Neige the Utonagan

Neige the Utonagan

My husband and I were moving from London to Bristol with our 15-month-old Utonagan (Husky/Malamute/GSD cross), Neige. We needed help with her. Sally gave us more than the help we needed, she gave us the tools to really communicate with our dog.

Neige is a wonderful and gorgeous puppy. She encountered bad experiences in her life that drove her into a very nervous dog (at least, that is what we thought at first).

First event: she had been rolled over by a bicycle when she was about five months old.

Second event: We went on a ski holiday and left her with a friend. She escaped from a park that she didn’t know well because she got scared of a dog. She ran away from home by herself (about 30 min walking distance). Just before arriving home, six men enclosed her in a garden trying to catch her in order to call us. Instead of calling her to them, they chased her until they caught her. And she was only 30 meters away from the house. They meant well, and thank god they called us and Neige was safe, but from that moment on, she was barking at every person on the street.

Third event: A guy approached me aggressively in the park, I got scared and Neige came in between me and him. She protected me.

I told Sally about the issues we were having with Neige:

  • Barks at some people in the street, very aggressively, jumping and showing teeth.
  • Chases joggers
  • Barks at and chases bicycles
  • Is very territorial.

Our puppy was growing fast, reaching 30kg and looking like a wolf: we couldn’t afford having a dog that wasn’t 100% under control. We realised our lovely puppy, who would never ever do any harm to us, could be dangerous. It hurts, but it is the truth.

Sally came for her first visit which was very hard emotionally. We understood, for the first time, how stubborn Neige was and how little leadership we had. And, most important, we realised that all her problems were coming from 1 major trouble: she has no trust in us because we are not her leaders. She is anxious and scared, because she doesn’t feel like we can protect her. Very, very painful.

Sally explained everything in details. She is not only a real dog whisperer (I am a witness of her fantastic gift), an amazing dog behaviourist, but also a very good teacher. She knows what to say and how to say it in order to make us realise our mistakes.

We started the training approach which was completely different from what we were used to. And it changed our dog into this lovely, soft and calm dog. We can now walk with Neige on the street without being scared that she will react, bark, jump on people. She doesn’t care about the joggers or the bicycles. She doesn’t pull on the lead and responds to our commands a lot better.

Home, she is more relaxed, she doesn’t need constant attention, she sleeps better and she eats better. She is a happier dog. And we are the most happy dog owners in the world.



UPDATE: We DID it. She UNDERSTOOD it and I finally BECAME the leader. It was a very emotional moment, in the park, on this beautiful and sunny morning. I let Neige off the lead and she didn’t run away, didn’t drive crazy running around, didn’t look for distractions. She focused all her attention on ME, doing anything to PLEASE me.

I was walking, she was walking next to my feet. I was stoping, she was stopping and sitting. No need for words. That is pure bonding, pure joy, pure love. And I cried. I cried because I couldn’t believe it. I cried because I had in front of me, for the first time, a happy, calm, relaxed, working dog. Wagging tail, ears down, smile face. Even though it was a busy day in the park with lots of distractions, my 18 months old Utonagan didn’t care. All she wanted was to be with me, to please me. That was purely magical.

Sally helped us so much, opened our eyes! I could never recommend her enough. She gave us a lesson for life. She helped us understand and communicate with our dog. The greatest gift.