I was a dog lover for as long as I can remember (which is a l-o-n-g time.) Growing up, we always had dogs. It was a different time back then. Every dog we had “followed me home from school.” Dogs roamed the neighborhood and we all knew which dog lived in which house. There were no leash laws, so when we saw a “new dog” in the neighborhood, we kept them… especially the ones that “followed us home.” It is much different, now. There are so many dogs that need homes… and more dogs are being relinquished every day. Sadly many are being returned multiple times….something needs to change.
…the recent past…..
The path that led me to dog training erupted when I acquired my German Shepherd Guinness. Guinness would react by barking, lunging, and baring her teeth to anything that moved. I could not control her and she just about put me over the edge with that behavior. I knew I didn’t have the training tools to help her. I tried to find help for her but kept running into dead-ends until I contacted Julie Dorsey-Oskerka; she saw the fear in my dog. “Fear? Seriously, fear?”
I needed to know more. The classes I took opened my eyes to a different way of communicating with my dog. For many dogs, fear looks like fear. For others like my dog, what I thought was aggression, was actually fear. So, from that perspective, can you imagine the misunderstanding and the miscommunication taking place between me and my dog?
The realization of that miscommunication was my “Aha!” moment. I think of it as “doggie psychology.” I became “hooked” on training my dog with positive reinforcement training, desensitization, classical conditioning, managing her emotions, etc. Dogs communicate primarily through body language and human’s primary method of communication is verbal. A communication gap is created. So, like many people training their dogs, I simply misunderstood what my dog was trying to “tell me,” and since I was “speaking” a foreign language to her, my dog and I were frustrated.
…fast forward to the here & now…..
A Sound Beginning can, and I truly believe, will be that needed change. My hope is by being part of the A Sound Beginning Program, and working with clients through The Path to Success, that we can bridge the communication gap.
My goals are simple. 1. To help a dog’s transition from shelter to their new home be completed in a safe, loving and caring way. 2. To help new pet parents understand their dogs by learning how dogs communicate so a trusting relationship will begin to build. 3. Through patience and practice, once that trust is established, a loving bond will develop. 4. Lastly, the dog has found their forever home.
Let the change begin…..