Gallery 9

Sadie - the young Malinois

Working with this team has been so much fun; awesome dog with awesome, dedicated owners. :)


The Rottweiler X

This young girl spent 8 months on anxiety medication, all because the vet did not understand what he was looking at.

I am so pleased the owner took my advice; changed vets and got her weaned off the medication.

Well, she's well and truly off medication, and she's a different dog; bright and happy - this I can work with.

Yes, she does have some issues, but nothing warranting medication.

I enlisted the help of my dog, Zelic, an entire male Rottweiler, for the second session with Ellie to gauge how comfortable, or not, she would be working around another dog.

Zelic provided a masterclass in canine behaviour, as he immediately adjusted his own body language, showing Ellie that he was not a threat to her.

I'm seeing less anxiety and more confidence in this lovely dog each time I see her.

During this session we continued to build confidence, that includes putting her in stressful (within reason) situations she has to deal with by working through it. If we always protect the animal from these situations, then they never learn how to deal with the stresses they encounter every day in their daily life which does nothing to alleviate the anxiety nor building confidence.

Stress inoculation is extremely important, but you need to know what you're doing!

What you see here is only a fraction of the things we did, you do not see her walking confidently through a cafe, and loing "sit/stay" in said cafe, all the time ignoring all the going ons,

Nor do you see her paying no attention to all the dogs we encountered, the electric scooters zooming by, all the time displaying a neutral body language.

Heh - and yet, some people claim "balanced" trainers like myself cannot deal with anxious or aggressive dogs as "we just shut the dogs down", so it's much better to medicate them when their preferred training "methods" fail.

Does this dog look shut down to you? Look at the enthusiasm in those recalls!

Lucca - the 4 year old GSD.

Lucca has some foundation obedience in place, so we're working on cleaning up some of the skills; teaching the owner clear communications skills and enhancing the human/dog relationship.

Videos below are from our second session overall, which was our very first session in public.

Bottom video to the left shows a little bit from the last session with Lucca at the Strand.

Had to mute the original audio due to very strong wind noise.

Did some heel work to get him into working mode, continued with recalls which he nailed,

Then it was time for the engagement exercise where, for all intent and purpose, the dog is, as far as the handler is concerned, off leash.

The handler cannot touch the leash, nor grab the dog's collar at any time at all.

Finished with a walk on the jetty in order to build his confidence even more.

Some of boards have quite a bit of give in them, he can also see the water below through tthe space in between the boards, and then, to top it off, there is the sound of the waves hitting the shore,

He was quite hesitant at times when we did this last week, but not today.

We saw a massive improvement in him as he is learning that he's safe and that this is nothing he needs to worry about.

It's called stress inoculation, he's learning to handle stress in a productive manner.

It's important to note that the worst thing you could do in these situations, is to mollycoddle the dog, throwing heaps of food at it and telling the dog "it's ok" over and over again.

Pictures, bottom left;

Finished our training with Lucca Monday afternoon, January 4th 2021, with a great walk around in a Bunnings store, followed by two different pet shops.

We incorporated a lot of different obedience exercises in different aisles, including close to noisy equipment, moving trolleys - and dogs, and the big guy never batted an eyelid. :)


Koda is a 4 year old Stumpy tail Cattle Dog with a bit of a chequered past. We don't know much about his background, but we do know that he's got some issues - that's for sure.

Koda can be very reactive towards other dogs, he literally screams, sounding like he is being seriously hurt - or worse - without the handler doing anything else but holding the leash!

He lacked structure in his life, and without having enough firm, but fair boundaries in place, he pretty much thought he could do whatever he liked.

Kudos to the owners, they did understand that they had to make some serious lifestyle changes and they also needed to change their mindset from looking at him like a "fur baby" instead of what he actually is; an awesome dog.

They had already been through three different trainers before coming to me, not seeing much progress, if any at all.

This is definitely a work in progress - there are no quick fixes, but, as log as the owners do what's required, then progress will follow.

Picture, middle, left;

Not the first session overall, but the very first session we brought in another dog to start the counterconditioning/desensitising process.

The "helper" is my own dog, Zelic, a 6 year old, entire male Rottweiler, who is off leash in the photo.

The photo was taken at the end of the session, where Koda went from "loading up" when Zelic was approx 30 metre away, to this.

Picture, bottom, left shows the end of the following weeks session, in which a friend, yet again, stepped up and volunteered her time and her dogs to help a reactive dog.

Again, we went from a trigger distance of around 20 metres at the start, to what you see in the picture.

Both the Staffy and the Collie are really calm, balanced dogs, which is a must for this kind of work, but they also give off different kind of energy, which is also something we want.

It is important to note that we have paths on either side of us, and we had a number of people walking their dogs past us.

Long way to go, but we are seeing some progress.

January 15th 2021

This session was all about improving foundation obedience, improve handlers leash handling, check Koda's understanding of voice commands etc.

It is unedited and has the original audio, guess you could say it's "warts and all".

You'll see a photo showing Koda sitting on a long bench next to the pool - did he just jump straight on to it? No, he was very uncertain and would only put two paws on it. Use leash pressure? He did not want a bar of it.

So how? Not going to tell you, but no food nor leash pressure involved, and he happily jumped up and down after that without any treats nor leash pressure, just voice command.

Why? How?

Great session though, saw some nice improvements overall, so good work guys.

Update; Koda joined our Beginners and Reactive Dogs group classes in March 2021, see pic, bottom left, and has shown great improvement.

We even have them working around our L1 group classes in a different location on a regular basis, and he's nailing it.

May 8th 2021