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Testimonials

"I have known Donna professionally for over 14 years and during this time have referred numerous behaviour cases to her. The problems have been wide ranging from basic training and obedience, separation anxiety, dominance and aggression.  I have had nothing other than positive feedback from the customers she has seen with succcessful outcomes in the vast majority of cases. She is extremely patient and thorough giving excellent advice and support materiels to both customer and to ourselves.

I would thoroughly recommend her for any behaviour problems and look forward to continuing to work with her in the future."

Tom Mowlem BVSc MRCVS, Dorset

 

"Donna has been a client of our practice for over 14 years and I have come to know her well through the care of her horses.  Most recently I have seen her train her New Forest pony using methods which were previously unknown to me in horses but which have yielded superb results, evidenced by impressive demonstrations at local shows and events often in front of large crowds.

I have always found Donna to be patient and understanding in her horse care and I have no doubt that she extends these skills to other areas of her professional life. As an equine vet I would recommend her highly to anyone requiring behavioural assistance for their horse or pony, and I am sure this will be an area where Donna can make a real difference."

Chris Pearce BVSc CertEM(IntMed) MRCVS, Dorset 

Pet Plan Equine Vet of the Year 2011

 

“I wanted to say thank you for your help and expertise in training me and my Doberman Tara. Your training classes were an inspiration and good grounding for the 1-2-1 sessions we had with you. The reward based training really does get the best out of the dog so that they are willing to work for you and give their best without all the shouting and the use of force. You took us into the forest where Tara learned how to behave around ponies and livestock. People out riding would often stop to complement me on my beautifully behaved Tara as she always came to heel and sat calmly as they went past. You also took us to built up areas where she was with people and traffic noises. All of which gave me the very special bond that I shared with my Tara. We had a mutual love, trust and respect for each other. She was the air that I breathed. We went on to do the Kennel Club’s Good Citizen Awards - Bronze , Silver and Gold. With your training she passed them all first time and we actually went to Crufts to do a demonstration of the Bronze award. Thanks to you Donna, Tara showed impeccable manners and was admired by everyone that she met and she made both you and I very proud. I would say to anyone that to get the best out of their dog they contact you and work with you, that they too could enjoy a rewarding relationship like I have had with my dog. Thanks.”

Maureen Simmonds and Tara, Dorset

 

“My mum adopted me when I was very young because my birth mother couldn't look after me. Although I loved my new home very much I found it very difficult learning how to be a cat! I was very nervous and confused about what I was meant to be doing where and when. This caused my new mum a lot of stress and upset, and my brother Woody to be quite withdrawn and upset. So we made friends with Super Donna! She came to visit me a few times and we talked through all my problems. My mum was able to learn new ways of making me feel more comfortable in my home and taught me how to be a real cat! I now love my new litter trays, have lots of climbing and hiding places and have a much better relationship with the whole family! I do still struggle sometimes, mum says I have a nervous disposition (whatever that means) but she understands all my quirky ways now and things are getting better month on month! And apparently mum is over the moon that my issues were covered by something called cat insurance?! Thank you Donna for waving your magic wand! Lots of love and snuggles.”

Alice Dale and Merlin, Dorset

 

"Donna helped me when I had problems with my horse, Dandino, with spooking and loading onto the lorry. We began by accustoming Dandino to respond positively to clicker training. He enjoyed these games and worked enthusiastically for small rewards. He soon learned to go past plastic bags in the hedge, umbrellas up, balloons and flags in gardens, without hesitation as soon as I said the magic words 'touch it'. Before long we didn't need the treats at all, just the magic words and a pat for good behaviour. Even now, several years on, when he sees something new the words 'touch it' will encourage him to lower his head towards a scary object and move towards it. We broke loading down into achievable steps and until eventually he was loading well at home. At every stage we used the clicker to shape the behaviour we were looking for, and rewarded him generously when he achieved it. My daughter and I were finally able to take him down to the Ridgeway to load him at a place where previously we had spent about two hours trying to load him and did it first time! Dandino now loads quietly, will stand and happily eat his way through a haynet, travels well and loads well to go home.  Many thanks to Donna for helping us on our way."

Annette Peach and Dandino, Oxfordshire

 

"Silver, our socially inept teenage GSD, was in danger of being labelled a hooligan and I had already started limiting her contact with other dogs. Thankfully a friend told me about Donna's 'Back-on-Track' classes where Silver learnt how to behave around other dogs and, just importantly, we learnt how to be confident and positive about taking her out and about. She became a sensible and joyful participant in Donna's social dog walks in the New Forest and, also, we made many new friends both four- and two-legged.

Turbo, our Lancashire Heeler, is also a graduate of all Donna's classes starting as a puppy learning to be a polite and courteous canine. He had great fun for a few years showing off his skills alongside Shadow, Donna's Doberman, at various training demonstrations. And he still, at eight years old, enjoys doing a trick for visitors or children he meets in the park. He is a happy amiable little chap who, because he is so polite and courteous, is taken everywhere even staying in 5-star hotels!"

Christina Oates and Silver & Turbo, Wiltshire

    

"Donna came out to give me a hand with my donkey, Harry, who was proving a little tricky to lead i.e. planting himself and refusing to move. Using the clicker training, he soon picked up what we wanted and I was amazed how quickly he cottoned on and progressed. We have never looked back since then. Donna explained how it worked and gave me the confidence to carry on and I now have a super driving donkey. I would have no hesitation in recommending her for any advice on equine handling problems."

Janet Salmon and Harry, Wiltshire

  

 

 

   

 

“On Christmas Eve 2001 Donna accompanied us to see an abandoned Rottweiler-X who was available for adoption. We were told she had shown some aggression towards other dogs. Undeterred we brought “Jazz” home and introduced her, with Donna’s help, into our family.  Over the next months and years we worked with Donna to achieve success through “Good Manners” classes and on through the Bronze, Silver and Gold standards of the Kennel Club. Many people were wary of Jazz because of her Rottweiler genes but this picture of her, tolerating the attentions of our two grandsons, is evidence of what can be achieved with care, training and attention with dogs even when they have had a troublesome period in their lives.

Donna's behavioural and training activities have impacted the lives of hundreds of dogs, and their owners, over the last 15 years or so. She contributed enormously to our all-round experience with dogs and we still remind each other by saying “You know what Donna would say!” when we are discussing the “how” of dog relationships. We trust that she will continue to share her gift with the wider community."

Tony & Jenny Trussler and Jazz & Tasha, Nova Scotia, Canada

 

 

 "The change in Bud from an excitable, slightly manic individual to a well adjusted if still slightly excitable dog is testament to Donna’s teaching, incorporating a loving and reward based method. Whilst Maggie and myself realise that we still have to persevere with the training and consultations, we can't thank Donna enough."

Michael Powell and Bud, Surrey

 

 

 

 

 

 

“After a series of very negative encounters of dog aggression towards my two pugs, Winston and Harvey, I found I had completely lost all confidence in myself to walk my dogs off lead where they would normally love to run and at agility where they had started to display negative reactions towards a couple of dogs. I realised I needed to do something quickly and get help. Thankfully I found Donna who helped me to regain my confidence and taught me the skills I needed to manage and resolve the problems effectively using positive reinforcement. As well as the practical help, we received a written report, which was very in depth and covered everything. 

As a result of Donna’s help our recall has improved dramatically and 'leave it' is really working! Harvey in particular has learned a better way of focusing on me instead of a perceived threat at agility. We found the clicker training a great learning tool. I am happy to say we are now back walking the dogs off lead at their favourite place without me panicking every time I see a dog!! We were very impressed with Donna’s knowledge, professionalism and caring attitude. Many thanks!”

Sue & Paul O’Connor and Winston and Harvey, Surrey

 

"I adopted Peanut, a Yorkie JRT cross, in 2012, when he was approximately 15 months old. He had been abused by humans and then attacked by 2 dogs whilst being fostered. He was afraid of everything and almost feral. On walks he was aggressive towards both people and dogs and I resorted to walking him at night when we were less likely to meet either. After struggling to cope, I looked for a trainer/behaviourist to help us. After meeting the first one, her advice was to avoid walking him near other dogs, to cross the road if another dog approached and always be able to see what was around the corner. I’d paid a considerable amount of money for this "professional" advice – useless!

I struggled on for a while before seeing a behaviourist recommended by my vet. We attended her indoor classes, but had to do them from a room off where the class was taking place because Peanut couldn't cope with being so close to the other dogs. We also went to classes in a field where we walked around stooge dogs. Her advice was to walk backwards when a dog approached - no joke! This went on for over a year with no real progress being made with Peanut's aggression issues. I was then told that perhaps he should be put to sleep as he was beyond help. Disillusioned, I gave up and resigned myself to coping as best I could; I'd taken him on and had to live with it. I became so stressed by all this that my doctor told me that if I didn't get my stress level under control, it would cause serious harm to my health. I got to the point of seriously considering the pts option, but I decided to give Peanut one last chance and set about looking for yet another behaviourist, number three.

I found Donna after an online search and to say she's saved Peanut's life is an understatement because she's also saved mine. After the initial behavioural consultation and one-to-one I began to feel that finally it was third time lucky. Donna had the experience, knowledge and ability to get inside Peanut's head and provide solutions to his aggressive behaviour not just sticking plasters to cover them. She had faith, grounded in her considerable experience, that we would help him to become a dog who could cope with being close to other dogs and accept people looking and talking to him. We have just finished Donna's ‘Good Manners’ course and I really can't praise Donna highly enough. The individual attention and advice has been invaluable and Peanut is proving he can change and adapt his behaviour, none of which would have happened without Donna's considerable input. I just wish I'd found her at the beginning of this journey 4 years ago, not only would life had been easier and happier for Peanut and myself sooner, but I'd be considerably richer! I shall be attending Donna's ‘Finishing School’ to keep up with the training and meet as many other dogs as possible in a controlled environment.

Peanut will be an ongoing project, but thanks to Donna he has a bright and happy future and for this I couldn't recommend her enough. To anyone facing problems with their animal, I would say that Donna has achieved in a matter of a couple of months what 2 other behaviourists couldn't in a couple of years! To Donna I say from the bottom of my heart, we both owe you an enormous debt of gratitude."

Lynne Dryden and Peanut, Dorset

 

"When I first came to Donna for help with my rescue Collie X Bertie in April 2016, I was really struggling with Bertie’s reactivity around people and our walks consisted of leaping behind hedges and ducking behind walls in order to avoid seeing other people for fear Bertie would turn into a snarling monster. The first time I met Donna, it took Bertie over an hour to calm down and start to concentrate. By the end of the session, I was surprised to see Bertie relaxing and actually start to accept Donna. I was quietly hopeful that I’d finally found the right person to help. Within 2 or 3 sessions he would run up to her, tail wagging with excitement and I started to become more confident walking Bertie as his reactions gradually lessened under Donna’s tutelage.

A year on and Bertie and myself have made huge improvements. He can still be nervous when taken by surprise but he’s improved hugely and I can actually start to take pleasure in going on walks with him, safe in the knowledge that while I may still get the odd reaction from him, thanks to Donna I now know the correct way to respond and we can continue to improve together. I can’t wait to see where we’ll be in another a year with Donna’s support. I don’t know where we’d be right now without her help. Thank you Donna!"

Alison MacGregor and Bertie, Dorset

 

"We cannot thank Donna enough for all the help she has given us with Frasier. Going out for walks is now a pleasurable experience rather than one of feeling apprehension of what might happen.Our story. Our little fluffy bundle of joy changed behaviour over a relatively short period of time after being on the receiving end of a few negative encounters with aggressive dogs. In response Frasier decided to protect himself if other male dogs approached acting aggressively. We knew we had a responsibility to correct this unwanted behaviour before it got worse so approached Donna who came highly recommended.

Donna’s sessions have provided us with the skills to identify unwanted behaviours and show Frasier the correct way of behaving in certain situations through positive reinforcement. We went to her group sessions to work near other dogs. We supplemented these excellent sessions with individual 1-2-1 sessions to work on specific issues. Frasier loved it, really enjoying his time with Donna and his behaviour changed accordingly.We have now joined the other dogs in the finishing school sessions. Training is harder but Frasier really seems to enjoy the mental challenges presented to him.Thanks again Donna for all your commitment and hard work."

Paul Western and Frasier, Dorset