I was originally contacted by the owner of Juggernaut (called "Jug") when she was searching for a dog trainer in Harrisonburg who could help her to manage his dog aggressive behavior. He was deemed "severely dog aggressive" by several other trainers in Virginia. They told Emily that he would NEVER be able to be around other dogs. He came here for a week long board and train, and now is able to happily hang with other dogs, with no issues.
Jug's issue was NOT dog aggression. He had an overexcitement problem, which the other trainers misdiagnosed as dog aggression.
Jug's owner, Emily M., was kind enough to share with me her thoughts on life with Jug prior to his training at The Balanced Dog, and life with him after:
Juggernaut (or Jug for short) got his name because when we first rescued him he pulled so hard on walks (with his entire muscular shelf enthusiastically behind it) that he really felt like an "unstoppable force." But even worse than that, we were told that he was an aggressive dog and would always have to be the only dog in our family. So, we had ourselves a dog that had a fantastic personality and who we ADORED when he was inside, but one who turned into an uncontrollable dog when we took him outside and who would never be able to come home with us on holidays (because my family has pets) and who would never be able to hang out with our friends' dogs.
Before resigning ourselves to this kind of life for Jug, I called Jessica of The Balanced Dog (who I had found online). When I asked her if she could help us with an aggressive pit bull that was a maniac on walks she said that of course she could. Honestly, I don't think I fully believed her.
One hour into our first training appointment with Jessica, Jug was relaxed around her dogs (not in the full attack-mode that I had expected). We were impressed. After that we dropped him off for a week of board-and-train at Jessica's house. Within only a couple days he was walking with, living with, and eating right next to all of her dogs. We couldn't have been more thrilled.
We have continued to work on his training and now he can meet other dogs easily. He has had weekend "sleepovers" with other dogs with not even a hint of aggression. In fact, I would say he's quite good with other dogs! Additionally, he walks right next to us when we walk him - I even get comments on how well trained my dog is from people I pass on my walking route (who would have ever thought!).
I truly believe that had we not found Jessica we would still be sheltering Jug from other dogs and only walking him when we were up for an hour long tug-of-war. But Jessica gave us the tools, training, and expertise we needed to allow Jug to be who he was always meant to be - a fantastic companion. Now Jug gets long walks every day and has several dog friends. Not only is our quality of life better (because we get to have what we consider is the best dog around) but his quality of life is FAR better than it would have been had we not found Jessica. She believed in Jug when we didn't have the vision to.
She is absolutely our trainer for life!
Thank you so much Emily!
If you are struggling with your dog and other trainers have told you there is no hope . . . . call The Balanced Dog today.
Don't believe me? Believe Emily and Jug!