Grassroots K9 is excited to announce Blizzard as our GRK9 of the month. Christina and Blizzard have shown great dedication to their training and we have seen many improvements throughout her training. We wanted to bring recognition and acknowledgement for all their hard work and how far they have come.
We asked Christina some questions about her training process and some information to share about Blizzard.
How old was Blizzard when you got her?
Blizzard was 2 years old when I adopted her. I adopted her on May 6, 2016.
Where did you get her from?
I had made the decision to adopt a dog as my lifestyle had become fit to be a dog owner. When you are younger, you want to be free to go out and have fun, but as I got older my favourite activities became canoeing and hiking. I was actively searching for a dog and saw an ad posted by a young couple who no longer had time for her after having children.
Why did you pick her?
Like I said, I was actively searching for a dog to adopt who would fare well on canoe trips. I was told she does great with kids, other dogs and people. She greeted me with excitement and kisses. I fell in love with her right away. I also felt terrible for her when I saw where she was living. She was confined to a small concrete "side yard" and I was told to bring a leash and collar because she didn't own one, so she was not being walked.
Why did you want to begin training?
I wanted to begin training because Blizzard would have very aggressive outbursts toward other dogs, lunging, barking and growling. I was very concerned for everyone's safety.
What was some of your training goals?
In the beginning, my only goal was to stop the violent outbursts. However, she now walks well on her leash (she would pull quite a bit before) and we have definitely bonded through training.
What was the biggest obstacle to overcome during training?
Our biggest obstacle was, and still is, to behave appropriately around other dogs. I wouldn't say we have overcome it yet, but we are getting closer ever day. There was a time I was not sure that Blizzard would ever be able to be close to other dogs, but I definitely now see that we will get there with some more time and work.
What are you guys working on now?
We continue to work towards appropriate behaviour with other dogs. We are working on some trick training to keep stimulated and motivated. We are trying to perfect our "dance" lol. Take it/leave it. As well as more reliable recall in the presence of a distraction. All of these things are significantly better since working with GRK9, but there is also room for improvement. For me, I am definitely working on my patience, timing and consistency. Just a lot of fine tuning to work toward more reliable results.
If you could give any of our clients advice about accomplishing your training goals, what would it be?
Patience!! If you lose patience or get frustrated, so will your dog. Especially dealing with reactivity, it can be very emotional when you are having a rough day, but this will only hold you back. I know this is often easier said than done but its the most important thing I think I have trained in myself. To never begin a walk fearful of what happened yesterday. Each day is the first day of the rest of your life so start it with faith it will be a great one. Your pup will believe in themselves when they feel that you believe in them too.
We are proud of all the goals you have accomplished, keep the good work!