Rossi "Changing minds one person at a time"

by Yvonne Chohan
(Castro Valley, Ca)

Rossi is a very special dog and has been up to many things. When we first got Rossi I was just expecting to do some dog shows and have a great family dog. Well she gave me what I asked and more.

First, I would like to say a lot of dog people would describe Rossi’s temperament as being “soft”. If you raised your voice or corrected her, it hurt her feelings. It by no means crushed her but you could see it had an effect on her. Because of this I went looking for a dog trainer that could teach and show me to bring out the best in this shy pup.

Many dog trainers told me (without meeting her but after hearing that she is an APBT) that I need to establish dominance. I was told, I needed to have immediate control of her and that my cute harness needed to be exchanged for a choke chain so I can maintain this control. I politely told them ok and walked out the door not to come back.

I was very lucky to find Braveheart Dog Training in San Leandro, Ca and Vicki Ronchette. With her help, guidance, and support I have been able to turn this “soft dog” into a “get it done dog”. What we were able to is create a bond of trust, so if I ask Rossi “can you do this?” and now she replies “with you I can.”

Because of our relationship, I was able to turn this show-dog house-pet into a "sky is the limit dog". Rossi obtained her CGC a week after here first birthday on a whim. We have completed the Companion Dog Patrol with the California East Bay Parks District and we volunteer our time to walk the parks in our area. She is a 4H dog competing in County Dog field days, County fairs, and State fairs in showmanship and obedience with my 12 year old daughter Hannah.

She is now one year into training in hopes of becoming a mission area search and rescue dog with California Rescue Dog Associations. And with all these amazing feats we have ONLY used positive reinforcement methods to train and meet all our goals, and grown closer as teammates.
As for the future again the sky is limit .....

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