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A client sat with the Pippsway dogs and her new rescue greyhound whom they have been helping to train at Pippsway Classical Natural Horsemanship Wellington Somerset near Devon

We very sadly lost my Bullmastiff Brando recently. One minute I thought we were working on his rehabilitation and the next we were told that he was terminally ill. I was devastated and a home without a dog in it did not feel like home to me! My vet suggested we consider adopting a greyhound, as she thought it would be a good match and Pip agreed. I’d never met any greyhounds before so having read up on the breed, to make sure we could fulfil their needs, it was time to go and meet some! Off we went to our local Retired Greyhound Trust.

There was a litter of pups and various dogs but none of them moved me at all. Then Luke walked around the corner and I knew in that very instant he was my dog. I’m trying to be more sensible in my old age, so we took him for a walk and then had him vetted. Thankfully he passed with flying colours and a fortnight later he came home. I was over the moon! Being an ex-racer we knew that every single experience he would be having with us would be brand new. He’d never been in a house, been part of a family or been allowed to be a proper dog really!

Pip had said he would be welcome in the yard and had agreed to help me with his training. We’d been told that he would have to be on a lead and wearing a muzzle at all times until we got to know him better and so this had been the case on all his walks before coming to Pippsway. That first day at the yard he just took in the sights and sounds and joined me on a few trips up to the field.

On our next visit, Pip brought him into the menage and tethered him to Bandit, one of her older balanced dogs. For a time we worked with Bandit showing Luke what was expected of him. Then Pip separated them and we started working on recall. By the end of that session he was coming to me consistently so we went for a walk around the field with Pip’s pack. Seeing Luke running free for the first time with all the other dogs was such a joyful experience! From that day on he has been able to be free range in the yard and he very much enjoys whizzing around Pips fields! It is so wonderful for him to have that freedom and of course for me to know that he will come back when he is called!

He didn’t really understand what playing with a ball was all about and once again Bandit stepped in and showed him what to do. Seeing him playing, like it’s the most natural thing in the world now, is just a joy.

All his training is carried out using energy and intention, not treats! And he is learning the ropes very quickly indeed. Pippsway is a far more rewarding way of training dogs and I’m so glad that I’ve had Pip to guide me. Everything I learned with Brando is standing us in good stead and Luke is settling in beautifully. In the past I have found dog training to be a tedious but necessary evil. Not any more! Pippsway of dog training is so much more effective than the old ‘repetition with treats’ style of training. In fact it feels less like training and more like a conversation!

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