Love is NOT enough

By Jennifer Stoeckl, MAT - Dire Wolf Project CEO, Aug. 24, 2023

The following is a true story, but the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

In the quiet town of Elmridge, an older retired woman named Margaret was looking to bring some new life into her once tranquil household. After much contemplation, she decided to welcome a new furry friend into her life – an American Dirus puppy. Drawn by the breed's reputation for being calm and gentle, she envisioned the perfect companion to share her days with.

At first, the puppy seemed to fulfill all of Margaret's hopes. Eager to learn and exceptionally smart, the young canine showed promise.

Margaret, armed with her past experiences as a dog owner, put her heart into training, believing her knowledge would lead to an obedient and well-mannered companion. However, as time passed, it became apparent that this American Dirus pup was more difficult than expected.

Nine months into their journey together, Margaret found herself at her wit's end.

The once-promising pup had transformed into an unruly menace with boundless energy. The dream of a quiet and gentle family companion dog slipped away, replaced by a canine whirlwind that tested her patience.

In a desperate bid for control, Margaret resorted to using a prong collar, chaining the dog to a fence post in the backyard. But instead of taming the pup's behavior, this only escalated the situation.

The dog's energy levels grew, leading to chaotic runs through the house.

One day, as the pup recklessly dashed down the hallway and leaped onto the couch, disaster struck – the couch slid across the hardwood floors, trapping Margaret beneath it.

Frustration boiled over. The dog's untamed behavior disrupted every facet of Margaret's life. The once-hospitable home became a chaotic battleground. Guests were unfrequent due to the dog's overwhelming door-rushing, and even simple tasks like leaving food on the counter became a risk.

Reaching her breaking point, Margaret turned to me for help.

After traveling the five hours to her home, I recognized the root of the problem the moment I arrived.

The pup's unruliness was a result of the absence of firm leadership and boundaries.

In an effort to calm the excited jumping tail-wagging canine, the woman pat the dog on the back speaking in high-pitched, hushed tones.

”It’s okay. Calm down now.”

But the dog continued to lunge with excitement, disregarding those prongs digging further into its neck.

Taking charge of the situation, I approached the dog with a calm but commanding presence.

I walked right into the dog’s space, disregarding her completely.

As if she wasn’t even there.

The canine's excited jumping immediately dissolved into submission as I assumed the role of a true leader.

In that pivotal moment, for the first time ever, the pup recognized the proper authority of a human.

Relinquishing her self-imposed canine rulebook, she slunk to the ground and turned her head avoiding my eyes.

I didn’t say anything.

I didn’t touch her in any way.

I didn’t even look at her.

Yet, this big puppy gave me the respect all humans deserve.

With my guidance, the pup thrived under a structured environment.

All of her bad habits went away, revealing a truly well-behaved and respectful companion.

At my home, the little American Dirus angel followed every command flawlessly, demonstrating her potential for good behavior.

Yet, the journey wasn't over.

After just days of returning to Margaret's home, the pup regressed into her old habits.

The difference was clear – consistent leadership was the key to a well-mannered pup.

Margaret had showered the dog with love, giving her everything she could ever want.

But none of what she truly needed: firm boundaries and guidance.

This tale of almost instant transformation stands as a testament to the power of leadership in shaping a dog's behavior. While love and affection are essential, clear rules and boundaries are equally crucial. This American Dirus pup, once a whirlwind of unruliness, evolved into the epitome of canine obedience under the guidance of a true leader.

Do you know how to be a good canine leader,

earning the respect you deserve?

If you question whether you have the ability to train your own puppy in a way that will honor a respectful relationship based on mutual trust, then we have the answer for you.

We have four females slated to be the first of their kind to go through the new DireWolf Guardians Companion Dog Training Program beginning THIS SATURDAY!

The three beautiful females we have remaining with us from the Genius Litter (Essex/Regina) and the smart, but slightly excitable female, Maggie from the Mr. Rogers Litter (Essex/Meriwether) will start us off.

We will be producing regular training video updates of the progress on our YouTube channel.

You’ll want to subscribe to watch the girls go from non-human speakers to fully fluent in human.

At the same time, we will be creating a comprehensive video course called

“Canine Culture Shock”

and accompanying training book (same title) along the way.

The course won’t be immediately available.

(We have to develop it from the footage we take training these girls this fall.)

“Canine Culture Shock”, the course and accompanying book, will come out later as a separate option for those of you who want to train on your own.

As if that wasn’t enough…

each fully-trained American Dirus dog will receive the prestigious Winged Wolf award and be counted among the many certified DireWolf Guardians.

Exciting, right?!

I can’t wait to get started.

Find out more about the particulars at the link below:

Jennifer Stoeckl is the co-founder of the Dire Wolf Project, founder of the DireWolf Guardians American Dirus Dog Training Program, and owner/operator of DireWolf Dogs of Vallecito. She lives in the beautiful inland northwest among the Ponderosa pine forests with her pack of American Dirus dogs.