Banjo Goes from Ankle Biter to Actor / Performer: A Success Story

By: David Codr

Published Date: October 10, 2016


A couple of moths ago, I worked with a Mini Australian Shepherd / Chinese Crested mix named Banjo (Read the original write up here) in Omaha, Nebraska. Banjo was very nervous and anxious when around people he didn’t know which led to a habit of biting stranger’s ankles. His guardian wanted me to help him lear to stop nipping.

Banjo’s guardian had looked for help online and decided to call me instead of a dog trainer. While dog trainers are amazing and can help enrich your dog’s life, most just are not equipped with the techniques needed to rehabilitate an insecure dog like Banjo.

I always tell my clients to call or text with any questions or problems that come up down the road. Banjo’s guardian followed up with me a few times after our session for a few bumps in the road, but was progressively getting better and better.

However, it wasn’t until I got the next message before I learned just how far he had come. This is the text message that came with the video below.

“If this is not a success story I don’t know what is!!! Here is Banjo preforming with me at my Greek Week pageant. You can see him jump at the applause, but he always recovers!! He was relaxed the entire night in the audience (slept in my arms), let a couple new people pet him, and was genuinely happy the entire night. This is INSANE progress!! ??? Thank you so much Dave!!!”

You can watch Banjo’s performance in this video.

Shortly after his guardian sent me that video, she sent a photo of Banjo behaving wonderfully at another event, surrounded by strangers.

Just a few months earlier, this sort of situation would be far more than Banjo could handle. He would have likely fled or nipped at people who got too close or tried to pet him.


But after all the great work his guardian put in, Banjo is excelling. Here is the guardian’s description of the above photo. “Banjo went to a floor event an RA was holding. Not captured is Banjo laying down in the middle of the circle of girls and letting EVERYONE pet him. I guess progress is exponential?! His “therapy dog” neighbor was there too and she gave him so much confidence. He’s such a happy boy now!!”

While I take pride in being available to my clients after the session when there are question or problems, its these sort of success stories that jazz me the most.

Keep it up Banjo, you and your guardian are a testament to how quickly dogs can overcome their problems using positive training and a patient and dedicated guardian.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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