Coleen is a 3-year old Flat Coat Retriever mix rescue dog that we adopted on a trip to Raleigh, North Carolina, late last summer. We are unaware of her background other than she came from a high kill shelter and was being treated by my daughter’s vet for heartworm and had difficulty with her spay operation. When we picked her up at the vet’s, she was under heavy sedation; so we were unaware of what her true disposition was. What we saw as the medication wore off was a dog that was frightened, untrusting, insecure and not people friendly. Both my wife and I agonized over what we should do with her. Should we keep her or return her? We both felt that could very well lead to her euthanasia if her behavior did not change. We decided against returning her to an unknown fate and began a search for a trainer(s) who could help us modify her behavior. We selected Wet Nose Dog Training Academy to help us. The first step was to have the trainers come to our house and do an evaluation of Coleen as to whether or not her behavior could be modified. After seeing what Coleen was like, both Gil and Susie felt that there was hope for her; they could help us make her gain the confidence that she needs. Gil and Susie came back with a plan of action designed to desensitize and recondition her behavior. The training moved at a pace that was comfortable for Coleen and did not overly stress her. Both Gil and Susie seemed to have an excellent understanding of animal behavior and were able to read Coleen’s actions and responses. Her training began with the simple commands of sit, down and stay with treats as rewards for obeying these commands. We went for walks in the neighborhood to get her used to passing cars and people. As the weeks passed Coleen accepted both Gil and Susie and greeted them when they came in to our house. When Gil felt that Coleen was ready, he introduced her to his dog, Bruno to socialize and see how well she would get along with other dogs. Coleen was also introduced to Montana, which is Susie’s dog. As time progressed there were walks down the main street in Nashua to introduce Coleen to more people, more traffic, and more noise. But perhaps the most enjoyable moment was when we took Coleen and the trainers’ dogs for a walk in the woods in South Nashua. To see her run free and play and enjoy the freedom that she had showed us made us realize that the time and cost was well worth the results. While we still need to work with Coleen to improve her confidence and behavior, both my wife and I feel that we made the right choice in our selection of trainers. We know what we need to do, and we will stay in touch with both Gil and Susie on any issues that might arise.
I would heartily recommend The Wet Nose Dog Training Academy to anyone who is seeking help in behavior modification or training. Both Gil and Susie seem to have a keen sense of animal behavior and are very adept at both reading and understanding a dog’s signals. Their patience and dedication to their work, their love of animals, and their understanding of both the owners and their pets are truly remarkable.