My husband and I rescued our black lab/terrier mix from a shelter when she was 10 weeks old. From the moment we met her she was high energy, fearful and extremely reactive. Although we worked with a puppy trainer, by the time she was a year old she was displaying many aggressive behaviors including barking, biting and charging at people in our home and backyard. Over the past 4 1/2 years we have worked with four additional trainers, three of whom specialized in aggressive dog behavior. Each had their own theory — “she’s a dominant dog and needs harsher training,” “she has fear aggression which is very difficult to manage,” or, the most ridiculous, “she has anxiety and needs to work through it by barking until she calms down.” Two of these trainers worked with her separately for 8 weeks straight and, yet, the most we accomplished was training her on a shock collar so she would not go after our guests. She was still fearful; she was still extremely reactive; she still canvassed the house and barked at anything and everything; and her prey drive was still strong, even toward my three sons if they were running in the house. Additionally, she continued to try to dominate and occasionally pick fights with our other dog.
After many sleepless nights and tears shed over wondering what to do with our dog, my husband and I finally came across Leonard’s website and were intrigued by all of the positive reviews. I must admit I was very skeptical but I knew if we were going to keep the dog we needed more help. Leonard took our dog for three weeks and she has been home now for over a month. I waited to write this review because I was convinced that once our dog returned home her aggressive behaviors would return over time. In fact, the opposite has been true. Not only is her transformation remarkable but she continues to improve and amaze us daily. Leonard’s approach is unique yet successful because he focuses, not just on correcting the dogs behavior, but on repairing the broken relationship and communication between the individual dog and owner. He has an unparalleled ability to read and assess both human and dog behavior, identify the disconnect, and design a plan to reestablish a stronger and more authentic bond based on trust and respect. Watching my fearful dog learn to trust me, relax and enjoy life in a calmer state has brought me more joy than ever anticipated. Leonard helped me see that the way our family was loving and bonding with our dog in the past was actually contributing to her fearfulness and aggression. With his meticulous instruction and unwavering support I was able to teach our dog that she does not have to handle her fears on her own and that she can trust me to be her pack leader. I am forever grateful to Leonard for teaching me so much through this process and for transforming what was once my greatest anxiety into my new best friend.