Your dog will thank you.
Thank goodness I found Brandon. I was about to become an alcoholic from drinking wine before walking my dog to stay calm lol.
I had been made a little afraid of dogs because a friend would have me walk his Doberman while he had his African Boerbol (both HUGE dogs). They would pull like CRAZY and growl and lurch at dogs across the street. It was torture. Dog aggression ahoy!
When I went to the shelter looking for a dog of my own, my #1 concern was that it was "dog-friendly." and had no dog aggression. I never pictured my dog as a 76 pound pit bull with cropped ears, but she was so sweet and IGNORED all the other dogs in the shelter no matter how much they barked at her. So I adopted her.
She and I walked around the neighborhood for days meeting other dogs-- no problem. Then one day she met a mid-sized dog (not sure of breed) and I was feeling nervous, the little boy with the dog was afraid of mine and I think I might have pulled her leash. All the sudden they were both on hind legs growling at each other. Pulled them apart and they were both calm, but I was freaked.
I started looking for help training and found a PhD. in Animal Behavior or whatnot and told him my story and he said she should come to his class in the park wearing a muzzle. She was fine while sniffing the other dogs before class, but the second we started in weird formations and I was instructed to just drag her through against her will, she started shutting down and growling at all the dogs and lurching. I felt weird and she was obviously over her threshold. I wish I would have left the second she showed how uncomfortable she was.
Then I tried a "camp" that said they rehabilitate shelter dogs and could help socialize her and do training. After going there four days and spending $440, I didn't feel like we were getting anywhere. Also, the last day I brought her, the girl said "I take her to 'iso" right?" Meaning isolation -- so she's in some cell the majority of the day and only comes out a few times during the day. Great. I'm sure that's helping her mental health. And they seemed to focus on training vs. behavior (she can do "sit" and "stay" just fine -- that was not the problem.)
So I searched some more. I found a thread here on yelp were someone recommended Brandon. I looked at his site and watched a vid and his techniques resonated with me-- be more instinctual and don't think so much. I called and he called back right away and we went in two days later for an eval. That day she got right in the mix with all the other dogs and even wolves! I saw video of what she did that day running around having a blast. She just played with all of them. She didn't fight lol. Just doggie play fighting.
My dog was probably just all pent up and needed to get out and play like a dog to settle after all the drama she's been through in the last couple months being a shelter dog. And I needed to learn to chill and NOT pull on the leash when she is meeting another dog. We are going back tomorrow so she can play some more. I also got tips that made sense to me about how to be with her at home. These tips are actually EASIER to follow than complicated training I read about in my mountain of dog training library books.
Dr. Pat Allen deals with relationships(human) and I remember her talking about knowing what you "don't want" as the key to getting what you want in a relationship. That's kinda his advice -- just let the dog be and not try to automate its every action and then stop it if it's doing something you don't want. When you are talking a whole lot less, it will listen because when you do speak, it's important.
It's working! We are happy! (She's snoring at my feet she's so tired from running around playing with dogs today) If you have a problem with dog aggression you don't need training, you need behavior help so, get your pooch to Brandon
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