Travis is the best dog / person trainer I have ever encountered or knew existed. I cannot stress enough if you simply need assistance with your first ever dog or have an issue you are baffled to remedy, Travis is the man to see. I will quickly outline the issue I had, and you may be able to relate to it. I hope you find it useful.
I have had Labradors before and have successfully trained them to a basic household pet level so I thought I would be able to handle any dog related situation. My fiancé and I were looking for a new dog to join our family (and our 8 year old cocker - perfectly trained) and after some local burglaries we decided to get a German Shepherd Puppy (Luna). We did everything text book with her, from puppy school, to socialisation and our dog walker introduced her to several dogs every day. Luna absolutely loved our cocker and all the dogs she walked with everyday. We knew she had a level of nervousness with new situations and new dogs (typical of German shepherds) but this escalated quite dramatically. She went from avoiding new dogs, to barking to outright charging at them. At 9 months she weighs 28K, is strong and very intimidating. I am 6 foot and weigh 16 stone and I struggled to hold her. My fiancé was pulled over and hurt herself.. My dad no longer comes around to the house as Luna would knocked him to the ground to greet him.
We have paid hundreds of pounds in hiring behaviourists to help us (we tried two) and even though I agree with their methods (and I was already doing most of them) – something was not gelling. I could make Luna walk to heel using treats and clicker but something wasn’t right. She was never relaxed, always manic – the best way to describe it would be imagine a 8 year old child who had drank nothing but fizzy pop and eaten sweets all day. I could go on but the situation had become so bad we had started the conversation of possibly rehoming – something we did not want to do.
Then we stumbled upon Travis on the internet and I will never look back. As soon as you turn up to the training ground you know this is an organisation that will deliver. Proper equipment and a fenced off area and it just screams professionalism.
Travis spent a good time on my first visit (Friday 17th January 2020) just talking me through the psychology of a German Shepherd and even though I knew some of it, I was surprised with how much I was unaware of. What I loved about Travis is that he made it clear there is no magic bullet, but just learning the tools on how to deal with situations and reinforcing the correct behaviours in Luna. Then he took be to the field and showed me how to walk her properly. In under fifteen minutes Luna was almost working perfectly and was not pulling. I couldn’t believe it. More than this, Luna was calm and happy. I had taken control and for the first time in nine months Luna was comfortable in her own skin. Then Travis introduced his own dog and I expect all hell to break loose. But it didn’t. Travis walked me through what to do and I was staggered with the results. It was the same Luna, but she was happy to let me control the situation.
Now that I have got Luna home, I have walked over 8 miles in two days and its been the best walks I’ve ever had with any dog. I have walked past dogs, cats and children playing football and it was easy. Because I knew what to do.
There is still a lot of work to do but I feel confident and empowered that I can do this. I can’t believe I even considered rehoming Luna.
Thank you Travis.