“Just wanted to update you on Alfie. This boy comes back easily, loves playing retrieve with his ball. I can now sit him down and put his harness on no bother at all – he sits and waits patiently. He no longer jumps all over us at night, we have his own blanket on the end of the sofa and that’s ‘his spot’. I can’t thank you enough for those few hours teaching us how to handle him.” WG
“Laska is a rescue centre dog, she was only 7 months old when I got her and although her behaviour in the house was fairly good, outside was a very different matter and it rapidly became obvious that she had never been socialized with the world. Gill has shown me how to connect with Laska, how to help her in stressful situations and how to progress her training. The improvement in her is huge and she is a much happier little dog, the hysterical terrier is a thing of the past. I would not have achieved this without Gill’s valuable input!” SD
“Dear Gill, I thought you might be interested to know how we are getting along. Actually, very well! ….We had one or two grumbles in the early stages but things have progressed so well that last week we were able all to have a seaside holiday together and stay in the same cottage with no problems…..Thank you….”
“Our Charlie is a 4 year old collie cross who we adopted from a shelter about 3 years ago. Charlie was great, bar a bit of pulling on the lead. Charlie has always been a bit weary of the larger breeds of dogs but then over a 6 month period he began growling at all dogs. We made the choice to keep Charlie on a lead for walks for both his sake and other dogs. Unfortunately Charlie struggled to cope and his behaviour got even more unmanageable. He would lunge for dogs, winging and growling and in his frustration would turn on our other dog or sometimes myself. I didn’t know what to do. Charlie used to be such a sociable dog who we could let run around free and now I didn’t want to walk him because it was just so stressful.
I contacted other dog trainers but the problem never resolved and walks were a constant battle if we saw another dog. I eventually mentioned this to the vet who recommended Gill. Gill was the first trainer who seemed to understand that we have dogs to enjoy them and dispelled a lot of myths associated with dog training. Gill introduced the clicker which has been fantastic!! Just a few simple cues and Charlie picked up on the training so quickly. Gill introduced some play to our walks using a ball and worked with me to use a positive voice. I couldn’t believe the change in Charlie so quickly. We can now walk past other dogs! As soon as Charlie sees a situation he’s unsure of he immediately looks at me ‘click’ treat and he is calm.
We still have a lot of work to do as when a dog barks at him he can become agitated but he is 100 X better than before we met Gill. I can’t thank Gill enough for allowing us to enjoy our dog walks again. We still do a lot of training and will definitely be contacting Gill again when we feel Charlie is ready to progress.”
“We first met Dougal in December 2012. He was a rescue dog listed on the website as ‘a little unsure of himself’. He was indeed a bit uncertain about what to do but soon settled in and showed us that he knew how to play. It was lovely to watch him grow in confidence, especially when he rediscovered that his tail could wag. After a few weeks his attitude to other dogs changed…He seemed to decide that attack was the best form of defence. As he was always on lead he would turn and try to sink his teeth into us, with varying degrees of success! Gill helped us to understand Dougal’s thinking and to work out the best way to progress. She has been patient and understanding throughout and helped us enormously. We realised that we were putting Dougal and ourselves under unnecessary stress and pressure and that we could just enjoy each other. It’s been lovely to enjoy walking, running and swimming together. Without the fear factor we have all become calmer as a result.Although we have a way to go, Dougal has a great relationship with his doggy best friend which gives us hope that one day he will be happier with dogs in general. In the meantime we have a happy little dog who is our best friend. He no longer considers biting us, which is a huge step forward.Huge thanks to Gill who has been a constant support. I have no hesitation in recommending her to anyone that is looking for help with understanding their dog.”
“After having terriers for 17 years I felt I knew all I needed to know about training these tricky little dogs, that was until we got Fowey our 12 month old Patterdale! We got Fowey at 8 weeks and started her training straight away, and we were rewarded with a fabulous little dog. It was at about 8 months old that Fowey displayed some serious guarding behaviour which led to her biting several members of the family. It was only after a great deal of failed attempts in trying to deal with and correct this behaviour that we contacted Gill. Gill was able to give us training advice and a detailed program to guide us in our future training of Fowey. This turned things around for us all. I continue to use Gill’s techniques with great effect. Fowey is now a cracking dog who we can now trust. I am grateful to Gill and very proud of Fowey! : – )”
(Update: tragically, Fowey has since died in an accident. RIP beautiful girl)
“Raven is a 3 year old black lab, who is an ex guide dog. He had some bone problems which resulted in him being rejected by Guide Dogs and I was happy to keep him because he had such a perfect temperament. Frustratingly, he was attached and badly bitten by an out of control dog when he was 18 months old, and it resulted in him showing fierce aggression towards all other dogs. He became a nightmare to walk, totally unsafe off the lead and incapable of meeting or being around other dogs. He also started to show fear towards things he previously had no problem with, like horses, big vehicles and fireworks. I went to a variety of sources and followed their methods faithfully. After a year of advice from other so called professionals he was nothing but worse, had bitten me twice and I was really worn and upset, figuring I was incapable of fixing the problem. I met Gill about 8 months ago when she was working at an animal shelter near me and I really liked her approach and gentle manner with dogs. This differed from the authoritarian methods employed by other people I had gone to for help. Gill’s methods and her quiet consideration for my dog’s feelings, changed the way I looked at dogs in general, and gave me a whole new load of techniques to try on Raven. She also made me feel less like a failure as a dog owner, and more confident about my ability to help my dog. Even after a few months, the difference in Raven was amazing. I feel like he trusts me again. It has taken a long time, and a huge amount of effort but he is now safe off the lead, can be around strange dogs, and has even started making friends again. He isn’t quite back to how he was before, but he will get there, and we will be a much better team than before. If you really understand your dog and are willing to put the effort in, there is nothing you can’t fix. I couldn’t have done this without Gill’s advice and help. Thank you! : )” Abi
“Two years after adopting Oscar (German Shepherd mix) from a local animal shelter we decided to have a second dog…we found a puppy that had been abandoned with his brothers called Bramble (Border Collie). We knew with Bramble’s bad early socialization would have to get some help. Gill’s name had always been in my mind as I have seen some information around the vets and at the local shelter and my neighbour had recommended Gill. Gill spent time listening to me and observing behaviour, then we practised some training. We spoke at length of ways to improve behaviour and I quickly learned that if me and my partner managed situations a certain way and pre-empted behaviour I could reduce Bramble’s anxiety and improve other areas. Gill also developed a detailed plan that we could read and refer to when required. Not only has both Bramble and Oscar’s behaviour improved, but Gill is available for extra advice along the way (including great advice about food choices and health concerns) and is genuinely pleased with celebrating our achievements. We know it’s going to be a continuous journey, but we can’t stress enough how much Gill has helped our family. Apart from the decision to adopt my boys, getting in touch with Gill is the best decision we’ve made.” Amy & Dave.
“May I thank you for your help when I consulted you regarding my dog’s ‘marking’ problems. Some of your ideas were really good ‘common sense’ – (why didn’t I think of that!) and proved most rewarding; not necessitating moving on to your more advanced remedies. A little explanation of dog psychology also helps us owners to see things from the dog’s point of view. I just wish I had contacted you when I first bought the ‘love of my life’. Thanks again, Yours sincerely, Freda Simpson.”
“I have no hesitation in recommending Gill to help with problem dogs. She has the ability to understand and explain why dogs behave the way they do. Even better, she gives techniques to modify undesirable behaviour. Her methods are always kind and gentle.” Mary
“We would just like to say a huge thank you. Buster is such a loving and beautiful dog and with your help and advice he has become a perfect dog for me and Phil. We know that we still have a way to go but we know he’ll get there and we won’t give up on him! Once again a huge thank you.” Charlotte and Phil.
“Many thanks for the training plan. Since having the clicker I have started training Lucy more and am enjoying it. Lucy seems more relaxed already!!!! We have been doing better already with visitors and I think she has been doing really well – much calmer. Lucy loves the clicker training she has never had as many tasty treats!! I can’t thank you enough for bringing some peace and harmony back to my house and for showing us the right way to enjoy Lucy more. She is a lovely dog and is now well on the way to being chilled along with the rest of us. Thanks Gill you’re a STAR.” Joanna
“Ziggy is my 2 year old much-loved Lakeland Terrier and it has felt like we have had our work cut out with her from the start. Whilst she is a very loving and playful dog, she is also extremely wilful and needed constant training. From being a small puppy she has always loved playing with other dogs but, unfortunately, from around 8 months this play was becoming more boisterous and she was increasingly getting herself into scraps with other dogs as a result, in particular with smaller dogs. It reached the point where I felt constantly on edge when we went out for a walk and thought I would have to stop letting her off lead altogether. I had heard very positive things about Gill but, if I am honest, I contacted her more out of a sense of duty (to other dogs and owners) than anything else, as I was a little dubious much could be done to improve the situation. I am delighted to say that I was completely wrong about this and it was probably the most useful thing I have done for Ziggy. Gill really helped me to understand Ziggy’s behaviour, but also gave me a lot of practical advice to help modify this and get her to focus on me more. It really did work. I still need to work on training with Ziggy, but she is improving all the time and walking her is so much more pleasurable. I have also learnt to accept certain limitations with Ziggy and not beat myself up about the fact I can’t let her off lead for most of the walk. Before meeting Gill I was feeling like a failure as a dog owner but she actually made me feel good about myself for some of the positive things we had achieved before meeting her and that some of it is nature and not nurture. I would (and have!) recommend Gill to anyone wanting help with their dog’s behaviour. Many, many thanks, Gill!” Cath
“Sherpa arrived in the summer of 2003 and he was adorable. He loved playing with dogs more than anything else and, while extremely boisterous during his walks, he was very calm in the house. After two or three months we had some episodes where Sherpa chased someone, a jogger, a passer-by, another dog owner; he then barked and jumped, and even nipped them. We were quite worried and sought the help of a behaviourist. She gave us some useful advice about how to deal with Sherpa in the house but really she did not know how to deal with the more serious issues. We saw a second behaviourist and things improved slightly, though once again we felt that she couldn’t help us with the more complex issues. After a year of having Sherpa we moved to Lancaster and his problems went from bad to worse. During his walks, Sherpa began to barking at everyone, standing on two legs and looking ferocious. He was also having trouble dealing with visitors in the house. Then we heard about Gill. We were very impressed with her. You could say she treats both the distressed dog and the distressed owner. Gill gave us the confidence and the technique to deal with Sherpa’s problems. We both regretted not having met someone like Gill earlier on. The sooner you deal with the problem the easier it is to solve it. In a way, Gill opened the word of dogs to us: she allowed us to actually understand what Sherpa was going through and why he was acting the way he was. We were finally communicating with Sherpa and helping him through his fears and anxieties, and he was very responsive. After the initial breakthrough, his behaviour (and ours!) has continued to improve at a slower but constant pace. Sherpa now enjoys his walks and so do we. We have taking advantage of the ongoing training service that Gill offers to improve and build on certain aspects of Sherpa’s training. I’ve particularly come to enjoy dog training, it’s become a hobby. And we have also put Sherpa in the natural diet thanks to Gill, which has improved his moods and reduced our visits to the vet! I can strongly recommend Gill as a pet behaviourist. Overcoming a pet’s problems can actually become an enjoyable experience if you know what you’re doing and that is where Gill’s help is invaluable.” Bea
“Milo is fantastic! The recall now is really good, and when he does get lost (usually only for a few minutes) it’s because he can’t find his way back rather than because he’s being naughty (eg he gets stuck behind a fence and can’t find a way through! sometimes he’s not the brightest star in the sky, bless him). The grooming is more or less sorted. He understands that I want to clean his feet or brush him – and that he’ll get praise if he lets me – so there’s basically no problem any more. We’ve turned it into a game so he gives me a paw, and rolls over for his back paws to be up in the air. Keeping him off the footballs is a bit more difficult but he’s been pretty good. It’s quite hard work keeping him interested in playing with me rather than going after the ball, but it’s been working. So really I’m v. happy with how we’ve both progressed. And thanks for your advice!” Clare
Shep – Border Collie
“Thank you Gill for your patience and clear instructions on how to get the best from our newly acquired rescue border collie. Thanks to your understanding of his social problems he is now well on the way to being acceptable in all social situations. We would recommend you very highly, nothing was too much trouble and your thoroughness got straight to the root of the problem. Thank you.” John and Judie.