Sabrina and her pup Clem are an endearing example of an amazing and fun relationship full of challenges and full of victories.
When I first met Clem he was a little Catahoula Hound puppy. He had a lot of different challenges including pulling on the leash, jumping on people, not listening to any command, potty training, house training, destructive behavior and separation anxiety. And those were not all of them.
Sabrina back then was living in an apartment in Brooklyn and had another roommate with another dog. So things were getting pretty rough.
As soon as I entered the door I knew Clem was a sweet little puppy, but full of energy and overexcitement. This is a classic example were trainers and dog professionals will recommend to either send him to a farm or use him as a working dog, unless you can provide at least 3 to 4 hours a day of exercise. The reality is that very few people in the city can dedicate this amount of time to their dog on a daily basis. I knew that Sabrina had long day work hours, but getting rid of him was not even a question.
This brings up this question: Can you have this type of dog in the city? The answer is Yes. You can if you know how to fulfill their needs. Do you need to run and exercise him 3 hours a day? it would be great if you could, but there are other ways. How?
The answer is by teaching him self control and making sure he is in the right state of mind. A dog that is nervous, overexcited, anxious and lacks self control will NEVER get tired no matter how much you exercise him/her. And I knew this was true about Clem. I´ve heard too many times this story, “I started running my dog for an hour, then I went for two hours and then I even tried three for a while and he wouldn´t get tired. I don’t know what else to do”
The reason why this happens is because is not about what they do is about how they do it. Meaning what sate of mind are they in while they are doing whatever they are doing. Let me give you an example so you can understand it better. If you go to work every day in a stressed state of mind. No matter how many hours you work, you will not come back home tired. You will come home restless. Probably in a bad mood and not being able to sleep.
Well this happens to dogs too. That´s why when they are out of control or they have lack of self control they can bark for seven hours, seven days a week. That´s right! And they will not get tired. They will get restless and they will continue doing it. When you walk or even run your high energy dog with tension on the leash, your dog will not get tired. He/she will get probably crazier. They actually fitter at getting crazy.
Anyways going back to Clem. Once I explained this to Sabrina and we talked about the importance of knowing how to do a nice structured walk and on having a good relationship based on trust and respect, things starting to change dramatically.
I recently visited both of them and I was amazed about the big transformation. Clem was a pro. Not only there was no pulling on the leash, jumping or all that crazy behavior, but Clem was a happy City dog that loved, trusted and respected Sabrina.
Way to go Sabrina!! You did not had it easy and you´ve came a long way through.
By Gabriel Riesco