Lena Steiner – Colorado Springs

Lena SteinerWhen I first rescued my Pit Bull, Sandy, in July of 2006 she was only 4 months old. I knew that I needed to get her into puppy classes right away because I had heard that Pit Bulls can become dog aggressive if they aren’t properly socialized from a young age.

However, I was apprehensive when I first started classes with her because I was anticipating some negative reactions due to the unfortunate stereotype against Pit Bulls. Luckily, the first trainer I came into contact with was Linda Brennen. She immediately told me how adorable Sandy was and gave her lots of love and attention. Sandy took to Linda instantaneously. I knew had found the right trainer.

From puppy classes to our latest Canine Good Citizenship preparation course, Linda has been a constant source of encouragement and sound advice.  Linda even took the time to take us on “field trips” to the dog park to learn proper etiquette and how to read Sandy’s behavior to prevent unnecessary tussles. She even helped me cope with the difficult adolescent phase of Sandy’s life. As with all creatures, Sandy went through a rebellious phase from about 6-18 months of age. Whenever I would get frustrated, Linda would remind me to think positive and focus on what Sandy was doing right.  Her advice definitely paid off. With consistent positive reinforcement stemming from Linda’s guidance, Sandy has become a wonderful companion and a true ambassador for her misunderstood breed. Everywhere we go people tell me how sweet she is.  With Linda’s help I can now state with confidence that Sandy is well on her way to becoming a therapy dog.

My other dog, Roxy, is a 5 year old Chocolate Lab. She has also benefited from Linda’s expertise. She started out in beginner classes as a 2 year old and will soon be taking her first Canine Good Citizenship preparation course.  She has a little bit of a more compliant personality than Sandy, which has made her easier to train, but has also learned a great deal from Linda.

One reason why I love Linda is that even though I am the proud owner of one of America’s favorite breeds (the Labrador Retriever), I am also equally proud of my Pit Bull and can say with honesty that Linda is as well.  I am fiercely protective of Sandy because people so often look at her and assume she is mean because of the way she looks. Fortunately, this protectiveness has been unnecessary around Linda. From day one, she never treated Sandy like a pariah and even used her as an assistant to help socialize some of the dogs in her puppy classes. Although they were nervous at first, it was fun to see some new puppy parents learn that a 75 pound Pit Bull could gently teach their rambunctious puppies some manners! It is this attitude that has kept me coming back to Linda for over 3 years and why I will continue to recommend her to every dog owner I know.

Linda is a wonderful friend, an obvious dog-lover, and a great asset to the dog training community in Colorado Springs.