From the moment I have met my wife she has always wanted a dog but late last year efforts intensified on the dog front. She wanted a dog… I didn’t want a dog…. so we compromised and got a dog!
We made the conscious decision to get a dog from a rescue charity to give an innocent animal that had such a tough start to life a second chance. My wife was actually volunteering with the German Shepherd Rescue of Central Texas at the time. This non profit is nothing short of amazing. The founder Bev is so selfless and really give’s absolutely everything she has to finding these dogs a forever home after (in many occasions) a very rough start.
We opted to rescue a GSD who was 11 months old and already on her 4th home (original owners, 2 foster homes and the rescue shelter). She was found at the side of the road being attacked by a pack of dogs and pregnant. How anyone has the heart to simply dump a dog at the side of the road in the middle of summer in Texas is simply beyond me. She had obviously been treated so badly and was absolutely petrified of any man (including myself) that came near her.
It wasn’t an easy ride for myself, my wife or Athena and there was lots of transitioning and learning. There was times I really questioned the decision when she was so fear aggressive and disobedient perhaps not understanding the gravitation of the task we had undertaken.
We chose to take Athena here (The Canine Center for Training and Behavior) initially focusing on fearful aggression. The team (in particular Shari and Julie) were nothing shot of fantastic. As a bit of a self-confessed skeptic initially wondering if we could really undo the stress and behavior disorders Athena had developed I found myself very quickly learning from the team. Understanding how to correct those behaviors quickly. So much of what they explained was so obvious when you began to think of it from the dogs perspective. Shari even went as far as to complete a home lesson with us to assess Athena in her new comfort zone.
Last week marked quite the achievement for Athena as 6 months on she passed her adult obedience class. Almost like a proud parent I watched her pass everything with flying colors and even more impressive was she didn’t try to eat her certificate at the end of the course.
I couldn’t recommend this training and behavior school enough! The team are fantastic, their knowledge is astounding and they allow your dog to be the best dog it possible can be. We have gone from questioning the decision of rescuing such an unpredictable, aggressive dog to a well behaved, well mannered member of our family.
As Shari so wisely put it in training one day:
“I can’t expect my dog to like everyone she meets but I can expect her to be polite”