Residential Dog & Gundog Training Preston Lancashire

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.


Anxiety in a working Labrador.

Molly is a beautiful  two-year-old labrador that is totally misunderstood. Molly’s owner Tracy had previously visited another gundog trainer who unfortunately had not correctly addressed the negative nervousness that Molly displays. It was always Tracy and the previous trainers thought that she was nervous around men, when in fact she is nervous around Tracy too. Mollys nervousness is always being brought to the forefront of everybody’s mind, therefore exacerbated the problem.

Tracy expected Molly to bark and even grow when she met me today, but she displayed none of her normal behaviour you’d expect. In fact I instantly took Molly and walked her with confidence which is what Molly needs. Feeding her anxiety the moment I met her would only complicate her emotions. Throughout the lesson I increased my interaction with Molly on lead and then off. Molly responded well and being a working Labrador she thoroughly enjoyed some retrieving with a dummy.

To help Molly with her rehabilitation it’s been agreed to arrange a residential stay so we can fast track her training programme and get Molly to a happy obedient dog she can be.

Dog anxiety training in a labrador

Tessleymoor Charity Gundog Scurry & Toplands Clay Shoot

tessleymoor gundog scurry charity tessleymoor gundog scurry charity

Thanks to everyone who attended this great charity event. With BBQ, bar, live music, archery, trade stalls and inflatables, there was something for all the family plus of course my very popular Tessleymoor gundog scurry and the clay shoot. We are delighted to announce that we raised £11008 for our charities, giving £2500 each to local branches of  Heartbeat, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Motor Neurone Disease Association and Headway plus a donation towards the work of St Anne’s Church in Woodplumpton.

Read more…

Residential Dog Training with Elmo the Rescue Spring Spaniel

Elmo is a four year old rescue Springer Spaniel. Being a rescue dog, his owner Jonathan is not sure of Elmo’s past but he is very nervous and reactive to other dogs. It’s easy to overcompensate for what might have happened in the past but too much attention has not helped the dog’s behaviour.  I was recommended to Jonathan by a client of mine in Cornwall and seeing what I could do in one lesson and how calm and relaxed the dog was with me, he booked Elmo in for a residential stay.

Initially I have been assessing Elmo’s behaviour. Elmo can be nervous and anxious of change but during his time with me, he has not reacted negatively to any of my dogs. My training has been to engage his focus with structure and boundaries that create security for him. To build his confidence around other animals, I have undertaken desensitisation training; my rural kennels are the perfect place for this, surrounded by livestock and farm traffic. There is still work to do with Elmo, it is always a long journey with a rescue dog but with another two weeks of residential training ahead, I will make real progress with him.

residential dog training springer spaniel

Residential Dog Training for Tess the Cocker Spaniel

Tess was booked in for residential training with me by her owners Eric and Christine after a single 1-2-1 lesson. A show cocker spaniel, Tess exhibits all the usual behaviour of a dog that is over loved. She is cute but too cute, so has become a pampered pooch who ignores commands, whines and craves attention the moment the focus is not on her.

During her residential training, I have been working with Tess on structure and boundaries, desensitising her to the need for constant praise. Love for your dog is a great thing but too much affection leads to a dog that needs intensive retraining. Tess is well on track to becoming the dog she should be.

residential dog training cocker spaniel

Livestock Desensitisation for two Residential Dogs

It’s a beautiful morning here at the kennels so I decided I’d work on training two of my residential dogs on livestock desensitisation. Living in the countryside and behind a farm enable me to work on areas of training that other kennels might not be able to offer. Also it important that we subject our young dogs to as many situations as possible in the early months. One day you and your dogs may encounter livestock whilst out walking in the countryside and we have a duty of care to these animals.

Dog training livestock  desensitisation training Dog training livestock  desensitisation training

Gun Trade News Website Review

It’s always great to have feedback, especially from the national media. The redesign of this website has been picked up by Gun Trade News, with an excellent review in their May edition. The reviewer has highlighted the key features we have incorporated in the new site – lots of useful content on dog training and ownership with plenty of opportunities to interact with us. We’re happy to see the work that went into this new site being recognised but as always we will keep adding to and refining the site to give you the best user experience. Since this review was published, we have added an additional page covering everything you need to know about the Amended Dangerous Dogs Act. To keep informed of what we’re up to, you can also follow our social media channels – just click on the icons at the top of the page.

dog-training4u new website review

Dog-Training4u & Gundog-Training4u sees a whole New Brand & New Look Website

dog training and gundog training

Dog-Training4u & Gundog-Training4u have a new brand and a website refresh to reflect the rapidly developing services offered for domestic and working dogs. I’ve responded to the hugely positive response I’ve had from the @tmgundogs Instagram feed by integrating these pictures into the new site to provide regular updates on the dogs I am working with.

I am seeing a huge increase in enquiries from owners dealing with aggression in their dogs. On this new website I can bring clarity to the recent changes in the Dangerous Dogs Act and details of the specialist 1-2-1 training available to transform the behaviour of these dogs.

With updates from our sponsors and lots of client feedback, I am looking to make this a real hub of information about my services and developments in the world of dog ownership and training. I hope you enjoy the new site; look out for changes to my Tessleymoor site, next in line for a refresh.

Residential Gundog Training with Amber the Springer Spaniel

residential gundog training springer Spaniel

I can’t believe Amber is 5 year old now. I met Amber at 8 months of age when she came to me for residential gundog training after she’d run off and nearly got hit by a car. At the time it was important to stimulate not only her physical needs but also her breed work ethic. Whilst Graham had no intention of working her in the shooting field he’s always kept up her training. I know she could have been a fantastic dog in the field and many times I tried to aquire her.

Every year Amber returns for a small refresher course whilst her family jet off skiing and it’s a pleasure to train her. Amber is one pocket rocket on retrieves.

Client Update on Ziggy the Springer Spaniels Gundog Training

Hi Damian,

Thought you might like an update on our boy’s progress. He is doing really well and we are now able to enjoy stress free walks on the beach and in the woods. He is responding well to the whistle, not chasing birds or animals and good with other dogs. He is steady but not very interested in people he doesn’t know. Done a lot of ball retrieving and a bit with the dummies. Hope to do more when the fields are a bit less muddy.

Had a great time in Scotland before Christmas and are off to Kielder Forest this weekend so lots of good walks for Ziggy. Still having battles to keep him off the sofa but you can’t win them all. ( well maybe you can, but we can’t!)

Thanks for all your help which has obviously paid off. We’ll maybe book a revision session when we are able to get into the field a bit more.

The picure was taken in Lytham Hall, one of his favourite places for training.

gundog training springer spaniel