Jeff taught me how to be the pack leader, and that has not only made Ross a better and happier dog, but it has made me a better and happier person.
Once I graduated college and was on my own I decided to adopt Ross, a 9 month old Yellow Lab mix. I have had dogs my entire life, and I had read every book I could find on yellow labs to prepare myself for Ross’ arrival. Unfortunately, all my research on the breed was useless in the REAL world, because from the moment I picked up Ross I knew I was in way over my head.
If you have ever seen the movie “Marley and Me,” Ross made Marley look like a saint. He had absolutely no aggressive behaviors, but he was an extremely high energy dog with little ability to control his excitement, jumping, and chewing and he has a very high pray drive. He basically dragged me from squirrel to squirrel on our walks and runs, even after I purchased a “No-Pull Harness.” Several times he went for my roommate’s cat, once successfully catching her in his mouth. I’m a runner, so I would run him 6 to 12 miles every morning with the goal of tiring him out, and he would still bark and chew in his crate while I was at work. To make a long story short, after several articles of clothing had been chewed through, my shoulder was ready to pop out of its socket and after being threatened that I would be kicked out of my apartment if the barking didn’t stop, I called the guy who I had seen so many times on Blackstone Blvd, with the long hair who walks several well behaved dogs all at once. I figured if he could walk 10 dogs at once and I couldn’t walk one dog, he had to know what he was doing.
From the moment I met Jeff I knew that he meant business, he asks just as much from the owners as he does from his dogs. Although he takes his job very seriously, he has a great sense of humor that was sure to keep every training session very entertaining. He started us off right away with a pronged collar, teaching me the proper way to use the collar, as well as training both Ross and I how to walk properly, heal, sit and lay down. We worked in steps on each of those commands, with Ross and I practicing over and over and over again between each weekly session, with the emphasis being placed on consistency and demanding obedience from your dog with every command. Because Jeff doesn’t use a treating technique, Ross learned that no matter what situation we are in, in the house or on a busy road, walking by squirrels or other dogs, to listen to me and to follow my lead. In addition to working on the basic commands, Jeff addressed Ross’s barking with a bark collar. Now, I know that people have varying opinions on Bark collars, but if they are used properly, they can be extremely effective and surprisingly humane for the dog. Jeff walked me through the steps of setting the bark collar to the proper setting, and helping me to understand the purpose of the collar. Ross wore the collar for 1 week, he didn’t bark in his crate after the first day that he wore it, and he hasn’t worn the collar since that first week. He quickly learned not to bark and I was not kicked out of my apartment.
Through the entire 7 weeks of training I was able to call or text Jeff at anytime with any questions or problems that I had while I was practicing the training techniques with Ross. Trust me, I called a lot, and every call and text received an immediate response from Jeff. There was no question in my mind that Jeff was there to make my life and Ross’s life a happier and healthier life. He has a training technique that may seem a bit aggressive compared to others, but it works in the real world. Ross, who I could barely control on a leash when I adopted him, is still a high energy dog, but his energy is controlled and appropriate. He is extremely attentive and obeys every command given both on and off leash. Jeff taught me how to be the pack leader, and that has not only made Ross a better and happier dog, but it has made me a better and happier person.
Jeff, thank you so much for everything!