Kyleigh is almost 4 years old. Between the ages of 18 and 24 months she was “attacked / charged / bullied / pinned” on 5 different occasions. Twice while she was attached to my bicycle. In none of these situations did she provoke any of these dogs. As a result of these negative encounters with these dogs, she became quite reactive. Meeting other dogs on leash was a nightmare, and I never knew if she would go after the dog or not.
In August 2014 I worked with a trainer / behaviourist who indicated that Kyleigh wasn’t aggressive, she was anxious and had huge separation anxiety issues. I was stunned. NOT the response I had expected.
I took two things away from this person: go back to crating Kyleigh during the day so she can’t pace the house looking for me / waiting for me to come home and secondly, teach her the place command so she LEARNS to relax and stay in a calm state of mind.
Kyleigh is trained – her obedience is immediate … it was just super fast and super pumped … not a relaxed dog but a dog that was sitting and vibrating – waiting for the next command.
Crating was a breeze – she loves her crate, always has. The place command worked UNLESS there was a distraction, i.e. someone walked past the house, squirrels, rabbits – these were all moral enemies that needed to be taken down ASAP. (Thank god she never made it through the living room window!)
A wonderful person recommended Cher to me. I’ll admit, I was very hesitant. At this point I had spent over $2000 on trainers and “behaviourists” to help me fix Ky’s reactivity and I really hadn’t seen any progress. The anxiety was down about 90% but we still couldn’t meet dogs and she was still freaking out if she was more than 6 feet away from me.
I attended 3 social walks with Cher and Monika and we clicked instantly. I’m a no bull kind of person, I’m very straight forward and I can be very blunt. I told Cher flat out that I was fed up of dealing with all these super positive trainers that wanted me to take out a second mortgage to buy treats to “cure” my dog over an 8-month period. These methods were NOT working and I was at my wit’s end trying to find someone who understood where I was coming from.
I explained what I wanted (not hoped for but WANTED) – a calmer, more relaxed dog; a dog that would stay in place regardless of the distraction; a dog that wouldn’t take my arm off if a cat / squirrel / rabbit happened to come within 1000 feet of us and finally … I wanted to be able to have a cat again. I had a cat when I had Kyleigh, he was 18. I died a year and a half later … and with her poor impulse control and super high prey drive, I simply wasn’t comfortable getting another cat at the time.
Cher took Kyleigh to her house for 6 days. When I got Kyleigh back home, I was STUNNED at the change in my dog! She was calm, she was relaxed. She walked with Cher with no freaking out that she wasn’t beside me. Cher walked away from me, with Kyleigh, and Ky didn’t even glance back (GASP, be still my heart!)
A week later I adopted a 4-year old cat. There were no incidents that made me think I had made the wrong decision – there were a couple of incidents, BUT they were ALL the cat’s fault!!!! Launching off the couch to land on the dog’s wagging tail is NOT recommended! The cat got chased under my bed right quick that day!
Her place command is rock solid and walking her? Sometimes I forget I have my dog with me when I’m out walking! I keep looking back to see that she’s there … and she is – calmly walking with me, tuned into me and just enjoying the walk.
I cannot give a higher recommendation to anyone I know that works with dogs … I simply can’t. Cher will tell you that she it’s not that hard … and she’s right … for her, it’s not that hard! I’ve seen her work with other dogs – she’s always calm, cool and collected and reads them effortlessly. I’m a certified trainer, and I have a very well trained dog … what I wasn’t (and will never be!) is someone like Cher – someone who has RIT – Raw Intuitive Talent. You can’t train that … it just is.
If anyone is ever looking for a recommendation, please do not hesitate to contact me … come meet my dog … I guarantee you that your move will be contacting Cher.