Mellor Dog School

Professional Dog Training

News and Reviews

Monday 11th October 2010

A DOG trainer asked to help a family billed as Britain’s laziest has described her time with them as ‘four hours of frustration’.

Hayley Watson, 41, who runs the Mellor Dog School in Langho and Mellor, was asked to work with the Chawner family’s ‘naughty’ seven-year-old Yorkshire terrier Jenny, by the makers of Lorraine Kelly’s Next Big Fat Challenge.

Hayley said her efforts were wasted on the 92-stone quartet, who refused to listen to what she was saying.

But the family said they had ‘disagreed’ with the methods being used.A DOG trainer asked to help a family billed as Britain’s laziest has described her time with them as ‘four hours of frustration’.

Hayley Watson, 41, who runs the Mellor Dog School in Langho and Mellor, was asked to work with the Chawner family’s ‘naughty’ seven-year-old Yorkshire terrier Jenny, by the makers of Lorraine Kelly’s Next Big Fat Challenge.

Hayley said her efforts were wasted on the 92-stone quartet, who refused to listen to what she was saying.

But the family said they had ‘disagreed’ with the methods being used.

The Chawner family, who moved to Great Harwood after being evicted from their Ramsbottom home, came to national attention when 19-year-old Emma auditioned for X Factor in 2006 wearing a dress her dad Philip, 54, had made.

Now the family is the focus of the Next Big Fat Challenge series, screened on the Bio Channel, which makers say is aimed at helping them shed the pounds and get back into work.

The programme bills pet Jenny as the ‘only member of the family without weight issues’. Dog trainer Hayley said that Jenny was only naughty because she was bored. She said: “The little dog was really good. “She really enjoyed herself doing the agility and obedience work, but the family didn’t want to know.

“I also tried to tell them about dog genetics and pack behaviour, but they want to treat her as a family member, not as a pet. “Dog’s have love for you, but no respect until you show them you’re the pack leader, but they didn`t appear interested.”

Emma Chawner said the training wasn’t useful to them.

She said: “It’s not that we weren’t interested, it’s that we didn’t agree with her. “Jenny’s not very naughty. She does still rip up all the post when it’s delivered, but I think that’s normal dog behaviour.”

BBC Radio Lancashire`s Morning Show

Following a guest appearance in 2012, Hayley is now regularly invited into the studio to offer professional opinions on dog training and behaviours.

Lancashire Dog Trainer brings owners to heel in record time

Nov 2008

Domino, the one-year-old Dalmation, was about to be destroyed after biting three members of the family he lived with.

As a last resort, his owner took him to renowned trainer, Hayley Watson, of Mellor Dog School, in the Ribble Valley, near Blackburn.

Hayley, who qualified with Distinction, in Animal Behavioural Studies at Myerscough Agricultural College, said: “Domino had been treated like a baby and become leader of the pack. He even tried to bite me!

“The thing is you don’t get difficult dogs; it’s owners who don’t know or understand how dogs are genetically programmed to become pack leader.

“We teach dogs to know their place. Domino went back to basics and he’s done very well. With no more incidents of biting.”

Domino’s not the only dog needing a short leash; there’s lead pullers, chewers, wetters, barkers, snappers, diggers and dogs that never come when called.

From November, Hayley will put pets through their paces every Saturday at the School`s brand new Indoor Arena at Northcote Stud, Langho.

Tiny lap dogs trot under the long legs of giant hounds; playing and wriggling, while owners grapple with the skills required to lead a happy life together.

Hayley’s so efficient she’s earned the nickname ‘Dog Whisperer’, with some owners willing to travel 40 miles to her classes.

She regularly takes in dogs that owners can no longer cope with; sorts out the difficult behaviour before re-homing the now problem-free pets.

However, her skills can be a drawback, as it means there’s a rapid turnover of dogs, which is where free advertising boosts Hayley’s thriving business.

Thanks to customers can easily track Hayley down- she said: “An increasing number of inquiries come through which is great as I only promote online.

“It’s good to see what customers say about me and if I need business advice it’s just a keyboard away.” Managing Director, Martin Turner, said: “With a limited budget for business, Hayley’s marketed online which has worked perfectly under difficult economic circumstances.”

Customer Reviews

Michelle & Ted Holden 06/10/12 - Posted Comment to Website

We have been attending the school with our GSD Ted since he was 10 weeks old. I had a one to one with Hayley which was invaluable. She gave me so much help and advice about pack structure and lots of other advice. We have now progressed to the intermediate/advanced class which is thoroughly enjoyable.I feel that I am learning as well as Ted. The classes are interesting and fun and as well as routine stuff Hayley makes the class interesting with lots of variety and different exercises each week.

Every week there seems to be a new challenging exercise to put your dog through it's paces! We look forward to the class and would HIGHLY recommend Mellor Dog School.


Tony 14/06/2012 - Posted Comment to Website

Just completed a one on one with Hayley and my German Shephard Tia. Putting everything into practice including a new lead and Tia is responding brilliantly and no longer pulling. I`m going to get her used to it for a week or two then join the group classes on Saturday afternoons. Highly reccomended. Hayley is Professional...


Anne Yates 16/11/2011 - Posted Comment to Website

I heard about Mellor Dog School & Hayley from a friend.

Our GSD was getting far too big for her boots with some dogs.

I phoned and had a very informative chat with Alex which ended with me booking a one-to-one with Hayley. After the one-to-one, I followed Hayley`s instructions including a change of dog lead [the difference was amazing]. Sheba was looking at me in a totally different light, I was in charge not her. We followed up right away with a session of 4 training classes which are also fun and are held in an excellent venue. I would recommend anyone to take their dog to see Hayley, she really knows her stuff. We’ve had GSD’s previously, but they are all different and Hayley can spot things, we as owners can so easily miss! Whilst Sheba is now much better, I intend to carry on with the training classes. The socialisation with different dogs each week is great and keeps Sheba on her toes. Thanks a lot Hayley.


Tracy Chrichton 02/08/2011 - Posted Comment to Website

We have been taking our Springer Spaniel puppy to Mellor Dog School for 5 weeks, now. We would recommend this training School to anyone. Fantastic trainers.

Watching Hayley at work is just Mind Blowing !!!


Christine 27/06/2011 - Posted comment to Website

I have had a 1-2-1 as well as three classes with Hayley.

I would definitely recommend both.Approaching 6 months, Betty was getting a little bit too big for her boots and had the makings of a madam! Hayley showed me how this was easily sortable (and more about my behaviour than Betty`s). I was impressed with the realistic approach to training - Recognising that in order to work, any training has to fit in with the dog and the owners lifestyle.

Betty was almost instantly much happier, calmer and more settled with a few wobbly boundaries firmly back in place.


Louise Topham 01/05/2011 - Posted Comment to Website

We would thoroughly recommend Mellor Dog School to anybody who is starting out with a new dog/puppy. We took Bonnie our Scottish Terrier who is now 5 months old to the Saturday classes.The facilities are excellent and the dog trainers are really great and extremely helpful. We also had a one to one with Hayley which I would really recommend for anybody to have.

Hayley is amazingly talented with dogs. Hayley is like the female version of the Dog Whisperer. We will be contacting her soon to have another one to one because we felt that Bonnie really benefitted from the one to one with Hayley.

10 out of 10.


Chloe Ellison 27/04/2011 - Posted Comment to Website

Marley, my 2 year old German Shephard, hit 7-8 months old and began lunging, barking, growling and baring his teeth at other dogs. He attacked a dog and then moved onto people. I had a one to one with Hayley who explained to me why he was aggressive,advising me & using the correct collar for him.He then didn't pull me around,or lunge. His behaviour totally changed.

I then felt a lot more confident taking him on walks. I started a Saturday class with Hayley in September and I still attend now.

I used to be so nervous and scared when people or dogs got to close too him. But now, its like owning a different dog.

I came really close to getting rid of him. But now at training I don't even have to hold the lead. He's fantastic at his commands, he's so much calmer and relaxed. I`m really proud of him and myself. It's a massive thanks to Hayley, because if I'd never had her help and advice, I probably wouldn't have him now. I appreciate it so much! Hayley really does know her stuff about dogs! I'd advise anyone to see Hayley if their having problems,like I did. I always recommend Hayley to owners, struggling with their dog. I really enjoy and look forward to attending Saturdays with Marley and Hayley. xx


Martin Kingston 25/04/11 - Posted Comment to Website

Me and Ghandi, my very bolshy German Shepherd dog, had our first 1 2 1 with Hayley on Tuesday. Hayley advised me with a route of action and I really must say from the instant results, this lady is a Genius. When going for a walk, Ghandi would make scenes with other dogs or people, seemingly trying to attack anything that moves. I`ve had 3 German Shepherds previously, which were all well behaved. So I would class myself as experienced. However, I was well out of my depth with Ghandi, until we met Hayley. We have had just one 1 2 1 with Hayley and had one Saturday class where we started further socialising training. Watching some of the advance dogs and hearing from their owners about how bad some of them used to be, really does give you the urge, not only to carry on the classes but also to do further training. The difference with Ghandi now is amazing, even to the point where I was happy enough to take him down to Witton park on Sunday, where the fair is on, so very busy. I carried on with the socialising and behavioural training and was truly amazed with him, not once stepping out of line, no barking, nothing! He just listened to me and did as I asked.

He passed dogs and walked in between dozens of people who he had never seen before and stayed very calm the whole time.

Made me extremely proud to have him by my side.

Thanks Hayley and see you Saturday. Really can`t wait to see him progress more.


Brian Lamb 07/04/11 - Posted Comment to Website

I asked Hayley if she could help me with my 4 year old Labrador who's behaviour had been deteriorating in the last few months.

At our first meeting she asked many questions about the dog and his environment, and after another 10 minutes of working with my dog and myself, all the problems were resolved. I have now been to two further classes and I can honestly say that I am very proud of my dog. I am also very sure that he has never been happier.


Lynda Sutton 01/06/10 - Posted Comment to Website

We have an 8 month old GSD who was becoming a little too big for his boots! After having a 1-2-1 training session with Hayley (Genius with dogs and owners) his behaviour started to improve.

We have attended two classes at Northcote so far and am extremely impressed with the class. They are very well organised and the dogs are kept busy throughout. The whole team is excellent and I would have no hesitation in recommending them.

Looking forward to next Saturday.


-Mark Whelan 09/05/10 - Posted Comment to Website

Malham WAS a barking, yapping, bolshie head strong border / Schnauzer cross. He had a 1-2-1 lesson with Hayley (The Dog Whisperer) and has been to 3 classes at the excellent Northcote Stud. Already I can see a massive change in his behaviour and have really started to enjoy my dog again. Hayley and her school are excellent and are highly recommended. 5 stars! "


Laura Jenson 03/04/2010 - Posted Comment to Website

I have been attending the dog school with my dog Bailey now for 5 weeks and I have noticed a vast improvement with his obedience. I had a one to one with Hayley who taught me how to deal with different behaviours. I would strongly recommend anyone who has any behavioural problems or is just starting out with a new puppy, to have a one to one session. As it is very worth while. A big thank you to all!


Lisa Thornley 03/04/2010 - Posted comment to Website

I would highly recommend this School - I paid for my four classes and went to the first session. However, I was unable to go to future sessions till 6 months later. Expecting to have to re-pay I was very pleasantly surprised when I was told that their policy is to honour any credit you have with them, however long it has been between visits. I have been going regularly since and have seen a marked improvement in my dog's behaviour.


Gina Wilkinson 21/03/2010 - Posted comment to Website

I`ve had my first one to one with Hayley and I can see a difference in my dog Tammy already. I`m so pleased.

She`s a very bolshie dog and hard to handle when out. She pulls, chases traffic and tries to pull me across the road to greet other dogs & people. Hayley has advised me on the correct collar & lead for Tammy. One flick of the lead and Tammy now heals. We have a long way to go but I can see a light now. I want to enjoy my dog.

With Hayley`s help, this is now going to be possible.


Emma Foster 20/11/09 - Independent Review on

Mellor Dog School - Value For Money : 5 (N.B = 5 stars is the highest standard obtainable by any company in the UK!)

We highly recommend Mellor Dog School. We had a difficult German Shepherd rescue dog and since attending these classes we have noticed a big difference in her behaviour. She`s much easier to control; happier and enjoys the classes, especially agility.

A big thanks to Hayley and the team!.


ChowChowmum - Posted on 17/04/2010

Hi! We started at Mellor dog school today, we really enjoyed it. The classes are split into ages and there were about 7 in our group. It all seemed very organised and well run.

I am looking forward to going next week.


JAY15 - Posted on 09/04/09

Mellor Dog School meets at Northcote Stud in the indoor menage. This is just off the A59 at Langho near Clitheroe, so would be convenient for your pup's new family.The obedience classes are very good, by the way.

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