Jeannie's giving dog owners a new leash of life

DOG OWNERS have been taking their new best friends to training sessions in Filey to learn how to improve their relationship with their pets.

Dog and puppy trainer Jeannie Hall – who was inspired by the late Barbara Woodhouse – started her first 10-week course earlier this month at the Evron Centre.

She said: “I’m not training the dogs, I’m training the owners. I’ve got about 12 of them, so the class is full and the people who are coming are absolutely enjoying it. They’re seeing a real improvement in their dogs’ behaviour.

“Some are quite well trained but need socialising, while others are very boisterous and need training and calming down.”

Mrs Hall, who owns five Yorkshire terriers, said she preferred working with young dogs and could not take adult dogs with major problems or a history of aggression.

“I’ve always loved animals and I’ve always been able to get a good rapport with them,” she said.

“I got my first dog about 30 years back and I started getting interested in dog training with Barbara Woodhouse. I’ve also been impressed by Cesar Millan – the celebrity dog trainer made famous by the television series The Dog Whisperer.

“I hope when they’ve finished my course, the owners will be able to communicate with their dogs better, get a better bond with them and a more enjoyable relationship.”

Mrs Hall said the course also included “basic” training, such as getting dogs to walk nicely on a lead.

Gerry Fuller, who has been attending the classes with his wife Val and their young Yorkshire terrier Margot, said the progress they’d made so far had been “very encouraging”.

He said: “It’s enabled all of us to ‘communicate’ with our dogs both verbally and physically, and I’ve certainly learnt a lot. I can now understand what I’m supposed to do and how to control the dog with the right words.

“I don’t think Jeannie is quite as hard as Barbara Woodhouse – she’s more forceful to the owners than the dogs.”

l There are a few places left on Mrs Hall’s not-for-profit course, which starts on Sunday February 21. Anyone interested can call her on (01723) 512712. She is also looking for suggestions for an alternative venue for Sunday mornings later in the year.