Shaun Hesmondhalgh is no stranger to bravery. He was an RAF police dog handler for many years, is a trained teacher and specialises as an expert witness in cases involving dangerous dogs. In 2012, he established The Way of the Dog, a behaviour and training consultancy.
‘I’m always up to date with my jabs – bites are a hazard but I’m never afraid of a dog. People come to me for many reasons; vet recommendations or a predatory dog that gives chase.
‘I teach people how to handle their own dog,’ explains Shaun who has worked with RAF dogs which have reached the rank of sergeant and been rewarded with smart coats displaying their stripes.
‘Some people try a reward system but it is better to address behaviour. One couple were terrorised by their German Shepherd, who didn’t like them going out.
‘They would throw sausages on the floor to distract him and then dash to the door. But dogs aren’t silly and he soon realised what was going on, so he would stop them reaching the door and then, when they’d given up, turn his attention to the sausages,’ laughs Shaun who solved the problem by instilling discipline through play.
Holistic therapist Emma King (left) with Nicola Loveridge and baby Freddie enjoying a massage treatment
Dog behaviour training with Shaun Hesmondhalgh and German Shepherd Torben