Pack Leaders Speak Up!
Read what past clients are saying about Leader of the Pack Dog Training and our Lead Instructor,
"The Pacific Northwest now has its own Dog Whisperer."
"The very first week gave me the dog of my dreams. Every week after was icing on the cake!! I can take my dog everywhere now. Thank you Mark!!
"About 20 mins after [Mark] left my younger son came home on the bus. They started barking at the front and getting excited (...) I went in there and had them sit/stay on the rug. Then as my son was opening the door I had Bea lay down and stay and calmly told my son, while still looking at the dogs, to close the door and go into the kitchen to put his stuff down (I have the boys better trained). I kept the dogs in the stay position for another minute. I walked away, they stayed. I calmly greeted my son and within about 30 seconds the dogs CALMLY walked into the kitchen greeted my son by sniffing and tail wags. Bea then laid down and Cozy went off and chewed on a toy. No jumping up or craziness!! Such good advice about not "releasing" them and us all staying calm!! My boys hated coming through the door and getting jumped on-who doesn't! All of your advice was good advice. (...) Thank you for doing what you do!!"
"Huge improvement in Stella! Totally worth every penny!"
Tyler & Ruby, Portland
“I cannot imagine a more patient, enthusiastic and encouraging trainer.”
Bailey’s Mom, Portland
Don’t let ANYONE tell you to give up!
Here's our story:
For over a year we struggled with extreme fear aggression issues in our “pack:” Two Shepherd mixes rescued from a (literal) slaughterhouse in Yulin, China, and a rescued purebred German Shepherd with a lot of heart and a lot of problems. It got to the point that they could never be in the same room together, even on leash, and our lives revolved around keeping everyone separate and contained. Though I have worked with rescue dogs all my life, I found I wasn’t able to help them overcome their trauma, and things went from bad to worse.
Finally, in desperation, I sought the help of a behaviorist. Which, since you are reading this, you know is NOT EASY. I interviewed several and was disheartened to find that most advocate euthanasia if their “methods” (usually medication and/or “positive only” reinforcement) don’t work. I knew that medicating them would not help them overcome their fears, and euthanasia was not an option. We didn’t rescue them from a death camp to sentence them to death ourselves. After an exhaustive and expensive (because some of these guys won’t even talk to you without charging you!) search, the only person I found who believed the way I do, was Mark.
My significant other was beyond skeptical and even annoyed that I would pay someone to come into our home to “rehabilitate” dogs. “It’s crazy, it’s extravagant, what is he going to tell us besides how to make them sit and roll over?” If you’re having those thoughts too, read on.
After spending one hour with Mark, there was a change in our home. The dogs responded to him instantly – as did the humans! Mark is as real as it gets, and tells it like it is with compassion, warmth and humor – and without sugar-coating. He not only rehabilitates dogs, he rehabilitates their people, too. That first visit was the first time I felt peace in our home in over a year. I was sure it would go away the minute Mark left – and while it did, a little bit (we had a long way to go, after all), some of it stayed, because we had the tools. And the more we used the tools Mark gave us, the more peaceful our home became. I began to feel something else I hadn’t felt in a very long time: HOPE.
It’s been months of one incredible moment after another. I’ve watched this beyond-hope band of ragamuffin dogs overcome huge obstacles: walking on their own into their crates without shaking in fear, walking beside each other on pack walks with tails wagging (and no bloodshed), sleeping beside each other in crates, and finally... playing together in the yard, off leash. Something I never, ever thought would be possible. Something other behaviorists and vets told me never COULD happen, and that rehoming and/or euthanasia would happen before that did.
In the midst of all of this, my GSD has always been extremely head-shy, to the point that we can’t even soft-muzzle him for veterinary treatments and have to fully sedate him. I attributed this to another behavior issue. One day while observing him and also palpating his spine, Mark said, “Check with your veterinarian about x-rays, to rule out pain. Also x-ray his hindquarters, the base of his spine feels odd.” The idea of a medical issue had never occurred to me, as my GSD is only 2 years old and in seemingly in perfect health (and has regular vet checkups confirming this). To my astonishment, x-rays uncovered a huge impact in his jaw that needs major surgery, as it is most likely pressing on the nerves and causing severe pain. The x-rays of his hindquarters revealed major hip displaysia on one side, along with massive arthritis. The vet thinks he was likely hit by a car before he was rescued, and never treated. She said he has probably been in pain his whole short life. She was astounded that we even went looking for these things, as Jack had never given us any indication (that we could see) that anything was wrong. But Mark saw. Thanks to his guidance, Jack has been on pain management ever since the discovery, and he is a completely different dog! He is happier, bouncier and more relaxed. While it was hard to spot the pain before, the difference is unmistakable now that he feels better.
Mark is an astute observer of both dog and human behavior, and a superb coach to both of the highest caliber. He truly “speaks dog,” and knows that the differences between canines and humans are what make our bond so unique and special. Listen to me please: Your dog CAN learn to control their impulses, they CAN change their behavior from the inside out, they CAN overcome fear or aggression or anxiety or hyperactivity. I know because mine have! Don’t let ANYONE tell you to give up. CALL MARK.
I have given Mark permission to share my contact info with anyone who would like to talk with me about our experience, or ask questions. I believe in the work he is doing THAT MUCH. There is no way to overstate the impact Mark has had on our pack! We have a long way to go with our extreme case, but now I know we can do it, with Mark’s help. He is not just our behaviorist. He’s a permanent member of our pack forever.
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