The Canadian Dog Whisperer / dog training

1 Review updated:

I have a 10 month male Victorian X English Bulldog and a 3 year old female Great Dane X Golden Retriever both I have had since pups. Lately the bulldog started to nip and jump while I was taking him out, and the kids were playing. I have 4 small kids so I needed to stop this in it's tracks before this escalated to the point of having to give him up.

So we enlisted the services of The Canadian Dog Whisperer ( owned and operated by a fellow named Bruce Warrington. He convinced us his skills and techniques are superior to that of a regular trainer and results are guaranteed. His fees were quite steep but he presented to be a low risk (money back) solution to what was becoming a high risk problem. So we agreed to have him give it a try.

First off I was instructed to assert supreme dominance over my dog. I am to grab his throat while poking hard with my fingers into his neck and choking him with his leash tied as a noose around his neck. Then pin him to the floor onto his side while yelling, "EH!!". I am to do this several times a day. The whisperer calls it the "alpha roll".

This was the first step and I was having problems getting the dog to submit to this! I am a 115 pound woman. The whisperer's response (a man Over 200 pounds) was that a woman is lower in rank in a 'pack'. A menstruating woman is ranked lower yet, so I must work that much harder for the dog to perceive me as the 'alpha ###'.I practiced as prescribed with my dog, my dog grew increasingly agitated and he resisted with all his might. His strength against mine was not allowing me to overpower him. We were not off to a good start! I explained this again to the trainer, and his reply was to the effect 'you need to handle this dog with even more force" so I tried again. This time the dog bit my hand and drew blood. This is the first time he ever did this! For my own sanity I stopped, and it took a week for the dog to settle down and relax around me. This was 'whispering'?!

So I contacted the trainer again with my concerns. Again he said all I needed was to crank it up more, so I asked for a refund. He had only been here in person twice and if he didn't understand by then, he never would. He just said he needed to witness the aggressive response to even consider a refund. The way the dog reacted to these training methods was frightening, the bite still really hurts, and my relationship with my dog has become strained and unpredictable. My young children and I are the ones who have to live with the consequences. Anymore aggression like that, and the dog would have to be put down.

We went with this fellow because the name 'dog whisperer' had me thinking he had a unique gentle. stress free approach that was more appropriate to our household and our situation. My husband works shifts. He can't be around here to do this. This is turning out to be a more stressful situation then I ever expected.

We were hoping he would have had a bigger bag of tricks for the money he was charging. We're really hoping this fellow does the right thing and come through with his money back guarantee so I can find a solution that is more appropriate for out situation. I'm sure these methods could give great results for other folks bigger in stature and/or a less stubborn dog.

More The Canadian Dog Whisperer Complaints & Reviews

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  • Ye
      Apr 09, 2011

    Thanks for the heads up on this! We have a Aussie Shepard collie cross with fear aggression and we had come across his website and considered giving him a call. Alpha rolls didn't work for us and we are looking for gentle methods. So much whispering! You are so really is about the results! Good luck and hope he lives up to his promise. Let us know how this works out.

    0 Votes
  • Bl
      Apr 09, 2011

    Yes, the dog needs to know who the boss in your house is but NOT in such an aggressive manner. Calm. You're supposed to remain calm not freak the dog out! What an idiot this guy is. Of course the animal is going to fight back! Hope you get your money back. It might be worth sending your story to Ceasar the real trainer.

    0 Votes
  • In
      Mar 31, 2012

    This is upsetting information that a dog is being treated this way. I would use a gentle conditioning approach that will help you get the behaviour you are looking for and strengthen the bond between yourself and your dog. I realize it has been almost a year since your experience but if you are open to more help, I would be willing to help you work with your dog for a free 2 hour consultation. You can send an email to me: [protected] or give me a call at [protected].

    Jeff Anderson

    +1 Votes
  • Lo
      Jun 18, 2012

    We've had the Canadian Dog Whisperer a couple of times, then we stopped! This trainer (so called), trains through fear, not respect! Dogs should respect the owner, never fear them. There is a difference! I'm glad we've found an actual professional trainer/behaviourist, and not someone just in it for the money, but the love of canines!!! This is my opinion, as well as others opinions regarding this trainer. I think he's just a bully!

    +1 Votes
  • The methods you describe above that this man uses will not help any dog - in fact such methods make a dog more imbedded in the behaviour. I hope he refunded your money - although I doubt very much that he did. This mans methods are certainly not reflective of the philosophy and methods that a real Dog Whisperer uses. I know from first hand experience as I am a real Dog Whisperer . The point of dog whispering is to use the methods of communication that a well adjusted dog uses to coach and mentor other dogs. Domination is not in the kit of tools, nor is deployment of aggression - it only makes a dog more aggressive. Dogs are amazing communicators and are very sensitive intelligent beings - and it is those attributes that a Dog Whisperer should seek to match and deploy with respect and directive kindness. I hope you have had success at resolving the behavioral issues with your dog. You can go to the index page of my blog site and read some of my articles on communication, behaviour - if you are still having problems with your dog it will help you understand how to better direct your dog - I work with dogs that trainers (like the fellow you went to) mess-up because the tactics they use traumatizes the dog and their humans. I find the lack of ethics in the dog training world a painful thing to observe. You can also read many articles on dog care, nutrition and well being on my site.

    Best wishes and hope you are doing better with your dog now :>) Cheers, Karen the Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer

    0 Votes
  • Here is a few examples of how a real Dog Whisperer approaches working with a dog -
    Creating a Respectful Bond via Touch and Play, at the Right Time in the Right Way - You, Your Child, Your Puppy, Your Dog

    Dog Behaviour – How to Get Your Dog to Let Go of Something (ball, bone, sock, etc.)

    And what Leadership is really about - definitely not ever domination...

    0 Votes
  • Lo
      Aug 14, 2013

    Hello all ! I cannot remember if I had put my comment on yet, but here goes. This man Bruce is cruel, unprofessional, and pushy! We had him in for my toy breeds aggression, and we kicked him out second visit! First he came in to our home, went directly for the dog, and put a chocker on him. Scared the little guy to death. He did something called the Alpha roll or some dumb thing. I was crying. Disgusting! He should not have anything to do with animals! He is an over bearing man! After the first time spent with our dog, he wanted the full amount. Well we did not pay the full! He also the same time frame as above, dragged the little dog down the street on a choker, when this breed are not suppose to wear them as they have fragile inner throat issues! (Learned this after) and not suppose to be dragged as he was. Anyhow, DO NOT, and I repeat DO NOT invite this man into your home and your dog's life!

    0 Votes
  • So
      Sep 06, 2013

    I'm glad I'm not the only person who has insight to this 'whisperer'. He made my dog MORE aggressive. His methods are cruel, uneducated, and detrimental to anyone living with their dog, whom might have behaviour issues. No, he does not refund your money. I've taken him to small claims court myself, and settled there. He should never be hired by anyone. His prices are NOT indicative of his 'professional' approach to dog training, although as a consumer wanting the best...he charges the most...but his training methods create the completely opposite desired behaviour of the dog. He is NOT a trainer. He is a bully, and he will insist that you pay him, and he will tell you to beat your dog, if your dog bites you from beating it...then he will tell you that you have not beat the dog hard enough. I know from first hand experience with this 'dog whisperer'. Find a dog trainer...THEY usually HAVE families and children...and even dogs that are trained WITH them!

    +1 Votes
  • Fr
      May 11, 2014

    I am not a dog whisperer or even 'trainer' per se.
    But I have owned multiple dogs, and have offered dog
    walking and pet sitting services. I have adopted dogs from
    the pound and have had to establish loving relationships from
    challenging situations. I have witnessed extremely aggressive
    behavior by owners towards their own dogs and then to gain
    acceptance from other dog owners they would revert to very
    gentle behavior with another owner's dogs. I would caution that many
    are jumping on the wagon with pet services. Although I
    understand that we need to understand a dog's psyche I truly
    believe patience through gentleness & firm consistent boundaries will
    reap good results. Read, and educate yourself is the best
    policy and then one is in a better position to recognize what
    is acceptable training from those that are down right cruel.
    A bark to ponder... "You can determine a society's evolution
    by the way they treat their animals" pardon me... (I forget
    who first said this) but beware of the many who
    profess to be "experts" in all fields of animal care. Just like
    humans running their own businesses, some have healthy practices
    and others who conduct their affairs with very insensitive actions.
    From one animal lover to another.

    0 Votes
  • Ca
      May 17, 2014

    The man characterized above is certainly not the same man who came to our door in October 2012. He treated us with respect and treated our dog with firmness but gentle hands. We had called him because our 10 month old lab/shepherd cross was becoming aggressive towards me. He walked in the door, put a leash on the dog, walked her to a chair and sat down with our dog at his side. My husband and I were amazed at this. He talked with us for over an hour about how WE needed to change and teach the dog that we were the "alpha" people in the family.The whole time our dog sat by his side never moving.. He communicated to her with body language and his voice. Not once did he lay a hand on her. We proceeded outside for some more instruction and only after he witnessed our dog attack me did he show me the way to deal with her aggression. Yes, I used the "Alpha roll" and the "kill bite" but when you have an 80lb dog, with it's teeth sunk into your arm, gentle persuasion doesn't work. These methods only had to be used a few times for her to learn that she was not the "alpha" member of the house. And at no time did she yelp in pain. I did nothing more than a mother would do to her pup who misbehaves. Thanks to Bruce Warrington, we now have a dog that is obedient, calm and a pleasure to own.

    0 Votes
  • Ha
      Jan 28, 2015

    I had a similar experience to the lady above. Bruce was kind and gentle. I have a Great Dane she was barking at the door and had started to be jumping at dogs and people on walks. This review scared me and I had actually called Bruce to cancel because of it. But he reassured me He is not mean nor aggressive with the dogs and if i thought he was i could tell him to leave. So I gave him a shot. He had us put one of his leashes on her which was a very soft slip lead. when he came in he waited for her to sense him and get calm then took the leash. My dog is a wimp and is afraid of men so she tried to pull away. He did nothing but hold the leash and wait until she calmed. Which she did. After that like the person above her sat and talked to us and taught us his rules for dog behaviour and she stayed calm with him the whole time. Our dog has gotten much better in so many areas. She is better when we have guests over, before she would bark at men non stop for the first half hour or so now i can settle her almost right away. I still have stuff to work on such as getting her to quiet at the door bell but i am confident that will come. Bruce can do great things with dogs but he is not a miracle worker. He gives you the rules and the tools you need to get your dog to a place you want but you have to put in the work because as he told us the dog will push back constantly. Maybe because my dog is so large i don't find his methods aggressive, i know nothing i do to get her to be quiet such as grabbing her neck or her scruff hurts her in anyway. I will admit Bruce is expensive so if you're expecting him to fix your dog in two sessions without you putting the work in i would not waste your money. He is teaching the humans how to let the dog know whose in charge and that you will protect her/him. So you have to do the work and keep at it. That being said i saw results right away. I would definitely recommend Bruce.

    0 Votes
  • Wh
      Feb 01, 2016

    We had Bruce to our house a few years ago. We have two dogs...only one that had any issues. The one dog would not walk well on a lease and always wanted to go after other dogs (never people aggression). Our other dog had no issues at all. Bruce made us pay for both dogs even though only one had issues...and it wasn't cheap. It felt like such a scam. He also talked us into buying 2 expensive leashes...which I later saw the same ones for less than half the price in a store. I felt like we sat for hours just listening to him ramble on...was truly expecting a more hands on approach addressing the issues. I was not impressed at all with him and would never recommend him to anyone! I wanted to ask for a refund but felt like I would be fighting a losing's all about the money to him.

    +1 Votes
  • Ms
      May 15, 2016

    We had Bruce come to our house this month. I found him the exact opposite of aggressive. He was extremely calm, and actually didn't even have to touch our dog. He seldomly used any words to communicate with him. He showed us how to be the leader so our dog wouldn't have to. As I write this, for the first time in 7 years, the dog is currently relaxed in his bed on the floor, not standing guard at the window., nor barking at the wind. It's quite a monumental change in such a short time. His calm methods of teaching and educating us has already made such a difference. You'll have to do the work yourself. He provides the learning platform- but you will have to work at it. It also won't come together overnight, but if you follow his methods, you will see small immediate changes. I'm so glad I didn't pay attention the complaints, otherwise I'd have to have given up our beloved dog.

    0 Votes
  • Ha
      Jun 28, 2016

    We had Bruce come to our home with our extremely aggressive dog and he has changed our lives for the better. He used dog psychology to teach us how to help our dog see us as the pack leader. His methods make sense and they use little to no physical contact. He focuses on the power of energy and body language to effectively teach your dog to be well behaved. Bruce changed our life and I am so glad I didn't give in to some of these comments. He focuses on the changing the human, not the dog and it 100% works.

    0 Votes
  • Sh
      Sep 28, 2016

    We have a GSP (German Shorthaired Pointer) 1.5 year old. Bruce came to our home today and did everything we expected and more. No aggression and basically common knowledge BUT explained and performed perfectly. He has an excellent knowledge of dog and human behaviour which is demonstrated to you in your home. There is no hard sell tactics. Is it cheap NO but not unreasonable considering the fact that it's one on one (or in our case one on two). We will be updating our progress next week and can complete our review then.

    0 Votes
  • Do
      Sep 05, 2017

    @Sharshin So you wrote this one year ago, how did it go for you and your furbaby?

    0 Votes
  • Ch
      Apr 21, 2018

    We contacted Bruce after hearing about him from a neighbour. We scheduled our first session then read some of the reviews on here and became concerned. My husband wanted to cancel our session with him immediately. I've learned over the years that you can't always depend on reviews. Everyone has different experiences, attitudes and perspectives. I suggested we at least give him the benefit of a phone call. So we called and I was very straightforward. I said that we had read some reviews online and were concerned since we have dogs that are not aggressive at all and the last thing I want is for them to fear us. He said if at any point during the session we felt he was being aggressive or doing anything we didn't approve of that we could end the session immediately without paying. So we agreed to go ahead with the session. We have two rescues. One is approximately 8 and is a 15 pound poodle mix. One is approximately 1.5 years old and is a 60 pound hound mix. Both are super loving gentle dogs. But I was not able to walk the larger one on my own without her pulling me down the street. And she's very skittish so something like having a school bus or garbage truck go by lead to me being dragged home. She also jumps on people when we're walking or when they come to the house. Not in an aggressive way, but in a I want to lick your face and love you kind of way. She also has a tendency to be very fearful of men that she doesn't know. So we weren't sure how it would go with Bruce. He came to our house and put slip collars on both dogs right away, it took a minute to get it on the larger dog but she did not react to him the way she usually does with men at all. She just needed to sniff him out for a minute before the leash went on. Once it was on they both sat by his side the entire time. He teaches humans how dogs think. It's about letting them know you're in charge, not them. At no point were our dogs fearful or harmed. We've now had two sessions with him and paid the fee. I can now walk BOTH dogs together on my own. If you had told me a month ago that was possible I would have laughed. And the larger dog is much calmer when people come over. We're still working on it but the improvement is evident. I have no regrets from working with Bruce. He also promised we could have more sessions at any time with no further charge if we feel something needs working on. At any time down the road. And we can call or email him with questions at any time.

    +1 Votes
  • Au
      May 29, 2019

    We had the same experience as the person who wrote this review. Our german short haired pointer came to us from a family who did not give her exercise. She spent much of her time in a crate. She was 8 months old when we got her and we are the type of dog owner who walks the dog...the dog does NOT walk us. We have studied, researched, watched videos and been very careful about the way we treat our dogs. We never had a problem like this before. Our dog was very VERY intelligent. We had tried everything you could think of to help Myah to be a better behaved dog but when she started lunging at and snarling at house guests etc, we decided it was make or break time. I found Bruce aka "The Canadian Dog Whisperer" (what a joke!!) and spent a hefty amount of money to hopefully be able to help our family fur friend. When we met Bruce, we were surprised at his remarks about how "dumb as a stump" our dog was. She "was" actually one of the most intelligent dogs I've ever met. I just thought it wasn't a great way to start off a meeting with the type of animal you're supposed to love. If he loved dogs, then, why would he make comments like this. When we went inside, he proceded to tell us the same thing about grabbing our dog by the throat and basically slamming her to the ground in supreme dominance and told us that we should do this at least several times each day as a reminder. Well, he had difficulty getting our dog to the ground and in fact, she was quite scared. She became a little aggressive as I'm sure she was fearful of this man. We are HUGE advocates for the way dogs should be treated in a "pack" and have watched and read Cesar Millan's books and videos. The way he interacts with dogs is so much more calm but assertive. That's what we were looking for in Bruce. His method seemed very abusive to us and kind of sketchy. Needless to say, we did all he told us and tried to help Myah for a couple weeks and some things improved but a LOT did not improve. In fact, she got more aggressive and more fearful of us. We stopped doing his methods and prayed we had not made the already tense and sensitive situation worse. Unfortunately it got worse and we decided to re-home her. We sold her to a hunter, thinking it would be great for her as GSP's are hunting dogs. This man wanted to have her hunting trained and we thought it would be a great opportunity for Myah. Not so much. The man called us the same evening we left her and told us we needed to come pick her up. She had tried to bite him and his friend. He told us he had his gun pointed at her at one point and nearly killed her. The next morning, we went to get her in tears, knowing what needed to be done at this point. She had been put out in their back yard in a crate and left there over night. She was terrified and shaking when we arrived. My husband said the sheer relief on her face when she saw him was very visible and yet, we knew what we needed to do. We brought her back home, called the health unit as we were told she had bitten the man. We had to have her contained for 10 days all the while knowing that there was no way to rehabilitate her. It was heart breaking. After the 10 days, Myah had attempted to bite several people including our family. We made an appointment and had to have her put down. It was so heart breaking but also, necessary. I just want to say that we now know that Bruce's methods are not positive and when we recounted our experiences with him to several professional trainers, they agreed that this is not appropriate. We were thoroughly disappointed.

    0 Votes

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