Written on: 04/11/2011
My young dog is timid and developing aggressive behaviour so we needed to nip it in the bud. The 3 week behaviour modification course is not cheap but we coincided the course dates with going on holiday so would have had to pay kennel fees anyway. We had tried personal dog trainers without much success who charge £80 to £120 per session, so the course is not bad value.
Terry in Merthyr Tydfil is a brilliant and patient trainer with years of experience and a rare way with dogs. I was given regular updates by telephone and email and also photos on the website. He is honest and never hid the fact that our dog is difficult to bond with and was scared of him initially, as she is of all people except us. This made training very difficult. However, by the 3rd week Terry had managed to win her over and even offered to extend her training time because she had begun to make progress. Unfortunately, we simply missed her too much so brought her home after 3 weeks. We met for a day's training and it was obvious Terry knew her character as well as we did. He was keen to emphasise that the training course had formed the foundation for our dog's behaviour modification. On returning home, she still had major issues on the lead, but amazingly off the lead she has regressed back to the way she had been before she started exhibiting her aggressive behaviour. She is happy and playful with all dogs, even ones that she has had previous 'arguments' with and used to bear a grudge against.
We had been told by our vet that it is better to be with your dog when training, but I found that the time away from home and the training given by Terry meant that she managed to break out of her routine bad behaviour. If she had remained a while longer at Royvon I think the training would have been 100% successful. She went to stay at Royvon with a dog who has more advanced issues and he is noticeably more responsive and obedient with his owner for the first time in years. He has made much more progress because he isn't nervous. I have read complaints that full choke chains are used but this is definitely not the case and our dogs came back to us happy and healthy.
The only downside is that Terry is a 6 hour return drive from where we live which makes it difficult to have further personal training with him, as this is included in the course cost, although we can take the training at Royvon Surrey but it would be nice to benefit from Terry's expertise.
I am very grateful to Terry and the team for taking good care of our dog and making strong efforts to deal with her nervousness which must be a challenge.