A testimonial from Tommy!
It had been roughly ten years since we had brought a puppy into the house. We lost our beloved Rottie and it took us an additional year after that drama to finally decide on a little yellow Labrador Retriever that we promptly named Tommy. We flew Thomas down from Washington State, and were elated that he captured the heart of every person who laid eyes on him. He was a wonderful delight in the beginning, however, I am not 20 years old anymore. More like 55… And as the housebreaking routine was begun, my husband and I found ourselves sleep-deprived, irritable, and eventually disenchanted with the whole puppy-rearing process. Knowing our little boy was too young for harsh discipline, yet not knowing exactly what to do to teach him, we grew frustrated and weary from the chewing, piddling and constant attention that a really young dog requires. Our old Rottweiler had been almost intuitive about how to fit in with our family, and after a long and mellow life with us, she had been no trouble. But now we found ourselves lost in the nightmare of the psycho puppy. With bags under my eyes, my forearms scabby from all the playful pricks of little puppy teeth, and a husband who mumbled constantly about having to replace the molding Tommy had chewed around a couple doorways, I was desperate. I did a frantic search on the Internet and that’s when Barbara Davis came to our rescue.
Barbara sat down with us and our dog, and things started to change in our household from that very first meeting. She helped us understand the breed we now had, what and when to feed him, and the kind of potty schedule we needed to implement. She taught us how to communicate with simple kinds of motivational techniques…specifically boiled chicken in the beginning. We discovered Tommy would do ANYTHING for a little tidbit of boiled chickie! Barbara inspected our home and taught Tommy to actually like crate training. To this day, he still loves his crate and will enter instantly upon command…no forcing the issue. She helped us understand the usefulness of martingale collars as opposed to the metal types we were originally using. She guided me though the potential hazards of different doggie daycare facilities and helped us realize the potential problems for puppies at dog parks. Who knew?! I surely didn’t. Additionally, Barbara went out of her way to connect us with a terrific consulting orthopedic surgeon when Tommy hurt his knee, and she gave me tremendous emotional support when I needed it the most. Tommy benefited because of the suggestions she made for me to help him cope with confinement after surgery. For all those things…I am eternally grateful to Barb.
Barbara Davis is a wonderful dog behaviorist and a very special kind of trainer. As an owner, you will need to be committed and will need to follow-through, but if you heed the advice she gives you, and if you practice on a regular basis, you will come close to enjoying the perfect dog as we do now… Your dog will mind you—not out of fear or forced respect—but because he/she will have a loving relationship with you and will want to please you. Tommy is two-years-old and the best dog we’ve ever had because we finally found a way to understand each other… thanks to Barbara!
Connie and Steve Kunick