- Canine Behaviour Consultants - West Lothian
Meet the team

est 2012

Deborah O'Neill is our Partner Behaviour Consultant and Trainer covering Motherwell & surrounding areas with us

Deborah is highly experienced in handling dog aggression and is a Certified and Accredited Behaviour Consultant and experienced dog trainer. Deborah also runs, an established and reputable dog walking and pet-care business based just along the road from us in Wishaw.

As a Partner, Deborah offers services in Puppy training, Dog training, Problem behaviours, Disorders, Behavioural modification, Obedience skills, Aggression issues and is qualified to discuss Canine nutritional advice with you and many other aspects of dog welfare and care to our high standards.

          You can contact Deborah directly ..          
 Click here to Email Deborah
or contact her on  07865 674 073

  Alternatively use the enquiry form 
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Going to a dog training school doesn't suit all clients or all dogs, It won't work for behavioural can make matters worse.


Behavioural experts should be able to help you with everything from basic manners to more specific issues taking into consideration the epigenetics of each dog, such as separation anxiety, resource guarding, interdog aggression / human aggressive dogs and destructive behaviour.


What else to look for?
Find out exactly how many years of experience he or she has, as well as how many dogs he or she has actually worked with, hands on. What is their background " I've always loved dogs and wanted to work with them" isn't really comforting - I've always loved cars, but I'm sure you'd rather a mechanic take a look at it instead of me when it could be dangerous.

Academic work is great, but a combination of academic and hands on, practical experience is even better. You want to see extensive canine behaviour, learning theory, and multi-breed experience. A 2 day 'become a dog trainer' course isn't something I would put my faith in..  would you take your car to a fitter who did a few days on a course? maybe if what you needed was just a simple job doing but for anything else, when it comes to responsibility of safety and welfare of a sentient being, it calls for more expertise - a little knowledge is a dangerous thing when working with the complexities of canine cognition.

A 'hobby' trainer who works around a day job, or one who only has experience working with gun-dog training or German shepherds and rottweilers for protection training, might not be the best for you and your situation...Likewise, Vets do not study behaviour at such length as behaviour practitioners do.

Aside from experience, you want to work with someone who is sincere and with whom you can build a good rapport and a continuous working relationship... Behaviour doesn't change overnight and is not a 'permanent fixed state' when it does change, your consultant should be at hand to call upon throughout the dogs life

Our Stand on Shock /e-Collar

People use these collars because they can change behaviour relatively quickly. (If the timing is correct and the dog finds the result to be aversive, you will see a change in behaviour.)

I have colleagues within the industry who do use e-collars, of whom I have a lot of respect for and who have educated me to the uses and application of their training methods, and its not at all how I imagined - ''zapping a dog as a correction any time the dog doesn't comply - hurting the dog for non complience''.. however these individuals are very skilled and knowledgeable in such things - something that the average dog- owner is not. (I cant even be trusted to operate the tv remote control safely so would never use equipment that could cause such damage.)

Dogs are always learning via associations. This means that whatever is causing the dog to behave in a manner that results in a collar correction can cause the dog to start to associate the presence of that thing.

As most of us can't be trusted with pushing the button on a pelican crossing, yet alone something that could be so damaging - We don't recommend them for public purchase or use, 

We find that they aren't needed by the average companion dog owning family.. they can't train anything that can't be trained in another way. We choose to successfully change behaviours in dogs with minimal aversion.

If you feel that you need to reach for such tools out of desparation ..we understand what you are going through.. but let us, with our years of experience show you how you can gain control and safety with your dog ..working.together. 
We know that you love your dog and won't judge or condemn anyone for caring enough to want to do the best for them.

So how do change behaviours?  It is done by reinforcing the behaviours that we want them to do instead, and by managing their environment so they do not receive reinforcement for behaviours that we don't want to see more of.

If there is an instance where we have a behaviour we want to see less of, we either reinforce incompatible behaviours or we use punishment that consists of taking away what the dog wants.
This is all done in a way that won't have your dog build negative associations or hurt/ cause pain. We might also use training equipment that helps but doesn't hurt or scare the dog...and it will be used in a manner not to promote fear or intimidation or pain.

If you're currently using a shock/e collar , this isn't meant to 'have a go' at you.. This is meant to inform you of the side effects of using poorly regulated equipment without professional guidance.. If you haven't seen your dog start to build negative associations, there is a good chance that you could

 - I support a ban of the purchase and unregulated use by the general public as I have seen and worked with dogs who have been subjected to really bad, cheap, readily available and dodgy equipment ..a very poor imitation of todays technology...and with equally dubious instruction.
Anything that such equipment can teach - i believe, can be learned in different ways.. but we do accept that situations can lead to necessity.

In our 30 years and more, we have seen dogs who, without shadow of doubt have phobias and flashbacks, panic attacks and terror ..resulting in ocd, ptsd, extreme guarding  behaviours and more, many of which are accompanied by very real aggressive outbursts that can be traced back to having been subjected to old technology shock collars and poor advice in particular.

So you'll not find us using one anytime soon .. (I couldn't and wouldn't use one on my own boy so wouldn't expect you to on your dog.) But you'll also not see us judging other trainers or methods of training when carried out professionally
We like to make informed and educated decisions.   


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