I hadn't had a dog since I was 6 years old, and while I often took care of friends' and neighbors' dogs, they were always adult dogs and well behaved. Morzy very quickly became a gross, stubborn and destructive little puppy. She had her own room at our house as she was like our little baby girl. It is natural for dogs to go potty far away from where they lie, apparently not for Mo at the time. Everyday we were gone to work she would have an accident, (puppies are very prone to accidents, no big right? except...) right in front of the door, then she proceeded to lay in front of the door in her waste all day. Needless to say she had an unhealthy amount of baths in her first 6 months of life. Morzy didn't like dog food, she much preferred trash, especially one particular time I remember having just fed her dinner, she didn't eat it and instead went behind our backs to get a raw potato out of the garbage. Another vivid memory is how I fell asleep on the couch one day to wake up and find my glasses had been chewed up. These are mere examples of how naughty of a puppy she was, and we didn't know what was wrong we thought it was her, not us. We told her "No" all the time and locked her up in her room by herself, she'd whine, we'd give in and let her out, we had no idea all of the simple things we were doing incorrectly.
About 2 months into having her I started to watch a lot of Dog Whisperer with Cesar Milan which I still enjoy to this day, and while I felt a little more competent in my dog raising abilities it was never perfect. Morzy didn't potty train until 7 months old when we moved and got another dog... Rico Suave.
We were never supposed to have Rico, we couldn't afford to take care of another dog, but he was a semi-stray puppy living on Rick's grandpa's property. He was just such a loyal puppy, all the other dogs would run off in a pack and he would stay home. One day I couldn't help but decide he deserved to have a real home I didn't care what it took. I used my dog whispering skills from day 1 with this little guy, and it made a huge difference. Him and Mo practically potty trained at the same time except he never had a single accident in the house (except for rare belly aches)! I am talking about a 2-1/2 month old puppy with zero housetraining. He wasn't as smart as Morzy (she learned how to shake and sit in her first month with us, Rico is a pro now but took him almost a year to perfect shake), but his behavior was excellent, he followed me around (and still does) constantly waiting for a cue. He knows that Mommy is in charge and will not give him any attention if he's naughty, and that is truly the worst punishment (the worst he gets and the last thing he wants).
We did eventually get Morzy under control, turns out she loves all food now, dog food, people food, junk food, healthy food, scraps, crumbs; if it's safe enough for us to give to her she will eat it. With her intelligence and high motivation for food she can learn tricks very quickly!
I got into dog training when my own search found out there were not very many accredited trainers in our area, and the ones that existed were way beyond my budget. I started my program through Penn Foster Career School in July 2009 and I just flew through my studies as I found all of the material so interesting, it was fun to learn a new technique and see the results so quickly. I had a lot of V8 moments... "shoulda done this", "oh if only I'd done that"... and it made me feel like I wanted to say "Hey world! This is why your dog isn't potty training/sitting/eating/etc, and this is how to fix it" My ultimate goal is just to reach out to people and give them the basics that can change their relationship with their current and future dogs.