Testimonials from our Amazing Clients

Over the past sixteen years, Nathan has been privileged to work with amazing dog owners. Below are a variety of testimonials from emails and the Dog Behaviour Specialist Facebook page.

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Cameron Ward

My dog Layla, a 4 year old American Pit Bull had developed anxiety, dog aggression, peeing inside, greeting strangers by barking and charging the door, over excitement, highly demanding, and very disobedient. She would be a nightmare to walk on the lead and would never come back in the park when called. She was ball obsessive with extreme focus on the ball, nothing could snap her out of it. She had also developed hyper alertness at night when walking and jumped at almost any strange sound.

I'd dealt with this for years and tried everything to change it, from dog walkers for the extreme amounts of energy, to obedience training, positive ‘treat’ training; basically anything I could to help her, but unfortunately no change.

Within 15-20 minutes of Nathan coming into my home, Layla had completely changed her energy. She was calm, in control and like a dog I didn’t know I could have. Nathan took great care, attention and used his expert skill and understanding to help me to understand what was really happening.

After the techniques he showed me, she completely transformed, she has become calm and obedient, she walks on the lead perfectly, doesn’t go to the toilet inside, she no longer is anxious and jumps all over the place and respects the boundaries Nathan taught me to put in place.

For my work, I am a director of an international investment firm and I train people in communication, from conscious to subconscious communication, tonality, body language, human communication styles and how humans interact with one another. Never have I seen such an amazing display of communication and the ability Nathan showed to help me understand it, the way he instinctually knew what my dog was communicating was simply profound.

I can honestly say it was one of the most enriching, educational and memorable experiences I have ever had. I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for Nathan and his genuine abilities and would unequivocally recommend him without hesitation. The results have honestly changed my life, it’s truly amazing. Thank you.



David Ackling-Jones

Nathan came to our house three weeks ago. We had just adopted a 9 month old staffy/great dane cross who had been abused and abandoned as a pup, and who was exhibiting fear and avoidance around adult male humans. We also have a cattle dog cross who has been living with us for the past two years, and he was also a rescue pup: his main issue was that he would constantly patrol the property at high speed and bark at intruders, real or imagined. We were looking for some advice on how to give both our boys a relaxed and happy life with us as part of our family.

Nathan arrived and without speaking a word, had both dogs responding to him in a positive way. He passed on volumes of knowledge and helpful advice to my wife and I during the few hours that he spent with our dogs and us.

In my working life I am a behaviour specialist and I work with people who have developmental disabilities. I am trained in Applied Behaviour Analysis, and work within the framework of Positive Behaviour Support. I am opposed to the use of punishment or aversive behavioural techniques and believe every person (and every dog for that matter) has the right to support that is respectful and socially valid, based on positive reinforcement rather than correction.

I am aware of critiques on the theory of Dominance in dog behaviour. I agree that many dog trainers, in previous generations and less so today, have used excessively punitive techniques of correction while lacking an understanding of the power and benefits of positive reinforcement. I agree that it has been a common mistake to project human models of dominance and hierarchy onto dogs. With my first dog, the cattle dog cross, I fell into the opposite trap; projecting human models of democracy and shared decision-making onto him. The effect being that he could not relax around me and was always looking for a way to contribute his energy, even if it meant chasing imaginary intruders around the yard. And in the case of our new dog, my compassionate and gentle approach was too hesitant and was in fact reinforcing his desire to keep me out of his territory.

Nathan brought a more balanced approach than this. Without a word from him, my dogs relaxed around him. Nathan explained that he uses his body language and his clear intention to communicate with dogs that he is in command of the territory, and that the dogs can relax and wait for his command.

This is of course obvious! Ninety percent of what we communicate is non-verbal, and dogs are immediately in tune with these signals.

To see my dogs relax and at one stage fall asleep in Nathan's presence, on the same shared mat, communicated to me that my ideas of democracy and shared leadership were actually stressing my dogs out! My dogs approached Nathan voluntarily and were attracted to him--the exact opposite of an aversive response. I may not convince fellow behaviourists that this was anything more than the effect of intimidation and "spirit-breaking" but I was and am convinced that it was non-aversive, and the least punitive effective technique to ensure two happy relaxed dogs.

My wife and I have been able to carry these techniques and approaches forward, and report that the behaviour problems for both dogs have resolved. We have had two relaxed and happy family members who are open and responsive to positive training techniques, because our body language, boundaries and our attitude is consistent and clear to start with.

Our younger dog passed away due to a medical problem a couple of days ago. I am writing this message to Nathan now because we appreciate how valuable to have had him come and help us out as a family, making the last three weeks of our puppy's life a happy and positive time, free of fear. 

 


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