My daughter Abigail first met Quillan when he was only a few months
old. He was a little bundle of fur and fun – Abigail adored him and
helping Gillian teach him tricks. In fact she loved all dogs,
constantly asking if she could have one and always wanting to say
hello to the ones in the neighbourhood that we knew.
Six or seven months ago, a dog got over excited and jumped on Abigail,
catching her badly on her hip with his claws. She got a huge fright
and from that point on wouldn’t go near any dogs, even ones she’d
known for years. She would hide behind me whenever we saw a dog on the
street while clutching my hand and would ask if we could cross the
road to avoid them; something which was particularly difficult to
manage on the school run where many parents get the morning walk in
while taking their kids to school.
She was quite simply terrified and nothing I tried helped (not even my
brother’s hypnotism skills which she instead found hilarious).
For the last few months Gillian has worked with Abigail and Quillan to
identify the different behaviours dogs exhibit when they are happy,
anxious, settled, alert etc and crucially how our own body language,
pitch, tone and actions affect them. Gillian’s own efforts and journey
as a Dog Trainer and her direct handling of Quillan has developed in
her a wealth knowledge of what makes a dog tick and how to identify
and manage sensitive or difficult situations. She also has helped my
family understand that it’s not just a dog’s behaviour that needs to
be assessed and managed but ours in at least equal measure.
Thanks to the help, training and support Gillian has given to both
myself and Abigail we have had a breakthrough. For the first time in
months Abigail was completely comfortable in the presence of a dog.
She walked with Quillan and myself for over an hour and listened
intently as she was given instructions and enjoyed giving him treats
when he had responded to her requests to sit, lie down, “speak” etc.
The difference is amazing and I can’t thank Gillian enough for her
support with my beautiful daughter in restoring her confidence.