Testimonials

ND Welwyn

Dan regularly walks our beloved dog J a ‘jackahuahua’!! In addition when we holiday Dan has J to stay.  J is still under a year old and Dan can take full credit for teaching J to be a very sociable friendly dog who is expertly trained. He is a pleasure to have as our pet and his quality manners make him even more of a delight! We couldn’t wish J to be in better hands than Dan’s, that is of great comfort to us when we are busy working or on holiday. I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending Dan as a high quality and very caring dog walker/carer/expert trainer. 

V.L

Thanks Dan, much appreciated. What would we have done without you? Oh I know there are lots of dog walkers around but that’s not you. A class on your own, we are very lucky especially Nala, you have made a difference.

Marjolein and Peter

Dan does a great job looking after our dog whenever we go away.  He adores dogs and is passionate about their wellbeing, which shines through in the attention he gives to dogs, with plenty of play and long walks.  He is reliable and trustworthy, which means we can leave our dog with him with complete peace of mind,  knowing that she is in the best possible hands!  

Sue

I was at the end of the line with my nervous large dog and Dan has turned the situation around completely for both of us! The time and effort Dan has put into training and socialising my dog has been phenomenal, resulting in a confident, well-behaved, happy dog. Yes, you need to put the work in too, but without Dan’s guidance and patience I would not have reached this level of confidence allowing me to enjoy walking my dog once more. My dog is always happy to be with Dan and regularly stays in his home where he receives excellent care.

Graham and Manda

Our lovely friendly, if a little over zealous 7 year old standard poodle went to Dan whilst we were on holiday for some fine tuning and training on a couple of issues that would enable us to apply for him to become a pet therapy dog. In a very short space of-time Dyson has been transformed into a calm and very well behaved dog, with the added benefit that he has also become somewhat of a star in the agility classes that Dan introduced him to. Dan’s ability to understand, care, coax and control all dogs is amazing. Dyson adores spending time with him and his family, we are always assured that he is in the most capable hands. We would have no hesitation in recommending Dan to anyone looking for some help with training their dog.

Lindsay

Without Dan’s help, we could not have kept our rescue dog.

 
When we adopted Chilly, she had been starved and mistreated. Despite that, she was healthy, affectionate and keen to learn.  However, she suffered so much from separation anxiety (specifically isolation anxiety) that we could not leave her alone in the house for even 2-3 minutes without her becoming extremely distressed. Several times she broke out of a crate and completely destroyed one.  We are both experienced with dogs and competent at training, but this was a new experience for us. Chilly did not respond to any of the techniques that we found through our vet, online or in books on the subject. I was instinctively aware that this was not ’normal’ separation anxiety and we were failing to help her get past whatever the real problem was, but I had no idea what else to do. The emotional stress on the family was so bad that we really thought we would not be able to keep her. And yet, apart from this, Chilly was the perfect dog for our family.

 

Dan very quickly identified the missing piece of our jigsaw puzzle.  At the root of Chilly’s distress was her inherently ‘low-ranking’ nature. She had previously lived with a dominant litter sister and had also relatively recently been hungry and mistreated.  In short, Chilly was a very low-ranking dog who had never previously been in a situation where she was without a more senior pack member to protect her. Being alone left her completely vulnerable.

 

With Dan’s help, we worked on building Chilly’s confidence.  Within around 8 hours of sessions, I could see tiny shoots of confidence begin to grow but we still couldn’t leave her home alone for longer than about 10 minutes. I received a lot of advice during this time, but Dan’s advice included one unique element:  don’t focus on separation; focus on confidence. Finally, after around 4 months, we left Chilly alone for 45 minutes and I knew we would eventually help her overcome this debilitating problem.  It has taken around 8 months so far and we can now confidently leave Chilly alone in the house for 2-3 hours.  Dan has been there for support all the way, including invaluable ‘respite’ care for Chilly when we had no-one to stay home with her.

 

I honestly don’t believe we would still have Chilly if we had not had Dan’s help and support. She’s a gorgeous, intelligent, well-behaved dog and she would have been happy in another home with a senior-ranking dog to support her. But our family wouldn’t have had Chilly and that would have been our loss.

 

Bellamy

Dan Austen has an intuitive understanding of all animals, particularly of dogs. I have a Rhodesian Ridgeback who had nervous aggression. I was fortunate to meet Dan and we had weekly training sessions. Dan’s approach is one of gentle but firm encouragement with lots of socialising and my Ridgeback Elsa responded very well. I also found that Dan’s approach included coaching the dog’s owner to be confident and less nervous. My Ridgeback has greatly improved and I now thoroughly enjoy my walks with her!