For more information call: 647-248-2411


Wolfman K9 Obedience - References

Don’t take his word for it, see what Mike’s clients are saying about him.



2 May 2010 - Featured Dog - Stella

Stella

I had just lost my beautiful Alaskan Malamute to cancer in the summer of 2006 and was longing for another dog. My youngest daughter was enrolled in the Veterinarian Technician Course at Seneca College, King City. She told me about this large white dog who they considered to be part Great Pyrenees and Retriever who had been brought to the school by Animal Services and who was of course, available for adoption. My daughter took me to see the dog and I agreed to take her home after Thanksgiving.

Stella was practically skin and bones and had a lot of her hair cut as numerous baths had failed to remove the matting of dirt in her fur. It appeared to us that she had been abused. When my husband picked up the pole to clean the pool she would just bolt even though he was nowhere near her. We do not know the true story of her previous life as Animal Services appeared to have her breed listed incorrectly and had two different stories as to how she got to there. Things went along quite well for a while; Stella appeared to me to be submissive in a way but had a stubborn streak. One evening I had her out on the Court and a neighbour commented that “you have a Kuvasz”. I had never heard of this breed before so looked it up on the internet and sure enough Stella looked exactly like a Kuvasz, an ancient breed being a Hungarian Sheepdog. What an interesting history. As Stella gained weight she began to show behaviours which I did not particularly care for such as barking when my husband was on the phone and sometimes growling. She would also growl when I got out the vacuum and barked incessantly at loud noises and strangers. One evening I was bringing in the groceries and as is our routine, my husband takes them from the door to the kitchen. Stella decided that my husband should not touch the groceries and though she did not bite him, she made it clear that he was not going to pick them up. We were upset and thought maybe we should send her back to the college. Then we decided maybe it would be better if he were to take turns feeding her. Maybe this would help. Things were not too bad for a while except for the barking and sometimes growling, then one day Stella put my 3 year old grandchild down on the floor because she walked too near to the groceries. Again she did not bite her but we were extremely upset and I decided I could not keep a dog that would “attack” my grandchildren. I spent the entire afternoon on the phone looking for help for Stella as I couldn’t bear the thought of putting her down. I loved the dog and she obviously had been very attached to me from day one. One dog trainer was exceptionally firm in her beliefs that I should put the dog down and that my problems were just beginning. Even a volunteer at the Great Pyrenees Rescue Club said “put her down; you can’t keep a dog like that. You could, I suppose, try The Wolfman at Georgetown. I hear he has had great success with problem dogs but it is a huge commitment and very expensive.” I thought to myself that taking on a dog is a commitment is it not? so I have nothing to lose, I will put in a call. (I am grateful to the volunteer for giving that advice)

The next morning I was sitting in my rocking chair in tears thinking I will have to make a decision about Stella today, when the phone rang. It was Mike Martin, The Wolfman. He asked me what the problem was and I told him what had been happening. He asked me what breed she was and I told him that she was supposed to be Pyrenees cross but I suspected Kuvasz. He said to me “you know those dogs are put in the field as puppies to learn to look after the flocks and when they step out of line, that is how they act. Your family, in her mind, is not acting as they should and because you have failed to show her who is Alpha, she thinks she has to be it”. He asked me what I wanted to do and I said I wanted to her to be in a home where she could be reasonably happy and not be abused. He said “let’s give it her then sweetheart. If you come to me I will solve all your problems as far as the dog is concerned.” “I won’t have you coming here in a snowstorm; you can come when you like or as often as you like as long as it is within my hours”. I cannot tell you how relieved I was. This was a complete turnabout from what I had been advised the day before. We went to Mike the next day. He put in some ground rules for us about groceries, grandchildren about the barking and the growling and we started the training. She had been aggressive with other dogs as well and he soon put a stop to this. Within two weeks we had a different dog. We went fairly frequently that winter but admittedly did not go as often as we would have liked later on due to the distance for us and work commitments.

Stella now likes to greet other dogs; seldom barks and is just a sweet, obedient, highly intelligent, beaufiful dog that I am proud to call mine. I of course have to make sure that I keep up with giving her commands so that she does not fall back on her training and there are certain ground rules that must be followed. She also loves my younger daughter. I believe that Stella is thankful to her and remembers her as the one who took her out of captivity and brought her to us.

I am very thankful for the help that Mike gave us and that he is there for Stella and others like her. Who knows what would have happened to her otherwise. I am also of the opinion that people who hold themselves out as dog training experts, should educate themselves concerning the behaviours of the different breeds and not be giving out such extreme advice when they obviously do not know what they are talking about. What a waste this would have been to put such a beautiful dog and intelligent dog to death.

Thank you Mike!

Yours truly,

Donna McIntyre