Bear the Doberman x Labrador

Bear the Doberman x Labrador

Bear is a four-year-old Liver and Tan Doberman x Chocolate Labrador who has recently spent Nine months in a re-homing centre. He had the usual rescue dog problems, pulling on the lead, no recall, lack of social skills, dog reactive, very excitable and full of energy, etc. etc. However, as he is our fifth rescue, none of these problems were anything we had not seen and overcome before. So after passing compatibility checks we finally took him home and began correcting his long list of problems. He is an intelligent dog and it didn't take long to correct most of them. However, it also soon became apparent that he has a very strange reactiveness to other dogs. Bear doesn't pull, lung and snarl at other dogs, no, he jumps about like a bucking bronco, bites the lead and pulls on it in the opposite direction to the other dog, as if trying to get away from it. However, the most disturbing development is that he now barks at random people and almost all children. We are worried that something bad might happen, so we decided to enlist some professional help.

Scouring the internet, we found a local trainer who sounded good. Who used 'reward based training.' The outcome, Bear gained weight, became almost uncontrollable and his problems appeared to be compounded as he demanded more and more treats becoming unreceptive to any training we tried to carry out with him. All of what we had achieved previously was now undone and we were back to square one, or even worse than that. We reverted back to our own tried and tested methods once more and some semblance of order ensued.

Not knowing what he had been through before he came to us and feeling sorry for him and his poor start in life, we lavished Bear with loving affection and tried to make his life as comfortable and enriched as possible. He became a joy to be around, so long as it was in the house or garden, but this became his whole world as we can't take him out in public and he is missing out on so much. We knew we still needed help.

On searching the internet again, something drew us to Sally Barnes. We e-mailed her and we were astonished as she replied within a half hour of receiving it. Then following a phone conversation, a video assessment / tutorial was arranged and a new regime of training began. Sally's straight talking, no nonsense approach soon showed us the error of our ways and how we had made a bad situation worse by pampering and humanising "The Dog". Bear had become the 'Alpha' in our house without us realising. He now had a life of luxury with two willing servants. Under Sally's guidance, she took us beyond our comfort zone and showed us how to take back control and to become the 'Alpha's' much to Bear's disgruntlement. It has been a difficult journey so far and at times emotionally upsetting, but Sally reminds us from time to time, why we are doing this. To prevent a potentially bad situation and outcome. This would be even more upsetting for us. So, we keep seeing it through no matter what. It seems very hard to believe, but within the first twenty-four hours of Sally's regime, the roles were reversed and Bear became a quiet, submissive dog and he appears to be more contented this way also.

We still have a way to go before Bear's complex emotional problems can be fully overcome, but with Sally's help, advice and guidance we now feel that our dream of being able to walk him in a public park, through the woods and taking a swim in the river will actually be achievable. We are so glad we found her.