Jake had Fear Aggression
Jake is, by far, the strangest dog I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. I rescued him when he was four months old. His beautiful blue eyes, wrinkly face, and “I can do it myself” attitude captured my heart when I first met him.
From what I can gather, his first few months of life were rough. He was found by the side of the road with both of his back legs broken, and the day I went to pick him up, I also learned that he was (and is) completely deaf. After my first few days with Jake, it became clear that he had somehow been abused. Unlike any other young puppy I’ve ever met, he was very unwelcoming to touch of any kind. To make matters worse, I quickly learned he was not fond of other dogs. It started with growls and nips, and as time passed, it quickly turned into calculated attacks. I could see brief glimpses of his sweetness and softness at home, but there was such a thick layer of anger covering it up. It made me so sad to see him this way.
I spent months learning how to train a deaf dog and socialize aggressive dogs. Google became my best friend. But try as I may, Jake’s aggression towards other dogs became, quite frankly, unmanageable. Eventually, I had completely given up trips to the dog park, hiking, the dog beach, and any form of activity that offered a chance to encounter other dogs. I was sad, and Jake was visibly becoming very depressed. The quality of life for both of us had diminished, and I felt guilty and hopeless. I felt like I had nowhere to turn. And then I met Ralf.
Nothing I Tried Had Worked
I had tried other trainers in the past, and one had even told me that there was nothing that could be done for Jake at all. So suffice to say, things didn’t seem promising, and I didn’t have a lot of hope going in. I can’t tell you how wrong I was. Very quickly, Ralf taught me about being the leader and making Jake both respect and trust me. We learned that Jake’s aggression was coming from fear and not dominance, as I had originally thought. All of this time, I had been treating the wrong problem! As a happy side-effect of our sessions, our walks improved (no pulling at all!), and Jake started to let me touch him in places I’d never been able to before (ears, paws, belly, etc.). He had become more affectionate and calm and seemed much more relaxed.
Then, after two years of failed attempts, I was shocked and amazed that within only three months of working together, we could take Jake INTO the dog park for our lessons. Soon enough, he was off-leash, and it was only a matter of a few weeks until we saw him, for the first time, actually playing with another dog. He was running, wrestling, and jumping just like a puppy should, and all of this without any aggression being shown. I started crying right there in the middle of the dog park.
An Amazing Transformation
The change I have seen in Jake is nothing short of a transformation. Family members have told me that he is a new dog, and we are now taking regular trips to the dog park. I even took Jake camping with two other dogs, and he did great! I cannot say enough about Ralf and the fantastic work that he’s done with my little canine hero. He has changed our lives for the better. Thank you doesn’t even begin to cover it. I fully intend to call Ralf with all of my future dog training needs and highly recommend him to anyone with dog needs of any kind.— Jamie S. (Read the Review on Thumbtack)