My name is Kate. My boyfriend and I have a 2 year old German Shepherd mix named Shep. We adopted Shep from the SPCA about a year ago. Then, he was about 43lbs and you could see his ribs. He was so scared of people that we barely got him in the car. My boyfriend was very skeptical of adopting him but something inside me just couldn’t resist his tortured soul. Within the first few weeks we noticed that Shep would growl very loudly at anyone other than my boyfriend and myself. He was scared of everything, including his own shadow. However, when he was with just us he was the biggest cuddle bear you could meet. Right away I knew we would have some work ahead of us and so I began the search. I had no idea that when I contacted Jamie and Michael, owners of Best Paw Forward, that they would not only change Shep’s life but mine as we’ll.
Before we started Best Paw Forward training Shep would growl at strangers, hide under tables and chairs, couldn’t walk on a leash, and cry and bark for hours when one of us was at work.
Since working with Best Paw Forward, Shep walks very well on leash and loves going for walks in the park. He holds his head up when he walks and is no longer lacking confidence. He still struggles with anxiety when we are gone but he has come leaps and bounds since we started training.
Jamie and Michael showed us how to teach “wanted” behavior for our dog. They taught us how to build trust between us and Shep. They taught us how to communicate with Shep through training and rewards. Our biggest worry when we got Shep is that he would bite someone out of fear. However, now that thought never crosses my mind. I am still mindful that he is a dog but I have trained him with other dogs around and children. He now knows how to cope with strangers and strange situations so he is not forced to hide or act out.
As far as the trainers are concerned.. WE LOVE THEM! Michael and Jamie have gone above and beyond to help us with Shep. Not only are they flexible about group classes but they make personal house calls built around your schedule. Michael and Jamie are truly the ultimate training duo. I could not have asked for more devoted people. You can tell just by speaking with them that they love dogs animals and they love what they do.
There are no words to explain just how much Best Paw Forward gave me and my little family. They not only gave me the tools I need to help Shep but they gave him a chance. That loving cuddle bear that I saw from day one was able to break through his armor and shine. I look forward to continuing our training and helping Shep grow into the best version of himself.