Back in 2011, we adopted an 18 m old German Shepherd by the name of Markus. Though we had owned dogs before, this was our first German Shepherd and were very unfamiliar with the breed.
Since this was going to be “my dog”, my husband found Al with Longoriahaus Dog Training to help me figure this dog out and to get him trained. My first instruction was, to hand feed Markus and to only release food when he made eye contact. This not only helped Markus to pay attention to me, but it also built trust between us.
For the next 12 weeks, Al worked on different obedience skills, usually just one skill at a time and then I had to reinforce the things he taught, by working with Markus a little bit each day. Both of us learned a lot and the time we spent together helped build our relationship. Sure, there were times, when I got frustrated and I just had to learn to be patient. I also didn’t always exactly understand, why certain exercises were so important. At times I felt, I was looking at a bunch of puzzle pieces and I could not see the whole picture. I had to learn to trust my trainer.
Markus and I began our time with IPO training with Al’s club, once we had a solid foundation in obedience. This presented another challenge, as Markus got super excited when he saw all the other dogs. Again, hand feeding my dog was part of the solution, only it happened by the field where we trained, not at home. After a few weeks, Markus was able to participate in all aspects of IPO and we had a blast.
Now, all those years later, we are like an old couple. We know each other so well and can predict each other’s next move. There are no surprises anymore, which is a very comforting feeling. Markus knows he can trust me and I know, I can trust him. He listens to me when we find ourselves in a new situation. The way I respond is the way he will respond. So, I have learned to be patient, calm, encouraging, loving and sometimes firm.
If I were to give advice to a new dog owner, it would be: Give it time and make the time count. Get to know your dog and train your dog. The reward for all the work will be one of the most beautiful relationships in the world…the relationship between a dog and his human.
Longoriahaus Dog Training is a Dog Training service in the Kingwood and Houston, Texas Area. Longoriahaus Dog Training can help you train a happy and reliable dog!