anxious dog

What is your biggest problem with your dog?

What’s your biggest frustration with your dog? And do you think you’ll never be able to fix it? Come to our force-free, dog-friendly Live Workshop and find a new way to make the changes you want | FREE ONLINE WORKSHOP! | #aggressivedog, #reactivedog, #dogtraining, #growlydog, #anxiousdog, #overfriendlydog | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

And what's your biggest frustration right now with training your dog?

You may be saying,

He barks at everything!

OR

I can’t have visitors to the house any more

OR, maybe

I’d love to go for walks or holidays with friends, but my dog is so unpredictable … it wouldn’t be fair on them or their dogs.

I understand that so well!

I was like that for a long time, thinking nothing would ever work to change my dog. I thought I’d tried everything. But in fact I’d only seen the tip of the iceberg, the things people shout loudest about . . .

But now I’ve dug way deeper and learnt how to do it - all dog-friendly, no nastiness, no shouting, no nasty gadgets - and I’ve been able to help hundreds and hundreds of people like you - frustrated owners who love their dogs - to make big changes with their dogs and make their lives happier and so much more comfortable.

If I had something that could help you solve this problem, would you be interested in taking a look at it?

What would it be worth to you to have these problems solved?

What do you think it's costing you not to solve these problems?

  • Losing friends?

  • Spending money on expensive trainers?

  • or nasty gadgets?

  • No holidays? No kennels to take your dog?

  • Worst case: vet or doctor or legal bills?

Maybe you’re like Liz, who never really had the chance to talk to other dog-owners about her problems. She found it quite isolating having a growly dog!

Or maybe you can relate to Emma, who found that every time she visited the lessons she’d get a renewed sense of calm and her resolve would be strengthened.  

I felt like an outcast. All I could see around me was well-behaved dogs, and mine was like a Tasmanian devil on the lead! But this support is helping me to really focus on helping my little rescue dog, and things are starting to look better. He’s experiencing a calmer way of being outside. Thank you Beverley, you are amazing.”

And what about Stella? After the Workshop she dived straight into my full program, and said:

“Only one day in and already good things are happening! All sorts of realisations dawning on me! Thank you Beverley, really enjoying this journey.”

SO …

Mark your calendar for Monday September 16th, when you’ll find out just HOW I’ve helped so many people to change their lives with their dogs.

I’ll be hosting one of my celebrated Live 5 Day Workshops and it’ll give you a behind-the-scenes look at some of the methodologies used in my paid program - and you’ll get it all free!

Karla absolutely loved the Workshop, and she said,

“thank you for all you do to help as many dogs as possible.”

Do come and join us! There’ll be people from all round the world - and I would love to have the opportunity to show you a new way to cope with your difficult, reactive, aggressive - Growly - dog! so YOU can get the results that these folk have had!

See you on the 16th!

 

We’re not quite ready for you yet, but get onto our waiting list! and you’ll be the first to get all the details

… More news soon …

 

 

My Growly Dog can’t change

There are lots of kind, dog-friendly, methods to teach your dog he doesn’t have to be afraid of everyone and everything | FREE EMAIL COURSE | #aggressivedog, #reactivedog, #dogtraining, #growlydog, #anxiousdog, #overfriendlydog | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

Really?

Why do you think that?

Is it because you’ve tried things in the past and they haven’t worked?

Have you thought that perhaps the things you tried were ineffectual, and it wasn’t the fault of you or your dog. They were doomed never to work because they didn’t take account of the scientific knowledge we have now about how the dog’s mind works.

There are still plenty of people about who want to beat bad behaviour out of a dog. And sadly, many of these are masquerading as your local friendly trainer. This underlines the importance of choosing your trainer from a reliable umbrella organisation who promote force-free training and constant study and upgrading of the skills of their members. There are some links below for you to hunt through.

For help with your reactive, anxious, aggressive, “growly” dog, get our free email course here.

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You owe it to your dog (and to yourself!) to change things so that walks are no longer miserable, visitors may be allowed to visit, and every sound doesn’t have to be woofed at. 

So what if you found the thing that really made a change for you? 

Would you be willing to give it a try

“I failed my way to success” Thomas Edison

You see, I find that once people have tried something and it didn’t work, they want to give up. To hide their disappointment, to cover up the fact that they thought they’d failed.

To avoid the pain of that failure, which they think is now inevitable.

But in fact, the people who succeed are the ones who keep going - they fall, they get up, and they try again.

A baby falls many times when learning to walk. Does he give up? Of course not! He just keeps going till he masters this one-foot-in-front-of-the-other thing,

How many stories have you read of … business moguls, sports stars, artists … who failed dismally, were doubtless told by their friends and families that they should just pack it in, that it was all a waste of time, that they’d never make it?

But they just KEPT GOING?  

When challenged to give up this daft idea about electric light after 10,000 failed attempts, Thomas Edison famously said, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”

So you can most certainly help your dog to change, and transform life for the both of you!

  • No more hiding behind hedges when you see someone coming.

  • No more barricading your home from visitors as if it’s Fort Knox.

  • No more “I need to take the dog for a walk but I can’t face it.”

You just need to find a method that is kind to your dog, is not onerous for you, and that works! 

I want to show you just what is possible for you and your dog. And I know it’s possible because of what I’ve achieved with my own dogs and the thousands of dogs I have helped. 

Make a start with this email course which gives you a springboard to understanding why your dog does what he does, and therefore how you can start the change.

And check out the many articles for Growly Dogs here on this site. You have found someone who can help you! Don’t lose sight of that. 

News will be coming soon of some exciting developments for helping you and your Growly Dog. Keep an eye out!

Why can’t I take my dog to the fair?

Here are some thoughts on how to enjoy an outing with your dog, just as you planned when you got your dog! | FREE EMAIL COURSE | #aggressivedog, #reactivedog, #dogtraining, #growlydog, #anxiousdog, #overfriendlydog | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

Well … maybe you can. Maybe you have a bombproof dog who loves everyone and likes nothing more than all the busyness, noise, and goings-on at your local summer fete.

Then again, maybe your dog is like most dogs, and finds traipsing round a hot and busy fairground, on a short lead, with children screaming, people laughing, smells of burgers, spilt chips in the grass you won’t let him eat, loudspeakers blaring - a complete nightmare.

You can’t put him back in the car as it’s way too hot. So your unhappy dog is stuck with this for as long as you choose to stay at the event. Hot, bothered, fed up.

Now this is where you’ll send me a photo of your dog on your last outing, quietly standing beside you. All the more surprising to you because your dog is usually wary of strangers and other dogs, and seemed to be “absolutely fine” in the midst of thousands of them.

“He’s fine!” you’ll assure me.

But it’s very likely that this change in behaviour was not down to him “being fine”, rather that he’s “shut down”. This is a coping mechanism we all employ when overwhelmed.

We become subdued, we stay quiet, make ourselves small. We hope not to be noticed, spoken to, or challenged.

It’s a form of learned helplessness.

We know that nothing we do will change the situation, so we give up. Surrender to our fate. But it doesn’t mean we’re enjoying it!

Your dog, as I so often say, is the exact same. He finds himself in a situation he can’t handle. With hundreds of people, children, dogs, in close proximity, he knows he can’t employ his usual methods of requesting space - barking, lunging, screaming, snarling - which work like a charm at removing the approaching thing from their path, or getting themselves removed by an embarrassed owner.

Watch and wait

Put some planning into place when you are visiting an exciting event with your dog, so that it goes as smoothly as you planned when you first got him! | FREE EMAIL COURSE | #aggressivedog, #reactivedog, #dogtraining, #growlydog, #anxiousdog, #overfriendlydog | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

Some dogs will be much happier out of the thick of things, on the sidelines where they can safely observe what’s in front of them without having to scan the full 360° (see there’s nothing behind this puppy in the picture - she only needs to check in front of her).

He will also appreciate you watching how he is (soft mouth, soft ears and shoulders, no gasping panting, head not dropped, no twitchiness or slinking about) and removing him from the situation after maybe as little as three minutes. And yes, you can’t plonk him in the hot car or you’ll have a worse problem! Take him home.

You may be surprised that even your very friendly dog finds a busy outing a bit too much. Continually being restrained from jumping all over a thousand new friends who must want to meet him, will wear him out!

If you’re planning on visiting a big event, put your dog in training for the occasion. You can start with a walk past the local shops, sitting at the other end of a school road at school-out time, a shopping centre car park on a quiet day, a busier day, a Saturday …

Don’t plunge him into a new and strange environment, which could cause him distress, without finding out beforehand how he’s going to manage.

Then you can amend your plans accordingly. We can enjoy our family outings, but we don’t necessarily need to take our dog.

Here are some more articles which will help you understand just what’s going on with your dog when you’re out and about:

How to get calmer dogwalks

How heat can affect your dog’s coping skills

How to plan a successful day out with your dog

Need more help understanding your Growly Dog? Get this free e-course

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Can Choice Training help my Reactive - Growly - Dog?

Training your dog with choice is much easier and more effective than you may have thought | FREE EMAIL COURSE | #newpuppy, #dogtraining, #newrescuedog, #puppytraining, #dogbehavior | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

One of the interesting things I’ve observed recently is how much simple Choice Training changes life for those of us blessed with a Growly Dog - a reactive, anxious, aggressive, dog.

Of course, I always knew that! But it’s great to hear it come back from students and folk on my recent Workshop. That was all about Choice Training - training your dog by offering him a choice instead of telling him what to do.

And the results have been remarkable for many people!

They were surprised - and delighted! - to find that their growly dog was much better able to cope after only a couple of days of trying this new approach. Well, it was new for many of them …

Plenty of ideas in this free 8-lesson email course for changing your life with your dog!

   

How can a few simple games change my reactive dog?

What happens is that - through offering your dog a choice and not continually “commanding” him what to do - you build a completely new relationship with your pet!

No longer are you yelling and dancing, coaxing and cajoling, to try and get what you want. Instead you have a happy companionship where your dog is keen to do what you want because it’s what he wants too!

What I love about this way of training is that the dog doesn’t have to “be trained” at all. So how does the change happen? By you, the OWNER, changing!

Simple as that! Once you change your ways, your dog will just change with you.

And while you’re building up this amazing new bond between you, your anxious dog is getting less anxious, your reactive dog is able to cope much better with his fears, and your aggressive dog finds that - with you on his side - he doesn’t need to be aggressive any more.

I love my dog but …

Training your dog with Choice Training is much easier and more effective than you may have thought | FREE EMAIL COURSE | #newpuppy, #dogtraining, #newrescuedog, #puppytraining, #dogbehavior | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

Many people come to me saying “I love my dog to bits, but …” What’s happening is that they undoubtedly do love their dog, but they don’t actually understand why he’s doing what he does. They know there’s a disconnect there, but are unaware how to fix it.

Once they start using Choice Training, things change fast. They become a team with their dog. They can now love him with understanding and empathy.

When I’m working with Growly Dogs specifically, I use a lot of strategies and techniques to achieve the desired change in the dog’s behaviour. But these are all based in giving him a choice and letting him decide on a good course of action.

When you have very young children, you have to show them and teach them all the time. Once your child is older, you’re no longer saying “do this, do that,” but you are backing them up in the informed choices that they are now able to make. This is what I aspire to for my Growly Dog students. That they can work together with their challenging dog to get the results they want.

One of the best things about Choice Training is that you can start it with your new puppy when he comes through the door at 7-8 weeks old. People used to say (some unenlightened people still say …) that you can’t train a puppy till it’s 6 months old. Why? It’s simply that the type of training they’re thinking of - harsh, punishment-based training involving physical pain - would be too tough on a puppy.

Why use it on any dog??? It’s quite unnecessary, as you’ll see from any of the 130-odd articles on this site, not to mention the many books, the audiobooks, and my free - as well as paid - programs.

And if a training technique won't work for a toddler, then it likely won't work for a dog —Stanley Coren

Take a look at this post which goes into the whole subject in great detail. There are some academic resources listed there for those of you who want to dig deep!

The fact remains, if you can treat your dog with the same courtesy, kindness and respect that you give to any toddler, then you’ll get the results you want!

Plenty of ideas in this free 8-lesson email course for changing your life with your dog!

   

 

 

 

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 | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

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 | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

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.

WHO IS THIS?

WHAT ARE THEY DOING HERE?

ARE WE UNDER THREAT?

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?

Window barking and fence running

I can’t tell you how many owners of reactive dogs tell me their dog is a nightmare because he barks all day at the window.

“He barks at the window at everything he sees”

“He looks out of the window all day, if anyone comes past he barks and barks.”

“He spends his days attacking my front window as people pass by”

Or races up and down the garden barking at anything the other side of the fence.

He also fence fights with our neighbour’s dogs when they are out so that is a daily challenge”

“The biggest issue is that whenever our neighbours walk past our garden fence she goes on the defensive, jumping up the fence to try and get to them”

He will run the fence if allowed”

There are two problems here

1. The dog is driving the owner mad, so there’s disharmony in the house, frustration from both owner and dog, maybe wrecked furniture or lawn, worry about what the neighbours think.

and

2. The dog is continually wound up like a coiled spring. He’s getting no rest, and his cortisol levels (that’s the fight or flight thing) are continually elevated.

 

We all know how an overtired toddler is impossible to manage. Dogs are the exact same. This dog who spends his days on guard duty at the window, straining for any movement he can see, then leaping about scrabbling and barking at the window, is getting no rest. He’s getting tenser and tenser.

By the time you set out on your walk with him he’s already on his toes, on full alert! There’s little chance of escaping your outing without some kind of incident - barking and lunging at anything that moves, and going nuts on sight of a dog, or a bicycle, or whatever upsets your dog.

The dog who heads out to the garden for a quiet sniff about is not going to get that if he’s hurtling up and down the fence screaming at anything the other side.

I’d go so far as to say that you are going to have little impact on changing your walks to calm, quiet, and enjoyable, if you don’t first fix these problems at home.

So how on earth can I stop it?

Like most problems, it’s always best to prevent it even starting. But that’s with 20/20 hindsight! If you’ve already got this as an established problem, it’s no help to you to say don’t let it start!

But you can mostly certainly change it. For good.

Let’s start with the windows

You need to prevent your dog’s access to the windows that are causing the problem. Probably the front windows. So first stop is not to let him in that room unless you are with him to manage the situation. If you’ve got a tiny home, or an open-plan one, you may find baby gates help (baby gates are most definitely the dog-owner’s friend!).

Or move to Plan B. Which is to use window film! This wonderful invention will still allow light into your home, but present a fuzzy image to your dog. He can only see something really close up to the window, not out on the street. You can get all sorts of designs, and it’s really easy to apply - and just to whip off when you want (you won’t want: you’ll be so pleased with the calm it brings you’ll never want to take it off!).

And you don’t need to cover the whole window. Just the part your dog can see out of.

You may need to move your furniture about a bit, so he doesn’t have a handy perch!

So window-barking is now eliminated! Hooray. You’ll wonder how you ever stood it before. And you will see a distinct difference in your dog who is now getting something approaching the 17 hours (yes, seventeen hours) of sleep he should have every day for optimum health and lowered stress.

“But I don’t want to cover my windows!” Then unless you can keep your dog away from them another way, you will continue this mad barking and over-stimulation, which will prevent you making the important changes in your reactive dog’s behaviour out of doors! Your choice …

So what about fence-running?

Putting film on your fence is not going to work!

If you can, talk to your neighbours and arrange things so that you are all not driven mad. See what this resourceful student does to prevent these senseless and energy-sapping battles at the fence:

“My neighbour and I text each other for the all clear before letting them out!”

Those of you without such amenable and sensible neighbours will have to manage it all by yourself. Careful observation of your neighbour’s timetable will help.

 But in any case, you will always be out in the garden with your dog!

If necessary, you could have her on lead. It’s essential to teach your dog a new way of being in the garden. You’ll find simple counterconditioning very helpful. You just post treats into your dog’s mouth whenever there’s something over the fence that worries her. This way you’ll change her emotional response to the frightening thing.

You may have to start this from inside the house! Wherever your dog is calm enough to take treats will get you started.  

No more barking and screaming!

These problems are very simply solved. Note I didn’t say “easily”. It takes application and observation. But the solutions are simple and straightforward.

All it needs is a little effort on your part, and the deafening noises, frantic behaviour, and over-arousal, will all be a thing of the past.

Come and see what else the thousands of folk are learning at this week’s free online Workshop!

Hit this button to register

and you’ll get all the info and be able to join in the fun!