We were a one dog household for 6 years, and my parents were always saying that one was enough. But then about a year ago my dad decided that maybe we should change that rule; and add to our household. I had searched the net in hope of finding a perfect dog and we knew we wanted a bigger dog. And then I stumbled across Diesel, a beautiful brindle Great Dane puppy who needed a home. However, having a happy go lucky Golden Retriever Theo who was the only dog for so long I wasn’t sure that that was the right thing to do. But having seen Diesel we have decided to give it a shot.
So in February of 2008 we adopted him. Diesel was such a docile, gangly looking dog who was so sweet and loving. He could spend hours cuddling with you or playing with his four legged friend Theo. As transitions go this one was fairly smooth with minor hiccups along the way but nothing that we couldn’t handle or so we thought.
We found that on walks Diesel would tug so much that I thought he would practically take my arm off. Whatever method we used on Theo was not working with Diesel. I would make a correction with the leash only to have him practically bolt in the other directions. Then we found out that something sets him off whenever he sees another dog and he would start barking, growling and tugging on a leash. While walks used to be one of my favourite things, I started to dread them. I was constantly weary, always going in the opposite direction whenever I saw another dog, or taking them out very early or very late. Even Theo started showing signs of stress; he would join in with the barking and pulling. It was like living with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Inside the house they were wonderful but outside was another story.
There were also some slight competition between the two dogs and between them not getting along sometimes and disastrous walks I was ready throw in the towel but removing Diesel out of our lives was not an option. So I started searching the net for obedience classes, and I stumbled across “Sit Happens” web site. After reading through I decided to give them a call, and give it a shot. Sit Happens was very accommodating and managed to fit our hectic schedule. They came over and gave us a demo with one of their dogs. Saying that we were impressed would be an understatement and we signed up both of our dogs.
Within couple of sessions we have noticed a change in Diesel. His true potential started coming out. In those few sessions, Diesel learned to come, lie down and stay in place which was particularly important when people came to our house as he used to be too people friendly. I was also tremendously surprised that Diesel started slowing down for us when on walks. I was no longer being dragged behind him for what he used to deem going too slow. Thinking back to couple months ago, to the dog who used to whine when going to classes like its fate worst than death because he has to obey to the dog who now obediently prances beside us while on walks is nothing short than astonishing. While Theo was never a problem dog I was never able to walk him of leash because he still had tendencies to go his own way and make friends with other people and their dogs, and now will never stray from our sides unless given permission.
I am really happy to have access to such a wonderful training program. Sit Happens has provided us with invaluable training tools that we needed. And I know that when unforeseen problems arise I can always get practical advice that works and can correct unwanted behaviour.
Thank you for allowing me to enjoy my walks again with my sanity intact, as well as for unleashing my dog’s full potential and allowing them to be good dogs that I know they are.