Testimonial 28 - Jillian

people aggression german shepherd gsd visitor aggression dog aggression

We rescued Jillian, a 4 year old German Shepard, in September. She was very friendly with me and my husband. However, she was a very nervous dog with multiple issues, including aggression towards dogs on walks, aggression towards people inside our house, and food guarding.

We had tried obedience training, which attempted to address these issues with limited success. Our breaking point was when she jumped over a couch and nipped a family member. Luckily, she did not bite. That was when we contacted Mary Huntsberry.

For our meeting with Mary we provided history and background on Jillian. During our consultation, Mary observed and noted Jillian’s behavior while discussing our concerns. After a thorough evaluation, Mary walked us through a step-by-step individual behavior modification plan for Jillian. Not only did Mary explain each step, she provided critical feedback as she observed us implementing each step. The guided practice was invaluable for our’s and Jillian’s success. Moreover, we immediately saw improvement in Jillian’s behavior as we practiced with Mary during the session. While good to see, we realized Jillian still had a long way to go.

After a month, we were able to see a dramatic change in Jillian’s behavior. She is now able to walk through the neighborhood with limited reaction to other dogs. Most importantly, if or when she does react, we have the tools that allow us to quickly control and manage her impulsive behavior. Additionally, Jillian has had two successful visits from family and friends with no reaction. She has a “safe” place where both guests and Jillian feel comfortable. Jillian also is no longer guarding her food, and will allow us to approach while she is eating.

We greatly appreciate the time and care Mary took to help us and Jillian. As Mary explained from the beginning, modifying Jillian’s behavior required a dramatic lifestyle change. For us this meant consistency, frequent practice, and much patience.

Mary encourages updates and progress reports via e-mail and videos. Recently, Jillian has developed additional problems with bolting out of the door (to the point where we could not go to work). We immediately contacted Mary, who quickly responded with additional support to stop this behavior.

If you have a dog like Jillian, Mary has the knowledge and experience to improve the quality of life for you and your dog.

- Alyssa & Benjamin Riggan from Severn, MD


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