I recently adopted a 2.5 year old female Pitbull, Nala, who has had two small incidences attacking other dogs. On our walks she is constantly “stalking” every dog that we encounter, and I cannot take her to any other homes where there are dogs. I can tell that Nala was not trained to be aggressive, but it is clear that she is fearful, anxious, and aggressive around other dogs while inside or outside.
Even though I knew Nala was not nearly as aggressive as the typical dog that Leonard rehabilitates, I still wanted to meet with Leonard because I wanted more than just for Nala to be trained… I wanted a teacher. I wanted to learn about Nala’s behavior and how to work on it, but also wanted to learn about dog behavior in general, and what different behaviors mean dog-to-dog and human-to-dog. Leonard exceeded my expectations in his knowledge about animal and human behavior. I did not realize in going to see Leonard that I was also going learn and grow personally through reflecting on my own behaviors, actions, and emotions that Leonard noticed and commented on. I now realize how some of my behaviors are perceived by Nala, other animals, and people.
Leonard does not simply tell the dog owners that he works with what to do or how to act, but rather he will ask a question that prompts a conflict for the person. He fosters an environment through his questioning in which the person must think about the conflict presented and then answer his question. Conflict creates change. This is how Leonard teaches the people he works with how to handle their animals and their lives. It is extremely effective.
After coming out of my first session with Leonard, I can truly say the money I am spending is an investment in both Nala and myself. Leonard is a trainer, a teacher, and a therapist. He had control over Nala within the first 5 minutes, and sent me home with homework for the week to help us build our relationship. Leonard truly is a master of his craft and I am so excited to continue learning from him throughout this process.