What are people saying about us?
We first contacted Linnea and Gregor for a consultation session to help with some behavioural issues we were having with our little rescue dog Wilson. Although he's always been very affectionate, he was reactive to certain dogs, becoming frustrated very quickly when denied interaction, and occasionally mouthing. Linnea worked with us on a number of training techniques, focusing on calm and controlled behaviour. We also attended their brilliant group training classes which really helped with his social skills.
Since starting Wilson's training programme with Walk and Train, we've noticed a huge difference in his state of mind during our daily walks. Rather than constantly running around, lunging and pulling towards other dogs, he walks calmly beside me, his recall has improved and because he's more focused and relaxed our walks are so much more enjoyable!
He's now progressed to joining the walk and train pack on their day trips and the transformation in his behaviour has been amazing, thanks to Linnea and Gregors hard work and patience. Wilson adores his walks and we now come home to a tired but very happy dog.
I can totally recommend Walk and Train Edinburgh for consultations, classes and dog walking. We were very lucky to find them. They do an amazing job and are 100% committed to all their dogs.
When I remind Rafa that Gregor and Linnea are on their way, he will sometimes rush to the window to see if they're here yet. This is a testament to the fact that Rafa loves going on Doggy Day Trips. As a border collie, he needs plenty of walking and I can't meet his needs during the working week. Walk and Train are therefore essential. It's great to see him trot off happily with a wagging tail and come back calm and tired - and he is not the easiest dog to tire out! I am so pleased to have found Gregor and Linnea. They have always been 100% helpful and reliable and it's clear that they are very much in tune with the dogs. It's also lovely to see the pictures from their adventures! I would highly recommend Walk and Train.
I first met Linnéa and Gregor on a charity pack walk. After seeing them in action with all the dogs and owners, I was delighted to discover they were running small group classes at the weekends. Kenco my 5th rescue dog had become reactive after being attacked twice while on the lead, by off the lead dogs. This in turn made me anxious on walks and my emotions filtered down to him adding to the situation. The classes were small and informal, the ethos felt like we were all a small supportive & inclusive family together. I'm not sure who looked forward to them the most Kenco or I to be honest. The end result has enhanced not only Kenco and myself on walks but our whole family are now better dog owners. The tips, support and advise given by them has been clear, easy to follow. I reinforced what Kenco and I had learnt with my children so they have also become better dog owners themselves now and in adulthood. Linnéa & Gregor are clearly devoted to dogs and are wonderful people into the bargain. We are so thankful to have enjoyment out and about with Kenco again, rather than having the dreaded feeling, when we came across off the lead dogs. They have given him and us strategies to manage the situation successfully. If you are considering them... jump , run go for it !! I can truly say it was the best decision I made as a dog owner who has had various different breeds over the last 47 years.
We contacted Linnea and Gregor soon after adopting our lurcher Bella.
When Bella first arrived with us she was wary of new people, easily spooked and could become reactive towards dogs that wouldn't play on her terms. We also struggled to maintain her attention when outside, which sometimes made for stressful walks together.
We needed someone to help us get the best out of Bella and to provide her with exercise and stimulation while we were at work during the week.
It was obvious as soon as we met Gregor that he knew how to put the needs of Bella first and the regular updates on how she was integrating with the rest of the pack gave us confidence that she was in excellent hands. Bella returns tired and content after every walk and is excited to go again every morning! It is great knowing that she is getting to explore and socialise in a safe environment and that she has an outlet for her excess energy.
Having a training session with Linnea gave us a clear plan of action to help Bella. Linnea's knowledge regarding canine behaviour is second to none and her friendly and patient approach made it easy to ask questions and understand how to make better choices for Bella. The notes and youtube videos provided allow us to refer back when we feel we need some more help and Linnea has always been available to answer one off questions when we've needed some extra support.
Most importantly it is clear that Bella thoroughly enjoys spending time with both Linnea and Gregor! Having a regular routine has made a huge difference to her behaviour and our confidence.
We wouldn't hesitate to recommend Walk and Train for training and doggy day care, in fact, we'd like to go on some of the walks ourselves!
- Corinne & Peter
I have no doubt that Linnea and Gregor saved my dog Otto from rehoming or worse...He is the best companion now and I can credit his turnaround from a dog who constantly pushed people and boundaries, to a dog who has a greater respect for us and manners!
I contacted walk and train, after suddenly having to look after Otto’s sister when her owner became unwell. She added the fuel to her already boisterous brother’s behaviour. After spending several hours observing, guiding and training both me and the dogs, we agreed that rehoming Lottie, would give both dogs a better chance at succeeding. I felt such a failure but I now realise how wrong I was.
This was a big turning point for Otto. I was then able to have him walked every day by Gregor and his walks are incredible; over the hills, through forests and around and in lakes! Otto was taught respect, boundaries, pack order and I was guided to see Otto’s true spirit and that he wasn’t a problem dog. Walk and Train offer the full package: training for you (yes the owners are the biggest problems for dogs) training for the dogs which is nothing short of ‘dog whispering’, guidance notes to be able to read and re-read and of course the incredible walks. Otto is a credit to their dedication and patience and I am most certainly a better owner with a greater understanding of who my best buddy is and what he needs.
When I first met Linnea and Gregor I had already been to several dog trainers. Ruby was always well behaved in training classes and could easily manage all of the ‘tricks’ but was becoming increasingly reactive towards other dogs on our walks. She had been in a few fights at that time and would bark and lunge towards any dog. Walking her, especially with two kids in tow, was incredibly stressful. We were all worried that she’d really injure another dog.
Over the past year Walk and Train have supported me to build a relationship with my dog. I’ve learnt how to keep her calm in situations and to look to me for guidance. We’ve had one to one sessions in the park, group classes with other reactive dogs and play sessions with their own walking pack. Throughout it all Linnea and Gregor’s knowledgeable and gentle approach has taught me so much about how to manage her behaviour and keep us both calm. It’s not a quick fix and she’s definitely not the perfect dog but I’m pretty proud of how far we’ve both come. Thank you both.
This is quite an emotional story to write, now that I am thinking about it!
We decided to add a dog to our family and I spent a long time researching dogs which would not stimulate allergies which some of us have and would be a suitable temperament and size for the kids to walk. I had had dogs in my family all of my life so was keen my kids had the same experience. Having spoken to lots of breeders on the phone and spent hours reading up, we welcomed 9 week old Luath (a show cocker spaniel) into our home. She was great and was socialised with lots of people of all ages. When she was 12-13 weeks old she started showing anxiety and became reluctant to interact with new people or dogs.
Puppy classes were really stressful for her, she wanted to hide behind the chairs the whole hour and wouldn't go out for a walk for 2 days after each class. Visits to the vet were difficult and I was told to 'get on top of her behaviour'. Hmmm!! An animal behaviourist was recommended and on meeting Luath for an afternoon, informed me that I needed to do three things - cover over the windows in the living room so she couldn't see out; not let her near other dogs and not let the kids walk her on their own. By the time he left, I was fighting back the tears - our lovely dog so affectionate and loving with us and struggling with her fears which we couldn't really understand was condemned to a life of being unable to interact with anyone else but her close family (and had to stay in rooms she couldn't see out of!!) We tried reactive dog classes - no help.
After a period of feeling quite sad, I decided to have another try for help. I was looking for another dog trainer closer to where we live and with experience of anxiety and reactiveness when I found LInnea and Gregor's website.
The first time Linnea came round, I immediately felt that she understood the issues we had and had a sensible approach to managing them by looking at the emotions behind the behaviour rather than the behaviour itself. Initially, she and Luath had a 'tussle' on either end of the lead but after 2 hours, Luath had learned an automatic sit, dog parkour and was walking beside Linnea and taking treats from her!! It was magical to watch and be part of.
We have had 1:1 sessions at home and in the Meadows as well as play sessions in our garden with some of the daycare dogs. All of these have taught my family and I how to manage Luath in different situations and allowed her to gain confidence.
The Sunday morning social walks have given Luath the chance to gain trust with other dogs - all of whom have their own issues. She has learned that nothing awful is necessarily going to happen with other people and dogs around. She will now walk and play with the others - even giving one larger, boisterous dog a kiss on the ear last week!! She will approach the owners too now and does not have a meltdown if something happens which she was not expecting.
I read Walk & Train reviews before contacting them but did not really believe that our dog would achieve so much that I would ever be writing this!! Luath still has lots to learn - so do we - but she is able to enjoy being a dog now which wouldn't have happened without Linnea and Gregor's support and knowledge.
Oh yes and if anyone says 'Linnea' in the house, Luath runs to the window, tail wagging and looks for Linnea!! Positive conditioned response, I think they call it!
Betty & Poppy
I met Linnea at a time when my puppies, two cocker spaniels, were certainly taking over the house and with it was disappearing my sanity and also the rest of our family’s!!
I have worked with other trainers, but Linnea’s calm approach was a revelation to me, I never felt useless or overwhelmed during our lesson, I know that it is possible and I feel i can do it, more importantly the feeling does not go away when the trainer does!!
I just love it, our normal reaction is to be very vocal to misbehaving doggies, (!!) but it definitely works better this way. I now see the way our dogs are waiting for feedback & guidance if I go silent, they just look up to us and wait for us to say the word, it is a very bonding experience.
We are also using Linnea & Gregor’s walking service twice weekly which are fantastic, very happy doggies, very good social life for them! I also know that when I have a question about my dogs (regarding food, behavioural or other), I ask freely, I will get a clear answer and it helps me to behave the right way and make the right choices for my dogs.
Brodie is a fox red Labrador, from a long line of working gun dogs. He was 'an accident' in that he and his 11 litter mates were not planned, his mother being 8 years old when they were born, by emergency ceasarian. After checking they were all ok, she rejected them. The sire of the litter was still involved, teaching them all the wild things daddy dogs do.
He was very cute, lively and interested, we were advised
'He is the cleverest of the bunch, you will have trouble!'
We have had dogs for 30 years, we knew what we were doing, there would be no trouble. HAH!
After working with a couple of trainers, i sent Linnéa a begging letter in June 2017, Brodie was nearly 7 months old.
At the time, our main problem was how easily he became over excited, therefore, difficult to manage. Being around other dogs could be a nightmare. Pulling, barking, jumping up and generally being a nuisance to all around. If he was loose, he would jump up on strangers.
On her first visit, Linnéa assessed the problem ......us! Our interactions with Brodie were a huge part of the difficulty we were having. So, our training began with a carefully worked out plan prepared by Linnéa. Progress was slow, one step forward, two back. The situation became 'critical' when our grandson arrived. Brodie veered between curiosity, 'jealousy' and seeing the baby as a toy (he is very destructive with his toys).
Linnéa was asked back and we began again (or so it felt.)
In April 2018, he at last got a place with Gregor and began his walks, twice a week. With this input and the training plan, progress was faster.
As a result, we are seeing just what he is capable of. We are in a place with him we did not imagine we could reach.
He is, as are we, a work in progress but now life with Brodie is a joy.
Thank you Linnéa and Gregor for this wonderful gift.
- Linda & Philip
To say Milo was the puppy we expected to get is an understatement. All the reading and preparation ahead of getting him just couldn't have prepared us for taking on a highly excited-reactive dog in our lives. I contacted W&T after feeling at a loss after a few months trying to work on Milo ourselves and finding our daily walks near impossible- Linnea was so prompt in arranging to meet amongst their already busy schedule of clients. I felt as ease from our first consultation and knew I had chosen the right people to help.
Our pup has come such a long way in terms of his control and ability to make the right choices now when he is faced with another dog. I often look back and consider what we would have done without Linnea and Gregor's help, I am so grateful for the advice and guidance they offered.
I can't say that Milo is now a perfect non-reactive dog, and he may never be, however he has improved a huge amount and that is thanks to Linnea and Gregor and the work they put into understanding him, and helping me work with him during 1-2-1 training, group classes and weekly walks.
A weight is lifted knowing that Gregor is taking care of Milo twice a week during his walks and providing a safe outlet for Milo to explore, interact with other dogs and ultimately continuing to help in training Milo.
I would not hesitate to recommend W&T for any level of training that your dog may need.
Our little Flo came into our lives at roughly 4-5months having been rescued from fairly dire upbringings in Romania.
We were super excited to bring Flo into our lives and believed it would enhance our lives; going for big long walks and having additional company and love around the home. Unfortunately we terribly underestimated just how much 'baggage' can come with having a rescue dog who we didn't truly know much about, and having had no dogs together previously, the task felt even bigger.
Flo proved very difficult in the first month. Continually putting it down to her being in new surroundings we tried to persevere. Flo seemed unpredictable and her behaviour somewhat chaotic and unexplainable to myself and partner.
I spent many testing days with Flo, crying inconsolably at her behaviour and what seemed nothing but aggressive; biting at me, barking, completely defiant and intense constantly.
At times I wanted to shut away from her and frankly felt that we had made a terrible mistake and that Flo just didn't 'like' us.
We sought the help of walk and train after the stress was really becoming too much for our relationship to handle. Gregor arrived for a 1-1 consultation and within the first half hour I felt this lightbulb switch turn on and suddenly everything made sense. No judgement on us at how badly behaved Flo seemed, no lecturing on everything that we were or weren't doing. A straightforward, simply to follow, positive approach that has totally altered how we view Flo and dog behaviour in general. After 2 sessions ( and ALOT of work, patience and perseverance!) we commenced walking groups with Flo.
I was incredibly apprehensive about this and worried how other dog owners would view us and Flo; fearing I'd be seen as an incompetent owner! But the complete opposite is found. Everyone is super supportive and understanding and respectful of each others dogs who all, to greater or lesser degrees require work and carry issues.
Flo has been attending walking groups for months now and has managed to move up to a more advanced group!
I never thought it possible way back at the start that Flo would ever be able to be around another dog and behave appropriately given her constant intense lunging and barking at every dog in sight when we first got her to now being in a walking group where a long line is an option and she can even socialise and play with family dogs!
I'm blown away by the dedication that Linnea and Gregor have for the work they do. Their passion and love for dogs shines in everything they do and offer, and the support they have given and continue to give us to provide the most positive life for Flo is second to none.
I absolutely love our dog, we both do...and I love walking her and being around her and I hands down believe that is absolutely thanks to walk and train, their support, simple approach, positivity, encouragement and knowledge.
To say that walk and train has transformed our lives and Flo's may sound strange to those without animals or who were blessed with 'perfect' dogs....but it's true!
Patch is a first line working stock Bearded Border Collie Cross. We originally contacted Walk and Train whilst dealing with some over excitement issues when seeing and dealing with other dogs. He would also shut down when outside and seem overwhelmed. We had tried a few other trainers and groups including staged reactive dog classes all of which never had any effect and increased stress of Patch and us.
As we were planning to move from the countryside to a new Metropolis in Canada we enlisted their help. Due to being so busy we struggled to get a date to start. They referred me to another great trainer for a session. Eventually we managed to begin both private sessions and group sessions with Linnea and Gregor. Patch came on massively very quickly as there was a complete understanding of his nature and the confidence to control it. We focused on calmness out walking instead of just playing fetch all the time. Continued and improved on structured walks.
However it was also about building an understanding relationship between us and patch. He is a high strung dog however with the help of Walk and Train we can now walk of leash with Patch around other dogs without the worry of losing him to distractions. He plays better with other dogs and leads a happier life in a busier city now.
Linnea also has some fantastic videos online for hints and tips.
Piggy loves both the doggy day trips and short walks that he's been going on with Gregor for the last four months. As soon as he's home he sleeps for the rest of the day, which we both couldn't be happier about! Having moved to Edinburgh in September I felt that it was important for Piggy to socialise with other dogs, particularly as he had become a bit weary after moving. Gregor and Linnea provide a wonderful service, I always know that Piggy is in really great hands and he couldn't be more happy to be with them. He's becoming more confident when walking around the city and has already seen more of Scotland than I have!
Linnea and Gregor have helped us so much over the past 2 years I don't even know where to start in beginning to thank them. Our dog Eric, is a rescue from the charity Wild at Heart Foundation. He is a pointer/spaniel cross. Eric came to us when he was around 3 months old.
I had actually emailed Walk and Train back when we were at the stage of planning to get a dog as my husband and I were really keen to get off to the best possible start with regards to training and we knew that we would need some guidance. At this stage we were not even clients of Linnea's and she kindly responded with some thoughts and advice. We knew that Walk and Train were the place to go once Eric arrived. We have since had one to one sessions, attended group classes and Eric is also walked every week by Gregor and has boarded with Gregor and Linnea when we have been on holiday.
Linnea and Gregor go way above and beyond any expectations that we may of had of a dog training and walking service. Their passion and willingness to help and support is immeasurable. It is obvious to us that they deeply care about the dogs in their care and genuinely want people to succeed.
Linnea has a way of teaching which has resulted in us learning so much about Eric and understanding his personality and his needs. We have been given a lot of practical advice to help us deal with various behavioural issues we have had along the way but we have also had an education on dog behaviour and understanding the influence that our own behaviours have on Eric. As a result I think our bond with Eric is so much stronger and deeper and this is thanks to Linnea.
We also massively owe our thanks to Gregor for all the hard work and dedication he puts in to Eric's development when out on the walks. I can't stress how grateful we are for this. Because of Gregor's expertise, Eric has the opportunity to socialise with other dogs and have time off leash in a controlled environment. These are areas that we are personally still working on during our own walks. We trust Gregor and Linnea wholeheartedly and it is such a relief to know that Eric is safe and happy when in their care.
We would highly recommend Walk and Train and feel very lucky to have their on going guidance and support.
Walk and Train came highly recommend by a friend, and I could not be happier with their doggie day care service! My pup Ziva goes out for the day twice a week, and always comes home incredibly happy and tired. Gregor kept me really well informed as Ziva was integrated into the pack, and it was reassuring to hear how much thought and care is put into the introduction of new dogs and the ongoing pack dynamics. I always know Ziva is in great hands, and doggie day care makes balancing grad school, work, and a highly active dog so much easier!
When I moved to Edinburgh city centre with Dougal he became increasingly reactive towards other male dogs, and territorial towards dog walkers coming in to the flat, and I was at a loss. By the time I contacted Walk and Train I was stressed and worried.
Linnea first explained possible reasons behind Dougal's behaviour and showed me simple techniques to help me take control of the situation. Understanding the reasons behind his reactions made a big difference to me and felt like I could get control back. Gregor started taking Dougal out on walks and now he's out three days a week getting a great run around in the country and socialising with other dogs. The routine and the training has made the world of difference, Dougal's behaviour with other dogs is vastly improved, I'm able to trust and control him better and our walks are much more fun. I'm also able to go to work happier knowing that Dougal's out having a great walk.
I am so glad to have found Linnea and Gregor, their patience and dedication has made a huge difference to both Dougal and I, and I would recommend them to anybody!
After 20 months of following the CARE protocol we’d made a lot of steady progress with Keeva, our reactive adopted staffordshire bull terrier. She hadn’t been properly socialised as a puppy and came to us with a number of issues. We dealt with these through training, and I became a training geek in the process, doing a number of courses with the IMDT. Our greatest challenge, however, was addressing her fear aggression towards other dogs. She would lunge, rear up on her hind legs and pull to try to get to the dog to scare it away. This was not only embarrassing but scary but we realised how frightened she was and as owners just wanted her to be happy.
In the early stages, a behaviourist told us we would always have to muzzle her and walk her on a lead outside. We didn’t want a lifetime of control & management but actually wanted to tackle it. Luckily I’d the time and motivation to do it.
In the summer of 2017, I’d reached a point in training, where Keeva was comfortable and interested in meeting calm, well-mannered dogs. However, she still reacted to excitable, nervous and/or unpredictable ones. I realised I needed help with this, as I couldn’t find anyone who was willing to work with us.
It took me a while to find a suitable trainer – who really understands the breed and the issues unsocialised staffies face – and who would help us work on changing her emotional response to excitable, anxious and unpredictable dogs. After Gregor visited us and assessed Keeva, in our home and on one of her walks, we were accepted to join the Group Walks. Gregor later emailed me a report and some really helpful notes, which I still refer to. With each group walk, we could see Keeva growing in confidence and so did we as owners.
I practised the techniques we were taught on all our walks, and as my confidence grew I began venturing further afield and walking in different places. Instead of walking in quiet areas at times when there weren’t many dog walkers about, we ventured into ones where there were lots of off-lead dogs, using a long line (like we used on the group walks).
In each new location, we worked at proofing our training. We practised focus work, general commands, played recall games, hide and seek in the woods, and scent work. Empty childrens playparks were great for agility practise too. Our walks were becoming fun. The point soon came when I felt confident enough to start letting her off lead. I’d do some parallel walking with an unsuspecting dog owner first and when I was comfortable, with the body language of both dogs, I’d let her off.
I was so pleased with her progress that I entered Keeva’s story in a competition run by Reactive Dogs (UK) a facebook group I’m a member of. Members voted for their favourite and guess what…. Keeva won! She is their Reactive Dog of the Year 2018.
I couldn’t have achieved this without Linnea and Gregor’s help. They helped me in the final stages of Keeva’s training when others wouldn’t and we’re incredibly grateful .
I am so proud of Keeva and what she’s achieved. I now have her on a variable programme to phase out treats for ignoring reactive/fear aggressive dogs and returning to me. She is a really happy dog now and that’s all we ever wanted for her.
The person who said “the best thing for that dog is a bullet” all those months ago, should hang their head in shame.
When we adopted our first dog, she was just under 6 months old, and came from a very different home in a rural location, to live with us, in a city. As Lily is our first dog, we decided we would like some professional help just to make sure that we were doing the right things. Linnea helped us learn how to read Lily’s body language, understand her better and respond appropriately. We have been very fortunate and never had any real difficulties with Lily, but there were lots of everyday behaviours we wanted to improve. Lily used to constantly pull on the lead and whine as she became frustrated about this, which still happens occasionally, but now, if I get her in the right frame of mind, we can walk through a busy park, or past birds/cats in the street, without even having a lead on! We have done lots of work on calmness and frustration, which I don’t think we even understood was the issue before working with Linnea.
Friends and family often comment on how well behaved Lily is, which is lovely to hear, and reminds us how hard we have all worked! It’s often easy for us to forget how much Lily, and we, have learned and changed over time, and how things we now take for granted are behaviours and skills that we have all worked on. There are lots of behaviours that we want to continue to improve/work on, but we now feel comfortable in how to achieve this.
Linnea is so generous with her time, often spending extra time with us and always being available for extra support or guidance if we needed it. It’s reassuring to know there is someone who will understand, and most likely have a remarkably simple solution, to any issues we face with our dog. We first made contact with Walk and Train Edinburgh in 2015, and still have contact and support from them now!
Walk and Train Edinburgh has also allowed us to access a whole other community of dogs and their people, new walks, different management techniques and advice about anything and everything dog related! Although our initial intent had just been to make sure we understood the basics, thanks to Walk and Train Edinburgh, we have a happy, relaxed dog, who we can understand and effectively communicate with. We are always recommending them to anyone who is thinking about getting a dog, and genuinely think getting in touch with Walk and Train Edinburgh is one of the best decisions we made since getting a dog!
Before training our dog had heightened anxiety around people, crowds, dogs, transport, changes in routine and fearful of most of the outside world as our dog was brought up on a farm. Below are the main difficulties our dog faced on a regular basis:
* Separation anxiety
*Shutting down if teaching commands and stressful situations such as vet visits.
*Low self confidence
*Constantly required reassurance
*Controlling his impulses.
In all honesty our lives were pretty miserable and difficult as we were not educated on how to understand or support our dog on a daily basis. His behaviour affected our everyday life as we had to prepare plans around our dog as he could not be left on his own regularly. We were always anxious taking our dog to public parks as a stimulus such as another dog would trigger his anxiety.
At first we were dubious as we thought we would be prejudged because we were unable to support our dog's problems, however the dog trainer was warm, welcoming and non judgemental. They enabled us to learn valuable knowledge and techniques on how to support our dog's holistic well-being. We were extremely happy and joyful with our dog's development throughout training. The dog trainer was always there to support us during progress and challenging times.
Below are some of the skills and knowledge we learned when working with Walk and train.
*To introduce a well balanced diet
*How to respond and reduce anxiety on walks (with lead)
*Techniques on how to read and recognise triggers and positively respond to support our dog's behaviour
Tiny has become calm, relaxed, independent, confident, trusting others.
Open to new and stressful situations ie vets, meeting new dogs, busy places.
* Regularly displays curiosity.
We are over the moon as our bond continues to grow stronger. Our everyday lives are calmer and more relaxed. From the dog training sessions we are confident owners of a resilient, joyful and happy dog. His personality shines and is gleaming with happiness every day. We can finally walk in public parks without feeling apprehensive. Overall we could not describe in words how elated we feel with development and support Walk and Train provided for our dog's well-being. We are thankful and appreciate the hard work of Linnea as she assisted us every step of the way. We would recommend Walk and Train for everyone as it has had such a positive impact on our lives.
We have had Willow for just over a year and we were struggling with her fearful/ aggressive reaction to other dogs. We felt that her issue was caused by fear, but didn't know how to help her with it. We had two trainers previously before going to Linnea, but had mixed success. Our walks became a tense and frustrating experience always on the lookout for other dogs or situations that could cause an issue. Linnea initially completed a home visit and gave us some exercises to work on. We then signed up for Linnea's Dog Socialisation classes at Mortonhall, Edinburgh. Willow is now able to walk around the grounds of Mortonhall, with 4 other dogs of various breeds. These dogs are also dog to dog reactive. I now have a set of skills that I am able to use on walks to help Willow feel safe and reassured that we will look after her. I would also like to say that the training sessions and the ongoing training I have been doing with Willow has taken our relationship to another level. The closeness that we have now has really cemented our relationship. This is all down to the advice and expertise of Linnea and Gregor.
Gregor has been amazing with my dog Max. He didn't get on very well at Doggy day care and I was looking for a dog walker to help and who would understand my dogs behaviour. Max loves his walks with Gregor and his smaller group of dogs, and really knows how to handle him. Thanks for the wonderful service you offer.
When we moved to Edinburgh, we were quite worried about finding a trustworthy new daycare service for our springer-collie cross, Anansi. She really thrives on socialising with other dogs and has piles of energy, and we wanted her to be able to continue to do this, but a lot of the city daycare centres had mixed reviews. I’m so glad I spied Walk & Train’s colourful van driving around Morningside! The service is second to none, and is much more comprehensive than the usual daycare, pick-up and drop-off. They take the time to get to know your dog’s individual needs and personality, and Anansi is always delighted to see both Linnea and Gregor. Their rates are also very reasonable – for less than the usual price of daycare, your dog is picked up, taken on a long and stimulating walk with a small ‘pack’ of other dogs, with work on their behaviour and manners thrown in too! Anansi always returns happy and exhausted, and we have noticed a real improvement in her ability to manage her own excitable nature. Linnea has also advised us on how to reinforce this training on our own walks and at home. I would recommend Walk & Train to anyone without hesitation.
Linnea and Gregor have been a big help with our reactive rescue dog Hugo. We had a great private consultation with Linnea where we got lots of tips and ideas for working on some of his issues. We also attended their group classes which have been really good practice for being around other dogs and putting the things we have been shown into action, in a controlled environment - Linnea and Gregor are complete experts and so in tune with dogs. Thank you so much guys!
I first contacted Linnea when my dog Roshko became reactive. He was pulling on the lead and he was very nervous when walking on the lead and became reactive to cats, dogs across the street. Linnea was extremely helpfull with giving me directions of how to make him feel calmer and listen to me more. I am so grateful to her. She is amazing teacher. After Roshko became better he joined their doggy day trips and short walks. I can not say how amazing is Gregor. After 2 weeks of walking with Gregor i saw real improvement in Roshko's behavior while out on a walk, his recall was much better and his heel of lead was awesome. I can honestly say that Linnea and Gregor are amazing and i admire their knowledge and skills. They will make sure that your dog becomes a calm confident dog and show you how to become a better owner. Thank you guys you are awesome.
We cannot praise Gregor and Linnea enough for the amount of help and advice they have given us and our dog Crazy Maisie.
Although Maisie looks very cute and innocent she can be very nervous and aggressive around other dogs. This reaction was a result of being attacked a few times by other dogs while out on walks.
Maisie’s behaviour was so unpredictable it made walking her something we dreaded rather than enjoyed, which is not ideal for a very hyper Spaniel who needs lots of walks.
After trying lots of different techniques and reading a lot about aggression in nervous dogs, we felt like nothing was working. We would see some small changes, but they would never last.
We first contacted Gregor and Linnea about 8 months ago and have noticed a massive improvement in Maisie’s behaviour already. So much so we have been able to hire a dog walker, who takes Maisie out with other dogs and hasn’t been aggressive with any of them to date.
Gregor and Linnea taught us that Maisie isn’t a bad dog and that it is other owners who do not have control over their dogs when running at Maisie. This was a huge relief to hear.
We had one individual consultation with Gregor, who taught us how to try to keep Maisie calm outside so that instead of being at 100 when she is out, she starts the walk a lot calmer and can now sit and stay outside.
We also attend the Sunday group sessions which are a life line for us. Maisie gets to socialise with other dogs whose owners are in control and her confidence has grown massively. She now very rarely reacts to dogs and is starting to become calmer outdoors (which for a Spaniel is the impossible)
The class is also very good for us, as it not only gives us a chance to catch up with Gregor and Linnea, who are always on hand to help and give us tips, but it also makes us feel like we aren’t the only ones and that other owners face the same challenges as us.
Linnea and Gregor clearly have a passion for what they do and they are amazing at it. So much so, when Maisie wasn’t well, Linnea was on hand to offer advice. They really do love our dogs as much as we do.
We can’t thank them enough for helping us make walks with Maisie something we love doing again.
Whilst we are all away working hard to earn the pennies to keep our fabulous best friends kept the way in which they have become accustomed ( spoilt rotten in my case ;-)) all we want is to know that whilst we are grafting, our beloved pooches are receiving the best care and attention they can get in our absence. Linnea and Gregor at Walk and Train not only do this but also offer the best walks any dog can ever wish for. It gives me great comfort knowing my girl is in such good, experienced hands and not only loving the walks but also receiving some training whist enjoying their countryside escapes. I cannot recommend these guys enough and I am very grateful to have found them. You will come home to a tired but very happy pooch ;-) Thank you Walk and Train.
We adopted out wee Staffie called Morris from Staffie Smiles Rescue. We had no background information on him prior to his rescue, and he did come with a few issues.
He was very excitable, and jumped up at everyone who came into the house at every given opportunity. He also continually chased his tail if he was being ignored. We did crate him, but the behaviour continued. He also pulled heavily on his lead when being exercised. He was never aggressive, but with 2 young boys in the house, we couldn't risk him jumping up on them as he would knock them over.
We booked a 2 hour training session with Linnea, from Walk & Train, at our home. Firstly, she observed Morris's behaviour, and how we dealt with him. We also had a long chat about our daily routine, feeding, rewarding and walking.
Linnea, Morris and I then went for a walk, so she could observe his pulling behaviour. Linnea took control of Morris, and by the time we returned home, he was walking to heel, and not pulling any more. Linnea had provided clear, step by step instructions on how to prevent him from pulling. She also advised which walking aids would be most suitable, and suggested using kibble as a treat to encourage his good behaviour during future walks.
The advise and instructions Linnea gave were fantastic - very easy to understand and follow, and they worked a treat. Morris is now a happy, contented and settled dog in the house, and on our daily walks. He is an absolute joy to have.
We cannot thank Linnea (and Gregor) enough to for all their help. They have made ours and Morris's life so much better. I cannot praise them enough.
Henry absolutely loves his Doggy Day Trips with Linnea and Gregor! As I work long shifts it's essential that Henry still gets plenty of time out of the house which is what makes Doggy Day Trips so ideal. I can leave the house content that soon he'll be picked up and taken to the gorgeous countryside, hills and beaches around Lothian and Borders and he'll have an amazing time walking, exploring and socialising with his new doggy friends. As a rescue dog, Linnea and Gregor have helped Henry with his anxieties, such as traveling in the car, 4 months ago he would shake and not settle, and within a short time I was amazed to see him happily jump into the car without a second thought! Henry is also learning how to be calm outdoors, he is walking nicely on a leash, he is learning many new things from socializing with his Day Care buddies and his manners have also improved greatly! Henry has clearly bonded with Linnea and Gregor, I cannot fault them at all, they have often gone out of their way to help me out and I trust them both 100% completely with Henry's safety and happiness. :)
Dexter & Daisy
First got in touch with Linnea as we had reached the end of our tether with our 2 year old lad Dexter. He really struggled with walking on the lead and would constantly stop, put the brakes on and refuse to move. We had recently got another puppy, Daisy, and trying to walk them together was a nightmare. Linnea suggested we change them both to slip rope leads, and take charge of the dogs. Focus on where we were going and don't stop regardless! Four months on and both dogs are walking perfectly on the leads. We also focused on eye contact and how important that was. The dogs are now really attentive, are good off lead and respond really well to our commands. They both get on really well and its now a real joy to be out with them. Daisy is a confident 10 months old now and Dexter has vastly improved in all areas. Linnea gave us great advice and lots of training tips to be going on with and is still in contact to see how the guys are doing. We can't thank her enough for her advice and time. We are now more relaxed and confident as owners too and I think the dogs really respond to that. We are really enjoying our beautiful dogs. Thank you so much Linnea.
- Helen & Blair
We contacted Walk and Train Edinburgh 6 months after we welcomed our rescue greyhound into our home. He loved other greyhounds but had no idea how to socialise with other breeds of dog and would get himself worked up into a frenzy, jumping and spinning on his lead, whenever he came across other dogs - particularly smaller breeds. Linnea was fantastic in our initial session - giving us advice and tips and tactics which we have been building on ever since. We were also able to attend some of the group classes which really helped with my confidence in handling Chris around other dogs.
Chris is like a different dog now. He's not perfect! But the difference is amazing. He can be calmly introduced to other dogs and is content to 'walk on by' almost all of the time. He no longer tries to jump four feet in the air when he sees something he thinks is 'chase-able', and our confidence in being able to cope with any of his antics if he does decide to get 'interested' in a smaller dog has grown immensely. We can't thank Linnea and Gregor enough - everyone is seeing such a difference in Chris, and ourselves and our dog walker are continuing to build on the great start that we made with their help. We would 100% recommend Walk and Train Edinburgh to anyone.
Walk & Train Edinburgh (Linnea) were great in giving me the confidence to train my Sheltie puppy. They taught me key exercises and techniques to ensure a good bond with my puppy from the beginning, for example the importance of getting the puppy to focus on me (with the 'look' command) and give me eye contact, which has been useful in a range of situations. The theory was well explained to me both face-to-face and in writing after the session with a useful guide. The trainer has a positive and cheerful approach which makes the sessions enjoyable. I'm grateful for all the email advice I was able to get outside the sessions too, as puppy training can be challenging.
Fantastic with dogs highly recommend walk and train after just 2 days of training our 7 month old gs has never been so peaceful and better on walks. Before he'd bark all the time for attention wouldn't settle, on walks he'd pull always run to other dogs to play and was so much work just to keep him by our sides such a difference now. Looking forward to try there out door classes :)
I first met Linnea and Gregor at the start of 2015 after adopting a rescue Staffie, Esme. Although I had had dogs for over 16 years previously, I had little experience of the SBT breed and Esme presented behaviours I was not prepared for or able to handle initially. Esme is actually quite chilled and relaxed indoors and lives in harmony with cats. She is super sweet, sooky, affectionate and cuddly; an absolute diamond with my friends and visitors to the house. However, she is reactive when meeting new dogs which can be problematic, alarming and even physically challenging for me as her handler!
Linnea took us back to basics. Basic commands, basic obedience. Getting Ez to focus on me and not external distractions. We had a few sessions working on this, moving on to taking Esme outside to meet Gregor with a very calm, passive greyhound. As I was very nervous, I found this 'set-up' encounter great for building my confidence handling Esme and after a couple of sessions, we were able to pass Gregor and his dog quite closely! What I feel I gained from working with Walk and Train was (a) a better understanding of doggy behaviour/body language (b) more confidence, by using proven successful strategies in certain situations (c) useful after-session notes/homework that Linnea sends out. On that note, it is very important to do Linnea's homework and be consistent to make true progress. I would recommend Walk and Train to anyone needing any behavioural support at all with their furry friends!
Basil joined Gregor and Linnea for their dog walks while I was at work. It's a good mixture of mental and physical exercise and some training too. He enjoys his time with them and we joined their group classes to fine tune his obedience. I have been very impressed with their patience and skill at reading dogs and have been trying to reinforce what they have taught me. I am completely at ease when Basil is in their care.
I cannot recommend them highly enough.
My husband and I got our new Miniature Schnauzer puppy in May and although my husband and I have both had dogs in the past we hadn't had them as puppies. We wanted Bonnie to get off to a good start with her training and to grow into a friendly sociable dog, therefore I contacted Walk and Train. After Bonnie had been with us for a few weeks Linnea came to our home and went through some basic training techniques (lasting approximately 2hrs), we learned some valuable lessons for play, walking on the lead, recall and how to stop bad habits forming. I have to say that the training obviously worked and it was the best £40 I've ever spent, as everyone comments on how well behaved and smart she is for her age and I think I can definitely say this is down to Linnea's initial training and helpful email tips. Last month we started to have some problems when Bonnie became distracted whilst out walking and would ignore our commands, Linnea met with my husband in the park and spent an hour going through some helpful training techniques. Again these tips have worked a treat, although Bonnie still gets distracted by other dogs, children and birds she will return to us on command and very rarely runs off, this has meant that we can walk her off-leash and she loves the freedom of running about in the park and is also very good at walking to heel along country paths. I can't thank Linnea enough for all the help she has given us, Bonnie loved the training sessions and I am sure we will be calling on Walk and Train again in the future should any other problems arise. We have a very happy, well-trained puppy - Many thanks!
Dylan & Briar
We adopted Dylan from Cyprus via a small UK-based rescue in early 2016. When he arrived in the UK he was about a year old, very skinny at 26 kg, and with a thin coat totally unsuited to the Scottish climate! It was love at first sight when he met Briar, our golden/flat-coat retriever cross, and they bonded instantly, playing and sleeping together from the start.
All went well for the first few months and Dylan continued to grow and put on weight (he is now 36 kg with a thick, luscious coat!). Unfortunately, as his confidence and strength increased, he began to show a number of behavioural issues. Despite looking like a black retriever, he has a lot of German shepherd traits and is highly intelligent and very sensitive. Our biggest problem, however, was his strong hunting instinct and this escalated to the point where he would disappear for hours if he picked up a scent. Much more worrying was the fact that Briar regarded him as pack leader and would follow him on his hunting trips, despite her usually perfect recall. We were forced to made the decision to walk them separately and
to keep Dylan on a long line on walks. This led to him becoming increasingly frustrated and reactive towards certain dogs.
Thankfully, we then discovered Linnea and Gregor. We arranged for Gregor to take Briar out on his pack walks to give us more time to concentrate on Dylan. Briar is a real outdoor girl and being up in the hills all day is her idea of heaven – her fitness has increased with the long walks and she is now much more confident around other dogs. She is very calm and Gregor allows her to be off leash with freedom to explore, but is always in control. She returns from the walks tired and very happy.
Our work with Dylan is an ongoing project. We attended Linnea and Gregor’s Sunday group classes with him, where he excelled in obedience and learnt to be calm around the other, often excitable, dogs. We also worked on a one-to- one basis with Linnea in the Meadows and were shown how to read his reactions to other dogs and to anticipate when there might be a problem. Linnea explained how our behaviour affects his response to situations and we progressed to being able to let him off leash to chase a ball in a busy area and to walk calmly past other dogs and people without reacting. Dylan now has a number of doggy friends he can play with and is much happier and more relaxed. Linnea and Gregor’s advice has been invaluable in helping us to understand his complex character. We are now much more aware
of the issues that can arise when adopting a rescue dog, especially one from abroad, and would highly recommend contacting Walk & Train if you are thinking of doing so!
Linnea came to assess my SBT Zero as he is a rescue and I wanted some advice on focus before I let him off lead.
Prior to Linneas session, I wasn't aware of the power and importance of eye contact between dog and owner in establishing a bond and ensuring the dog maintains a focus on the owner and not what's going on around.
We only needed a couple of sessions to obtain the focus I was after from Zero. He always looks to me now when we stop off lead or if I change direction for him to distract him from other dogs or situations using the techniques Linnea showed us.
I found Linnea to be a very concise trainer, who has a lovely manner and an obvious love of dogs. I have and will continue to recommend her teaching and training methods to other dog owners.
We first contacted Linnea and Gregor back in January after we had adopted Rocco the miniature schnauzer. He was great in the house but could be very excitable outside and reactive to other dogs. We worked with Linnea on a couple of 1-2-1 sessions and Rocco joined their weekly walks. Linnea and Gregor have been invaluable helping us help Rocco to behave better. We have seen a big improvement in Rocco's behaviour and have learned a lot ourselves! Rocco comes back from his walk a tired and happy pup. Highly recommend Walk & Train Edinburgh.
I was fortunate enough to find Linnea when Archie was a young pup (a very content Bernese Mountain dog). I wanted to make sure my 45kg fella would be reliably under control. Linnea has provided superb advice over the last 12 months and plenty of material for Archie and I to get more from our time together. We are currently working on distracting Archie from his potentially dangerous habit of swallowing gloves, tissues and any other discarded fabric he may find on our walks. I love our walks together but rather than making them interesting for Archie, I just get the miles done! Thanks to Linnea’s advice, I have some good ideas for stimulating games (and pockets full of chicken)!
In August 2014, I adopted a dog, Flynn, from Edinburgh Dog & Cat home. I brought Flynn home unaware the behavioral problems that he had, such as crate and separation anxiety. It was very severe, in which, he would follow me from room to room and I could not leave him in the crate for more than a second before he started barking , peeing, and destroying the crate. I patiently worked with him for couple of months and we were progressing very slowly. Flynn got very ill and needed to be hospitalized for a week and reverted back to his original behavioral problems after returning from the veterinary hospital. A few weeks later, he escaped from the crate and got into ibufrophen and returned to the hospital, which made me decide to get some help. I did my research online and found Walk & Train Edinburgh. Since then, my life with Flynn has drastically changed. Linnea and Gregor were able to help me to identify Flynn’s issues. They gave me lots of ideas on how to fix Flynn’s anxiety issue and help me to become a confident owner. Now, I am able to leave home without worrying about whether or not Flynn has barked all day, peed in the crate, or broke the crate while I was away. Flynn has become more relaxed as well in the house and has become more attentive to me. He still has much to work on, but without Linnea and Gregor, I do not know if I would still have Flynn.
Linnea & Gregor provide a fabulous daycare service for Flynn. He is a very active dog, so the 4 hour walks are just what he needs when I am not home for the entire day. Every time he come home he is exhausted and will sleep for the entire night if he could. It also helps with his separation anxiety as well so he is not home alone for long periods of time. Linnea & Gregor do a fantastic job with the dogs and I know Flynn does enjoy his time with them. I would highly recommend Walk and Train Edinburgh for daycare trips.
Ted and Zack
We were recommended to go to Linnea and Gregor at Walk and Train Edinburgh by Kylie from KCK9 in Fife to save us the 90 mile round trip to get the social walk we were looking for.
Our rescue GSDs are very different characters, Zack the older who has been with us longer is generally laid back and friends with everyone. He does however get excited at the start of an outing or when he sees other dogs who look like they would be up for a play, at these times he can be a bit vocal. Ted, on the other hand is an anxious dog, who was not socialised in his first 3 years of life, and was reactive to just about everything when we got him. The journey with Ted has involved behavioural consultations and obedience classes. By the time we hooked up with Linnea and Gregor he had reached a good level of obedience, and is generally relaxed around people and the environment. Ted however remains anxious around strange dogs, and although able to just about cope when out on his own with me, was still very reactive when encountering them out in company with Zack.
The group classes were a good way for Linnea and Gregor to verify that we had the basic building blocks of obedience in place, but the real benefit for us came from the social walk element of being amongst a pack of dogs but also encountering numerous different situations and on and off leash dogs while on a walk in the ‘real’ world. We gained so much from the advice that Linnea and Gregor could give us and their tips that arose from observing Ted in this way. After 3 months of weekly sessions Ted was coping well with new dogs being introduced to our group, and showing no reactions to them. He was also vastly improved on his encounters with strange dogs. By employing the techniques learned we were able to help him to not react in the vast majority of cases, and also to calm down quickly on the odd occasion where, for example, a boisterous off lead dog had just got too much for him. As a by-product, Zack’s lead walking is much improved too.
Linnea and Gregor have a sympathetic and supportive approach to both owners and dogs, they clearly draw on a great combination of personal experiences, and lessons learned from courses and other respected trainers. I like the fact that their solutions are tailored to individuals, and that they are both constantly listening and watching to find ways to help.
Please run some more of these social walks, we’ll be first in the queue, it is money well spent!
Ben and Ceilidh
We have two rescue dogs, Ceilidh is a Border Collie across and Ben a Jack Russell. Both were abused prior to being rescued and both have very different personalities and issues. Ceilidh was scared of just about everything especially large vehicles and unexplained noises eg wind blowing through trees. When confronted with any of these she would try to run as fast and as far as possible in the opposite direction. She would run back home if we were close enough which unfortunately means crossing a busy main road. Ben is as different to Ceilidh as it's possible to get. He had the opinion that everyone was going to hurt him so he was going to get them first. He would try and attack people, especially cyclists and joggers and other dogs. Walks were very fraught affairs, considered a chore rather than enjoyable. Ben was also very protective of food so much so that we had to feed Ceilidh in a separate room to allow her to eat in peace. Additionally Ben is very territorial, we've had to rearrange furniture to stop him getting to the windows. As he can't get through the glass to attack the postman or anyone else walking by he grabs whatever is closest and shakes it violently in frustration. He has destroyed several window blinds, and bitten me several times while in a frenzy of frustration. We were in dire need of help.
We decided on a package of training involving home visits and group walks with Linnea and Gregor of Walk and Train Edinburgh. I have to say that they are both fantastic. Firstly they listen to the problem then explain the behaviour from the dogs point of view which really helps you to understand why the dog is acting in a certain way. They show you how to correct the behaviour and more importantly get you to practice while they look on. This is a really important aspect as it means that after they leave you having confidence that you can continue the training in the correct way. After the visits they provided detailed notes of the sessions with helpful hints and reminders as well as links to useful videos etc.
Both Ceilidh and Ben are very much a work in progress however life is much easier since enlisting the help of Linnea and Gregor. Ceilidh is much more confident outside, she hardly notices the bangs and crashes from demolition work being carried out close to where she is walked. Getting her to walk though woods has become easier and although she still doesn't like busses and lorries she is continuing to gain confidence around them. Ben has improved in leaps and bounds. He rarely barks at other dogs outside and if he is going to react to another dog we can spot the warning signs and distract him before he does. The same can be said of cyclists and joggers. We've worked on keeping both dogs calm around mealtimes, this has been such a success that both are now fed side by side. We're now also beginning to see improvements in his territorial behaviours to the extent that someone knocked on the door and he didn't react. Life is much calmer, we have a closer bond with the dogs than we had previously and walks are now pleasurable and something we look forward to. None of this would have been possible without the expert guidance of Linnea and Gregor of Walk and Train Edinburgh.
We wanted a dog, that much we knew. But we had no clue how to go about adopting a dog and what factors to consider when doing so. Gladly we got in touch with Linnea and Gregor, who gave us so much essential advise for adopting our new family member! When we finally got the perfect dog (Mylo the Greyhound), our contact with Walk and Train Edinburgh did not cease. On the contrary; from day one we received a lot of behavioural consultation as well as more general tips and tricks about how to start our new life with Mylo. Having received so much support, we decided to continue staying in touch with Walk and Train Edinburgh.
Ever since adopting him, we sent Mylo on Doggy Day Trips with ‘Walk and Train Edinburgh’ and could not be happier! Mylo comes back from the walks tired, relaxed and happy. He is being socialised with other dogs, which is something he needed (being an ex-racing Greyhound this is a completely new experience for him). The (very professional) pictures are testimonials to the great destinations Mylo is taken to, and the friendships he is building over time.
Entrusting your dog to just ‘somebody’ is something that has always been out of question for us. It was always essential for my partner and I to only ever leave Mylo with someone whom we could trust our dog with, based both on our personal sympathy but also based on someone’s knowledge of dog behaviour and psychology. Knowing that Linnea is doing her PhD studies on the dog and human bond/psychology, and seeing how professionally both herself and Gregor treated Mylo made our decision of using the Doggy Day Trips a very easy one.
Thus, we would both highly recommend Linnea’s and Gregor’s services, as they are not only extremely friendly and helpful, but also have the knowledge-base and professionalism needed to work effectively and responsively with your dog and yourself. All in all an opportunity to send your dog to a great adventure while being able to lean back and not worry (relax)! Thank you to Linnea, Gregor and Fausto!
- Martin, Nadia and Mylo.
Linnea has taught both Woody and I so much over the past few months. I contacted Linnea to try and help us with Woody and his fear of almost everything. He was terrified of roads, bikes, push chairs, people, going on his lead and not to happy with other dogs coming over to him. After a few months of hard work from all of us but mostly Woody, we can now walk along the road on lead, he’s much happier with bikes, push chairs and other dogs saying hello. We still have a lot of work to do but he is doing so well and is so much calmer. Thank you!!
Fergus was a nervy, anxious puppy who was always hyper & never calm. Although things like bikes & cyclists didn't bother him when he was wee, once he reached a year old he became very scared of anything on wheels - which manifested as barking, growling, lunging and trying to nip. This behaviour escalated until there were certain dogs he didn't like, as well as all other animal types & this was beginning to transfer onto humans too. Although always a challenge, due to him pulling on lead and running away when off lead, walks became extremely stressful. 360 degree vision was required to keep him and the rest of the world safe. The final straw came when he lunged & tried to bite a lady who had patted him whilst he was sitting on lead with my husband, outside a shop. To be fair to the dog, the lady came out of nowhere & literally pounced on him whilst ruffling his backside - I wouldn't have liked it much either! She was quick to apologise as she realised it had been her actions that had caused Fergus' meltdown. However, we realised we couldn't go on like this & that there was a real possibility of Fergus hurting someone. I was also suffering from sore shoulders and a painful neck, partly due to the stress and partly due to his pulling. We decided to look for a behaviourist/trainer to see if we could turn his behaviour around. We didn't want to think about the alternative.
I came across Walk & Train on a Google search & explained our problems. Linnea replied very quickly & was so supportive in that first email - suddenly we didn't feel we were all alone with a problem dog. She set up our first meeting which would be followed by several one-to-one sessions.
Linnea arrived on one of the wettest days we had last year - in the summer! She observed Fergus on the walk whilst asking questions & getting his history. She made several suggestions which we could put into practice straight away - one being, to feed him whilst out on his walk & using his food as a reward rather that buying special treats. This worked very well for Fergus as he just loves using his nose to sniff out his breakfast & tea. She also showed us how a slip lead would help to control him and get him to walk without pulling.
She also explained how to handle Fergus when he didn't respond after being given a command such as 'on your bed'. Linnea also suggested changing Fergus food. We opted for a lower protein food, which we think has helped.
Linnea left us to put the new regime in place & then did an enormous amount of work putting together worksheets which were completely relevant to our problems - in other words, totally personalised. This all came with suggested video and web links - the amount of work she did should not be underestimated.
Then the hard work began - we were to implement the new regime, whilst doing things like having Fergus on a lead as my husband rode a bike at a distance Fergus was comfortable with, getting closer over a period of time. We walked past joggers at distance, then got closer to them over time, we walked pasthundreds of buggies, around the outside of playgrounds etc. We got him to jump over low branches, onto tree stumps, wriggle under low branches, anything that would build his confidence.
We had several meetings with Linnea building on what we were doing with Fergus - then she decided it was time to walk him at heel through a busy environment&chose George IV Bridge - Fergus responded excellently - & that was our turning point - you could see him think that actually, he could manage this.
We are still a work in progress - does he still pull? Yes, but I know the fault lies with me. Do I still suffer with my neck & shoulders? No, because he only pulls occasionally during a walk & I can get him to stop. His recall is excellent, he can walk past bikes & joggers whilst on lead, although we are still cautious when he is off lead. He never does his old barking/growling/lunging routine - not even when he sees a cat! Walks are no longer fraught with fear & we can once again take him with us if we go for a coffee. Yes, he can still be nervous sometimes, but we have been complimented on having such a calm dog! People have noticed that he seems to be a much happier dog & he now actively comes to us to be petted, which he never did before, preferring his own company.
Life was hard last year, but Linnea was with us every step of the way, between our sessions and email back-up & life is so much rosier this year. She works exceptionally hard for her clients & gets brilliant results!
We contacted Walk and Train Edinburgh in the hope of finding some support with our lovely dog Peanut who struggled with some situations, such as when seeing kids rushing around, or hearing a skateboard whiz by. Peanut's response was to be reactive, and this was something that we wanted to address in a meaningful way - that is, by first understanding what was wrong and, then, by learning of ways to make positive changes.
Meeting Linnea was wonderful for our little family of three (my husband, Peanut and I). She quickly addressed how things that we had been doing, such as focussing on high intensity exercise, was perhaps contributing to Peanut's high levels of anxiety and vigilance - this, then, making Peanut less able to concentrate on us during walks and, instead, being easily stressed by what was around him. Linnea taught us how to integrate focus training during our walks, for example, by bringing Peanut's breakfast with us and creating opportunities for him to remain attuned to us, rather than the environment. In addition, Linnea gave us some great exercises for at home, for example, playing tug and letting Peanut get out his play, before helping him to calm down and regulate his emotions.
Taken together, we learned that perhaps we had been making the world a little too hectic for Peanut, through making things so fast-paced, without realising that this was not what he needed. Instead, we've made changes that allow for him to enjoy being outside, running with me in the mornings instead of chasing the ball, or going for hikes (he even completed the 90+ mile hike from Ullapool to Sandwood Bay this summer). Breakfast is always provided through search games out in the open, and this gives Peanut the opportunity to explore and use his sense of smell. There was so much help in what Linnea provided, and it's really made for a meaningful change in Peanut's behaviour when out and about. He is far less reactive to others and far more attentive towards us. He seems to be a happy, and less anxious dog, which makes us all very happy.
Thanks so much!
- Sarah & Nate
I contacted Walk and Train Edinburgh when my 6 month old Cocker Spaniel Oscar started to develop separation anxiety when left in the house alone and also to help us with recall training when out on walks.
In our consultation Linnea spent time observing and speaking to all the family to understand the way that we were interacting with Oscar and the circumstances that were causing his behaviour. She identified that Oscar never made eye contact with us which I hadn't noticed and explained the importance of him focusing his attention on us both inside and out of the house.
She talked us through what we should be doing to build his confidence in being left alone, firstly by stopping him following us around the house and building up the time he could hold his position in the crate. Following the consultation Linnea sent us detailed notes. She contacted us after a few weeks and provided further training ideas.
We saw a nearly immediate improvement on Oscar's recall by engaging his attention throughout a walk and this has continued to improve over time. Oscar responded well to the separation training but this took longer to see results. Now at nearly 9 months Oscar calmly goes to sleep when we leave him.
Linnea is extremely knowledgable about dog behaviour and is good at explaining the reasons behind it, as well as giving specific guidance on what needs to be done. I would highly recommend Linnea for dealing with dog behaviour issues and training.
Molly, Sammy, and Sparky
How Walk and Train made my life easier.
I have two dogs, Molly a 12 year old Collie cross and Sammy a 6 year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier who were well behaved, until I started fostering Staffordshire Bull Terrier Sparky. He had a few issues, e.g. nipping/biting me when I said the word ‘No’ and he kept bullying my 12 year old dog. The two males (my Sammy and foster dog Sparky) didn't always get on, so I contacted the rescue who got in touch with Walk and Train on my behalf.
When I took Sparky out for a walk for the first time he took me for a jog. I use a stroller/walker as I have MS so it helps with my balance and stops me falling. I then had someone out with me to make sure I was safe, it was a nightmare as I had the two staffies at the front, Molly at the back of me. I didn't enjoy walking them at all until Walk and Train came out to help me.
I thought I was quite good at reading a dogs’ body language, ha I learned at lot more in the first day with Linnea than I imagined I would! I thought Sparky was calm but he wasn't so Linnea showed me how to get him calm, also have him calm when getting ready to go out a walk. Linnea made a figure 8 with the lead and wrapped the lead around the handles, then off we went. The first walk was with Sparky and we had to keep him focused we went back to the house and got Sammy out, he knew straight away how to walk at the side of stroller/walker, but Sparky still had to be corrected. Linnea asked how I felt with the walk, I was confident and really happy to be able to walk them without them pulling. I went out with them myself the next few days until Walk and Train came back out to see how I was doing. On the second meeting Sparky was a lot better even more so on the walk. Sammy had been picking up on some of Sparky's bad manners so I started using some of the tools Linnea gave me on him. The walk was much more enjoyable and I was praising when needed.
My life has changed dramatically now that I can get them calm, the household isn't as unruly. Walk and Train really helped me gain confidence and made my daily walks a much more confident and pleasant experience. Can't thank them enough. I really liked that they show you how to do things and explain why they are doing everything in a way that’s easy to understand. Now that I have the right tools I'm a lot more confident and assured and I would highly recommend Walk and Train to anybody and will :-). Thank you Walk and Train you have made Sparky ready for his new forever home.
I have a staffie cross named Stella. Stella is a very friendly and happy dog, however only really to people. Our problem with Stella is her behaviour to other dogs. She has always had this issue, just on a much smaller scale, as she only gets aggressive towards certain dogs and only occasionally. She then started getting progressively worse with other dogs after a certain incident, leaving her much worse off than the other dog. She then got a lot more anxious during walks, and reacted badly more often to dogs that approached her. Walks then turned from being enjoyable to pretty stressful with me worrying about meeting other dogs, as well as keeping Stella on a lead at all time, which wasn't fun for either of us. This is when we decided that we needed help from someone who actually knows what they are doing and how to properly address these issues.
What Linnea taught us was easy to understand and made a lot of sense. She even showed me how to walk Stella properly and different ways to divert her attention from other dogs by using her own dog as a distraction.
Linnea even covered feeding and play time and how they can also help with her behaviour towards other dogs, giving me a huge amount of information to think about.
I ended up buying one of the leads Linnea sells and uses, instead of the retractable long lead I usually use. After a few walks she stopped pulling and was more responsive when we were out. I definitely have more control over Stella now, especially when she sees another dog. She was always very interested in other dogs and would get exited to see them, then occasionally she would react badly. It was hard to tell why or when she would, however now, she doesn't get as interested any more, and when she does I am able to divert her attention from other dogs, so she doesn't feel the need to meet them. It makes our walks more enjoyable and a lot less stressed. I have definitely seen an improvement in Stella, her recall has also improved, and she is able to sit outside and relax, even if dogs and people are around her.
After the training with Linnea I know understand that it's not necessarily Stella's fault, but also the way I am with her. I get her excited about walks, I don't give her clear enough instructions, there is little consistency when it comes to training and I get stressed out when I see other dogs (because of how Stella might react) which can't be good for her either. Linnea made me aware of this which I think has helped a great deal.
I want to thank Linnea and Gregor. I feel they have really helped, and done so in a simple easy way to remember and understand. We're still improving and we are no where done yet, but I have seen a definite improvement.
Thank you guys!!
It is just over a week since you spent a very informative and enjoyable afternoon with Monty and his "gang of owners". We have tried hard to follow your guidance and the results, certainly in my opinion, are remarkable.
Monty now realises that there are three parts to his life apart from eating, sleeping and the "other". 1. Exercise,walks etc (including down time during walk): The long line works a treat and has meant that walks have become fun for all (including Monty) without any concerns about getting him back on the leash at the end of the walk. Monty's recall is improving again and just about all the time, during the walk, he will return to our side and allow immediate contact with collar (or whatever). The long line is not really needed during the walk, At the end of the walk sometimes it is still necessary to utilise the long line but not always - a definite improvement. Walking on and off the lead to heel is also becoming easier. 2. Mental Stimulation / Structured Activities: Really seems to be working - trying to do a lot more in the house - Monty is calmer during these activities and it is fun for all - again a big improvement. 3. "Downtime" / Passive time: All I can say is thank you. Monty now seems to realise that both he and us need passive time. He is far more content to sit or lie quietly about the house and not always be having to "do something" or look for attention. We have followed your guidance regarding "his mat (and now including a basket)" however he does like to get off "his mat" and find his own spot to lie and have downtime. We will keep working on this but in truth the main thing is we all now have quality downtime.
Linnea, It was really good to meet you and gain from your experience - definitely worth it - once again a big thank you. Monty would send his best wishes too, but he is asleep at my feet and has not interrupted once while I was emailing you. We will keep in touch re progress and will not hesitate to use walk and train again. We have also highly recommended you to other dog owners.
- Douglas and "the rest of the gang"