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Karren, Kevin and Darby

Although we are a little over half way through our training sessions with Kathy, I know that I have received a priceless experience for my dog as well as my boyfriend and I.

Our dog Darby was my first dog as an adult and my boyfriend's first dog in general. We were a little less than careful when deciding to bring him in to our family. I made a rash decision in adopting a dog and as a rescue dog, we knew little about where he came from. As he grew to a year old, we researched his breed based on looks and characteristics and realized that we had a Dutch Shepherd mix, a high energy, high drive dog, that was becoming increasingly aggressive with other dogs and some people.

Darby was insecure around other dogs and did not have great social skills. In the house he was territorial with our roommates and visitors. Even though he knew many commands and tricks, he knew how to manipulate my boyfriend and I and would do what we wanted when he felt like it. He was in control for the most part.

All of this has progressively changed as we work with Kathy. After spending time working with him on walks, the tie down, and a down stay command, we have established leadership with our dog. We have moved from not being able to walk next to dogs to having Darby in a calm heel while moving through a crowd of dogs at Point Isabel. Darby is now able to greet dogs appropriately and is much more obedient and looks to us for direction in most situations. He is much more enjoyable to be around and I am sure this will only get better.

Kathy and her assistant Beth have worked with us extensively one-on-one and have really personalized the sessions to meet everybody's lives and needs. Along with the training sessions we have with Darby, Darby also goes on training walks with Beth. These have helped him along even more by allowing him to socialize more with other dogs and put him in situations where he can benefit and grow. Kathy and Beth are also supporting us through email and phone calls and are always available to answer questions and field concerns. They have also been able to establish a supportive community of people going through the same thing through group trainings and having her clients visit each others' home sessions.

All and all Kathy and Beth have helped Darby to lead a much happier and calmer life so far and have given us the tools to enjoy our dog. We can't wait to see where we are with him a year from now. Kathy has helped us move from a constantly frustrating situation to a hopeful future.

 

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