Joy and Cristina
Just over a year ago my family and I rescued a dog from a no-kill shelter in Ft. Lauderdale. This was our second rescue so we ‘thought’ we were better prepared to train this three-year-old mixed breed. You guessed it, within a few weeks, when our new furry family member became comfortable with her new surroundings she began training us. We named her Happy because we were anticipating the kind of dog we wanted her to be.
Happy was a shy, frightened dog that exhibited signs of discomfort around other dogs and was inconsistent in her approach with people. No surprise she lacked confidence knowing that she was surrendered with three other dogs and spent more than three weeks at the shelter. We live in a dog-friendly neighborhood with many families and children. In addition to Happy’s inconsistent behavior with people and dogs, she also liked to take us for walks. Happy would pull us wherever she wanted to go, dart for cats and squirrels and was not responding to our attempts to correct her.
We knew that we were in need of help but where should we turn. The internet was full of options. Overwhelmed with our search, we stopped looking, and Happy’s behavior was getting worse. As luck would have it, we met friends at a neighborhood party who also had a new dog join their family. Within minutes and without inquiring this family raved about the dog trainer they had found. As they described the changes in their dog’s behavior in such a short period, we didn’t waste a moment.
Upon returning home, we called Take the Lead. On our first phone call attempt, Tina from Take the Lead answered the phone. She listened patiently as we described Happy’s behavior. Within 24 hours, Tina was at our house. We were thrilled that she offered to meet Happy in her environment and become familiar with Happy’s walking routine, her walk route around the neighborhood as well as furry friends in the area.
Tina’s hands-on approach with Happy and the tips she practiced with us on the first appointment made an immediate difference. From managing Happy during the walk to recommending behaviors in our house, to Happy’s crate and lessons about pack leadership we were well on our way to being better parents for Happy. Impressed with this type of immediate result from the first visit we asked Tina to continue helping us be consistent with Happy.
Today, Happy is an entirely different dog. She is confident, fun loving and genuinely, Happy. And if you have never seen a dog smile check out how she ‘really’ smiles for the camera. Thanks to Tina, we can now walk Happy to the beach, interact with other neighborhood dogs and let children in the neighborhood approach her with confidence. And while Happy has graduated from Take the Lead, we still engage Tina for new tricks and tips for Happy.
Thank you, Tina, for your professional hands-on approach, flexibility in your schedule to accommodate our routines and always being available whenever we needed you. We could not have made progress with Happy without you! You are stuck with us as #1 fans of Take the Lead!!