I am delighted to tell you about my experience with Brandon Fouche, dog behaviorist. It is a topic that is dear to my heart. It is a journey that took 5 years to complete with much stress, pain, and perseverance with a very happy ending. For anybody feeling at the end of their rope with their aggressive dog, ready to give up hope I say to you: Brandon is the somebody who is going to heal your dog and help you understand how to create balance in your relationship. Brandon is my knight in shining armor.
Jody is my 9 year-old Doberman, who was rescued by the NYPD from a Brooklyn NY puppy mill back in July of 2004 at the age of 3. I adopted her from Doberman Rescue in New Hampshire as we were living in CT at the time. From the very beginning she got extremely excited at various triggers such as another dog, a tree branch blowing in the wind, a bicycle going by us on a walk. She would get beyond the point of control in a full-blown panic and would whirl around and bite me on the leg or bite my other 11-year-old Doberman, Zeus, now deceased. Then the two of them would fight. A 130 lb woman wrestling with two 75-85 lb Dobermans fighting was a losing proposition and they would knock me to the ground or have me airborne! I ended up breaking one finger and dislocating another and had numerous contusions, scrapes and bumps. And I work with dogs professionally as a communicator. How embarrassing. The first bite was the worst and I became very afraid of her from then on…
I brought Jody to a traditional reward based dog trainer and when I told him my problems were with two dogs he just gazed at me with a blank look. At the time I had no knowledge that trainers never worked with more than one dog at a time. He didn’t mind taking my $700 though. After a few months of classes my dog Jody knew how to sit, stay and come but was still biting me and my life was a living hell. I had to take her out to remote areas for exercise and could never have people over my house because both dogs would charge the company. And there was the barking problem. I would try to appease my male Dobie because he would stop bad behavior if I gave him what he wanted. But he would dictate things. In essence I had no control over my big strong powerful dogs, a learned helplessness. And I kept getting bit.
This went on for years and then I moved to CA. People told me to call Cesar Millan the Dog Whisperer. We were guests on Dog Whisperer TV Show with Cesar in 2008 and although he was able to control my dogs he didn’t really help me solve my dog problems. He didn’t really take the time to listen to me and seemed to judge me. I got the feeling he felt everything was my fault and I felt bad about this. I was desperately seeking the answers and was determined to uncover the truth about how to help my dog. He did peak my interest with dog behavior and I started using this knowledge bit by bit personally and professionally. And then a client told me about Brandon Fouche. She said he was really nice and really helped her with her dog. She said he had a facility in LA and worked with aggression.
I contacted Brandon and he was 110% committed to helping my dog. He spoke to me gently and really listened to me. He didn’t judge me for what was happening with my dog but acted compassionately to me. He knew exactly what was the issue with Jody from the beginning. He pinpointed that her nervous system was overly reactive. Instead of being told to “be calm and assertive” and get her to stop being reactive he told me just the opposite. He said that I could not change her nervous makeup but rather must learn to focus her mind and get her to listen to me. He taught me how to connect to her emotionally. She had canine aggression and needed to spend some time at his rehab center to relearn how to be with other dogs as she had lost her original canine communication programming. She had trouble socially with other dogs and had poor introduction skills. Her “weak” nervous energy would elicit fights with other dogs and I could never dream of bringing her to the dog park.
When the rehab was over and I got my dog back I had to establish myself as the alpha, something I hadn’t done before with her. I guess I had felt sorry for her because of the horrible things that were done to her at the puppy mill. Since I could communicate with her I felt that this was enough for her but I was wrong. I had to make her submit to me and she really remembered how our relationship used to be and fought for control. She continued “discipline” biting me until I totally dominated her not physically but mentally and emotionally as Brandon instructed. I got really mad at her and did what Brandon told me to do: bang two pots together and got her to run away from me and drop to the ground. She continued the power struggle until I gently turned her over onto her back one day. And then she just totally changed, melted into a submissive dog and it was a miracle! She relinquished power to me. I had never experienced this before ever and I felt incredible!
Brandon explained to me unlike anyone else that I needed to dominate her in a way that didn’t make her feel she was fighting for her life. But rather that she could let go and relax. He talks a lot about the laws of nature and how it is natural for dogs to be dominated. He says we mustn’t treat them equal. It is true. Certain things you think you are doing to be nice to your dog is not what they really need and they will perceive you as weak. That is why I was getting bit. I have to continue treating her like a dog not a person and she will continue respecting me. I think a lot of people think treating your dog unequal means you don’t really love them but actually it is the other way around. My dog and I enjoy a very loving relationship although I am indeed superior. It is so simple but certainly not easy since it means you have to look deep within yourself and change how you do things. Now Jody and I go to the dog park twice a week and when I tell people there this story they cannot believe she ever had a problem with other dogs. She is the best-behaved dog there.
I must say Brandon Fouche is the most gifted and knowledgeable dog professional I have ever met. He has changed my life from one of despair to exultation. I am now a better person for having met him and I am now working professionally using what I have learned from him helping problem behaviors in dogs. Brandon’s methodology is beyond what anyone else is doing in the dog world and I hold him in the highest regard. Thank you, God, for Brandon. There should be more people in the world like him.