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My Wing Man

Dog Training Sunshine Coast

For those of you who are yet to meet him, this is Jinx. He is my wing man, often out on dog training jobs with me helping out dogs and owners in need.
I thought given he is a very important part of the Unleashed Dog Training Team he deserved his very own introduction, so here is a little bit about him.
He is a five year old English Staffordshire Terrier. I got Jinx as an 8 week old puppy, at the time I also had a 1yr old and 3yr old human baby, had just moved into a new house we built and my husband worked away!!
So Jinx is by no stretch of the word perfect, he certainly has his share of issues (but hey don't we all!!). He was quite a nervous and timid dog right from the beginning.
He did not get the ideal start to life as a puppy as my life was certainly crazy at the time and yes in hindsight not the best time to add a puppy to the mix. But hey this is real life and we have to make the best of what we have at the time.
At around 8 months old we almost lost him to a chronic illness. This one had a few vets and myself stumped for quite some time, after a lot of trial treatments, surgeries, testing and in the end specialist visits we found he has chronic inflammatory bowel/gut issues. Unfortunately there is no cure for this but fortunately there is treatment which can improve his health considerably. Unfortunately when you have a nervous dog in severe pain this also impacts on his behaviour. After almost two years of treatment we got our healthy, happy boy back. It has however taken its toll on him, as you will see he is very grey around his muzzle for a young dog and yes behavioral training took a back seat as stress also added to his health issues whilst we were working hard just to keep him alive and healthy.
However now he is a super social boy who loves a good play with other dogs, is fantastic with kids and people and is developing and improving in so many aspects of his life. When he is working you will see Mr Serious in action though! So the fun loving goofy side is not something many of you will see on a regular basis!
He has been through periods where he was scared of even some of the more simple things in life (the beep on the oven timer even!!). However over time with a lot of work he has become more and more confident in who he is and in so many new situations in life, there really is no situation I would be afraid to put him in now, he still may be a little nervous but he happily looks to me for his direction.  It is always so important to remember with any dog to look at them for who they are, I could view him with starry eyes as to who I want him to be but that would be unfair on him.  All dogs, including those of trainers (as we are not working with robots), need to be respected for who they are as do we as people, there are always factors and limitations to all beings.
A true test of this in the last twelve months where his life has really been turned upside down.
As with every family we have had our tough times recently with it being well and truly overdue for my husband to stop working away, family tensions rise at these times, to add to that we have sold a house, lived in a camper trailer, built on our new land and now he along with the rest of us are living in a shed (a pretty cool shed I might add!!) and have our husband and father home full time all the while adding in a new business with that! So life can be crazy, this unfortunately is the truth for so many of us these days as although we would like to live in a bubble surrounding the perfect life and stability for our dogs it is not real.
So how did he cope?? Amazingly well!! And the reason he has coped so well is all the work he has had in the lead up to this crazy part of our life, yes he had times where he has been nervous and anxious (so have I!!) but he has made good decisions and looked to me for direction.
Jinx has certainly been the hardest dog I have owned but he has also been the one I have learnt so much from and therefore the most rewarding one too.
My message to you is yes life can be crazy, yes our dogs can learn to adapt and be confident in this just as we can, so never give up on them or the life you want for yourself.