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Rufus

We recently adopted Rufus, a 50-pound Kelpie-Shepherd rescue dog, who was deemed "unadoptable." Rufus had a classic case of fear-based reactive behavior towards people, which made him unpredictable. He was badly treated in his past and is missing an eye from neglect and abuse. Rufus was easily spooked by loud noises, and anything he didn't know or understand made him act out aggressively - wheelchairs, crutches, children, people approaching from his blind side, garbage trucks, nightfall, wind, scaffolding, runners, cyclists...the list was endless.

Upon his rescue, Rufus spent two years in a shelter which subscribed solely to positive reinforcement techniques. Those training methods were employed month after month, but our boy showed no signs of progress and eventually began to deteriorate. Finally, after an unsuccessful vet visit and the shelter’s inability to keep his rabies shots current, Rufus was slated for euthanasia. He was deemed a “lost cause” by numerous veterinary professionals. At that point, we intervened and convinced a reluctant shelter to attempt cause-and-effect dog training with Kathy as a last-ditch effort to save Rufus.

The results were nothing short of amazing. After only one lesson with Kathy, there was a noticeable difference in Rufus’s behavior. After one month of intense training, Rufus became an entirely different dog and most importantly, he became adoptable. Today, after two months of training, Rufus is a centered and happy fellow who loves to learn and be challenged. He is no longer afraid of loud noises and takes all new experiences in stride.

In the end, Kathy’s training goal was achieved – Rufus continually looks to us for guidance and respects the boundaries which we set for him. In all ways, Rufus aims to please. Kathy’s training has allowed Rufus’s true, gentle nature to come to light. We are now the proud parents of a cherished family member, and ironically, time and time again strangers have commented on our “well-behaved” dog.

Kathy's greatest challenge in training difficult canines is instilling her methods deep within their owners to accept the process of guiding their dogs in a non-judgmental fashion. We continue to work with Kathy on a follow-up basis. She is ever-responsive and is always a quick e-mail or phone call away. We cannot recommend her highly enough and would love to provide anyone with more in-depth information should they so desire. Thank God for people like her!

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