TIMMY’S STORY (as told by his owner Jean Dow B.Sc.(Hons) B.A.(Hons), M.Sc.)

When we decided to search out a dog trainer for our eight month old Collie Timmy, we were initially desperate for a residential trainer, someone who would take over training him as we were failing rather spectacularly.  We started out with him as a pup doing what we thought was the right thing.  We attended a weekly puppy training class and struggled week by week to control him amongst 16 other barking, hysterical puppies.   We gave up after six weeks having been told he was too strong and difficult and was being used as an example of a “hard work” dog.  We were walking him two to three hours a day to try and work off his excessive energy and were basically pulled round a five mile route every day.  We were at the awful stage of having decided we had made a huge mistake.

Timmy is a collie so therefore if it moved he chased it.  We had visions of him ending up under the wheels of a car. We live in a cottage in a country estate surrounded by sheep.   We were terrified of him being shot!  Despite following other trainers advice of talking fiercely at him and telling him “no” – he continued to pull us off our feet every time a bicycle or car went by.   In the eight months we had him we had never let him off the lead because we didn’t trust him.  In the house he was like a dervish – racing round the sitting room and jumping on furniture.

It was at this stage that after spending hours search for residential trainers we found Ingrid’s website.  One phone and a ten minute conversation and we were so impressed I was booked into a training course that was two days of training a month apart.  She listened, convinced us that we were totally capable of training him and told us to stop walking him!  What a shock – but it all made total sense.

We live in Edinburgh – so for us it was a 300 mile round trip to do this training but it has been worth every single penny and every moment spent training.  And I’ve enjoyed the night at the lovely B and B  in the same village as Ingrid.  We told everyone its Timmy’s “bootcamp” – but actually its been Timmy and Jean’s bootcamp. It’s a big commitment for a four week period but by week five and six week you see all the benefits.    With the simple advice given over the telephone we began to see change. The first four weeks were hard work, but within a week or so we began to notice that we had a dog that was listening to us.  The other interesting thing was that although we weren’t taking him on walks as such, he was exhausted at the end of the days training – now that was a first!

Its now six weeks on and I have just been out for a two hour walk with our dog round the grounds where we live.    Timmy was off the lead for 80% of the walk (he always has some of his walk on the lead for training purposes).  We were passed by at least twenty cars and since it was a rare glorious sunny day in Scotland, about 50 bikes.  Two groups of cyclists stopped and complimented me on what a beautifully behaved dog I had and that they wished other dog owners were as sensitive to cyclists!!  If they had only met him six weeks earlier I don’t think it would have been compliments flying.    He walked 50% of that walk to heel, off the lead.  Whenever I asked him, he sat and  stayed, he recalled to my whistle 100% and despite allowing him to run on and play, always stayed within approximately 50 feet of me.  That is our boundary that seems to have been naturally set up with the training.  He pays attention to everything I say and do.  In the house he has his space in the sitting room and that’s where he lies.  He no longer races round the furniture or barks at everything that moves.

We would never have believed it.   Ingrid could have trained him for us, but we are so glad that she suggested we did it with her guidance, as she knew the bond that would be built between us and Timmy.  If anyone has any doubts about value for money or whether it’s the right thing to do or not – don’t!  It will be the best thing you will ever do for your dog and yourself.   I realised Timmy needed training, but more importantly, so did I.  Thank you Ingrid. We will be forever grateful and  I can’t recommend you highly enough.


BARNEY’S STORY (as told by his owners Peter and Fiona)

We had a wonderful black Labrador called Harris, who died aged nine. Sadly he could never be off the lead and run free in any environment except within fenced or walled gardens. We went through all the reward based training but it served to make Harris more naughty – so he could earn a treat!

Eighteen months after losing Harris we found an excellent labrador breeder in Lockerbie Scotland and purchased Barney! We were determined that this time we would do the training well and ensure that Barney lived a happy life and would be able to be off the lead and reliable with people, other dogs and livestock.

We went through the Vet’s socialisation classes, the recommended local puppy class whilst Barney was young, but notwithstanding all our efforts using this reward based training, we found Barney still used his own mind regardless of what we said – and when it came to children, people and dogs, his 40 kilo frame dragged us where he wanted us to go and not the other way round!  A Marks and Spencer roast chicken dinner would not have persuaded him otherwise.  Other smells and the thrill of company, far excelled the attraction of any reward or food we had on offer. Our calls of ‘Barney COME’ fell, embarrassingly, on very deaf ears.

It was through the internet we found Ingrid and felt that though it would cost, if it worked, it would be the best investment we could ever make for ourselves and our 7 month old black lab. So we began our trip to Crosby Ravensworth telling Barney he was no longer a puppy but a junior and junior training for him and us was a must! We were off to put him through ‘boot camp’!

We began the training at the very worst time of year (middle of November), and especially so this winter which has been the wettest ever in the north-west – rain, rain and more rain!   The formal training at the beginning was tedious to begin with as Barney wanted to sniff and play rather than walk to heel but we persevered and it was wonderful when Barney soon got the idea and got into the routine! Ingrid’s instruction was exceptionally helpful and her phone advice at the beginning was just what we needed to show us we were on the right track and allay our fears!

It was HARD WORK but most definitely worth it and the thought ahead of a dog we could enjoy and let off the lead spurred us on.

The second part of the training reaped the reward of the first and we were thrilled to have the dog walk to heel on and off the lead within secure parameters. When it came to the third stage, we were overjoyed that the training worked outside of the restricted environment! Barney responded so well and coming home to find that he would obey us rather than listen to his own mind was such a relief and joy.  We could not recommend Ingrid’s training more highly.

The professional knowledge, experience and help was invaluable and worth every bit of commitment, work (and money!) for the intensive six weeks.  A dog is for life and a trained dog is a pure joy. Our nine month old Barney is now trustworthy with sheep and other dogs.  He comes when whistled, walks to heel on and off the lead and sits and stays on command – we are so proud of him!  He still has his zest for life and it is lovely to watch him romping with a ball or another doggy friend and coming back when called away.
No, he’s not perfect yet, and we know that we do have a further six months of discipline to really ensure that what he’s learned so far he will never forget – but we intend to put in the work for both Barney’s and our benefits.

Thank you Ingrid, we so admire your determination and passion to help us dog owners.   As far as we are concerned you saved our lives and saved Barney from a life of being restricted to a lead and we are extremely grateful.  We highly recommend your training.  Your extensive knowledge of dogs gave us the confidence to keep to the training and we are seeing real results.  Barney is enjoying free walking anywhere we choose and we are confident he will only get better.  We now look forward to taking him out!


WIP’S STORY (as told by his owner John Lowin)

Wip is a first cross Whippet/Bedlington lurcher. We purchased him as a puppy from a lovable Romany rogue who bred wonderful dogs but his dogs for one purpose and one purpose only – catching game for the pot.

Virtually from the day we got him home Wip demonstrated his complete independence and saw us not as his masters but as an irritation stopping him from doing what he wanted to do. On a lead he was an absolute nightmare, not only pulling like a steam train but also spinning like a spinning top biting his lead and any hand that was foolish enough to get in the way. It was obvious that none of Wips past generations had ever been restricted by leads and had been left to freely hunt game and sleep under the stars. A romantic picture but not exactly the behaviour we needed from a family dog that would be expected to walk to heel, sit on command and return when called. We were at our wits end and considering our options of what to do with Wip, including trying to rehome him, things were that bad!

Fate, then luckily played a hand for both us and Wip when we came across an advert for Ingrid Graylings dog training programme. After a long telephone conversation with Ingrid describing Wips behaviour and answering Ingrid’s intriguing questions we came off the phone reassured that Ingrid not only fully understood the problem but was confident she could not only sort out Wips behavioural problems but also could train us to manage his future training. We booked a consultation and a days training at Ingrid’s beautiful home in Cumbria.

On arrival Ingrid immediately took control of Wip in her very matter of fact but firm way which demonstrated her many years of dog training experience. Wip amazingly was listening to her every word and even allowed her to take him for a walk on the lead without his usual annoying antics. Ingrid spent the rest of the afternoon demonstrating to us some easy to follow techniques and explaining to us in simple language the importance of why these techniques would improve Wip’s behaviour. There was plenty of opportunity to practice the techniques and the difference in Wip was incredible. He began to listen to commands and started to see us as his master.

To get the maximum success from the training it does take a real commitment to follow Ingrid’s practical hands on advice but the results were immediate and dramatic. By following Ingrid’s training programme Wip has been transformed from a wild beast into a lovable family dog that walks to heel on and off the lead, sits on command using whistle and hand signal, is steady to stock and returns to hand on the whistle.

Throughout the programme we referred to Ingrid’s excellent written notes and guide sheets. If we were ever in any doubts on what to do Ingrid was always more than willing to provide help and advice over the telephone. I can thoroughly recommend Ingrid Grayling, her professional approach and her dog training skills to anyone with a dog that is experiencing training or behavioural difficulties.



Aggression to people, aggression towards others dogs, uncontrollable chewing of slippers and socks, unable and unwilling to sit and unable to be handled by strangers were some of Jacks finest attributes when we collected him from the dogs home.

Jack was found in Newcastle as a stray and therefore came with no details or previous history. This was in October 2008 and I presumed then he was around 18 months to 2 years old. He was a terrified and confused dog and his biggest issues were his fear of strangers (mostly men) and his apparent aggression as he simply did not know how to behave in certain situations. He was scared of loud noises, sudden movements and had a rather special umbrella phobia. However, I managed to see the potential makings of a fantastic dog and, to me, he was the most gentle and loving spaniel you could imagine.

As a busy mixed practice vet I decided to try and train him with the help of Ingrids sessions and a lot of hard work every day. Unfortunately, the nature of my job meant these regular training sessions were incredibly difficult to fit in and I decided to hand him over to Ingrid for 4 weeks residential training.

After two days with Ingrid I received a phone call asking me if I thought I’d done the right thing by taking this dog on. At this point Jack was so aggressive Ingrid could not even get him out of his kennel. I explained that I honestly thought he was going to make a super dog and just needed a little guidanceand if anyone could do it I believed Ingrid could. At this point Ingrid replied, very determinedly, ‘right lets give him a go!’

Four weeks when I returned to Ingrid’s to collect Jack I couldn’t quite believe the spaniel walking towards me to heel as he came over to meet me!
From that day Jacks confidence has grown and grown and he has become such a trusting and loyal companion. He really is unrecognisable to the Jack we collected from the dogs home. Jack loves going back to Ingrids to stay and I wouldn’t have him stay anywhere else, he knows and trusts her.

Jack is now able to go everywhere with me. He is able to run around on our farm visits and I know he will behave with other dogs. He still maintains some of his little quirks, I don’t think anyone would break into my car in a hurry if he’s there and he does like to carry slippers around with him!! But that’s just Jack!!

About 4 months ago we had a young spaniel in the practice with a severe form of anaemia. We used Jack as a blood donor and I can honestly say I have never seen a dog so well behaved in my life! He sat perfectly still while we took blood from his neck. We repeated the procedure 48 hours later and once again he was perfect. It was Jack who saved the other spaniels life.

Sending Jack for residential training and putting in the time and effort afterwards has been so rewarding and he really has become a very happy dog, I can’t thank Ingrid enough.