What made you choose K9 Pro to consult with for training?
I was having some major behavioural issues with my recently adopted rescue border x kelpie, Bo – particularly controlling and managing his on-leash behaviours. A good-natured dog in every other sense, Bo was, however, reactive to almost anything and everything that moved, even a falling leaf, but particularly other dogs. He would lurch, lunge, bark, whine and perform acrobatics, often tripping me over and dragging me behind him. I had consulted with two previous trainers regarding these issue, along with some other behavioural problems, but was making little, if any, headway. In particular, Bo’s dog reactivity was escalating by the day and causing me injuries, along with a plummeting confidence in handling him.
In addition to having one-on-one training to help resolve these issues, I was desperately researching ways and strategies to deal with these behaviours on the internet and found my way to a dog-related forum where the behavioural issues and reactivity I was experiencing were being discussed and brainstormed in numerous threads. I noted that Steve Courtney from K9 Pro was repeatedly recommended for his training and behaviourist skills and was also highly regarded by the forum regulars. Being a great believer in word-of-mouth recommendations, I rang K9 Pro HQ and spoke to Steve personally. I was at the end of my own leash by this stage and, sensing this, Steve offered me an emergency consult that very day. I literally put the phone down, grabbed my car keys, put Bo in the car and immediately drove the 2 hours to Steve’s training centre. In reality, I was pretty much at rock bottom. My battery was flat and despite receiving a very detailed and thorough follow up report and program that Steve had developed for us, I didn’t feel I had the energy or ability to drive it and so I returned Bo to rescue with a heavy heart and an extremely guilty conscience. I kept in touch with the rescue unit, sent Bo regular care packages and generally made a nuisance of myself. Bo, at his end, was making a nuisance of himself and his future was beginning to look grim. I was also in regular contact with a client of Steve’s that I had met through the internet dog forum who was making great progress with her dog with some of the same issues I had faced with Bo, particularly the reactivity. With my friend’s constant encouragement (thank you, Heather & Skye), two months down the track, I recontacted Steve and made a 100%, no turning back, commitment to re-adopt Bo and work with Steve on an intensive rehabilitation program that would include several sessions a week with me. Progress was swift. I never doubted the process would be successful, I just hadn’t counted on how quickly things would come together. Bo was migrated back home permanently after a month and we have never looked back.
What did you get out of working with Steve?
Ultimately, my sanity and confidence has been restored and I have my beautiful Bo back, who, today, is a happy, relaxed and well-behaved dog! I can’t praise Steve and his skills highly enough. Steve recognised and understood from both a theoretical and practical level, the underlying drivers behind Bo’s behaviours and was able to educate and equip me with the knowledge, skills and tools required to handle and train him with confidence, whilst also working pro-actively with these drives, rather than inhibiting them, ultimately helping Bo reach drive satisfaction. This has made all the difference. I believed I was working and living with a high energy dog (which I was and am) but realistically, I could exercise Bo all day and he would still be dissatisfied and unsettled if his drive needs aren’t being met. As Steve explained, I was only getting Bo fitter and wearing myself out in the process. Incorporating drive games and agility exercises into our daily lives and training has turned the neighbourhood “mad dog” into a relaxed, calm, well-behaved, yet motivated dog. Am I happy? You bet I am!
What is your relationship with your dog like now?
Oh, we’re tight! My love and affection for Bo grows by the day and I know I figure at the top of his hit list, too. 2011 has turned out to be an unexpectedly tough year for me on the personal front and ironically, the problem dog that caused so much angst just a few months ago, is now a constant source of joy, companionship and happiness for me. Bo is my dream-dog and I love him to bits!
What is your favourite K9 Pro product?
That’s a toughie! I love ‘em all! I don’t buy my gear from retail outlets any longer. There is no comparison for quality. If I have to pick favourites; for Bo, it would have to be his K9 Pro Crate and treat pouch! For me, the long line has been an invaluable tool in recent times for perfecting our random recall. I also love the quality and softness of Bo’s K9 Pro Leather Collar and Leash.
What I really need though is a bag for all our K9 Pro gear!
And any other comments you have 🙂
I would add, that I have personally found that all the services provided by Steve and the K9 Pro team are of an exceptionally high standard. My online orders are usually delivered the next day and an email query or problem addressed to Steve with regard to Bo’s training or behaviour is responded to within a day, usually within a few hours. The excellent reputation Steve and K9 Pro enjoys is, in my opinion and experience, well-earned and deserved.
Vicki came to see me after Bo had taken all her energy away with his extreme energy, he was reacting to dogs, lunging on the leash and generally not listening to anything he was told… He had been through a few trainers and board and train too, with no real luck. Whilst all these helped, they just couldn’t get Team Vicki and Bo on the same page.
I remember Vicki telling me she was no wallflower but I have to admit she wasn’t shinning that day. Bo had taken her confidence and it was a little late to re energise her.
Bo was sent back to Rescue where he came from and that was that. Well in some cases it is but not Vicki, you see she isn’t a Wallflower, she isn’t a quitter either.
Vicki contacted me and said that she wants to try again, get him back from rescue and give it a red hot go. So you know, people don’t do this, once sent back to rescue many people feel off the hook and don’t look back.
I gave her a new plan, we got Bo back and into the kennel for some behaviour modification and also to teach Vicki in small steps how to lead Bo. After a few weeks, Bo went back home and he and Vicki are great companions. The turnaround from a lady who was frightened by Bo’s drive to a lady who now encourages it, is quite amazing.
It stands testament to very lovely lady who has that internal drive to succeed.
Team Vicki and Bo are having regular lesson with Vickie Priestley now in Agility and all are loving it!
The above article was released in our November Newsletter and soon after this email came in from Tina in the USA.
” To Steve and the Team, I just read the Vicki and Bo story and I can’t tell you what this means to me, at the end of the story I broke down on the floor crying as I have been battling with my very similar dog for 2 years now. I have been abandoned by my family for not euthanizing him and trainer after trainer has turned me away. My boy isn’t vicious, he has never hurt another dog or person, but goes crazy when he sees one on the street. He is very high energy and no matter how much I walk him I can’t match that energy, I walk him 3 hours every day.
3 weeks ago I was walking him real late at nite and a guy had his dog off the leash, Sammy barked and whined to get to it, he likes to play but plays to rough. I held Sam on leash and the other dog ran over and attacked him. I tried to protect Sammy but this ended up in me being bitten by the other dog 3 places, the guy didn’t try help me at all.
I managed to get the dog off and it ran back to the owner, I was left cowering over Sammy on my knees, sobbing and bleeding in the street, but true to his nature, Sammy lay with me and licked away my tears and licked at my bites to clean me up.
Sammy had to go to the vet as well as he had bites all over him. He recovered faster than me but he seems to attract that type of attention.
At home he shows me so much love and devotion, I can’t even think to put him down, the anxiety I have felt trying to get him to calm down in society, sleepless nights and these strains.
This article has given me hope and faith, God Bless you Vicky for not giving up on yourself or your Beau 😉 You are an inspiration to me and I feel re energized and ready to work with Sammy again.
I am going to start the drive training as he has very high chase desire but have been told not to let him play at all, I am following your lead guys, thank you from the bottom of my heart!