Dog Training reference – Stella the Great Dane

Stella and I had an amazing time attending your classes. Thank you for always going above and beyond.

You are a brilliant trainer of people and dogs!

Love Penny
Dog Behaviourist Reference – Wally the Scottish Terrier

I just wanted to let you know that Wally is now getting more and more cuddly with me! ????
For example, he used to sit on the arm rest if I was sitting on the couch. Lately, he comes to sit next to me with his body touching me – or the other day, he climbed on my lap without me having to ask him. And he would always sit near me and anthony no matter which room we are sitting in. He definitely seems to enjoy being snuggled and just being physically close to us more and more lately. ???? I guess he is bonding with us now.. YAY!  ????

I cannot thank you enough for the valuable advice and training techniques you have given me! I wish every dog owner would consider getting a consult with you when they get a new pet!

I just wish I had this knowledge with my previous 2 doggies…


Love Penny

Dog Training Reference – Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Dear Sam,

Thank you SO much for all of your energy & time & advice!

We really appreciate your input & help, you have had a huge impact on our lives & the life of our happy pooch! ????

All of the best,
Stacey, Chris & Bailey
Group Dog Walks Reference – Miro the Belgian Shepherd

1 March 2013

The “group walks” that Sam organises have been a saviour to me in many ways. As a newcomer to South Africa, they have provided a safe and fun opportunity to get out and meet other “doggie” people; I moved here from Sweden for a two-year contract in April 2012, and brought my then 4-year old Belgian Shepherd dog with me.

Miro, the dog, had been well socialised with people and in many different environments before he came here, and is a pleasure to travel with and have in the house, likes children etc., but we had unfortunately had less opportunity to socialise with other dogs. Miro’s exposure to other dogs had mainly been in various formal training situations, when dogs are generally not encouraged to interact. The fact that Miro was attacked by two different Doberman dogs on three different occasions when he was around a year old did of course make matter worse; Miro started to be very anxious when he met other dogs, particularly when on the lead when he would give off many and mixed signals, including wagging his tail, pulling towards the other dog(s), raising his hackles, howling, jumping up and down and chewing on the lead, me or whatever was in his line of vision.

By chance, we heard of Sam’s “Group walks” shortly after we arrived in the country and we were invited to join. Sam guided us through the first few walks, paying close attention to Miro’s behaviour, providing tips and generally being very patient with him. Miro has never shown aggression towards other dogs when he is not constrained by a lead, and so he was allowed to be loose very much from the start, enabling him to handle the situations and the different types of dogs as he saw fit. He would rush up to other dogs, constantly keeping an eye out at what was happening around him, and while I think he enjoyed the experience from the start, he was clearly not relaxed. It was a great help and safety to come to each walk, as Sam would always advise on what dogs were on the walk, and whether I had best keep Miro on the lead for the first few minutes, for his sake or for others as he was a very intense addition to each walk – I should perhaps add that Miro has not been neutered.

As the walks and months went by, a remarkable change could be seen in Miro; his whole body language changed from constantly being on his toes and looking around, to comfortably greeting the other dogs, run with them and starting to just minding his own business. Nowadays, almost a year down the line, both Miro and I are so much more relaxed around other dogs – and my being relaxed has of course helped Miro too. If there are any newcomers on the walks, after the first few minutes leashed up, he will run up and check them out, and that will be it. He generally has his favourite companions, who he enjoys running with. He is very good with puppies and has acquired many dog-communication skills.

Miro is still anxious when he meets other dogs on the lead when out walking under other circumstances, but Sam has also provided advice for how to work on this, to make the encounters less confrontational for him, and the group walks have clearly helped to build up his confidence.

Thanks Sam. I don’t know where we would be here in South Africa without your walks!

Gunilla Greig

Home Boarding Reference – Wendal the Labrador

I have known Samantha Walpole of ‘Be the Dog’ for 5 years and have come to know her as a great dog behaviourist and a trustworthy person whom I would leave my dog with any time. In fact, my dog Wendal, stayed with Samantha before he was flown to The Netherlands at the beginning of 2014. Wendal was taken care of ‘beyond the call of duty’ with daily walks and special care regarding his diet and behaviour. Samantha also organised the last visits to the vet and final farewells. I would recommend her services any time and to anyone.

Ineke Junge
Reference: Walks – Trinity the Bull Terrier Cross

Hi Sam,

In May last year I was feeling very overwhelmed with regard to my two Jack Russells (and cross) and contacted Ady Hawkins to help me with the dogs. For a couple of months I did one on one leash walks with each dog using the tips I was given, once they were well behaved on leash I came to my first group walk.

Prior to meeting Ady and Sam, Trinity has been a challenge ever since she was pounced on by 2 adult boxers at approximately 4 months old, she wasn’t hurt but she developed fear behaviours. These included aggressive behaviour, barking, jumping over fences to get to other dogs, nipping them and then running away. On leash she would lunge and bark and pull when other dogs were around, seemingly very aggressive and unable to be near the other dogs.

I have now been walking with Sam up to 3 times a week, I started right at the back of the group and now 8 months later the initial lunging at other dogs had decreased dramatically. Trinity can now walk close to and even in between the other dogs, she gets on well with the extremely non reactive dogs and can even go off leash with Sam’s 2. Trinity has gained a lot of confidence over the last 8months and has even stopped jumping fences. she is more manageable and calmer.
Having these walks with Sam has not only helped me understand the behaviours but has given me far more confidence in my ability to handle different situations with Trinity and has made our bond much stronger. I look forward to the improvements we’ll see in Trinity as time goes on, with Sam’s help she will be running and playing with the other dogs in the next year or so and I will have a very happy and healthy Puppy.

Thanks Sam,

Reference: Boarding and Behaviour – Webster the Golden Retriever

Hi Sam,

Thanks so much for your email. What huge, positive steps he has taken – he’s come such a long way. To think he is never on the lead is incredible. ????

Sam, you’ve been truly AMAZING in everything you’ve done for us and Webster. I can’t thank you enough. Since he was a puppy you’ve been there to guide us and many times in our hour of need. ????

Webster means the world to both of us and to know he’s been with you has kept us going. Especially when he was going through his own ‘counselling’ after the horrible incident and these past few months.

You are meant to be with dogs Sam and I wish you all the luck and happiness in the future. There is always a place for you to stay when / if you visit the UK so please don’t hesitate to do so. We’d love to have you and Webster would LOVE to see you again. He’ll miss you hugely I’ve no doubt.

I can’t wait to see him at the airport on Friday (thanks for wrapping that huge bed so well) and take him on some proper English country walks with a good pub at the end.

I’ll keep in touch and let you know how Webster is getting on.

Thanks again Sam,
Pippa, Nick and Henley.
(Reference for dog behavioural consultation and boarding)
Reference: Boarding – Yorkshire Terriers

Yorkshire Terriers – Thanks so much Sam. That vid you sent this morning exemplifies my two cents worth. Everyone needs a Sam, to teach us how to be independent, self confident and non- reactive. Thanks so much for looking after our boys the way you do, and only you can. We all have a sphere of influence, and of course it’s always limited, but in yours you are a miracle for us and for H and F and we love u for it. Thank you, we appreciate everything you do so much. The boys are so lucky to have you.  Glenn.

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