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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The Way of the Dog
Average rating:  
 133 reviews
by Kieron on The Way of the Dog
Vinny GSD

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.

by Paul on The Way of the Dog
Frank the Rottweiler

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.

by Jayne Aspden on The Way of the Dog
Amazing Dog (owner) Trainer

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.

by Oscar on The Way of the Dog
Behaviour Modification for a Rescue Dog

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.

by Chelsea Parnell on The Way of the Dog
Our young rescue GSD

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.

by Duane on The Way of the Dog
5* Service, highly recommend

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.

by Jo Johnson on The Way of the Dog
Echo-year old GSD

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.

by Jane Carwardine on The Way of the Dog
Australian Kelpie Puppy Training

Following the death of our rescued Kelpie (who was perfection) … we decided to search for another Kelpie puppy. Very quickly we located Spencer in Cheltenham. His mother a Kelpie originating from Australia, whose owner had searched for the best sire to match his mother’s sociable and friendly characteristics. He was clearly loved by his breeder, reared in a home environment with an 8-month baby. On January 4th 2020, aged 8-weeks we brought him to share our home with our 7-year old extremely confident Yorkie, who had been very distressed following the death of her companion. We had worked with Shaun (TWOTD) a number of years previously, to support the management of our Yorkie, with our previous Kelpie. Shaun was really positive about Spencer but very realistic and honest too saying “ Kelpie’s are not for the faint hearted” and how true these words were to become. Our Yorkie stayed upstairs or yapped at him permanently. He grew so quickly, we could not “baby” or “cuddle” him as he mouthed and bit all the time. Family members did not have the confidence to support us and we could not leave him with the grand-children for fear of him hurting them accidently. He was very people centred, attention seeking, had selective hearing but was not aggressive. We had not prepared ourselves for life with a handsome, loving, very inquisitive, environmentally alert, active, cheeky, destructive, vocal Kelpie who loved to totally ignore us and was to grow to twice the size of our previous Kelpie … and all this happening during the COVID lockdown too… We initially had two training sessions before COVID hit, another 12 when the lockdown was relaxed and plan to have more in the future. The sessions have all been amazing, relevant, and incremental in building up the training according to both ours and Spencer’s development progression. There have been times when we felt getting Spencer was just “the biggest mistake ever.” However, the opportunity for discussion with Shaun at every session gave us the confidence, allayed anxieties, stopped us overthinking or over-egging his behaviour and enabled us to move forward positively. Spencer is not a typical Kelpie in that he is not always up for working and prefers to “clown around” or “do his own thing”…. We have learnt so much about the Kelpie as a working breed, how to engage him, keep his interest, and not give in to his extraordinarily strong will whilst still having fun. Shaun is passionate, incredibly knowledgeable and his practical expertise in working with dogs is just so evident. He talks such sense and his enquiring, logical, flexible approach works so well. Spencer would always work with Shaun as we looked on amazed and are so proud he does that with us now. Shaun has always been patient, flexible and adaptable in his approach when working with us, especially when we do not get the sequencing quite right, the commands wrong or the walking lines not quite straight. The access to the online journal has provided the opportunity for focus and reflection and the environment the training takes place in is exceptional and so very well kept. I have owned a range of dogs, some puppies and others rescued, since childhood but none have tested us as Spencer has. He is now 10-months old, huge weighing more than 30kg, so not a medium sized dog as we expected but very handsome (we think). Thanks to Shaun the future of our relationship with Spencer is solid, he is here to stay. We are now extremely attached and “love him to bits”. He no longer controls family life but fits into it and even our Yorkie is beginning to play with him now she has put him in his place. Thanks to Shaun we now understand the breed. The training has given us confidence and assurance to work positively with Spencer and know that positive reinforcement is the right approach. Working with your dog in this way is essential to prevent problems . I have in the past been to other types of dog training classes but now I would always highly recommend Shaun @TWOTD as the most and perhaps only effective mode of training. It is just excellent. Thank you, Shaun.

Thank you Jane & Alan for your extremely kind review. I am very grateful to you for taking the time to write this review, you have clearly put much thought and effort into it. Spencer has not been the straight forward puppy, but very much an individual who knows where he is at and what he does or does not want. Working with you all is always pleasurable and I look forward to supporting you again when you are ready for refresher training or advancing Spencer's skills. Well done for sticking with the challenge.

by Cory Prem on The Way of the Dog
Belgian Malinois Training

To anyone looking for a trainer who knows what they're doing, look no further. I've been working with Shaun now for over 4 months. I looked around my area for dog trainers that could help me train my new Belgian Malinois pup Caesar. After thorough research, I decided to use The Way Of The Dog mainly because of his own background and that he himself owns Mali's. From day one Shaun has been nothing but exceptional. You can tell he has a true passion for what he does and this is shown through his extensive knowledge and understanding of how to get the most out of both dog and trainer. I like his approach to training and how he teaches you as well as your dog. Sometimes I leave a session learning more than my Mali and I find this even more Valuable. Each session always builds on the last and if I ever want to learn something specifically, Shaun never hesitates to teach and guide me. Shaun is very approachable and never pushes you beyond your current skill set. I will be continuing to work with Shaun for the foreseeable and I hope my brain is ready to absorb every last drop of knowledge and experience he has to offer.

Thank you Cory and Elle for a kind and thoughtful review. It is a pleasure working with you all and a real delight watching the pup develop week on week. He has a lot of potential and with our continued approach to his development there is no reason why he should not become a well rounded and extremely capable Malinois. Keep up the hard work, your dedication and enthusiasm is always evident.

by Nicola on The Way of the Dog
Behaviour Training - Staffordshire Bull Terrier

I initially contacted Shaun with regards to my rescue Staffordshire Bull Terrier who had become increasingly difficult to walk if there were any other dogs. As he was a rescue I had limited information to his background and history but this didn't cause much issue as Shaun was very understanding and reassuring. He is very knowledgeable and gives you the tools and confidence needed to feel in control. Not only did my dog get training but I did too and in fact, I feel for me, that was even more valuable. Each session was tailored to our needs and progress. Shaun made me feel very comfortable and I wasn't afraid to ask further questions should there be something I didn't quite understand. I was given honest, clear information and although the training received has helped significantly I also understood that this wasn't a quick fix and hard work was needed on my part continuously. My dogs behaviour has much improved on walks, he isn't 100% all of the time however the training I received with Shaun has given me the confidence to know what to do in a situation and how to handle my dog better. It has made being out on walks so much easier and more enjoyable. I would definitely recommend.

Thank you very much for your kind review Nicola. It was a real pleasure working with you and Coby. The SBT sometimes gets a bad rep, however Coby proved just how intelligent and wonderful the breed can be. You both demonstrated a desire and enthusiasm to learn and that made the process all the more enjoyable. Behaviour modification is never an exact science as sometimes portrayed via social media, the television, or other media, management is also a compulsory component. There is no reason why you should not continue to enjoy Coby and all that he offers as long as you manage him and handle him accordingly. He is a fantastic little dog with a massive desire to please. Well done and good luck.

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