Reviews of The Way of the Dog Ltd
At The Way of the Dog Ltd 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 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 and qualified dog trainer and behaviourist. 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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On behalf of the Streetscene Team at Burnley Borough Council I’d like to thank Shaun & Wendy at TWOTD for a great bespoke dangerous dog training session. I contacted TWOTD in the hope that they could help with providing some training for officers, specifically around recognising dangerous dogs and their behaviour traits along with identifying banned breeds.
Shaun put together a completely new training package tailored to our requirements and it more than met my expectations. There were lots of opportunities to ask questions and talk about real life examples which all made for an enjoyable and informative course.
The team had nothing but good things to say about the training session and very much look forward to the next one.
Sal Vita (Area Coordinator Enforcement) Burnley Borough Council
Thank you very much for this superb review. We are very appreciative to the Streetscene Team for their interest, enthusiasm, and engagement during the training delivery. It was equally interesting listening to the experiences of the team and the challenges faced on the streets. Working with dogs perceived to be dangerous can be extremely challenging. Working together to discuss concerns and share knowledge is vitally important when considering public safety and the safety of enforcers. We look forward to supporting you again in the future.
I contacted Shaun with concerns about our 15 month old German Shepherd. We were experiencing difficulties handling her as she was becoming increasingly reactive towards other dogs and occasionally towards people. We were beginning to dread walks with her and I’m ashamed to say we resorted to using a prong collar and e-collar because we didn’t think there was an alternative solution. We even reached a point, at which we sadly didn’t think we could keep her, and began to look into rehoming her.
Shaun met with us, assessed Hetty and identified the route causes of our issues then began working with us and our dog, without the prong collar or e-collar. Observing Shaun handling Hetty made us appreciate the intelligent, obedient and eager to please dog she had the potential to be. It was like watching a different dog when Shaun worked with her! We soon realised that it was us who were lacking the knowledge, skills and experience to elicit the best from her. Without Shaun, we wouldn’t have known where to begin in improving the situation though. As a result of working with Shaun, we’ve improved our relationship with our dog and how we communicate with her. We still need to remain vigilant when walking her but because Shaun has helped us develop a better relationship with her and be more aware of her focus, we can now use effective strategies that he has taught us to prevent her barking and lunging at other dogs.
We come away from every session feeling we’ve learned something new and knowing exactly what we need to work upon before our next session. It’s still early days for us but we’ve seen huge progress already. As a result of Shaun sharing his expertise with us, our dog is looking more like the dog she is by his side when she’s with us too.
Thank you for your kind review Elizabeth. It has been a real pleasure working with you, your family, and Hetty. Unfortunately, you had fallen foul of bad advice that is readily available in the dog behaviour and training sector. Reaching straight for a prong collar or electric collar before attempting to work with the dog in any capacity is flawed from the outset; however, as novice owners you can only follow the advice you are given. Hetty is on a different trajectory now and watching her confidence grow and seeing the sparkle in her eye is thoroughly rewarding. Observing your family embrace the behaviour modification programme and work hard towards achieving behaviour change has also been hugely satisfying. You have all been excellent students and I look forward to continuing to support you in the development of your relationship with your dog.
From picking up my 13 week old GSD I thought how hard could this be…forward 5 months and I don’t think I could have kept this pup without the support of Shaun. He’s honest and open with how you are improving (or not) and helps you with any problems you’re facing. The bond I have now with my dog is all down to his guidance and advice. My only downside to meeting Shaun is I can’t see him enough! If he could physically fit me in I’d see him every day as my dog loves him as much as me! I don’t have experience with dog trainers but I’d say he’s probably the best you could find and you would be lucky to get a slot!
Thank you very much for your kind review Sam. It continues to be a pleasure working with you Paul and Kobe and watching the puppy develop. There is no doubt that raising and developing a young energetic, enthusiastic, and full on GSD is challenging. Regardless, you have worked incredibly hard learning how to be your dog's handler, trainer, and leader - you are progressing very well. I look forward to helping you develop the pup to adulthood.
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.