Canine Behaviourist and Trainer

I am a professional Canine Behaviourist and Trainer based in Perthshire, Scotland. I cover a wide geographic area including the Lothians and Edinburgh to the south and up to Inverness in the north.

Do Any of these Seem Familiar?

bulletYour dog barks at the doorbell

bulletYour dog lunges at other dogs or people

bulletYour dog constantly seeks attention

bulletYour dog jumps up on visitors or you

bulletYour dog ignores you when you call

bulletYour dog is anxious/aggressive when visiting the vet

bulletYour dog is destructive

bulletYour dog runs upstairs or through doors ahead of you

bulletYour dog toilets or marks in the house

bulletYour dog is too playful with children

bulletYour dog barks at passers-by or other dogs

bulletYour dog chases cars, joggers, cyclists etc

bulletWhen left alone, your dog shows anxiety

bulletYour dog steals food

bulletYour dog playfully bites you

bulletYour dog shows aggression toward other animals

bulletYour dog pulls on the lead

bulletYour dog is anxious in the car

bulletYour dog growled at or bit someone or another dog

bulletYour dog runs away and refuses to recall


If any of the above apply to your dog, please contact me.


Remember, the dog you own can be the dog you always wanted.


How Does Canine Psychology Work - As Opposed to Training Classes?


A behaviourist will often suggest normal training classes as well as the more in depth, individual work.

Unlike trainers who, due to class sizes, can normally apply only one chosen technique to every dog they train regardless of breed or type or problem, canine psychologists have a vast repertoire of behavioural and training techniques at their disposal and will use a combination of both in order to solve the problems you are experiencing. Behaviourists tend to work one-on-one rather than with large classes.


The most effective method of assessing any dog is within its home environment.


A good canine psychologist can interpret every move, every action and body language indicator to rapidly build up a profile of the dog through observation of the interaction between the dog and the people and circumstances which surround it.


Only by building a complete and thorough picture can the psychologist begin to analyse all the factors and understand why the dog behaves the way he does.


The canine psychologist is there to support the owner and work with them, often in conjunction with their own veterinary surgeon, to solve the problem using methods most appropriate to the individual needs of the dog and its owner.


In this way, coupled with the application of basic training techniques, complex problems can normally be solved in two or three sessions.


Typical Approach


Using my methods, I almost never have to see a dog more than three times.  The first visit is invariably the most time consuming is to undertake the assessment of the dog and generally takes between two and three hours.


Following on from that, I normally compile a client report outlining the problems and the behaviour modification program, a copy of which being sent to to their vet, with the clients permission.  It is important when dealing with canine problems to rule out any health problems which may be adversely affecting the dogs behaviour, think how grumpy you feel when you have really bad toothache for example.  It is for that reason that canine psychologists aim to work as closely as possible with veterinary surgeons.


The second visit I spend time working with the client and the dog to ensure that they are applying the programme to its best possible advantage.  Occasionally, depending on individual responses, the programme may need to be adjusted.


A third visit is normally undertaken about three weeks after the first visit to review progress.  Normally at this point the problem is entirely solved, or well on the way to being so.


Invariably you do gain a reputation for particular types of work, and locally I am probably best known for my success rate with large breed aggressives.  When undertaking this type of work obviously safety is of paramount importance, and as a consequence it is not an area that every canine psychologist is comfortable working in.  However whether you are working with a corgi that barks incessantly in the car or an Akita which is a habitual biter, the fundamental principles are the same.


Why Does My Dog Act The Way He Does?


It is important to understand that behavioural problems can develop for a huge variety of reasons, genetic predisposition, diet or health being just a few.  Often the source of the problem can be traced back to an incident in the dog's past which may have appeared so minor at the time that you have forgotten it occurred, or all too frequently in the case of rescue dogs particularly, you are unaware of entirely.


Many owners have neither the expertise or time to solve these problems, however using a tried and tested multi-faceted approach we can work together  my expertise, knowledge and experience, your time and patience.


My Last Dog Didn’t Act This Way!


Just as people are individuals, two dogs may exhibit the same behavioural traits whilst the motivations behind those behaviours may be entirely different. 


Why Didn’t Training Classes Work?


Only by understanding the reason for the behaviour can the psychologist build an individual program of behavioural modification which is entirely personal to the dog and its circumstances.


The program can then be applied by the owner, with the help and guidance of the psychologist to cure the problem.


Why I Do What I Do


Basically because I love dogs, I always have and I always will.  They have been a major part of my life since early childhood, and I honestly believe my life is the better for it.  If I can successfully help others to overcome the problems that make life less than perfect for both themselves and their dogs then I believe I have been blessed.