Our Supercharged Package by Debbie Lister
We live in North Somerset and Rhea (StaffieX) came to us as a rescue 2½ years ago when she was 2. She’d spent 9 months of her 2 years in kennels and her previous history was unknown. They turned out to be economical with the truth and we soon discovered that she is ‘dog-reactive’; shadow chases; chooses a lot of inappropriate behaviours when she’s excited like nipping, jumping and is constantly alert not being calm at all.
Due to previously having ‘normal dogs’ I was totally unaware of the depth of training I was going to have to undertake. After a year I was floundering and not really knowing which way to turn to get ‘real life results’ instead of just the obedience-type behaviours. Rhea and I started the Absolute Dogs Training Academy lifestyle in Feb 2018 when we joined the SiT 2018 programme, followed by TA a few months later. That was a life changing chain of events.
Supercharged Package 🐾
My husband and I wanted a break away with Rhea and thought it would be great to incorporate training too, so we purchased the Supercharged Package along with a stay in The Old Dairy for a week in March. There was a lovely welcome package for us (and Rhea) upon arrival and the cottage was a superb place that fully catered for a dog’s needs.
I knew from the very start it would be awesome – the whole experience was very professional and caring. The admin team were great sorting out an appropriate training schedule (one of the team even put our online grocery shopping delivery away for us before our arrival!!) And in my pre-training phone call Michelle put me at ease and answered all my queries.
The Training 🐾
I really don’t know what to say as I have so many good things to mention. Michelle and Teresa are fantastic trainers. Their dedication, commitment and love of dogs is second to none. They both covered the theory behind why certain methods of training and techniques are used and were able to practically demonstrate on their own dogs when necessary.
We had such a breadth of training requirements and issues to talk about that I didn’t think it would all be covered. However, both Michelle and Teresa covered everything – and more! Due to Rhea’s shadowing primarily indoors, as a coping strategy for anxiety, Michelle visited the Old Dairy to see it first hand and provided several ways forward.
Many Topics were discussed 🐾
These including practices to improve our walks; fitness; impulse control; retrieve; cueing; release commands; visitors; boundaries; calmness; equipment use; arousal levels; Figure of 8; sniffing; using a whistle; scent work; DMT – I can go on and on. Be prepared to write notes! Lots of them. When I came home and transcribed them into Word to put reminders on the fridge – I had 10 pages worth! 🙂
Anxiety transformed into Self-Confidence 🐾
I was quite anxious myself on the very first day, as I didn’t know what to expect and didn’t know how Rhea would react to the trainers and the different surroundings, let alone all that would be asked of her during the full week’s training. Teresa noticed both my voice and demeanour were obviously anxious. She was able to turn that around in a very short time and ultimately make my behaviour work for Rhea, not hinder her. This boosted my self-confidence as well as Rhea’s.
Since we have been home there has been an instant improvement, it’s been noticed and remarked upon by family and friends too! I cannot recommend the training at Devon Dogs and The Old Dairy enough. We will be back!!!
About the Author: My name is Debbie Lister. My husband and I live in North Somerset with Rhea, our StaffieX, who came to us as a rescue 2½ years ago. Due to previously having ‘normal dogs’ I was totally unaware of the depth of training I needed to to undertake. However, after experiencing the Supercharged Package at Bowerland, there has been an instant improvement, which has been noticed and remarked upon by family and friends too!