Dear Diana, Bobby and Doug,
This letter is to thank you guys so much for all that you’ve done for our family and for our sweet yellow lab, Lucky. Lucky is a reformed dog because of your dedication and perseverance.
The greatest joy for my husband Danny and I is our yellow Labador, Lucky. Because we don’t have children yet, we devote much of our time and energy to having a great relationship with our Lucky. We’ve had him since he was 6 weeks old and love him like family
During the very early puppy stages in Lucky’s life, we had my 18 year old brother living with us which we believe attributed to Lucky’s mouthiness and aggressive tendencies towards his treats. My brother, for fun, would take things away from Lucky’s mouth and play tug of war with Lucky with his toys and treats. This must have been when Lucky started to realize that he had to guard with his mouth. I believe that Danny and I also contributed to Lucky’s behavior by spoiling him and “humanizing” him in many ways. We gave Lucky free reign of the house, walked him when he whined, gave him treats without making him do any sort of commands, gave him food first, and basically allowed Lucky to feel like he was alpha in our familiy.
One weekend when my sister came over, Lucky took her piece of bread off the kitchen table and ran under the bed with it. When my sister went to go retrieve it from him, Lucky bit her and she had to get 6 stitches in her hand. This initial shock made us panic and we called one of several dog trainers right away. The dog trainer that our vet had recommended, told us to treat his aggression with aggression and punish him for any unwanted behavior. With much fear, we obeyed her, but only to learn that his aggressiveness was only getting worse.
On one fateful afternoon, we gave Lucky a treat before leaving to run errands and as Danny went to pet Lucky, he raised his upper lip, growled and bit Danny’s hands. That was the last straw. We knew that we had to do something. Sadly, the thought of relinquishing Lucky became a topic of conversation. We knew that we could not have an aggressive dog when we were planning for children someday. My heart was breaking at the decisions that lie ahead.
Through a very good friend at work, I was recommended to see Diana Foster at Assertive K-9 Training. I picked up Lucky and took him over to see her to see Lucky’s temperament and get her professional recommendation. She advised me to leave Lucky for 9-10 weeks for deep unconditioning and re-programming. Although skeptical and very sad, I knew that the only other option would be to put him down, which we were not ready to do until we exhausted all possibilities.
The major issue was cost for Danny and myself, but I told Danny that if Lucky needed a heart transplant or a surgery that would save his life, we would absolutely do it for him, and this was no different. We had to save his life.
After what seemed to be an eternity (10 weeks), we met up with Doug, Diana and Bobby who advised us on what Lucky’s new routine – no more free reign of the house – and how we could continue Lucky’s overwhelming progress.
Since Lucky has come back, he is a totally obedient, loving and non-aggressive dog. No longer does he guard his treats, but he is more than willing to give them up on command.
Assertive K-9 Training really saved Lucky’s life and during the 10 weeks, they were more than willing to answer my questions and to support us. Bobby has been instrumental and amazing at working with Lucky and making his training a positive and fun experience.
Just in time for the holidays, Lucky is back with us, and we feel so blessed at his new lease on life.
Thank you Assertive K-9 Training!!!
Grace & Danny Lee