Click on Charlies Photo to see more..

Hi Sue
Please find attached some pics of Charlie. We have just about got his Wait command sorted, I can make him wait in one room while I hide his ball in another room, as for outside I just have to touch his neck so he thinks I’ve got hold of his collar throw the ball and I come away and he waits till I give the command to fetch it. The lead control is taking a bit longer sometimes he will heel and walk by my side and other times try and pull but I think he is making progress, its the same while dogs pass to sometimes he concentrates on me and other times not but I think that’s mainly my fault for not getting him to sit and 'watch me' in time.
I have purchased some of those training discs (off eBay) and wow what a difference they make,
You were right about some days being better than others, sometimes its so easy to think 'o sod it' but I no I want a well behaved dog with me when im up in the peaks walking and camping so this spurs me on,
Thanks for your advice and showing me the right way to do things, will keep you informed on our progress
Regards Tracey

Hi Tracey,
Thank you so much for the update on Charlie and for the photo’s, I am really pleased how well you are doing in such a short time, just think when you are walking in the peaks and people say, look at that lovely dog, isn’t he good, how proud will you feel then. I am glad you managed to get some discs; they are such a useful tool. Be careful not to over use them and rely on them too much.
Well keep up the good work and I look forward to the next email.

Take Care

Hi Sue, Merry Xmas thank you for the email card it was lovely. Charlie n I are doing ok but seem to be stuck and not getting on any further, its seeming like its just getting to be a routine I only have to say good boy and he's by my side with his nose in my hand wanting his treat, then when he gets it he’s of in front til i correct him, but sometimes it seems he totally ignores me. On our way back from the walk its great he walks by my side carrying his ball. I was not doing well taking control when another dog passed by I would try to sit Charlie and give the look command but he would pull and wriggle as if he wanted to get out of his collar, (mind you it doesn’t help when other dog owners come up with there dog) anyway now what I do is hold his collar he sits and gives me better attention when I say look, if I let go and he should pull towards the dog I shout AA n he is ok I have only just started taking better control this way so its early days. Hopefully when the lighter nights arrive I can work more on the heel command because like I say it just seems were in a routine at the mo unless you can give me some tips.

Have a happy Xmas and happy New Year

Regards Tracey

Hi Tracey,

Let me see now.
Have you tried letting him carry his ball on the outward journey, by giving him a job, it is less likely that he will pull or take notice of other dogs.
Sounds like you are gradually getting there, but not always assertive enough, what you describe when you hold his collar and say AA! Then at that moment you are exerting more positive energy to Charlie, if you see what I mean. You need to sound as if you mean it to him.
Always a problem with other peoples dogs, be careful that you don’t stop him totally from meeting and greeting other dogs, if you feel that the other dogs are calm and friendly and off the lead then try letting him say hello, you could drop his lead on the floor and relax and see what happens, the lead is there to enable you to take control if you need to.
The heel work really is about not letting him progress forwards unless he is by your side or following, so patience is required there I am afraid. Maker sure your husband is not letting him pull when he walks him; you both have to be consistent.
Try with holding treating for a little bit longer each time, so that he doesn’t pre-empt moving forward straight away each time. Teach him to follow your hand for a distance then to treat.
Hope this helps.
While we have the dark evenings, then do more walking on lead, along the streets, changing routes and directions and speed often, so that he doesn’t build up to the excitement of being let off every time you set out. About 30-40 minutes a day would be great.

Best Wishes

Hi Sue thanks for the info, I think you've hit the nail on the head about me not always being assertive enough I know I have not been loud enough, I think the problem is more with me, lee is doing really well, I will try that dropping the lead never thought of it, thanks again
merry xmas, Tracey

Hi Sue,
Happy new year. We took Charlie to Filey New Year days, every man and his dog was there even the cafe and amusements were open. Charlie was very well behaved, well of the lead, we walked and played on the beach he never bothered any dogs they all approached him but he was more interested in playing with his ball, he did have little sniffs and a little run around with other dogs but a click of the tongue and he came back to us to play, he played a bit with another choc lab. (do dogs recognise there own breed). I cant believe what I fret about, so this morning I took him to the field played ball with him and carried on if a dog was near by, were normally I would stick him on his lead, Lee said he's more interested in playing fetch then concerning himself with other dogs. My next challenge is to take him through the woods without worrying.

When we arrived at the seaside we got out the car put Charlie on his lead, other dogs were walking down to the beach so Charlie was his usual self on the lead, pulling towards other dogs barking at them, so we really need to concentrate on lead control, brilliant of the lead not good on it. He was overexcited when we 1st got out of car, when returning from beach he weren't too bad when on lead but I was also grabbing his attention with treats.

Anyway a pleasurable day, and I feel a bit more confident, I no my fretting comes from our last dog Murphy, but Charlie is a total different character.

Regards Tracey

Hi Tracey,

What a lovely New Year present for me, to hear such positive news from you. I can’t tell you how proud I am of you.
It just shows you how it can be done when the right energy and confidence is present with yourselves.

Just one thing and only one thing that I would say to work on and that is when you arrive at a place, before you let Charlie out of the car, it will be worth spending a little time on gaining calm submission and complete attention on you before he gets out of the car, and then again before you set off, however I do understand that the whole thing was new to him and the excitement was ten fold. Mine also love the smell of the seaside and get very excited, but I don’t let them out of the car until they are calm and listening to me.

Not sure on the breed recognition thing, I like to think they do, but I think that they recognize the same energy levels.

Yes the next step is the woods, but don’t get anxious about it or Charlie will pick up on this, positive thoughts, say in your head “he is fine” and he will be!
The thing is, there is always the possibility of conflict with some other dogs, this will be because the other dogs are not as well balanced as Charlie, but remember, dogs do not like conflict and will avoid it if they can.
Keep throwing that ball!
He He.

X Sue

Hi Sue, Charlie n I are doing brill I love takin him out my confidence with him now is 100 per cent and i think it reflects on Charlie, he is a little more better when on the lead when other dogs are about. I even get a bit silly with him as you suggested when were out, and your right it is more fun for Charlie(and me) than just walking plainly. He still loves his ball n he loves to play with other dogs. He comes when called, well just a click of the tongue or whistle, sometimes if he's having a to good o time with other dogs it can take a while to recall him but he does come when he realises its time to go.

Our 1st visit with him to the vets is in Feb, I am just a bit worried how he will be in the waiting room, I thought I would walk him round across the field play a little ball to burn a bit of energy of, because if I take him in the car he will be excited and think he is going somewhere nice and he will be hyper when we get out of the car. Do you think this is best or has he to learn that not all car journeys lead to an exciting walk, im not sure? Apart from that worrying me everything is great.

Hope your keeping well and your dogs
Many thanks Tracey

PS hope you like the pics

Hi Tracey,

Thank you for the photos, Charlie looks really happy and so do you. I am really pleased (as I have said before) with the effort you are putting into his training, he is making brilliant progress and of course the more confident and calm you become, so will he.

Regarding the Vets, first and foremost stop worrying as your negative energy will transmit to Charlie, don’t forget he needs a calm and assertive leader. Your suggestion of walking him there and tiring him first is one that I would suggest, of course only if you are within walking distance. Also getting him used to just getting in and out of the car for nothing exciting, you can do this at home, say give him his dinner in there then take him out again, or just put him in drive around the block and home again, or taking him for a drive, and stop every few minutes, get him out and then put him back in a again, but the essential thing here is to wait for him to be calm submissive before you go through any door, that includes the car door, this can be practiced every time he gets out before the walk. If you drive there then arrive early and take him for a 20 minute walk around the area before going in.

When you take him to the vets, take loads of his favourite treats, make sure you enter first and if it is busy, then sit as far as you can from any other dogs, ask him to sit, but try to relax, take big deep breaths and don’t tense up on the lead, give him little checks, tugs to get his attention, be firm with him if he tries it on, firm Ah Ah! Or No! you can click your tongue to get his attention and treat then relax again reward him every time he is good, continue with this when in with the vet, ask them to give him a treat first. DON’T WORRY! ?

Hi Sue, thanks again for the advice I will put it into practice. I don’t have any probs with you putting my emails on your web site, go for it

Cheers Trace

January 2009

Sent: 05 March 2009 09:21
To: Sue Fryer
Subject: charlie's vet visit

Hi Sue, I forgot to let you know about Charlie's visit to the vets, you will be pleased to hear that he was good as gold, Lee ended up takin him as i was workin but he said he was fine, didn't pull towards any other dogs in the waiting room just sat quietly till it was his turn, the vet gave him a bill of health and that he had lovely mucsle physique, said she can see he is exercised well.

I bet Charlie would enjoy that gun dog training but unfotunatly i cant make Sunday's,

I think our worrying is over, couldn't ask for a better dog,

Thankyou for all your help and advice

Monday 20th July 2009

Hi Sue, i enjoyed reading your news letter, sorry to hear of your dog Milly, its heartbreaking when you lose a pet, even though now we have Charlie i still miss Murphy.

We took Charlie to Scotland in June, he loved every minute, out swimming in the sea and the Lochs, long walks in the Forests. The people were so dog friendly invited in all pubs they had water and biscuits for all four legged friends. I've attached a couple of pics

Best wishes
Tracey, Lee and Charlie

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Kind Regards Sue


When a change in your dogs behaviour occurs it is advisable to seek the advice of a qualified veterinary surgeon to rule out any medical problems before embarking on a behavioural programme.

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