Some previous clients
Some previous clients
Rufus came to Claire as a baby, I was overwhelmed by his big eyes and felt he would get away with murder and decided to enroll at Claire's school for responsible dog owners. When we turned up at class he was the smallest dog in size but most definitely not in attitude. He quickly made friends with the humans and then the other dogs - that's always been his priority. It was always a laugh during free play time when all the dogs ran together and Rufus would run to the humans for a quick cuddle from all present...he thrives on his daily adoration. After 6 classes we graduated with flying colours and Rufus would anything for lightly cooked carrots, cheese and a smile from Claire. Over the years, we have developed a good relationship with Claire who has worked with a first time dog owner and made my dog the envy of several people - I have had to point on numerous occasions he is not naturally wonderful nor is he always wonderful - consistent training has delivered the goods. My favourite thing is Rufus knocking the door when he needs to go to toilet - Claire delivered that in a day's training. We are still working on him taking umbrage at mail being put through the box door but I am sure once I've gone through the exercises Claire recommended his behaviour will improve. We have attended one off training courses and had 1-1 consultation for any issues that concern me (he is my first dog and I am a neurotic mom to the furbabe) and Claire is always at the end of the phone for a wild and hysterical phone call... Rufus adores her and will do anything she says and is always keen to go off with her and my boy is very discerning, I say thats recommendation indeed. A.A.
Nellie, my lovely border collie, became increasingly frightened of loud bangs whilst out on walks. I`d had collies before but fortunately never experienced a noise phobia. I felt I shouldn't`t make a fuss of her so I tried to jolly her along. Lots of people gave me all sorts of well meaning advice but she became more & more nervous. At times she was reluctant to go for a walk. & then one day she bolted. I lost her for half an hour, it was a frightening experience for both of us.
My vet recommended that we should see Claire. I now know why Nellie may have developed a noise phobia & how to deal with it. Claire`s visit, plan & on going support has been absolutely invaluable to me. Nellie is now enjoying her walks again. G.C.
Note by CA: Hollie was a very nervous Jack Russell who attended puppy classes. She was wary of people and dogs and though she improved considerably during her course, as she grew up she started to show fearful responses towards people while out on walks as her owner describes:
Hollie is now 10 months old. She got into the habit of barking as soon as she left the house and could be heard all the way down the road barking at anyone who dared to walk past, as well as at places she felt threatened by.
Claire introduced us to clicker training. Hollie took to it very quickly. First we had to click and reward Hollie for quiet behaviour in many different situations where she may bark, for example : someone coming the other way, a cyclist on the road, a jogger in the park, a lady pushing a pram, and many others. At first we had to click and reward while the person was very far away and while Holly was relaxed. If Hollie did not bark when they walked past we would also click and treat again. We also got Hollie to focus on us prior to situations of barking by getting eye contact. As time went by Hollie would bark less and less and would automatically look to us for a reward if she walked past someone without barking. We practised walking up the local high street on a daily basis and let lots of people walk past, rewarding Hollie by using the clicker and rewards. There were days when Hollie would still have periods of barking at people, some times we felt the progress was "one step forwards two steps back", but gradually they became less frequent. This has taken some time (months rather than weeks) to achieve, but we can now have relaxing walks. We can now walk past all sorts of situations such as people bouncing a ball in the park, or a single man without her batting an eyelid !!! We continue to use the clicker in and out of the house and feel it is a positive way of training a dog.
Hollie has also managed to attend a local dog show and actually was brave enough to be entered into a competition where she won a rosette- well done to Hollie and her hard working owners. CA
Tiger and Lilly
Things are going much better since your visit and we have had no more intense aggression episodes. They have calmed a lot and are much more controllable with visitors now and we have managed to do this with perseverence and patience! We have had good responses from visitors who have seen them recently and have noticed a marked change in them from when they were younger and more hyper which is great to hear. We are working with them in the garden through games on their recall and its moving forward well. Will keep you in touch with their progress as we go but we are very pleased with the info and recommendations you gave us so thank you from all of the
'Rintoul Pack'. A.R.
A sudden, extremely painful experience after a jump from his owner's lap left Chibi physically unharmed but very fearful of being handled. For weeks he had avoided people, he was off his food and had no interest in playing with his long-time buddy Gomez. His caring owners were obviously very distressed by his changed personality. A careful, positive plan was put into place and helped to rebuild Chibi's confidence in interactions again. Several months later his owner reports that Chibi is "going from strength to strength. They play almost solidly from morning till night and they seem so much happier (as are we). We are thrilled with Chibi's progress - he's just like his old self. It's wonderful!"
"When I initially took Zach to Claire for a consultation he was a dog out of control. His behaviour had culminated in a series of events that had caused me great concern as in true Border Collie style he wanted to chase everything cars, cyclists, runners and worse of all children and had begun to show aggression to other dogs which made him unpredictable. At the time I sought advice and was given a range of opinions and options on how to deal with his problem from re-homing, electric collars and even having him put to sleep. It was therefore a relief to find someone who shared my hope and was prepared to give the help, advice and support Zach and I needed.
The programme Claire gave us was followed religiously and involved determination, commitment and hard work. The outcome has been outstanding and I am both relieved and proud of the results as I now have a different dog, who is calmer and sociable with dogs and people, who can at last enjoy the pleasures of walking freely but best of all I have my best friend back which makes all the hard work more than worth it."
Paddy was referred to Claire for general nervousness, over grooming and fear of going outdoors. He was a rescue cat and obviously had some baggage from his old life. He has been given love and care he required and with a plan from Claire, Paddy now enjoys his time outdoors and is much more relaxed. He brings a lot of joy.
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