We rescued Samson when his mother disowned him and his litter at 3 weeks old. In fact we bottle fed him up to 6 weeks. Samson is a Bullador (part pit and lab). Samson was good as a pup, very smart, loving, willing to teach, a talker, cuddler (humanlike) and we took obedience classes both group and individual. Additionally, having been raised up with all animals my entire life; felt I knew what I was doing along with my grown children. Over time he began to exhibit anxiety, digging in the yard, needed comfort on things to chew, fear with new things and became aggressive with his fears. Taking a walk was a workout we would avoid walking him when others were out walking. And on occasion, if he did not want to get off the couch or go outside when we asked him to he would growl show teeth, or try to nip. We would give in and allow behavior and walk away. He loved people once he knew you ,however when new visitors came to the house he exhibited behavior that in back of my mind, he may bite someday when he showed hackles up and growling.
At age 6, we made a move to Murrieta and blended our dog with my boyfriends’ dogs and cat. There were no real issues with the dogs getting along and the cat, however, Samson was out of sorts, aggravated the others with his anxiety, high energy and had a general lack of socialization skills. Until the vet came to fix a wound did reality sink in. The vet gave us a prescription for the dog and our prescription a card “Leonard Ludovico” at dominantdogs.com. In that same visit we were told the dog needs help and with his anxiety/fear he may bite someday. The light went on, we cannot solve this ourselves, he was unique and we had in fact enabled his behavior all these years. We immediately went on line to research “the Dog Whisperer” and spoke to Leonard. In Home Dog Training then off to Doggie Boot Camp
Leonard came to our home for an initial consultation. Samson charged at him as he stood in our kitchen. With the time he was here, he settled him down, had him lying on leash by his side with no words ever spoken. We knew with his visit, it had affirmed our decision to send him to Leonard and educated us on dog behavior/what we had done wrong (unintentionally) all these years. Net: Samson and us, required time with him.
Following his visit, we purchased the DVD on dogs’ body language, that in itself was eye opening and a whole new world perspective into dog behaviors. We enrolled in Doggie Boot camp. Samson was with Leonard for approximately 8 weeks. Within those weeks we participated in hours of training on-site with Leonard.
Leonard is at one with the dogs, the instant connection he built with Samson after his initial runs of aggression were astonishing. The confidence he shows, respect he demands and patience he took in the hours upon hours he spent with Samson were miraculous. The training with us brought a keen understanding to the process, the dog and has built harmony between Samson and us, as well our other animals.
In all this we learned the psychology of a dog and human failings in dealing with dog behaviors. This was truly a humbling experience. Through Leonard’s work and teaching Samson has returned to a dog, at peace. We better understand what our dog is communicating to us, that we need to build trust and respect for that bond and we are in control now.
Leonard gave us our life back. The experience was life changing for Samson, for us as dog owners however it changed me. I have become more aware of behaviors in general (people and dogs), that humanizing dogs vs. allowing them to be a dog can play havoc with their behavior and that can create issues as pet owners and upheaval in your day to day life. Now, thanks to Leonard we have a dog, that is in our control and loved very much however, he is not controlling us.We are forever indebted to you Leonard. Your passion/compassion and program for dog/owners is something one has to experience to fully appreciate. This gift you have and share changes lives, for the better and we are grateful.Thank you for the honor of learning /sharing your gift.
You are the best!
Juls May and Tom Bellinger