Rylee joined our family 2 and a half years ago as a 6-week-old puppy. We already had 5 small breed dogs but were ready to have a medium breed dog in the family. Being a family that only knew about puppy socializing classes, we enrolled Rylee in a puppy obedience course. Everything went well and Rylee grew up to be a well socialized, obedient dog who knew basic commands.
All was going well until one day, four armed men walked into the family house. Rylee’s first instinct was to protect but at the threat of shooting her, we had stopped Rylee and contained her.
After the robbery, Rylee’s temperament changed. She started snapping at the smaller dogs and would become very aggressive if we had something in our hands. The simple task of taking a photo with a cellphone became an impossible task as Rylee would try and attack if you lifted the phone. Her aggression towards us and our smaller dogs became worse as the weeks went by. I came across SADTC while driving to work and decided to contact them. They were very understanding of Rylee’s behaviour and assured us that basic obedience training would assist in improving Rylee’s self-confidence.
We joined SADTC in February 2019 with the intention of only completing the 12-week BHO course, but we were so impressed with Rylee’s improvement that we decided to stay on. SADTC has taught us so much about training your dog, observing your dogs body language as well as how important the role of the handler is. I can say that my self-confidence as a handler has improved since joining SADTC and I use the same techniques learnt at classes to teach our small breed dogs at home. To our surprise, many of the commands learnt at training have helped with other behavioural problems we were experiencing with Rylee, like teaching her to ‘stay’ when we open our back gate, as she would frantically run to the back yard, running over our small breed dogs. A simple command such as ‘leave’ as become very important to us as we still experience issues with Rylee encountering other dogs. We are also able to get Rylee to calm down when she gets super excited when playing with her tyre.
We were surprised at the different classes offered by SADTC and so we joined agility and bite work classes. Rylee’s improvement at agility has been slow due to a previous injury sustained as a puppy, but we will continue to attend classes with the hope of strengthening her leg (and improving her handler’s patience).
I am so happy with the techniques learnt at SADTC as well as the variance in techniques. When one way doesn’t work, our friendly instructors always have another trick up their sleeves.
We will continue to be a part of the SADTC family for as long as possible as we still have so much to learn, and I thoroughly enjoy the quality bonding time given to us at classes and during homework sessions.
Thank you SADTC for the difference you have made in our lives, and for not giving up on Rylee.