We adopted a 6-month female chihuahua mix who was very anxious around noises, children running around, visitors, and some dogs. After a few months, our dog’s anxiety turned into aggression and she unexpectedly bit most of the family members. Especially, my kids were very afraid of being next to our dog. We tried some techniques that we found online without any results.
Mary is very knowledgeable and conducts a detailed analysis of the initial intake (inclusive of pictures and videos) and the first meeting, which she followed with a detailed written report with very well-articulated training steps. Mary explained to us that there was nothing we did wrong with the dog. But because of the dog’s anxious personality, a lot of things/noises were triggering her anxiety. We trained our dog to desensitize her to noises/kids running around, etc. We noticed a change in our dog’s behavior a week after we started following Mary’s plan. For a while, we kept our dog in her designated area in the afternoon or on weekends when everybody was home. After that we let her roam free but not with any visitors. Our dog did not exhibit any threatening behavior while roaming free. It's like she was a different dog. As instructed by Mary we do not pet our dog unless she comes to us with an overly friendly posture. Now, our dog is happier and comes very often to seek affection or lay down next to us.
Our dog continues with the medication, calming collar, and calming supplements, as recommended by Mary. We still see anxiety in our dog’s body posture but no aggression towards family members. We also observed on walks or with strangers outside that she is not very anxious, and we can redirect her focus during trigger situations. We continue with the training because our dog is still anxious and can’t roam free around unfamiliar visitors at our house.
Thank you, Mary, for helping us and our dog!
Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist
Elite Fear Free Certified Professional
Montgomery County, MD
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