Bringing Hope to the Hopeless
I work with some of the scariest, most fearful, and aggressive dogs in Michigan. But nothing brings me more joy than seeing them progress as I work closely with them and their owners.
One such story is of an elderly woman in Flint who recently adopted a huge 120-pound wild German shepherd from a shelter. When I first met her and her new rescue, Shadow, a couple of months ago, he was out of control, overpowering, was biting and could not be handled without a muzzle. He bit his owner three times. But she didn't want to take him back to the shelter for fear they would put him to sleep, so she gave me a call to assist her with training and behavior modification.
Honestly, I didn't know if I could help her or Shadow, since I had no idea where he had come from or what abuse he may have suffered, but I'm not one to say no, so I agreed to do weekly training sessions in their home.
Thankfully, after eight private training sessions, Shadow is now an amazing dog.
When I go to their house these days, Shadow greets me with a wagging tail and lots of kisses.
OUTSIDE THE BOX
For the past few weeks we have been training him outside to walk on a leash. The first time out Shadow was like a bucking bronco, high anxiety, and barking at everyone and every cat and squirrel he saw. After the first few minutes, I was able to settle him down and took him on a walk around the neighborhood. By the second time around he was not barking so much and was sitting in front of neighbors houses, meeting people who were outside enjoying the spring weather. Now we're working on breaking him of leash pulling and going to every tree to mark, he is learning to stay on the sidewalk, and only to go potty when given the command. He's doing phenomenal.
TRAINING CAN BE AMAZING!
Shadow and his mommy have taught me that no matter how hopeless the situation looks, there is always hope. So, if you are dealing with an aggressive or fearful dog that is out of control, barking, jumping, growling and or biting, I believe with the right training, your dog could be just as amazing as Shadow.
(Pictured above is "Delco" a German Shepherd I'm working with-- I'll share his story another time)
Lisa Freeman is a top dog trainer in Michigan who specializes in obedience, behavior modification, service dog training, pet therapy, and rescuing dogs. For more information about the classes and types of training she offers as well as pricing click here.
For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Romans 8:24-25 (NIV)