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    • We both loved the way Sheila Harper presented herself - not to 'tell' or 'advise' us on what to believe or not (like many trainers do in a sometimes intimidating manner) but to allow us to think...
    • It was superbly facilitated and directed with dog handling, case studies, and in-depth perspective being important.
    • Sheila is not into "Sit", "Down", "Stay". The concentration is on having a positive and gentle development with your dog - you are a team - so that you can both enjoy...
    • I have been to presentations before where your attention starts to wander and where you can’t wait for the course to end. I was completely focused on this course for the whole 2 days; there was...
    • “What a weekend that was! Will life with my dog ever be the same again? I hope not! I now have some tools for a new start with my first ever dog who, at 14 months, had lost his trust in me...
    • “I soon realised that my inexperience really didn’t matter, as what we had come to learn about was new to everyone. We all had a similar motivation for doing the course. To do the best...
    • “A wonderfully stimulating and well organised weekend. It exceeded my expectations both in content and presentation.”
    • “I admire Sheila’s passion, calm positive energy and tireless motivation for teaching and sharing her profound, pioneering and unique philosophy and knowledge of dogs and owners.”
    • “I learned a great deal and ‘Bod’ was so relaxed and stress free due to your fantastic organisation. I do so appreciate how much hard work and thought goes into the preparation of...
    • “At that time, I still believed in Pack Leadership, dominance, control and obedience. Sheila opened my eyes and mind to the possibility that there was a different way to work with my three...
    • “I wanted to say a big thank you for the hard work and time put into the courses and for the patience and understanding of where I am at and what I have still to learn. It could be quite...
    • “We haven't been able to stop thinking about what we learnt and we're hungry for more. We bought half a dozen books to keep us going!”

    FAQs - Store products an example case study

    We receive lots of enquiries in the Store along similar lines to this case study – we hope it helps to answer some questions for you.

    We have a Jack Russell that pulls and also can get snappy with other dogs only when out walking. Is there something you could recommend?

     

    We frequently receive messages such as yours, and our first thought is always to ask the owner to be patient with the dog and try and see things from his point of view. Please don’t think that equipment is something that will stop your dog reacting to other dogs. In fact, it can make matters worse by disguising the symptoms. Instead, look at the underlying cause of the problem - this is the key to solving any dog’s issues.

    Any piece of equipment you use should be thought of as something to help your dog feel more comfortable and as a stop-gap until both you and he have learnt alternative strategies. Equipment itself will not help your dog to cope. Many dogs become reactive either because they are afraid, or frustrated, or often because too much is demanded of them and they become a little stressed. So, when choosing something for your dog, ensure that it will not cause discomfort (otherwise he is likely to associate any pain with the other dog or the situation, and may become worse).

    A flat harness such as a padded fleecy harness or a Happy Dog harness is soft, comfortable and relatively wide, which means that it spreads the weight and reduce the likelihood of unnecessary pressure being put on the neck. Fleecy harnesses are best for dogs that don’t spend lots of time swimming as wet harnesses can be uncomfortable. However, if your dog has back or neck problems it is best to seek veterinary advice before choosing equipment.

    Both types of harness can be found at http://www.sheilaharper.co.uk/products/harnesses.aspx.

    As regards muzzles, bear in mind that the more vulnerable your dog feels, the more his behaviour may escalate. If he realises that he can’t defend himself this behaviour may become ingrained. At least a basket type muzzle allows your dog to breathe and pant, whereas a fabric muzzle is highly restrictive and is not suitable for a dog to wear outside, especially when being exercised.

    Here are some related suggestions:

    • Avoid difficult situations wherever possible in the early stages whilst you practice the behaviour you would like
    • Remember that the more opportunity your dog has to practice any unwanted behaviour, the better he will become at it
    • Don’t let your dog go too close to other dogs - protect him from them, and never tell him off, otherwise his behaviour may become worse as he realises that the presence of other dogs makes you annoyed
    • Teach your dog to walk without pulling when he is calm and quiet and able to think rather than trying to work with him when he is excited or irritated. If you become frustrated and pull on the lead yourself you will undo all your hard work
    • Turid Rugaas’ book “What Do I Do When My Dog Pulls” may be of use to you http://www.sheilaharper.co.uk/products/books/behaviour.aspx

    If you would like help in resolving your dog’s problems, we may be able to support you either directly by suggesting you attend a session with us, or indirectly by putting you in touch with someone in your area. They will be able to work together with you and your dog, to help you both feel more comfortable in difficult situations.

    We have you and your dog’s best interests at heart and will do our utmost to help resolve your issues.