My wife and I, having had golden retrievers for over 30 years, became concerned when our 2 year-old golden retriever Bracken started to show aggression towards other male dogs. The problem came to a head when Bracken and a dog belonging to some visitors had a fight in our hallway. Not knowing quite what to do for the best we approached our vet to ask whether we should consider castration. Her advice was that castration would make Bracken worse if he was suffering from a fear aggression but might help if he was showing dominance aggression. Although we felt fairly confident that Bracken was suffering from a fear aggression (he had been attacked by two different male dogs in the period leading up to the fight with our visitor's dog)
we could not be absolutely sure and,even if we had been sure, we would not have known what to do. We contacted Brian at Dogs Listen Up after seeing one of his leaflets in the Carlisle branch of Pets at Home. A quick look at his website confirmed that he would undertake a series of one-to-one sessions at our home and,although £200 seemed to be quite a lot at first, we nevertheless decided to contact Brian and seek his help. All we can say is that it was £200 very well spent. After spending nearly 3 hours with us on his first visit Brian had convinced us that Bracken's aggression was because he lacked confidence. Moreover, we were partly to blame as we were treating Bracken too much like a child and not enough like a dog. In short, our pack lacked pack-structure! In the 6 one-to-one sessions that we had with Brian we have been shown how to relate to Bracken in a way that will make him feel more secure and confident - and thus more able to face other dogs without ailways thinking that attack is the best form of defence. Bracken is not yet fully cured of his tendency to be grumpy towards other dogs but he is far, far better than he was.Indeed, we are also enjoying somefringe-benefits in that we have a dog that is much happier and relaxed than he used to be and is a joy to walk on a lead ( before Brian's help Bracken would often pace the house whimpering and would pull like mad when he was on the lead).
Also, Bracken sometimes lacked appetite (unheard of in a golden retriever) but this is much improved too. Some time ago we had need of another dog behaviourist but we both felt that his single visit was an event rather than a program. with Brian we had 6 long sessions each of which built on the previous ones. In addition, without additional charge charge, Brian invited us to attend his weekly group classes for dogs with behavioural problems (referred to us as Grumpy Classes).
We are grateful to Brian for his patience - and for the fact that he didn't make us do anything that we felt uncomfortable about! All in all we would not hesitate to recommend Dogs Listen Up. It may not be possible to work miracles but with Brian's expertise has helped enormously.
Ann & Rosie, Carlisle
Someone rang me one day asking if I could take Rosie, a Staffordshire / Patterdale cross, to the Animal Refuge as her owner had serious social problems and was unable to give Rosie the care she needed.
On meeting Rosie I know immediately I couldn't face taking her to the Refuge and headed straight home with her. However it soon became apparent that Rosie had problems too which wasn't going to be overcome without professional help.
I found Dogs Listen Up on the internet and found one of Brian's 12 week courses. Rosie responded very quickly to Brian's method of training and soon became a popular pupil with Brian and his team. I soon found to my amazement how quickly it is to achieve such good results when you know the right techniques of training, and was even more impressed with the calm approach Brian had to achieving these techniques, Very Impressive.
I can't thank Brian enough for his help and guidance in training Rosie and wouldn't hesitate to recommend him to anyone seeking professional help with training their dog. Thanks Brian
Paul,Sally & Bracken, Aspatria
Thank you to Brian and his friends for a very fun and beneficial 12 week training course. You and your team are very knowledgeable and helped to train us how to handle, praise and correct our dog.
You answered all our questions and helped us with all the little problems. I can highly recommend the 12 week course, the time went so quickly but we didn't feel rushed and had time to practise everything in class and at home, at out and at our own dogs pace. Bracken is now a well behaved and obedient dog who is a joy to take for a walk and have as part of our family. We are still practicing everything we learnt in class each time we go for a walk.
P.S. He has stopped chasing sheep and now doesn't even bother with them, we just took the water bottle out with us a few times and it worked ! Thank you again.
Brian, Lynette & Dudley, Carlisle
Our puppy Dudley, a miniature schnauzer was around 16 weeks old when he began training classes with Dogs Listen Up; Brian and his team played an invaluable part in the route to Dudley's obedience and their general advice and guidance on canine wellbeing was excellent.
Dudley is now 10 months and he is a pleasure to have in our lives. He obeys well to the commands he was taught and is recalling skills are becoming very good - this is all thanks to Brian and his team who gave us and Dudley a great start. We would not hesitate to recommend Dogs Listen Up as we found them to be exceptional Mentors!
Sandra, Matthew & Milly, Scotby
Our puppy Milly was fast becoming a Tazmanian Devil and we wondered what we'd done. Thanks to Brian's guidance she's now the loveable additional member of the family we always wanted. In a relaxed environment were you're not made to feel daft our confidence grew and so did Milly's in us. There is no dog snobbery or pre expectations just lots of encouragement. We'd really recommend Brian's classes and approach.
Sam & Poppy, Crosby on Eden
We took our black cocker spaniel to the 12 week puppy training course. I would definitely recommend this for anyone with a puppy or young dog. The whole family enjoyed the classes and our puppy is growing up to be a wonderful pet, very well-behaved puppy, she is nine months old and we can take her anywhere. Thanks Brian and team for all your advice and guidance.
Amanda & Teddy, Carlisle
Teddy is a changed dog. We have both enjoyed coming to dog training, the difference in Teddy is amazing. Before Brian Teddy ruled us, was completely spoiled and thought he was the leader. After Brian his behaviour is so much more improved, he actually does as he is told. Yesterday Teddy was able to run off twice and both times he didn't, he sat and waited for me which is amazing, previously he would have run off with me chasing him. He doesn't bark now when he knows he is going for a walk, he just sits and waits, thanks to the water spray. I was a little apprehensive that Teddy could change his bad behaviour with 12 weeks of training, I needn't have been. In 12 weeks he has totally changed now we are the leaders and have much more control over him.
Many thanks to Brian and his team, I would not hesitate to recommend them, they have been brilliant and we shall continue the training now at home. Thank you for your help and advice.
Angela & Carlos, Wetheral
We called Brian after our 6 year old Terrier Jack, started attacking our 6 month old Rottwieller Carlos.
Brian was so helpful. He explained what was happening, where we going wrong and how to enforce pack structure. We also worked on dog training skills including walking to heeland recall.
Things quickly calmed down and although we still have to be careful, everything is alot better and we haven't had anymore instances. Unfortunately due to the situation, Carlos has become very wary of other dogs and gets wound up when he see's them out on a walk. So Brian showed us how to deal with that with the help of Debbie and her three dogs, who walked tirelessly round until Carlos didn't get excited any more! He still carries himself on a bit, but we know that it will take time.
We would like to thank Brian, Debbie and Lisa for all their knowledge and help. A very professional service.