Dog-Training4u Blog

Dog Aggression towards Dogs

Amongst my lessons today I had three clients who’s dogs were all displaying dog aggression. I had a 5 year old Labrador that is attacking dogs on a ‘public right of way’ across the owners land, a 5 year old Jack Russell x Poodle and 2 year old Miniature Schnauzer who also aggressive towards people.

All 3 dogs have common factors, they are all over loved and have no structure, boundaries and limitations. Every command has to be repeated, whilst the owner will sometimes give up trying to complete a task. Over loving their dogs has created an in balance in their pack structure. All three dogs believe they are the alpha leader, thus creating the need to strike out to any dog or person that approaches. As humans we feel the need to over love but all this does is create nervousness. Having no commands and bond in place has heightened the anxiety of each dog, therefor whilst the dogs have become nervous so to have the owners. Approaching dogs owners are tensing up, becoming anxious which only feed through the lead to their dogs.

During all three lessons I was quickly able to demonstrate how clam each dog could walk past my dogs without reacting. Whilst I’m able to display positive behaviour it’s important all my clients are able to relax. Training a dog is as much about training and educating the owners. Todays lessons all finished with calmer and more relaxed dogs and owners.

If you need help with any form of dog aggression please call for a chat. Don’t leave it to fester like many of my new clients do. It’s that one time your dog really does injure a dog or person that you can’t turn back.

Remember “always find and positive from a negative!”

Dog Training Alfie the Parson Russell Terrier

Parson Russell Terrier dog training

Alfie is a cute natured 18 month old Parson Russell Terrier that has some basic obedience issues such as jumping up, recall, wanting to chase cars and pulling on the lead, to name a few. His owner have seen 3 previous trainers, 2 of them just wanted to stuff Alfie’s mouth with food and achieved nothing, the last one suggested an electric collar to achieve focus and recall. Obviously at that point Alfie’s owner researched trainers and found me.

Alfie is a good natured dog that is allowed to rule the roost. Very quickly by reducing communication and working in a structured manner I was able to achieve focus and perfect heel work.

Alfie and his owner went home with plenty of homework and I look forward to seeing their progression at our next lesson.

Why it’s important to choose the correct Dog Behaviourist

Every day I receive emails the length of my arm explaining how badly behaved peoples dogs are. Dog aggression is ever increasing, whether it’s dog on dog aggression, aggression towards humans, anxiety related, nervousness aggression, fear aggression, they are all becoming a huge problem in society.When people contact me they are in desperate need of help, what they don’t want is some unprofessional, inexperienced so called dog behaviourist/trainer who professes to know about dogs.

Working with dogs everyday of my life and for 17 hours a day 7 days a week I see many dogs and owners. Aggression is something that I specialise in and enjoy working with. Seeing the smile on a clients face when the dog they own has a future after I’ve helped to rehabilitate their behavioural problem is rewarding. Therefore it really annoys me when I speak to owners who’ve had the ‘fluffy bunny so called trainer’ in, only to exacerbate the dogs behaviour. This is become more and more of a problem.

One example is an enquiry I received yesterday. An 18 month old Sprocker called Jack. The owner has done some trainer but has allowed the dog to dominate her life. Jack has become aggressive towards Joanne and her son, he’s resource guarding and recently Jack bit Joanne whilst she was stroking him. The situation had become untenable so Joanne called in a dog behaviourist. So you may ask why has she called me 3 weeks after seeing the so called dog behaviourist? The answer is simple. The dog behaviourist has made the dog worse. A 3 hour home visit and all she could advise was to throw food on the floor to distract. To me thats a copout, not only was she unable to help, she is feeding the behaviour. Throwing food towards Jack is rewarding negative behaviour, it’s like saying if your child slaps you on the face then why not give them a chocolate bar to stop them. That obviously isn’t going to help the situation.

Before you book an appointment with a dog behaviouralist, read their website and testimonials, speak with them and ensure they have the knowledge and more importantly the experience of helping with the behavioural problems you have.

Think Before You Buy!

Puppy training Cocker Spaniel

Winston is 6 months old and is already pushing his owners buttons. Having owned Cocker Spaniels in the past they can’t believe how different Winston is. Off lead he’s totally ignorant to recall, whilst on the lead he’s pulling at anything. Pulling on the lead has been increased by his early experience of being able to pull toward people and dogs. Corrective training is proving annoying for his owners as they’re struggling with focus. A lack of focus can be affected by the fact he’s constantly with his owners and therefore isn’t craving their attention.

Corrective training is always harder than teaching your dog, so remember starting young is the key to success. With time and commitment Winston will become the dog his owners want, it will just take a little longer to correct his behaviour.

Tilly the Patterdale Terrier after only 2 lessons.

I’m always asked how long will it take to solve my dogs behavioural problems, or how many lessons will I need? Dogs and owners are different, corrective training differs for every dog and is also influenced by how committed the owner is by doing their homework. Tilly is a classic example of what can be achieved in a short time with 100% commitment to achieving.

You may recall a previous blog post Testimonial – Dog Aggression Modifications through Patterdale Terrier Training about Tilly. When I first met Tilly she was reactive to dogs, people, bikes, cars in fact anything. Todays lesson was a huge success, not only have we a dog thats non reactive to dogs and outside catalysts from a distance we also walked Tilly with Harvey my Labrador to heel side by side. Debbie was certainly happy, I can’t wait for our next lesson and to see how much further they have come on their training journey.

dog training behaviour modification patterdale terrier

Nervousness Aggression with a German Shorthaired Pointer

dog aggression behaviour modification german shorthaired pointer

Dylan the German Shorthaired Pointer is 5 year old and at present is traveling around the UK with his owners in their motor home after arriving home from Dubai.

Dylan suffers with nervousness and aggression toward other dogs, something that has progressively got worse over the last 3 years. After my initial conversation and today’s lesson it was clearly visible that Dylan is hugely over loved which is only increasingly his anxieties. Loving our dogs in the correct way creates harmony, loving our dogs at the wrong time only increases their worries.

Dylan has always pulled excessively on the lead but within minutes I had him walking on a loose lead with no tension. Tim couldn’t believe his eyes, Dylan had never walked at their side. Then the test was other dogs, using my dogs I was quickly able to demonstrate that Dylan’s aggression was fed from his owners anxieties. Within a short time Dylan was walking side by side with my Labrador.

Changing a dogs behaviour doesn’t happen overnight but with help from me I know Dylan will become the confident dog I know he can be.

Testimonial – Dog Training Isla the Labrador

dog training labrador testimonial

Once again thank you my lesson today.. I’m enjoying walking Isla so much more now that I can walk with out her without her pulling me all over. It use to be that after a walk I came home frustrated and no enjoyment at all but after just a couple of lessons with you I now can walk her with confidence. Doing the recall work today and seeing that she can do it, with a lot of practice and patience I’m hoping to get her coming back and retrieving with your help. Thank you once again .

I would recommend any body who has any problems with their dog not to give up but to book a lesson with Damian he is straight forward and to the point but if you listen and take his advice and put in the work you will be rewarded with a better behaved dog. Look forward to my next lesson.

Over Loving Our Dogs: Part 2

Last week I blogged about the increasing trend I have noticed for owners over loving their dogs. This can be through fussy feeding, over-anxiety about their welfare, allowing them on furniture, sleeping on the bed, the list goes on and on. I frequently see the results of this over indulgence in behavioural lessons, with dogs that are anxious, aggressive and territorial.

I was interested to see this theme being picked up in the national press this week with the launch of the IKEA pet furniture range. An entertaining column in The Guardian on why we treat our pets as people comes to the same conclusions I have, our obsession with our pets is getting out of hand. From gourmet food to designer pet furniture to dog yoga, we are attributing human characteristics to our dogs that they just don’t have. A dog is a pack animal and being leader of the pack is exhausting for them – that’s the owners job. Rather than making their lives better through constant attention and indulgence, over loving our dogs makes them anxious and irritable. Let them know where they stand in the pack and you will have a happy dog and save yourself a fortune in accessories.

Can We Over Love Our Dogs?

ResidentiL Dog Training Miniature Schnauzer

Every day I receive new enquiries from owners with dogs that suffer from fear, aggression, separation anxiety and disobedience to name just a few of the behavioural problems they’re experiencing. The question we have to ask ourselves is who is to blame for this, can we over love our dogs? Many of us try to humanise our dogs and thus create dogs that lack structure, hierarchy and a true understanding of how they should be within the pack.

Why do we over love our dogs? It’s because we think that cuddling, loving and allowing our dogs to do what they want is something that will keep them happy. Wrong! In fact dogs thrive on being given structure, boundaries, limitations and an understanding of being a follower not a leader.

A classic example of this behaviour is with Willa, a Miniature Schnauzer that is presently residing with me for training. Stella her owner definitely over loves her and worries about everything, overthinking the simplest of things. Prior to arriving at my kennels, Stella was worrying how Willa would cope as she’s never stayed away. When she arrived to drop Willa off, Stella’s body language and thoughts were making Willa fearful of the situation and new surrounding. This meant initially even though Willa knew me from 1-2-1 lessons, she wasn’t compliant with walking away to heel. The moment I turned the corner it was like I’d flicked a switch. Willa was prancing to heel, happy and content. All her worries and anxieties had disappeared.

Stella had also been struggling to feed Willa, she’d spent time and effort trying to find a food that Willa wouldn’t just eat for one or two days and then leave. This was another concern as to whether she would eat in residential training. The food Stella had sent her with wasn’t that great and full of gravy flavour enhancements. It wasn’t that Stella was scrimping, it was that she thought Willa would only eat that. As dog nutrition is very important to me, I decided not to feed the gravy enhanced food she came with but to feed my Bob and Lush food instead. We are now on day six of her residential stay and every meal time, Willa has eaten with eagerness and thoroughly enjoyed the food, also her toilets are regular and firm.

Most of Willa’s anxieties emanate from her owner. The answer to the question can we over love our dogs is yes. If we as humans give less affection and focus on owning a dog, we’d have far happier dogs.


Testimonial – Springer Spaniel Recall Training with Jazz and Beth

After admittedly struggling with two self-willed Springers pulling us all over the park and with virtually no recall, we were recommended to try Damian at Tessleymoor Gundogs.  We were a little apprehensive at first but Damian understood perfectly and immediately pinpointed the problems (with us and the dogs!) and started us on the right path.

Now 3 sessions in and the dogs are already showing what they can do with the right handling and positive reinforcement.  The dogs enjoy the training, patience and perseverance is being rewarded and looking forward to being able to do so much more with them.

gundog training springer spaniels