My husband & I brought our dog, Dixon to see Leonard as a last ditch effort to keep him. Dixon was making life in our home miserable for our family, our two other dogs, and our 3 cats. Quite honestly, despite all the research on the Dominant Dogs website, we fully expected to be told our dog was beyond saving.
Dixon was uncontrollable – he went ballistic over scooters, other dogs, motorcycles – the list goes on and con. Our vet wouldn’t see him unless he was sedated, and we had issues every time someone came to the house (whether he had met them or not). My husband walked Dixon at 4 in the morning to avoid the many triggers that would set Dixon off; I gave up walking him after the 4th or 5th time I took him and he went after another dog an I got injured trying to stop him.
So, we arrive at Leonard’s center and Dixon starts displaying his usual “spastic” behavior. Within about 5 minutes, Leonard had him quieted down and relatively calm. Within 20 minutes, Dixon was behaving off leash (which we NEVER thought he would be able to be). While this, in itself, was impressive, Leonard went on to explain our dog’s issues and (although difficult to hear) our role in causing and/or perpetrating them. When Leonard had us try to walk Dixon past other dogs, Dixon immediately became aggressive and uncontrollable again. It was very clear in that moment that Dixon did not behave for us, the same way he behaved with Leonard. Frankly, it was humbling and ego bruising to hear that, despite our best efforts and all the love we could provide, WE were the issue, not our dog. Our dog’s behavior was a direct result of him feeling he had power over us. The amazing thing was that little things like moving our foot so he wouldn’t step on us, allowing him to climb on us to give us “kisses”, and us repeatedly telling him “no” when bad behavior was occurring (which really didn’t stop him anyway) were letting Dixon know he was in charge of us. Our unintentional errors in handling our dog had left Dixon confused to the point where he didn’t know how to BE A DOG!
Leonard advised us to watch all the little things we do that signal to a dog that we are submissive to him. We left after nearly two hours, completely overwhelmed with the things we had been doing out of love, that were, in fact. damaging our dog. We talked the whole way home about whether or not we should even own dogs, especially one as powerful as Dixon.
Well, it has been 2 days since our lesson and we have been starting to re-establishing the correct order in our home. The transformation in Dixon’s behavior (while a work in progress) has been amazing. He is starting to behave like a dog should and he has started looking to my husband and I for leadership.
All we can say is, if you have a powerful or dominant dog (or are thinking about getting one), do yourself a favor and book some time with Leonard before you end up at the end of your rope, like we were. If you are at the end of your rope, don’t give up before having your dog meet Leonard.