I found Leonard after going through 3 trainers, interviewing dozens more, and all I can wonder now is how come didn’t I find him sooner. Desperate, feeling I was out of options to save the dog, Leonard was my (and my dog’s) lifeline!
My dog has bitten my mother multiple times. Immediately after the first bite, I told the trainer, who came over, sat loving the dog, and said it must have been a freak accident. Within a week, my dog bit my mother 2 more times. When I reached out to the trainer, he suggested doggie day care….. on to the next trainer. Needless to say, the next trainer claimed to have experience “rehabilitating” dogs, but their methods had no positive impact on the dog. Meanwhile, the dog’s aggression and anxiety only seemed to grow. Finally, he bit my mom again, and I knew it would take a miracle to save this dog. Then we found Leonard at Dominant Dogs and after only 2 hours, our lives and the dog’s life had new hope!
I went to Leonard for an assessment and a 2 hour training session. I have to honestly admit, I saw more aggression in my dog than I had ever witnessed myself (scary), but Leonard calmly worked with him and had him standing and walking without a leash calmly by the end of the session. Even with other dogs moving about freely around him. My dog probably put up one of the biggest fights, and although it wasn’t comfortable to watch (fearful at times for Leonard, sometimes for the thick-headed dog), Leonard NEVER harmed the dog, only treated him with stern confidence, even respect. Leonard also worked with me. Teaching me signs, how to interact with my dog and show him respect. He even challenged me to address how I handle things in life and how that affects my relationship with my dog. Most importantly it opened my eyes. We were so impressed with Astro’s progress and realized how much more training we all needed, so we decided to leave him for boot camp.
After his boot camp, Astro came home a new dog, but still with a lot of work and training for both of us! It has been a process, yet we are constantly improving our communication and relationship. We certainly have gone through peaks and valleys, but Leonard has always been there to get us past each hurdle. For those of us who believe that even difficult dogs deserve a chance, Leonard doesn’t give you lip service. He tells you like it is and delivers results!
Dog boarding eight months later.
I just want to drop you a quick thank you for taking such good care of Astro this weekend. It is such a relief to know that I have someone I can leave him. When I got him home last night, I fed him and he went right to sleep (at 6). I opened his crate since I left the room since I figured he was just taking a nap, but at 10 I had to wake him to take him out and put him in his room for the night.
Thanks for all you have done and continue to do for us!
I hope all is well! I figured I would touch base and update you on Astro. First, I was so very proud of him on Halloween. I have to say I was VERY concerned with kids ringing the bell and making noise. The first couple of time I kept him penned in his area, but he didn’t really seem too interested, so I let him out. When I answered the door, he sat patiently about 6 ft away back from the door and just watched. Completely calm.
Yesterday we had a bit of an incident. I give him a marrow bone that I freeze with peanut butter and propolis. I usually give it to him as I leave, but I forgot to give it to him yesterday morning and came home late, so I gave it to him while I was here. I was moving around the area as normal and he decided to curl his nose and growl. I, as if I have learned nothing, first told him “no” – no response. So I told him down. He immediately went down, changed his attitude, and let me take his bone from him. I gave it back to him as his attitude was still calm, and he took it and then wasn’t bothered when I walked around him while he was chewing it.
We still have plenty of work as he constantly wants to try to control situations and he still has his yank me off my feet moments when I walk him, but he has come so far.
OH! And I know that it is a scary thing, but Astro went up to my mom and sat and asked for love. I am so careful to keep my distance when he does it, but he actually is bonding with her and by his own choice. I FaceTime her every night and Astro actually likes to “talk” to her to the point that he actually watches the screen and animates to things she says. My nephew, who hasn’t ever met Astro came to visit a couple of weekends ago, and after Astro didn’t care that he came in, I let Astro and him spend time alone (He’s 13). He was well versed in what he couldn’t do, and they bonded immediately. Astro spent the remainder of the weekend following him everywhere he went.
You’ve done amazing work! I will never be able to thank you enough!