Having been an animal lover since birth, my house is always busy with two and four legged personalities. After much contemplation, we decided to add one more to our family. Her name is Hershey, and she is a red/fawn Bullmastiff. Having had large dogs before, and one tough experience under my belt, I knew, the second we got her, we needed to get her and us, in training. I did not want to be dangling in mid-flight, hanging from the leash if my dog caught sight of something small and fluffy…I’ve already experienced that!
A friend of mine, who works at an animal hospital recommended I call Jeff, from Sit Happens. She uses the company herself, with her crew, and without hesitation gave me the contact info. I called Jeff, and spoke with him about my concerns, and about training Hershey when we picked her up. I remember being told, “we are not only training Hershey, we are training YOU too!”. I thought, geesh…I’ve had dogs all my life, I’m not the one who needs the training…WRONG. It starts with us, responsible dog owners. We need to educate ourselves on their body language, behaviours and how to work with them, to make them feel safe, so they won’t feel the need to react. I could not have learned this without Sit Happens training.
We did start training Hershey right away, and all of those annoying “puppy behaviours”, chewing, barking, peeing, etc. were gone. I can’t even begin to tell you how much we enjoyed her as a small puppy, because we didn’t’ have to spend our time yelling at her, or putting her outside alone. She has always been, and will continue to be part of the family. She is treated as one of the kids. Hershey is over 100lbs now, and although still a puppy at only 2years old, she is an absolute pleasure to walk, and to have running around the front with me and the kids. She is the neighbourhood “baby”, and she thinks everyone loves her, nevermind her size. Hershey also feels she is a lap dog, so beware if you are sitting on the floor, she LOVES to cuddle and will try to crawl in your lap for a nap and a hug. When walking my son to school with my 2 year old, Hershey loves to join us. Upon arrival, she is swarmed by kids, and all I do is tell her to sit and then she is literally surrounded for hugs and pets. I think she gets disappointed if I don’t walk to school, because she misses her extra hugs!
Hershey is not just a dog, she is a member of our family. She is treated with respect and affection, and she more than willingly will give it back. I strongly believe that without the training we had (and continue to do) with Jeff, we would not be as competent and as ease with our “baby” as we currently are. My kids can walk her without problems, something I was always concerned about after our last experience. There is no price tag that I can put on freedom…being able to bring my dog anywhere, and being able to enjoy my time there because I don’t have to worry about her behaviour.
If there are any questions or concerns, I call Jeff and he immediately calls back and corrects me (yes, I am still learning too!) so I can then work better with Hershey. The training is on-going, and the support doesn’t end with just class. I honestly can’t thank Sit Happens enough for helping me become a better dog owner, and for helping us allow Hershey to become the fabulous dog that she was meant to be.
I am constantly getting approached on our walks by other dog owners, while wrestling with their dogs, they turn and speak to them and say, “see? Why can’t you walk like that?!” My response is oh, believe me, they can, call Sit Happens! It seriously isn’t TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, it works!!