Jock is a 3 year old West Highland Terrier, that we adopted from the Westie Rescue Scheme. He seemed absolutely fine, very well house trained and so on, and no outward physical signs of having had problems in the past, although he had been re-homed twice already. The problem came when we introduced him to other people, and particularly other dogs. He was aggressive, barking and snapping, and generally vile! I contacted Helen and explained the situation, who said there was no such thing as a bad dog, just a dog that had not had the proper training. She also totally understood that because of his background, he quite possibly had other issues that were affecting his behaviour to other dogs and people generally. My daughter was 11 at the time, so I could not have an aggressive dog in the house, but I was not prepared to give up on him.
The first time I took him to Helen’s class, he barked for the entire hour he was there, and could not be trusted to walk past anyone’s dog without snapping at them. Letting him off the lead was out of the question! I was mortified, and thought I couldn’t possibly take him back again as he was so disruptive. Helen refused to let him get the better of her, and with commendable perseverance, she managed to get him through that first traumatic hour! Each time we went, Jock improved, and the classes became something to look forward to, rather than dread.
Now, after attending the classes regularly, and then weekly one on one sessions for the last year, with Helen and other dogs that she trains, Jock is a pleasure to take out, and a totally different dog. He is good with all the other dogs, thanks in no small part to the amazing temperament and patience of Boycie, Helen’s long suffering, gorgeous English Mastiff, he responds to commands, and most importantly, he doesn’t seem to hate everyone and everything any more. The aggression, was based on fear, and with Helen’s calm and patient attitude, he has finally overcome that fear, though we will never know what caused the fear in the first place. I would not hesitate to recommend Helen to anyone who needs help with their dogs, whether it be training a puppy, or taming a mad Westie!