Naomi, Craig and Bear’s Story

We got Bear, our bonkers golden retriever in June 2021. Coming from a line of prize winning working goldens, we knew he’d have lots of energy and be willing to work, but we thought we’d read enough online to do it ourselves. And for the first 6 months or so, we did ok. He was eager to please.

Then at roughly 18 months old, we went to Mexico for 3 weeks when we got married and we put Bear in home boarding during that time. Well, we soon found out that our beloved cub had perhaps become a little too wilful and boisterous – and had forgotten all our training. Or to be more precise, we hadn’t trained him that well!! We needed proper help! 

Naomi, Craig and Bear.

As soon as we came home and collected him, I set about finding a trainer. We had Beth at Barking Buds recommended to us so I immediately got on the case and made contact. Having spoken to Beth, and heard what others said, I knew we’d chosen well. One thing Beth does is make sure that she understands your needs and your dog’s need. It’s not a one size fits all training approach. She spent time talking to us and meeting Bear to work out where our starting point was. Another amazing, and for us, key point, was Beth’s style. This is to teach dogs with positive reinforcement, not punishments or pain as some trainers do. 

Fast forward to our first session. We had 1:1 sessions monthly to start and had homework every time. I was so pleased to see the progress Bear made in such a short space of time – he is a clever dog who needs lots of stimulation. We soon found out he loved scent work so that meant we knew how to calm him. This might not work for every dog, so in sessions we’d work on that whereas other dogs would do different things to calm down. A prime example of Beth’s individual approach to each dog. 

After about 6 months, we joined an immersion class and Bear, although still very excitable, made so much progress. Beth and her team were always supportive and gave us so much confidence. They also helped us work with Bear to get him ready to meet his human baby sibling who arrived this year. Lots of sessions on calming and introducing him to them. He is amazing walking with the pram too. 

We even now get to take Bear to the Youth Trainer sessions – our way of giving back – he loves the kids and they love him too. 

Anyone I meet, I always recommend them to Beth and Barking Buds. The community we are now a part of, even though we’ve finished our training, is always there and we know we can come back for further training in the future. 

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