Sue McCabe

Sue runs Muttamorphosis Dog Training and Behaviour in the Newcastle Upon Tyne offering puppy socialisation classes, the UK Kennel Club's Good Citizen Award Scheme to Gold level and classes from puppy to adult level. All classes use clicker training to help dogs and owners learn in a fun positive way. Sue also offers behavioural advice to clients through veterinary referral and works in conjunction with numerous city vets.

Sue is proud to be a Kennel Club Accredited Instructor in Companion Dog Training at advanced level and a full member of the APDT UK. For the past 2 years, Sue's dog Sage has played the part of Mischief on the BBC's kids drama The Dumping Ground and Sue regularly provides trained dogs and cats for TV and other advertising work. 

Sue has studied Canine Psychology with the Animal Care College, and has trained intensively with John Rogerson of the Northern Centre for Canine Behaviour. Theories of dog training and behaviour are constantly evolving and Sue believes that her continued learning and experience can only serve to help her deal with each and every dog on his own merit and help all dogs live a safe, happy and healthy life. Sue has also reached Competency Assessment Level 1 for clicker trainers having trained with Kay Laurance, the UK's accepted authority on clicker training.

Sue was first introduced to dog training when, like so many, she owned her first 'problem' dog. From there, she spent almost 20 years training and competing in obedience, agility, working trials and flyball with her rescue dogs Scout, Sage and Misty. She is currently enjoying competing in Working Trials & Obedience with 5 year old rescue Border Collie Guinness. There is a terrier puppy planned for 2016.

Sue worked extensively in the voluntary dog rescue sector as a kennel hand, dog foster carer, temperament assessor and re-homing officer. She has raised numerous litters of rescue puppies with and without the help of a bitch. She has rehabilitated and trained many dogs for rehoming. Sue has also worked professionally in a dog boarding kennels and as a grooming assistant.

Blog posts by Sue McCabe

Welcome to Your New Home…

It's that time of year isn't it?  When people consider having a pup or rescue dog join the family. It always strikes me as unfair when people bring home a new puppy or rescue dog and indulge them in privileges which in the longer term, they don’t actually want them to have. They allow the new dog to get away with certain things, which in time could encourage annoying or sometimes even dangerous behaviour.

When my latest foster arrived, he was shown the rules of the house from the moment he walked through the door. Despite the fact that he was terribly neglected, emaciated and somewhat

5 Ways My Puppy Reminds Me Of a Toddler.

Anthropomorphising animals isn’t a good idea and usually gets us into all kinds of trouble. Dogs are not furry babies. They are their own species, with a totally different set of day to day priorities & communication signals. However spending time with nieces, nephews and god-children over the years, I’m amazed that the toddler stage in kids has so many similarities with puppy development. Both in terms of how puppies explore the world and how we deal with the frustrations such interaction may bring, puppies and toddlers aren’t all that different at all. 

Walking anywhere takes forever!

If...

My Dog, The Adrenalin Junkie

We’ve all met people who can’t relax. People who have to be active, who need to be doing something all of the time. We’ve known folk who crave excitement, extreme sports. They bungee jump on Saturday, parachute from a plane on Sunday and take a holiday rock climbing a difficult cliff face as a challenge. These types of people could be described as adrenalin junkies. 

Adrenalin is a chemical which rushes through our body when we’re excited, stressed or anxious. Adrenalin can make us feel good-that burn you get from a work out, or a run in the fresh air. So good in fact, that we can become

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Muttamorphosis Dog-Stars of the Big Screen!

 

When a group of North East of England dog owners signed up for a training class last Summer, they never thought their pooches could become celebs. But that’s now on the cards for the regions first all dog cast, after they made a short film which premiered in Newcastle last night. ‘Motley Mutts, The Rescue’ is a joint project between local trainer Sue McCabe of Muttamorphosis and Nathan Squires of MBT Productions.

The film follows a familiar good dog, bad dog plot-line, with angelic Jack Russell cross Rose, dog-napped by villain Border Collie, Guinness. The rest of the Motley Mutts

 

We Will Never Stop Headlines Like That, Until We Stop Photos Like This!

There have been a spate of tragic & nightmarish stories in the media recently involving small children & dogs. Here is just one of the latest stories. Incidences of aggression towards kids, by family dogs, seems to be on the increase. 

This latest series of 'cute' baby & dog pics from daily entertainment site Buzzfeed tell a totally different story, if canine communication is understood, even in its most basic form. Without going into much detail, I can break down what's wrong with almost all of the photos & explain why misunderstood dogs & naive parenting is causing so

‘I Want, I Want’ or ‘Please May I?’

You’ve waited for the arrival date for ages. You’ve bought toys, squishy beds, puppy food & a cute leash & collar set. When your bundle of fur arrives, you could never imagine it would ever cause you stress or hassle. No-one ever starts off with a puppy thinking ‘one day, my dog will suffer from a debilitating condition, which will limit our enjoyment of him & affect our whole family in the extreme’. The diagnosis is that increasingly far too many dogs I work with suffer from a chronic lack of self-control.

The first phone call for help usually includes phrases such as ‘demands

Why is training recall so difficult for dog owners?

As with any training, recall is all about putting a routine into your dogs day which he enjoys taking part in. Recall should never mean "if I run back to my owners, she'll put me back on leash" but always, "if I run back to my owner, it's usually worth my while". With adult dogs, all recall training is easier done using a long line, which is dropped on the ground & dragged behind the dog. Never go from a short leash, to no leash. Instead use a long line which gives your dog freedom, without you losing control. 

Here is my quick guide to recall training, both for use with young puppies

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Dog Training, With a Pint of Guinness to Help

Using distraction, as a reward for correct response to commands.

The video shows novice dog, Hungarian Visla, Bruno, enjoying a game of chase with more advanced dog, Border Collie, Guinness. In order to allow freedom off leash, regardless of what’s going on, dogs need to listen, understand & respond to commands. When I ask Bruno & Guinness to perform a ‘down’ mid chase, their response must be non-negotiable, as one day it may save their lives. In addition, I don’t want all my hard work convincing a dog I’m the best fun, to be wasted as he gets too much thrill from playing

 
Guinness, Muttamorphosis Dog Training's dog, behind a dog gate used while people visit to avoid trouble with greetings.

Who’s at the door? Santa or Satan?

In terms of dog/owner frustration & concern, coming a close third place behind recall & dog/dog reactivity issues, is greeting guests. Unlike recall or dog/dog reactivity, training appropriate greetings should not cause as much stress as it seems to. The fact that the challenge is occurring in an owner's home, means people have complete control of the environment in which they are training. As such, it should be easy to manage their dog’s behaviour & retrain a greeting acceptable to all concerned. So why is it such a common challenge then?

 
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What the puppies learnt & why they learnt it! Week 5 Puppy Socialisation Class.

The aim of any puppy socialisation class should be to start puppies along the right road to becoming a well adjusted, happy adult dogs, using fun training & controlled play/interaction with other dogs. This means giving a wide variety of skills to both dogs & owners & hopefully giving them the thirst for continued learning & improvement.

In this video you'll see the foundations for loose leash walking-not relying on the lead for control, Bella the Bishon shows focus, heel position & a happy, willing disposition while walking beside her owner Clare.

Fenella the Sprocker

 

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