Success Stories: Buddy Needs Boundaries

Name: Buddy
Breed: Puggle
Age Range: Adult

The Problem: To put it bluntly, Buddy was out of control. On Lynn's initial visit, Buddy was running laps around the room, jumping up on the couch, over the owner, and barking. He would nip at the owners arms and bite the leash when she tried to walk him. Not only that, he would also harass the two cats he shared the apartment with. Buddy's owner had never owned a dog before and was simply in over her head.

The Solution: Two words: impulse control. Lynn worked with Buddy on basic obedience commands such as sit, down, come, and loose leash walking. This helped put Buddy in a more focused frame of mind and gave the owner some commands to fall back on. Buddy needed an outlet for all that energy though, so Lynn taught his owner how to initiate play on her terms and in a controlled way. By laying the ground work, setting some boundaries, and using play as a form of relationship building, Buddy's owner was empowered to continue training Buddy on her own.

Success Stories: Fearful Teddy

Name: Teddy
Breed: Havanese
Age Range: Puppy

The Problem: Teddy had many phobias, including a fear of other dogs and a fear of unfamiliar environments. Teddy would tremble and protest if he was forced to leave the house or go outside for a walk. His behaviors upset and troubled his owners, who did not know how to help their undersocialized pup. 

The Solution: Lynn took an immersive approach to socializing Teddy. She worked with him for 5-6 hours every day for a week, taking him everywhere with her, including parks, stores, and her own house. While at Lynn's house he learned to interact with Lynn's trusted coworker, an American Pitbull Terrier named Lola who had a PhD in balancing canines. By the end of a week, Teddy no longer shook in fear, and actually enjoyed being outside and near other calm dogs. In addition to behavioral rehabilitation, Teddy picked up some new tricks while in Lynn's care: sit, down, roll over, and high five to name a few. 

Success Stories: Kylo & Impulse Control

Name: Kylo

Age: 1 year

Breed: Flat Coated Retriever

Background: Kylo ended up at the county shelter after being hit by a car and breaking both of his front legs. Thanks to a local rescue and a dedicated foster his legs were able to be mended and he was adopted out to his forever home. Kylo is a typical happy-go-lucky retriever, with boundless enthusiasm for every aspect of life.

The Problem: While Kylo’s retriever personality is a great quality in some aspects, it comes with a certain amount of mayhem to pair with his exuberance and high energy. Kylo loves when people visit the house and shows it by jumping on top of them. He is constantly looking for something to occupy his busy mind, which sometimes means counter surfing, chasing the cats, or chewing on things he shouldn't. 

The Solution: Kylo thrived off of positive reinforcement and engagement, and quickly learned to focus on his handler for direction and reward. Kylo’s owner was given many exercises on impulse control to continue on her own. A solid "place" command is key for Kylo to learn self-calming and boundaries. Through "place" and other exercises such as "leave it" he is learning to practice self-control and good choice making.  

Success Stories: Wiley's Crate Training

Name: Wiley

Age: 1 year

Breed: Mixed Breed (possible Heeler/Jack Russell)

Background: Wiley, named after a certain famous Coyote, lived as a stray on the Tohono O'odham reservation until a concerned Samaritan was able to gain his trust enough to leash him and bring him into a local rescue group. Wiley was an extremely social dog, but had never experienced home life and didn’t know much of anything about proper house manners.

The Problem: Severe containment anxiety. When left in a wire crate Wiley was extremely destructive. He would hurt himself breaking out of the crate and once out, would cause damages to the house. When transferred to an airline crate he still attempted escape, rocking the crate over, chewing at the crate door, and “screaming” for hours on end.

The Solution: With much patience from trainer, Kim, and a regimented plan for success, Wiley learned to happily go into his crate (with the help of some highly valued chicken) and settled in for as long as 8 or 9 hours without an issue. Though it took many hours with only incremental progress, Kim knew celebrating these small successes were key to building towards the larger picture. After conquering the crate hurdle and learning a few other house manners, Wiley was able to be placed in the perfect forever home.