Anthony with Murphy: Border Terrier in Brighton
We reached out to Mike for guidance with our 12 week old Border Terrier puppy Murphy, as we wanted to ensure we were setting him up for success during the crucial socialisation period.
Mike walked with us in our local park and talked us through how to allow Murphy to explore and familiarise himself with the world, while building the foundations for a strong recall. Mike also gave us clear, honest and reasoned information on how to approach socialisation and we came away feeling confident and knowledgeable about how to allow our puppy to grow & reinforce good choices.
We’d strongly recommend working with Mike if you’re looking for direct and grounded advice with some fun along the way. Thanks Mike - we intend to stay in touch as Murphy continues to grow into a happy dog!
We contacted Mike at Rainbow Dogs regarding our 5yr old Cockapoo Berkley who started to develop a fear of walking across our kitchen floor and dining room floor (wooden and tiled floors) shortly after the Coronavirus lockdown began. This got progressively worse to the point where we would have to carry him to the back door to go outside.
We wanted to address this issue and help Berkley with his fear, so we approached Mike based on his skills and knowledge and previous recommendations. And after several conversations we agreed to set up a video consultation due to the current Covid-19 measures.
We were unsure how successful this would be without having the advantage of a personal 1-2-1 session, but our concerns were quickly erased. The session went really well and we spent time discussing the issues and Mike gave some insight into the psychology behind how Berkley would be processing his actions. We were able to try out a few activities for Mike to assess his recommendations and how to help Berkley.
We've been following his advice and methods for nearly 3 weeks now and we are nearly at the stage where Berkley is confident and comfortable again walking across our floors.
Mike has remained in contact with us to see how were getting on and has offered us plenty of advice and tips along the way. All in all, despite the face to face interaction which under "normal" circumstances we missed, we have still achieved a successful result from this remote way of working.
Ruby and Kris with Mac: Cockapoo in Brighton
We found Mike after extensive online research into a dog behaviourist and trainer after our one-year old cockapoo slipped his collar and got into the road! We were drawn to Mike because of his years of experience and testimonials, and we are so happy with the results.
Although Mac is an extremely loving and charismatic dog, we were struggling with his lead discipline and excitement around people, especially when people came to visit - this would involve a lot of jumping up and invasion of personal space. Also as I suffer with a disability my main fear was if I was to by accident let go of his lead, or if I was to fall down he would run into the road.
During our sessions. Mike quickly identified the root cause of the issues, explaining how dogs minds work and how they respond to our behaviour and body language, which really helped us correct the way we handle situations. He also showed us techniques both inside and outside of the house to establish and improve how he tunes in to us and our movement. He recommended us a front-clip harness which has been a god send, and has given me a lot more confidence in walking him on my own.
Since working with Mike we have noticed huge improvements in all aspects of Mac's behaviour and couldn't recommend him more. Friends and family have also noticed the improvement to such an extent that they have asked for Mike's details for their own dogs!
Heidi and Charlie with Dags: German Shepherd / Collie cross in Brighton
We turned to Mike after he was recommended to us by our dog walker. Dags, our 7 year old German Shepherd / Collie, had recently undergone surgery and experienced a traumatic time at the vet. Sadly, when she returned home, she was very frightened and began showing aggression towards strangers, being touched and other dogs whilst she was out on the lead. Having been a happy, friendly and outgoing dog before, her sudden change of behaviour shocked us and we were uncertain as to what to do.
When Mike arrived to assess Dags he was like a breath of fresh air. He instantly knew exactly why Dags was expressing the way she was and was not daunted by this. He was able to explain, in a simple way, what she was trying to tell us through her actions. Some of the most impactful advice he has given to us has been about revisiting our own preconceptions surrounding what it means when a dog barks, growls etc. Which we had never considered before.
We were happily surprised at how simple and common sense everything that Mike taught us was, and how quickly it had a positive impact. Through his coaching we were able to reintroduce Dags to strangers, make her feel comfortable being touched again and successfully remove her lead aggression through positive reinforcement.
We are so grateful for Mike’s input! With his help Dags has been able to live a happy and fulfilled life again without being scared. As her owners we can now relax and enjoy our time with her, knowing that we have a better relationship with her than we did before.
Nikki and Steve with Cooper: Dogue de Bordeaux in Southwick
We called Mike following issues with our 15 week old Dogue de Bordeaux puppy. Cooper was lunging, barking and nipping constantly. We had tried a number of things to stop this behaviour but none were working and I was concerned we had an aggressive dog. We have young grandchildren and their safety is the most important thing. As it turns out, Cooper was just a frustrated puppy, that thankfully wasn't aggressive at all. The whole process was about teaching us as well as Cooper and from then on it became much easier. Mike taught us techniques to stop the lunging and nipping and to say what we want without confusing him.
During our sessions with Mike, we were also able to attend the local park to work on recall and lead work.
I can’t say enough how grateful I am to Mike for his help. Cooper is growing fast and into a wonderful and gentle boy. Thanks again Mike, I won’t hesitate to recommend you to anyone else having behaviour issues with their dogs.
Julia with her five Cavapoos in Brighton
I have five dogs, all very lovable, but each with their own issues. Mike was totally non-judgmental, very straightforward and tailored the training to my needs and the dogs' needs and our lifestyle – not to a blanket idea of how things should be.
He's not egotistical at all – I've had a trainer who was all about what an amazing 'dog whisperer' he was and I've had dog professionals talk about the necessity of being 'pack leader' and discipline, but Mike doesn't do that at all. What he does is evaluate the real reason for certain behaviours, then addresses that methodically so that it improves and can go on improving through reinforcement. He is not about dominance and it's all done with great kindness for the dog, which was very reassuring and made it much easier. There is no yanking at collars or telling off, Mike wants the dog happy.
He also wants the dog comfortable, for instance he recommended I use a harness rather than collar for the lead: but the one I bought tightened for the poor dog when he pulled. Mike has some Perfect Fit harnesses that are comfortable and are designed to lead the dog back in toward you if they strain away. And he measures and fits them properly. He's not about selling at all though – and I was grateful to be provided with a solution that worked, was good for the dog and took the strain off my wrists.
It's clear Mike knows his stuff and works up to 'assistance dog level in town' standard, but if what you want is less than that – ie just to make life better and safer for you and your dog - then he will work with you towards what's realistic. There's no 'whisperer' magic about it either, instead it's all about scientific behavioural analysis of how dogs are and how they reveal what they're feeling through vocalisation and body language - and working with that to gain their attention, desensitise them to things that are a problem and increase their tolerance - and get them to jolly well come when they're called (reasonably reliably at least).
He also taught me how to behave myself more: so now I concentrate fully on the dogs and the environment we're in when we're out so I can foresee potential problems. And he's taught me to put the dog first rather than people: don't politely socialise with others and be distracted from the fact your dog is nervous about an approaching cyclist or jogger – in this way Mike 'gives permission' to be about the dog on the dog walk, and he'll talk through situations and scenarios you're up against.
I now feel much more in control so I'm happier, it's been a very good investment that will keep paying off because, as Mike said (and as so many people forget): 'Dogs don't train themselves!'
Mark and Mandy with Elsa: crossbreed in Hove
We asked for Mike's help after Elsa, our 2 year old rescue had begun to show occasional aggression towards other dogs, particularly whilst on the lead. Also, she had started to patrol the garden fence and would 'warn off' any neighbours who were in adjoining gardens. Finally, her recall was not very good in that whilst she would always come back to us, this was very much as and when she chose to, and not necessarily when called.
Mike provided a number of training tips for us as new dog owners and insights into how a dog's mind works, all of which proved useful and which highlighted that these new and strange situations were likely to be stressful for the dog (having spent her entire life in shelters prior to coming to us) and which were causing her to react. We have continued to put Mike's methods into practice and whilst there is still a way to go, we have seen a noticeable improvement in Elsa's behaviour.
Polly with Frank: Patterdale Terrier cross in Steyning
Mike was recommended to us for Frank, our 10 month old Patterdale Terrier cross. We had been struggling with Frank, who was highly excitable, liked jumping up and grabbing clothes, and after being good at recall, decided at 6 months that he preferred not coming back! When Frank first met Mike, he was so excited all his bad traits came out in one go, so Mike got a good idea of what he was dealing with.
Mike was amazingly calm with Frank and seemed to immediately 'get' him and came up with positives solutions in our first session. Mike showed us how to use the 'long-line' to work on Franks recall, as well as teaching us how to get Frank to 'check-in' with us when out on walks. To help with his easily excitable nature, Mike showed us techniques to teach Frank self-control and also keep his busy mind occupied, including some agility which Frank loves.
Mike's positive attitude - 'what do you want from your dog?' rather than 'what don't you want from your dog' was very refreshing and a good mindset to have with future training.
Frank has improved amazingly; he is still a work in progress but we now feel we have a solid foundation to build on and we can always come back to Mike in the future if needed.
Mara with Bruno: Cockapoo in Kemptown
I've been looking for a puppy trainer early on as I am a new dog mummy and wanted to get things right. After a lot of research, I came across Rainbow Dogs and decided to go with Mike.
Mike has been guiding me with our then 9 week old cockerpoo puppy Bruno from the start. We had a pre-puppy arrival session which I found very useful and then another one at my home followed by the park. Mike's experience and expertise really helped me to understand my puppy and whenever I had a question outside meetings, I just wrote an e-mail and got a reply quite promptly.
I really liked that Mike didn't mind 'stupid questions' and made me feel at ease when I got things wrong. I might still need his help now and then in the future but I am happy that we covered the ground work and Bruno is a happy 4 month old puppy :).
I can highly recommend Mike at Rainbow Dogs.
Andrew with Hugo: West Highland White Terrier in Kemptown
Mike has been wonderful for the relationship between myself and Hugo. His calm and non-judgemental approach worked for me as I didn’t feel critiqued and felt that I had someone supporting me. Hugo is my first puppy, a Westie, beautiful and very rambunctious. I felt a bit out of my depth and needed some guidance.
During our 3 training sessions Mike identified areas to work on that I could manage and also that Hugo would be able to achieve. These smart goals were objective and fair and we both felt that we were being set up to succeed. Things like teaching Hugo to go down stairs, how to use a training lead with confidence and to stop bad behaviours in a calm yet firm manner have been invaluable. We both trust each other more and I worry less because of this and he is calmer. Win-Win!
Maria with Mabel: Cockapoo in Kemptown
Mike came to help me and my lovely Mabel. I had rehomed her at six months and needed help, advice and support to move forward with training. I was especially keen to work on her recall so that she could enjoy her walks off lead.
Mike came and explained how he worked and how he, and I, could best help Mabel to progress. He really does work magic and Mabel fell in love with him almost immediately.
He is patient, fun, especially for the 'pooch', and very knowledgeable. She was responding to him within minutes.
Mabel and I have initially had six sessions with Mike and my skills have improved gradually, but Mabel is a star pupil because her 'teacher' really knows how to allow her to flourish.
He's the new 'dog whisperer' but with treats, love and respect for your dog. I can't recommend him more highly.
Jo with Hope: Border Collie / Jack Russell cross in Brighton
I recently rescued Hope an Irish street dog. I've rescued dogs before but this gorgeous girl had had no training or boundaries! She quickly picked up the basic sit, stay etc but recall was another story. Enter Mike, his calm approach and advice made perfect sense. It is a work in progress but Hope is coming on in leaps and bounds. I'm delighted with the way she has responded.
Andrea with Beau: Labrador in Roedean
Beau was our first family pet, so I didn't want to take any chances with her training. Rainbow Dogs were recommended to me by two different people, so I knew I was in good hands from the off.
Mike was very no-nonsense and incredibly practical. He didn't preach and demand it was his way or the highway, he just explained every aspect of Beau's development making it much easier for me to understand my pup, and it helped me immensely to understand her needs. There were so many simple tips that I would never have thought of, and these really made a difference. Mike was incredibly calm and Beau warmed to him immediately.
Mike is an incredibly talented and friendly dog trainer, so I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him to anyone looking for canine help!
Anne with Acushla: Cockapoo in Brighton
As a new puppy owner who had never had a dog before, I required a teacher who could impart the basics of dog-training with an understanding of the anxieties and worries which I was experiencing. Mike was recommended to me by a third party who had had positive training and felt he would be ideal for my novice like situation.
I have found Mike to be very calm with both me and my puppy, engendering confidence in us both. While walking in the busy streets and in the park, he has taught me the importance of constantly assessing the puppy's experiences and has alerted me to the many distractions and her fears while simultaneously giving me plenty of guidelines to deal with each eventuality.
I have no hesitation in recommending Mike as a dog-trainer, I feel fortunate to have had his support and advice particularly for my first few months as a dog owner, and of course, I see this continuing into the future.
Judit & Patrick with Bailey: Poodle in Hove
We adopted 4 year old Bailey from one of the shelters. He was lovely but quite anxious and we needed to have some guidance how to handle this new situation. We called Mike for our aid. He could see us in short notice and we met with him three times. Mike was very calm it was lovely that he respected Bailey and didn't push him. His insight on Bailey was very helpful to see him as he is: a lovely and smart dog who tries to deal with the huge change happened in his life. He taught us how to understand and communicate better with Bailey. We still follow his advice and live off the knowledge he passed on. He gave not just training advice but toys, activities too. We would definitely recommend Mike to everyone who is in need to understand their dog better.
Jo with Nellie & Tillie: Border Terriers in Portslade
I was recommended Mike by another dog owner who had used his services and said how brilliant he was! I have two border terriers - we had tried to get one to walk nicely on the lead and no matter what we tried it didn't work but Mike quickly rectified this - trying various methods we found the best solution was with a different collar and lead and she quickly learnt to walk nicely! We also used various techniques to improve the younger ones behaviour in general and to stop her being so aggressive towards our other dog. I found Mike very easy to work with, he explained things easily and the dogs behaviour quickly changed. Thanks Mike!
Gill with Luna: Minature Schnauzer in Brighton
Our family was inexperienced with dogs and so Mike came to our home for 3 sessions. Gave lots of great advice on looking after and training Luna and answered any questions from myself, husband and 3 kids.
We took her out with Mike also to enable the kids to have the confidence to take her out safely.
5 months in and we are all really enjoying having Luna as part of our family.
PValerie with Scruffy: Yorkshire Terrier in Lancing
Scruffy is doing so well, I can't say how pleased I am with Mike's training. Learnt a lot of things I didn't know. Well done Mike, would recommend you to anyone who needs your help and expertise.
Tara with Monty: Cockapoo in Worthing
I contacted Mike as I needed help with my 6 year old Cockapoo who had started to become badly behaved whilst on the lead. Although he didn’t have a problem when he was younger, he was becoming aggressive towards some other dogs especially towards puppies. I was finding walking Monty quite stressful when we came across other dogs that he may not like, so I was doing exactly what I shouldn’t be doing and picking him up to make my life easier! I had become the problem and was enabling Monty's behaviour so needed help.
I initially signed up for three sessions, convinced that I would need more, however right from the offset Mike was brilliant and trained me with how to work with Monty in the company of other dogs and also help improve his recall. Each session Mike gave me really useful tips including dog characteristics that I wasn’t aware of in Monty and the three sessions was all that was needed for me to feel confident with taking Monty out and about in the company of other dogs.
During each session, I never felt that our training time was rushed would have no hesitation in recommending Rainbow Dogs. Thanks Mike!
Karen with Margot: Collie cross in Withdean
Margot is a rescue and we contacted Mike because of his passion and experience with rescue dogs. Margot had settled into family life quickly but no doubt because of her background, suffered from separation anxiety and refused to be left even for 15 minutes. She became so upset that she was in danger of hurting herself trying to get out to find me.
Mike immediately understood the issues and was able to give lots of advice and suggestions. We need to take it slowly but have very quickly seen a big improvement and I can now go out and leave Margot for short spells. Mike also helped with confidence when socialising with other dogs and Margot’s constant desire to play with our two cats!
Mike quite clearly understands dogs and their owners, is a pleasure to work with and has a very calm and gentle approach. I have no hesitation in recommending him.
Zoë with Lulu: French Bulldog in Hove
Our puppy Lulu was being alarmingly aggressive towards us whilst also refusing to walk; leaving everyone cross and frustrated. The new puppy bubble was very much burst! Mike was able to immediately assess the situation and within minutes Lulu's behaviour had changed. It was like magic!
As a first time dog owner Mike gave me a huge amount of confidence in understanding dog behaviour and put to bed some urban myths that circulate regarding dogs.
Booking Mike has been some of the best money I've ever spent and it was so refreshing to work with someone who was so good at their job. I look forward to using Mike again in the future to ensure we keep on track with Lulu's behaviour.
Sophie with Hunter: Golden Retriever in Shoreham
Hunter was a 13 weeks old rescue puppy who had been in kennels since he was 5 weeks old. My partner and I enlisted the help of Mike as although we were fostering him we were worried that he may have behavioral issues due to his time in kennels and felt that training was very important for a puppy. Mike was really helpful in offering a calm and simple way of training Hunter with great effect. He was really informative and corrected our bad habits without being judgmental. I would recommend Mike without hesitation.
Marian and Helle with Bertie: Greyhound in Woodingdean
We used Mike to help us with Bertie's treat obsession. We adopted retired Greyhound Bertie when he was seven years old. Although he had lived in a home for the previous four years he had never had any training. We found that he was very treat obsessed, to the point where he would jump up and try to snatch the treat from you if he knew you had one. We wanted to train him in all the basic commands: stay, leave, wait etc. As we use (treat)reward based training his treat obsession made it difficult to get started on the training.
We contacted Mike who we had used before to help us with another behaviour issue with another dog. In one session Mike had us trained so that in turn we could train Bertie. And as the photo shows, Bertie, here with his sister Jeanie, was able to within two weeks leave a treat on his paw on command. Great success, and he has gone from strength to strength in his overall training since then too.
The aspects we most value about Mike and his training approach are: The importance he places on listening to you and getting to know you so that in turn he can suggest the best solution for you. His incredible calmness. His vast experience. His ability to very quickly get you inside your dog's head and experience situations from their perspective. The way he uses the time he spends with you, we have always found that we learn more than "just" the issue we contacted him about.
Overall great result and really excellent value.
Kathy and Clive with Pippin: Goldendoodle in Shoreham
We never had a puppy before and Mike was invaluable in teaching us the basics of puppy training and building a solid foundation for our continued work with Pippin.
We very much appreciated his warm and patient manner and helpful tips. The harness and lead we purchased from Mike have made a huge difference to Pippin’s comfort and our confidence in walking her.
Many thanks, Mike!
Brian with Holly: Lurcher / Podengo in Patcham
Holly was 6 months old and originally from Portugal when we adopted her from the RSPCA. She was full of life and love, but could get really over excited very quickly when we got her, and we really struggled with pulling on the lead, recall and jumping up, especially at small children.
We found Mike via a Google search, but at the same time we also got a personal recommendation about Mike from a dog walker we knew. We provided initial detail about what we needed for the webpage contact form, and Mike responded very quickly with an initial phone call.
We were able to meet really soon after we spoke, and left the first session with a plan for the pulling and managing jumping. For our second session we worked on recall and went out together so Mike could model exactly what he was suggesting and we could see how our behaviour could really influence the response we got from Holly. We had a follow up meeting several months later and Mike was again really attentive to our needs. He also helped us think about how to help Holly and our cat get used to each other, and as evidenced from the photo, this was a complete success.
I think the most impressive thing about this training is Mike's ability to explain in very straightforward ways why we see the behaviour we do, his perspective on both us as humans and Holly as an animal. Practical, empathic, skilled and a really good listener. Would very much recommend Mike.
Lesley with Obie: Pointer in Hove
I found Mike's details via a Google search and read the testimonials before contacting him. I was impressed by his clients appreciation of his results so chose him for help.
My dog had unfortunately chased 3 boys on childrens scooters and bitten one of them. I was so worried and anxious about this and needed good advice and help. Mike met us and quickly saw that she was scared of the noise they made and helped me set up training to get my dog to adjust to the noise and movement. We had 3 sessions together and she really responded well. Mike also helped me feel more in control with her when I walked her and recommended a better harness.
Mike is very caring and helpful. My dog immediately liked him. His training style was perfect for me as he was as patient with me as he was to my dog. He's very experienced at recognising dog behaviour and I would thoroughly recommend him to anyone.
Thanks again Mike I'm really grateful to you for your help and expertise.
Georgina and Andrew with Rocky: Lakeland Terrier in Ferring
We asked Mike to give us a hand with our Lakeland Terrier. Rocky is a very intelligent and loving dog but is very strong willed and can be very pushy when he doesn't get all the attention he thinks he should. Mike worked directly with him and gave us some key tips, even some small things, we hadn't thought of to help us communicate with him better. We are still implementing changes but in just a few weeks he has become less possessive with food and more attentive to our commands. We are definitely going to be working with Mike again in the future to iron out what we have already started.
Sinead and Karen with Harley: Staffordshire Bull Terrier in Brighton
Mike has been invaluable and instrumental in helping us navigate a stressful transition of introducing my cat with my partner's dog.
My partner has an adorable staffie who is great with people, great with other dogs and boundless and limitless energy. My cat grew up with just me and wasn't used to dogs. When Harley (staffie) saw Sashi (cat) for the first time, the terror we both felt as he growled and snarled and saw 'Dinner' right in front of him. He never saw a cat before so his primal instinct was to chase and at the time, what we feared, was perhaps make into a meal!!!
However, we called upon Mike's services and he was a major factor in the turning point of introducing our two fur babies. Using a reward system, we slowly desensitised Harley from Sashi being in the room with him and made him see that he had a choice as to whether or not to pounce at Sashi. By giving him the power to decide, the pull of interest towards her dramatically dwindled over time. We religiously did our homework that Mike set us in as much as we could and things slowly, albeit progressively, improved.
When I returned back to the UK for Christmas, my partner surprised me with the best part of her Christmas present to me – Sashi and Harley were now in the room and walking by each other to get from A to B. They weren't best pals, but he tolerated her with lots of praise and rewards from us.
Today, we now have a very curious and happy kitty, and an adorable dog (whose cover has been blown as his bark was worse than his bite!!) sitting on the sofa together and intermingling slowly. Our next aim is to get them to become besties. One step at a time!
Trust me, if we can go from the dire situation we started out with i.e. with Sashi kept upstairs and Harley downstairs (and lots of stress hiding one in one room whilst we alternated play time downstairs for the other) to a peaceful household through Mike's help, then anyone can.
Mike is like a tuned-in dog whisperer, in whom, our now harmonious household would be impossible without. We are forever grateful for his expertise.
Lyn with Bertie: Dachshund in Hove
I took on a 3 year old Dachshund with a combination of bad habits and bad attitude. He was quite difficult to control in the house, jumping at people and barking at everybody who walked past the house. Walking was an equal challenge. Bertie doesn't like other dogs and not keen on some humans either.
I contacted Mike in the hope that he could offer some advice but wasn't too hopeful. How wrong I was. Mike offered loads of tips over 3 visits. Bertie is so much better behaved in the house and thanks to Mike's advice to use a long lead we are at least able to walk in the park without too much barking at other dogs. This is all still a work in progress but thanks to Mike's advice I feel more confident in training this stubborn dog!
Alex, Graham & Vanessa with Tizzy: Kelpie / Border Collie Cross in Hove
Tizzy is the family’s first dog and she came into our home at 8 weeks old. She’s very loving and friendly but has an issue with small wheels - scooters, luggage trolleys etc which makes her bark.
Being new owners, we found that there was so much information out there which contradicts each other, and following a bad experience with group puppy training contacted Mike for help. Mike came in and listened to our concerns and almost immediately made a big difference with her behaviour, and helped us all understand why Tizzy did certain things and reacted to various scenarios.
We also asked Mike to work on us with Recall, and start off lead training, which all went well, and Mike shared so many tips with us, which we still use on a daily basis. Her recall is now fantastic and we are confident with letting her off the lead in many more situations that we used to.
We always recommend Mike at Rainbow Dogs to other people we see in the street and parks, and look forward to continue working with him in the future.
Trisha and Michael with Buddy: Boxer in Lancing
Buddy came to us from rescue with little or no recall. His lead walking was not great either. He is a four years old boxer with a will of his own. Although not at all aggressive he was very excitable around other dogs. After struggling for some time we contacted Mike for help. He has helped us improve things although it is still a work in progress. Mike has given us the tools to improve his lead walking and his behaviour. It is not just the Buddy that needed training it was us too. Looking forward to continuing our sessions.
Helen with Johnny: Border Terrier in Brighton
Thank you for your help with Johnny, our border terrier. Johnny had started getting grumpy with other dogs and getting into a few tussles. Mike came up to Queens Park and spent an hour with us. I followed his advice and within a couple of weeks, Johnny was back to his old self. I always carry fresh chicken with me, let him greet other dogs, but then call him and treat him straight away with one instant and single praise of good boy.
I have recommended Mike to lots of other dog owners and I do also share his advice.
Deb and Derek with Rosie: Cocker Spaniel in Woodingdean
We had Rosie as a 9 week old puppy and as first time dog owners sought training almost from the start. However, despite trying 2 different trainers we were still struggling to control jumping up, recall and lead pulling. Mike was recommended to us by Barkers, our dog sitter and his calm confident approach from day one helped us as much as Rosie. He explained that while we were trying some techniques and doing O.K. we needed to work on our responses to Rosie’s good behaviour e.g. when she jumped up we were ignoring her, but not being quick enough to praise her or reward her in the correct way, or using the right tone of voice. We were being a bit too full on for her to understand us which lead her to be more excitable.
He started work straight away without too much preamble and understood that while we wanted a well behaved dog we did not want to change her character too much or lose her quirkiness. He was good at explaining what is important and what you can let go. Rosie is much better now at walking on the lead, we are working on her recall and we can mostly control her over exuberant jumping up when necessary.
We would both recommend Mike most highly, he is patient, kind and supportive, and will not hesitate to contact him again if we need to.
Barbara with Daisy: Golden Retriever in Hove
I contacted Mike just after collecting our 9 week old Golden Retriever Daisy as I had not had any previous experience of having a dog. We were very keen to make sure that we started the training correctly and Mike was so helpful. The initial session came at just the right time because I was beginning to worry that we had made the wrong decision in getting a puppy! Mike gave us very good practical advice that enabled us to enjoy training Daisy and to see actual progress. He has a calm, non-judgemental manner that inspires confidence. After three puppy training sessions we decided that we would like to continue with the structured training to ensure that we had a good foundation in place. Three further sessions focused on recall training and any day to day issues or questions that we had and we now feel so much more confident and are really enjoying our puppy.
I would absolutely have no hesitation in recommending Mike whether it be with a new puppy or with any issues that arise with an older dog.
Scott with Myrtle: Barak (Bosnian Hound) in Hove
Our dog walker had recommended Mike after we were having a few issues around our rescue dog Myrtle. Our main concern was her selective recall and her sporadic aggression towards other large dogs, in particular black dogs. We had 3 sessions with Mike in local parks, which gave Mike an opportunity to see her in a public domain. Mike was able to give us advice in recognising Myrtle's body language and then providing techniques in getting Myrtle's attention prior to any incidents occurring. He has encouraged the use of a long line/lead enabling us to have complete control of Myrtle in any given situation and work on her recall. He also gave some good suggestions of keeping Myrtle engaged with games and tricks for food rewards. He explained that working her brain was just as important has physical exercise.
It's early days for us but we are putting the recommendations and techniques into practice and learning how to read our dog. We are under no illusions that she is going to be most obedient dog in the world and listen to every command but with Mike’s techniques its enabled us to recognise her potential and development.
Bart with Bella: Jack Russell Terrier in Hove
I’ve had a few trainers for Bella and Mike’s been the most effective. The tips he gave me and the work we put in enabled me to enjoy my lovely terrier with attitude!
Ian with Earl: Cockapoo in Hove
We picked up Earl as a puppy of 9 weeks and he immediately changed the family dynamic. I think it was the humans that needed the training and Mike was brilliant at given all of us the tools and the confidence to manage the new addition… Earl and the family haven’t looked back and we have developed a repertoire of exercises and training games that keep Earl's busy brain engaged, active and developing.
It’s now really difficult to remember a time pre-Earl, thank you Mike!
Steven and David with Beckett: Terrier cross in Hove
Mike visited us three times to help us with our rescue terrier B. Mike was easy going and fun to work with, obviously knowledgeable and passionate about dogs and gave us lots of useful tips about helping our eccentric dog to settle in.
Mike helped us understand what B was thinking and what he wants and needs ('Dogs are attention seeking machines'), which has helped us all a lot.
Gemma and Stu with Barley: Cockapoo in Shoreham
Mike was recommended to us and we were keen to get in touch as he uses technique that do not involve punishment, for example a spray collar. Mike is very good at getting to know you and your dog, so as to understand what behaviour needs restoring/is troubling you and the dog.
Our cockerpoo is extremely needy and anxious and jealous natured. Mike has given us great techniques and games to help with this and they are definitely helping. Like anything, it takes time, (mainly to un-train yourself rather than the dog!) but it’s well worth sticking with. It’s also fun for you and your pet and the training is good bonding time.
We had 3 sessions, which we feel was well worth the value, I didn’t feel like we were on a stop watch either, and we will be in contact again when we need help with other situations that we would like advise on.
A massive thank you!
Mellany with Silver: Saluki cross in Shoreham
Mike came to help us train Silver with recall. After only three sessions, Silver was racing back to us when called. The results really helped our confidence in handling a puppy for the first time and we have continued to build on the training and advice that Mike gave us. He had a wonderful rapport with Silver, using a calm approach and positive reinforcement to train in a firm but gentle way. We felt very supported by him and it is good to know that he is there for us should any other training issues arise through Silver's life.
We can recommend Mike without hesitation
Pam with Sheamus: Bichon Frise in Hove
I contacted Mike for urgent help with Sheamus my 15 month Bichon Frise rescue dog who had behaviour problems as well as issues with recall and separation. Mike was wonderful, and quickly and patiently gave me the confidence to cope. We went for walks in the park, and worked on recall, and Mike helped me with tips for behaviour and separation. I now enjoy walks with Sheamus, he has changed completely.
Thank you Mike!
Helen with Sonny: Golden Retriever in Hove
We have the most gorgeous, loveable little Golden Retriever puppy named Sonny. I had problems walking him in the park and could not let him off the lead. Mike helped me so much and taught me how to recall him. Also even though he was a puppy he still pulled very strongly on the lead when walking him on the road. Mike showed me how much easier it was with a harness and it gave me much more control over him, therefore giving me a great deal more confidence out and about with Sonny.
Would definitely recommend Mike for any issues with dogs and will get in touch with him myself should there be any problems in the future.
Catherine with Stanley: Saluki / Lurcher in Brighton
Stanley is a Saluki / Lurcher and came to us from the RSPCA rescue centre at five months. As he had been born in a rescue centre, he was not trained in any way and hadn’t been off lead until he came to us. He was an excited bouncy Bambi-type creature - all legs and wiggle.
As absolute dog-novices, we contacted Mike and were delighted with how easy he made it for us to feel more confident with Stanley. Mike taught me, in one session, how to recall train him. I was amazed. He also taught Stanley to sit - within half an hour - and both these things - and more - have stuck.
Our 11 year old son has some additional needs, and Mike worked directly with him, with Stanley, to help Isaac develop confidence with our new family member.
Three sessions enabled our family - human and dog - to live happily together, and to teach each other how to have fun that we only guessed at before Stanley came along. Thanks Mike!
Hazel and Jo with Siren: Bulldog in Hove
We contacted Mike because our Bulldog was very nervous and we couldn’t get her out on her walks. Our Dog developed her nervous behaviour as she grew older, we think because she was very ill as puppy and spent a lot of time staying in the vets and has never liked traffic or loud noises.
Mike immediately saw what we were doing wrong with our coaxing and encouragement, which although well meant was over-whelming for her. Mike’s advice has led to us completely changing our approach which produced results straight away. There are still some days where we do not get her out. However, mostly we are getting one good walk in a day and sometimes two which is a marked improvement. If you have tried continuously without success to do the best for your dog, as we have, but for some reason it hasn’t worked, always ask for help and I would not hesitate to recommend Mike.
Toni with Flash: Poodle in Portslade
We contacted Mike as our 18 month old Poodle Flash would run after joggers and people on bikes, jumping and barking at them. I was concerned that he would hurt someone or himself. His walks would make me feel very nervous and would be constantly looking around rather than enjoying our walk. After 3 sessions, we could see a big improvement in Flashes behaviour and rather than running after people he would look and ignore or simply just ignore. We are now enjoying a relaxing walk.
We wouldn't hesitate in contacting Mike again if any other issues arose or recommending him to other doggy owners.
Thank you so much for all your help!
Jordan with Doreen & Jeremy: Dachshunds in Hove
I got in touch with Mike after seeing his amazing testimonials because I was having problems with my female puppy, Doreen. She was the loveliest, most affectionate dog you could ever meet - until she spotted a small child.
Due to an unsettling incident with a little boy when she was very small she saw all children as a potential threat and would growl and bark whenever she saw one - both in and out of the house. My male puppy, Jeremy, would then helpfully join in, making walks something of a nightmare.
With Mike's help I was able to help Doreen feel more comfortable about being around kids and walking her has now become so much easier and more enjoyable. She is also a much calmer dog overall (apart from when Jeremy steals her chews).
Both of my dogs loved Mike and I really enjoyed working with him. I wouldn't hesitate to drop him a line again if I have any issues with my sausages in the future.
Linda & Mike with Cloughy: Golden Retriever in Hove
We contacted Mike as we were having recall issues with our golden retriever Cloughy.
Mike showed us how we could gain Cloughy's attention and how we had to be more interesting than whatever/ whoever Cloughy wanted to play with. Cloughy also had an incident where he was attacked by another dog which knocked our confidence with letting Cloughy off the lead but Mike helped us regain our confidence.
Mike is a very easy trainer to work with he trained 'us' well and I would highly recommend him.
Di with Cooper: Border Terrier / Jack Russel cross in Hove
I have 2 dogs, brothers 19 months old called Cooper and Bertie. I found Mike on the internet because I needed help with Cooper whilst out on our walks. From being such a cuddly, loving dog indoors he became the devil incarnate once his lead was put on-people, bikes and especially other dogs, no-one was spared from his barking and growling.
With Mike's patience and training walks are now much more pleasurable as I am following the tips and advice that Mike taught me.
So thank you Mike and it's good to know that you're on the end of the phone if I encounter any more problems.
Aimee with Buster: Mastiff cross in Woodingdean
I contacted Mike when my walks with Buster, our 16 month old Bullmastiff X rescue, were becoming increasingly stressful. He is such a strong and large dog I felt I was unable to keep him under control and ultimately safe. He would lunge at other dogs and at buses. When I took him to the park I didn't feel that I could allow him to interact with the other dogs or be let off his lead. Not to mention I'd been dragged frequently across the local fields by him!
When Mike met Buster for the first time I was immediately assured by his confidence and we were straight away out for a demo walk testing a new harness and lead setup that gave me much greater control. Mike was patient and encouraging over the next sessions and I can't believe how quickly I regained my confidence walking him again with Buster clearly enjoying the interaction and learning.
That has been the greatest result - Buster is really happy. He now plays with other dogs, he's getting used to buses and I love having the confidence to let him run free. Thank you so much Mike, you've transformed our walks.
Anna and James with Lorna: Cocker Spaniel in Shoreham
We had three sessions with Mike to help give our puppy Lorna the best start in her development. Mike was brilliant with Lorna and she took to him straight to away. Everything was tailored to Lorna's individual needs and the tips and advice he gave us has helped to make Lorna a wonderful dog to be around.
Mike not only played a significant part in Lorna's behavioural training but has also been very helpful with health and nutritional advice.
As a result of our training with Mike we are now able to enjoy walks with Lorna off the lead without her running off or jumping up at strangers.
It's great to know he is a phone call away if he we need any help with Lorna in the future!!
Liz and Jamie with Eddie and Lola: Cockapoos in Hove
We contacted Mike as we had several problems concerning the relationship between our 2 dogs. We have 2 cockapoos, Lola who is 6 years old and now Eddie, who is 11 months. Both are lovely dogs, very friendly with people and other dogs.
Around the time Eddie reached 6 months old he started to assert his dominance over Lola and this led to several spats between them. He also started to guard us and try to keep Lola away from us. If we gave them any treats he would try to snatch them away from Lola and again this caused them to fall out!
We were anxious to try and sort these issues out as the situation was becoming quite stressful. Mike came along to our home and was able to see for himself how they were interacting. He gave us strategies to remedy the food problem and that worked straight away. We now make sure they have distance between them when we give them treats and they eat their dinner in separate rooms. Very simple but very effective. We also reward Eddie every time we give Lola attention and he now realises that if she comes to us then he gets a treat. Mike also helped us to understand that the dynamics change with 2 dogs rather than one and we have altered our own behaviour towards them in certain circumstances which diffuses the stress that was affecting us all.
Mike also gave us good advice regarding other basics such as walking without pulling on the lead and travelling in the car. We would recommend him to anyone who needs help with their dog. He is very kind and patient (with us and the dogs!) and we wouldn't hesitate to call him again if the need arose.
Anita and Barry with Baxter: Labrador in Sompting
We contacted Mike after getting Baxter in order to assist us with some fundamental basic training. We were struggling with Baxter pulling on a walk, which for a strong dog became troublesome, stop his jumping up, help with socialising with other dogs and also help him integrate properly in the home as he proved a little slower in the uptake of toilet training and also his chewing habits. We also wanted to have a plan in mind on how to be in a position at a later date, where Baxter can be walked off the lead and have a strong recall.
Having Mike on a one to one basis meant every minute spent was on Baxter alone and what Baxter, and we, needed. It was nice, not only be taught how dogs behave (very unlike humans!!!) but also put it into practice at the same time. The results were amazing and pretty instant. We all have access to the internet and YouTube but we found a large amount of conflicting advice on the internet. Having someone on hand, not only teach you and your dog but who understands that each dog is different, so in turn can tailor responses just for your dog was a real comfort. At no point were we made to feel that we hadn't done a good job to this point and we were very encouraged and reassured by Mike's advice and support. We continue to use Mike's methods and we'll no doubt use Mike again to top up our ongoing training of Baxter. I would wholeheartedly recommend Mike. Mike has been the person we can call on when we feel we feel we aren't making progress. Having that reassurance has been a major benefit and comfort to owning and training Baxter.
Lisa with Tia: Border Collie in Hove
I contacted Mike for help with Tia shortly after I rehomed her as she was showing aggression towards men, trying to herd the traffic, ripping up the house when I went out and various other things which were making it hard to manage with her.
Mike has been really great in our six sessions together and really helped to understand her behaviour, particularly the aggression which was my biggest worry. Like anyone struggling with their dog I trawled the internet for ideas and help and spoke to quite a few different people, driving myself a bit mad with all the conflicting ideas, but Mike was the most convincing and packed a lot of helpful information into our sessions, he was really able to fully explain his methods and the logic behind them. I have been using Mike's methods for a while now and there have been no miracles, this stuff takes time but we are definitely making progress and it is easier to be consistent when you feel you are on the right track.
Mike is a true dog lover and was kind to Tia and kind to me! I am really glad I consulted him and will continue to use all his advice as me and T move forward.
I contacted Mike to help with recall and general training, I have a Whippet puppy and wanted to make sure I was in control when I let him off the lead. I was feeling nervous about letting Otto run free after witnessing some frightening dog fights as a child, when we adopted a mistreated dog. More recently my parent's dog ran over the edge of a cliff so recall was my main concern. Mike's gentle approach was brilliant and helped build my confidence. We only had three sessions but by the time we finished, Otto was off the lead and returning to me whenever I called. I don't worry at all when we are out and know what to do should we encounter an aggressive dog.
I can't recommend Mike enough! I have a happy and contented dog and have received lots of praise for his perfect behaviour.
Rachel with Zephyr: Kelpie cross in Shoreham
I recently moved from the Australian outback to England with my Kelpie cross, Zephyr. He knew his basic commands but was used to lots of freedom and open space, so moving countries was a big change for him.
Mike helped us a lot. Leash walking was a problem so Mike showed me some simple techniques to make Zephyr walk alongside me, and it changed everything. Zephyr, with a few gentle reminders here and there, now walks beautifully on the lead. Zephyr's recall was hit-and-miss which worried me in a built up area. Mike showed me how to use my body language to encourage Zephyr to come to me, and to give him consistent commands and lots of praise during the process. I also wanted Zephyr to learn some assistance skills to help a disabled family member, and Mike has a lot of experience in this area. Using some commands the dog already roughly knew (like 'tug') Mike showed me how to teach Zephyr an amazing range of skills, including taking off my coat and undoing my zips; also getting his own lead, or the post, and picking up items I have dropped. He now uses these skills daily, just for fun!
Zephyr and I really benefited from Mike's expertise. He was generous with his time, really knew his stuff and was full of suggestions tailored to our specific situation. I would cheerfully recommend him to anyone with any dog issues.
Carrie with Bert: Border Terrier cross in Hove
I contacted Mike to help me have more control over Bert. He is my daughter and son-in-law's dog, but I was due to look after Bert whilst they were on holiday. Bert is 18 months old, and very cheeky and lovable, but would not come back when called, wouldn't drop a ball, could be aggressive towards other dogs, especially certain breeds when on the lead and would pull on the lead. Mike calmly taught Bert to walk nicely by my side, and in a couple of lessons on a long lead taught Bert to want to come back to me. I have learned how to avoid a bad situation with other dogs and we as a family are practicing these techniques, which have really helped with Bert's behaviour. We are working on getting him to drop the ball in a game, and he is beginning to "get it", though it's against his terrier instincts. We are due to have a family session with Bert soon to reinforce Bert's good behaviour, and Mike is there if we need any more help.
I would totally recommend Mike to help with a dog's (and owner's) behaviour, he is brilliant.
Rosie and Alex with Belsey: Bedlington Terrier in Brighton
We contacted Mike to help us with our first puppy, Belsey, we have a three-year-old daughter and could see within the first week that this was going to bring some challenges. He focused originally on the toddler/puppy relationship - Belsey was mouthing, jumpy and agitated around her. Mike gave us some great techniques and within 24 hours of his first visit Belsey was much calmer. For other training - lead walking, crate training, recall, socialisation - we needed lots of support. And during the following months Mike gave us detailed advice and instruction for each problem as it came along. We really enjoyed the sessions, Belsey was improving and it was fun! Mike was able to see, more clearly than we could, what training would help Belsey be a good dog for us - a gentle, family dog. We are very grateful so heartily recommend him. He guided us well and Belsey is a delight.
Sophie with Chiro: Cocker Spaniel in Hove
Our request for training from Mike was for our new cocker spaniel puppy; full of fun and bounce, was for recall and lead walking to enable my disabled son to have a chance to take her for a walk. She responded well to the recall techniques taught and when out now at 18months her amazing recall is often commented on by other fellow spaniel owners. I would also say perseverance with lead walking techniques taught has been a slow process, although not always perfect; Chiro is a delight to take out on the lead, I am still chatting to her along the way! .. and as for my son walking her, difficult 'on the lead walking' but she has fun out with him with his hand cycle and is happy to trot along beside his wheelchair, another part of our training with Mike, So what I am saying is, Mike taught us life long lessons to have a dog that we can all take out as a family, she really is a delight so thank you Mike for those valuable lessons.
Sara and Mark with Milo: Cockapoo in Brighton
Mike helped us take ownership of our dog Milo, aged four, who we'd inherited from a friend. It was the family that needed the training, not really the dog, who was already pretty well behaved. As there are five of us we needed to learn to treat Milo with reasonable consistency. The training enabled us to maximise the pleasure we take in our dog - thrilling the kids by the tricks they were able to train Milo in. And we all gained a greater confidence in taking Milo out, knowing Mike had schooled us in the basics.
Mike comes highly recommended.
June and Mike with Keira: Labrador in Shoreham
Mike has been absolutely brilliant with helping us and our beautiful charcoal Labrador puppy Keira - recommending and using the correct equipment, for example - a lead that helps to prevent Keira from pulling when out walking with us - this has been a great help to us. Mike also explained and showed us what to do when Keira was jumping up for attention. She has improved so much in this too. We were so nervous about letting Keira off lead in the park, but Mike taught us that with the correct training she will be fine. She is such a sociable dog both with other dogs and humans alike and Mike has given us the confidence to let her off lead to play with other dogs - this has now become part of her daily routine which she loves. Keira bonded with Mike on her very first session with him and we could not have asked for better training from someone who is obviously passionate about helping both dog and dog owners to achieve the very best results.
We would highly recommend Mike for any breed of dog. He has had so much experience and this comes across immediately in his training sessions. We can't thank him enough.
Dave and Maja with Lilith: Border Collie cross in Brighton
Lilith is a collie / labrador / husky cross. We are both well versed with dogs having had them since we were children, however each dog is by its own nature different. With the above mix there are many traits and quirks from each breed, which brings its own set of problems!
Mike was a great guide in teaching mostly how to deal with her personality quirks, after three weeks Lilith has significantly improved in several key areas that were the biggest problem. Mike also offered us some techniques to keep her mind occupied in both play and training. The training provided is as much for the human as it is for the dog, so you will learn a great deal as well during the sessions! It is of course important to that you keep up the rules or the hard work will have been for nothing.
We will definitely engage Mike again should we need further help!
Clara with Ralf: Tibetan Terrier cross in Hove
Behind his cute exterior, Ralf can be a serious handful and as he matured this developed into frequent shows of aggression against other dogs, lots of barking, and chasing any and all humans on wheels (including motorbikes). I had reached a point where I dreaded taking him out of the house and could rarely let him off the lead. Over a period of around six months, Mike patiently helped me to transform Ralf's behaviour through helping me understand where it was coming from, and giving me practical techniques to slowly change it for the better. Walking Ralf changed from being a dreaded ordeal to an enjoyable and focused exercise where I could see improvements from day one. Now, we enjoy our walks immensely. We still have the odd minor 'incident', but I've now learned how to foresee potential trouble and respond in a way that calms rather than exacerbates the situation. Ralf's safely off the lead every day, even in busy places with plenty of other dogs around, and enjoys playing with other dogs. We definitely would not have been able to achieve this without Mike's amazing help and understanding. I cannot recommend Mike highly enough.
David and Bex with Murray: Bichon / Schnauzer cross in Brighton
Mike has been brilliant with helping our dog Murray with a few areas (separation anxiety, children and walking nicely on the lead). Murray has come on leaps and bounds since the training sessions and is much more confident now. Will definitely be booking some more sessions when we move flat! Thank you! David, Bex, and Murray.
Rachael with George: Cocker Spaniel in Brighton
Mike has been a real help to me with my cocker spaniel George. Since moving to Hove he has been really unsettled, and had developed some behavioural issues that I needed help and guidance with. Mike has a fantastic way with George, he is very calm and I could tell that George was immediately at ease and comfortable around him. Mike explained a lot about dog behaviour which has really helped me to understand how George is thinking. We have done some Behaviour training indoors and also on a training line. I strongly recommend Mike - he has really helped both George and I.
John with Alice: Labrador cross in Southwick
I got Alice, a Labrador cross, from a rescue centre and as a new dog owner I was rather nervous and anxious. I found Mike to be excellent. His understanding of the dog, and the owner, was amazing. After three sessions the pleasure from being with Alice just got a lot better.
Tracey with Lola and Louis: Boxers in Brighton
I have two beautiful boxers Louis aged 4 and Lola aged 2. Louis is what I actually believe to be an angel sent down from above but Lola on the other hand is very "high spirited", well that's what I like to call it anyway!!!!!
Mike spent three sessions with the three of us and during that time he shared with me some great doggy and owner tips and showed me how to better communicate with Lola so that we are now all very happy at home and when we are out I can keep Lola safe. What Mike taught me made an almost immediate and dramatic change but it was also really easy stuff that I continue to do with Lola myself.
Thank you Mike from Tracey, Louis and Lola x
We simply cannot thank Mike enough! To say Darcy, our 7 year old rescue springer spaniel, had a few issues was a massive understatement. He was never walked and just kept indoors 24/7 in his previous home. As a result he was very anxious, extremely dog reactive and developed shadow chasing. He also had no concept of lead walking.
Luckily we found Mike! He clicks with Darcy in a way that only those very experienced with dogs, especially rescue ones, can. He is also very hands on and patient in the training sessions. Best of all the sessions were always enormous fun.
With Mike's help and support, Darcy is now a well adjusted city dog, enjoying chillaxing in cafes all over the city, long hiking sessions in the South Downs; daily off lead run in parks, as well as getting his paws wet on the beach!
Darcy could not have come this far without Mike's excellent training. We are certainly very grateful and will recommend Mike to anyone who wants to have a meaningful relationship with their dogs.Read Darcy's original testimonial from 8 months earlier.
Andy with Sarge: Border Terrier in Brighton
We called Mike after getting totally exasperated with the behaviour of our lovely Border Terrier, Sarge. Since moving to Brighton he had taken to chasing and trying to attack joggers, which is far from ideal, and not very helpful given our location. We had visited another company who offered training that we found not only exhausting but also unsuccessful. Mike brought calm and hope immediately to us all. He quickly assessed the situation, and within the first session had made a dramatic change. We are now proceeding with his teachings and must say the results have been spectacular.
Thanks Mike and I am sure a big thanks from the joggers of Brighton.
Dionne with Molly: Pug in Brighton
Me and my partner had little to no experience in training a puppy and so when we adopted Molly, we wanted to make sure we were doing everything as best as we could. We quickly learnt that everyone who owns a dog (or even in some cases...don't!) is a self-proclaimed dog training expert and we were receiving conflicting advice left right and centre.
After a few weeks I did some research and enlisted the help of Mike. We quickly learnt that me and my partner needed just as much training as Molly! For example, our reactions, body language and tones of voice were all things that we needed to really be aware of when around Molly as these all greatly affected her training and development.
Mike has given us some invaluable tips and advice and we literally don't know how we would be coping if we hadn't found him!
I would highly recommend Mike to anyone with a new puppy or dog.
Pam with Bert: Border Terrier in Brighton
Bert is a lovely gentle and affection dog but was always feisty when meeting other dogs in the street barking and straining at the lead, he was also prone to jumping at everyone who came into the house, including us. He would also bark at joggers and anyone on a bike!
After a couple of sessions with Mike one at home and one at the park Bert is a reformed character he is now walking well and mostly ignoring every dog and cyclist we pass.
I would recommend Mike to anyone who is having problems he has a calm approach and completely understood our problems and having taken and followed his advice life with Bert is now even more amazing than it was before. Mike is also always at the end of a phone or e-mail if we need him.
Sophie with Lola: Labrador cross in Brighton
Lola is a Labrador cross who we rescued from Spain when she was one years old. Although she had generally settled in pretty well with the family and our other dog, she was increasingly nervous around other dogs. She would often bark at other dogs and was generally unpredictable around them.
Mike was very calm and patient with both Lola and me. He has a kind and gentle manner and was very encouraging. He had lots of advice and tips for us to try out, as well as exercises that we could practise on our own.
I would highly recommend Mike to anyone who needs help or advice with their dog.
Nick and Mel with Mabel: Cockapoo in Hove
Mabel, our red cockapoo puppy was a new addition to our family late last year. Wanting the best for her and us, we looked into to a one-to-one dog behaviourist. We turned to Mike, who has been an inspiration to us in training Mabel. He explains his training techniques and started off with basic commands and over the weeks everything came together. Our biggest concern was the 'recall' and Mike put us at ease. Mabel obeys our commands which is fantastic as we can now enjoy long walks off the lead knowing she won't get up to mischief. Mike is calm and relaxed in his training approach which put us and Mabel at ease.
We are still working with Mike and plan to continue the training for the foreseeable future.
We highly recommend Mike, he's taught us so much in how to teach Mabel. We are unaware we are even teaching her now as so much play is involved.
Dominic with Charlie: Cockapoo cross in Bevendean
We had taken Charlie our cockapoo x Jack to puppy school and agility. Though after six months we were still struggling with him. We both had dogs before which were very well behaved, so figured we knew it all and had bought a faulty dog! Mike showed us everything we were doing wrong with Charlie and reacting to his behaviour incorrectly. Once we learnt why Charlie was behaving like he was and that every dog has its own personality we changed the way we reacted to his behaviour. We have made huge progress with Charlie thanks to Mike and he is now a cheeky puppy rather than a pain! We are now completely confident with him off a lead and aware how to diffuse his tantrums quickly and calmly.
Ian and Rod with Whoopi: Terrier cross in Brighton
Whoopi is a lovely girl with lots of character and energy. She'd had a few issues and we were struggling as no sooner did we crack one thing than there was another behaviour that we hadn't experienced before. We'd done all of the things that were recommended in terms of socialisation and basic training but we were getting quite worried about her behaviour on and off the lead and becoming frustrated with her and ourselves.
Mike was recommended to us by a dog walker and from the initial telephone conversation he was fantastic in offering reassurance that he could help train us to train Whoopi. Mike's advice and instruction was invaluable and he helped us think about things from Whoopi's perspective rather than ours, as we were often being reactive to her behaviour. Thankfully, with Mike's expertise and him spending time out with us and Whoopi, things have improved enormously and we're now able to enjoy walking her off the lead again without stress or the fear of losing her.
We called on Mike again very recently due to some new issues with Whoopi and his advice was, once again, extremely helpful with things improving considerably for her in just over one week!
We'd have no hesitation in recommending Mike. He clearly understands dog behaviour incredibly well and better still, he explains it in a way that helps you understand your own dog.
Edina with Fidel: Cocker Spaniel in Withdean
Before our training with Mike I felt very upset and anxious about how badly we have been coping with Fidel. As first time owners with no experience we did not release what we were doing when we got a working cocker spaniel. We tried training her when she was a puppy without success and she became more and more disobedient and destructive. I was very sceptical that Mike could help us with Fidel but I was very surprised by how much sense things Mike said to us made, and how Fidel responded to the training. Mike has provided us with a hope that we just might be ok and learn how to help our energetic doggy. She has made very good progress and we are planning to have Mike again in the near future for the next steps in hers and our development.
Debby with Ruby: Jack Russell Terrier in Shoreham
I have had the pleasure of being the main human in Ruby's life for the past 6 years, since she found me at Dogs Trust. She is very affectionate and reasonably well behaved. Her shortcomings, however, include chasing motorbikes (or indeed anything that she feels may be one in disguise, such as a garden strimmer) and the relentless hunting of anything small and furry, even if it means getting stuck down a rabbit hole. Having worked around these issues for many years, a house move made me address them. I Googled dog behaviourists and found Mike at Rainbow Dogs. I am so glad I did. He is kind (both to the dogs and their owners - I was fearing at least some rebuke!), gentle and the advice he gives simply makes sense, so it is easy to follow and impossible to ignore. The training is also fun for both of us and makes our walks more interesting!
Pia with Kalle: Welsh Terrier in Hove
Kalle is a big softy when indoors but outside he was quite feisty with other dogs and always on the lookout at the windows for dogs to bark at. I was also concerned about his recall. I was quite anxious taking him out as I didn't really know what to do. I looked up Dog Behaviourists on Google and discovered Mike and Rainbow Dogs. Mike came around and after following his advice about covering some of the windows Kalle was a different calmer dog. Mike gave me some training tips to work on and other suggestions. These proved to have immediate results and Kalle became much better out and about when seeing other dogs. Over the three sessions we had Kalle is a delight to take out. We are constantly working on the advice and suggestions Mike has passed on. Mike was very popular with Kalle and this made me very confident in the advice he was giving me. I cannot think of a better behaviourist to go to. He was gentle, patient and extremely knowledgeable. I would highly recommend him to anyone.
Dan and Gabrielle with Bella: Jack Russell Terrier cross in Hove
There is no shortage of advice when you get your first puppy, from other dog owners, self proclaimed trainers and even people who used to have dogs, they all approached us and gave us free advice. Not that we asked... Almost all advice we got was conflicting with what someone else had said. Because of this we turned to Mike of Rainbow Dogs.
Mike appeared more qualified and experienced than the other offers we saw. In just three sessions Mike showed us how to train our little Bella into a confident, obedient and lovely little dog. Everything he said made complete sense and yes, it was conflicting with all previous advice we had from other owners.
Even over the phone Mike's straight forward advice just worked instantly and just couldn't be argued with. We couldn't recommend Mike more as a trainer, no matter what dog you have, he will help you to a happy and obedient dog.
Justine with Biggles: Springer Spaniel in Hove
I was experiencing severe behavioural problems with my dog and feared I would have to rehome him. However, after my first session with Mike, my dog's behaviour drastically improved and I felt confident I would be able to keep him. Our biggest achievement was training my dog to return when called. Now my dog can finally run off lead and I can see how much happier he is as a result of this. My previous experience of working with a dog trainer (with a different dog) wasn't positive, I was snapped at for unknowingly making mistakes. I was dubious about working with a trainer after this. However, Mike was friendly, polite and encouraging at all times and I would strongly recommend him.
Niki with Missy and Scamp: Jack Russell Terriers in Portslade
Mike was really good at helping me understand the patterns of behaviour and the individual needs of my 2 parson Jack Russell Terriers.
Missy (2 years) came to me when she was 19 months old she was also 3 weeks pregnant. Having had two previous homes and very minimal training she was extremely nervous around people especially men. She would not receive affection and would choose to be on her own. When out on walks I wanted to give her the exercise she so desperately needed however she had no recall and would come back when she was ready and not on command.
Scamp (Missy's puppy) although a very confident and affectionate puppy also required obedience training. Walks were not enough to satisfy his restlessness.
Although I had had a dog previously, I had allowed it to rule the roost and did not want to repeat the same mistakes, especially as I now had two dogs. Therefore I knew the training was as much for me as it was for Missy and Scamp.
Mike first visited the home to assess my relationship with Missy and Scamp also to see them in their own environment. We went for walks in the park to see how they interacted with other dogs / people and to test their recall (of which for Missy there was none).
Mike showed me how to make training interesting, fun and stimulating which was very good for both dogs but especially Scamp helping to curb his restlessness.
Surprisingly the results were very quick - both dogs were very responsive to the training. I now have two dogs that have really good recall. Through patience and understanding Missy is now a more confident and affectionate dog. Scamp less restless and is shortly going to attend agility training for further stimulation. Both dogs appear very settled and content.
Mike's patience with both myself Missy and Scamp paid off!
Thank you Mike!
Debbie with Tilly: Poodle cross in Brighton
I had taken Tilly to obedience classes but at 18 months I was still struggling to control her desire to chase and her over reaction when she couldn't. I contacted Mike having read his website as I realised I needed one to one help to understand and address this, the variety of advice from websites and dog owners was confusing and not working! From the first meeting Mike helped me understand her better and gave practical and simple instructions to deal with behaviours at home and then later this helped when he came to the park and the beach. I highly recommend Mike, he listens and doesn't judge (even when I'd created a problem!) and we've had some immediate changes as well as those I'm still working on. I've always loved Tilly, and now we're both enjoying our outings.
Mike has been an absolutely invaluable source of support and guidance working with Darcy, our rescue dog. We would highly recommend Mike to anybody who is considering or already has a rescue dog and would like to develop a fun and rewarding relationship with their dogs.
When we decided to give a home to a rescue dog, we spent months researching on the internet and talking to / visiting various rescue centres, but were soon overwhelmed by the vast number of dogs available, all with their individual history, not to mention the often conflicting and simplistic advice available.
We decided to ask Mike to help not only because of his experience with rescue dogs but also because he was one of the few trainers able to help potentials owners in the selection process. After a very detailed discussion, he helped us identify the qualities we should be looking for, and also gave us advice on how best to approach the rescue centres. We were most impressed with his in-depth knowledge of rescue dogs and also willingness to listen.
Since Darcy joined us, Mike has been helping us work with Darcy, from introducing him to the resident cat to addressing his dog-aggressive issues. Mike is very patient; hands-on and has a deep reserve of knowledge to draw from no matter what the issues are. He has an instant rapport with Darcy and you can see changes in Darcy's behaviour immediately. He also trains us to be good and responsible owners with simple but sensible advice, much of it can only come from a long experience in working with rescue dogs.
We cannot thank Mike enough for helping us understand Darcy and would not hesitate to recommend him to any (potential) dog owners who want a friendly, professional and effective trainer who truly understand how to communicate with rescue dogs and their owners alike.Read Darcy's updated testimonial from 8 months later.
Sue and Molly with Mimi: Pekingese cross in Shoreham
Mimi is our first dog and a typical stubborn Pekingese, we had previously been to a few puppy classes but with no real successes. Mike tailors his help and advice to your dog's strengths and weaknesses is patient not only with Mimi but all our questions as well. Mimi took to Mike immediately, she has gone from a puppy who couldn't walk on a lead, refused recall and couldn't walk past a dog without barking, to a wonderfully behaved little dog. Mike has been an incredible help to us we could not recommend him enough.
Penny and Mathew with Mango: Labrador in Shoreham
We contacted Rainbow Dogs when our Labrador puppy, Mango, was 8 weeks old and Mike came to see us at home a week later. His approach is completely dog-centred which we liked. He explained to us how to read our dog's expressions and body language which helped us to understand what she needs. His instructions and explanations were simple and straightforward which made training much easier for us and for Mango! After three sessions at our house, we took Mango out to the beach and Mike helped us to train her to recall when called, show her how to sit at the edge of the road before crossing, walk nicely beside us, and socialise with other dogs. His training techniques have been very successful and we are very grateful to Mike for making our transition into being dog owners so much easier and rewarding than it would have been without him.
Dee and Crispin with Phoebe: Chihuahua in Hove
We were recently adopted by an eight week old female Chihuahua, Phoebe, and after reading Mike's website we asked him to help us adjust to our new responsibilities. With such a small dog (about 1kg at the time) our main concern was safe socialisation, which Mike emphasised was essential if we wanted Phoebe to be a confident and happy dog.
At first we couldn't even imagine being able to let her meet dogs several times her size off-lead in a park, but Mike built up our, and her, confidence with a series of walks and progressive amounts of 'freedom'. Currently Phoebe is running around happily on a long loose line and has been having reassuringly uneventful encounters with all sorts of adult dogs and people. It's been great to have both our needs and Phoebe's met in such a calm and warm manner.
Mike has also taught us to speak and think 'dog' which has been amazingly helpful in getting our bright and feisty puppy to understand what we want her to do and not do, in and outdoors. This has included training commands, housetraining, bite inhibition, walking to heel, recall, feeding - in fact Mike has had useful suggestions for everything we've worried about or wanted to know - and then a few extra. We're very grateful and Phoebe adores his visits too.
Emma with Sparky: Whippet cross in Hove
We read various trainers websites before we called Mike. We found his background at Battersea Dogs Home a strong recommendation. It was our first puppy so we were really keen to set good patterns of behaviour early so we could all enjoy living together. Mike was great at listening to all our worries and projections of what might or might not be happening in Sparkie's brain. He helped us learn how to send clear messages and gave us the confidence we needed. We then also asked Mike to come with us for Sparkie's first trip to the park. Again this really helped us establish good patterns of how to meet other dogs and other people. I'm sure we will be seeing Mike again at other key points in Sparkie's training.
Emma with Bamse: Saint Bernard / Newfoundland cross and Moomin: French Bulldog cross in Hove
My partner and I were incredibly pleased with the help Mike gave us. We had two fighting male dogs - one 60kgs heavier than the other and Mike immediately knew how to handle the situation. His instructions were clear and worked quickly for us. Mike also kept in touch regularly to see how the dogs were doing which was great. He was on hand to give us advice whenever we needed it. Thanks to Mike, we now have a calm and happy household again.
Angela with Lucy: Jack Russell Terrier in Portslade
When I saw Mike's details on the web I decided to contact him as I felt my puppy, Lucy, was almost out of control. Her main problems were her over enthusiastic welcome when people came into the house. Within 1/2 an hour of Mike talking with Lucy she was already much calmer. My next problem was her barking immediately she heard another dog in the garden. Mike gave me a few tips and although she isn't perfect it is a little better. Mike suggested we went out to the park to see how she was on a long line. She was quite good on recall but this has improved dramatically and returns 99% of the time. Again Mike gave me tips on how to make her play in the park more enjoyable. I now let her off the lead as I have the confidence she will return when I call her.
Throughout the sessions spent with Lucy, Mike remained calm, patient and kind. He also took into consideration the fact that I have two other Jack Russell cross dogs which was so helpful.
I would have no hesitation in recommending Mike to train your dog. He was professional, and has an affinity with dogs through his calm personality.
Julie with Darcy: Dalmatian in Brighton
Just want to say big thank you for Mike's help with my puppy Dalmatian Darcy. Mike came to see us as our puppy is suffering from anxiety and separation. I was unable to leave him in a crate or a room without him whining and barking. Mike spoke to us and showed us lots to do with the training and there is improvement. And he also talked about a whole range of other things. Would definitely recommend him.
Tessa with Gertie: Wheaten Terrier in Hove
We asked Mike to come and see us about Gertie, our 4 year old Wheaten Terrier as we wanted some way of curbing her exuberant jumping up on everyone. Mike really understands how dogs think and he gave us some excellent strategies to practise - he was very patient with Gertie and clearly had loads of experience. He kept in touch to see how she was getting on.
Rachel with Baxter and Maggie: Border Terrier crosses in Hove
Having adopted two rescued terriers which we allowed to rule the roost for a week, we felt it was time to call in some help. We chose Mike due to his extensive background and work with rescued dogs and we felt he would understand the issues we would face.
After just one session, we were back in control. Mike was calm and patient and made us realise that it's about training us as much as it is about training the dogs. We went from having two manic, totally un-housetrained dogs who didn't know their place, to two happier, calmer dogs who know their position in the household - and who are almost fully housetrained!
Not only that, but Mike has continued to stay in touch. He genuinely cares about you and your dogs and the progress that you make. I have already recommended him to a friend and will continue to do so. We will carry on working with Mike in the future as issues arise during Baxter and Maggie's development.
Amanda with Bramble: Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier in Brighton
Me and my partner have never had the responsibility of training a dog until our wonderful fluffy bundle of puppiness, Bramble. We really wanted to get things right for her. Looking for someone who could teach us, it was clear from the initial phone call that Mike was going to be brilliant - great common sense advice and reassurance, with a lot of emphasis on the wonders of positive reinforcement (aka 'treats'!) and how a dog understands its world. Mike's psychology background and vast experience working with dogs clearly stands him in good stead, as do his inherent dog and people skills. He has been fantastic with us and continues to be so; from visiting us in our home to train us on how to work with Bramble on the basics and nip in the bud emerging issues, to teaching us on our first park and street walks and giving us lots of his time and patience. Mike is our 'go-to' for advice that you just don't get in any book and has given us the confidence to trust the bond that Bramble has with us. She was immediately calm with him (having got over excited about everyone else who visited) and, importantly, so were we. Mike very swiftly sussed out that the different characters of me and my partner were encouraging different reactions from her and through the consistent approaches Mike's taught us this has now really started to shift, with much less manic playful biting of my partner (much to his relief). We've had such a great experience with Mike that we will definitely be continuing to use his services (for which Bramble is very grateful!) and highly recommend him to all dog owners. Beyond how helpful it is, it's been a lot of fun and we've really enjoyed the time Mike's spent with us. Hearing about the work he's done with us a friend said 'sounds like everyone with a dog should have this training'... we'd go so far as to say 'everyone with a dog should have a Mike!'.
Ros with Milly: Airedale Terrier
Mike did a great job in sorting out recall problems with an independently minded terrier. He was very patient (with both dog and owner), worked with my dog at home and came out on walks to make sure that I understood how to apply the principles and how to adjust things if necessary. You can tell he has had lots of experience and obviously loves dogs! I would thoroughly recommend him.
Simon with Algy and Ethel: Pugs
Mike has been a great help with puppy training and obedience, and then with settling in a rescued puppy farm dog. It goes without saying that he is very familiar with canine ways, and combined with a calm and patient approach, is suited to anyone and their four-legged companions.
Julie with Peppa: Spaniel / Border Collie Cross
When I went to get Peppa, I was overwhelmed: she was a rescue dog and my first dog!
The RSPCA had told me that: Peppa had lived in an open house with 10 other dogs and that the lady taking care of them was living in her car, Peppa just had two puppies who were being adopted, Peppa was not enjoying walks as she was petrified with human beings,... On the journey back, Peppa, who is such a quiet, shy and gentle dog, nearly had us killed many times: chewing three leads, barking and jumping on me to escape from the closed window... she was terrified and so was I! I knew I had to call for help!
I found Mike on the web. I liked the fact that he had so much experience with rescue dogs and that he could do home visits as Peppa was clearly not adapting to humans and spent a few nights in the garden after escaping twice in the first week because of fireworks.
When Mike came to visit us, I watched him interacting with Peppa and loved the fact that he respected her by not harassing her. On the contrary, he was very calm and she just watched us talking without panicking or trying to run away. It was a first! Then Mike, who realised that Peppa 'was not going to be an easy case', taught us basic notions. You can find a lot of information in books, on the web, but Mike was able to help us by giving us tailor-made advice: in Peppa's case, find what treat she would like, let her come to us, do not stare at her, stay home for a week before taking her often for walks in the park on a long lead to build up her confidence... And after a few sessions, Mike noticed that Peppa was coming to us for reassurance and / or for a piece of cheese. It was huge progress! With lots of love, time and following Mike's basic rules, Peppa is now the best pet ever! It took us a long time to establish that trust, but it is now solid. The other dog owners in the park are still saying what a different dog she is from when she arrived... I am so proud of Peppa! With Mike's help, Peppa's adoption is a success!
I have recommended Mike to many dog owners since.
I forgot to mention that my husband was not keen (you can ask Mike, it is an understatement!) and now... he walks Peppa himself!
Sydney with Dolly: Bichon Frise
We can only say that Mike's training was essential to our understanding of dog behaviour. He was a calm presence for us when it came to training our lovely Bichon Frise. We learned that it could be as simple as a few clear commands with a reward for Dolly. It wasn't work to train her but a fun way to create a bond with this lovely animal that lives in our lives.
Thank you Mike.
Richard with Luigi: Pug
We have a lively, high-spirited pug who we needed help with - as Luigi is our first dog we wanted to get the basics right and Mike was great [and very patient] in showing us these. I think he helped to train us as much as he trained Luigi. Luigi is still lively and high-spirited but we are much better able to manage him now after Mike's help. I would definitely recommend Rainbow Dogs and Mike.