I recommend Canine Country for training and boarding. I adopted a dog with a lot of baggage. She had an extreme fear of being abandoned and became disoriented when I would leave her. She would pull me on walks and lunge and snap at other dogs. This made our walks unpleasant. I could never keep her with other dogs. I had taken her to training classes specifically for reactive dogs when she was younger with minimal and short lived results. They do not use the typical treat based training philosophy at all. The best way that I can describe their technique is that you must establish yourself as a strong pack leader so that they don’t feel the need (and stress associated) with dominant behavior (tugging, barking, lunging in my case). If you have ever read or watched The Dog Whisperer-Caesar Milan, I would say that their approach is fairly close but a bit more dominant. The key that they teach you is to be a consistent leader. My dog is so much calmer now as I think that she is not worried about trying to lead. I was shocked to find her communing peacefully with other dogs in an open environment after boarding her there for 3 days. She continues to improve. This is not the place for you if you think that you can drop your dog off to be fixed, take them back home and live happily ever after. They can train your dog to be perfectly behaved but if you don’t establish yourself as a pack leader by consistently following the techniques at home, they will not respect your leadership and could revert back to their dominant behavior. Barking, jumping, lunging, and pulling are symptoms of them not respecting your leadership. If you are willing to embrace this technique and consistently follow it at home, you will have a much happier, well-adjusted and behaved dog. They gave me homework when I took her back and the owner has even checked in with me to follow up on my progress, offered tips for challenges and got on me to keep me accountable for the things that I had not followed.
I am a first time dog owner of a loving and stubborn Lhasa Apso. I have tried other training techniques over the 4 years that we have been together but my dog’s bad behaviors continued through it all. He would decide for himself when he wanted to listen, bark and scratch when left home alone, and run away at any given chance – sometimes right into traffic! I thought that I was just going to have to live with his bad behaviors and it really limited our activities in order to keep him safe. I am grateful to have met Shawn at Canine Country. I have watched him work with the dogs. He is consistent with what he asks of them. He also shows he cares about each and every one of them. I have learned about his philosophy and now better understand what my dog needs in order to respect and listen to me. I have implemented Shawn’s training techniques at home. His process really works! I now take my dog into social settings with people or other dogs safely, can leave him happily at home, and he stays closer to me when not on a leash. We will continue to do the work needed and the progress is wonderful. We are both so much happier! Thank you Shawn!