Owner: Amy Hill
I have had a long relationship with Good Dog. My dog and I have been clients there since Rigby was 1 year old. I started out boarding him there, then decided to put him in doggie day care one or two times a week, after seeing how much the staff cared for him. It was during these sessions that I learned that my dog was a very shy dog and lacked a lot of confidence, which in turn made situations with other dogs problematic. It was best that Rigby not be exposed to other dogs until we started training again. Even though Rigby had his problems, the staff did not judge him or me, which is something I’ll never forget. Most people assume that when a dog is aggressive, it’s because they were never trained or socialized with other dogs. This is simply not true. During this time, Good Dog had plans to start a training program, but had not chosen a trainer or did not know when it would be up and running. It was during this time that I went to other trainers in the area–some good, some very bad. After given the tools of how to make him a more confident dog by another trainer, I set out on training on my own. I decided to go back to Good Dog, sine that was where he had many of his problems. It was when I returned that I had met Adam.
I knew that Rigby had some problems, and needed individual attention, but was not sure what training techniques Adam could offer since we had been to so many different trainers. But after our first meeting, where he assessed Rigby, I knew I had to give him a shot because I needed help. On our first session that involved me, Rigby, Adam and his dog Frankie, scared me. Rigby was in Adam’s office with another dog and I knew how reactive he could be. The way that Adam handled Rigby and taught me how to handle him, but different than any other experience I’ve had. When Rigby was reactive, my first instinct was to exit asap; but Adam taught me that I was enabling his aggression.
After that session, I was committed to training. We met with Adam once a week for 4 months and slowly worked through his issues. Adam offered something different in his training techniques that no other trainer had offered. He took time every week for a pre-conference of how the week had been since we had seen him and worked through my questions and concerns. He was available by phone or e-mail to help me if something happened at home or if I just needed clarification on my “homework”. Through our training, Rigby has grown so much and worked through many of his fears, and is becoming a more confident, happy dog. We still have a lot of work ahead of us before he completely desensitizes, but I know he will get there.
What I appreciate most about Adam is the time he took to really understand where I was coming from and to help me see where I needed to be. I really believe that a good trainer trains you as much as the dog; and that’s what Adam has accomplished.