Helping people live the best lives possible with their dogs
K9 Training for North Bay Ontario and surrounding areas:
Sudbury, Sturgeon Falls, New Liskeard, Mattawa, Huntsville, and East Ferris
North Bay Ontario Expert Dog Trainer
Dog Training Success Story
I'd love to take a few minutes and tell you a story about a dog that would change my life in a way I could never have seen coming and why I've decided to dedicate myself to helping people, and their dogs, who are in the same position as I was.
A day came in my life where I decided I was ready for a dog. This dog, however, was about to flip my world upside down.
Like most people looking to adopt a dog now came decision time. Do I get a puppy or do I look for a rescue? I opted in to check out my local humane society for a dog and every day a couple of times a day I’d go on and check. Eventually, I saw this beautiful German Shepard only 10 months old looking for his third home. Immediately I thought to myself this is it!!! I have to have him and filled out the application.
When I got the call that we had been chosen to take him home I was over the moon excited. During the filling out of the adoption paperwork, we were informed Trapper had a problem with biting and mouthing. Our instructions were to simply stand still cross our arms and “be a tree”. I was told that I should never punish a dog or even say no as those are things deemed abusive. I had never trained a dog before so I complied and agreed.
Our first night home was an interesting one. After picking him up he seemed like a model dog even slept on the way home. We told each other “he’s so chill” this is great. We brought him home, had him meet my wife’s parents and there were no problems.
After a brief adjustment period we decided it was time for bed and went to put him in his kennel, that’s when everything changed. All of a sudden he began sprinting all through the house jumping on and over the couch, slip-sliding into furniture and barking. Finally, I got a hold of him and put him in the kennel.
This was now 1130 at night so I went up to bed the dog then began whining very loudly and I thought to myself he’ll just settle and go to sleep. This went on for hours and we were barely getting any sleep. At 4:30 am I decided to get up and take him out for a walk to burn off some energy.
The walk was terrible he was pulling and biting the leash my arm was sore just from holding on, we got back home and it was apparent to me I hadn’t even made a dent in his energy tanks. So I decided well let’s play tug and fetch that was working great until he began to bark so I brought him inside fearing that he would wake the neighbours. Then he began barking inside and I didn’t want to wake my wife so I took him to the basement.
He then began all the same behaviours as earlier with the added bonus of biting me. So I did exactly as I was told and crossed my arms and ignored the dog. This didn’t last long as he continued to bite me but instead of my arms went for my ankles and legs. It hurt and I couldn’t stand still any longer because my body was getting covered in teeth and nail marks from him.
Growing frustrated I decided it was time for me to get some sleep so I began my way upstairs from the basement. As I went up the stairs he followed biting my ankles alternating on every step. I remember being the top of the stairs when he decided to jump up and snapped at my face, instinctively I pushed him away with my hips he followed that up with a nip to my family jewels which cause me to turn around exposing my backside which he decided was a great next spot to put his teeth on. This was not the end he then followed up with a bite to the pec. I did not know what to do and at this point.
I was getting sleep-deprived and enough was enough,
so I got him back in the kennel and went to bed.
The next day while I was at work I will never forget the phone call from my wife. "Trapper Just bit my mother and she is on the way to the hospital. Naturally, she and her mother wanted the dog gone right away.
I called the humane society explained what happened and they were sympathetic stating I could bring the dog back no problem and get my money back.
When asked about what would happen to him I was told he would be euthanized. I was heartbroken even tho I had just gone through a terrible night with him, I didn’t feel he was aggressive nor did I wish him dead. I decided at that moment I would not let anything bad happen to him. This decision infuriated members of my family who were now scared of him, but I just couldn’t put him down without exploring all training options or at least getting an assessment.
I began seeking out professional trainers but no one would see me for weeks. A few days had gone by and tensions were mounting within my house, I knew I needed help right away.
Thankfully, I found Unleashed Potential K9 Academy on PEI where trainers Duke Ferguson and Sara Bryanton are located. When I called and told them my story Duke agreed to see me right away and invited me down. I remember clear as day walking in asking for help fighting back the tears in my eyes.
Duke took trapper for the day and did an assessment on him to see if he was aggressive or not and if he would be suited for my family.
All I could think about that day was to hear what Duke had to say about Trapper. Finally, the long-anticipated call came in from Duke and it was what I felt in my gut.
I will never forget Duke's voice saying, "Shane, I have good news for you." "Trapper is not an aggressive dog at all". "I see a young playful yet insecure teenage dog who lacks any structure or training and has too much pent up energy and no self-control". "He is mouthy, rough and playful when he is comfortable and comes out of his shell and if anything he is a bit on the insecure side and needs some confidence, BUT HE IS NOT AGGRESSIVE".
Duke scheduled a meeting with my whole family and explained everything that would be required for us to do if we were to keep Trapper.
I was 100% committed to training and helping Trapper be a great dog for my family so Duke and Sara agreed to take us on and help this was the first time in days I had hope and it was the moment that everything changed for me.
It was only 3 days into training and already Trapper had stopped biting us and was starting to pay attention and think.
It was within a few short days that I noticed a drastic change in his behaviour due to the style of training I was receiving, but still, there was apprehension from some of my family members in his presence. Still, I carried on committed as ever, seeing a positive change in him during every training session.
Fast forward a mere 3 weeks and I remember receiving a text message from my wife. This message was a picture that brought tears to my eyes when I gazed down at my phone and saw my wife and dog side by side and he was licking her face. This was my breakthrough!
A sign of light after so much uncertainty and proof that this dog even though I already believed it was not beyond help. The weeks following everything got better in our household, our dog was behaving and I was beyond happy that my hard work was paying off.
As time went on and things just kept getting better he later was able to participate in a local Christmas parade completely free of a leash and amongst many other dogs never leaving my side. This is was a huge accomplishment in such a short time. I remember thinking to myself that this was a dog destined to be destroyed and how many dogs a year meet this unnecessary fate, but what if I would be to be able to help people who may be found in the same position I was previously in.
I became obsessed with training and so began deeper studying, researching even offering to help people for FREE anything to be able to help people live the best lives possible with their dogs. I soon after began noticing I was no longer happy at work and all I could think about was dog training and that I had to pursue this as a career. I was obsessed and it became my passion. I wanted to help more dogs and people doing what I love. I was eventually accepted into Unleashed Potential K9 Academy’s Certified Professional Dog Trainer School and this reaffirmed everything I had been feeling for months and it lit a fire in me encouraging me to deepen my knowledge and skills working with a variety of people and dogs.
I feel blessed to have come as far as I have and I am eager and honoured to be in a position to help you better your situation in life with your dog.
If your struggling the way I was or just looking to enhance the quality of your life with your dog then look no further.
I am extremely committed to upholding, continuing and enhancing the quality, service, and standards that an unleashed potential dog trainer stands for.