We had been searching for some time for the right dog to add to our family, and we found her in a rescue Doberman we named “Daisy”. Daisy was 9 months old, and had been rescued from an abusive and neglectful situation.
In spite of her rough start in life, she was friendly, playful, and great with people and dogs, if somewhat shy in new situations. She was also, however, HIGH energy, easily distracted and a chase fanatic! She would leap, bound, and whirl in circles like a Tasmanian devil, and her only pace was a flat-out gallop. . I was prepared to train our “Crazy Daisy”, but methods I had used before would not work with her.
Walks on leash were a frenzy of pulling and darting everywhere, and off-leash was not safe, as we found out the hard way. . . I signed her up for a dog hiking service to drain some of her energy, and she was fired shortly thereafter for chasing a dirt bike (and not coming back!).
I felt stuck; I could not exercise her enough on leash, and off-leash was out of the question. But most of all, I wanted to build a bond with her, and create a happy, confident dog who listens no matter what the distraction! I thought it would take years to accomplish, if at all. .
I had seen Jeff’s van on our street, and noticed him working with our neighbor’s dogs. I noted how well-behaved their dogs were; they did not stray from their yard, and came back when called. Curious, I watched Jeff working with his young Doberman Cash, and then I ventured out to talk to him. Of course, I was thrilled to see Cash working and playing so happily off-leash; that’s what I wanted for Daisy! I was ever so skeptical at first; I was adamant about not doing anything abusive or forceful especially because of Daisy’s past. Jeff assured me their methods were positive and humane, and could be used for ANY dog.
He was right. Daisy responded quickly, and is now enjoying the freedoms earned with a well-trained dog. I continue to expose her to new situations, and build her confidence with the methods we have learned. She was the star of a recent baseball tournament, staying on her “place” while I kept score, heeling off-leash through crowds, and obeying amidst all the distractions of other dogs, kids, and general chaos. She even refused a toddler attempting to feed her a handful of Cheetos! Keep in mind that a couple of months prior (before Sit Happens!) this was the SAME DOG who ran by a child and grabbed his hot dog right from his hand . . .
We enjoy the park sessions immensely; we have met so many fabulous dogs and their owners there, and I love the challenge of continuing our training. Next stop: Agility!
Daisy is not my first dog, but she IS the first dog I have felt confident enough to bring everywhere. Situations I used to avoid, I now embrace as a training opportunity! What I love about the training is how applicable it is to real life; whether I’m washing my car in the front yard, riding my horse, or attending a family event, Daisy and I are honing our skills and having fun at the same time. Daisy is now just over a year old, and we are thrilled with her;
Many thanks are due to Sit Happens for showing us how to uncover Daisy’s potential!