My GSD Junea is 2 yrs old, when she was a puppy the kids from the house behind ours would get up a tree and throw dried up oranges at her, hitting her several times, she developed a fear and aggression toward children, it has been very hard dealing with this problem. I have previous dog training experience, but I found myself at a place that I didn’t know how to continue her training and to get her to move past this issue.
I learned about Michelle from a coworker. I talked with her on the phone and arranged a date to go see her with Junea, I drove 2 hrs to get to her, all the way there, I was thinking and hoping that I was not going to be wasting my time and money.
I got there and met Michelle, right away, I felt comfortable with her, now I had to introduce her to Junea, I open the back door of my truck and Junea jumped out, it was as if they knew each other, Junea was excited to be in a new place with new smells and lots of things to look at. After a few minutes talking with Michelle about my issues with Junea and what I was hoping to accomplish, we got to work, she got one of her dogs out, (by the way, she has beautiful GSDs) she took Junea and I took her dog, we worked with them for a few minutes, and after a few corrections Junea did really good, slowly she got use to the other dog near her. We repeated the exercise with 2 other dogs, then we moved on to work on her listening and paying attention to me, and on responding to commands. Junea had a base of training, so she was not totally new to the obedience concept, I needed help getting to the next level. My biggest concern is the child problem, so Michelle gave me some advice as of what to do to work on it, ie. Change the collar, and have a better timing on the correction/reward part. That day after 2 ½ hrs of working with Junea and talking about things with Michelle, I left confident that I had accomplish a lot and I felt good about working with Junea at home. 2 days later I took Junea to the pet store and as I walk around with her, when little things arouse I corrected her the way Michelle had told me to, and I was getting really good results. When we left the store, I notice out in the parking lot a woman standing with 2 little kids, one 3 the other 5 (I’m guessing) she was loading her items in the car and the kids were looking at Junea, I thought for a minute, and I turn and ask the woman if it was ok if I walked past her and her kids with my dog, I explain to her that Junea has issues with children and I assure her that I would not let Junea come close to her kids or harm them, she agreed, so I started walking in front of them about 5 feet away, and as I pass in front I corrected Junea as Michelle told me to, each pass we got a little closer to the children and Junea got a little better, to the point that we were about 2 feet away, at which point I notice that Junea was relax and not really concern about the kids, I stop and ask her to sit, she did, and I reward her for her good behavior, at this point the little girl ask if she could pet her, I look at mom and I said, its ok with me if you are ok with it, mom was ok with it, so I kept my hand near Juneas mouth just in case, this was going to be the first time Junea had a child come that close to her and touch her, the little girl stepped forward and pet her on her shoulder, then the little boy ask the same, I agreed and so did mom, so he came forward and pet Junea on her shoulder, then the little girl came back and pet her again, at this point Junea was relax and curious of the kids, (she had never been that close to a small child without getting upset and angry and trying to attack the child) I removed my hand and Junea was smelling the kids, then she look at me and then back to the little girl and started liking her face, mom said, “look she is giving you kisses” I was so happy, Junea had just mad a HUGE change, she had let two little kids come close enough to touch her and she kiss one of them, not once, when the kids were petting her she show any signs of aggression. The next day, we had a BBQ at home and a friend came with her son, he is a little older, may be 12 yr old, I introduced him to Junea, and within a few minutes they were playing together. I have been trying to accomplish this for over a year, and after one visit to Michelle, we got it done. Thank you for helping me and Junea become better partners and overcome such big issues.
Veronica and Junea