When we lost our last dog this past spring, my husband said never again. After a couple of weeks our house felt very empty, and I knew another dog was in our future. I became very excited about adopting a dog from a shelter. Our first dog was a pure bred black Lab, so I wanted to try something else this time around. I was able to convince my husband, but he had a few requests. He wanted a dog that was at least 18 months-old, low energy, less than 40 pounds, and preferably well behaved. My daughter and I went to the shelter together and ended up driving home with a 3 month-old puppy named Snapple, who would top the scales at 55 pounds and is a mix of hound, smooth Collie, and who knows what else, and is like the energizer bunny! Thank goodness my husband is good sport…
I promised that this time around, I would make sure to train this dog so that she would be so well behaved, that my husband would love having her around. Our last dog was super sweet and we loved her, but I got to a certain point with her training and decided it was “good enough.” She never learned to walk on a leash, she jumped all over people,and when we had company, she had to be kept in her crate because she was so out-of-control. We just ended up putting up with her poor behaviors. I did not want to repeat that with Snapple.
I had the best of intentions, and immediately signed up with another trainer for puppy kindergarten class and graduate class.. I attended the classes diligently, but Snapple was not an ideal student. I was definitely the one in the group that needed more attention, but I wasn’t getting it. Snapple is a very stubborn dog, and I think the teacher was struggling with how to handle her. We were on a slippery slope., and I was letting Snapple “rule the roost”. We were letting her get away with it because she was just so cute. It was also summer, so the kids and I had all the time in the world, and a part of me thought maybe she would just become a great dog by osmosis…
When she grew out of being a puppy and was becoming more dog-like, we were really starting to pay the piper. She was all over the furniture, even taking our usual seats. She jumped on people, chased squirrels, and ripped through our window screens. She would also dig in the yard to where it was beginning to look like the surface of the moon, then come running back inside tracking dirt all over. She never really came when we called her, but she never disappeared either. Typically, I was always able to gather her up at the end of our hikes, and off we’d go. Recently, we had three hikes where she took off for a minimum of 20 minutes. The final straw was the day we were taking a typical off-leash hike in the woods. Each time she would run back to us and we’d try to catch her, she took off running again. Enough was enough. I needed help.
I had heard about remote collars from several of my dog walking friends, and decided it was time to give it a try. I set out to accomplish training her on my own with the collar, but realized pretty quickly that I needed help. Thank goodness I found Terry and Canine Magic! It made all the difference having her teach me how to use the remote-collar appropriately. Needless to say I am a huge fan of Canine Magic. Terry has endless patience, kindness, and experience. She has trained every kind of dog and has seen it all. She is always optimistic and enthusiastic no matter what your dog’s particular issues are, and she doesn’t just support you when you are in her classroom. She returns your phone calls and emails, and never seems tired of talking you through the training. If you try to move too quickly and don’t take the necessary steps to be successful, she doesn’t judge you or become impatient, she just redirects you back on track.
We started meeting with Terry in January and only 6 weeks later we have the dog we have always dreamed of. I know I will continue to train Snapple and she will continue to get better;although I sometimes wonder how much better can she get? She is perfect! She is the happiest dog, and I truly feel like she is thriving with the new limits we have set for her. It is possible to have a well behaved dog who is happy and thriving, but who also respects you as the pack leader and understands her place in the family dynamic. Instead of tolerating Snapple, we love having her around. I feel so much confidence now, that I believe I will be able to train Snapple to do anything!
Thank you to Terry and Canine Magic for helping us to achieve the best relationship possible with Snapple!