“Sam & Lucy” Shiloh Shepherd
After years of waiting for the right circumstances and another year waiting for the right puppy, my wife and I finally got the dog we have been dreaming about in Lucy. She is smart, beautiful, gentle and kind, and possessed with a strength of personality that has always been impossible to ignore. As a Shiloh Shepherd, she has always been big and strong, even at just 9 weeks old, she was strong enough to pull harder than we could have imagined possible, and when feeling stubborn she could transform herself into an immovable object. We knew from the start that we would need to bring her for training as she is our first dog and admittedly we knew nothing about what is needed to raise a healthy, happy and well behaved large breed dog. First we tried puppy kindergarten and found that it was primarily about socialization, which while crucial, was redundant for Lucy as she spends hour a day with other dogs in the park or in daycare. I began looking for a more structured training system that would allow Lucy’s German shepherd heritage to have it’s instincts satisfied, while training her in obedience when I found out about Schutzhund. In looking for a local Schutzhund club to talk to I found Steve Hong, and from that point on things quickly became a whole lot easier. From the start, Steve was incredibly informative and clear. He explained what Schutzhund was in detail and what it would entail in terms of commitment for all involved. He also explained several other training options, as well as answering some questions about diet, and in the end, we opted for private sessions once a week starting with an interview session where he met and got to know Lucy.
From the moment Steve first walked in the door at our first meeting, I knew everything was going to be okay. He was, and has always been incredibly professional and relaxed. And when he met Lucy, something truly hard to believe happened. Within literally 3 minutes from the time he walked in the door, he had Lucy sitting perfectly at his left side politely waiting for her next command. It was a little spooky as this is a dog who while lovable, had never done much of anything we had asked her to do and was more prone to laughing at our commands than obeying them. But somehow, within absolutely no time at all, Steve had gained her attention, respect and trust and in the process she was transformed from badly behaved puppy to show dog. The training that followed has been nothing short of miraculous and while it did not happen all at once, not surprisingly, it turned out Lucy needed less training than my wife and I, over time Lucy has been transformed into all the things we had hoped she would be. Each individual session has resulted in real progress and we have opted to continue working with Steve as we enjoy the process of learning as much as Lucy does. Over the last several months I have recommended Steve and K9 Key to other dog owners that we meet at the park and everyone has been very happy with both the experience of as well as the results of his training. Steve has also become our main go to person for just about all questions dog related. He has provided indvaluable assistance in helping us pick the right food for Lucy, which as anyone with a shepherd knows is not so easy to do, as well as being the first person we call when we have yet another of the random questions that seem to come up while caring for one’s first dog. Overall, I can’t recommend Steve and K9 Key strongly enough. I truly believe that anyone with a dog could benefit from his experience and training.