Why does my dog act the way he does?

It is important to realise that there is nothing wrong with your dog!  That is, unless your dog has a medical condition or if he is in pain.  Genuinely aggressive dogs are incredibly rare.
Virtually all behaviour that owners interpret as dog aggression is actually based on fear.  The dog associates the horse, another dog, vehicle, postman or whatever he is reacting to, with a threat.  To resolve the problem behaviour, all that is required is to show your dog that you will make any necessary decisions in these situations and that your dog is not required to assist you.  You have completely removed the need for your dog to react and you have taken away any responsibility he may have had to assure your, or his own, welfare.

Why 'Dog Listening'?

It is called ‘Listening’ because the technique I use involves communicating with the dog, listening to and interpreting what he is telling us with his own language.  It is a proactive approach and works in harmony with the dog’s instincts and nature rather than in conflict with them.  The application of Dog Listening is all you need to transform your problem dog into a calm, stress-free companion that is a pleasure to own and that you can take anywhere without fuss.  No acupuncture, Indian Head Massage, Reiki, DAP sprays, shock collars, tins with stones in, water sprays or neutering required!

How much does a consultation cost?

Complete the form on the Welcome page to give a brief description of the situation and your location and I will get back to you promptly with a quote.  You will never be asked to pay any additional fee regardless of the amount of backup you may require.

What if it doesn’t work?

It does work – it’s amazingly effective!  It has to work because you are using the dog’s own language to communicate with him.  Provided you apply the simple techniques calmly, consistently and appropriately as you will have been shown at the consultation it will definitely work.  Anything else would compromise the welfare and prosperity of the pack and that is against nature.  Just keep in touch and put into practice 100% of what you have been shown and you will discover the dog you never realised existed!

You will receive all the back-up and help you need to make it happen.  You really can’t go wrong because I am there to provide any assistance you may need.

How quickly will I see the results?

You will see rapid improvements during and after your consultation but there is not usually an instant fix.  It needs you and your family to calmly and consistently apply the Dog Listener techniques to communicate with your dog.  Provided you do this, you will achieve these results.
I have helped many hundreds of happy clients to improve their dog’s behaviour.  I KNOW this approach works and that you will achieve success – but you have to apply it!

How far will you travel?

To you, wherever you are.

What dog training techniques do you use?

Dog Listening uses completely positive techniques and it is holistic – it’s all you need to transform your dog’s issues.  Once you have balanced the relationship with your dog, then teaching other skills such as searching, tracking, agility or any of the countless activities you can do with your dog will become a joy.  Your dog will be much more responsive to you once your relationship with him has been resolved because he will naturally want to co-operate with you.

Do you carry out consultations over the phone or online?

Your dog’s true personality and your understanding of putting everything into practice cannot be assessed or provided over the phone.  Only a personal, face-to-face consultation and back-up will benefit you and your dog.  All those that have any input into the dogs daily life need to be present and you will all have different questions and abilities.  Occasionally, the problems you describe may not be the only issues present.  Dog Listening works most effectively if the entire household is consistent and, above all, understands why they are doing the various actions, so they achieve the dog of their dreams.  It is teamwork.

With any practical skill, particularly with animals, it is difficult to gain these skills from books or by distance learning.  How easy would it be to learn to drive, to surf or ride a horse from instructions provided online or over the phone?  I can demonstrate the techniques to you and then get you to repeat them so you are confident that you are applying the principles correctly.

That said, I discovered during lockdown that video consultations worked well.  If you prefer a virtual consultation due to your particular circumstances or because of your location, I am still very willing to provide this an an alternative way of helping you and your dog.  I will still provide any back-up support you may need.

Can you teach old dogs new tricks?

Just because your dog is older does not mean he has lost the capacity to learn.  Place the dog in a suitable environment and use the language he understands with empathy and anything is possible.  Dogs learn throughout their lives, especially if their teachers have patience and understanding.

Do you have any testimonials?

Dozens!  A selection of comments received is included on this page.

See also the link to my Google reviews, below.

What’s the difference between a Dog Listener, Dog Trainer, Whisperer, Dog Psychologist or Dog Behaviourist?

They are all ‘trainers’.  Dog Listening uses no gadgets, medication, intimidation or force.  It’s pure, clear, positive canine communication.  You will never have to do anything to your dog that you would not want done to yourself!  You do not need to sedate your dog to calm him down – you just need to understand what is causing his stress and remove it.  Dogs in the wild are calm, so if your dog is agitated, nervous, pacing or tense there will be a reason for it.

Why are you 'Independent'?

In the past I have been associated with a number of different dog training organisations but I have encountered difficulties in accepting the rigid adherence to their ethos – the ‘one approach fits all’ philosophy that these organisations have imposed.  All dogs and their owners are individuals and will therefore have differing requirements and abilities.  I have found that my flexible approach of tailoring the solutions to the particular problems displayed has produced very high levels of client satisfaction in the results they achieve with their dogs.

What qualifications do you hold?

At present, there is no nationally-recognised qualification required to become a dog behaviourist or dog trainer.  Therefore anyone can seek to establish themselves as a ‘Dog Trainer’ without necessarily having the knowledge or skills required for that role.

For instance, I have encountered ‘trainers’ that advocate playing slow music or the using various essences in an attempt to relax dogs!  Arguably, whilst these so-called remedies won’t add to the behaviour problems, they will distract the owner from resolving the dog’s actual underlying issues.

Using unqualified ‘trainers’ can potentially make a situation worse, damaging the dog/owner relationship or causing unnecessary distress to the dog – all of which can be completely avoided by using a qualified Dog Listener.

I hold both the Foundation and Advanced Certificates in Canine Communication and have a proven track record of both dog and people skills with my background as an experienced dog owner, in providing training courses and in teaching.  I am totally committed to the welfare of dogs and show this in a hands-on way.  I have undertaken extensive further training to ensure that I provide sound and tried and tested techniques that is adaptable to suit any dog and owner.


Here is the link to my Google reviews

Here are just some of the many positive comments I had previously received:

“Ian implemented the techniques when he arrived at my home.  Within minutes, the initial results spoke for themselves.”

“Brilliant!  Thank you Ian, she’s being fab on the lead bouncing along beside me and wagging her tail – she looks at me all the time ;-).  I have my long line now and it came into use perfectly on our walk today.  Her recall away from dogs is already improving … my youngest and I were practising recall on her walk and she came flying back to him (roast beef titbits today may have helped).  I’m really happy with how she’s progressing so far and can’t thank you enough.”

“A wonderful way to establish a good relationship with my dogs.  Ian was very calm and patient, really impressed with his knowledge.  Really pleased with the results, although I realise that this will keep improving as long as we keep it going.”

“I wish I’d done this right from the start – it would have been much easier to ‘unpick’ the bad behaviour (mine!).   I had thought I’d be OK having brought up children … and that’s where I went wrong.  Now I see more clearly through example how I need to relate to my dog and he’s happier (so am I).”

“Ian was fantastic – I have a really good dog but he just needs some fine tuning.”

“He helped with issues we didn’t realise were a problem. Especially with my smaller dogs.”

“It really helped to understand the reasons why we needed to do certain actions.”

“I learned more about my dog’s nature during the 3 hour consultation than in 20 years of veterinary practice.”

“We had followed all sorts of advice to try to cure Ralphie’s separation anxiety.  Ian’s approach was the only technique that actually worked.”

“Telephone conversations since consultation have been extremely helpful, preventing us becoming disheartened and confirm that progress is normal and correct procedures are being followed.”

“Ian was very clear and succinct in explaining and reiterating the salient points.”

“I was sceptical of the technique initially and after doing the programme to the letter that my place was dominant in the way he behaved and a marked improvement followed.”

“My daughter who is a dog owner is thinking of having him for barking problems.  I would explain the procedure to friends and leave them to decide.  A number have said my dog Buddy is so much calmer.”

“(Dog Listening) showed improvements in Tilly’s behaviour quite quickly.  I moved house 2 weeks after the consultation which set Tilly back and I phoned Ian for advice and a sane voice!  Luckily by following his advice we were quickly back on track.”

“The consultation fulfilled all my expectations.  Positive changes in Luna and positive changes in handling Luna.”