Leonard is absolutely amazing!! In May 2015 I rescued a 200lb mastiff from a boarding facility that labelled him aggressive and needing to be put down. The boarding facility was so afraid of him that no one would go near his kennel for 3 weeks. Upon taking ownership, Charlie was moved to Dominant Dogs for assessment and rehabilitation. Even though the transition was tenuous to say the least and his drop off behavior led the initial assessment in the same daunting direction, Owner, Leonard Ludovico, didn’t let this stop him. Charlie was out of his kennel and running alongside him on a quad within 4 hours. His 3 weeks with Leonard wasn’t always this wonderful but it was a beautiful start to a journey that seemed initially impossible.
Leonard Ludovico’s knowledge and understanding of Charlie’s body language and behavior was incredible. Leonard took the leadership role with Charlie immediately. You would think a dog of Charlie’s demeanor and size would rebel, but he didn’t. It was exactly what Charlie wanted and needed. Structure, Leadership and Direction. This became the foundation for the trust and respect they developed for each other which led to Charlie’s ultimate success. The bond between the two of them was beautiful, to say the least. I looked forward to the pictures and videos that Leonard sent me on a regular basis.
When it was time for Charlie to come home, I was initially worried how Charlie would interact with me and my daughter. Keep in mind that I did not meet Charlie for the 1st time until about 10 days into his stay with Leonard. While having a healthy fear is not a bad thing to have with a dog of this size and aggressive tendencies, there was nothing more than that needed. Charlie was relaxed and happy. Leonard took a considerable amount of time teaching me and my daughter how to handle Charlie. What was respectful, what was not. How to read his body language. Leonard went above and beyond to ensure that my daughter and I were safe to bring Charlie home and that we were fully equipped to successfully handle Charlie during our bonding period.
Charlie has been home for 3 months now and is doing great, thanks to Leonard’s training methodology and personal weekly follow-up. The majority of all issues encountered were due to my handling. As soon as I adjusted my behavior and body language, Charlie relaxed and has responded very well to my leadership.
Charlie and I are bonded now and are ready for the next step in our training journey. I will be forever grateful to Leonard for giving Charlie the chance that no one else was willing to give him.
For those of you that think you have to yell, be mean or give treats to get your dog to listen, behave and allow you to be in control….. you are so wrong. It is exactly the opposite. I rarely raise my voice to him, have never raised my hand to him and treats to get him to do something are not part of our relationship. I have taken the leadership role by respecting Charlie and in return Charlie respects and trusts me. It hasn’t been an easy road but it has been worth it. Listen to Leonard. He doesn’t just say what he believes, he provides results. Charlie is a beautiful example of that.