It was all my pleasure

I had a plea from Debbie and Andy just before Christmas for help with their boisterous dogs, Nala and Lily. The main problem was walking them and subsequent barking at passers-by. They also barked at visitors to the house as I found out. We agreed 4 visits and the first was rather fraught with a lot of barking, jumping “playfighting” and generally using the house as a playground, which made the evening very lively and high energy. Debbie and Andy soon found out that although I had a lot to say on the matter, working through their individual assessments, where the dogs were concerned I barely acknowledged them. Why? – simply because they were extremely lively and jumping up and barking. Attention from me would have fueled their behaviour and made it worse. I ran through the assessment as well as offering a number of techniques. I also explained the reasons why I thought some changes needed to take place. I am always nervous about this part as more often than not the emphasis for change is on the owners and not the dogs, in my opinion. I need not have feared or been worried. Debbie and Andy couldn’t have been more receptive of my ideas and despite them, both working, they found time to train their dogs and apply the suggestions with great discipline and humour. By the second session, the barking was much reduced and the dogs had stopped using the kitchen diner as their playground. Nala, however, was quite nervous, though better behaved. By week three, there was yet more progress, Nala now far more stable and both dogs a joy around the house. They were happy to watch the other work and take turns and Andy, despite coming straight from work during each session and being tired, worked with great humour. The training moved on another notch as we explored safety issues and stopping the dogs in mid-flow. Such was the level of progress and success that by the final session we spent the entire session looking at fun exercises and how to stimulate the dog’s minds. I loved these two dogs and how far they had come in such a short time, but Debbie and Andy made the experience of training them an absolute pleasure, through their commitment to accept the need to change and stick to a strict regime. I wish them continued success and look forward to hearing about them in the future.

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