“When I adopted Tiberius, I was completely smitten with his big personality and goofy antics. I was also completely unprepared for how his year-long stay in the shelter had led to resource guarding and extreme reactivity toward people and other dogs. I did the best that I could to work with him on basic obedience and addressing his behavioral issues, but I was overwhelmed with conflicting information on the best way to proceed and made very little progress on my own.
Even just going out for a walk in our neighborhood was extremely stressful for both of us as I struggled to control him and ensure we avoided all other dogs and people, which is essentially impossible where we live! At the suggestion of a friend who had worked with Heather, I reached out to Lead the Way and Tiberius and I began working with Elaine.
From the very first lesson, I learned so much about how to work effectively with Tiberius instead of just trying to give him commands before really understanding how to communicate with him. He was pretty stubborn at first since he had been so used to running the show, but with Elaine’s expertise and lots of patience, the dynamic began to shift. Training sessions became something that we not only look forward to, but have strengthened our bond immensely.
We are continuing to work on the skills that Elaine taught us every day, and Tiberius has become a much calmer dog in the home as well as outside of it. He is no longer bothered by people on walks, and there has been big improvement in his reactivity toward other dogs as well. Most importantly, I am much better equipped to handle stressors when they do arise and feel far more prepared to advocate for Tiberius and set him up for success. We are so grateful to Elaine and the whole team at Lead the Way for everything!“
-Elisha Courts of Charlottesville, VA