Layla was not a typical 5-month-old puppy when she started with At Your Service in March 2017. Although friendly and playful, Layla was so wild when Jim brought her to Family Dog Manners group classes that she could not focus and one night actually broke apart her collar with the intensity of her wiggling! In June, Gloria Young asked me to do an in-home behavior and training consult. I learned that at home Layla was so out-of-control — including constantly jumping on and painfully hard-mouthing Jim — that she could never be in the same room with any of their four children (ages 2 through 10). She was crated much of the time just for everyone’s safety. I shared my concerns about whether Layla could be safe around young children. Gloria wanted to try, so I recommended multiple changes to routine, equipment, and training approach, as well as an intensive three-week day school package. I focused Layla’s lessons on learning how to be calm and self-controlled. We also switched up some equipment and management solutions that would allow Layla to be with her family more often. Transition lessons with Gloria and Jim transferred these training skills to them. Lessons with the kids incorporated them into training and, using the Doggone Safe “Be a Tree” curriculum, helped everyone to learn to be together happily and safely.
I loved getting joyous updates from Gloria, usually accompanied by videos or pictures of Layla succeeding in her good behavior with her family. Halfway through Day School, I got this post (accompanied by a video of their 9-year-old son)
“Look Ms. Sharon!!! Gavin is actually petting Layla and Layla is letting him!!!!”
Then these updates over the next three months:
“Layla is doing better. Check out these pictures I took tonight of James and Layla. They have both come a long way!”
“Tonight’s playtime. Look at that. Who would have thought that I’d be able to capture this moment!?”
Gloria’s most recent email, when I asked if I could share Layla’s story:
“You’re phenomenal and deserve the recognition. I’ll have to check out your class schedule because I think Layla is ready for classes. My pup baby will be 1 on Sunday. Getting big so fast. Thanks Sharon! Talk to you soon!”
Kudos to the Young family for their hard work and dedication to making Layla a productive member of the family!