DIALOGUE, NOT DOMINANCE, WINS OVER DOGS -- AND SAVES THEIR LIVES, TOO
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DIALOGUE, NOT DOMINANCE, WINS OVER DOGS -- AND SAVES THEIR LIVES, TOO
by SBH Clay

Part 7 - In the June 2005 issue, a New Jersey resident who completed the two-day training in Moore's weekend clinic in the Garden State wrote:

Dutch and I have been together since he was just five weeks old and share a very special bond. When he was a puppy, I did everything possible to socialize him around as many different people, places, and other animals that I could find. Dutch was a breeze to potty train and very well mannered around the house. We began group obedience classes when Dutch was seven months old and attended religiously for the better part of a year and a half. At first, Dutch did well and got along with people and other dogs alike. I thought everything was fine.

 

Then at around the age of one year, Dutch began growling and lunging at other dogs. It started slowly, but it made our walks very difficult. On one of our walks through a local park, I met a woman, Laura, walking a wonderfully obedient black dog. She began to tell me about Judy’s book, Dogs Deserve Dialogue, and advised that I pick it up along with the video. I kept this information in the back of my mind, but I was determined that if I continued Dutch’s current training and believed that with “forced socialization” this behavior would stop.

 

Boy, was I wrong! It got to the point where Dutch and I stopped taking our walks altogether. Dutch had to wear a muzzle to the vet’s office or to any place where he could come into close contact with other dogs. However, the worst part of it all is that Dutch began to growl and lunge at some people. That was totally unacceptable. We enrolled ourselves in a special small group class for aggressive dogs. Although well meaning, most of the techniques they taught us centered on luring the dogs with massive amounts of food. I wanted Dutch to respond to me in any situation, not just if I'm holding a piece of chicken.

 

And so my search continued to find help for my beloved companion, and I remembered Judy’s book and looked it up on the internet, intending to buy the book and video. When I saw there was to be a training clinic in my area, I immediately e-mailed Judy. I signed us up and began reading. In the weeks waiting for the clinic, Dutch’s behavior worsened. Just two weeks before the clinic, Dutch jumped through the bay window in the front of our house, requiring 20 stitches in his paw. People suggested to me that such behavior was not safe, that Dutch was a liability and maybe I should consider putting him down. Keep in mind that Dutch has never actually bitten anyone, person or animal! I ignored their ignorant remarks, and hoped our training with Judy would work.

 

The clinic was wonderful!  I saw such a wave of calm come over Dutch in just a short time. And the smile on his face was priceless. Judy was so thorough and understanding.  I’m quite uncoordinated, and she always took the time to make sure I was doing the exercises correctly.  It’s only been a few days, but I feel like I have a different dog.  We still have a lot of work to do, but Judy’s training has given us a solid foundation on our road to success!

 

(Note: In the next quarterly newsletter, Dutch's mistress reported that his "favorite position is sit-stay. Who could've guessed? I can put him in that position and make my bed without him trying to play with the sheets like he used to do. Big accomplishment for us. With the informal walking on leash in the bubble, he's great. If he gets just a little bit ahead, he's constantly looking back at me!")

Go on to Part 8 - Here’s another success story in the June 2005 newsletter
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