Hi, Stephen Hawkins here & I run F.E.T.C.H., a dog training initiative using incentive and distraction methods of training.

I've owned & trained dogs since I was seven, albeit with guidance from my parents at first both of whom came from dog loving & owning families. I've always helped family & friends with their dogs & started helping clients 20 years ago. Having only owned rescue dogs, they have given me a great insight into a variety of behavioural problems.

My first dog was from Battersea Dogs Home named Shep, not the most original of names for a Border Collie cross I grant you, but I was only seven! With the help of my mother, I taught Shep to count. We started by asking him to bark once & when he was consistent, we asked to him bark twice. By the time we got him to bark three times, he understood what was required & very quickly progressed. We felt it only fair to stop at ten as by nine he was running out of breath & he could only a manage a rather tired yelp at ten. By the way if you still don't believe a dog can count, put three biscuits in your pocket & then give your dog two!

I now have Dyson, the handsome fellow above, and when he first came to us he obviously had issues with the security of his basket at nighttime, a legacy from his previous family. By adopting non threatening body language & using only gentle tones he eventually relaxed enough that we could stroke him when in his basket without him being threatened, though still with reservations! With a little more time he completely relaxed & is now quite content to be fussed in his sanctuary. As with many rescue dogs you don’t know what has gone on before with them and have to be prepared for issues that are related to the most basic of actions, such as going to bed, or being touched on the head or ears, or even simply picking up the lead for a walk. However, all these behaviours can be improved & usually eradicated with the right body language, training techniques & of course, patience.

Training takes place in your home as this is where your dog is most relaxed & receptive to training & rehabilitation. The sessions preferably involve all the family and address your needs as well as that of the dog. We aim to give you the confidence and ability to continue working with your pet after the training sessions are over so that your dog reliably responds to you & your family, not just the trainer.

One of the many pleasures of my work is not only the diversity of dogs that I meet and help, from Akitas to Chihuahuas lately, but the variety of the experience with each training session means that I learn something new every day. Every client and their relationship with their dog is unique and requires individual attention and this makes my work both enjoyable and challenging and keeps me passionate about training. We are based in Laleham, Middlesex which is near Heathrow Airport.

Please contact us if you have any further enquiries, or wish to book days for our Dog Walking or Home Visiting Services.

Phone or e-mail us or fill in our e-mail form below but please double check your email address details to ensure we can reply to you.

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