Hi, my name is Jean Cote and I founded Success Dogs last year in 2014. And although this seems quite recent, this endeavor was a lifetime in the making.
If you don’t mind, I’d like to share my story with you.
As a young boy, I dreamed every night of getting a dog. I constantly thought about the joy and happiness that would come from having a best friend at my side.
How I was going to go to the park, play fetch and have lots of fun with my dog.
So I did what most kids do and begged my mother endlessly to get one. Unfortunately, her answer was always "no" because she was raising two kids on her own and really couldn't afford it.
However, everything changed one day when a friend was moving away and she had to find a new home for her 8-month old Lhasa Apso.
I saw this as an opportunity to finally get the dog I've always wanted, and together with my sister, we were able to convince my mother to adopt the dog, which we named Tobie.
Here's a picture of Tobie (it's an older photo of him taken years later, but I wanted to show you how cute he was.)
As you can imagine, I was ecstatic to finally get the dog I'd always dreamed of. To this day, I still remember how happy I was the first day Tobie came into my life.
He was like a bundle of energy... Running everywhere in the house and sniffing everything.
However, it didn't take long before reality struck...
Before we knew it, we discovered that Tobie had some serious behavioral issues. For example, he would chew on everything he could sink his teeth into. Every single day he would chew something when we were away.
It didn't matter if it was our shoes, the TV remove control or even a blue ink pen (which he chewed on top of our couch!)
He would often eliminate inside the house on our carpet, and if we tried to walk him, he would pull like crazy and bark at other dogs.
So we were totally overwhelmed, to say the least.
However, the worst part was that we had no idea what to do or how to solve Tobie's behavioral problems. And my mother really couldn't afford a dog trainer or dog training classes, so we were stuck.
And back then, there was no Internet like there is today. We had to rely on our relatives for advice on how to train our dog, which only made matters worse.
So as time went on, Tobie's behavior became worse and worse. Personally, I felt like a distance was growing between Tobie and I.
One part of me wanted to connect with him and be best friends. But the other part knew that everything I tried didn't work and only made him "hate" me.
(This was partially due to the training advice we had been given from our relatives, which were based on domination.)
So one day I gave up. I decided to let my family take care of Tobie and moved on to other things.
However, I did make myself a promise...
"That one day, when I could afford it, I would do whatever it took to learn how to train my dog."
So years later when I moved away from home, I decided to get another dog. However, this time, things would be different.
I started by getting my hands on every dog training book I could find, then I called every dog training school in my area and prepared for the arrival of my newest best friend, Onyx a Siberian Husky.
Here's a picture of Onyx at 8-weeks old (this was the first day I brought her home.)
As with all Siberian Huskies, I had my hands full with training her. But I was dedicated and got her through all four grades of obedience school.
And I'm proud to say that she never once chewed on anything in my home. (Mostly thanks to learning about crating and using Kongs.)
I enjoyed training her so much that I started doing agility with her, which was quite a challenge since she was not know for being an off-leash dog.
But we did it, and even won our first agility trial!
Every night I would work on my training skills with her. I would train her to do fun things like carrying a lunch box, putting a ball through hoop and even playing chess.
And then it hit me...
I had finally gotten the dog that I dreamed of as a kid. And it was all thanks to the training methods I had learned by attending dog training school, reading dog training books and going to dog training workshops and seminars.
But then I started to think about all those other dog owners who are in the same shoes that I was as a child, with a dog that they truly love but has serious behavioral issues that is preventing them from truly bonding with their dog.
So this is why I created Success Dogs. So that I could help as many dog owners as possible experience this transformation with their dog, and also get their own "best friend".