What is a complicated dog? A dog who may overly react (lunge, growl, bark excessively) to other dogs and humans. Even those dogs we love, that have bitten another being.
A few years ago, I began searching for a behaviorist to help with my very reactive Golden retriever, Noah. Noah was so overcome with fear and anxiety that he wasn’t enjoying life to the fullest – even walking through our neighborhood was sometimes traumatic, if someone rolled by on a skateboard, or someone parked a big scary boat in their driveway, he’d simply shut down. He was fearful of meeting new people and aggressive toward other dogs to the point that I was afraid of what we might encounter simply going for a walk. That’s when I met Ann. Ann is absolutely remarkable in her ability to understand dogs – and they know it and adore her for it! Not only did she help me to understand Noah’s reactivity, she taught me how to help him overcome his fears. Today, he is pure happiness and joy, a total goofball that loves people and even has wonderful relationships and play-dates with other dogs. And while we do face the occasional scary moment, he recovers quickly and isn’t tormented by the world around him. To further build his confidence, Ann introduced us to Nosework, something for which I will always be thankful, and will participate in with every dog I have the joy of sharing my life with moving forward. (Noah’s big sister, Olive started Nosework, too!) Through Nosework, Noah learned to just be a dog and enjoy life. His confidence has grown by leaps and bounds, and he even seems proud of himself when he finds a hide and is rewarded for something that comes so naturally to him. I owe so much to Ann and to the sport of Nosework for helping my sweet boy come out of his shell and love life again.