Posts Tagged ‘behaviour’

Training Sophie

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

sophie training 

I feel compelled to write in order to express my deep gratitude for the training sessions that we have been attending at the Home.
 
We re-homed our staffy Sophie from Bath Cats & Dogs Home and she has a behavioural problem with other dogs. She is particularly bad when on the lead, barking and pulling towards other dogs and we immediately began training classes in our home town of Frome. Over a period of months we tried about 5 different training classes and individual trainers and all we experienced was disappointment after disappointment and a marked worsening of Sophie’s behaviour.
 
Firstly the prejudice that we encountered because she is a staffy was clear. At one class we were asked to complete the session in the car park next to the indoor school with all the other dogs. This was most upsetting for us because Sophie hadn’t even misbehaved. It was difficult to even get in a class because Sophie is a rescue staffy and when we did we were treated in the same segregated manner.
 
As a last resort I phoned Steve from the home. I had hesitated prior to this because I incorrectly assumed returning to the home would be distressing for Sophie. We finally felt that we had someone who understood us and crucially understood that Sophie was just a dog like any other who needed help.
 
We have been going to Naughty But Nice for almost a year now and it has been a real life-line for us. Sophie has come on in leaps and bounds. When we first began the class all the negative training methods had had a severe impact on her and she was incredibly stressed even with one dog simply being in the same field as her and would bark, etc. We have just returned from Naughty But Nice today and it is a entirely different picture. She is so excited as soon as we get in the car and when we arrive at the home for her class it is genuinely the happiest time of her week. She gets to be a dog as a dog should be and interact safely with other dogs which is something she is incapable of doing anywhere else.  Today she ran straight in, no muzzle, and began playing with the other dogs. An inconcievable occurance before and it is truly wonderful to see our lovely dog Sophie being given an environment to progress and improve her (and our) life.
 
I cannot thank you enough for your patience and for caring so much about Sophie. Long may these classes continue to provide support and hope to people like us that have nowhere else to turn. And I am confident they have served to prevent many animals, with owners at the end of their tether, being returned or placed in the home.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Sarah, Pete & Sophie the Staffy