him. He jumped up at people, charged over to greet other dogs not knowing if they were friendly or not, chased bikes and people that were out jogging but most worrying, he wouldn’t come back off lead when called. As a result of these undesirable behaviours I began to find walk times an increasing stressful and anxious experience. I knew that I had to take action quickly; otherwise I would end up with a big, strong, fully grown dog that I simply, couldn’t control.
Steph, came highly recommended by a family friend. I gave her a call, discussed my concerns and booked a 1:1 session for the following week. I can safely say it’s the best money I’ve ever spent. Monty and I have never looked back!
We have since participated in all the other training classes Steph has to offer at the dog training centre including puppy socialisation, advanced puppy training, brain games and fun agility. All the classes we attended were friendly and relaxed with owners encouraged to work at their own pace. Activities were fun and interesting with lots of tips and advice on how it could be extended further once Monty and I had achieved the initial task.
Monty and I are both so much happier. We now have a very strong bond, (he follows me everywhere) he greets other dogs beautifully in a polite and controlled manner and he comes back when I call him. We are still working on the jumping up but he’s significantly better than he was, but most of all, I now enjoy going out for walks with Monty and feel confidently equipped to be able to deal with any potential problems that we may encounter in a calm and controlled manner based on simple reward and positive reinforcement techniques as demonstrated by Steph.
I simply can’t recommend her enough!
Zoe and Monty
We own a 9 year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier who although he is well trained and obedient responding to the usual sit, stand and stay commands, he has never walked on a lead without pulling and has never been comfortable in the presence of other dogs.
As we have got older, we have found it more and more difficult to control his pulling and have had great concerns when coming into contact with other dogs, that is until we sought the help and advice of Steph.
Using a few simple training routines, patience and introducing him to her dogs, she has totally transformed his behaviour pattern. He now walks on a slack lead with no pulling and is much improved in the presence of other dogs. She has restored our confidence in our dog handling abilities and returned the pleasure of dog walking.
The results are simply amazing and we can’t thank Steph enough for the improvements she has brought to our dogs behaviour.
See! You can teach an old dog new tricks!!!!
Pat, John & Jake