Bailey’s Board and Train, June 2009
My human owners dropped me off a week ago with a trainer, her name is Malaika. I was nervous and frustrated and felt a bit abandoned at first but Malaika’s three female pointers welcomed me with inquisitive yet friendly sniffs and wagging tails. We romped and played for a bit and then the training really began. There was something about this trainer that made the communication so clear and obvious to me that her commands came quickly and, within a few days, I knew exactly what come, sit and heel meant. I couldn’t believe it and the best part was that we were already going on fun walks. Off leash walks where I could run and chase squirrels and when Malaika said come, I’d come right back. My world began to open up as I understood that I could just be a dog and chase balls, examine lizards, and greet new dogs in a friendly way; but when I was asked to do something, like sit, or come, I would. The sooner I listened, the more fun and freedom I got. All I ever wanted to do was run and sniff and play and enjoy life off leash. This is what this trainer was teaching me. I started seeing this as a mutual trust and respect between me and the humans who are giving me commands. No more boring leash walks on the hard sidewalk. I got to run!
I started realizing at the end of week one why my owners had left me with this amazing trainer. Our walks before were so frustrating and confusing. Even though my owners were trying their best and taking me out often, I could feel the tension they had. If they dare let me off leash, I would run and take off while they stood there yelling at me and stomping their feet. I never understood what they were saying or what they meant. I was just off leash and playing. I must admit, sometimes I knew what they wanted but really, what could they do about it? I was ½ a mile away from them at this point. So they started leaving me on the leash and I was so bored that when I got home, I couldn’t fight my urge to dig or bark or chew things up. I knew no one was there to stop me. Well, at Malaika’s house, things really changed. I learned that I could be off leash and still would be asked to listen but with this style of training, I had no options of getting away with things. She seemed to always be there, physically or not. She showed me with patience and clear understanding what the commands meant before she was sure that on or off leash I would listen. She taught me that with or without distractions, come meant come and heel meant heel. There was no grey area or me just deciding I wasn’t going to listen, and Malaika rewarded me with all the luxuries a dog could want. I got to learn to swim (my new favorite thing), I learned how to play fetch and how to play well with other dogs, even new, unfamiliar dogs that we came across on our walks.
This has turned out to be the most fun a dog could have! I am realizing that I can be a real dog. Malaika has dropped me off at home and my owners were so happy that I was there and I was so happy to be home. I just hoped that my parents would continue with this great training that I have gone through. I was secretly hoping that Malaika would teach them all the things she taught me and tell them about all the fun times we had and what a good girl I was. Well, my wish came true and Malaika went over everything. We had continuing classes and I still get to see all my dog friends (including Malaika’s three pointers, who taught me a thing or too about hunting) at the group classes. Malaika loves to see me and I can tell that she misses having me around. I am proud now of whom I’ve become and my owners are proud and impressed too! Life has become so amazing for me and so full of fun and adventure, but most of all I love the relationship I have with my owners: Trust and respect!
Thank you Malaika and Dog Gone Amazing Dog Training
“I admit we sometimes would not take Bailey on regular walks because she was out of control about not coming back to us when told. We could not trust her off leash. Bailey was in Malaika’s board and train program and it was a dream come true for us. Now, Bailey is a very well behaved and happy dog. She is exercised daily runs in the hills by our home and I trust she will always come back when told. As she does! Plus, we get so many compliments on her behavior. Thank you, Malaika, for brining out the AMAZING in our Bailey!”
-Jeff and Donna Rotsma