Another Great Testimonial
Jeff, I would like to start out bygiving you a big THANK YOU for everything you did for me!!!
As they say, hind sight is 20/20 because mostpeople who get dogs do not realize how important it is to train andsocialize a dog and more importantly how we can ruin our own dogs andnot even realize that we are. Well I was one of those people. I triedto humanize my dog and I let my emotions control him. I would like totell my story about my little 14lb Havanese named Chino. It all startedabout 3 years ago, in a dog park where another dog tried to mount Chinoand not realizing that my dog could handle the situation himself, Ireacted. I admit, I didn’t know better, so from that point forwardanytime we saw another dog, he growled and lunged. I can remembersaying to myself “oh great, here comes another dog…” and I would move orpick him up to avoid the scenario. Little did I know I was making itworse. One day after reading a very sad news email about a dog that wasseverely abused, I decided to rescue a second dog. I wanted Chino tohave company and I wanted to open my home up to another dog that was inneed of a loving home. So I made the decision to get Chino trained. Idid a lot of research, at least I thought I did, and found a trainer.
Without getting into it, I felt so awful afterthe trainer left. I felt this awful, awful feeling inside me. I feltthat the trainers system was too harsh and basically like punishment. The whole experience did not sit well with me from the outset. As amatter of a fact, I must have broken down into tears 3 times throughouthis training session. What was even worse was that he didn’t give meany hands on training. He showed me everything, so there was never anypoint where he let me do hands on work and corrected what I was doingwrong. He basically lectured me and left. He also gave me a chokechain made out of nylon and when I would walk Chino he would end upgagging himself. It didn’t take long before I said forget this!! Itdidn’t feel right from the start, I threw out that stupid collar andwent back to his harness. I continued with my research and finallycalled Jeff.
Jeff cameover, we sat down I told him what my issue were, then he said “ok letsgo for a walk”. He gave me a pinch collar and explained how and whythey were the superior tool for dog. Now, just a quick side note aboutpinch collars, for everyone who ever looked at these collars and thoughtthey were come kind if Chinese torture devise, I can’t tell you howvery wrong that assumption is. They mimic a mama dog’s nip, mama dogswill pinch their pups when they disapprove of their behavior and that iswhat this collar does, it DOES NOT CHOKE the dog. Believe me when Itell you, because my dog WAS getting choked with the stupid choke chainthe other trainer had me use. Don’t take my word for it, read all ofthe case studies and research and in addition to that I put the collaron my neck so I knew exactly what my dog was feeling. This collar doesnot hurt the dog but rather surprise your dog at first, and then theylearn that the collar equals working. Chino actually darts towards meand gets very excited when he sees me take out his collar.
Now keep in mind, as soon as we steppedoutside, Jeff let me walk Chino and showed me how to do the commands. This was very important for me because I learn best hands on. I sawresults on that first walk, we passed 3 different people walking theirdogs and every time we passed another dog Chino’s reaction decreaseduntil he stopped reacting completely! It completely blew my mind! Sofrom that point on I practiced, just as Jeff had told me and Chino wasdoing great with his command, but I was still having trouble with thewalks. So I called Jeff (another great thing is he is always availableby phone when you have questions) he asked me how I was feeling was Istressed, nervous, frustrated, all of which I was. Jeff explained to mehow IMPORTANT it was and is for me to be calm and assertive when I waswalking Chino. Our dogs are like our little mirrors, they reflect everyfeeling we feel, they completely feed off of our energy. This was anissue for me for a little while, a personal goal that I needed toattain—my energy. I had some personal issue in my life that were beingreflected in my walks with Chino. It wasn’t that Chino was bringingthem out in me, it was that I carried them around with me and he pickedup on that energy. Therefore, even after Jeff’s training Chino wasstill acting out on our walks.
My turning point was when I finally rescued my little 10 yearold Maltese named Scruffy, he came from a pet mill and has no teeth. After he became acclimated to my home I began to take him on themorning/afternoon walks with Chino but what I quickly learned—and thiswas the point where all of Jeff’s training came full circle for me—wasthat I had to be more assertive with Chino so that he would not snap atthis new little defenseless dog. I soon had this new attitude, it wasunacceptable for Chino to growl, bark and lung at other dogs because nowI have to protect the other dog in my pack. So I made the decision tocommunicate to Chino, that his unruly behavior was not allowed in mypack and not only did I see the change in me but in Chino as well. Itwas an amazing feeling of WOW that’s what Jeff was trying to get me todo this whole time!! It took a small 9lb toothless dog to make merealize I had to be responsible for Chino and communicate in a calm waywhat is ok and what is not ok. I no longer get nervous when I seeanother dog coming towards us, nor do I turn around and walk the otherway. I now have confidence in myself and in my dogs that I can walkthem by anything or anyone and not have a problem!!
Essentially what Jeff does is train us! We arethe one that mess up our dogs. I found out after educating myself, thatin a dog pack there is a hierarchy—there is the leader then there isthe pack. I finally made myself the leader of my pack. Jeff alsotaught me about how important the tone of our voice is, when you want topraise your dog you use a happy excited tone and when you arecorrecting you dog it’s a deeper assertive firm tone, and believe it ornot your dog knows exactly what you are communicating! Jeff, I can’tthank you enough for everything you taught me about myself and aboutChino! I try to share my knowledge with anyone and everyone who willlisten, whether they have a dog already or are just thinking aboutadopting one. I explain how important it is to teach the dogs what isok and what is not, not to foster bad behavior and how black and whiteit is in a dog’s world!
TaraRomano, Pack Leader