PORTADOWN TIMES 28 MARCH 2008
“TANDRAGEE DOG WHISPERER TAMES MANS BEST FRIEND FOR TELEVISION PROGRAMME”
A TANDRAGEE dog whisperer will be putting six wayward dogs and their owners through their paces for a new BBC Northern Ireland television series, Good Dog Bad Dog, which sees badly-behaved pooches transformed into obedient pets.
Keith Mathews, who has been running the Copperbirch Dog Training Academy in Tandragee for the past 15 years, was chosen from a number of dog whisperers from across Northern Ireland to front the programme, which sees Keith use his expertise in canine ADVERTISEMENTpsychology to work with the dogs’ owners in order to improve their pets’ behaviour.
Throughout the series, which begins next Friday (April 4) at 9pm on BBC1 Northern Ireland, Keith helps six dog owners train their disobedient pets, including Portadown couple Maurice and Averil Chapman, whose Jack Russell, Tina, is extremely aggressive towards other dogs, people and children.
“I enjoyed filming the programme but it was stressful and it was a pretty intense experience,” said Keith. “I usually get to work with the dogs and their owners for a longer period of time than I had for Good Dog Bad Dog but I had to get the dogs prepared and ready to be marked by a dog obedience judge in the final programme.”
Keith hopes the programme will encourage prospective dog owners to think before they bring home a canine friend.
“People need to think about which breed would suit them best and think about their lifestyles as well,” he continued.
“Ninety-nine percent of the time it’s the owners who are actually the problem – not the dogs. I want people to watch the show and realise that they need to have their dog trained from the very beginning, that prevention is better than cure.”
However the father-of-two does believe that most dogs can be trained to behave better. “I’ve even worked with a dog who is 14-years-old, so the saying, ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’, isn’t really true. But I do think it’s a failure of society if a dog attacks or kills a child. So if by doing the programme I can make a difference and make people think before they get a dog, then it’s all been worthwhile.”
Keith will also be appearing on The One Show on BBC1 Northern Ireland on Friday, April 4 at 7pm.
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