We had a potentially scary moment this morning that turned out very well. I sent Izzy after the geese and she decided to go by herself around the pond (not my idea) because I am lame this morning. A guy was walking his HUGE boxer on the road at the same time and Izzy charged the fence (which has no wire so she could have run under it.) She was very pumped up.
I yelled from the house, IZZY-NO! She stopped mid charge and turned around. Then I said, COME! She reluctantly walked at first and then came running. Amazing! Granted, she was bluffing cause shes not aggressive, but the guy was having a hell of a time controlling his dog, which was rearing up on his hind legs. I had more control over her with my intent and voice than he did with a big collar and leash. He seemed very relieved that Izzy came back to me. This training stuff works! THANKS CATHY!
Sharene Garaman, Psy.D.
Clinical & Consulting Psychology
Flint Hill, VA
Focus… Focus… Focus...”
“Focus..Focus..Focus.” Cathy’s words still reverberate through my mind, as five years later my Hearing Assistance Dog turns to acknowledge a confident nod from me, as we cross a busy road, board yet another flight or enter the confines of a busy airport elevator. When “Shaun” entered Cathy Hughes’ “Puppy Kindergarten” class, he was a tiny and timid little Sheltie. Even Cathy wondered if he would adapt to the out-in-public demands of an Assistance Dog. However, under Cathy’s persistence and tailor-made dog behavior skills, “Shaun” gained confidence. Through her all-important drillings, through positive reinforcement on how to “focus,” “Shaun” went on to become one of the youngest dogs to complete the “Canine Good Citizen” test. Energized by the challenges and excitement of each new class and most of all sensing Cathy’s love for and her innate understanding of dogs, “Shaun” enthusiastically worked hard for he adored her.
Five years ago on the 6th October I picked up my precious Lolla from the Airport, we rescued her after the Hurricane Katrina. Lolla is a Boston Terrier. She was about 8 Month old the Vet told me. Lolla was so starved and nothing but skin and bones. On top of that she was very scared when anything happening to her, even if that only was taking a collar of off her, she would bite. So, long story short, I needed help. Somebody told me about my now wonderful friend Cathy Hughes and she came to the rescue. She brought a clicker, treats and in a half an hour my Lolla was sitting and after that laying down, only with click and treat. Cathy is kind and knows what to do in every situation.
Cathy is a very dear friend and I am so grateful that she was there for me and Lolla in our time of need.
Sincerely, Siggi Crawford
I have been an Aussie Rescue volunteer for 5 years. In that time, I have encountered all kinds of dogs, mostly Aussies, with behavioral problems. The majority of these problems were due to the former owners of the dogs not having the knowledge or the desire to work with their dog and train the unwanted behavior out of their dog.
This happened 3 years ago with a litter of four 5 month old Aussie pups that a breeder surrendered to me. These pups had been on the farm their entire lives, never exposed to another environment, other people, or even a veterinarian. When they were hungry, they went into the barn and grabbed a mouthful of food out of the open bag that sat there. They had never been inside a house. They were totally unsocialized – but were healthy little farm Aussie pups and wonderful babies, they just needed to have all of the training and socialization done much later than it should have been done. One of the pups was particularly fearful, and he was adopted by a local family. He was a big beautiful red merle pup who the adopter named Oakley. Oakley always walked kind of in a hunched position, as though the sky was going to fall on him at any time. He was afraid to go up stairs, afraid to enter doorways, afraid to meet strangers that would come to his new home, basically afraid of his own shadow. His owner cared so much and knew that time was of the essence for Oakley, and asked me how to help him. I went to visit and saw his issues firsthand, and felt she needed the help of an experienced trainer.
I contacted Cathy Hughes. Cathy went out to help Oakley’s family at their home on multiple occasions. With Cathy’s expert advice and counseling, Oakley’s adopter was trained to work with her dog. The adopter was totally dedicated to Oakley and followed Cathy’s instructions in how to help overcome his fears. Today, Oakley is a wonderful Aussie. He excels in agility and smiles every time he sees me. He is such a happy boy, no longer fearful and full of self-esteem, thanks to Cathy’s guidance and his adopter’s dedication. Oakley’s future could have turned out much differently if his adopter hadn’t been willing to go that extra mile and contact a trainer who could put her on the right path. If only all Aussies could be so lucky!
I would not hesitate to send any other dog owners whom I might encounter that are having problems with unwanted behaviors in their dogs to Cathy (in fact, I just might be using her in the near future for a problem with some of my own dogs), she has a second sense of what is going on with a dog, I’ve never seen a dog that was uncomfortable around her. I highly recommend using her services for owners with their dog’s behavioral problems.
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