New Leaf Farms, Milton: Bella

Bella was my 40th birthday present to myself. We were about to move to a farm, so I figured I needed a big dog to keep me company.

I chose her at 3 days old; my perfect copper Newfoundland Retriever. Then we moved. The farm was a lot of work, and Bella came home at 8 weeks a bundle of energy. She was up every night several times. She peed in her cage. She whined and barked constantly. She wrestled the other dogs and chased the cat. I assured myself that she would grow out of it. I started taking her to the barn while I did chores, but she chewed everything and whined. She ate the horse feed and chased the barn cats and chickens. If crated, she howled incessantly. She was impossible to walk on leash.

At 6 months she was over 60lbs. She continued to get up at 5am by howling and peed in her crate if ignored. I was getting up at 2am just to let her out, but the 5am wake up was non-negotiable. I was at the end of my rope. I just wanted my “perfect dog” but here I had a total spoiled, out of control brat who didn’t even like me. She couldn’t sit still long enough to interact with.

Then, I was saved.
I packed Bella and her food up and dropped her off at ITrainK9. Jason assured me Bella had the potential to be my perfect dog, but she needed training, and so did I. He sent me lots to read, and I studied it daily. I began to realize that my house was being run by a dog. What the heck? How did that happen?

4 weeks went by in a flash, and Bella was ready for her go home session. I fumbled through commands paired with prong collar and the e-collar. It was a mess, I was a mess, but I knew it would be work to get my perfect dog.

The first few days I was exhausted! Drills, treats, corrections… say good dog for no treat? It took some practice, for me and Bella. She tried once to wake me up at 5am. One correction and we all sleep like babies till I decide to get up. She comes when I call her. She sits, stays, heels and lays down. She is relaxed and calm, and so is my house.

There is ongoing work to do, but I’m seeing my perfect dog daily now, and it’s AMAZING! All thanks to Jason, Megan and Kat at ITrainK9.