"We" includes one very important person, Melissa Hernandez of "Begging to be Good" Dog Obedience.
I don't mean to deceive any of our "fans," but Flint has spent 3/4 of his first year of puppy-hood with a professional trainer who worked with one very popular DAD org and another service dog organization for many moons. She knows obedience and scent work training very well. Her spouse allows for "live training" when it comes to in-home scent training, which is ideal.
Did I think we could do this on our own? Yes and no.
Having come off two organizations without a contract or promised dog for a total of 17 months, I figured better us than anyone else. Let's call the shots, let's find the dog, let's raise, it...Let's ROLL.
Truth be told, that was survival mentality from getting screwed.
A long time ago, my neighbor showed me how to make earrings. I love jewelry, I have an eye for color and craft, and think stones are beautiful; I like manipulating them for design...I took a class and discovered the LEARNING CURVE was gigantic when it came to jewelry. The same can be applied to DAD training...
Melissa is our "jewelry class." We have learned the curve is huge when it comes to dog obedience....There is a whole other "dog language." In fact, I caught myself crossing the road with my small children saying, "Wait... let's go." My 9yr old son said, "What are we, the dog?" HA! This is good. We are getting it.
Flint did not come to us as a 1-2yr old dog like most DAD orgs provide. He was 8 weeks! We wanted Sean to bond with Flint, and visa versa, but we also had to consider the chaos of our home and lifestyle.
I home-school, we have 4 kids under 14, and are committed to a rugby club at full throttle...Plus, we have ZERO experience besides raising pets (that's not the same) and weekly dog handling training with Melissa. We had an honest convo and are able to keep Melissa paid month to month for her time, so Flint learned his puppy manners and scent work with her. He came back and forth so we could learn what he already knew and how we could train together.
If you have the time, knowledge, discipline, and learning curve, then do it. I know people who have and it can be done. Resources are available to you.
If you need help, find it. Discover how priceless it is to take a class and learn the curve! It's only to your benefit. How to get a dog...?
If you want everything done for you and then handed to you, you are deceived. THIS IS NOT AVAILABLE to anyone. DADs require you know what the trainer knows; therefore, you need to find a trainer who you trust, who you can be vulnerable with, and who you can partner with for the lifetime of the dog.
Your DAD is only as good as you are. <----Click that! I stand by it through and through.
Below is the first amazing year we had with our DAD, which we could not do alone!