dog behavior

Growly Workshop! Enrol now!

Want to transform your growly dog in just 5 days? All without force?  | FREE LIVE WORKSHOP  | #aggressivedog, #reactivedog, #dogtraining, #growlydog, #anxiousdog, #overfriendlydog | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

Exciting times! Our ever-popular Free Live 5 Day Workshop for your Growly but Brilliant Family Dog starts next week. People are already piling in and waiting excitedly for the private group to open in a few days’ time.

I, of course, think it’s the best thing since sliced bread:

  • It gives hope to people with no hope.

  • It shows people who have been told to do nasty things to their dog that they are right, and there is a better way.

  • It gets results!

  • It massively builds people’s confidence that they can do this!

  But why not let the Workshoppers speak for themselves?   

“Four days later and you simply wouldn't recognise Tia. She has changed positively beyond my dreams. Another day another success - can't believe the almost total positive change in both Tia and me. Never seen her so relaxed and responsive when we're walking.”

 “She is already much happier, more responsive AND is improving on her recall.”

“Such small changes with such amazing results!”

“We had a lovely walk, and I think I've overcome a huge hurdle. Now there's a big difference. It's made me more confident. This morning I did none of my usual distractions or avoidance of other dogs but just let things happen. I am so thrilled. Of course, I'm now wishing I'd known this years ago. My dog is just 7 and we've had such a stressful time. We are on our way to a much happier life together because when she's relaxed, I'm relaxed too, and we can have much more fun.” 

“Thank you so much for the training over the last few days, my little terrier George has had a calm week. The main thing is how you have made me and George think about things differently and make some fundamental changes.”  

 

You are not alone any more:

 

“I did not realise just how anxious my dog actually is. It’s also lovely to interact with others who experience similar problems.”

 

For some people, it was less barking:

 

“Hi Beverley, now on Day 4 of your free online course, thank you. Molly is super chilled and not barked at the neighbour, which she would normally do. Thank you for your expertise. I'm convinced.“

“Other dog lunging barking snarling. Lola and I turned and walked away. I was so proud of her - she never looked back pulled growled or barked, I am brimming with pride. A few months ago she would have been the other dog but not any more. Beverley thank you for all your wonderful advice and coaching.”

 

For some folk, it was at last stopping the pulling on the lead!

 

“Well we continued with the focus training and loose lead walking training after the fab workshop, and we have just had the BEST walk we have ever had in 4 and a half years!”

 “Four days into this Workshop, we are making great progress overall with her attention. Loving this hands-free approach. It has also set us up for some great loose leash walking! Thank you Beverley!” 

“ I thought you might like an update! My working lab is now eleven months old and from pulling like a steam engine he is now walking beautifully. This has helped my shoulders and back!”

  

Even professional trainers learn from the Workshop!

 

“Just love the first two days of your 5 Day Workshop. I am an Instructor and I have passed your details to one of my students.“

 

And, in general, people just LOVE the approach, which is a breath of fresh air for many of them:

 

“Thanks for your kind approach; it’s so much nicer than harsh words or worse!”

“This is really revolutionary! Thank you for sharing your wisdom and by that helping a huge number of people be their best version of pet companion.”

“I love love LOVE that as a beginner it’s about just doing the exercises and letting the magic happen, whether with my creativity or my dog’s responses! THIS I can do!!”

“There are no words for how grateful I am for the start Beverley has given me.”

 

So get on over to Free Live 5 Day Workshop for your Growly but Brilliant Family Dog and mark your calendar for September 16th when we’ll be starting . . .

  •  Starting a new way to be with your anxious dog.

  • Starting a new way for you to think about your troubled companion.

  • Starting a new life for the both of you!

See you there!

 

How Lacy helps other dogs

Learning how my reactive dog thought made all the difference to how she acted. The relationship blossomed and our lives changed | FREE EMAIL COURSE | #aggressivedog, #reactivedog, #dogtraining, #growlydog | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

This article was first published on 4knines.com and is reprinted here with permission.

Even as a young puppy Lacylu scared people. They would cling to each other and cross the road when they saw her coming.

She looked like a brown bear cub. In no way was she a petite or cute pup, though she did have a very pretty face – still does.

But it was clear from very early on that she was going to struggle in an urban world, full of people, other dogs, things that go bang in the night …

As she matured Lulubelle became more, not less, difficult. She reckoned that she needed to protect the 3,000 acres around us, starting at my feet. Anyone or anything that hove into view prompted ferocious barking - and if she was able she would chase them away.

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

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I know just what it’s like to be a pariah. I’ve had the wrath of ignorant people rain down on me when my dog has barked and lunged toward them. If only they could understand what a gentle and loving dog she really is!

And this is where my lessons began

I’d been training dogs for competition for many years, and after lots of study, I had opened my dog training school the year before, at an age when many people are slowing down and switching off – not studying, sitting exams, learning about SEO, public indemnity insurance, and payment systems!

So Lulu arrived at a very good time for me (and, I think, for her).

I started learning about fearful dogs, anxious dogs, aggressive dogs, Growly Dogs; guardy dogs, nervous dogs, barky dogs (Lacy loves to bark); people’s fears, people’s reactions, people’s emotions.

Learning how my reactive dog thought made all the difference to how she acted. The relationship blossomed and our lives changed | FREE EMAIL COURSE | #aggressivedog, #reactivedog, #dogtraining, #growlydog | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

I was voracious – all the available methods were scrutinised and run past my personal ethos. Many were dismissed out of hand as being harsh or even cruel. Some were hard to assimilate into everyday life. Some were ineffectual. Finally I found the best of the best and focused my energies on developing my skills there, and building my own system.

  • I learnt why anxious dogs behave as they do

  • I learnt kind techniques that put a worried dog at ease – CLUE: the first step is always distance!

  • I learnt how to keep people away without causing them to panic

  • And – most important – I learnt how to help other people with their “growly” dogs

Lacy’s now able to look at a strange person or dog and move on. She logs their position carefully, just in case they should try anything … but she can pass them peacefully. (She’s never bitten anyone.)

My fluffy bear cub has come so far in a few years – and is helping others like her to gain confidence and give their owners at the other end of the lead a bit of peace. Both dog and owner learn new coping skills together.

Helping my dog get over her fears has led to a better life for so many more dogs!

Once the poor harassed owners learn that their much-loved dog is not nasty or vicious a new life opens up before them.

It certainly did for me!

 

Your first step towards your new life with your growly dog is in this free e-course

     

  THIS FREE ECOURSE IS A BONUS FOR YOU WHEN YOU SIGN UP TO RECEIVE EDUCATIONAL EMAILS AND OCCASIONAL OFFERS FROM ME. YOU CAN UNSUBSCRIBE AT ANY TIME.
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Are two puppies better than one?

Make sure your dogs get as much attention as they need while you focus on your new dog! Juggling the needs of individual dogs in a multi-dog household takes skill and thought | FREE EMAIL COURSE |  #newpuppy, #twodogs, #littermates, #reactivedog, #dogtraining, #dogbehavior | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

People often come to me with problems with their two (or more) dogs.

They tell me they got two dogs usually for one of these reasons:

  • The first puppy was so cute and adorable they just had to get another.

  • They’re at work all day and feel guilty about the dog being alone.

  • They just thought it would be twice as much fun.

  • They got one for each child and mum ended up with both of them …

  • They were pressured into it by the “breeder” (this is a common puppy farm ploy) and were sorry for the puppy being left behind.

So there often wasn’t too much thought involved, and little prior research!

More commonsense tips to be found in this free 8-lesson email course to get you started with your dog

THIS FREE ECOURSE IS A BONUS FOR YOU WHEN YOU SIGN UP TO RECEIVE EDUCATIONAL EMAILS AND OCCASIONAL OFFERS FROM ME. YOU CAN UNSUBSCRIBE AT ANY TIME.
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Now I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t have two or more dogs - as long as you have the time for them. I have four, and I know lots of people with two+ very happy dogs.

 But what you need to know is that it isn’t necessarily plain sailing!

 

You can’t just get another dog or pup and toss it into the mix and let it sink or swim! There could be lasting bad fallout from this. Either the older dogs (who never asked for another dog in the family) are pestered mercilessly till their temper frays and they snap at the youngster. Or - possibly worse - the two dogs become such firm friends that the newer dog has no relationship with you whatsoever, and is wild.

Keep ‘em apart!

What many people don’t realise is that you have to rear the new dog largely separate from the present incumbent.

This is fairly easy with a puppy as they’re on a completely different sleep and feeding schedule from your older dog, and need to be kept to limited space for sleep and housetraining purposes. Walks should be solo so that you can keep up your relationship with your older dog and develop one with the newcomer. Yes, it requires double the work, but you end up with two dogs who enjoy each others’ company, but enjoy you most of all!

To find out exactly how to introduce a new puppy into your household of one or more dogs, read this post

Littermates

But the big trouble comes when people get two puppies at once. Or they get another puppy when the first is only a few months old.

They expect them to entertain each other, to save them the bother of doing it themselves. They let them roll and scrap all day long. They leave them more or less alone together. When the lunatics begin to take over the asylum, they don’t know who is responsible for which misdemeanour. So they either ignore the poor behaviour and let it develop and grow, or they punish both puppies just to be sure, to be sure.

They don’t know how much either pup is sleeping, how much he’s eating, and who is producing which poo (important to keep an eye on this for health reasons).

In any relationship, one tends to make the decisions and the other tends to follow. What will happen to your shyer pup if you lose the bolder one? It could take years for the remaining dog to recover from the loss.

So can I get a second dog?

Broadly speaking, yes - if you follow these guidelines:

  • Your first dog should already have reached maturity - 1 to 2 years old for most dogs. The larger the breed, the slower they are to mature.

  • You must follow a program of relationship-building between the two dogs, and each dog and you. This takes TIME! Follow the guidance in this post

  • You need to focus most of your attention on the new puppy for his critical first year. Have you enough time to go round?

  • Before you even consider adding another dog in to your home, read this series of posts on how to choose the right dog for you.

  • If you fall for your heart’s or your child’s or the puppy salesperson’s nagging and get two littermates - you really have your work cut out! Follow the guidance in the linked post. Sleep the puppies in separate crates, maybe separate rooms, feed separately, walk separately, go on socialisation outings separately, separate handlers in puppy class - or separate classes, play separately, and so on. Of course they can interact with each other, but a good rule of thumb is to allow ⅓ the amount of time for playing together as you can give each individual puppy. Yup. That means they get to play together for 20’ in the day, perhaps 5’ at a time, as long as you can give each dog 1 hour of your time. And that play must always be actively supervised!

Still want to get two puppies?? 

There is a way to make the introduction of a second dog into your home work well. Juggling the needs of individual dogs in a multi-dog household takes skill and thought | FREE EMAIL COURSE |  #newpuppy, #twodogs, #littermates, #reactivedog, #dogtraining, #dogbehavior | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

Follow these guidelines and you’ll end up with two well-balanced, and possibly well-trained dogs (that depends entirely on how much time you put into training them!), who respond to you.

And for more helpful and dog-friendly advice - on what to do with the critters once you have them! - get our free 8-part email course here.

 

More commonsense tips to be found in this free 8-lesson email course to get you started with your dog

THIS FREE ECOURSE IS A BONUS FOR YOU WHEN YOU SIGN UP TO RECEIVE EDUCATIONAL EMAILS AND OCCASIONAL OFFERS FROM ME. YOU CAN UNSUBSCRIBE AT ANY TIME.
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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!

   

 

 

 

Well that was a great week of dog training!

Brilliant Family Dog’s Choice Training is the quickest way to build a rewarding relationship with your dog | FREE EMAIL COURSE | #newpuppy, #dogtraining, #newrescuedog, #dogbehavior, #dogimpulsecontrol | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

The 5 Day Workshop was roundly acclaimed a great success! People got results that astonished them. Things they’d been struggling with for months or years were resolved in just five intensive days. 

I love celebrating my students’ successes, so while my team and I are still working on the aftermath of the Workshop and welcoming new students into the two courses recommended,

From Wild Puppy to Brilliant Family Dog

and

From Challenging Dog to Brilliant Family Dog

… I thought I’d let the Workshoppers speak for themselves:

 

Thank you for caring, it is so genuine. I am looking forward to this course!

My 14 week old puppy loved this! He couldn’t take his eyes off me, plus he sat after every treat without being told.

Did two sessions already and his recalls outside improved. This is going to be a fabulous week!! Thank you so much!

Thanks for your kind approach; it’s so much nicer than harsh words or worse!

Thank you for making the course and emails so easy to follow!

So Meg (the world's most anxious Border Collie who we've only had for a few weeks), has been playing - yes real playing with tail wagging, playbows, and coming back for more! She's now exhausted and flat out after all the playing - looking very relaxed. I'm a convert.

You are so amazing. I’m so enjoying this training video - hugs from me and Rory

He's improved so much and isn't as reactive when out.

You put the tools in front of us and give us the confidence to experiment! I so appreciate your clarity!

Though I teach others and we do this practice every day with my own dogs, we are loving and benefiting from the group experience. Thank you so much for this, this is my first course like this. The course so far is great, even for a training professional!

She is much better on the lead since playing the focus game yeah

This is really revolutionary! Thank you for sharing your wisdom and by that helping a huge number of people be their best version of pet companion.

This course really works and not just for a week. I haven't used any verbal cues or hand signals while playing the game. Looking forward to tomorrow morning when we do the next unit.

It usually takes at least two calls to get him in reluctantly from the garden. Today after the focus game, adding the sit cue, I called him, he came racing in on first call and sat in front of me! It’s only day 4 …

You’re a godsend.

Molly has always been very responsive to training (she's a collie/springer cross) but OMG! What an eye-opener and what fun to actually see her thinking and working out what I want her to do! It's so different but she's so engaged with me - I think she’s really enjoying it. It's amazing!! I feel tickled pink!

So proud of how my little dog is progressing, thanks to what we are learning from Beverley, would never have thought it possible, but we’re steadily getting there!

Fantastic information delivered in a very easy to understand manner. I always pick up a great tip from you - Thanks!

It all makes so much sense. And we are seeing such changes in both dogs.

Just wanted to say thank you for the 5 day workshop, we have seen a really big difference in Maisie, she is a lot more calm and much more focused on her walks which means no pulling on the lead and she also seems much more content.

Thank you so much for the workshop. It's has been incredibly helpful and great fun and has finally tired her out!!!

Thank you so much. Your 5 day Workshop has been most enlightening, I have always taught my dogs using a soft voice and a gentle touch, but I must say your method this week has been an eye-opener, letting the dog work out what is required! Fantastic idea.

This week has been thoroughly enjoyable for both myself and Maisey,

Isn't it fabulous how focused they are on you?

It’s amazing how quickly they work it out x

We have learned so much from Beverley Courtney's Essential Skills for a Brilliant Family Dog and the Growly but Brilliant Family Dog books.

Love this training. Bonnie and I have learned so much in such a short time. Thank you Beverley.

Saw so much progress with the 5 day Workshop. Dogs and us calmer and enjoying each other so much more. Stress levels right down.

I love love LOVE that as a beginner it’s about just doing the exercises and letting the magic happen, whether with my creativity or my dog’s responses! THIS I can do!!

 A big thank you Beverley and team for a fantastic 5 day Workshop.

 

Lucy Walker closer.png

Basking in praise?

No, I’m not! I’m too busy helping the new students find everything they need and supplying them with their course notebooks …

 

But I can allow myself a pat on the back for helping more dogs round the world have a happier life with their devoted owners, and be better understood.

I’ll drink to that!

 

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

   

  THIS FREE ECOURSE IS A BONUS FOR YOU WHEN YOU SIGN UP TO RECEIVE EDUCATIONAL EMAILS AND OCCASIONAL OFFERS FROM ME. YOU CAN UNSUBSCRIBE AT ANY TIME.
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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 | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

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!

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

   

  • 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 | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

“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 when we’ll be starting a new free 5 Day Workshop for your Brilliant Family Dog

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

 

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