Majestic, isn't he? What inspires us about Enzo isn't really his appearance...a lot of dogs look like him believe it or not. He is beautiful, no doubt, but it's his PRESENCE that you're really seeing.
Being around him is exciting. It's always the best thing in the world to be around a big powerful dog that is TRAINED. You trust them more. You can see the bond between them and their owner. The confidence in the dog, the lightness in their step, their assurance as they walk thru the world. You know the work, time, blood/sweat/tears that went into creating a dog like that, so it's impressive to see.
When people walk by us my goal is to not get them to say ""Wow, what a pretty dog!", it's to get them to say "I want MY dog to be like that. How did she do it?"
Enzo is a beacon of light for many owners struggling out there. It's not always me drawing people in. I could not do this without him. How do I teach people about their bond with their dog if I don't have a solid bond with mine? If my dog isn't confident and safe? It has to be paramount to everything else I do. I cannot give away what I do not have.
So I spend a lot of time with him alone. We do a lot of leash drills with our slip lead sometimes, our prong others. We work on recall constantly. Place stay constantly. Spatial pressure to enforce commands. Appropriate uses of affection. Strict rules about engaging with other people or dogs when training. Strict rules for guests who come over. We NEVER let up.
We still have bad days. On those days, he needs me to pick up the slack and figure out what's missing and fix it. No excuses. No letting it linger and hope it resolves on its own. That is not acceptable in our relationship. We address problems head on and we are always looking for new solutions and new ways of being together.
Greatness in a dog is not born. It's cultivated by their owner. It's not a burning bush moment, it's a slow burn over time.
Don't let the 🔥 go out.