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Gracie's Separation Anxiety
Gracie's Separation Anxiety
I was at my wits end with my young dog Gracie. Her separation anxiety was so severe that every time I had to leave her home alone, I knew there was going to be some kind of disaster waiting when I returned. No matter what precautions were taken to prevent it from happening, she always found a way to escape my attempt at confinement and destroyed the entire house! The stress associated with the destruction got to the point that she could no longer be left home alone. That's when I heard about Eileen Murdock and her business Canine Connection. I decided to give her a call to see if she could help. In just a couple of days after speaking with Eileen about the importance of leadership along with other suggestions, I could see a dramatic difference and improvement in how Gracie was behaving. She was listening better and looking to me, waiting for my direction as to what she should do next. Eileen gave me the tools I needed to get my dog comfortable in her new crate, to keep her safe as well as our belongings and it’s working fabulously. I am continuing to work toward boosting her self-esteem and she is finally on her way to being the happy, contented dog that I knew she could be!
Thank you so, so much for everything!
I just wanted to let you know the dog you met a couple months ago is no longer here. We have the same Ragnar, but he is acting like a completely different dog. We have been implementing your instructions and Ragnar now does the following:
1. Sits on the porch unleashed and watches the chipmunks and squirrels. He no longer feels the need to be on constant patrol.
2. Walks unleashed by my side - or Dave's - and usually needs only a verbal cue to stay focused.
3. No longer sees every car going down our dirt road as a threat that he needs to alert us to.
4. Can calmly look through the windows of the house at turkeys, groundhogs and other moving critters that used to make him want to go through the glass.
5. Can sit on the porch - leashed - and observe strangers without barking viscously at them (We simply coach him, and he does not escalate).
6. Can walk on a leash without pulling.
7. Comes immediately when called.
8. He is relaxed and more affectionate.
All of these successes are on the property. He is still a work in process in public. He has allowed the lady at the corn stand to pet him when he was in the truck, but basically ignores people when he is in a vehicle. No barking or snarling.
Another positive note, we had a contractor come out to make some adjustments here at the house. Ragnar lay down by him and allowed himself to be petted!
Ragnar still has his moments where he forgets himself but 95% of the time, he is doing the right things. So...not only did you save Ragnar's life by showing us there was a solution for his behavior issues, you also helped us develop Ragnar into an obedient and happy dog. A far cry from the hopeless "aggressive" shelter dog that another trainer suggested we euthanize. Dave is especially grateful your input stopped us from making a terrible decision in putting Ragnar down. It would have broken his heart. They are a happy twosome. This dog means the world to him.
We can’t thank you enough,
Bev and Dave Strelec
In May of this year, I made a choice to rescue a 1 year old, high energy German Shepherd Dog named Mya. I had met with her several times before I considered taking her because I was to be her third home. I am a strong believer that most dogs can be rehabilitated and I was certainly put to the test. I was told Mya did not like cars, children, strangers and other dogs! She was going to be a challenge! I knew I could not do this alone and was referred to Eileen Murdock with Canine Connection through my veterinarian.
Eileen came to my home where she was able to evaluate Mya and coach me on dog psychology and behavior. We both saw the great potential in Mya. True to the German Shepherd breed Mya is extremely intelligent and can be at times quite challenging. With Eileen’s help I was able to understand how my behavior affects Mya and what goes on in her mind. I have also learned a great deal of patience and practicing calm while working with Mya.
We take walks almost daily to Presque Isle state park. In the beginning she would lunge at other dogs, some bikes and people. As we continued to walk, teaching her to “ignore” the distractions, we very quickly learned to walk as a team. Our goal; by the end of summer, was to get to Sara’s for ice cream.
In August, Mya had her first official play date with a chocolate lab (also a year old). I used a muzzle initially just to be sure they would get along together. After several minutes I took the muzzle off and away they went, chasing and playing in the yard. She looked so happy! I have gained a great deal of confidence in my ability as a leader in addition to Mya’s ability learning to become more confident and social.
Mya and I went to Sara’s for ice cream on September 4th! Mya met and exceeded my expectations and we had a wonderful time! I highly recommend Canine Connection for all dog owners to help them become good leaders and to understand how to speak the language of the dog!
Thank you very much Eileen!
Tammy Trump and Mya
Awesome is the best word to describe my new relationship with my dogs after taking the Canine Connection - "In Home People Training For Dogs" program.
It was SO worth every cent!
I have had dogs my entire life, but never realized or understood what it would mean to be the true alpha in the household. Eileen Murdock, the owner and trainer of the program astounded me within 15 minutes of being in my home!
I always thought that being the true alpha would mean being much harder on my dogs than I wanted to be in terms of training and discipline. I was very wrong. I am now able to be in total control of my pups, yet continue to be loving and gentle. My dogs are happier with me as pack leader. I feel in control while walking them, without worrying that I may lose them, or be pulled down and injured.
I highly recommend this program and will always be grateful to Eileen for her training and support in my home, walking the dogs, vet appointments, and through e-mail contact whenever I have a question or concern.
with Charley: Clumber Spaniel
This letter is from another trainer who is also a member of the APDT. We made contact through a members only help page. Her new rescued dog was very excitable and aggressively reactive to motorcycles both in and out of the car on and off leash. This is not a good trait especially for a Therapy dog.
An entire week and the only thing Jackson actually barked at was a bird!! He whined and struggled with himself trying not to bark at a bicyclist and only gave a head pop in the direction of the sound of motorcycles going by.
He's now sitting with his big hinny on the back seat, his front paws on the floor, and his head resting on the console.... Sooooo much better than the hyper vigilance he was exhibiting
only a month ago!!
I realize I have to maintain this forward motion...each day gets easier and easier ... He put in a full day of therapy work today. I can see he's honing those skills with more ease as he relaxes into his "new" self. I can't thank you enough for reaching out and helping me with Jax.
It's amazing how as a trainer we sometimes cannot see the forest for the trees. My, what a world you have opened up for me!
Have a great weekend! I'll get a good pic of my boy rocking his newly earned therapy vest as he's passed his tests!!
Joanne/Jackson Florida member APDT
(Association of Professional Dog Trainers)
A Gaggle of Goldens!
A Gaggle of Goldens!
Hello my name is Barbara Horgan of Wylie, Texas.
My family used the services of Canine Connection and its owner, Eileen Murdock in April. I am the owner of four Golden Retrievers. One we raised from a pup, the other 3 are rescues. We have a small backyard and walk the dogs each morning and evening (weekends they go swimming) so providing them with exercise was never the problem.
The walks; for years, were unbearable. Frisco (the one we have had since a pup) was leash aggressive. We could not pass another dog; while on leash, or a runner, someone on a bike and even walkers without him rearing up, lunging and barking aggressively.
In the past I have been thrown to the ground (and injured) trying to restrain him, frightened other people while in public and have been totally humiliated by his behavior. To say the least walking my dog(s) was not a joy. Sadly, my other male picked up on his behavior and began to act the same way. Now the problem compounded. One of my females came to us
with similar issues.
I hired other trainers to help resolve the behavior issues and although they had great suggestions, they were not able to help me understand that in order for my dogs to obey they had to first view me as their leadership figure. Canine Connection and their
“In home people training for dogs” philosophy did!
The first thing Eileen did was to teach me that we do not go out the door with the dogs in a heightened state of excitement. I could not believe that such a simple act makes a huge difference! I was to focus on my own energy and create what I wanted. Very quickly the dogs learned to relax and sit back and wait until I was ready.
Eileen encouraged me to “be the queen of the sidewalk”. We addressed all the walking issues I was experiencing with my dogs. How to properly walk the dogs, when the right time to correct them if an issue might arise and if a problem does unexpectedly surface (fence fighting), that I take the time to have a lesson in making sure they understand what behavior I do want before we move on. No longer is my thought process, “Oh no, a dog/person is coming”, it is now “Bring it on!"
After working with Canine Connection the neighborhood runners no longer turn the opposite way when they see us walking our dogs and the dogs no longer have interest in walkers or people on bikes. We do; on occasion, have issues with an excitable oncoming dog, but usually a quick correction given before my dogs become overly excitable does the trick. The difference is incredible. Walking our dogs is a joy again!
Thank you so much, Eileen. Your knowledge, enthusiasm and encouragement are superb. I AM the Queen!
"Kordell" Simply Misunderstood
"Kordell" Simply Misunderstood
Hello my name is Kathe Bryson from Waterford Pa.
I have a 4 year old male Berger Picard named Kordell. This breed is considered rare and only AKC recognized in 2007, although it has an ancient history in France. Our dog has been great but we became concerned of his behavior around strangers. I was referred to Canine Connection and Eileen Murdock, by Kordell's basic
obedience teacher who termed him "aggressive".
Wanting to train my dog properly I arranged for Eileen to do an in home evaluation and consultation. I have to say I was somewhat skeptical; however, she had obviously done her homework about the breed which impressed me. She asked questions and watched us interact with Kordell and quickly determined that what was previously labeled as aggression was actually a manifestation of his insecurity! She instructed our family on how to approach Kordell by being the pack leader.
Well, there has been such an improvement in Kordell’s overall behavior. Now he looks to me for what to do and for how to behave. He is slowly becoming better around strangers. I plan on continuing Eileen's instruction indefinitely. I have even been able to email or call Eileen about various questions and she gets back to me in a helpful timely fashion.
I would highly recommend Eileen and her company, Canine Connection
for all dog behavior concerns.
Kathe S. Bryson, M.D.
I just thought I’d give you an update on how Dozer is doing. He has come a long way since you visited us. He hardly ever exhibits any nervous/shy behavior when strangers come to our house and absolutely NEVER when he is on the lead outside walking.
He is very obedient and even comes when called when off the leash playing outside. A few times he was put to the test when playing fetch and another dog was walking with an adult. Although at first he took off towards the dog/adult; when we called him to come, he indeed turned around and returned right to our side.
His barking is also much more under control. We do not need to use the yellow lead any longer. If he is barking at a passerby, we just tell him to come to remove him from the window area and he stops. It is amazing how far he has come in such a short time!
And; best of all, he absolutely loves Bob! They have truly bonded and no one would ever believe the earlier trust/fear issues we had in that area.
We are definitely a pack of three and Dozer knows who the leaders are. It is such a delight having him around. We take him everywhere with us.
We can't thank you enough for all your help!
Hopefully things are going well for you and the business. We are looking forward to introducing Dozer to the water and swimming in the spring.
Chaos with a Catahoula
Chaos with a Catahoula
Hello, my name is Jennifer McDonough
My family sought the help of “Canine Connection” with Eileen Murdock, after having had Henry (our deaf Catahoula hound) for about 6 months. Henry is a rescue who spent the first year of his life in various shelters, and endured significant abuse and neglect before we took him into our home. He was an angel for the first two or three weeks with us. And then his true colors surfaced!
He was very energetic and excited to have a home where he could safely expose his mischievous side. This was a huge challenge in terms of training and correcting, obviously because the only tool available to us was sign language. Over time his bad behavior was creating extreme chaos in our home and was causing a great deal of stress in our lives.
At the end of our ropes, and seeing no other option than to return him to the foster parents he came from, we called Canine Connection. Little did Eileen know, she was facing some pretty extreme skepticism, simply because we had tried everything we knew how to try, and we didn't expect anyone to come up with anything different.
The day that Eileen arrived and simply entered our home was amazing enough to turn our skepticism around! She took control of the situation immediately. She explained her methods of teaching humans to communicate with dogs from a canine perspective and why it works so efficiently. When she tells you that she provides people training for dogs, she means it! And it works!
Eileen gave us an entire folder with a training plan for us to reference any time we need to (we still use it). She went over that plan with us in detail, and then modeled the strategies for us. Henry’s response was completely positive. Eileen has an amazing gift of observing a situation quickly and being able to read everyone involved, human and dog. She adapted her entire therapy to Henry’s special needs (deafness) and our methods for dealing with that.
She taught us the importance of being calm, confident, and always in control, and we still use that formula in many other aspects of our lives!
When Henry had his next annual checkup our vet could not believe the difference in him. This time he stayed relaxed through the entire waiting room visit and physical exam. That is absolutely amazing, since the year before he had to be muzzled AND was given his shots outside in the parking lot, because he would not even enter the building! We were so proud of him, and that would have never been possible without Canine Connection.
We are eternally grateful, and wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone owning a dog with behavior problems!
With immeasurable gratitude,
Jennifer N. McDonough
Things are going very well! Edi is progressing nicely. He’s starting to grasp and understand house rules with little complaint. He & Tess play in the yard very nicely together until they’re pooped! The new house rules have definitely given Tess a boost of confidence around Ed, and she’s not afraid to put him in his place when needed. Between the rules, restrictions, and more exercise (compliments of Tess),
Ed is finally learning to RELAX!
He has now become one of the best dogs I have seen on lead. He very rarely even attempts to pull ahead and heels nicely with only a slight correction. When focused on other dogs or people on the sidewalks, a correction or simple “leave it” command redirects and we keep on walking eyes forward. We’ve been walking them all over the neighborhood in their backpacks, to help drain their energy!
Last week, we walked past the park where a soccer game was going on. A young boy asked to pet our dogs, and both sat calmly for pets and affection. Now with a better handle on Ed’s behavior, we are looking forward to enrolling him in an intermediate obedience class and watch him excel once again. Thanks again for all your help. We really appreciate the advice and guidance!
Thank you – Hannah Kirby and Sam Caraballo
Duke ... Leash Reactive
Duke ... Leash Reactive
This note came in only two days after our training session!
February 19, 2014
I just wanted to let you know that so far we have had a great couple of days. Only a few corrections are required and mostly at the onset and as we are approaching home. The most important thing to report is....this morning as we were heading down the driveway, a gentleman was walking his golden retriever. I am proud to say I immediately corrected Duke upon the perk up/notice and he barked and attempted to do his "spin" but only jumped about as high as my hip, spun and then stopped and watched them go by.
The golden was barking the entire time but Duke did really well. After he did his business we went in the same direction, following them and he stayed right with me (no pulling) but had his eye on them, I would tap the leash a little to regain his focus but thought we did good. In order to maintain my composure I proceeded to exchange pleasantries with the gentlemen so I wasn't focused on Duke and he could see all was good.
That is wonderful news; you passed your first challenge with flying colors! It’s important to remember that he is going to want to practice behaviors that he has learned to practice over time, and it is just reactionary. He’s not even thinking about it when it happens. Keep your focus on the new rules… and the new rule is, no more spinning and over reacting at the site of another dog or anything else that gets him riled up. His only job is to follow you! Whole heartily enjoy his successes and remember that when he does make a mistake; it’s merely an opportunity to teach, so even those are not “bad” either! Your timing sounds perfect and you were able to redirect him very quickly. The goal is keep him from escalating so at this point it’s more important to keep your focus there, rather than on him ignoring the other dog, that will come with time. Still correct and redirect him from staring/fixating. You’re doing an excellent job, keep up the good work!
Rescuer with the heart of an Angel
Rescuer with the heart of an Angel
Hello, my name is Heidi May and I live in Riva, Maryland. I first met Eileen Murdock from Canine Connection, in March of 2011. The Animal Welfare Society of Monroe County (AWSOM) asked for her help with seven German Shepherd dogs
that were seized in a cruelty case.
When I heard of the plight of these dogs I knew I had to take action and offer the hope of a new home and love; probably for the first time in their lives.
I have had a great deal of past experience with German Shepherds and I thought I knew everything I needed to know about handling and training, but these two rescue shepherds came with considerable "baggage" and nothing I did to correct their behavior was working. Foxy was only 37 lbs when she was found and she was literally a day away from dying of starvation. Rescued from ghastly surroundings, she was a breeder who, at 3 years old, never saw daylight and had little to no human contact. She was afraid of her own shadow, would not eat, and would pee all over herself if she became
stressed and anxious (which was all the time).
My second rescue was her polar opposite. Buddy was a very large, young male with aggression issues. He would bark uncontrollably at anybody who came on our property, he would snap at and jump on people; he would posture viciously in the car and attack windshield wipers, vacuum cleaners, cell phones etc… He was becoming increasingly hard to handle and difficult to control. With having young children in my home and their safety being paramount, I thought I had no choice but to surrender him back to the shelter.
I am happy to now report that, after contacting and consulting with Canine Connection and by following Eileen’s instructions to the letter, both my dogs have evolved into wonderful, well balanced family dogs. We have a very busy home with people coming and going all the time. Both dogs have turned into happy, playful, contented and well behaved members of the family. They romp and play with the kids, listen when given commands, and almost all of the unwanted behavior issues have become a thing of the past.
When we come home from being gone during the day, the house is as we left it, with no signs of anxiety or excitement. Both dogs behave beautifully in the car, and do not show any aggression towards people or any other animals when out in public.
I owe it ALL to Canine Connection.
Thank you so much Eileen, we couldn't have done it without you! Buddy and Foxy thank you as well!
Buddy and Foxy May
Buddy and Foxy May
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Past Canine Connection Clients
Past Canine Connection Clients