Our 18-month-old German shepherd has been nothing but successful in her training with Kathleen and Dogtra. Our family adopted Shayna last February with a limited knowledge of her background, and we were a bit surprised with her initial demeanor.
Upon her arrival, she was never aggressive toward us, but rather extremely skittish and fearful, with a tendency to become over-stimulated. At first, Shayna was quite uncomfortable in our home. She had no idea how to go up or down the stairs, slid around on the hardwood and took an immediate disliking to the screen door.
We spent a lot of time trying to burn some of her nervous energy by taking her for walks or finding enclosed spaces to let her run around. Our yard is not fenced, and Shayna, not knowing her boundaries, was constantly testing them. Since chasing her around the neighborhood was not the most desirable activity, we ended up at the local tennis courts. Shayna would spend the majority of her time dashing about like a maniac, while the rest of us ran after her trying to get her back on the leash when it was time to go.
Over the weeks we practiced come commands, and eventually, she learned to return to us, so we could refasten the leash. Foolishly, we thought that we were done, and Shayna was trained after that. When the weather started to warm up, we took Shayna on her first trip to the beach. We came equipped with the leash, treats and water. She ran up and down the shore happy as a clam for close to an hour.
However, when it was time to go, we couldn’t get her to come anywhere near us. We called her name, we shouted for her to come, we got down on our knees in the sand, we left a trail of treats leading to the car like Hansel and Gretel, but Shayna wouldn’t have any of it. It was like her fear was reborn and something snapped. All she did was run…and run and run. Nearly two hours later, the beach had emptied out and we found Shayna in the nearby parking lot. From there, we opened each of the car doors and waited for her to get bored. Once she did, she hopped into the car as though nothing had happened. We were a bit nervous after that, not knowing what kind of malevolent creature had taken over our dog, so we called Kathleen.
With Kathleen’s professional training, we began to see immediate improvement, but nothing could rein Shayna in once she got going. Upon hearing our story about the mysterious and fantastical being that lived somewhere within our dog, Kathleen introduced us to Dogtra. Our initial fear about a shock collar was that we would lose whatever trust we had built with Shayna. We were concerned that if Shayna ever saw someone holding the remote control for the collar, she would cower in fear and be forever resentful. In hindsight, maybe we were giving Shayna too much credit.
After several conversations with Kathleen reassuring us and testing the shock on each of our hands, she promised that we had nothing to worry about. She explained that Dogtra wasn’t a shock, but rather a tingling sensation that would simply get Shayna’s attention.
Eventually, we agreed to try it out. Let’s just say it’s a good thing we did, because within just a few short weeks, Shayna was sitting on command, able to run loose in the backyard, go to the beach and return with the call of her name, and sometimes the click of the control. Thank you, Kathleen and Dogtra, for ridding Shayna of that malevolent alter ego, and giving us the most loving and well-trained pup we could ask for!
The Tribunas & Shayna