I got Holden at four months. He was a rescue. He was largely indifferent to us and extremely aggressive with strangers. He was an alpha but bordering on fear/aggression with other dogs. He is very smart and you could tell he thought he was smarter than us. He was also extremely reactive to high pitched voices, hand gestures, loud noises and engines … I could go on and on.
I took him to a puppy training class with another company and he learned basic commands. He also bonded with us and that improved things. But when he was ten months old, I received a serious head injury. I wasn’t able to leave the house, which exacerbated all of his stranger issues and led to him being very under-socialized.
It was then that I reached out to 2SpeakDog. I learned from Jennifer Kyzer that Holden felt he had to step up and take care of me. That combined with his fears was making him a nervous wreck, and his nerves led to aggression.
Through an in-house session, Basic I and Basic II Obedience Classes, and many workshops, I can now tell you that Holden is a different dog. He trusts that I will look out for him so he doesn't have to be on alert. He looks to me for guidance in new situations. I’ve learned to keep him working, and to read his signals and react appropriately to every situation. I also now know how to keep him (and me) calm in potentially escalating situations. I can introduce him to strangers and calm him when he gets nervous/reactive.
2SpeakDog, thank you so much. The bond I have formed with Holden as a result of this training has been monumentally important to me as I continue to recover from my head injury. And if he could talk, I know Holden would be thanking you, too.