Pet Dogs Training
We can offer Residential training and or one to one individual Training sessions. All in our five acres of totally secure paddocks to six feet in height. Our training is varied and we can help you from puppy training stage right through to young adult dogs.
We specialise in turning round adult dogs of any age with problem behaviours including aggression towards dogs or humans. Also very poor recall especially due to hunting or chasing away on scents. Or other kinds of antisocial behaviour that is causing problems in or out of the house. This type of training usually requiring the Residential stay.
Below is a group of clients dogs chillaxing in a Down stay.
We chose Maxwell from the SPA refuge in Cherbourg in November 2015. He was a very bouncy and intelligent crossbreed who was social with other dogs. We have had dogs for the best part of 30 years but felt that he needed to have some professional training to keep him out of trouble.
Unfortunately in the Spring of 2016 we sent him to a branch of a training facility near London for their 3 week package. I was able to see updated photos on Facebook and at one stage I became concerned that other dogs seemed to be aggressive towards Max from the photos posted on line. I contacted the company in question but was assured that the dog’s play time was supervised. At the end of 3 weeks Max came home and not only had he not learned the most basic commands sufficiently, he had developed aggression towards other dogs. We split our time between London and Normandy and when in the park in London it was becoming increasingly difficult, culminating in a ridgeback owner calling Max vicious!
Like a lot of the other owners I googled and telephoned a lot of dog trainers, and was impressed with Stephen’s experience. I liked the fact that he also teaches dogs the word “no” which seems to be unfashionable at the moment.
I took Max to be “interviewed” before leaving him for his training and to be honest was worried that I had not passed the test! Max subsequently stayed for 4 weeks and has come home the most brilliant dog. He does not necessarily like all the dogs he encounters but we have been taught how to control him and anticipate problems. As we learnt from the 2 follow up classes, a lot of Max’s training is up to my husband and me. It took us a while to follow Stephen’s from of training but it has paid huge dividends and we are both very proud now of the comments we receive in the park as to how well trained he is. I would certainly recommend Stephen Bulled for your dog, and also for the lessons he gives the owners. I only wish that I had found him a year earlier for Max instead of the previous experience.
Mary and Toby
Had Toby from a pup and kept him purely as a pet. I went out to work full time but my husband was retired and home with him during the day. Due to a marital split Toby is now 5 years old and home all day alone during the week. He was always happy, wagging his tail and bringing me toys when I came home from work.
Problems soon began to arise with his ears, which became badly infected. They were washed out twice at the vets, but the infection would reappear and I could not administer the prescribed eardrops as Toby would snarl and try to bite me. At the vets he would also try to bite if a muzzle was produced. Toby had always been a lovely, good-natured and friendly dog, but I became afraid of him – he had by now become Top Dog!
We had moved home and I began to make friends within the village. Over the weekends I started going out in the evenings. Upon arrival home Toby would growl and suddenly leap at my arm, biting me ferociously. This happened on more than one occasion and I became terrified. Was this due to the ear infection, being left alone in a smaller property – or what? Was I being cruel to keep him? I had various friends, business colleagues, family members, etc., etc. all giving their advice until my head was spinning, but above all I wanted to keep my dog.
I read various books on the subject and also took expert advice from dog behaviourists at costs ranging from £200/£350 approximately for two-hour consultations. A local gamekeeper offered to have Toby for a week, which I was desperate to try, but the experts advised against this, as they said he would return to me with worse behaviour. The training had to come from me. I continued to keep Toby, following the experts’ advice on feeding, my behaviour towards him on arriving home etc., but was well aware I was running out of time as his behaviour towards me was not really changing – in fact getting worse. The crunch came when he bit me so badly one Saturday night that I had to call in my relatives because I was bleeding, crying and at my wits end. The next day they took him to Brands Hatch Branch of Battersea Dogs Home to be retained. Luckily for me there was ‘no room at the Inn’.
By this time I was in a Catch 22 situation. I could not cope at all with Toby, neither could I re-home him for fear he might bite someone else and be put down – even my vet was suggesting this option. I knew, at heart, Toby was basically a lovely dog, but somehow my guilt at leaving him, compensated by over molly coddling him upon return, and generally treating him as some little child, was turning him into a wolf.
I decided to have one last ‘crack of the whip’. I searched through Yellow Pages and the Internet, and came up with Stephen Bulled. What particularly appealed was his gamekeeper/police and gun dog experience, coupled with the fact he could also take Toby for a complete month, and from his photograph he looked ‘straight’. When I first met Stephen he commented on the all too easily visible ‘fresh’ scars on my arm, and advised that he would give a very honest opinion on Toby, and one that I might not like. He also mentioned that if destroying Toby were the only possible option, he would take care of this to save me the anguish. I must confess that I drove away from that first meeting feeling I had taken Toby to his death, but also well aware I had reached the point of no return. During the month I rang Stephen once a week and, from his reports, things soon began to look more hopeful. I also had a breathing space and time to reflect upon where I was going so wrong with Toby.
Toby’s month with Stephen is now up and Toby has been back home for nearly 3 weeks. We have been back twice for further lessons. I have changed Toby’s diet, as advised by Stephen and am taking a much stronger line with him, in accordance with Stephen’s advice. Toby has shown no aggressive tendencies towards me so far – fingers crossed! I now know, should Toby ever revert to his old ways, how to counteract our behaviour. I also know Stephen would have him back for further training, or if I wished to go away on holiday. I now don’t have to live in fear of being bitten – or even worse, losing my dog.
Thanks a million, Stephen –and you don’t charge that!
Ruby, our 4 and a half month Cavapoo puppy, was not responding to the ‘reward based’ system which we’d embarked on. A highly energetic and alert dog, the promise of constant treats was keeping her in ‘on’ mode all the time, and she was also prone to separation anxiety to the point where you couldn’t leave the room without endless wailing, meaning she was sleeping in our bedroom with us at night. At the other end of the spectrum, she’d also become overly protective about things she thought were hers, like the sofa, and was starting to growl threateningly when we tried to get her off. One day, she tried to bite my wife in a truly aggressive way (not puppy mouthing), and since we have a 3 year old daughter, we decided things definitely needed to change.
We had a meeting with Stephen, where he told us his experience and techniques, and he had a look at Ruby and told us what he thought of her behaviour. Basically, she needed retraining, and to understand that people were the boss, not her. One thing that Stephen said struck a chord with us – that owning a dog should be a pleasure, not a problem. We felt very happy to leave Ruby with him for three weeks, so her new behaviour had a chance to become part of her nature.
Whilst Ruby was away, we certainly appreciated the peace and quiet that had been regained at home, and were perhaps slightly wary of her return, thinking that she may only be a little bit better.
The day we collected Ruby, Stephen showed us how she reacted to a few basic commands. Where before she wouldn’t listen, now she’d obey. She was also happy to sit and just ‘be’ as we talked through how to continue things at home with her, which before was extremely difficult – even taking into account the fact that she was a puppy. Other things were also highly improved, such as walking to heel, recall with a whistle and her interaction with other dogs, who often found her energy irritating.
Ten days after taking her back home, we can honestly say she’s a truly changed dog. The fun hasn’t disappeared from her personality, but she’s obedient and calm, a lot less needy and most importantly shows no signs of aggression. We took her to the pub for Sunday lunch and she just sat there watching the world go by, something we wouldn’t have done before as she would have been jumping up at everybody looking for attention or play time. Walks are also a lot easier, there’s none of the crazed pulling on the lead, and the whistle recall is easy as pie. She’ll still try and do things like jump on the sofa when we’re not looking but a quick ‘No!’ and she’s off again, no growls, no fuss.
Deep down we knew Ruby was never a truly problem dog, as she was very loving and playful, but something has definitely gone wrong along the way. She’s now a well rounded, lovely dog, and we have Stephen to thank for that.