Marley’s Success Story

  • Marley (the tan pit) and Buddy (the little terrier). Buddy was one of the demo dogs that helped Trainer Chance channel and rehabilitate Marley’s aggression. They remain best friends to this day, and can always be found sitting together around our facility.

Marley was once a dog labeled as vicious, who was kept away from other dogs because of his violent history. Marley had a sad history of killing other dogs in dog fights. Marley was able to become a well-behaved boy through rehabilitation and agility training.

In 2015, Focused K9’s Hawaii LLC’s trainer, Chance Bateman, met Marley at Doggie Dude Ranch (DDR) on Hawaii Island. Because of Marley’s violent behavior, Kohala Animal Rescue and Education Services (KARES) sent him to Focused K9’s for boarding and training. Prior to boarding, Marley had just gotten into 2 major fights at DDR. Marley had known dog kills. Marley’s kennel card at the Doggie Dude Rance facility stated not to put him with other dogs. 

In the first 20 days of boarding and training with Focused K9s Hawaii LLC, and our behavior specialist, Chance, Marley and Chance built a relationship, built Marley’s confidence, worked him mentally, socialized him with a trained demo dog, and got him to react to a clicker stimulus. He also began learning to read other dogs correctly, be confident, obedient, well-mannered, and social. After 46 days of training, Marley was able to be free on play and potty with a pack of 5 dogs – displaying awareness of handler, obedience, and socialization.

In a civil court case against KARES, Chance was able to prove Marley had become a loving and well-balanced dog. Chance showed pictures and videos that proved Marley could not only now get along with, but loved other dogs, who felt comfortable and safe around him. In 2017, Marley was awarded by civil court into Focused K9’s custody, not KARES. 

Marley’s story helps prove that a solid relationship is the number one fix for dog aggression, and that dog aggression can be helped! Since then, Marley has worked with Focused K9s as a demo dog for Canine Good Citizen (CGC) classes, and has proven that it is possible to help and change aggressive behavior in dogs. 

Marley’s story is what put Focused K9’s Hawaii on the map, and helped grow our business to what it is today.