Where do I begin? We have a 3 year old Chow/Pit mix, Filomena, who has been extremely fearful and anxious since we rescued her at 8 weeks. She barks and growls out of fear when she sees strangers and other dogs and she and our other rescue, Kalliope, got into a fight (provoked by Filomena) at the end of summer injuring her pretty badly. At that point, I knew something had to change.
Mary gave me and my family tools, recommendations and lifestyle changes to incorporate into our day to day life that would help Filomena relax and become more tolerant of triggers. We had a follow up session about two months after our first session, and with our vets recommendation, we also started her on Prozac, which we've learned does not "fix" her but certainly increases her tolerance and allows her to make better choices when she's triggered...
We had guests over the holidays and prepped them ahead of time on what to do when they came in. She barked a little, but actually ended up coming up to my friend and her niece and giving my friend a kiss after she'd been here a while....she would NEVER have done that a year ago.
On top of that, Kalliope and Filomena started sleeping next to each other in our bed! Instead of having conflict with her, Filomena goes into her crate when she feels overwhelmed, which I think is a great thing. She feels safe in there and she seems to be more aware of making better choices when she gets "excited" or anxious.
We're still working on walks in the neighborhood, but her barking at dogs/people while out during walks seems to last much shorter than before. Now, she'll bark, then focus her attention toward me and take a treat. While still a work in progress, I know that continuing to incorporate the tools and recommendations that Mary provided consistently, she'll continue to improve.
It's important to note that Mary isn't going to fix your dog for you, she's going to educate you and give you professional advice, guidance and tools that you and your family MUST listen to and consistently implement if you need to change your dogs behavior. Mary trained us on what we as her humans need to do to make her better, happier, more trustworthy and more relaxed. I'm so incredibly happy I found Mary and can't express enough how much happier we are as a family now that Filomena is living a better, more confident life.
Honestly, "trainers" and "behavioralists" are different and Mary is a phenomenal behavioralist that understands dogs and can help if you're willing to do the work that you as a dog owner should be doing to help your dog.
Michelle T. from Onley, MD
Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist
Elite Fear Free Certified Professional
Montgomery County, MD
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