Learning to Lead

FinnIn January 2012, our family bought a male European Great Dane.  Finn became a much beloved member of the family and a good pal of his terrier brother and sister.  I thought that training meant housebreaking and doing basic commands like sit, stay, and coming when I called.  While for a little dog, that may be sufficient, it definitely was not enough for me to control a 175 lb. dog.  On top of that, Finn thought he needed to be in control and became aggressive with other dogs.  After a few incidents where I was unable to stop the escalation, I sent Jennifer an email saying that I thought we would need to surrender Finn.  I was heartbroken, terrified, and felt like a total failure.

Jennifer listened to my concerns and assured me that together, we could come up with a plan to help me better control Finn.  Many things she suggested were just little things, like making him wait for his food, that showed Finn that I was in charge.  I was also fortunate enough to be able to work with Kasey, 2SpeakDog's Large Breed Specialist, who has two Great Danes of her own.  I began to gain confidence and feel like I could train this dog.

I have stopped being terrified to take him for walks.  Finn has become much more calm because he can relax, knowing that he no longer needs to be on guard.  My whole life, I have had confidence issues.  There is nothing like the feeling I get from being able to control this huge dog!!  To go from total despair and feeling like a failure to where we are now is a miracle!  We still have much to learn, but I am so thrilled with all we have accomplished. I can not thank 2SpeakDog enough for all they have done for our family!

Beth

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