Answering the Jan Fennell critics…

I was saddened today by a lady who explained that she had decided to go for castration as the option to ‘calm her dog down’, rather than learn a natural way to do that, because she had read a bit of criticism of Jan Fennell‘s method. It was a sad, but necessary, reminder that not everyone is prepared to put in the effort to ensure that they have a happy and relaxed dog, preferring to listen to the words of those who haven’t tried hard and are quick to say that methods don’t work, and opt for a ‘quick fix’ instead (which, funnily enough, doesn’t work!)

Castration for behavioural reasons is a bit of a lottery. It can calm a dog down, it can make no difference at all, and it can also lead to worsened behaviour, where a dog learns to lash out sooner, because it feels more vulnerable, having lost that sense of manliness. This is a subject I wrote more about on a previous blog, which can be read here.

The subject of this blog is more to do with the importance of consistency. This is the cornerstone of the method that we teach. If you do 100% of the method 100% of the time, it will work. It isn’t a quick fix, and doesn’t claim to be, that is why all dog listeners provide a life time of back up by phone and by email, so that all of the clients we have helped can contact us and ask for further help and advice, as they work consistently with their dogs.

Anyone who is hoping that they can just do a couple of weeks of dog training and then their dog will be fixed, will be sorely disappointed. I cannot emphasis this enough to my clients. There are 4 key areas to leadership in their dog’s eyes. Like the 4 legs of a chair – if one leg was missing, or even wobbly, would you sit on it? Personally I’d prefer to stand. Dogs will keep standing on their own, doing things their own way, until they learn that we really are consistent across all four areas, then they can trust us, and let go of their behaviour. But if we take one of those legs of leadership back off again, they will stand back up.

Anything anyone puts out there ends up with criticism, and Jan Fennell is no exception. Fortunately the criticism isn’t justified, but unfortunately it is out there for unknowing dog owners to read. To the critics of this method I would like to remind them that dogs need consistency, just as much as children do. If you try something semi seriously for a bit and then give up, of course it will not work! It is a long term commitment, to ensure leadership over your dog. If you are patient, commit to the method, and your dog’s mental and emotional wellbeing, then you will be pleasantly surprised by the long term results! I have countless clients who will testify to this!


6 thoughts on “Answering the Jan Fennell critics…

  1. I have stuck to Vicky’s method almost 100% since her visit four months ago. I have also taken full advantage of the after-visit option to call or email for advice. During that time I have genuinely noticed the following results:

    My 18 month-old Lurcher Clay hardly ever pulls on the lead. He almost always comes to me first time I call him out on a walk. He hardly ever jumps up any more. He plays retrieve ball games really nicely. He gets far less stressed/ hyper about other dogs out on walks. All in all, and perhaps most importantly, I have got the confidence to relax more and be a better leader. But I do make a real effort to stick to the method. Mostly, this just gets easier and easier. When it isn’t somehow practical, or life just gets in the way, I have learned to recognise what is going on, and without much fuss, just let it go, and, as they say, keep calm and carry on. Or, in a real wobble, just call Vicky for more of her patience and calm encouraging advice. She leads by example.

    In short, I would recommend her to anyone with a problem with their dog’s behaviour. If you are willing to be patient, consistent and committed, I think the benefits are enormous. Four months in, I am already recognising the effects and the profound difference it is making to the relationship between me and my dog. Little by little, there is more mutual trust, more harmony, and more fun too!

    1. I read something recently about taking a strong view point on a matter. If you do it, there will always be people who will disagree because they are more comfortable with sitting on the fence, or taking no action. Those who choose to some with you on your journey though, will reap the benefits of your passion. In the case of dog training and dog behaviour I am hugely passionate and Jan Fennell’s method, and anyone who wants to come with me will have the benefit of my support throughout their journey with their own dogs. Those who choose to sit on their fence and do the method half heartedly or not at all will not reap the benefits of having a happy and relaxed dog…

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