Dog Borstal on BBC 3 – review

Dog Borstal – Mondays, 9pm, BBC 3 – sees three delinquent dogs, and their owners, endure a week of intense correctional training.

Making the most of its disused air base location – high wire fences, military-style tents for the owners and cages for the mutts – the show gives the owners a short, sharp shock.

The first episode introduced the trainers: Debbie Connolly, Rob Alleyne and Mic Martin.

As a former police dog trainer, and with tales of his military service never far from his lips, Mic likes to make it clear he’s a man’s man. Sadly, the producers thought it necessary to engineer a little conflict and placed him with Flake, a Jack Russell whose gay owners inspired a series of nervous, “what they do in the privacy of their own home is their business” style comments from tough-guy Mic.

The first show’s other two inmates were Henry – a Weimeraner whose main hobby was stopping his owner from putting a jumper on – and Maggie, a Staffie who was still terrorising her neighbourhood despite having mauled a smaller dog and killed two cats.

Although Mic’s hard-man act was somewhat tedious, the trainers quickly demonstrated their expertise. Henry’s boistrous behaviour and strong will were quickly brought under control and Maggie was able to resist sinking her teeth into any other animal that walked past.

  • Dale Hitchman

    As the ‘GAY’ owner of Flake I am, please that you recognised the real Mic, and that was with a programme heavily edited to show him in the best possible light! The two other dog trainers were both friendly, helpfull and approachable, but my experience was not a good one.I did learn a lot about dog handling, nutrition and grooming ( which has helped so much), but Mics training tactics left me angry and confused.Flake however is not much better and infact did a little welcome pee on the shoe of the SKY reapir man who came earlier today, so Mic I guess you dont know it all !

    Regards Dale and Flake

  • Jackie Kelly

    I have been watching Dog Borstal with great interest. As a dog trainer/behaviourist I have been known to cringe at some of the dog training shows on TV but not this one.

    I know that we only see the edited version of what goes on but I have the utmost respect for Mic. It’s much easier to train or recondition the dog than it is the owner. Anthropomorphism is a huge problem and when people treat their dogs like a human baby theyre going to have problems.

    After watching last nights episode with Spence and Louis I could see the look on Spence’s face when Louis was taken down by Mic after he had his wrist bitten. I think that Spence understood what was happening but it is hard to watch with any dog let alone your own dog….the fact is though that in just a few seconds Louis learned a valuable lesson that he will probably never forget in that it is not acceptable to bite people. Too many people ‘just dont get it’. Dog bites and attacks are serious problems and the biggest cause of dog bites and attacks is the owners lack of knowledge in basic dog behaviour or their lack of willingness to do anything about it or worse make excuses for them.

    Dale, I know from the show that it was a little upsetting for you but I can tell you that it takes more than a week to change a dogs behaviour. Imagine how long Flake has had his negative behaviours, everything that you have allowed him to get away with you have basically taught him/trained him/conditioned him to behave this way, its usually not intentional but thats the way it is, it can take as much time (hopefully a lot less time but definately more than a week) to undo the problems youve created.
    Mic gave you the basics on how to work with Flake, I cant speak for Mic but I can say that any ‘good’ trainer can have just about any dog doing every ‘command’ on key as well as a dramatic change in general behaviour within a week…but…once that dog is with another handler (the owner) its a different ball game. I thought Flake did great but its an ongoing process. Consistency, repetition and a lot of patience is what works.

    I should say that this is all just my opinion and I dont know Mic or any of the trainers there. I just have a lot of respect for them.

  • daphne

    i watched your programme for the first time last night ,i wish some one would help withour dog . He is about a year old and whines costantly in the home out in the car every where where he cant get what he wants, also he eats his shit and other dogs shit is there someone out there who can help. It is driving the whole family mad .

  • Mel Martindale

    Personally, I found the show appalling. The techniques used seem to be right out of the 70’s: yelling at your dog, pulling roughly on the lead to make him walk, threatening your dog, staring down your dog, teasing your dog only to punish. This isn’t teaching dogs anything other than fear and aggression. I almost expected to see them bring out the choke collars after seeing the way they handled them. Have they even heard of positive reinforcement? The amount of praise much less food/play reinforcement was minimal. This show is only going to teach owners that apparently you don’t have to bother training your dog anything at all, and a week of aggressive handling will magically transform him. It’s pretty obvious that these “experts” don’t really understand how animals learn behaviour at all or heard of operant conditioning, and instead use negative reinforcement and positive punishment. I have made a formal complaint to the BBC and truly hope that this show is stopped before people use its techniques seriously.

  • Erin

    I watched your programme for the first time last night and was surprised to see and old friend of mine Spencer on the show. It was ironic that my husband switched it on, as we had just got back from our first puppy class with our 16 week old labrador.

    Well done Spence for doing everything that was asked of you, I know how hard dog training is as we also have a 5yr old lab too. It’s really hard to stay in control and show them whose boss!!

    I thought Mic was a bit over the top, but I know where he is coming from, you have to be quite on your dog to get anywhere.

    Well if you read this Spence, get in touch, jenny and I would love to hear from you.

  • Linda

    I have been totally appalled by the outdated rubbish.

    The weim was surely choked by Mic the trainer? Is this in fact allowed or should the RSPCA be notified?

    Dogs do need aversives sometimes but they should be a very last resort. This was not the case here – the weim for example was out of control, controlling, and using his mouth but there are many trainers and behaviourist out there working with this kind of dog all the time who do not have to resort to old fashioned alpha rolls.

    We have moved on since Barbara Woodhouse, Konrad Most etc etc.

    Police dog trainers had to pull their socks up after a dog was killed in the name of training – Acer, who was helicoptered and kicked (his liver was ruptured).

    This kind of training is the same mentality as those once used by the police – abusive to my mind.

    I am appalled.

  • Matthew

    Thanks to everyone for your comments! It looks as though a couple of people have confused Dogs Rule with the producers of Dog Borstal. Just to clarify, we’re not connected with Dog Borstal or the BBC and this is just a review of the show.

  • barbera Kandekore

    thankyou for reading my email this programme as amusing as me and my children thought some of the dogs bad habits were was very refreshing tv it just goes to show how selfish and irresponsible people can be when they purchase pets dogs are not born destructive i’ve had dogs all my life and i have to admit i have nuver seen a dog behave the way these dogs behaved on dog borstal me and my children were laughing till our sides ached on the tues 21st at louis his owners couldnt get no sleep and homer made me roar wiith laughter when he wouldnt get up and had to be dragged along the dog trainers all three are excellent they each have different methods that are outstanding the nasty comments i have read about mic i think are really uncalled for he gets results dosent he? i think he is very good for the really rebellious animals my only concern was mics language i dont like the swearing it spoils the shows good intentions he is very good with the animals i would like to meet him because i have a staffordshire bull terrier who needs a bit of help my friend has a chiuawa and my dog jake is scared he cries when he sees it every dog where i live has bit my jake and he is so scared he wont defend hiself i am a bit concerned by his fear he is scared of the hoover when i put it on he scarpers he is scared of ballonns he is 2yrs and 6mths and i would say he is the softest staff i have ever come across my grandkids lay with him on the floor they all watch tv even jake you would never believe it unless you saw it everyone loves him he so friendly and will go to anyone but i just dont understand why he is so fearful of other dogs he so loved and cared for even my vet looks forward to jakes visits the staff at the vets all stop what they are doing just to greet him how would i be able to get in contact with dog borstal? i dont think jake would need to go there but i’d like a piece of advice from each of all the trainers there how to conquer jakes timidness thanks for reading my email

  • Paul Whitworth

    On Dog Borstal this week an owner was told to drag their Golden Retriever along the ground for a considerable distance when it refused to walk properly. This is dangerous for the dog which could have been severely injured. It is also very bad dog-training practice and I am amazed the BBC could have broadcast it as a solution to a bahavioural problem in dogs. Imagine the number of complaints they would have received if this procedure had been adopted for a recalcitrant child – the potential danger for the dog was identical to that of a human and it was taught nothing. They should have a Vet vet the programme!!

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  • Sarah

    I thought the programme has been wonderful. I have a 9 year old Dobe who whines a bit but is a fab dog. A lot of the things I have watched will help when we get our next dog – hopefully in many many years time! the bottle with pebbles in – brilliant!

    I do think that many people will not like Mics approach, however, it did make us remember that a dog is a pack animal, not a child – something we had allowed to lapse – not now! All potential dog owners should get their dog trained and train themselves, it should be law – maybe that way we will have less abandoned dogs. The first dog in the 1st episode and his owner was a classic example. Its a shame he wasn’t more opened minded and go for it like Spencer did last night.

    Well done to all of those owners who now have happy dogs and happy homes!

  • DG

    I note with interest that all the dogs on the show so far have been male, and have had dominance issues. And are with couples where I suspect the dog is viewed as a ‘child replacement’.

    Perhaps all new dog owners should be given a short leaflet outlining how a dog thinks, and how they cannot be treated like humans.

    Unfortunately, as I discovered when I had my first dog, owning a dog for the first time isn’t straight forward – it takes time to understand them (and vice versa perhaps) and to learn how to treat them. As an example if I make a fuss of them when I get home, they’ll cotton on and get excited (bark/jump up/etc) when they see me coming home, on the other hand if I ignore them they will remain quiet and well behaved;

    Dogs do learn from being punished – but not always in the way you hope – e.g. mine like rolling in mud – and they know that I will hose them down when I get home (which they dislike). Therefore they take some coaxing to come back on the lead when they’re dirty, as they know they’ll get hosed.

    I can’t help but cringe when I see other owners hit their dogs when they get them back on the lead – obviously the dog becomes hesisitant about returning to the lead in the future. Having said that, in some situations physical restriant of a dog can be acceptable (for instance to assert dominance).

    My wife’s just read : ‘How Dogs Think’ (Stanley Coren, ISBN : 0743222326), which sounds like it would make people aware of the differences between the species 🙂

    Pah, this is turning into a long comment ….

    My only dislike about the program is how a lot of the content within an episode is continually repeated, summarised or previewed in advance – as if we (the audience) have a short attention span and can’t remember what happened 5 minutes ago), and need to be constantly reminded about what is going to happen to stop us changing channel.

    (I’m not really happy with the wording of this comment, but it’s the best I can do in the time)

  • Pat

    I was shocked and very angry when I saw this programme. To drag a dog along the ground by its neck was both cruel and unneccesary. There are much quicker and more effective ways to train a dog that won’t walk on the lead. I hate to think how many people will have seen that programme and will be throwing dogs to the ground and dragging them around thinking it’s the right way to do it. The “Don’t try this at home” approach has no effect on people who think they know best. Within hours there were posts on forums from people saying they would have a go at this with their dogs. This programme is doing nothing but harm.

  • Sandra

    How can anyone who has ever lived with a dog say that the methods and treatment of owners shown on dog borstal were any good. Abusing animals and people in the name of entertainment is about as low as you can get.
    Dogs are not wolves and so are not ‘dominant’ – dogs learn what works and what doesn’t – it’s as simple as that. I’ve watched each programme and felt sick that there are people out there that will abuse their dogs in the name of training after watching the methods used on this programme. There are far more effective and kinder methods that work better than those shown, but that wouldn’t make good tv now would it.
    All three trainers are a disgrace to the profession of dog training. They don’t know the basic learning theory, they humiliate and punish. The tests at the end of the programme – not one dog yet has walked on a loose lead – they have all held the lead short to make it look like that – not one dog could sit without being placed in the sit. That is not training. Teasing a dog with toys to punish him is diabolical! Unfortunalty there are people out there who will think these trainers are wonderful, will inflate their egos, make them think they know something about dogs and give them licence to carry on abusing them. And make money out of it. That’s sick if you ask me.

  • Jackie

    Just my opinion based on my experience in reference to ‘pulling the dog along the ground’. Dogs have legs and when you loosen up on the leash a little the dog has a choice in whether it wants to use its legs and walk. Dont assume that dogs are stupid and dont know what their legs are for.

    I hope there is another series of the Dog Borstal, it shows exactly what trainers and behaviourists have to deal with in dog owners that dont understand either the inate drives of a dog or how their own interactions can lead to the unruly and sometimes aggressive behaviour.

    I would like to see how the team deal with a couple of other types of dog though, all the ones we’ve seen are outgoing, boisterous…
    so how about dogs that do not respond, at all to food treats or toys, dogs that are extremely fearful of people, traffic, ones that you cant shake a bottle at as the dog will try and bolt or will end up shaking in a corner and then take an hour to even get close to it again, very dominant (not aggressive but more overly strong willed)males with the female trainer.

    These dogs are much harder to work with than the dog types that have already been on and I think it would show the average owner that simpler methods of ‘positive only’ reinforcement doesnt work for every dog.

    About a third of the dogs Ive worked with have been dogs that have previously failed ‘positive only’ reinforcement training….and I should add that Ive never injured a dog and every dog leaves with confidence, a wagging tail and a very happy owner….the dogs are even happy to see me when I visit them a couple of weeks after their training program.

    Incidentally, I dont have an ego, Ive learned that working with dogs is a very humbling experience, just when your about to give yourself a pat on the back a dog is more than capable of doing something that will make you feel like a complete idiot….and theyre timing is perfect.

  • Mary

    Actors, they say, should never work with children or animals. It is just as well that I am not an actor because I have spent my life working with both. It is interesting to note that several people on this forum have picked up on the idea expressed by the trainers on Dog Borstal, that some people use their dogs as substitute children, and I use the word ‘use’ deliberately: it does the animal a dis-service, and shows no respect whatsoever for the dignity of the species, to develop an anthropomorphical relationship with your dog. One or two people have suggested that the tactics used by the trainers would never be tolerated had they been used on children, but that is the point that the programme is making – these are NOT children, but
    pack animals that are potentially dangerous if left in the hands of irresponsible owners.

    Years ago when I started teaching, I was given this advice by an old campaigner: ‘ Teaching is all an act. You create the illusion of authority and if you do it well enough, it is accepted without question.’ Children need to feel safe and this comes from firstly, recognition of boundaries and secondly, consistency on the part of the care-giver. A child needs to know that if s/he does ‘x’ then’inevitably ‘y’ will follow. And so it is with dogs. That is the way they learn. They do not have the awareness to make moral or rational decisions but they do learn by experience. But to say that they learn in much the same way as children do, does not make them children. Perhaps that’s where the confusion lies.

    Mic hit the nail on the head when he mentioned to Spencer that you wouldn’t greet an iguana the minute you came home or let a donkey in to your bed but it doesn’t mean you love them less than your dog. The point is that they are all animals and we should respect their right to remain so.

  • stacey

    I think that dog borstal is brilliant. I have two big dogs who are a mixture of nearly every dog i have seen so far. I have tried the methods shown on the tele but are not effective. I was wondering if anyone can help me get in touch with dog borstal for help. I’m desperate cheers.

  • taz

    Hiya dog borstal rocks. I think that mic is crackin and the comments by certain members in my eyes are complete balony. At the end of the day it’s true the dog and owner need training. I feel that all the dog trainers featured on dog borstal are top and i would love a chance to train my dogs with them. I think that it should be on the air for ages. even if it’s so i can watch mic xx

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  • ashley

    pat there are many ways of training a dog, yes your right BUT, most ways of trying havent worked for these people, and they found at the end of the taining, the Trainers way of doing things worked for their dogs. This dosent mean everyone will be throwing there dogs to the ground they are just letting their dogs know who the boss is! which is what is needed

  • Terry

    Interestingly. “Dale Hitcham” (quoted above) is the same Dale Hitcham that appeared last night having himself operated on under hypnosis on a programme on More 4. Apparently he’s now working on cruise ships and the dog was nowhere to be seen – wonder what happened to it?

  • Dale Hitchman

    Yes I was operated on and that is to enable me to get back to work, I work four months in America then am home for two, a job I have done for over seven years, and while I am away my partner Andrew takes care of Flake, are you saying dog owners should not work?Or that Flake should have been by my side in the operating room? Understand that my dog is very loved , cared for ,and is healthy and happy animal. P.S I am on GMTV next week. xxx

  • Jackie Clegg

    I have watched Dog Borstal for the first time tonight and I was encouraged by the the trainers and the owners who wished their dogs to be trained. In my opinion the only way you can enjoy your dog is if it trained and it knows its place in the household. An untrained dog and owner can cause other dog owners and parents to be unsure about simple pleasures like walking in the park or the local woods.

  • Joan Weir

    Well I watched it for the first time tonight and I want to know where to sign up. I have a rotty who is 1 this month he has been to schools galore, 2 so called dog behavioursts who told me that if he nipped to put my thumb in his mouth and press down hard with my nail.

    Well he dont nip any more is just a unruly git.

    Being a single person he has now damaged my knee by running towards me and barging into my knee. I hear you say dog too big for you !!! I had very good reasons for getting a large dog, My safety was being threatened andnow with my Scooby albeit he is naughty I feel totally safe.

    Where do I sign up for dog borstal lol

  • i have a 2year old labrador called buddy and he has been very hard work with his constant running away from me when i take him off his takes me ages to try and chase him to get him back on his lead.also i would love to know how i can make him play games with me and fetch a ball back.he goes on plenty of walks with me but my husband is fed up of his running away and this is getting to the stage where its uncontrolable..please can you help me..


    my german sheperd dog is 18 month old and has been to the royvon school of training for obedience and also various local classes but dispite all his training he will not take notice of any commands that i have been told to use.As a last resort i took him to be casterated as recommended by my vet but he seems to be getting aggresive since his operation, and not at all calmed as i had hoped.
    He chases after other people with dogs and my fear is that he is going to seriously injure someone.Please can someone help me and my dog?
    Regards Sue Walsh

  • mickey

    i was disgusted with the way mic treated them dogs! its old school training and should not be allowed let alone televised! there are alot of ppl out there that al thoguht it says dont use any of these methods at home will clearly be used! as alot of the replies are showing! there are enough ways to train ya dog without gettin physical with it! i have 2 boxer that are now 8 months old and i have never put a finger on em! yet they know im the boss and they do as they are told! as for the ppl on dog borstal i think alot of it is jus they want to be on tv! i personally think its sad i have no problem with the other 2 trainers method they dont get pyhsical but id love to see mic try something like that with my 2 dogs cos he would be straight on his asse! even thinking of applying with a friends dog or one out of kennels with behaviour problems so i can oput the twat in his place! i spend 10 yrs in the military and have never seen training like that! it discusts me!

  • Kevin Hodgson

    “There are far more effective and kinder methods that work better than those shown, but that wouldn?€™t make good tv now would it.”

    What methods are those? I guess they are just showing the methods which give results time after time. I see nothing cruel about anything on the show… call the RSPCA because Mic wrestled that dog to the ground?!?! He didn’t hurt it, he was showing it who was boss. And as for the golden retriever that was being dragged along the ground – if that was hurting it it would have soon stood up and walked. Give the dog more credit he’s not stupid! He was trying to get his own way and the owner was teaching him that it won’t wash.

    My mum has been teaching our dogs not to bark at the door by using keys to throw at the door whenever a car drives past (they bark at the rumble of every lorry etc.!). This distracts them and they don’t particularly like it. So what, they soon learnt that hey, if they don’t bark at the slightest thing my mum won’t do it! Dog’s aren’t stupid. I see nothing cruel about the methods used. Dogs need to dominate or be dominated. It’s in their nature.

  • Alan

    The people who have suggested some aspects of training on this show are cruel are very naive indeed. The biggest obstacle in dog training is indeed training the handler first and foremost.
    In the case of the Weim it was a ‘last resort’ situation. A dog which is allowed to get away with such behaviour is an accident waiting to happen. There is no set way to train a dog. Different methods work for different dogs.

  • Jackie

    “i have 2 boxer that are now 8 months old and i have never put a finger on em! yet they know im the boss and they do as they are told”

    Some people have a natural ability to take the ‘leader’ position with their dogs, its in their own mannerisms, their eye contact, body language….and some can do it without even realizing what theyre doing, not everyone can do that, if they could there would be no market for dog trainers.

    Ive seen some trainers that I would say use cruel methods, I havent seen anythng that Mic or any of the trainers on Dog Borstal do that even comes close to being cruel.

    What I do think is cruel is owners who are ignorant of their own dogs potential or current destructive and aggressive behaviour, its cruel when that dog gets loose and attacks and possibly kills someones child or kills someone elses pet or leaves another owner with thousands of dollars worth of vets bills, its cruel when the owner dumps their dog off in a shelter or worse just dumps it out somewhere in country to fend for itself because at 2 years old its still peeing indoors and tearing up the furniture.

  • Tracey

    I must admit I found some of dog borstal totally disbelieving. What on earth has making the owner do pressups got to do with dog training or people training?

    These harsh “the dog MUST do as its told” methods should have gone out with the ark. Consistent kind training is what is needed. Owners with problems need to be advised, have things explained to them and shown where they have gone wrong and are going wrong. Not bullied and made to look fools. I dont think any of the owners realised what they were letting themselves in for when they signed up!

    My concerns are that people at home will think this is the way to train a dog and copy it.

    One of the writers here states that their dog eats its own poo – answer to that is as soon as the dog does it, clean up! No better way to stop your dog eating it than getting rid of it immediately. However what is repulsive to us is not repulsive to a dog. As for eating other dogs poo, if it were my dog I would take it to the vet to make sure there is nothing medically wrong with it i.e. something missing from its diet.

    To train a dog successfully you need to be firm, kind and consistent. Motivation is a key – find out what motivates your dog whether it is a toy or food and use that key. I would advise anyone who feels they have a problem to get in contact with a trainer who will work on a one to one basis with them over a matter or weeks.

    I was appalled to read here on these messages that someone was advised to put their finger in the dogs mouth and press down on the tongue with their nail to stop nipping – what sort of trainer advised that. The dog at one year old should not still be nipping, however he is still a puppy and clearly you need some help. You need to go right back to basics with a good trainer and work your way with your dog. Your own vet should be able to advise you on trainers.


  • Dale Hitchman

    Tracey at last a voice of reason that saw the progamme for what it was and gives sensible advice.We can see how ‘brilliant’ the progammes trainers are by the fact they have not given an answer to any of the concerns posted on this site.

  • rhian

    What a great programme, my two dogs and I have enjoyed the series and I have picked up a few tips in the process.
    I am more appalled at some of the comments made that the training methods are cruel, just demonstrates that people do forget that animals are just that and not human.
    As has been pointed out earlier, some of these dogs were in last chance saloon and I for one would rather have some straight talking and positive help for my dog, rather than endure the possibility of having an animal put down for aggressive behaviour.
    Dogs are pack animals and therefore need to know their place in the pecking order, well done Mic et al, look forward to the next series of ‘Bad owner Borstal’!

  • jackie trueman

    i think your’e programme is just what i need and my 9 month old rotty needs. she is play aggressive towards any one in the family and barks all the time at things that are not there we need help with her. she is hard to control on the lead and tries to jump all over people when we see them in the street henace the fact that we dont take her out as much as we’d like to. we have had a rotty bitch before and just love the breed kiesha has a lovely te,prament shes not vicous just very very boistrous and i dont want to get rid of her but it i dont get any help then it’ll have to be that please please help me.

  • GSD owner

    I love Dog borstal, and Mic is great.
    And biting dog is a Dangerous dog, it HAS to be TOLD YOU MUST NOT BITE, not Asked please dont bite!
    they are dogs not humans, and some do have a dominant trait, so they have to be told they are not alpha!
    dogs are not stupid, if they are so stubburn they wont walk, if you drag them and it hurts they can stand up and walk, simple as that, if it was hurting that goldie he would have walked sooner, have you not seen 2 or more dog’s playing it looks more painfull then anything iv seen on that show if it hurt they wouldnt do it!
    do some research on dog’s ancestors!
    They arnt children/humans they dont think like us.

  • Another GSD Owner

    I never really paid much attention to this series. However, I caught last week’s episode and then followed it up with this week’s.

    Let me first state, before anyone tries filling in the blanks on my behalf, I am far from what I am sure Mic would consider a mamby-pamby trainer; I very much believe in training a dog as a dog, not as a surrogate child. However, after watching Mic wrestle a dog to the floor as part of a training method, I truly couldn’t believe they even showed it.

    I’m not disputing that Mic knows his stuff; clearly he does, or at least did. His training methods seem very very dated. We’ve moved on a lot since the “I’ll be leader at all costs” type of training. There are now many more proven methods of accomplishing the same objectives, without having to wrestle your dog to the ground to get it. (In my eyes, a sure sign that you, as the owner, have lost control completely.)

    Maybe his methods are more accepted in the millitary as they are almost a law unto themselves, but I seriously doubt that these methods are the best ones for the training of domestic pets.

    I would hate to think that viewers see the cleverly edited snippets and the lovely edited end result and think to themselves “Ah, ha, this is the method that works then.” Please, there are far kinder, intuitive and natural training methods. Investigate them all before you buy into the Dog Borstal methods. Remember, you are seeing perhaps less than a tenth of what really went on throughout the days.

  • alan walton

    brilliant program .. when wil be repeated… as i missed the last episode…

  • alan walton

    ps.. i forgot to say i own a troublesome yorkshire terrier.. bye for now..

  • Jamie Booth

    I was on the first programme with Henry, the weimaraner and have only just found this blog, what a mix of comments about all and sundry – the BBC have really stirred up a hornets nest.
    From 6 days of filming 7.00 until 23.00, there was an hour long programme – a lot was edited out.
    Louise, Henry and myself got Robert, who we could not fault, Debbie was great and Mick was Mick. All 3 trainers were really committed to the training of the owners and beleive it or not all genuinely cared for the dogs – we were not there to see Mick wrestle with Louis, so I can’t comment.
    The main idea of the programme was to show us owners how to handle our dogs correctly with the various problems that we have let develop through our not understanding them and from our point of view, how to interact and play with them.
    Robert was fantastic and has shown us how to be more responsible dog owners. As first-time owners, a Weimaraner may not have been the best choice, but he will never be mistreated or be without a home that cares for him. (Henry was always a pet and not a Child replacement!)
    Henry is actually a very chilled-out dog now – he was only 10 months old when it was filmed and has settled down.
    You could not ask for a more caring trainer in terms of animal welfare and ability to train owners – search for Robert Alleyne on Google and you will find a lot more about the man and what he has done.
    So Dale was on his 5th or 6th programme – so what! He was in a way set up with Mick to create a bit of a conflict and entertainment for the programme – took the heat off of us and Lynne & Maggie.
    I really enjoyed being involved with the programme and would not hesitate to recommend Robert Alleyne to anyone for some 1 to 1 training.

  • Dog Borstal

    The BBC is currently looking for badly behaved dogs and frustrated owners for a new series of Dog Borstal to be filmed this summer.
    Telephone: 020 8752 4875
    Or e-mail: [email protected]

  • How does one get in touch with the Trainers, please?

  • Rachel Carroll

    I think dog borstal is disgusting. Do the producers of this show really think that throwing bottles of stones at a dog to terrify it out of a bad behaviour is better that teaching it the correct way through kindness and patience. There is no quick fix when it comes to dog training, and it should NEVER be suggested that there is. I know you point out a lot more goes on than what you see on television, but for it to really work there needs to be months and years of time and training, not just hours.

    For this site to suggest that Vistoria Stilwell is “boring” and “samey” is diabolical, and that this load of rubbish is “fresher” is just going backwards, to the dark ages of teaching a dog to hell by yanking it about. Maybe some of the fans of dog borstal should ask the Association of Pet Dog Trainers what they think of the programme and why the methods are wrong. Victoria Stilwell has an excellent, patient way of teaching dogs and owners about the correct, kind ways of teachng your dog, and should be encouraged, not told it is “samey”. Maybe if it is samey, then she’s doing something right. Did anybody see the way the Weimeraner flinched at the sound of the stones on the bottle. Does this bring pleasure to anybody, to see a dog flinch at a noise because its terrifeid of what that noise means???

    i have a three yo Rottweiler, who I clicker train. He ahs learnt more in a few hours of training, over a month, than he has in two years of teaching the old ways, of pushing him around and telling him off when he gets it wrong. He is also happier, more relaxed and much much more obedient. I strongly suggest that this programme rethinks its training methods, and considers my comments.

  • Linda

    It’s interesting that some think it was ok to treat the dogs harshly. What’s also interesting is that the people making the comments in support tend to add on things like “dogs need to be dominated” and “dogs are not children” …

    Up to date trainers and behaviourists deal with dogs like Louis and the rest all the time. They don’t have to use physical means to train the dogs because they understand the dogs well enough not to have to. I think to be honest, those who are in support of the programme are showing they haven’t been learning much about dog behaviour which has come on in leaps and bounds over the last decade!!

    Come on folks – gen up a bit on the latest on wolf pack theory/dominance/training/behaviour and then come back and support this appalling programme with a little more knowledge please … 😉

    I’d also suggest that what Mic did – ie, strangling the dog, not just flipping it – the dog was making choking noises – was basic cruelty. I’m not being flippant nor naive, but I believe this would be covered by one of the Animal Acts. I think Dog Borstal should be very careful if they are going to show any more of this.

    A trainer friend has also had one owner already bitten by trying one of the methods – rattle bottle. The show is not harmless.

    Also – jerking on headcollars, one of the trainers claiming to desensitise when she was in fact “flooding” – could it get any worse!!!

  • Linda

    Re the goldie not walking – his hips needed to be X rayed and I understand they werent.

    A trainer I know of has had similar Goldie problem dogs – more than one had severe hip problems and one had a stomach problem.

    People who say ” it should walk, it has legs” show they have no ability to think outside that old fashioned training box!!

    I did like Rob – he had excellent people skills and although I disagreed with some of his methods, overall he was the best trainer by far.

  • Sheila Villet

    How I wish the BBC would take this show off the air! It has done so much damage already by using cruel techniques I think it is past time it was chucked off the schedules. The rough-house techniques it recommends are like the old school practice of corporal punishment, traumatic for the dogs and dangerous for their handlers. Fine if you can do kung foo but if you are 8 and have a big dog? Try pushing a nervous German Shepherd or spaniel around, yelling and throwing things near him. Imagine having Mic for a boss and think of how much you would hate him – that is exactly what the dogs feel. These fear based techniques teach the dog to supress his feelings, but do not take away the fear / anger he feels, they make it worse, though latent. Fear based training takes away the dog’s initiative and personality and produces inhibited, withdrawn dogs. Reward based training produces dogs who work with real enthusiasm and trust their trainers.

  • Sam

    I found the program utter rubbish.

    Yes, dogs are not people and I agree wholeheartedly with this. So why are methods being used which a dog cannot understand? One cannot have things both ways – training a dog is through consistency and understanding of the species. This program showed none of these two basic elements.

    All of the problem dogs on the comments here could have been resolved easily, the owners have simply let them get out of hand. I am saddened by the amount of people who seem to think this ludicrous program is a fix for their problems.

    I believe that many owners have been bitten by trying to follow the methods advocated on this program – well done BBC, you have done a fantastic job for the anti-dog lobby.

    To the people who think this is a fantastic program and the answer to their problems – I have an easier answer for you. You shouldn’t have a dog in the first place, you have no concept of their basic requirements – go and get a cyber pet instead.

  • AJL

    I quote: “pretty obvious that these ?€œexperts?€? don?€™t really understand how animals learn behaviour at all or heard of operant conditioning”

    I would really beg to differ. Mic clearly is an expert an training police dogs and the such like, and I personally think you do not undertsand how animals learn.

    Myself, my girlfriend and our dog (who will remain nameless and breedless until the show airs!) have just come back from DOg Bortsal, and we had mic. He has shown us alot of techniques that tree huggers will no doubt be appaled at. However, Our dog is now on the road to being a well behaved one, who can now be recalled with no problem, has been trained to do barrel and woodland searches (although we clearly recognise this is more of a game for our dog and we still have a long way to go on the searches!), and is now a firm lover of agility courses!!

    Mic was, I think, very very pleased with the progress our dog and ourselves made. We respected him for spending time with us on the training, and i think he respected us for listening to him, doing everything he told us, and trying to get as much from his experience as possible. Not once did we give him any backchat, and not once did we complain about his techniques.

    For example, our dog has a habit of eating things off the floor, but the issue came on the camp when she started eating mushrooms, which could have had some very serious health issues. She wouldnt respond to a call and so Mick squirted her with water. I know people with think this is cruel, personally i think you all need to live in the real world. We now have a dog who will not eat from the floor and her life has now been significantly de-risked!!

    I could talk for hours about this but I’ll just leave with a thank you to Mic, and to tell the lefty tree huggers to get real. Mic has improved the life of our dog (and us!) and for that we are truly grateful.

  • Irony

    Do you work for the BBC or are you just on commission?

    Note that the “tree huggers” don’t have to resort to entertainment programs on the BBC to train their dogs – they manage to do it all on their own. I wonder how they manage to find the time in between tree worship…….

  • Faye

    I have just come back from filming an episode for the second series of Dog Borstal, my staffy was a naughty little monkey and after a few days with Mic Martin we now have a stronger bond and a happier lifestyle. The programme is brilliant entertainment and thats what it is….. please remember that. The dogs all had a brilliant time, were well looked after and came to no harm at all. My Staffy spent hours jumping, running around and i have never seen him so happy and healthy. Thanks to the BBC, can’t wait to see by boy on the tv.

  • F.Davidson

    Can anyone help me contact the show Dog Borstal?I have a slightly mad Appenzeller Hound who is scared of everything and very anti-social.I was hoping to get some advice on how to deal with him as it is now making life a little difficult.Regards F.Davidson

  • Irony

    Can’t wait to see my dog on the tv….hmmm sums the whole thing up really.

  • AJL


    Apologies, im not on commision – the BBC cant afford me!

    Will be on the show, potentially in the next series, I would have thought that to be quite clear from my previous post “Myself, my girlfriend and our dog (who will remain nameless and breedless until the show airs!) have just come back from DOg Bortsal, and we had mic”

    Yes the show is entertainment, and yes we have learnt alot of techniques to assist in the training of our dog.

    And we did not ‘resort’ to entertainment for training. We were approached whilst out walking her. Who would turn down the opportunity of 3 days of intensive training?

  • Irony

    The clue is in the name – my remark about commission was for the rather tacky PR job you managed for the BBC.

    Many people would easily reject an ad-hoc offer – 3 days of intensive training is not the road to success. Would I take an offer of training my dog from someone approaching me unannounced saying “I am from the BBC?” – I think not and I don’t know anyone who would, we must move in different social spheres. Personally I do not treat the training of my dogs as “entertainment” – I take it seriously.

    Dogs have problems due to owner inability – its time people took responsibility for their own mistakes and didn’t look for a quick fix to recitify their own failings.

  • AJL

    You clearly dont appreciate the concept of Dog Borstal. With Mic, the majority of the training is on the owner. We took full responsibility for our own failings, and when approached by people saying ‘we are looking for people to appear on dog bortsal’ we knew it would get results.

    We knew we would benefit from an initial intensive training as I knew that attending a few puppy training classes at weekends would not work for myself and my girlfriend. Due to work commitments I knew I would not be able to commit to a series of saturdays to get the ball rolling on training. This approach allowed me to attend the friday afternoon and all day saturday training so that I know what I do wrong with our dog, and to help me progress her training.

    I agree 3 days intensive training is not the road to success. Nor do I believe i alluded to that. What i did say was that our dog is ‘on the road’ to being well trained. Mic pointed out the things we were doing wrong and gave us advice on how to handle things in the future. We have the bulding blocks to assist in the training of our dog.

    In no way was I attempting some tacky PR on behalf of the BBC. My comment was relaying my views having spent 2 days with Mic, responding to the views expressed on this website that I do not agree with.

    Whilst the show is ultimately about entertainment, you must remember there is 3 days of training behind each 15 minutes of show per dog. The owners who get the most out of it are the ones who recognise their own failings in training, and I feel we did just that.

    As to your social spheres comment – yes I am very sure we do. What relevance this has I am not sure. Do you want to get into some heated debate about who does what or something? Who has more money? Odd..

  • Irony

    The social spheres comment was merely to illustrate the fact that I would not consider someone approaching me and taking up their offer of training as nobody I know would. I’m not sure where you get your heated debate idea – lets be fair, it wasn’t me who came on here telling everyone to get real and calling people tree huggers was it?

    If you cannot commit to a regular training session, why did you get a dog? Committing to a regular training routine is an elementary requirement, if you can’t do it, you shouldn’t have a dog – simple as that.

  • AJL

    ha ha.. you freak. Its good of you to pick certain points of what i wrote to fit your argument.

    “Due to work commitments I knew I would not be able to commit to a series of saturdays to get the ball rolling on training” i.e. I am fully aware that we needed to have some intense time to get us on the road to training and 3 days training with mic was what we needed. I did not say myself and my girflriend were unable to commit to the schedule, i said I was unable to commit to the first few sessions that would be important in instilling the methods we needed to train the dog.

    I am still struggling with your issue of accepting free training? Do you have some misconception that you are too good to receive help? Are you too proud? Someone offered the chance of 3 days training. please let me know why i was wrong in accepting this – you clearly think less of me for accepting and I have to say I am confused by that.

    And as for the tree huggers comments. People have said on this page that the methods are outdated and the RSPCA should be informed. I think thats a load of leftist tripe to be honest. Apologies if you like to hug trees, i just dont agree with you.

  • Irony

    Picking certain points? I don’t think so – you were the one that wrote them.

    I am struggling with your acceptance of something which is designed as entertainment therefore not the answer to the problem of training your dog. Due to its aggressive timescale alone it has no conception of how to work out the training method that suits the dog therefore is ineffective.

    You are quite right – I am too good to receive that sort of help – my dogs don’t have those sort of problems, did all my homework before owning my first dog. They are trained properly, regularly and effectively. You would be astonished with the results this approach yields.

    If you think people who have an understanding of how to train dogs without resorting to outdated methods are tree huggers, well thats your ignorance – however I hope that one day someone turns the light on for you.

  • kaz

    hiya i have a jack russell cross named monty, hes a lovely dog but always runs up 2 other dogs & just completely ignores me & even when hes on the lead he just barks his head off at them but hes not nasty just wants 2 play but some old twat whacked monty with his walking stick just because he was sniffing his dog so i cussed him & put monty back on his lead whereas i should of grabbed the walking stick & wrapped it round the mans head, but anyway thats got me all annoyed again, i like dog borstal but some off the things makes me flinch but id say its all above board, if ur not happy with the show dont watch it simple as ;o)
    cheers xxx

  • LS

    dear irony,

    well i have to say it was rather amusing to read all of your responses to comments i agree with.
    have you been to dog borstal? do you know what actually happens there? as AJL commented for every 15mins 3/4 days of training take place. For ‘entertainment’ values only the most ‘camera worthy’ clips are aired. these are the clips that will make people watch the programme and unless you have taken part in the programme you are truly un able to comment on the training methods.
    reading a book, doing homework and research on how to train a dog is all very good. however theory and practise is somewhat different. if you have found success in training your dogs that way, that is great. However others might have problems that a book cant not help them with and to be honest i think you should be focusing your efforts of complaint on dogs that are seriously untrained and dangerous. to be offered free training by a professional and do it with all of your effort is surly better than doing nothing at all once you have tried the books and the theory?
    what is it about Dog Borstal that you dislike so much? bad dog arrives, traing sessions take place, an improved dog and owner leave? i cant see where the problem is.

  • Lynsey

    Can anyone tell me how to apply for Dog Borstal. We have a 10 month old staffie and he’s very snappy and uncontrolable in the house. Ronnie though is quite well behaved out on walks, put does jumped up people. He’s been to puppy training, but just get’s too distracted by all the other dogs.

    Ronnie is driving my husband and I mad

    Please help, thank you

  • ajl

    They are trained properly, regularly and effectively. You would be astonished with the results this approach yields.

    Yes, I am truly astonished that proper effective training gives good results. Thank you for letting me know

    As for picking certain points, i refer to the fact that you off all the points i wrote, you picked up on half the comment about me being busy, and implying i was an unsuitable dog owner.

    And as LS has said, the show is not about entertainment for the owners!!! 3 days of intensive training produces results for the dog and owner giving them the building blocks for them both. These days get distilled into a short amount of viewing time. The show is obviously going to have an element of entertainment otherwise no one would watch it

    As for Lynsey – stick with the puppy classes, and make sure you reinforce what you learn on the course, at home.

  • JW

    I like to watch Dog Borstal and it’s interesting to compare the different methods that the trainers use. I’ve had dogs for many years and used to compete in Agility with Belgian Tervuren which was a lot of fun and the dogs loved it, the training methods I use are centered around motivation through play, also I find it’s best to start as you mean to go on i.e. don’t let the problems develop in the first place. Someone commented earlier about the Goldie being dragged asking could it have had hip problems and I understand from watching the programme that all the dogs are examined by a Vet before starting the training, also that the dog in question had no problems racing around chasing balls etc when it wanted to. Concerning the Weimeraner Louis I didn’t hear him choking on the programme and I wouldn’t have said that Mic wrestled him, he merely flipped him onto his back to put him into a submissive position. I know it’s not nice to see a dog being dragged along on a lead but dogs have a very strong muscle structure around the neck, I’m sure we have all seen check chains used incorrectly and how dogs pull until their eyes bulge, incidently I never use check chains or anything like them. If Louis had bitten in other circumstances he would have been at risk of being destroyed because of the dangerous dogs act. I haven’t seen any of the dogs involved exhibiting signs of fear when approached by the trainers and would never advocate ill treatment of any animal but there has to be balance. The owners didn’t pass the problems on by rehoming the dogs and and the follow up programmes indicate that most of the problems are resolved if the owners consistently do what was suggested. All the dog training programmes on the TV these days are hopefully making people aware of what they are taking on when they get a dog. I always train my dogs with play and food and I prefer to think of it as motivating them rather than training them and I never had to use the above methods, I wouldn’t hesitate to use training discs or a bottle with stones if necessary and in the programme the bottle was never thrown at the dog, it was just shaken and the discs were dropped on the floor, not thrown. The ONLY way dogs/puppies are like children is DON’T LET BAD HABITS DEVELOP and know what you’re taking on when you get a dog.

  • Contrib4

    As a contributor to this second series I was enjoying reading the comments and varying opinions on this blog. I recognized a post from a friend we met during our intensive 4 day, 12 hour days of training (we got 4 days of training so AJL I think you may have been cheated), and got quite excited about being part of something that people are obviously passionate about, whether their view is positive or negative.

    Then I found the posts from Irony and AJL and felt myself becoming very uneasy about our participation.

    I am shocked that simply for explaining his experience on the show AJL was so viciously patronized by

  • AJL

    Contrib4 – just a quick post as watching the latest episode today

    Wasnt cheated on training, but due to work, i was only able to join friday afternoon. My girlfriend however got the full raft of training from Mic!

    Good to hear from someone else on the show – by your name i assume you are either on this week as dog 4, or in episode 4?

    Think we are maybe episode 5, not too sure, Quite nervours as as you said, I have no idea what angle they will take.

    Hope you are enjoying your ‘new’ dog as much as we are enjoying ours. I hope she’s also enjoying her ‘new’ owners!

  • Contrib4

    What a lovely show tonight

  • AJL

    Found myself watching Rogue trader too and spotting grovesy one of our sound guys!

    Had our home filming last weekend and got a vague idea of when we would be on, and was good to catch up with some of the Z crew people so would be keen for a catch up with them all. Especially Mic – we miss him! Although in the process of signing up to his school so fingers crossed.

  • heather

    i have a 5 month old GSD who is a total nightmare..i also own a 6 yr old border collie who is a blessing in disguise..but my pup will never ever do as she is told regardless…dog borstal has given me tips that i have endured on my pup and they have worked..however..i would love my little devil dog to go on the show and be as good as my other dog…dont think mic could even do this dog…!!

  • Katanya

    Hi just been looking at the comments re dog borstal. I am getting my return home visit this week and really enjoyed taking part in the show. My big hairy bear ( thats what I call him and when you see him you see why)was quite a handful and hated ( I mean hated, couldnt even get out the gate to walk him hated)other dogs but Rob was absol fab with us. But one point I would like to make is that it may not be us who have a problem training our dogs, we at least recognise something needs to be done and whom attempt to put our prob pooches to rights but the irresponsibility of other dog owners who assume it is absolutely fine for them to open their door, let out their pooch to roam the streets & pooh all over causing havock to other dog walkers and then opening their doors several hours later to welcome their oh so beloved pet back indoors, and have the cheek to call us irresponsible owners!. I have tried oh so hard since coming back off training, but the irresponsibility of your typical useless dog owner put us in a damn awkward situation ( i wont say to much as it will spoil my follow up however..)my dog did have a problem and thats why I went to dog borstal for in the first place, but some couch potato who cant be bothered to take a nice stroll with their so called beloved pet has put me straight back to square one in training. As you can imagine I was so P***** off but I did learn something very valuable from dog borstal and that is to keep trying… so that is what I am doing again. starting from scratch with my rattle bottle (which by the way is a good training device & doesnot scare the living daylights out of my dog but just asserts some discipline) So although probably a show failure in sense I have learnt something, just a shame mr couch potato couldnt have learnt something valuable either. Good luck to everyone, its great to see another show and great to see I was not alone with a tairaway dog.

  • vic lesslie

    please can anyone help we have a 3 year old parsons jack russell who will often escape and no matter what will not come back when called even the offer of food does not work any more have tried everything we can think of and even advice from a home office trainer does not seem to work please help or maybe dog borstal for him and us!!lookforward to any advice thanks vic lesslie

  • Hannah

    i love dog borstal and would love to get into dog ecurit but unable to get in because im a small built female i have helped at training classes and now work as a bouncer and if possible would like to get some tips from mic as to how to get into this kind of work

  • stephen

    Hi all.i am not a dog owner but am considering it.I love dog borstal! So perhaps i am a tad biased.Mic comes across to me as a no nonsense kind of guy and thats why i like him.He takes dogs and their owners who are problematic and turns them round through good old fashioned discipline.
    Mic and his approach might seem harsh to some people but i would have him any day!
    This guy knows his stuff and the results prove that!
    People moan or criticise his methods but have you ever came across an undisciplined police/services dog???
    i think mic is “the” trainer on dog borstal!
    The guy knows what works and while his methods might not go down well on civvie street he has proved himself in his field.
    To irony
    all i can say is you have never been in a disciplined service.
    you most likely are a tree hugger or have never had a dog that required mic!
    To those who have been on the show and had the privelege of having mic as your trainer all i can say is lucky you!
    This guy knows his stuff when it comes to training dogs and not to listen to him is stupidity!
    His manner may seem abrupt at times but he has the dogs best interests at heart.
    yes the dogs and not the owners!
    after all the program is for the dogs benefit and not the owners!!!!
    i just wish there was a website to thank mic for his efforts !
    Mic keep up the good work!

  • AG

    To all those people requesting help with their dogs. The Association of Pet Dog Trainers have a list of trainers that all use kind and effective training methods:
    For more serious canine behaviour problems the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors have a list of behaviourists who have met stringent criteria requiring them to have extensive knowledge of dog behaviour, cognition and learning. They have years of experience of using modern, kind effective methods:
    If you prefer to train your pet using fear and punishment you could try contacting the BBC directly. Regards.

  • hi on the tele tonight from filming with faye and taz mentioned above. We all had a great time training our dogs with the three trainers.All who have different methods, which some work better than most. It was really good doing the training and enjoyed it all, even though its quite draining having a camera crew in your face 24/7 but i also have to add they are fantastic all the peeps who were with me and rich we thought you were absolutely fab! Want to say many thanks too everyone we met out there n to keep in touch, even though i never wanted to be on the tele i haven’t clicked yet feels sureal until tonight then it might all sink in!!!! Thanks Lynne for all the training you did with our pooches!!

  • bryan garner

    hi there,
    we’re going to be on episode 5 which is next week and i’d like to say thank you to lynne she was our trainer for our time at dog borstal, i’ve seen comments from other trainers on different websitessaying that dog borstal is total nonsense and that we bullied our dogs into training i’d like to put the record straight it was the best experience for us and our dog penny and we ahd so much fun there and at no time bully tatics tuck place, i praise the ways lynne cared for our dog and the way we trained and i’m sure anyone thats been on there would agree i don’t understand where they see fear and punisment training from they must be watching the x factor!!!!!!!!! not dog borstal

    penny and ourselves live a happier life now due to dog borstal and lynne and i challenge anyone to prove dog borstal wrong in the way they train

    kind regards
    bryan,sarah oh and penny woof woof

    oh and its funny the comments AG made hasn’t got his real name on the comment go figure!!!

  • carrey

    hi i am wanting to apply for dogborstal my dog is 2yrs old called missy and is aggresive to people and other dogs we need your help please

  • Robert Alleyne

    Hi All,

    Someone suggested that I have a look at this site to see what was being said about Dog Borstal. Firstly I am glad to see that it has generated such interest in dog training. So keep up the dialogue, whether positive or negative.

    I would like to thank all of the people who have been positive about the show. It is reassuring to know that owners and trainers have liked what they have seen, and have been able to use some of the techniques on their own dogs or dogs that they have worked with. I have received so many emails and letters from people who love the show, so thank you to all of you too.

    As for the so-called tree huggers who don’t like the show, thank you also for taking the time to air your views. I have no problem with the few of you who have made constructive criticisms, and have offered alternatives that they feel might be helpful. However, I do have a real problem with some of the others – the people who for some reason see themselves as some sort of supreme dog training dieties, whereby anyone who doesn’t work the way that they are happy with, feel they have the right to be abusive or insultive. Why do these people not have the guts to say who they are as we have done? Why do they not invite us to their classes to show us how it should be done. I’ll tell you why. Because they are cowards. They lack sufficient expertise to stand up and be counted, they simply find fault with everyone else. I find it difficult to waste my time trying to communicate with such people, so am happy to let them quietly rant on in their anonymous manner. They are too insignificant for me to care what they think, because of they way they conduct themselves. I am more than happy to say who I am and what I do. Anyone is welcome to visit my classes and see how I train. Why do they not offer the same. As for the APDT, I have heard several references to them and what they had to say about the show, which they published on their website, but in spite of my request that they do so, they didn’t publish my response. Have a read of it and you may not be quite so quick to recommend them. Since I wrote my response, they have had a restructure of their whole application process, which to me says volumes about them.

    Many people have said that they are worried that the public may copy the things that we do regardless of the advice telling them not to. I take no responsibility for such stupid people. Like most classes, I encourage people to come and watch before joining. Should clubs stop doing this in case people try to copy at home without the proper instruction? Of course not. We all encourage people to practice outside. Should we stop saying this in case other people copy without having been trained by a qualified intsructor first? I think not.

    As for us not rewarding the dogs, every single dog that I worked with was trained using toys, and/or food. Not every dog was taught with a rattle bottle. This is clearly shown. But none of the complainers acknowledge this, because they would rather moan about the things that they don’t like. And as for the so-called bloody ‘alpha roll’, HOW MANY TIMES do we have to go over this. Mic wasn’t teaching an alpha roll. The cameraman got too close, something he had been warned about on more than one occasion, and the dog went for him. Mic reacted instinctively, and pinned the dog down to prevent the guy being bitten. Hence all his shouting that “I told you to fuc#*ng stay back. It is so clear to anyone who wants to see it for what it was.

    As for my frequent use of the rattle bottle, I make no apology for it. The reason that I used it was because we only had a maximum of about three hours training time a day for three days to change these dogs dramatically, so we had to quickly get them to acknowledge who was calling the shots. However, there was FAR more food and toy training that bottle training. The bottle is a training aid in the same way that the food was. I think that it is no coincidence that both our dogs and our children have become so badly behaved in the same period, the period that has required the treat and ignore attitude to training. Why is it that since the introduction of these methods, along with things like puppy socialisation classes and puppy parties, that aggression has gone through the roof. People have said that we have put dog training back 30 years. I do not agree, but if we had, there would be a lot less aggression, so would that be a bad thing? These so-called modern trainers seem to have done a great job of making dogs a lot better at biting. Congratulations. You must be very proud. Of course the irony is, I have had emails from several trainers who have been on sites such as this, saying that they use things like rattle bottles themselves, but are too afraid to admit it in case they are shot down in flames. How sad is that?

    Anyway, I will sign off now, I have droned on far longer than I had intended. I will leave you with the response to the APDT. And for the moaners, all I would say is that their home footage shows that every one of the dogs who appeared on the show was better behaved two months later than it was when it arrived, so we must be doing something right.

    Good luck and best wishes,


    Dear Ms. Burnside,

    The BBC have passed on to me details of an email sent from you concerning Dog Borstal. In it you have raised several concerns which they thought that we, the instructors might like to address personally. For clarity, I will respond to them in the order in which they were made:

    ‘It is our professional opinion that this programme shows outmoded, outdated, unacceptable training methods. It would be the same if you showed a programme about educating children that showed caning smacking and other physically punishing techniques. Imagine the complaints if Supernanny pinned a child to a table and gave them

  • Pippa

    Hi Rob, Faye, Caryn, Richard, and crew!

    Cant believe how much ranting there is about this program when you can clearly see that nothing but good comes out of it!

    Rob, you are fantastic, patient and highly knowledgeable and we thank you for making our relationship with our family so much better. We are still going from strength to strength with both Keano and Widget.

    Your expert assistance has proved invaluable; I have even agreed to marry the little

  • AJL

    Pippa! Congratulations on the wedding, and good to see the change on the show!

    I think mick has similar plans for me and my girlfriend, but I want to keep him waiting!

    Quite enjoying some of the debate on these sites – its good to hear different opinions and approaches and feel that is the best way to learn. However, its the ‘thats wrong, my way is better’ brigade that i dont like, as they never seem to be able to say what their way is!

    Found this on the internet which quite enjoyed watching, some dog borstal uncuts!

  • OH wasn’t that interesting last night on dog borstal, how Mitchell got all the bad gripe.Well as Mitchells owner I am going to point out the fact that he went to dog borstal for his unruly chewing and shitting everywhere not the fact he was part kangaroo and likes to defend his property (may i add what dog doesn’t????). Hes not the child eating dog he was made out to be, we adopted Mitchell from a rescue and had to pass tests with him to see if he could come into the family with us having children, and he PASSED! The film crew have done a fantastic job at editing all sorts out and they have forgot to mention that the dog that went in for his teething behaviour is infact Max,Mitchell’s so called side kick, yes we openly said that he has bitten our older child but this wasn’t mentioned, poor Mitchell got the shit.Mitchell is far from perfect and you know something dog borstal wouldn’t be here if we all had perfectly trained dogs like the trainers!! Max ‘s problem was never questioned, infact ignored, i would go to say as i so did on the programme but edited yet again!! Max has got an aggressive side and rears its head when the older children decide to start fighting,as teenagers do. Both our dogs have not been with us since puppies we have inherited these problems and even though it portrays the fact that i was total oblivious to the fact we have daft dogs it was actually me that put in 100% and i did and still do realise that we don’t have fantastic control over them but we are trying unlike the episode made out that i wasn’t. Many thanks for that. The recall, well, two months later that was the 2nd time since filming that max and mitchell have been off the lead in an open space and they did return back too me when i called them, no recall at borstal could be the fact that the dog was confused when he was in a run and one of the owners had to go and hide behind a building, oh and i forgot to mention that the wind was blowing so super nosed disobediant Mitchell could smell us a bloody mile off and wondered what the hell was happening!!!?? On the programme it said we didn’t acknowledge the problem???Erm was that not us on the tele last night, doing all we had been taught. Couldn’t understand why Max wasn’t shown doing all his training with his disobedient owner, maybe this is because the viewing wouldn’t of been as entertaining as i did everything 100%, oh shit probably wasn’t supposed to say that!!!!! Still i say a thankyou to Lynne as her training methods were good and they do seem to work,and thought you were a lovely lady. Rob thought you seemed a wonderful person and pip and adam rated you. Mick thought your training methods worked with taz and faye but just one question “How do you know herpes doesn’t heal?”Caryn

  • AJL

    Personally, i think Micks training methods work with the majority of dogs and owners he works with – but why try to get a personal snipe in about his knowledge of herpes?

    Have you ever suffered from cold sores? if so, you will know that once you’ve had one, you can guarantee you’ll get another

  • hi AJL, if you took time out to listen to what people said on the programme you would realise that the comment made about herpes was in jest. If you read it also says that i thought micks training worked, so whats your problem?Take your nose out of Micks arse hes only human after all, he’s no super dog!! Enjoyed my time there and would do it all again UNCUT!!!!!Caryn

  • AJL

    I did take the time out to listen, then took the time to read what you wrote, where you brown nosed the other trainers, then had a dig at Mic.

    A thank you for lynn, a wonderful person from rob, and a question to mic about herpes

    APologies for not reading the humour you intended – the joys of the internet means sometimes this is difficult

  • Jackie Kelly

    Just wanted to say….well said Mr Rob Alleyne.
    Rock on Dog Borstal…hope it continues for years, theres more than enough dogs that need (re)training the right way. And I totally agree on the escalating aggression issues….Im actually old enough to remember when people allowed dogs to be dogs and back then you rarely heard of people being mauled to death. I think common sense has gone out the window these days….so the training methods used are ‘outdated’….so lets use these namby pamby methods and completely screw up our dogs in the process!!!
    I guess you know your doing something right when over 50% of your clientele are people whos dogs have previously been trained using ‘modern’ methods…but they didnt work… complaints….keeps me in business 😉

  • andy

    You cant apply “supernanny” tactics to dog training.A dog does need to be dominated, as someone else stated, or it will assume that it is the leader.
    That is inherent!
    You do need to be “forcefull” (not cruel) with some dogs, but only as one small part of a training programe, which will include some psychological domination as well as positive re-enforcement and love and kindness.
    Having said that, if you arent capable of phsically overpowering your dog then dont try it, force alone wont work, he’ll soon suss you out and you could end up making things worse.

    As far as people trying methods out for themselves at home, well, would the average person try to re-wire their house on their own?
    No, get in people that have the experience.

  • pablo

    hi ajl,
    how’s things? i worked with you on dog borstal, and loved your dog, in fact i think i tried to keep it.
    glad to hear things are going well with aforementioned dog (won’t mention name…) i was sorry not to do your return visit. look forward to your show.
    Good luck with everything, go team pink…

  • AJL

    Ah, so my cunningly disguised name didnt work!

    Would you have been the z team sound man by any chance?

    THink we need to have a z-team pugs of our lives reunion!

    And one member of team pink has had his belt his removed…you will be glad to know the dog and her in doors is still sporting the pink

  • AJL



    some interesting wordsmithing by the bbc i feel

  • Daniel

    I dont have a dog at the moment but am looking for a staffie puppy, I have watched dog borstall with interest to see if i can pick up some tips.

    I do teach all types of folks in my job and have always found that although the basics of training are similar for each person, individuals react differently depending on many factors such as personality, talent, and so on.

    My point is all the dogs on DB are different and react differently to the trainer, owner and techniques used. Finding the one that works best for your dog is the trick.

    The right way is the one that works best for you and your dog. Teaching dogs is much easier than teaching golfers 😉 Maybe I should drag the golfers round the course or scare him/her till they hit the ball properly 😉

  • Jacki

    I have to confess that, since watching Dog Borstal I noticed (through mega searching on the web) that Mic apparently did training in the area where I live. I have a 1 yr old rescued border collie that I’ve had for 5 weeks. Obviously I have no background on him so needed help.

    I contacted the email addy and was given the address of the training school which is run by Richard Clarke – the guy who is Mics associate and the Dog Borstal ‘Lynns’ original trainer – she went to him with a badly behaved dog years ago and ended up training on Dog Borstal!

    I went to this training school for a ‘look-see’, and have signed up for a course of lessons. Richard had my dog walking to ‘heel’ within 5 minutes – although it is fair to say walking to heel in a field is totally different to out in the real world – but was so impressed with watching other dogs that have no qualms about joining.

    The dog borstal trainers are NOT cruel, they assess a dogs behaviour and then train YOU – the OWNER – how to train your dog.

    It’s not a magic cure, but I was unaware that giving a dog rawhide chews promoted digging (you should see the state of my garden!) so since throwing the chews out, doggie has stopped digging – coincidence? – I think not!

    The softly softly Americanised training might be what you prefer to see, but if you want a dog trained properly – then Dog Borstal in the one to watch.

  • Elaine Jowsey

    Hi everyone & Hi Rob, had revisit from dog borstal and toldour show is sheduled for xmas day. cant wait. My dog has done me proud but not because of me because of the great help & support I received off the show and for the absolutely fantastic training advice I received off Rob. My dog ( I refer to my dog as I’m not sure if I can give away his name as not yet been on the show) but he still gets Robs secret treat ingredients & loves it!!! Anyways thanks to Rob, Mick, Lyne, Dave & the kennel staff & thanks to all the crew who made our experience such a one we will never forget.

    adios my fello amigos


  • jess

    Please some 1 help me to apply for this program my dog is totaly out of control , she is a 1 yr old german shepard she was nearly run over tonight , me and my partner joh are running out of options we feel trapped and worried it just seems like nomatter what we do with her she completely forgets the next day please help me and my babie sadie

  • AJL

    SO, what did people think of saffy the super pug? I notice Irony has gone quiet – i presume his social sphere now precludes him from using the internet

    Hope you enjoyed a pug being a real dog!

  • Jackie

    Im so mad, Ive missed it the last two Mondays and its not repeated any more on a Thursday….anyone know if its showing on any other days? Is it available on DVD yet??

  • Caroline

    I love this program! I think its fantastic… I lodged with an elderly disabled gentleman who knew nothing about dogs… (even the little I knew exceeded his old school lazy so called knowledge on dogs and their behaviour) As it turned out, there was a qualified trainer living right nextdoor that prooved to me that my humane views on owning dogs were correct……. I love mic martin’s tough love and completely understand why dog owners need such an ass kicking! (Try teaching a pensioner new tricks) Dogs are easy in comparison! Keep up the good work mic and the rest of the crew! I’m ur biggest fan… my rescue Heinz 57 and my german shepherd are beautifully behaved happy and contented dogs due to these training techniques (which incidentally have only been recognized in the last 50 years so there isn’t much wonder it’s taking people a while to catch on! We don’t learn as quickly as dogs you know!

  • april

    i love this program so much. i have 2 extremely well trained staffordshire bull terriers. i spent time with them and we have a mutual trust between us. my friend on the other hand has a beautiful english bull terrier named loki. he is gorgeous, but mental. he cant go off a lead, is stubborn and chews furniture. i am trying to write to dog borstal to see if the wonderful mick could work his magic on loki. i just have no idea on how to go about contacting the correct people. all the trainers are great, but i just love the way mick handles the big boysterous dogs…..which loki sure is!!

  • Irony

    Sorry to disappoint you AJL – aren’t you busy chasing your 15 minutes of fame?

    I’m far too busy to keep you entertained, perhaps you should join a chat site if you are at such a loose end that you are hanging on my every word.

  • AJL


    How good of you to return to the fold – Yes, indeed I have been speaking to many people about the programme. Yes, I have even posted on chat rooms. I have spoken to other pug owners about agility, I have spoken to
    owners of other breeds on training advice.

    One of the joys of being young is the ability to multitask. I have the ability to work and, yes shock horror, post on the internet

    In fact, this message took me 1 minute and 30 seconds to type. It only took that long as I had to remove my hands from the keyboard to cough.

    But its funny that despite you being too busy, you still manage to come back and try and insult me.

  • Sassy

    I never miss a programme. It is the highlight of my week! If there were an award for most fanciable male then it would just have to be Mic Martin! I just wish I had a badly behaved German Shepherd and then I could apply to go to Dog Borstal!

  • jane

    Hello,my name is Jane. I have 3 dogs, Jake a 5 yr old black labrador, Missie a nearly 5yr old chocolate labrador & last but not least a 4yr old schipperke called chloe. I am in desperate need of some help & guidence as to help training my 3 dogs so that we can enjoy our many more years together. Their training is in them as when i first got them i did everything I could to train them & they were doing really well & due to some awful personal sercumstances that have happened over the years their training has gone to pot. My 3 dogs have been my life-line & have actually saved my life twice & i feel i owe it to them to re-train myself & them to give us the best out of our lives. I’ve been looking on the dog borstal website & would love to apply to get this fantastic, proffesional training. I am getting better slowly but I now feel strong enough to apply myself to training my dogs, if I won the lottery I would gladly send the 4 of us off to get proffesional training but seeing as I am still unable to work this is impossible.
    I have always watched every episode of dog borstal & often well up when i see how well the dogs & owners get on after the training, not with sadness but happiness of how their lives have changed for the better.
    If anybody can help me please do as I am absolutually devoted to my 3 doggies & know they’ve got so much more to give but I just don’t know how to go about it.
    Jake & Chloe don’t come back to me when I call them or they will eventually, i’ve tried treats,toys one on one training but they just won’t listen, Chloe recently got knocked over by a 4×4 & thank god for the people that helped us she was fine but i am terrified to let her off the lead now. Jake also pulls me so much & he is a really strong boy I use a halti on him which works but i would really love it if I could just get him to sit, stay,retrieve ie bring it back & heel. Missie well she is another story I just don’t know what makes her tick, she’ll sit,come back when I call her walk to heel & most of the time when out on walks she’ll just stay by my side off the lead, but sometimes not all of the time she’ll go nutts!! phsycotic, growling, snarling,yipping it takes all of my strength to restrain her eg pin her down, meanwhile Jake & Chloe are off in their own worlds, Missie gets so upset not nessecarily at people, other dogs it can be a leaf, tree stump or carrier bag. I live in north devon & their are so many beautiful walks here but am unable to enjoy alot of them because I don’t know how to control all of them at the same time. Why 3 you may ask, long story but my now ex husband & I did get them together but when he went he wanted nothing to do with them, my new boyfriend of now 2yrs is used to very well behaved dogs 7 most of our fallouts are about my dogs, The 4 of us moved up to his family home in the summer & his 3 dogs do everything he says, yes they are working dogs, where as mine are not & I also strongly do not agree to his methods of training eg ‘give them a whinder’ he says. No i will not beat my dogs, so please help me to get on this programme so i can show everyone that they are not all that bad a dogs & we can do it. Thankyou for reading this & if you can help, please do, & also thankyou for your time. Janexxxxxxxx.

  • anthony

    how do i get in touch with dog borstal i would like 2 put my dog on there

  • Faye

    Hi Pippa, Caryn and everyone else from episode 4!
    DB seems like such a long time ago now.. I want to do it all again! I hope your watching the rest of the series.. I am and I gotta say Mic is making me laugh sooo much!! I know I was gutted when I pulled up in the car but I think I wouldn’t have enjoyed it half as much without him.

    I’m loving reading all the arguments on this blog it’s quite funny isn’t it?, I can’t believe a few days training a dog can cause so much controversy, well i suppose it gives miserable lonely people like Irony something to do with himself! Taz says hello, he is poorly boy at the moment, he still does as he is asked but is farting like a bad boy!!!

    Please can we all meet up in the new year i would love it… and i would love to watch our episode with you all!!
    Keep in touch Faye and Taz x

  • sos

    Hi all

    I would just like to pop in and add something. Whilst i do not like the general feel of the dog borstal programme, i would like to say that i do indeed like Rob’s training more than Mick’s.

    Rob’s style of training is much more along the lines of training we show our clients. (yep another dog trainer)
    Also i am an APDT trainer, now whilst i read Rob’s reply and have to agree with some points he makes, i must also say that there are always some bad pennies in any organisation.
    I do endorse the APDT, becuase i have seen other classes where they are not affilitaed with any org and i must say it scared me to see what i can only describe as chaos. Where owners of dogs who were showing signs of agression where being given behavioural advice by the trainers (who i might add admitted they had no experience in that field.

    There are a lot of very good trainers in the APDT and if anyone goes to a class and are unhappy about the treatment they or the dog recieves then report them.

    She does for me becuase i say, not because she enjoys working for me, unlike my other dogs who enjoy training with me.
    She now lives life straining to control the urges she once had. i look in her eyes and see how hard it is for her. I wish i knew then what i know now (who doesnt wish this ah?) i would never have allowed such methods to be used when i know there is a better way using reward based training. But Rob is also correct, our dogs and children have gone of the path at the same time, i think this is due to being to scared to say NO to our dogs and children, use your voice, tell the dog when it got something wrong and reward when it gets it right. (as for the kids groudn them for 20 years)giggle

    Anyway so i would like to lastly say that in defense of Rob from borstal, we do not see the whole picture, only the edited version.
    The bottle should never be used without training first being shown on how to use it/when and where. I am sure Rob gave this info to each person (we just didnt see it)

    If there was one thing i would advise anyone, always go watch a class before you sign up, we all work very differently, some methods you may like some you wont. Go find out for yourself

    Happy Training

  • sos

    Confused, i would be. part of my post went a miss………

    should have said……. my dog was trained using very outdated methods years ago and had aggression problems. …………..

    She does for me becuase i say, not because she enjoys working for me, unlike my other dogs who enjoy training with me.
    She now lives life straining to control the urges she once had. i look in her eyes and see how hard it is for her. I wish i knew then what i know now (who doesnt wish this ah?) i would never have allowed such methods to be used when i know there is a better way using reward based training

    oh well hopefully you will get the gist

  • help needed… mic can you help me ive rescued a 1 year old collie called patch.his taken to us well,but once out he becomes aggresive with mainly men & dogs but some women to. weve tryed a behaviour class & seeked advice but no ado. the best way of discribing him is a jeckel 7 HIDE.i love the dog and am trying to give him a second chance in life.he acts like PENNY the gsd you had on the program.can you help us ???? nigel ,

  • Angela

    I realy hope you can help us. Our 1 year old English Bull Terrier is becoming increasingly bad behaved from about 6 months old. She has bitten,is very possesive (especially of the living room couch),barks at everything that passes the house and through the night,does not retrieve,does not respond to commands and ran away from home last week but did return thankfully.We keep trying but she keeps giving the rules! Please help us help our dog.

  • Is the series available on DVD? If so from where?

    Question has been asked in the forum – but there has been no response.

  • Sonia Evans

    I was so impressed with this series. I think that we need to remember that for the dogs on the show, this is the last resort. This is not just for dogs who are slightly misbehaving and pushing their boundaries. This show is for dogs who are way out of control, the behaviours have been building up for years not weeks. Their owners have no idea what to do with their dogs and it is a case of screaming help rather than get rid of the dog. So I have respect for these owners, they are willing to put themselves on the line to get their dogs under control.

    Also, softly softly approaches are never going to work with these dogs, they have taken over the household. They consider themselves to be the alpha male in the family pack and are walking all over their owners. They need bringing down to their proper level within the home and that has to be done by whatever means are neccessary.

    If anyone has watched at least three shows of Dog Borstal, you know that these trainers get results. No they are not going to take any nonsense from the dog or the owner. They have been called in to save the situation, and they do! They meet the challenge every day.

    Some of the dogs that have been on the show need the heavy approach, how else do you train a dog that weighs 11 stone and pull its owner through a park on her knees. How else do you expect them to break the habits of the dog’s life time.

    I have great respect for these trainers, they are prepared to tell the owner the truth, which can be hard to hear. They trainers have the knowledge, the technique, the commitment and the guts to do a hard job and they do it well.

    Respect to them! They have probably solved problems that the owners thought can never be changed and kept the dogs and their families together.


  • Fayemond

    Hi There, I’m afraid Dog Borstal is not available on DVD yet but the series will be repeated so you may be able to record it.

  • will they be making another series of dog borstal

  • gemma hand


    I have a feisty staffordshire bull terrier puppy he is nearly 1. He pulls on the lead even though we have a head collar, he tries to attack other dogs when he sees one when were out walking, he is slowly chewing my house to pieces.
    He has already had a fight with another dog which i had to seperate. He lives with this dog.
    I think he is ok he just does not listen when we are outside. I need help i think dog borstal would be the answer.
    I think mic is a genius, he does not take any s**t which i really respect.
    His track record says it all, he is best with big, strong dogs and you need to be firm with a big dog or a strong dog.


  • Robert Alleyne

    Hi All,

    Thanks for all your comments about Borstal. I

  • Please help me! I have a 1yr blue, female great dane – I have been to puppy training at 16 weeks, had 3 dog behaviourists, a policeman dog trainer and read many books on puppy training, including the Jan Fennel technique and I still have a dane who bites me! I am unable to walk her because when we go out she starts jumping and biting me. I really need help and have watched Dog Borstal and feel confident that Robert Alleyne is the right trainer for us!
    I have hd so many trainers using techniques like shaking stones in a bottle (which scared the hell out of her), lemon collars etc all of which seem to have created more problems. I would very much like a 1 to 1 consultation if possible but other than this website do not know how to reach Robert Alleyne – please reply to my email! Many thanks

  • Kate

    I really like Dog Borstal and I think it is the best dog training program on TV because the trainers are all different and a variety of methods are used. The problem with all programs like Dog Borstal / Supernanny and their ilk is that what is shown in 50 mins is not the whole story, and some viewers will only take away certain aspects (ie. the rattle bottle) without understanding the context (really careful timing, only when really needed and to be used sparingly and then discontinued).

    Despite the TV format issues (which are improving series on series with clearer ‘don’t copy at home without seeing a behaviourist first’ health warnings), I am sure that the program does a lot of good. Many viewers may not have even considered that their destructive dog is bored and would benefit from agility, or they may not know that a dog that is fear-aggressive towards other dogs through lack of socialisation needs reconditioning through gently increased exposure to other dogs (rather than never walking the dog because it barks and lunges, or getting stressed and shouting at the dog which makes it more fearful).

    Being the owner of two rescue dogs, one of whom came to us with severe fear aggression (we worked over a long period with a behaviourist supported by medication and he is now better), I appreciate programs like Dog Borstal which make the general public aware that dogs’ behavioural problems are always caused by humans (unless there is a medical reason), but also that these problems can normally be corrected with serious investment of time and commitment on the owner’s part. This encourages us all to be better and more responsible owners and raises the profile of the training and behavioural support which is available.

    I am enjoying this series and looking forward to the next!


  • Jo

    To those who keep saying about dogs being needing to know ‘whos boss’, where is your evidence for this? It’s thrown about like it’s fact because ‘dogs are descended from wolves’ but the thing is, dogs AREN’T wolves.
    It’s also assumed that the ‘alpha’ wolf will eat first, use aggression if anyone steps out of line, control all the food, go through doors first (where the hell did that one come from? I didn’t know wolves used doors) etc. This was all taken from studies of wolves, but it was studies of artificial wolf packs living in captivity. Wolf packs in the wild tend to be family units, when the young grow up they go and form their own packs. If there is enough food, all members of the pack eat together, if it is scarce, the young eat first. It makes no genetic sense to hog all the resources and let your offspring die after all. For more info about natural wolf packs and how the ‘dominance’ theory of dogs doesn’t fit in, read David Mech.

    Using captive wolf packs as a model for dog behaviour is like using prison models for child behaviour. As with a captive wolf pack, prison is a more stressful and unnatural environment, and hence aggression (and status) are much, much more important.

    There’s also been research into groups of dogs and whether they form packs (Ray and Lorna Coppinger have researched ‘village dogs’ who live in packs in developing countries)

    Dogs also know they are not humans. If my dogs want to instigate play with each other, they’ll play bow, roll on their backs, run off and encourage the other to chase etc. If they want to play with a human they will bring a toy. They don’t bother with the cat! They are more than capable of differentiating between species, so can they really see me as ‘pack leader’?

    I’m not saying that they absolutely can’t, nobody knows for sure, but it’s not ‘fact’ that they do need to know their place. My dogs come when they are called, they walk to heel, they are friendly, they wait for their dinner, sit when they’re asked, lie down when they’re asked, will drop toys on command etc. I haven’t needed to instill ‘I am your pack leader’ into their heads, I’ve trained with rewards and kindness, and that’s all I’ve needed to do. They are allowed on teh sofa and the bed (as long as they get off when asked I don’t mind) they eat their dinner before me (easier for routine) they go out of doors first (I’m going going in the garden in my pyjamas every time they need the loo!) etc. To be honest if in their heads they believe they are pack leader, I don’t care. They do what they are asked, when they are asked and are good companions. All that was just trained by making it more rewarding for them to comply with me.

    I’m also a professional dog trainer, and I have never had to use any deliberate aversive (rattle bottle, squirt of water etc) on a dog. I do believe dogs need consequences at times, but to me a consequence is removing attention, losing a reward, end of freedom etc.

    I got into behaviour after my first dog developed fear aggression towards other dogs. I was ‘advised’ to squirt him with a water pistol when he barked. It seemed to work in the short term (remember Dog Borstal is ‘the short term’) but the problem then got worse. Not only was my dog scared of teh dogs, he was scared of waht I was going to do to him. His reactions became more intense, his critical distance increased and it took a loooong time using purely ‘namby pamby’ methods to fix the problem.

    I dont’ believe that dog and child behaviour has got worse because of reward based training, I believe it has got worse because of NO training. I know people with out of control children (as well as dogs obviously) and they tend to give more negative feedback than positive. I’ve never seen Tanya Byron on ‘The House of Tiny Tearaways’ use methods designed to frighten children, I’ve seen her introduce a few calm, consistent consequences and tons and tons of praise and rewards for doing the right thing.

    Most people I see with ‘problem’ dogs seem to be permanently shouting ‘no’ at them, it’s not aversives that’s missing, it’s consitency and common sense.

    Rob I take on board your criticisms of ‘some’ APDT trainers, but they are taking steps to get the bad apples out, and the membership criteria has recently changed and is much improved. I don’t think bad trainers within the APDT negates their concerns however.

    I know you have strict time constraints, but PLEASE do some clicker training on the show, and demonstrate how the leave can be trained using only rewards. It can be done in less than three days too!

  • Elaine Jowsey

    Hello all
    Otto and me are on on Thursday 18th jan. Sassy, he was a really naughty German Shepherd but they would let Mick have him!! LOL too much of a power thing I guess from Micks military background. I would have died if I had got Mick mind. Lovely bloke but I cannot do pressups to save my life!! got Rob he was class A1. Fantastic bloke. lovely man.
    See you all on BBC 3 at 9pm thursday 18th.

    How has everyone’s dog faired up since getting home though?. Has everyone kept up with the training?

    Best thing I ever done. Not only to sort out my Otto’s behaviour but the experience. Was cool, the memories have gone into my memory box for the kids when I’m an old old

    Ellie J

  • Linda Welsh

    We have an akita bitchshe is nearly 2 years old we resently found out she has a food alergyand was prescribed Hill’s I/D food but she has become very grumpy and agressive towards other dog and pepeole including myself but most of the time she is fine with my daughter although i’m the one who feeds her and takes her out PLEASE can you help us

  • Mrs Barbara Newton

    I have a two year old GSD called Amber. I need a lot of help with her and was wondering how you go about getting into dog borstal? Amber doesn’t like my oldest daughters eleven year old Dalmatian Tasha, my daughter doesn’t live with me any more so Amber can’t go for Tasha but my daughter can’t visit with Tasha. Amber has also gone for my other daughters staffie/whippet cross Ben. Over a year ago Amber was having a go at Tasha who doesn’t want to fight as it isn’t in her nature. My other daughter (Ben’s owner) grabbed Amber from the back by her fur as she is long haired and you can’t always see her collar. My daughter may have pulled Amber’s fur and hurt her, Amber’s reaction was to turn round and she snapped and caught the end of my daughter’s little finger

  • Kathy

    I think dog borstal is great but only to be watched to make people aware of dog ownership and responsibility. I am currently a student in behavior and loving it. I have worked with dogs in the security sector for around eight years. People have their opinions about training technique. I say kind methods allowing the dog to think about what it has to do.Showing the dog what you want and timing reward correctly. Sometimes you need to be firm but kind. As some dogs are very difficult no matter what you try so you have to be able to try all gentle methods. I like watching dog borstal but I would always seek advice from a behaviorist if I had a problem with my dog as you as an owner dont see what you could be doing wrong. Keep the program going. Kath London

  • amanda nother


    i have two dogs one girl and 1 boy. called penny and chester! i have no problem with the girl dog penny at all. but the boy chester have clung on to me since we have had him and he does not grow kind to men because of the past. also when we go for walks on the beach or to the woods i can not control his barking and having very fierce fights with dogs bigger than him. He is a golden cocker spaniel and he is 7 years old but all i want for them both is to go out and let them both enjoy there selfs with out chester having to hasle about looking after me and the kids, also ma husband. please write back to us. many thanks


  • Angie

    I have watched every show and yes it is fun and entertaining to watch but it does provide excellent advice. I think Mic is fantasic, his no frills approach to dog training is the best. Robert has a softer approach and I would love any of the trainers to train my unruly Labrador.

    People should get of their soap box and do something better than whine about a fab programme that provides help to dog owners along with the entertainment value.

    Keep up the good work, Robert/Lynne and Mic.

  • Joy Hughes

    In my opinion Dog Borstal is far better viewing than ANY of the reality TV shows. The only downside for me is when my husband watches it with me and starts lecturing me on how soft I am with our lad. I have a beauty of a Weimaraner, Zeus. Yes he does think he is a God, and I know it is all down to me. Problem being he is also a Alpha male. He’s an easter bunny so is coming up 7 years of age. He is a nightmare in the car when he knows he is going for his walk or he sees me dressed to go running. He’s also started to get alittle aggresssive when ‘some’ folk come to the house. As I work from home I need to nip this in the bud before it gets out of hand. I don’t know how to go about getting on Dog Borstal but I would love to go on the programme and see if Mic could sort us both out.

    Ta Joy

  • Sassy

    To Elaine

    Just been watching you and Otto, what an absolutely handsome lad and he passed. At least now it looks like you take him for a walk and not the other way round, I would be proud to call him my dog.

  • Dave

    “Otto” the GSD reminded me so much of our late GSD “Ben”, who we had as a rescue from 1 year old. He had very similar problems as Otto came in with. Very scary for us to begin with!
    “Dog Bostal” wasnt around then but after trying several “regular” Obediance clubs we eventually found one with a superb trainer who wasnt fazed by his bad behaviour and showed us how to face up to and set about correcting it.
    Having got a good start there, we found an Agility club specialising in behavioural correction. The idea there was that the dog was kept very busy having to keep his attention on his owner and the apparatus or risk falling off, so he couldn’t be eyeballing the other dogs as well!
    He soon began to relax with other dogs around and came to love his weekly sessions there. We became so proud of how he’d turned around to become such a socialable and dependable companion that we could trust anywhere.
    We enjoyed many very happy years together until he passed on two years ago at 13.
    We’re now on our second GSD, “Leah”, and are very happy and proud of her.
    My advice to anyone who feels the need for “Dog Borstal” training but cant get on the show, is to keep trying different trainers/clubs if necessary until you find one that “clicks” with your problem. Someone is out there who can help turn things around, you just need to find them, dont give up, for you and your dog’s sake.

  • hi all, to anyone who has appeard on dog borstal, or any of the trainers please contact me at [email protected]
    id like to talk to you regarding BSL, DDA, AND TRAINING METHODS AND RESULTS! If my email does not appear, how can i contact you?

  • Sharon Royle

    I would be very interested to find out how you can sign up for dog borstal. If anyone can help me I would be much appreciated.

    I have two labradors, father and son and would dearly love to take both of them to dog borstal to see if anything can be done about their recall and what I can do about it. With many thanks.

  • Michelle Warman

    My husband and I regularly watch Dog Borstal, we have a staffie called Gus whom is just over a year, and found some of the techniques actually do work, although I would love to take him to Dog Borstal, which i threaten at times as he also likes to watch his canine friends in action – I would like Mic to be our trainer, but I doubt I could take much of his rudeness

  • Fayemond

    Hi Michelle, i appeared on DB with my staffy Taz, Mic was my trainer and i was over the moon with the results.
    I’m glad that other staffy owners watch the programme and i hope you have learnt some good techniques from it.

    Mic wasn’t that rude to me it was his swearing that really got me down but that’s just part of his image. They had built up this hard man persona in the first series which brought in the viewings so they played on that a lot. He is a big softy really. Looks like my episode is repeated on friday so enjoy!
    Faye and taz x

  • Duncan

    Hi can any one tell me how to apply to go on Dog Borstal please?

  • dawn campbell

    Please could you tell me if you are accepting any more dogs to go on dog borstal? I have been trying to find the address but haven’t succeeded. Please could you e-mail me back and let know.

  • I work as a dog trainer and behavioural counsellor, and I’ve developed my training methods over the last 30 years or so. I tell all my clients to watch Dog Borstal as it’s a fine example of how not to treat dogs and their owners. It makes me cringe!

    I moved away from these training methods some 20 years or so ago. Why has television re-hashed it all?

    What is really disturbing is the complete lack of understanding about how dogs learn.

    TV dog training is having a dreadul effect on the general dog owning public. Owners are trying out methods that are seen briefly on edited TV clips, with the result that I have to undo it all when they ask me for help with their dogs.

    Dog Borstal trainers denounce the use of clickers. Could it possibly be because they don’t understand clicker training and how it works?

    Apparently they know all about owner “dominance” though! Trust me, it doesn’t apply. We are human beings, they are dogs. And of course dogs aren’t wolves either. Dogs behave instinctively, so without guidelines to “explain” how to live in a human environment, they simply behave like dogs. Their human owners don’t “teach”, they yell, they scream, and constantly say “NO”. So of course, being dogs, they get excited and behave accordingly. Thus they are described as problem dogs. Yes, of course the owners are to blame in some cases, but who is going to teach the owners? Have the doubtful “TV stars” ever heard of positive reinforcement?

    Most trainers/owners/TV stars try to address a dog’s behaviour by constantly correcting. What’s wrong with “teaching” and what’s wrong with “rewarding”.

    If “dominance” applies, how can it be explained that I train hundreds of dogs a year without calling upon the dominance theory?

    “Dominance” was a theory that was first mooted in the mid 1980’s by John Fisher, who wrote several books. I have it on good authority that John changed his opinion about the dominance hierarchy system. But sadly he died before he had the opportunity to write any further books. Then, later Jan Fennel grabbed the idea and made it her own. She compared herself to Monty Roberts the “horse whisperer” and even managed to get him to write a foreword to her book. This ensured that the book became a best seller and yet it’s all based on one woman’s opinion – an opinion that has no foundation.

    Those that copy blindly the “pack rules” prove that they are not capable of thinking intelligently and independently.

    As “Sam” above, says this programme has done an awful lot for the anti-dog lobby. The dogs depicted are mostly all trainable, and yes, it does depend upon the owner too. But a good trainer with have empathy with the owner and work to get the owner on his/her side. Bullying techniques for dogs and for owners should have died out years ago and this programme has put dog training back years.

    Dog Borstal? More like trainers on an ego trip.

  • Craig Thompson

    I own a lovely 4yr old Bullmastiff called Stella. Although she is loving and great with our kids,sometimes she can be grumpy towards unfamiliar faces. Whenever we take her for walks she takes an instant disliking to other dogs. Stella being a true Bullmastiff weighs in at 47killos, She pulls, barks and is very aggressive towards other dogs,hence my girlfriend being apprehensive about taking her for walkies. However in the household she is a loving, docile and gentle pet which breaks our heart to think that the way she is when out and about could result in something that doesn’t bare thinking about. We are avid viewers of Dog Borstal and support the training techniques used by the dog trainers and feel that Stella would benefit from such training. Any advice welcome please!!!


    The Loving Owners of Stella the Bullmastiff.

    Craig & Dawn

  • AJL

    Do people not bother to read previous posts?

  • FAYE
    have you had any trouble by your way regarding DDA ect. in liverpool LOADS of pet owners of staffords have had their pets taken because they lLOOK like pit-bull ‘type’
    id like to get in touch with mic, rob, or anyone who can help put a stop to this madness! NO BREED OF DOG SHOULD BE PTS DUE TO THE ACTIONS OF ANOTHER SPECIMEN.

    SOMEONE HELP BEFORE ITS 2 LATE, the american pit bull terrier was wrongly outlawed in 1991, now in 2007 the stafford and the american bulldog is under serious attack by the media and the police. WE CANT LET IT HAPPEN

  • Fayemond

    Hi Karl, if you would like to email me my address is [email protected]. If you want to get intouch with Mic his website is

    Regards Faye.

  • Georgina

    My mother has a year old male staff.For some reason he goes mad when he is let in to the living room,he is always jumping up at people.He will sit and wait for his food it is just very frustrating when other people come in to the house.He just wants to jump at them and never sits still whilst in the front room.Is there a form you can obtain to get on to dog borstal as i feel Buster would benifit from some help.

    Thanks Georgina

  • sara

    can you tell me how to apply for the show anyone please

  • cameron mcclyont

    i have a 3 year old jackrussell who needs to go to dog borstal how can i apply please ?

  • Claudia Hoyle

    It makes me sad to see so many people interested in taking their dogs to Dog Borstal.

    I have am a dog trainer and in-training behaviourist, having studied in USA and Canada, and I can firmly say the methods used on this show are nothing else but old-fashioned and unreliable.
    Ideas bounced around like thruthful statements have been proven to be wrong and unfounded by qualified scholars (not someone who just had dogs for so long).

    Dogs are not wolves. Therefore we cannot look at wolves and apply to dogs, it would be the same as watching chimpanzees and applying to us!?!

    Dogs do not see us as leaders or have any hierachy relationship with their owners. There is no such thing as intra-species hierarchy, or should the trainers in this video also growl over posession of a bone and bark at their pet dogs when they see a bitch in heat, i wonder?

    Shouting, yelling and scoulding is easy and empowers people. But to think that i can spend my time with my dog teaching him in a positive way how to learn the behaviours I appreciate instead of spending that time punishing him for the ones I don’t want and not teaching anything, for me it is an easy choice, is it for you?

  • You can visit for training advice and info for dogs with ‘problem’ behaviours. This trainer is based in Canada, but if you e-mail her with details of your dog/puppy and the problems you’re experiencing she will e-mail you some wonderful training tips! I’ve e-mailed her a few times and she’s always happy to answer my questions.



  • Emily

    I do not watch Dog Borstal very often as i think the training methods are extremely old fashioned and in some ways cruel, tonights programme was no exception. The way the trainer trained poor old Bis the Kelpie was cruel. It was obvious that the dog was terrified, and stringing the dog up by its next was not helping and unacceptable. There was no sign of any positive praise or anything, and as soon as the dog stopped waking it froze and he tail went between its legs. That dog was terrified and extremely stressed. The dog did not like being touched, so why did they not use a hands off approach such as the clicker. I have been using the clicker for a long time and i think it is wonderful, and especially great for dogs like Bis.
    As well as that i belive the trainers are cruel, and the training methods are wrong. I do hope that anyone at home who has a dog like Bis does not try shouting and stringing the dog up by its neck! It will do no good and just make things worse. Although there was one thing that i was pleased about, at the end when they revisited Bis, the owners were calmly treating him as they put his lead on. That was alot better, although obviously they had not learnt that at Dog Borstal.

  • sharon busby

    how does one apply to be a inmate at dog borstal/ PLEASE HELP TRAINING CLASSES AND A BEHAVIOURALIST Have failled to help.
    so have rattle bottles, water and upping the treats. these have all seemed to have added to my mastiffs problems. he was bitten through the garden fence twice by the same dog. now i have no control, its just a battle of our strength. this cant go on, as he is nearlly three 3years old and getting worse. Can anyone help? PLEASE

    Thanks Sharon

  • Jeannie

    I would just like to say I love watching dog borstal – I think Mic Martin is fantastic !!!- [I just wish i wasn’t so petrified of dogs in General].
    Keep up all the good work!!


  • Christine

    Having read some of the comments on this site, I can only hope that some of these people don’t own dogs!
    If a dog bites, and means it, strong action must be taken or the problem will only get worse. I think actions taken, on camera, against a vicious kelpi, where probably not strong enough.
    The trainers spend more time training the owners than they do the dogs. If a dog bites, or is antisocial, 99 times out of a 100 it is the owners who are responsible for the behaviour, not the dog. The techniques used on this programme are not bullying or archaic but valid ways of putting dogs in their place.
    Dog Borstal is one of the best programmes on television at the moment. If Mic could clean up his language I would be happy, as I think he is very commited to making dogs useful members of society but get fed up with the bleeps!
    Bring back House of Tiny Tearaways as well and my evenings would be complete
    Keep up the good work,

  • hi Mick,Lyn,Rob, love the show!it’s Brill,Fab & Ace!!! i have 3 dogs Amber (3yrDalmatian mum)Naughty Mikey (9 mth Dal son) Jasper 4yr cross. I desperately need to be on your show!! tried to take the Tel no at end of show 6/02/07 missed part of no. it’s Naughty Mikey i have the Probs with (mostly) just coming into manhood, wants to fight anythin wit 4 legs. if he sees a dog 4-600 mtrs away he takes off like a fighter jet!! just started at trainin school 4 wks ago, & now using a Halti helping a bit! so annoying, as i bred him myself socialized from 2 wks Where did i go wrong? as wanting to show/breed off him, but if he doesn’t change soon his bits are goin!! Please Please ring me Jak Liverpool [phone number removed] this is Bro’s email ad

  • byron

    i would like nfo how 2 get my dog on Dog Borstal because he never listen 2 me and he is always pulling on the lead thanks

  • Mel

    Good Lord! I cannot believe what some people are writing here. Its todays fluffy, “NO negative reinforcement” training thats causing so many problems today, its the same with bloody kids! No-one dares tell off their brats because its not PC.
    As a Veterinary Nurse of some 17 years, Im sick and tired of all the rude out of control dogs I have to deal with on a daily basis, and WHY are the dogs so bad? Because of the owners, 99% of the time. The owners. The dogs get away with murder, they are never trained, they waltz about all over the place on haltis and extending leads because no one has the gumption to actually TRAIN their dogs! LAZINESS.
    All you peple asking to get on Dog Borstal, WHY ON EARTH DONT YOU GO FIND A GOOD LOCAL TRAINER INSTEAD OF TRYING TO GET ON TV?? Both Lynne and Mic have websites, and training clubs…as does Rob Im sure, do a google for gods sake!
    That Kelpie wasnt scared, it was an evil tempered little swine who had learnt he could get his own way by biting and behaving obnoxiously!
    Any fool who knows even a little about canine body language and behaviour could see that.
    Yeah, theres another thing, for the love of god people, buy a few books! Read up on your breeds, read up on behaviour and training. Its really NOT rocket science, you just have to get of your arses and do something constructive.
    Todays lackaday attitude towads canine training and behaviour has landed us with the DDA.
    Its time far to many dog owners are made to realise they need to pull their socks up before its too late.
    The guys on Dog Borstal are doing a sterling job, and Mic Martin rules!
    There is definatly not enough Mic on the TV!

  • Jean

    I have an 8 month old lab X who has not yet developed any of the distressing problems that are shown on Dog Borstal. What I would love is a programme that takes dogs and PREVENTS the problems before they start. Any chance?

  • Mel

    Just realised I contradicted myself! DB needs people appearing with their dogs to survive! I love DB, and what it is bringing to light. In particualr getting to see Mic do his thing keeps me a very happy bunny, BUT, please people, use DB’s public profile if you REALLY need help, not just to get on TV and you want 5 mins fame before you have e
    even looked into a local trainer.
    I guess one problem is finding trainers that are not all clickers and fluff.
    Prehaps now I should add, I can see the use of a clicker, but in the frame of teaching tricks, not proper life training. Same with a Halti, if it MUST be used it shoul only be an aid IMO, and should be phased out asap. Extending leads however, collect them all up and detonate the buggers cos only 1% of the population use them resonsibly!

  • lindsay

    i have a 1 yr old dodue de bordeaux, he is lovely but i would like to go on dog bostal to be trained by mic to help him stop pulling and listen to some commands that he choses to ignore. if anyone kn ows how i can get on there please help me!! the programme is brilliant and i have learnt alot from it.

  • lindsay

    i have already paid and attended a k9 training centre in essex, but there was one trainer and 10 dogs so we didn’t really learn much. we used the clicker but i found this didn’t even work, and then they put a halti on him and it cut his nose, which worked really well NOT!!!

  • becci

    I watched this program and even though it was helpful, it was unfair how the trainers were moody, rude people that don’t respect peoples opinions. THEY REALLY DO NOT KNOW IT ALL

  • I think Mic and the other trainers do a great job with the dogs. I own/show and breed Staffords and with them positive reinforcement has worked 100%. I also own a Cane Corso its a large breed and found the same training worked with him. With some of the dogs they have had to start to retrain on Dog Borstal due to people getting dogs without doing any research on training or the said breed(s) they have had to take a much more harder approach. A lot of these problems would not have happened with these dogs in the first place if even the slightest bit of common sence had of been used. So retraining a dog with this in mind is never going to be easy. Training these owners is going to be harder than training the dogs. This just enjorces my point “Flake however is not much better and infact did a little welcome pee on the shoe of the SKY reapir man who came earlier today, so Mic I guess you dont know it all !”. Hello!!! Once you leave Dog Borstal it is up to YOU (yes you) to continue the training. Take responsibility and stop tring to pass the blame. I think those few words show what Mic is up against and exactly the lack of interest some people seem to take in their dogs. It is up to you to train,exercise and ensure YOUR dog is not a problem. This is why there is so much bad press about dogs. People expect it all to be done for them.

  • Susie

    I think the most important thing when thinking about a dog is to get one to suit the lifestyle you lead, and not, how the breed looks, remember guard dogs guard and protect, its a very strong trait, working dogs like to run and chase, and terriers welll!! If you want a pet and dont intend to walk, train, or exercise it every day, then get a cat, much easier!!

    I have two labs with walks and training and cleaning up muddy paw prints we probably spend a minimum of 4 hours a day on just dog duty, seems the dogs on DB are bored and under stimulated, CLICKERS do work, why do people poo hoo them, a click is just saying YES!! quicker and with better timing than your voice, they are not just for tricks, my labs can hear a click half way across a field, I have asked then to do something they want to hear the click, and whats wrong with teaching dogs tricks at least your spending time with your dog.

    If you get a puppy go to puppy class, then go to dog school, then you wont need DB

  • Faye

    totally agree with you BMstaffords, i was horrified the other day when someone told me her staffy was being a little git and chewing stuff in the house… she then said her dog hadn’t been a walk for 2 days!!! whats that all about?? how can you have a dog and not walk it.
    I have a staffy and i have been on Dog Borstal, (my episode being repeated on thursday 15th) Although the programme potrtrays my dog as being lazy reality is he’s a very active dog. We have never had a single wee or anything chewed!

    After being on the programme my advise to any one who needs help to get in touch with a local Dog Trainer, there are hundreds available!

    Although i found the experience very usefull the main thing i learnt was how to stop my staffy from pulling which Mic did in the first 10 mins, I have continued to follow this method and it works very well.

    The rest of the time was really spent making a programme, repeating things, waiting for crew, being interviewed etc. Please everyone realise Dog Borstal is not real… it’s a mock up for the programme you can’t just call and book your dog in for a week!

    LINDSAY please look on net and find another dog trainer that would suit you more maybe 1 to 1 training… don’t give up!

    BECCI please don’t think te trainers were moody thaey were infact fantastic, could trainers, good sense of humour and very sensitive to our opinions and downfalls.

    i just want to repeat what Mel has said ‘All you peple asking to get on Dog Borstal, WHY ON EARTH DONT YOU GO FIND A GOOD LOCAL TRAINER INSTEAD OF TRYING TO GET ON TV?? ‘

    I’m not contradicting myself as i was on the programme but my staffy didn’t have any real problems, i just needed to be told a few home thruths about spoiling by boy.

  • Mel

    Thank you Faye!
    Ive a Stafford too, he’s always been a puller, and its never eally been a problem for me, as in all other areas he has been taught manners etc. But with the BSL we are facign Im now studying DB hard, getting out my training books ( all using Mics methods), and Ive put a stop to him heaving on the end of the lead!
    Loved your episode but, LOL, fancy not realising Mic would rumble you with the Maccie D’s!
    Good way to get him in your tent though LMAO!
    Keep up the good work DB! Its high time people woke up and smelt the coffee regarding the most basic of training, and that it is actually ok to say the word no once in a while!
    Training dogs is for life, not just a few lessons!!

  • Gillian

    I love Dog Borstal, anyone who owns a dog should love it too, the training methods really do work, I also own a Staff & have been testing out their methods & am totally impressed. People whocomplain about their dogs really dont know anything, its the basic training methods that ALL dog owners should use.
    Faye i saw your episode, i thoroughly enjoyed, have to agree with Mel, Mic was bound to find out, he is the all seeing eye LOL.

  • ajl

    Faye – how are you finding out the dates of the re-runs?

  • Faye

    just happen to see write up in my tv magazine…. they didn’t let me know!!

  • Jo Cooper

    I really love the show, I watched it tonight and thought how informative it was, I am getting a puppy in 2 weeks and want to train her properly and some of the tips that the program suggests really work, my dog is a working cocker spaniel and I hope I can train her to the best of her ability , but if not I would choose mic to help me, I think he is very firm and sometimes agressive but his language cant be any worse than my husbands

  • audrey black

    Hi, wonder if anyone can help, I love the series but would like to see how they would deal with a nervous dog who pulls to get away from any strangers or strange dogs. My springer bitch is 7mths old and is just one such dog, she will not listen to me when out in such a situation and I`m at a loss as what to try next. I did send her to a dog trainer who took her away for 2 weeks and when she came back she was more nervous than ever and I was

  • Anne in Devon

    My sister and I love to watch Dog Borstal, as an owner of a 6month old Rottie Bitch who mouths me so badly that I’m bruised and jumps up and gets aggresive…I watch it the show for tips on handling my pup…my sister has an American Cocker Spaniel that hates and attacks any dog bigger than himself, she to watches the show for help and tips…for all the people who don’t approve there is a solution..the on/off button on your TV should work…enough said!! As for Mic..I worked with the Military and this is just old Military Jargon and not mean’t to offend, in fact my sister and I found Mic quite a good laugh and he does know his stuff..give the bloke a break, Mic you can give me orders any day of the week!!!!!!!!

  • julie in south wales

    I like to say that dog bostal is excellent and very funny as well.All 3 trainers need congratulating for their time and understanding of the dog and ever worst us the owners.
    I have a golden brown cocker spainel,whos very lovely and so spoiled.If i had to make a Choice give my husband or my dog my husband would lose.
    I would like to have a chance to take my cocker to dog bostal as hes to freindly
    some times.He runs from me when we out if he see some 1 else or another dog.He pulls on a lead that my arms hurt.he dont listen.he runs away with anyones shoes and you cant find them.he howls when you leave him in the house on his own.Hes on my beds he growls when you want him to get off.My dog dont know heel,no or any other command.except when you got rodeo chews or his fav is candy floss.
    I find mic very funny and hes very straight with you from the start so you know where you stand with mic which is good.His patients is brillant with the dogs.he knows what he talking about.I would like to have him as my dogs trainer.Well Done to the tariners .

  • Susan

    Hi folks, thought I would write after trawling through all these posts. I have worked as veterinary nurse for many years and agree with what all the similar sensible people are saying! I agree that dogs should not be bullied and should be treated with kindness- HOWEVER, the dogs on Dog Borstal were not being bullied. They were being shown that the behaviour they were exhibiting was unacceptable and were rewarded and praised when they changed that behaviour. There has never been a dog beaten on the show although there have been a few owners who have deserved it….. I have 2 jrt’s, one of which I have had since a pup who is extremely well behaved (?trained?) and always recalls/gets off bed when told/leaves on command/occasionaly sits but mainly crouches due to cold floor and thin skin. He has never been frightened into doing anything except stop chasing horses when I had to throw a brush at him (better than a well shod hoof i think). The other one is a pain in the azz with no recall and a penchant for eating poo and chewing whatever she can get her paws on despite a good 2 hours off lead running per day and is going to training classes next week hopefully with Mic’s training school. This is due to me getting her recently at 18 months old and her having had no training before that. The problems with dogs are thousandfold and I think it stems from human ignorance, most dogs will try to please people as they usually like them but years of poor breeding, poorly understood nutrition and people who do not have the common sense to realise that their dog doesn’t understand English (I TOLD you not to do that, biting is very naughty fluffy now give the nice vet his face back) has made some dogs into highly strung, bady socialised monsters! I am horrified by people who do not think about getting a dog before they do and the people who think that the only way they can train their dog is by getting on TV…… Anyway, thanks for listening and if anyone wants to make me a star I do a cracking close up! No way I am being embarrassed by wrestling with the little bitch in front of thousands though…….

  • mrs mandy duffin

    Hi to everyone and just to say i think you are brilliant at what you do I own a beautiful 2yr old saint bernard that sadly got bitten on his nose by a friends german shephard that he had played with for mths and as now got fear aggression to alot of diff dogs and he can even be nose to nose with one and we think great then he just rears up I don’t think he show’s his teeth more as to mouth off and use his weight before he was attacked he was fantastic with anybody and anything it breaks my heart to see him like this I wondered if you could give me some advice or let me know if it would be possible to bring him in the future
    Best Wishes
    from Mandy Duffin and Horatio [Saint Bernard]

  • Faye

    what do you mean susan a few owners that deserve to beaten? i am one of the owners of this series… could you please explain!!!

  • Kymberley

    Hi i have a lovely 9 month old cross Staff who i am now having to consider rehoming due to his boystrous behaviour, we have completed an eight week reward based training course which has shown him to be a very quick to train intelligent dog but despite this his boystrous behaviour continues, he constantly jumps up at people, on the furniture and is just basically rude and the reward based training has failed to solve this problem. He thinks he rules the household and is now quite a problamatic dog, he has no aggression issues at all but he is now too big and too strong for me to cope with and as i have a four year old child i either have to nip it in the bud now or let him go which is something i cant bear to do as he has such potential to be a lovely well behaved dog, he has been neutored and i am consistant with my commands but he rules the roost and he knows it, please would you advise on any resedential courses you are holding and if places are still available as i am now desperate to keep my lovable rogue, he would be a perfect candidate for your show as his problems are very common problems found in most dogs.

  • S.B.

    For all of those asking how to get on the show, please email the BCC at the following address:

    [email protected]

    For those asking advice on dog behaviour you will need to contact a trainers direct. You can find a good local trainer by searching on Google.

    For those of you wanting to contact Mic regarding training or questions, his web address is His email address is on the site, but before you email him make sure you read the email instructions first!!!

  • Susan

    Ok, now I sound bad! I was just having a rant and got over excited… I would never go that far although come on- a big mac?? Did you think that was a nutritionally balanced meal for your boy? No wonder he was lardy and hyperactive! Bless him. Does he still get them? be honest!

  • Mel

    LOL, I dunno the two plums Lynne got, the ones with the black lab x that got the boot because they would not take their dogs problems and the DDA seriously, the ones who would happily leave that dog alone with a four year old, they could certainly do with a wake up call slap! I know they posted here in the past, Im to idle to go look them up.
    I was also feeling slap happy about the headmistress with Tizzy, wanting her PTS because she was to useless to dogproof a garden, and crate train!
    Good god, its no wonder kids today are like they are if this is the kind of teachers they have!

  • Faye

    no and he never did…. all the take away food you saw him eat was empty packets with choc drops in and was filmed after we came back from dog borstal… i would never feed that to my dog… only once when my fella went in drive through he bought him a quarter pounder.. but thats blokes for ya!

    This is what the film crew picked up on and wanted to make it into a storyline rather than the real truth which was Taz was stolen by the druggies we bought him off… used to fight in a rough part of wolverhampton and then held us to ransom to get him back.

    My Dog has an acre of land that he is in all day everyday, running round with another staffy and a Jack russell. By the time i get home from work the dog is shattered!! you have obviously watched the episode with Taz… did you think he looked out of shape or overweight…??

  • VAL

    I think I’ve come into this discussion a bit late but I saw my first episode of Dog Borstal last night (could’ve been a rpt?). When I saw it advertised I thought ‘How sick I can’t believe they’re making a programme out of this’. However HOW WRONG WAS I???? From what I’ve seen, it was a FANTASTIC programme that can only do the dog world good. I loved each of the trainers for their own individual styles (lets face it, we all love Mic really…what’s tv without a ‘baddie’???) and it has made me determined to train my puppy when I get her/him in June. Lets face it, who wants a dog like the ones seen on there? Talk about nightmare!! However, this programme shows there IS light at the end of the tunnel. Mainly, I really felt for Bis’s owners and was crying into my microwave dinner because I felt so frustrated for them!! They obviously love him so much. I was WILLING him to just sit once, PLEASE!!!! Without biting!!! I’d love to see how they get on in the future. I’ve been boring everyone senseless all day about how great the programme is and I’m definitely going to watch again. Keep up the good work, guys! BTW, this is a from a person who’d given up watching tv because there were so many rubbish programmes on!! I was obviously wrong about that too!! VAL xxx

  • sarita willis

    i studyied animal care at college which also consisted of dog training. I have been watching Dog Borstal and would like to get in touch with them about a job. Could you please send me contact details, thankyou

  • Faye

    Sarita, why don’t you look at the dog borstal website x

  • Mel

    ggrrr, thing is, this is like when I go through CVs of people wanting to get into Vet Nursing, if they dont know how to spell Veterinary, or havn’t had the savvy to look up what they need to do to become a VN, then they have no chance at all of getting an interview. Drives me mad! I mean really, how hard is it to find the Dog Borstal home page and write them, or even the BBC, write via them! The same with the numpties here looking for dog trainers! this is a blog about a TV show! Surely if you wanted to train your dog in all seriousness you would have googled the trainers from the show, or ANY trainer for that matter. Just do a little research!

  • Faye

    Mel, i think it’s called common sense!!

  • Mel

    LOL! does it exist anymore?? I wonder sometimes lol!

  • mrs Purvis

    How do I get onto dog borstal with my badly behaved dog?

  • sonya

    the programmee is brilliant an all trainers are gr8 MIC seems to get grief but if the peeps cant handle dont go …he is a excellent trainer and has proved many wrong … pity there is not a programme for peeps that have trained there pups to a degree and need more .

  • Faye

    Mrs Purvis, have you not read any of the other posts….

  • Fi

    If she cannot read, what’s the chances of her being able to train a dog?

    Honestly, I’ve been absently reading these messages on and off and even I know where to go to sign up for the next dog borstal and I don’t even have a bloody dog. (Then why am I reading all this, may you ask? I just like dogs but they make me sneeze too much to own one.)

    If you can’t be arsed to read the messages two spaces above you, then two words: GOOGLE IT.

  • Ellie

    please can you tell me where to sing up my dads dog for borstal! she eats poo- anyones, anysort!
    She attacks other dogs and is very strong!

  • Mel

    I give up!!
    If you cant even read a few recent messages what hope do you have of ever listening to any trainer regarding your dog???!??

  • Susan

    Oh jeez! Can anyone here tell me how to tell poisonous mushrooms from edible ones? Or how to cook dim sum with an electric steamer? I can’t be arsed to google it….. Faye, I did think he looked a bit out of shape at the time but I am used to lean green (or brown) running machines so hey what do I know??! Glad to hear you are not a takeaway-feeding-dog-bothering-numpty. ;o)

  • mary

    please , please help i have a out of control boxer bitch, she is 5 now and we just cant take her out she is just crazy and pulls so much. i have 2 children who would love to walk her but its not possiable. at home she is great and the perfect dog in the garden we have holes in every fence were she can watch the neighbours. i board it up she makes a new one.
    i just want a dog i can walk can you help me please .


  • Mel

    I hope you get on DB and get Mic so he can give you the rollocking you need!

  • Faye

    yes Susan you obviously don’t know ths SBT breed very well… but if you have other breeds your not going to really. Taz is anything but overweight or out of shape. Mic Martins first comment on Taz was ‘what a fit looking dog’… Vets first comment was ‘blimey he’s in good shape’…..

  • Anne in Devon

    I am Anne from Devon, I posted on this site a few weeks ago…Just like to say that whilst walking around at Crufts this year I was lucky enough to meet Mic Martin, i showed him my bruised arms from my dog mouthing me, Mic was helpfull and gave me some tips on enforcing the NO command.

    He really is a very nice guy, i managed to get my photo taken with him…What a lovley smile he has, and so friendly and polite. I wish I could get the chance to take my dog on DB, but I think that they are inundated with applications so I’m not very hopefull.


  • juie james south wales

    Hi .
    To whom this can concern,sorry mel my spelling is not to good,that dont mean im not educated.
    I email dogbostal about my cocker spaniel,like i explained in a recent post,hes spoiled and nuts but hes my baby.
    Email dogbostal they then sent me via a attachment a application,i filled in the application which took me about a hr.It ask all old is the dog,where you got it from,what they like dont like,how they react,have they bitten any 1 etc.etc.Yesterday i got a phone call for a interview which my oldest son took as i was in work.I have to ring them back today.
    They ask my son and found rather funny how my golden brown cocker got his name which is joe cocker.
    I have watched most of db,as far as i can see,the dogs are more then well looked after especial when i seen the 1 where the spaniel had a high temp.the dog went straight to the vet on the camp and mic was very worried and concerned.
    They teach you how to look after the dog and how to reward them and love the dogs.I have taken my dog to a local school that all my dog did was go mad with exciment th trainers said as there are a few dogs in the class they did have the time to do 1 to 1 with my cocker.
    mis view like my vet said last yr,my dog got to go on a diet or im killing him with kindness.
    If i do manage to get any further i will post and to make my dog sit ,i have to take his fav a bucket of candyfloss as he will love you to death for candyfloss.Hard part will be i will put my bed in the dogs housing as i be worried and will want to sleep with the dog SAD TO SAY.
    Have fun julie james

  • juie james south wales

    To caroll what ever you name is.My 7yr old cocker is spoiled badly hes my baby.he more then loved and looked after,his coat is perfect,he well builded,
    What your saying to train a dog does take months,but a trainer with dogs havent got months to be with us.Your way might work with your dog but sorry to say dont work with 1000s,if you watch the program a rattle is not always used and the program follows the dogs nad owner months after dont see a rattle afterwards.The rattle is used in last efforts.
    U might be ok as the way your talking it like taking my dog down the gym he fat and needs a personal trainer.the clicking heel shit that your talking about my dog would sit there find you rather stupied.he think your nuts.
    They do say on there that half the problem are us the owner who spoil them like myself.
    db is lie us going to work every day.if we dont do what our job intolls then we get a warning to do as we told then at last resort get threated with the sack,thats just the way they work with the dog.
    Only watched vistoria stilwell for 10 min got rather bored,i laughed with that way most dog would think shes a game.
    dog do need more disapline like db teach that all.

  • Mel

    I dont quite see why you needed to point out your spelling to me? I cant see Ive made any comments to justify that?
    Maybe Im reading you wrong? Or is there another Mel on here?
    My only beef is with people who are too dumb to look up the BBC website and contact them if they REALLY need training, and dont just want 15 mins fame on the TV.

  • Mel

    Ahh I see where it comes from now, I spoke of people who cant spell Veterinary.. well Im sorry, but if a person cant even be bothered to look up the correct spelling of a profession they wish to work in, then they DONT deserve consideration for a job. There is certainly no hardship in looking at a spellchecker, googling the correct spelling etc, thusly leading to my comparison to the numpties that cant seem to grasp the simple concept of a search engine to find themselves a decent trainer.
    Other than that, spell as badly as you please, Im really not that bothered, just dont do it applying for a job, it is NOT spelt VETINERY!!!!!!!

  • Susan

    Hey Faye, Maybe I don’t know enough Staffies or maybe I know too many and they have coloured my opinions! You know what they say about the camera adding ten lbs!!! ;o)

    I hate it when peeple spel bad to. And wen gramer is badley dun. So shoot me and my little dawgies. xx

  • Mel

    I have to say many many Staffords are usually a good few pounds overweight, people cant see the difference between fat and muscle! Taz to me did look a little rounded in the programme, but certainly not to the extent most I see are. Im biased though because my lad “Verbal” is fit to the Nth degree, you can check him out on my youtube clips, click on my name, get past the Mic vids (if you can! lol) and he is in my other videos. THAT is a fit Stafford!
    Sorry I had to plug my boy one way or another lol!
    Faye you should join the staffordworld forum BTW!

  • Faye

    mel what is your name on youtube… i want to pic’s of your boy?

  • Mel

    Im pitpony30, or just search for Mic Martin lol, Im fairly easy to find that way!

  • Mel

    Opps forgot,, you can just click on my name here, and thats a direct link.

  • Susan

    Guys, what does everyone think of Lynne Davies as a trainer? I am unable to get Mic or anyone that he puts me onto as nobody has vacancies (or they are afraid of Jack Russells) and have just tried Lynne instead.

  • Mel

    I like Lynne! She has a good no nonsense approach too, We have her school advertised on the message board at work ( Vet Surgery) Id have no hesitation reccomending her to anyone, particually after the episode with the numpties and the Black Lab cross that was biting the kids etc.

  • AJL

    Loving the pug vid!!!!

  • Mel

    LOL thought you might!

  • Susan

    Damn, Lynne is booked up too. Can anyone recommend another trainer in the area?

  • kirstie

    PLEASE! i have been trying to find out how i can apply for my german shephard to go on the tv show dog borstal, haw do we apply can any one help?
    if so please can you send me info on how to apply:
    [email protected]

    or have you been on the show please let me know


  • Mel

    Please, read the above posts…

  • AJL

    It is quite infuriating that some people lack common sense

    The number of posts asking the exact same damn question

    I wonder, if people cant find how to contact the BBC, have they even bothered to try and find a regular trainer?

  • Mel

    That is exactly what bothers me so much about it! If they cant even be bothered to try looking for a trainer who isnt going to get them on TV, if they were ever to be picked to go on DB I bet anything you like they will not continue with the training after the cameras stop rolling!

  • Linda

    I think to be fair some people just don’t know where to look or how to find a trainer – however, it’s easier now with the internet (I remember when there wasn’t one and we used the library! ).

    Try one training group, as they have members in most areas.

  • Mel

    Thats my point, these people DO have the Net! If they could google up this Blog, surely they could have had the brains to look for dog trainers!?Its more about HOW DO I GET ON TV, than how do I train my dog!

  • amanda

    Get a life Mel…this isn’t your page so STOP telling people wht to do and stop ‘lusting’ after Mic…he wouldn’t look twice luv!!!!

  • nikk

    hi there we have been haveing major trouble with our dog babylove do ot no how to apply so if you could email me and let me no how it will be very greatful

  • Mel


  • Linda

    I get what you mean – yes that’s frustrating. TV trainers have no more magic tricks in the bag than anyone who is not on tv – so if people are interested in getting help, it doesn’t have to be via the telly!

    Nikk, if you are having major trouble with your dog, why go on tv? why not just find a good trainer close to you and help your dog? Not being funny but you could wait months to go on tv!!! See the link I put in above to the apdt.

  • Faye

    yes you will have to wait months, when i went on DB the training was from August to about early October,

    I was on DB but i was lucky as my dog was not that naughty just very spoilt by me so it was me that needed the training. If i was having issues like some people are saying they have then they need to find a local trainer for help. A massive part of DB is the fact that it is a TV programme and the training only lasts foir 4 days…. your on your own after that!

    I learnt a lot in those 4 days to enable me to change my ways and habits and the dogs diet, not really any ongoing issues with my mutt.

    I have said several times on here, if you have serious problems with your dog find a local trainer… if you can’t ask your vet, i’m sure they will know a trainer. If you want to have fun and be on the TV and show your doggy off to the world then go to the BBC website, they are looking for more people to go on.

    Mel I’m gonna give up now…. i don’t think it’s getting through… hows your babies? loved the pictures, Faye x

  • katherine richards

    Please could you tell me if it would be possible to apply for dog borstal? many thanks

  • Mel

    Hey Faye, My lot are all good thanks, hope Taz is! Just seen Dog Brstal unleashed! LMAO! funny as F***, do you get a check up?
    Great to have DB and Mic back on TV!

  • Mel
  • Mel

    opps that last post is a link to the stafford website Faye, I think you’ll like it! I even got Mic to pop in and say hi lol!

  • Faye

    oh i missed it, i’m gutted, going to look for a repeat!!

    I haven’t had a catch up with Mic but i would have loved too, i didn’t even know they were doing it. Anyhow i’m having a baby now so probably wouldn’thave been able to have gone back to Borstal if ordered too. Taz is brilliant, he is sleeping through in his own bed now, but my god i miss him.
    will look at the stafford site.

  • Kirsty Cambers

    [email protected]

    This is how you contact dog borstal for all of you asking for desperate help – like me!

  • Pingback: The Underdog Show BBC 2 - Dogs Rule()

  • Mel

    Didnt like Underdog at all, the format made my toes curl, and some ofthe dogs were pretty stressed out by the whole situaion.
    My dogs as fat as me did some god in highlighting the hirrendouse obestity problems in pet dogs, and for that matter, all domestic pets these days, even RABBITS are obese now!
    Dog Borstal highlighted that just about ANY dog can become a joy to live with IF the proper responsibilities of training and knowledge are applied. Something the majority of modern dog owners have little or kow idea of.
    Working in a Vets practice Id confidently bet that at LEAST 70% of the dogs we see are in serious need of corrective training or behavioural help, and probably and even higher pecentage than that are overweight!

  • Mel

    Wish I could edit, apologies for the terrible typos in that post1 ITS TO EARLY!

  • Faye

    i can’t believe Julia could build up a friendship (her words) with Cookie the staffy and then let it go back to dogs home…. ohmegod i would never forgive myself. Unless they dropped dogs off at the rescue centre and then picked their pay cheques up!!!

  • Matthew Revell

    Just to let you know, we now have forum threads on both Dog Borstal and The Underdog Show:

    Dog Borstal:
    Underdog Show:

  • Mel

    LOL, sod Underdog! lets all remind ourselves Dog Borstal Unleashed, 8.30 BBC3 Mondays. Starring my main man Mic Martin! ohh and the dogs of course lol!

  • Mel

    look! Its Faye, Taz,and of course Mic!

  • Linda

    Oh no I so much preferred the Underdog show.
    I work with dogs and owners and you don’t have to use force to train dogs which is what comes across with DB. You have to learn how to train dogs (but more the owners LOL) but you dont need to bully them is my view, sorry

    I didn’t rate the show the other night anway – best bit when the dog looked half happy was the flipping clicker training. All that jerking made my neck ache, and she jerked him even when he wasn’ t doing anything. And what was all that military larking about in the bushes? Someone could have mistaken Mic for – well, a lurker

  • Linda

    Wish we could edit on here, sorry for the typos!! Arrgh!


  • Mel

    Err, was it not pointed out by Mic that the yanking was wrong? I think it was…. Sorry but IMO the modern namby pamby methods of dog taining is why im my job as a VN I am at risk of being bitten just about eery day, people are too damn lazy/afraid to train their dogs properly nowadays. I hope DB goes from strength to strength, so people can lean how to train their dogs PROPERLY, and not let their dogs train them.
    Clicker training in my mind is best left for circus tricks, not life skills dog training.
    AS for lurking, how else do you spy on the ex pupils to ensure they are keeping up to scratch wth the training..that was the whole point of the programme, to go undercover so as to see if the owners really had used their time in DB wisely!
    Naturally Mic could lurk around in bushes waiting for me any day of the week!

  • Mel

    Amanda, just seen you post, LMAO, Nice intelligent comment, what a total plum!
    Go get a life or educate yourself please. What a total plum!

  • Linda

    Mel I think you just have a crush on Mic! Each to their own.

    It’s more that some owners buy a dog but don’t train it – it’s more about NOT training (ie no methods at all) than what you say are namby pamby modern methods.

    Mic did say the jerking was wrong which was good. Fair dos and all that. But Rob was happy to say “if he hits you, hit him back” or words to that effect, which is recommending jerking. I guess it had to be a quick fix *sigh*

    Buddy looked more alive when he was being clicker trained than at any other time. He was a different dog!

    Re the VN thing – if a dog tries to bite you when you are at work, what do you do? and do you think it’s all down to bad training or do you give some grace that some dogs may be frightened (but well trained at home for instance).

    I wish dog owners had to have some test of training knowledge before buying a dog. You don’t get a car without learning to drive and look after it a bit, why do so many do this with dogs…

  • Linda

    Mel, don’t forget it’s meant to be an entertainment programme, so why would you want people to be learning how to train their dogs from it? as it clearly states “do not attempt to copy…”

  • Mel

    Linda. I think ALL the trainers on DB are excellent. I have also used the type of training tecniques used by Mic myself for many years with my dogs too great success. Now Im SIRE you are not going to try and tel me I am cruel to my dogs in any way shape of form.
    As for wanting to do bad things to Mic LMAO! thats no secret, he knows that himself! But that does not take away the fact I totally respect his training methods.
    As for DB being entertainment youare right, it IS, but it should also be a wake up call to people whos dogs are out of control, that display behaviout similar to those shown, so they can seek out professional help. Hopefully inspired by watchign this show. It kicked my ass into touch as I used to let my Staff pull like a train. but from watching DB and in the aftermath of the child being killed by a pit bull type dpg at Neew Year. I decided that I could not afford paople to get the wrong idea about my dogs temperment ( faultless) because I ALLLOWED him to pull. I put Mics loop and drop long lead tecnique to work and now I have a dog that trots to heel like a dream.
    I have also just seen the reapeats of series one, I missed them 1st time round, and Dale, Flakes owner. I think Mic was VERY easy on you. you left dog crap on the ground, you were rude and beliggerent. If ANYONE was bigoted it was YOU!
    You ruined your dog, the peope at DB tried to help, you broke rules and broke down the trianing. you expected a quick fix, didnt get one so blamed everyone else for your shortcomings.
    Push ups? They should have booted your ungatefull sorry ass out of there. I would guess that it was the trainers desire to help your dog that saved you getting chop.
    Season 3 of DB is being filmed right now, I for one can hardly wait!!!
    I would also like to add in that DB Unleashed is one in the eye for those who said the training would not last. It showed that if the owners carried on with what they were taught the results would shine.

  • H

    I think mic is great, I have a great dane and a g/s/d, and have trained them both the same way, by showing them that I rule this pack, and a pack animal is what they are. I ask you all that say there is no need to train a dog this way, would you still say the same if my two dogs where bearing down on you in the park and I was one of these very silly and uninformed owers who could do notthing to stop them. I also agree with Mel about Flake and his owner.

  • Linda

    Good trainers hopefully all over the country can get good results, however a lot depends on owner motivation to follow advice given…and whether that advice is appropriate – that can be the moot point. What DB trainers do is not special or unusual, it’s just that it happens to be on tv ….

    Re Mic M. I saw him on tv a while ago, possible a news programme …he stated pit bulls (or staffies and similar, couldn’t catch what he said at that moment) lock their jaws. No, they don’t – they just have very strong jaws, I do wish he’d not set himself up as an expert and said that. If you are going to speak on tv as an expert, you have to be sure of what you are talking about, or should do. It really didn’t do anything to help these already maligned breeds. Hopefully most members of the public watching would have no idea what was meant anyway…

    I agree that one good thing about DB is that owners may be inspired to realise that training is important, setting boundaries is important, exercise is important.

    The first series was the worst and it was that that caused such uproar in the dog training and behaviour community – I remember a sheppie who was so stressed it was not learning anything and the DB trainer had no idea. In some cases, the dog cannot learn as the brain has switched to the amygdala, which is the reactive/emotional part, as opposed to the cognitive part. The trainer should have realised this and given the dog a chance to become operant again, I was horrified at this particular session/programme. Most people watching would think the dog was (cue rolleyes) “dominant” which was what the owner was in fact told. Rubbish – nice easy get out for the trainer, though.

    Trainers, and behaviourists, must update their knowledge so as not to shortchange owners – this applies to all, not just DB but every trainer. These days it’s important to understand the physiology of dogs, to understand behaviour on even a cellular level, and to understand some problems etc can be caused by anything from dysplasia to painful joints to hypothyroid to liver problems…many of which just aren’t visible or noticeable. With problems such as not walking there should be X rays, joint checks and similar. Also not assuming that because a dog will move on grass, that it can move on concrete.

    Just a few more thoughts, re the clicker training – this was originally used for controlling and training large animals who could not be physically pushed around and i use it in behavioural work because it works very well. However one has to understand how to use it – it is an invaluable tool. Zoos and similar use it for training large animals to co-operate, the horse world is using it for solving problems such as boxing up, and in the dog world it’s even being used now by those involved in manwork because the results are so very good. Crufts winners the last 2 years have been clicker trained. It must be good for something

    Anyway, I think this debate could go on and on and nothing very productive come from it – those in support of DB will probably remain so, those against will also remain so … I’d like to see a programme with top notch trainers and behaviourists using clicker, reward based techniques, (using operant training so dogs can be given consequenses if necessary,) and following dogs through rehab/training/behaviour programmes over a period of months, with maybe updates a year later. Would love that.

    I’ve enjoyed the debate, we will see what the next series brings!

  • Mel

    What I DO want to address is a misquoting from Mic, that seems to be taken the wrong way by those who wish to pick everything he says to peices…
    Mic Martin didn’t actually say that pits have locking jaws.He said pits have jaws which they lock on and wont let go.
    He did NOT, again, say they have locking jaws!
    This was also discussed at length on the SBT forum I am admin on. It was cleared up very quickly that is NOT what he said. Several people heard pit bull and lock, and as per usual put 2 and 2 together to come up with 5.
    Im sure that a dog trainer who has done so much to help my breed and others in the times of BSL, is going to fully versed asto what the bite of a bulldog is like, and how they do lock onto things, ie, meaning they will NOT let go. They can, they just wont. This is again a very different thing to having “locking jaws”.
    I will again defend the “new” more old school trends in dog training, because I, as someone in the forefront of the disaster area until recently accepted as the only way to train, ie no negative reinforcement for serious misdemeanors, am sick and tired of risking my skin because people can not/will not disipline their dogs.
    All the recent years of fluffy training “never tell your dog off” crap has done is create generations of badly behaved, ill mannered and frankly dangerous pets.
    As per usual it is the dogs that cop it, not the owners, and Dog Borstal changes that. It shows the real offenders to be the owners, and that a few days of real training can turn around a dog destined for a black bag.

  • Linda

    Mel you said: “All the recent years of fluffy training “never tell your dog off” crap has done is create generations of badly behaved, ill mannered and frankly dangerous pets.”

    I suggested previously above that it’s not fluffy training (?!) that causes problem dogs, it’s no training or, owners not knowing how to train. I would concede there may be owners who don’t give their dogs any consequences for pushy or similar behaviour, but this is not anything to do with modern training.

    Modern training done well produces fab dogs – well mannered etc. My dog got voluntarily praised at my vets the other day because he was, in the vet’s words “very amenable”. Yep, a clicker trained, namby pamby fluffy trained dog and he’s not the only one.

    It does not mean you can’t give your dog consequences, it just means you don’t shout, (unless very good reason), or jerk, or use e collars, or hang or choke the dog (dogs have died from this) or kick them, use prongs, etc etc and hopefully the emphasis is on dogs and owners actually enjoying themselves. I for one welcome the change from harsh, sometimes quite barbaric methods to methods based on science.

    Previous methods have caused dogs to die (I’m particularly thinking of the police dog who died after being trained by check chain, helicoptered and then being kicked for growling!!!). Once physical punishment is used, where does it end? How far does one go? The police dog handlers/instructors had no more knowledge to train, they had nothing left, so used just more and more force. That dog ended up in the black bag, sadly, with a ruptured liver.

    You also said: “It shows the real offenders to be the owners, and that a few days of real training can turn around a dog destined for a black bag”.

    A dog with genuine problems (depending on the problem) is not always turned around in a few days – agree that a start may be made, but problems such as aggression are not solved in a few days (or as I understand it, is the case on tv, a few hours). This is one of the things that is difficult to explain to owners – in fact, there is no quick fix, just commitment and hard work, very often.

    Sadly it’s not always the owners’ fault either – that’s a bit of a generalisation methinks, as I’m sure you will agree there can be problems with breeding, a certain line, illness, pain, etc etc etc.

    Re the locking jaws – agree again, of course, such dogs do hang on for grim death if necessary, however why even mention the word “lock”? Suggesting a dog has jaws which it will lock on and won’t let go, is very close if not the same to saying a dog actually has locking jaws. If a dog can lock on, does it not have locking jaws??? Semantics maybe, but ….

    As I said in my last post I don’t think anything productive would come from these discussions as no-one will change their minds!!

  • Mel

    Your comments regarding the jaw strength and the twisting of words suggests to me you dont really know as much as you would like to think about bull and terrier breeds. I myself still consider myself learning, but I also have nearly 20 years experience of the breed, in all its forms. Ive met game bred pits, pet bulls, staffords, from dog pit lines to the show ring. I consider myself a hardcore breed student. If I thought for one minute what Mic had said was incorrect Id have been on the case like, well, a Pit Bull! But I can see past the word lock, in its usual context, and understand exactly what was meant by the statement. So did other breed students on the forum I am on.
    If people are going to pick at either yourself or a dog breed, or anything for that matter they will twist what you say, to their own means.
    As I said, my first love in this world is the bull and terrier in its true form, and no way would I let even Mic get away with saying they have locking jaws, but of course, he did not say they have locking jaws!!!!!!!!!!!!
    The only faux pas I let him get away with, just because he is Mic Martin lol, is calling Staffords, Staffies! Something I generally dont let go by, as Im anal about the word! So in that one case Mic gets favouritism!
    Its pretty obvious you use the clicker training methods, so have a vested interest in keeping them going. Ill just finish by saying I have no agenda for pushing any training method other than looking for those that work, that are suited to the breed in question, and also work in a reasonable timespan. Methods that help the DOG learn what is right and wrong through its own mistakes. Self correction if you will, rather than being taught “circus trick” style.
    As for the ” the dog is possibly in pain” scenario, all the dogs are checked out by the Dog Borstal vet, and Im sure any obvious health issues are picked up long before training begins. I very much doubt any of the trainers would work with a dog that has obvious health issues,or disregard any potential problems either. I find that premise insulting to these experienced and dedicated dogmen and women.
    You talk of this side of things, to a Veterinary Nurse, of some 20 years experience, and I also find it a little insulting that you would assume Id not take health matters into consideration.
    I agree that a small handful of dogs are going to have issues other than crappy owners that could cause their health issues, but they are a very small percentage. It is near always poor, weak and sloppy handling/training that causes the dogs issues in the first place.

  • Mel

    I would also point out that this statement

    “It does not mean you can’t give your dog consequences, it just means you don’t shout, (unless very good reason), or jerk, or use e collars, or hang or choke the dog (dogs have died from this) or kick them, use prongs, etc etc and hopefully the emphasis is on dogs and owners actually enjoying themselves. I for one welcome the change from harsh, sometimes quite barbaric methods to methods based on science”

    Taken in the context of being aimed at the trainers at DB, or those who prefer the methods of training used by them. Id look at this as being downright liablous!
    Ive yet to see one dog mistreated in any way shape or form on the programme. I strongly resent the implication, intended or otherwise, that I would do harm to my dog!
    Also, as I believe Rob has already stated, the APDT have plently enough members dolign out punishments using E collars and the like, so to point out the few bad apples that crop up in military type training is a bit of an own goal!
    People in glass houses and all that…..

  • Mel

    Ohh gawd! Why cant I remember everything in one post!!!??
    Im going to give even more kudos to Mic for his help in the fight against BSL. For appearing in the Trevor McDonald show, for taking time out to help Deednotbreed, for appearing at Crufts to fight this draconian law, for going on our local radio to defend the dogs against even more predudice, despite 2 extremely anti DJs. Dogs need more pro active people like this in this day and age. Real dog folk who go that little bit further to help our canine friends.
    Shame more of the postives cant be shown, rather than trying to find negatives that do not even exist!

  • Linda

    Mel you said: >>

    That’s fine – you obviously know a lot about the breed and have studied them. If you could explain more it would be good – I am not averse to learning/listening 🙂

    I do think though, and you’ve kind of said yourself, that you as a student of the breed could see past the word “lock” . What about the fact that most people listening would not be able to do that, but would just imagine they locked their jaws? I’m not being picky for the sake of it, i do genuinely think the remark was ill thought. However I’m sure we’ll need to agree to disagree, sometimes it comes to that as I doubt either of us will change our minds 🙂

    I don’t profess to be an expert on the breed and am not sure where you think I suggested this, I know that bull breeds do not lock but do have what I’d call simply strong jaws which some people would call “locking” but which, technically, biologically, whatever, aren’t. I’m happy to be educated but as far as I can see, my comments were not really any different to yours. I still think at the moment that even using “locking” in the same sentence as pit bulls or similar on such a programme wasn’t the best thing to do. Enlighten me if you want


    Not sure about the vested interest – clickers cost hardly anything! – but yes i enjoy using clicker. I find it helps dogs improve/recover/learn. I also use other methods. I could easily say DB have a vested interest in keeping their programmes going because it gets them in the public eye, maybe makes them money … but no point!


    Shame you keep referring to circus style tricks. There’s no harm in having an opinion and sticking to it, but also there’s no harm in having an open enquiring mind. If for instance using clicker would stop dogs in your vet practice from struggling whilst being handled, would it not be worth those owners learning to do it maybe? 🙂

    The method you mention tends to lean towards setting dogs up to fail rather than to succeed. Believe me, if you are dealing with dogs with for example aggression problems, setting up to fail means not only the dog gets to practice the behaviour regularly, but that it will learn more slowly. That’s very simplified of course.


    Yes, but, I’d have liked to have seen more health checks on some of the dogs. For example the golden who wasn’t walking – X rays would have been good. These weren’t done as far as I know – or at least when Rob was asked, he didn’t say they had been. I’m sure most of the dogs are fine but another dog looked as if it needed chiropractic check rather than vet and I doubt if this was done. The problem is that i don’t think there is time to do this as there is a limit on the days spent with the dogs.


    To be fair I don’t know you 🙂 You could be very young and just started as I don’t think you’ve said. Apologies if i’ve missed it. No insult intended – I never write to insult, no point. People will switch off if you do that to them. It’s also best to never assume anything.


    Some dogs come with issues – esp. if they are say rescue dogs who may appear fine until the honeymoon period is finished. Some dogs are naturally very high drive and some owners would try to train but not know how. Some dogs would be undersocialised and learn to aggress out of fear, etc etc. Most owners i work with try very hard and are upset they cannot control their dogs, but are very happy when shown how. I hate this dissing of owners – it’s the fashion at the moment it seems. If I were an owner, I’d much prefer to be treated like a human being than:

    be told off for wearing clothes not entirely clean
    be physically pushed at least twice by a trainer
    be humililated
    sleep in a tent and be tired before training even started

    etc etc. which has happened on DB. Mind you maybe some of the owners enjoy it

  • Linda

    Oh! Now my quotes etc have been left off of the above post, it may not make sense now 🙁

  • Linda

    I’ll type this out roughly so it doesn’t disappear …

    ” …taken in the context of being aimed at the trainers of DB…”

    But it wasn’t! It’s obvious it’s general statements I’d have thought. I’ve not seen a DB trainer use a prong collar, e collar etc not kick a dog – have you?

    One dog was choked partially as I think has been mentioned way above in previous posts. It’s on tv so if the comment had been aimed directly at DB trainers it wouldn’t be libellous.

    “I’ve yet to see one dog being mistreated on the programme..”

    Ah but that would depend on what one considered mistreatment, wouldn’t it? Choking would be in my book, I’d also say dragging a dog on concrete would, using very badly time punishment over and over is to me mistreatment, attempting to train a sheppie who could not literally learn due to stress is to me mistreatment…

    Would you then say that the above is not mistreatment, then? If so, what would you call mistreatment?

    Rob should come clean and speak out about this e collar allegation. It should be a lot more than hearsay, and proveable, too.

    Glass houses – they improved their assessment procedure (and contrary to what Rob said, it was nothing to do with him, what arrogance, ) but had been ongoing requests/discussions for several years as I understand it. It did happen to coincide with his comments, but he was very wrong to “assume” NEVER assume anything!!!

    So at least they are doing their best. More I think than any other canine related (training) organisation. The other point is that nothing can be done unless a complaint is made in the correct manner – which should be done if Rob is sure – any organisation that goes on hearsay, griping etc is hardly professional. There has to evidence/substance.

  • Linda

    It’s quite interesting looking back at the most recent posts and confirms my belief that these discussions are OK but are never particularly productive – we’d all be probably better off spending our time doing something else!

    I think quite often posters don’t even really listen to each other 🙂

  • ajl

    Yet again, late to the party

    Re. the ‘lock’ comment. To me, the phrase “jaws which they lock on and wont let go” would suggest just a very firm and possible very hard to release, grip.

    It doesnt suggest to me some mechanism in the jaw that physically locks it shut. I would suggest that anyone that does think this based on the above quote is either a few apples short of a fruit bowl, or twisting words to suit their own petty arguments. This is something about human nature that I absolutely hate – the fact that someone goes out in public trying to get things changed for the good of owners and their dogs, and has someone pointing out what they believe to be factually incorrect comments in that persons speech.

    Seriously, what is more important – you misquiting Mic, or Mic getting out there and speaking, essentially, on our behalf. Using his connections to get his voice heard?

  • Mel

    aint that the truth!! Thank you AJL!!!

  • Mel

    I have seen the “infamous” so called alpha roll. DO ME A FAVOUR! What was done to that dog was no more than what I do on a regular basis with aggressive ( be it fear or dominance) dogs! It is often the ONLY way to safely stop a dog from hurting either itself or other staff members. Its a simple case of knowing what you are doing, catching the dog off balance and as soon as it hits the deck you get your weight across the body so it cannot flail about and risk injury! What? you people would rather the dog bit some one, got loose and/or hurt itself. Oh get real!
    As for the comments trying to suggest the Goldie had bad hips, peerrleeaasse! Anyone who knows anything about canine physiology would see that dog has no hip issues worth even a mention. his gait is fine, and dragging it on tarmac? has anyone seen the thick coat on that dog? No way could that have hurt the stubborn git!
    I am so NOT suprised to finally see this episode and see it was all a load of hype and snitchyness on the part of people who dont like to see others being more successful than themselves!
    Viva Dog Borstal!

  • Jo

    I watched DB for the first time tonight. Whilst it made me whinch slightly, I’ve had to push my dog to the floor to control him before, and I only do it when absolutely necessary. In fact I’ve only done it twice and he seems to have learned that I’m the boss and there’s things he can’t do! What the guy did was absolutely right. He went to bite, so he over powered him, controlled him, but then calmed him down and the dog was fine. How is that cruel? Have you seen the way groups of dogs fight for dominance?

    I had 3 large dogs, all male, one of which was a german sheppard working dog. Very well trained and well behaved. When I bought a Samoyed pup into the mix the german sheppard and samoyed played for hours. Anyone with a pack of dogs must have witnessed how vicious they can be to each other. Its a survival instinct, they go for the neck (even when playing) and wrestle for “top dog” position. They inflict far more “pain” and “cruelty” than owners ever could by pushing them to the ground.

    Dogs who know their position in the pack are happier. They like consistency and to know where they stand. As for the dog being dragged alone the floor…come on!! If he was in any pain he would have either cried or would have just got up and walked! I think the trainer used demonstrated his integrity enough to get the owners to trust his judgement. The owners would have stopped if they felt at any time the dog was being hurt! Give people some credit!! He was a stubborn dog…who’s behaviour had been reinforced by owners that were not strong enough to challenge his behaviour.

    A responsible dog owner has to be in control of their dog. Therefore has to be and demonstrate “top dog” control. This is absolutely not the same as animal cruetly! Actually not training your dog properly, allowing them to run across the road and having no control is, because they are a danger to themselves and other people!

  • sarah Stroud

    I was wondering how you apply to take part in the programme

  • Linda

    ajl I do actually see where you’re coming from. However, most of those who are involved with dogs know that the lock jaw thing has been a perpetual myth for years…I guess it was started by some who had a motive to do so..

    The general public don’t realise it’s a myth, and may not realise that saying they can lock their jaws is not the same as saying they have very very powerful jaws…I just really don’t think it was a good thing to say, and if people are trying to get rid of problems concerning pit bulls then in my view it really would be better to simply avoid using the term “lock” at all.

    In one sentence a great disservice could have been done which was my point.

    Until that came up I thought the interview was fine. I’d also be saying the same thing no matter who the “expert” was, even if it happened to be my best friend. It’s always best to be objective and not straw mannish. There was no misquoting, but genuine concern.

    Thank goodness this is still the sort of UK where we are allowed to have opinions!

  • Linda

    Jo, not sure if you’ve read any of my posts but I agree with you dogs need boundaries, training etc etc. My own dogs are trained to a high standard with reward based training. However I disagree with your statement that dogs in pain would be crying , so letting us know they are in pain.

    You are quite wrong – dogs especially with chronic pain don’t often show it or cry, because they are used to living with it. It depends on the individual dog obviously as generalisation isn’t sensible. Don’t take my word for it, see here: and note what is said under Long Term Pain 🙂

    Re the pushing etc, as a trainer and behaviourist I can say that using positive punishment often leads to further problems, not always, but it’s always a risk. If someone copied that the dog could have their face off. That’s why it’s not a good idea.

  • Linda

    No-one can say if the retriever dog had hip problems or not. You seem very certain one can tell by the gait etc – however this isn’t always the case.

    Some dogs show behaviour problems such as aggression, are not suspected at all to have hip (or back ) problems, then, when finally tested years later are found to have very bad hips. When operated on the behaviour immediately disappears. The dogs were obviously uncomfortable to say the least, but
    no-one was able to detect any problem related to that area on the dog. Until the area was X rayed. A clue with pain in an area can sometimes be muscle atrophy but not always as some dogs can build the muscle up.

    The truth is that none of us know if the dog concerned had problems or not – the dog shown after doesn’t tell us either because dogs with such problems will still run with canine friends, and so on. IME walking on concrete, which is what the old air base is, is the hardest substance for dogs with problems, whether that was relevant here we dont know.

    Most dogs would surely have gotten up – he was dragged for a very long time!

    Another point – I’m sure the trainer concerned has we hope more than one string to his bow but although this “worked” with a young fit couple, who were physically capable, what if the dog belonged to someone less fit, or in some way unable to drag the dog?

    Anyway this has been done to death. Banging, head and brick wall come to mind.

  • Miss Natalie Shearman

    Hello, I would really like to know how I can apply to be on this programe. I would love to attend Borstal training camp with my pet German Shephard who is 5 years old now. She has a fantastic personality and is highly intelligent however it does get us into trouble when she doesnt listen to my commands and upsets other people and their dogs. I know that this can only be down to me as the owner and having attened many dog schools; I think that Borstal training camp is what I need to know exactly where I am going wrong. I feel I understand that if I get the training right then my dog will feel more secure? And try not to be boss anymore. I hope this mail arrives to Mic and his team. I look forward to a reply. Natalie Shearman.

  • Miss Hickman

    Hi ,
    I would realy like to know how to apply for dog borstal.
    I think that it would be a huge inprovement for me and my dog
    as we are having difficulty. It is a 2 year old german shepard.
    She is a very loveable dog.
    However the trouble seams to be that whenever someone knocks at the dog she wil go crazy and start leaping everywhere.
    We are also having problems with her chewing.
    she chews are house up things like wood work and she also jumps up at you and trys to play with you with her teath wich may tend to hurt.
    I would realy be greatful for a reply.
    Many thankz.
    Paige Hickman.

  • ajl

    Hi, I have somehow found my way on to this website, I assume through googling Dog Borstal. However, I somehow have missed any sort of link to the fact that this programme is produced by the BBC, nor have I read any of the other posts about getting on the show. I mean, I know the logical place to ask would be the BBC, but I figured I would ask on a website that has no affiliation with the programme instead.

    I would love to appear on the show, yet I have no brain. Could someone help me find it?

  • Linda

    If anyone is looking for trainers nearby to them you could try – sometimes it’s hard to know where to start looking for trainers, I know.

    Please remember that getting on tv isn’t important – what is important is knowing how to help your dogs if they are displaying problem behaviour.

    Dog trainers all vary in skills and knowledge but rather than wait for tv I’d want to get the ball rolling 🙂

  • Linda

    Out of interest re the alpha roll business – some trainers thought the dog was choked, that was the cause of the outcry as much as anything. Of course it goes without saying that anyone copying the roll could get bitten which was another reason.

    Hype etc doesn’t come into it, and as for not liking to see others more successful – it’s not worth a comment.

  • Do you know anyone or are you someone who can train a male newtared jack russtle who is 1-2 years old and is vishouse? We live in Southway in Plymouth in Devon so it would be a great help if the trainer(s) were in that region. Please note that by visouse i mean when he is in a bad mood he WILL bite and when he does it will leave scars. He thinks he is boss and domminates the family. When told what to do he rebels and turns nasty. Throughout most of the day and night he is rather well behaved. He is brilliant on the lead and off the lead when out in open space and inclosed spaces. With him being a jack russtle it is in his nature to get up to mischiff but as he is to fat ( over weight by 3-4 kg) to go rabbiting so he is a house pet and needs to act like one.

    if you want to reply to this letter or know someone who would could you please write back on this site as a comment. many thanks!!

  • Linda

    Amie, the bad news is that noone can really train your dog you have to learn how to do it yourself -having said that, there is a list of trainers here:

    some of whom may be close to you for help 🙂

    Ensure your dog has plenty of exercise, stuffed kongs to chew and interaction with the family. Any dog who is aggressive should have a vet check as there can be medical problems that make a dog react in this way but that are not obvious to the owner.

    It sounds as if you confront your dog – terriers will be feisty – you need to learn how to control and train him so that you both enjoy the relationship and so there is no confrontation but so that you have a dog who is well mannered.

    Good luck, try the above for help in your area.

  • Faye

    ajl…. LOL

  • Mushy

    Dale Hitchman !!!! what the hell are you doing now ? Flake the dog ? are you having a laugh. Last time I saw you we were having drinks in your parents Hotel on Torquay sea front with Sui Fong Lee 20 yewars ago !! What the hell are you doing in Blackpool ! and whats this about USA cruise ships ! Love the show your old mate Mushy.

    Aaka Mr Stephen Huish

  • vonny

    Hi all i havejust readall the above …
    for all you that want on dog borstal. look it up like i did .
    what i have to say is i give all the tranners on dog borstall 100% thay work hard .take it from me im in the next show with a siberian husky …..and he ws hard work … also the one that was asking if lynne was any good well watch the new show and see for your self… she is gr8t

  • Linda

    There was some discussion earlier which mentioned problem dog behaviour at vet practices and problems with that. A friend who is a vet nurse mentioned this:

    14 Sept Make Your Practice Behaviourally Aware!
    Canine Aggression in the Veterinary Practice – Are they Scared or Just Scary?
    One-Day Seminars for Veterinary Surgeons and Veterinary Nurses throughout 2007. Booking form (.pdf 211kb)

    It will discuss aggression and its causes, what occurs in vet practices to inadvertently cause aggression, what is often done to decrease it and why it doesn’t work, andwhat can be done to improve the situation.

    Most of the speakers are vets and/or behaviourists.

  • Linda

    Sorry, meant to say, website here:

  • Margaret

    could you please tell me how to contact dog borstal, where it is in the country and how much it is to have your dog trained


  • vonny

    Margaret look on the bog borstal site it gives you the email addy and phone number.
    Margaret .you have to file in a form and thaytake it from there if you get the training from them .
    all the best … have been told the new one starts on 4th sep
    on bbc3

  • lana

    i really need help with my 2 dogs i have staff’s one is 1yr and the other is 11 weeks i know puppy’s chew but i have no more patience left we have tried everything with the dog an everytime it is left alone it chews somthing or pisses everywere the older staff is gd in the house and ik overall for me but he wont let my partner near me. he dosn’t bite or anything he jumps up and pushes him away from me. has any body got a clue how i can apply to dog borstal ???

  • claire

    Hi ya all, i think dog borstal is great, it really shows how bad boys can be changed usually by adressing the owners. i think mic martin and the other two trainers work flaming hard, especially when theyhave to deal with difficult owners, who are usually worse then the dogs. The show gives people hope that a naughty dog can change his spots. Mic may be hard but actually if you wacth closly it usually because the owners are being stubborn or crazy like the lady in series 3 who fed her dog candy floss!! say no more on how mic reacted. I have a 2 year old rescue dog who has some issues but nothing compared to how these dogs are. i saythanks to the bbc for giving us such a great programme and if any of the trainers are reading keep up the good work.
    p.s i dont htink any of the trainers are harsh or use harsh tactics except where really nessary, usually if a dog bites, which they have to take deadly serious .

  • caryn

    just to let MEL who seems to have got off by calling me and my husband numpties and plums that Mitchell is infact a pedigree and not a x. He also won this year in August a second place at a local dog show handled by my now 5 year old. Who is still with us, do you think for god sake if i thought that this dog would bite my children he would honestly be with my family? Our previous lab is no longer with us as he growled at my daughter at a year old, so you see i’m not actually that much of a numpty after all!! People who have met Mitchell even the camera crew didn’t feel threatened by him.Hes no different from the majority of the dog population, end of the day you can’t be 100% sure with any of them.But one thing I HAVE NEVER AND NEVER WOULD PUT MY CHILDREN IN DANGER.Just remember its a tv show at the end of the day, its done in a way to make it look good and get ratings. Yes good dog trainers, can’t knock them at all and ejoyed the time there. But like faye says there all empty packets that were in front of taz its all for the viewers.Let you all know how mitchy gets on i his next dog show!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • caryn

    hi faye hope u ok. text u soon

  • Mel

    You wasted the time of the trainers,and ignored what they tried to teach you and warn you. Cos YOU had to know better and got you 15 mins of fame. Wake up and smell the coffee. There was a BLOODY good reason you were not given the chance to do a test, cos it was going to be a waste of time,and you would have thought all your problems were solved.
    Your attitude offended MANY dogs owners particually those of us whose breeds are threatened by BSL, due owners not giving a damn about the implications of the DDA 91.

  • francesca

    hi i was just wondering how to contact dog borstal ? because i have a 6 month old alastkan malatue which does not stop howling and beeing very naughty, we had dog tranniers round but nothing has worked ? x

  • fran

    we had dog tranniers round and its not worked ??

  • fran

    i have a alaskan malutue which 6 months old and keeps picking on are other dog, and he will not stop howling?

  • Linda

    Hey, he’s only 6 months and a mally, they do howl 🙂
    You’ve picked a breed that howls, love ’em.

    Check your trainer is experienced and if not choose another. If what they suggest doesn’t work, get back to them and ask for more support.

    Dogs are dogs, they aren’t really “naughty” … just untrained!

    Have you taught your dog to chew a stuffed kong, to cope with being alone and so on? there are ways to do this. Try Ian Dunbar’s Before and After you Get your Puppy, and Gwen Baileys The Perfect Puppy for possible help. Also try as your local trainer may help. Good luck.

  • Linda

    RE the white bull terrier, a huge number of people are wondering if he was deaf. He didn’t seem to look at anyone and was in a world of his own. Bullies can be “stubborn” but aren’t usually that bad.

  • stacey

    i have a 17 month old Rottweiler dog that has recently been neutered because of his aggresion towards other dogs. he will let you introduce him to other dogs but when you try to walk away or the other dog does he then trys to attack them. have you got any advice?

  • vonny

    Hi linda i have a husky and all he did was howl as well but dog borstal helped me sort it out watch it and he is only 15 months old so still a puppy ….i use a creat to train my dog from chewing and it keeps him safe as well as your stuff .wot i would like to say my dog is not in his creat all the time only for bed and if we go out …. its like he own space for him … i also have a 20week old jack russal and he is creat trainned as well .as some of the things that was showen to me at dog borstall i also so use them on the puppy if i have to like barking all the time…for no reason …. just to let you all know im on the 16th on tv and my husky was bad …..and both dogs know the word NO as well

  • Hugh

    Dog borstal is a great show and the trainers are all very good.
    The major issue that the show highlights are Dog owners who have

    1) No basic understanding of dog behaviour

    2)Have seldom done any research on the type of dog that would be most suitable for them

    3)Have not adjusted their lives in preparation for their dogs.

    Sadly the biggest issue is how dangerous it is to own any dog and yet not make total control of the breed their major priority.

    I watched Dog Borstal last night and saw “Wilson” the American Bulldog. His owners did the right thing in having him put down. He was simply too much dog for a family with young children and she didn’t pass the problems on either.

    Dog Borstal is a good eductaion but i think that the message of teaching the British publicj that dogs are dogs and not people would go a long way to ridding todays society of dreadful and unecessary dog on dog and dog on people attacks.

    When a dog gets above its station you don’t ask it ot behave you tell it to behave, why ? Because as Leader of the pack a dog owner’s authority must never be questioned and if it is, then the dog needs to be reminded never to do this again.

  • mel

    hi i have a 11 month old great dane and she is totally out of control she drags me and pulls me as we go for a walk. i think this dog needs help now as she is getting bigger and stronger day by day. i also have another dog that is fully grown this is not a great dane but my great dane gets on really well with my other dog. the biggest problem is that when i take it for a walk it shys away from other people or object it is hard for me to take it for a walk as we live in blackpool and the trams are here all the time. my dog is beautiful so people always want to stroke her but if they stroke her she just lies down on the ground and starts shaking. i dont want to get rid of my dog so i need help it is gettin toomutch now. how you got any advise?

  • Fiona

    Just seen the American Bulldog, Wilson, be put to sleep after his ‘training’ on Dog Borstal.
    I really dont feel that the absolute incompetence of his owner was blamed enough for that poor dogs situation. If ever there is an example of someone who has bought a puppy and then not taken the training seriously it’s her. Irresponsible to the max. No one else is to blame but her. The day she bought that dog home it was doomed. She expects to do no training then take the problem she’s created to a tv show and get the dog ‘fixed’ in a few days? Unbelievable.
    Sorry to rant but it makes me so mad. Anyone who has watched ‘dog whisperer’ would probably be thinking what would cesar have done? RIP poor Wilson.

  • Diane

    Hi, I was watching an episode of Dod Borstal last night, the one with the American Bull Dog pup, Wilson.. It was the cruelest episode I have ever seen.. The woman that owned the dog clearly didnt have a clue what she was doing and didnt put any effort in with him when she was adv on how to train him.. He was only a pup and obviously extemely scared when he was layed in that kennel on his own. Then she wouldnt even go into the kennel with him to help train him and let him know whos boss.. he got next to no training the whole time he was there so no wonder he failed the test at the end of the show. I was extremely upset at finding out that after the show she had decided to have the PUP put to sleep.. all because Wilson was the way he was because of her and the lack of training and knowledge she had about the breed and dogs in general. Wilson was not a vicious dog he was just a scared baby, who didnt have a clue what was going on around him and he had no other way of comunicating his fears. The behaviour of a dog is often a reflection on the owner. The poor PUP needed rehomeing to someone who new what they were on about and to someone who would put in the time and effort to train him properly. But now its too late because the owner decided to put his life to an end.. Thats yet another beautiful Dog reuined all because the owner couldnt really be bothered, because Yeah it does take a lot of time and Yes it is a lot of hard work to train any PUP!!!

  • Fiona

    In reply to Hugh – You say:
    “I watched Dog Borstal last night and saw “Wilson” the American Bulldog. His owners did the right thing in having him put down. He was simply too much dog for a family with young children and she didn’t pass the problems on either”.

    So why didn’t she pass him on the MINUTE she knew he was too much? Like when he was dragging her accross the road etc etc instead of waiting for him to bite someone. The dog then could have been given a better chance at life.

    So you dont blame her entirely for the way that dog acted? She CREATED the problem then just swept it aside with a lethal injection. Her whole life was chaos and that poor dog ended up in it. Please use some common sense here – that woman did nothing right and let that poor dog down terribly.
    Taking a dog on is a huge responsibility – she has 2 young children and she gets an American Bulldog as a family pet? Rabbit? No, Guinea pig? No – An American Bulldog? Of course, great family pet when I have no time to train it or exercise it – absolute lunacy!
    The very moment she realised that dog was proving too much she should have found someone with the experience to take him on – that would have been acceptable and would have shown a degree of sense and that poor dog would have been alive today.
    Did you see how frightened that dog was in that kennel? – if it could have climbed the back wall it would have done.
    Too little too late. And shame on the BBC and the trainers for not spelling it out to that woman that SHE was the cause of that dog being put down, instead of at the end showing her sitting there actually believing she did the ‘right thing’ having the dog put to sleep – was there remorse and blaming herself for her irresponsible behaviour? No – beacause I really believe she thought she wasn’t to blame. I truly hope no other dog ever ends up with that family.
    A very upsetting episode to watch and left me disgusted.

  • haya i love dog borstal i think mick is great i love him i whach dog borstal every night and i have learned so much i think its so cool that u can gust change a dog in 1 week your all so great

  • my daughter and myself cant believe how many numptie dog owners are
    out there!. Well done to mick robert and lyne for their efforts to make people realise that dogs must not be treated like humans if they are to become happy individuals and fit into your pack, and not cause misery to those who have to live around you. whilst dog borstals methods are based on teaching your dog respect for his leader through disipline and repetition, we are in awe of caesar milan ( dog whisperer ) who deals with your dogs mind and gets results in a mattter of minutes. I think if you can combine both of these methods, there will be no limits to what you can achieve with your dog. By the way robert elleyne i would be happy to do some training with YOU. underneath that large belly is a sexy man waiting to escape, if you want to come to food borstal let me know!!.

  • Sarah

    I am looking to go onto the show can anyone tell me how my dog keeps chasing cars and I really need him to stop as a half an hour walk takes two hours. I have two dogs and I cant keep stopping while walking, my other dog is two years old and he wants to walk but when I have fly trying to chase the cars it is hard for me to walk them together.

    pls tell me how to apply for the show

  • ullamari

    GREAT Fiona!
    You could not be more right. We, my husband and I are shocked after bbc3 is actually broadcasting such a robbish program and especially this particular episode. We feel this is a stupility to the point of animal cruelty.

    Any bull breed owner(and a dog owner for the right reasons) knows what dog needs. Wilson was unbalansed (no training, no limitations) , UNDER EXERCISED dog, who desparately needed somebody to love (not fake it)him and give him what he needs. Why these people chose an american bulldog? It is an energetic fun dog with adventurous nature, not a dog for the people keep him in the house (she went around the block? What?)
    Where did thet got him?
    What kind of breeder will sell an american bulldog to a family who barely has no dog handling skills and clearly no understanding of the breed ?

    Did she think the kids are going to take him out? We ARE STUNNED AND ANGRY! Where is RSPCA to stop this program and protect the dogs from wrong people?
    And of course she “love him to bits”…….. what?!! That she can sit there and say “i know I did the right thing” , makes us sick. Somebody donate her a hamster.

  • Sam

    I am also wondering how to apply for the show. I have a staffi cross which I rescued 6 months ago and he has a fear aggression with other dogs. I cannot let him anywhere near another dog as he will bite their face which means I cannot go to the park or anywhere nice with him.

  • Sam

    I have noted AJL’s comments and would like to point out that my first point of contact was the BBC3 website and despite clicking on numberous links and FAQ’s etc etc I was unable to find out any information on how to apply for the show, hence my previous post.

    I have been looking through previous posts, as suggested by AJL, and have now found a e-mail and telephone number.

    I was too quick off the mark with my last post rather than reading the information already present I guess 🙂

  • rachel

    my dog is really well behaved unfortunately cause i would love to come onto dog borstal and get mic cause he is one sexy man. i am a huge dog borstal fan and absolutely adore all of the trainers but mic has to be my fav. he is super sexy. x

  • Linda

    It’s important to be a good leader but the talk of “pack” leadership is taking us back to the days when people used to believe it was a good idea to be alpha 🙁

    That was based on flawed science, dogs themselves have family groups not packs usually. Even wolves allow their pups to eat before them and have a lot of posturing but very little real aggression. People can’t see this or don’t realise.

    If anyone is interested in learning more about the truth about dogs and packs, have a gander at this and make up your own mind; this is science.

    The History and Misconceptions of Dominance Theory

    The original alpha/dominance model was born out of short-term studies of wolf packs done in the 1940s. These were the first studies of their kind. These studies were a good start, but later research has essentially disproved most of the findings. There were three major flaws in these studies:

    These were short-term studies, so the researchers concentrated on the most obvious, overt parts of wolf life, such as hunting. The studies are therefore unrepresentative — drawing conclusions about “wolf behavior” based on about 1% of wolf life.

    The studies observed what are now known to be ritualistic displays and misinterpreted them. Unfortunately, this is where the bulk of the “dominance model” comes from, and though the information has been soundly disproved, it still thrives in the dog training mythos.

    Finally, after the studies, the researchers made cavalier extrapolations from wolf-dog, dog-dog, and dog-human based on their “findings.” Unfortunately, this nonsense still abounds.

    So what’s the truth? The truth is dogs aren’t wolves. Honestly, when you take into account the number of generations past, saying “I want to learn how to interact with my dog so I’ll learn from the wolves” makes about as much sense as saying, “I want to improve my parenting — let’s see how the chimps do it!”

    Dr. Frank Beach performed a 30-year study on dogs at Yale and UC Berkeley. Nineteen years of the study was devoted to social behavior of a dog pack. (Not a wolf pack. A DOG pack.) Some of his findings:

    Male dogs have a rigid hierarchy.

    Female dogs have a hierarchy, but it’s more variable.

    When you mix the sexes, the rules get mixed up. Males try to follow their constitution, but the females have “amendments.”

    Young puppies have what’s called “puppy license.” Basically, that license to do most anything. Bitches are more tolerant of puppy license than males are.

    The puppy license is revoked at approximately four months of age. At that time, the older middle-ranked dogs literally give the puppy hell — psychologically torturing it until it offers all of the appropriate appeasement behaviors and takes its place at the bottom of the social hierarchy. The top-ranked dogs ignore the whole thing.

    There is NO physical domination. Everything is accomplished through psychological harassment. It’s all ritualistic.

    A small minority of “alpha” dogs assumed their position by bullying and force. Those that did were quickly deposed. No one likes a dictator.

    (note from Linda – that seems to show that for example CM is not alpha …as he seems to think…and in a real pack he would simply be deoposed…)

    The vast majority of alpha dogs rule benevolently. They are confident in their position. They do not stoop to squabbling to prove their point. To do so would lower their status because…

    Middle-ranked animals squabble. They are insecure in their positions and want to advance over other middle-ranked animals.

    Low-ranked animals do not squabble. They know they would lose. They know their position, and they accept it.

    “Alpha” does not mean physically dominant. It means “in control of resources.” Many, many alpha dogs are too small or too physically frail to physically dominate. But they have earned the right to control the valued resources. An individual dog determines which resources he considers important. Thus an alpha dog may give up a prime sleeping place because he simply couldn’t care less.

    So what does this mean for the dog-human relationship?

    Using physical force of any kind reduces your “rank.” Only middle-ranked animals insecure in their place squabble.

    To be “alpha,” control the resources. I don’t mean hokey stuff like not allowing dogs on beds or preceding them through doorways. I mean making resources contingent on behavior. Does the dog want to be fed. Great — ask him to sit first. Does the dog want to go outside? Sit first. Dog want to greet people? Sit first. Want to play a game? Sit first. Or whatever. If you are proactive enough to control the things your dogs want, *you* are alpha by definition.

    Train your dog. This is the dog-human equivalent of the “revoking of puppy license” phase in dog development. Children, women, elderly people, handicapped people — all are capable of training a dog. Very few people are capable of physical domination.

    Reward deferential behavior, rather than pushy behavior. I have two dogs. If one pushes in front of the other, the other gets the attention, the food, whatever the first dog wanted. The first dog to sit gets treated.

    Pulling on lead goes nowhere. Doors don’t open until dogs are seated and I say they may go out. Reward pushy, and you get pushy.

    Your job is to be a leader, not a boss, not a dictator. Leadership is a huge responsibility. Your job is to provide for all of your dog’s needs… food, water, vet care, social needs, security, etc. If you fail to provide what your dog needs, your dog will try to satisfy those needs on his own.

    An excellent article and can be found here:

    Many very good trainers still push the dominance idea, but there is no scientific reason behind it!

    Control the resources, create boundaries, be consistent, learn about dogso and learn how to train (rattle bottles and spray collars are not always necessary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

  • Babs

    In comment to Diane and Fionas’ tirade about how it is all the fault of the owner and “poor PUP” I also watched the episode with Wilson in and was impressed slightly when the owner said she had researched the breed for up to 12 months before going ahead and getting one. I agree that 99% of problems are owner caused but, as with children, occasionally you will get a rum one that just will not behave as expected even with training. If you had listened to the end of the programme carefully you would have heard the owner saying she had asked for help from the breed clubs and specialists and was refused because he already had a problem and they would not take him on. If those organisations are not prepared to help what hope is there for owners like her. (I apologise here as I cannot remember the owners name). As for the lack of remorse claimed by Fiona I think I must have seen a different version to her as I really felt for that woman as she had to make a very difficult decision and held herself totally accountable. I got the impression that another dog was not on the immediate “must have” list.
    Criticising people you don’t know on the basis of a TV show is unfair after all, all you see are the edited highlights of a weeks work.

  • angie

    why dont u so called dog owners get some advise or read up on the breed u want instead of going to get a puppy/dog and find out later that its not suited to you or your lifestyle. i have 4 dogs and they have their moments but all in all quite trained as ive puy time and effort into doing it.i love dog borstal but the majority of problems is to do with the owners not the dogs! alot of it is common sense so please please before considering a dog DO YOUR HOMEWORK and remember DOGS ARE DOGS NOT BABIES11

  • Ted

    Gor, stone the crows what a load of theorist crap is spouted – simply gobbledegook that serves only to mystify. Clickers are totally unneccesary as it is easy to make a clicking noise with ones mouth; it is actually better because the noise gets the dog to look up and pay better attention. Also it is one less incomberance to carry around inhibiting natural handling technique. I remember 30 years ago when these ridiculous contraptions started coming in from America (always something to dread!) the home of the totally insane. Most of the Borstal inmates are only there because their handlers lack a natural ability. I packed up competition training over 20 years ago after being at the very top for years in Working Trials, Obedience and in the embryonic stages of Agility, having trained numerous Crufts Obedience winning handlers and top Working Trialists. The problem is still the same – problem handlers. Natural dog trainers do not need to resort to gimickry, especially American gimickry. Dog Borstal instructors are above average but I can see technical errors in their approaches occasionally, but overall their basic understanding is way ahead of most. They take on dogs whose behaviour is infected by their owners’ incompetence and get quick results for basic behavioural problems.

  • i would like to take part in your dog borstal show on bbc3 reasons for this i have 2 jackrussel dogs 1 of 3years old who will bark & snarl at anyone or anything moving i have tried all different methods to stop this she will also bark like mad if anyone walks past our home,i cannot cope with her like this much more,the younger jackrussel is also starting to do the same but sometimes even worse,i can sometimes let her of the lead but as soon as she sees something she bolts & is extremely disobedient i love them both to bits but it has got to stage where i find i would be better of getting rid but something stops me so please help me i am willing to go on the show to change them and myself.
    i look forward to your rely jan jeffery

  • Leah

    I think dog borstal is brilliant. The trainers are funny, entertaining and mic is brilliant. As for all you idiots being ‘apalled’ at the training methods and feeling that they have to write to criticise the show… get a life! These people obviously know how to train a dog properly or they wouldnt get a television show! The RSPCA do not need to be informed, they have had years of dog training experience so they obviously know the correct way to do it. their methods are not cruel they are realistic, dogs shouldn’t be mollycoddled or treated like people.

  • Jim Boy

    Dog borstal – Rubbish. Cesar Milan – Awesome!

    I don’t think the trainers in db are that good. They are so mechanical and sometimes they can’t even fix a problem. All these people don’t have a clue about dogs. Try raising and owning 4 rottweilers properly then i’ll shake your hand.

  • Michael Jensen

    I like all 3 dog trainers but Mic do make me laugh sometimes but I guess we just have the same black humour ( I am Danish ) Now I see it works with the dogs can we have the same program where the parents learn how to make there kids behave !?

  • liz

    Dear Sir/Madam, I would love to know where I could purchase that collar that I recently saw a dog wear on Dog Borstal. The collar was a spray collar which controlled a ladies dog from doing stupid things in duck ponds. I need the collar to train my dog from continously pulling me on his lead. My whole body is aching through him pulling me, and no matter what I do, he continues to pull me. I also would like to use it to stop him barking at mainly men when he walks along the street with me, when men just appear from no where and my dog immediately wants to attack them. Please help. Yours Liz

  • Linda

    Ted, there are plenty of clicker trainers doing very well in Obedience, Working Trials, and so on today right to the very top.
    There’s nothing wrong in understanding and educating oneself, especially if it benefits dogs and owners. From the way you talk about clicker training you don’t understand it. The clickers are not for getting dogs to pay attention.
    It does concern me there are now folk asking for spraycolllars to stop their dogs attacking men – you need behavioural help to work at the root of the problem, otherwise you risk masking the fear and your dog could react much worse, because of the collar, next time, when you are not expecting it.

  • Karen Baker

    Can youplease tell me how to apply to the show Dog Boarstal as my Daughter has 2 Staffordshire Bull terriers one male who is 15months old and a female puppy of 18 weeks old, one chews thehouse and wont come back and the baby does not know how to ask to go out and wont listen at all, she lives on her own and although been to dog training the dogs are not listening.

    Any help to get in contact would be appreciated.

  • Sareeta

    I am totally disgusted with this show and there inhumane techniques. All this programme uses is punishment and puts fear into those dogs. The training is to long and stressful. Training a dog isn’t something that can happen in a week, it can take months & months. Training is about patience, consistency and also should be fun and positive. To get to the core of a problem and to help a dog to behave takes a long time. Like people, when we train for something or fear something, it isn’t going to take just a day of week to fix the problem. Shouting and punishing us won’t help us, just put the fear into us and stress and make us worse. It is the same for dogs. Dogs have feelings too and show emotions and fear like people. I think before training a dog you need to be in a good mood and calm. On dog borstal they are all aggressive and have a tense approach. It’s very cold and brutal. Why lock the dogs up in cells? Why not let the dogs have its comfort sleeping with the owner. It’s already stressed with the changes.
    I watched the programme last night and there was an Australian Kelpie, and the trainer was Robert Alleyne. Kelpies are working dogs. They are friendly and highly intelligent. Keplies need to be stimulated or can get bored and become frustrated. They need plenty of walks and socialisation to be happy. As all working dogs they need plenty of exercise and stimulation. The owner obviously didn’t realise this and wondered why his dog was frustrated and badly behaved. What I witnessed was the Robert Alleyne allowing the owner to shout and be aggressive and intimidating to this poor Kelpie. The dog had a muzzle on as it would bite and get aggressive, well if the owner is going to be aggressive then so is the dog, it will learn and pick this up from the owner. The owner shouted at the Kelpie to sit, just kept on shouting and shouting sit. The dog wouldn’t sit and they couldn’t understand why (because your shouting and stressing the dog out) he then put his hand on the Kelpies bottom and shouted sit and forced the poor dog down, pushed it so hard and the dog would get up and he would force it down again, I’m talking about really hard and nasty. The poor dog just yelped and struggled, the more the dog struggled the more the owner got stressed and forceful, this poor dog just looked sad, stressed and confused, its tail was down and legs bent, showing signs of stress and anxiety. Robert Alleyne said to the owner ‘I’m proud of you’ I was sad and angry to see such cruel and barbaric training. These people don’t seem to understand all dogs are different and all dogs are different to training. There is no respect for these dogs. The whole thing is based around punishment. All this does is make people think that’s the way to teach a dog, shout at it and put your hands all over it and force it into a position. I have dogs and each one reacts different to training, but one thing I always do is make sure I train them in a good mood and have a bag of treats ready to reward them. I train for no longer then 10 minutes about 3 times a day. I find this programme very destructive and nauseating.

  • Mindy

    I saw my first two shows on the BBC i player just yesterday. I was absolutely shocked to see the treatment of that poor Australian kelpie Biz. It was animal torture with the license payers money. Both the dog and and the owner were tortured in fact. I felt really sorry for the poor man. The ‘trainer’ had no knowledge of the breed and how intelligent they are. They are supposed to be able to handle tough situations. Just like a cattle dog, they are not supposed to give up, it’s what they are bred for. They are not collies. When you work with a kelpie instead against it you get the best out of it. If they had let him show his abilities in the agility track he would have excelled, if they had used positive methods he would have been the best dog out of the lot.
    It seemed that the trainer had something against the owners and wanted to break them instead of the dog. How on earth did the trainer think the dog would surrender to his owner in his weak state of mind. It was too cruel to be true. The kelpie was not even given a chance to behave well.

    And what are these training methods they used, out of the dark ages. That’s how I was treated when I first started to train for working trials in the early 80’s. Thank God the world of dog training has changed, or so I thought before I saw this appalling show.

    Also the white happy bull terrier was called stupid by the even more stupid trainer. It was so plainly obvious what would make the dog tick. Yet again the trainer had no idea how train him. When they first arrived the girl was made to walk with the dog until she broke into tears and was let to continue to be dragged by the dog. That really lets the dog know who’s the boss, a crying owner. Any good man would then jump in and happily take charge and enjoy the training weekend, and that’s just what the dog did.

    The lady trainer with the great dane was good and made excellent results with that dog, and with what, a clicker

  • Kaz

    I agree. I remember that episode, and it made me sick, how that dog was treated

  • AJL

    FFS people. This is it, this is THE definitive way to get on to dog borstal.

    You see, dog borstal is produced by the BBC, so go to

    If you don’t know how to do that, then try 020 8752 4875 or email at: [email protected].

    And you can apply from there. However, seeing as you can’t even work out how to get on a TV show, I can probably predict the problem with your dog is due to you being an idiot

    The next person who asks how to get on the show deserves a lobotomy

  • Ted

    Linda, thanks for your reply.
    Oh, I understand clickers all right; it’s the need for them that I don’t understand. I know they work, but no better than the handler’s mouth. It’s just another unneccesary, American cash generator. My pupil, Mary Ray has gone crazy on clicker training, something that she herself can easily manage without. There might be some psychiatric reason, like the handler being pretty hopeless, which makes trainers suggest them. So if someone suggests a clicker, you may glean something of their assesment of your ability.
    This is not me beating my my own drum; I well remember at a working trials I was competing in when I commanded my dog by mouth clicking when the dog was about 150 yards away and the dog responded instantly. After I finished, a spectator/other competitor asked me how I did it; I didn’t have time answer before someone else said, ” it’s because his dog is listening” I mention this only to illustrate the total redundancy of clickers; as far as skilled trainers/handlers are concerned anyway.

  • Giselle

    I really want to go on dog borstal can any1 give me any details on how to go about this?

  • Sandra

    As an owner who has problems with my dog – please don’t label me as stupid. I have watched many episodes of Dog Borstal & The Dog Whisperer (Caesar Millan) & appreicate that whilst I may contribute to some of the issues my dog has – it doesn’t make me stupid – just in need of help & guidance in how to change or put things right. Not all of us have an in built natural dog handler/trainer within us that’s why we seek help & guidance.
    I guess in some respects it’s like having children – we do what we think is right & when it’s not we hopefully learn from out mistakes. The difference is I’ve never been bitten by my child for getting things wrong – I have by my dog.

  • Michelle Winn

    I’ve only watched this programme once and was absolutely horrified, it ended with the owners of an American Bulldog having him put down. I cannot believe anyone wants to appear on this programme or subject their dogs to the kind of aggression the trainers show. Surely feeding aggression with aggression and foul language and anger cannot solve a problem?
    I watch the dog listener on Sky three, now there is someone who understands dogs and people and has incredible results without ever losing his temper, raising his voice or finding it necessary to swear all the time because he truly understands the way a dog’s mind works.
    Cesar Milan has a pack of between 30 and 40 dogs all of whom he has rehabilitated and saved from euthanasia using his calm, assertive techniques. These dogs all live in harmony with each other, most of them are pit bulls, rottweillers, german shephards but he also has chihuahuas, chinese crested, italian greyhounds and so on.
    It seems to me dog borstal is more a way of feeding an ego, it’s laughable that the guy struts round in black clothes and army boots and is only really bothered about beating the other trainers – WHAT ABOUT THE DOGS?
    Unbelievable that this stuff can get on telly and people want to subject their dogs to it.

  • G Bays

    Hi i have a cross alsation akita and would like to go on dog borstal how do i apply

  • AJL

    Giselle… I despair, I really do. You possibly don’t even deserve to have air to breath

  • hi my name is terri and i have a 1 year old rottwiler she is very very very visious towards other dog’s if there is a dog walking not evan looking at her she reer’s up on her back leg’s growling barking and she has even slapped her collar in half just to get to a labbrador,she has pulled me other so many time’s she needs to be sourted out !!! please i really need help

    many thanks terri tousent .

  • Gaynor


  • Nia

    i got a bullmastiff she will not listen ,but she loves with people and other dogs.

  • andrea robinson

    i would really want to go on dog borstal how do i go about it?

  • hi. i am a first time owner of a bloodhound an have not a clue were to start or how to start training her to behave herself she is 8months old an realy distructive she chews my door frames an eats wood can any 1 give advice?she is a family pet and as got another dog as a friend she is an older dog an is well behaved.thanks.

  • hi how do i apply to go on dogborstal? i need help with my dog.pls thank u. my email is [email protected].

  • Lisa Thompson

    I completely agree with Michelle Winn’s comments. Dog Borstal should be taken off BBC. Everytime I watch this show I always get upset and gringe at the way these dogs are being treated. Mic Martin is so pethetic. Its all about image with him, not about the dogs at all. I hate the way he criticises people’s dogs. If he doesn’t like the dog then he will say nasty comments like ‘I would never buy this dog, it’s ugly’ or ‘this dog is stupid, why have a dog like this’ I watched one with a little chihuahua and he refused to train it, just because it was a small dog, how dreadful and desrespectful is that. He is obviously an insecure man and thinks he is too dam good to teach anything other then dogs that make him look tough. A true dog trainer, like Ceasar Millan – The Dog Whisperer should like, respect and be happy to train any dog breed, whether its a pitball, lab or chihuahua. What I like about Ceasar is that he is a true dog lover and is calm, respectful and explains everything is such a good manner. I watch Ceasar and I feel calm and relaxed because he is, but as soon as I watch Dog Borstal I’m tense, angry and find myself gringing. I think there all pethetic on this show and shouldn’t be allowed to work with dogs, because they are nasty, aggressive sick people. Oh and why is it everytime people pass with a distinction? These dogs haven’t been trained properly and they are passing them all with distinctions. That is obviously a fake and only done to make the trainers look good, because most of the dogs shouldn’t actually pass at all, not the dogs fault, its the owners and trainers fault. I watched it last night and the best thing I have ever seen and heard from Rob Alleyn was to tell that jerk to rehome his Jack Russell, Bertie. Felt so sorry for that dog. That owner was confusing it and causing so much stress and anxiety to the jack russell. But that was well said by Rob, he was right to tell they moron to give the little guy up.

  • E Newman

    The majority of posts on this site are humanising dogs. they are animals first and companians second but never a child baby or have the feelings associated with them. I have a rescue border collie. 2yr old who came to us with many issues. between the dog wisperer and dog borstal we are now starting to get a normal dog after 5 months. Until you have owned a problem dog please think and be sensible about your comments and personal opinions. My dog chased and herded cars, is obsessed with other dogs and would not connect with a human but would manipulise and use us for his own gain then ignore us. He would open doors and try to escape and also pull excessively on the lead. through the methods shown on this program we now have many good days and only acouple of bad moments throughout the week. brilliant program just a shame they could not show more training and less of repeating of why the dogs are there

  • kelly

    if you dont like it dont watch it. you think you can train dogs better then get on with your own training. the dogs are happier in the long run. i wouldnt say the rattle bottle terrifies the dog, its more like – whats that?? but you’lll remember with bis, the trainers dont use it for every dog and it wont fix every problem, they refused to use it on some owners who requested it be used.

    i enjoy the programme because it show problems which can occur if you do not do anything to stop it before it becomes a habit. some of these people go there as a last resort, its better than putting down a dangerous dog. they have corrected many behaviours.



  • lisa

    how can i go on dog borstel with my out of controle dog

  • deb

    I only watch, because Mic is hot. xxxx

  • k cragg

    I liked the program having had two dogs for years but sadly have passed away, it is a good idea and nice to see them progress, but the last program I saw one of the trainers did nothing but swear, it is on early with children watching I had to turn it over. What happened to senorship? shouting and abusive just offends there is not need for it, There are other ways to talk. A Jack Russal fan

  • Teresa

    Help Me!’
    Hi my name is Teresa I need some help. I bought a Boxer a few weeks ago he is 4 months. I need help because he alays does his “Buisness” inside and not out.Can i have some tips ?

    Help me please !

    Name of dog : Rack
    Age of dog : 4 Months…

  • jackie bexon

    i have a staffy cross who need help, how can i get him on your show, so far in his one year of life he has broken my wrist, eaten every thing in sight and now i cant do any thing with him and i’m afraid to take him on long walks, so he is getting board with daily life . thank you jackie bexon and ash the dog

  • Kimberley Harrand

    I have a staffy and she is a real pain,I really need to get her on to dog borstal. we really need your help!

    Her name is: Sasha
    her age is: 8 Months

    We just get her to wee and poo out side then when we tell her off she does it in side my house also on my bed, i just dont know what to do.

    when i am walking her she just pulls all the time but also when i walk her with my mums dog which is a german shepperd she turns nasty and really scares him as she is going to bite his neck but when she is on her lead she is fine with him and other dogs its when she is off the lead. she is so strong i just carnt be doing with it and she is always eating things in her site but its not just food. thank you lv kimberley and sasha xx

  • Caroline

    Just want to tell you how much i love the programme, it seems to get the results the owners are looking for!!! I have a most delightful springer spaniel as my best bud for 11yrs. He’s very laid back in the house but comes alive when we’re in the sticks! Mind you he’s slowing down alot now, but when he was a pup to 3 yrs old, he was so disabedient when i asked him to come back. He use to be miles away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ignoring every word i said, thankfully we managed to come to some sort of agreement…That he would do as i say! not what he liked! As i’ve noticed with all cases its always the owners who need the training first, then the dog improves as the owner does!!! Problem is i’ve also noticed that people dont like to admit that their are the problem! But if you want a harmonious life with your dog, you have to get advice and use it! A dog out of control is a dangerous one to itself & others! Where i live we have now had a major increase in so-called attack dogs, where the owner uses their dog to terrify other dog owners! So any advice for preventing or controlling incidents would be very useful to many dog owners! I for one, just avoid the areas, where i am aware this type of dog prowls. But some people can’t avoid the area as its the only place suitable for a walk. I do have a walking pole which helps to put space between the dog who has charged over until the owner puts the lead on their dog! I have never hit a dog with it & hope never to have to! Thats up to the owner to control their dog! My dog has never attacked another dog but will retaliate. Dog fights can lead to dog’s being seriously injured or even dead, not nice at all!!!
    Thank- you for all the advice & i tell everyone to watch the programme! Also i think all the presenters are great, but i think Mick is a hoot & has me in stitches with his swearing & comments!!! Love your style lovl!!! keep up the good work & producing the brilliant programmes, they are so important to educate people with dogs!

  • fiona

    i have a bullmastiff she dus not like dogs she did like dogs but when she had puppie 2 yeas ago and now she dus not i miss going to the pack with her ples can you help me to get her to like dogs and i have a bulldogx dogue de bordeaux puppy thats keeps on jumping up at the kids and niping them ples can you help thanks fiona

  • AJL

    Billy – that is the same number and email I posted approximately 2cm below the weblink which is now unfortunately out of date as the BBC have rejigged their site

    Yes, you are stupid, as is every other person on here asking how to get on the show, when there are now atleast 2 posts with a phone number and email on

  • sheila Morgan

    I have a beautiful German Shepherd, she is 8months old and a handful. I took her to dog training classes for 10 weeks and although I got lots of good tips from the trainer(retired Police dog handler)and she behaved reasonably well in the school I am finding it difficult to implement the instructions at home.
    She will not recall and she jumps up at anyone who walks through the front door except me! The recall is a big problem as I can’t let her off the lead becuase it take forever to get her back and she wants to play with every dog she see and she is inclined to be a bit rough (she quite a big dog already).
    I’m obviously doing something wrong with her and I would really appreciate some help. She is extremely strong and I’m finding myself getting really angry with her when she won’t do as she’s told. I love her to death and I want her to be a happy contented dog not a ill manored brute. Please help!!!!

  • Faye

    i had mic train my staffy on Dog Borstal and he was great!
    If you don’t like what you see then turn over and watch somnething else….

  • Jeanette

    Hi, We have a 2 year old Boxer. He is a lovely dog but cannot be let off the lead even in remote places as he runs away and doesn’t listen when we call him back, he acts really nuts. He loves people but he gets so excited he jumps all over them to greet them, he is so strong this can be quite scary for those who don’t know him. I can no longer take him for a walk because if he sees a loose dog, he pulls me all over the place and I really struggle to hold him. He’s not a very distructive Boxer, he has a kennel out in the back yard and in the garage, he comes into the house occasionally and after having a funny 5 minutes he does calm down and will lie down quietly, when promted to do so. Has anyone got any tips on training PLEASE.

  • emma dovey

    We have an English bull Terrier and what is called in the book as a mis-fit. She has a lovely temperament to the close family but we feel she is unpredictable towards stangers and other dogs. We are very concerned and also feel that we cannot invite anyone around due to her barking at them and been unpredictable. please help we are desperate.

  • We have 3 G.S. 5yr old mum, and 2 male puppies 18 months. The males will fight occasionally. How can we prevent this? Please froward any advice, and also consider us for a future dog brostal training. many thanks, chris.

  • elaine

    fiona could you please give me your email address so that i can respond personally to you. ive only just read whats been said about me, you small minded, stupid woman.


    I have a 4yrs old german sheperd and dispite doing all the training classes with her as a puppy and extra behaviour classes she is becoming worse when meeting other dogs out on walks and jumping up at people! at home we could’nt wish for a better dog.she has a very short attention spane and other things are definetly more interesting for her.she has never been let off the lead as we just cant trust her. we are getting to the stage where we are beginning to think we shouldn’t walk her but this wouldn’t be fair on her we just want to be able to do her normal walks and not think “oh no not another dog” as a young couple with a sheperd we get shouted at alot because of her behavior as if we just haven’t done any training with her!! how do we get her on dog bostal as we dont know what else we can do?? please help!

  • beccah

    in response to FIONA’S comments. first things first right

    1) u avent got a clue what wilson was like.
    2) r u a dog expert? ……………………… NO I DIDNT THINK SO
    3) u think we got the dog an not read up about it an stuff ut hink we jsut got it for the fun of it wrong.

    u avent got a clue u have gone off like wot 15 mins of him on telly not very much to justify the dog really is it, u seen all the bad points of him fair enough yeah he did have problems we didnt want to have him put down but not very fair if we passed him onto other ppl, he wouldnt have got better u heard wot the dog trainers said but guess u didnt listent to wot they said did ya. NO didnt think so. Dont think u understand how hard it was for my mum to make that decision he was a character a lovin family pet he wasnt jsut a dog he was part of the family. u got anythin to say please do not hesitate to reply.

  • wendy llewellyn

    I think this programe is a breath of fresh air. Bring back dog licences! some of these people are completeley clueless.
    Its never the dog, always the owner.

  • wendy llewellyn

    Hi Emma
    I also have a EBT, 6 years old and 5 stone, he’s a big boy. The first 2 years I thought we were living with a crazy thing……but we have persavered, classes, socalising and dare I say it some good hidings. My advice to you would be patience, dont not introduce her to guest and other dogs but do it with control. i.e have her on a lead when people come, a shaker to deal with the barking, go to classes (explain to the trainer what problems you are having)
    We have a brilliant dog and fully trustworthy with anyone or thing. Kepp at it, it will be worth it.

  • rhiannon knight

    please could you contact me in reference to getting help with my dog from yourself at dog borstal i have a 2 year old staff many thanks
    rhiannon knight
    south wales

  • Hope Baldwin

    i have a Shar pei and i love him 2 bits but he is realy naughty
    i need the phone number for dog borstal

  • Craig

    where abouts is Dog Borstell

  • Sandra

    Re Faye (27 May 2008)

    Well said Faye – some people seem to forget there are other channels to watch OR an “off” button on the tele.

    We had Lynne as our trainer & she was brilliant. Each trainer has their own methods & ways of working & yes they may say things that owners don’t like to hear – but sometimes the truth does hurt! Whilst we were there NO trainer used methods that were cruel or unkind – just disciplined. Borstal is not an overnight answer – it takes continued work & dedication of the owners to carry on what their trainer has taught them – believe me I know.

  • Ruth Moran

    I have a German Shepherd Rescue dog and after a lot of hard work on both our parts and a behaviouralist, I am begining to see the best from her. However, I would really like to be able to go out walking in sheep country and actually let her off the lead. I do a lot of long country walks and it would be much more pleasurable for us both. I know it’s not the sort of thing that Dog Borstal usually covers but any ideas / help would be much appreciated.

  • i was just wondering how you can apply to get onto dog borstal? I am on the verge of giving up on Kiera, my 11 month old border collie, she is driving ua all crazy, never mind herself. HELP………………

  • Sarah Wood

    As a dog owner i am disgusted at the series Dog Borstal, the most offensive man MIC is the main reason i now do not watch the programme.

    Hes a foul mouthed obnoxious little man, who is obviously very insecure and feels the need to put people down to make him feel like the big man.

    The programme wants banning, and put more Caesar Milan on instead !!!

  • phil harrison

    I would just like to say as an ardent follower of dog borstal that i have tried and tried to find out how to get on the borstal show but have as yet been unsuccesful .Iwould love to get on there because i have the perfect Mick dog .I have an Olde tyme bulldog and could do with a little help with my/her behaviour ,i think the crew on borstal do work miracles with both dog and owner .I would appreciate any help getting on dog borstal
    kind regards
    phil harrison

  • Ashleigh

    i have 3 british bulldogs. to train them, i use leadership and dominance. this works fine, and i do not do anything to harm my dogs. i DO NOT however, agree with some of the effects ive seen on dog borstal. chucking water and shouting ‘NO’ in its face to get it to stop barking? thats ridiculous. shouting and getting angry at a dog makes it nervous, not welbehaved. i understand that each dog and owner has different preferences, but this should not be one of them. you should never make your dog scared or nervous of you when your training it. it should be motivated to do the right thing. a psychology test was done a while ago, and found that animals react better to reward when doing good, then punishment went being bad. mic needs to get over the fact that hes not in the army anymore. hes ridiculous. i once seen him on the show hiding in bushes, watching a previous dog and owner to dog borstal. he was in full camoflauge! what an idiot. he needs to get over it, get a life and learn some proper dog training skills.

  • shereen wakeman

    hi ive got a german shepherd dog 3 years old hes brilliant in the house but have to lock him away whenever anyone comes in as he gets very aggressive also really bad with other dogs so cant let him off the lead if there is other dogs around. also if he is off the lead and my 8 year old son is with me he just totally ignores me and runs off he has a tendancy to get over excited and jump up and nip him which is getting very frustrating i would love to be able to take him out and not have to worry. does anyone know who could give me some advice i so want to take him to dog borstol and get him sorted out

  • Amanda Longden

    I would like help with my 2 dogs. My first is around 6 years old and is a collie cross and she ws a mistreated dog at 6 months when I gave her a home. She was always a good dog, walking, off the lead on the lead, she’s not keen on men but I can get her introduced ok to family male members that call round. The problem started when I got another dog, who is now 4. We got her at 8 weeks and she is a Alsation cross Blue Merle Collie.
    My eldest dog now has gone uncontollable to all other dogs when taking them out, I think she feels my other dog is her pup and is territorial regarding her, even though she can look after herself! It is now leading my other dog to thinking it’s ok to go daft at other dogs.
    I have to have a muzzle on the eldest dog for walks, my other dog is fine with others… to limit….but only when she’s with the other. If I walk the youngest on her own it is lovely, we don’t need a lead, she is not bothered about other dogs or anything else but me…. if I walk the eldest on her own she’s just the same as if the younger dog was there!
    I want to be able to have a non stressful walk with them both and my kids, my youngest is still in a pram and its not good when you are being dragged down the road, and also then stopping your nutty hound from fighting with another dog!
    In the outside the eldest will jump all over the pram to attack another dog.
    Inside our house both dogs know their place.
    I would love dog borstal or someone to help me with the outside situation I have ! please..!

  • Debbie

    THE RAGWART WEED IS EXTREMELY POISONOUS TO DOGS AND PEOPLE. it isn’t just grazing animals that can die from eating this weed. Why on earth is it allowed to thrive on the premises of Dog Borstal. The place is covered with it around the areas where dogs are excercised. Every part of This weed is very dangerous from the root to the flower. Simply coming into contact with it can be fatal even when its dead. Please Please get someone from the show to speak to an expert from DEFRA. If its the cost of getting rid of it that is allowing it to take over then please let me know and I will personally remove every last bit of it from the premises free of charge by digging it up by hand. I am not an expert on this weed and I am not working for the environment or anything like that. I am nobody special I am just a 40 yr olg gran whose currently unemployed and is about to become homeless etc, but who is very concerned. Yes it would be extremely hard work to get rid of such a large amount of it but if only one dog is saved from its horrific, irreversable effects then it would be worth more than cash to me. DONT IGNORE IT. IT WILL NOT GO AWAY.

  • simone

    i have a 12 week old staff and she does nothing but bite 24/7 how do i get ger to stop, she also knows where she should go to the toilt but i always wake up to little piles of presents every morning how can i get her to stop being so naughty, i know she is a pup and they like to nip because thats how they are playing but she goes beyond that and wont stop, she has been passed around to different homes and now i have her im not going to pass her on just because she is doing that. i want to train her, at the moment i am scared of her and what she will be like when she is older, im frightened that she could really hurt someone, i love her to bits buts its getting she is really getting me down i need the help of dog borstal please help me

  • Wendy

    Sarah Wood :
    MIC trains just the same as Cesar Millan, ie: Be the pack leader. Dogs are dogs, they are not our children, and should not be treated as our children. Dogs need a leader, and as their owner you should be in control, a pack leader would never allow disrespective behaviour. Too many owners expect human behaviour from their canine companions. Cesar disallows treats for good behaviour – he expects the behaviours as normal, he also uses vocal and physical means to an end. Perhaps you haven’t watched Cesar’s programmes as much as you should, there is not much difference, except I think Dog Borstal is much kinder in that there are more treats for good behaviour – as stated before Cesar does not allow this. I have watched both programmes extensively and I know that Dog Borstal is much more compassionte, Cesar just has the edge on charisma, although I personally love Mic’s style!

  • robert latimer

    i would like to apply for dog borstal, i have two rottweilers one of which is a male and the other is a female and they are no older than two and a half.
    we have many problems with both dog`s as they are easily excited and very aggresive towards other dogs and nearly all animals and the male tends to be aggresive towards people also.
    as my girlfriend strugles to manage the female i also have great difficulty with the male as both dogs will constantly pull, which is a nightmare. i have tried allmost all methods of dog training which were unsuccesfull. i feel i have done all that i can and that i carn`t keep up with the dog`s behaviour any longer and this may result in me giveing up the dog`s which i would hate to have to do.
    we would both be forever greatfull if u could do us the great pleasure of asissting us with ur expertise. thank you for taking the time to read our letter. yours robert and chauncey.

  • julie james

    I been to dog bostal with my cocker spaniel i had mic martin..ouch hes a tough guy but knows his stuff my dog was nuts.Its us the owners most of time and we need to treat the dog like children if they r naughty.After dog bostal hes much much better The dogs are well lookeed after and got full vets on the campsite. I was the girl who feed my dog candyfloss and was no 3 hall of shame i had a golden brown cocker spainel.
    no more candyfloss or any form junk food just a bit of chicken if hes good and he had arden grange proper nutrtios food i never give my dog a can olf dog food pedigree chum should be band for ever and fined they r killikng our animals with what they put in dog food they sholud be shot.there car engine oil no meat at all water chicken legs guts and beacks know as animal derivatives woods shaving an d injected with things that make our dog hyper active .
    They train the dogs to behave and to be part of fam pack which is what a dog needs.To try and get on the show u need to wait until they leave the address at the very last show and go on the itnernet fill out othe form it ask the breed age histroy behavour put as much detail down as possible even the little detail.
    good luck julie james

  • Ella Jones

    Wow, so many conflicting opinions! I have avoided watching dog borstal as many of these dog training shows really frustrate and upset me. The simple reason for this is that they are based on dog training and not dog psychology. Dogs with serious behaviour problems need psychology and leadership before training, how can anyone expect a dog to learn a completely foreign language (human commands) when they are unstable? If a child was so obsessed with a favourite toy (for example) that they would not communicate, eat, drink or do anything except play with that toy or even harm themselves with their excitement when around it we would immediately seek mental health experts and psychologists!!!

    All I can suggest is owners research their dogs behaviours to find if they are abnormal or not and need a behaviourist or a trainer and then make steps to find the right behaviourist or trainer for them and for their dog. Don’t forget that dogs are individual just as humans are and what works for one may not work for another. A good place to start research is the basic pack psychology and then move on to researching the dog’s breed and what that breed is set up to do. I do not believe in stereotyping breeds when it comes to aggression (such as the media’s obsession with Pit Bulls and Rotties etc) as any dog or animal for that matter has the potential to be aggressive if they are misunderstood and put under pressure.

    The best television programme I can suggest people watch is The Dog Whisperer as Cesar Millan is the only person I have seen that really understands dogs and what they need. As I have mentioned before, his solutions may not be obtainable by every owner but he does give a wonderful insight into dog psychology.

    In reply to those who are seeking help with their dogs, I am in the process of setting up my business in dog and horse psychology and training and am willing to travel the whole of the UK to help anyone who feels at the end of the rope and who has been unsuccessful with other sources. As soon as I have a website I will be searchable online (I don’t want to post my details incase I get in trouble!)

    Good luck to everyone and for those who have attended training classes and been turned away for being too disruptive please take comfort in knowing there is a place coming soon where you can join a family of others in your situation 🙂

  • chrissy

    i have a 10 month fully gsd and he keeps jumping up at people,and wont do as he told,i want him to be a family dog but also part protector.i watch dog borstal and even but thr trainer books but i get no where wtih my dog,ive even wrote rules out and pinned on my door so has visitors can see as so they know not to eye contact my dog or pet him with out my say so,but all that i do falls on deaf ears,im wanting mike to help me but i dont know how to go about contacting him or the show.

  • denise

    hi AJL i was just wondering “HOW DO YOU GET ON THE SHOW? Only kidding i agree some people eh! i do like the show but i dont think i could take my dogs. i have a japaneese akita (excuse the spelling) and he is a big monster, he never listens and does whatever he wants to do.BUT i wouldn’t change him for the world he is such a babe with a huge character i love my clidie! Why dosen’t everyone learn to love there dogs for what they are? You wouldnt change yourselfs for anyone or expect anyone to change for you .x x x

  • faye

    is dog borstal doing another series?

  • Amy

    elo i luv this show n was wondering if some1 could tell me y my dog is like this :- 1)every morning when we let him out side he bark non-stop n darts arwd the garden then calms dwn or go’s bk to barkin
    2)as soon as he sees me pick up his lead even when we an’t goin on a walk he starts barkin n whining a lil
    3) when we get out my front door he pulls me ova to our bridge ova my road n wants to go to my friend house because she used to hav a yorkie n louis like him but he an’t there no more
    4) he’s not keen on some dogs that r biger than him
    5) he don’t like black ppl ( and i’m not beenin racsist, he just don’t)
    6) he don’t like the male sex comin up to me
    7) when he takes thing n chews them when we go to take them bk he sometime gets nasty
    8) when we let him off lead he sometimes don’t com bk til he wants to

    please help if u canhelp or dog borstal to help i would luv it

    it’s just i don’t feel that ppl r safe when i walk him n i want to feel that he wo’t bite any1 or a animal

    amy x


    Firstly, Dog Borstal is pretty good, in fact I throughly enjoy watching it, especially One episode where Mick called the Sha-pei a,”brainless dog”. I have 4 shar-pei, 2 male, and 2 female. Chan, is a red bearcoat, will be 2 years old in November, Annika, who was 3 July gone, she is a Brushcoat,, LouLou,who is (around) 2, and is a horsecoat (Lilac), and Milo, who is a Lilac Bearcoat, 5 months old.. Sorry Mick, you are supposed to be a proffesionel dog trainer? If thats the case, how come you are allowed to differentuate, between the breeds that you work with?.. If you were working with humans, you would not be allowed to say the things you say about the dogs.. Yea,, and I can just hear you now,, saying,, “who the fuck is she talking to”.. LOL.. I have a few problems with my “male” Chan, I would really appreciate you getting in touch, to teach me some handling skills, with my dogs,, and I promise YOU wont make me cry,, LOL thanks

  • we have an american bull dog he is 18 mnths old loverly temperement good around kids ect but … he jumps over everyone is so exited dont listen mic always wanted a big dog to train so how about it this will be a challenge for him

  • Liz

    For those wanting to know how to get onto the show, I just wrote to the beeb and asked for details of who to contact, we then completed an application form, a telephone interview and then a home visit with camera crew.

    Can I just say having been on the show to hear all of those santimonious people out there that feel the training is out dated/harmful – these trainers have the dogs interest as their priority. We were never advised or shown how to mistreat our dog, the trainers aren’t in it for the fame or money. Having been on the show we wanted to continue with our training and guess what not one local trainer would take us on afterwards – and why is that, are they worried that we actually know more about training than they do, one response was that they believed in positive training – so they wouldn’t consider us thats not very positive!? You don’t go on to Dog Borstal for the fun of it you go because nobody else has been able to help and its the last resort, not some puppy socialising club where you use ‘happy voices and chicken’ its the make or break not just for you and your dog but your family’s relationship and sanity, surely rattling a bottle in front of a dogs nose is better than having it put down? Anybody that classed this as as unacceptable then I am more than happy for one of the above postive know it alls to spend a weekend with my dog…without the £60 fee.

    • Stephen Kent

      Ya an idiot…

  • Hi i have recently aquired a siberian husky male who is nearly 2 years old. the previous owners give him to us as he was being picked on by her older husky. we have a king charles spaniel x who is excellent with him she has shown him who is boss, but does love his company and plays with him altough he is getting along great with her. he is terrified of the noise outside and people who come near him he doesnt bark or show any aggression he just runs up stairs if inside the house or trys to run whilst outside away from everything like a paper bag blowing or car going past. please i really need someone help on this one i love him to bits and dont like to see him soo unhappy my husband feels so upset that he wont go near him and is so scared please can you give me advise thanks trisha

  • Catherine

    I don’t have a dog but I am seriously thinking about getting one when I retire. I love watching all the ‘dog’ programmes such as ‘The Dog Whisperer’, ‘It’s Me or the Dog’ and I accidently stumbled on ‘Dog Borstal’ on the Blighty Channel recently. ‘Dog Borstal’ has definitely become my favourite so I am devestated to find that there are no more for the time being, at any rate. Can anyone tell me if there are plans for any more or even re-runs of past programmes? I really miss it!!

  • Linda

    “Having been on the show we wanted to continue with our training and guess what not one local trainer would take us on afterwards – and why is that, are they worried that we actually know more about training than they do, one response was that they believed in positive training – so they wouldn’t consider us thats not very positive!? ”

    If you want to use DB methods, then it would be extremely difficult for a trainer who used other methods to help – why would you expect that? If you were willing to forgo rattle bottles or whatever, then I bet they would have helped. You have to understand that trainers who get results from difficult dogs, using different techniques to DB, will find it difficult to work with someone who is convinced that DB methods will work.

    Of course, you very probably do not know more about dog training methods than they do – that’s an odd comment. You have presumably been to DB for a short time – you don’t suddenly know everything, no offence. I would not, for example, take you on unless you followd my protocols and training methods – I certainly would not alter my tried and tested methods to suit you, (no offence, again, meant).

  • Linda

    Have to say as well, that problems such as jumping up, etc can be helped by going to good, reputable local training classes. It’s not just DB who can help solve such problems, which are frankly very normal anyway… Why go on tv?

  • Linda

    “i have a 12 week old staff and she does nothing but bite 24/7 how do i get ger to stop, she also knows where she should go to the toilt but i always wake up to little piles of presents every morning how can i get her to stop being so naughty, i know she is a pup and they like to nip because thats how they are playing but she goes beyond that and wont stop, she has been passed around to different homes and now i have her im not going to pass her on just because she is doing that. i want to train her, at the moment i am scared of her and what she will be like when she is older, im frightened that she could really hurt someone, i love her to bits buts its getting she is really getting me down”

    This is all very normal behaviour! Try getting in a good dog trainer who is local and understands modern up to date methods such as reward based training.

  • Linda

    “Mindy Says:

    February 2nd, 2008 at 12.46 pm
    I saw my first two shows on the BBC i player just yesterday. I was absolutely shocked to see the treatment of that poor Australian kelpie Biz. It was animal torture with the license payers money. Both the dog and and the owner were tortured in fact. I felt really sorry for the poor man. The ‘trainer’ had no knowledge of the breed and how intelligent they are. They are supposed to be able to handle tough situations. Just like a cattle dog, they are not supposed to give up, it’s what they are bred for. They are not collies. When you work with a kelpie instead against it you get the best out of it. If they had let him show his abilities in the agility track he would have excelled, if they had used positive methods he would have been the best dog out of the lot.
    It seemed that the trainer had something against the owners and wanted to break them instead of the dog. How on earth did the trainer think the dog would surrender to his owner in his weak state of mind. It was too cruel to be true. The kelpie was not even given a chance to behave well.

    And what are these training methods they used, out of the dark ages. That’s how I was treated when I first started to train for working trials in the early 80’s. Thank God the world of dog training has changed, or so I thought before I saw this appalling show.

    Also the white happy bull terrier was called stupid by the even more stupid trainer. It was so plainly obvious what would make the dog tick. Yet again the trainer had no idea how train him. When they first arrived the girl was made to walk with the dog until she broke into tears and was let to continue to be dragged by the dog. That really lets the dog know who’s the boss, a crying owner. Any good man would then jump in and happily take charge and enjoy the training weekend, and that’s just what the dog did.

    The lady trainer with the great dane was good and made excellent results with that dog, and with what, a clicker”

    Good post there Mindy – well said 🙂

  • Linda

    “Sareeta Says:

    February 1st, 2008 at 11.19 am
    I am totally disgusted with this show and there inhumane techniques. All this programme uses is punishment and puts fear into those dogs. The training is to long and stressful. Training a dog isn’t something that can happen in a week, it can take months & months. Training is about patience, consistency and also should be fun and positive. To get to the core of a problem and to help a dog to behave takes a long time. Like people, when we train for something or fear something, it isn’t going to take just a day of week to fix the problem. Shouting and punishing us won’t help us, just put the fear into us and stress and make us worse. It is the same for dogs. Dogs have feelings too and show emotions and fear like people. I think before training a dog you need to be in a good mood and calm. On dog borstal they are all aggressive and have a tense approach. It’s very cold and brutal. Why lock the dogs up in cells? Why not let the dogs have its comfort sleeping with the owner. It’s already stressed with the changes.
    I watched the programme last night and there was an Australian Kelpie, and the trainer was Robert Alleyne. Kelpies are working dogs. They are friendly and highly intelligent. Keplies need to be stimulated or can get bored and become frustrated. They need plenty of walks and socialisation to be happy. As all working dogs they need plenty of exercise and stimulation. The owner obviously didn’t realise this and wondered why his dog was frustrated and badly behaved. What I witnessed was the Robert Alleyne allowing the owner to shout and be aggressive and intimidating to this poor Kelpie. The dog had a muzzle on as it would bite and get aggressive, well if the owner is going to be aggressive then so is the dog, it will learn and pick this up from the owner. The owner shouted at the Kelpie to sit, just kept on shouting and shouting sit. The dog wouldn’t sit and they couldn’t understand why (because your shouting and stressing the dog out) he then put his hand on the Kelpies bottom and shouted sit and forced the poor dog down, pushed it so hard and the dog would get up and he would force it down again, I’m talking about really hard and nasty. The poor dog just yelped and struggled, the more the dog struggled the more the owner got stressed and forceful, this poor dog just looked sad, stressed and confused, its tail was down and legs bent, showing signs of stress and anxiety. Robert Alleyne said to the owner ‘I’m proud of you’ I was sad and angry to see such cruel and barbaric training. These people don’t seem to understand all dogs are different and all dogs are different to training. There is no respect for these dogs. The whole thing is based around punishment. All this does is make people think that’s the way to teach a dog, shout at it and put your hands all over it and force it into a position. I have dogs and each one reacts different to training, but one thing I always do is make sure I train them in a good mood and have a bag of treats ready to reward them. I train for no longer then 10 minutes about 3 times a day. I find this programme very destructive and nauseating.”

    Agree again about the treatment of the Kelpie, it was pretty appalling, wasn’t it?

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  • Hi
    i am an ardent follower of dog borstal and have tried to get on the camp but to no avail ,I have a proper dog ie- victorian bulldog and i think that mick is probably the man who would have the balls to train my dog to where i can take her out without her having a go at any dog that comes near ,appart from that she is a bloody good dog ,please help me

  • Sara

    i’ve just seen on Dog Borstal, an owner being told to throw a cup of water on the dog whilst shouting a command. what the heck is that???

    that is animal cruelty if i ever saw it! how can that harmful act be allowed to be televised as a dog training tactic???