Nikko, Rottweiler male, age 2
Rocky Junior and I met Nikko, a strikingly handsome Rottweiler, and his new parents, Erica and Vern, in the fall of 2011. Erica and Vern had recently went through the loss of their elderly dog, and discovered Nikko on a rescue group's web site, falling in love with him right away. They went to meet Nikko and adopted him immediately; he seemed to be a gentle, intelligent dog, just perfect - or so they thought.
As soon as Nikko went out in public he began exhibiting fearful behavior, barking, growling and lunging towards other dogs and people. Erica and Vern were terrified - what was wrong with this dog? Thankfully they met Rocky Junior and I right away. We gave them lots of great advice, and got Nikko into training immediately. Though he was nervous in class, Nikko learned quickly and did very well. Then, one day, he had a potentially violent, scary outburst upon seeing something he wasn't familiar with. I knew this was due to his not receiving training and socialization as a puppy, and because he was an adult dog, specialized work was needed to modify or eliminate his frightening behavior.
Rocky Junior was a young puppy at the time, only about 12 weeks old and weighing maybe 20 pounds (vs. Nikko's 125!). We began doing private, one on one lessons with Nikko and Erica, using a number of counter-conditioning exercises to desensitize Nikko to the stimuli that caused his reactions. Rocky Junior was the star of the sessions, playing his role as a non-reactive dog to perfection. We also worked hard to build focus in Nikko, and after only four hours of training we had a non-reactive, highly focused and calm Rottweiler on our hands! Erica and Vern were overjoyed, and so thankful that they could now share their lives with the wonderful dog they knew Nikko was always meant to be.
Nikko passed the AKC Canine Good Citizen test after completing his training, overcoming his fear and aggression issues to become a great dog, just like Rocky, whom you can read about in OUR STORY. Nikko just needed the help of someone knowledgeable, compassionate and caring to show him the way - along with a lot of help from a young puppy named Rocky Junior! Nikko's story is incredible, yet one any dog with behavioral problems can share - all they need is the right help.
Rocky Junior and I have had many successes we could share, from Rocky to Nikko, both troubled Rottweilers, with many more great stories in between, as well as after.
Picking and choosing whose story to share is a tall order, and we don't have photos available for all the dogs whose stories we might tell. Though transforming a troubled, "aggressive" dog into a great citizen is a highly rewarding thing, I do consider every dog a success. If we have worked with you and your dog and you'd like to be featured here, please feel free to contact me.
There are two important concepts I convey to potential clients:
1. Training is the best investment you will ever make in your dog; and
2. Dogs and their behavior are products of their environment, most importantly their people.
Please take a few minutes to read some of our success stories, and seriously consider investing in training for you and your dog. It's the right thing to do.
Rocky Junior, Ft Lewis Dog Park, 2012