Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Leader of the Pack

We have two dogs, Hannah and Fiona. Sometimes their playing gets a little rough and we have to break up a fight. A few weeks ago their playing got so rough that Pete had to take Fiona to the after-hours emergency room and she got 5 stitches on her face (for which she had to have general anesthesia). So we were afraid we'd have to get rid of Hannah. We cannot have a dog that bites, it's just that simple. But we didn't want to get rid of Hannah, we love Hannah -- she's our first pooch! So we looked around online for a solution -- and we didn't thing that taking them to a once-a-week pet obedience class would work -- they only get rough at home (usually in the basement). Enter Barkbusters.
Kendra came to our home two (three?) weeks ago for an initial, 3-hour training session. By the time she left I was giggly and HANNAH AND FIONA WERE WELL-BEHAVED DOGS!!! It wasn't quite that automatic, but we are on the road to reprogramming their pack mentality. Turns out Han and Fi had sibling rivalry for head status in the household 'our pack'. Now they're learning that Pete and I (and any other adults around) are the leaders. The whole way the dogs are allowed to act around the house has changed -- we lead through doorways, we are the first ones to get to the door, we lead the way up the stairs, and they have to wait for us to give the okay. They can also Sit and Stay!!

Kendra is coming back on Wednesday for our next installment -- I think this time we will work on behavior in the yard and on the leash. There are no treats or choke chains -- just a verbal "Bahhhh" when they look ask though they might misbehave. Sounds so simple, but totally works! Carl (my father-in-law) arrived for a weekend visit while Kendra was wrapping up her session and he was astounded! He has already investigated Barkbusters where he lives in Sarasota.

I'll try to give an update next week after our follow-up session, maybe a video of them rocking out on their sit-stays in our still furniture-less living room.


Pocket said...

Wow! What a great idea. I never thought they were badly behaved, just...energetic, which I guess is the reason for all the fighting. Good luck!

Jennifer Wheeler said...

Awww! Way to go Hannah and Fiona! I always knew Hannah was a smart and fast learner after she mastered the whole "shake" thing so quickly. Perhaps the girls will need a certifcate for the fridge after they complete their training? :o)