Testimonials 

With the numerous behavioral issues that dog owners all over the world face, we have categorized them for your convenience here at Rewarding Dogs – Inverness. If you can relate to any of these issues your dog may be experiencing, feel free to reach out to Mike at Rewarding Dogs today.
Average Rating: 5 stars (based on 67 ratings)
Anxiety
Biting
Chasing animals
Chasing people and other objects
Excessive barking or howling
General Disobedience
House training problems
Hyperactive
Ignoring you
Jumping up
Lunging
Mouthing
Nervousness or Fear
Pulling
Puppy training
Reactive to other dogs
Recall
Separation issues
Anxiety

Jack the Labrador x Staffie

Good Boy graphic

Jack was a treasure of a find from the rescue centre, apart from the fact that we could not take him in the car. He would get agitated and whine all the time to such a pitch that it was intolerable.

During one visit from Mike, we did some work in the house, which was relevant to the car but not so obvious to us. And then we took the road test. Instantly it was not as bad in the car. Now, with the work that Mike set us, we now have one happy to go in the car dog. It has made our lives so much easier as even taking him to the kennels involved the car but we now do not need the kennels.

THANK YOU, Mike.

Maureen and Roy White
Anxiety, Nervousness or Fear

Flake the Black Labrador

Good Boy graphic

Hi Mike,

I found your letter re Flake’s programme while I was sorting out the filing cabinet and thought you might like an update a year on!

Flake has really transformed this last year – everyone who knows us and knows the dog agrees – he is a different dog. He is so much more chilled out, relaxed, happy, obedient, easy to be around – easy to manage. We are also more relaxed around him and that makes a difference, obviously.

Our confidence in him has increased by seeing how responsive he is, and that has, in turn, helped him. He still (sometimes) barks at people who come to the house, but he stops pretty quickly. He is more sociable with other dogs, other owners, and other people. He comes back, walks to heel.

He made friends with everyone at our home in the Highlands before we left – including Alex, our downstairs neighbour, whom Flake had a particular anxiety about.

Thanks for all your help – hope life is good for you,

Best wishes,

Hazel, Glynn and Flake
Anxiety, Excessive barking or howling, Nervousness or Fear

Dexter & Honey the Beagles

Dexter and Honey

I just wanted to send you a belated thank you for the work you did with the Beagles last summer. They have come on in leaps and bounds since then. Anxiety and reactivity have both reduced enormously and they can both now recall with about 90% reliability! You are a miracle worker.

Thanks for everything,

Dara
Anxiety, Recall

Biting

Kaden the Labrador

Kaden
Hi Mike,

Just thought I would give you a wee update…
Kaden has become much, much better when meeting other dogs….there is none of the aggression he had shown. I no longer worry about meeting others…if anything quite the opposite! He was a great help to one woman, who needed her Bracla pups introduced to other dogs… he was so gentle with one rather timid pup..was fab to see him. He was out for his first day of the season a few weeks ago…and was great with all the other dogs… none of the issues he had last season… so that is great.
Thanks so much for your help.

Andy, Lisa, Ryan, Duncan, Kaden and Tarn
Aggression

Chloe and Dagger the Patterdale Terriers

Chloe and Dagger

Our two small terriers, Chloe and Dagger, both have very different natures. The younger dog, Dagger (with the rough coat), is a pretty chilled out dog who is confident and relaxed most of the time, and not much bothers him for the most part.
The older one, Chloe, is a bright and intelligent dog, but unfortunately, she has an anxious nature and is very sensitive. When she was a puppy, she would bark at our next-door neighbour every time he walked past our back garden to get into his own property. As a result, the neighbour and Chloe fell out, and it got to the point where my neighbour (obviously not a dog lover) would threaten her with sticks and rolled-up newspapers, throw stones at her and fire a water pistol into her face whenever she barked at him. There was no way she could actually hurt him because she was securely fenced in, and I think that his behaviour antagonised her and made her bark even more. I am fairly sure that being exposed to this type of threatening behaviour as a pup is what contributed toward her anxious disposition as she got older.
As Chloe grew into an adult dog, she became increasingly aggressive towards strangers (particularly men) and after we got Dagger the problem became worse. Chloe seemed to be a bad influence on Dagger and when we were out walking, Chloe would bark at strangers, and Dagger would join in. It got to the point where both dogs were acting extremely aggressively towards almost every person that we walked past in the street and in the woods. This became embarrassing as we live in a small village and our dog’s aggressive behaviour was beginning to cause tension between us and other locals.
The problem came to a head in March 2010, when we were walking through the woods one morning. There was a group of orienteerers ahead of us, and Chloe and Dagger began barking at one of the people in the group. I put both dogs back on their lead and continued on the walk. We walked in a loop and came across the same group of people standing in the path ahead of us. They were obviously very angry about having been barked at, and as we got closer to the group, one of the men stepped towards me and berated me for allowing my dogs to bark at his friend. At this point, Chloe (who was on the lead as was Dagger at this point) without warning jumped up and bit the man on the leg.
To cut a long story short, the man reported to the incident to the police, and I received a visit from the police, who reported the incident to the procurator fiscal. I then received a letter informing me that I was being charged over the matter and that I was required to attend court.
Immediately after the biting incident, my husband and I decided that we had to do something to improve our dog’s behaviour. Things could not go on as they were, and a few months before the court case came up, we spoke to our local vet about the problem and she gave us Mike’s business card.
I contacted Mike, and he came out to our house and spent about four hours assessing the dog’s behaviour and showing us how to train them to be calm and obedient. Mike explained to us that Chloe was being aggressive because she felt anxious around strangers. Her aggressive behaviour was a way of protecting herself from perceived threats. In order to stop the aggression, we had to make Chloe understand that we, the humans, were in control of every situation and that she did not have to protect or defend herself because that is our job.
He wrote us out a behavioural change programme detailing everything that we needed to do to sort out the problems with our dogs, particularly Chloe, as she was the ringleader most of the time.
We put a lot of time and effort into making the necessary changes, and we saw Mike another three times for shorter sessions so that he could assess the dogs to see if things were improving or not.
After a few months of effort on our part, Chloe and Dagger were like different dogs. They stopped barking at people and now they are never aggressive towards people and very rarely aggressive towards other dogs. They are both more obedient and Chloe is a much calmer dog who a lot more relaxed most of the time. Also, since we have implemented Mike’s programme, we have a much better relationship with our dogs and we enjoy their company more.
When Mike was satisfied that Chloe was no longer acting aggressively to strangers, he wrote a letter which my solicitor showed to the judge on the day of the court case. In the letter, Mike stated that in his professional opinion, Chloe was no longer a dangerous dog. As a result of the letter that Mike wrote, the case was thrown out, much to our intense relief!
I have no doubt that if it wasn’t for Mike, that there would not have been such a happy ending to this stressful story. Indeed there was a very real possibility that Chloe would have been destroyed as a result of the biting incident in the woods that day.
Even though it was a very worrying time for us, in a way the biting incident turned out to be a positive thing because it caused us to take action and do something to change what was becoming an increasingly troublesome situation with our dogs.
Now we have two calm, obedient (most of the time) terriers and the locals in our village often make comments about how much better our dogs are behaving!

Sam & Robert
Aggression, Biting

Pepsi the Border Collie Labrador X

Pepsi on grass

Hello my name is Pepsi, I am a 3 year old male collie cross lab.
My Mum and Dad chose me from Munlochy Animal Aid when I was 6 months old, they never had a dog before so weren’t quite sure how to train me. I was a good boy in the house but could be very disobedient when out on our walkies. Eventually once we got to know each other I started to respond to their commands and our outings were much more fun.

Then mum and dad gradually became aware that I was frightened of loud noises especially gun fire and fireworks. They got really worried when I started to run away and hide. One day I went missing for 4 hours when I heard gunfire and then one day we were caught in a thunderstorm and I collapsed in fear and then also became afraid of aeroplanes.
Mum and Dad weren’t enjoying our outings so much, and Mum didn’t like taking me out on her own anymore. It was then decided that I needed help to try and overcome my fear of noises. After various suggestions and advice from many people, none of which helped Me, a friend of mum and dad’s recommended “MR MIKE THE DOGGY MAN”.
After a few months and referring back to MR MIKE for help and advice which he was always keen to give, Mum and Dad noticed that I was becoming a lot more confident and not nearly so frightened of the noises. I haven’t ran away in a long time and now prefer to stay close to mum and dad. I no longer have to worry about things for myself as they now do it for me, and life is a lot more fun for all of us.
MR MIKE also showed Mum and Dad how to take a bone away from me and when I growled, they bribed me with cheese and I soon learned and I now give them my bone as I know that they’ll give it back to me. In fact he taught us all a lot, and was a great help with any other problems we had.
So all you doggies out there if you have any worries at all MR MIKE will help you all he can.
He is not a bad old chap and he does have nice doggie treats.

AMS.
Aggression, Nervousness or Fear

Brodie the Welsh Terrier

Brodie
We had three terriers, Isla, aged ten, her daughter Rhona aged seven, and Brodie aged five, who was from a different bloodline. All three dogs got on well, played well together, Isla was the dominant one, as the other two would wait for her to bark at strangers before they gave voice. Suddenly Isla became ill and died over the space of a few days. Both Rhona and Brodie and us became very sad and the dogs looked very depressed.
After three months we decided to get another terrier. Previously Brodie had attacked an elderly Fox Terrier we had acquired from a friend who died so we decided a female puppy of the same breed as Rhona and Brodie from the same breeder would be suitable.
We went to fetch Lucy who was fifteen weeks old. We took the other two dogs with us. In the car, on the way back Brodie was trying to get at the puppy all the time and we assumed he wanted to make friends with her. The next day without warning he seized Lucy and tried to kill her. He injured my husband but fortunately, he got Lucy away from Brodie without harm although he had drawn blood. Things went from bad to worse. Brodie spent every minute of every day trying to get at the puppy and attacking anyone who got in the way. Never before had he attacked people. He was very tense and unhappy. Also, he started to bite Rhona which he had not done before.
Our vet was consulted who first tried tranquillisers, but these did not work. He then suggested castration, we went ahead but this did not work, we had to keep both dogs separate at all times. Life was extremely difficult and this went on for weeks. Eventually, as our vet said we had to consider euthanasia for Brodie and we wanted to make sure we had exhausted all alternatives, our vet suggested yourself, Mike.
You came to see us, spent a long time with us, and showed us how to begin to control the situation. It took some months following your guidance of intensive training but Brodie is a much more relaxed dog thanks to your advice, he walks obediently on the lead, which he had never done before. All three dogs travel quite happily in the car although in separate cages. Brodie no longer bites Rhona or attempts to bite Lucy unless she really winds him up. He is fine with people. You showed us how Brodie had lost his boundaries when Isla died and that also part of his reaction was genetic.
We still keep Brodie muzzled whenever he is with Lucy but the three dogs are a family again and everything is relaxed. The muzzle is a small price to pay. Without your help, we would have lost one if not two of our dogs.
We cannot thank you enough for your expert guidance and advice.

Thank you again and best wishes

Sue Boags
Aggression

Chasing animals

Murphy the Akita

Murphy the Akita - Rewarding Dogs

It’s been three years now since you started working with Murphy and so I wanted to drop you a little line and let you know how he is getting on. I’m not sure if you remember the masses of issues poor Murphy had….mainly around his confidence, he was scared of EVERYTHING – cars, people, houses, stairs, children, traffic, ladders, loud noises – and he was equally obsessed with cats, rabbits, birds, and other dogs!

Anyway, thanks to you Murphy is now a happy, confident, sociable, loyal, obedient, gentle, calm, and loving dog who brings us so much pleasure every day. He has learned to look to me for guidance when he is unsure and is no longer stressed when going into new situations. He is great at walking on the lead and still loves to come running with me. We have him well socialised with lots of different dogs, from Poppy the Dalmatian to Yogi the Rottweiler – he even plays with Buddy, a Border Terrier. Some of his dog friends come for ‘sleepovers’, which he loves. He is also very respectful of Honey, and they are very close – no more jumping on her.

The problems which took a bit longer to work at were his love of rabbits, which sometimes is still a work in progress, but only a very minor issue now – he can actually walk past a rabbit with a ‘watch’ command – and his anxiety at visitors coming into the house.

Murphy found it difficult having strangers in the house, he would go up to the door, bark and then growl at whoever came in, it didn’t help that we don’t have many visitors! So we took him to my mums for a holiday. My mum has my Grandma living with her, and my Grandma has carers coming to the house four times a day – excellent training ground. So we briefed the carers the way you taught me, and we got them to change the way they came in – i.e. ring, knock, shout, walk-in quietly – we went for three weeks, it took him 3 days! He very quickly learned to go to the hall, stand about ten feet from the door, bark once then lie down – no growling. I was so proud of him. And we have found that he only barks if we aren’t near the door if someone is around the door when the bell rings, be just goes to his place and lies quietly. We brought him home and have never looked back, no more problems.

Anyway, as you can see I am very proud of my beautiful boy, but none of it would have been possible without you. You gave me the tools and taught me how to use them – and all that basic training is still relevant now – if we come across a problem, we just go back to it. The other amazing thing is that all the hard work has resulted in Murphy and I have this amazing relationship that I’ve never had with any of my other dogs, there’s this bond between us that I can’t quite describe, and to see him happy, content and secure is worth all the hard work in the world! So thank you, Mike! Murphy and I are very grateful.

Hope you don’t mind, I included some pictures of him too. I hope this finds you well, a few of my friends are employing your services, and I know you are still working wonders. I recommend you to every dog owner I meet.

Kindest Regards,

Chasing animals, Nervousness or Fear
Kay Cordiner

Pippin the Terrier

Pippin

Pippin is a rescue dog and he was just over a year old when I acquired him. I very quickly discovered he would chase sheep. I certainly didn’t want a dog that would have to be on a lead for the rest of its life.
I contacted Mike and with his guidance and support, I am now able to have Pippin off the lead around sheep. I still have to be vigilant but given a little more time and work I know I will achieve my aim. It is so good to see Pippin running free and having a good time, he even responds to a whistle, something I thought a Terrier would never do.
It has been challenging but the rewards are worth it.

Chasing animals
Chris

Otto the King Charles Spaniel – Poodle X

Otto

Mike,
Otto is marvelously well behaved.
Your training has resulted in Otto behaving and responding to us beyond our expectorations.
It’s made walking in the wild so much more controllable and enjoyable.
A charming photograph is attached. You may wish to add it to your web site; it summarises the training so well.
Thank you.

Chasing animals, Recall
Chris & Joy

Dora the Briard

Dora

There is something positively mesmerising about the sight of a giant hairy fur-ball bounding over clumps of heather in pursuit of a pheasant: it’s difficult to do anything other than stand in wonderment at just how agile 35kg of dog can be. At first, it is fascinating, you can’t help but smile at the sight, but as the shaggy ball recedes into the distance and you realise that it is utterly deaf to your whistles and increasingly frantic calls, the fascination quickly turns into blind panic.

This great hairy lump, who can walk you into the ground and who can certainly out-run you any day, is Out of Control. And heading, with a frightening determination, across the heather towards a main road half a mile away.

Dora is a young Briard who has been with us about 15 months. She has the most wonderful temperament, is the easiest creature in the world to train, we love her to bits and she is the greatest thing to happen in our lives for a very long time but, and it is a very big BUT, she has a switch in her brain which flicks if she sees a rabbit, hare, pheasant, cat, sheep or chicken. With one of these in her field of view, whether twenty feet away or two hundred yards away, we had fractions of a second in which to gain her attention – miss the moment and she was off like a missile, but a missile with no control mechanism. Somehow she would switch off those huge ears, would hear nothing, would totally ignore any command – and though she would eventually return, it would only be when she had lost whatever she was chasing or had come to a fence.

We did not mind so much when we walked her on our own land, we turned a blind eye to her chasing rabbits or hares – it was “good to give her a run” and she would always give up at the fence even if she would not respond while she was actually chasing. However, walking in the lanes around where we live became a different matter for she would pursue wildlife into other peoples fields and though her breed was used in France for herding sheep, her increasing interest in those around us gave us serious cause for concern for it was obvious she wanted to chase, not herd. But the final straw was the pheasant.

With very real visions of her being killed on a road – she has absolutely no road sense – we were faced with having to permanently walk her on a lead. This was just not an option, it would destroy the whole idea of living in the country with a dog and in desperation, we started looked for help.
Walking through Ness Islands, we chanced to meet a man with his dogs. Briards are not common and people frequently stop and talk with us but this conversation was one of those life-changing moments for the man with the dogs turned out to be Mike. We chatted for a while for a while and could not help but see that despite his ultra-low-key approach, this man knew what he was talking about and when he told us who he was and what he did, it was not long before we were scheming. Mike was interested in our problems with Dora and asked us if we would like to walk a while with him so he could observe Dora. True to form when in an unfamiliar place with dogs and ducks all around she was hyper, in a world of her own, constantly looking for whatever was out there, and Mike’s interpretation of this behaviour was a real eye-opener to us.

A short while later Mike came and stayed in our self-catering property on Orkney so that he could work with Dora, or rather with Dora and us. After a week patiently teaching us what was going on inside Dora’s mind – not just with the chasing, but with her other “inclinations” – we had learned a lot about how to develop our relationship with her. We learned how to stimulate her, to give her things to think about instead of letting her just rampage around; we learned how to teach her to treat sheep and rabbits and cats and all the rest as just things which were around her and not things which were there for chasing.

That was two months ago and walks in the country are now a whole new experience: a load has been lifted off our minds. Dora is as keen as ever to go walks yet daily we see her more responsive to commands so we can relax and enjoy the experience. It’s been a very steep learning curve for us but it’s not a quick-fix and the mutual training will go on for some months. But we now have a hugely more rewarding relationship with Dora, and she with us. A rewarding dog, indeed.

Chasing animals
S & J.A.

Chasing people and other objects

Ben the Border Collie

Life was quite routine and quiet until Ben came along. Suddenly it was like we had been hit by a tornado.
Tara our previous dog who died at the ripe old age of 18, was the most obedient, lovable dog you could hope to have as a pet.

Ben, on the other hand, was the complete opposite. We rescued him when he was 2 years old and he was stubborn, aggressive, disobedient, and not the least bit friendly. He bit both my wife and myself.

I thought that I could maybe change his behaviour and make him into a more friendly dog. I took him on long walks on the lead and tried to calm him, but it didn’t seem to make any difference.

He ran after anything moving and attacked it, footballs, prams, buggies, and other dogs. When someone passed by he would turn round and bite for no reason. On one occasion it cost me £30.00 for a gentleman’s trousers. The last straw was when he bit the vet.

That was when I realised I needed help. I contacted Mike Grantham who took over completely. He took Ben and I to different locations including supermarkets, as the small wheels on trolleys and push-chairs seemed to make him want to attack. Mike showed me how to gently teach Ben to ignore all of these things.

Since Mike trained him, Ben has become a much more contented, loving dog. He returns to me when called. He is friendly with other people and dogs, even the postman. He is an obedient, happy, and relaxed pet.

I would recommend Mike to anyone who has any problem with their dog.
George Milligan

Note from Mike:
Ben’s rehabilitation from a dangerous dog to a loyal pet is a tribute to the persistence and determination of George and his wife Jessie, who are not a young couple. Most people, including the vet, would have had Ben put to sleep.

Aggression, Chasing animals, Chasing people and other objects, General Disobedience
George Milligan

Sonny the Saluki X

Sonny

Look at that face, butter would melt! I didn’t always feel that way about him. Sonny is a rescue dog, I don’t really know his history, but whilst he is a generally friendly and engaging dog he did still have issues. Two incidents in the first year I had him made me consider sending him back. Firstly, his recall was a bit hit and miss, I suspect he was actually just coming back to me when he wanted, not when I wanted. This behaviour finally culminated in him doing a runner on me and disappearing for two and a half hours, then returning covered in mud; I was not happy by any stretch of the imagination! I started working with Mike on improving Sonny’s recall. It takes patience and persistence and a willingness to gently but surely move your dog’s behaviour towards a point that you want to be, and away from the old behaviour. Mikes techniques are not difficult but they are effective if you keep at it. As Sonny became more settled his recall gradually improved to a point now where I can take him for a walk and let him run as his wants to, but still be confident that I can get him back on command. The second incident came nearly a year after I got him and was mildly unexpected. He decided he didn’t like the cut of the postman’s jib and nipped him. I was mortified, and apologetic of course, who knows what Sonny was thinking; the point was I didn’t want him to think it again. I spoke with Mike and he came out to help. He showed me a really simply technique to get Sonny to sit quietly whenever a stranger visited. Again, with patience and persistence, it worked to the point where the relief postman actually commented on how well behaved he was. With rescue dogs, it does sometimes feel like you are peeling back the layers of some their negative experiences they may have had. You just have to be patient and accept that it takes times, but Sonny was definitely worth the effort and we are both very grateful to Mike for helping me to help Sonny understand better what I need him to do or not do. Sonny is definitely not going back now, I wouldn’t be parted from him for the world as he is a delight to have around.

Chasing animals, Chasing people and other objects
Lucy

Archie the Boxer

Archie the Boxer

Hi Mike

I wanted to share how well Archie is doing. The last roughly week he has been doing so well on his walks.

He’s not pulled on the lead, he’s not pulled for birds/people/trailers he’s simply looked but when told “no” on short but loose lead he’s just stayed near and followed me. He sits at the edge of pavements when crossing without me needing to say anything and waits for my guidance to cross. We have seen many dogs from a distance and he has looked calmly before my guiding him past. He is also able to contain his excitement without shaking uncontrollably for the most part (not always).

I have never known him like this and I am so proud of how well he is doing.

In the garden he still has his moments but even when distracted 90% of the time he comes first time to “Archie, here”. He watches me while waiting for his food and I make a conscious effort to mildly drag it out before he’s allowed to tuck in. We’re still working on the doorbell and the dog next door but I can’t believe how different he is! Everyone is commenting too.

I do think he will soon be ready to be introduced to other dogs which is something I never thought I’d say!

I’ve attached a picture of him on today’s walk.

Thank you so much for your help. Things are so much better.

Alex

Chasing animals, Chasing people and other objects, General Disobedience, Pulling
Alex

Simba the Staffie type

Simba

Hello Mike

Since your visit to us, Simba is now a much calmer and well behaved, obedient dog. She is now a real pleasure to walk with and I am now not worried about taking her to certain places where there may be other dogs. Before your visit to us, Simba was pulling on her lead, chasing anything that moved and not returning when called, she had an over-excitable attitude to other dogs, and also she liked to mouth people’s hands.

With your help and the techniques you showed us, we practiced with her and built them into our daily routine and she has become a well behaved perfect companion.

The package you sent us is a great tool to keep and refer to and has great ideas and games to keep Simba happily learning, but playing at the same time. Thank you for the work you put into the pack for us, you had obviously put a lot of work into it, and it has helped us to help Simba. People even comment on how well behaved she is, so I have passed your number to quite a few people.

Simba has really grown just over the last few weeks, and I think she just gets cuter every day. Please drop in whenever you are passing to see her, and thank you again for all your help.

Chasing people and other objects, Pulling, Recall
Elizabeth & Kay

Excessive barking or howling

Raffles the English Setter

Raffles

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”

Mrs P Pieraccini
Excessive barking or howling, Lunging

Flake the Black Labrador

Good Boy graphic

Hi Mike,

I found your letter re Flake’s programme while I was sorting out the filing cabinet and thought you might like an update a year on!

Flake has really transformed this last year – everyone who knows us and knows the dog agrees – he is a different dog. He is so much more chilled out, relaxed, happy, obedient, easy to be around – easy to manage. We are also more relaxed around him and that makes a difference, obviously.

Our confidence in him has increased by seeing how responsive he is, and that has, in turn, helped him. He still (sometimes) barks at people who come to the house, but he stops pretty quickly. He is more sociable with other dogs, other owners, and other people. He comes back, walks to heel.

He made friends with everyone at our home in the Highlands before we left – including Alex, our downstairs neighbour, whom Flake had a particular anxiety about.

Thanks for all your help – hope life is good for you,

Best wishes,

Hazel, Glynn and Flake
Anxiety, Excessive barking or howling, Nervousness or Fear

Gemma the Collie X

Gemma

Gemma was a rescue dog with many problems! She chased cars, pulled excessively on the lead, barked and jumped up frantically at anyone who came to the house, and on walks was wary of and snappy with other dogs. After a walk in heavy rain, she would be terrified of a towel being wrapped around to dry her. She had to remain wet! Being a collie-cross she needs a lot of exercise off the lead and at first (and for a long time) easily ‘got lost’!

We have had Gemma since she was 7 months old. She is now 5. With a great deal of help from Mike Grantham, and by using some special behavioural modification methods, Gemma has changed from being an extremely difficult to control, over-excitable dog, into a much calmer dog who blends in with our family life.

She no longer pulls on the lead and is much easier to manage when people come to the house, including young children and babies, She is happy with other dogs, and only occasionally mildly interested in moving cars. And she loves being dried after a wet walk. Also, most important, she comes when called!

J.Crook
Excessive barking or howling, Lunging, Pulling, Recall

Cosmo the Springer Spaniel

Cosmo
I rescued Cosmo just over a year ago. He was seven years old and he spent his previous life within four walls, his lack of socialisation with other people or dogs meant he was very nervous and felt threatened in new situations. His “honeymoon” period lasted about four weeks where he appeared to be the perfect dog, however, after gaining confidence and feeling secure in his new home his insecurities came shining through.
Cosmo would lunge and bark at almost every person and every dog we walked past. Walks were so stressful that I would get up VERY early to walk him to make sure I avoided meeting anybody on the walk. A visitor coming to the house was just too stressful for me to deal with and walking him on a lead was a comedy act for anybody watching. That was until I contacted Mike.
Mike spent an entire afternoon calmly reassuring me these issues “could be fixed” and showing me how to address each problem. Cosmo was very much at ease with Mike and responded well to the methods he was demonstrating. Mike did not leave until he was happy that I was happy with everything he had shown me and answered all my questions – of which there were many.
I am delighted to say that I can now walk Cosmo wherever and whenever I want to and the walks are very relaxed and pleasurable, as any dog walk should be. He generally tends to ignore other dogs and walking him on the lead is EASY!
Cosmo is a pleasure to have around and it is hard to believe he is the same dog. Mike has been fantastic and has never failed to help me with follow up phone calls – of which there were many. I can’t thank Mike enough for helping me give Cosmo the doggy life he deserves and I would HIGHLY recommend Mike and his methods to anybody. He is clearly passionate about his field and genuinely wants to help. The only word of advice I would give is that Mike can teach you and support you but you have to put in the work he advises. It is not an overnight fix but his methods DO work and they can change your dog’s behaviour – something I never thought I would be in a position to say!
I have now taken on a second rescue dog, with issues, and as I did a year ago I frequently ask myself “WHAT ON EARTH HAVE I DONE?” But I am so confident in Mike’s methods that I know in time I will have two well behaved sociable dogs to enjoy.
If you are reading this wondering whether or not to book a session with Mike -I say go for it, you won’t look back – other than with relief that you did.
Yvonne R
Excessive barking or howling, Lunging

General Disobedience

Gemma the Poodle

Now that a year has passed, I thought we would give you an update on the progress. We are pleased to say that Gemma has improved vastly.

There are still a few things but hopefully, they will sort themselves out with time – all in all, a big improvement over the year.

We are thoroughly enjoying having her as she has so much character.

Barbara & William Bremner
General Disobedience

Ben the Border Collie

Life was quite routine and quiet until Ben came along. Suddenly it was like we had been hit by a tornado.
Tara our previous dog who died at the ripe old age of 18, was the most obedient, lovable dog you could hope to have as a pet.

Ben, on the other hand, was the complete opposite. We rescued him when he was 2 years old and he was stubborn, aggressive, disobedient, and not the least bit friendly. He bit both my wife and myself.

I thought that I could maybe change his behaviour and make him into a more friendly dog. I took him on long walks on the lead and tried to calm him, but it didn’t seem to make any difference.

He ran after anything moving and attacked it, footballs, prams, buggies, and other dogs. When someone passed by he would turn round and bite for no reason. On one occasion it cost me £30.00 for a gentleman’s trousers. The last straw was when he bit the vet.

That was when I realised I needed help. I contacted Mike Grantham who took over completely. He took Ben and I to different locations including supermarkets, as the small wheels on trolleys and push-chairs seemed to make him want to attack. Mike showed me how to gently teach Ben to ignore all of these things.

Since Mike trained him, Ben has become a much more contented, loving dog. He returns to me when called. He is friendly with other people and dogs, even the postman. He is an obedient, happy, and relaxed pet.

I would recommend Mike to anyone who has any problem with their dog.
George Milligan

Note from Mike:
Ben’s rehabilitation from a dangerous dog to a loyal pet is a tribute to the persistence and determination of George and his wife Jessie, who are not a young couple. Most people, including the vet, would have had Ben put to sleep.

George Milligan
Aggression, Chasing animals, Chasing people and other objects, General Disobedience

Breac the Collie X

Good Boy graphic

I just thought you might like to know that Breac is improving out of all recognition. I had friends staying last week who hadn’t seen him since February, and they could hardly believe the difference – they kept commenting on how calm he was. And today I walked him along part of the West Highland Way. People he just ignored – rucksacks and walking poles and all. Then we met four dogs all off the lead – I had him on a lead in case of deer, ground-nesting birds, etc., and he accepted their attentions with only a slight demur when one of the dogs put his chin on Breac’s shoulder – a move which six months ago would have at least led to resistance, if not serious objection! Walking him now is a pleasure, not a nightmare, and we are both very grateful to you!

2 months later:
I felt I had to give you another update on Breac – last week he was invited to a wedding picnic! We all went down to the beach afterward for champagne and sandwiches, they said to bring my dogs.

I took Breac, who behaved impeccably. Everyone said what a well-behaved dog he was; I could hardly believe it. Even when other dogs came past, he showed interest but didn’t bark or lunge. He and Jennie (their dog) played a bit, and then he settled down beside me on a rug and watched proceedings calmly.

All my summer visitors comment on how much calmer he is.
Thank you again for your help,

Ann Winning
Aggression, General Disobedience, Pulling

Benjii – pedigree unknown

Good Boy graphic

Thank you so much for your advice concerning Benjii, I am pleased to report he is now toilet trained, ———a huge bonus!

We have used your excellent ideas, and Benjii is a happy, confident dog now, even people who met him at first have remarked on the amazing transformation.

I think we’re now on a winning streak, he is a lovely dog very affectionate and friendly, so thank you again for your help.

Thank you, Mike

Judi Crossley - Glasgow
General Disobedience, House training problems

House training problems

Benjii – pedigree unknown

Good Boy graphic

Thank you so much for your advice concerning Benjii, I am pleased to report he is now toilet trained, ———a huge bonus!

We have used your excellent ideas, and Benjii is a happy, confident dog now, even people who met him at first have remarked on the amazing transformation.

I think we’re now on a winning streak, he is a lovely dog very affectionate and friendly, so thank you again for your help.

Thank you, Mike

Judi Crossley - Glasgow
General Disobedience, House training problems

Baxter and Murphy the Clumber Spaniels

Baxter and Murphy

Baxter is our 6-year-old Clumber Spaniel who has had our undivided attention and run of the house and garden since we got him as a 10-week old pup. We always wanted to get a ‘pal’ for him and we were delighted when we found a litter of Clumbers in the area.

Murphy arrived home with us early February – a 10 week old confident, cute, and very playful puppy – very keen to play with his new housemate.

We were slightly nervous about introducing a new puppy, given that Baxter had been on his own all that time – he is a loveable, friendly dog who loves playing with balls – to the point he sometimes gets obsessed with them. As a breed Clumbers can be reserved with strangers and this is true of Baxter.

The dogs were getting on fine most of the time – Baxter surprised us by willingly dropping his favourite balls and toys when Murphy would inevitably try and pinch them from him. We had Murphy in our Utility room when we were out and we were nervous about leaving them together on their own, in case there was any jealousy or territorialism.

A friend at work told me about Mike and the work he had done with her dog, so we contacted him and arranged a visit.

Mike came to the house and spent 3 hours with us, observing our behaviour with the dogs. The relationship he managed to develop right away with them was incredible. He spoke in a very calm manner with them and managed to completely get their attention and trust. The various techniques he showed us were amazing – it really was an inspiration to us seeing somebody who could build that trust with the dogs so quickly.

We realized very quickly that it was us that needed the training, not the dogs!

Since Mike’s visit, we have worked to implement some of the techniques he showed us – we received very helpful reports from him within a week of his visit. These were a very useful reminder for us having covered so much on the day. We are absolutely delighted with the way the dogs are now – they are happily sharing the kitchen space together, travel happily together in the car, and happily play together – it is great to see them so happy together.

I can’t recommend Mike highly enough – he has an amazing gift and an amazing ability to share this with people. Anybody who wants to find out more about their canine companions and how to get the best out of them shouldn’t hesitate to contact him.

We are very grateful to Mike for sharing his incredible talent with us.

Karen Morrison
House training problems

Hyperactive

Bobbie the Lurcher

Bobbie

Hi, I’m Adrian and this is the story of Bobbie the nightmare lurcher pup.

I collected her at 8 weeks and from the start she was difficult; excitable, ridiculously sensitive, aggressive, wild, uncontrollable, and apparently immune to normal discipline. To cut a long story I had a heart attack and triple bypass last October and lost months out of my attempts to train her. The situation was desperate as neither myself nor my partner Val could handle her although I had of necessity been a lot calmer since the operation and that was making a positive difference.

We decided we needed help and Mike was the first name that came up when I goggled dog psychologists and trainers in Scotland. I rang him and was happy we were on a similar page with how to treat dogs and we arranged for him to come and stay overnight on Harris though we got extras out of him when the weather stopped the ferry.

We fed him on curry and fresh eggs while he assessed Bobbie and demonstrated the techniques he would prescribe. We arranged for visitors to arrive and practiced the routine and we walked to rehearse lead training and recall. It was a lot to take in and we were knackered after he left but I was buzzing and keen to get on with it. The main issues we addressed were recall, separation, excitement, reactivity, and pulling on the leash as well as general approach to handling such a difficult dog.

Within days we received our program by email then hard copy by post and started to implement it. Seven months later, the change is stunning. I work on a campsite so she’s had lots of opportunities to meet people and other dogs and she now meets and greats new arrivals to the extent that she is becoming a calm role model for other dogs and greets people politely. She settles while I’m busy with other things and at home and we have got as far as taking her to a restaurant without serious issues (she stood up and whined for a few seconds when she saw a cat outside).

Her walking is easy now though she reacts to traffic sometimes.

Recall is getting there and sometimes sharp like I’ve never had before and separation is easier though does sometimes regress.

The whole experience with Mike has been hugely positive and he has supported us by phone on several occasions. He was good company and conversation; he has huge experience in the field of cynology both academic and practical, has worked with all the trainers, and advised the Scottish government on canine matters and yet is open to ideas and takes one seriously. I would recommend anybody to contact Mike for help. He helped us toward the bright light at the end of the tunnel which we are reaching by exercise, increasingly consistent, and confident application of the method. Thank you, Mike.

Adrian
Hyperactivity, Pulling, Recall

Meg the farm bred Collie

Meg

Hi Mike,

We have all seen a mass improvement on Meg.

Before you came Meg was very hyperactive, pulled on the lead, and used to drag my daughter round the room by her hair. We were coming to the end of our tether with her, then you came and helped us greatly.

Meg now joins us all in the living room and plays nicely with us all including our daughter. Walking Meg is a work in progress as, if we are next to the road, she will still pull on the lead, but nowhere near as bad as she was.

I can let Meg out of her cage when visitors are around now and she just leaves them alone instead of jumping up wanting attention all the time.

We have noticed that we all enjoy having Meg around now she is a beautiful dog and lots of fun.
Thank you for all that you did. I will keep you updated every 3 months.

Katherine Douglass
Hyperactivity, Pulling, Recall

Willow – Patterdale Terrier X Border Collie

A photograph of Willow a Patterdale/ Border Ollie cross sitting down.

Willow and I are doing really well, she is becoming more settled all the time. Leaving the house is calm and she will stand to let me put on her coat and dry her off. Lead walking continues to improve. She will move on after greeting another dog and can walk past if the other dog/person shows no interest in her. She anticipates being asked to sit to one side for bikes and runners and looks to me for instruction.

She has gone from being the dog I didn’t think I could live with to one I couldn’t live without and for that I am so grateful to you.

Many thanks again Mike, you have made such a difference for us both.

 

Pauline
Aggression, Biting, Chasing animals, Chasing people and other objects, Excessive barking or howling, General Disobedience, Hyperactivity, Ignoring you, Jumping up, Lunging, Mouthing, Pulling

Ignoring you

Bonnie the Collie X

Bonnie

I need to say an enormous THANK YOU for your help. Bonnie and I have learnt so much and I feel we now have a wonderful relationship and trust in each other. We are now enjoying walks off the lead every day, on the beach, links, and in the woods. Bonnie enjoys, like most collies, being out in front, checking the route is safe, and she checks in at every junction and turn on the route. She also comes straight back to me if she is worried about another dog or on my call. She has really enjoyed the lovely weather during the summer being in the garden nearly all day, while I have been working out there. If you look carefully in the photo you might see her wee smile.

Best wishes and many thanks

Evelyn and Bonnie
Aggression, Ignoring you, Pulling

Hanni the Labrador Retriever

Hanni

Hanni – “ Leader Of The Pack ?? ”
Over a period of approximately 3 months, I had noticed that Hanni, my 5-year-old Labrador Retriever Dog, was becoming increasingly Disobedient at home and during walks. When we were out he constantly refused to come back when whistled or shouted and he was beginning to show aggressive tendencies towards other dogs, although these never physically resulted in contact ( fights ).

One day whilst out walking this behaviour came to ahead. I had slipped Hanni from his lead and let him wander a few yards from me. All was well until he noticed another couple of dogs further up the forest track. He started growling, hackles raised and was making as though he was about to charge off after them. I whistled and then shouted for him to stop with no success. At this point, I made a grab for him to stop any further progress.

He then turned his head, bared his teeth and made an attempt to “bite” me. Although no contact had been made it had given me enough concern to seek advice and guidance from our Veterinary Surgeon.

During the initial consultation, it was suggested that Hanni and I should be referred to an Animal Behavioural Psychologist, Mr Mike Grantham, to ascertain if there was an underlying reason for this totally out of character behaviour.

After the initial contact with Mike over the phone, where we discussed the behavioural problems, an appointment was made for him to come to the house and meet with us.

On the day of the visit, Mike was able to see Hanni “ the family pet ” in his home environment. We discussed when the problem first arose, Hanni’s background and upbringing. During this Mike was watching and taking down notes on Hanni’s behaviour around the house.

We then went out to one of our usual walks were Mike again watched myself and Hanni and how we reacted to each other. Practical advice was given on how to get Hanni to return by coaxing/encouraging him and rewarding him instead of Shouting & Whistling. I found this part of the visit extremely enlightening and informative as I had no idea how much my wrong reaction to Hanni’s behaviour could have such an adverse impact on him.

It came to light as a result of Hanni being brought up as a “working dog ”, and the resultant standard of training required for this, that when his behaviour deteriorated what I thought were the correct methods for re-training was in fact to harsh. This mixed with Hanni trying to assert himself as “ leader of the pack ” at home resulted in a very unhappy relationship between owner and dog.

After a few weeks of re-training Hanni has returned to the loyal companion that every owner would be proud to have. The transformation was completed recently when he passed an assessment to become a Pets As Therapy dog. We now visit Nursing homes and Hospitals on a regular basis where residents and patients have the opportunity to stroke/pat him.

In my opinion, admitting that you have a problem with your dog and seeking advice and guidance from someone such as Mike is going to benefit the relationship of Dog and Owner equally. I would have no hesitation in recommending the services of Mike Grantham as his approach is highly professional and it is a delight to meet someone who cares and takes a genuine interest in their work.

Gary Glass
Aggression, Ignoring you, Recall

Nellie’s Story an English pointer

Nellie

We got Nellie (an English Pointer) from the SSPCA just over two years ago. She was thought to be 4 – 5 years old when we first got her and her case is an interesting one. She was highly trained to flush out birds on the West Coast of Scotland when her owner and trainer suddenly died. She spent some 4 – 5 months in the care of the SSPCA while the will of her owner was sorted out and eventually she was re-homed with us. Initially, Nellie enjoyed her new home and her new friend “Mac” an 11-year-old Labrador. Being a pack and a working dog, Nellie soon asserted herself and climbed quickly to the top of the pack. Mac, being a really placid dog allowed this to happen and she quickly dominated everyone in the family.

Over a period of time, Nellie would wander further and further on long walks and became difficult to get back as she seemed so excited in finding and flushing out birds. Walking her was no longer a pleasure for us.

To make matters worse, a series of families of pheasants moved into fields adjacent to where we lived. Once Nellie had done her first “point” – she became “locked onto” her instinctive bird-finding mode and was off doing exactly what she had been trained to do. The only difference is that she now had owners who knew nothing about the commands she expected and therefore she just “did her own thing” moving the birds from field to field and would not return to us. On one occasion, this culminated in her crossing a main trunk road, thankfully without any disastrous consequences.

Enough was enough and we called in Mike who came into our home and spent some considerable time going through her history as far as we were able to so, given the circumstances.
Mike was able to give us sound, sensible advice for a working pack dog of this kind and told us that providing that we were persistent and consistent with the re-training programme, we should see results fairly quickly. The plain down-to-earth advice offered was put straight into practice and Nellie was clearly enjoying what she thought to be a working situation – obeying commands to a whistle rather than irate shouting, which achieved absolutely nothing.

Mike gave us a 4-strand strategy to change this unwanted behaviour – this consisted of the following:-

1). Fine-tuning our approach to Nellie (feeding, attention, re-training to return, use of a long line, playing, commands etc),
2). Retraining Nellie to return when called,
3). Control and
4). Providing a legitimate outlet for her instincts.

Training commenced right away and the results were almost instantaneous. Everyone in the family had to be consistent and persistent in their approach. It was clear that Nellie was enjoying the whistle commands and we suspect that she thought that she was working again. Once she did her first “point”, she was recalled by whistle and with the rewarding system and a LOT of praise. We bought her a “flashing collar” so that we always knew where she was – even in the dark. Soon she was able to go further and further afield off the long line and it was evident that she was responding very quickly to the retraining programme. We can now allow her to ”quarter” point and even flush birds and can now get her back on command.

Mac, the Labrador has also learnt a lot from Nellie’s retraining (even at age 13!) and will now obey the same basic commands when given to Nellie! Undoubtedly Nellie is a much happier dog and she also has much happier owners!

Mike Clark
Chasing animals, Ignoring you, Recall

Logan the German Shepherd

Logan

Logan started training classes with an APDT member at 13 weeks old and was a star from the beginning while in the class. I did mention to the trainer on the first night that he did play-bite an awful lot. I have had a GSD before and other dogs, but never had one that mouthed as much as this. We did everything the trainer advised but the problem just got steadily worse with Logan jumping up and grabbing any part of us he could. We asked the trainer to come out for a one to one consultation. We revised what we were doing with him, but again nothing seemed to help. By this time he was getting big and while he didn’t break the skin, he definitely hurt when he grabbed us, normally leaving bruises.

The training classes finished when Logan was about 5 months and at his worst. We were trying to sort out what was becoming a major problem ourselves and getting nowhere fast. At about seven months I phoned the vets for a referral to a behaviourist and was given Mike’s name and number. We live just outside Aberdeen so I did think Mike was maybe too far away but decided to phone anyway. Thank goodness I did.
I was impressed by Mike’s knowledge and down to earth attitude.

Mike arranged to travel to our house where he could see exactly what Logan was like. Mike came down and met all of the family and took a lot of notes. He advised us on ways to change Logan ’s behaviour immediately and within a day or 2 had sent us a comprehensive report that we could refer to. Mike’s methods are kind and very effective. He would phone to see how we were getting on and he definitely knows exactly what he is talking about. I just wish we had contacted him earlier, because by the time we phoned Mike, Logan ’s behaviour was totally unacceptable and I really did not like the dog (well maybe when he was asleep). Luckily, Logan likes everyone he meets and thinks every dog he meets, will want to play with him, so although he was a nightmare with us, we could see that with the right training he could be a fantastic dog. Logan’s behaviour started improving as soon as we implemented Mike’s methods which were both kind and fair, but also effective.
We did travel up to see Mike twice more over the next couple of months ( Logan is one stubborn dog), and Mike advised other things to do with Logan to convince Logan that we were in charge and not him.

Logan no longer try’s to grab us, or jump up and basically accepts that we are in charge and not him. I cannot thank Mike enough for all of his help, advise and support.

I really do not think we would have Logan now, if we had not found Mike as I don’t think we could have carried on they way things were going.. I would not hesitate to refer someone to Mike for any kind of problem with their dogs, as far as I am concerned he is a miracle worker.

Thanks again Mike for turning a nightmare situation into a family with a lovely dog.

Pauline & Ray Philip

Update August 2007
Logan has been getting along extremely well after implementing Mikes training techniques regarding his jumping up and grabbing. But of course Logan wouldn’t be Logan unless there was some other way he could get me to start pulling my hair out again.

Logan’s recall has never been the best. Well lets be honest here, his recall had developed into me standing around waiting for him to decide to come back. It came to a head when he decided chasing rabbits was great fun. Now don’t get me wrong, I know that all dogs love to chase rabbits, but where we live there is absolutely NO place to walk that does not have a very good chance of seeing rabbits. Also playing with other dogs made him totally deaf, to the extent that he would follow the other dog and its owner for a good 5 minutes before maybe, coming back to me.

One of our walks was through the local park and into the woods behind. This one morning he was on the leash through the park and I let him off in the woods. He went to the toilet and then immediately took off running. I couldn’t even see any rabbits but he obviously had seen something. To make a long story shorter, I totally lost him for about 20 minutes and he eventually came running down the drive of a house that backs onto the woods, saw me and took off again through the park. At the end of the park he ran into someone else’s garden who has a domestic rabbit in a large round run, fenced off with chicken wire. He proceeded to circle the run to try and get the rabbit. I was convinced that I would either collapse in the park chasing after this crazy dog, he would get this rabbit, or instead of coming out of the garden and back into the park, he would go out onto the main road and be hit by a car.

When I eventually got him back, which took about 30 minutes I was shaking like a leaf. Logan had been totally out of control. He was a danger to himself, a danger to me (I was convinced I would have a heart attack chasing him) and a danger to other people. If anyone had seen this maniac of a dog running towards them I’m sure they would have had hysterics.

My choice was to phone Mike or for Logan to NEVER be off the lead again. It had really frightened me how out of control Logan was. I of course phoned Mike that morning and made an appointment to go up and see him.

Logan, myself and my husband spent the afternoon with Mike discussing what had happened and then taking Logan out for a walk. Mike instructed us in some special training techniques which he explained in detail how to implement and maintain. We practised while we were with Mike and have been carrying out his instructions since then.

That was a few months ago. Logan will now come back as soon as he hears the whistle whether there is a dog or a rabbit or anything else. Our walks are now a pleasure because I know I can get him back when I need to. If Logan was a child I would have described him as having ADHD. He was on full burn the whole time he was out for a walk. I am now relaxed out walking and I honestly feel that Logan is also more relaxed.

Mike worked his magic again. Logan not only seems happier and more relaxed on his walks, but he actually has MORE freedom now, because I’m not constantly thinking I better put him back on the leash ‘ just in case’.
I can’t thank Mike enough for once again rescuing us (and Logan) from a behaviour which would have just got worse and worse.

I keep thinking that because Logan has now turned 2 he should be calming down. I’m sure he is, but Logan being Logan will no doubt keep us on our toes.

Thanks again Mike, from all of us.
Warm regards

Pauline & Ray Philip
Chasing animals, Ignoring you, Mouthing

Jumping up

Willow – Patterdale Terrier X Border Collie

A photograph of Willow a Patterdale/ Border Ollie cross sitting down.

Willow and I are doing really well, she is becoming more settled all the time. Leaving the house is calm and she will stand to let me put on her coat and dry her off. Lead walking continues to improve. She will move on after greeting another dog and can walk past if the other dog/person shows no interest in her. She anticipates being asked to sit to one side for bikes and runners and looks to me for instruction.

She has gone from being the dog I didn’t think I could live with to one I couldn’t live without and for that I am so grateful to you.

Many thanks again Mike, you have made such a difference for us both.

 

Pauline
Aggression, Biting, Chasing animals, Chasing people and other objects, Excessive barking or howling, General Disobedience, Hyperactivity, Ignoring you, Jumping up, Lunging, Mouthing, Pulling

Coire the Rhodesian Ridgeback

Hi Mike,

You might remember you came to see Jacqui and myself about some behavioural issues with our, then, 9 month old Rhodesian Ridgeback Coire.

Coire is now 16 months and I think its probably fair to say that all the hard work is paying off. She is now off lead on most walks with great recall even when she sees other dogs. Her manners with other dogs and people are night and day compared to 7 months ago and she’s grown into a dog thats relaxing to walk and be around both on and off lead. She can also be taken happily into the odd cafe or pub for lunch and can be relied on to blag free food from people by lying patiently, and waiting for the unsuspecting to bring some treats.

She has her moments as with all dogs and the work never stops but the advice you gave was excellent and has made a massive difference to all of us.

Thanks again Mike, attached is a pic of Coire patiently waiting for Jon to catch up on a recent trail run. You are always welcome to pop by for a cup of tea.

 Jon and Jacqui
Ignoring you, Jumping up, Pulling, Recall

Kyra the German Shepherd Dog

Kyra

Dear Mike,
The training has been a great success. She no longer barks at people passing the window and I am most impressed today that I had two strangers in the living room and she did not jump on them.
She no longer jumps on my with the command, “no” and when I say “kitchen” she goes to the kitchen and to her bed.
My friend who was in last week commented on the massive change in her.
I have been keeping up the training and I do see the improvements each day.
Again thanks for opening my eyes to the possibilities with her and she is such a loving dog.
Thank you for all your help, I wish I had done it weeks ago.

Amanda
Aggression, Jumping up

Lunging

Tara the German Shepherd

Tara is a German Shepherd that I gave a home to.

She is, I think, about 8 years old. She started pulling on the lead; wanted to have a go at other dogs.

I got in touch with Mike Grantham. He came to the house and spent a few hours with myself and Tara. What an improvement that made. I can now hold the lead with 2 fingers and she is getting better with other dogs.

I wish I had got Mike Grantham months before I did. Well worth it.

Heather T Maclean - Cromarty
Aggression, Lunging, Pulling

Gemma the Collie X

Gemma

Gemma was a rescue dog with many problems! She chased cars, pulled excessively on the lead, barked and jumped up frantically at anyone who came to the house, and on walks was wary of and snappy with other dogs. After a walk in heavy rain, she would be terrified of a towel being wrapped around to dry her. She had to remain wet! Being a collie-cross she needs a lot of exercise off the lead and at first (and for a long time) easily ‘got lost’!

We have had Gemma since she was 7 months old. She is now 5. With a great deal of help from Mike Grantham, and by using some special behavioural modification methods, Gemma has changed from being an extremely difficult to control, over-excitable dog, into a much calmer dog who blends in with our family life.

She no longer pulls on the lead and is much easier to manage when people come to the house, including young children and babies, She is happy with other dogs, and only occasionally mildly interested in moving cars. And she loves being dried after a wet walk. Also, most important, she comes when called!

J.Crook
Excessive barking or howling, Lunging, Pulling, Recall

Raffles the English Setter

Raffles

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”

Mrs P Pieraccini
Excessive barking or howling, Lunging

Cosmo the Springer Spaniel

Cosmo
I rescued Cosmo just over a year ago. He was seven years old and he spent his previous life within four walls, his lack of socialisation with other people or dogs meant he was very nervous and felt threatened in new situations. His “honeymoon” period lasted about four weeks where he appeared to be the perfect dog, however, after gaining confidence and feeling secure in his new home his insecurities came shining through.
Cosmo would lunge and bark at almost every person and every dog we walked past. Walks were so stressful that I would get up VERY early to walk him to make sure I avoided meeting anybody on the walk. A visitor coming to the house was just too stressful for me to deal with and walking him on a lead was a comedy act for anybody watching. That was until I contacted Mike.
Mike spent an entire afternoon calmly reassuring me these issues “could be fixed” and showing me how to address each problem. Cosmo was very much at ease with Mike and responded well to the methods he was demonstrating. Mike did not leave until he was happy that I was happy with everything he had shown me and answered all my questions – of which there were many.
I am delighted to say that I can now walk Cosmo wherever and whenever I want to and the walks are very relaxed and pleasurable, as any dog walk should be. He generally tends to ignore other dogs and walking him on the lead is EASY!
Cosmo is a pleasure to have around and it is hard to believe he is the same dog. Mike has been fantastic and has never failed to help me with follow up phone calls – of which there were many. I can’t thank Mike enough for helping me give Cosmo the doggy life he deserves and I would HIGHLY recommend Mike and his methods to anybody. He is clearly passionate about his field and genuinely wants to help. The only word of advice I would give is that Mike can teach you and support you but you have to put in the work he advises. It is not an overnight fix but his methods DO work and they can change your dog’s behaviour – something I never thought I would be in a position to say!
I have now taken on a second rescue dog, with issues, and as I did a year ago I frequently ask myself “WHAT ON EARTH HAVE I DONE?” But I am so confident in Mike’s methods that I know in time I will have two well behaved sociable dogs to enjoy.
If you are reading this wondering whether or not to book a session with Mike -I say go for it, you won’t look back – other than with relief that you did.
Yvonne R
Excessive barking or howling, Lunging

Mouthing

Logan the German Shepherd

Logan

Logan started training classes with an APDT member at 13 weeks old and was a star from the beginning while in the class. I did mention to the trainer on the first night that he did play-bite an awful lot. I have had a GSD before and other dogs, but never had one that mouthed as much as this. We did everything the trainer advised but the problem just got steadily worse with Logan jumping up and grabbing any part of us he could. We asked the trainer to come out for a one to one consultation. We revised what we were doing with him, but again nothing seemed to help. By this time he was getting big and while he didn’t break the skin, he definitely hurt when he grabbed us, normally leaving bruises.

The training classes finished when Logan was about 5 months and at his worst. We were trying to sort out what was becoming a major problem ourselves and getting nowhere fast. At about seven months I phoned the vets for a referral to a behaviourist and was given Mike’s name and number. We live just outside Aberdeen so I did think Mike was maybe too far away but decided to phone anyway. Thank goodness I did.
I was impressed by Mike’s knowledge and down to earth attitude.

Mike arranged to travel to our house where he could see exactly what Logan was like. Mike came down and met all of the family and took a lot of notes. He advised us on ways to change Logan ’s behaviour immediately and within a day or 2 had sent us a comprehensive report that we could refer to. Mike’s methods are kind and very effective. He would phone to see how we were getting on and he definitely knows exactly what he is talking about. I just wish we had contacted him earlier, because by the time we phoned Mike, Logan ’s behaviour was totally unacceptable and I really did not like the dog (well maybe when he was asleep). Luckily, Logan likes everyone he meets and thinks every dog he meets, will want to play with him, so although he was a nightmare with us, we could see that with the right training he could be a fantastic dog. Logan’s behaviour started improving as soon as we implemented Mike’s methods which were both kind and fair, but also effective.
We did travel up to see Mike twice more over the next couple of months ( Logan is one stubborn dog), and Mike advised other things to do with Logan to convince Logan that we were in charge and not him.

Logan no longer try’s to grab us, or jump up and basically accepts that we are in charge and not him. I cannot thank Mike enough for all of his help, advise and support.

I really do not think we would have Logan now, if we had not found Mike as I don’t think we could have carried on they way things were going.. I would not hesitate to refer someone to Mike for any kind of problem with their dogs, as far as I am concerned he is a miracle worker.

Thanks again Mike for turning a nightmare situation into a family with a lovely dog.

Pauline & Ray Philip

Update August 2007
Logan has been getting along extremely well after implementing Mikes training techniques regarding his jumping up and grabbing. But of course Logan wouldn’t be Logan unless there was some other way he could get me to start pulling my hair out again.

Logan’s recall has never been the best. Well lets be honest here, his recall had developed into me standing around waiting for him to decide to come back. It came to a head when he decided chasing rabbits was great fun. Now don’t get me wrong, I know that all dogs love to chase rabbits, but where we live there is absolutely NO place to walk that does not have a very good chance of seeing rabbits. Also playing with other dogs made him totally deaf, to the extent that he would follow the other dog and its owner for a good 5 minutes before maybe, coming back to me.

One of our walks was through the local park and into the woods behind. This one morning he was on the leash through the park and I let him off in the woods. He went to the toilet and then immediately took off running. I couldn’t even see any rabbits but he obviously had seen something. To make a long story shorter, I totally lost him for about 20 minutes and he eventually came running down the drive of a house that backs onto the woods, saw me and took off again through the park. At the end of the park he ran into someone else’s garden who has a domestic rabbit in a large round run, fenced off with chicken wire. He proceeded to circle the run to try and get the rabbit. I was convinced that I would either collapse in the park chasing after this crazy dog, he would get this rabbit, or instead of coming out of the garden and back into the park, he would go out onto the main road and be hit by a car.

When I eventually got him back, which took about 30 minutes I was shaking like a leaf. Logan had been totally out of control. He was a danger to himself, a danger to me (I was convinced I would have a heart attack chasing him) and a danger to other people. If anyone had seen this maniac of a dog running towards them I’m sure they would have had hysterics.

My choice was to phone Mike or for Logan to NEVER be off the lead again. It had really frightened me how out of control Logan was. I of course phoned Mike that morning and made an appointment to go up and see him.

Logan, myself and my husband spent the afternoon with Mike discussing what had happened and then taking Logan out for a walk. Mike instructed us in some special training techniques which he explained in detail how to implement and maintain. We practised while we were with Mike and have been carrying out his instructions since then.

That was a few months ago. Logan will now come back as soon as he hears the whistle whether there is a dog or a rabbit or anything else. Our walks are now a pleasure because I know I can get him back when I need to. If Logan was a child I would have described him as having ADHD. He was on full burn the whole time he was out for a walk. I am now relaxed out walking and I honestly feel that Logan is also more relaxed.

Mike worked his magic again. Logan not only seems happier and more relaxed on his walks, but he actually has MORE freedom now, because I’m not constantly thinking I better put him back on the leash ‘ just in case’.
I can’t thank Mike enough for once again rescuing us (and Logan) from a behaviour which would have just got worse and worse.

I keep thinking that because Logan has now turned 2 he should be calming down. I’m sure he is, but Logan being Logan will no doubt keep us on our toes.

Thanks again Mike, from all of us.
Warm regards

Pauline & Ray Philip
Chasing animals, Ignoring you, Mouthing

Willow – Patterdale Terrier X Border Collie

A photograph of Willow a Patterdale/ Border Ollie cross sitting down.

Willow and I are doing really well, she is becoming more settled all the time. Leaving the house is calm and she will stand to let me put on her coat and dry her off. Lead walking continues to improve. She will move on after greeting another dog and can walk past if the other dog/person shows no interest in her. She anticipates being asked to sit to one side for bikes and runners and looks to me for instruction.

She has gone from being the dog I didn’t think I could live with to one I couldn’t live without and for that I am so grateful to you.

Many thanks again Mike, you have made such a difference for us both.

 

Pauline
Aggression, Biting, Chasing animals, Chasing people and other objects, Excessive barking or howling, General Disobedience, Hyperactivity, Ignoring you, Jumping up, Lunging, Mouthing, Pulling

Nervousness or Fear

Murphy the Akita

Murphy the Akita - Rewarding Dogs

It’s been three years now since you started working with Murphy and so I wanted to drop you a little line and let you know how he is getting on. I’m not sure if you remember the masses of issues poor Murphy had….mainly around his confidence, he was scared of EVERYTHING – cars, people, houses, stairs, children, traffic, ladders, loud noises – and he was equally obsessed with cats, rabbits, birds, and other dogs!

Anyway, thanks to you Murphy is now a happy, confident, sociable, loyal, obedient, gentle, calm, and loving dog who brings us so much pleasure every day. He has learned to look to me for guidance when he is unsure and is no longer stressed when going into new situations. He is great at walking on the lead and still loves to come running with me. We have him well socialised with lots of different dogs, from Poppy the Dalmatian to Yogi the Rottweiler – he even plays with Buddy, a Border Terrier. Some of his dog friends come for ‘sleepovers’, which he loves. He is also very respectful of Honey, and they are very close – no more jumping on her.

The problems which took a bit longer to work at were his love of rabbits, which sometimes is still a work in progress, but only a very minor issue now – he can actually walk past a rabbit with a ‘watch’ command – and his anxiety at visitors coming into the house.

Murphy found it difficult having strangers in the house, he would go up to the door, bark and then growl at whoever came in, it didn’t help that we don’t have many visitors! So we took him to my mums for a holiday. My mum has my Grandma living with her, and my Grandma has carers coming to the house four times a day – excellent training ground. So we briefed the carers the way you taught me, and we got them to change the way they came in – i.e. ring, knock, shout, walk-in quietly – we went for three weeks, it took him 3 days! He very quickly learned to go to the hall, stand about ten feet from the door, bark once then lie down – no growling. I was so proud of him. And we have found that he only barks if we aren’t near the door if someone is around the door when the bell rings, be just goes to his place and lies quietly. We brought him home and have never looked back, no more problems.

Anyway, as you can see I am very proud of my beautiful boy, but none of it would have been possible without you. You gave me the tools and taught me how to use them – and all that basic training is still relevant now – if we come across a problem, we just go back to it. The other amazing thing is that all the hard work has resulted in Murphy and I have this amazing relationship that I’ve never had with any of my other dogs, there’s this bond between us that I can’t quite describe, and to see him happy, content and secure is worth all the hard work in the world! So thank you, Mike! Murphy and I are very grateful.

Hope you don’t mind, I included some pictures of him too. I hope this finds you well, a few of my friends are employing your services, and I know you are still working wonders. I recommend you to every dog owner I meet.

Kindest Regards,

Kay Cordiner
Chasing animals, Nervousness or Fear

Socks the Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Socks

Socks is my 8-year-old rescue Staffie, typical of the breed nothing phased her – except fireworks and thunder! In fact, she was so terrified she dug holes in my carpet trying to hide under chairs and tables. Her heartbeat so fast I thought it would pop out of her chest.

I contacted Mike Grantham (Rewarding Dogs) to see what could be done to help her apart from pills and potions which I really didn’t want to give her. He made up a CD with the noises she was frightened of along with instructions on how to use it. Simple! So easy!

November 5th came and went – and apart from once or twice lifting her head up at the very loud bangs – nothing. She was absolutely fine. A different dog!

A big thank you to Mike, – and another for helping me so much with my lurcher who arrived with many issues but is now so laid back he’s almost flower-power.

Shiona C
Nervousness or Fear

Harry the Pomeranian

Harry

THE PAST
Harry was three when he came to me, two years ago from a rescue centre and this is his story so far.
After six months it became obvious I needed expert help to handle him and I contacted Mike Grantham of Rewarding Dogs. Were it not for my having just one session with Mike which gave me such good direction in how to handle Harry followed up by receiving Harry’s Behaviour Modification Programme booklet (to which I still refer) I do not believe I would not have this story to write as I couldn’t have coped with Harry without Mike’s help….thank you so very much, Mike.
BEHAVIOUR
Harry’s nervousness was evident from the beginning, he had frequent tummy upsets, he was very fussy about what he would eat, and he regularly brought up bile in the mornings. He had constant diarrhoea, his rear end needing daily washing to clean him up which provoked snarling. He barked at everything and anything. His waking thought was of the arrival of the postman and he stood on guard at the front door waiting for the confrontation.
Harry had a number of triggers that resulted in an aggressive reaction of snarling and looking very fierce and threatening. To have approached him at this time would I am sure have resulted in sustaining a severe bite. The triggers were: when he was told ‘no’ with the command to go to his bed; when he saw a stick being carried; when shoes, specifically trainers made shuffling noises on the floor; when arms were gesticulating. These instances were worrying enough but it was Harry’s extreme agitation when a visitor rang the bell and/ or when people were leaving that made me enlist Mike’s help. I then came to see that all his reactions was based on fear and once I had taken charge and he was reassured he would always offer his paw as if to say’ sorry’ and that ended the episode.

ASSESSMENT
Mike’s assessment of Harry was that he had an anxious nature and had come from an unstable background. He must on no account be allowed to feel that he was responsible for looking after me!

TRAINING
Initially, Harry and I went to first level obedience classes. These he found difficult, not from his ability to learn but from the environment being too stressful. After attending several times it became obvious he had too much to cope with as he started to hyperventilate, there was nothing to be gained by carrying on.
With no idea how Harry would react by being off the lead or around other dogs, he went for walks on the lead in areas that became familiar with short periods off the lead at first. Harry is now quite the ‘little dog about the beach’ every body’s friend irrespective if you have four feet or just two!

To offer Harry further opportunities to be with other dogs he started ‘daycare’ with a friend who has dog boarders and daycare dogs. Harry often found himself among a sizeable pack of all breeds and none, most of whom where much bigger than him. This didn’t faze him one bit and he readily adapted to pack life, in fact he seemed to very much enjoy the company as he is so busy checking what’s going on he has earned the title of ‘shop steward’.

THE FUTURE
This is looking very bright and happy for Harry. He has developed into a most companionable little dog, much admired for his handsomeness, for his beautiful coat and generally appealing ‘cute’ disposition. He has something of the showman about him, he would have wowed the ring judges I am sure but then I am a little biased!
I still have work to do, some reshaping of behaviour around the postman, who he will now let live but Harry still wants to be seen as a bit scary. He will let passengers into the car but he has to make his verbal presence felt first. But with a quick reference to Harry’s Behaviour Modification Booklet, nothing I can’t cope with.

THANK YOU
To Mike, I am immensely grateful and would urge anyone who struggles with a dog’s behaviour to seek his help as it is a very rewarding experience.

K.S
Aggression, Nervousness or Fear

Pepsi the Border Collie Labrador X

Pepsi on grass

Hello my name is Pepsi, I am a 3 year old male collie cross lab.
My Mum and Dad chose me from Munlochy Animal Aid when I was 6 months old, they never had a dog before so weren’t quite sure how to train me. I was a good boy in the house but could be very disobedient when out on our walkies. Eventually once we got to know each other I started to respond to their commands and our outings were much more fun.

Then mum and dad gradually became aware that I was frightened of loud noises especially gun fire and fireworks. They got really worried when I started to run away and hide. One day I went missing for 4 hours when I heard gunfire and then one day we were caught in a thunderstorm and I collapsed in fear and then also became afraid of aeroplanes.
Mum and Dad weren’t enjoying our outings so much, and Mum didn’t like taking me out on her own anymore. It was then decided that I needed help to try and overcome my fear of noises. After various suggestions and advice from many people, none of which helped Me, a friend of mum and dad’s recommended “MR MIKE THE DOGGY MAN”.
After a few months and referring back to MR MIKE for help and advice which he was always keen to give, Mum and Dad noticed that I was becoming a lot more confident and not nearly so frightened of the noises. I haven’t ran away in a long time and now prefer to stay close to mum and dad. I no longer have to worry about things for myself as they now do it for me, and life is a lot more fun for all of us.
MR MIKE also showed Mum and Dad how to take a bone away from me and when I growled, they bribed me with cheese and I soon learned and I now give them my bone as I know that they’ll give it back to me. In fact he taught us all a lot, and was a great help with any other problems we had.
So all you doggies out there if you have any worries at all MR MIKE will help you all he can.
He is not a bad old chap and he does have nice doggie treats.

AMS.
Aggression, Nervousness or Fear

Pulling

Jed & Kira the Black Labradors

Jed and Kira

Its been a while since I emailed, however, this week was the crucial one for us as Iain went off on his golfing trip to Spain on Saturday, leaving Jed and Kira with myself.As you knew I was a bit nervous about taking them out on my own, however, it has been a joy! Jed is just so much more attentive in general, and on the walks, he comes when called every time now and doesn’t ignore us if there is a better smell elsewhere! He has also lost his habit of pulling, constantly checks when he is on the lead to see where I am going, and no longer tries to anticipate what might be around a corner.
I feel confident enough with him now to let him off the lead when there are no strange dogs insight as I can rely on him to come to me if I spot another dog in the distance so that I can put a lead on him – that’s a major step forward. He will also walk to heel off the lead when I ask him too. Great! A neighbour walked with me and both the dogs yesterday, and commented on how well behaved and responsive they both were when off the lead. Taking them out of the house is much improved also, they wait and follow me both going out and coming in, and even stop and wait to allow me to lock the door!
He is much improved with other dogs, although it is fair to say there is still a bit of work to do there. He is generally now easily distracted from other dogs and doesn’t lunge and pull at them the way he used to. He does tend to bounce once or twice on the spot but without pulling and is easily removed from the situation and comes away, which is a massive improvement, but still needs a little more work by us. I wouldn’t yet think of leaving him off the lead if another dog was close by, and perhaps that is something which I will never be happy to do – time will tell. His front door behaviour is also improved though still needing a little work. I think fundamentally that he has now learnt who is in charge, and is relaxing – that is very obvious when we walk around corners or bends as he pays attention to me, rather pulling forward with alert ears to find the potential threat which might be waiting for him…
Kira is also doing so well, she is completely reliable with other dogs, and when she is off the lead – that’s a big help as it means if other dogs approach when I am alone I can leave her off the lead, and concentrate on Jed. I actually feel rather proud of her behaviour when we are out on walks!
So Mike, what can I say; from waving Iain off with a brave face on Saturday, and feeling very nervous and not quite sure how I would cope, I am feeling really very confident and loving the fact that both dogs now respond and behave so well. The training has brought Jed a long way forward, and I can’t thank you enough for the experience and knowledge you have passed on to us. It has been and will continue to be quite hard work at times, however as far as we are concerned it is completely worth it to see a calmer, happier dog, and we will continue with it. I have always known that part of the issue was my lack of confidence in my ability to handle him, and I am so grateful for the techniques which are so much improving my relationship with him.
This week has been a real test, and I think both Jed and I have passed!
Once again, so many thanks to you – walks are again a pleasure rather than the minefield they were turning into.
Best regards

——————————————————————————————————————————————-

A further wee update – we took Jed to the Islands on Sunday for over an hour, it was the first time for quite a few weeks with holidays and other things. The improvement in him was really noticeable, he didn’t lunge, pull, growl or bark once. Still very interested in the other dogs and a bit excited, but so easily turned away from them to stay with me as I just kept walking with him and took him a bit off the path, and so much easier to get his attention back to me. Compared to the first times we went there, when I am sure that to other folks he appeared quite aggressive with his behaviour, I think he simply appeared to be a friendly, slightly excited/keen dog on Sunday. I handled him the whole time, and it really did my confidence wonders too – I felt properly in control of him.

I really can’t find the words to express how much this means, and simply saying thank you doesn’t seem enough, but I can assure you it is meant so very sincerely!

Best regards

Dorothy Maxwell
Aggression, Pulling, Recall

Scooby the Border Collie

Scooby

Scooby is a 4-year-old male Border Collie dog. He has been our family pet since he was 6 weeks old. Scooby has always been a very lively dog, enjoying lots of exercise, long walks in the forest every day. He has been a great pet for us, if somewhat of a handful, and has given us much pleasure and company. He has endless energy and character.

However, his behaviour was gradually becoming a problem. He did not handle at all well on a lead, continually pulling. He would walk to heel off the lead but this would require continual commands to stop him from running off before being allowed to.

He would often not return to you especially if distracted by something. However, the most serious problem we had with Scooby was that on occasion he would display serious aggressive tendencies towards certain specific people.
Generally, this was on his own turf and no harm is done to anyone but the catalyst for us came when a gate was left open and Scooby got out of the garden and chased down the road after someone, totally unprovoked, barking & growling. He did not look like our family dog at this point, rather he looked a vicious, frightening animal.

It was at this point that we contacted Mike at Rewarding Dogs. Mike chatted to us on the phone and arranged to come & spend an afternoon with us and Scooby. I soon realised that, in fact, we were not going to be training the dog so much as training me! Mike spent some time especially with me showing me how to behave assertively and confidently with Scooby, not necessarily using any command but using extremely effective body language. Simple things like making Scooby wait to be invited in through the door instead of charging ahead has had a huge impact on his behaviour.
Mike devised a programme of training for us to follow, including much use of body language as well as exercises on a long line. Within a very short time, we noticed a considerable difference in Scooby’s behaviour. He was much more relaxed, almost as if he realised that at last someone was taking control and not leaving it to him to defend the home and sort out problems!

It is now over 4 months since we first met Mike and we continue to make progress with Scooby using the tools and exercises he gave us. We are aware that, as a breed, Collies can be problematic, but Mike has given me the confidence to deal with & enjoy Scooby. There is still some way to go with him and it is up to us to maintain our position with him and be vigilant to his “moods”. Mike has made us realise that Scooby needs a firm and constant leader to allow him to relax. I am extremely glad that we made contact as I don’t think we could have kept Scooby as a family pet for much longer the way we were heading!

Shona Osborne

Shona Osborne
Aggression, Pulling, Recall

Simba the Staffie type

Simba

Hello Mike

Since your visit to us, Simba is now a much calmer and well behaved, obedient dog. She is now a real pleasure to walk with and I am now not worried about taking her to certain places where there may be other dogs. Before your visit to us, Simba was pulling on her lead, chasing anything that moved and not returning when called, she had an over-excitable attitude to other dogs, and also she liked to mouth people’s hands.

With your help and the techniques you showed us, we practiced with her and built them into our daily routine and she has become a well behaved perfect companion.

The package you sent us is a great tool to keep and refer to and has great ideas and games to keep Simba happily learning, but playing at the same time. Thank you for the work you put into the pack for us, you had obviously put a lot of work into it, and it has helped us to help Simba. People even comment on how well behaved she is, so I have passed your number to quite a few people.

Simba has really grown just over the last few weeks, and I think she just gets cuter every day. Please drop in whenever you are passing to see her, and thank you again for all your help.

Elizabeth & Kay
Chasing people and other objects, Pulling, Recall

Gemma the Collie X

Gemma

Gemma was a rescue dog with many problems! She chased cars, pulled excessively on the lead, barked and jumped up frantically at anyone who came to the house, and on walks was wary of and snappy with other dogs. After a walk in heavy rain, she would be terrified of a towel being wrapped around to dry her. She had to remain wet! Being a collie-cross she needs a lot of exercise off the lead and at first (and for a long time) easily ‘got lost’!

We have had Gemma since she was 7 months old. She is now 5. With a great deal of help from Mike Grantham, and by using some special behavioural modification methods, Gemma has changed from being an extremely difficult to control, over-excitable dog, into a much calmer dog who blends in with our family life.

She no longer pulls on the lead and is much easier to manage when people come to the house, including young children and babies, She is happy with other dogs, and only occasionally mildly interested in moving cars. And she loves being dried after a wet walk. Also, most important, she comes when called!

J.Crook
Excessive barking or howling, Lunging, Pulling, Recall

Puppy training

Kaya the Alaskan Malamute

Kaya

We collected our 8 weeks old Alaskan Malamute, Kaya with full knowledge of the breed. We knew they were renowned for their stubbornness and strong temperament both mentally and physically and we desperately wanted to do the best we could for Kaya and avoid her joining the high statistics of Malamutes that are returned to rescue centres as strong powerful uncontrollable adults.
We called upon Mike who visited us when Kaya was about 17 weeks old and he spent the afternoon with us carefully assessing Kaya and our interactions with her and provided us with an easy to follow training booklet specifically for Kaya, regarding breed, size and temperament. In following the guidelines we were to achieve our goal of a happy and cooperative puppy with regards to behavior, attitude and obedience.
Mike also highlighted some potential difficulties with Kaya regarding food guarding and attention-seeking and offered us strategies to tackle these particular traits. At around 6 months Kaya began a period of unsettlement which led to her first season and her behavior became testing at times with changing hormone levels and cranky behavior, however, Mike was at hand to guide us through.
Kaya has just turned 12 months and still very young and thanks to Mike’s advice and support we gained the knowledge to be patient, consistent, enjoy and continually develop Kaya into the dog we always wanted. We now enjoy long walks, mainly off the lead ( Malamutes are notoriously rebellious at recall ) she loves chasing balls ( however rarely returns them and we are averaging a
loss of a ball a day ) she loves swimming and is a keen gardener specializing in large excavations! Kaya is also very sociable with other dogs and people. Kaya is mostly cooperative, although she still has a stubborn streak and processes a great ability to be selective with her hearing on occasion and
there is always a need to reinforce and continue the process. Saying that she is even responsive to our younger member of the family our 4-year-old son, staying, sitting, and dropping toys!
With commitment and consistency, we have a very positive and loving relationship with Kaya, we share a mutual trust and we feel, she has found her place in our family. Mike taught us that every interaction is important with Kaya and we continue with the knowledge and confidence to be capable and caring leaders.
Thank you Mike xx

Rachael Buchan
Puppy training, Recall

Reactive to other dogs

Brodie the Welsh Terrier

Brodie
We had three terriers, Isla, aged ten, her daughter Rhona aged seven, and Brodie aged five, who was from a different bloodline. All three dogs got on well, played well together, Isla was the dominant one, as the other two would wait for her to bark at strangers before they gave voice. Suddenly Isla became ill and died over the space of a few days. Both Rhona and Brodie and us became very sad and the dogs looked very depressed.
After three months we decided to get another terrier. Previously Brodie had attacked an elderly Fox Terrier we had acquired from a friend who died so we decided a female puppy of the same breed as Rhona and Brodie from the same breeder would be suitable.
We went to fetch Lucy who was fifteen weeks old. We took the other two dogs with us. In the car, on the way back Brodie was trying to get at the puppy all the time and we assumed he wanted to make friends with her. The next day without warning he seized Lucy and tried to kill her. He injured my husband but fortunately, he got Lucy away from Brodie without harm although he had drawn blood. Things went from bad to worse. Brodie spent every minute of every day trying to get at the puppy and attacking anyone who got in the way. Never before had he attacked people. He was very tense and unhappy. Also, he started to bite Rhona which he had not done before.
Our vet was consulted who first tried tranquillisers, but these did not work. He then suggested castration, we went ahead but this did not work, we had to keep both dogs separate at all times. Life was extremely difficult and this went on for weeks. Eventually, as our vet said we had to consider euthanasia for Brodie and we wanted to make sure we had exhausted all alternatives, our vet suggested yourself, Mike.
You came to see us, spent a long time with us, and showed us how to begin to control the situation. It took some months following your guidance of intensive training but Brodie is a much more relaxed dog thanks to your advice, he walks obediently on the lead, which he had never done before. All three dogs travel quite happily in the car although in separate cages. Brodie no longer bites Rhona or attempts to bite Lucy unless she really winds him up. He is fine with people. You showed us how Brodie had lost his boundaries when Isla died and that also part of his reaction was genetic.
We still keep Brodie muzzled whenever he is with Lucy but the three dogs are a family again and everything is relaxed. The muzzle is a small price to pay. Without your help, we would have lost one if not two of our dogs.
We cannot thank you enough for your expert guidance and advice.

Thank you again and best wishes

Sue Boags
Aggression

Pepsi the Border Collie Labrador X

Pepsi on grass

Hello my name is Pepsi, I am a 3 year old male collie cross lab.
My Mum and Dad chose me from Munlochy Animal Aid when I was 6 months old, they never had a dog before so weren’t quite sure how to train me. I was a good boy in the house but could be very disobedient when out on our walkies. Eventually once we got to know each other I started to respond to their commands and our outings were much more fun.

Then mum and dad gradually became aware that I was frightened of loud noises especially gun fire and fireworks. They got really worried when I started to run away and hide. One day I went missing for 4 hours when I heard gunfire and then one day we were caught in a thunderstorm and I collapsed in fear and then also became afraid of aeroplanes.
Mum and Dad weren’t enjoying our outings so much, and Mum didn’t like taking me out on her own anymore. It was then decided that I needed help to try and overcome my fear of noises. After various suggestions and advice from many people, none of which helped Me, a friend of mum and dad’s recommended “MR MIKE THE DOGGY MAN”.
After a few months and referring back to MR MIKE for help and advice which he was always keen to give, Mum and Dad noticed that I was becoming a lot more confident and not nearly so frightened of the noises. I haven’t ran away in a long time and now prefer to stay close to mum and dad. I no longer have to worry about things for myself as they now do it for me, and life is a lot more fun for all of us.
MR MIKE also showed Mum and Dad how to take a bone away from me and when I growled, they bribed me with cheese and I soon learned and I now give them my bone as I know that they’ll give it back to me. In fact he taught us all a lot, and was a great help with any other problems we had.
So all you doggies out there if you have any worries at all MR MIKE will help you all he can.
He is not a bad old chap and he does have nice doggie treats.

AMS.
Aggression, Nervousness or Fear

Chloe and Dagger the Patterdale Terriers

Chloe and Dagger

Our two small terriers, Chloe and Dagger, both have very different natures. The younger dog, Dagger (with the rough coat), is a pretty chilled out dog who is confident and relaxed most of the time, and not much bothers him for the most part.
The older one, Chloe, is a bright and intelligent dog, but unfortunately, she has an anxious nature and is very sensitive. When she was a puppy, she would bark at our next-door neighbour every time he walked past our back garden to get into his own property. As a result, the neighbour and Chloe fell out, and it got to the point where my neighbour (obviously not a dog lover) would threaten her with sticks and rolled-up newspapers, throw stones at her and fire a water pistol into her face whenever she barked at him. There was no way she could actually hurt him because she was securely fenced in, and I think that his behaviour antagonised her and made her bark even more. I am fairly sure that being exposed to this type of threatening behaviour as a pup is what contributed toward her anxious disposition as she got older.
As Chloe grew into an adult dog, she became increasingly aggressive towards strangers (particularly men) and after we got Dagger the problem became worse. Chloe seemed to be a bad influence on Dagger and when we were out walking, Chloe would bark at strangers, and Dagger would join in. It got to the point where both dogs were acting extremely aggressively towards almost every person that we walked past in the street and in the woods. This became embarrassing as we live in a small village and our dog’s aggressive behaviour was beginning to cause tension between us and other locals.
The problem came to a head in March 2010, when we were walking through the woods one morning. There was a group of orienteerers ahead of us, and Chloe and Dagger began barking at one of the people in the group. I put both dogs back on their lead and continued on the walk. We walked in a loop and came across the same group of people standing in the path ahead of us. They were obviously very angry about having been barked at, and as we got closer to the group, one of the men stepped towards me and berated me for allowing my dogs to bark at his friend. At this point, Chloe (who was on the lead as was Dagger at this point) without warning jumped up and bit the man on the leg.
To cut a long story short, the man reported to the incident to the police, and I received a visit from the police, who reported the incident to the procurator fiscal. I then received a letter informing me that I was being charged over the matter and that I was required to attend court.
Immediately after the biting incident, my husband and I decided that we had to do something to improve our dog’s behaviour. Things could not go on as they were, and a few months before the court case came up, we spoke to our local vet about the problem and she gave us Mike’s business card.
I contacted Mike, and he came out to our house and spent about four hours assessing the dog’s behaviour and showing us how to train them to be calm and obedient. Mike explained to us that Chloe was being aggressive because she felt anxious around strangers. Her aggressive behaviour was a way of protecting herself from perceived threats. In order to stop the aggression, we had to make Chloe understand that we, the humans, were in control of every situation and that she did not have to protect or defend herself because that is our job.
He wrote us out a behavioural change programme detailing everything that we needed to do to sort out the problems with our dogs, particularly Chloe, as she was the ringleader most of the time.
We put a lot of time and effort into making the necessary changes, and we saw Mike another three times for shorter sessions so that he could assess the dogs to see if things were improving or not.
After a few months of effort on our part, Chloe and Dagger were like different dogs. They stopped barking at people and now they are never aggressive towards people and very rarely aggressive towards other dogs. They are both more obedient and Chloe is a much calmer dog who a lot more relaxed most of the time. Also, since we have implemented Mike’s programme, we have a much better relationship with our dogs and we enjoy their company more.
When Mike was satisfied that Chloe was no longer acting aggressively to strangers, he wrote a letter which my solicitor showed to the judge on the day of the court case. In the letter, Mike stated that in his professional opinion, Chloe was no longer a dangerous dog. As a result of the letter that Mike wrote, the case was thrown out, much to our intense relief!
I have no doubt that if it wasn’t for Mike, that there would not have been such a happy ending to this stressful story. Indeed there was a very real possibility that Chloe would have been destroyed as a result of the biting incident in the woods that day.
Even though it was a very worrying time for us, in a way the biting incident turned out to be a positive thing because it caused us to take action and do something to change what was becoming an increasingly troublesome situation with our dogs.
Now we have two calm, obedient (most of the time) terriers and the locals in our village often make comments about how much better our dogs are behaving!

Sam & Robert
Aggression, Biting

Kaden the Labrador

Kaden
Hi Mike,

Just thought I would give you a wee update…
Kaden has become much, much better when meeting other dogs….there is none of the aggression he had shown. I no longer worry about meeting others…if anything quite the opposite! He was a great help to one woman, who needed her Bracla pups introduced to other dogs… he was so gentle with one rather timid pup..was fab to see him. He was out for his first day of the season a few weeks ago…and was great with all the other dogs… none of the issues he had last season… so that is great.
Thanks so much for your help.

Andy, Lisa, Ryan, Duncan, Kaden and Tarn
Aggression

 

 

 

Recall

Otto the King Charles Spaniel – Poodle X

Otto

Mike,
Otto is marvelously well behaved.
Your training has resulted in Otto behaving and responding to us beyond our expectorations.
It’s made walking in the wild so much more controllable and enjoyable.
A charming photograph is attached. You may wish to add it to your web site; it summarises the training so well.
Thank you.

Chris & Joy
Chasing animals, Recall

Simba the Staffie type

Simba

Hello Mike

Since your visit to us, Simba is now a much calmer and well behaved, obedient dog. She is now a real pleasure to walk with and I am now not worried about taking her to certain places where there may be other dogs. Before your visit to us, Simba was pulling on her lead, chasing anything that moved and not returning when called, she had an over-excitable attitude to other dogs, and also she liked to mouth people’s hands.

With your help and the techniques you showed us, we practiced with her and built them into our daily routine and she has become a well behaved perfect companion.

The package you sent us is a great tool to keep and refer to and has great ideas and games to keep Simba happily learning, but playing at the same time. Thank you for the work you put into the pack for us, you had obviously put a lot of work into it, and it has helped us to help Simba. People even comment on how well behaved she is, so I have passed your number to quite a few people.

Simba has really grown just over the last few weeks, and I think she just gets cuter every day. Please drop in whenever you are passing to see her, and thank you again for all your help.

Elizabeth & Kay
Chasing people and other objects, Pulling, Recall

Kaya the Alaskan Malamute

Kaya

We collected our 8 weeks old Alaskan Malamute, Kaya with full knowledge of the breed. We knew they were renowned for their stubbornness and strong temperament both mentally and physically and we desperately wanted to do the best we could for Kaya and avoid her joining the high statistics of Malamutes that are returned to rescue centres as strong powerful uncontrollable adults.
We called upon Mike who visited us when Kaya was about 17 weeks old and he spent the afternoon with us carefully assessing Kaya and our interactions with her and provided us with an easy to follow training booklet specifically for Kaya, regarding breed, size and temperament. In following the guidelines we were to achieve our goal of a happy and cooperative puppy with regards to behavior, attitude and obedience.
Mike also highlighted some potential difficulties with Kaya regarding food guarding and attention-seeking and offered us strategies to tackle these particular traits. At around 6 months Kaya began a period of unsettlement which led to her first season and her behavior became testing at times with changing hormone levels and cranky behavior, however, Mike was at hand to guide us through.
Kaya has just turned 12 months and still very young and thanks to Mike’s advice and support we gained the knowledge to be patient, consistent, enjoy and continually develop Kaya into the dog we always wanted. We now enjoy long walks, mainly off the lead ( Malamutes are notoriously rebellious at recall ) she loves chasing balls ( however rarely returns them and we are averaging a
loss of a ball a day ) she loves swimming and is a keen gardener specializing in large excavations! Kaya is also very sociable with other dogs and people. Kaya is mostly cooperative, although she still has a stubborn streak and processes a great ability to be selective with her hearing on occasion and
there is always a need to reinforce and continue the process. Saying that she is even responsive to our younger member of the family our 4-year-old son, staying, sitting, and dropping toys!
With commitment and consistency, we have a very positive and loving relationship with Kaya, we share a mutual trust and we feel, she has found her place in our family. Mike taught us that every interaction is important with Kaya and we continue with the knowledge and confidence to be capable and caring leaders.
Thank you Mike xx

Rachael Buchan
Puppy training, Recall

Scooby the Border Collie

Scooby

Scooby is a 4-year-old male Border Collie dog. He has been our family pet since he was 6 weeks old. Scooby has always been a very lively dog, enjoying lots of exercise, long walks in the forest every day. He has been a great pet for us, if somewhat of a handful, and has given us much pleasure and company. He has endless energy and character.

However, his behaviour was gradually becoming a problem. He did not handle at all well on a lead, continually pulling. He would walk to heel off the lead but this would require continual commands to stop him from running off before being allowed to.

He would often not return to you especially if distracted by something. However, the most serious problem we had with Scooby was that on occasion he would display serious aggressive tendencies towards certain specific people.
Generally, this was on his own turf and no harm is done to anyone but the catalyst for us came when a gate was left open and Scooby got out of the garden and chased down the road after someone, totally unprovoked, barking & growling. He did not look like our family dog at this point, rather he looked a vicious, frightening animal.

It was at this point that we contacted Mike at Rewarding Dogs. Mike chatted to us on the phone and arranged to come & spend an afternoon with us and Scooby. I soon realised that, in fact, we were not going to be training the dog so much as training me! Mike spent some time especially with me showing me how to behave assertively and confidently with Scooby, not necessarily using any command but using extremely effective body language. Simple things like making Scooby wait to be invited in through the door instead of charging ahead has had a huge impact on his behaviour.
Mike devised a programme of training for us to follow, including much use of body language as well as exercises on a long line. Within a very short time, we noticed a considerable difference in Scooby’s behaviour. He was much more relaxed, almost as if he realised that at last someone was taking control and not leaving it to him to defend the home and sort out problems!

It is now over 4 months since we first met Mike and we continue to make progress with Scooby using the tools and exercises he gave us. We are aware that, as a breed, Collies can be problematic, but Mike has given me the confidence to deal with & enjoy Scooby. There is still some way to go with him and it is up to us to maintain our position with him and be vigilant to his “moods”. Mike has made us realise that Scooby needs a firm and constant leader to allow him to relax. I am extremely glad that we made contact as I don’t think we could have kept Scooby as a family pet for much longer the way we were heading!

Shona Osborne

Shona Osborne
Aggression, Pulling, Recall

Separation issues

Saffie the Slovakian rough-haired pointer

Slovak wire-haired pointer

Hi Mike,
You came over to Aviemore over a year ago to help me with my Slovakian rough-haired pointer, Saffie, and I’ve felt guilty for not being in touch with you sooner but thought you might wonder what happened to us seeing as you didn’t hear from us afterwards.

Anyway, we got on great with your programme that you wrote out for us, I wanted to say thank you very, very much for your help as it did make a huge difference to our lives and I would definitely recommend you to other people and their dogs having similar problems.

I didn’t want you to think that I hadn’t taken your advice, or that it hadn’t worked for us, so thanks again, and best of luck with your work in the future.

Best wishes,

Comment from Rewarding Dogs:
The picture shown is not a photograph of Saffie. We have added this to show what a dog of this breed looks like. ©dogbreeder.com

Llinos
Nervousness or Fear, Separation issues

Sky the Husky

Sky the Husky

I want to thank you so much as there has been so much progress.

We are quite happy with Sky’s behaviour now:
– she happily can stay home by herself with no problem for up to 3 hours.
– she is more responsive.
– she can be off leash on known and safe walks, around the house, and on the farm courtyard.
– she walks to heel happily even when off leash.
– she come quicker and do not pull anymore!
– our relation evolved for the best (more playful, waiting for our signal)

Again, a huge thank you, her and our life are so much better now!

Charlotte
Pulling, Recall, Separation issues