Lynne Hind changed our lives. We had adopted an 8-week old puppy, who we named Jude, and who became a sister to our first dog, Sam (2yo at the time). Our girls get along like peas and carrots, but from the beginning, Jude was starkly different from Sam. While Sam thrived and continues to thrive in social environments involving both human and non-human friends, Jude came to us extremely timid. We read online about “fear reactivity’ and spent weeks worrying about how to help our wee girl become the best dog she could be. Our efforts brought us to two different kinds of puppy schools, doggy play evenings at our local doggy daycare, and multiple meetings with some neighbours’ dogs in a bid to get Jude “going” or at least be less fearful. Despite everything, we kept coming up against Jude’s shyness. The trainers we encountered told us to simply keep “socializing” Jude as we had been doing and she would eventually come around. But this confused us because things seemed to be getting worse. With each attempt, Jude went from cautious to cowering and panicky, even though the dogs we were socializing her with were gentle and generally prosocial.
By the time we contacted Lynne, Jude was about 6 months old. Lynne was patient and non-judgmental, and such a relief to speak to. She gently helped us understand that Jude’s shyness would not simply change by further “socialization” attempts that we had been trying. What Jude needed is confidence, built through a strong bond and a solid structure. And so we began. Using Lynne’s techniques, which are rooted in the psychology of connection between dogs and their paw-rents (as we like to call ourselves), we started to listen to Jude, understand her strengths, and respect her limits. Over the course of our first 6 classes with Lynne, Jude became a different dog – she no longer cowered at the sight of another dog, she showed interested in ‘greeting’ those same dogs, and she even began to show excitement. Because of Lynne, we have a funny, quirky, empathetic, and deeply kind dog. Looking back, we have come to understand that timid dogs are challenging because they are difficult to engage and easy to write-off as “unsocialized” or as requiring “more socialization.” While it may be true that Jude needed social experiences, she did not need them in the way we had been organizing and that, in our anxious bid to help her, ended up being forced. Once we understood that, with the help of Lynne, we were able to give Jude the structure she needed and still needs. Today Jude is thriving, dare I say cautiously confident, and we aren’t looking back.
Given our experiences with Jude, we also took our first dog, Sam, for training with Lynne one year later and she, too, has changed for the better. While a social butterfly, Sam had begun barking at random dogs and playing a bit too roughly with Jude. Once again, we turned to Lynne who explained to us, using psychology, what might be going on in our family dynamic and gave us concrete exercises to help. Not only is Sam calmer (and yes, she stopped barking at random dogs and now plays more fairly!), she is happier and more balanced than ever before.
If you want a smart, humble, and emotionally-talented trainer, Lynne Hind at Dogabond is for you. If you want to do more than teach your dog to sit and stay, and rather understand their logics and the way human and non-human bonds work, then Lynne at Dogabond is for you. Even if you aren’t sure what you are looking for, I can assure you Lynne will provide you with the resources, knowledge, and skills you need to build the bond you and your dog need to be the best you can be together.