Reviews of The Way of the Dog
At The Way of the Dog we are always keen to hear about your experiences of our services and how they have impacted upon you and your relationship with your dog. We would appreciate past or existing customers of The Way of the Dog taking a few minutes to give a frank and honest review of our conduct and services.
Whilst we use these reviews to assess and improve our services, they also act as a reference for those seeking an experienced dog trainer. All genuine reviews will be displayed along with the reviewers name. Your email address will not be displayed but may be used for communication by The Way of the Dog Ltd only.
A family affair (Behaviour Modification)
We asked Shaun to help us with our 4 year old cocker spaniel Pebbles who had developed some difficult behaviours around family members, particularly our 16 year old daughter. From the minute we connected with Shaun, we were filled with confidence that he could help us. Shaun undertook a really thorough diagnostic involving all the family. He gave us a clear plan with incredibly helpful tools so we could continue the training in between sessions. We particularly liked the way he involved our daughter and how much time he took to explain what was behind Pebbles's behaviour. Our report was comprehensive and a valuable reference guide. On a personal level, Shaun is clearly an expert in his field, an absolute professional with outstanding interpersonal skills and as an added bonus had a really lovely way with Pebbles. I would totally recommend Shaun to anyone seeking expert help with their dog's behaviour. We had previously sought help from other animal behaviourists which had not been successful, working with Shaun was a totally different experience, I only wish I had found him sooner.
Response: Thank you Gail for your kind review. I have enjoyed the challenge of working with Pebbles and supporting your family to help make sense of her behaviour. Your case is indicative of a lot of things that are wrong in what is a fashionable yet unregulated industry. When working with dogs that have any behaviour problems, whatever the underlying cause or motivation, it is essential for all concerned that time is taken to find the right people to work with. There are many things to consider when making such choices.
The Italian Stallion (Puppy Development)
From our experience finding a good dog trainer is really difficult. Finding an outstanding dog trainer is nigh on impossible, so, as first time dog owners, we were so relieved to have found Shaun. We are under no illusion, 'dog trainer' is a misnomer. Shaun trains the team, owners and dogs learn together. We came to Shaun with our Italian Spinone puppy, Ghyll, who immediately demonstrated his admiration for Shaun by doing things for him that we, then, could only dream of. Shaun has taught us how to better understand and motivate Ghyll and that has greatly enhanced our experience of dog ownership. Shaun is great at sharing his uncanny understanding of what the dog is doing and communicating. Most of all we have learned that we need to be patient and consistent. Shaun was clear from the outset that the success of training required a commitment from us but at the same time he makes it great fun. I would go so far as to say our sessions with Shaun and Ghyll are a highlight for us. We travel nearly an hour each way but it is well worth it. Ghyll better understands what we require from him and we better understand what he needs from us.
We are really looking forward to continuing with Shaun into the new year. There is so much to learn but we have a great teacher.
Response: Thank you for your kind review, it is appreciated. It has been a pleasure working with you all and I have enjoyed watching Ghyll develop as you both learn how to handle him. Your hard work has reaped dividends and you are both demonstrating excellent handling skills and as a result Ghyll is truly flourishing. I shall also look forward to working with you in 2017.
Zsolt the Hungarian Vizsla (Behaviour Modification)
I’m very proud to be writing a heartfelt review after a successful behaviour modification. I can’t stress enough that if you need help or training, please give the best to your dog and contact Shaun. I have found that most dog trainers are just doing a job - this is definitely not the case with Shaun, dogs are his vocation and you will not find better.
I’m the proud owner of a very sweet and loving Vizsla boy who doubles as a russet exocet missile. Bred from pure hunting lines, he is intelligent, has a strong constitution and personality to match but at the same time, he’s anxious and sensitive. Although dogs have always been a big part of my life, my boy is my first dog of my own and was not the easiest for me to train.
I had lost faith in the dog training industry after three separate poor experiences, all of which claimed they were professional. My dog and I gained absolutely nothing except unsound advice, wasted time and money.
Problems started to occur at around 13 months after my dog was attacked twice whilst on his lead with me. He began to bark and growl if dogs came too close, the weeks went on and the issue got worse. I didn’t know how to deal with it for the best and was acutely aware that if I got it wrong my dog would end up really screwed up!
I saw Shaun’s website and was impressed by his experience, qualifications and excellent reviews. When I contacted Shaun I was upset and ashamed that I had failed my dog, Shaun put me at ease instantly with his down to earth personality and was genuinely interested in helping my dog.
Just after our first conversation, my dog was attacked again on lead and the dogs owner punched my dog in the face, which I found extremely upsetting and reported it to the police. After this incident my dog was reacting to every dog, even dogs way off in the distance. Shaun was on hand to help me through; I can’t thank him enough for his time at this point. He gave me strength and the advice I needed to help my dog even before our assessment.
Shaun made it possible to get my boy into training as soon as possible and found a solution to fit in with my working hours, Shaun sadly lost his own dog at the start of our program but his commitment never waivered.
On assessment Shaun kitted me out with new equipment that immediately made life easier. We both enjoy working with Shaun, he is a very decent chap with a great sense of humour and, very importantly, he’s very clear. He earned my dogs respect and admiration from the off.
I learned so much on each session but I never felt overwhelmed and came away knowing exactly what I needed to work on with my dog. The sessions are fun and my boy loves them. Shaun is not a clock-watcher and often our sessions over ran but Shaun just kept going until he knew I had grasped the training. After each session I felt wiser, empowered and ready to employ my new skills.
I fully expected it to be months before I saw any positive changes and was delighted when there were massive improvements after session one, after the second session I was training my dog on the park, an area I had actively avoided for months.
Shaun has taught my boy control and showed me how to be the leader that he needs. I am now aware of my own body language and can communicate better with my dog; seemingly small changes have had a positive impact. He’s much happier and more confident now and is no longer reactive.
We do still face challenges and we will continue to work hard but I know my dog so much better and know what is best for him, Shaun has given me the tools in my kit to better handle situations! Walks used to be stressful but now they’re my source of stress relief.
I honestly feel privileged to have trained with Shaun It is amazing to see him work, not a minute is wasted every moment is of benefit to the dog. He gets to know both you and your dog and what makes him tick and develops a program that is totally individual to your needs.
I’m looking forward to continuing our training with Shaun in the New Year. I can see my dog trusts me more and our bond is much stronger now. Family and friends are amazed by my dogs’ progress. The positives and life skills I gained from training with Shaun far outweigh the cost. Everyday we improve and it’s a pleasure to watch my boy blossom!
Response: Thank you very much Jane for such a detailed review. You have been very kind with your words and I appreciate the time that you have taken to write this review. It has been a pleasure working with you and your dog and help you overcome the difficulties that you faced. However, it is me that is privileged to work with such fantastic dog owners who care passionately about their dogs. When clients work as hard as you have done it makes my job all that more rewarding, so thank you.
Ruby the Boxer puppy! (Puppy Development)
We took the puppy training course with Shaun and it has made our giddy disobedient puppy a lovely dog to live with. We went through all the basic commands within the first session and his teachings were easy to follow and worked excellently. We have finished the puppy course and are so happy with the results we will be having further training with Shaun to work on agility. Would definitely recommend The Way of the Dog it has changed our lives!
Response: Thank you Alice & Gary for such a kind review. It has been a pleasure working with the three of you. Ruby is a great puppy and has real potential. Well done for working so hard and being committed to Ruby's development.
Eric - The Cowardly Lion (Behaviour Modification)
Can I begin by saying before I met Shaun I had tried everything to help my dog Tellington Touch, every eminent author on dog behaviour, changing his diet, homeopathic remedies, a previous trainer who to be honest whilst a truly good person with the right intentions just confused me even more and I had come to a standstill in my endeavours to help my dog.
Eric is a 4 year old Staffy cross Bulldog cross Chow who because of being attacked / involved in altercations had become almost unhandleable. I had worked hard with Eric after he had what I can only describe as a nervous breakdown after the last incident in September last year and I had got to a point where I had (I'm ashamed to admit) seriously thought about having him put down; for his own sake as well as mine. He was totally unhappy and so was I.
One day I was out walking my other dog (whom I got in an effort to help Eric's fears / behaviour) when I got in conversation with a lady who had had severe problems with a Golden Lab that had come to her through rescue and had used Shaun to help modify the dogs behaviour. Having listened to her glowing testimony I knew if anyone could Shaun would be able to help me.
So I met Shaun for an initial consultation, without Eric; which was good because with Shaun's guidance through this session he helped me assess Eric's behaviour patterns for myself, how and when they started and what I thought they stemmed from. He told me to go away, enjoy my dogs and come back after my holiday. I can truly say that was the turning point!!
Shaun's sessions were amazing! They gave me back my confidence to handle Eric. They taught me how to manage his behaviour, they taught me that my behaviour is as much the problems as Eric's and that with modification of what we do, understanding of each other and training life with my dog would, and has, become fun again.
Although Eric will never be a social dog I can now manage his fear of other dogs so that the reaction to them is in most cases minimal. I can take him virtually anywhere, which I would not have done beforehand and the most important thing for me is that Eric is once again the happy dog he was before.
But more than this working with Shaun has given me a lifeskill that will be with me forever. As I said before I have another dog (an American Bulldog) and when I train Eric I also train him, which makes my life easier knowing that although my dogs are big powerful dogs, the type that get so much bad press, the type that a lot of people cross over the road to avoid my dogs are beautifully well behaved, well mannered and obedient. Not because I am forcing them against their will to do this but because this is what makes them and me happy.
Finally I will say this. Do not go to Shaun if you expect him to wave a magic wand and Tadah! Your dog is miraculously different. Shaun will give you the tools, back up and common sense good advice to make it work BUT you have to put the effort in in order to see changes in YOUR dog. Nothing worth having ever came easy and this just about sums up being a good dog owner.
Thank you Shaun. You made me a better person and saved my dogs life
Response: Thank you very much for taking the time to write such a heartfelt review. More importantly well done for supporting your dog, taking the time to travel to Bolton, working hard, and seeing Eric smile again! I do not need to say anymore, but thank you again for your words.
Brilliant! (Dog Training)
We have thoroughly enjoyed our sessions with Shaun so far. He has shown us how inconsistent we are and that all our actions have consequences for our dog. Lenny has just turned 2 and a brilliant dog but getting cheeky with behaviours, overly excitable with the kids and visitors and a bit too pull-y on the lead. In 3 sessions Shaun has taught us how to have more control and it's definitely working - friends are remarking how different he is! It is very true that you get out what you put in but Shaun is so understanding and works around our busy lives with realistic expectations which helps a great deal. From the start he involved our children (8 & 5) first and made them feel important. He empowered them (and us!) to feel like they are able to control Lenny and to take part in the training which was so important to us.
I could go on and on but won't. Safe to say, we would recommend Shaun (to anyone who will listen!).
Response: Thank you for your kind review Lisa. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with your family and teaching your young girls how to better handle Lenny, you have all worked hard. I look forward to working with you again soon.
Buddy (SBT) - Lesley
We have just completed our initial 3 sessions with Shaun and are already seeing a massive difference in Buddy's skills - to be fair us parents need training too which Shaun is also making progress on. Our Staffie met Shaun just before he was 7 months old and Shaun described him as 'effervescent'! He is a very sociable little chap but this is also his downfall as he is very easily distracted by people and other dogs as he thinks everyone should talk and play with him. Shaun had given us excellent theory, practical tips and more importantly the confidence to put into daily practice the techniques and we really are seeing results - we still have a way to go and will be continuing with Shaun for the foreseeable future.
I am already recommending TWOTD to people that I meet whilst out and about as the regulars can see a difference already (we take Buddy out now as opposed to vice-versa).
If you need help then Shaun is your man, knowledgeable, understanding, patient, professional and I've got to say we have lots of laughs along the way.
Response: Thank you for such a kind review Lesley. It has been a pleasure working with your family and I shall look forward to future lessons. Your SBT is another fine example of what a great little breed of bull terriers they actually are. It is just brilliant watching him marching along throwing his front legs out when conducting his heel work. Well done and keep up the hard work.
When you need help, choose a professional with experience and a track record
Mia joined the family in November last year. She was our second dog and settled in to our family right away. Almost from the start we encountered problems with her behavior, outside of our family circle. At first, we took her to an obedience school where we live and it turned out to be the worst thing we could have done, it just reinforced the bad behaviors and despite the people being really nice, they were in fact well meaning amateurs. We sought out a professional with an excellent track record and someone who was experienced and properly trained - we met Shaun. From the outset Shaun gave us confidence - he knew what he was doing, he had a methodology he could describe [others don't!!] and he set about working with the family to help us. There was a stage before we met Shaun I wondered whether it was going to work out with Mia because of her extreme behaviors. With hard work, really good mentoring and training us all - Mia has developed into a lovely family dog, she has her moments but she's calm, obedient and now follows the routine that Shaun helped us with. After working with Shaun, my advice to anyone who decides to get a dog is invest in a family pet; retain a professional to help don't rely on the schools where they turn a hobby into a business. I would recommend Shaun 100%.
Response: Thank you Dave for such a kind review. The dog training industry, like many other industries, is unregulated and we have to consider carefully who we are going to work with. I shall look forward to working with your family in the future. Well done for turning your dog around and guiding her towards adulthood.
Floyd, Staffordshire Bull Terrier (behaviour modification)
Shaun has worked wonders, not just with our 2 staffies but us aswell! We didn't realise how much we were doing wrong! They're now like different dogs! I cannot recommend him enough! Love the fact even when the training course had finished he is still in touch and asking about how they are and if we have any concerns! He picked up on the dogs allergy to their food and as soon as we changed them they were much better already! He's a fantastic trainer! I wish I'd contacted him sooner I'm such a confident dog owner now which definitely reflects on my dogs behaviour!
Response: Thank you for your kind review Laura. It has been a pleasure working with your family and your two lovely dogs, they are a credit to their breed. It's important to highlight to readers that we always recommend consulting a veterinary surgeon when we suspect underlying medical causes such as allergies. Keep up the good work Laura.
Tilly - St Bernard (Behaviour Modification)
Shaun assisted us when we had some behaviour problems with our St Bernard, Tilly. The primary cause of Tilly's behaviour was identified as a long term ear infection, Shaun discussed treatment with the vet and once the infection had gone we had several intensive training sessions which proved really beneficial for both Tilly and ourselves.
Shaun provided a comprehensive, professional approach and was very patient whilst we waited for Tilly's ear infection to subside. Our twin 5 year old granddaughters were fascinated by the training and have begun to use the same techniques with Tilly themselves.
I would be confident in recommending Shaun to any dog owner who needs advice or guidance with any dog behavioural problems.
Response: Thank you Bernard for your kind review. It has been a pleasure working with you and your family and helping you identify the motivation behind Tilly's inappropriate behaviour. There are many factors that must be considered when searching for the root cause of a certain behaviour, the key to achieving a successful behaviour modification outcome is being able to identify that root cause. Well done for all your hard work, you have a fantastic dog. I shall look forward to working with you again in the future.