What owners say
We were having trouble with our 11 month old cockapoo, Ellie. She would chase shadows and reflections obsessively. We couldn't open the fridge without her darting across the wall to chase the light (you don't realise how often you open the fridge until you really don't want to), and opening mirrored cupboards were a nightmare. In fact I'll make a list of what it affected:
- Cars going past the house (lights and reflections)
- Using my phone (reflections)
- Wearing a watch (reflections)
- Any fast movements on a sunny day (shadows)
- Throwing the ball on a sunny day (she chased the shadow rather than the ball)
- Birds flying over (shadows)
- The list goes on.....
All of these thing would send her in to immediate heightened state of crazy, all it would take is one thing to set her off then Ellie would be panting and erratically searching in desperation waiting for it to come back or something else to chase. It was hard to see her like this as it was clear to me that she was not enjoying it but seemed to have no control.
I had spoken to people and searched as much information as I could and had started to try to modify her behaviour but was struggling as I didn't fully understand. So we took Ellie to the vet to get her checked over, the vet said that she was physically fit and healthy and had no issues such as epilepsy, so it was a behavioural issue.
We were then put through to the Clever Dog Company, who contacted us to arrange a visit to our house to see Ellie and evaluate what was going on. So within a few days Sharon came to us armed with her note pad and list of questions (they were very thorough) and a bunch of suggestions.
Sharon noted that Ellie was finding it hard to settle and was always on the alert, although she was lying down and staying, it was only because she was told to and was not relaxing. Sharon suggested bringing out a blanket to teach her that the blanket means calm time. And using a clicker to mark and reward the behaviour we were happy with. From talking to Sharon it seemed that one her triggers was excitement, so we started to leave the ball at home on walks and teaching her scent work instead. I was worried that she wouldn't get tired as she has a lot of energy but the mental challenges we set and sniffing seemed to work just as well. We also changed her diet and think that she is sensitive to the ingredients in her food.
So, 8 months on and lots of up and downs and frustration Ellie has improved significantly. She is so much calmer, she may have the odd quick swipe at something (mostly a fast moving reflection from a watch) but if I interrupt her and say no she then stops. She has lots of mental work as well as physical and has really taken to doing agility, she seems a natural for it. The instructor was surprised when I told him about her issues so I was very pleased. Ellie is also in an obedience class where she is also doing well and I guess luckily for me she is very eager to please so really enjoys the calm fuss and attention when she is behaving correctly.
We regularly get comments from people that haven't seen her for while saying how much calmer she is. It has taken a lot of work and persistence and I know it will be ongoing but we are getting there and Ellie and I can both relax with the help of the Clever Dog Company and their ongoing support.
Kirsty, Tim and Ellie
I want to write to thank you and to tell you how Nanook is doing. He has grown into a wonderful family dog with a lovely gentle nature and he knows how to behave! He behaves very well in the home now and we have found a perfect huge space in Windsor Great Park where he can really run and enjoy himself with other dogs and be safe.
Recall is 97% perfect! Whoever would have believed it. I thought that would never happen. He is great and we all love him.
I worked hard with him but the success is a big thanks to you for all your expert help with the naughtiest puppy in your class. I won't forget how upset and worried I was when he became wildly adolescent and I have a lot to thank you for. It was very difficult and a bit emotional for me but you and your colleagues turned it into fun and I appreciated their encouragement and patience.
It would not have happened without your help. Thank you so very much. He is beautiful.
Delighted to say Molly is now fantastic off the lead!
I took her out all over Christmas onto cock marsh and put her on the training lead and slowly let her go more and more on this and then on January 1 I thought ‘new year lets go for it’ and she is fine!
She watches me all the time – runs ahead and turns to find me. The treats work well and recall is very good. And she is great with other dogs – really loves meeting them and playing with them and we have even conquered jumping up at strangers (normally recall, treat, lead) but we are getting there.
Thank you so much for your help – I love going on walks with her and she so enjoys having a good run.
Have attached photo for proof!
His owner, Rav, says:
“Please send my thanks and appreciation to Wendy and Emily! I am deeply grateful for all the hard work and training they have provided me. It has truly helped me and family at home.
I will be signing up for Puppy II Classes, so thank you in advance.
Wendy asked us all to send through a photo of our doggies wearing the bandana - please find attached a photo of Toffee.”
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