We were not supposed to have another dog after our dog, Gracie, passed; but along came Kody, who needed a home. We looked into those blue eyes and how could we resist?
Kody "moved" in at 12 weeks old and we knew immediately we had our hands full. He's a mini Aussie Shepherd full of boundless energy. Walking became a challenge, he would pull us down the street. We'd prayed we wouldn't see a squirrel or bird, especially geese. Kody would become almost uncontrollable, jumping up and down, barking, and pulling. Our arms soon began to hurt from all of his pulling. He was terrible when passing other people walking their dogs. It wasn't unusual for others to avoid us because of Kody's behavior. It was so embarrassing. He was constantly barking at the children as they walked to school in the morning and home in the afternoon. He would not come when we called him. The back yard was a challenge, he was always chewing on sticks, pine cones, and digging holes. We made so many trips to the vet. If we'd try playing with him in the back yard, it was not fun. He loved herding us. He would nip our ankles and it hurt. It didn't take long to figure out that Kody definitely needed training.
We often drove by Canine Academy, read the reviews, and eventually called. Linda went over with us what the Beginner class entailed and we signed Kody up. After Beginner class, we did Intermediate and Advanced classes. Kody did great, life improved but we wanted more. We had hopes of doing some traveling. The skills that Kody had learned were not quite enough. We talked with the trainers and all agreed how much Kody would benefit from Off Leash training. We soon learned that Kody would spend 6 weeks at Canine Academy, no coming home at night. We were not comfortable with that. Would Kody forget us? Would he still love us after leaving him there for so long? Would he ever want to go back to Canine Academy after he came home? Would his personality change? What if he got sick? So many doubts ran through our minds. Even though we had these thoughts plus so many more, we made an appointment with Lisa to discuss Off Leash training.
Our meeting with Lisa went great! Lisa carefully went over everything about Kody's behavior issues and how Off Leash training would improve both our and his life. Lisa explained what a typical day for Kody's training would be like. Kody would be traveling around town to Birmingham, Rochester, Oxford, Detroit, and to the farm for daily outings and training. One thing for sure, he would not be bored. It sounded so good, we wished we could sign up for Off Leash training too! Lol. Lisa explained the process and gave us access to videos to help us prepare for Kody’s return home. Once Kody completed Off Leash training, there would be weekly outings we could attend with other owners and dogs to help us master the use of Kody’s training. Lisa also told us that if any health problems occur, Kody would be checked out by the vet. We were told that Kody's personality and enthusiasm would not change. He'd be the same energetic guy only well trained.
It wasn't easy leaving Kody at Canine Academy. Lots of tears and needless worry. We would email, we'd check Facebook constantly to see a picture or video of him, and lots of calls to check on him. Every time we called, we were always reassured how great Kody was doing. We must admit, there were some silly questions. Was he eating, how's his poop, did he make friends, was he happy. We must have drove them nuts, especially Lindsey. Just before Kody was done with Off Leash training, we met with Lisa and Kara to discuss Kody s progress. Kara explained how to use the training and worked with us and Kody. Our next meeting, Amanda helped us in working with Kody. We had lots of questions and they were always answered. On our third meeting, we finally brought Kody home. Little did we realize our life with Kody was about to change dramatically!
When we got Kody home, it was like he'd never left ,only now he obeyed! Kody actually came to us when we called! No more barking at the kids as they walked by. A simple come command and Kody came running to the door. No more eating sticks, pine cones or digging. A leave it command, and Kody would stop herding. Walking became a pleasure, no more sore arms. We were actually able to talk to other dog owners with their dogs while Kody remain in a down stay. It was definitely noticed. So many times we heard what a great dog Kody was, he listens so well. One day a squirrel was in a tree over head of us, Kody looked up and continued walking like the squirrel didn't exist. We were amazed!
We finally took Kody to our cabin in northern Michigan. We were always afraid of taking him because of his behavior. He loved it, especially all the new smells. The best part for us was that he listened even when the neighbor's dog came over to visit uninvited. We enjoyed having Kody with us. We now have plans to go to Florida for a few months after Christmas. We can honestly say that we have confidence in Kody to be a great dog on our trip.
When Thanksgiving day arrived, we knew it would be a test of Kody's Off Leash training. He was thrilled to see everyone. While on his mat, the children wanted to play with him. Kody wouldn't leave the mat until we released him! It was very impressive. Dinner was great. No begging for food or under foot. So many times we heard what a great dog Kody was. We are so very proud of him.
We continue to drop Kody off for day training and an occasional over-night. It's great to see him so happy when we pull into the parking lot. He loves seeing everyone. This gives us so much peace of mind knowing he's so well taken care of and loved at Canine Academy. We know that if any questions or concerns arise, we're just a phone call or email away from an answer.
We can't thank Lisa and her staff for all the wonderful training and love Kody has received and continues to get. We feel so blessed to have found Canine Academy. Kody was a good dog but now he's become a GREAT dog! We're no longer embarrassed to take him anywhere. We are now truly enjoying Kody.
Janet and Larry Dougla