Here are the main findings from aN investigation into the success of my dog and cat behaviour consultations:
92% of clients reported some degree of improvement in their dog or cat’s behaviour problem. A "large" or "huge" improvement was seen in 63% of cases.
The value for money of my services was considered "excellent" or "good" by 85% of my clients ("excellent" 44%, "good" 41%).
77% of clients felt that I had "thoroughly" explained the causes for the behaviour problem and the reasons for the treatment recommendations I had made. 12% felt I had "mostly" done this.
88% of clients said they would definitely recommend me to others with problem pets.
Only 6% of clients found my recommendations to be "very difficult" or "somewhat difficult" to carry out. 38% found my recommendations "OK" to carry out, 56% found them "very easy" to carry out.
72% of clients required only one consultation (and the free telephone/email follow-up service).
Aggression towards other dogs
Jura is a sweet natured dog who loves to play but he took a dislike to certain other dogs which at times was difficult to understand. The unpredictability was taking much of the pleasure out of our walks and I was becoming nervous and felt I was transmitting this to him.
After following Mat's excellent advice and the 'homework' we were given, Jura is now a much calmer dog and our walks have become a joy once more. Not only has he learned to be more socially acceptable, I have also learned to read his behaviour better and understand more what motivates him.
Thanks Mat from two happy customers!
Sheila and Jura.
I contacted Mat on my vet's recommendation, as my cockapoo suffered from terrible separation anxiety when we tried to leave her at home. After following Mat’s very clear and easy training tips we are now able to leave Ziva for three hours on her own without her becoming distressed. This didn’t happen overnight as we had to take it slowly but two months down the track she is a completely different dog.
The tips Mat gave us on recall from the garden and walks worked within one day and we have never looked back.
Thank you Mat for always being there with advice when I thought I was still having problems, always answering emails the same day.
I would highly recommend Mat to anyone with problems with their dog or cat.
Karen Wood, Fife.
I wanted to update you regarding Smokey, our young Bengal cat who was spraying in specific places in our home. Once I put your recommendations in to place, there has been only one episode of spraying.
The effect of your interventions were so sudden and complete it was astonishing. I am enormously grateful to you for your help, which has been transformative for both Smokey and me.
Wendy Wighton-Benn, Edinburgh.
Threatening behaviour towards people on walks
Ellie was referred to Mat by my trusted vet. I was despairing as she was increasingly showing aggressive behaviour towards strangers and was fearful of other dogs.
Ellie had yanked and pulled me on our daily walks for over two years. Mat's approach is quite different from other dog behaviourists I have met who have focussed on “being in charge”. Mat has very skilfully drawn my attention to the need to understand what lies behind my dog's behaviour. This approach is combined with very clear recommendations at a practical level on how to go forward. Walking with Ellie is now a joy, and she is already much calmer. Mat’s approach works!
Aggression towards dogs
Buster is so much calmer around other dogs! Pete asked me if we had the same dog the other day, as we had encountered several other dogs without him barking and straining at the lead to get to them.
Another dog owner we had not seen for a while commented on how much calmer Buster seemed to be with his dog (an Airedale).
It is amazing how your advice has been so effective. Thanks! It is early days so he's still not perfect, but overall SO much better!
Fran and Pete Jones.
Aggression towards people and dogs
The change in Shadow since your visit and training advice is amazing. He is now a so much more relaxed, happy dog and we are enjoying sharing what a loving, playful pooch Shads is with other people.
We have gone from total loss of knowing how to help him, and feeling like we had completely failed him, to confident, calm and having fun again. We can't thank you enough.
Clare and Jade, North Lanarkshire.
Training and control problems
Mat came out to our home this week to help us with our Labrador who constantly pulls and is very easily distracted. Having spent the morning with us he showed us many new techniques that we had never even thought of and after just the one session the difference was amazing, there has been a massive change in our dog already and hopefully the positive change will continue onwards. Mat has turned walking our dog from a dreaded experience to a thoroughly enjoyable one, I would highly recommend him.
Craig Bellshaw, Edinburgh.
Sound phobia - (fireworks and gunfire)
My Finnish Lapphund, Kuma, is a gentle, loving, kind, boy. Unfortunately he has a phobia of fireworks and gunfire. This has become much more severe as every year passes and I was willing to try anything to help him feel better. I contacted Mat after my vet recommended him.
There was such a big difference with him at Hogmanay, just three weeks after the consultation. He stayed much calmer and was a lot less bothered by the noise. He is a work in progress, but I know exactly how to progress. I'm confident that we will get there thanks to Mat's help.
My vet said I had done the best thing for Kuma by having Mat out to see him, they made a good point in saying that I wouldn't think twice about getting treatment for Kuma if he had a broken leg, so I shouldn't think twice about getting help for a psychological problem. I'm so glad I got the help!
Lindsay Fox, Fife.
I just wanted to thank you very much for the advice you provided. I can’t believe it took me that long to get in touch in the first place!
After years of progressively worsening litter issues, Margaret hasn’t gone out of the litter tray once since we put into place your recommendations. It’s made a phenomenal difference, she seems happier, and our relationship is better for it.
I can’t thank you enough. I heartily recommend you!
Nick Wright, Edinburgh.
Gus and Pip
Aggression towards dogs, people, & within-household conflict
We found Mat by an online search following a problem with our normally gorgeous, gentle and well behaved collie dog's unexpected aggression to one particular dog. Oh how I wish we'd found him before. He also advised on our other collies' behaviour who is normally by the far the most difficult due to his short temper, guard dog behaviour and aggression to us occasionally and fairly often to our other dog.
Mat visited and took all the time it needed to assess the situation. It was obvious that he knew exactly what he was talking about. What he came up with was in retrospect so obvious but before his visit we just couldn't see it. It was also very individual to our dogs and our environment rather than stock answers about pack behaviour which we have been given previously (and didn't work).
He came up with an easily doable ongoing programme as a solution and was also very honest about what may be fixable and what might not be and what would be the hardest to achieve. This is already paying dividends. He told us clearly what was absolutely essential as well. At each step he took the time to check if we understood what he was saying and if we had any questions. He was also a real 'people person' and knew exactly how to advise and suggest in a relaxed manner without making us feel very stupid for what we have allowed to happen as previously experienced and what we thought of as responsible dog owners.
He produced a detailed and individualised report with a programme to follow, as promised within a couple of days. His follow up is second to none in that he provides ongoing email and phone support if we need it. We have already taken advantage of this and he has replied and advised promptly. This is all included in his initial visit and consultation fee which I regard as very good value for money. There is no doubt in our minds that he is a real expert in his field and I would recommend him to anyone who is having any problems with their dogs.
Fear aggression at the vet's
We were having real problems with our Cocker Spaniel Hobbes being terrified when going to the vet - he was so scared that he would shake & cower as soon as the door to the examination room was closed, which would then escalate to our (normally sweet-natured) pup growling and air snapping when being touched by the vet, and even grumbling at us if we just tried to get him on the examination table.
Our vet was very supportive and suggested we see Mat for help, as Hobbes was due his booster vaccinations and we were worried how we were going to do this without making things worse. Mat came and assessed Hobbes in our home and with us in the vets. Mat both observed and explained things from Hobbes' point of view, and was hands on with him, showing us what we needed to do. I was surprised that even in the one session we had with Mat, Hobbes made real progress – by the time we left the vets Hobbes had made it on to the table and was accepting (albeit slightly apprehensively) being gently handled.
We followed the advice Mat gave us, carrying out various exercises Mat suggested to get Hobbes slowly more comfortable with handling at the vet's. I am very pleased to say that yesterday – just 3 weeks after we saw Mat - Hobbes had his booster vaccination without any grumbling let alone growling or snapping; in fact he was happily wagging his tail and best friends with the vet afterwards! We still have more work to do to make sure that he is comfortable with all examinations, but I was so proud of Hobbes and so grateful to Mat for pointing us in the right direction and giving me the tools to help Hobbes get over his fear.
Thank you Mat!
Aggression towards people and dogs
I just wanted you to know how much your work has changed our lives... I followed what you advised religiously and now a couple of years later my darling Frankie is a really wonderful dog... She doesn't get cross or lunge at anyone anymore, and she wants to play with other dogs.
You are a total genius and I can't tell you how much it means to us as a family that we can relax and enjoy her, and she can enjoy her life with us.
I can't thank you enough and can't tell you how much you changed Frankie and probably us.
I know it's been a long time and you might not remember us, but we will always remember you and what you did for our flawed little dog Frankie.
Rachel Holmes, Scottish Borders.
My gorgeous Burmese cat Jum Jum preferred to poo on the floor rather than use the litter tray. For a year I had tried everything I could think of to encourage him to use the litter tray but everything failed. I knew it was time to seek professional help when I had guests from London staying this summer and one of them accidentally stood in one of Jum Jum’s ‘offerings’.
During my search for a cat behaviour expert I was particularly impressed by Mat’s credentials and testimonials but even so I had my doubts about whether Jum Jum’s behaviour could be positively modified, given the duration of the problem and the extent of my previous intervention attempts.
I couldn’t have been more wrong because with Mat’s advice the problem was sorted literally overnight and Jum Jum has been happily using his litter tray full time since! My friends and relatives are equally delighted and are now looking forward to visiting again!
Thank you Mat for all your help - and restoring my sanity!
Adele Martin, Fife.
Control and training problems
Having worked with Mat in the past with astonishing results we knew who to contact to discuss the issues we were having with our 1 year old Working Cocker Spaniel Esme. We were having real problems with her pulling on the leash, attention seeking jumping and responding to commands first time. These issues physically drained us, causing frustration and took the joy from our time together.
Esme is a loving and intelligent dog who needed direction from us and a routine that suited her breed type. Mat explained this very clearly and gave us simple and easy to follow solutions with many more ideas to make further improvements. We saw immediate results during the visit, and these continued in the days and weeks after Mat’s visit. Very quickly walks were no longer torture for us and Esme! We are more relaxed, Esme is more relaxed, and seems so willing to learn. We have seen so many improvements and have moved on to more complex commands such as walking at our heel off the leash. People often comment on her quick response to our commands when out walking.
The home visit from Mat is great because he saw Esme's home environment and how we all interacted, we were then able to go out into the field and put into practice his suggestions. We were able to ask more questions and improve our new techniques on the spot. The follow up notes are detailed and informative and is a great way to keep you on track.
Thank you Mat for your help with Esme
Seamus and Carole, Fife
Aggression towards the family and strangers
Thanks to Mat my wife and I have a better understanding of our dog, his needs, and his behaviour.
Mat explained everything and suddenly it all made sense. We have started Mat's recommended training and are already seeing a difference.
John and Alison Reunert, West Lothian.
Bracken and Geordie
Fighting between two household dogs
A long standing problem with one of my Gordon Setter dogs showing serious aggression to the other when visitors arrived was, to my astonishment, effectively resolved with Mat’s help.
Although Geordie and Bracken were the best of friends 99% of the time, Geordie’s desire for sole attention when people arrived resulted in competitive aggression between them which was very stressful for visitors and myself. I had reached the stage of dreading anyone suggesting a visit.
Mat came along and after spending time discussing my concerns, asking questions and calmly observing and interacting with “the boys”, he outlined an insightful and practical approach which to my delight ended up resolving the issue. This was something I had lost hope of achieving after consulting previously with other dog behaviour "experts" (who gave advice contrary to Mat's).
I can never thank Mat enough for resolving this problem in just one visit. His expertise, patience, and understanding has greatly improved the quality of both my life and that of my dogs.
Sheila Graham, Kelso.
Aggression towards people
We were devastated when our beloved Labrador bit my husband. Our vet suggested that due to the severity of the bite we might need to consider putting Nugget to sleep. This was something that we desperately wanted to avoid, so our vet referred us to Mat to see what could be done. Mat suggested simple changes to our approach and training practices, and in just a few days the changes to Nugget’s behaviour was remarkable.
We have had dogs for over forty years and thought we were responsible owners who knew it all, but Mat was able to highlight shortfalls in the way we were handling our highly-strung pet.
We are so grateful to Mat and would highly recommend his services.
Carol Duffy, Fife.
Reactivity and barking towards other dogs
We are so thankful that we consulted Mat regarding our dog's reactivity & barking issues. Our 3-year old Hungarian Vizsla, Ellie, has always been quite a nervous & very vocal dog but she was becoming increasingly anxious & intolerant of unfamiliar dogs coming too close to her & she had started not just to bark but also to sometimes rush at other dogs to tell them to keep away.
We spent a morning with Mat in a location where he was able to observe Ellie's behaviour & he gave us a detailed & clear explanation of the underlying reasons for her behaviour & advice on practical steps to resolve her issues. This was followed by a thorough & informative written report detailing his assessment & clearly setting out the behaviour modification programme & training methods recommended.
We have found Mat's recommendations to be straightforward to implement & we are delighted to be seeing a marked improvement in her behaviour. She is now 'checking in' with us when she sees another dog or person that she is unsure of & she is noticeably calmer.
What is particularly valuable is Mat's ongoing guidance & support provided by his free email or telephone follow-up service. Mat has always responded promptly & in detail to any questions that we have had following the consultation which has been immensely helpful. We feel confident that we are now on the right track with Ellie & it is lovely to see her becoming a more confident & happier dog.
Aggression towards people and training problems
Last year my much loved Border Collie “Brook” passed away. I was heartbroken. Although I have another dog, I missed having a collie and therefore adopted a 7 week old blue merle Border Collie from a working farm. Having read loads of books to prepare for the puppy, I was determined to bring up a healthy and happy dog.
In the beginning things seemed to be going well. Badger is a sociable puppy who loves people and other dogs, is a dream in the car and is very food orientated making training reasonably easy. The books I was reading though were very much based on the ‘pack leader’ method of thinking and it seemed to me that Badger thought of himself as the leader, despite my efforts to show him otherwise.
Badger escalated his puppy mouthing games into aggressive biting, especially when I attempted to take items off him that he seemed to be becoming obsessed by. He was eating tissues, socks, coal, stones, plastic – in fact anything he could get his mouth on! It become a constant ordeal of chasing him around the house, prising his mouth open and trying to remove the object – which would then result in him more often than not, biting me. He would also run at people at full speed and, if they were, seated would attempt to jump on their heads!
I felt I was losing the bond I had with Badger; in fact had started to dislike him. The crunch came when on Hogmanay Badger tried to swallow a sock – I only just managed to remove it before it clogged up his intestines, and for that, I was given a vicious bite. In desperation, I contacted Mat who, bless him, came over to see us a few days later.
Mat’s explanations and suggestions made perfect sense to me and allowed me to see things from Badger’s point of view. His advice really was enlightening. The positive change in Badger was immediate, and his behaviour has continued to improve. I have gone from disliking myself and my pup, to having a bond with Badger that I feel will continue to strengthen as we grow together.
I can’t thank Mat enough for helping to get Badger and me back on the right track, for providing in depth and thorough back-up advice, and for answering any questions that have arisen following his visit in a prompt and easy to understand way. Thank you.
Laura Glover, Stow, Scottish Borders.
Feline urine marking (spraying)
We had a serious problem with our Ragdoll cat Harry spraying indoors every day, and so booked a consultation with Mat. Mat travelled to see us all in our own home environment which meant he could observe Harry’s behaviour and see how his life was structured. Mat gave us some fabulous advice on every aspect of the problem and helped us better understand life from a feline perspective. Harry is so much better behaved now, and more importantly we think he is leading a happier and more stimulating life. He has also become a lot more affectionate!
We would recommend Mat to anyone with any sort of pet behaviour problem and will certainly be recommending him to our local veterinary service.
Thank you again Mat for your great help and advice.
Eleanor and Stephen Fielding
Aggression towards other dogs
I recently visited Mat for a consultation with my rescue lurcher Patch, who is aggressive towards unfamiliar dogs. Through speaking with my partner and me and observing Patch's behaviour over a morning, Mat took time to get a thorough understanding of us and our situation. He explained his assessment of Patch's behaviour very clearly and thoroughly, and really helped us understand what's going on in our dog's mind and body when he reacts to other dogs. This has been a massive help to us as rather than just dealing with Patch when he reacts to others, we are now able to recognise when situations are becoming too much for him and act to prevent him becoming so stressed that he reacts.
Mat has given us a treatment programme, tailored specifically to us, our dog, and our home/outdoor environment, which is very practical for us to work on as part of our daily routine. We're working to solve Patch's behaviour from its roots (his fear), not just looking for a short-term way to stop him reacting, hence there's no quick fix solution. But after a few weeks of using the techniques Mat suggested, Patch is already noticeably more relaxed out and about around other dogs, and so am I! We're communicating better with Patch, he's more responsive to us when out and about, and he's gradually starting to look to us for direction upon seeing another dog, rather than taking matters into his own paws.
After months of Patch getting more and more reactive to other dogs, I finally see this reversing. I am now confident that we're on the road to a day where Patch can greet other dogs calmly and confidently, or else just ignore them. It's a good road to finally be on! Although we do not live close-by, Mat has been great at keeping in touch to answer questions and help us deal with any new situations that arise. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Mat's services to anyone needing help with their dog's behaviour!
Threatening behaviour towards unfamiliar dogs and people
We had a big problem with our 2 year old collie, growling, snapping and lunging at dogs and barking at people. After seeing a couple of dog trainers, and attending obedience classes, we couldn't see much improvement and didn't feel like we were on the right track to tackle the problem. Although we were tired of dealing with it and almost gave up, we decided to take our last chance and contacted Mat. He gave us a lot of advice on our dog's problem and also the confidence to work on it and stay positive. His method is kind and easy to implement and our dog's response was amazingly good. Now, we feel like we are on the right path to solve the problems that made our life so stressful.
Putting his method (show the dog what's good instead of punishing for what's bad) into practice, Astar is now walking off lead around other dogs, and although she is still wary of dogs that are too interested in her, with just one word I'm able to stop her aggressive behaviour. We can get her focus in a second. It feels like she has really started thinking before acting. She is much more relaxed; she managed to ignore a boxer and sniff a greyhound. She has almost completely stopped her mad barking. I never thought that I would be able to have my dog walking at heel, off-lead, and ignoring other dogs. I thought she was untrainable. I'm much more relaxed now, so I guess she's picking up on that as well.
We had some people visiting for a week, including a 9-year-old girl and they were the best of friends by the next morning of their arrival (it turned out it's not so hard to convince Astar that children are fun).
Although I know that we haven't finished our training, and she will continue to get better throughout her life, and that she will never be completely ok with all dogs, I couldn't ask for a better result now.
Previously I was so unhappy with Astar and with myself for failing, but now I own a happy, confident and such an obedient dog that I really look forward to our walks every day. I couldn't be more grateful for Mat's help.
Thank you so much Mat for changing our stressful life with Astar into a happy life, full of fun and hopes for the future.
Aggression towards people
Samantha and I rescued Mylo when he was 8 weeks old not knowing exactly what he was (it turned out he's a GSD Rottie X - a "Shepweiler"). He was going to beBIG, and shortly after we got him we discovered we were going to be parents to twin girls before the end of the year.
Mylo grew increasing bigger and to our horror started to develop aggressive behaviour towards Sam, despite us faithfully following Cesar Millan's pack leadership techniques. He would growl when she came into the room in the evening. If she asked him to move out of the room, or tried to pat him to tell him it was OK, he would growl louder and start to bare his teeth. This was extremely worrying. He even snapped at her a couple of times. Understandably Sam became very nervous around Mylo and feared for her safety and that of our soon-to-arrive twin girls.
I was faced with having to re-home Mylo for the sake of my family. This was hard to take as I loved him, having raised him from a pup and having spent so much time and effort exercising and training him.
I called Mat and arranged a consultation, he was our last hope. I took some video footage of Mylo's behaviour and showed it to Mat when he came to our house. We also discussed at great length everything we'd been doing. Mat explained what the likely problem was, and showed us how to fix it.
Within a day or two we had noticed a big difference. Mylo only demonstrated the aggressive behaviour a few more times. It was really night and day, and in an incredibly short period of time Mylo was back to his happy self. Mylo has never been aggressive towards Sam since and is very well behaved around our two beautiful daughters too. Mylo is the perfect dog!
I can't thank Mat enough for saving us from the heartache of having to re-home Mylo, and now we have a very happy, if a little crazy, household.
Steve Young, Lanarkshire.
Training and control problems
It has been a week since you visited us and gave us some great strategies to use with Holly.
We have had great success! I now feel much more confident with her, and our walks are about 40 minutes long and filled with fun. She is successfully meeting new dogs and though she will always be a super-excited dog, I feel much more in control of her.
You have changed our lives and we are all very grateful. I had come to dread every outing with her, but now Holly appears to be paying more attention to us and is much more responsive. She responds so well to the recall and its lovely to see her come charging back to us full of anticipation.
I think I can safely say that Holly's life has been transformed for the better and she is very happy.
Margaret, Scottish Borders
Aggression towards dogs
Snoop is a very friendly and affectionate dog but after being attacked by another dog when he was just a pup he became an absolute nightmare to walk on lead! He was very nervous of other dogs and showed this by lunging, barking, growling and basically making as much noise as possible to get rid of them!
Mat only needed to spend a couple of hours with us and Snoop is transformed. With simple instructions both Snoop and myself are both more relaxed. I saw a difference immediately and it has only got better and better as time has gone on. The other night another dog was able to come straight up to us in the park and I was even able to pet the other dog without Snoop batting an eyelid!
Not only has Mat's visit helped Snoop's on-lead behaviour but it has also improved the relationship Snoop and I have. Snoop is naturally quite a nervous dog and I notice more and more that he has more trust in me, and now when things scare him he looks to me for support. I wish Mat had visited years ago!
Jo McDonald, Fife.
Aggression towards other dogs and control issues
Just thought I'd update you on Rebus' progress since we saw you. He is a completely different dog now - very affectionate and much calmer. He is responding well to all the training tips you gave me and he now enjoys off lead exercise with Brewster and responds well to recall.
We've been to the south of France since your visit and Rebus was much admired on our travels. All our friends who knew Rebus are amazed at how settled and well behaved he is.
Thank you so much for all your help. Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.
Pauline and Gordon Fraser, Fife.
Aggression towards dogs
Our wonderful family dog Willow was attacked earlier this year and this seemed to change his nature. He became aggressive and defiant – having tried everything I contacted our vet, who suggested Mat.
After an afternoon of calm observation and engaging retraining work, Willow was already responding. I put into practice the clear and detailed instructions in Mat’s report and over a couple of weeks we had our old dog back again, even better than before. Most importantly, I know that this is a work in progress and I am more attuned to little signals from Willow if he is uneasy, so I can look out for him and he can relax.
Our family is delighted to have had Mat’s encouragement and positive contribution. I’m sure Willow would woof in agreement!
Barking and other inappropriate behaviour when around other dogs
We just wanted to let you know how well Milo is doing since you came and spent time with us back in August – and to thank you so much for helping him (and us!) get on the right track.
Milo has made huge progress – you helped us understand his barking behaviour and we really feel that we’ve been able to build on the practical tips you gave us. You also gave us some ‘lines’ to say to other dog owners and this helped us introduce him to so many more dogs instead of panicking.
We used to find walking him very stressful as he would get very agitated and start barking and lunging uncontrollably as soon as he saw another dog. Because our older dog, Ollie, has always been so quiet and laid back, we simply didn’t know how to deal with Milo’s behaviour. We were at the point of thinking re-homing would be the only answer.
Nowadays other dog walkers often remark on how calm he is and he often gets mistaken for Ollie (even by us!). He is so much more settled, greets other dogs like a pro and is so much fun and affectionate in the house.
We can walk the two dogs together on leads with no worry about Milo, who now prefers to walk calmly a few paces behind Ollie. It’s an incredible transformation.
There’s still work to do, but we feel like we’ve made huge strides and are so appreciative of your help – it made a huge difference to Milo’s confidence and to ours! Thanks so much.
Helen, Laurence and Anna, Penicuik, Midlothian.
Moseley decided after 11 years of using a litter tray, that he preferred using the hall floor to toilet. This made for a very unpleasant 'al fresco' toileting area in our house. The impact of this was dreadful for ourselves and Moseley, our normally harmonious home was no more. We couldn't use the front door, had a very smelly hall floor and Moseley and I were not the best of friends, both very much stressed.
After checking for possible health reasons for this behaviour, the vet recommended consulting Mathew for help. Mathew came out to the house, assessed the situation and gave clear instructions both verbally and in a written report. I have to say I was skeptical of the solution (I felt it couldn't be that simple!) working. But, it worked immediately. We now have our hall back, a clean floor, no smell and use of the front door again! Oh and we now have a much happier and contented cat. We are all friends again. I can't thank Mathew enough.
Training and control problems
If you are wondering whether to book Mat. Do it! We have a one year old dog who had absolutely no recall at all. I have always had dogs and never had a recall problem before. I kept telling myself he would grow out of it, but the reality was he was getting worse. He is very 'friendly' and would run over to absolutely every dog the length and breadth of the park to say hello. I had no control, once he decided he was going there was no calling him back.
I had tried every treat going, I had lay down on the ground, hid behind trees, ran in the opposite direction, called nicely, called angrily (sorry), kept him on a training lead, watched EVERY video on Youtube and tried I thought everything, but I was getting nowhere. I could not get within an arms length of him, he would come close but as soon as I bent down he ducked just out of my reach. I could only get him back on lead if I caught him off guard and managed to sneak up on him. He would run up to every dog whether they were on a lead or not and occasionally ones wearing yellow neck scarfs if I didn't manage to catch him on time. This was leading to so many mumbled apologies to understandably unhappy owners. I was feeling so stressed, I was avoiding the park and just walking him on lead around the streets.
This was no fun at all for either of us. Enter Mat. He quickly assessed my recall was beyond saving and just hit the reset button. He showed me an absolutely bullet proof technique to get Bailey back to me. The rest of the family are speechless and I am literally holding my breath as I can't quite believe it. Mat came to the park with us and actually walked me through how to it. Bailey and I have walked in the park every single day for the past 3 weeks and he has recalled from absolutely everything, dogs, food, squirrels, the works. Not once since the walk with Mat have I not been able to recall him! I honestly can't believe it myself. He also showed me another technique for getting him back on the lead and I have not had to sneak up on him since. Bailey is a little dog and it was only a matter of time before he was going to get hurt. I cannot emphasise enough the relief of knowing I am in control. Mat has given us back our walks and I can't thank him enough.
Gayle Jones, Edinburgh.
Training and control problems
I am writing to say a heartfelt thank you from Ivan and myself for the effort you put into helping us with Bridie – she is a different dog.
Her discipline has improved 70% and is simple and easy to reinforce when she plays 'the deaf dog'.
You have performed a miracle in our lives for our dog and we are very grateful.
Both Ivan and I would never hesitate to recommend you to people with a problem pet. It would be the most loving thing anyone could do for their pet.
Thank you again,
Allie and Ivan Nagel
Aggression towards children and other dogs
Hi, it’s been ages we saw you, and thought you really should have an update as to how the big fella has been.
Escapes from our property = 0
Dogs attacked = 0
Children eaten = 0
We have learnt so much from the experience and it was invaluable. There are other dogs our area who are likely to be in touch (or should I say their owners) who after hearing and seeing our success have asked for contact details.
Leanne, Steve, Zac, Charlotte, Hercules Morse, Gismo and the 5 cats.