Dolly has always been “special”…since bringing her into my home when she was 5 months old I knew she was special, that she needed lots of work, attention, and love. Up until Dolly was 1 year old she was your average fun-loving puppy, she attended daycare, had lots of dog friends, and was able to be taken just about anywhere, despite the fact that she was a 120 lb puppy, I toted that dog everywhere I went and we were rarely ever separated! Needless to say, when Dolly started showing signs of extreme reactivity in her adolescence, I was shocked, confused, sad, and unsure of where to turn to. We had countless consultations with different trainers and tried many different techniques, but the reactivity seemed to only worsen and I was definitely not knowledgeable enough to help her in the way I knew she needed me to.

I found myself suddenly anxious about taking her anywhere there would be dogs, fearful of how she would act, lunging and growling were a common occurrence when she was in sight of a dog while out on her leash. Constantly patrolling our yard and windows of the house waiting for dogs to walk by and completely disregarded any command I gave her when she was over her threshold. Along with this Dolly had basic obedience issues, pulling on the leash, rushing out of doors, jumping on people.

In comes Mango Dogs. After my first phone chat with Joe (that I am sure lasted much longer than either of us intended) I knew he was the right guy to get both Dolly and I to where we needed and desperately wanted to be. During our training time together, Joe provided Dolly & I with the foundation, tools, and confidence to work as a team, understand the behavior and enable us to identify issues before they happen, while using simple, easy training tools to make the world of difference in our everyday life.

Now I don’t hesitate to take Dolly for a walk, I am equipped with the knowledge and tools from Joe to handle situations with Dolly’s leash reactivity, and I have a much better training relationship with Dolly and am hardly ever looked at as “that girl with the giant uncontrollable dog” in my neighborhood. I can easily identify Dolly’s threshold while on a leash and am able to work with her to bridge that gap, it is a long process but the support and training Joe has provided us with have truly given us a light at the end of the tunnel!

Melanie Matheson and Dolly.

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