Success Story – Rex

My wife and I adopted Rex, a 1½ year old male boxer, that had been surrendered by several families due to being too hyper, child reactive, and dog reactive.  Having owned six previous boxers, many of which were also Minnesota Boxer Rescue alums, I figured it could not be all that bad.  Ohhhhh was I wrong.  Rex was an absolute out-of-control maniac. His problem wasn’t that he was aggressive; it was the opposite. He LOVED everyone and everything way too much, to the point of inappropriately overwhelming every person and dog he met. He also had no idea how to appropriately interact with our 11-year-old female boxer who has knee problems and just wants to relax in her senior years.

After struggling with Rex for several months and being pushed to the brink of re-surrendering him, we reached back out to MNBR for help, committed to keeping Rex and working through our challenges with him. MNBR provided us with the support we needed and referred us to AQK9, a dog training facility that specializes in difficult dogs. I will be forever grateful for that referral from Minnesota Boxer Rescue, as it changed Rex and my life.

Rex and I started training with a 10-week private lesson program.  I started those sessions feeling powerless and with little confidence we would be able to work through Rex’s problems.  But, week by week, Rex learned to pay attention to me and rely on me for direction. At the same time, I learned to be a confident dog handler and how to work through uncomfortable situations with Rex by my side. Our journey was not a linear one.  There were many weeks that felt overwhelming and as if we were reverting.  But when we took a step back to view the big picture, we were making massive strides.

After our private lessons ended, we joined an obedience club at the same training facility, training on a weekly basis to continue our transformation.  Entering a class with multiple new dogs was terrifying, considering prior to training Rex could not control himself if there was another dog within eyesight. But lo and behold, Rex kept his composure, and we were able to successfully train around multiple training teams.

Fast forward two years, and I am exceedingly happy to say that Rex has grown into the best dog I have ever owned and my true companion. Through obedience training and this journey, we have formed an incredible bond which I would not trade for anything. We continue to obedience train on a weekly basis, not because we have to, but because we want to. We have competed in multiple UKC obedience trials, placed, and titled! Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that possible. Adopting a “difficult dog” and helping them grow into the best dog they can be is beyond rewarding. Thank you to Minnesota Boxer Rescue for placing Rex with us, my wife Shannon for her commitment to and love for Rex, and Tiffany and the whole crew at AQK9 for guiding us on this journey. Without all of you, this success story would not have been possible.