3 months ago, you saved my dog's life and saved me a lot of heartache.
Before I heard about Canyon Crest K-9 Training Center, I called a veterinary clinic to make an appointment to have my Golden Retriever/mix, put to sleep. I adopted the dog, who I named Niki, from a foster shelter. Before arriving at the shelter, she spent the first 5 months of her life on a farm with her litter-mates where she ran wild with minimal (if any) human socialization.
When I adopted her she was one year old and very fearful and shy. I thought she would warm up to me once she got to know me. I was wrong. Within two months, her fearful behavior got worse. The minute I would let her outside, off she'd run; even though I have a fenced yard, she would somehow escape and roam the neighborhood constantly. I had no control, all I could do was wait for her to come back on her own (which sometimes wasn't until the next day). It got to the point where I was afraid to let her out; I didn't want to take the risk of her getting into a dog fight or being hit by a car (I couldn't afford a kennel at that time and I refused to chain her up).
I spent hours at the Library looking through dog books trying to find a solution, none of which helped. Out of desperation, thinking that she was not trainable, I called the Veterinary clinic. I felt that having her put down was the most humane thing to do; needless to say, I was in tears. The assistant at the clinic talked to me about obedience training and gave me some very good advice... she told me to call you.
After briefly talking with you on the phone, I finally felt there was hope. You assured me, sight unseen, that as long as Niki had at least three legs, she could be trained. I've heard horror stories about how aggressive and cruel obedience training can be. On that first day of your training class I was prepared for the worst.
To my surprise, your technique was nothing at all what I had expected. Instead of using an aggressive method with lots of yelling, it was gentle and quiet with lots of praise. I saw an immediate improvement in Niki's behavior. After all that frustration and worry I went through, your class amazed me...it was so simple! I could hardly believe it! With your guidance, I have learned how to correct undesired behavior without getting frustrated; you have taught me how to be patient and persistent. After only three weeks of training, I now have a well behaved companion, who not only comes to me when called, but does so with great eagerness.
Even though Niki is still shy with strangers, she is a much happier dog now and loves nothing more than to please me. I thanked the woman at the Vet for telling me about you. If it hadn't been for your program, Niki would probably be in "doggy heaven" right now instead of laying at my feet, keeping them warm!
With sincere thanks,
Sharon S., Tacoma, WA