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Romeo's Story

Romeo is our 5 year old American Pitbull Terrier that we've had since he was a 6 week old puppy. He was also our first experience ever raising a dog, so as expected, we made a few mistakes along the way. We spoiled him rotten and allowed a lot of behaviors to take place that we should have corrected from the start. For the most part he was a typical energetic, happy and affectionate puppy. After reaching over 90lbs in weight some of the behaviors we thought were cute when he was a puppy quickly became a problem. Up until he was about 5 to 6 months old he would play with other dogs and could go anywhere with us.

I had always kept him on a leash in public but on 2 separate occasions he was attacked by another unleashed dog resulting in both me and him being bitten. After a second attack, I became extremely nervous when walking him for fear of this happening again and he grew more aggressive towards other animals and people we would encounter. When he would spot another animal, or even smell one, he would immediately become anxious and that would quickly escalate to pulling, barking, and violently attacking the leash. He reacted the same way towards vehicles driving by. He became so uncontrollable and unpredictable on walks that I couldn’t trust him to be walked by anyone else but me. These were just some of the issues we were having and the fact that he is such a large dog, and very strong, amplified everything. Walking him was a nightmare mentally and physically. Between the constant pulling and fear that I might run into another person walking their dog, I began to dread every time I had to take him out.

We tried a bunch of different methods we read about or saw on the Dog Whisperer. I’m convinced that Romeo was more out of control than 90% of the dogs on the show! We turned to trainers and different types of training collars. After spending literally thousands of dollars on both, which also included a lengthy in board experience with a trainer, we had little or no lasting results. We had all but given up. He was a complete monster outside but in the house he was as gentle and loveable as you could imagine. We love him like a son so at no point could we even consider getting rid of him. We just came to grips with the fact that this was how he was and there was nothing we could do about it.

I finally reached a breaking point when he decided to act like a maniac while my neighbor had her grandkids outside. He scared them so much the kids had to go inside. I heard about Crawmers Animal Training through a guy I met in the barber shop a month or two prior, who told me he had issues with his Cane Corso and was satisfied with the results after training sessions with Crawmer’s. But I had heard similar stories before about other trainers and had no such luck with them, so I was understandably skeptical. We just figured our dog was a beast that nobody could tame. But after this incident I called Crawmer’s as a last shot at this training thing.

The first thing I was happy about were the rates, which were far less than we had paid in the past for other trainers. During the initial phone call, we explained we had issues with everything from basic obedience and following simple commands to extreme aggression and leash pulling on walks. We booked 2 sessions that were convenient with our schedules. When we arrived at the first session we had to leave Romeo in the car while we discussed everything because he wouldn't obey me and sit while we talked. He was dragging me all over. Our conversation included a pretty detailed tutorial on dog psychology and what we were doing wrong. Ms Crawmer simply explained that we were over thinking everything! After explaining some of her methods and what we were expected to do she asked me to get Romeo back out of the car. After the first 15 minutes of hands on training I felt like we had already accomplished more than we had in the last 5 years trying every other method we could think of and everything suggested to us by others. She showed us how to effectively put a stop to unwanted behaviors and actually had other dogs on the premises to create real life scenarios where Romeo would exhibit aggression and we could properly address it. We were also able to purchase a better quality leash and collar than we had been using that was way easier on the hands and far more reliable than what we had been using.

We were told to scrap the shock collar we had been using that was given to us by a previous trainer as a "fix all" because it was actually making our situation worse. Since the first training session with Crawmer's we have had no use for a shock collar. Romeo has been a completely different dog. I cannot express enough how amazed I am with his quick turn around! The first time I walked him on my own after the first training session his responses blew my mind! I went from holding onto the leash for dear life to being able to walk him with 2 fingers on the leash with complete confidence. He was actually making eye contact and paying more attention to me, resisting the urge to run after everything he saw. In 5 years he has never been this obedient! We just completed our second session which gave us even more tools and techniques to reinforce and build on what we had already accomplished.

We can't thank Crawmer's enough! We didn't think it was possible to love him any more than we did but we do. He is making us proud every day, and we can actually go about things with confidence now. We still have some work to do, but thankfully, we were given simple methods we could take with us and continue to use to make our life and Romeos life easier. We can actually enjoy our dog and walks are no longer an aggravation.

Thank you again,

James, Maria, and Romeo