"You don't have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.".... Les Brown
Experience the Difference with the Good Dog Center!
Ann G......"We were in the market for a family dog, and Herky (a Golden Retriever) was the quiet, chunky puppy in her litter. About 3 days after we brought her home, we realized that she was anything but quiet and chunky! She had endless energy, as well as confidence. At 12 weeks of age, she growled at me when I took away her rawhide bone. She had gone through puppy kindergarten, but not realizing exactly what we were dealing with, we did not diligently follow through with the home training. She quickly turned into a jumping, counter-surfing bundle of energy.
Herky had an unfortunate health incident when she was 5 months old, and while she was not feeling the best, she started showing us her teeth when we would reach for her collar to put her in her kennel. When she was feeling better, she continued to show us her teeth if we reached for her collar. I contacted the Good Dog Center and had an individual training session which was life-changing (to this day, I can count on one hand the number of times she's jumped on me or counter-surfed!!). We put her back into basic obedience class, and she showed me that she loves to work and have a job.
She was starting to prove herself, and we were starting to think that we could survive each other. However, I was attempting to kennel her one morning, and she was hiding along the couch snapping at me. My 5 year old was coming up behind her, obviously not aware of the situation. I was able to stop him before he grabbed her, but it absolutely terrified me (she had never once bitten and subsequently never has). That day, we decided that we were crazy to keep a 55 lb dog (with very un-Golden behaviors) in our house with a 3 and 5 year old. We felt that it was best to re-home her and contacted a Golden Retriever rescue. They were informed of all of her behaviors and asked if we would keep her until they had a foster home for her (because of her behaviors, she would not have gone to a house with kids younger that 16 years old). Realizing that this predicament was not her fault and acknowledging the trauma it would cause her, we said 'absolutely' to keeping her until there was a place for her. I also committed to continuing her obedience class and home training. She was about the 15th dog on the waiting list to be taken in and fostered before re-homing.
I really began to enjoy obedience classes and working with her (primarily because she was so eager to work!). We started to see her potential, and we started to doubt our decision to re-home her. We also learned that peanut butter in a kong in her kennel prevented us from having to touch her collar to kennel her, and we learned techniques to make touching her collar a positive experience. We made the decision to keep her, and we got her off of the list before her number was called. We finished obedience class and decided to take on the Canine Good Citizen class.
After she earned her Canine Good Citizen certificate, we were encouraged to try obedience training. I didn't know what it was or what to expect, but she had become SUCH a better dog that we decided to try it. The Good Dog Center introduced us to a hobby that I didn't know existed. Herky has since earned her Beginner Novice and Novice Obedience titles. She has 2 of her 3 legs of her Open title and is training at the Utility level. Our new hobby and our bond got me through my husband's brain cancer diagnosis and treatment and the loss of my father and continues to get me through balancing work, family, and life. Our experience with the Good Dog Center has truly been life-changing. We have learned that training is FUN and ESSENTIAL. We have established fabulous friendships. I honestly cannot imagine my life without Herky, and I feel thankful EVERYDAY for the Good Dog Center, it's amazing instructors, and what it has taught Herky and me!!!"
Thank you for visiting the Good Dog Center website. We are located in Decorah, in beautiful northeast Iowa. Please enjoying browsing our pages and give us a call or send us an email if you have questions. We look forward to hearing from you!