Wednesday, 25 May 2016

A Raving Fan - The Reason I Do What I Do

A Raving Fan - The Reason I Do What I Do

When I receive a testimonial that shares the many changes that I've have made in a families life I can't help but feel so proud and happy that I was able to change another client and their furry friend's life! The story about Leica is one that makes me so unbelievable happy and gives inspiration to continue educating owner and their dogs everyday!

"As I sit here writing this testimonial I currently have our 2 year old Golden-doodle stretched out on her bed napping in the sunshine, and our 7 year old Black Lab, Leica, laying by my feet dreaming. About 10 minutes ago the mailman came to the door and the dogs lifted their heads, yawned and rolled over. Flashback 2 years ago…my then boyfriend now husband, Jackson and I were living with the worst roommate ever. When we came home from work we often had to clean up garbage strewn across the kitchen, our fridge being raided, the stove being tipped over, paw prints all over the counters from counter surfing, hair all over our couches, leash pulling, lunging at other dogs and general rudeness. If you haven’t guessed our rowdy roommate was our dog Leica. Leica came from my side of the relationship when Jackson and I got together 2 years earlier and he was turning into the reason we nearly called it quits. Every day of bad behaviour from Leica added small but accumulating amounts of stress to us. We went to a training class in Kitchener. We graduated. We were given a Gold Certificate, but Leica’s behaviour did not change. In-fact NOTHING changed except I was $300 poorer. We were told to bring treats to class. As many dog owners know, most dogs will stand on their left ear when a treat is presented, but try telling your dog to ‘COME NOW!’ when there’s a potential threat and you don’t have a treat… Good Luck!The instructor made us use a gentle leader which is a type of harness that goes around the dog’s face. The gentle leader controlled his head therefore his body but it didn’t teach him to follow us and it definitely didn’t build a bond of trust or respect. The treats didn’t get Leica to do what he was told because we asked him to, he expected a reward. He turned into a weird robot dog. Sit. Treat. Stay. Treat. Stay longer. Treat. Down. Treat. Come. Treat. Sit. Treat. I finally reconnected with Heidi from Complete K9 and signed up for her Street Safety Training Class in Spring of 2014. Jackson and I were both fed up but we thought that we owed it to each other and to Leica that we do this training, give it a solid effort and if things didn’t improve then we could reevaluate after the 12 weeks. Heidi’s classes were the hardest but most rewarding thing we have ever accomplished. We had trained Leica to pay attention when we had treats and in Heidi’s classes treats were not allowed. We learned the importance of having our dog listen to us all of the time without negotiation or hesitation because when we are in the outside world it can be incredibly dangerous for dogs! Dogs get hit by cars, clipped by bikes, hurt in elevators, run over in parking lots when getting in and out of cars etc. Heidi taught us the importance and the skills to keep our dogs safe all of the time, and that we are their protectors and not the other way around. What we learned from Heidi is that humans set the expectations of their best dog friends. If we don’t challenge our dogs we end up with behaviours that we don’t like, simply because our dogs are BORED! Heidi’s training did not take place in a sterile classroom inside a building or warehouse it took place outside in the real world. We went to banks, malls, playgrounds, coffee shops, shoe shops, parking garages, elevators, stairs. Heidi brought so much experience to the table with all of her clients. She reminded us the pleasure of having a dog by showing us how clever, intuitive and capable they are. She taught us that our dogs should be looking to us for guidance in all situations and that comes through building trust and we have a responsibility to keep them safe, challenged and engaged. Dog training is not just course where you get a Gold Certificate saying you passed. Heidi’s classes teach you skills for everyday situations that you might find yourself in with your dog! It’s life skills for dog owners. It is a hardcore class but if you do the work, apply the lessons you are going to have not a dog, you are going to have the best dog ever! A dog that loves, respects, listens and trusts you! With Heidi’s help Leica’s behaviour has never been better. He still gets persnickety when meeting certain new dogs, but we have the skills and the tools to manage these types of interactions in a positive way so that Leica continues to relearn and readjust these behaviours without constantly crossing the street and avoiding everything! Leica is super polite now and gives us our personal space, he doesn’t push past on the stairs, he doesn’t jump up, steal food or pull us around on leash. He is an incredibly awesome dog that we didn’t even realize we had. We were so stuck on the bad behaviours but Heidi was able to pull our heads out of the sand and open our eyes to how much Leica had to offer us if we asked him for it. Heidi showed us that if you expect 110% from your dog they will give it to you no questions asked, no treats given, just a “good boy” and a pat on the chest. Thank you Heidi!!!"

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