Having a well mannered dog has always been important to us, and came easily with our previous dog, Frisco. Frisco, a Rhodesian/Shepherd/Lab mix , did what we asked with little effort. She was a great companion and a big part of our family.
When we lost her to cancer at 6 years old, it was heartbreaking. We knew immediately that we wanted another dog, but had a trip planned to Africa within the year and didn’t want to leave a puppy with someone for an entire month. We spent the next few months really thinking about what we wanted in a dog when we met our neighbours Vizsla puppy named Hudson. We fell in love and immediately started researching Vizsla traits, all which seemed to fit what we wanted. Medium sized, athletic, a good runner, good with kids and families, affectionate – sign us up!
We knew Viszla’s required a lot of exercise, and we were prepared for this. We were not prepared for the stubborn, and often TOO smart attitude, that come along with our little Rusty.
We were spending HOURS every day exercising her, just to have her be “somewhat” manageable in our house.
We did what we thought was the right thing and took her to a local “Puppy Kindergarden” class. We learned the basics, which she excelled at, but with a treat/food driven reward system.
Rusty learned very quickly that if we didn’t have food in our hands, she didn’t have to listen to us.
“Bribing” her with treats was also difficult in open, off leash, areas – areas we loved to go with her but always left us nervous if she’d listen to our commands.
We’re not sure if the food bribery started it, but Rusty became obsessed with treats and “high reward” foods. The tipping point for us was during an off leash play session with another dog in a park when the other dog’s owner dropped his bag of treats. Rusty of course went for the treats and ripped the bag to shreds getting at the treats. When we tried to intervene, she lunged and growled at us with her teeth showing.
Enough was enough, we needed help!
We found “Sit Happens” on the internet and after watching the videos, we were skeptical that the transformation could indeed be that quick and easy as all the write-ups said.
Well, it was! Sit Happens came to our house and within one session, it felt like a switch was flipped and we had all the control.
Before the first hour long session ended, Rusty was falling asleep at our feet, mentally exhausted from all the training. All of our concerns were addressed through the private and park sessions and we felt confident that life with Rusty was about to change, and that it did.
We often get stopped in parks and along trails by people who are amazed at how great Rusty listens to us. We rarely even use her leash anymore as she never leaves our side if in a heel command. We know that we are in control, and Rusty knows it too – the way it should be!
Knowing Rusty is a lifetime member with access to the Sit Happens training team for the rest of her life is also comforting. Even though we like to think of her now as “perfect” and are so proud at how far she’s come, we know that life is ever changing and she needs to change with us. We can’t rave about Sit Happens enough.
Our only regret is that we waited until she was 9 months old to start her training!
Thank you Sit Happens – you’ve helped us get back the Rusty we knew she could be!