Residential Dog Training
RESIDENTIAL TRAINING is suitable for any dog from five months of age. We always prefer to have an initial assesment lesson first. The idea of this is to establish where an owner and the dog are at training wise at that point in time. Also where they would like to be. From this meeting I would be able to give an opinion on any behavioural issues and a good idea of the likely outcome of any training stay.
During the stay we aim to get the dog to the best place possible in a way that produces a focused dog that can switch between excitement where appropriate and back to calm when thats the more appropriate state. Many of todays training methods can produce an over motivated dog at the wrong times. I think this stems from the fact that most training classes are run by people who have their own dogs as a sport dog for their hobby and don’t understand the subtle but important differences needed for a good family pet.
The vast majority of dogs that come to stay thoroughly enjoy themselves but at the same time learn the new skills needed to be a happier dog. If you are even slightly interested send a text for further information. Better still come for the initial consultation lesson with an open mind. You’ll be pleasantly surprised!!
Camilla, Amy and Eli the Doberman
My partner and I bought our first dog together just over a year ago, we spent a long time choosing the breeder as it was important to us that Eli came from a pet/family background and not from a fighting bloodline. We brought Eli home and he had been a perfect puppy. He has a very sweet nature and loves his owners, this being the case we quickly allowed him off of the lead in parks as he always stayed by our side. As he became a big, energetic dog who liked his ball we played throw and catch to wear him out. Instead of teaching him to leave the ball we raced to get it before him so we could throw it again. We thought he enjoyed this not really knowing that it was in fact teasing him.
Eli initially did not like being on the lead on main roads as a puppy, he was stuck to our side if not slightly behind us, he eventually grew out of this and became confident, and began walking properly, it was so refreshing that he was happy and eager to walk on the lead that correcting his slight pulling at his small size didn’t seem necessary at the time. Until it was too late. He had learnt his strength, he had learnt to pull and he became a nightmare on the lead very quickly. Especially when walking in the direction of the park.
We quickly identified 2 main problems, pulling on the lead and an obsession of balls which resulted in recall problems. This then turned into jumping up at us (and other people) when we had the ball in our hand and snatching. Eli’s confidence started growing and he began venturing further and further from us. If we didn’t have a ball in our hand in his eyesight he would quickly lose interest in us and search elsewhere for something more fun.
Eli’s attitude slightly changed, although he was still loving and friendly to both dogs and people, he was boisterous and demanding. He wanted his own way and would bark, jump or ignore as and when he wanted to.
We were fully aware that Eli is a powerful and large dog and many people can be wary or frightened of him. Considering his size and his ability to knock even an adult off of their feet we knew we needed to do something for his benefit incase someone complained about him. We wanted to have complete control of him and feel confident that he would listen to us and most importantly not ignore NO when it meant no!
We contacted a very well known franchise dog training company who seemed to have amazing success rates and good reviews. Each area comes with an assigned dog trainer who does not need much experience in handling dogs at all. We had a consultation at our house and a 3 hour park/home session. The approach to Eli was reward and praise based and unfortunately although Eli is affectionate indoors, he couldn’t care less about being praised whilst outdoors and he didn’t respond well. The methods were more suitable to a nervous Chihuahua and not to a bold Doberman who needed discipline not praise. The trainer gave us a sound to use when Eli did not come back when called or when he did any undesirable behaviour. The sound was “Baaaa” like a sheep. This was apparently meant to sound like a growl which Eli was meant to associate to his mother in his pack warning him (highly embarrassing in the park). Needless to say the methods with lead pulling and recall were completely unsuccessful, we were given so many different commands, instructions and do’s and don’ts that we were more confused and frustrated than ever before.
One summers day i took Eli to a park. After not long at all he had become distracted by a ball game in the distance, he started sprinting over before i could correct or call him. The football belonged to a very small child who was holding it in his arms. He dropped the ball and screamed when he saw the huge dog running towards him, Elis jaw is big enough to pick up a football and he grabbed it and ran off with it. I caught up with him and there were several groups of people staring and shouting at me to get the ball and put my dog on a lead. Eli thought it was a game and came just close enough to me but never close enough that i could grab him. He punctured the ball and I eventually got hold of him and had to leave the park almost in tears.
We had already been recommended Stephen by our vet, and we decided that it was time to call him. We had been reluctant as we really didn’t want to leave Eli and not see him for a few weeks but had decided it was no longer fair on him and we needed some serious guidance before Eli got into some real trouble. Amy called Stephen and made an appointment for a consultation.
Stephen didn’t give any promises nor did he raise our expectations, he is very matter of fact and didn’t need to sell himself. He is confident in what he does and he showed us one of his well trained dogs and demonstrated how Eli should behave with certain things. We could tell that his passion is his dogs and he seemed so knowledgeable about their behaviour and psychology. He also delicately explained that often couples especially without children and of same sex relationships baby their dogs and forget to treat them as animals and not children, we realised we were definitely guilty of this! We were given the option to have a think or leave him there that day. We chose to leave him there and not deliberate over it. We left Eli for 4 weeks.
Eli post-training – Life changing!
We finally collected Eli after the duration, we were anxious to see if he had responded well to training but neither of us had expected just how well! We noticed a difference immediately. Eli seemed more “doggy”. He was alert and was ready for instruction. Stephen demonstrated what he had learnt and we were amazed! He had totally changed his attitude towards the ball, it was no longer a competition but a fun tool that Stephen used with him when he decided to in his own time, not Eli’s. He walked beautifully on the lead and recall was absolutely unreal.
When we got him home we realised he no longer jumped up, we hadn’t asked for Stephen to “fix” this but it was part of his obedience training and we didn’t realise how much he did it until he had stopped.
It has been 3.5 months to date since we collected Eli and we have never been so proud of him! He is an absolute delight, he returns to us immediately when called, with no hesitation and no dithering. He will stop whatever he is doing when we tell him No, and he walks well on the lead. We had a follow up with Stephen to recap lead walking and it was so worth it, it just took a bit of direction from Stephen for us to get it right.
Eli very rarely leaves our sight and when he does we know he will return in seconds if we call him. He leaves his ball and won’t touch anything if he hasn’t been given permission. He has developed a lovely balance with other dogs, he is not too interested and not overly excited as his attention is mainly on us. He has all of the same characteristics as before, indoors he is the same but with better manners. He is an absolute pleasure to take out on long walks and switches off when we need him to.
Stephen brought Eli’s behaviour back to basics and gave us the tools and instructions and we have simply carried it on without altering anything we have been taught. The commands are simple and easy to remember. We have put a lot of effort into maintaining order and not becoming relaxed on certain things so as not to let him slip back. Every dog is different and Stephen seems to analyse each individual dog and not use a generic method of training that doesn’t work on every dog. He identified what Eli’s pros and cons were and used them to his advantage so he could get the best out of him. Eli’s affection hasn’t changed, and in fact he seems so much more settled and calmer knowing that he isn’t in control.
We often get stopped on walks and asked how we trained our dog so well and we always recommend Stephen. I would recommend him to anyone who is having any kind of problem with their dog. Whenever we go on holiday we will be booking him in for boarding with Stephen, it is a great place for dogs to play and learn at the same time and it beats them coming back naughtier than before with people who aren’t sure how to handle them. It is the best money we have ever spent and has given us the dog we always wanted.
Stephen thanks for all your help with Rocky.
We were in real trouble with our Rottweiller Rocky. We had been involved in a number of incidents with him , it had sort of crept up on us untill now we had not actually drawn blood on any one or there dogs but today was different and we could no longer keep our head in the sand. He was becoming dangerous and we would surely end up in trouble with him and more than likely end up having to have him put to sleep aswell.
We found Stephens details on a google search, and were impressed that he had a lot of experience and that we were actually dealing with him rather than a company and not really know who was going to be working with our dog. We arranged to see Stephen for a consultation. I had seen the Dog Whisperer on TV but this was incredible our dog would not tolerate strangers, and try to attack any dogs on sight, after ten minutes he had him walking around calmly with him on a lead with one of his own dogs and also under control.The consultation was worth the money in itself, I said you should be on the telly but Stephen said he was far to busy for that and that realistically although my dog was showing us with the right handling he could be OK he should come to stay so that his training could be taken to a much higher level. Also that his own dogs which are calm and very well trained also help dogs such as ours on a different level, by showing them how to interact with other dogs and people, the dogs that stay learn social skills and if you like become rebalanced.
We left Rocky for two weeks initially and then agreed another week to make sure, when we picked him up from Stephens class in a park he was like a different dog calm relaxed wagging his tail and happily doing his stuff for Stephen. On our follow up sessions over the coming weeks we learnt how to handle him aswell and have found the follow up sessions are very important as we had not helped him as he was growing up from a pup and that if we did not learn our part we could take him backwards. But now three months on we have the dog we always wanted
Thanks very much Mr Baily
We just want to thank you for training weimaraner Pedro who is doing great in NYC. He is very social, obedient – we roller blade and run with him..he has friends (that never happened before) and occasionally he would love to go for a dominant male but he stops when told so.
We still train him every day and we are very grateful for what you have done.
Maja and Greg