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This area is reserved for animals who have shown dramatic improvement in a short period of time. These animals and their humans are definitely winners! Each member of the winner's circle gets a winner's medal and a certificate. Each year 1 or 2 animals are chosen as the most improved of the year.
Most Improved Dog Therapy Dog Academy (May 2012)
Most Improved Dog Canine Good Manners Class (May 2012)
Testimonial from Goodie's "dad"
When seeking a female standard poodle puppy, I sought a pup that would fit in (be on the submissive side) with my other standards Elle and Moses given their age and Moses' health challenges. The breeder in California told me per the temperament testing, that Goodie fit the bill. Well, Goodie turned out to be an Alpha Wanna Be with health challenges.
Now as the first past chairman of Delta Society's Beyond Limits to train trainers for assistance dogs and the former chairperson of the Assistance Dog United Campaign, I've been around quite a few trainers and trainers with Phds who couldn't get a dog to come.
Marie was able to teach this old dog (not just Goodie) some new tricks and help to integrate Goodie into this household despite the incorrect temperament evaluation - which is no small trick especially given a too smart for her own good pup who had her doddering Dogfather wrapped around her paws.
Elly, Nicole, Franklin and Winston
Winston was seen for inappropriate urination in the house. Franklin and Winston would not respond to commands and were difficult to walk. After 2 sessions, all three dogs were well mannered and excited about the new baby due in the family in September.
Angus-our first winners circle addition for 2011
Angus was a neglected and virtually discarded dog when adopted by his family. He was extremely fearful and chased shadows uncontrollably when he began working with Miss Marie. Angus tried to bite his vet on his first visit. In just 2 months, with a lot of work and patience from his devoted parents, acupressure massage, a change in diet and supplements, Angus is meeting new people and dogs. He has become more confident and secure. This photo (Of Angus with his "parents" Phil and Shelli) was actually taken at a veterinary clinic that he had never been to before, where everyone loved Angus!
Max & Sally
Akita and Chesapeake Bay Retriever Mix (brother to Cheyenne )
Most Improved Dog 2005
Most Improved Dog 2006
Murphy Fink (right)
Most improved dog –runner up 2005
Most improved dog-runner up 2006
Most Improved Dog-Runner Up 2006
Most Improved dog-Honorable Mention- 2006
Outcome: Kodiak completed Canine Good Manners and was awarded his Canine Good Citizenship. He is a happy member of his family.
History: Camille was extremely fearful and fear aggressive. Camille was referred to Canine Behavior Counseling for repeatedly trying to bite her vet and vet's staff members.
Outcome: Camille was treated with an anti-anxiety herbal mix, and slowly resocalized, both out in the world and at her vet. This photo was taken at Dr. Shannon's (her vet) office with members of the staff that Camille tried to bite 3 months previously.
History: (Whippet mix) after working with 3 other trainers, Sophie continued to be very aggressive towards other dogs, and at the door. She was not allowed off leash around other dogs.
Outcome: Although Sophie is still learning, she no longer barks viscously at the front door. She enjoys quiet and clam walks with her owner, and attended her first dog party at Miss Marie's. She is learning to play appropriately with other dogs and her owner is learning how to read Sophie's body language and actions to determine when Sophie may be behaving inappropriately at the dog park.
(Most Improved Dog Runner Up 2010)
History: Very reactive and aggressive towards other dogs and children. Bit at least one child.
Outcome: Although Tigger is still learning, she is much calmer on the leash, only barks at few dogs, and can be petted by children. She will be making her first visit to a dog park soon.
(Most Improved Dog 2010)
History: (Mastiff Mix) Rescued in 2010, Motley was very difficult to handle, he pulled dangerously on leash, lunged at other dogs and growled when approached by certain humans.
Outcome: Motley graduated from Star Puppy class, love to walk with his owners, and even plays well with other dogs.
Little Rock Cordes
History: (Lab) very anxious, aggressive towards other dogs and strangers, exhibited obsessive compulsive behaviors and was completely unable to focus on commands.
Outcome: Little Rock greets strangers by sitting, is able to respond to commands, has stopped all obsessive behaviors and can go to the dog park. He is currently off all medication (originally used to treat his obsessive behaviors).
Pink Panter Club
The Pink Panter club was named in honor of the first dog to wear a pink panter shirt Chester. Chester was scheduled to be euthanized the day following his first meeting with Miss Marie (in 2008), because he had bit several children and attacked other dogs. Today is a happy, well adjusted member of his family and lives his children. To help Chester relax, he wore a T-shirt that had been misprinted for her "little's girl's" soccer team-the Pink Panthers. All the misprinted uniform shirts were donated to Canine Behavior Counseling for the pink panter club.
All members of the pink panter club would have been euthanized without the loving support of their current families and the help of Canine Behavior Counseling.
My first meeting with Lola consisted of Lola lunging at my face, barking ferociously. Lola had to kept separate from the other dogs in the household to prevent her from attacking them. After seven months of nutritional, acupressure, and behavioral therapy, Lola can know greet strangers with her tail wagging. She enjoys being around her housemates (with supervision) and is looking forward to the arrival of her new human baby brother. Lola is still learning to play nicely with other dogs, but dreams of one day attending a dog party.
History: Chester was a 14 month old bulldog mix with severe anxiety. He had bitten two children within his household. He lunged at every dog who he passed by and was unable to play with other dogs.
Outcome: Although Chester still cannot handle dog parks, he has played at Miss Marie's and attended several dog parties. He does not bark at or try to bite anyone in his household, and can be around large groups of children.
Most Improved dog of 2008
Black Labrador Retriever and Coon Hound Mix
Approximate Age 2 years old
Fostered from animal shelter
Concern: Severe Generalized and Separattion Anxiety
History: Surrendered to shelter at 18-20 months of age. Adopted and returned due to destruction of furniture. Kept at shelter for 2 months and then placed in foster care. Destroyed furniture in first foster home. Placed in second foster home. Kept in garage when no one home, due to destructiveness. Barked and dug incessantly. Destroyed door into house. Chewed own nails to bloody stumps. Accepted into foster care at Canine Behavior Counseling. Chewed and scratched until mouth and paws bleed when created. Furniture destruction and barking when left alone.
Treatment: anti-anxiety medication and intensive behavior modification
Outcome: adopted by family with another Laborador being treated for separation anxiety. Very happy and well adjusted.
Chesapeake Bay Retriever and Akita Mix
Age 8months-1 year
Concern: Severe Anxiety
Fostered for animal shelter
History: Littermate treated for dominance aggression at 4 months of age. Chained outside due to lack of self control. Relinquished by owner. Brought to Canine Behavior Counseling by client (owner of littermate). Not house broken or trained in any way. Snapped at other dogs when they received attention. Mouthed and nipped humans when excited. Jumped uncontrollably.
Treatment: anti-anxiety medication, behavior modification and obedience training.
Outcome: adopted by loving family and well adjusted.
History: obtained from Front Range German Shepherd Rescue in 2005,
Outcome: Heidi has completed Canine Good Manners, can greet people at the door, can be left alone inside and loves her crate! We are still working on her barking at the doorbell and getting along with cats. Heidi was adopted by Miss Marie in 2007.
History: Maxine was fostered from Best Friends Rescue in St Goerge Utah in 200. Little is known about her previous history except that she showed signs of severe abuse. Maxine could only be handled by a very few people and was extremely aggressive! Maxine hid under the bed up to 20 hours a day.
Outcome: Maxine was adopted by Marie in 2007. Although Maxine remained difficult to handle, she enjoyed playing with her" siblings" Heidi and Issac and her "Daddy" Mr Glenn. Maxine died as a result of anesthesia complications in 2008.
History: Isaac (Saint Bernard mix) was rescued from Greeley Animal Shelter by Freedom Service Dogs and began training as a balancing dog, at 9 months of age. Due to repeated episodes of human aggression, Isaac was released from the service dog training program. Isaac was adopted by Marie in 2007. Isaac was diagnosed with "idiopathic rage syndrome". This is a neurological disorder that causes seizures in the form of uncontrollable "rages". Isaac would attack without provocation and without control of his actions while in a "rage."
Outcome: Through antiseizure medication and Chinese medicine, we were able to minimize Isaac's rages for two years. During that time, Isaac's physical discomfort, from irreparable spinal damage was minimized. Isaac was able to lead a happy and eventful live, including attending dog parties, playing with his "siblings" and beginning therapy dog training. Issac's aggression towards humans was resolved. Issac was euthanized in October 2009 after a violent and uncontrollable seizure/rage.
The information learned from Isaac, medically and behaviorally, has helped many other dogs lead happy and longer lives.
History: Very anxious and aggressive. Severely bit a person who tried to intervene in a fight between Tanner and another dog. He was cited a vicious dog. His owner was afraid to walk him down the street.
Outcome: Tanner completed Canine Good Manners, earned his Canine Good Citizenship Award, and is a happy and polite dog.
History: (Alaskan Malamute) found as a stray at about 6-7 months old, she remained in Denver Animal Shelter for 1 month before being scheduled for euthanasia. She was adopted for the purposes of training as a service dog. After several fights with the resident service dog, Enya was again threatened with euthanasia.
Enya was adopted by Marie in May 2009, and treated for dog aggression. Enya is currently in training as a therapy dog, and is Marie's demo and enforcer dog. Enya loves to play with her friends at the Malamute Mingles.
History: (Great Pyrenese) Shot in the face with a shotgun, Hartley was rescued and had the bullets removed from his head. Permanent damage was done to Hartley's brain causing him to attack without warning and make him very unpredictable.
Outcome: Hartley did learn to control some of his reactions and accept new situations better. His owner learned to predict Hartley's behavior and prevent attacks. With the help of medication and a devoted "dad' Hartley leads a happy life.
History: (Standard Poodle) was extremely fearful and was rescued from a situation that threatened his life. He would not allow strangers to approach him, and ran from any movement. Neville hid behind furniture and was even afraid to eat when other dogs were present.
Outcome: Neville is a happy, well adjusted member of his family now. He has even helped a new puppy adjust into the family.
History: (Rhodesian Ridgeback) Rescue Dog. Extremely fearful and fear aggressive. Aza barked and snapped at strangers then would run from them. Aza allowed no one in her home, even people she knew when her humans were not present.
Outcome: Aza still barks at strangers, but does allow people she knows into the home, even when alone. She will approach and allow people that she knows to pet her. She walks nicely on a leash and no longer barks at strangers during her walk.
History: (Shepherd Mix) In multiple fights with other dog in household. Drazor was very fearful to the point of being pre-emptively aggressive towards other dogs. His family choose to surrender him to restore peace in the household. Drazor also suffered from severe anxiety. Drazor was placed in one foster home and tried to attack another dog in the household. Drazor was then tried in another home and bit the resident dog on the ear.Outcome: Drazor was rehomed in an only dog home, with a gentleman who recently lost his shepherd to cancer. With the help of medication and behavior therapy, Drazor is becoming a happy and more relaxed dog.