Achieving Balance and Harmony

COMMUNITY

April Goodwin

Hello Cesar,

My name is April Goodwin, and I have a four-year- old female pit bull named Lucy.  Lucy and I have spent lots of time on training, puppy classes, private lesson, etc. over the course of her life.  I found Lucy on the street when she was just a couple of months old. Not knowing her background and knowing the potential for aggression in pits, I tried to make sure Lucy was well-trained.   However, her energy level has always been so high and regular walks were never part of my schedule.  She was decently behaved most of the time.  Aggression with other dogs was a problem though, and high excitement behavior such as jumping up when guests arrived or pulling on the leash was also a problem.
 

A few months ago, I saw an episode of the Dog Whisperer and was so glad to see someone who was willing to work with strong breed dogs that are so often abused and misunderstood.  I ordered the DVD on aggression first and received the first season DVD as a gift, as well as your book.  After digesting all of the information and finding out that I treated my high energy, dominant dog as a person and was doing almost everything incorrectly, I resolved to start "mastering the walk".  And, Cesar, after only one week of daily "migrating", my dog is a totally different dog!   Or should I say, she is getting to BE a dog!  I bought her a backpack to give her more exercise, and she loves it!  I can not tell you what a pleasure it is to have my dog walk quietly beside me without pulling, sniffing, or weaving around in front of me.  I am more relaxed, and so is she.  We are bonding as Leader-Follower, and Lucy is no longer the leader!  She is starting to show signs after only this short time of different behavior in the house, such as waiting for me to go out the door first even when she is off-leash.  I am also learning to only give affection during calm-submissive states, and she no longer pesters me every 5 seconds by whining or putting her front paws on my lap for a pet.

It is wonderful, and I am so thankful that you are getting this message out to the world, especially to owners of powerful breeds.  Someday I want to give a home to another pit bull, and I knew that, until I learned to be a good pack leader, that was not an option.  Now I have motivation and hope that I will be able to accomplish my goal!  I have much to work on and calm-assertiveness is not natural to me, but with practice, it will come.

Thank you!

April Goodwin
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