WHAT PEOPLE SAY:
Huge thanks to Paul Connolly for helping my timid, fearful dog build up her confidence.
Petal was rescued as a starving stray, with a badly broken leg. Old scars on her legs tell of previous mistreatment and she had clearly had a very harsh life. When I first brought her home, she was an anxious soul: timid around new people and very afraid of other dogs. When we met dogs out on our walks, she would tuck her tail right in under her and tremble with fear.
Our Sunday morning classes with Paul have really brought about an amazing change in my sweet Petal. For the first few sessions, we stayed on the outside and she watched the other dogs and owners from the sidelines. She soon came to realise that this was a safe place and she gradually joined in more and more. Paul manages to create a lovely calm atmosphere, even with quite a lot of dogs, all working on their own issues. After only a few weeks, Petal walked into the middle of the class, lay down on her back with her feet in the air, and closed her eyes: completely relaxed and trusting. It was incredibly moving. The impact of the classes carries on through the week too and she has become much more confident, sniffing ‘hello’ to other dogs rather than backing away anxiously.
Paul lets each dog work away at their own pace. They all respond to him and trust him implicitly and I think this is what creates such a positive atmosphere in the class. Sometimes, if there is tension in the group, he walks around, moving close to each dog in turn, and simply changes the energy in the group you can feel the air becoming calm and relaxed again. It is really remarkable. Some of the dogs in the class are impressively highly trained and can do all kinds of tricks and commands. For others, like Petal, it is a huge achievement just to be there among other dogs and people and be calm. It is not at all competitive, everyone is supporting the other class members and willing them to succeed and do well.
I am so grateful to Paul for the care and generosity he has shown Petal and I unreservedly recommend these classes: they are friendly, positive, dog-centred and effective. Most importantly, Petal loves them!
I found Paul and Wolfspeak while doing a google search for “dog trainers near me” and it has proven to be a treasure of a find! Now on our 3rd block of training and growing in confidence daily. I had never had a dog before and initially followed and completed a training manual but realised our Jack Russell pup Montgomery still had a long way to go but had no idea how to do this. After speaking with Paul I decided we would give his classes a go. The classes are fun yet must be taken seriously and be given your full effort or Paul will let you know! Paul shares his massive experience of dogs and demonstrates his skills with YOUR dogs. He backs up all training with sound animal behaviour knowledge so you understand the “why” as well as the “how” of training a dog. He is endlessly patient and positive and both Montgomery and I always leave ready for new challenges. Paul has offered sound advice and guidance on our individual concerns and is always willing to help and support. I am very proud of what Montgomery can now do and this would not have been possible without the huge contribution from Paul. An amazing man with incredible skill and knowledge. Cannot recommend him highly enough. If anyone wants the best outcomes for their dog this is the way to go. Thanks Paul.
Brodie is a Border Collie crossed with an Australian Cattle dog. He was a long-term resident at a rescue shelter, having been dropped off age
He was very touch shy, probably due to a difficult upbringing. Brodie was quite institutionalised when we were introduced to him at 8 years old.
The rescue shelter were very honest and warned us that he was a limited touch dog who had many issues, including fear aggression towards other dogs.
They said he had a beautiful personality but that he was quite a nervous dog.
clear that, despite his description on paper, all the staff felt
very affectionately towards him so we decided that we wanted to give him
a home and do everything we could to make it
Both my partner and I are experienced dog owners. We have had a wide variety of dogs over the years with differing personalities and issues.
However, we struggled with Brodie. It became clear that his nervous disposition meant that he was defensive quite a lot of the time. When he felt threatened he would react by being threatening back, growling and snarling. He was afraid of other dogs, being touched, handled and also of anything that clicked.
When he did
relax, his beautiful personality would come out. He was
affectionate and sought our touch, he would ‘talk’ to us with soft little
noises and play in a bouncy and cheeky way.
We gave him space to settle into his new home for several months and then reached a point when we felt like we couldn't make any more progress. Brodie was still very afraid of other dogs, growling, snarling and spinning on his lead when he saw them. He was also unpredictably growly and snarly in the house, one moment fine, the next very upset and threatening.
This was all becoming very stressful, both for us and for him. We knew we wanted to try and help him more and started to look for a trainer.
recommended Paul’s services by a friend. I emailed Paul everything (that was a long
email!) and he came to our home for an initial consultation, after which we
felt we had done the right thing almost immediately. Brodie responded
very well to Paul’s calm, authoritative demeanour and was really engaged
as Paul showed us a couple of treat
games that we could play with Brodie to establish his pack ranking (we still play them now - Brodie thinks they are great!). We discussed all aspects of Brodie’s behaviour and Paul had strategies for all the situations. We breathed a huge sigh of relief afterwards as it seemed that Brodie could be helped.
Shortly afterwards we began attending Paul’s classes. We initially remained on the periphery as Brodie was just too reactive to the other dogs, but gradually we were able to edge closer. I will never forget the day that we walked with the other dogs. I honestly thought that would never have been possible for Brodie.
Paul's training and guidance didn't just cover Brodie, he also helped us understand the reasons for his behaviour and taught us how to behave, so that we better support Brodie - after all (we now know), he needs to trust us to do the right thing for him, rather than having to worry about what we are doing, as well as whatever is scaring him.
As time wore on, it became clear that Brodie was being affected rather too much by the presence of the other dogs. He would be great at the class but come home afterwards and be withdrawn and defensive for the rest of the day. Paul was always ready to listen and realised that we were pushing him too hard and he changed our strategy. We would attend
the classes but remain on the periphery and leave when he got too overwhelmed.
Once Brodie was
used to that, Paul decided to try Reiki
with him as he clearly needed more support at this point. Brodie took to Reiki like a duck to water! We noticed a change in him almost immediately. He became more relaxed and his demeanour became more jolly. His behaviour has become much more consistent around the house. We are no longer anticipating growls, it is more an occasional
thing when he is unduly stressed.
We have continued with regular Reiki sessions and attending training classes without putting Brodie under pressure. Thanks to Paul, we can see Brodie relaxing day by day. We wanted to give him a home where he could be himself and show
his lovely personality. Now we can see that happening and are excited for Brodie’s future.
Kate, Patrick and Brodie.
Fife, October 2018
Thank goodness we found Paul Connolly and Wolfspeak! We first encountered problems with our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Berkeley, when he was about a year old. He had lost all his social skills and confidence and showed anxiety when he was approached, particularly by puppies and high energy dogs. We had tried another trainer with limited success and were clearly struggling to cope. Taking him out for walks was difficult as we were always looking for potential problems and it became a chore rather than a pleasure. Fortunately we were in contact with Brad Eggleston at Barking Mad who recommended Paul. We attended a class at Cairnie Fruit Farm for assessment and had a home consultation shortly after. Paul immediately realised that the problem came from fear and Berkeley did not have the confidence to deal with other dogs. He also pointed out areas where we were the problem! It was a light bulb moment when we realised that what happens in the home has a direct effect on behaviour outside. We clearly had a lot of learning to do! We started to attend the classes and over a period of a year we have seen a great improvement in Berkeley and his relationship with other dogs. Paul has also given us the confidence and the tools to deal with any situation. We still attend the classes as we feel it is beneficial for Berkeley to continue his training particularly the field work which involves passing and stopping beside other dogs while they are all under the control of their owners. It is still work in progress but we are clearly making headway thanks to Paul. Berkeley is much happier and relaxed now and enjoys meeting lots of other dogs on our walks. We can’t thank Paul enough for all his help and expertise.
Gloria and John Thornton
I began classes with Wolfspeak when I bought a collie x puppy, and before long I was a regular
attendee at classes with both of my beautiful girls!
Having attended training classes with a previous dog I was pleasantly surprised by the calm and relaxed method of training used at class to get the best results from handlers and dogs. Both of my dogs enjoyed the classes and responded well to the exercises provided.
Paul is a great teacher with a vast knowledge of dog behaviours. He has helped me identify when my dogs are anxious about their environment and helped me with tools to support them and increase their confidence.
I now have two confident, relaxed and well behaved dogs, that respond to commands given in silence by hand signal or by quiet voice. They have an emergency stop command which prevents them giving chase to wildlife and is great for their safety.
I would have absolutely no reservations in recommending Wolfspeak to anyone that has a dog! And I cannot thank Paul enough for his time, expertise and patience during our training!
"Out with Molly and Bronte, so far they have spotted a fox and deer and after my command have ignored. My well behaved dogs brought you and the great work you do to mind. Hope you and Sylvia are both well and things have settled for you! Much respect, Wendy"
Fife, April 2018
I got Kai from Brown Street Kennels, Dundee on 1st November 2014. He was abandoned in Dundee and thought to be a crossbreed around 8/9 years old. He spent 3 months in Brown Street as no one wanted him.
My Lakeland x Jack Russell who was given to me by my pals brother two years previously was put to sleep on 18 September 2014, due to a liver tumour bursting. I couldn’t bear being without another dog. I had looked at a lot of rescue websites but was drawn to Kai’s picture, he was called Tyson for reasons I will explain later, I thought he had a bit of German Shepherd in him. My cousin bred them when I was younger and always loved the breed. I visited Brown Street Kennels to view him. He was friendly, sat for treats but they explained he was stressed in the kennels shown by his lack of hair underneath and his ribs showing. This was not the Kennels fault but a very active dog being frustrated. They told me he was also a bit of an escape artist.
I took him that day and despite me being strong, he dragged me through Dundee to the car. I lived in Carnoustie at the time and I stopped at the beach for another walk, he still dragged me along the beach. We stopped at the shops to get some dog food and left my mother holding him, when I came out the shops he made a beeline for me. I knew then we had ‘bonded’.
However, to my mothers detriment he pulled her to me and she ended up on the floor having whacked her head on a pillar as she didn't let go of him. I spent the next few months walking for hours and miles and trying to get him to heel - nothing I was doing worked. I then decided to look for a trainer who was gentle with dogs, who would not tolerate dogs being abused or shouted at. Paul and Sylvia fitted the profile, as I too was a Reiki Practitioner and understood how energy worked in humans and animals.
I made an appointment with Paul for an assessment and he said I had a very powerful and strong dog who was also dominant, but I was very lucky that he had a nice temperament. Paul gave me the techniques to become a Pack Leader and a very good lead to stop his pulling. He also reckoned as Wallace Vets did that Kai was nearer six years than nine years old, defined by his teeth and by the demeanour Kai presented. Four years on and I still go to Paul’s classes, not only for the socialisation but to learn about other breeds, their strengths and weaknesses and techniques to help dogs with particular problems.
Paul and Sylvia do so much charity work for dogs here and abroad and have nine rescue dogs who have had severe behavioural issues but are now different dogs with their help. People watch shows like Caesar Milan or Victoria Stilwell’s and expect results overnight. Paul teaches you that training is constant and takes time. It isn’t just about the dog it is also about you, your energy and the emotions you transmit to your dog.
I get frustrated when owners pull their dog away from Kai or cross the road without trying to attempt socialisation - all they are doing is telling the dog that it shouldn’t ‘speak’ to other dogs and thus perpetuating the problem.
Paul also teaches you that like humans some dogs do not like another dogs attention, but we can teach them to be tolerant and non-reactive.
I had my dog DNA tested through Wisdom Panel on Paul’s advice and my Kai is a German Shepherd Siberian Husky mix X Staffordshire Bull Terrier. I now understand behaviours relating to the breeds.
Thanks to Paul’s help, Kai is a very well balanced dog and a joy to have. When I retire my aim is to have another rescue or two and a Dutch Shepherd puppy and hopefully everything I have learned will help my dogs to be balanced.
Alison Johnston, Broughty Ferry, Angus 2018
"I have had considerable experience with the incredible work, diligence, care and expertise of Paul Connolly and Wolfspeak, as they have been a huge support to the dogs of Bosnia, where I have been engaged in animal rescue since 2012. Wolfspeak and their supporters have helped literally hundreds - perhaps thousands - of rescues with fundraising, behavioural advice and in some cases assisting with adoptions.
Many of the dogs who have been helped had been rescued from the most dire situations imaginable. With support and with fundraising, Wolfspeak has prevented dogs in shelters from starving, or killing each other in dog fights due to hunger - all this thanks to this amazing organisation and their volunteers.
Paul has been extraordinarily helpful with advice to adopters about behavioural issues, which are inevitable when these dogs come from such a traumatic background. Paul’s understanding of how to help these dogs is vast and he has always been there for any dog in need.
There are few people I know I can always turn to and Paul is one of them. He has made a great difference to my own sense of well-being, as rescue work is a stressful business! I cannot recommend him and Wolfspeak highly enough."
Sandra Jensen - Advocate for AWA Bosnia. 2018
In 2013 I was involved in rehoming rescue dogs from Bosnia with Animal Welfare Advocates for Bosnia (AWAB). Many of these dogs had a terrible beginning and were highly traumatised and in great need of much TLC and veterinary care.
Paul and Sylvie had chosen a dog called ‘Tessa’ (now Tula) who indeed had many problems including parvovirus, pneumonia and an enlarged heart. It really was touch and go whether Tula would be fit enough to make the journey from Sarajevo to Scotland. Paul and Sylvie however were resolute that Tula was meant for them and indeed she did finally arrive in Fife in June 2013. Tula did have major health issues, however the patience, devotion and tenacity in caring for Tula is a wonderful example of Paul and Sylvia’s caring attitude for all animals. Fortunately, after some major veterinary intervention and lots of TLC, Tula’s condition appears to be under control and she is now one happy dog.
Over the years Paul has continued to provide AWAB adopters with invaluable support related to the behavioural issues often found in Bosnian rescue dogs. In addition, his fundraising support for the cause has also been welcomed. Paul has indeed provided invaluable help for AWAB’s continuing work in Bosnia.
David McDowall 2018
All my five Labradors have attended Paul’s training classes at various stages in their lives,
Tim, Maisie and Luca attended puppy classes initially, moving on to more advanced obedience classes, agility and search classes. Lily and Molly were rehomed with me and attended classes for
assessment, moving on to more advanced obedience classes.
Paul’s experience and patience was invaluable in guiding me through the various stages of each individual dog’s development. Thanks to Paul’s help and advice all my five are happy, healthy well adjusted dogs, still with character and individual personalities.
Paul also helped me to recognise my own strengths and weaknesses when handling my dogs.
The learning process continues for all of us.
Elaine Reid 2018
I started going to Wolfspeak classes with Paul when I rescued my American Bulldog cross, Merida. She was about 4-5 months old when she came to me. I had never had such a young dog before and as my previous American Bulldog had issues with other dogs I wanted to make sure she was well socialised if nothing else. Thanks to the classes, not only is she well socialised and well behaved (most of the time she is a bulldog after all), I have learnt so many important lessons. Paul has taught me not to put human thinking and emotions on to my dogs, he has taught me how to see behaviours from the dogs/pack perspective and most importantly he has taught me to stay calm, not to get frustrated (that's a hard one) and not to always use voice commands over and over (if they don't work do something else).
Say Less, Do More.
Paul has been there for Merida and I, all through her development as she grew into a mature dog. We had some bumps in the road along the way, which Paul was more than happy to help with. Merida developed a fear of traffic after a bus passed us to closely as we walked along the pavement, Paul was able to advise on the best course to desensitise her and although she does not like large lorries and buses we can walk along the pavement again. She also started to show some dominance as she started to mature and as it turns out the problem was me! I had fallen in to bad habits. What I thought were small things like allowing her to come in to my space without invitation and feeding her when she wanted at the same time everyday. Paul explained to me what these things meant from her point of view and why these things were creating dominance. Merida is now a very well balanced dog, she would never win prizes for obedience but that was never the goal so I am more than happy and so is she.
I have been going to Wolfspeak classes with Paul for the majority of 3 years now, with various dogs and various training needs (mine mostly as it turns out) and to be honest I could not recommend the classes highly enough. My family and I have had rescue dogs all our lives and I will now always take any new ones to classes, which I have been doing with our new addition, Murtagh, who has come from Bosnia, he is about 2-3 years old and has had no training at all. He is coming on leaps and bounds in the classes. Although the basic commands are the same he is a very different dog from Merida, so Paul has been showing me different techniques with him and it is working extremely well.
I would like to say Paul is a miracle worker and what he teaches is like magic but the truth is that Paul gives you the tools you need to resolve issues with your dog or your pack (or even just have a more balanced relationship with your dog if there are no 'issues'), through his wealth of training knowledge, his deep understanding of dog / pack behaviour and mentality, years of experience with all different kinds of dogs and his love of dogs. It is then up to YOU as your dogs guardian whether it will work or not. You have to listen to the advice given, put the work in and practice to get the results. Paul will always be there for those who want help and will work with you through every step.
Fife January 2018
"In my job as a Dog Photographer I am very priviliged to meet some of the most cared and loved for dogs you could ever imagine to meet and its amazing to see the bond they have with their owners and how much they bring to each others lives. Then sadly on the other side I see the worst that humans can inflict on who is supposed to be their best friends. On many occassions I can tell you I have had to turn away as when I am photographing the poor frightened and betrayed dog in front of me who's trust has been so badly abused it really does hurt and makes me so so ANGRY!!!!! that anybody could do this .
Above is a photograph of Tula, a most wonderful dog who has been rescued from a very uncertain fate. Paul and Sylvia Connolly from Wolfspeak in Fife Scotland adopted Tula from a charity in Bosnia which is just amazing. It has not been an easy ride for poor Tula as due to the neglect she has been through she has suffered major health issues which are now thankfully under control and is she one incredible dog!!! Happy and enjoying every minute of her new life. Sadly, there are so many dogs in the World that it is easy to not do anything at all, but please remember that small acorns will grow and grow and grow and finally become so strong and powerful that they can make a huge difference!! Well Done Tula you really are an amazing dog!!! and a great honour to photograph."
Comments from Andy Biggar 2017
If you have found this site then I am sure you are looking for advice on dog behaviour, obedience or general training.
Harvey chose us – what do I mean by this? When my wife and I went to see the litter of pups. There were three girls and two boys. I picked up (who is now known as Billy) but, Bella the mother took him back, when Harvey came to us Bella left him……….
So that was that our little bundle of fun……………. when we went to bring him home we took our son who was always wanting to get a pup, so, all good.
During this journey, we played, we chased, we tormented, we generally had fun.
Then as the months went by, our little bundle of fun became – hard to control. What was a game to us before had turned into Harvey’s rules? Which generally meant, anything he stole “shoes, socks, hair clippers, coat hangers “you name it he stole it, then happily trotted off for us to chase him. When we did, it would be a stand off to get the item back. Then it got to the point where teeth were shown. Which would not be great if he was to pick up a child’s toy when out for a walk.
We agreed that this could not continue, we took him to dog training classes which were not suitable for us, then back to square one. During this, some of our relatives expressed that “no dog should be acting like that, we know what we would do” but that was out of the question as we knew Harvey is a loveable character. We would rather have found a farmer who could take him.
Then after searching the net we came across Wolfspeak. After a quick discussion, we had Harvey enrolled for a ten-week block. The first lesson Paul assessed Harvey’s behaviour amongst other dogs and what we had explained his behaviour is like, Paul suggested a home assessment.
This is where we as owners had no clue on what was actually happening within the house, we knew that as owners we were responsible for some of the behaviours Harvey displayed as we did play rough when he was young. Harvey was almost one when we got in touch with Paul.
Within five minutes of Paul entering our home Harvey was submissive to a point of good behaviour. I was apprehensive putting out biscuits with a cup of tea, I did. Harvey then attempted to get one, as he would. The way Paul approached the action had myself and my wife dumfounded as Harvey accepted he was not getting near them. Our reaction would be to say “no, in a loud voice” with no success then back to the trade off with a chew or a stand off.
Then Paul explained exactly what was going on in our world and how Harvey looks at it from his point of view. Within the two-hour assessment, we were on the right track to changing our world for the better. We were shown techniques that enabled us to get us on track to get Harvey on track.
We would one hundred percent recommend Paul for any Dog related questions / issues to get a factual response.
When we took Harvey to obedience lessons, they were held outdoors which makes sense as most of the time you would want your Dog to behave is when you are out for a walk. We learned a lot of practical lessons along with being more confident on our approach to Harvey “who was boss” as Harvey is stubborn.
From the techniques we learned we now have a friendly stubborn bundle of fun and proved to EVERYONE else that Harvey is not all that bad and did not deserve the bad press he got, as most of his behaviour was down to us not knowing.
Just thought I would let you see shadow today on our walk. She made me laugh . 10 years old, bad arthritis in her left leg and still out hunting, bouncing like Tigger. Love this dog. Xxx
Now she is sleeping in her favourite place( beside the girls)x thanks for all you have done for us. I have this beautiful, amazing dog because of you. X
Michelle and Grant
Fife. September 2016
It's Lyndsey with Fly boy! We came to you a good few years back now but I wanted you to know he keeps going from strength to strength!!! My boy-friend and I are heavily into Surfing now, it's all we do! We converted our van into a camper and are away all the time...... here are some snaps of Fly boy leadless enjoying the happy life he so deserved.... thanks to you and all the hard work we put in!!!
I still remember the first day you came to my house and he lay almost over your feet! You told me then, I had a lovely dog, it just took a couple of years to find himself and settle. He is really happy now and it is what he deserves after five years in and out of kennels. he is 10 now but a total pup still.....it was with you and Sparky and it was down to Sparky that Fly began his road to recovery ...
I will always have Rescue dogs and always know whose door to knock on should I need a helping hand!
I hope all is well with you and life is treating you kind! You truly are wonderful for the fantastic work you do.
Lyndsey and Fly boy
Just a note Paul and Family to wish you a Wonderful 2016 and hope you had a great festive season.
Also a big, big thank you for all the support and help you've given me over the past few years.Your presence is much appreciated. Thank you, here's to 2016!
Chris Low, Tilly, Cassie and Ellie.
Just wanted to thank you for your help with Jasper. The sessions have helped to "train me" and give me the confidence and tools to best work with Jasper. I really see the improvements whilst appreciating it is a continuous process.
Jasper appears happier and it is lovely to see him off the lead and retrieving his ball in the park. Never thought it would be Possible!
I will keep in touch.
Just wanted to drop you a wee line to let you know how Danny is getting on.
He's doing brilliantly, he has dog friends and there are a few dogs we can actually let him off the lead to play with which is fantastic! I actually got teary eyed when he first got to play with another dog for the first time in so long! Unfortunately, I haven't got any pictures of them together but we just wanted to say thank you so much for helping us. He's a much happier, more settled part of the family now.
Siobhan, Sheila, Stevie & of course Danny!
Paul at Wolfspeak.
Thank you so much for helping us with Zola. We are very grateful for her transformation from an unsure dog to a very happy dog. You do a wonderful job.
We will miss the classes, the people and of course the dogs too!
Angela and Alan Graham
April 2015 Fife
I first met Paul when my female Sky was 14 weeks old and I wanted to take her to puppy classes. I received a warm welcome from Paul and the rest of the people in the class.
Over time he has shown me a way with dogs that I did not know and had not seen before. His calm approach and commitment to helping all owners and their dogs is outstanding. He shows genuine concern for the health and well-being of all dogs within the classes and those out with.
Personally and through his charity he has helped organisations all over Scotland and Europe to provide advice, care, equipment and in several cases a loving home for dogs originally from Europe.
Paul excels in providing care and advice to the owners of dogs that have any issues, no matter how major or minor they may be or may seem to be initially and nobody is left behind to struggle or feel passed over. He is an excellent individual and I continuously recommend him to various people I meet throughout daily life.
Margaret Montgomery(Dundee) August 2014.
Paul became part of my life six years ago when Rosie was a puppy and I attended training classes and we are still “going strong." Maddie came along two years later after Rosie and followed in her paw prints "still going strong ". Two English Bull terriers with completely different characters, something of exhibitionists, showing off their athleticism and "Bullie" temperaments.
Paul was put on this earth to share his vast knowledge and wisdom as a dog trainer, both physically and spiritually and believes that love of animals should be a basic human virtue.
" SAY LESS, DO MORE AND BE CALM " This ethos of thinking has worked in spades for me and convinced me that my dogs are trainable. I have achieved many goals whilst at training and agility classes and still have great fun thanks to Paul’s patience, understanding and advice.
Paul and his wife Sylvia are totally committed to their cause, helping dogs in all walks of life.
They have organised two magnificent Fun Raising Events over the last two years to help various dog charities throughout U.K. and Europe, currently opened up their home to two rescue dogs from Bosnia to add to their clan and helped in re-homing many dogs over the years.
Very unselfish gestures which sums up their characters and I am proud to call them my friends.
“UNTIL ONE HAS LOVED AN ANIMAL, A PART OF ONE'S SOUL REMAINS UNAWAKENED.”
Mo, Rosie and Maddie Christie, August 2014.
Paul was recommended to us by a friend who had heard him giving a talk and thought he could help us – and she was so right! In desperation I rang Paul telling him about our three dogs, two of which were very unsociable with other dogs and were causing me no end of worry and upset. We had rescued the Staff X (Tammy) and the Kelpie X (Cleo) while we were living in Australia and had a good few years with them on the farm.
Going to Obedience Classes (Cleo was very obedient and had attended competitions) and enjoying a secluded outdoor life with horses and walks in the Australian Bush. On coming to live in Scotland we brought the three dogs with us and settled into life in a suburb with a fenced back garden near to the edge of the forest. It didn’t take long before we met other dogs on leads and encountered dogs off lead on walks and in places where they shouldn’t have been off lead. Our nightmare began! Frenzied barking from Tammy at the sight of any dog while she was on lead – the barking was so fierce and so intense that there was nothing we could do to stop her. I was embarrassed, fearful and started to dread going outside in public with her. Cleo was a nightmare off the lead! On meeting other dogs on walks while off lead she would snap at them as soon as they approached her and if we met another dog that was off lead while I had mine on lead it was total bedlam. I put muzzles on Tammy and Cleo and began to go for walks in remote areas dreading coming across other dog walkers and wondering why there were so many dogs in the UK!
Paul came to the house and met my husband, David, myself and the three dogs. The older dog Penny was a sweet, gentle natured dog whose behaviour was of no concern. I presented Tammy to Paul as our main problem telling him that her raging barking had me in tears and that I was at the end of my tether. Paul had brought his dogs with him and they were in his van outside. After about an hour of talking to David and I about dog psychology and how we needed to provide calm energy, leadership and boundaries, we went outside with Tammy to meet his pack.
Paul had a way about him that was very calm and powerful. He was kind and respectful to us at the same time as showing us the errors of our ways and gave us real practical exercises. He answered all our questions and showed us what to do within the house to give direction and leadership to the three dogs. We went outside, he took Tammy by the lead and brought one of his dogs (on lead) out of the van. Tammy wagged her tail and said hello. WHAT?! No barking? I brought Cleo outside to join the group. As we approached the group Cleo gave the lowest, quietest growl you could barely hear – and Tammy went off! Paul pointed to Cleo “she’s your problem”! Tammy was the voice for the well trained obedient Cleo!! What an eye opener. And so began our journey of recovery – for all of us!
Every Saturday we drove 1 ½ hrs to Paul’s Behavioural/Traning Classes in Fife and did two classes with Tammy and Cleo. Although Cleo was obedient, her behaviour and psychological state was fearful around other dogs and she would snap at their approach. It was likely that she would fight if another dog did not back off from her personal space when warned. She was a quiet well behaved dog that outwardly looked harmless – until another dog got too close. Tammy wanted to be friends with other dogs but was unpredictable and reactionary to any dog she thought aggressive, dominant or too bouncy! I have to say that I was nervous and not very confident in those classes to start with! And then as a few weeks went past I began to totally trust Paul’s ability to handle any situation that arose with my dogs or other dogs in the class and his classes became my safe place where I could go and learn to rehabilitate myself and our dogs with confidence and trust. I became the leader, I had my lemon juice at the ready to squirt into Tammy’s mouth the second she fixed onto another dog (she hates the taste, what a great deterrent), I used Cleo’s obedience to my advantage taking her on lead near to other dogs giving her confidence as we passed by knowing that the other dog was under control and I was her protector.
She became desensitised and while she didn’t like it, she would tolerate another dog near to her without snapping. And Tammy made friends in the class as her confidence grew and her need to be Cleo’s spokeswoman diminished. It was quite an amazing process. Between classes we would let our two off lead with Paul’s pack and watch them mix and sniff – his calm and balanced pack showing my two delinquents that all could be calm and friendly.
Now, two years on we have many of Paul’s classes under our belts and two amazing dogs who are social and calm! Tammy and Cleo go out twice a week with a trusted dog walker where they run off lead being social and “normal” with an ever changing pack of dogs. We walk Tammy on lead down the High Street in silence! Last year she got second prize at the “Dog with the Waggiest Tail” class at the local annual Agricultural Show! Are they perfect – no, but I’m in charge and I know what to do and feel that I can handle any situation and a week ago we brought home a 10 week old puppy called Harry to join our pack! Would I have done that two years ago? Never! Am I taking Harry to Paul’s Puppy Classes? You bet!
Thank you Paul. You helped us turn our lives around and showed us how to create a happy and calm balanced pack.
Dorothy and David Smart ( Borders ) August 2014.
"Rudi and Elise," the two dogs I presently share my life with have both attended the various classes that Paul runs every weekend at Kilmany in Fife. Rudi, who is now nearly 3yrs old went to Puppy Classes, then onto Adult Classes for a time before he was incapacitated due to illness and had to stop going. Elise, who is nearly 2yrs old also attended Puppy Classes and still attends Adult Classes every Sunday. She also did a 10 week block of Search & Tracking training, which she loved!
Paul's classes focus on improving and enhancing the relationship you have with your dog, so he only promotes the use of kind, reward-based training methods, which along with his dedication, enthusiasm and patience, makes every class a fun experience for both dog and owner! The classes take place outside in a large field (in all weathers!...a much more realistic setting than the inside of a church hall!) ) and cover all the usual basic commands you want your dog to master, plus some! He is also always on the end of a phone if you need some advice, support or guidance...he is such a lovely caring person and nothing is too much bother for him!
Elise, the younger of my two dogs has also benefited from the one to one sessions that he offers. From a very early age she has been quite nervous of strange dogs and at times would bark and lunge at them as they walked past her. This was really stressful for both her and myself, so Paul did a home visit and came out on a walk with us so that he could assess her in her own environment. He then created an individual training programme which was tailor-made to meet her (and my) specific needs and thus help me deal with her little outbursts! Following this programme, along with attending the weekly training classes has made such a huge difference. I now have a much better understanding of her issues and how to manage them, and this in turn has made me more confident when taking her out, and she is also a much calmer and happier dog now!
Unfortunately, it is with great sadness that i have recently found out that Elise has possibly got an incurable neurological condition. She is a lovely wee girl and this has come as such a devastating blow especially since my other dog has also had health issues. Paul has been constantly on the phone asking after her welfare and he has been a great support to me too. She continues to attend her weekly training class as she loves it so much and as an added bonus I have made some lovely friends over the past year too.
I will always have dogs in my life and they will always attend Paul's classes. His understanding and handling of all types of dogs and the way in which he connects with them is truly amazing.
In my opinion he is a first class dog trainer!
Mrs Annette Leslie
“Paul Connolly of Wolfspeak has been a supporter of German Shepherd Rescue Scotland since our very early days when we started the Rescue.
He has helped in assessing the difficult dogs we have taken in and once they have been re-homed, invited the new owners to attend his training classes for an initial assessment course of ten weeks at no cost to the owner or the Rescue, no matter how difficult the German Shepherd's behaviour is in the beginning.
Many Shepherds come into our care untrained and have not been socialised. Paul helps turn these dogs around into confident, happy dogs.
Paul has held seminars on all aspects of owning a dog or rescuing a dog and held special training days for the Rescue and our Volunteers.
Paul and his wife Sylvia have helped promote the rescue and raise much needed funds by organising and hosting The Wolfspeak Charity Fundraisers Fun Days and Dog Shows. The rescue thanks you both for your valued friendship and support."
German Shepherd Rescue Scotland. 2014
"Paul’s positive approach to dog training has been an essential part of our dogs’ lives over the last ten years. All of the classes -whether puppy, obedience or scent training - focus on learning how to understand our dogs so that we can live in harmony together. We recently lost our dogs in tragic circumstances and our confidence was at an all-time low. Without Paul’s words of support and faith in us as dog handlers I doubt that we would be on the rewarding journey we are on with our new addition. It is my belief that we owe it to our dogs and puppies to invest in, and commit to, decent training and Wolfspeak is the place to do it."
After having tried other classes, I found out about Paul through German Shepherd Rescue Scotland. I started taking my GSD Kohl to his class and when we got involved
with fostering for the rescue, he was only too happy to help by allowing our foster dogs to attend his class, I now take my new boy Diesel to his class, he came to us as a foster and fitted in so
well with our pack, we just had to keep him. I admire Paul for what he does for dogs, it is refreshing to meet a trainer who is willing to help any dog (and their owner) where there are issues e.g.
anxiety, aggression, where others may decline to help. Having seen many dogs attend his class, it is always an amazing transformation, when you can see a 'naughty' dog changing into a well behaved
balanced dog, with the handlers learning calming techniques and confidence. Would highly recommend Paul to all dog lovers and encourage them to come along to his classes.
Thanks to Paul from Gail, Kohl and Diesel (2014)
Paul, I want to thank you for helping us to understand Olly. He brings so much to our family everyday and as our training progresses I am growing in confidence too.
When you came to our house I said I wanted the same communication with Olly that I used to have with my horse. Last weekend we went to the Bichon Frise Club of Scotland's Xmas party. We had great fun with about 40 other Bichons. Olly loved speaking to the other dogs but always remained "with me", listening and obeying my quiet commands. Olly was so on the ball, that he won the Obedience class! he also won Best dog in the 1-3 years of age class and "Best Male Dog! He then went on to win the Obstacle race and the "sausage race". Winning all this was slightly embarrassing but I think he did so well because we were both relaxed, happy and connected, none of this would have happened without your help, so thank you!!
Claire Gammi. 2015 Fife.
Thank you for all you do in the complicated world of Dogs and People, look forward to seeing you more in 2015.
Kylie Robinson 2015 Fife.
Thank you so much for everything you did to support the Summer Fayre and Dog Show, by agreeing to Judge our Dogs in their various classes, it was kind of you to give up your day..... without your time and effort the day wouldn't have been so successful.
Forgan Arts Centre
Scottish Charity Number SCO008537 (August 2014)
."Paul was recommended to us by the Dog Warden when we had our Akita pups identi-tagged. On his first visit there was no time limit. He wanted to get to know the dogs, read their characters and work out an individual program for each of them. We were very impressed by Paul's approach to our dogs and professional and friendly attitude towards us. As the lessons progressed we all gained confidence. Misha and Cooper are now well behaved, happy dogs that are completely in love with Paul. We are happy owners who could not have done without Paul's expert training. We are indebted to him."
Mr. & Mrs. Cardwell, Lancashire
Misha & Cooper (Akitas)
"On my first home consultation visit my first impression/instincts told me: Paul was and is a very competent, professional and conscientious Instructor/Dog Trainer. I have seen Paul working with all the dogs and he has a remarkable, gifted approach towards them, both physical and spiritual. Also he has an excellent personality with the owners too. He makes you feel confident and in control to succeed throughout the hard, good and fun times, whether it be class sessions or your own personal needs. I have no hesitation in recommending Paul to anyone. He will solve all your problems."
Mr. & Mrs. Martin, Lancashire Oscar (Border Collie)
"Just a little note to say how grateful I am, for you helping me with my dog Blaze. I am really pleased I phoned you, I thought I wasn't going to get her back because of the baby. It has been a great experience to see how dog trainers work and to have been shown techniques of what to do with my dog. It has been fun to see the outcome and I can see it has definitely changed my dog for the best."
Kerry Burns, Arbroath
Blaze (Jack Russell)
Cath Boyle, Lancashire
Sasha (German Shepherd Cross)
Gillian Martin, Dundee
"I asked Paul for help after experiencing a major and stressful change to my circumstances, which affected Dexter, who was 6 months old at the time, quite badly and manifested itself in a number of different ways. His advice was invaluable, but no matter how hard I tried, it was difficult to put it into practice until things settled down once more. Paul, however, was always at the end of the phone during those transitional months and willing to help in any way he could. His ongoing help, advice and support and un-ending patience has meant that, at 2 years old, Dexter is now a much happier and more relaxed and affectionate dog who loves his new hobby of agility and who I no longer worry about. I'd have no hesitation in recommending Paul to anyone.
Just a quick email to say that i recieved your news letter and how very pleased i am to hear that your new gorgeous Shepherd is getting on so well. What a
wonderful girl she is and it still amazes me the trust that dogs can have in humans after suffering such cruelty.
Just a heads up on Lenny - he is doing just fab and looking rather handsome if i dont say so myself. Very strong boy with the most submissive attitude towards other dogs (only the small ones) he does however have a tendancy to challenge the larger ones that challenge him but he soon backs down and comes back to me tail wagging and smiling. I just wanted to say a huge thank you for making me believe in him and the breed!! I remember my first phone call to you when he was only 6 weeks old and saying "what am i going to do with a Rotweiller" you however changed my uneducated mind on this wonderful breed of dog and i will now only EVER own rotties and it's you i have to thank for that.
I still on the odd occasion have some random abuse shouted at me when walking him and people pick up there dogs. However, I always end up having the last laugh when i see these types of people coming towards me and I call Lenny in and make him SIT and STAY why they walk past with dog in arms yapping and trying to take a chunk out of my boy who doesnt pay the slightest bit of attention, all thanks to you for your guidance and my hard work to make him an ambassador of his breed.
His hips still play him up from time to time especially with the weather that we have just had but still he manages to get through it and is always a happy boy no matter how much pain he seems to be in. We do our best to keep him comfortable in the cold months and in the summer months he is like a spring chicken and you would never know that he has metal plates in his hips.
The good news is i am now 28 weeks pregnant and due on the 20th April. Joe and i are very much looking forward to our new arrival and cant wait to see how Lenny reacts to a new baby in the house. I for one, know for a fact he will be absolutley brilliant as always and we can rest assured that if it's a little girl she wont have to many male admirers especially with big Lenny in tow :)
Hope you and Sylvia are well.
P.S. I have attached a few photos, the first one was his first ever puppy class with you at 11 weeks and the second is of one i took recently, handsome or what???
You may remember I brought my young black labrador, Milly, to your classes earlier this year. We had a problem with her taking off and forgetting to come back which made walking her a nightmare. I just wanted to let you know that all the training has paid off and she now watches for me when we are out walking and comes to heel when called - even when she's playing with other dogs and having fun.
I'm not saying that she could do all the exercises we used to attempt in the classes but as far as I'm concerned she's a brilliant dog and a joy to walk. I just wanted to let you know of her progress and to thank you so much for all your help and advice.
Thank you so much for coming to our home and working with Juno. you achieved more in two hours than we have done in the whole time we have had him. He already seems calmer and more relaxed.
We are so excited about the future together and about us all growing as a family now that Juno, Bethany, my dad and I are all training and learning together.
Thank you so much for changing our lives.
Karen,Bethany, Bill and Juno Morton
(Lurcher x Deerhound)
Professional Dog Training Services UK.
Professional Dog Training Services UK.
Cairnie Fruit Farm,
If you have any queries or wish to make an appointment, please contact us:
+44 7790 017653
+44 1382 330456
Our Business hours are:
10.00 am to 7.00 pm
Monday to Saturday
All our classes are run on Sundays.
Or use our Quote Request form
in the Web Surgery