Having had a lifelong disinterest in acquiring a family pet, I was less than thrilled every time my husband mentioned his extreme want to have a Labrador Retriever. I just always viewed dogs as messy, hairy, stinky, little fur balls of fur who just made life difficult to come & go as you please. I was never a fan of my friends’ dogs who were often misbehaved and ruled the family home. When I finally caved in to Eric's desire for a dog, it came with a strict rule. I agreed to help out, but I absolutely refused to have a "bad" dog, or I was not agreeing to the family addition. We have seven nieces & nephews between us, and we wanted them to be able to enjoy Bear too.
When Bear arrived on April 1st, 2011, I was actually very excited to meet him after reading about how Labs make such great family pets and how easy they are to train!
Bear is a handsome little guy; light yellow, black rimmed eyes, and a cute black button nose. But unfortunately, the cuteness wasn’t enough for me to ignore some really bad dominant/aggressive behaviors.
He quickly began to push his boundaries. Nips turned into bites which were very intimidating, and my husband began to realize that I was becoming a huge wimp. Bear would lunge, bite, and snarl when he wasn’t getting his way, and there was no way to “shut him off”. In order to curtail this behavior, we resorted to lots of physical submissions to limit the amount of ripped clothes and mild blood shed before researching & contacting Terry. When we interviewed her, and as she evaluated Bear, he continued to push his boundaries but in a milder form than he would typically express at home. Terry was able to witness our concerns first hand, and she quickly recognized that he was a mini-force to be reckoned with…
At our first training session, Bear did very well with Terry & the collar. He quickly learned to "wait", and to this day, has never disobeyed that command; impressive. As we headed home with our new training tool, I was extremely uneasy about using something that to me, seemed to be so harsh. When I first began the training at home, I freaked out and refused to use it, convincing myself that the collar made Bear’s bad behavior even worse. I contacted Terry and told her my new concerns. She was extremely patient, thenreassured me that this was in no way harming him. She encouraged me to stay consistent with the training, and that we would see results in no time.
Terry was right!!! We continued our visits with her, and I am so happy to say that although I know we have much more to learn, Bear is already far beyond the dog we thought he'd ever be! He is the most beautiful walker on a leash, comes when called effortlessly, and although his dominance rears its ugly face every once in a while, he has quickly learned who his leaders are.
He is now 6 months old, and gets complimented EVERYWHERE we go. People can't get over what an obedient puppy he is!! Eric and I are now true believers in this method of training. In our opinion, if it can reform Bear, it can make any dog a wonderful part of any family.
That being said, I, the non-dog lover, frequently joke that Bear is "my" dog. I take him everywhere, and love to show him off. Now we even go on long hikes together without a leash. He's now my little buddy, a fabulous addition to our family, and we owe it to Terry for giving us the tools to make him that way.
The Brunault Family,
Eric, Alison, and Bear