January 24, 2022

Meet the dogs with their own cars, designer wardrobes and despairing owners

She’s the owner of a flashy pink Range Rover, has a wardrobe worth over £20,000 and a collection of designer handbags.

But Tallulah isn’t an influencer or a movie star…she’s a pampered Pomeranian.

And Tallulah’s owner, Amy, ensures the two-year-old pooch has everything she needs to live the most luxurious lifestyle possible.

Amy, who lives in Doncaster, said: “Tallulah is a diva and a princess and just so sassy. She needs the more flashier car as she has a more lavish lifestyle than I do.”

But although Tallulah may look sweet an fluffy, small children had better beware. For, the Pomeranian princess dislikes nothing more than youngsters.

Graeme with Tallulah
Graeme with Tallulah

Amy said: “When we’re out on a walk it’s scary when children are around. She looks all sweet and innocent, but you’re not, are you?”

And Tallulah is just one of a number of pampered pooches needing expert help from master dog trainer, Graeme Hall, in Channel 5’s new series of Dogs Behaving Very Badly.

Speaking to The Mirror, he says: “Tallulah is amazing. I come from Selby, which is about maybe 15 miles away from Doncaster. So I kind of know the area and the people, and Doncaster isn’t somewhere you would associate with a Pomeranian driving a pink Range Rover, let’s just say. So it was quite a shock really.”

Graeme has been training dogs for 13 years
Graeme has been training dogs for 13 years

Yet, with Graeme’s watchful eye and careful instructions, Tallulah was soon able to set next to her five-year-old neighbour Henry – without so much as a woof.

Graeme says: “I’ve been training dogs for around 13 years now. I think that dogs haven’t changed so much in that time – they’ve been around for thousands of years, so the hardware hasn’t changed. But what’s changed a lot is the attitude of owners.

“I do think there are lots and lots of really responsible owners out there but there are also a lot of irresponsible ones who let the dogs do what they want.

“So, we might be seeing more badly behaved dogs, but it’s probably not the dog’s fault.

“Most owners are responsible but they get themselves into a situation where they know they are going wrong but don’t know how to fix it. And that’s where I come in.”

Monty wouldn't leave the house without a slice of cake
Monty wouldn’t leave the house without a slice of cake

And one of Graeme’s other challenges was Newfoundland, Monty -who is owned by Heidi and Adam.

Weighing in at 30st stone, Monty had two rather large problems – his love of cake and his hatred of walking.

Heidi said: “I’ve got lemon drizzle cake to persuade him to get up or leave the house. We also have some cookies that my daughter made as well.”

In fact, Monty demanded a piece of lemon drizzle cake for every meter that he managed to plod.

And, when he got home, he tucked into squirty cream on his low fat dog food.

Graeme Hall with Trip and Ella
Trip thought his aggression protected his owner

Graeme explains: “I walked up to the front door thinking, he’s probably quite big and the door opened and he literally took up all of the room in the hallway, I was like oh my God, right, you’ve got a problem.

“And for me that was just one of the stories that unfolded.

“How did he get this bad? You see there’s the issue with walking and that’s a big problem because he’s like a massive great anchor but then you have the double whammy of what he’s being fed. He had cream on top of his special diet food.”

But Graeme managed to turn the situation around – without so much as a chocolate drop.

He says: “Often you look at it and you go, he’s a great big lump and a plodder at the best of times. I see where they went wrong – everything slowed down, he slowed down. So you need to create this exciting feeling for him.

“You see Monty with a frisbee at the end of the show. I thought I might be pushing my luck but when I threw it and created a race between me and him to get to it first, that was it with him.

“People and dogs all have things that motivate us and other things that we’re just not bothered about.

“Trying to motivate a dog with something that he isn’t bothered about isn’t going to work. You’ve got to find that thing that sparks a bit of joy in them and then use that to reward them.”

Popcorn terrorises his neighbourhood
Popcorn terrorises his neighbourhood

Now Monty has lost over a stone.

Heidi said: “He’ll be a lot more spritely and doing a lot more walking and a happier dog.”

And PE Teacher, Adam, added: “In six months time he’ll be in the dog olympics.”

But the stars of the TV show aren’t the only pets to be causing havoc since lockdown.

For, according to the Kennel Club, the pandemic saw a 180 per cent rise on last year in enquiries from people wanting to buy dogs.

And the Dogs Trust reported that one in four dog owners had seen a worrying change in their pet’s behaviour since the beginning of lockdown.

Graeme helps problem dogs such as Thor
Graeme helps problem dogs such as Thor

Graeme says: “I think it’s not surprising that we’re seeing a change in behaviour. One of the things is that we’re around to see it, so we notice it more. But the other thing is that there will have been genuine changes as well, because everything has turned around.

“Dogs like routine and get used to it. And suddenly, with lockdown happening, everything has changed. This causes dogs to get all out of sorts and upset.

“So, in terms of advice, anything you can do to create some kind of routine is good. So do get up, have a shower, put your clothes on and go to work.

“All of those routines that you can put in and that sense of normality will help your dog to understand that things have changed but it’s not all chaos.

“If your dog is displaying issues such as aggression and things like that then you need to seek professional help. But a little can go a long way.”

One such dog, was social media star, Great Dane, Trip.

Dogs have been behaving badly during lockdown
Dogs have been behaving increasingly badly during lockdown

His owner, Ella treated him to meals of scrambled egg with Greek yoghurt, honey, goats milk and cheese. And the pup even had his own room decorated in the same style as his black and white fur.

However, outside the house, Trip was a different dog.

Ella said: “If Trip sees another dog he will hit the roof – lunging, barking and growling. Other dogs are terrified. People are terrified. He’s very unpredictable.”

And Ella admits that she is often covered in bruises, cries about her dog’s behaviour and fears it’s only a matter of time before he drags her into oncoming traffic.

But Graeme showed Ella that she needed to teach Trip that he didn’t need to protect her and taught her how to calmly assert her authority.

And now the trainer is urging people not to give up on their dogs if they don’t always behave perfectly – especially if they’re going through their teenage months – between the ages of 5 months and one year old.

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He says: “If you stick to your guns, do the right things and reward good behaviour then your puppy will come out of this stage and be a fine young adult. You may need to seek professional help but don’t give up.”

He adds: “I fear that we’ll maybe see a lot of juvenile dogs in re-homing centres over the next few months.

“It’s great for people to be welcomed into the world of dog ownership and dogs are really good for people in a lot of ways. They’ve been great for people’s mental health in lockdown – especially if you live on your own.

“But the bad side of it is that sometimes people rush into to it a bit. A dog is for life, not just for lockdown.”

  • Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly is on every Tuesday from 5th January at 8pm on Channel 5