Raffles is a handsome 6-year old English Setter, healthy and happy – but has not always been so. Rehomed from a local Rescue Centre, he was skeletal and sickly, to the extent that he was thoroughly ‘spoilt’ in the early days.

Sick he may have been, but he was also very astute and found it easy to play on my sympathy and establish himself as leader of the pack.

By the time I realised that I was already caught up in his displays of bad behaviour. Only his gentle, affectionate nature indoors saved him on several occasions, from being returned to the Centre.

He barked incessantly at other dogs and spun around like a Whirling Dervish at the noise of traffic, children and skateboards, etc. Walking by the canal was a nightmare as he went berserk at every passing boat, especially the pleasure cruiser that runs daily. Walking in the woods near home, he often vanished within moments, ignored all attempts to recall him and could be gone for hours. He eventually came back – but in his time rather than mine.

After five years of coping (only just!) with Raffles’ anti-social habits and generally unpredictable behaviour, in desperation I sought the help of Mike at “Rewarding Dogs” – and there began my new life!

Mike recommended a special method of behaviour modification and proceeded, over the following few weeks, to train both dog and owner in its proper application. I believe the owner took longer to train than did the dog! Then we were sent off to put training into practice. Within days, his behaviour improved.

The lasting transformation in Raffles has been incredible. Dog-walking acquaintances who have witnessed his dreadful behaviour over the years are greatly impressed by the change in him. Now I go for walks off the lead with my ‘new dog’ in areas I would never have dreamt of going a year ago. Even walking on the canal bank is now a pleasure, with Raffles showing little more than a passing interest in the boats.

He really is now a happy dog – with a very happy owner – all thanks to Mike and “Rewarding Dogs”