When my dog “Newie” reached adolescent stage he began to develop anxiety and fear aggression towards strangers. I thought I could handle it, but with time the problem became more ingrained so I decided to seek out a trainer for assistance. Unfortunately, my first experience with a trainer was not productive and following the trainer’s advice for over three months only served to see Newie’s behaviour worsen. I struggled away for many more months beyond, changing tactics every time a well meaning person had advice to give. All the while, Newie’s behaviour and my confidence in managing him were fast eroding.
I made a decision to try the trainer/behaviourist route one more time, and that is when I called Judi at Pro-K9. I cannot express how happy and relieved I am that I did! From our first consultation I finally felt that Newie and I were not a lost cause. I learnt about my leadership skills, my timing, Newie’s mind-set and the initial steps we needed to take, to steer Newie on the road to becoming a well-adjusted dog.
The program Judi implemented for us gave us pretty quick results in our general walks around the neighbourhood. Very soon, people could actually walk past us without Newie aggressively barking at them …. and without me feeling the need to profusely apologise.
I knew what to do! I had a program to follow and confidence in my own dog-handling skills was returning!
That isn’t to say we don’t have our little set-backs occasionally, but these are usually due to me either sinking back into getting flustered and not handling the situation according to our ‘program’ or me becoming a little over-enthused and pushing things. But because Pro-K9 offers email/telephone after-care support, I have been able to debrief and pinpoint areas that I need to work on as we progress. I have greatly appreciated this.
Every week Newie has made progress and every week the program has become more and more second-nature to me. I have had so many people tell me how much Newie has improved and how great he is doing – it is a good reminder to me of how things were a few months ago and how far we have both come.
I think it was about 12 weeks from our initial consultation with Pro-K9 to us achieving one of our first ‘long-term’ goals of Newie completing a successful “stand-for-exam” at obedience school ….. AND we graduated up a level in class!
At obedience school, we used to work at the end of the line …. but now we can handle working in-between people!
Just over three months ago, Newie’s tail posture was most often between his legs. Now it is mostly relaxed, or when he is cavorting around, held up over his back and it makes me so happy to know that he has become a more confident dog.
This process has and continues to be an amazing learning experience for me and I know that it has given Newie a better quality of life. I look forward to achieving just as much continued success, now that Judi has re-adjusted our program to compliment the progress we have already achieved in a relatively short period of time.
Pro-K9 – Thank you so much.
- Kate and Newie -
Up-date from Kate - 7th June, 2009
I took Newie to the vet on Thursday re: his ongoing problems but more immediately an ear infection. I booked the appointment with the most senior vet who Newie had never met. I gave him no rescue remedy as I usually would before I take him to the vet he has seen since he was a pup.
Wow, Newie was the perfect patient. I always muzzle him for the examination part just incase but he is still usually highly strung and moves around a lot. This time he stayed perfectly still while his ears were looked in and whilst he was examined. I took the muzzle off and he was sniffing around. The vet got Newie to sit and shake hands and gently take liver treats and he was patting him. All the while Newie was really very relaxed.
I left the surgery feeling elated so just wanted to brag.
PK9's response :
Well done, Kate. It is lovely to hear how things are going for my human and doggy customers further down the track. I am so pleased that Newie has come along in the leaps and bounds that he has. He would have to be a far more happier dog for his growing confidence and for that you deserve a pat on the back. I might have given you the technique to work with but you were the one who followed the program I set and made the effort. Congratulations to you both. I look forward to hearing more on the progress front as time goes by. I hope Newie's health concerns resolve themselves and that his ear is ok.
- Judi -