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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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.
Shaun has been a god send for us, we brought home an 8 week old Parson Terrier and instantly started to notice some behaviour issues. Normally we would have sought some advice straight away but felt trapped because only two weeks later the country went into lockdown. We resigned ourselves to books and online advice but felt frustrated as everything online kept telling us that our puppy’s behaviour was normal but we felt it was anything but.After weeks of escalating behaviour we found Shaun online and after reading his credentials we got in touch to see if he could help. He was incredibly accommodating and we managed a number of online sessions before we moved to the training ground after lockdown was eased. It was such a huge relief to have someone with his experience tell us that his behaviour wasn’t normal or acceptable, it was an even bigger relief to hear that Shaun could help us correct his behaviour through a puppy development course. His progress has been astonishing, he’s exceeded our expectations and has become the perfect addition to our family. We’re 100% positive that the changes have been down to Shaun. For us it wasn’t just the training sessions that helped but the constant support and advice.
Thank you Adele & Stephanie for such a kind review. Your initial programme has been very enjoyable as the lockdown forced us to think outside the box and look at novel ways to support you. I was pleasantly surprised how well the online video sessions progressed and I would have no hesitation in offering that as a service in the future. This was further reinforced when we moved to the training area to conduct live sessions, all the early learning was in place. Otis is a great little character and it has been really enjoyable working with you all. I look forward in continuing to support you until he is a mature adult. Well done.
The Way of the Dog - Shaun was recommended by friends after I said that we struggle with our 10 months old German Shepherd Hunter. We had two other trainers and were trying to use internet to learn how to deal with our dog and the behaviours that we didn't approve. Unfortunately, the advice that we were given and the training groups that we were attending were not appropriate for us and our dog which resulted in such bad behaviours. Safe to say, after two weeks - 2 lessons with Shaun we learnt more than in 7 months with others. We were amazed by the knowledge, patience, attention to detail, and completely different approach than we have seen before. We knew straight away that we have got it right this time! Now, we have done five weeks and Hunter is a changed dog, so are we. Because he is working line, we know how to fulfil his needs. He became very focused on us, responsive and what is more the bad behaviours are not occurring often! As well, have to say that Hunter loves Shaun and he is excited for every lesson. As dog novices, we were totally lost - now we feel like we have got an instruction manual and we are looking forward to the future and development of our dog. Thank you so much Shaun, we are ever so grateful for your help and guidance and we are looking forward to the next session!
Thank you very much for your kind review Ania & Chris. Yours is not an uncommon story, a dog bred to have great working potential but the owners struggling to find the right training provider to help release that potential. Your pup is wonderful and has a bright future if he is trained appropriately and his enthusiasm is channelled accordingly. Others may have written your pup off, but that is definitely not about the pup. He has shown such a quick change in behaviour because he is now being trained in an educational and ethical manner that is fitting of his breeding. You have both worked extremely hard over the past 5 or more weeks and so has Hunter, we are now on course to a safe and rewarding relationship. Well done to you all.
We were having problems at home with our 18 mo Rottweiler Bruce, including him stealing and destroying anything in the house he could get hold of, being unable to settle down at home, and worst of all biting our hands and arms when he became overstimulated. He had engaged with puppy classes but our own issues weren’t really touched on, and we had a one-on-one session in our home for a few brief hours with a behaviourist who we felt just gave us the same spiel as for everyone else and didn’t get to the root of our issues. Myself and Bruce have been working with Shaun for a few months now. By actually working closely with Bruce rather than just giving a few basic commands, Shaun was able to actually see for himself the problems we were having, and although embarrassing it was a relief for someone that could help us to be able to witness that. Through our sessions we’ve been able to work on my relationship with Bruce and identify how I can confuse him and create conflict. Now when he begins to “fizz over” I’m able to confidently correct him, and both move on with our day. There is still work to be done but we have gone from me shedding tears on a nearly weekly basis at home over my dog’s challenging behaviour, to him being an (almost) angel at home and us being able to enjoy our relationship with the dog.
Thank you Chelsea for your kind review. You clearly know that I have a soft spot for the Rottweiler and despite the challenging behaviour that Bruce can present he is already a dog that I have taken a great liking to. In my opinion the guardians require a level of understanding like no other types of dog and this is arguably why there are so many rescues full of guardian breeds. People quickly find themselves out of their depths for a host of different reasons. You have earned my respect during this programme because you have not given up on your dog, you have stood your ground despite the challenges that you have faced and learnt how to deal with Bruce thus earning his respect. There is still much work ahead but you are both showing great potential, long may this continue. Well done.
We have a 9 month Doberman, he is full of energy and growing by day. Our boy is well natured but due to his size and stature would have the potential to intimidate if not kept under control and obedient during walks. Shaun came well recommended to me and on meeting him I knew I met the right person to train my breed of dog. Shaun has a wealth of experience, patience and professionalism consistent with that of his Military dog handling experience. During our 3 months of training my dog has learned to walk to heel listen to my commands and behave in a manner which gives me pride and confidence. I have learned more about my dog and how to interact with him than I could have expected. I am really pleased with our progress in the past 3 months and shall continue to work with Shaun to get the best out of my dog.
Thank you Mike & Caroline for your kind review, it is appreciated. What a character Arnie is and how well has he done so far. It is always a real pleasure to nurture the potential of a young guardian pup. If he continues on his current path I have no doubt he will prove to be a dog to be proud of and an absolute asset to your family. I am looking forward to seeing how far we can develop him and to see how he matures into the adult guardian Doberman. Well done, keep up the good work.
I have only seen Shaun a few times, due to the lock down, with my 16 month old Malinois. On our first visit I didn’t think there was much hope for Yogi. He was uncomfortable when he met or saw other dogs, he even didn’t take a liking to many people. I honestly now can’t believe it’s the same dog. His recall is 1000 times better, he listens and waits for commands. I can take him on the field and he doesn’t even look at other dogs. He’s not bothered by people. I’m going to leave a review in a few months also to update. Hand on my heart if you are looking for someone to train your dog in any way I think you will struggle to find anyone more suited. I would also like to mention how clean tidy and well looked after his training ground is.Thanks again Shaun for everything so far.
Thank you very much for your kind review, it is appreciated. There's absolutely no doubt that when you arrived with Yogi for the first dog training session I knew we had work to do. Imagine trying to speak to each other with a dog barking constantly for 55 minutes. Fast forward a few weeks; with your effort and enthusiasm we have definitely turned a corner and we are now tapping into the excellent potential of your wonderful Malinois. There is still much work to do but the future is bright. It is a real pleasure to watch you both learning and developing. Well done.
If you are looking for help with your dog. Look no further! Finding Shaun was the best thing to happen to us & more importantly our Patterdale pup. Shaun is everything you need, expect straight talking, amazing knowledge, someone who puts your dog first, experience that you wont find any where else & support when you need it most. Without doubt pick up the phone & get Shaun into your dogs life. We have learnt so much & will be forever grateful for finding Shaun.
Thank you very much Nikki for your very kind review. It has been a real pleasure to work with you and your Patterdale pup. Helping people make sense of dog behaviour can be delivered in many ways and have a variety of outcomes. This case has not been straightforward but it has been extremely rewarding all the same. Like you I am sure that Paddy has a wonderful life ahead of him getting the mental and physical stimulation that he needs. I'll look forward to working with you again one day in the future.
What can I say, Shaun is an extremely professional and friendly person with an absolute wealth of information. My 2 year old Jack Russell Cross (Button) is a rescue dog and was showing signs of anxiety and fear, particularly in the home and in the presence of men. I tried various online training programmes and I also tried to enrol her in a dog training class but because she barked at other dogs they wouldn't accept her. By the time I met Shaun my confidence was at an all time low, and I was always on edge when walking Button due to her barking at dogs and people. Shaun quickly worked out that she was suffering from anxiety and was in conflict with her emotions. I also needed to build on my confidence as a dog walker. I was delighted to hear that Button was much more confident in an outdoor environment and that much of her behaviour was natural for her temperament and breed. Overtime Button became very enamored with Shaun as she learnt to trust him and he showed me ways to help build her confidence with others. As a result of this training she is a much happier and relaxed dog and barks a lot less, although I have learnt to avoid putting her in situations where she may feel intimidated. I'm so glad I met Shaun as he has given me the confidence to deal with Buttons sensitivities and I am a much better dog owner for it thanks to him.
Thank you for your kind review Karen. It was a pleasure working with the two of you and getting to know you both. Button is a great little dog and just needed some understanding followed by some calmly delivered rules and boundaries that will support her to feel safe. Once she lowered her barriers she demonstrated how intelligent and friendly she can be. Keep working with her and supporting her to be a safe, confident, and happy little dog. The behaviour modification approach allowed us to take an analytic look as well as adopting a practical approach to management and modification. Well done again.
After 6 months at home and an entirely fruitless group training course, it had become apparent that our rapidly-growing, strong-willed and independent working GSD was soon to become above our pay grade in terms of training. Even walking to the park without Frankie pulling like a train was looking like an impossible task. Shaun’s name was originally passed onto us from our breeder, and in March this year we decided to bite the bullet and give him a call. We arranged to meet shortly, and since then we have been working together, if not sporadically due to generally disappointing weather, and family circumstances on our part. Despite this, we have never been made to feel burdensome, and Shaun has been incredibly consistent and available.As I'm sure other clients can agree with their own dogs, there has been marked improvements in Frankie, and though it is only baby steps presently, the future is bright and we have a direction now. But equipped with such a vast repertoire of experience, it is a natural assumption that a professional would be at least somewhat successful in their trade. What isn’t presumed, is the quality of the tradesmen themself. Shaun is articulate and precise, careful of how he presents himself and his wordings, all wrapped up in a somewhat idiot-proof box. Complex psychology is broken down into manageable bites, and can be clearly applied right in front of you in his methods. He comes across as very genuine, and does not beat around the bush; this honesty and transparency is not only sincere, but trustworthy.There is always some irony in teachers that encourage independent learning over ‘real’ teaching, but in this case it is vital. Shaun doesn’t teach you how to tackle each and every problem that could ever occur with a dog; animal ownership is by no means textbook, and not every eventuality can be accounted for. What Shaun does do is arm you with an arsenal of techniques, a greater understanding of what is actually going on inside your dog’s head, and the confidence that should a problem ever arise, you can tackle it head on. This is invaluable to all animal owners. Notwithstanding this, it has been made very clear that expert advice is still just a phone call away.Building on this, training sessions are not synonymous with lectures. You’ll find yourself thinking and acting independently, rather than being spoon-fed or dictated to. Mistakes are a monumental element of the learning process, and here they are encouraged, as they provide valuable points of self-reflection, evaluation and discussion, from which then ‘real’ learning arises. After all, consequences shape behaviour.Despite preconceptions that you will be faced with a hardened, intimidating drill sergeant due to his history, the reality is rather more divergent. Shaun is extremely approachable and straight-forward, yet firm where necessary. Sessions, due to being 1:1 are very informal, and are filled with a range of activities that are fun for both the dog and handler. This also allows for sufficient time to be spent on each task; Shaun is very much of the opinion that things take as long as they take until they are accurate and consistent. There is no rush or hidden schedule, and no pressure on the dog or handler to progress faster than what would be appropriate. He is very patient and appreciative of each handler and dog’s individual circumstances and learning processes, going as far as recommending the VAK test to new clients so as to gauge how best to adapt his teaching style. Shaun has also completed teaching qualifications specifically, in order to be able to effectively teach humans also, which is a rarity among the vast majority of trainers. It is all good and well being able to work any dog, but it is entirely pointless if the trainer cannot accurately convey themselves to the owners. Shaun is more than happy to answer questions or go through techniques, no matter how many times asked. This ensures solid foundations on which future training is built. Shaun’s wickedly dry sense of humour also keeps sessions very enjoyable. Furthermore, the treatment of the dogs is of the highest standard: caring, sensitive, and appropriate. That being said, Shaun is very clear with his intentions, and consent from the owner to act in an appropriate manner is requested at all times.It is evident that Shaun is very well read, and very knowledgeable in the vast majority of areas. However, he is also able to hold his hands up when he may not be so certain on a topic; though do expect an email or text following the session after he has done some further research. Shaun is also very liberal in his beliefs. He is open to new ideas and opinions, and is respectful and not judgemental of ones differing from his own. Shaun also uses the work and ideas of other trainers, behaviourists, and psychologists to evidence his own ideas, particularly BF Skinner, and stresses the importance of doing your own research and taking everything with a pinch of salt in order to form you own views. We never felt forced or pressured when making the switch to raw feeding - Shaun provided his own views and guidance only when asked.I cannot recommend Shaun’s services enough. Working with him has massively improved not only my confidence in handling Frankie, but also in my own abilities, and I feel that sessions are as much for us as they are for Frankie. No problem is a dead end, no anxiety is deemed insignificant, and no question stupid. The passion and genuine care Shaun has for the dogs is undeniable, and it is clear that he thrives on each and every challenge. 5 stars are not enough.
Thank you very much for your kind and thoughtful review, I appreciate very much the time you have taken to draft this. The title is a bit dodgy, but humorous all the same. Taking on a working line GSD requires a great deal of commitment and attention to detail. With your enthusiasm, drive, and determination I have no doubt that you will support Frankie to develop into the dog that she is destined to be. She has the potential and the motivation to be a fantastic working dog and a reliable family member. Keep up the hard work.
I have had the pleasure of sharing my life with Belgian Shepherds for many years, and can most often be found at an agility show where my dogs and I thoroughly love to work the courses.One of my young Belgian boys, Mojo, showed he had great drive to learn and do anything I would ask and his early potential in agility was exciting to see. However, for health reasons, I made to decision to suspend his agility training but I needed an alternative as Mojo would not have been happy to be doing nothing at all.As I had not trained in anything other than agility, for a very long time, I began to research local trainers. I did not want to join a group where the focus would be primarily on simple 'pet obedience' as that would offer Mojo no real stimulus or enjoyment. I found the link to The Way Of The Dog and after reading Shaun's bio, and the reviews, I contacted Shaun to see if he could work with Mojo and me, to develop a training schedule that will suit Mojo's needs. I am very happy to say that the answer was 'Yes'.Mojo and I have been training with Shaun for a short time, but Shaun's years of experience of training dogs, coupled with his ability to teach the handler to better understand their dog means that you gain so much value from your 1-2-1 session and become better equipped to build your relationship with your dog outside of the training sessions.Whilst Mojo may never be the agility star I had first hoped, I am still excited at his potential as we channel his energy in a new direction, with the guidance of Shaun.
Thank you Nicola for your kind review. It has been a real pleasure working with the two of you and I look forward to many more sessions together. Mojo is a real credit to you and a fine example of the dogs that you have raised. Mental and physical stimulation is a must for such breeds and I personally look forward to the challenge of directing and developing Mojo as per your aspirations. He shows so much promise and potential.