Testimonials 

With the numerous behavioural issues that dog owners all over the World experience, we have broken these down into categories for you to peruse.

If you can relate to any of these issues that your dog may have, get in touch with Mike at Rewarding Dogs today.

Average Rating: 5 stars (based on 49 ratings)
Aggression
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
Recall
Separation issues
Aggression

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

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

Fergus the English Springer Spaniel

Fergus the English Springer Spaniel

Fergus is an 18-month-old English Springer Spaniel and is the family’s second springer who, we have to admit, was hoped would fill the void that Jasper had left when he died 2 years ago.
The family doted on old Jasper and were devastated when he had to be put to sleep at the ripe old age of 131/2. We waited some 6 months after Jasper to get Fergus, hoping that he would be able to give us the love and devotion that we had received before.
Fergus however proved to be a different kettle of fish!
Jasper was totally devoted to the family, he was very dependable and completely bombproof and trustworthy
Fergus on the other hand turned out to be of a nervous disposition, unsure in certain situations, impossible to groom, exceedingly sensitive but at the same time was prone to displaying aggressive tendencies. His unstable character became particularly evident when we looked after my mother-in-laws’ parrot who is extremely loud.
Over the course of 6 weeks, Fergus transformed into a nervous wreck who, one minute was aggressive toward the family and the next minute reclusive and hiding under beds.
Because of the extreme character transformation, our natural instinct was to suspect a medical problem. After taking Fergus to the vets, who gave him a clean bill of health, and removing the parrot from our house, we were advised to contact Mike. I gave him a general overview of the situation and explained that as a family, (2 young children), we needed some advice on how to get Fergus to be a more acceptable member of the family group. We were totally devastated that the only alternatives were re-homing or perhaps worse!
After our initial conversation, Mike came to our home when the whole family were together. He talked with us and observed our interaction with Fergus. Fergus could not be described as a normal dog. Unlike most dogs, he is not food orientated and therefore chocolate drops do nothing for him as an incentive.
Mike observed us for the afternoon and in that time offered advice on how best to interact with Fergus, when and how to feed him, how to reward him, and how to encourage, train and play with him.
Although Fergus will never be Jasper, we feel that he has made significant steps in the right direction. He is beginning to understand his position in the family unit, he is becoming easier to train using the appropriate methods. He is also becoming more loving towards the family as he now feels confident with our approach towards him (no longer smothering). He is also listening to us when our on walks and is displaying a lot more common sense (bearing in mind that he is a Springer!).
In conclusion, Mike has educated our family on how to treat Fergus as a dog and a part of the family. We had originally hoped that Fergus would be just like Jasper but soon learned that he is a totally different, yet equally loving dog, with different needs.
With Mike’s help, we have started to enjoy him for the dog he is rather than the dog we had tried to replace. Fergus gives as much joy as any dog as long as you understand just how he works.

M.B
Aggression, Nervousness or Fear

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

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

Bramble the Bernese Mountain Dog

Bramble

After months of research we collected our delightful Bernese puppy, just 8 weeks old and whilst we were delighted, we were also slightly concerned by her nervousness. She’d just left 12 siblings, so we put it down to adjustment and over the following months she grew and grew and grew – more anxious.

She was so easy to train and a wonder at the puppy classes however she began to develop a fear of men, of anyone wearing a hat or dark clothing and the wheelie bin was a nightmare. By the time she was 3 years old, we had tried everything we could think of by gently introducing her to new situations, but to no avail, so having spoken to our vet, we were referred to a Dog Psychologist who was also a vet. Several hundred pounds later she confirmed that Bramble was indeed “ nervous.”

We did obtain a few useful hints and whilst there was a slight improvement, her nervousness and unpredictability became more problematic.
It all came to a head one night when she nipped one of my daughter’s friends when she stuck her hand into the car. I was distraught and on returning home, I trawled the Internet for a dog whisper, as I wanted someone who would not view the problem from a medical perspective.

I found Mike’s details and a glowing report from a horse whisper who described him as, “a gentle caring man.” How right she is.

That first phone call was the start of a new beginning for Bramble and our family. Poor Mike, I talked for hours, he listened patiently and he kindly agreed to visit.

On arrival, Bramble immediately took to Mike, as we all did. This gentle, caring man carefully assessed our interactions with Bramble and he gave us advice and then he demonstrated the correct techniques to alter Bramble’s behaviour.

It felt as though someone had turned on a light. Having owned three dogs and having spent my life around animals, I had never encountered such anxiety in a dog. I was also to find out that, my growing concern and actions had been feeding Bramble’s anxiety.

Simple techniques were quickly put into practice and whilst Mike advised that it may take several weeks to see any progress, Bramble’s behaviour began to change from that moment. We continue to see changes and improvements every day.

Fear of the Hoover, men, dark clothes, wheelie bins are all a thing of the past. She now goes out of her way to speak to strangers and on returning to our dog training classes she really is a star pupil. She has never been a dog who likes to play however she is now chasing balls and carrying sticks whereas before, she would have run away from them. At training, she is learning new tricks and she is hopefully going to join the agility training in the New Year.

The wonderful personalised booklet written by Mike has been our bible and this had been further complimented by speaking to Mike on the telephone.

Bramble may never be the most extravert of dogs but she is a happy contented dog, whose quality of life has greatly improved, thanks to Mike.

A very special thank you from
Beth & Bramble

Beth Cruickshank
Aggression, Nervousness or Fear

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

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

Hamish the Westie and Minstrel the Cat

Hamish and Minstrel

Hamish is our 13yr old Westie who we have had for over 2 yrs, he is a fantastic dog however when he came to us he didn’t like our cat Minstrel and would have done harm to her if he could.

We sought help from Mike who gave us training exercises to do to allow both pets to tolerate one another. It was hard going at times but the reward has been outstanding- they genuinely like each other’s company, they go for a daily walk together and often sleep in the same room at night.

Family life is better than ever with the 2 pets living in harmony.

Thanks again to Mike.

John & Jane Noble
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

Mindy the Staffie – Border Collie X

Mindy

I got Mindy as a tiny puppy almost a year ago now.
I was a cat-lover really – a first-time dog-owner. I didn’t know that the Staffordshire bull terrier – Border Collie cross was going to prove to be a recipe for disaster for an inexperienced mistress.

To begin with, I just enjoyed my puppy. Everything seemed to be going swimmingly.
I suppose I glossed over the fact that Mindy did not listen to a word I said. Unless it suited her.

Then one day, we had our first mishap …
I live on the Isle of Lewis, which is almost permanently populated by sheep … A lot of these sheep are permanently loose, all over roads and moors.

Mindy had a friend – a little Patterdale terrier, with whom she would play if they met on her walk … I’d just snick her off the lead, and they’d race around together for 10 minutes or so, then I’d catch her again and take her home.

On this day, I’d done just that, and the two puppies were playing nicely when unseen around the corner came a crocodile of large lambs, being driven into a huge adjoining field by the crofter … I tried in vain to catch Mindy, but she had gone off after them like a rocket, paying no attention to me at all …
I dashed after her, but stood no chance at all of catching her as she snapped at the lambs’ legs, one after each other, running wildly up and down the croft, and round and round at break-neck speed …
The crofter was incandescent with anger, and all his helper could do was try to beat Mindy off his lambs with a stick when she was close enough …
About thirty minutes later, I finally managed to catch Mindy by throwing myself across the moor as she was passing, and spent several minutes holding her down, trying to calm her …
The crofter was muttering about ‘black dogs’ and ‘killer dogs’, and telling me she was untrainable, and I’d better get rid of her.
The news spread around the village like wildfire. Pet dogs are not really tolerated here, even less if they are a nuisance.
I took so much advice from different people about how to train Mindy. One stockman suggested that ‘a good kick up the arse from time to time’ would be in order, and one lady told me to beat her with a supple hazel stick.
I watched every single television programme on training dogs, but could never seem to get it to work for me at all. She just took no notice of me at all.
Then, hot on the heels of her first mishap, came her second. It was a combination of circumstances. Mindy just happened to be outside, and a visitor just happened to have left the gate open, and a neighbouring crofter just happened to be driving his sheep down the road in front of the house.
She went off like a shot, woofing and snapping, dispersing the orderly crocodile of sheep all over the place … Once she stopped one, she went after another. The crofter, my neighbour, was very angry, and I had *no* way of calling her back because she wasn’t paying any attention at all to me. She was only caught this time because she ran madly into a sheep pen, and one of the men captured her for me.
Two mishaps – but on an island where the sheep are inviolable, I knew something had to be done, and very quickly, before Mindy was shot.
It was actually a very stressful time for me … I and Mindy both were alienated from a lot of our neighbours, and word spread quickly that I owned a ‘Killer Dog’ … I knew of course that this wasn’t all of the story, but had no way of proving it …
I also recognised that it was possible that I wouldn’t ever be able to control my dog, in which case she would have to be re-homed, away from sheep …
I was so disheartened by my own failure to train Mindy that I contacted the SSPCA about re-homing
her, but they had no spaces, but they did put me in touch with Mike Grantham.
I called him, in rather a panicky, desperate and tearful state, and he explained to me that dogs and owners had to be suited to each other, and I should think carefully whether I wanted to put in a lot of protracted work on my dog. If I didn’t then the kindest thing would be to re-home her.
He also explained that there was nothing ‘wrong’ with Mindy, but she was only doing what her instinct programmed her to do …
I thought about it a lot, and decided that I wanted to keep Mindy, and learn how to train her properly … So I made an appointment with Mike for a week’s training in Inverness …
Mike showed me the basics of handling dogs, with specific emphasis on gently letting them recognise you as a leader – this is what Mindy had never done – as far as she was concerned, *she* was having to be the leader herself because I was not showing the right characteristics or actions …
He taught me how to walk her properly, and how to behave towards her as a leader, at meal-times, and when she wanted attention, and when she was demanding, through barking …
He pointed out to me something that I hadn’t realised too – that my ‘killer dog’ was actually a sensitive soul, outside of the characteristics of her breeding …
Gradually, through Mike’s daily training and repetition, Mindy learned to pay attention to me and respond to what I wanted. This was the bones of a foundation for Perfect Recall …
However, because Mindy needed to accomplish a Perfect Recall in the challenging circumstances of being surrounded by sheep, and do it fast too, she was trained on a long lead using Mike’s special behaviour modification programme …

More importantly, *I* was trained in the correct process too, because it takes a long time for a new learned response to go into long-term memory …

I enjoyed my week’s training because it proved to me that I *could* control my dog, without crushing her spirit, or hurting her, which I absolutely didn’t want to do …
With Mike’s effective methods, we made considerable progress just in the five days, achieving a perfect recall under ‘chase’ conditions …

In the two months since we’ve been home, I’ve continued the training just as Mike laid it out in Mindy’s personalised manual. We practice daily everything we have been taught – it has been absorbed into our daily routines – feeding, walking, attention, and affection. With long-line work as a ‘reminder’
Mindy has come along in leaps and bounds … I truly believe she is happier now that she can just be a puppy (she’s still young, only a year old) …

She responds to me, outside, when I call, as she has been trained to do … The focusing exercises cause her to watch me frequently when we are outside – if I stop, she stops too.
She will now walk past loose groups of sheep on a road, looking back at me for reinforcement, and even when they bolt away, as they do, she still looks, and may still begin to follow, but a call from me will stop her before she gets going.

Mike tells me that, provided I am consistent, eventually, she will tire of being interested because a dog doesn’t continue to do anything which is not in some way rewarding.
So we are still learning, but I am now feeling much more joy from having my beautiful dog … and everything is much more carefree because I don’t have to worry about what I will do if so-and-so because I have good, enforceable control over her, wherever she is, whatever she is doing …
She is still a spirited and headstrong little dog, but that’s her breed characteristics, and I like that.
The difference now is that she takes notice of me, and does what I say.

I would thoroughly recommend Mike’s training to anyone, whether their dog is problematic or not because there are things that we need to understand about our dogs which are, as Mike puts it ‘counter-intuitive’, and only when we understand them do we get the best from our pets …

 

JP. & HM.
Aggression, Chasing animals

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

Breac the Collie X

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

Flick the Border Collie

Flick

Flick is a four-year-old border collie. I collected her when she was seven weeks old and a week later she had growled and snapped at two dogs! I’ve always owned border collies and thought I had a fair understanding of their needs but it was to be a huge learning curve with Flick. At ten weeks old, I took her to dog training to socialise. She flew through the exercises effortlessly but became increasingly aggressive. The same thing happened at agility.
Flick was now two and a half years old and the problems were: growing aggression, chasing anything, and growling at me in the house. All advice I received was unhelpful and certainly not good news for Flick. The final straw was when she attacked another dog.
Yet another search for help which ended when I phoned Mike Grantham. He listened patiently and we prioritised the problems. Mike came to the house to observe Flick and I and our re-training began. Mike spent four hours with us and Flick showed her aggression over and over again. He didn’t give up and by the time he left he had addressed all the problems and I was left with clear instructions on how to continue. This was backed up by a written training programme specifically for Flick and me. Mike was also at the end of the phone for help whenever needed.
Now, a year later, Flick is a much-improved dog. If I’m not vigilant we get the odd relapse and I do have to keep one step ahead of her but I now thoroughly enjoy owning her and she safely enjoys our outdoor lifestyle. She is still pushy, compulsive, and stubborn but she is also very intelligent, more relaxed, happier, and much easier to live with.
All thanks to Mike and his very patient dog Paddy.
Claire Morton
Update on Flick May 2009
Just thought I would send you a quick update on Flick’s progress.
She’s a reformed character; perhaps not quite an angel – her halo slips every now and again! But people that knew Flick before your help can’t believe the constant improvement in her.
As I write this she’s asleep at my feet too tired to even bother watching television. She now spends nearly all day every day outside with me only being shut away for her own safety if things get too hectic. I can’t remember the last time she chased a horse or behaved in a way that meant she had to go in the house before she caused an accident.
No more growling when I groom or towel dry her; a lot less watching of television (she still can’t resist a football match!) and a lot less aggressive to other dogs. She is still quite protective of home but doesn’t bother with dogs away from home and at the vets etc. I think she’s less compulsive and more relaxed. Now that her behaviour is better. She is such a fun, clever dog to have around.
I have even had a week’s holiday and left her with a friend; she behaved. Long may it continue.
Many thanks again
Best wishes

Claire Morton
Aggression

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

Oscar the Greyhound

Oscar

I was lucky enough to sit next to Mike at a dog training seminar (not realising at the time he was a behaviourist!) and we had fascinating talks about dogs. I had gone to the seminar in search of more answers to dog behaviour, with regard to my retired rescued greyhound Oscar, then aged 10. I had adopted him aged 5. He had clearly had quite a long (and tough) career as a racer, but very little socialisation in the outside world.
Oscar had always been quite reactive/unpredictable around unknown dogs – particularly ones who rushed up to him. I had consulted several trainers and behaviourists in a quest to improve Oscar’s behaviour and make both of us more confident in dealing with and meeting other dogs out and about. Most of these trainers – although perhaps they had *some* good advice – were not at all useful, or if they were any help, they disappeared after a while! I began to think that this was an intractable problem.
After meeting Mike, I was keen to have a consultation with him. Mike was so kind throughout and the best thing was that he could give me a ‘diagnosis’ – which no one else ever had. I will never forget Mike’s words “Your dog is not aggressive” – that gave me so much encouragement! Mike’s techniques, training and support enabled me to gradually increase my own confidence in handling Oscar (which, I must admit, had fallen to an all-time low, due to other personal problems) and he also showed me techniques to get rid of nuisance, out of control dogs that ran over, so that Oscar would feel protected, instead of thinking he had to protect me!
Over a year later, the difference in Oscar is remarkable. I feel confident to leave him off the lead if we see another dog coming (he ignores it usually) and he has successfully met and politely greeted several unknown dogs at the vet and out on walks. I feel much more in control and less worried by his behaviour and this confidence has rubbed off on him too. I now feel I can trust him quite a lot with calm, well-behaved dogs, to greet them nicely and I can deal with difficult or out of control dogs that we encounter.
So I should like to thank Mike very much for his help and would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone having problems with their dog.

Olga Ferguson
Aggression

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

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

Anxiety

Jack the Labrador X Staffie

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

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

Breac the Collie X

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

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

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

Fergus the English Springer Spaniel

Fergus the English Springer Spaniel

Fergus is an 18-month-old English Springer Spaniel and is the family’s second springer who, we have to admit, was hoped would fill the void that Jasper had left when he died 2 years ago.
The family doted on old Jasper and were devastated when he had to be put to sleep at the ripe old age of 131/2. We waited some 6 months after Jasper to get Fergus, hoping that he would be able to give us the love and devotion that we had received before.
Fergus however proved to be a different kettle of fish!
Jasper was totally devoted to the family, he was very dependable and completely bombproof and trustworthy
Fergus on the other hand turned out to be of a nervous disposition, unsure in certain situations, impossible to groom, exceedingly sensitive but at the same time was prone to displaying aggressive tendencies. His unstable character became particularly evident when we looked after my mother-in-laws’ parrot who is extremely loud.
Over the course of 6 weeks, Fergus transformed into a nervous wreck who, one minute was aggressive toward the family and the next minute reclusive and hiding under beds.
Because of the extreme character transformation, our natural instinct was to suspect a medical problem. After taking Fergus to the vets, who gave him a clean bill of health, and removing the parrot from our house, we were advised to contact Mike. I gave him a general overview of the situation and explained that as a family, (2 young children), we needed some advice on how to get Fergus to be a more acceptable member of the family group. We were totally devastated that the only alternatives were re-homing or perhaps worse!
After our initial conversation, Mike came to our home when the whole family were together. He talked with us and observed our interaction with Fergus. Fergus could not be described as a normal dog. Unlike most dogs, he is not food orientated and therefore chocolate drops do nothing for him as an incentive.
Mike observed us for the afternoon and in that time offered advice on how best to interact with Fergus, when and how to feed him, how to reward him, and how to encourage, train and play with him.
Although Fergus will never be Jasper, we feel that he has made significant steps in the right direction. He is beginning to understand his position in the family unit, he is becoming easier to train using the appropriate methods. He is also becoming more loving towards the family as he now feels confident with our approach towards him (no longer smothering). He is also listening to us when our on walks and is displaying a lot more common sense (bearing in mind that he is a Springer!).
In conclusion, Mike has educated our family on how to treat Fergus as a dog and a part of the family. We had originally hoped that Fergus would be just like Jasper but soon learned that he is a totally different, yet equally loving dog, with different needs.
With Mike’s help, we have started to enjoy him for the dog he is rather than the dog we had tried to replace. Fergus gives as much joy as any dog as long as you understand just how he works.

M.B
Aggression, Nervousness or Fear

Oscar the Greyhound

Oscar

I was lucky enough to sit next to Mike at a dog training seminar (not realising at the time he was a behaviourist!) and we had fascinating talks about dogs. I had gone to the seminar in search of more answers to dog behaviour, with regard to my retired rescued greyhound Oscar, then aged 10. I had adopted him aged 5. He had clearly had quite a long (and tough) career as a racer, but very little socialisation in the outside world.
Oscar had always been quite reactive/unpredictable around unknown dogs – particularly ones who rushed up to him. I had consulted several trainers and behaviourists in a quest to improve Oscar’s behaviour and make both of us more confident in dealing with and meeting other dogs out and about. Most of these trainers – although perhaps they had *some* good advice – were not at all useful, or if they were any help, they disappeared after a while! I began to think that this was an intractable problem.
After meeting Mike, I was keen to have a consultation with him. Mike was so kind throughout and the best thing was that he could give me a ‘diagnosis’ – which no one else ever had. I will never forget Mike’s words “Your dog is not aggressive” – that gave me so much encouragement! Mike’s techniques, training and support enabled me to gradually increase my own confidence in handling Oscar (which, I must admit, had fallen to an all-time low, due to other personal problems) and he also showed me techniques to get rid of nuisance, out of control dogs that ran over, so that Oscar would feel protected, instead of thinking he had to protect me!
Over a year later, the difference in Oscar is remarkable. I feel confident to leave him off the lead if we see another dog coming (he ignores it usually) and he has successfully met and politely greeted several unknown dogs at the vet and out on walks. I feel much more in control and less worried by his behaviour and this confidence has rubbed off on him too. I now feel I can trust him quite a lot with calm, well-behaved dogs, to greet them nicely and I can deal with difficult or out of control dogs that we encounter.
So I should like to thank Mike very much for his help and would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone having problems with their dog.

Olga Ferguson
Aggression

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

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

Bramble the Bernese Mountain Dog

Bramble

After months of research we collected our delightful Bernese puppy, just 8 weeks old and whilst we were delighted, we were also slightly concerned by her nervousness. She’d just left 12 siblings, so we put it down to adjustment and over the following months she grew and grew and grew – more anxious.

She was so easy to train and a wonder at the puppy classes however she began to develop a fear of men, of anyone wearing a hat or dark clothing and the wheelie bin was a nightmare. By the time she was 3 years old, we had tried everything we could think of by gently introducing her to new situations, but to no avail, so having spoken to our vet, we were referred to a Dog Psychologist who was also a vet. Several hundred pounds later she confirmed that Bramble was indeed “ nervous.”

We did obtain a few useful hints and whilst there was a slight improvement, her nervousness and unpredictability became more problematic.
It all came to a head one night when she nipped one of my daughter’s friends when she stuck her hand into the car. I was distraught and on returning home, I trawled the Internet for a dog whisper, as I wanted someone who would not view the problem from a medical perspective.

I found Mike’s details and a glowing report from a horse whisper who described him as, “a gentle caring man.” How right she is.

That first phone call was the start of a new beginning for Bramble and our family. Poor Mike, I talked for hours, he listened patiently and he kindly agreed to visit.

On arrival, Bramble immediately took to Mike, as we all did. This gentle, caring man carefully assessed our interactions with Bramble and he gave us advice and then he demonstrated the correct techniques to alter Bramble’s behaviour.

It felt as though someone had turned on a light. Having owned three dogs and having spent my life around animals, I had never encountered such anxiety in a dog. I was also to find out that, my growing concern and actions had been feeding Bramble’s anxiety.

Simple techniques were quickly put into practice and whilst Mike advised that it may take several weeks to see any progress, Bramble’s behaviour began to change from that moment. We continue to see changes and improvements every day.

Fear of the Hoover, men, dark clothes, wheelie bins are all a thing of the past. She now goes out of her way to speak to strangers and on returning to our dog training classes she really is a star pupil. She has never been a dog who likes to play however she is now chasing balls and carrying sticks whereas before, she would have run away from them. At training, she is learning new tricks and she is hopefully going to join the agility training in the New Year.

The wonderful personalised booklet written by Mike has been our bible and this had been further complimented by speaking to Mike on the telephone.

Bramble may never be the most extravert of dogs but she is a happy contented dog, whose quality of life has greatly improved, thanks to Mike.

A very special thank you from
Beth & Bramble

Beth Cruickshank
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

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

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

Flick the Border Collie

Flick

Flick is a four-year-old border collie. I collected her when she was seven weeks old and a week later she had growled and snapped at two dogs! I’ve always owned border collies and thought I had a fair understanding of their needs but it was to be a huge learning curve with Flick. At ten weeks old, I took her to dog training to socialise. She flew through the exercises effortlessly but became increasingly aggressive. The same thing happened at agility.
Flick was now two and a half years old and the problems were: growing aggression, chasing anything, and growling at me in the house. All advice I received was unhelpful and certainly not good news for Flick. The final straw was when she attacked another dog.
Yet another search for help which ended when I phoned Mike Grantham. He listened patiently and we prioritised the problems. Mike came to the house to observe Flick and I and our re-training began. Mike spent four hours with us and Flick showed her aggression over and over again. He didn’t give up and by the time he left he had addressed all the problems and I was left with clear instructions on how to continue. This was backed up by a written training programme specifically for Flick and me. Mike was also at the end of the phone for help whenever needed.
Now, a year later, Flick is a much-improved dog. If I’m not vigilant we get the odd relapse and I do have to keep one step ahead of her but I now thoroughly enjoy owning her and she safely enjoys our outdoor lifestyle. She is still pushy, compulsive, and stubborn but she is also very intelligent, more relaxed, happier, and much easier to live with.
All thanks to Mike and his very patient dog Paddy.
Claire Morton
Update on Flick May 2009
Just thought I would send you a quick update on Flick’s progress.
She’s a reformed character; perhaps not quite an angel – her halo slips every now and again! But people that knew Flick before your help can’t believe the constant improvement in her.
As I write this she’s asleep at my feet too tired to even bother watching television. She now spends nearly all day every day outside with me only being shut away for her own safety if things get too hectic. I can’t remember the last time she chased a horse or behaved in a way that meant she had to go in the house before she caused an accident.
No more growling when I groom or towel dry her; a lot less watching of television (she still can’t resist a football match!) and a lot less aggressive to other dogs. She is still quite protective of home but doesn’t bother with dogs away from home and at the vets etc. I think she’s less compulsive and more relaxed. Now that her behaviour is better. She is such a fun, clever dog to have around.
I have even had a week’s holiday and left her with a friend; she behaved. Long may it continue.
Many thanks again
Best wishes

Claire Morton
Aggression

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

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

Hamish the Westie and Minstrel the Cat

Hamish and Minstrel

Hamish is our 13yr old Westie who we have had for over 2 yrs, he is a fantastic dog however when he came to us he didn’t like our cat Minstrel and would have done harm to her if he could.

We sought help from Mike who gave us training exercises to do to allow both pets to tolerate one another. It was hard going at times but the reward has been outstanding- they genuinely like each other’s company, they go for a daily walk together and often sleep in the same room at night.

Family life is better than ever with the 2 pets living in harmony.

Thanks again to Mike.

John & Jane Noble
Aggression

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

Mindy the Staffie – Border Collie X

Mindy

I got Mindy as a tiny puppy almost a year ago now.
I was a cat-lover really – a first-time dog-owner. I didn’t know that the Staffordshire bull terrier – Border Collie cross was going to prove to be a recipe for disaster for an inexperienced mistress.

To begin with, I just enjoyed my puppy. Everything seemed to be going swimmingly.
I suppose I glossed over the fact that Mindy did not listen to a word I said. Unless it suited her.

Then one day, we had our first mishap …
I live on the Isle of Lewis, which is almost permanently populated by sheep … A lot of these sheep are permanently loose, all over roads and moors.

Mindy had a friend – a little Patterdale terrier, with whom she would play if they met on her walk … I’d just snick her off the lead, and they’d race around together for 10 minutes or so, then I’d catch her again and take her home.

On this day, I’d done just that, and the two puppies were playing nicely when unseen around the corner came a crocodile of large lambs, being driven into a huge adjoining field by the crofter … I tried in vain to catch Mindy, but she had gone off after them like a rocket, paying no attention to me at all …
I dashed after her, but stood no chance at all of catching her as she snapped at the lambs’ legs, one after each other, running wildly up and down the croft, and round and round at break-neck speed …
The crofter was incandescent with anger, and all his helper could do was try to beat Mindy off his lambs with a stick when she was close enough …
About thirty minutes later, I finally managed to catch Mindy by throwing myself across the moor as she was passing, and spent several minutes holding her down, trying to calm her …
The crofter was muttering about ‘black dogs’ and ‘killer dogs’, and telling me she was untrainable, and I’d better get rid of her.
The news spread around the village like wildfire. Pet dogs are not really tolerated here, even less if they are a nuisance.
I took so much advice from different people about how to train Mindy. One stockman suggested that ‘a good kick up the arse from time to time’ would be in order, and one lady told me to beat her with a supple hazel stick.
I watched every single television programme on training dogs, but could never seem to get it to work for me at all. She just took no notice of me at all.
Then, hot on the heels of her first mishap, came her second. It was a combination of circumstances. Mindy just happened to be outside, and a visitor just happened to have left the gate open, and a neighbouring crofter just happened to be driving his sheep down the road in front of the house.
She went off like a shot, woofing and snapping, dispersing the orderly crocodile of sheep all over the place … Once she stopped one, she went after another. The crofter, my neighbour, was very angry, and I had *no* way of calling her back because she wasn’t paying any attention at all to me. She was only caught this time because she ran madly into a sheep pen, and one of the men captured her for me.
Two mishaps – but on an island where the sheep are inviolable, I knew something had to be done, and very quickly, before Mindy was shot.
It was actually a very stressful time for me … I and Mindy both were alienated from a lot of our neighbours, and word spread quickly that I owned a ‘Killer Dog’ … I knew of course that this wasn’t all of the story, but had no way of proving it …
I also recognised that it was possible that I wouldn’t ever be able to control my dog, in which case she would have to be re-homed, away from sheep …
I was so disheartened by my own failure to train Mindy that I contacted the SSPCA about re-homing
her, but they had no spaces, but they did put me in touch with Mike Grantham.
I called him, in rather a panicky, desperate and tearful state, and he explained to me that dogs and owners had to be suited to each other, and I should think carefully whether I wanted to put in a lot of protracted work on my dog. If I didn’t then the kindest thing would be to re-home her.
He also explained that there was nothing ‘wrong’ with Mindy, but she was only doing what her instinct programmed her to do …
I thought about it a lot, and decided that I wanted to keep Mindy, and learn how to train her properly … So I made an appointment with Mike for a week’s training in Inverness …
Mike showed me the basics of handling dogs, with specific emphasis on gently letting them recognise you as a leader – this is what Mindy had never done – as far as she was concerned, *she* was having to be the leader herself because I was not showing the right characteristics or actions …
He taught me how to walk her properly, and how to behave towards her as a leader, at meal-times, and when she wanted attention, and when she was demanding, through barking …
He pointed out to me something that I hadn’t realised too – that my ‘killer dog’ was actually a sensitive soul, outside of the characteristics of her breeding …
Gradually, through Mike’s daily training and repetition, Mindy learned to pay attention to me and respond to what I wanted. This was the bones of a foundation for Perfect Recall …
However, because Mindy needed to accomplish a Perfect Recall in the challenging circumstances of being surrounded by sheep, and do it fast too, she was trained on a long lead using Mike’s special behaviour modification programme …

More importantly, *I* was trained in the correct process too, because it takes a long time for a new learned response to go into long-term memory …

I enjoyed my week’s training because it proved to me that I *could* control my dog, without crushing her spirit, or hurting her, which I absolutely didn’t want to do …
With Mike’s effective methods, we made considerable progress just in the five days, achieving a perfect recall under ‘chase’ conditions …

In the two months since we’ve been home, I’ve continued the training just as Mike laid it out in Mindy’s personalised manual. We practice daily everything we have been taught – it has been absorbed into our daily routines – feeding, walking, attention, and affection. With long-line work as a ‘reminder’
Mindy has come along in leaps and bounds … I truly believe she is happier now that she can just be a puppy (she’s still young, only a year old) …

She responds to me, outside, when I call, as she has been trained to do … The focusing exercises cause her to watch me frequently when we are outside – if I stop, she stops too.
She will now walk past loose groups of sheep on a road, looking back at me for reinforcement, and even when they bolt away, as they do, she still looks, and may still begin to follow, but a call from me will stop her before she gets going.

Mike tells me that, provided I am consistent, eventually, she will tire of being interested because a dog doesn’t continue to do anything which is not in some way rewarding.
So we are still learning, but I am now feeling much more joy from having my beautiful dog … and everything is much more carefree because I don’t have to worry about what I will do if so-and-so because I have good, enforceable control over her, wherever she is, whatever she is doing …
She is still a spirited and headstrong little dog, but that’s her breed characteristics, and I like that.
The difference now is that she takes notice of me, and does what I say.

I would thoroughly recommend Mike’s training to anyone, whether their dog is problematic or not because there are things that we need to understand about our dogs which are, as Mike puts it ‘counter-intuitive’, and only when we understand them do we get the best from our pets …

 

JP. & HM.
Aggression, Chasing animals

Chasing animals

Mindy the Staffie – Border Collie X

Mindy

I got Mindy as a tiny puppy almost a year ago now.
I was a cat-lover really – a first-time dog-owner. I didn’t know that the Staffordshire bull terrier – Border Collie cross was going to prove to be a recipe for disaster for an inexperienced mistress.

To begin with, I just enjoyed my puppy. Everything seemed to be going swimmingly.
I suppose I glossed over the fact that Mindy did not listen to a word I said. Unless it suited her.

Then one day, we had our first mishap …
I live on the Isle of Lewis, which is almost permanently populated by sheep … A lot of these sheep are permanently loose, all over roads and moors.

Mindy had a friend – a little Patterdale terrier, with whom she would play if they met on her walk … I’d just snick her off the lead, and they’d race around together for 10 minutes or so, then I’d catch her again and take her home.

On this day, I’d done just that, and the two puppies were playing nicely when unseen around the corner came a crocodile of large lambs, being driven into a huge adjoining field by the crofter … I tried in vain to catch Mindy, but she had gone off after them like a rocket, paying no attention to me at all …
I dashed after her, but stood no chance at all of catching her as she snapped at the lambs’ legs, one after each other, running wildly up and down the croft, and round and round at break-neck speed …
The crofter was incandescent with anger, and all his helper could do was try to beat Mindy off his lambs with a stick when she was close enough …
About thirty minutes later, I finally managed to catch Mindy by throwing myself across the moor as she was passing, and spent several minutes holding her down, trying to calm her …
The crofter was muttering about ‘black dogs’ and ‘killer dogs’, and telling me she was untrainable, and I’d better get rid of her.
The news spread around the village like wildfire. Pet dogs are not really tolerated here, even less if they are a nuisance.
I took so much advice from different people about how to train Mindy. One stockman suggested that ‘a good kick up the arse from time to time’ would be in order, and one lady told me to beat her with a supple hazel stick.
I watched every single television programme on training dogs, but could never seem to get it to work for me at all. She just took no notice of me at all.
Then, hot on the heels of her first mishap, came her second. It was a combination of circumstances. Mindy just happened to be outside, and a visitor just happened to have left the gate open, and a neighbouring crofter just happened to be driving his sheep down the road in front of the house.
She went off like a shot, woofing and snapping, dispersing the orderly crocodile of sheep all over the place … Once she stopped one, she went after another. The crofter, my neighbour, was very angry, and I had *no* way of calling her back because she wasn’t paying any attention at all to me. She was only caught this time because she ran madly into a sheep pen, and one of the men captured her for me.
Two mishaps – but on an island where the sheep are inviolable, I knew something had to be done, and very quickly, before Mindy was shot.
It was actually a very stressful time for me … I and Mindy both were alienated from a lot of our neighbours, and word spread quickly that I owned a ‘Killer Dog’ … I knew of course that this wasn’t all of the story, but had no way of proving it …
I also recognised that it was possible that I wouldn’t ever be able to control my dog, in which case she would have to be re-homed, away from sheep …
I was so disheartened by my own failure to train Mindy that I contacted the SSPCA about re-homing
her, but they had no spaces, but they did put me in touch with Mike Grantham.
I called him, in rather a panicky, desperate and tearful state, and he explained to me that dogs and owners had to be suited to each other, and I should think carefully whether I wanted to put in a lot of protracted work on my dog. If I didn’t then the kindest thing would be to re-home her.
He also explained that there was nothing ‘wrong’ with Mindy, but she was only doing what her instinct programmed her to do …
I thought about it a lot, and decided that I wanted to keep Mindy, and learn how to train her properly … So I made an appointment with Mike for a week’s training in Inverness …
Mike showed me the basics of handling dogs, with specific emphasis on gently letting them recognise you as a leader – this is what Mindy had never done – as far as she was concerned, *she* was having to be the leader herself because I was not showing the right characteristics or actions …
He taught me how to walk her properly, and how to behave towards her as a leader, at meal-times, and when she wanted attention, and when she was demanding, through barking …
He pointed out to me something that I hadn’t realised too – that my ‘killer dog’ was actually a sensitive soul, outside of the characteristics of her breeding …
Gradually, through Mike’s daily training and repetition, Mindy learned to pay attention to me and respond to what I wanted. This was the bones of a foundation for Perfect Recall …
However, because Mindy needed to accomplish a Perfect Recall in the challenging circumstances of being surrounded by sheep, and do it fast too, she was trained on a long lead using Mike’s special behaviour modification programme …

More importantly, *I* was trained in the correct process too, because it takes a long time for a new learned response to go into long-term memory …

I enjoyed my week’s training because it proved to me that I *could* control my dog, without crushing her spirit, or hurting her, which I absolutely didn’t want to do …
With Mike’s effective methods, we made considerable progress just in the five days, achieving a perfect recall under ‘chase’ conditions …

In the two months since we’ve been home, I’ve continued the training just as Mike laid it out in Mindy’s personalised manual. We practice daily everything we have been taught – it has been absorbed into our daily routines – feeding, walking, attention, and affection. With long-line work as a ‘reminder’
Mindy has come along in leaps and bounds … I truly believe she is happier now that she can just be a puppy (she’s still young, only a year old) …

She responds to me, outside, when I call, as she has been trained to do … The focusing exercises cause her to watch me frequently when we are outside – if I stop, she stops too.
She will now walk past loose groups of sheep on a road, looking back at me for reinforcement, and even when they bolt away, as they do, she still looks, and may still begin to follow, but a call from me will stop her before she gets going.

Mike tells me that, provided I am consistent, eventually, she will tire of being interested because a dog doesn’t continue to do anything which is not in some way rewarding.
So we are still learning, but I am now feeling much more joy from having my beautiful dog … and everything is much more carefree because I don’t have to worry about what I will do if so-and-so because I have good, enforceable control over her, wherever she is, whatever she is doing …
She is still a spirited and headstrong little dog, but that’s her breed characteristics, and I like that.
The difference now is that she takes notice of me, and does what I say.

I would thoroughly recommend Mike’s training to anyone, whether their dog is problematic or not because there are things that we need to understand about our dogs which are, as Mike puts it ‘counter-intuitive’, and only when we understand them do we get the best from our pets …

 

Aggression, Chasing animals
JP. & HM.

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

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

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

Tasso the German Shepherd

Tasso

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

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

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

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

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

Chasing animals, Pulling
Sonja & Christophe

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

Teasel the Springer Spaniel

Teasel

Teasel and I are getting on very well. She has been so responsive with your training and our walks together have been a relaxed and enjoyable affair for both of us! It is such an improvement and has made life for both of us much much better.

Thank you for all your guidance and help.

Chasing animals
C. Hedderwick

Katy the Lurcher

Katy

Katy arrived as an 8-week old unknown quantity from Munlochy Rescue Centre. But as she grew and her legs stretched, it was certain she was going to be a runner. A beautiful temperament, loving, gentle, and intelligent, I had no problems training her until she was around eight months old.
It was June. The south side of Loch Ness where we live has the highest concentration of Sika deer in the country. It also abounds with hares, rabbits, roe and red deer, and sheep. Suddenly Katy started to take an interest in all these, initially by finding a young deer calf and getting very excited. After the scent had been ‘switched on’, there was no stopping her. People would say helpfully “Well, she’s got lurcher in her, what do you expect?”.
Every walk became a nightmare. Any time I let her off the lead she would immediately pick up a scent and be off like lightning. It would be minutes, then hours before she reappeared. She developed a Jeckle and Hyde character – at home she was lovely but away, all she wanted to do was chase. The perfect poacher’s dog, she would track a deer down, and keep it guarded, never once hurting it, until we found her. I became incredibly stressed -I felt irresponsible, worried about sheep, farmers, causing an accident on the road… With an ill mother and four children to cope with, I was at my wit’s end. If nothing could be done, she would have to go back to Munlochy.
Then I came across Mike. He quickly arranged an appointment and came out over the Christmas period. He was at once calm and reassuring – we could train her not to chase. All we needed was consistency and determination (plus love, of course, and Katy loved him straight away!). We immediately started following Mike’s special training techniques. And within weeks we were seeing a difference.
I can’t pretend it was easy. Katy is very hard-wired and clever. It took time and effort on her part, ours, and Mike’s. But Mike was always available and provided us with the right means to train her. We are now 18 months down the line.
It is June as I write. Every morning we see wildlife, but walking with Katy has become an absolute delight. We have such good communication between us that if she disturbs, say, a hare in the grass, she no longer chases it, but looks back at me as if to say “Cor, did you see that??” then leaves it be. Yes, there is the odd time when she forgets, but now I have the techniques to remind her that this is not acceptable behaviour. As she gets older I am sure these blips will disappear – she is still only young. And in order for her to get the good chase, which she loves, I cycle with her running by my side.
So, however, hard-wired your dog is to chasing, walks do not have to be stressful, dogs do not have to be lost for hours, you do not need to lose your head for worry or have to keep your dog permanently on a lead for fear of letting her go. Mike can provide a solution.
Katy is a wonderful, beautiful, and loving dog. She always was. But Mike has helped her to be obedient too, and to know the rules. We couldn’t have done it without him.

Chasing animals
JP. & HM.

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.

Glen the Border Collie

Glen

Hello Mike,

It is almost two months since you had Glen for training and we wanted to let you know that he is totally transformed and to thank you very much for everything you did for him. He no longer runs off nor is he constantly looking around at everything except us when we go out for a walk.

He no longer chases the rabbits and squirrels he meets every day and we have taken him close to sheep and even met some deer and after a good look, he turned away and followed us.

He is calmer and I think happier and without hesitation, we are so pleased that we came to you and just wish we had done it sooner. We really appreciated you taking Glen for his initial training and then also coming to ‘the scene of the crime’ to help us here. Walks that used to be stressful are now a pleasure and the long line is a thing of the past.

Thank you very much from us and from Glen.

Kind regards,

Chasing animals
Viv and John

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

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!

Chasing animals, Ignoring you, Recall
Mike Clark

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

Chasing animals, Ignoring you, Mouthing
Pauline & Ray Philip

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

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

Flake the Black Labrador

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

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

Stevie the Chihuahua

Stevie

Stevie my 2-year-old Chihuahua was a little bit of a menace when it came to all sorts of things; barking at the tv, not coming back outside when called, or was able to go outside at all really without a lead!  Was also quite snappy when I went in for a cuddle.  

Losing my patience slightly, I called Mike who was great with Stevie.  After a great training day, Stevie now goes outside for toilet/a wander without the aid of a lead and even runs alongside me to my mother’s house.  He barks less too at the tv which is great!!  And because he trusts me more his snapping is pretty much non-existant and my fingers are now intact fully!!!

Thanks again Mike, awesome work.

Alice - Culbokie
Biting, Excessive barking or howling, 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

General Disobedience

Breac the Collie X

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

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

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

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

Ignoring you

Bess the Springer Spaniel

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your efforts in solving the problems I had with my springer spaniel, Bess. Her uncontrolled wanderings were, as you know, a major difficulty and might easily have resulted in me either losing the dog under a car or in despair selling her on to somebody who might be more able to contain her before the inevitable happened. Happily, neither event occurred due to your timely intervention. She has the occasional relapse but the renewed application of your training techniques seems to bring things back into order fairly easily.

I am rewarded with the pleasure of owning a spirited but obedient dog and she is much happier for it.

Thanks again for your guidance and support.

Alastair Cunningham
Ignoring you, Recall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flake the Black Labrador

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

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

Jack the Labrador X Staffie

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

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

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 Cameron
Nervousness or Fear

Fergus the English Springer Spaniel

Fergus the English Springer Spaniel

Fergus is an 18-month-old English Springer Spaniel and is the family’s second springer who, we have to admit, was hoped would fill the void that Jasper had left when he died 2 years ago.
The family doted on old Jasper and were devastated when he had to be put to sleep at the ripe old age of 131/2. We waited some 6 months after Jasper to get Fergus, hoping that he would be able to give us the love and devotion that we had received before.
Fergus however proved to be a different kettle of fish!
Jasper was totally devoted to the family, he was very dependable and completely bombproof and trustworthy
Fergus on the other hand turned out to be of a nervous disposition, unsure in certain situations, impossible to groom, exceedingly sensitive but at the same time was prone to displaying aggressive tendencies. His unstable character became particularly evident when we looked after my mother-in-laws’ parrot who is extremely loud.
Over the course of 6 weeks, Fergus transformed into a nervous wreck who, one minute was aggressive toward the family and the next minute reclusive and hiding under beds.
Because of the extreme character transformation, our natural instinct was to suspect a medical problem. After taking Fergus to the vets, who gave him a clean bill of health, and removing the parrot from our house, we were advised to contact Mike. I gave him a general overview of the situation and explained that as a family, (2 young children), we needed some advice on how to get Fergus to be a more acceptable member of the family group. We were totally devastated that the only alternatives were re-homing or perhaps worse!
After our initial conversation, Mike came to our home when the whole family were together. He talked with us and observed our interaction with Fergus. Fergus could not be described as a normal dog. Unlike most dogs, he is not food orientated and therefore chocolate drops do nothing for him as an incentive.
Mike observed us for the afternoon and in that time offered advice on how best to interact with Fergus, when and how to feed him, how to reward him, and how to encourage, train and play with him.
Although Fergus will never be Jasper, we feel that he has made significant steps in the right direction. He is beginning to understand his position in the family unit, he is becoming easier to train using the appropriate methods. He is also becoming more loving towards the family as he now feels confident with our approach towards him (no longer smothering). He is also listening to us when our on walks and is displaying a lot more common sense (bearing in mind that he is a Springer!).
In conclusion, Mike has educated our family on how to treat Fergus as a dog and a part of the family. We had originally hoped that Fergus would be just like Jasper but soon learned that he is a totally different, yet equally loving dog, with different needs.
With Mike’s help, we have started to enjoy him for the dog he is rather than the dog we had tried to replace. Fergus gives as much joy as any dog as long as you understand just how he works.

M.B
Aggression, Nervousness or Fear

Bramble the Bernese Mountain Dog

Bramble

After months of research we collected our delightful Bernese puppy, just 8 weeks old and whilst we were delighted, we were also slightly concerned by her nervousness. She’d just left 12 siblings, so we put it down to adjustment and over the following months she grew and grew and grew – more anxious.

She was so easy to train and a wonder at the puppy classes however she began to develop a fear of men, of anyone wearing a hat or dark clothing and the wheelie bin was a nightmare. By the time she was 3 years old, we had tried everything we could think of by gently introducing her to new situations, but to no avail, so having spoken to our vet, we were referred to a Dog Psychologist who was also a vet. Several hundred pounds later she confirmed that Bramble was indeed “ nervous.”

We did obtain a few useful hints and whilst there was a slight improvement, her nervousness and unpredictability became more problematic.
It all came to a head one night when she nipped one of my daughter’s friends when she stuck her hand into the car. I was distraught and on returning home, I trawled the Internet for a dog whisper, as I wanted someone who would not view the problem from a medical perspective.

I found Mike’s details and a glowing report from a horse whisper who described him as, “a gentle caring man.” How right she is.

That first phone call was the start of a new beginning for Bramble and our family. Poor Mike, I talked for hours, he listened patiently and he kindly agreed to visit.

On arrival, Bramble immediately took to Mike, as we all did. This gentle, caring man carefully assessed our interactions with Bramble and he gave us advice and then he demonstrated the correct techniques to alter Bramble’s behaviour.

It felt as though someone had turned on a light. Having owned three dogs and having spent my life around animals, I had never encountered such anxiety in a dog. I was also to find out that, my growing concern and actions had been feeding Bramble’s anxiety.

Simple techniques were quickly put into practice and whilst Mike advised that it may take several weeks to see any progress, Bramble’s behaviour began to change from that moment. We continue to see changes and improvements every day.

Fear of the Hoover, men, dark clothes, wheelie bins are all a thing of the past. She now goes out of her way to speak to strangers and on returning to our dog training classes she really is a star pupil. She has never been a dog who likes to play however she is now chasing balls and carrying sticks whereas before, she would have run away from them. At training, she is learning new tricks and she is hopefully going to join the agility training in the New Year.

The wonderful personalised booklet written by Mike has been our bible and this had been further complimented by speaking to Mike on the telephone.

Bramble may never be the most extravert of dogs but she is a happy contented dog, whose quality of life has greatly improved, thanks to Mike.

A very special thank you from
Beth & Bramble

Beth Cruickshank
Aggression, 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

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

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

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

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

Heather the Labrador

Heather is my six-year-old labrador. She is strong-willed and with a mind of her own, taking her out for walks became such a tedious task.

I was pulled in every direction. Letting her off the leash was unthinkable. Heather would not come back. Obedience was just not in her vocabulary – till I met Mike and Paddy. After only a few weeks Heather was a different dog. Now we are never in. She is a joy to have now.

Thank you so much, Mike and Paddy.

Mrs M. Edwards.
Pulling, Recall

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

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

Tasso the German Shepherd

Tasso

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

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

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

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

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

Sonja & Christophe
Chasing animals, Pulling

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

Breac the Collie X

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

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

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

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

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

Heather the Labrador

Heather is my six-year-old labrador. She is strong-willed and with a mind of her own, taking her out for walks became such a tedious task.

I was pulled in every direction. Letting her off the leash was unthinkable. Heather would not come back. Obedience was just not in her vocabulary – till I met Mike and Paddy. After only a few weeks Heather was a different dog. Now we are never in. She is a joy to have now.

Thank you so much, Mike and Paddy.

Mrs M. Edwards.
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

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

Georgie the Springer Spaniel

Thank you for your help with Georgie. She’s a lovely wee dog now and comes well to the whistle.

 

Dr. B. Crabb.
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

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

Bess the Springer Spaniel

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your efforts in solving the problems I had with my springer spaniel, Bess. Her uncontrolled wanderings were, as you know, a major difficulty and might easily have resulted in me either losing the dog under a car or in despair selling her on to somebody who might be more able to contain her before the inevitable happened. Happily, neither event occurred due to your timely intervention. She has the occasional relapse but the renewed application of your training techniques seems to bring things back into order fairly easily.

I am rewarded with the pleasure of owning a spirited but obedient dog and she is much happier for it.

Thanks again for your guidance and support.

Alastair Cunningham
Ignoring you, Recall

Stevie the Chihuahua

Stevie

Stevie my 2-year-old Chihuahua was a little bit of a menace when it came to all sorts of things; barking at the tv, not coming back outside when called, or was able to go outside at all really without a lead!  Was also quite snappy when I went in for a cuddle.  

Losing my patience slightly, I called Mike who was great with Stevie.  After a great training day, Stevie now goes outside for toilet/a wander without the aid of a lead and even runs alongside me to my mother’s house.  He barks less too at the tv which is great!!  And because he trusts me more his snapping is pretty much non-existant and my fingers are now intact fully!!!

Thanks again Mike, awesome work.

Alice - Culbokie
Biting, Excessive barking or howling, 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

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

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

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

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

Silhouettes of dogs - Rewarding Dogs
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