Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Friday, 9 May 2014

#Woof Support - Update Report.

Today is the third WOOF Support (Working Out Our Fears) Blog Hop hosted by Oz the Terrier and Wag n Woof Pets. The theme for this month  is WOOF Support Report.

As a lot of of you probably know from last months post we were getting a trainer out to work with Sheba on a 1 -1 basis, well you can read all about it below.
Dog training with a no nonsense attitude.


Redford Dog Services was set up by professional dog trainer Ryan Redford. Ryan has worked in this industry for almost a decade now and in that time has gained a vast knowledge and experience in all areas of dog training and behaviour. Ryan specialises in dealing with problem and difficult to handle dogs. This could be dealing with problems from pulling on a lead to aggression issues. Ryan started off his career at some of the north west's leading establishments taking private training sessions dealing with a range of problems, Ryan also took group obedience classes a couple of times a week. Ryan doesn't have any qualifications involving dogs as the time spent in collage and then university would mean having to take time out from actually training dogs to sit and talk about dogs and what they do. Ryan has worked with many so called 'experts' and helped them in solving some of their biggest problem dogs, training with a no nonsense attitude.
The biggest problem for many people is not knowing how to communicate correctly with their dog, as dogs do not speak any language. Its our jobs as owners the learn how to communicate with our dogs in a way that they understand. Unfortunately recently there has been a huge increase in the number of dog trainers in the Merseyside borough as people love their dogs and our willing to part with big amounts of money as they are told exactly what they want to hear by one of the so called 'experts'(mentioned above). Ryan prides himself on always being honest and after dealing with customers that have spent thousands, yes thousands of pounds working with these 'behaviourists' he decided enough was enough!!
Redford Dog Services the home of no nonsense dog training. Call Ryan today to see what he is able to offer you and your canine companion, from pet dogs to working dogs no problem too big or small!!

Above write up taken from his facebook page Redford Dog Services.

I think there's only two words to describe Ryan and that's miracle worker, I'm sure he used to be a dog in a previous life he's that in tune with them and has taught us so much not just from a training perspective but also how Sheba thinks and what makes her tick.

When we first got in touch with Ryan this is the reply we got back.

Hi Ian, Thanks for the email. Your dog is a cross between two VERY powerful dogs and this is a behaviour that needs to be sorted A.S.A.P!! The best way to tackle this problem would be a one hour assessment during this time you will learn lots about your dog and why its displaying the behaviours it is. And of course the important bit how to stop it! I also offer a guarantee that I will improve your dog during this time if not you don't pay me!! Now I am in no way saying that I can fix this problem in one session but you will both learn an awful lot about how best to stop it!! I own to Rottweilers myself so I am very experienced with the breed, the price for the one hour assessment would be £30 and can be arranged at a time to suit yourself.

I'm usually a bit skepticle when people offer guarantees like that, but he is as good as he says he is.

During the first session Ryan recognised Sheba's problem straight away as lack of respect, she loves meeting new people and acts like a puppy around them and forgets her manners.

For once I was hoping sheba would be on her worst behaviour, so Ryan could see the full extent of the problem, and she didn't fail to respond Ryan brought a couple of his own dogs down to work with and as soon as Ryan's partner got one of his dogs out of the back of the van Sheba tried to lunge herself across the road after the other dog which took Ryan by surprise because he didn't realise the problem was so bad but gave him a good idea of what he was up against, the first  thing he done was to make us get rid of her gentle leader and work her with a check chain.

Sheba loves her check chain and whenever she hears the sound of me picking it up she comes running towards me with her tail wagging.

I've never been a big fan of check chains but it's getting the right results so that's what matters, I suppose it's a case of having the right tools for the job and than knowing how to use them correctly, I think most of the problems of check chains comes from people just walking into a pet shop and buying one without being shown how to put it on properly so it releases straight away instead of choking and being shown the proper way to use it, I still need practise myself to get the timing right  and to watch Sheba's body language more so I can correct her before she goes.

The training is going great after Sheba creating during the start of her first lesson Ryan had her lying down next to his dog with her tail wagging as if to say this is all I've needed just someone who understands me and who can show me the proper way to behave, the first lesson was great and it was lovely seeing her change for the better, as soon a Ryan took over the lead her body language just changed because she was being walked by someone in instead of me being nervous and tightening up on the lead whenever I see another dog, Ryan said as soon as I relax and take control of the walk so will Sheba learn to relax just to prove the point Ryan walked her and she was a different dog quite happy to trot at his side looking up to him for guidance. I will never forget the first time Ryan corrected her she just stopped dead in her tracks and looked at him as if to say what was that for I think that was the big turning point that showed she just needed the right guidance and pointing in the right direction.

Once Anne was walking her and they passed another dog, the other dog moved towards her and growled which used to be one of her triggers to have a go back, instead she just slowed down and had a sideways glance, I'm sure if she could speak she would of said to the owner get your dog under control.

She still has little mishaps but she's a lot quicker to get under control and the intensity is not as severe, with the use of the check chain for correction and her backpack to drain her energy everything is slotting into place nicely.

Sheba is loving the backpack and it calms her right down, we're away on holiday next month so she will be carrying her own water, water bowl, treats, ball and poo bags.

What have we learned over the last month.

1) The hardest part is admiting you have a problem, I suppose it's a bit like a drug addict or an alcoholic until you admit there's a problem and seek professional help it's hard to move forward.

2) Seek out a professional trainer/behaviourist, make sure you do your homework first and if possible get a reccomendation off a friend as in all walks of life there's good and bad, we looked around for a behaviourist a while ago but we couldn't afford them just because there expensive doesn't mean they are any good. 

Ryan trains dogs for the local security firms, and trains pets in his spare time, he puts the dogs first he might be cheap but he's good.

3) By taking Sheba to training classes we were probably making things worse by putting her in a situation that she didn't feel comfortable in, she is definately working better in a 1 - 1 situation.

4) I've been making matters worse by tensing up and turning around when we see another dog, Ryan said just go for it when you see another dog making sure you keep a slack lead and to keep a closer eye on her body language so we can correct her before she reacts. so we prevent the behaviour rather than trying to cure it once she's in full swing. So I've been the cause all along Sheba's probably been wanting to forget the past and move on and I've been preventing her from doing so.

5) And last but not least a big thanks to the WOOF Support group and everyone who participates in the blog hops I didn't realise reactive dogs were so common, knowing your not on your own and being encouraged to open up and talk about your fears without being judged is a great help.


  1. Well that sounds like such terrific progress to us. Great teachers can work magic!

    1. Your definately right right about getting the right person in for the job.


  2. Oh my gosh, that's so great to hear, Ian! Big paws up to you all. :)

  3. Wow!!!! What a great post!
    I am so glad to hear your training is coming along nicely!!! I have never even heard of a check chain to be honest with you, so this is interesting. Thanks for sharing your progress!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

    1. Hmm...ok, so I think I just realized that a check is the same thing as a "choker chain" right? Sorry, the above one you showed looked a little different from the ones I have seen. LOL Duh moment!

    2. Hi Jenna a choke chain was the old name for them but people got the wrong idea because of the name and thought they choked the dogsso they changed the name.

  4. We agree with Brian the right teacher can work magic and onwards and upwards we say. Have a super Saturday.
    Best wishes Molly

  5. It's so great to hear that you are making such wonderful progress, Ian. I'm glad you found Ryan, you are so right saying we have to do our homework when finding a trainer, and you obviously did! It's all a learning process and understanding what is going on in Sheba's mind, and knowing the things you need to change yourself too is all part of the process.
    Thanks for joining the hop, sharing your story is a great help to all of us, which is what the group is all about!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

    1. Ryan's worked wonders with her in such a short space of time.


  6. Ian, I loved this. Congratulations to you and Sheba for the marvelous progress! You're spot-on in that we, the humans, are usually, if not the outright cause of our dogs' issues, at least exacerbating ingredients. I do the same thing on walks: I tense up, and that transmits so quick to my dogs. I've been working on relaxing myself ("keep breathing"), and it's amazing to see how much changes when I do. And I'm so glad you found a trainer right for you; having found two of my own, I know exactly what you mean about the joy of watching your dog improve in leaps and bounds after a session. Kudos for taking that important step, and I'll be looking forward to hearing more about your progress.

    Thanks for hopping over to Life In Dogs earlier, and have a lovely weekend!

  7. So glad to hear of Sheba's progress! Glad you found Ryan, he sounds like the right trainer for you. :)

  8. Ian...I am so happy for you and Sheba! It sounds like you have found the right tools - Ryan, the check chain - to help make your walks better and more enjoyable for everyone! I do the same as you...tense up when I should be more relaxed. It is difficult to retrain yourself...probably more so than trying to train the dog. I wish you and Sheba much success!
    Thank you for joining our hop!
    Gina and Oz