Cooper, Elvis, Gavi & Biba

We have four dogs, three of which are rescues with a variety of issues when they first arrived. We’ve been going to Dog-ease for four years now and I can honestly say that we all LOVE attending classes… training is informative, fun and helps us work out any problems. Seeing progress even if it’s just little steps is really satisfying and I always drive away from class with a smile on my face. We’ve met some great people (and doggies) over the years and feel part of a supportive community created by Adem, Sarah and Sally.

Here are their stories…

 

We adopted Cooper four years ago and he bounced into our lives at high speed! A lovely boy, we’d no knowledge of his background but it was clear he had been given very little input, was quite frightened but had huge potential and needed focus. I had heard of Adem locally, got in contact and we started with a one to one session then joined weekly classes. Cooper’s issues were racing and bouncing about like a crazy kid, pulling on the lead and reactivity with other dogs. From the start, Adem showed me how to focus his energy, engage him in play, how to read his behaviour around other dogs and what to do if I spotted any signs he might react. 

At first Cooper was quite high energy at Dog-ease and to say we probably embarrassed ourselves in classes a couple of times is an understatement! However the training style at Dog-ease is inclusive to everyone (even if their dog isn’t perfect), enjoyable and teaches the handler so they are able to continue training and promote positive behaviour all the time, not just at school. There have been plenty of times when Cooper has been a handful at home and it really helped me to be able to do a mini training session in the garden with him to re-focus his energy using some of the exercises we’d learned at class. 

We applied ourselves, he responded well & was a good pupil, I know he enjoyed training and still does! If you’d have told me when we first adopted Cooper that throughout the next two years he would pass his Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards, be off lead in a field of other dogs, enjoy agility and gundog training and regularly come out running with me as a well behaved boy (he is the mascot of our local trail running club) I wouldn’t have believed you. I’m really proud of what this boy has achieved and very much doubt it would have happened without help from Adem and Sarah.

I think the most valuable part of our training has been teaching me how to read situations, think about how I can best set Cooper up for good behaviour and a ‘good boy’ situation rather than a negative. I’m now confident to take him to lots of places and we have done some amazing things together – we’ve run big trail running events together, stayed at hotels, and had lots of other dogs come to stay at home. If you’ve got a perfectly behaved dog it doesn’t sound like much of an accomplishment but for us it’s a big deal and training has meant Cooper and I can really enjoy time and outings together. He has turned into a fabulous dog.

When we decided to adopt Elvis we knew the most important thing would be for him to integrate well with our two other dogs. I booked a one-to-one session at our home for just after he arrived to get advice from Adem on how to cope with the new dynamic in the house and train our family in handling the dogs at home in a consistent way. Elvis was very different to Cooper, quite the opposite to being scared, still with the same high energy level plus he hadn’t had any training at all and didn’t know how to play. We really were starting from scratch. The session with Adem provided lots of tips to set us up for success with all three dogs being comfortable together. 

We started Elvis at weekly classes as soon as he came to live with us. This along with the training I’d had at Dog-ease previously with Cooper most definitely stood us in good stead to confidently get going with Elvis, plus I’ve learned new things as Elvis has different issues and behaviour – we’ve worked to overcome his bossiness and get him focused. Elvis was a hunting dog in Spain and very tuned in to feathers & fur which often distracts him. Through training with Dog-ease I’ve learned to get his attention using a ball as lure and this has worked well (along with teaching him to play).

Elvis is a work in progress, he’s passed his Bronze award and is progressing to his silver but most importantly he has fitted beautifully into our family, is happy and much loved. I’m sure that with the help of Dog-ease there are even better times ahead.

Gavi came to us from Spain almost six months ago with eyes like saucers, terrified. She had very different issues to our other dogs and was frightened of people, bikes, and cars to name but a few. But she loves other dogs! Adem suggested that we introduce her to Dog-ease alongside one of our other dogs to give her confidence. This approach worked very well and we started by just standing at the edge of Dog-ease activities to let her take in the new surroundings then building her confidence to get closer and start to interact. At the same time we started her regular training at school and at home as like Elvis, she’d had none.

Although we still have quite a long way to go, everything seems positive when you have a plan. Working with the Dog-ease team I always feel we are moving in the right direction and equipped with the skills and techniques to get us there. If anything holds us back it is finding time, which is my fault. I recognise that when I regularly implement the advice I am given, progress happens.

People that met Gavi 6 months ago and see her now can’t believe the transformation in her confidence. She no longer runs upstairs to hide when visitors come and will happily approach new friends for a fuss. When we are out she is still wary of people but no longer freezes when she spots someone heading our way. Gavi is now a very happy member of our family.

Dog-ease classes are collaborative and classmates have helped Gavi’s confidence too by gently approaching and handling her, advised by Adem and Sarah. Small steps but unthinkable 6 months ago. Gavi has learned some of the basics, even done a teeny bit of agility. The most rewarding thing is seeing how content she is now and watching that little tail wag.

Biba is our most straightforward dog, born at home and had training as a puppy. But you can teach an old dog new tricks… We started to take Biba to Dog-ease when she was 6. We had just adopted Cooper who needed training and my son wanted to come along with Biba. This worked brilliantly, I really recommend families sharing training sessions as it’s much easier for the dog to get it right if the language and actions at home are consistent. And it’s great to do stuff with other family members, not just the furry ones.

She’s always been such a good girl however we’d probably taken that for granted and got into some bad habits with Biba over the years, she really enjoyed being back at school. Biba did agility for the first time and loved gundog training. Biba is back at class again now to help Gavi with her confidence. It’s great to brush up her skills and she’s loving all the attention.

I would highly recommend Dog-ease to anyone, whether they need to train a dog with problems, stimulate a dog without problems or just to have fun with their dog. The depth of knowledge and experience is huge, techniques positive and advice generous. I’m certainly a better dog owner and handler as a result.

I hope all the above sums up why my dogs always wag their tails when they know we are going to Dog-ease, and why I always leave class with a smile on my face. Thank you Adem, Sarah and Sally.

Owner of Cooper, Elvis, Gavi & Biba

Jenny
Cooper, Elvis, Gavi & Biba
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