Testimonial 40 - Ava, Kaia, and Achilles

backyard agility pit bull poodle chihuahua professional handling and everyd resource guarding

I was introduced to Mary through a really good friend of mine. At the time I was dealing with two extremely dog aggressive pups and a 4 pound Chihuahua that was setting himself up to be injured through resource guarding. 

We started off with individual sessions for all 3 dogs. First was Ava, my 11 pound Poodle mix. Her first session, we went from a completely unfocused dog to one that was still anxious with other dogs present, but could focus to me without having a complete melt down. We even managed to introduce her to Mary’s Sheltie near the end of the session! 

After spending a few months at home working with Ava, it was time to bring the next dog to see Mary. Kaia, my now 8 year old Pit Bull, had similar issues to Ava, but was more difficult to keep control of due to her size alone. My relationship with Kaia was definitely confusing for both of us. Through what I had learned with Ava, and with Mary’s help, we created an individual plan for Kaia. It didn’t take long for a much healthier relationship based on trust to develop. 

Finally, I was at a place where we could focus some attention on my Chihuahua. Achilles is as friendly as they come. His issue, and my fear, was his need to guard his food, crate, and toys from the other two dogs. Since he is so tiny, I was afraid eventually the other two would have enough and seriously injure him. During Achilles’ session, Mary gave me a lot of tips to prevent and reduce the likelihood that he would threaten them over anything around him. 

It has now been over a year since Mary started working with my dogs and we have taken many of her classes, which wouldn’t have been possible when we first met. The two girls are now in her agility classes and love every minute of it. They are both able to hear the other dogs in class working and remain calm. Achilles even got to attempt agility class, but it seems his only motivation in life is how to find the shortest route to food. So, we just let him do his thing at home while the girls go to work. 

Life has now become much more relaxed and enjoyable. My attitude and relationship with my dogs has become much less stressful. I honestly don’t know where I would be right now without all of Mary’s help!

Kelly O. from Baltimore, MD


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