Hi, and welcome!
I'd like to introduce myself and my company, what I stand for and what I do, but I am going to do it slightly differently compared to other dog trainers you may have seen out there. I won't show you a flashy video that tells everyone how awesome I am, how everything is fun and games using treats only, how perfect all dogs are when they go home or how I can fix all the issues you're having with your dog. The reason for this is simple; I don't like false advertisement.
The truth of the matter is, that if we decide to work together you and I; (and this is a choice that has to be unanimous by everyone involved, including you, me and your intimate family) is that it will require patience, dedication, a willingness to change and an understanding that no matter what the issues are that you're having with your dog, it is not a quick fix! Every dog and owner I see have two things in common and they are: Communication breakdown and distrust, which goes both ways.
Lets face it; You're probably not here because you need your dog to stop jumping up when it's greeting people or teach it how to sit. You are most likely here because your dog has started to show some worrying signs of, or perhaps even practised, dangerous behaviours for a long time. Perhaps you have tried other trainers but had little to no success and things are getting out of hand. You are more than welcome here. To give you an idea, the issues we deal with on a daily basis are:
Human aggression - This might have started as mouthing/nipping/growling but has then turned into biting. We get dogs that bites other people and dogs that bite their owners, the latter being more common.
Dog aggression - This most likely has started out with what we call "leash reactivity"; lunging and barking at other dogs while on a leash, but has since escalated into a dog that will fight most dogs it meets, doing damage. We also see dog aggression in the home towards another resident dog.
Extreme fear - Dogs that are too afraid to approach any human or dog apart from it's owner. We see this a lot, particularly in street dog rescues from abroad. It can also be a dog that is feral or a dog that is environmentally scared; IE afraid of everything BUT humans and dogs. Sometimes, they have it all combined.
Extreme separation anxiety - Dogs that can't be left alone for two minutes, whether crated or not. These dogs will defecate out of stress within minutes of being left alone, break out of crates, destroy windows and doors trying to escape until they bleed from their paws and jaw.
Resource Guarding - When the dog guards its food, toys, it's owner or whatever takes its fancy. The worst case I've seen here was a German Shepherd who guarded ANYTHING dropped on the floor; clothes pins, bottle caps, pens, hangers, you name it. Whatever ended up on the floor, he thought it was his and he made sure everyone knew it.
No matter where your dog is on the scale, you are more than welcome here and trust me, I'd love to meet you and your dog! But we have to be clear on one thing in particular; you are not handing in your car to have it's broken exhaust pipe fixed. You're coming to me to help you with a sentient, thinking, living being with a mind of its own. I do not care if you've had the dog for 2 weeks or 2 years or whether the dog is 9 months or 9 years; the "solution" remain the same; I have to teach both of you how to communicate with each other and how to co-exist in a safe and harmonious way.
This process is complicated, no matter how "easy" some people say it is. It doesn't take a couple of weeks and you won't have a perfect product when you bring your dog home. The perfect product is you and your dog together, and that will take time and practise to get right, even with our training.
So why leave your dog with me in residential training if all I say above is true; that it is a relationship and communication issue between you and your dog? Wouldn't you be better off with a local trainer? Very good questions!
I always recommend local training, in house, where possible and suitable, but sometimes things has just gone too far and there is angst, doubts, frustration and distrust, sometimes even anger and hate. I have clients who lost their jobs and relationships due to their dogs, they've lost their rented accommodations, they've not been out shopping or had a date night for YEARS, due to their dogs. They've bought a new house with no windows facing the road, because of their dog, even if they liked another house better! I have clients that have been bitten for years, by their own dog, because they got stuck after trying "everything" and thought it was the end of the road.
Sometimes, we need to work with the dog without owner. The relationship is too destructive and toxic that we can't see the "real" dog behind it all. Most dogs we see can be quite different once the owners are away.
Sometimes, it is just better to break that cycle, to remove the dog from the situation so that you both get some breathing space rather than escalating the problems.
Sometimes, we need to "reset" both the owner and the dog and that is easier to do when apart. When things are calmer, we can teach and educate. Have you ever tried to teach a person algebra while they are in the middle of an anxiety attack?
Sometimes, the situation is just too volatile. The dog bites its owner or perhaps another resident dog and it's a really dangerous situation.
That's when we come in. So, who are we?
We are residential only which means no kennels or runs. The dogs stay in our home, with our dogs and in a normal environment. This means that they have learn to behave appropriately around other dogs and humans fairly quickly, although in a safe and calm manner. It also means that training is (more of less actively) ongoing 24/7. Sleeping quietly in a crate at night, is training. Learning how to interact in a proper manner around dogs and humans, is training. Whenever the dog is around you, you're teaching it something, you may just not be aware of what and how :)
We limit our space to maximum two training dogs at the time, unless your dog is on the extreme scale, then it is only that dog in for at least the first month. (Please note that foster dogs, assessment dogs, residential dogs and return top-up clients are not included in this number)
As it is only me and my husband, we get to know your dog on a very intimate level, which is beneficial compared to having different trainers in every day as usually happens in big boarding/training kennels.
We are fairly unique in offering no time limit on our programs. We're done, when we're done. When the dog is ready and when their owners are ready. Not sooner, not later. And, I am here for you for follow up for the rest of your life.
I will always tell you the truth. I might not be what you want to hear, but it's what you need to hear.
I have refused clients.
I have told owners to put their dog down.
I have told owners to re-home their dog - as it's a really bad fit. It's not blaming anyone; it is what it is.
It is gruelling and hard; I have tons of empathy but sometimes it is just what is best for everyone involved, both human/s and dog.
I love people and I love dogs, but I can't care more than you do, about your dog. I can't be more passionate about changing your relationship with your dog, than you are. YOU will have to change and YOU will have to do the work.
If you're ready, so am I, and I am looking forward to meeting you. Set up a meet and greet, and we'll speak soon.
Hi guys, great to meet you! I was born in the great, early 70's in Gothenburg, Sweden. Dogs have been in my life since I was born and I can't imagine a life without them. My training journey really started however when I took on a human and dog aggressive rottweiler in my early 20's, from a family who no longer could keep him due to them having a baby.
Having had some experience with aggressive dogs from the working dog kennels I worked in during most of my teens, I thought I was more than ready for this dog and it all started out very nicely. After a few weeks however he showed me his true colours as I took the worst bites I've ever received. It wasn't his fault, it was all mine. I rushed it, I felt confident, I applied the wrong kind of pressure at the wrong time in the wrong way. In short, I did everything wrong and he wasn't the kind of dog that would allow me to get away with it.
What I learned from that dog was invaluable, and I still learn from every dog and every owner; every story and every journey is different. Since the early 90's I've worked with hundreds of people and thousands of dogs, from all walks of life and with various issues. A big passion of mine has always been rescue dogs and to this day I still foster and take in the occasional surrendered dog, but I also provide services for rescues such as discounted evaluations and behaviour programs for their fosterers. I am planning to hold seminars in the future for rescues, fosterers and adopters, so watch this space!
I've used and tried most training techniques out there, all from "old school" to "positive only", and what I've learnt is that there is no "one size fits all". I think all techniques, methods and tools have their time and place, and I think that a good behaviourist utilise them all to help the dog they've been entrusted with, rather than asking the dog to adapt to one method alone.
I'm often asked what kind of trainer or behaviourist I am and I do not have an answer for that. I do not have any certificates or fancy letters after my name, only 25+ years of hands on experience on thousands of dogs. I believe in teaching the human as well as the dog, most times more so the human! It is a holistic approach, I look at all angles of your relationship.
I believe in praise and reward for good behaviour, but also consequences for an unwanted or dangerous behaviour. I believe that medication to treat an unwanted behaviour should be used as a last resort. I believe that behaviour modification rather than managing a behaviour is a far better choice for both dog and owner. I also believe that death before discomfort is cruel. I guess you can call me a "common sense" behaviourist.