Franklin and Georgia
Franklin is a tiny Toy Poodle with a big personality. We brought Franklin home when he was about 12 weeks old, and while he was always a little nervous and anxious, he was wonderful for the first year we had him. Around the time he turned one, he took a turn for the worse with his behavior. He suddenly became very aggressive; he never actually bit anyone or any other animal, but he would growl, bark, lunge etc. He became extremely anxious & aside from myself, he would not allow anyone to go near him. He started to become very protective over me and would growl and lunge if I had him in my arms and anyone got too close to me or even looked at me. We tried at least 3-4 different training programs and nothing worked. At home, we put a band aid on the stressful situation by putting him away when we had guests over and dealt with it the best we could. When he was about 3.5, we learned our first child was on the way, and we knew we had to figure out how to either fix his behavior or ultimately find a new home for him because we felt he was completely unsafe to have around a child. Our Veterinarian had always recommended Animal Learning Systems, and we finally decided to meet with Jim. We had a great consultation; their training philosophy made sense, Jim nailed every one of Franklin’s issues within minutes of meeting with him, and told us he felt very confident that they could fix Franklin’s behavior. We decided to try the program because Franklin had become part of our family and it was heartbreaking for us to think of him living elsewhere. We signed him up for the recommended program, crossed our fingers and sent him off.
His issues proved to be a bit more of a challenge than we all anticipated. Franklin was picked up for his program in October and was not ready to return home until February. While we missed him, we were so incredibly appreciative of Jim and Evan’s willingness to continue the program, even when progress was significantly slower than anticipated. When he returned home, he was a COMPLETELY different dog in the best sense, and two years later still is. We continue to be amazed by the transformation they were able to make with him. He is no longer anxious, he is friendly, he lets strangers pet him, he jumps into the laps of our babysitters and guests, and most importantly, he is wonderful with our 1 1/2 year old daughter. They play, she feeds him snacks etc. We always keep an eye on him, but no longer feel that he is unsafe to have around children.
We were so pleased with Franklin’s transformation that this summer we decided to send our other Toy Poodle, Georgia, through the program as well. Georgia did not share any of the aggressive behaviors Franklin had, however, she is high energy, was very loud & did not respond to any training commands. She was in and out the program quickly, and like Franklin, we could not be happier with the positive changes in her behavior! Our home is calmer, quieter and we are so happy to have such well-behaved dogs!
We are always in touch with ALS as Franklin and Georgia are now frequent boarders at Animal Learning Systems; we love having a wonderful place for them to stay when we go out of town and always feel confident that they are well cared for and will have a great time. We have recommended Animal Learning Systems on numerous occasions, as our experiences with them have been nothing but wonderful. Jim & his staff are truly passionate about what they do, and it has been an absolute pleasure to work with them.