All photography provided by Don Snyder
Doggy daycare, although great for some dogs, is a highly stimulating environment that can cause stress and anxiety for dogs not socially equipped for such a setting. I own two fearful rescues that would not do well in doggy daycare. This gave me the idea to create a business that will assist owners and their dogs with these types of issues. In August of 2010 I began volunteering in Rochester, NY and was introduced to a local dog trainer. I began working with her teaching and testing American Kennel Club Star Puppy, Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog International classes. For the next 5 years I was extremely fortunate to work with all types of dogs with many different needs. While working 9-5 in mortgage banking, I adopted a dog with fear and anxiety issues and had to consider an alternative solution to daycare. Luckily for me, I was able to have her stay with my training partner and her dogs. This was a perfect environment for her to gently socialize with other dogs.
Many of the dogs I have worked with in the past were unable to thrive in a busy day care setting. My vision for 'Mello Dog Training' is to offer dog owners an alternative option for doggy day care that incorporates dog training with each session. From loose-leash walking skills to dog enrichment games to basic obedience, I want to assist you in training your dogs using positive reinforcement training. Dog training is about building a relationship based on trust. My two girls taught me the most important lesson about working with fearful dogs...they wanted to know they had the ability to make a choice in every situation. Once they realized I only put them in positive situations with the ability to progress at their choosing, our relationship grew exponentially. I recently moved to Dallas, TX where the weather conditions afford me the opportunity to offer my services year round. I would love the opportunity to help you and your dogs. Please feel free to contact me anytime and we can set up an appointment.
I adopted Peanut in 2014. She was a seven year old Papillon that was living with a loving family of doctors. Unfortunately, the family was not able to properly socialize Peanut as a result of their busy schedule. The majority of her days were spent in a crate. This caused Peanut to become fearfully reactive when introduced to new environments. She wasn’t an aggressive dog, but rather a dog that was trying to create space by barking at new things that caused her anxiety. By slowly introducing Peanut to new environments, her fearful reactivity subsided and she became more confident in every situation. This also helped us to build a trusting relationship that we work on to this day. Peanut now loves all people and especially children. Her reactivity is gone and she and Maggie regularly walk with 3 other dogs in the neighborhood every week. Now, Peanut is 10 and, even when off leash, is comfortable in every situation.
Maggie was an 2 year old emaciated boxer puppy that was dropped off at Rochester Animal Services in July 2015. She was almost catatonic and extremely fearful. My training partner and I were called by the adoption coordinator at the shelter to assess her. She was so locked up with fear that I decided to take her for a couple of weeks to work with her. The first time I walked her into my apartment, Peanut gently greeted her and looked at me wagging her tail as if to say, "I like her. Can we keep her?" Maggie has had several health issues stemming from the poor care she was given the first couple years of her life. She was riddled with worms and as a result, had a large stomach with almost no weight or strength in her back legs. Also, x-rays revealed she had arthritis in her back legs. At the end of February this year, Maggie began losing weight. The Vet ordered blood work which showed her protein levels had dropped to below normal. She is now on Hydrolyzed Protein food along with numerous supplements and is back up to her regular weight. I bring her and Peanut to the park to walk and run on the grass twice daily, so she does not take the impact of walking on sidewalks for long periods of time. She has definitely come out of her shell and has taught me more about fear than any other dog I've worked with. She, like Peanut, is amazing off leash as a result of the trusting bond we have developed over the years.