We adopted our German Shepherd Tasso in August 2014 when he was 9 months old. When we got him, Tasso had had no training whatsoever and had been already in 3 different homes.

From day one it seemed almost impossible to ‘tame’ him. The training sessions with a local dog trainer produced no tangible results. Mid 2015 we were at the end of our tether. Despite the fact that Tasso had always been good with people and children, he had a big issue with other dogs, went after local wildlife, and was forever pulling on the lead despite us applying all the techniques given to us.

Coming across Mike was a godsend; after an initial assessment of Tasso, he explained to us that Tasso is a highly reactive dog, with anxiety issues, who needed a lot more physical and mental stimulation than we could provide for him at present, given that he needed to be on a lead all the time because we live rurally and amidst farming country. Mike also explained to us that – given Tasso’s personality and history – we might have to apply behavioural modification techniques which are not the same as the usual ‘training’ ones.

Over a few month’s period, we had several sessions with Mike with the result that we now have a changed dog. Tasso walks on the lead without pulling and, more importantly, he can be off the lead without us having to fear him running off and chasing wildlife and sheep. His behaviour towards other dogs has also improved greatly (although a work in progress) after we were given the techniques and tools to introduce him to other dogs in a proper way.

Needless to say that we are ever so grateful that Mike came into ours (and Tasso’s) life. We can enjoy our walks in the wild once more without stress or strain, and it is a delight to see Tasso having proper ‘doggie fun’ when he gets to play with other dogs.

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