Near you. Practical training, help and problem solving

Dog Friendly Britain website

Anglian Wolf Society

What results can you expect ?

We do not just talk. Your consultation will be as practical and hands-on with the dog as we can make it.

Dogs are living creatures, not machines. Neither we not any other trainer can give guarantees about the results of training and house visits.

Nevertheless, knowledge and experience tell us that we can give the following rough guide about what to expect.

A house visit for a one-to-one session is usually around two to three hours. In the majority of cases for most problems, further house visits are not necessary.

Here are some of the most common types of problems that we do house visits for

The Problem

What we would normally expect to achieve in one visit

Aggression to other dogs at a distance

Your dog starts pulling, barking and being aggressive to other dogs at a distance. You can't walk down the street without your dog exploding at another dog on the other side of the street.

In most cases, we achieve a major reduction of your dog's reaction and increase your control. We do not guarantee zero reaction to other dogs (although we do often achieve this). We show you how to get out of difficult situations and give you advice on how to minimise the problem. With some breeds and temperaments, this kind of problem can sometimes be so severe that there is only a small improvement in one session. Occasionally, aggression problems can require long-term attendance at special classes to make a real difference.

Aggression to passer's-by

Your dog pulls strongly towards passer's-by or lunges at them aggressively.

We can nearly always stop this.

Aggression to other dogs only close up

Your dog doesn't explode or throw itself around with dogs at a distance, it tries to attack them only when it gets close enough

This is much more tricky. We don't guarantee to solve this in one session and this kind of thing usually requires you to practise certain things we show you long-term. Commonly, we demonstrate ways you can reliably interrupt the process before attack occurs and we give you practical help on avoiding the problem.

Running off to other dogs

You hardly dare let your dog off lead because as soon as it sees another dog it runs off and ignores you (no aggression is involved)

We show you how to stop this happening and we actually do it. By the end of the session, in most cases, your dog will be voluntarily hesitating and/or responding to recall where it would have just continued running off and ignoring you.

Chasing livestock, geese, cyclists, joggers etc

Your dog lunges at or chases moving objects, animals or people

Same as for "running off to other dogs"

Pulling on lead

Your dog spends most of its time pulling your arm off and ignoring you

Your dog will be walking voluntarily at your side with a slack lead. You will be coached in the technique for getting your dog to carry on doing this permanently. If your dog also tends to lunge at passer's by or other dogs etc. then this may complicate the situation and you should see the entries for "Aggression to other dogs..etc". We do not just fit a face collar, take your money and leave.

Hyperactive in the home / jumping up / barking

Your dog never relaxes; the batteries never run down. It jumps up visitors, pesters you all the time, rushes around perhaps it barks all the time at things.

We will determine the cause of this and show you some real, practical calming exercises and methods on the spot to stop this. We will also give you a program of things to do (and not to do) hich will keep the dog calm in future.

Barking / howling / vandalism / toilet in the home when you leave your dog alone

When you go out, your dog barks or howls or chews and wrecks things

We will determine the cause of the behaviour and give you a program of things to practise and do (and not to do) to stop the dog doing this. It is almost never possible to stop this behaviour on the spot during the visit. In most cases, if you do what we advise, the problem will stop within a few days. In some severe cases, it can take a few weeks.

Aggression to visitors

Your dog barks all the time or threatens or actually bites visitors

We will determine the exact nature of the aggression (there are several common variations). Depending upon why your dog is being aggressive, we may demonstrate things you can do immediately to stop it or we may give you longer-term advice with real, practical things you can do to reduce the problem and eliminate your worry.

(We can't list everything here but we hope this list shows you roughly how we go about things)

What happens afterwards ?

In virtually all cases, during the visit, we will demonstrate real, practical things you can do to control the situation and change the dog and we will coach you in doing these things. You will almost always be given a set of things to do (and not do) that will enable you to continue pushing back against the problem yourself, without further help from a trainer.

For more serious problems, the advice we give you on the spot will normally be put in writing to you so that you don't have to remember it all just from the visit. We will usually explain the behavioural nature of the problem in ways that enable you to understand why it is happening and what else you can do to help solve it yourself.

In almost all cases, solving the problem will involve you learning certain physical moves and being able to do them with reasonable accuracy and timing. It will also involve you being willing to practise the things you have been shown regularly and consistently. When you are training a dog to do (or stop doing) something, what you get out is simply what you put in.

The relationship you have with your dog in the home often makes a big difference to its behaviour outdoors and we may occasionally advise changes of domestic routine and house rules.

For some problems, we may recommend a course of lessons as a follow up and aggression problems can occasionally require long-term attendance at special classes to complete the cure.

Sometimes, people own dogs that are frankly too big and strong for them. When certain kinds of dog learn that they are stronger than their owner, it can take a lot of practise and commitment by the owner to put things right again. If you are in this situation and you have mobility or physical problems that affect your strength and fitness then sometimes, it may not be possible to achieve a satisfactory resolution of the problem.

Magic methods ?

No dog trainer or behaviourist anywhere has any magic ability. Being a good trainer and behaviourist simply involves hard work, practise, and lots of experience.

Snake oil and mumbo-jumbo don't work.

We try to help you as much as possible with practical, hands-on training and behaviour modification with your dog. We do not just talk and we don't try and sell you somebody's magic methods.

Beware !

Dog-training and behaviour are unregulated professions. Anyone can call themselves a behaviourist or trainer. In Britain at the moment, if you shop around simply looking for bargain prices or the most impressive website, you run a high chance of getting an unqualified and/or inexperienced person who might not help you much (or at all). Letters after a name are not always a qualification.

Why are there no problem fixes on this site ?

We do not give potted fixes for behaviour problems because they virtually never work. The fix has to be tailored to you, your dog, its problem and its temperament. One-size-fits-all advice is usually not helpful. You should be cautious about websites that offer large quantities of "fixes". Remember, anyone can copy this kind of stuff from books and other websites without having tried it themselves; they don't have to be qualified or experienced to build a website, no matter how impressive it looks.

Will books and websites help me ?

Forget books and websites. There are several solid, practical reasons why you will not get useful, effective behaviour modification advice from books and websites. The reasons are too long to go into here. If you're not already one of the many people who have found it's a waste of time then try it and you soon will be.