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.
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Having trained my older German shepherd with Shaun, with excellent results, I knew I wanted to work with him again when I got another dog, Odin. Unfortunately because of COVID 19 I wasn’t able to start training until my dog was 10 months old, and by this time I realised my dog was a whole different ball game from my first, he was nervous and reactive, a nightmare to walk, he would spin, lunge and bark at other dogs, and people, but if any dogs got close to him he would want the ground to swallow him, he was so scared of them, very confusing behaviour to me as he lived with another dog with no issues. On my first visit with him Shaun took his time to observe Odin, get his trust, discuss with me what I thought the issues were and where they may have stemmed from. I explained that on a few of our early walks Odin had been ambushed by a large group of dogs with dog walkers, which I think had scared him, and a bad meeting with a terrier that wasn’t too friendly, had made him fearful of other dogs, and since then every time we went out he was always anxious if dogs or people got too close, and I didn’t really know how best to handle the behaviour having not had these issues with my other dog. At the end of our initial four sessions there was already an improvement in Odin's behaviour, his confidence was building, and he was much easier to take on walks, which I had started to dread previously. After a few months of training , Odin is now a completely different dog from the fearful, barking, anxious animal that I once had, this is down to Shaun’s experience and excellent guidance and I will continue to train my dogs with him as I am confident I will be able to get the best from them with his help.
Thank you for your kind review Caroline. It is always a pleasure working with you and your dogs. Odin is a very different dog than Storm, he will teach you different things about the GSD. He is young and he is sensitive, but he has potential. Odin is an example of why dog training cannot follow a script. He needs a dedicated programme aimed at developing his confidence and nurturing hidden talents. Despite being sensitive he has a cheeky charm and it is great to watch him preforming tasks once he understands what is required. He is still a very young dog and he has time to develop into a wonderful adult GSD. You have the right attitude to succeed, you are determined and enthusiastic, Odin couldn't have a better owner. Keep working hard and supporting your dog to grow, well done this far.
We had Oskar from an 8 week old puppy and it quickly became obvious we had a larger than normal GSD. He has come from a working back ground and both his parents are still working farm dogs. I was doing really well with bonding and building a solid relationship with Oskar when I unfortunately contracted COVID and was ill for a couple of months so my training and bonding came to a sudden stop. With being such a large GSD I now needed help with the training and bonding that Oskar and myself needed. I searched the internet for a local trainer when I came across Shaun, his Military background along with his time served as a Service Police Dog Handler, I knew I needed to have a conversation with him. After speaking with him and getting to know more about him and his expertise with GSD I knew he was the trainer for Oskar. He is very direct and tells you exactly what he requires from firstly you then your dog I had to wait for a number of weeks before I could get a training slot with Shaun, but I knew from the conversation I’d had with him I was prepared to wait. After the first training session I knew the waiting for Shaun had been the right thing to do. His depth of knowledge and experience is so impressive, watching him work Oskar and work with his own dog set the bench mark of what can be achieved. I am in to my 10th week of working with Shaun and looking forward to continue with training. Both myself and Oskar get so much from the training sessions, once you’ve finished your already looking forward to the next week with anticipation of what’s to come. Looking forward to many more weeks of training Oskar and continue to build trust and understand my GSD with the help an expertise of the GSD. Thanks Shaun.
Thank you for your kind review Neil. It has been a real pleasure to work with you both, I too look forward to each week of training. Oskar certainly is a humongous puppy, which makes it all the more important to develop a close working bond and work towards a professional style of handling. Oskar is sensitive and intelligent, whilst also being strong minded and sometimes stubborn. He has shown great potential so far which may be reflective of his working parents. Keep working hard over the next 12 months and I am sure that you will have a dog to be extremely proud of, the potential is there. Well done so far.
I first contacted Shaun with serious concerns about my dog Benji, who had bitten people on 2 occasions. Being an unusual breed, mainly known as a 'show' dog, Benji had many issues after being kept in kennels for the first three months since birth. I met Shaun and his lovely wife Wendy, when I visited them, after requesting an appointment for a court order assessment of Benji. I found both Shaun and Wendy, friendly, kind, making me feel at ease with the situation. There was immediate aura of passion and positivity in their approach to myself and Benji. During our meeting, Shaun was extremely professional, as well as showing knowledgeable, and practical expertise, and displaying a confident, honest attitude throughout. The assessment was filmed by Shaun's wife Wendy, who was very supportive and encouraging along the way, making the perfect team. I was amazed and impressed with the way in which Shaun carried out the assessment, during which he performed some difficult and awkward tasks with Benji. Shaun was outstanding with his judgements, and showed genuine dedication to the task in hand. My conclusion in a nut shell - it was a great honour and I feel proud to have met both Shaun and Wendy. Not only has it been a most valuable and incredible experience, Shaun saved my Benji's life, for which I will for forever be eternally grateful for.
Thank you Shaun and Wendy
Thank you Terry for your very kind and thoughtful review. It is always going to be a difficult process when facing legal proceedings and the potential for imposed destruction of your dog. Despite your misfortune I was grateful to be given the opportunity to support you in presenting a true and accurate picture of Benji to the court. Now that this is behind you I hope that you and Benji can live safely and in harmony and without the threat of destruction. Thank you again and stay safe.
Vinny and I have been working with Shaun for the last four months since Vinny was ten weeks old and I have found it really interesting in how basic commands develop into building blocks for future more complex skills. It’s rewarding seeing Vinny enjoying the skills Shaun teaches us when we’re reinforcing them on our own through the week and then being able to perform them the next week or receive further guidance and correction if needed. A massive plus point of working with Shaun is having his huge wealth of experience to be able to get the answers about anything related to making sure you are doing the best you can to be helping your dog succeed, I find this advice very reassuring especially when researching the internet gives you so much conflicting information, with Shaun you know you're getting sound advice.
Thank you very much for your kind review Kieron. It's a pleasure working with you both each week and a real delight watching Vinny flourish on his journey to adulthood. He is a credit to his breeding and to your nurturing, well done and long may it continue.
Not being new to dogs but being new to the Rottweiler breed we wanted to make sure this guardian breed was as happy with us as we were with him and needed an expert. After finding Shaun it's clear to see why he's so highly recommended, highly qualified and highly sought after. We needed to learn about Frank but conversely Frank needed to understand us. Shaun gets these points across amazingly well - this is education for pet and owner make no mistake - the sessions are as much for the owner as they are for the dog. Firm but fair and fun - we loved attending these sessions and it was obvious from the change in Frank that he did too. After moving out of the area (we wish we could have taken Shaun with us) we continue his learning and see a huge difference in Frank. Thanks Shaun, not just great training but a really genuine guy too.
Thank you for your kind review Paul. It was just unfortunate that we could not do more before you moved from the area. Hopefully the time that you had with me will set you in good stead and also give you a taste of what you should expect from a dog trainer. I must declare my hand and tell all that I love working with the Rottweiler, which stems from previous ownership. Frank was a dream and I hope that he matures into a wonderful adult male who is truly an ambassador for the breed. Keep training with him you won't regret it.
After searching the internet for a local dog trainer and coming across a few who did offer help/advice I then came across The Way of the Dog. I can only say what a life changing find it was. Having a 4 month old Golden Retriever who we had taken on due to being a great family pet, easy going nature and easy to train, we had hit a huge brick wall with not just training but day to day life and management of such a lively head strong puppy. Bella was showing signs of resource guarding that were quickly spiralling out of our control due to our lack of dog knowledge and not fully understanding dog behaviour. Shaun quickly replied to my desperate telephone message, managing to reassure me that he could help and with in days had managed to take a look at Bella and analyse her and the situation and put us on the recommended programme for improvement. The Behavioural Modification programme started immediately as we only had a small window to work within before Bella reached 6 months of age. We met weekly in a private field where Shaun not only expertly physically worked with us but advised us how a dogs mind works and gave us a greater understanding of dog behaviour and put us on the path to correcting the behaviour along with both understanding and bonding with Bella which can certainly decline rapidly when having a difficult time with behaviour. Shaun gave us the confidence which I now realise is hugely important reassuring me that we could do this together and we would overcome the issues. The one to one training was excellent, informative and above all fun and the progress made was incredible in 6 weeks. I would recommend Shaun to any dog owner as his expertise and knowledge is second to non and I am truly grateful he returned my call initially and I didn’t go else where. The service didn’t end after each lesson and Shaun was always there via the journal or messaging for on going support and reassurance. Shaun I really can’t thank you enough and would thoroughly recommend your services.
Thank you for your kind review Jayne, it was a real pleasure working with you and Bella. Your case is a great example of how challenging puppy ownership can actually be. It is not all raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, it can sometimes be a very difficult and disheartening time. Rest assured that you have a wonderful puppy, who with the right level of commitment should develop into a great family dog. Your commitment during the programme was excellent and as such you set your puppy on a new pathway for development. Keep working hard and believe in yourself, I am only ever a phone call away. Well done.
When I first contacted Shaun I had a young rescue who, despite my efforts and adoration, I didn't have a strong bond with. She was found as a stray and still held many characteristics and survival instincts from her time on the streets which as she relaxed into home life presented challenges to overcome. We embarked on a behaviour modification programme to begin sculpting her reaction to dogs when out walking as she had started perceiving them as threats, lunging and growling if getting too close. Drew is a mixed breed with GSD and Rottweiler looks, and her size meant that this kind of behaviour could easily become dangerous if not controlled. Shaun explained he specialises in guardian breeds such as those in my dog's heritage which meant he could work totally in tune with her innate traits. This offered my partner and I great reassurance that he was the person to help us to better understand and train our dog. Shaun helped me first to build a better connection with Drew, building engagement and making me more interesting than her surroundings. Prior to our sessions, I would have never believed it possible to get this dog to look up at me and connect the way Shaun demonstrated he could with his dogs - but now it's a reality. From there, the rest of the programme was made easier as we tackled increasingly challenging scenarios - but Drew had a clear understanding of what I wanted from her, taking out the guesswork from my previous attempts at training. Since the end of the first behaviour modification programme, our work has not stopped. I kept regular journal updates on our progress and Shaun was still there offering his support. Every day is now a training opportunity and although we may not yet be perfect, it's monumentally better than where we began with methods to manage Drew's behaviour and we're still seeing improvements day by day. I can't recommend Shaun and The Way Of The Dog highly enough.
Thank you for such a kind and well thought out review Oscar. It was a real pleasure to work with you all. The foundations that you had laid on adopting Drew were not in vain they just needed a different level of thinking and a persistent approach. Yet again Drew is another example of a dog requiring breed specific training. Notwithstanding her early challenges in life, she is a highly intelligent dog who I have no doubt will continue to flourish with patience and persistence. Keep working hard and well done.
We spent a long time researching different trainers in our area, and knew we needed to be careful who we chose to work with us and our 1.5 year old German Shepherd, Bobby. We were Bobby's 4th owners within his young life, and he had developed behavioural issues because of the lack of time and training he had been given at such a vital time in his development. We found Shaun at The Way of The Dog through personal recommendation from a colleague at work. Straight away from looking at the site, we knew we wanted to get in contact with Shaun and found his experience with large dogs like Bobby impressive. From the get-go, Shaun listened to our concerns, communicated our options and gave us all the information we needed to make this all important decision to start training Bobby. Shaun recommended the Behaviour Modification course to us, based on the 'problems' we told him we were having with our GSD. Bobby did not like other dogs he does not know, and with his size and strength, we were struggling to gain control of him when he would bark and lunge towards these other dogs on walks. We love long walks with our dogs and felt like Bobby's behaviour was getting in the way of this, through fear of him 'kicking off'. Shaun was absolutely fantastic at helping us understand a different perspective of training our dog. He taught us how to build a stronger connection with Bobby, to train through playing and how to gain Bobby's attention when walking (his attention usually all over the place). I never thought I would be able to walk Bobby without a mouth halter, be able to gain eye-contact from him when walking, and get him to walk by my side instead of yanking us in every direction. By the end of the course, Shaun helped us do what we thought would be impossible, and got Bobby to walk within close proximity to another dog, WITHOUT lunging, barking, whining and pulling.
Not only did Shaun help us do this, but he helped us better understand why Bobby behaves the way he does, understanding his body language and helped us build confidence in walking Bobby. There is still a long way for Bobby to go, and wish we could have done some work with Shaun at home, to work on Bobby's territorial issues and not allowing people into the house, but unfortunately, due to COVID this could not happen.
We continue to use the tools and training that Shaun has given us to further exercise Bobby's training, and we now are more confident to take Bobby on longer walks, knowing we can handle him better when he gets irate towards another dog and we have a better chance of maintaining his attention in these situations. Overall, we found Shaun's methods to be just what we needed for Bobby. We are so glad that we took that first step with Bobby's training with The Way Of The Dog, I truly believe that had we gone with another trainer, both ourselves and Bobby would not have made these improvements over a short matter of weeks. We now understand Bobby on a new level and have found a method of training that actually works for us all. Thank you Shaun for agreeing to work with us. 100% recommend The Way Of The Dog.
Thank you Josh and Chelsea for such a kind review. Bobby has a great deal of potential of that there is no doubt, he juts requires the right outlet and the appropriate approach towards training. Your dog is a classic example of requiring breed specific training and not the standard pet dog approach offered by some. Keep working hard with him, there will always be challenges to face with a guardian breed but the first rule to achieving success is knowing how to correctly approaches those challenges. When the time is right we can look at the behaviour in the home. Well done.
My experience with Shaun from The Way of the Dog is absolutely outstanding, my boy Theo has been through lots of Training Tutors to no avail. Theo is from a working background from his grand parents to Mum & Dad. I have wasted so much money on these other people that call themselves trainers and I got no results. Theo and myself have now been students with Shaun for 8 weeks and we have both come on leaps and bounds. The beauty of all this is Shaun is on a 1 to 1 basis and not only does he train your dog, he also trains you both to work in harmony and as a perfect team. I highly recommend The Way of the Dog for all your training needs. Shaun is absolutely outstanding in the way he works, Shaun had my boy doing things I never thought possible especially due to Theo having picked up a lot of bad habits due to previous trainers and their methods. Theo is now a totally different dog and Shaun keeps every week different and it brings something else out in Theo and his capabilities. I am so impressed with the way Shaun handles his work he's extremely professional and his training and methods are outstanding and I cannot thank him enough for all the progress, encouragement and support
Thank you Duane for such a kind review. Your experience of the dog training industry is becoming an all to familiar one. The bottom line is this, if you're going to invest in a wonderful working line guardian breed make sure that you invest equally in appropriate breed specific training. The standard dog training classes do not support the development of these incredible dogs, they need and deserve so much more. It is always a pleasure to work with you and Theo, it has been entertaining and very encouraging. Theo has a lot of potential and is on course to be an excellent dog. Well done.
We’d been thinking about a new trainer for our GSD, Echo, for quite a while. The standard puppy training classes were just not enough for her intelligence. She behaved perfectly in the class but the moment we left we didn’t know how to deal with her pulling on the lead, chasing leaves and vehicles, cats, squirrels, lunging at other dogs etc. We were aware that she was developing bad habits that we had no idea how to stop. Echo was around a year old when Shaun started working with us, how we wish we’d been with him when she was a small puppy! He has shown us how to train her and she is, quite simply, a different dog from our starting point. This could not have been achieved by going to a standard puppy class. As first-time dog owners we were feeling out of our depth from the start, I think it’s fair to say. Despite our best intentions we did a lot of things wrong and we are now being trained by Shaun in the correct ways to train Echo. We are learning as much as she is, and this has highlighted some comical co-ordination issues in the humans! It’s always a fun hour and Echo loves her time on the private field.
You only have to look at Shaun’s dogs to know this man is a fantastic trainer, and he will do his utmost to help you, without judgement. It’s still early days for us and Echo will need more work around other animals but, with Shaun’s help, we are now confident we are well on the way to getting the family dog we always wanted.
Thank you Jo, Pete, and Emily for your kind review. It is always a pleasure to work with you all. It has been great to watch Echo progress and also to watch you all develop as handlers. I always enjoy our sessions and get a lot of pride out of seeing you all advance. Training is an ongoing requirement, Echo is a young dog and with her enthusiasm to work and learn anything is possible. Well done.