Helping make your dog part of the family

Lydia Finnegan BSc Hons AABT, HND AC

Olive Mc Enroe, Dunshaughlin

Lydia came highly recommended by a close friend who had Lydia out to train her dog. As first time dog owners we were a little clueless about the challenges that lay ahead! Charlie was about 4 months old when training started and as a very impulsive energetic Labrador we had our work cut out. Training started with basic obedience training through clicker training. We spaced out our training sessions in a way that suited us and gave us plenty of time to work on training in between visits. Our biggest challenge was a few months later, bringing him to the beach and letting him off the lead. I was a nervous wreck thinking he was going to make a break for it but Lydia’s calmness and reassurance meant he returned every time. I’m even confident enough to bring him on my own now and let him off lead. Charlie is getting bigger now and it’s lovely to hear from complete strangers how well behaved he is. He is still very puppyish but he is much easier to control and he always obeys commands. We also got invaluable advice regarding diet and really practical tips on how to keep him occupied. I would highly recommend Lydia in dealing with any pet problems.

Charlie is great and definitely starting to calm down! Take care and thanks again

Mary Boyle, Commons Rd. Navan

Lydia helped with training my Collie Cross Kim. Firstly I spoke at length to Lydia about the problems I had with Kim – jumping up, no manners, no walking skills, no recall and no confidence around other people. Lydia drew up a wonderful plan for Kim; based personally for her.

Lydia has a brilliant personal affinity and understanding of Kim and each training session has seen great improvement. She is now a manageable, friendly dog. I love her and my family are very pleased. Well done Lydia and I wish you all the best in your business. The secret of your success is the personal touch you give.

Brilliant. Thank you.


Tracey Mac Mahon, Trim Rd, Navan

I phoned Lydia 3 months ago due to problems with my Lab Jessy. She had bitten me the evening I rang Lydia and I was on the verge of giving up on her completely. I got weekly sessions for 3 months and I have seen a huge improvement in her.

She is much more obedient and does what she’s told now. I don’t know what I would have done without the help from Lydia. Thank you so much! I would highly recommend Lydia to anyone who has problems with their dog.


Kay Fagan, Dublin Rd. Trim

After buying our new Springer puppy of 8 weeks old, we took her home and she was in her bed for 3 days, only leaving to go out to toilet. I was thrilled, I thought I was going to have a very quiet dog - and then all hell just broke loose as she suddenly turned into an uncontrollable headcase!

In complete despair I sought help. After trying some trainers who had no classes till July, I thought if I have to wait till then I would die! Then I contacted Lydia and she came to my rescue. I couldn’t believe the difference a few minutes with her made. Shunny investigated her bag with the treats inside as Lydia went through all the problems we were having with Shunny.

Her response to Lydia’s first training session was very encouraging. We went through 8 training sessions which made a huge difference to Shunny as Lydia’s work has really paid off in civilizing Shunny as a house dog and she is very acceptable to visitors calling to the house. Lydia is a very calm, straight person and great with Shunny. Outside with Shunny is a different matter but Lydia is working with us on that too. I am delighted with Lydia’s help; it has really kept me sane. She is a real dog whisperer. Thanks a million Lydia 

Karen Timmons, Navan

I rang Colman Burke my vet (Royal Pet Vet) 3 months ago about my Saint Bernard Duke as he was guarding his food and growling if we went near him when he was eating. Colman recommended Lydia to us. We first met and went through Duke’s problems. When Lydia came back she had a plan completed for us. We followed the plan and Lydia then went through the training with us.

The plan was very simple to follow and Lydia’s training was brilliant. Duke no longer thinks he’s boss (Charlie is!!). He doesn’t guard his food anymore and follows all our commands. The training definitely worked for us and I would recommend it to anyone having problems with their pets. Lydia is also very accommodating with times to meet at your home. Thanks a million for all your help.


Marion Monerewala, Tara

Teddy was very unruly, bad mannered, not toilet trained, very dominant and generally totally upsetting our home. The main worry and reason we called Lydia was that Teddy was aggressive towards all visitors. Lydia came mid November and was a great help. The first visit Teddy tried to nip her, the third visit he was rolling on the floor playing with her letting her rub his tummy!

 

She advised us also how to toilet train him then how to get used to people and associate them with a positive experience. Considering he would bark very loudly non-stop until the visitor left and would growl, and would have nipped given the chance – there is a huge improvement. He is much more obedient and is getting used to visitors calling now. Lydia is now teaching him to walk on the lead. He is very good now, still has plenty to learn but we now enjoy having him and we put this down fully to Lydia. 

Tony St Leger, Navan

Lydia, thanks for your help with Hazel. Our Lab Hazel was extremely nervous and frightened of noises, people and traffic on walks. Hazel was afraid of her own shadow and never seemed relaxed. The techniques you advised to help with Hazel’s anxiety, such as a doggy backpack have helped and she is becoming more relaxed as time goes by.

We are in the early stages of the recall training and likewise this is progressing well. I would like to wish you well for the future and will have no hesitation in recommending you to other dog owners.

Thanks 

Michelle O Sullivan, Trim

Reuben, my boxer X foxhound (I think) came to me when he was 10 months old. He had been found wandering the roads in the middle of the night was very thin and had sore eyes and an abscess on his leg. The lady who found him took him in & kept him overnight, then took him to Mullingar pound where he did his 5 days stray hold. After that he went into the care of For Dog Sake Dog Rescue and was placed with a lovely foster family who nursed him back to health. I saw his picture on Facebook and arranged to go meet him, and it was love at first sight!
Reuben was a very sweet, but very hyperactive puppy. He was very insecure in himself and shadowed me wherever I went in the house. We began crate training, but Reuben suffered from SEVERE separation anxiety and, clever boy that he is, he soon worked out how to open his crate when left alone.
To say that Reuben was destructive would be the ultimate understatement! I came home one morning from night duty to find him trembling, surrounded by broken glass, having done €1,000+ worth of damage to my kitchen. I had no idea how to deal with this behaviour, but was not willing to give up on him, as his previous owners clearly had.

A friend in work recommended Lydia as a trainer having used her previously, so I contacted her and she came to my house to assess Reuben. She put a programme in place for him and so the work began. Reuben is so clever and picked things up very quickly. The transformation in him has been incredible; he is now completely free from separation anxiety! We even went on to foster a very poorly staffie X puppy, Magnum, who made a remarkable recovery and adopted us, as he and Reuben got along so well and I thought having a playmate would help keep Reuben company when I was working.
Reuben is a calm, gentle, happy, super sweet dog. Still giddy and loves his off lead time, which isn't a problem, as his recall is excellent. He loves everybody and other dogs. We have our second foster greyhound staying with us at the moment and she and Reuben play together all day long.
Admittedly, he's still not great on the lead, which is entirely my own fault for not persevering with that aspect of the training, as we all prefer off lead walking in the woods/fields.
I would have no hesitation in recommending Lydia as a trainer and my advice to anyone getting a dog/puppy would be, put the work in in the early days and lay down some ground rules. Our dogs need leadership and you will reap the rewards for years to come. Confident, happy dogs = happy, stress free owners. My Reuben is the ultimate happy ever after story :-)

Willie Newman, Mullingar Rd. Kells

I inherited Timbor a cross breed terrier, or terror! The dog had an attitude. Constantly barking, aggressive with other dogs or any animal with a pulse. She would not respond when her name was called. She could not be trusted around the grandchildren. I was regretting my good deed. I was advised about Lydia and Pet Problems from my local pet store. I phoned and made an appointment for a home visit. It was the best call I ever made! I had a visit and Lydia saw the dog in action warts and all. She also looked at me and my handling of the dog. Note it is not only the dog but the reactions of the owner and the dog together. From the one visit a plan was devised for both myself and Timbor. It included how to walk with the dog on a lead. How I should react when I encounter another dog while walking Timbor. How to get the dogs to meet and greet without skin and hair flying. After a second visit and learning the ropes of how to recall Timbor and shown physically what to do when meeting another dog, I was invited to the dogs social class!

The house joke is that the dog is going to her coffee morning! What this involves; is that one evening a week Timbor attends a social group class with other dogs, to walk, sniff and greet them without any aggression. While I might like a snooze, the dog is eager to go to the class. I have been attending this night ever since weekly. It has paid great benefits. Timbor is much calmer and the family are confident and trusting around her.

Thanks Lydia! 

Hugh St Leger, Trim Rd. Navan

Shadow, our West Highland Terrier went from being a cute little puppy to a dominant dog with ‘attitude.’ He was very protective of food and space, and had bitten my six year old son twice. It got to the stage where we couldn’t afford to take any more chances, and seriously considered having Shadow put to sleep. This is where Lydia came to our rescue. We reviewed everything that we were doing with Shadow; what we fed him, where he slept and the territory he had access to. We also changed the way we treated to him – he needed to realise we were not afraid of him anymore and that he was bottom of the chain in our house.

Now 6 months later we have made great progress – Shadow is on a good and suitable diet, he is no longer territorial; at one stage my wife could only enter the kitchen with a hurley stick to protect her! He is now a happy member of our family.

We have put a lot of effort into training him and thanks to the expert guidance of Lydia we now look forward to Shadow being with us for a long time. A lot done, with more to do – but so worthwhile!

Gillian Kavanagh, Trim

I called Lydia to help me with an aggression problem between my 2 female dogs. I had been badly bitten 3 times separating them and had to have x-rays taken at one point. The fights were so bad I had to completely separate them for their own protection. I was so stressed out and my husband wanted to get rid of one of the dogs, the collie Muffin who we had just taken in a few months previously. She was the last one in and is also deaf, so harder to train. The other female Sophie is a cocker spaniel we have had since a pup.

The two dogs used to be good friends and even slept together, but when I went through some personal problems the dogs picked up on this and started being possessive over me. I contacted Lydia and to date have only had 3 sessions with her. Now my 2 dogs can walk together, eat together and there have been no fights. I have learned to read the early signs that lead to aggression and stop it before anything starts. I have learned to relax and be more confident, and the dogs now see me as their leader and protector.