Gallery 7


The Red Cattle Dog.

Max absolutely loves to work, here he is asking "what do you want me to do?"

First thing to do is to provide Max with a proper structure, putting firm, but fair boundaries in place, and teaching him to make good choices.

Max has only just started training, so there's a way to go still.

May 15th 2020

This is this teams very first session in public, video shows how it was like to take Max for a walk before they started training.

This is their third session overall, and their very first session in public, and I think it's fair to say that we are seeing a change for the better.

Is it perfect? Of course not, long way to go still, the roadmap includes moving to public areas with more distractions and even more distractions.

Max has a bit of reactivity issues towards other dogs, and this is something we'll be working more and more on as his obedience gets better and better.

My latest students.

Pictured from top to bottom:

"Gigi" - The French Miniature Poodle

"Missy" - Border Collie/Kelpie X

"Saxon"- Working Line German Shepherd.

What does these three have in common?

Neither of these dogs have proper structures in place, this includes lack of firm, but fair boundaries, lack of clear communication, consistency and calm, clear leadership.

Both "Gigi" and "Missy" had pretty much taken over the household, they got what they wanted when they wanted it. "Gigi" in particular, had trained her humans really well.

"Saxon" had some structure and boundaries in place, but there was still a lot lacking.

All of these three dogs are serious working dogs, they thrive when they not only get the physical exercise they require, but they need some serious mental stimulation, they need to have a job. If they don't, then they become self-employed, and that can lead to a lot unwanted behaviours.

These dogs get a lot of mental stimulation through obedience training where they are challenged and really need to use their brains to work out what we want them do to.

So we'll first concentrate on foundation obedience to get a solid sit, down, stay and recall in place, as well as teaching them to behave properly on their walks; that is not pulling, but being polite and attentive to their humans.

We use a balanced approach to this, acknowledging and understanding that for all behaviours there must be a consequence.

"Gigi" and "Missy" have just completed their very first session, "Saxon" has just completed the assessment, which is a pre-requisite, and I'm looking forwards to working with these great dogs and their humans for the next 7 weeks or so.

May 15th 2020

"Duncan" - the seriously fearful, male Catahoula/Bull Arab X

This boy is very special, he's had an extremely rough start to life, leaving him seriously fearful and suspicious of people.

He's around two years old, and he's only been here in his new forever home for around six months.

I've only seen him once before, when I did the assessment around three weeks ago.

His "greeting" at the gate was pretty much full on, but the barking and carrying on came from fear, he was saying "go away, go away, go away please".

It was clear that he did not want to bite, at least not as long as he had the opportunity to go into flight.

I did a little bit of work with him then, and had a very small breakthrough, and judging from the more subdued greeting this afternoon, and, even though we had to go through the same process as we did then to show him that being close to me was actually pretty good, it took a lot less time to get to that point this time.

You can read more about our initial meeting here:…/a-dog-trainers-musin…

I have not included all the footage showing how I got there, as it would be just like watching paint dry. :)

Let's just say using Negative Reinforcement is not such a bad thing when you understand how and when to use it.

He is extremely noise sensitive as well as fearful of sudden movements, so quiet, slow movements are the go.

This is going to take a long time, I need to build a relationship with him before we can start proper training, having said that, a lot of this will come through long line work, which we started today.

Let me also correct a comment I make in this video where I talk about "seeing a seed of trust being planted", this is not quite right, acceptance would be a more appropriate description. Trust, will take a very long time.

I am so grateful for having been given the opportunity to work with this sweet boy, and maybe, just maybe, be able to show him that not all humans are scary.

How he'll behave towards other dogs remains to be seen, but the signs are promising, as for his physical injuries, they are healing nicely, so we can concentrate on building up his confidence again.

I was seriously worried about what I would find when seeing Duncan this afternoon as him, and his owner, were attacked by six dogs not far from their home only a couple of weeks ago. :(

Duncan is fearful of people, sudden noises and also sudden movements, but he's never been afraid of other dogs, so, yes, I was worried.

We kept the session very simple, getting him to go to "place" on different objects again, objects that he had already mastered, but, it became clear very quickly that his confidence had taken quite a battering, so we had to start from scratch again.

I've only included a little bit of how we got there, but let me stress that he was never pulled on to any of the objects, it might look like he is being pulled, but he's not.

October 12th 2020.

This boy has come such a long way.

It is an absolute joy seeing how his confidence has grown, and is still growing, since I first laid eyes on him.

He's got a great owner who is completely dedicated to help this boy come out of his shell, and it shows.

Duncan is now conquering his fears of novelty, such as jumping up on a large box as shown in this video as we have stress inoculated him through other exercises where we guided him through it, but he had to overcome his fear and anxiety in order to succeed.

He's not out of the woods yet, next session will be a lot more challenging as we will be in another, completely new environment, where there'll be more people around,

October 26th 2020; This made my day. :)

We've been working with this rather fearful boy for quite a while now, building his confidence, making him more resilient, readying him for the "real world".

This was his very first visit to Riverway; new, unfamiliar scents, sounds and sights, and he showed us how far he has come. :)

He did have a couple of reactions to sudden movements whilst on "place" next to the pool, but he did not go into flight, and he recovered within a few seconds, showing how much more resilient he has become.

How did we get there? Not by mollycoddling, soothing and protecting him from every stressful event he experienced, and is experiencing, that's for sure. ;)

Still a way to go, but that light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter.

Alfie and Lily

Picture left shows the dogs after less than 10 minutes of training, which fixed the issue of the dogs rushing through the door as soon as the door was opened.

This was only one of the issues their previous trainer was unable to address.