Dear Linn,

We wanted to write and thank you for all of your help with Annie-dog, whose behavior has been simply transformed. As you know, Annie-dog (also known as Agent Orange) is a rescue dog and was found wandering the streets of South LA. At the time that we adopted her, she was about 9 months old and appeared to have been abused. She had no social skills (either with people or dogs), as was demonstrated by her aggressive and unpredictable behavior – she was alternatively aggressive and fearful and lashed out when she felt threatened.

We worked with a string of trainers before we met you, but you are the first one who really understood not only the way that Annie was reacting to the world but also the manner in which our own feedback was reinforcing her negative reactions. Before we worked with you to understand Annie-dog’s motivations, we thought we could just love her previous abuse away and help her gain confidence, but we learned that we were only boosting her fear-driven aggression. Through your tutelage, we have learned how our reactions to her behaviors was only increasing her desire to be in charge and was heightening her aggression.

By working with you over a short period of time, we came to understand Annie-dog and the manner in which we need to assert ourselves when dealing with her so that she can relax and not feel compelled to react aggressively or negatively. Her fearful reaction has virtually disappeared and now she is able to just alert us about something that catches her attention and leave it to us to deal with. She really is a different dog and we have you to thank for this transformation.

Thanks again for all of your hard work with Annie-dog and, especially, with us.

Heidi, Jonathan and Sophia