This is a small selection of the many letters and E-Mails I receive on a daily basis. If anyone requires any telephone numbers of some of my clients for verbal confirmation of my work please contact me at: [email protected]
I purchased the Jingler with your DVD recently. To use on my German Shepherd , I have had her with myself to many socialization classes, behaviour therapists etc, very stressful and hard sweaty work. My dog with myself did attend puppy classes, where as a puppy, before she finished the course she was getting uptight even entering into the classroom environment – that’s how it all started.
Anyway, the point that I am coming to is that after around 3 years of all this carrying on, there is a light at the end of it – the Jingler with your DVD, thank you for both.
Sasha is now heeling , and we have now started the off because I didn’t realize how to use the off command properly till watching your DVD again and seeing how you do it. Great. So just to say keep on doing what you do, it will save a lot of dogs lives if people buy both your Jingler and DVD and use them!!!
Thank you from Sasha and myself.
– Sharron Russel
I adopted a yellow Labrador 2 years ago. He was an Irish stray and thought to be about 3 years old. From day one he had a problem meeting dogs out walking (though fine with dogs coming into my house) he would leap and either bark or howl at them.
Fortunately I live
At that point after a lot of research I called Stan Rawlinson. After a lengthy discussion Stan felt that Ollie had never been socialised as a puppy and his aggression was out of fear.d on a bridlepath so we didn’t meet too many dogs. I did however spend many hours and over £2,000 with a dog trainer but the problem was never really solved. I then moved house and started walking in the Devil’s Punchbowl where there were dogs everywhere. Walking became really stressful for both of us.
Stan came to see us and we had an afternoon’s training with him culminating with both Stan and myself being able to walk Ollie on his lead past Stan’s four dogs with no reaction at all from Ollie. I went back to the Punchbowl walking Ollie on his lead – if a dog approached/passed Ollie quietly, Ollie just ignored it – busy dogs were a bit of a problem, but Ollie coped surprisingly well – no barking.
I have now progressed to walking Ollie off his lead most of the time. He now loves to play with dogs he meets with no sign of aggression at all. Stan has rung me several times since our session with him to enquire how Ollie is getting on. I know he is always there to support us should I need him.
I will never be able to thank Stan enough he has changed Ollie’s and my life around.
– Ann Jackson
Just a few words of thanks. Converted an express train into something very pleasant to walk.your bell creation is worth more than 10 times what you charge.you are a very clever guy.
– Roy Whincop
To update you since your visit to us. Lexi is now a lot better around other dogs, she still occasionally barks or growls but her body language is totally different.
From the dog whose hair stood up, tail between legs and jumping up and pulling and barking and growling she is now wagging her tail and ‘bowing’ to other dogs even when she barks and looks like she wants to play.
We haven’t let her off lead yet but have arranged for a friend to come over with their dog to meet in the park as their dog is very laid back. If Lexi gets a bit overexcited he is less likely to react (well that’s the thinking anyway).
She is a totally different dog, the jingler seems to work every time we have only had to use the shaker on rare occasions and that has been when other dogs have coming running towards her growling.
Thank you so much for all your help and we will keep you updated as to her progress. Hopefully, the next photo I send will be one of Lexi running around the park!
– June and Joe
Thank you so much for your work at Pets at Home with Timmy. He was the little Westie with attitude. A number of people recommended us to you but we unfortunately could not afford your full services.
We really appreciated what you have done for us Timmy is less aggressive, walks to heel and has stopped jumping up. As a way of thanking you please add this validation to your website or anywhere else you wish.
To whom it may concern.
This guy is brilliant I cannot praise him enough. He effectively changed our lives in minutes. We were recommended to him and the people that recommended him were also recommended so that gave us confidence on what he did.
– Susan Brown (Timmys) mum
Many thanks for your time and advice last Sunday which Lorraine and I found very helpful.
In terms of an update all I can say is what a difference a week has made with Nash! He is a totally different dog; still loving and affectionate but with a new found calmness and now totally accepting of our authority. He appears like a weight has been lifted from his shoulders and he is now able to enjoy being a dog without having to worry about trying to dictate our behavior!
We are still using the bottle when required but this is only a couple of times a day. He is now longer barking in the garden, has virtually stopped jumping up, is sleeping downstairs without any complaint and there have only been a couple of instances earlier in the week when he tried relatively minor attempts to nibble at us which appear to have now ceased.
He is starting to walk well to heel and is walking to the end of the drive without sitting down! We understand that the work is far from complete and we will need to continue to be consistent with his training over the coming weeks but we are very hopeful that the changes will become permanent and we are so pleased we got you to help us.
Also, in case you were not aware, Channel 5 are broadcasting ‘The truth about your dog food’ on Thursday at 9pm.
We will keep in touch and let you have a further update in a few weeks time.
– Adam and Lorraine.
I Wanted to send you a little update and a big thank you for visiting us last Friday. Wow! What a change! Theo has not looked back since his session with you.
He can now calmly greet and walk by other (even much larger) dogs on the street and in the park. The few times he has barked at another dog a quick noise from the bottle has got him scampering right back!
Things we never even worked on with you like the vacuum, the housekeeper and horses going by are all things he now regards calmly.
The porters actually say they miss the sound of his barking and call him “Rudolph” on account of his Jinglers. We still aren’t totally sure what you did but it is really amazing.
We are practicing the name game and “off”/”good, take it” every day and he just seems much more balanced.
Thank you so much for your help, we are amazed and grateful.
– Lisa Rich & Theo!
Brin is a dog rescued from Helmand Province Afghanistan by the British Forces. Stan came to me because of issues we had over Brin meeting other dogs and over protection around me. We had a wonderful, informative afternoon and learnt so much from observing and then completing the activities shown.
Stan has given me confidence to understand Brins ‘feral’ ways and also to realise that I too, as Brins carer, need to stand back at times and not protect him so much.
Thank you Stan for your friendship, kindness and knowledge. We will practise hard!
nb Brin was with Sally at Crufts this year getting a Bravery award. Well done both of you.
Hope you are well. This is Theo’s owner from Kingston the black pointer looking dog with Chinese eyes.
We’ve persevered with Theo and it’s paid off. He’s turned out to be a fantastic dog and we can let him off the lead without problem.
We love him very much and wouldn’t want to part with him. Last year was a very tough year with two young children, a sick mother and a stressed out overworked husband and a dog who wouldn’t listen.
It was even more depressing to see him so well behaved with you and then back to square one the next day!. But finally we saw the light at the end of the tunnel.
– Sara Q
Stan did a wonderful job training us and our rescue Greyhound! Our dog was aggressive to other dogs and consequently a nightmare on walks because we had no idea how to deal with it other than holding tight to the lead and dragging him along whilst he barked and spun trying to get to the other dog.
In the space of one afternoon Stan had our dog walking past others – which was an amazing feat. We will continue to build on this using the notes he has given us, but all in all he delivered everything we could possibly have hoped for and it’s a very positive result.
Job well done.
WOW ~ Thankyou Stan. In desperation we contacted Stan to help us with our over-excietable, over-friendly 11month old puppy.
Life was becoming hard and we were letting our dog make us avoid busy and fun places. He was getting bigger and stronger. Within minutes Stan had put US back in control. On Sunday we walked in the park with two rugby matches on either side and even though he would of loved to play with the boys and their ball our faithful companion remained at our heal, unbelievable!
We highly recommend The Jingler, a great tool that actually works. Thanks again Stan for installing our confidence in our fantastic family pet.
Stan was brilliant with Tiggy, our jack russell x fox terrier who came from a broken home and was very fear aggressive with other dogs. As a dog behaviourist who specialises in aggressive dogs, he was wonderful.
His visit alone made an immediate improvement of about 75% in Tiggy’s behaviour – and with us now committed to doing our ‘homework’ and continuing on with the dog training methods that Stan taught us, I’m sure Tiggy will prove to be a lifelong valued friend and trusted companion who we all adore.
Absolutely brilliant…. Stan came to our house to help us train our 10 week soft coated wheaten terrier puppy. Within minutes Stan had our puppy obeying commands- all in a kind, lovely way.
Stan really teaches you how to properly train and interact with your puppy. We can not recommend Stan enough for any dog/puppy related issues and will work with him again in the future….
Just a big thank you from Richard, myself and Tiggy for today. The results are better than I could have hoped for. I know we still have a lot of homework to do, but I now feel confident we have a doggy that we can give a warm and loving home to for life.
And just the fact that I can venture out with confidence and not have my heart in my mouth every time we go round a corner or encounter another dog is a wonderful feeling of freedom. We can enjoy Tiggy so much more now, and hopefully she’ll enjoy us so much more too.
I have tweeted you and linked to your website as well.
We will do all our homework etc. And I will let you know how we get on.
Many thanks again, I hope you get great job satisfaction, what a wonderful gift you have to be able to make such a positive difference in people’s and dog’s lives.
– Sophie, Richard and Tiggy
We contacted Stan, after our dogs (2 girls) had started fighting amongst themselves (4 years without incident); both dogs are big for their breed meaning separating once they had locked up was almost impossible, every altercation was also now drawing blood.
The fights / fear of had stopped us from inviting round guests and left us on edge at home. The difference was immediate; a previous behaviourist had told us it would take months to see an improvement. Stan had done it in under a working day! Having spent out once on a behaviourist I was sceptical of what to realistically expect from Stan, the cost was also a concern.
In hindsight I should have contacted Stan a lot sooner; being able to relax with the dogs again and have guests round is worth its weight in gold.
I contacted Stan in a pretty desperate state after my two Border Terriers (both neutered males aged 5 and 8) had started to have pretty serious fights resulting in both injury to me and to each other.
They only fought over resources ie food, bones, carcasses found out walking etc but it was extremely stressful living with two dogs never knowing if I were to drop something by mistake, they would fight over it! Stan spent the afternoon with us evaluating the dogs and setting out a series of exercises.
All methods used were kind and fair, reinforcing desired behavior and helping the boys to understand that I control their resources.
Once the new set of rules were established, I was able to leave food on the floor and neither dog would touch it. Previously, both dogs would have bulldozed in and almost certainly a fight would break out. The results were immediate and whilst we are very early into the new regime and I must practice the exercises daily to continue the progress, there have been huge improvements already.
Stan is able to equip the owner with all the tools needed to have a happy, well behaved dog. Stan, also did some work with my 10 month old GSD pup. Within seconds (literally!) he had her walking beautifully to heel – something I had struggled to achieve! I cannot recommend Stan highly enough!
– Charlotte and the dogs
Stan visited us yesterday and met our 22 month old German Shepherd Zeus. We were unable to walk Zeus on the lead past other dogs, or have him walk to heal. His recall was pretty awful as well, and both of us had suffered physically from Zeus pulling us so hard on the lead that I was unable to walk him any more. Within a few minutes Stan had Zeus doing the sit/stay command, walking to heel with him and us, and incredibly, walking past other dogs on the lead without even looking at them!
We had a fantastic walk this morning with Zeus for the first time since we’ve had him, and while we had to reinforce the commands, we never once got pulled on the lead, Zeus came back when we called him and he even listened to us when we gave the ‘OFF’ command as he went to play with a child’s football! it’s early days and we know that we must keep the training up daily, but it is such fun because he responds so well to … our 22 month old German Shepherd Zeus. We were unable to walk Zeus on the lead past other dogs, or have him walk to heal. His recall was pretty awful as well, and both of us had suffered physically from Zeus pulling us so hard on the lead that I was unable to walk him any more.
Within a few minutes Stan had Zeus doing the sit/stay command, walking to heel with him and us, and incredibly, walking past other dogs on the lead without even looking at them! We had a fantastic walk this morning with Zeus for the first time since we’ve had him, and while we had to reinforce the commands, we never once got pulled on the lead, Zeus came back when we called him and he even listened to us when we gave the ‘OFF’ command as he went to play with a child’s football! it’s early days and we know that we must keep the training up daily, but it is such fun because he responds so well to all the things Stan showed us in person, and his paperwork and DVD explains everything. The truth is, it was US that needed the right training in order to communicate with our dog. Thank you so much Stan, I never believed such a change was possible.
All the best, we’ll keep you up dated.
– Martin & Rio
This is the best trainer I have ever used He has the best web site and information I have seen so far. His techniques are quite amazing. I first saw him at a Pets at Home store where he was doing a demonstration of handling and training. Taking dogs from the audience and working with them. I booked him in to see my dog Lottie one of my dogs that was very aggressive and have never looked back. I would recommend him highly.
– Valerie and Lottie
Stan visited us and our two dogs who have been giving us all sorts of challenges due to them both wanting to be boss! He obviously has a wealth of experience and was totally unphased by anything. Gave us loads of helpful advice that made sense.
I would thoroughly recommend him. We have quite a lot of work to do – particularly with the terrier but for the first time I feel as if we are making some real progress!
Stan is fantastic – He worked on two of my dogs, one dog was very possessive and did not like other dogs. Stan got the two together in just one visit. We did not believe that Stan would do it but he proved us wrong. I would highly recommend Stan for any problems you may have with your dog. He’s great.
Dear Mr Rawlinson,
Just thought I’d drop you a note to thank you for helping me sort out my dog! My partner and I adopted a three year old Border Collie back in September. The dog had had a bit of a bumpy ride, and as a result had developed quite a few issues. He was incredibly skittish and highly strung, and also had a problem with chasing light and shadows (he even gave himself a nosebleed pouncing at the floor at one point!).
He was particularly on edge whenever there were more than one person in the room, regardless of who, where or what. When he was at his most stressed he would be completely impossible to get through to; he’d pace around, stare at the floor and get himself worked up to a state of frenzy, whimpering and barking. We’ve spent a lot of time and effort (and money!) trying to help him – buying books and gadgets, reading articles, joining forums, and consulting various trainers and behaviourists.
We made sure he got plenty of physical and mental exercise, and being a bright spark he would pick up general obedience and various tricks in a jiffy. All of which did not significantly reduce his stress levels. We’d sort of just resigned ourselves to the fact that this was a tightly wound, high energy dog, and maybe he’d calm down with age. So anyway, I saw your demonstration of the Jingler on the web, and thought I’d give it a go. The main reason was to get him to walk better on the lead.
I got the DVD and the Jingler and set off doing the ‘Off’ and Sit/stay exercises. He got the gist after a couple of repetitions, but then the most peculiar thing happened; there was this almost palpable sense of relief. He lay down and put his head on my lap, and since that moment there has been no sign of the shadow chasing Duracell dog! It’s as if someone has reached inside his head and flicked a switch! I’m absolutely astounded that such a simple thing could have such a profound effect. Whether it was the Jingler training alone, or the whether this was the ‘final push’ – I’m almost afraid to blink, in case it turns out it was all a dream! We’re going to keep working him with the Jingler, and I’m quite confident we’ll keep moving in the right direction!
Sorry for rambling on, but I just had to let you know 🙂
Again, thank you ever so much – we’re eternally grateful!
All the best,
– Kine, Jon, and Calvin the Dog
PS! He now walks to heel like there was no tomorrow
Hope you are well. Just to let you know that Maggie has come on in leaps and bounds.
She now walks almost normally by the road, round the village etc, she’s still a bit flat but her tail isn’t clamped down and she’s not lunging, wobbling or pulling/dragging – in fact she’s at heel the majority of the time on a loose lead. And with nothing more than a lead, jingler and a collar, plus a bit of correction from time to time- no haltie now.
She’s also a superstar at dog obedience class and generally a joy to have so thank you so much for all your help and expertise because without it I don’t think we’d have got here. I may yet have a few blips along the way so you may not be rid of me yet but just wanted to share the success.
Maggie had a terrible fear of Traffic
I just wanted to thank you for your help. It is greatly appreciated I did telephone the vets and they did not give me a simple answer one way or the other. I will now proceed to cancel the booked castration, and keep working with Jenny on building their confidence, and also trying not to interfere in their relationship. I am thinking of purchasing your book, which I am sure will help me.
I have had dogs all my life and have previously had two and three dogs, but always have bought them separately and never had two dogs from the same litter and when Jenny expressed concerns when I rang her I thought she was mad, I did not think for one minute that it would create a problem but all the symptoms and things that both of you have expressed are exactly how the boys behave.
In addition to this I have one very bright dog, and the one that lacks the confidence not so bright, but I am sure these are all problems that you encounter with two dogs.
Will keep going in any event, I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to help me sort this out.
I would just like to thank you for helping us with Amber our young German Shepherd. Walking her is a far more pleasant experience now, she still gets a bit nervous of other dogs but when over the park I can now let her off the lead. She will bark at first but calms down quickly and then just wants to play with them.
This dramatic progress is all down to your training with her considering this is only 1 week after your visit fantastic!. I will be in touch in due course to see about taking her to your daughter`s dog creche.
– Mark & Lynda.
I came across your website and it has already helped me immeasurably. I have two English bulldogs, Charlie and Eddie, both males, from the same litter and 3 yrs. 8 months old, both residing with me in Florida. My main concern with them has been their aggression towards one an other.
Since doing everything with them separately as you suggest on your web site, especially their walks, and playing, I see a profound change in their behavior. I might also add that I can now tire out Eddie–who is usually the provocateur with games of tug of war when previously this was not possible with both bullies competing with one an other for the toy. This makes him much more tranquil in getting along with his sibling.
Please assure me that these results are not ephemeral, and the change will continue to be lasting at their “advanced” age. Also, do you know of any trainers in the Miami Beach area that follow your methods?
– Adrian Diamond
(The email relates to an article I wrote called Siblings The Worst of Both Worlds. Siblings and interdog rivalry and aggression is something I deal with frequently, with a high rate of success.
What surprises me with this E Mail is that he has started my program with adult dogs. My advice is you must start as puppies. Unfortunately this may be ephemeral unless he puts in some other behavioural changes.)
Carolina Boxer Rescue
The poem in question is The Ten Commandments.
Good Morning Stan
First let me thank you for your time and patience with Elle on Saturday at
the dog show in Peterborough. Although she appeared to behave perfectly she
and I both learnt a great deal from your demonstration and the one to one
work with her later in the day.
I took Elle for a walk on sunday and forthe first time ever walked past the barking dog that hates every dog
without a squeak from Elle she would normally have started pulling on the lead as soon as we were out the gate and screaming at the top of her voice as if we were beating her, the next obstacle was the two rotties that bounce of the metal gates again she would be in drag and scream till she was sick mode for 200 yds before we got to the gates.
it wouldn’t matter ifthey were out or not. this Sunday it was great as I said we got past the
first with out a problem so feeling confident I headed for the footpathwhich is just after the rottie’s house she gave a little squeal and pulland as you showed me I dropped the lead from my left and 123 with myright about turned took a couple of steps brought her to my side made her sit and started again.
It was working she wasn’t squealing and only the occasional pull this boosted my confidence, we actually got opposite the
gate, the dogs were barking at her ,she turned her back on them and peed then trotted on without a murmer It is as you say a miracle I then decided to tale Mahri the 4 year old airedale who is big and bouncy and
as far as the rotties are concerned definatly has bring it on attitude.
I tried the same action only making her lie down each time I had had time to watch the dvd at this point. It worked but not as well as Elle but once I watch the dvd and work with both dogs in the garden I’m sure our
walks will become a pleasure again.
You said you would send me details on noise aversion training for Elle so we can stop her screaming at anyone who
comes to the door
– Jackie McGuinness
Just a to say I can not thank you enough for your visit. My main aim was to understand why Henry (my choc lab) could suddenly turn so drastically on his brother Harry (golden lab) and how to control the sibling rivalry- any thing additional from the day would be an added extra.
I felt I needed the training not the dogs and I was right, I have had dogs all my life but I could not control what was happening between Harry & Henry. As you know I was quite emotional over the prospect of having to give one of my boys up if I could no longer control Henry’s aggressive turns, I had Henry neutered and then after making contact with you realised I had the wrong dog done, as the dominant one should be left- so all my hopes where left on your visit.
During your session the training was clear and easy to follow. I was overwhelmed by how easily the dogs adapted to the training and how they seemed so at ease when so many other methods had failed or to be told numerous times fancy getting two puppies.
Also your in-depth knowledge of canine behaviours and traits put so much of what had been happening in to prospective. A few hours after you left Henry did turn and I jumped straight in with the bottle shaker and felt confident giving commands- admittedly the scrap went on for a minute but for the first time they stopped because I commanded it not when one of them was hurt- I did not separate them but I gave them the look this time not them at me.
Three weeks on not one scrap- I can not tell you how over the moon I am. Henry still gives the odd stare, I shake that bottle and he whimpers back in to his corner. For the first time since I have them both, I feel in control- . I know its early days but I have been spending more and more time with the dogs together . One example a month ago I could not go in the garden for too long or Henry would turn. Now I pick up my bottle and go in the garden with the dogs for hours rather than minutes- To know I have a strong chance of keeping them both as per your evaluation and the training has taken a nervous wreck of an owner to a more confident not having it any more owner. In addition the sit stay command , take it- is still installed – I still have to work on the walk to heel as they do tend to drift a bit but all in all to me a miracle and great success.
I also appreciate your follow up call/ email and your open door approach if any further problems arise. If a dog owner ever needs a reference or they challenge the cost please pass on my email address- A month ago I risked having to lose one of my beloved dogs as I could not bear the fighting and felt out of control , a month on the dogs are happy and so am I . To know I do not have to part with one of them- nothing puts a price on that. Thanks again Stan
Firstly I must thank you very much for working with my staffs, Roxy and Raz at the fete in Hartfield on Saturday. I apologize for rushing off as I did but I was asked to go assist with something.
I am absolutely shocked with the difference in attitude the girls have…. It is wonderful and much easier for us to enjoy their company.
You will have my work email from this message but I will also give you my personal one.
Please stay in touch and thanks again
14 September 2009
Me with one of the Staffie’s getting the dog to sit stay even though I pull on the lead, Julie in picture foreground
This is prelude to working with recall. I also got the dogs to walk to heel stop jumping up and lunging
I would just like to say a huge thank you for developing such a fantastic product. I received mine yesterday [the day after ordering it] and watched the DVD 3 times before having a go.
What a difference it has made to my two border collies. They stopped pulling on the lead and even got the sit stay. Working on the off command still but I am sure they will get it.
May i ask one question? Both my collies chase cars even if walked on their own. Can I use the Jingler to help? If so how?
Again a huge thank you.
Best regards and many thanks
– Lisa Parry
My name is Sophie and I came over and chatted with you at your Crufts stand on Saturday the 10th of March 2007, I spoke about my Border Collie and his problems with noises and getting distracted in his obedience classes, and I purchased one of your leads with the instructional DVD and of course the jingler.
I would just like to say what an amazing piece of training equipment the jingler is, not only is it helping my Collie but it is also great for my other 2 dogs. I have seen drastic improvement in their behaviour within 20 minutes which is absolutely fantastic. I run a homeboarding service and I have started to use the Jingler with permission of the owners to train some of their dogs less favourable habits. It is great and I will most definitely be suggesting the jingler to anybody looking to fix basic obedience problems with their dogs.
I just thought I would drop you a quick note to thank you for your time last Tuesday, i know it was a long journey for you but I believe you really gave me valuable input into my relationship with Paddy by helping me understand where his problems lie.
I know my parents contacted you when I was out of the country for 2 days immediately afterwards but as soon as I got back on Friday we started on building Paddy’s confidence in getting into the car. 5 days on and the results are amazing. I know we have a slow and patient journey to take but I cannot believe the difference it has made already. I’ve attached a couple of pictures taken this evening for you to show you how relaxed he is in the car. He laid down in the boot whilst I was pulling weeds from the drive. You can tell from the pictures he looks relaxed and content lying there.
We practice playing ‘getting in the car’ 4-5 times a day for short intervals and sometimes I need to use a slip lead and sometimes he just follows me and jumps in straight away and eats his dinner.
I am truly grateful for all the help you’ve given me so far, the phone calls before your visit and your time last week. I really do feel I have a plan that both Paddy and I can work with to help us form a stronger bond and relationship.
The Jingler is also a fantastic little tool to help me keep his attention on walks.
I will keep you up to date on our progress and I’ll make sure we take it slowly. I hope you like the photos
This is an update on Paddy. It is clear that Louise has worked very hard and is getting the results I am just the catalyst. I must congratulate her for the work she has done and what she has achieved.
I was giving myself a week to see how things went and it has been like having a different dog. I am absolutely thrilled and amazed and can not thank you enough. The noise aversion is brilliant. I shake once when he barks or jumps up (which has reduced ten fold) and say nothing. He walks brilliantly to heel with the jingler and in the house I have kept the lead on to use it if he jumps at the window to bark at passers by (which has all but stopped.) How I wish I had met and spoken to you earlier, I could of had this near perfect happy dog for so much longer. Ruby our ridgeback is a little wary about the bottle, but I carry on walks to mark Archies bad behaviour and she is not too bad now. I am hoping that it will help her next.
Thank you so much Stan.
Thank you so much for todays lesson. It was eye opening, even though my
brain had to work to the limit. And DVD was useful to remind the right
technique. Soon after you went, I managed to make him stay at the door when the car guy came back, I could talk to this guy “with the front door wide open” (of course Boris was on lead but he was doing good stay , which I never dreamt of could happen so quickly !!
I regret I did not find you earlier when I was so upset without finding any real help. I do hope none of my mistaken actions towards Boris did not drive him to be a fearful dog….Again, thank you very much for your brain. My husband and I will work on Boris to concrete the basic obedience and step forward to long lead after that.I will keep you updated. I will of course recommend you if anybody needs help !
Thank you for a most educational day. Rommel and I are getting on just fine and he is improving by the day.The DVD has been a great help, To be able to revise on your techniques is a help to anyone who wants to train there dog well
Thanks again Stan .
Regards Jim Payne.
We just wanted to thank you for yesterday….you are just what the doctor ordered!
Kira has shown a vast improvement already and when I walked her this morning, this afternoon and took her for her long run this evening, it was a pleasure, as opposed to a dread! Many of our “Doggie” friends commented on the change in her and our neighbours actually saw ME go past their windows instead of the normal flash of the head! (not sure if that was actually appreciated or not!)
I have worked all day on the “Off” command and “Good, take it” …and ……”shock, horror” it appears to work!
I know it is early days and Stuart and I will encounter a few “Control Complex” situations along the way, but we are, at last feeling positive and Kira seems more content aswell. We have only had one situation so far, when she did not want the jangler lead on, she started darting around and snapping, but I shook the magic bottle and she submitted in a matter of moments.
No more digging either… Australian trip on hold for the moment it seems……thanks again to the bottle!
It is refreshing to know, that there are genuine people out there, who try to resolve problems with pups/dogs and their owners training techniques, for the sake of all concerned, instead of just looking for a “Quick Fix”……Thank you again.
We will keep you posted on Kira’s progress, if that is OK?Take care and see you at “Pets at Home” on the 23rd July.
It has now been about five months since you came to see us about Kai, just to remind you of what he was like we couldn’t take him out without the fear of him jumping on another dog (sometimes he would sprint the length of a football pitch in order to rush them) he had also bitten my partner Lucy twice and he was a nightmare guard when the doorbell rang and visitors wanted to enter!!!.
Since you came and advised us including a change to Kai’s food he has been (touching wood now!!!) a completely different dog, he is a joy to take out for walks and seems now to socialise much better that I have ever known him to, Friends now actually contact us to see whether we would like to go walking them. He appears much more relaxed when visitors come to the house and now sleeps in the middle of the floor when people are here as opposed to going back to his bed. I would just like to say on a personal note a massive thank you for helping me to make Kai’s life a much happier stress free environment (for all of us) but mostly for helping us to make Kai the dog we all very much knew he could be!
I have since you came banded your name about to any dog owner who will listen, I can only hope that these people have been sensible enough to take my advice and contact you with their doggy problems as I have every confidence you can fix it.
Deepest Thanks Neil and Lucy
PS I have now handed out all the business cards you gave me, If you would like to send me some more feel free, I would be glad to recommend your services.
Dear Stan ,
it was great meeting you . I have to say that I am completely lost for words when it comes to describing what wonderful work you did with Digit today .
It’s like I have a new dog , I took him out for a walk and did not get my arm ripped off .
Many thanks for your help .
All the Best
Just a quick note to say thank you so much for all your help with Roxy. It is so pleasant to be able to take her for walks now without her pulling all the time. Since your visit, we can now have all three dogs in the house together without the constant fighting and growling, instead they all play quietly together or just lie around together and their company is so much more enjoyable.
Carl and I were so impressed with your techniques, not to mention how quickly Roxy’s behaviour changed and we have been singing your praises to everyone we meet. We can’t quite believe the difference that your lead and jingles make to her training and she also loves those minijack treats, of which I have bought lots more.
Her training is going extremely well and hopefully it will continue this way. Thank you very much again, I will keep you updated on how she progresses.
Following your help in August last year our English Springer Spaniel Hamlet is much improved and a real pleasure to be around. We ended up keeping him permenantly and have never looked back.
However we are expecting our first child this year and remember you mentioning an article that you had about how to introduce new babies to dogs. I would be very grateful if you could email this to us to help Hamlet adjust.
– Ian and Philippa Rodger.
Just an update to let you know how things are going with Jack. Things are a lot quieter in the house now a lot less growling going on. We have moved the dogs beds to another room, so if Jacks got the hump he takes himself of to bed and we don’t hear a peep from him, needless to say things are a lot more chilled in the house. He walks to heel lovely, we have made him work for everything he gets and we can feel a little bit of respect coming from him.
He now knows that he can’t jump all over visitors and can only say hello once he has calmed down (we have got our visitors to ignore him till this happens).
There are still days when we can’t seem to get through to him and he growls all day (even with the Jinglers) but these are becoming less and less, you did say to us that he might be the type of dog that is never completely sorted, due to him coming from working stock.
Top surprise was that I was able to take a raw rib bone that I had given him straight out of his mouth with no arguments (because I have been using the exchange method) now he realises that he doesn’t have to protect everything because he might get something even better.
He is even allowing cuddles and kisses even when there’s nothing around that he wants, which is a first. I know we still have a lot to do and that we will have to carry on like this all his life.
But so far so good.
– Mandy and Lee
We still use the valuable techniques you taught us when you came round and also the ones Helen taught us in puppy classes.
One thing in particular that strikes me about your teaching Stan is that you work with the owner to acheive the right results, also your temprament is firm but very kind to the dog. As you say ‘aggression feeds aggression’, myself and my family were totally impressed with your firm but kind training methods and I think you’ll agree they had an instant & positive affect on ‘Martha’
Thanks to you, and Helen in the puppy training classes, we now have ‘Martha’ an adorable 5 month old black lab puppy who we wouldn’t swap for the world!
Thanks again Stan….. you are a star!
I must apologise for not sending you the pictures of our beloved GSD’s , as soon as I have cracked the software application I will send you them . I must complement you on the techniques you employed to overcome the agression problems we had been experiencing with our boys .
Buying two litter brothers was the worst case scenario as we soon discovered as they attacked each other continuously once their testosterone was raging . On bad advice we had them both neutered but the problem persisted because as you advised us neither ones dominance was diminished.
Thankfully after only two sessions with yourself employing your noise aversion techniques and installing ourselves as the dominant party we have had NO repeat of the agressive behaviour they displayed towards each other . We are often complemented on the good nature of our large [and intimidating looking dogs] whilst on walks so we can only thank you once again for your help . This was money certainly well spent .
Just a quick message to say thank you for all the help and advice that you gave to us on your assessment visit. Both Andrew and I were impressed with the advice we were given, and the results you achieved with Nelson in such a short period of time. We’ve spoke to some of our friends about your visit (Non dog owners) and they’ve asked us to get you to come for another visit, so they can see you in action! Purely for the entertainment factor, seeing how quickly you are able to get a dog to respond to your methods. Seriously though, We both feel much happier that, using the methods you taught us, we will be able to raise a well behaved, happy dog, who has already become a welcome addition to our family.
Nelson has now perfected sit, down, off and 95% sit stay. We continue to use the jingler, and he will now sit stay without it. We wouldn’t have been able to achieve this so quickly without you. Your website has also been an invaluable source of information.
We look forward to starting your puppy classes. Thanks again and keep up the good or is that doog work!
– Sue, Andrew and Nelson.
Just a quick note to ask if you could pass on our thanks to Helen for an excellent puppy course. Tilly (the boxer) and myself enjoyed every minute. We found it very informative, helpful and most of all fun. Helen was very approachable and had all the answers! thanks again.
– Danny Butler
ps i understand your next class for puppies is full, if you have anyone pull out at the last minute please let me know, as i have a friend with an 11 week old boxer who is looking into classes.
I hope you remember us. You came to visit me and my ridgeback Marley in Granville Avenue, Feltham nearly a year ago. Marley was suffering with separation anxiety and if you do remember he had literally eaten my yellow sofa…
Well that was the last thing he ever destroyed. since your visit he has been marvelous, he is even learning to walk without his lead over short distances, and he doesn’t leave mine or my new partners side. He is wonderful with children even the really little ones who are eye to eye with him now. He’s a big boy now he’s nearly fully grown.
I was hoping you could give me some advise? i have moved over to Essex now my partner and i have quite a large house not far from the open countryside. We are hoping to get another ridgeback puppy, a bitch this time, to complete our little family. Do you have any tips to introduce a new puppy to Marley, just to make to whole experience as pleasant as possible for both Marley and the new puppy.
I was wondering if, when we are ready to view new puppies, i should take something that smells of Marley and bring something back to Marley that smells of the puppy, so they can smell each other. Do you think this is a good idea?
Really any advise you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
– Kelly & Marley (woof)
Thank you so much for coming to meet Bumble (and me!!) last week. It was a pleasure to meet you and I was absolutely facinated and mesmerised at how well Bumble responded!! We are doing 2 little training sessions daily and so far so good …. I couldn’t quite work out when to use the ‘Leave It’ command so I tend to use ‘Off’ to cover everything from waiting for food (and then ‘take it’) , sniffing yukky things, climbing up, nibbling grooming brushes etc!!! So far all on the lead when out … still a bit nervous as SO many people in the park !!! And for biting, saying ‘OW’ and turning away !!!
Only other thing … I caught him eating his own pooh today !!! I just said Off and walked away. Obviously I try and watch him and pick it up immediately but missed it this morning !!!! Would this be the time to use a secret water pistol ????? (as substitute for noise aversion therapy?????)
Stan, Thank you so much once again …. your understanding of dogs is a pleasure to watch.
Just a quick email to thank you so much for your wonderful help with Bentley, our Weimeraner, yesterday. He is like a new dog already! Both
Mick and I cannot believe the difference in him. We are so happy to have him now, whereas before you came, we dreaded eating, walking and playtime
I would have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending you to anyone who needs help. It is just so amazing to see you work.
Thank you once again -Bentley sends his love (I think!!)
– Liz & Mick.
I own the sister to spice owned by Venessa Alexander whom you visited very recently. I was very impressed to hear about your methods and have tried one of them which works!
– Susie Alexander
I would like to thank you very much for the help and advice you gave to me with the problems I was having with my Border Terrier Archie and his
aggressive behaviour towards other male uncastrated dogs.
I am very pleased to say the situation is very much improved and I am now enjoying walking on the common again, as my confidence on how to deal with this, is down to your help.
I have passed on your name to many people I meet on the common, who have all sorts of different problems with their canine friends, and hope for all the right reasons I do not need to ask your advise in the future !!
With Best Wishes from
– Edwina Richardson
Just wanted to thank you for the miracles you have done with my dog. He has become an angel. Before it was an horror to deal with, never listened, biting all the time, growling at other dogs, and pulling while walking him. Now all that has changed, he is a joy to walk and go to the park with. I have to say that the session with you has been worth every penny.
Hows trix? Hope you saw the vino induced post we put on the night after you came and
“fixed” Zeebie before the forum crash? He’s doing fantastically well, as you said, no more nipping, pulling and charging. At times we do think we have a new pup!!
However, he still charges about through Richmond Park undergrowth given half a chance, During one of his forays into this wilderness seems to have successfully managed to dislodge his Magic
Bells. We still have the carabina so was wondering if you could tell me how much it would be for a coupla those life changing little balls and post me some? (seems unecessary to get the whole thing again, but if thats the only way of doing it, no problem).
We’re just off up the park now (tho I’m unsure what it’ll be like without our jingle!!). Hope you and your lovely canine pals are well.
– Sandy & Joe (& Zeebie)
Thank you so much for coming round and helping us with our dog Gucci.We were left stunned and Gucci was in shock too.You truly have a great gift with dogs and humans.Gucci is a much happier dog as he now knows where his place is, and we now know how to control him. Before you came walks were an absolute nightmare, continuous pulling, we were at our wits end.The jingler on the lead and the technique you taught us is unbelievable, he walks beautifully now.
We are all so happy with the help you gave us, and have given us new enthusiasm with him.I will be recommending you to anyone who has a dog out of control, as you are a genius with dogs.
– Sarah, Oren and Gucci.
Many thanks for sharing all your knowledge with us. I am sure we will be better dog owners for it. Keep up the Great work you do with us humans.
– Jane & Maggie “Waggy Tail”
I can’t believe where the weeks have gone since you came round and talked to us about Wolfie our Siberian Husky puppy.
Anyway I will start by apologizing for not thanking you sooner, but the hour or so you spent with the dog had an immediate effect on him and he stopped almost immediately some of the things that had been bothering us. Not sure if you have had any calls from some folks locally but we so sing your praises don’t be surprised if you need to have a Camberley branch soon J
The crate has gone I am afraid, he just never got used to being locked up in a confined space, but we don’t feel complete failures as another husky owner had to come to the same conclusion.
He does however sleep downstairs in the kitchen at night and has settled down so well, almost from the day after you came round. The nipping games stopped although now he is teething he forgets occasionally. We can even have the front door open and he stays well back.
We did go to a local puppy class but to be honest we preferred the methods you showed us and despite the disdain shown by the trainer to the methods we had used I still think Wolfie was one of the best behaved dogs by the end of the 4 week session. I also met the trainer in the woods with her dog the other morning and whilst Wolfie is a boisterous puppy he gets on with every dog he meets, her dog came across all vicious on meeting him… if only I had had the quickness of mind to suggest she take her dog to proper training classes the moment would have been all the sweeter.
– Tom Scott
Hi Stan ,
Hope you had a relaxing and refreshing holiday in Ireland and that the sun shone for you !.
We thought we’d drop you a quick note to firstly say thank you, and to tell you how much we enjoyed your puppy training classes. Spike had a thoroughly good time, I don’t think his little tail stopped wagging from the moment we got there, to the moment he went home utterly pooped but a very happy chappie !
We were most impressed by just how quickly all the puppies settled down after just the first class, no messing around, no distractions, just a bunch of happy doggies (and their owners) having fun.
What a perfect way to socialise and train your puppy, and certainly nothing like the classes we took Honey to when she was little, I just wish that we had known about your classes back then, I’m sure we would have avoided many of her problems!
Needless to say I’ve been singing your praises to everyone we meet!
I know this response is long overdue but we would like to say a big thank you to you for helping us to train Jessie our Staffordshire bull terrier in your puppy classes. She now follows all the commands that you taught us – and more. You were made for this job. Thank you once again.
– Tracy & Dan
I just wanted to send my thanks for your work with Mikey. He has responded extremely well to the behaviour modification and the noise aversion discs are amazing!!
No more barking at the neighbours. Mikey is walking well to heel (although does need reminding) and he is no longer pushing through doors and having had 3 or 4 visitors to the house, he has not jumped up at any of them. Most importantly, Mikey has learnt his place in the house hold and the clear direction he is being given, has only enhanced his charming character now that the issue of who’s boss is out of the way.
Mikey has just had a short back and sides so not only is he well-behaved, but he looks pretty dapper too! Thank-you again, all my friends want your number-we’re just looking forward to the time you can apply this work to children.
All best, Kim
Just to reiterate our thanks for what you did for us and Crunchie today.
We took him out and he’s been like a new dog, but he’s looking as though he doesn’t know what’s hit him!
He knows he’s being good but doesn’t know why! I still think you have a special extra skill…
Thanks again and regards,
– Miriam and Andri
First of all I would like to thank you for training me and for making your puppy classes such fun. Bella and I really enjoyed them and will miss them on a Monday evening.
She (and I) have learned so much and we carry on practicing the sit, down, sit stay etc. etc.. She is turning out to be great fun and we both love her.
I do hope to see you around. I did spot you in the car the other day.
Thanks again – I can not find any flaws with your classes. They were relaxed and very informative.
– Angie Walton & Bella
Thanks for your e-mail and the lovely poem – I always thought that when Teddy came to me it was something to do with God = Dog so I loved it! Teddy is doing really well at his heelwork – thank you – and Freya is now out and about and loving every minute of her 10 minute frolick a day! She copies Teddy’s every move and is already walking quite nicely besides him on her lead – most of the time!!! So a big thank you and I’ll keep checking the web-site!
– Sarah Bovill
S.R….The poem was When God Made…. under Poems and Reflections
Thank you for today, we are amazed at the change in Tally and took her out this afternoon and with the odd correction here and there she was walking to heel!!!! Could you please send me the set of commands you use as I obviously don’t want to confuse Tally or indeed ourselves over the next two weeks. I have taken Tally’s lead off for sleeping at night and I assume I should not be tucking her up at night in her blanket anymore? Thanks again.
– Vanessa Just
I would like to say how much Oliver and I have enjoyed attending your puppy classes although Oliver is not the best behaved in the class! I am sure mixing with all the other dogs has benefited Oliver as he now enjoys being let off his lead and playing and running with other dogs.
This gives him more exercise than just walking with me and is ready to come home after an hour or so – and the walk also does me good too! He is still not too happy on his lead getting from our home to the place of exercise but is slowly getting better!
Please enter my name (June Hawkins) and Oliver’s on the certificate for next week. I can’t believe the classes are coming to an end – time goes by far too quickly when you are enjoying yourself!! Best regards June
Blossom is doing great thanks to you. she is much more confident,and a pleasure to take out on a lead,
this is all down you. I can only thank you and tell all my friends she is only like this because of your work with her, I would of had a dog totally out of control if I had not of contacted you.
I cannot thank you enough.
From Terry ( Mrs Ripley)
Fergus loves his ‘goodbye bone’! Many thanks for that and for the classes .. from a destructive bundle of nervous energy he has become a real joy .. (he was always a joy, but now he is a controllable joy!) just as importantly, we have benefitted enormously .. every new owner should be made to go to puppy classes! he has such a wonderful character .. a real mix of puppy devilment and puppy love!
We are proud of him but, just as importantly, so grateful for all your input. We still practice all that you taught us and I really believe that a well trained and obedient dog is a happy dog. They are like children – once they understand the boundaries and know just how far they can go their confidence levels go up and the bond between dog and master (I use that word deliberately!) grows.
I originally got your card from our vet: Medivet, 1 Green Parade, Whitton Road, Hounslow. They are offering a free 6 month check up for all puppies and Fergus and I are going on Friday when I will be waving your flag.
They are very good and, above all, kind and gentle with the animals .. I just wondered if you wanted to put them on your web site along with all the other vets?
Many thanks, yet again
I am really grateful for all your help, you are a truly gifted person and obviously know what you are talking about,
Despite having numerous other trainers you are the only one that has made a massive difference. Scarlett is much more relaxed, no more pulling on the lead (I have got my arms back in their sockets) she now accepts other dogs and people and is no longer aggressive and attacking them.
She is responding to my commands and is really calm and even lets people stroke her now (what a change) everything you have done has worked Scarlett is happier and much calmer, it’s like I have a different dog. Marley is also great he has stopped barking at people completely and is a pleasure to take out.
So a big thankyou from us all.
– Janice, Scarlett, and Marley.
To Whom It May Concern
We engaged the services of Mr Stan Rawlinson to train our 9-month old male Rottweiler, Chombi, as we felt he was getting domineering and out of hand. At about 6 months, Chombi attended a 6-week dog behaviour-training course, which was to have taught him, on command, to sit, down, stay and heel. The course was based on the clicking method of training, however, at the end of the session, it proved most ineffective for his (and our) needs.
A pet shop owner in Teddington recommended Stan. During the first session, we discussed our needs, he observed and performed an assessment of Chombi. We agreed on the areas of training Chombi needed and started with the most crucial ones. By the end of the first session, it was clear that Mr Rawlinson had a good, natural rapport with Chombi and the dog was already responding positively. Mr Rawlinson devoted a lot of time teaching us to train Chombi. He was always available on the phone or via email when we faced certain difficulties or negative reaction from Chombi. Though Stan was very structured in his approach, he was also flexible, re-structuring the training program as and when it was required. Towards the middle of our program, Chombi became aggressive with our 13-year old daughter. Stan felt there was an urgent need to quickly establish a pecking order for all our benefits in order to control and manage Chombi effectively. This proved successful and, as a result, we are now more able to enjoy Chombi’s company, either at home, on walks or travelling in the car.
We are very happy with Mr Rawlinson’s methods, particularly his overall attitude and dedication to the task at hand. We would recommend him to any dog owners and if you wish to speak with us to obtain a first hand knowledge, please feel free to contact either of us, at any time, at the following numbers:-
– John and Azlia
Its Sara from woofs-a-daisy pet shop in Kingston. I just wanted to thank you so very much for all your help yesterday with Harvey, our flat-coated retriever.
Last night and today he is a totally different dog and a pleasure to walk and be with.
Once again. We just wanted to say thanks and we will be sending any customers who need help your way.
– Sara ‘woofs-a-daisy’
May I say on behalf of all Langley Ring Craft Club. Thankyou very much for the talk and the demonstration you gave last night, everyone said how good it was, with comments on where they now know how they went wrong with their dogs .
All in all a very enjoyable evening. One of our ladies went straight home and tried to get on to your web site, she was very impressed with your talk and the practical demonstration but she was unable to get on, could you send me your web site address so I can pass it on to her.
I hope all goes well next Tuesday and happy birthday for today.
– Tricia. (By E Mail)
Just thought I should write and thank you for all your Professional/ Fun help you have given to me, my family and of course Shadow. He is a much more contented dog and really looks forward to our walks and of course so do we.
– David, Family and Shadow
Re: Stan Rawlinson ~ Dog Listener
It is my pleasure to recommend Stan as an excellent Dog trainer, with outstanding results
Following the birth of my baby Rosie, my little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Robbie, suffered some anxiety, and change in role within the family. This resulted in his behaviour becoming difficult, and demanding. However, after just a few sessions with Stan, we re-established the ‘Alpha-Bonding’ process, and within a week, Robbie was a different dog – much calmer and contained. This training continued with improving his lead work, and attitude to other dogs while out walking with startling results. Stan was able to assess the whole family’s role’s with Robbie, and we all changed our behaviour a little with easy to follow training techniques. Robbie, Rosie and I enjoyed our training sessions with Stan, and would recommend them to anyone experiencing a dog with ‘character’ who just needs ‘listening’ to !!
Good Luck !
– Teresa Bridgwater
Just a quick line to thank you for the behavioural training sessions with Ruby.
We found your approach very thorough, methodical and logical. Also we were particularly impressed by your care and concern for maintaining the well being of the dog at all times during the training, you obviously love dogs and it shows.
Ruby is progressing very well, the lead walking is still taking a little effort ( she gets so excited and quite forgets herself) but in time as you said she will comply and that said even now she is so much more of a pleasure to walk than when you first came to us.
We now have two whistles and will shortly be starting to use them, we remember the use of two whistle blasts for the recall, can you drop us an e mail with other signals to use. Also have the leads arrived yet, our hands are not faring too well with Ruby’s canvas lead!!
Looking forward to hearing from you and once again many thanks
– Paul, Chris, and Ruby
I would just like to thank you for helping us with Alfie, walking him is a far more pleasant experience and I no longer have to look stupid calling his name til I’m blue in the face, his recall is 100 times better now I have a pocket full of cheese! He is still growling a bit when he is eating but allows me to put food in the bowl so I guess this is a good thing today I even managed to get something out of his mouth that he picked up. .
I have passed on your website to fellow walkers in the park who are having problems controlling their dogs they are all very impressed with Alfie.
– Laura, Phillip and Alfie
Just thought I’d let you know what a joy your website has been.
We read it on Thursday and the difference over the last few days has been astounding! I guess my little furry friend’s aggression with other dogs may be due to him being a Staff / Jack Russell cross which is something we can deal with over time but the jumping up has almost stopped after 3 days … amazing!
I know this is just the beginning of a much longer road but I feel a lot more positive and would recommend your site to anyone.
I would have no reservations recommending you to anyone with doggy problems, also the information you have given me has proved invaluable.
Two Dogs Fighting in The Home.
My two German Shepherd Dogs were litter brothers bought from a lovely KC registered breeder when they were 8 weeks old.
I had met the puppies’ mum, in fact several members of the pups’ family in the weeks leading up to them coming home.
All were well mannered, even tempered German Shepherds. Having two dogs from the same litter meant that they would always have each other and this made their transition from the breeder all the easier.
As hopefully they didn’t have to adjust to separating from their whole family in one go.
As a pack of two they flourished. They attended puppy classes and socialised well with other dogs;
They were neutered as soon as they became old enough; I spent hours each week cooking wholesome food, which they ate from the same bowl; they had space to play and run and wear themselves out; they learnt to be well mannered through lots of positive reinforcement.
They were best friends, great companions to both me and each other and attracted a lot of compliments.
Having given them the best possible start in life that I knew how, it was then bewildering and distressing that, at three years old, they began to fight. They had always liked to play fight and to people who didn’t know dogs it may have looked aggressive but, until this point, was perfectly good-natured… Just noisy and boisterous.
It would fizzle out into the two dogs mouthing each other or winning a toy from the other or just getting distracted by me or something else. But at three years old they began to dislike sharing a food bowl. I’d hear horrible low growls as they fed. This quickly escalated into stand-offish behaviour as I prepared their now separate food bowls (rigid bodies, glaring side-ways glances) and soon enough, actual fights.
Ferocious, scary fights that sparked quickly and didn’t resolve the way natural inter-dog play-fighting does. They were then separated whilst I dished their food up but the aggression spread, overnight, to guarding furniture, toys and doorways from each other. And not it the natural, mild-mannered way they always had. One minute everything would be calm- as it had been for the previous 3 years- the next, all hell would break loose. I’d get no time to pre-empt it and redirect their attention. They’d actually get hurt, it was scary to see, so then in a desperate attempt to pull them apart, I got bitten in the cross-fire.
In no time at all they were being segregated for fear of another fight and them hurting each other or another human. Our home routine was turned upside down in the process. We resumed obedience training but this did nothing to address the situation, commands from me just couldn’t cut through that ‘red mist’.
Trainers were well-meaning and there was no shortage of books & DVDs on the market but, frankly, they didn’t cut it for this intensity of aggression. I was feeling anxious and mistrusting of the dogs, guilty at having ended up in such a situation. The dogs were confused and unhappy at being isolated. There were no underlying health problems that could account for their behaviour. I couldn’t even tell which dog might have ‘the problem’. They remained fine with other dogs, they just couldn’t be around one another. It was a heart breaking situation.
I was trawling the internet late at night and losing hope. The depths of despair we’d reached still sadden me when I think back to them writing this 5 years later. Fortunately I then found an article by Stan Rawlinson about sibling aggression between dogs. So much of what he wrote about had parallels with my situation and Stan understood clearly what was happening.
It was a huge relief to then be able to talk to Stan about it on the phone-; just as I was agonising over the prospect of having to break our little family up, here was some one who had knowledge and experience of how applied behavioural approaches could provide a solution to this particular situation. Stan was able to come and work with us, setting a noise aversion technique to deploy the moment either dog demonstrated aggression, in that short moment before it was too late.
After the ‘setting’ work Stan did, the approach involved nothing more complicated than watchfulness and having a plastic bottle of shingle to hand. I had become very watchful anyway and until now my efforts had been futile, so at least I could now try something to address it.
I must admit to being sceptical about the approach because the problem seemed intractable. Initially I doubted that shaking a bottle would distract the dogs from such a powerful drive to fight but, fortunately, their aversion to the noise, having been set very precisely, was more powerful.
I placed bottles all over the house so that they were in easy reach. At the first sign of a problem I used the technique and the dogs instantly ‘snapped out of it’. I think I only had to use the technique on a couple of occasions shortly after working with Stan. Such was the strength of their noise aversion that they just seemed to unlearn going to ‘that place’.
By following Stan’s instructions consistently I soon had my dogs back. Their relationship with one another returned to what it had been and I was able to trust and enjoy them once again. Calling on Stan remains, to this day, the best thing that could have happened to us!
– Emma Watford
NB It is never a good idea to take on siblings from the litter and neutering early is never good advice. Read my articles Siblings Worst of Both Worlds and Neutering in Depth
Until last Tuesday I had a difficult life. My harsh, no kissing, no fussing, no speaking dog-training routine was not working. My dogs were darlings at home, but monsters when out and about. Every morning I rose at first light and schlepped both dogs out for walkies, separately. They were too frightful to go out together. That meant two-and-a-half hours on red alert, arms wrenched out of their sockets and returning home emotionally and physically wrecked for a few brief hours of respite until tea-time, then out for more ghastly walkies, keeping to the quieter streets, because I had become a pariah, feared, loathed, ostracised and occasionally even screeched at by local dog persons. What sort of a life is that?
It isn’t the dogs’ fault, of course. “It’s you,” says everyone who knows better. “You’re anxious. You’re making them anxious, which makes them aggressive. Just relax.” Oh, ha ha. How do I do that, with Miss Foaming Chops on one side and Miss Snap-Jaw muzzled on the other? Why not muzzle both, you may ask. Because one has a deformed jaw that no muzzle on earth will fit. So I was stuck in a cycle of anxiety and aggression.
Then I heard of a dog miracle worker. He had cured a dog that screamed with fear at anything that moved in the street. Within minutes, he had that dog strolling along the high road, completely mellowed out. Could it be true? Can this fellow succeed where others have failed? Can he stop my older dog from eating lurchers and the younger one from having a go at any dog in sight? Can he stop them bonking each other in front of visitors, squabbling over chewies, raging into the street ready to kill or maim and draining my life of all pleasure? I doubt it, but I am a desperate woman, so I give it a try.
The dog magician turns up. He has some rattles, some leads with jingly bells on, some dog snacks and four of his own dogs. He jingles and jerks a lead, shakes a rattle, slams a door, gives an instruction and a treat, and bingo, the dogs obey. Now I offer my dogs a snack and they turn their heads aside until given permission. I open the front door and they quietly contemplate the street. No bristling, no snarling. Fabulous. My dogs meet his dogs. No pulling, no rigid, threatening pose, no growling, no bonking, no fighting. Not a flicker. He has turned my dogs into saints. How did he do it?
But what will happen when he’s gone? Can I do this alone? Will the tricks work for me? I go for a walkie in the street. Yes they do. Magic. Now nearly a week has passed. The magic is still working. I go for a walkie with my friend Rosemary. Violet, the ex-killer, trots along beside her like a subdued lamb. Rosemary is gobsmacked. So are the vet, visitors and all dog-walkers. It isn’t often that I can dredge up a happy ending, but I feel confident that this is one.
Michele Hanson Columnist and Author