This is a true story about our rescue dog Bo, a 75 pound Boxer. When he was rescued and brought directly to our home he was fearful, unhealthy, underweight and full of fleas. He was so bad he had to be cleaned up before we could allow him into our home.
We taught Bo how to be respectful of our 8 cats and around food. After a while he developed some separation anxiety issues and it took us about 9 months to work through this. To help Bo relax we provided him with a crate in the living room where he would feel more secure.
After we began walking Bo around the neighborhood and at the beach we noticed he would look for other dogs to lunge and growl at. My husband and I needed two leashes to walk him because he would bite and nip at the leash if he saw another dog and his teeth got very close to our hands. We tried training techniques used by the Dog Whisperer but we didn't do it correctly. After a few walks like this we knew we needed help!
We enrolled Bo in a class once a week for some socialization and basic obedience but we knew he needed more! A friend and neighbor who trained horses showed us proper leashes, muzzles and other training equipment we could try with Bo. We soon realized that the only way we were going to help him was to get the right training ourselves or Bo’s rehabilitation certainly would fail.
We had Bo for nearly a year and a half when we finally got the courage to call Julie Parker with the Be A Pack Leader Dog Walking Club to ask if we could join them on one of their walks. We explained some of Bo’s reactivity/aggression issues. After talking with Julie we agreed to have him wear a muzzle and a red bandanna at the walk as the dog walking club rules stated on the website. We were very anxious the day of the walk but everyone made us feel welcome. The walk that day went well for Bo without any instances of aggression towards any dogs. We were thrilled!
We’ve wanted to write this letter for a long time and say that these dog walks were the best thing that ever happen to Bo and us. After that first walk years ago we went with Bo to every dog walk. We loved the dog walks and always looked forward to the next one.
By getting to know Julie and the people from the Be A Pack Leader Dog Walking Club we were able to get Bo to experienced trainers who could help him with his behavioral issues. By participating in several 10 week classes with these trainers he learned to be around other dogs. He began to relax and could stay on command around other dogs in class rather than feel as though he needed to protect himself.
We love the Be A Pack Leader Dog Walking Club and the knowledge we received helped our Bo become a more social non-fearful dog.
We can't believe how much he's changed since we first adopted him. We might say he’s almost perfect. He is no longer reactive to other dogs and actually ignores them now. He loves people, obeys commands, can be taken into crowds of people and loves children. He's trusting and no longer fearful and has no more separation anxiety issues. He’s smart, relaxed and we enjoy and love him very much. When he received his Canine Good Citizen not too long ago we knew that if Bo could be helped by walking with the dog walking club and getting help from competent trainers any dog could be rehabilitated.
We are so proud of him! He is an important part of our family. It's not been an easy road through rehab with Bo but he was worth it! We enjoy his company so much that we even take him camping where he occasionally meets other dogs without reacting.
We are forever grateful to the Be A Pack Leader Dog Walking Club, Julie Parker, the dog walkers, their dogs and for the excellent trainers referred to us by the club. It is because of all of you that Bo made so much progress. He became our dream dog and we love him dearly.
Thank you again for giving Bo a chance to become part of the pack.
Phyllis and Rich Grubb and Bo too!