Judy & Nelson Bird & SadieJudy & Nelson Bird & Sadie Christmas photo

Judy and Nelson Bird and their Rottweiler Sadie. Nelson Bird is a CTV Regina reporter and host of Indigenous Circle

Sadie was already 3 months old when we brought her home, and at first, we didn't understand her behaviour. She wouldn't come to anyone, and when friends and family came by to see our new pup, she hid under a chair, barked and shook with fear until they left. She was even afraid of things like the garbage can. Tempting her with food was the only way to coax her to come to us. Three days later at her first vet checkup, the vet told us Sadie wasn't properly socialized and that it would be difficult to socialize her at this age. Sadie was not an ideal dog to have as a pet, and for a Rottweiler, had the potential to be a dangerous dog. It would take plenty of training, patience and TLC to socialize her. We had our work cut out for us.Nelson Bird walking with Sadie

We tried two different sources for help; one turned out to use harsh methods, the other was only available for a short term. When Sadie was 6 months old, we enrolled her in Tricks and Clicks at the Dog's Den Training School. Barbara's easy-going nature and the positive reinforcement method she uses in her classes brought Sadie out of her scared state. She had fun while learning and enjoyed playing with the other dogs. She learned neat tricks and quickly began gaining confidence. At the end of the course, Barbara suggested we enroll Sadie in Agility to boost her confidence further.

Since then, Sadie has been in three Agility classes and Around Town from the Dog's Den Training School, and she has loved being in every class. These classes, along with the attentioNelson Bird and Sadie sitting out in a fieldn and the positive reinforcement she gets from us at home, have made her a different dog. During her one year visit to the vet, an assistant couldn't believe that she was the same dog that was in the clinic one year earlier. At age 3, she's still a bit shy, but is no longer the scared, fearful animal she used to be.

The classes helped socialize and make Sadie confident, and Barbara helped us to learn positive methods to handle our dog. We honestly believe Sadie would not be the same dog today if we had gone elsewhere for help.

Nelson and Judy Bird