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GRK9 Georgina of the Season : WHISKEY

Meet Whiskey: Can you share how old Whiskey was when he joined your family?

He was six (6) weeks old and was purchased to keep our Senior dog company who had just lost his best buddy.

Origins: Where did Whiskey start his journey before becoming a part of your life? Whiskey was purchased from a local farm in Georgina during COVID. We met both of his parents, his Father was a Saint Bernard, his Mother a Terrier cross. He came from a litter of 8 puppies who lived outside in a run and unfortunately, none of them were socialized. The Connection: What initially drew you to Whiskey? Whiskey was the only one who showed any interest in us and made eye contact. Once we managed to catch him 15 minutes later, he cuddled into my arms and wiggled his tail, I knew then he was the one. The Training Path: What prompted you to commit to a professional training plan with us at Grassroots K9 Georgina? At six (6) months of age, I realized that I had chosen the wrong type of dog as he had so many issues that needed correcting before I gave up on him. Whiskey was very mouthy so it was almost impossible to touch him, give him any type of affection, or put a leash on him. Walking him was a problem as he was reactive to other dogs and people. Our biggest problem was he was very unsettled in the house and constantly barking, jumping, and grasping my fingers. He was unruly in every way and crate training was not an option as he would get aggressive. It became apparent to me that Whiskey didn't know or want to fit into my lifestyle and was not going to be the dog for me. I was at wit's ends and looking into other arrangements for Whiskey when a friend suggested Grassroots K9. After already working with a trainer that failed, it was suggested that if Grassroots couldn't instill some manners, maybe they could help place him in a different type of home. Setting Objectives: What were your initial goals for Whiskey's training? My biggest goal was to get him to stop barking at me constantly in the house and demanding. Plus to control his mouthiness so he would quit jumping on me and ripping my clothes. I so wanted a dog that could be generally well-behaved, relax, listen, socialize with others, and enjoy my company. Everything that Whiskey wasn't. Overcoming Hurdles: Could you share a specific challenge you've faced in training Whiskey and how you've managed it? My biggest challenge was twofold. Whiskey's lack of manners and his severe dog reactivity came from a lack of confidence. Whiskey's manners have improved immensely thanks to three (3) different sessions of Board & Train and attending Grassroots K9 group training, where I have learned the proper tools to handle Whiskey's reactivity no matter where he is. Whiskey is now a well-behaved dog who greets guests/visitors quietly and listens when called away. Present Day: What specific areas are you and Whiskey focusing on right now? I am so excited to report that Whiskey has become a well-mannered gentleman, who now loves his crate and voluntarily goes in on command for quiet times. He has become a completely different dog that I now love and enjoy being around. He accompanies me to my Mother's Seniors building, walks by many dogs, enjoys sitting while being patted by many of the elderly, has gotten over his fear of the elevator, and walks alongside my mother's wheelchair. In fact, he has been personally invited into many rooms so they can enjoy a sip of whiskey together. LOL Whiskey is still showing a little reactivity when walking around our neighborhood but it is a work in progress. Walking anywhere other than the neighbourhood he is a pro now. Your Best Advice: Do you have any practical advice for our clients aiming to improve their training game? My best advice to other dog owners is never to feel embarrassed by your dog's reactivity, work through it. Be diligent with your training at home. Never give up on your dog! Mold him/her into the dog of your dreams. Don't be afraid to ask for professional help as there is one less dog that ended up in The Humane Society because of Grassroots. As I write this, I look down beside me and Whiskey is lying down in my office quietly, knowing it is his walk time. I can confidently say he is my best friend!


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