After months of research we collected our delightful Bernese puppy, just 8 weeks old and whilst we were delighted, we were also slightly concerned by her nervousness. She’d just left 12 siblings, so we put it down to adjustment and over the following months she grew and grew and grew – more anxious.
She was so easy to train and a wonder at the puppy classes however she began to develop a fear of men, of anyone wearing a hat or dark clothing and the wheelie bin was a nightmare. By the time she was 3 years old, we had tried everything we could think of by gently introducing her to new situations, but to no avail, so having spoken to our vet, we were referred to a Dog Psychologist who was also a vet. Several hundred pounds later she confirmed that Bramble was indeed “ nervous.”
We did obtain a few useful hints and whilst there was a slight improvement, her nervousness and unpredictability became more problematic.
It all came to a head one night when she nipped one of my daughter’s friends when she stuck her hand into the car. I was distraught and on returning home, I trawled the Internet for a dog whisper, as I wanted someone who would not view the problem from a medical perspective.
I found Mike’s details and a glowing report from a horse whisper who described him as, “a gentle caring man.” How right she is.
That first phone call was the start of a new beginning for Bramble and our family. Poor Mike, I talked for hours, he listened patiently and he kindly agreed to visit.
On arrival, Bramble immediately took to Mike, as we all did. This gentle, caring man carefully assessed our interactions with Bramble and he gave us advice and then he demonstrated the correct techniques to alter Bramble’s behaviour.
It felt as though someone had turned on a light. Having owned three dogs and having spent my life around animals, I had never encountered such anxiety in a dog. I was also to find out that, my growing concern and actions had been feeding Bramble’s anxiety.
Simple techniques were quickly put into practice and whilst Mike advised that it may take several weeks to see any progress, Bramble’s behaviour began to change from that moment. We continue to see changes and improvements every day.
Fear of the Hoover, men, dark clothes, wheelie bins are all a thing of the past. She now goes out of her way to speak to strangers and on returning to our dog training classes she really is a star pupil. She has never been a dog who likes to play however she is now chasing balls and carrying sticks whereas before, she would have run away from them. At training, she is learning new tricks and she is hopefully going to join the agility training in the New Year.
The wonderful personalised booklet written by Mike has been our bible and this had been further complimented by speaking to Mike on the telephone.
Bramble may never be the most extravert of dogs but she is a happy contented dog, whose quality of life has greatly improved, thanks to Mike.
A very special thank you from
Beth & Bramble