We knew Brownie was rescued by Dr. Steve from Healthy Paws and that she was in pretty bad shape when he rescued her. Because of that we were told that she was dog reactive and probably would never be able to live with another dog. That we thought was fact because when we introduced her to my mom's dog she got along okay the first 15 minutes then when my mom's dog showed teeth to get Brownie to back off, Brownie went after her. We basically gave up until we met Mike. We found out that that she was really anxious when she was around other dogs. Mike showed us how to work with her to help her relax and not be so aggressive. We were able to successfully adopt a puppy because of his tips on positive reinforcement and now have a great pair of pups that are learning from each other. Brownie will cuddle with the puppy and bring her toys to play with. They both LOVE playing tug!
Thanks all to Mike and his experience! I couldn't have asked for a better outcome!
Mike has been an invaluable resource for me when I became interested in helping Larry find his forever family. Larry was a troubled young dog that had been through a traumatic car accident and ended up at Healthy Paws without a foster. He had become barrier reactive and aggressive towards other dogs.
When we first met, he was a ball of anxiety, pulling hard on the leash to get to the other dogs in the session. Mike had to loop the leash to give me more control. Armed with a bag of chopped hot dogs, I learned from Mike how to distract Larry when he became too focused on getting to the nearest dog. I learned how to get Larry to focus on me and reward him for exhibiting desired behaviors. We walked a lot and tired poor Larry out. The mental focus from the training also made him a much calmer dog…. We thought that he deserved to be away from the stress of the kennel, so we decided to try to foster Larry at home.
Mike was very generous with his time and advice on how to keep peace in our home. We have two large dogs who are very protective of me… Mike offered to show us how to properly introduce the dogs and how to spot, through body language, how they were feeling or if there was a possible problem. After two long months of implementing all that we learned from the training sessions, plus follow up questions to Mike, who was always readily available and extremely responsive, we finally allowed Larry to hang out with the entire family... I think they non-stop played for hours that first day! Now, the gates are down and Larry is fully integrated into the family. He is living the life of a much loved family member… We are very grateful to Mike and LDDR for giving us the, resources, tools and techniques to get through to Larry and help him become his better self.
UPDATE: Larry has since been adopted and is happily in his forever home!
Our dog Zeus had bit a person and was getting very aggressive towards other dogs. It had reached a point where we felt that we couldn't handle him and would have to return him to the rescue. The whole family was sad with this decision. When I contacted the rescue they referred us to Mike. It's about a year later and Zeus is still a member of our family. Mike taught me a lot about reactive dogs and how to work with them. Zeus went from having to observe the class from across the parking lot to training next to other dogs. I'm not saying Zeus is perfect(we will be training for life) but he has made amazing progress. In conclusion, if not for Mike Zeus would still be a part of our family. My family is very thankful for the training Mike has provided for Zeus.
In June of last year, my fiance and I adopted a rescue dog we named Lacey. Lacey bonded with our other puppy, and she took right to our family immediately. We started attending Mike's training classes to get to know Lacey and her people/canine socialization skills. Lacey seemed to be somewhat fearful of strangers. Mike showed us how, using positive reinforcement, we can make each experience Lacey has with a stranger a positive experience which will help with her fear. He stressed to us the importance of not forcing Lacey near strangers and flooding her, but letting her make the choice to approach people at her own pace and praising her for each of these positive experiences. Lacey also struggled with socialization with other dogs. Mike worked with us to learn to read her body language. Soon enough, we were able to notice her hackles, her ears, her tail, her mouth, etc and know what she was feeling and what we needed to do to help her succeed. Mike helped us learn to clicker train Lacey. He provided us with helpful material to help us understand when to click, and how it would benefit Lacey. We saw improvement, but it was determined Lacey needed additional help. Mike consulted with colleagues and after speaking with them and having Lacey evaluated in one on one situations, we decided that speaking with the vet about medication would be the best route for her success. Lacey is now on medication, and is making even more progress than before. Situations where she would usually go over threshold in seconds, we are now able to use as training tools and create positive experiences for Lacey. We also learned about Baskerville muzzles and this has become an important part of her training and socialization. Through proper muzzle training, Lacey feels safe and more comfortable in certain situations when she has her muzzle on. As owners, we also are able to feel more comfortable and confident in each training session knowing that Lacey and the people around her are all safe. We are very thankful for Mike's dedication and for all the information he has given us to help Lacey succeed.
I was having issues with a very young foster pup. He would get overly excited and bite really hard, drawing blood and leaving bruises. I was concerned he would be returned after getting adopted if we didn't address this behavior right away, and was proving to be beyond my expertise. At the time Mike was a new trainer with LDDR and I very much liked his choice of modality. Not to mention, it was obvious he got excellent results. After reaching out to him, and without hesitation, Mike agreed to take little Poet under his wing and into his home, where he worked to redirect the unwanted behavior. Since this time, Poet has been adopted and is living happily ever after in his forever home.