Dexter, our 1.5-year-old standard schnauzer, started to exhibit discomfort and unease after moving from a quiet Minnesota suburb to the noisy and densely populated King Farm (Rockville) area. He saw more people, off-leash dogs, and bikes and also heard more noise than he was accustomed to. While we tried our best to promote good interactions with people and dogs alike, he had developed a genuine fear of his surrounding which manifested in barking and lunging that was both alarming and embarrassing for us. We saw our well-trained, good-natured dog turn into a nervous, loud and out of control wreck while on walks.
We had been attending obedience and agility classes regularly since Dexter was a puppy but even his new instructors here in Maryland could not provide insight. Even after various schools and private instruction, we knew we had to seek the help of someone who wouldn't write-off our dog’s issues simply as aggression and whose core was in science-based positive reinforcement. After an exhaustive search, we found Mary Huntsberry and set up a time to meet at our home. Right from the start, we were impressed with her poise, patience, and positivity towards Dexter as well as her grace towards his obviously embarrassed parents. Mary accompanied us on a walk during our first session and provided more insight into Dexter's reactivity and how to modify his behavior than any class, private instruction or print material could ever impart. We especially appreciated that Mary used scientifically proven methods to modify Dexter’s reactive behavior.
Mary’s follow-ups were genuine and she gave us, and Dexter’s vet, her full report on our sessions. Within a couple of sessions, and with much more confidence on our part, Dexter showed signs of improvement and started looking to us again for instruction rather than fixating and barking in fear when startled. Using the methods Mary taught us, we now enjoy walks with Dexter and he is a much happier dog for it. Mary’s ability to guide and teach us while working with Dexter in a comfortable environment is invaluable and has made her a part of our family.
- Kristin & Thomas from Gaithersburg, MD
Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist
Elite Fear Free Certified Professional
Montgomery County, MD
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