I just wanted to take a minute to give you my most sincere debt of gratitude for helping me be able to save General's life. Not only has your guidance enabled me to turn around a dog that other behaviorists believed was beyond help, but has given me the confidence to be a leader to General.
Your gift of being able to read and interpret not only the dog's behavior and reactions, but those of its' handler as well and the impact they have, is truly something special. I consider you nothing less than a guardian angel for dogs and their owners that need help. Your unwavering confidence and genuine concern for General and our family is a true testament to your character.
General has been so much happier since we have been working on all of the things that you have shown us. Words cannot express how happy we are to have found you. You will always be someone special to us!
- Jason Scarduzio
General's story began when we rescued him from a shelter in March of 2011. He was a sweet dog that had some issues but we wanted to give him a loving home.
Not entirely sure of his background, problems soon began to surface. He would rough nip/bite family members and guests, and had strong aggression towards dogs. After a failed socialization session with another trainer, things took a terrifying turn. It was if he perceived that I had put him in a situation where he could be harmed. I lost his trust, and he began to redirect that aggression on me regularly. As the weather got cold and sweatshirts and jackets became needed, his behavior seemed as if someone had even tried to bite sleeve train him. Things reached an undeniable state of crisis where we could not have any guests in our home, go out for a walk, or sit peacefully in our living room. His behavior had gotten so far out of control that I feared we would have no choice but to surrender him. However, when I looked into his eyes I just couldn't bring myself to believe that he couldn't be helped.
I had the desire to rehabilitate him, but was clearly out of my league. My search for a behaviorist began.
After speaking to several potential behaviorists/trainers, each one eluded that he may very likely be a lost cause that would need to be put down. After hanging up the phone with yet another behaviorist sharing this same sentiment, I was heartbroken.I Then found Christine Nolan.
I explained our situation in all of its' terrifying detail, but Christine was not deterred in the least. Upon speaking with her, I was immediately instilled with a sense of hope. From our first visit she was patient and observant, taking the time to get to know General as well as us, and make an accurate inventory of his behaviors and what she felt drove them as well as courses of action. She thoroughly explained his reactions to different situations in detail, and how the unspoken responses of my energy and body language impacted General.
I was racked with guilt over being the one that had taken him to the session elsewhere prior to finding Christine, that had triggered his mental break. She assured me that although that was unfortunate, it by no means meant that it had to be permanent and asserted that in order for General to move forward that I had to let the past go and focus on helping him.
During the course of our sessions and beyond, Christine has taken a genuine interest in the well being of all of us...this is more than just a job to her. Her passion for what she does is immediately recognizable. She truly cares about General, my family and I, and our relationship with our dog.
We still have more work ahead but are making great and continued progress, and in each and every aspect her assessments and methods of correcting his behavior have been extremely accurate. Using the techniques that Christine has taught me, I am now able to properly communicate with General, have guests in our home without incidents, freely walk through our neighborhood with much fewer strong reactions and calmly regain control if there is an incident, and General and my family coexist in peace.
General is happier than ever and our relationship is what I have always wanted it to be...one of mutual love and respect. Christine has helped me learn to be a strong leader to General, regain his trust, and ultimately save his life. I have dedicated myself fully to his rehabilitation and invest a lot of time and patience working with him, but we would certainly not be making the continuing progress that we are if not for her help!
- Jason Scarduzio
I am happy to share that all of our hard work is paying off! General has now earned his way off of the muzzle and absolutely loves going for walks now...when I grab his leash he runs right over, sits, and waits nicely to go. He walks like an angel, is doing fantastic in the house respecting boundaries and visitors, and it is like a different dog. He has helped me learn so many things that I needed to improve about my own energy for him to trust and respect me as his leader, and I learn from him every day.
Before our first consult, I had serious concerns about being able to keep him, but now I cannot imagine life without him!