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Canine Higher Learning

Canine Higher Learning

Milpitas, CA

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About Canine Higher Learning

M. Cecilia Sternzon, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) with over 15 years of experience offers dog training at all levels, from basic to advanced.

Specializing in dog sports including agility and flyball, I also offer dog behavior counseling for a variety of challenges including anxiety and aggression as well as family integration, emphasizing the child-dog relationship.


Milpitas, CA 95035


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  • 5/5 stars

    Cecilia has been fantastic at helping us with our troubled dog. She took a complete history, developed a plan to help him, and helped us implement the plan. We all -- human and canine -- loved working with her. She takes personal interest in her clients, and patiently answers all questions, both during training sessions and after. I don't know what we would have done without her.

  • 5/5 stars

    Cecilia is excellent not only with Dogs but better with Humans. She has a way of connecting with her students who very quickly become friends. She has empathy with the Humans on the struggles that we face and never makes people feel bad about their situation. Training Dogs is easy, she's a Pro because she can train Humans too.

  • 5/5 stars

    Cecilia's help turned a traumatized shelter dog into a Guinness World Record holder! I took my puppy Abbie to Cecilia's puppy obedience course right after adopting her. Of course, Abbie had issues to work through. The fundamentals that Cecilia provides has carried through for Abbie's entire life and not only rehabilitated her, but gave her the confidence to try - and then discover that she enjoyed - dog surfing. Today, Abbie has won dozens of contests, been featured on TV and movies, and currently holds two Guinness World Records for longest wave surfed by a dog! Thanks Cecilia for helping Abbie become one of the most active and fun-loving pups in the world!

  • 5/5 stars

    When I got my Border Colie, I wasted no time in calling Cecilia. When my BC turned 7 mos old he hit a rather severe fear phase. He was so reactive to everything that I was in tears. He had turned fear aggressive and was afraid of everything, especially new dogs. I thought i had ruined him. My other dog had been so easy to train, and i was at a total loss. With Cecilia's guidance and training he made improvements. He is now a more confident dog and I can talk him out, without myself or him being stressed. He now can greet other dogs without freaking out. I HIGHLY recommend Cecilia to everyone

  • 5/5 stars

    Cecilia of Canine Higher Learning Is The Dog Whisperer .
    She has trained my dog for puppy , basic , advanced and some private classes , She has an awesome style and the Dogs love her .I have sent all my friends and family to her, and they were pleased too.
    I would not let anyone else work with my animals , she is the best.

  • 5/5 stars

    I met Cecilia 8 years ago when my border collie puppy was 6 weeks old. Cecilia worked privately with Holly and me and I also took her to puppy and obedience classes taught by Cecilia at a local venue. Holly went on to be an outstanding flyball dog with Cecilia's help. She also helped me to evaluate a rescue border collie before I added him to my household. This was an invaluable service as I wanted to make sure that this was the right dog for our family. Over the past 8 years I've known her, Cecilia has continued to add to her already broad knowledge of canine behavior. I highly recommend her. She loves dogs!

Question and answer

Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

A. Ask about a trainer's professional qualifications and education in dog training and behavior. Ideally, look for a trainer with a professional certification who uses the most modern methods, and who continues to educate him or herself in the latest findings about dog behavior and learning.
Research them online to see what others have said about them, as well as to get a more clear idea of such things as:
* What their background is in dog training
* How active they are/have been in the field
* How connected they are with their chosen specialty, if they have one

Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?

A. As a customer, I wish that I knew about the various certifications and what they mean.
The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers was the first unaffiliated organization to test and certify dog trainers for their knowledge and understanding of dogs and behavior. While many dog training schools are very good, due to the lack of accreditation among dog training schools, it can be difficult to know what one is getting without researching the schools directly.
Look for a trainer who gets plenty of continuing education and only uses the most modern and dog-friendly methods.

Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?

A. I recommend asking the following:
* What is your education in dog training
* How long have you been in the industry?
* What are your current methods and why? (This is particularly important if a trainer has been in the industry for over 10 years.)
* Where have you gained your education in dog behavior?
* Are there any clients who may recommend you?
* Are you involved with any peer networks (this shows the desire to further the dog training field, and not just be an independent player)

Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?

A. Everyone who is in the dog training business loves dogs. Unfortunately, they do not all love people just as well. My love for people comes through in the work that I do, allowing me to show compassion for my clients as well as the dogs they love. In my work, I strive for the "win-win-win" situations for everyone involved - dog, family and everyone else involved.

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