Prickly Pooches Practice Sessions
Practice Sessions are advertised on our closed Facebook group – sPecial Pooches.
Please contact us for more information.
sPecial Pooches Facebook Group
The sPecial Pooches Facebook group is a closed group for those who have previously either attended a Prickly Pooches course or had a Behaviour Consultation for a reactive dog. We have in access of 150 members in this group with several of our members arranging dog walks and meet ups with other members. This is a fabulous way to continue practicing and to receive support and encouragement from others who fully understand the pressures of living with a reactive dog!
Initially we didn’t know what to do or how to live with her – every day was a struggle and getting worse. We went to a trainer who was recommended to us, but unfortunately some of his techniques were aversive and for a sensitive girl like Lyra just made her worse – she actually started redirecting her reactivity on us when she saw anything she was scared of. After doing our own research and starting to understand more about reactivity and Lyra, we found Caroline and the Prickly Pooches course.
The methods Caroline uses throughout the course are all positive and about make positive associations and keeping the dogs below their threshold of reactivity whilst having some fun! Lyra really has fun at the sessions now and is learning to be more relaxed around new people and dogs, and with the regular practice sessions following on from the course, we’ve been able to continue building on the foundations set by the course. We still have a long way to go, and she’ll always be a sensitive dog, but with the help of prickly pooches we’ve been able to gradually build positive associations for Lyra, around people who completely understand the stresses of having a reactive dog in the family.
Thank you Caroline!
We are absolutely DELIGHTED with the results we have seen and the difference we now have with Charlie out on walks. Whilst he is still nervous around motorbikes and to occasional other dogs, we have learned some fantastic techniques by means of distraction and shifting his focus. Gone are the days where we have to hide in some stranger’s driveway to avoid a motorbike and whilst we know that the training will be an ongoing process, we really couldn’t be more pleased with the results we have seen so far. Caroline uses simple and effective techniques which are easy to work into your dog’s regular routine, the additional links and information she gives you are also very useful. We would recommend anyone with a reactive dog give Prickly Pooches a try. We thought we might have to struggle with some of Charlie’s problems for the rest of his life, but thanks to Caroline there is light at the end of the tunnel and we are on our way to a happier, more confident and relaxed dog. Thank you!
Having attended the ‘Prickly Pooch’ classes led by Caroline Cowan, it was clear that the dog and owners safety was paramount. The venue was perfect and the equipment provided ensured that all dogs remained as calm as possible during their training. Initially Sooki was highly reactive, not only did she require training but I was desperate to know how to handle these situations.
Caroline experience brings a wealth of knowledge and she has provided an invaluable insight to Sooki’s behaviour. Clearly, Caroline is adaptable to each dogs training ability and needs, and she has demonstrated how to counteract aggressive behaviour. With each class and having practised the techniques taught by Caroline between each session, Sooki was able to walk within metres of another dog without reaction. Sooki has finally turned a corner and we are very optimistic about the future. We no longer avoid other dogs but look for opportunities to practise the good behaviour. The training is hard work but the reward is astonishing.
Not only has Caroline inspired me with confidence, she has given me the tools and skills that I need to develop Sooki further. Sooki has achieved so much from the sessions, we will sign up for any follow on course available.
It was fairly obvious from our first meeting with Caroline that she knew what she was talking about, but if we had any doubts, these were dispelled in the first few minutes of the first Prickly Pooches session. Imagine 8 reactive dogs, with their anxious owners, all in the same room together. It ought to have been utter chaos and a recipe for disaster. It wasn’t: Caroline used the session to assess the dogs, (and no doubt the owners) and to introduce us to the techniques and skills we needed to address our dogs’ problems. What we learnt in that first session set us up for the next few weeks on the field outside, during which Patch learnt to attend far less to the things that stress him out, and far more to us. Week by week, we saw his behaviour getting better, and could see similar improvements in the other dogs in the group at the same time. By the final week we found ourselves in the middle of the field with Patch on a long leash, playing fetch with his favourite ball, completely ignoring and being ignored by, all the other dogs circling around him.
To round the course off we had a one to one session with Caroline and one of her dogs. Caroline was very generous with her time and advice, the dogs got on well together, and the walk in the local park couldn’t have gone better. The training has paid off at home too. Patch is less needy, more relaxed and responsive, and seems a lot happier. He’s still got a way to go with his behaviour outside, but he’s much improved and, thanks to Caroline, we now have a clear view of where we’re going with him, and a good idea of how to get him there.
I am so glad I worked with Caroline, her help and advice has been hugely beneficial to us, and I know her on going support is always there if needed. Caroline knows so much about dogs and is a true professional in her area. I would definitely recommend Caroline to anyone who has any sort of problem with their dogs behaviour, particularly the prickly kind of behaviours, which are so undesirable.
I am the owner of an 18 month old French Bulldog named Reggie. He is my absolute world, as I’m sure your dog is to you.
Reggie was attacked a few months ago by a Husky while we were out walking. He was such a friendly little dog with a fantastic temperament until he was attacked and then unfortunately he changed. He started becoming aggressive towards other dogs because he was scarred that all other dogs were out to get him! As a result it also knocked my confidence and I became very nervous whilst out walking him which drove me insane and I wasn’t prepared for either of us to continue this way.
I did a bit of research looking at different dog trainers but none of them really caught my eye and then I found Caroline and knew I didn’t need to look any further. She was everything I’d been looking for.
I signed Reggie and myself up for the four week Prickly Pooches class and I can honestly say it was the best thing I ever did.
Caroline is great at what she does. It’s clear she’s very passionate about her training classes and committed to the wellbeing of all dogs. Caroline is very knowledgeable on all breeds and behaviours and is fully aware of modern training methods and does not use any aversive methods which is brilliant. Nothing is too much trouble and she is very patient and understanding. She treated all of the dogs and owners in our class with respect and the help needed relating to their own individual problem.
The on going help, support and advice we still receive from Caroline is fantastic and means a lot. She truly does care.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Caroline to others as I already have to all of my friends and family and anyone else who will listen.
She worked wonders with Reggie, working on his aggression, and confidence building for us both. I can happily say I’ve got my friendly, happy go lucky Reggie back. He loves nothing better than going for a run with his B.F.F. (Best Friend Forever) Hope.
I can’t thank Caroline enough for the help and support she gave us and still gives, and I now class her as a good friend of mine.
It was only after wasting our time and money on another so-called “Dog Trainer”, that we discovered Caroline and then we instantly realised that we were in the hands of an expert, watched her in action and had an object lesson in how a canine training course should be run. We enrolled Misty on her Prickly Pooches course which begins with an initial meeting (sans dogs) where she fully explains her methods and the direction the series of weekly sessions will take. You know that feeling that you get when you meet an expert in their field? Any field….plumbing, computer repair, driving instruction…any vocation. You instantly realise that they fully understand their profession in every sense, the way they discuss it, talk about it, answer questions about it…these are the people you want to go to for help…Caroline’s one of those. The courses take place in a perfect environment in Willows school, lots of room, plenty of space and are controlled and stress free, both for dogs and owners. Caroline, with skill and endless patience, explains the psychology behind the canine problems and week by week informs, explains and formulates strategies to reduce each individual dog’s aggression, all based on kindness and never domination or fear. At the end of the course she accompanies owner and dog on a personal one to one walk around the local area. Misty has improved beyond our expectations, this will be ongoing and it is no exaggeration to state that enrolling on Caroline’s course has changed both our and Misty’s lives. Caroline provides a complete back up service with regular tips and emails and is always there for anyone who has a query or problem. Add in the fact that she is a lovely lady and as you can probably tell we would unhesitatingly recommend her…..and her equally lovely daughter Latichia to anyone experiencing problems with their dog.
He was a rescue from Cardiff dogs home after a long 8 months there. He was picked up with dog bites over him and was very distressed in his kennel. I think he’s a naturally reactive, nervous dog with a high prey drive but his past circumstances couldn’t have helped!
As he was approximately 2 years old, we knew we needed to learn ways to avoid his extreme behaviour around other dogs to have a long and happy life with Freddie.
The classes really helped equip me with the skills to recognise when his anxiety is building and how to avoid it being triggered in the first place. He is still anxious and on alert if he comes close to dogs but he trusts my guidance now as I am more confident.
Freddie is a very extreme dog with intense emotions (both positive and negative). I now understand him better and how to keep him and other dogs safe. The classes also showed me that we aren’t the only ones with a ‘Prickly pooch’, which was comforting as it can be a difficult having to look around corners for other dogs and have walkers with their perfectly behaved dogs making remarks when your dog’s going nuts!
I recommend the classes and will be eternally grateful to Caroline for her wisdom, support and patience.