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Teddy the dog

Barbara Jean first met Teddy at 8 weeks old when she was called out to a client’s house for some puppy training. The clients had purchased him online, named him Sully and had already had him for 2 weeks prior to Barbara Jean coming. He was transported up from Mississippi in conditions which were dark, dirty, dingy and took another 7 days on the road to get up to Massachusetts. This would mean that he was pulled from his mother at 5 weeks old, rather than the recommended 8 weeks. Leaving his mother and siblings so early, in and of itself is detrimental to a puppy’s development, let alone the then torturous 7 day journey in a dirty crate in the back of a dark and dingy tractor trailer truck, was most definitely setting this dog up for failure from the get go. On top of that, we then discovered that where he was coming from was a well known puppy mill with serious health, behavior and genetic issues amongst the dogs. And then to consider the breeds of dogs and the typical tendencies they have in general and where those can go wrong had Teddy’s life doomed from the start.

He was an Australian Kelpie crossed with a Rottweiler… both of which have very high intelligence, energy levels and guarding instincts. These 3 features weren’t a good match for this family’s lifestyle and were already a mismatch, even without the trauma prior to him arriving at their home. With all that being said, Barbara Jean met Teddy (then known as Sully) at 8 weeks old and could see the numerous red flags from the second she laid eyes on him. He had severe crate and food aggression at such a young age and was incredibly socially compromised due to his past experiences and upbringing. 

teddy and barbara

From there, they immediately discussed the obvious issues, the obstacles and challenges they could expect to face in the future and the differences of lifestyle and energies between their family’s needs and the dogs. The clients decided at that time that they wanted to try and give it their best effort despite the warnings and writing on the wall. They continued with private lessons and then chose a boot camp as they did not have the knowledge or skill set to address his issues. The very first day of boot camp, Barbara Jean spent 3 and a half hours looking at all his teeth during his freak out tantrums and knew that she had to have him. She turned to her husband and said “I love him” in which he responded “of course you do” as he laughed and knew that meant Teddy was theirs; and there to stay. 

It took a while but ultimately Teddy did fantastic in his boot camp training, learned social skills, food etiquette and crate boundaries, all while Barbara Jean continued to fall even further in love with him. Upon returning him to his original family at the end of his bootcamp stay, she strongly encouraged them that if they realized that he is not the right match for them, to contact her and she would be his forever home in a heartbeat. They nodded and shrugged it off, didn’t do any of the follow up training and ultimately reached out a few months later to surrender him to her fully. They met at a Bass Pro shop, signed papers in the parking lot and Sully officially became Teddy right then and there.

Barbara Jean knew everything that made him a horrible pet would make him a phenomenal performance dog; that is exactly what she did with him. His intelligence and desire to problem solve was incredible and once channeled in the right direction, it would be great. His drive and high energy meant that he did everything at 100% and full speed ahead. Barbara Jean rehabbed him back to his social and handling skills and started working with him in the sport dog world. They trained and played in dock diving, frisbee, nosework, agility and had fun everywhere they went. Their biggest and most focused success was in the world of both competitive obedience and barn hunt; these were his main bread and butter events. His obedience was high energy, flashy, fun and impressive to watch him show off with such enthusiasm.

Almost always walking away with a blue ribbon, Teddy thoroughly enjoyed his performances and exuded excitement the entire time. While obedience was awesome, the sport of barn hunt really allowed the predator side of him to be unleashed, which he loved even more so! Fed by 100% all natural instincts, pure joy and purpose, he hunted live rats (safely protected in bite proof tubes) and was biologically fulfilled and truly satisfied with his exterminating jobs. He was unforgettable to all who watched him compete and was “the dog to watch” / “the dog to beat” in the show ring. You could hear him screaming as he approached the ring and then watch him destroy the course with his Tasmanian Devil style of hunting right through to the end. Till this day, people in the world of barn hunt know and remember Teddy and his demonstrative ways.

Teddy was a pretty hardy and healthy dog physically but mentally was a different story. Although he never once required an abnormal vet visit (minus him once rolling in a dead porcupine), we always knew that the wires upstairs were a little short circuited. His behavior was very autistic like, incredibly socially awkward and tightly managed through strict routines and training regiments. Having a dog like Teddy taught Barbara Jean how to be a better trainer and owner. She was told by a mentor “we don’t always get the dog we want, but we do get the dog we need”. She held onto that and embraced every lesson Teddy threw at her, stepping up into becoming a better trainer with more knowledge and advancing skill sets for both Teddy, herself and the future dogs she would then be able to help. 

Teddy passed at the age of 5 years old and although he wasn’t with us for a long time, he was certainly with us for a good time. His life was full of love, fun, shows, events and jobs for him to complete. He was an incredible and truly unforgettable dog that made such an enormous impact on Barbara Jean’s life that she is forever grateful for her Teddy Monster and all that he taught her. 

dock diving dog

Remembering teddy with teddy’s trails

In Teddy’s honor, Barbara Jean has created a company called Teddy’s Trails which provides private trails exclusively to responsible dog owners. This means dog owners can have a fully fenced in trail all to themselves with only one dog allowed on the trail at a time. This brings peace of mind to both the owners and the dogs of not having to worry about running into off leash dogs, unexpected people, kids, hunters, four wheelers, horses or anything else that may disrupt your walk together. The trails are scheduled by appointment only and a timed meter on the entrance and exit gate tells you how much time is remaining before the next time slot opens up. Whether or not your dog is friendly, enjoying an off leash experience worry free is a joyous experience where you can then truly enjoy the vision of your pup running, jumping, sniffing and exploring the world, knowing he is safely contained and fully protected from the “unexpecteds” of the world. Teddy’s Trails are located throughout the country with a variety of terrain and scenery to explore… everything from someone’s backyard, to a wooded trail, to even open fields, allowing you and your pup the peace of mind you both deserve during your outdoor adventures.