In this photo, you can see Mabel checking in with her mom as they come up on a dog. This is brand new behavior for Mabel and is a terrific sign that she has learned to rely on her owner for guidance -- one of the hallmark signs that a dog believes in her handler's leadership.
The change in Mabel from highly dog reactive to calm and relaxed did not happen magically, nor overnight. But it also didn't take years to accomplish. Mabel spent two weeks with me going through my Foundation Package board and train. During that time she learned valuable skills around impulse control and existing in a calm state of mind. Once home, her owner spent the first two weeks going through "bootcamp" with Mabel where she leveraged all Mabel had learned with me to establish a new relationship with her. While still uncomfortable -- it's very early days in their new relationship -- Mabel is practicing deferring to her owner showing the new trust that's been established over the last two weeks.
I'm proud of all of my clients who put in the work and enjoy the rewards of giving their dogs leadership, but some touch my heart a little more -- maybe because I appreciate how challenging the change was for them -- and Melissa and her dog Mabel definitely met and overcame a big challenge to see even bigger rewards!!