Reactivity OR Aggression to Other People

Barking at other people?
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Does your dog bark constantly at visitors?

Are you worried about what might happen when your dog lunges at people?

Are you walking in out of the way places to avoid people?

You’ve become the family no one visits. The thought of visitors at home is enough for you to be suggesting a night out instead. People coming to the house is stressful, for everyone. Your dog starts barking as soon as they hear the gate open and it doesn’t stop until your visitors have gone. Even people walking past the house can be enough to set your dog off.

With the family your dog is silly and cuddly and a joy and you wish that others could see them in the same way. It’s embarrassing and scary when they bark or growl at people, especially when it’s people you know. It can feel out of control sometimes and you’re not always sure what your dog might do. And you know your friends and family with perfectly behaved dogs are judging you, even if they say they’re not.

Sometimes if your dog can calm down enough they can say hello, but you’re holding your breath the whole time. And if your visitor isn’t sure about dogs, well then you know that your dog is going to react badly. And of course there’s the “helpful” visitor who says they love dogs and it’ll be OK, and you know it would be nothing short of a riot in the living room.

 

woman and dog enjoy a loose lead walk on path in the woods

You want your dog to be part of things, but sometimes it’s just easier to put them in another room. Then you worry you aren’t actually dealing with the problem and that keeping them separate is making it worse. 

Walks can sometimes be OK, but if people get too close, then all bets are off. Your dog runs and barks at them, not quite making contact, but you’re worried that this behaviour scares people and that it will get you and your dog in trouble. 

You’ve started walking where you’ll see fewer people so that you can relax a bit more, but you can feel yourself tense up as soon as you spot another person. And if only your dog wasn’t so beautiful and gorgeous maybe fewer people would be interested in meeting them!

You’ve spent hours looking for help. You’ve even seen some dog trainers. But it’s just left you confused with all the different opinions. You’re still not sure what you should be doing. You don’t like the thought of having to punish your dog or flatten their personality, but you’re worried about rewarding the aggression with treats. Besides, it’s not like your dog takes treats when they are busy doing a hound of the Baskervilles impression anyway.  

 

You dream of being able to walk with your dog and enjoy the outdoors together. With your dog calmly by your side, you can say hi to people as you walk by without your dog shouting at them. 

Your greatest fantasy is that you will one day be able to invite people into your home without worrying about what your dog will do. Where you are confident, relaxed, and proud of how your dog behaves.

You want to have a plan to follow. So you know what you need to do and when. And you want someone who will walk you through it, so that you’re not alone. Someone who can see past the scary facade to the loveable dog you know so well.

 

I can help you

If your dog barks, growls, lunges or snaps at people on walks or visitors to your home, I can help you change things. My Happy About Humans package is a tried and tested formula that is still flexible enough to be bespoke for you and your dog so you can enjoy your social life again and no longer be pariahs. 

Investment: £795

  • 12 weeks of support and coaching from an expert who’s been where you are.
  • 3 practical coached training sessions so that you and your dog can learn the skills you need with real-time expert coaching.
  • Structured, yet flexible programme so that you get a personalised plan that will help you stay on track and achieve your goals.
  • Written training plans and videos so you have easy reminders of what to do and share everything you’re working on with any other members of the family who might not be able to make it to the sessions.
  • Video feedback on your training throughout the package.
  • No more inconsistency, frustration or anxiety about how your dog will behave. You’ll have clear strategies to improve your dog’s behaviour around people.
  • Access to a private community group (just for Tails We Win clients) so that you can share tips and successes and support each other.
  • A training pack with the items I recommend and use myself to get you started on the right foot.
  • A deeper understanding of how you can help your dog so that training is slick, efficient and full of fun rather than a battle.

Veterinary referral is required prior to working with you. You may be able to claim back some or all of the cost of my support through your pet insurance, due to my qualifications and accreditations. You should check with your insurer whether you are covered and for what amount.

Happy About Humans is perfect for you if….

  • You dream of being able to enjoy having visitors to your home or going out to places with your dog where there will be other people.
  • You realise there are no quick fixes and that behaviour change (for both you and your dog) takes time.
  • You want support and understanding, both from an expert and other people with similar problems to you. 
  • You want to build a positive relationship with your dog while addressing the problems you have.
  • You like to have a plan broken down into smaller steps and track your progress as you go

How it works

1. tell me about the problem

The first step is to talk. Book a free discovery call appointment and we can discuss what is going on and what package is the right one for you. 

I’ll talk you through the steps to get a veterinary referral and we can book a start date. 

2. Support from the start

We’ll start with an online consult so I can work out what’s going on and share my expert advice.

I’ll set out a clear plan of action and coach you through the first steps. 

3. Your Individual Plan

You don’t need to worry about remembering everything. I’ll send you material immediately after the first session.

I’ll then follow up with a pack of step by step instructions to move you on, video examples and other resources so you know exactly what to do and when.

4. Ongoing Support

Now you know what to do you can start to put the plan into action. You’ll have access to email support along with feedback on training videos you send me. I’ll be able to guide you through any problems to get you back on track. 

You’ll have follow up sessions, either online, or if you’re local in-person at our outdoor venue. 

5. Build a great relationship

Dogs are a joy, but can also be hard work. It can be a struggle to see how far you’ve come when working through a behaviour problem. That’s why I include a reflection practise in my packages. 

You’ll be able to build a great relationship with your dog and look forward to a bright future. All while celebrating just how far you’ve traveled together.

Are you ready to get started?
Wilson, a Welsh Springer Spaniel on top of cliffs in Cornwall

You set Diva and I on the right track.

I can confidently say that she is a changed dog, and we are a team. We now trust each other.

I have a dog that when we are out, people stop and comment on how lovely she is.

Sue (with Diva)

Behaviour FAQs

Can't you just give me some tips during the Discovery call?

I’d love to be able to solve behaviour problems over the phone in less than an hour, but sadly it’s just not possible. Nobody can make such a promise.

Every dog and situation is individual and I can’t safely give advice without first assessing your dog.

For a real resolution it is vital to understand the underlying reasons for your dog’s behaviour and that can only happen with a full assessment.

Will my dog’s behaviour get better on its own?

It’s unlikely. It’s much more likely to get worse as time goes on. You’ve probably been thinking about getting help for a while because the behaviour seems to have got worse, but you’re not sure whether it is bad enough.

Often I don’t get called until there has been a particular incident that has scared people in some way. By then the problem has been developing for a long time and has become quite ingrained. It is never too early to address behaviour concerns.

What about training classes, will they help?
It's understandable that you might think a training class will help, but these kind of problems are about more than just good manners. The problem you’re facing is bigger than just some pulling on the lead on the way out the door and it’s going to take more than just a weekly class to fix it.

Classes are great for learning how to teach dogs everyday manners or particular skills like coming when called. In order to learn your dog needs to be comfortable and relaxed in that environment and generally dogs that are showing problem behaviours like those above just aren’t relaxed, confident dogs.

How much effort will I have to put in?
A fair amount. To change your dog’s behaviour normally involves changing your behaviour too and that can be hard. You’ll be supported every step of the way though with a plan broken into achievable stages so you won’t be overwhelmed.

You’ll probably have to spend an extra 15mins each day doing specific training, plus changing routines or implementing new management to prevent problem behaviour.

Although it might feel difficult at first, the changes you’ll see in your dog and your life together will make it more than worthwhile.

How long will it take to see results?
You should see the beginnings of change within two weeks. For lasting results you will probably need to work for several months. Your dog’s current problems are likely to have developed over a long period of time and that can’t be undone overnight.
Why do I need to get a veterinary referral?

It’s important to work under referral to make sure your dog has no medical issues contributing to a problem behaviour. Lots of medical conditions can affect behaviour including joint pain, thyroid disease, neurological issues, skin problems and gut issues like an irritable bowel. Medical problems need to be treated first so that you aren’t wasting your time trying to change behaviour that has a medical cause.

What if my dog has more than one problem?

It's common for dogs to have big feelings about more than one thing and so have problem behaviours in multiple situations. 

It may be possible to work with more than one type of problem within a package, but it depends on the problems and the reasons for them. Packages can be increased to account for additional problems and the time needed to work with you on them. 

Pick the problem that is the biggest headache for you and book a call for that package. Make sure to tell me about any additional problems you will want to address and I will discuss options with you at the discovery call. 

 

What guarantees do you offer?
I can't guarantee specific results, and no one else can either, there's too many variables to be able to do that.

What I can guarantee you is:

  • A safe, non-judgmental environment
  • Commitment to help you seek relief, change and improvement
  • Dedication to kind, fair, science-based training methods for both you and your dog.
Why should I work with you?
Because I’m qualified and accredited as a Clinical Animal Behaviourist. In the UK anyone can call themselves a trainer or behaviourist regardless of their level of knowledge or skill.  I have been assessed by the Association of Pet Behaviour Councellors (APBC) and I’m registered with the Animal Behaviour & Training Council (ABTC) so you can be assured of my academic knowledge and professional experience.

Importantly I also understand what you’re going through —I’ve been there with my own dogs in the past. I personally understand the embarrassment, fear and guilt that having a dog with behaviour problems entails.

Find out more about me.

Can't you just give me some tips during the discovery call?

I’d love to be able to solve behaviour problems over the phone in less than an hour, but sadly it’s just not possible. Nobody can make such a promise.

Every dog and situation is individual and I can’t safely give advice without first assessing your dog.

For a real resolution it is vital to understand the underlying reasons for your dog’s behaviour and that can only happen with a full assessment.

Will my dog’s behaviour get better on its own?
It’s unlikely. It’s much more likely to get worse as time goes on. You’ve probably been thinking about getting help for a while because the behaviour seems to have got worse, but you’re not sure whether it is bad enough.

Often I don’t get called until there has been a particular incident that has scared people in some way. By then the problem has been developing for a long time and has become quite ingrained. It is never too early to address behaviour concerns.

What about training classes, will they help?
It's understandable that you might think a training class will help, but these kind of problems are about more than just good manners. The problem you’re facing is bigger than just some pulling on the lead on the way out the door and it’s going to take more than just a weekly class to fix it.

Classes are great for learning how to teach dogs everyday manners or particular skills like coming when called. In order to learn your dog needs to be comfortable and relaxed in that environment and generally dogs that are showing problem behaviours like those above just aren’t relaxed, confident dogs.

How much effort will I have to put in?
A fair amount. To change your dog’s behaviour normally involves changing your behaviour too and that can be hard. You’ll be supported every step of the way though with a plan broken into achievable stages so you won’t be overwhelmed.

You’ll probably have to spend an extra 15mins each day doing specific training, plus changing routines or implementing new management to prevent problem behaviour.

Although it might feel difficult at first, the changes you’ll see in your dog and your life together will make it more than worthwhile.

How long will it take to see results?
You should see the beginnings of change within two weeks. For lasting results you will probably need to work for several months. Your dog’s current problems are likely to have developed over a long period of time and that can’t be undone overnight.
why do i need to get a veterinary referral?
It’s important to work under referral to make sure your dog has no medical issues contributing to a problem behaviour. Lots of medical conditions can affect behaviour including joint pain, thyroid disease, neurological issues, skin problems and gut issues like an irritable bowel. Medical problems need to be treated first so that you aren’t wasting your time trying to change behaviour that has a medical cause.
what if my dog has more than one problem?

It's common for dogs to have big feelings about more than one thing and so have problem behaviours in multiple situations. 

It may be possible to work with more than one type of problem within a package, but it depends on the problems and the reasons for them. Packages can be increased to account for additional problems and the time needed to work with you on them. 

Pick the problem that is the biggest headache for you and book a call for that package. Make sure to tell me about any additional problems you will want to address and I will discuss options with you at the discovery call. 

what guarantees do you offer?
I can't guarantee specific results, and no one else can either, there's too many variables to be able to do that.

What I can guarantee you is:

  • A safe, non-judgmental environment
  • Commitment to help you seek relief, change and improvement
  • Dedication to kind, fair, science-based training methods for both you and your dog.
Why should I work with you?
Because I’m qualified and accredited as a Clinical Animal Behaviourist. In the UK anyone can call themselves a trainer or behaviourist regardless of their level of knowledge or skill.  I have been assessed by the Association of Pet Behaviour Councellors (APBC) and I’m registered with the Animal Behaviour & Training Council (ABTC) so you can be assured of my academic knowledge and professional experience.

Importantly I also understand what you’re going through —I’ve been there with my own dogs in the past. I personally understand the embarrassment, fear and guilt that having a dog with behaviour problems entails.

Find out more about me.

Work with me

Ready to make a change?