I immediately went home and made a few phone calls to find an obedience trainer. I didn't even want Sam around children for awhile. I was advised to contact Connie Dwyer, obedience trainer and behavioral specialist. I called Connie that day and she returned my phone call that very night. She was so gracious on the phone and spent about forty-five minutes talking with me about Sam and some of his behavior traits he was showing as rescue dogs sometime do. She advised me on some of the techniques that we could work on with Sam until classes started up in January. She also was gracious enough in the weeks
to come to answer questions I had through emails and more phone calls.
I remember our first nightgoing to class, Sam acted out so vocally due to a lack of confidence in himself, just wanting to play and lack of socialization. Connie took Sam and us out in the hall and showed us how to calm him down. Once he calmed down, we went a little closer to the obedience classroom and our fellow obedience classmates. We did this our whole first session working with Sam out in the hallway but seeing is believing and I am a definite believer in Connie's training methods. By the end of that session, Sam was calm and spent the whole next class with a group of twelve dogs. Sam has been in Connie's classes ever since then. We are now working with Connie on Sam earning his "Canine Good Citizenship".
Also when Sam first came to Connie's class we had him in a prong collar. We are now working him gradually out of a prong collar and on a nylon collar that was a huge step for him because he was pulling us all over when we first started him in dog obedience.
Connie is a true inspiration to us and she can take any dog and turn that dog around with love, care, repetition and positive training methods. She has a true rapport with animals. I have seen her work wonders with dogs that have come into her obedience classes. She as a behavioral specialist is outstanding. So many dogs get tagged as being dominant aggressive and that a lot of times is not the case as in our dog, "Sam." He just wanted to play and was extremely vocal. Connie watched his body language and posture and pointed out different things to us.
I would highly recommend Connie to anyone who wants to teach their dog with love, dedication and repetition. She is truly dedicated to her class and training dogs with positive training techniques, NOT FORCE!!! I will also say that our rescue dog, Sam has done really well with Connie's positive training program. So before you judge a book by its cover and think your dog is non-trainable, please give Connie Dwyer a call and sign up for her obedience training and if you have a dog that you believe has a true behavioral problem as we did, call Connie and set up an appointment for an evaluation. As you can see by Sam's picture he absolutely loves kids!
With Many Thanks,
Debbie, John and Sam
March 16, 2009