Your End of the Lead Online: What Students Say....
If you are struggling with your dog's reactions and perhaps the attitude of family, friends and passers by, you will be helped so much by doing a course where the course leader and other participants understand what you have to cope with. It is so supportive to work alongside like-minded people. - Wendy Baker, with Jackson
I’d been experiencing extreme frustration over my dog’s reactivity, and despite working with numerous trainers and spending countless hours reading books and articles (and trying to implement these training techniques), I felt my stress levels continue to rise. I knew my stress was only making my dog’s reactivity worse, but I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I haven’t regretted a single moment I’ve spent reading the lessons, engaging with people on the forum, or experimenting with the new techniques I’m learning. It’s supportive in the extreme—the encouragement from Janet and my fellow students is so fantastic and so refreshing. There’s no judgment; only positive energy. And it feels great to be able to offer that optimism to others as well! I’m learning a lot of new techniques and exercises that I definitely wouldn’t have pursued on my own—particularly TTouch. I love being able to expand my toolkit in an experimental, low-pressure environment. I get to play with different approaches and figure out what works best for me and my dog—it’s not just about blindly adhering to the advice of a particular trainer. I feel a lot calmer and more confident in my training approaches now—I’m quicker to decide when something has the potential to be overwhelming, and I don’t have any guilt about making the “right” decision for my dog. I’m also getting a lot better at noticing and celebrating successes, however small, which helps me stay optimistic about long-term improvement. I think one of the hardest things about having a reactive dog is the isolation it creates—physically and emotionally—from other dog owners and people in general. For a long time I felt completely cut off from what I thought was the “normal” experience of having a dog; my shame and embarrassment over my dog’s reactivity were getting the best of me. I can’t begin to explain how essential it’s been to have a community of people in YEL who share this experience. I no longer feel alone. On the YEL forums I feel listened to, understood, and valued. What a blessing! - Jenny Williams, Writer and graphic designer behind 'Should I leash my Dog?'
The thing that I most enjoyed was the reporting of the daily tasks, and how friendly and supportive the forum was. - Danielle Wilkinson, with Cez and Poppy
I was unsure about how the practical aspects would work in an online course. But the weekly lessons were clear and easy to follow and good feedback was given on our pictures and videos. - Helen Heffron, with Sprocket
The title 'Your end of the Lead' grabbed my attention as a new way forward for me and my collie rescue dog, Sophie. Sophie is uncomfortable around unfamiliar dogs and I was certainly feeling very uncomfortable at my end of the lead managing reactive encounters often ineffectively. I was very aware that I was at least half of the problem and here at last was a course that seemed to offer support and solutions. I signed up and was not disappointed! The course is rich in benefits. It lasts for nearly four months and as such is a real learning journey, building strength and momentum each week. Shorter courses often inspire but the learning does not get put into practice. 'Your end of the Lead' endures, and because you are not cut adrift too soon, the learning and ideas are secured and used. The course is very well thought out and structured, and the weekly course material is highly informative, thought provoking, practical, stimulating and relevant. The mixed delivery of video and reading works well and caters for different learning styles. The daily activities are clear, achievable and time realistic, and give opportunities to try out the techniques covered. All this would be sufficient in itself, but there is so much more! The forum format provides a wonderfully interactive structure to post results of the activities, share ideas and get feedback. It is a positive, encouraging and supportive environment that generates debate and enables wider learning and understanding from reading each others thoughts, and enjoying the shared pictures and videos. The technical side should not deter those who may doubt their computer skills. Janet is amazingly and reliably always on hand to provide practical uncomplicated solutions to our posting problems. Janet Finlay's course has been one of the most valuable and enjoyable learning experiences I have had in my quest to progress positively with Sophie. We are now a calmer and more confident partnership, with better understanding and a shedload of strategies to employ. My end of the lead definitely now feels a far more comfortable place! Thank you so much, Janet. - Ros Kinloch with Sophie
I'm not sure what I expected when I signed up for this course but I had hoped it would strengthen my relationship with my dogs and maybe help me develop a better understanding of my own reactions to their reactivity. I didn't expect it to affect me the way it has, nor did I foresee that I would change so much about the way I think about, train and communicate with my dogs. I am now much calmer when out on walks and feel better able to deal with any situation which arise. Both my dogs have benefited too. I never thought I would be able to get my fearful collie to accept TTouch but I have actually been able to use it to help him cope with the fireworks this year. I have also been practicing the touches on my GSD and have found that, not only has it deepened our bond, but it has helped with the stiffness in her hips too. I volunteer for a dog rescue center and had hoped that doing this course would help me improve my skills with the dogs. I've not been disappointed! I've found that by keeping myself calm I can build a better rapport with new dogs and I've felt more confident with them as a result. I am also putting the skills I've learnt into practice with these dogs, with great results - I am walking them on double clip harnesses, which has eased their anxiety and reduced pulling, and I'm successfully using Ttouch to help calm some of the more boisterous dogs. Can you tell I think the course is fantastic?? I like the fact that there are so many learning options and different resources, including videos, articles, and posting questions on the community forum. It is a much more effective way of learning than merely reading a book or trawling internet articles because of the feedback and encouragement available. I've felt supported throughout and Janet has always been there to explain or advise about anything I didn't understand. I've also met a lot of inspirational people and have learnt a huge amount from them. I absolutely recommend it to anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of dogs. - Lindsey Maggs, Volunteer at K9focus Rescue
I signed up to this course in a spirit of desperation. Other routes that I have travelled, to help with a reactive dog, had promised much but led nowhere. The fact that this course would incorporate a number of different approaches that nobody else had suggested was the initial attraction, but meant that I had to put aside pre-conceptions and approach the course with an open mind. That was not easy, but the effort has proved rewarding. I was also influenced by the fact that we would consider the whole environment in which the dog operates, not just the fact of reactivity.
I have never, before, undertaken an internet based course, and having signed up quite early, I spent a some time thinking it might have been a mistake. I have few computer skills and don't really enjoy using the infernal machine! Then the course started. It's wonderful! Not having taken part in a forum before, I was amazed at how quickly a community established itself; at how honest and supportive the participants were; and how generously expertise and experiences were shared. I had expected, and duly received, great things from Janet, but the helpful contributions of the other particpants were entirely unexpected.
I appreciated the weekly format for the lessons, as it gave me and the dogs time to relax into the lessons and procedures we were learning, day by day. And the ever-patient Janet was always available to answer questions, solve computer problems, correct misconceptions and iron out difficulties. Initially sceptics, as far as TTouch was concerned, I and one of my dogs became converts. The other dog was an immediate junkie and, having had an accident in the middle of the course, he benefitted from touches that helped in healing, pain relief and counteracting shock.
The other, more suspicious dog, is the reactive one. The skills and techniques I have learned have reduced the number and intensity of his reactive events. The course has affected my attitude to reactivity as a problem, and has also increased my confidence in my ability to keep him safe. I am convinced that even should I not succeed in 'curing' him I shall be able, as a result of this course to lessen the stress he endures and give him a happier and healthier life.
I have enjoyed this course immensely, and that is not something I expected. I expected to learn, and that, I have done. The enjoyment and fun were a bonus that made learning a delight, and converted what could have been 'work' into very productive play!
Thank you, Janet. - Diane Gregory, Bounce and Sparrow
I was attracted to this course by the name "Your End of The Lead". I've attended many dog training courses / seminars over the years but I saw this as being about the human element, me. A chance to look at the other half of the dog training / relationship equation. The fact that Janet had once been of great help with a very damaged rescue dog I had worked with a couple of years ago also helped!
I'm glad I only saw the title and didn't think it was only for people with reactive dogs or I may have been put off as at the time of signing up I didn't have that problem although have had in the past. There are situations where I felt I could improve as a handler / trainer and where if anything my own responses would benefit from me looking closer so it was quite literally "My End of The Lead" I wanted to look at and I have to say the course has surpassed my expectation.
There are so many things I have enjoyed about this course but I have to say the patient support with my lack of computer skill in the beginning went above and beyond the call of duty, not only from Janet but also from other members who were having similar difficulties! And that set the scene for the rest to follow. The help, encouragement and friendliness of the group was something I didn't expect and the lack of pressure and encouragement to do this in a way I can manage has been great. It has given me an opportunity to explore ideas and concepts in a way I've not done before. I could go on but knowing what I know now I wouldn't have missed this for the world.
Doing this course has, I think, changed my attitude towards training / working with and just plain living with my dogs for the better. Not only that but also with other people I meet when out and about doing "dog stuff" either formally or informally. This course has given me tools "my end of the lead" needed.
This course may read as being only for people with reactive dogs but don't be fooled or left out. If you are "the other half" in a dogs life it is for you. - Karon Tiffany, Kez, Bracken and Tonka
The course was worth every penny, first I checked your qualifications, and I knew it was a good way to go. TTouch, good reviews and and the most important thing is your page about you and your qualifications. I saw names such as: Turid Rugaas, Patricia McConnell, Sarah Fisher and Marie Miller, and I knew I was at home. I'd say the same thing to another person, check and go! - Beata Gorzedowska, with Dotty
I attended a 6-week Reactive Rovers class a year or 2 ago which definitely helped but it was run in Edinburgh and I live in the Highlands, 3 hrs away, so wasn't very handy. This online course is ideal for someone like me living in a rural situation where there is no local help. Also what appealed was the fact that there would be continuous exercises, which would keep the momentum going, and they would hopefully become a natural part of daily living, which has most certainly happened.
The only thing that put me off initially was that I hadn't heard of Janet and couldn't find anyone in my small dog world who knew her so I suppose I was wary about sending off money to a possible scam! Of course it most certainly wasn't and the course has proved to be far more beneficial and enjoyable than I imagined.
There are many of us out there with reactive dogs and it's impossible to chat and sympathise with others in the same boat that you come across when walking while your dogs are leaping and lunging between you ...no good for anyone! This way we have formed a friendly wee group on the forum all experiencing similar problems and I have found that connection very heart warming. It's great to rejoice when one participant experiences a small breakthrough with their dog. We all understand just how much that little step forward means to such an owner...it's not something a regular dog owner might grasp and so therefore might never have been mentioned.
I have thoroughly enjoyed learning about TTouch, I have attended a wee workshop in the past but didn't quite 'get it ' then...it's fascinating to hear how it is having a positive effect on different dogs and owners...and I certainly notice my dogs getting in the queue for a session.
I am lucky as I live where I can avoid other dogs on our daily walks but this is not the case if we visit family and I may not always live here so instead of burying my head in the sand it has made me enthusiastic about trying different techniques. There is no doubt that I now have a lot more confidence with regard to knowing that I have the tools to cope with most situations.
I would thoroughly recommend this course to anyone with a reactive dog...the weekly lessons are just the right length, very informative with helpful videos and each week day the wee exercises are ideal for people to cope with who have busy lives...it has never felt a chore! Janet always responds to all of our comments in a positive and encouraging way making helpful suggestions, as required, as do other partipants. All methods included in the course are kind and positive and we also have quite a lot of fun and laughter and some members have even managed to meet up for practice. I 100% feel this was a wonderful find! Very many thanks Janet - Jennifer Will,Twig and Sponge
Diggy is much calmer and settled at home and on walks. I now enjoy our walks which is amazing. I believe Diggy is now having fun also. We have gotten to know each other so much better. I no longer feel guilty and ashamed of our progress or lack of progress. I accept Diggy as a being with feelings and emotions and I understand them so much better and I do my best not to not to bully him into going on walks as "that's what dogs need" he sometimes isn't bothered and would prefer to stay at home and play games!
Do it! It's such great value for money and well worth every penny. Just to be able to enjoy being with your dog again and learn how to help her or him feel safer in the scary big wide world! - Claire Hayes, Digby (aka Diggy)
I liked the presentation of information and the fact that I felt I could be completely candid about what I felt worked and question if I had reservations. Any reservations and questions were discussed in a non-judgmental light and not dismissed as uninformed. Others on the forum could also offer their opinion and advice.
- Ruth Bisgrove, with Wesley
The bond that Archie and me have is essential to me. He has come on such a long way and I am so proud of him. Today was a good test for him, I think because a lot of people are still on their long Easter break, we saw quite a few dogs on our regular week day walk, all at different distances and he coped so well. We had a one-to-one session with a behaviourist a couple of years ago and Iremember her saying he probably would never change his reactive behaviour, but I knew deep down there must have been a way to help him. With a lot of Googling and signing up to various email listings, thank goodness we found your course Janet, because we wouldn't be where we are now without your help, support and understanding. The bond we have now is what I've always wished for and I really can't put it in words what it means to me that Archie now puts his trust in me...it's priceless.
So a big thank you Janet from Archie & me. - Claire Sainsbury and Archie
Since doing this course I have seen Ebben grow into a fun loving dog who has learned to trust me to help her be able to make the right choices. Our relationship has really strengthened and we seem to enjoy ourselves on walks much more - we interact more and play games for the fun of it and not just as a distraction.
I know that there will always be the rude, in your face, dogs who really frighten Ebben, but then I will hopefully continue to use the techniques I've learnt on the course to help Ebben recover from those incidents more quickly. There will also be the days like today when Ebben ran back to me for treats and a play as soon as another dog appeared in the distance and really ignored the other dogs we saw, even those in family crowds, in favour of a game. So in some ways I feel I've already achieved my key goal - for Ebben to be happy and enjoy life because she is definitely much happier than when we started the course. Wow! - Karen Davies and Ebben