Loving and caring for your dog can be a minefield of misinformation as I was to find out when I enrolled in the inaugural Growly Growlers program recently. I’d been battling through the park and local streets with my very reactive 4 year old German Shepherd losing confidence more and more each week for about 8 weeks prior to the program start. He’d been raised on a remote farm and whilst living a life of romping free he didn’t get the required socialisation as a puppy. Fast forward 4 years and you get a recipe for disaster.
The realisation that what I had been doing by exposing him to dogs way under his “Critical threshold” was in fact extremely harmful to his rehabilitation was bitter pill to swallow for me coming from a Psychological background. I truly hadn’t realised that what I should have been doing was building a respectful bond with my dog that demonstrated Iacknowledged his fear and understood the steps we needed to go through to bridge the fear gap.
The Growly Growlers Program gave me the knowledge and the skills to read my dog and remove him from stressful situations rather than battle on regardless. Now when we see dogs in the park we turn away happily. Fence dogs have become our welcome friends as we stop and practice our back always and Auto watch whilst they bark away.
My dog is a long way from being able to join in a training class however doing this program made me realise that there was a light at the end of the tunnel and if I put the work in with my dog he will be rehabilitated.
Thanks to Trish and Hannah who made the experience painless, stress free and enjoyable.