If you would like to improve your Yellow dog’s behaviour and learn how to take control and manage difficult situations then Prickly Pooches could be just what you’ve been waiting for!

Prickly Pooches (i)

Our classes are suitable for dogs who may be nervous, under socialised or who may have had a negative experience around other dogs. Our classes are supportive, friendly and probably the quietest classes you could ever attend! Yours and your dogs safety is paramount to us. The dogs are able to learn and improve their behaviour over the weeks as the classes are designed so carefully to ensure optimum safety and an environment conducive to learning for all participants.

If you would like to improve your Yellow dog’s behaviour and learn how to take control and manage difficult situations then Prickly Pooches (i) could be just what you’ve been waiting for!

Suitable for…

  • Dogs that react badly around other dogs
  • Dogs that are nervous and worried by other dogs and avoid them
  • Dog owners who walk their dog at certain times of day to avoid other dog walkers

Introductory Session

There will be an introductory session where there will be complimentary refreshments and a tour of the venue. You will receive a complimentary goody bag including treats, squeaky toy and a clicker. The introductory session (without your dog) will cover:

  • What is reactivity?
  • Realistic owner expectations
  • Good dog walking etiquette
  • Breed and temperament types
  • Types of aggression and is it useful to label?
  • What does ‘under threshold’ mean?
  • Stress stacking
  • Is dog behaviour static?
  • Equipment – advantages and disadvantages
  • Legal and Health & Safety considerations
  • Generalisations and preventing the ‘snowball affect’
  • Aids such as Pet Remedy, Bach Remedies, Zylakene, Adaptil etc

Practical Sessions

There will be four practical sessions. Your dog is required for all of these practical sessions.

The practical sessions will cover:

  • Improving owner confidence and competence
  • Management techniques- environment and other owners!
  • Modern, up to date training and behaviour methods
  • How to handle your dog safely and securely
  • How to avoid ‘triggering’ aggressive responses
  • Signs of aggression/frustration
  • A reward has to be rewarding!
  • Different environments-different behaviour?

Individual One-to-one Session

Also as part of this course, you’ll be entitled to a one hour, accompanied walk in a park, local to the venue. This can be with just me or me and one of my dogs, to be arranged before the end of the course at a mutually convenient time.

Prickly Pooches Practice Session

Also as part of this course, you’ll be entitled to one Prickly Pooches Practice Session. These are usually held at the venue, on a Sunday 9.30-11.00am and are a great way of practicing your new found skills with different dogs in a controlled environment. This session must be taken within four weeks of completing the course. These sessions usually cost £10 for a 90 minute session.

Email Support

After each lesson you will receive an email containing links that you may find useful. This is one of our favourites; CARE is a resource for reactive, aggressive, growly, dogs who bark and lunge on leash. CARE is a positive, effective treatment for dog reactivity. You will also receive email support during the course and for six weeks following the end of the course. Upon successful completion of the course, you’ll be awarded with a Cardiff Canine Citizens Prickly Pooches certificate and rosette, to remind you of you and your dog’s progress!

sPecial Pooches Facebook Group

You may also be added, if you wish, to the closed Facebook group, sPecial Pooches.  I post interesting articles and details of our Rii active Workshops and practice sessions. Previous course participants organise meet ups and offer support to other members.After each lesson you will receive an email containing links that you may find useful. You will also receive email support during the course and for six weeks following the end of the course. Upon successful completion of the course you’ll be awarded with a Cardiff Canine Citizens Prickly Pooches certificate and rosette, to remind you of you and your dog’s progress! Prickly Pooches has a maximum of six – eight dogs in a class and booking and payment is required to reserve a place. The full course comprises of the Introductory Session with Goody Bag, four Practical Sessions, a One to One Session, a Practice Session and ten weeks of Email Support.

Total Cost: £165

Next Dates

Introductory Session
Date: Saturday 2nd September 2017

Time: 9:00 – 10:30am

Where: Willows High School, Mervyn Rd, CF24 2YE (Get directions) NB Please use the Mervyn Rd entrance an not the Willows Avenue entrance.

Oasis Cardiff

Practical Sessions


  • Saturday 9th September 2017 – 8.30-10.00am
  • Saturday 16th September  2017 – 9.00-10.00am
  • Saturday 23rd September 2017 – 9.00-10.00am
  • Saturday 30th September 2017 – 9.00 -10.00am

Where: Willows High School, Mervyn Rd, CF24 2YE (Get directions) NB Please use the Mervyn Rd entrance an not the Willows Avenue entrance. 


Oasis Cardiff

Future Dates

Introductory Session
Date: Saturday 30th September 2017

Time: 1:00 – 2:30pm

Where: Willows High School, Mervyn Rd, CF24 2YE (Get directions) NB Please use the Mervyn Rd entrance an not the Willows Avenue entrance.

Practical Sessions

  • Saturday 7th October 2017 – 8.30-10.00am
  • Saturday 14th October  2017 – 9.00-10.00am
  • Saturday 21st October 2017 – 9.00-10.00am
  • Saturday 28th October 2017 – 9.00 -10.00am

Where: Willows High School, Mervyn Rd, CF24 2YE (Get directions) NB Please use the Mervyn Rd entrance an not the Willows Avenue entrance.

Further Dates

Introductory Session
Date: Saturday 28th October 2017

Time: 1:00 – 2:30pm

Where: Willows High School, Mervyn Rd, CF24 2YE (Get directions) NB Please use the Mervyn Rd entrance an not the Willows Avenue entrance.

Practical Sessions

  • Saturday 4th November 2017 – 8.30-10.00am
  • Saturday 11th November – 9.00-10.00am
  • Saturday 18th November 2017 – 9.00-10.00am
  • Saturday 25th November 2017 – 9.00 -10.00am

Where: Willows High School, Mervyn Rd, CF24 2YE (Get directions) NB Please use the Mervyn Rd entrance an not the Willows Avenue entrance.


More Further Dates

Introductory Session
Date: Saturday 6th January 2018

Time: 1:00 – 2:30pm

Where: Willows High School, Mervyn Rd, CF24 2YE (Get directions) NB Please use the Mervyn Rd entrance an not the Willows Avenue entrance.

Practical Sessions

  • Saturday 13th January 2018 – 8.30-10.00am
  • Saturday 20th January 2018 – 9.00-10.00am
  • Saturday 27th January 2018 – 9.00-10.00am
  • Saturday 3rd February 2018 – 9.00 -10.00am

Where: Willows High School, Mervyn Rd, CF24 2YE (Get directions) NB Please use the Mervyn Rd entrance an not the Willows Avenue entrance.

Contact us to book onto the Prickly Pooches (i) course for the complete cost of £165
Contact us

Frequently Asked Questions

Will this course completely cure my dog of his issues?
I would never use the word ‘cure’ as that could be misleading! We have had some amazing successes and all attendees will benefit, to varying degrees, from attending the classes. Owners should be come more confident and competent as handlers and the dogs should learn that not all dogs are scary! The level of improvement achieved is dependent upon many factors; breed predisposition, prior learning, age of dog etc. Owners need to have realistic expectations!

Won’t all of the other dogs barking make my dog more aggressive?
The other dogs won’t be barking! These classes are probably the quietest classes available! Great care has been taken to find the right venue and the classes are structured in such a way to keep the dogs as calm as possible. Dogs can only start to improve when they are relaxed and able to concentrate on their handler.

I am really nervous to meet other dogs with my dog as I usually try to avoid them and I’m worried how she might react to lots of other dogs in the class, should I be worried?
Obviously you may feel apprehensive but I can assure you that your and your dogs safety and well being is paramount to us and once you attend the classes you will be able to start relaxing.

What equipment will I require to attend classes?
You will need two leads on your dog. Ideally one attached to a correctly fitting harness and one to a correctly fitting collar and/or head collar. It is your responsibility to ensure that the equipment that you are using is suitable for your dog and that it is in a good working order and not worn or damaged. If you have a very strong dog you may consider having one lead attached to a dog walking belt and one lead which is hand held. It may be advisable to get you dog used to wearing a muzzle and I recommend the Baskerville Ultra, as you can still feed the dog treats whilst they are wearing it. Muzzles are not required for the course.

My dog has been reacting negatively to other dogs for two years. Is there any point in attending classes?
This is something that only you can decide. If your dog is now four years of age, they may live another 10-11 years. I would suggest that it is certainly worth trying to improve their behaviour.

What methods do you use as I hate the thought of having to dominate my dog?
It should be a partnership! I never dominate dogs or suggest others to either! I see myself as a doggy parent guiding my furry child into making the correct choices! We use modern, motivational, science-based methods. Lots of treats, praise, attention, toys and fun!

I have been told by other trainers to use a ‘shake can’ or training discs to stop my dog reacting. It did stop him at first but now he has become even more aggressive and I feel really guilty. Do you use these devices?
No I certainly don’t use these devices! To use aversives (which these are) when a dog is already fearful of other dogs, which most reactive dogs are, can exacerbate the problem. At first you may see an improvement, as you did but the dog isn’t ‘cured’ but rather to afraid to show it is uncomfortable when a dog is nearby. The dog suppresses their fear but this builds up, rather like a pressure cooker or a volcano and that is what happened to your dog. Unfortunately there are no quick fixes as it takes time and effort to see a lasting improvement.

I have missed the start of the course. Can I start any time?
Sorry but no. Classes have a clear start and finish date and are not ‘roll on, roll off’.

Do you recommend Pet Insurance?
Yes, I most certainly do! I’m with Petplan and have found them very good. They can be contacted on 0800 072 8365 If you would like a voucher entitling you to two months free insurance with Petplan, please ask me, or quote my name “Caroline Cowan” and the reference number NH 403075761. Pet insurance is a mine field, check out my links.

We loved watching our dog playing with the activity toys and puzzles. Where can we purchase them from?
I sell the Kong Wobblers, Pyramids and Molecules but the other Nina Ottonson puzzles may be found here:

How do I reserve a place on the course?

  1. Complete the online booking form
  2. Choose venue, date and time preference
  3. Receive confirmation via email
  4. Attend class at venue, date and time specified

Any further questions?

View FAQs


We’d love to hear about your experience with our services. Contact us.

Lyra is a 3 year old GSDx – we adopted her from the rescue centre when she was 1. The website described her as good with people, dogs, horses, even cats, in truth we found out she’s the exact opposite! She’s a very sensitive, nervous girl and as a result is reactive to pretty much everything including dogs and people.

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! Lyra

Willow, our yellow Labrador, has always been a sensitive dog. She’s never been great with lots of people, picks up on emotions easily and had been getting increasingly worried around other dogs she’d pass on our walks. After meeting Caroline to talk though her problems, we decided on the Prickly Pooches classes. I have to admit I was apprehensive. I wasn’t sure how putting our dog in a situation with other dogs with problems of their own would work. But, I was amazed – the classes are incredible. Through positive experiences with other dogs in a safe and controlled environment, Willow’s become calmer, more confident and less worried. Her improvement has been so wonderful to see, and we have so much more awareness now of how to help her and to recognise the signals she is giving us, thanks to the classes. We’ve a way to go, but Willow really has transformed and we are working hard to reinforce everything Caroline has taught us. Caroline’s knowledge of dog behaviour is exceptional and I’d highly recommend the Prickly Pooches classes. Victoria with Willow

Maisie and I would like to thank you so much for all your help and advice whilst we attended the Prickly Pooches classes.  I heard about the classes a long time before I booked Maisie on the class; partly because I was worried with how she would cope and I really didn’t want to make her reactivity worse.  I needn’t have worried!  The first class without the dogs was very informative and it was clear from the outset that Caroline was extremely experienced and the classes would be well managed to ensure all dogs and owners were relaxed and ready to learn.  Maisie has enjoyed the training and I’ve noticed a big difference in her behaviour; she is far more relaxed on her walks and so also far more relaxed after her walks at home (the same goes for me!). Thank you Caroline. Gemma and Maisie

We have had Charlie since he was 9 months old as a rescue from Cardiff Dogs Home. He has always been a little anxious and under-confident especially when out and about. In addition to this, he is extremely nervous and vocal about motorbikes and whilst you can sometimes spot a dog from a distance and choose another path, a speeding and noisy vehicle is usually much harder to avoid. We have now had Charlie for 4 years and whilst he is wonderful in the house and extremely good with people, other dogs had started becoming a problem and after one particular incident with a neighbourhood dog, we decided to seek help and we got in touch with 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! Graham and Amy with Charlie

Before I started stage 1 prickly pooches Rio my two year old Chihuahua was suffering with anxiety. He would spin on the lead, lunge at other dogs not stop barking the whole walk. People would say he’s aggressive, he’s got little dog syndrome. He would bark and panic when he saw people, bikes, prams, cars anything that moved.
I used to dread walking him or simply go early hours or late at night to avoid the situation. I couldn’t take him over friends houses he would chase their children and bark and it would end in the children crying and lunch or bbqs ruined.
Now he is so much happier. He’s not perfect but he is so much more affectionate and relaxed. He’s a million times better walking and he looks at me for direction when he sees people or dogs coming. It’s enjoyable to walk him. I’ve taken him with me 3 times to my friends homes in the two weeks and everyone has remarked how good he is. My friends 3 year old walked him and he was so good and listened to everything even sitting on command patiently waiting. I was rubbing my eyes in amazement. He can’t stop wagging his tail and is enjoying the praise and treats I’m sure he is very proud of himself.
I was at my wits end with him. I had tried three other trainers. Who tried to dominate correct his behaviour with tugs of the lead or make him submissive rather than understand his behaviour. All this did was escalate things and made him unhappy.
I cannot recommend Caroline and Cardiff Canine Citizens any more highly. I’m looking forward to further 1:1 sessions and learning more about being a good handler. We all have a responsibility as dog owners to make their lives as happy and relaxed as possible. Me and Rio are doing well and it’s big thanks to Caroline.
Sian and Rio

Sooki is fearful of other dogs and this is shown as aggression towards them. She is reactive and walking usually consists of hiding behind cars, hedges and corners avoiding other dogs and confrontation. Having researched canine behaviour I was keen to learn how I could develop Sooki and become part of the normal dog walking society.

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. Sophie and Sooki

Since working with Caroline and coming to the ‘Prickly Pooches’ classes, Molly (and my) behaviour has improved quite dramatically. We had Molly from the dogs home around 18 months ago and she has never liked the company of other dogs and has always barked, growled or whined when she has seen another dog. If another dog has come too close, Molly has lunged at them and seemed like she was going to attack. Through working with Caroline at classes and on our own, I have developed lots more confidence and have learnt skills and techniques to use with Molly when we are out, to avoid situations and to calm her down if we have to pass a dog. I use the clicker and her ball as distractions, and by talking to her calmly and keeping Molly focused we can now walk past another dog with relative ease. I am much more aware of Molly’s signals and behaviours and I know when she is getting stressed or feeling uncomfortable. The work we have done has been invaluable and we can now walk with little or no situations occurring. Molly needs reassurance that we are in control of things for her, and she responds really well when that is the case.

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. Suzanne and Molly

Before we met Caroline, our German Shepherd Diva was a very reactive dog.  She would lunge and bark at other people and dogs.  We were constantly on edge when walking her as we never knew what could happen next. We would take to walking Diva in the late evenings in order to avoid any potential situations. Then we started attending Caroline’s Prickly Pooches classes. At our first class, Caroline said how Diva was showing all the classic signs of a very anxious dog, licking her lips, shaking etc. As each week went by, Diva started to relax more and more and the simple techniques that Caroline taught us have given us and Diva so much more confidence.  We have learned to avoid potential stressful situations and to praise Diva when she reacts well to a difficult situation. We are now able to walk Diva at any time of day and she has even made some doggie friends in our local park. We have also been able to join a GSD walking group where we have been able to let Diva socialise with other dogs and people off the lead.  This is something we would never of thought possible a few months ago. Thank you Caroline!

December 2016 Update

Hi Caroline

I wanted to send you email to show you how far we have come with Diva. We finished the prickly pooches class a year ago and attached are some pictures that show how far Diva has come. As you can see, she has now learnt to play and socialises in groups of 10+ dogs at times, both GSDs and lots of other breeds.

My main reason for getting in touch is to say a massive thank you to you. Without your guidance a year ago, we would never be where we are today. We are out with other dogs most evenings and weekends and have visited so many new places. Without learning the techniques you gave us, I’m sure we would still be walking Diva late at night and avoiding other people and their dogs. We have made so many new friends and Diva has the best social life!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I hope you and your pooches are keeping well.

Andrew and Ruth with Diva

I’m so glad I found the prickly pooches course, Maisie is an extra special rescue dog that I was fostering but now have adopted, she had an awful start to her life and was very stressed when she seen another dog which would result in her barking and lunging, but doing the course and working with Caroline has made me understand Maisie’s needs more and she has improved loads, we have less stress free walks now as I know exactly how to handle majority of the situations of another dog passing us. We still regularly attend the Prickly Pooches practice sessions and it’s fantastic to meet other people with dogs with similar issues. Michelle and Maisie

After being told by one dog trainer that we may be facing real problems with our new dog Meg, that we may have to give her up as a lost cause but that he was willing to take her under his wing for 6 months at a cost of £1,500, it was with some trepidation that I contacted Caroline at Cardiff Canine Citizens to ask if she could help. I explained that Meg was a 16 month old Border Collie/Alsatian rescue dog which came from a home where young hyperactive boys and a young daughter lived and that she was teased, sometimes locked in a cage and, according to my vet, she had marks on her back where she had been hit – she had received no vaccinations at all. Consequently, Meg was a very nervous dog, prone to attack and bark viciously at anybody and was very defensive around other dogs to the point where I had to take Meg for walks only when it was quiet and she would have some peace. I enrolled Meg on Caroline’s ‘Prickly Pooches’ 4 week class. What a difference a good dog trainer makes! After 4 weeks Meg not only didn’t bark at the other 5 dogs in the class, she actually played with them and walked alongside them with no fear or nervousness and I am NOT exaggerating. Caroline did not believe that Meg had behavioural problems but just needed training, encouragement and interaction with other dogs; she was right. I cannot thank Caroline enough for what she has done in just 4 one hour weekly sessions. I now have a different dog, who, while she still barks at strangers who come to the house she quickly calms down enough for them to give her treats without her snarling at them (miracles sometimes do happen). Thank you so much Caroline (and daughter); I cannot wait for the Stage 2 prickly pooch classes to start. Dave Richards and Meg

Patch is a rescue dog. He was 3 years old when he came to us, and it quickly became clear that he was an anxious dog with reactivity problems, who had probably very little socialisation. He gets over-excited meeting other dogs, and seems to hate joggers and cyclists, particularly if they’re wearing bright fluorescent colours. Unfortunately, when he gets really wound up, his last resort is to lash out and try to bite. After a year of struggling to sort him out ourselves, we decided to seek professional help.

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.

September 2016 update.

It’s now 18 months since Patch completed his Prickly Pooches course, and things couldn’t be better. We followed up the course with regular attendance of the practice sessions, and with plenty of reinforcement at home, and had fantastic results. We’ve seen an obvious, week on week reduction in his anxiety, and an ongoing, (amazing) change in his behaviour. To see him now, it’s difficult to imagine that anxious, reactive, unhappy dog we had before the course. In the house, he’s pretty much perfect; no being shut in another room when visitors come, or barking every time a neighbour makes a noise. We’ve had friends in the house of all ages, and even some canine visitors, with no problems. Out and about, he no longer even notices cyclists and is easily distracted and contained when we meet joggers, horses or other dogs. Life is a whole lot easier for all of us, and the lycra brigade are a whole lot safer than they were. But the best thing is that Patch is happy, relaxed, much more attentive and interactive, and clearly enjoying life a lot more than he did, or could before. I think there’s probably more improvement to come; watch this space. Ed and Charlotte

The Prickly Pooches course is excellent.  Caroline is a brilliant and very experienced dog trainer.  My dog Sophie has always been fearful and reactive; the other one Chika had always been really friendly.  Last year they both got attacked by four large dogs, and although they weren’t physically injured, they both were very scared of dogs after that, and would bark and lunge at other dogs, and start screaming if another dog came up to them.  Walking them was a nightmare!!

During the Prickly Pooch classes the dogs work at a distance to other dogs that they can easily cope with, and we worked through a series of exercises designed to increase confidence, teach them alternative behaviours and start to change their perception of other dogs being scary.  Following the course, we now go to ‘practice sessions’ once a fortnight to continue to work on confidence and being able to be around other dogs calmly.  It’s made a huge difference to my two, and will continue to do so.  I really can’t recommend this course highly enough!!

Lucy with Sophie and Chika

My name is Solar and I attended the Prickly Pooches Class run by Caroline of Cardiff Canine Citizens.  I will tell you a bit of my background first.  I was rescued from Ireland with my brothers and sister off a working farm and ended up in Many Tears Rescue. I had a scary journey over and was full of worms and had a skin problem but thankfully I was rescued by Judith and Haray who made me better and more confident.  I was very well socialised as a puppy, Judith does agility with her other dogs and I went around all the shows and met lots of friendly dogs, although I found agility very exciting and would become over threshold very easily.  I attended puppy school and have passed my Bronze and Silver Good Citizens.  Unfortunately I got attacked and found this very scary so I decided to react at big dogs initially as I was scared of them and then even smaller dogs could be scary as unfortunately one which both Mum and I thought was friendly bit me too.  Mum looked at finding me a Behaviourist that could help me with my problems and friends she knew recommended Caroline and she said that the Prickly Pooches Course would help.
Mum went to a very well run information session without me to start and brought home a lovely doggy pack which had lots of nice treats and a squeaky ball for me to play with, I liked the sound of the sessions as there were lots of treats involved.  I attend the first one which was held in a hall and we went behind a screen so I could hear the dogs but not get scared or react to any and I was also escorted from the car and back with no other dogs which I though was very well planned.  I then attended the other sessions which were out on the playing field which was big and I could be taken away from the other dogs if I found things too much, I got a lot more relaxed around the dogs, I still was not certain about the stuffed ones but on the last session they were not as scary as the first time.  I then went on a one to one with Caroline around Roath Park Lake which was great, lots of dogs but most on lead and there were big flying birds which were a bit scary as they hissed at you but Caroline had nice dry sausage treats which took my mind off things.  I would highly recommend this course to any of my doggy friends that are reactive or scared of other dogs as I feel they are very well structured and help you see that other dogs are not that frightening after all, Mum is going to take me to the Prickly Pooches practice session to meet up with other dogs that have attended the course and feels that its important to keep going for walks with others from the group to help me gain more and more confidence.  Thanks Caroline for all you help, you have lots and lots of knowledge which shows in the running of the course.
Judith and Solar

Following your amazing support and input, Roxy has improved tremendously over the last few months. As you know, she had become increasingly nervous and extremely ‘prickly’ following a variety of incidents, some involving other dogs attacking her. She is now able to walk past other dogs without always being so wary and her recall has improved no end! I think the special sausage treats have helped in that department mind you! The classes helped her to realise that not all dogs are a threat and showed me how to deal with potential stressful situations,staying one step ahead of her and avoid conflict. You have also given me back some confidence and some great tips that I use all the time. Walking with Roxy is now much more pleasurable once again….thank you so much Caroline! Su and Roxy

I am incredibly happy with the one on one work we’ve done with Caroline at Cardiff Canine Citizens, and the amazing Prickly Pooches. They’ve been vital in not only helping teach our dogs a better way to behave, but also teaching us the right way to manage them. We’ll be continuing with the practice sessions but have already seen huge improvement in both our dogs. Thank you! Oz Locke and Obi & Leia

If you’ve got a dog with issues or you just want a bit of confidence building then look no further, you’ve definitely found the right woman for the job!

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.

Thanks Caroline. Michelle and Reggie

Misty was a rescue dog who ended up thin, pregnant and confused in Cardiff’s dogs home. After giving birth to nine puppies in the Home (Only three survived), I rehomed her 18 months ago. Blessed with a loving forgiving nature towards humans, she developed an aggressive nature towards other dogs, which increased after she was bitten by an out of control dog while she was on a walk.

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. Lucy and Andy Thompson (Misty's Mum and Bampy)

I took my dog Freddie to Cardiff Canine Citizens Prickly Pooches classes as we desperately needed to learn ways of managing and living with his issues.

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. Lisa and Freddie

Hi….This is Crixus, my 4 year old staffie….

When he was a lil pup, he and his sister attended Caroline’s puppy class and they soon learned all the good manners of well behaved dogs and he was a playful and friendly boy. He would enjoy running about and interacting with other dogs.

Then one fateful day on the beach, he was challenged by a much smaller dog, bringing about a very unpleasant scene. Shortly afterwards, a simillar incident occured with a small dog again, leading to another aggressive incident. This seemed to set the tone whenever Crix met a small dog, he was fine with medium and bigger dogs, however, it got to the point that I was dreading walks, fearful he would fight. I would only walk with him with a muzzle, thinking I was protecting him.  He was clearly distressed and would not run around,walking slowly next to me, he would not even go to the toilet outside. He was obviously depressed and we both found walks were very stressful…..I would panic when I saw a jack russel and Crix was obvioulsy picking up on my feelings.

Then, I enrolled Crixus in Prickly Pooches….I can’t thank Caroline enough for the support and advise. Crixus is a happy boy again, no muzzle, he is running about and enjoying his walks again, cocking his leg and pooing without a care in the world! It is a joy to walk him and see him having fun again. I would not call Crixus a prickly pooch any more…I know what situations will cause him anxiety and now I know how to manage it.

If you have a dog with some “issues”, then contact CCC…I can’t recommend Caroline enough!!

Stella with Crixus

We signed Meg up to the Prickly Pooches classes as her behaviour on walks was becoming more and more unpredictable and difficult to control.  Walks were no longer enjoyable but had become very stressful.  Upon the initial sight of almost anything with 4 legs, she would immediately go into an aggressive stance and ready for action.  This would include incessant barking and pulling on the lead until we were long past and out of sight.  On our first visit to Caroline without Meg, my partner and I learnt a lot about behaviour and how a dog’s mind works.  Caroline immediately put us at ease and reassured us that whilst she couldn’t promise any miracles, she explained that there were techniques that would help.  The following practical sessions and the final One to One session included a wealth of information and practical guidance which were practiced thoroughly.  Caroline quickly identified Meg’s personality and problems and personally guided us to understand how Meg sees things and looks to us to keep her safe.  The course has made a tremendous difference for both Meg and us and would highly recommend Caroline’s services.
Rachel & Nick Bennett with Meg