We rescued Cinda from Tennessee in October of 2011. As soon as we brought her into our house we realized we had a problem– she had a very strong prey drive and we have three cats. We thought we could fix it with our experience from raising our other dog, Apollo. We watched training videos, read books, tried every single thing we could think of to “rid Cinda of this problem”. I spent many a night in tears worried that we’d made a horrible mistake adopting her.
We consulted with a few trainers, all of whom told us to send Cinda back right away (after they told us horror stories of dogs killing cats). They wouldn’t even evaluate her and told me we were wasting our time, after telling us how selfish we were being and how bad they felt for our cats.
Right before Christmas, I called the rescue and said I needed to send her back. During that phone call, it became clear that sending her back wasn’t going to be easy, logistically or emotionally. So we got into a new frame of mind and started asking our good dog friends if they knew a good trainer.
Then by nothing short of a miracle we found Terence through some friends who were working with him.
Terence returned my call immediately after hearing the desperation of our situation. We talked through the options and he gave us hope. He even offered to come to us in Massachusetts if that’s what it came down to.
My husband Jeff and I brought Cinda to the MDM training center at the first chance. Terence evaluated Cinda, and us, and spent a lot of time telling us what we were dealing with– high prey drive. He made it very clear that her having high prey drive didn’t mean our cats were goners. And believe me, I asked him several times every session and he just kept reassuring me. I was a nervous wreck those first few sessions and Terence knew it. He did everything he could to make me comfortable with the process and to help build my confidence. During one session Terence brought his young daughter out to help, maybe so I could see exactly how easy this could be if I could trust myself and Cinda. He had his assistants work with her while we watched as a way to show us first. This was the perfect way for us to learn.
Before we started working with Terence we had little hope. Our hearts were broken because we adopted Cinda, but might not be able to train her. Would it really work?
Terence gave us the tools session after session and time after time he proved to us that Cinda and our cats were going to be able to stay with us in our home. He never gave us false hope but instead gave us a realistic picture of the future.
Would Cinda ever stay home, while we were at work, without being in a crate? Maybe not, but would Cinda and the cats be able to exist together in our home at all times while we were present? Very much so.
It’s been a little over a year since we had training with Terence. Cinda is still here and she is thriving. We’ve removed one of the two baby gates, put the E-collar away and have control over Cinda. Our cats are happy and have taken back their place in our house. In fact, through what we learned we’ve been able to show our cats that Cinda will not hurt them. They now stand their ground with her and she falls into line. When Cinda shows us that she’s incredibly interested in what they are doing we pay close attention and give her a command that she follows. Most often though we are going about our business and no longer worry that something will go terribly wrong. That is something we never thought possible!
Terence made Cinda’s life here with us possible. He started with the basics and got us to the point of giving Cinda a command from across the room, house, yard or field and she listens. We now know what motivates her and we are positive of what we’re dealing with. We know what it means when her fur sticks up, we know what it means when she moves her body in certain ways, we know what a wiggle or a lick, even a yawn means. Thanks to Terence and his assistants we understand Cinda.
We will never forget what Terence has done for Cinda and us. He changed our minds about Cinda and guided our hearts through the process of understanding and loving this rescue dog! We will be forever grateful to My Dogs Mind!!
-Beth and Jeff Judd