This is my story about why I became a dog trainer and want to help people learn from my experiences. Which were the hard way.
We got our sweet Puggle in 2011, she was cute as a button and as cuddly as they came. We named her Fendi because we actually thought she was a boy puppy by mistake, after my dad flaunting her privates in front of the local vet receptionists, we realized she was actually a girl. Like i said....the hard way.
We took her to local puppy classes and after 4 weeks she was trained right?! Wrong! Puppies never stop learning, dogs never stop learning, people never stop learning. I have no problem taking my dog Mags on off leashed walks, she's been my shadow since the day I adopted her and she always checks in with me on walks, so Fendi was our first family dog that was friendly and social enough to take to off leash parks. Fast forward to not continuing her training and we come to a day at the park a few days after Christmas in 2013. Fendi refused to come back when called, turned it into a game every time you bent down to grab her collar, eventually running toward the road and into a car passing by. She passed away on the way to the vet with Mags by her side. Her recall leading up to this event was less and less but it just seemed like a faze not the result of not keeping up with her training. The signs were there, but those random accidents happen to other people, not you. Thats what I thought too.
This is one lesson I never want anyone to learn the hard way. Our pets rely on us to guide them and protect them.
I spent the following month after drinking wine, wrapped in a snuggie, watching 4 seasons of The O.C. It was a pretty dark time in my family home. Then we saw a 2 year old Chihuahua mix named Coco for adoption, honored Fendi's memory by adopting and a few weeks later I signed up for a dog training course and have since then been trying to help others understand the importance of positive reinforcement training. I do walk Coco off leash with Mags but the training never ends and it is rare you will see me walking without treats and a clicker. I make sure running to me is more fun then running away from me.
Training never ends, embrace it, make it fun, I promise it will only strengthen the bond you have with your pup.
Fendi 2011-2013 *We miss you sweet girl