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Choosing the right trainer is a difficult and overwhelming task. The following is my experience with Kathryn and Perfect Poochies. Summarized: Kathryn is amazing. I have a whole new skillset at my disposal. My dog is calmer, has less anxiety and if new issues surface, I am better prepared to deal with them. If you are a new dog owner looking for a starting point or find yourself struggling with any number of unwanted behavioral issues, she can help. Kathryn is extremely knowledgeable, experienced, versatile and patient. She was never condescending or judgmental while helping me understand areas I needed to improve. She has an uncanny ability to understand dogs and what makes them tick. Once she gets to know you and your dog, she will provide an honest assessment of what she considers to be the underlying issue(s) and lays out a plan for correcting or managing it. The love she puts into her work is evident in everything she does from designing your personalized sessions, her regular follow-up and her encouragement to reach out any time you have questions or issues. Detailed: I am a first-time dog owner. Our 18-month, 170-pound Great Dane, Odin has been part of our family since he was 2-months old. We immediately enrolled in the first two puppy training classes at Pet-Smart. Our family has consistently applied what we learned. Everything was going great with Odin until somewhere around 7-months of age. Odin would occasionally start barking at a person for no apparent reason. This behavior gradually increased to include anyone reaching into his face, unexpected fast movements and large groups of people swarming in on him. We solicited advice from our Pet-Smart trainer and studied tons of training materials – books, training guides, Internet. Some of the techniques we tried helped, but if Odin was truly upset, the only thing we could do was apologize and leave. Odin remained excellent with dogs and children but the number of adults that triggered his barking was increasing. During the summer, I was having work done on my car and I brought Odin because there were plenty of paths nearby. It took longer than expected for the car to be finished and when we returned Odin was exhausted. A young man approached, and I quickly warned about Odin’s anxiety and in his over-tired state, his behavior would probably be worse than normal. The man assured me that he had experience with dogs, and slowly bent down near Odin, leaving plenty of space and not making eye contact. He gave Odin time to get used to him and smell him and soon enough Odin was comfortable and enjoying being petted. Unfortunately, when the man was ready to leave, he jumped up which surprised/scared Odin who then also jumped up and started lunging, growling and barking at him. The man was very kind and understanding, but it was time to seek out professional help. I searched online for trainers and dog-behaviorists and there were a number of options. As we were trying to choose one, I remembered a friendly and outgoing woman who had hosted a free local dog training session. Odin seemed comfortable around her, so I reached out to see if she would be interested in private training sessions. The woman was Kathryn of Perfect Poochies. Not only did she offer private training, but she had ample experience with large dogs and the exact behavior I described. Our first training session involved getting to know our family and Odin. She asked questions about what we were experiencing and what we tried to mitigate it. Next, she analyzed our actions and body language as well as Odin’s behavior, response, reactions, attitude etc. She used this information to create a custom training plan for fear-aggression. We met once a week wherein she would teach me new techniques and verify I could perform them correctly. She would evaluate my actions and behavior and if anything I was doing contributed to his anxiety, she would help me find alternatives. At the end of the session, she always left me with several things to work on before our next session – as with anything in life, the key to success is repetition and consistency. Occasionally, she would introduce me to new products that could help with Odin’s training. The products were not a ‘company product’ or money-making gimmick - they were products she had success using with other dogs. If I wanted to try them, I had to find/order them. Following six sessions, Odin had less anxiety and I am able to successfully manage what remains. Odin now looks to me when he gets nervous instead of instantly reacting. By changing my leadership style, he obeys commands more readily and consistently. Before Odin would lurch and jump to get to anything that excited him (squirrels). Now, he just gives a light tug on the leash or stares. When he is told to “Leave It”, he settles down immediately. Previously, I would make large loops to avoid passing people. I was worried he might start barking at them. Now we can walk right by and all I have to do is tell him to “Leave It.” Odin’s responding immediately to my commands has increased my confidence, which in turn has decreased much of his anxiety. There are a couple of dog walkers in the neighborhood with whom I walk Odin. In the beginning of our training, Odin had limited contact with people and dogs. When I had the chance to meet up with them again, they marveled over the transformation in Odin’s behavior and how calm he bad become. Another technique she suggested is Odin wearing a bright vest that says, ‘In Training’ and lists a couple of items not to do around him (things that trigger his anxiety). The vest has helped make others aware of Odin’s ‘special needs’ well before they approach him. I have also gotten much better at recognizing things that may trigger his anxiety so I can avoid, prevent or discourage it. Thank you for reading my review. I am very grateful for the help I received from Perfect Poochies. It was worth every penny. Speaking of which, don’t stress about the fees, Perfect Poochies is perfectly affordable.
Working with Ryan was fantastic from start to finish! He made the booking process extremely easy, and we had our first lesson soon after reaching out. Ryan quickly assessed our situation, and provided guidance and instruction that resulted in an immediate improvement in our dog's behavior and our dog-parenting skills! We appreciated Ryan's level-headed and real world approach to dog training, and think he set us on the right course for a long-lasting and awesome relationship with our pup!
began dog training classes, went very well.
My sister and I first approached PackFit in 2014 for help with our Chihuahua Mix – her name is Mandu – that we had adopted from the shelter. She was terrified of anything that moved and coped by barking. We tried different methods that other dog trainers offered to no avail. Ms. Kimberly is excellent with both dogs and people – her dedication to them is awe-inspiring. The time and effort she’ll put into making your life and your dog’s life better shows her passion to her cause: “training dogs, empowering people, and changing lives.” PackFit offers more than dog training; PackFit gives you a role model that will help you with your own issues – without you even noticing – so that your dog won’t feed off of those anxious and negative cues. Now, this doesn’t mean that Mandu and I are perfect after our in-home sessions with Ms. Kimberly. However, two years later, we’re still taking baby steps in the right direction. I miss Ms. Kimberly and her own pack ever since our in-home sessions ended but thanks to her, Mandu and I are slowly conquering our fears.
Jodie has been fantastic with the information and training she provides. She is very organized with her puppy classes and provides additional information on puppy care at the end of each class. She also came to our home for an individual training session and was very insightful and helpful with tips on house training and providing tips on our puppy setup, schedule, and obedience training. She has been very helpful and is clearly very experienced.
The OLK9 crew has given us a whole new perspective on dog training and obedience. We went to OLK9 with the goal of having our APBT "Casino" stop pulling on leash during walks and to stop mild dog aggression. At first we were hesitant with using an e-collar for training, but Garry was able to address all of our concerns during our first lesson and made us feel at ease with the training regimen. One month and 2 lessons later, and we couldn't be more impressed with the results we've seen so far. Our training has given us and Casino more confidence not only on leash, but we are now comfortable walking him off leash even with distractions. We have two basic classes left and have already registered for our advanced lessons. Nick comes highly recommended and responds quickly to any questions you may have regarding training or the e-collar. We've already recommended other family members to enroll in the program and look forward to the continued confidence gained from training. Our only regret is not starting our training sooner...
I never had a dog before, but Haywood made it easy to get used to a dog. The training wasn't just for my puppy, it was for myself too. The classes were always well curated for each dog and their owner.
We've had two sessions with Maxine (an initial 3 hour visit and an hour long follow up visit) and couldn't be happier. We took in a 3 year old lab/beagle mix named Hamish about two months ago and needed some help with basic obedience training and also some specific problems: nuisance barking, pulling on the leash, and some occasional guarding behavior. After just one session, we were able to communicate much more effectively with Hamish and his problem behaviors lessened. And the extra guidance we got at our follow up session today has already proven extremely useful. Hamish used to bark and bark at passersby and not heed any of our efforts to quiet him. Now he barks less frequently and when he does we're able to get his attention and he stops. His recall has also improved dramatically. Overall, he's also much calmer - it's obvious he feels more comfortable now that he understands our respective roles and what's expected of him. We feel fully supported by Maxine and highly recommend her services.
Paul is a great Dog training, not only is he knowledgeable but also his enthusiasm about what he does. I am a first time puppy owner and we often think that its the dog that has the issue. But Paul teaches us that its all about being able to communicate with your dog because all they do is want to make you proud. I took Pauls training class and after 4 weeks I seem to have a new dog. No the dog was the same he just though me to be patient and help me to relay what I wanted my dog to do. The environment is very welcome not to mention how clean it is. I would advise anyone who thinks they have an issue with their dog to visit Pawsitive Paul's Dog Training. You and your dog will leave with a smile on your face.
Elisa has been wonderful to work with! She has been training our dog Zoe for over 1 month now and we have seen great results! Zoe is a border collie mix and can be very stubborn at times, and as her parents we didn't do the best job with correcting her behaviors when they began. She is now 5, and despite her age Elisa has been able to teach us how to train her properly and address her problematic behaviors. Elisa has a great connection with animals and has done an amazing job with training Zoe and with training us as well. She provides in-home training sessions which are extremely helpful, and she is always flexible with our work schedules, even meeting us on weekends if needed. We really enjoy working with her and are happy with the results so far! We recommend her to anyone who needs training/dogwalking/petsitting services!
I just want to thank Sarka so much for helping us out with training our dog, Hnupka. We had a very difficult time coping with Hnupka before we decided to contact Sarka and ask her for her expert help. Sarka taught Hnupka basic obedience and helped him to socialize with other dogs, humans and daily busy city life. Sarka also showed us techniques on how to handle Hnupka ourselves, set his expectations, and build his respect for us in a humane and loving way so that he would obey. Hnupka is now a much more manageable part of our family. I would highly recommend Sarka as an obedience trainer. She loves dogs and they love her back. Linda
Susie was excellent and did a great job of creating strategies to help our entire family including young children train our new puppy. She was easy to work with and was able to provide additional support to help socialize our puppy.
New To Thumbtack
I do private lessons and group classes for anything from socialization to obedience and problem solving.
Jack Eagan has saved the life our dog by teaching us how to help her learn to control herself. We were battling with her aggressiveness and dominance. He taught us how we were inadvertently telling her to be dominant and taught us how to correct OUR behavior. She is now submissive and much happier and less stressed that way. She has calmed down and behaves beautifully. She also is no longer dog aggressive. We absolutely loved working with Jack and his partner Ellie and recommend that EVERY dog owner enlist Jack to train their dogs, even if they are already well-behaved.
Lucinda was aweaome. She trained both our pups at separate times. They have grown into fantastic, easygoing adult dogs. Ziggy was shy and aloof. Tail wags trained her to be social and loving.
Creekside Canine Training is excellent. My dog Riggins went through basic, intermediate, and advanced 6 week obedience classes as well as several private sessions and structured walks with Creekside. He went from being out of control all the time to being a calm, well behaved dog. Something I didn't think would happen when we first got him from the shelter. I definitely recommend Creekside Canine Training.
I recommended Show Me Your Dog whole-heartedly. SMYD was highly recommended to us when our pup was 8 weeks old. We starting working with them during our pup’s 8th week of life, an ideal opportunity to get her learning from other (healthy, vaccinated) puppy-friendly dogs which they hand selected and introduced in a controlled setting. Since we started, her individual training sessions have been tailored and paced for her and her age, building skills with long-term goals in mind. When I drop her off at Train and Play Day Camp, I have comfort knowing that she is in a focused and stimulating as well as a safe and caring environment. At the end of the day, we hear about what she is working on and training videos are often available. The trainers are available for our questions and when we need tips (as new things always arise with puppies). In addition, the SMYD trainers will explain the reasons for the approaches, in the context of building for the future. Their unique approach to Train and Play Day Camp involves a cycle of training and rest. Dogs socialize (get to be a dog, in a group, with appropriate levels of oversight), rest, have individual training sessions, and rest (repeat). This way, dogs use their minds and bodies but get the much-needed recovery to behave and focus well during interactive sessions. When your dog attends Train and Play Day Camp, it is in conjunction with individual training sessions involving you, the owner. Through hands-on involvement, you learn how to continue your dog’s development at home and thus create a consistent environment of learning. SMYD is not simply doggy day care. It is a lifelong program to develop your dog’s socialization and capabilities (obedience, agility, plus whatever you desire and your dog enjoys) in ways that fully exercise and challenge your dog’s mental and physical being. This is exactly what your dog needs, regardless of its breed, age, or personality: mental and physical engagement in a safe, controlled setting with attentive, knowledgeable staff. Your dog is encouraged to be a dog (some dogs raised in isolation actually need to learn this!) while gradually building skill sets to become an ideal citizen, family member, and, if desired, service dog or competitor. An important and inspiring aspect of SMYD’s work involves rehabilitating rescues and orphans. With confidence and plans that come with experience and knowledge, dogs written off as damaged or dangerous can be reprogrammed to trust and appreciate other dogs and people. This is critical work and these folks both know what they are doing and care enough to offer these services to really tough cases. We have used SMYD’s services for 13 weeks so far and have seen several ongoing, successful rehabilitations. With no reservation, I recommend them for help with any issues you encounter and want to solve. While training your dog, they will also train you! Lastly, I will mention that it is a pleasure working with Dave, Nikki, and Bernie. They have knowledge and experience but are always learning and researching to be dynamic. They would be willing to work toward your goals, whatever they may be, and embrace new tools and ideas. I like them personally and my dog loves them. They are focused and they care. I am grateful and fortunate to be raising my dog with them.
I've been boarding my dogs at Belquest Kennel for the past 11 yrs. My dogs get very excited as soon as I turn into the Belquest Kennel driveway. They jump out of the car and beat me to the door. This tells me that they love boarding at Belquest! The staff is always professional & friendly and they do an outstanding job at grooming my Havanese. Our 14 yr. old Beagle had disk problems and they went out of their way to take special care while bathing and grooming our old boy. Belquest has a wonderful selection of dog toys, goodies & grooming tools. I find their prices to be lower than Pet Smart or some of the larger chain stores.
OL K9 Training really works. Neither Charlie nor Baxter reliably came when called, especially Baxter the Beagle-mix who obeys his nose above all else. We were forced to leash the dogs on all of our outdoor adventures, including hikes in the mountains of Maine. It is not fun being dragged down a mountain by an energetic dog. We signed up for basic obedience classes with Charlie, and after the first lesson I had hope that this could work, but I told them it would never work with Baxter. He is far too stubborn. But four lessons with Charlie and only one with Baxter have been life-changing. That may sound dramatic, but I adore my dogs and spend most of the day with them. Now, instead of yelling at them, we play ball in open fields and walk through the woods tracking squirrels without being tied to leashes. They run at a heel around my neighborhood every morning with me, not dragging me around. At first, I felt a little guilty about strapping those collars on every morning, but they adjust quickly and dont even seem to notice they are wearing them now. The collars equal freedom and fun to the dogs. The training is amazingly simple and effective, but practice is the key to success. We continue to work every day because anything worth having takes a little effort! OL K9 Training is truly worth the money. Scott and Jen are great people, and truly want you to succeed. We will be keeping in touch with them and sharing pictures of our summer hikes. If you are reading this and are frustrated with your dog, contact them now! You wont regret it.
The trainers are great - very knowledgeable - and class is fun for both dogs and people! The instruction is geared toward the individual dog/owner - and enormously helpful.... Our thanks to Kathryn and Christina - they are true professionals!
My shih-tzu dog and I have taken two of Mike Tomei's group training courses in the last few years: 1) "Basic Obedience" class and 2) "Canine Good Citizen" course, which can lead to certification as an emotional support dog. Mike is an excellent trainer who truly has a psychological understanding of dogs and their owners. He also knows a wealth of information about topics relating to the mental and physical health of dogs. Many of my friends and neighbors have also used Mike to train their dogs. They've all been equally as pleased with the results. To accommodate his clients, Mike holds group classes and individual lessons on various days/times each week. As soon as meeting Mike, you realize that he is a born trainer and leader. Before starting this business, he was a school teacher, which honed his skills explaining new concepts and answering questions. I particularly appreciate how dedicated Mike is while getting dogs to understand what's being asked of them. He stays calm and patient, no matter how many iterations it takes to teach stubborn or troubled dogs like mine. Different dog breeds and ages can sometimes require customized training methods. Mike is still able to give individual training during his group classes. Every dog gets his/her fair share of attention, along with the pet-owners. He also hold private lessons for dogs needing special attention. Finally, he doesn't mind answering follow-up questions in between classes, which is not always the case. I highly recommend Mike Tomei to anyone needing effective and loving dog training.