Enzo, our wonderfully loyal, obedient and loving Boxer is everything you'd want in a dog... apart from when he sees other dogs! Somewhere along the line, he'd developed an aggressive streak where other dogs were concerned.
Nervous and full of anxiety, we would take Enzo to the park, hoping that the more he was out and about, the better he'd get... Little did we know that all this time, it was our own behaviour, in the tension we brought with us, that was causing the problems.
We'd exhausted a long list of (so called) trainers, all with varying techniques (and varying price tags!) None of them came close to understanding Enzo .. they just didnt 'get him' and certainly weren't able to improve his behaviour. It was clear that we needed help, so when our friend recommended Gabriel and explained his techniques, we were of course very keen to give it a go.
I'll never forget that first day Gabriel arrived at the house with what looked like a ginormous wolf in the boot! (a.k.a Echo, who of course we all now know and love affectionately! )
In his usual manner, Enzo was launching and snarling when all of a sudden the giant wolf let off an almighty roar, ensuring from the onset, Enzo knew exactly who was boss!! Our whole family watched open mouthed as Gabriel brought both of them into the garden and got to work. This of course was only the beginning- there was much work to do.
Over the weeks and months that passed, the Woods became Enzo's stomping ground and the place where we learnt how to break the tension and reassure Enzo with a renewed calm, confident attitude. As the weeks went by, before our eyes Enzo changed from his default aggressor mode, to a playful inquisitive and confident dog. Yes, we made mistakes, and no, each week wasn't without incident however the beauty of Gabriel's work lay in his raw understanding of a dog as a pack animal, and more importantly- the effect of nervous owners on these animals. So as both we and Enzo made mistakes, he could explain the cause, the effect and a solution in how to approach the same situation the next time.
Gabriel's influence on both Enzo and us as a family has had such a massive effect. Enzo is now able to run free in the park without a lead, releasing his energy and playing as a dog should. Our ever growing confidence offers him reassurance and trust, so he doesn't feel the need to fight the world.
The work continues- Enzo has a long way to go, as do we as responsible owners. However, now finally equipped with the tools, techniques and an understanding of him and his behaviour, we have a solid base to build, grow and learn together.
Thank you Gabriel, you rock.
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