When we welcomed our Labrador retriever puppy, Charlie, into our family almost three years ago, we wanted her to be a part of our active lifestyle in a stress-free way. We knew that would require an investment of our time and resources into basic obedience training, but what we didn’t realize at the time was how profound an impact that training would have on us as a family.
We first left Charlie with Angelika and Tino when she was just 10 weeks old for a 2-week board and train in their home. We had interviewed other dog trainers prior but it wasn’t until we met Angelika that we really felt at peace with leaving our new puppy. The foundation of on-leash training Charlie received during that stay was an eye-opening experience into what was possible for her. In the weekly follow-up classes that we attended (which we still attend 2.5 years later!) it became apparent to us just how much of dog training is human training. Angelika and Tino worked patiently with us as we learned to effectively communicate with Charlie as leaders of her pack. We also realized how much Charlie thrives in a training environment. Learning and practicing new commands has provided a purposeful, positive outlet for her energy and has helped to foster her happy, calm, and loving temperament.
Much to Charlie’s delight, we continue to send her back for board and trains (i.e. “camp”) whenever we go out of town for more than a couple of days. She’s progressed so much in her off-leash training that she is able to stay off-leash while at the park, hiking, and on other outdoor adventures. We have complete and total trust that we’re in control of her at all times, allowing us to enjoy these experiences with absolutely zero stress. We’re not exaggerating when we say that on a daily basis, we receive compliments from complete strangers that we meet in parks, on trails, or in other public places who are blown away by how well behaved Charlie is.
Aside from obedience training, Angelika and Tino have been instrumental in training Charlie to perform a number of medically-related service tasks, enabling me to have her registered as my service animal and join me wherever I go. She’s also an appreciated visitor at Craig’s mom’s memory care home, where, thanks to our work with Quality K9, she is able to interact with all of the residents in a calm and gentle manner, bringing joy into their lives with her regular visits.
Our time with Charlie has been amazing and Angelika and Tino have played an integral role in that. In working with them, we’ve realized that you can’t put a price on the quality of life that comes from having a well-trained companion. As long as we have dogs, they’ll have Angelika and Tino in their lives!