I have so many great clients and wonderful stories to share so it was hard to pick. But these are some of my absolute favorite success stories.
The Successful Story of Suki (Pomeranian)
Sometimes stories don’t get much better than this so I had to share.
When I got contacted by Lynn, she wanted my help with a dog that she wanted to adopt. Lynn found a picture online, fell in love with a dog that she had never met, and knew she wanted to bring her home, but there was one problem… the dog had bitten a few people. This dog is a petite Pomeranian. A little back story, this dog was left at a grooming/boarding salon, and unfortunately, the 95-year-old owner passed away. The shop held on to her as long as possible but ended up turning her over to a shelter. A rescue group called Recycled Pomeranians and Schipperkes brought her to DFW from Arkansas and started to network her to find a new home.
A Rocky Start
With some sheer determination, Lynn asked me to join her to meet the dog and to see what I thought. Lynn and her boyfriend had already met the little girl, but the meeting did not go as planned because she showed teeth and was just a bundle of nerves. Lynn and I agreed to meet on Thursday. When I arrived I was 100% prepared with some anti-cut/bite arm gloves. I expected the dog to be a holy terror, especially with her history but she wasn’t.
We came into the house and sat down and within 10 minutes I knew it would work. Watching the dog, named Suki, react to the directions I gave Lynn, helped to give them a rhythm of communication. This was clarity for Suki. We worked with her continuously while I pointed out behavior to Lynn in order to set them up for success. Suki got tired and we weren’t going to push her anymore, so we made a plan to come Saturday to get Suki. Saturday morning we got to the house and she did well being in a harness while we brought her to her new home. We spent the next several hours talking scenarios through with me showing Lynn how to do different things with her. It was such an amazing opportunity to begin Suki’s life in Lynn’s home on such a positive note. A great success story.
Suki had an amazing first weekend and is picking things up quickly.
Happy Gotcha Day! Keep on sharing the cute adoptable dogs on social media.
The Successful Story of Prince (German Shepherd)
When I got a call for Prince, a German Shepherd, he was just rescued off the streets of Dallas, dumped. He knew he hit the jackpot. (Until he met the cats he would be sharing space with… not just 2, but 4.) I had talked to others about addressing the issue with private lessons, but many said only a Board and Train would work. After many hours of work with me during private lessons, and the pure dedication of his Mom, I am happy to say that Prince no longer chases, hunts, or torments the cats. He is able to share a space with them. As a trainer, I can’t make a dog, like cats, but I can have him tolerate them and maybe even start to like them. That is a big maybe, but hey, you never know.
You Never Know
This goes to show that there are possibilities with open-mindedness and determination. In order to desensitize him to the cats, he needed to be in their presence. Due to his sheer size and strength, we kept the situation as safe as possible using a muzzle because not only are there 4 cats but there are also 2 other German Shepherd Dogs. That is a lot to keep up with.
Suzy, Prince’s Mom, worked with him daily, several times a day at that. We stayed in contact constantly making sure the path was fitting everyone’s needs, including the cats. I personally have to say that cats are not my expertise, but I do have a basic understanding of their behavior. Today I brought my good friend Mysti because she understands their psychology and behavior and I do not want to put them in any type of distress. There is no room for error because there is too much at stake. Another great success story.
Prince the German Shepherd is currently best friends with Sean, the ragdoll cat.
The Success Story of Cheyenne (Black Mouth Cur)
When Cheyenne’s family first reached out to me they were struggling with her fearful behavior. Cheyenne is mostly a black mouth cur that was adopted from a rescue in North Dallas. While walking, Cheyenne would get fearful and start growling and barking enough that it scared her humans. More importantly, when they had friends and family over, she did the same thing.
The first thing we did was to get her out of a harness and into a slip lead because her people will have more control that way. The next thing we did was go into the public, so we went to a large pet store in order to see at which point her parents were struggling. Before we went into the store the humans were already nervous and that is how the problem started. The next public place we went to was Home Depot where there are a lot of bearded men around and she did perfectly fine.
The next thing we did was talk about was how we were going to address people should she seem too nervous to receive pats. We mentally have to have a plan in place when in public about how we will handle the different situations should she growl, bark or try to escape. After completing the program she is finally good about being in public and has made her first patio visit.
I am truly impressed with her growth during the program and the changes I saw between each private lesson. Her parents worked so hard and it wouldn’t have been possible without their work. What a success story.
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We are located in Southern California and train service dogs nationwide. Hence, Total K9 Focus currently offers local service dog training in several areas. Riverside County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, Los Angeles County, and San Diego County. In addition, we offer our service dog board and train program and all virtual training services nationwide.
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