We have used Jo twice. Once for puppy training (very nervous dog- and we were first time dog owners, keen to get it right) and again when our dog was two and getting very anxious (and therefore aggressive) because we were doing house renovations and the place was full of builders etc.
Both times Jo was brilliant. She is very calm and has a good mix of science, empathy and common sense. That is a remarkably difficult combination to find. Before Jo we found a veterinary assistant who spouted ‘science’ to us with no empathy whatsoever (it made us nervous wrecks-it was our first dog and she made us think we had a basket case), and a trainer who was more reassuring but we felt he was all old wives tales and so we didn’t actually learn how to deal with our dog and any future difficult situations.
Jo was able to explain the science, reassure us that our puppy would be alright (he was), teach us how to teach him and help us understand him.
A few months into the house renovations and our dog was acting strangely again- ‘fly-catching’ and getting a little bit aggressive with workmen who came too close and tried to pat him. The vet suggested we try a dog psychologist. I contacted Jo and we had about three sessions. She was able to who put things into perspective, help me understand what was going on in his little dog mind and therefore how to deal with the situation.
So no more ‘fly-catching’. He is, admittedly, still a dog who is a little wary when strangers get too close to him and can be a little over exuberant in his barking when anyone comes to the door, but that’s just him. It’s no biggie, and he’s so much better than he was. We feel calm and in control and are able to love him to bits and not worry about him the way we used to.
A happy ending . I would have no hesitation in recommending Jo whether you puppy is new and you need to learn the ropes, or he/she has issues.
We have had our cocker, Charlie, since he was a puppy and he has been generally well behaved, apart from barking at strangers, other dogs and noises. Charlie was not only getting worse, his behaviour was becoming more extreme. Whatever we tried we could not change his behaviour.
We thought it is now time to call in a behaviourist and found Jo. She had the qualifications, good testimonials and lives locally to us, so we thought we would try her. She arrived on the appointed day on time and within a few minutes of meeting Charlie was able to explain that his problem is fear related anxiety. Jo’s method is to teach us as owners to see things from the dog’s perspective and to appreciate what is going through his mind. She taught us how to identify the stages of fear and anxiety that dogs show, many of the lesser ones we wouldn’t have spotted ourselves. Jo showed us how to build up Charlie’s confidence using play and feeding. We learnt how to use rewards whenever Charlie did the right thing, not as easy as it sounds because the reward has to be given at the right moment to be effective. Jo’s guidance was excellent.
As Charlie’s confidence grew and the reward system started to work, he began to quieten down at home and ignored people in the street. He had relapses but with patience on our part he continued to improve. He still shows he is a little uncomfortable with other dogs but at least we can now recognise the signs early and remove Charlie before he starts barking. I am sure with time he will overcome this.
Jo visited us three times and she doesn’t see the need at this moment for any more visits. We will continue with what Jo has taught us and it is nice to know she is there should we need her again. Throughout Charlie’s training Jo has been punctual, professional and knowledgeable and has a relaxed way with Charlie and us, his owners. We would happily recommend her.
“Jo is just ‘Amazing’… We are sad to think that our sessions have come to an end but are now looking forward to carrying on developing the skills we learned in order to bring up our adorable puppy. We have gained a vast amount of knowledge about doggy behaviour and their likes and dislikes. It wasn’t just myself and my husband that was learning, Jo also taught the children how to not only love your puppy, but how to be safe around your puppy too. Jo has an amazing talent and is a lovely person to deal with, she was always very positive, natural and was always at the end of the phone if we needed her. I would recommend her to anyone… Thank you Jo. xxxx”
“We got a dog from the Dogs Trust nearly 5 years ago now and she was a little mad when we first got her. Jo taught us how to calm her down etc. We now have an amazing, well behaved dog. I have since recommended Jo to several friends and they have all been extremely happy. Highly recommend.”
“I would recommend Jo to anyone, a first time dog owner or an owner with a problem dog. She is very professional and friendly and explains everything so well. It’s also great to see how loving she is towards your dog. She teaches you and your dog in a fun and informative way. Booking Jo for her one to one puppy course was the second best thing we did after buying Alfie.”
“Just a short note to say how happy we are with all you have done for Frankie, especially when he is being walked. He is so much calmer with other dogs and is still improving and when left alone for a couple of hours he is no longer as stressed, we can tell by the lack of drool when we get home! Also the treat ball is great it keeps him busy at meal times and he does not lose interest in it. If anyone I know ever needs a behaviourist I will recommend you straight away! Thanks once again.”
“When we asked Jo to call and look at Molly I was really worried that we would have huge problems socialising her and due to her strength we were naturally concerned this would lead to defensive/aggressive behaviour. Having owned dogs for over 30 years this was the first time we had consulted a dog trainer and behaviour specialist but recognised we had to take steps as soon as possible to develop good behaviour in Molly. Jo’s techniques have been key to improving her responses to situations and people she considered frightening and threatening. Molly, I believe, distrusted humans and without Jo’s professional help we would have struggled. Three months on Molly is one of the happiest dogs I have ever known. She loves life, us and other dogs. The training is ongoing. Her knowledge of recall commands is excellent – however she still chooses to ignore me if the alternative option is to play with another dog or puppy I am working on this with Molly and we will get there she is still young. Molly is much more confident with visitors to the house Jo’s tips were invaluable with this as was her advice as to how Molly looked at certain situations and how we should respond. Molly is now fully house trained, again this has been quicker due to us following Jo’s techniques. I can confidently say training Molly has been easy, training me much more difficult. I believe there is no such thing as a bad dog if trained properly early enough – Molly is testament to this.”
“Having brought our rescue dog home, a Beagle cross, it was evident that he needed training, not just the usual house training and ‘sit’ commands, but behavioural too. Whatever had happened to him in his past has shaped his behaviour and we wanted the best for him and for us, otherwise we probably would have found it hard to cope. Having looked at other dog training schools, where our dog would be one amongst many, and feeling this was not really appropriate, I found Jo’s website and knew that she was the trainer we and he needed. Jo was so knowledgeable, and so obviously interested in our dog and in us that we knew we had made the right choice. She has an individual approach to training dogs, which means that she adapts her techniques and skills to meet the dog’s needs. Her obvious passion and heart for dogs is so evident that her training is fun, informative and successful. She helped us turn our shy scared rescue dog, into a wonderful family friend. She goes beyond the command words and gets in deep in to the behavioural aspect of the dog and therefore his training needs. We cannot recommend Jo highly enough.”
“I would highly recommend Joanne. She is a true professional. Always punctual, kind and considerate. With her easy to follow methods, so simple, but really effective. Our dog improved within a few days and continues to do so. Thank you Joanne.”
“We were very impressed with Jo’s training, a top professional. Her dog training techniques are exceptional, all the information and advice she has given us is a great help. Our dog Ace was always excited to see her. Would have no hesitation in recommending her as a excellent dog trainer!”
“Jo is a natural born trainer. She is so kind, calm and assertive, thoroughly professional and always punctual. She listened fully to us and she understood. She had the simplest of solutions for what to us seemed big issues, but they began working for our little dog, immediately. After just one 2hr session and a follow up, we witnessed a transformation: our dog was balanced, eating properly, walking on a looser lead and meeting and greeting other dogs more calmly. We cannot believe all this was achieved so quickly. The specially tailored paperwork reports and printed sheets are so well written-this is lady who really cares for you and your dog. Jo has worked miracles for us. We only wish we had found her sooner.”
“The sessions were very relaxed, very informative about puppy/dog behaviour in general and specifically about Dobermans. The method of training makes perfect sense and works! All excellent….her expertise is very impressive. Thank you so much for everything you have taught us both.”
“Punctuality, professionalism and knowledge are perfect. Joanne is an expert; she deeply understands dog behaviour and knows how to improve it. Great job and good cooperation between dog trainer and my family.”