The Brilliant Family Dog Workshop’s nearly here!

Free 5 Day online Workshop to show you a new - force-free - way to change your dog or new puppy and enjoy life | FREE 5 DAY ONLINE WORKSHOP | #dogtraining, #puppytraining, #newpuppy, #growlydog |

Great anticipation here, for this summer’s main event!

People are joining in droves, so I’m looking forward to great activity in the new private forum which will be opened in a few days.

And we learn so much from each other - once we’ve chosen the right place to be to learn! As you’ll know, any place I am is a place that focusses on force-free training. On training that reaches the dog’s heart and mind, and does not rely on fear or intimidation to have any effect.

As you’ll have seen from my recent post I am utterly against the use of aversive gear to work with our friend, the dog.

Join our free 5 Day Workshop and find a new dog-friendly way to get fast results with your dog or your brand-new puppy Description Free 5 Day online Workshop to show you a new - force-free - way to change your dog or new puppy and enjoy life | FREE 5 DAY ONLINE WORKSHOP | #dogtraining, #puppytraining, #newpuppy, #growlydog |

This means that we can achieve exactly what we want without nasty collars, no spikes, no electric shocks, no nasty smells.

We wouldn’t dream of treating our children this way!

And yet people have no qualms about abusing their dogs, even the cleverest of whom is only on a par with a three-year-old child. The mind boggles at the double standards their minds have to hold.

But how do we actually get results without using these so-called “training aids”?

To start with, come and join the hundreds already impatiently waiting for kick-off! Our free 5 Day Workshop to a Brilliant Family Dog starts next Monday. Just click that link and you’ll be there!

Once you’ve registered, take a leisurely stroll round this site and have a look at more of the articles. You can use the SEARCH button to find just what you want. With almost 130 posts, it’s a great resource, and it’s f-r-e-e!

Why do I give so much away? Well, I want to reach as many dogs as possible and change their experience during their short life with us.

And you know what? It changes their owners too, so that means the good stuff will keep spreading.


I’m really looking forward to showing you just how to achieve the results you want with your dog, without listening to anyone who says you can only succeed through nastiness.

Choice Training is the fastest way to change your dog - from being a source of conflict and irritation - to becoming your companion and the Brilliant Family Dog you deserve.

Once you’ve worked your way through this 5 Day Workshop, you’ll have a puppy who plays nicely with the children, never nipping hands or grabbing clothes! Isn’t this just what you imagined when you got your puppy?

And you’ll be making a great start on walking comfortably together without your arm being pulled out of its socket! Just imagine that …

Join our free 5 Day Workshop here!

Go and find out all the goodies you’ll be getting …


How to make your puppy brilliant!

Got a new puppy! Wonderful! Now find out how to make your pup the best ever using only the kindest methods | FREE EMAIL COURSE | #newpuppy, #dogtraining, #newrescuedog, #puppytraining, #puppycare, #dogbehavior |

When Helen started in my free 5 Day Workshop in January, Mocha was a typical 13-week-old puppy - full of the joys of spring, easily excited, and much-loved.

She’s a “Cockerpoo” - a combination of excitable Mini Poodle (take my and Coco Poodle’s word for the excitability quotient!) and busybusybusy Cocker Spaniel. This crossbreed can throw up a lot of challenges which are hard for the unsuspecting novice dog-owner to handle.

They did so well in the short Workshop that Helen went on to join my full program From Wild Puppy to Brilliant Family Dog, where she and Mocha went from strength to strength.

Instead of the ups and downs of puppyhood, the total misunderstandings and regrets that I read in my inbox regularly, Helen went on an almost linear path upwards and onwards!

  • She discovered that instead of saying NOOOO she just had to ask Mocha to do something she truly understood and which had a strong reward history.

  • She discovered that rewards can be all sorts of things, not only food.

  • She discovered that asking was much more effective and enjoyable than telling.

  • She didn’t expect miracles of her pup, who’d only been on the planet a matter of weeks,

  • And she regaled us with stories of their successes together - far beyond what the average young puppy can achieve!

Just two weeks into the Wild Puppy Course …

Here’s a report from Helen in Week 2 of the Wild Puppy course. What thrilled me about this is how Helen had completely grasped the concepts I want puppy-owners to understand, thereby enabling her to use the same processes in other situations.

“A few days ago I got very despondent as I had to drag my pup out for a walk. She completely ignored the treats (sausage!) and then she dragged me home. After reading some unrelated stories and comments on this group, I decided I was being unreasonable (she's only a puppy of 15 weeks) and maybe was stressed/frightened by the experience (hence ignoring sausage).

Since then... 

1. I've mentally re-named walks as "sniffs", which allows me to relax and let her control the pace, direction and focus.

2. We're playing lots more in the garden instead - doesn't she know it's  freezing? The loose leash step and treat game is a favourite.

3. Someone's become a bit of a mat star ... Today's mat test was giving my Mum the mat and puppy. It worked without me - Woohoo!

4. We seem to have cracked the new Rules of Tugging, after a month of "wrong" rules!

5. Mocha "got" the Magic hand game straightaway to leave stuff that isn’t for her. I'm now making my friends try it too.

6. I let her off lead yesterday to play with another (older) puppy and got her attention by using her name 3 times - she abandoned her playmate each time and raced to see what I wanted. 

So proud of us!

Sorry to prattle on, but I wanted you all to know how much your support has helped my relationship with my beautifully amazing puppy.”

And here’s what she had to say when Mocha was 20 weeks old. Notice how she spent time building the foundations before expecting miracles.

You can have a puppy who is well-behaved beyond his years, but still fun! Find out how to make your pup the best ever using only the kindest methods | FREE EMAIL COURSE | #newpuppy, #dogtraining, #newrescuedog, #puppytraining, #puppycare, #dogbehavior |

“Today I am so very, very, very proud of my pup and all our hard work ... why? Because today I managed to loose leash walk somewhere that wasn't the back garden. This is HUGE!

Prior to this she's been so excited when out, she refused to eat treats and pulled like a train on the way back home. We've worked so hard in the garden and near the car over the last 6 weeks, that I thought we should try to go a little further. So, I grabbed the cheese and aimed to walk up the road for a few metres. She totally got it and we were walking nicely for 20 minutes and have walked about 0.5km! I nearly ran out of cheese!!!

I'm a very proud mum right now - she's been given a chew to celebrate…”


A stunning recall from this puppy!

But I think the outstanding moment for me was when Helen showed us this video, also in Week 2 of the course - with her 15-week-old puppy! This young puppy recalled instantly, on one call, and hurtled away from a bunch of people and friendly dogs back to her owner.

Can your 15-week-old puppy do that? Can your 15-month-old dog do that? Can you imagine having that level of recall?

Well … you can! Watch out for June 10th, when we’ll be starting a new free 5 Day Workshop for your Brilliant Family Dog - You can Join us here!

When I asked Helen if I could use her video and quotes she replied:

 “Absolutely! Share away! I hope someone else can be helped as much as we were.”

This generosity is typical of the kind of person who’s attracted to the Wild Puppy Course. I’m very proud of all my students

Mocha the puppy demonstrates her stunning recall


How Lois perfected her lead-walking, fast

There's no need to be hauled about by your enthusiastic dog! Follow this proven step-by-step system and enjoy relaxed walks, your dog by your side | FREE EMAIL COURSE | #newpuppy, #dogtraining, #newrescuedog, #doghealth, #dogbehavior, #looseleashwalking |

Lois the Miniature Schnauzer was just one year old when she arrived in my free online Workshop in January with her owner Carol. She had some “growly issues” and Carol was hoping to improve life with her beloved puppy with some new skills.

They so enjoyed the Workshop that Carol went on to join an online course of mine to continue her progress. And progress she did!

Here’s what she posted just five weeks after starting the course:

Gold Star Day!

This afternoon Lois and I have been to the pub!! .... yes the PUB, on our OWN!! 

We only stayed 15 minutes, but it’s a start and I shall now do it once or twice each week with her.

She was impeccably behaved, straight down on her mat, where she stayed, chomping away on her rice bone - didn’t bother anyone.

I have never been in a pub by myself, always felt too uncomfortable. It’s great fun - she’s taking me places I would never have dreamt of going to alone, and I’ll continue with the short visits for as long as it takes. Short bus trip soon I think as well.

Lois Russell on mat on pub visit.pngThere's no need to be hauled about by your enthusiastic dog! Follow this proven step-by-step system and enjoy relaxed walks, your dog by your side | FREE EMAIL COURSE | #newpuppy, #dogtraining, #newrescuedog, #doghealth, #dogbehavior, #looseleashwalking |

Here’s a picture of Lois minding her own business on her mat on her very first pub visit! Matwork is an important part of the training I give, and this is one of the reasons it’s so popular.

I was delighted to see that Lois was now opening up a new world for Carol, one where she gave her owner the confidence to try new things, visit new places, enjoy companionship, safe in the knowledge that her dog could handle herself perfectly and not cause her embarrassment or anxiety.

Then Carol was back a couple of weeks later with this outstanding video of Loose Lead Walking in her town. She said, “Can’t believe the change in my dog - so proud of her!”

Notice the soft, loopy lead, and Lois’s frequent check-ins with Carol, complete with a sit when she pauses. Nicely done Lois!

One of the by-products of this improved relationship between owner and dog is that Lois’s reactivity is much diminished:

Our growly girl Lois is MUCH less growly now!! My theory is her impulse control is tons better, and also her focusing (on me) when we are out, plus we are BOTH much more relaxed.


And the icing on the cake for me was this post from Carol after she completed the course and thanked all her new friends in the group:

We’ve completely finished the course, and Lois is our neighbourhood star as her loose lead walking is absolutely spot on now.

Thank you Beverley and everyone for your continued support.


Join our free 5 Day Workshop here!

Want to know how Carol achieved all this, so quickly? Mark your calendar for June 10th, when we start on something exciting!

If you’re already a subscriber at Brilliant Family Dog, you’ll be hearing about it all direct. And if you’re not yet receiving my informative and quirky emails - well, you know what I think about that … you should come hang out with us!


It’s ok to punish a dog to get what we want

Do we have to punish dogs to get what we want? Absolutely not! The reverse is true. Reward what you like and your dog will learn much faster | FREE EMAIL COURSE | #newpuppy, #dogtraining, #newrescuedog, #puppytraining, #dogbehavior, #reactivedog, #ecollar, #shockcollar, #prongcollar |

It’s not all that long ago that children were sent up chimneys to clean them, and young children are still being used as slave labour.

These children are seen as possessions. Things to use and abuse as their “owners” see fit.

But in civilised countries we just don’t think that any more! Hooray!

Another thing that’s changed is our approach to animals. More and more countries are building animal protection into their law books. For wild animals, farm animals, and for our pets.

But there’s one place where people have a blind spot

And that’s aversive equipment.

Equipment designed to inflict pain.

You can save as many whales as you like, but if you still think it’s ok to put an electric shock collar on a dog (or force a 5-year-old child to work in a factory), you’re barking up the wrong tree!

I understand why you may think that shock collars, prong collars, choke chains and the like are ok to use on your dog. There are a lot of people - some of them calling themselves “dog trainers” - who are heavily invested in using these instruments of torture.

Why? The answer is simple but shocking.

Because they don’t know any better.

The only way they know to get results is by punishing the animal in their care. Whether the dog understands why it’s being punished doesn’t seem to cross their mind.

The fallout of using pain and intimidation to get quick results is a closed book to them. They don’t even bother to look at what happens later.

Using inhumane equipment to reach their ends is making them inhuman.

You wouldn’t want to be a part of that, would you?

The science of getting the results you want in animal training, without lifting a finger to harm the dog, or even ever saying NO, has been proven for almost a hundred years.

We are so behind!  

Do we have to punish dogs to get what we want? Absolutely not! The reverse is true. Reward what you like and your dog will learn much faster | FREE EMAIL COURSE | #newpuppy, #dogtraining, #newrescuedog, #puppytraining, #dogbehavior, #reactivedog, #ecollar, #shockcollar, #prongcollar |

What’s good?

The good news is that more and more countries are changing their laws and BANNING these awful devices. I’m fortunate to live in one of those countries that has seen the light. **

Tell me, would you punish a child for doing something you don’t like?

Or would you rather TEACH him how to do what you DO like?

Would you give your child an electric shock if he didn’t answer you immediately?

The very thought sends shivers down my spine.

And I get those same shivers when I see that people are brainwashed into thinking it’s actually ok to administer pain to an animal.

The fact (and that’s proven scientifically) is that “training” done via methods of punishment does not last. And has many side-effects that make everything worse.

The child who’s punished for stealing a biscuit is not going to know why it’s wrong to steal. He’s just going to make sure he doesn’t get caught in the future!

The dog who’s punished for being afraid of something is now going to be afraid of his owner as well. His first fear is now superseded by the more immediate fear of the person holding the lead, or the electric transmitter. (They actually call it a “controller”. I rest my case.)

Rhyme and reason go out the window.

In both cases, you’re just teaching avoidant behaviour, not resolving the issue.

The future is bright!

Do you want to learn a way to actually communicate with your dog, and - miracle! - get HER to make good decisions without you even having to tell her?

Join me on June 10th!

The way forward is open for you to choose to do things with your dog and stop doing things to your dog.

See you on June 10th!


It's ok to hurt a dog to get what we want

** Countries that have banned electric shock collars now include:

  • England

  • Scotland

  • Wales

  • Denmark

  • Norway

  • Sweden

  • Austria

  • Switzerland

  • Slovenia

  • Germany

  • Canada

  • Australia

Join our free 5 Day Workshop here!

Shouldn’t my dog come when I call him?

Teach your dog to come back on one call - every time - by changing the way you call her! | FREE GUIDE | #newpuppy, #dogtraining, #newrescuedog, #puppytraining, #dogbehavior |

Many people believe that dogs arrive with us with a perfect recall - fully operational.

How wrong can we be?!

People think that as their dog SHOULD listen to them and come when called, then he WILL.

So they sit astride their high horse of SHOULDs and OUGHT-TOs and watch their dog disappearing into the distance without even a flick of his ear.

We expect to spend years - many years - teaching our children what we want them to learn.

So why on earth do people think that they don’t need to TEACH their dog to come when called?

What actually happens is that your tiny new puppy arrives with what you THINK is a recall. But in fact it’s just his infant clinginess and need to stay “close to Mum”. He has an instinctive need to stay close to the mother-ship and be protected.

As time goes by, your pup gets BOLDER and more venturesome. As he moves into adolescence, he gets further and further away from you (and further and further into possible trouble) and you find that your previously-dependable recall is no longer there.

lab pup racing away.pngTeach your dog to come back on one call - every time - by changing the way you call her! | FREE GUIDE | #newpuppy, #dogtraining, #newrescuedog, #puppytraining, #dogbehavior |

Suddenly you have a “bad dog”, a “stubborn dog”, a dog who “never listens”, a dog who winds you up “on purpose”.

And this is the most common age when dogs are surrendered to a shelter for someone else to deal with. How tragic is that?

And if you’ve started with one of those dogs handed in to a shelter - who you’ve fallen in love with and have given a home to - then YOU have the task of undoing an awful lot of early learning from his puppyhood!

But it’s quite possible!

Even famously “deaf” breeds - who get on a scent and become totally immersed in it, or who spot a tiny movement in the undergrowth in the distance and barrel after it at high speed (that would be my Cricket the Whippet!) can learn to pay attention to you and demonstrate a stunning, instant, fast, spin-on-a-sixpence, recall.

Imagine how life with your dog will change when you’re able to say his name quietly and he’s right there beside you?

Imagine how it will be when you see your dog disappearing after a rabbit and you can call, just the once, and have him hurtle back to you?

Teach your dog to come fast when you call - every time - by teaching her what you want! | FREE GUIDE | #newpuppy, #dogtraining, #newrescuedog, #puppytraining, #dogbehavior |

You’ll be glad to know you never have to treat your dog any differently than you’d treat your small child! There’s never any need for nasty gadgets, tellings-off, yanking the collar, and so on

And I can show you lots of kind methods that really work.

Mark your calendar for June 10th!

I know it seems miles away, but it will come round in no time. I’ll have something for you that will transform your recalls FOR EVER!

AND it will transform your relationship with your dog, and your enjoyment of him. After all, that’s why you got your dog in the first place, isn’t it?

I look forward to seeing YOU on June 10th, ready to learn the mysteries of making your dog a brilliant family dog.

Meanwhile, check out my book with loads of games and ways to get on the road to getting that recall re-installed and fully functional.


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Shouldn’t my dog come when I call him?


Is it possible for a dog to be reactive to the unexpected?

Do dogs like surprises? Their job is to spot surprises and alert us | FREE EMAIL COURSE | #newpuppy, #dogtraining, #newrescuedog, #puppytraining, #dogbodylanguage, #dogbehavior, #reactivedog |

I had a great question recently:

“Is it possible for a dog to be reactive to quiet and ‘the unexpected’?”

The person who posed this question was puzzled that their dog seemed able to cope with busy or noisy situations, but would react violently to any sight or sound when the environment was otherwise empty or quiet. The owner was worried that his dog may be unusual or wrong in some way.

As I answered, it became clear that quite a few owners of reactive dogs are puzzled by this. So I’m giving you my answer as it may answer a question that you have too!


This is a good question! It baffles and misleads a lot of people.  

Picture this: you are visiting your local shops. It’s afternoon, the shops are busy, there are mothers with pushchairs, delivery vans, people with shopping bags, boys on bikes … How do you feel?

Absolutely fine and comfortable, I’d bet.

Now imagine you go there at 1 in the morning. The place is deserted. You hear footsteps getting louder, and peering into the gloom you can just make out a figure heading towards you. How do you feel?

Most of us would be on high alert at the very least, possibly really alarmed.

The same man ambling through the crowds in the afternoon probably wouldn’t have bothered you at all.

There is a technical name for this - it’s SEC or Sudden Environmental Change.

Dogs are designed to spot things which are different, things which shouldn’t be there. They can single out something amiss and focus intently on it. This is one reason why they have earned their place in our homes down the ages. They are alarm sensors!

So your dog is behaving absolutely normally.


Want to learn more? Check out this free email course that will give you lots of Aha moments about your reactive, aggressive, anxious - Growly - dog!


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Sudden Environmental Change? Wha’?

There is a reason so many of our working dogs are so useful in their work. Take German Shepherds for instance, who can spot an intruder or an escaping criminal in a split-second, and take action.

Border Collies, those wonderful sheep-herders, can instantly spot a ewe whose ear is twitching in the wrong direction, indicating that she’s about to break and take the flock with her. The Collie can get round in an instant to block the ewe and make sure she keeps going in the right direction.

In the image at the top of the page, young Coco Poodle just has to check out this strange sign in an otherwise green and empty landscape.

Do dogs like surprises? Their job is to spot surprises and alert us | FREE EMAIL COURSE | #newpuppy, #dogtraining, #newrescuedog, #puppytraining, #dogbodylanguage, #dogbehavior, #reactivedog |

Sighthounds can spot the tiniest movement in a still place at a huge distance. Something moving in the landscape could well be dinner!

Dogs searching for evidence may not have a specific scent or object in mind - they’re just looking for something that shouldn’t be there.

And this is why your dog may react dramatically to the doorbell, or a car door slamming outside your home.




For this ability alone, dogs have earnt their place by our fireplaces for so many thousands of years - it’s about 30,000 years, in fact.

Dogs’ gifts

The fact is that the hearing and sight capabilities of the dog so far outweigh our own. When it comes to their noses, they are unparalleled, and are the reason dogs are an important tool for the police, and in airports and ports worldwide. They’re far quicker at discovering evidence and identifying contraband than much of the sophisticated machinery also in use!

Is it possible for a dog to be reactive to quiet?