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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!
Jo came to my house for some basic training guidance for my dog Olive. She was excellent with Olive! She gave me some really great advice, showed me some of the simple mistakes I had been making, and really helped us to control Olive when people come to the door and also when she is on the leash. I would recommend Jo to anyone looking for some one-to-one training for their dog!
We had two chocolate labs that Waggy Walkys took care of for 4 years. They were very dependable and my dogs loved them. They walked and feed the dogs everyday and when we were out of town on vacation or business Waggy took care of them as well. As my dogs got older and sick, I saw a very sensitive side to our walker. She helped with administering the medicine and called during the day to let me know how they were doing. My dogs are in heaven now and when we get our next dog we will call on Waggy to be a part of our family. I recommend Waggy to my family and friends.
NoMa Pet Walking and Care is amazing. Very professional and treated my dog as one of their own pets. He's a little persnickety and doesn't like strangers at the other end of the leash but he adapted very quickly and was showing off his toys and cooperating with the NoMa Walker very quickly. Good team and very communicative. First class and I strongly recommend!
If you are looking for the trainer who can make the impossible possible, Jack is your trainer. My dog Zeus (German Pinscher) was a vicious dog with multiple behavioral problems. We tried different trainers, but we thought things were hopeless. After losing all hope, we were at the point of returning Zeus back to his breeder, but we decided to give one last try and hired Jack. Thanks to his methodology and vast experience, we started to see changes almost immediately, after the very first class. His personal commitment and dedication to classes is also outstanding. He loves dogs (he has his own pack of 8), he loves teaching and he is just a very, very good person. Therefore, if you are looking not for just a dog trainer, but for a good one with a very positive personality and with broad experience, Jack is for you.
Stephanie did a great job taking care of my cat and dog while we were on vacation. At first I was nervous about choosing a person of the internet to stay at my house and look after my pets for 17 days while I was out of the country. From our first meeting Stephanie put my mind at ease. I emailed her while we were gone because we needed to extend our stay a couple more days. She emailed me back right away and was able to accommodate us. When I came home I found two very happy pets and a nice clean house. I am hoping to book with her again and definitely recommend her to friends.
Professional, reliable and I can tell they enjoy what they do. We needed a dog walker in the mornings as I recover from foot surgery. We are now on our second week, and my Beau looks forward to his walks with Ana. Thank you..
I highly recommend her puppy camp. We got our Labradoodle, Rexy, when he was 10 weeks. I was online immediately looking for a trainer since Rexy was a big boy--he weighed 23 lbs at the time. Jessica had excellent reviews on Yelp. Initially we had Jessica come by for in-home training, and we had some really productive sessions. He learned the commands for sit, down, stay, and a recall command. She only uses positive feedback training methods which was great, and Rexy was a quick learner. She even took him on a walk around the block to help us train him on loose leash walking. We really wanted to get him into her puppy camp before he turned 16 weeks, however, she was fully booked at the time. She promised to let us know if there were any cancellations. Around the time Rexy was 15 weeks, we had to go out of town for a few days--a trip that was planned before we got Rexy and could not be cancelled. We were really nervous about having to leave him at such a young age (he had separation anxiety), so I asked Jessica to recommend a good pet sitter, which she did. The week before we were scheduled to leave, Jessica had a cancellation from one of her puppy camp clients, and she let us know immediately. We took that spot and she even adjusted the dates so that she could take him on the days we were going to be out of town. I was so relieved! During the camp, she called to give us daily updates, and texted pictures. On the third day of camp, she informed us that Rexy's separation anxiety was more severe than we had realized since he got very anxious (constant whining and crying) whenever she wasn't near him. She asked if she could abandon the training plan she had for camp, and focus on relieving his anxiety. Of course we agreed! I was so glad he was with Jessica and not with a sitter-- if not we would have had to take the next flight home. During the rest of the camp, she worked on building his confidence--she took him on hikes, and even took him swimming to a local canine pool (we had no idea he was a natural at swimming). We came back a whole new puppy who was much more confident. She had several recommendations for us on continuing to work on building his confidence. Thanks to her, he has a come a long way from the shy and reserved puppy we brought home.
Jerry and Titan came out to my house this past weekend to help me get a handle on my DoxiePin. They were wonderful! Jerry gave me a lot of theory training and how to implement. It was a different from any dog training class I've been to. I Enjoyed the one on one instruction very much. More than anything, Jerry is very approachable and open. I would recommend him to anyone. He spent 3 hours with us and we learned tons. Thanks Jerry and Titan for all you showed us. We can't wait for our girl to behave like Titan.
Vicki was very patient with me in learning how to work with my dog. We are on the road to success! Harley LOVES Vicky! and I can see that she is truly a dog person! Lessons are going well and Harley is a joy to walk now!
After searching multiple sites and trying out two other trainers, we found Kimberly on Thumbtack and liked what we read. Her "holistic" approach to dog training really appealed to us and aligned perfectly with our view of the connection between nutrition, physical and mental health, and behavior. When we did the IBAC, we immediately felt a click between the three humans (Kimberly + puppy parents) and Lucy (puppy). Through our work with Kimberly during the training sessions and our practice at home, Lucy has become more calm, responsive, and seems now to recognize us as the "pack leaders". One of the most important lessons we learned is that adjusting on our own energy and behavior is key to effect change in our dog's energy and behavior. It is important to bear in mind that no trainer - no matter how good - can make a dog's behavior change consistently and permanently after the training program without the owners' follow-through. With Kimberly's guidance and our constant practice, we're confident that we will continue making steady progress and nurture a balanced, well-behaved dog and a loving, respecting bond between us.
I recently had my dog participate in the basic obedience class. Bijou is a rhodesian ridgeback and I adopted her 3 months ago and she was 1 year old. I quickly learned that Bijou was extremely smart but very stubborn. She would only listen to my commands if I had a treat and would basically pull my arm off on walks. Bijou was also house trained but because of her stubbornness she would have "accidents" in the house every single day not matter how often we took her out to go to the bathroom. In addition, Bijou got attacked by 3 dogs at a dog park and it changed her personality from playful to scared and she would get nasty every time she saw another dog out of her fear of being attacked. After day 1 of training Bijou was completely different. She was listening to all of my commands and it was obvious her confidence was coming back. After the 2nd training session Bijou stopped having "accidents" in the house and started going to the bathroom on command outside when I asked her to. Using the instructors approach to training we've been able to teach Bijou endless tricks and quickly. It's been a pleasure being able to take her on runs in the city off leash (and she'll stay right next to me even with other dogs around) and eat at resturants outside and not have her freak out. The best part is she plays so nicely with dogs again, and we were able to take her back to "A Dogs Day Out" because she plays so well again and it's due to having her confidence back. My sister stayed with me the past weekend and brought her dog Huck, a golden doodle, and everything was so peaceful in the house and they played so nicely outside together. One of the biggest compliments is when we are eating outside in the city and people stop in Aw of Bijous obedience and we get asked by complete strangers where she was trained and wish their dog was as well behaved. I think Nick's training is so effective because he discovered a way to communicate to dogs that fills that gap and better connects dogs with their owners. My sister was so impressed by Bijous improvement in obedience when she visited with her dog that she is now driving all the way from North Carolina to get Nicks training. My sister has completed 3 other dog training courses with little results. The best part is Nick guarantees results, and it's because he has a 100% success rate. Because Bijou is so obedient Im excited to take her to more places and on more adventures like camping in the Boundary Waters, I know shell stay where I tell her to in the canoe and will stay close to me on the trails. Its so great being able to take my dog out with me vs. leaving her at home because I know shell behave. Thank you for all of your help Nick, you've truely improved Bijou and my quality of life!
I can not say enough positive things about the excellent service, training, and support I have received from Haywood and his team. Background: I rescued an almost 3yr old neutered male GSD in December. My husband and I have breed experience so I was hoping that we'd be able to improve some of his problematic behaviors (barking, poor socialization, very territorial, and disordered pack mentality) and then join a group class. We quickly figured out that the behaviors were not related to bonding to us and his new GSD sister but rather that was just him. So we started looking at private lessons. When I arrived at Academy, I wasn't sure what to expect. Alexa and Adrianna started our evaluation. Haywood joined us half way through and it worked out perfectly that he did because the team was able to observe my dog's reaction to someone entering "his" territory and his reaction to men - both of which were significant. At the end of the evaluation, Haywood and Alexa provided their recommendation for training - private lessons to start with a transition to group classes for a fixed fee. My dog would learn multiple commands and how to be around other dogs. Again, I can not stress enough how economical Academy ended up being. It took us a little longer than the average client to be ready for group classes. If I'd had to pay per lesson at the market rate in this area, it would have cost DOUBLE. Seriously...I did the math. Three weeks ago, my previously barky, somewhat aggressive, territorial GSD graduated from Academy with the highest test score of his group. He didn't make a peep. He recognizes the humans in our home as alphas. He is able to walk on a leash in our neighborhood without lunging at other dogs...in fact, he was steady as a rock last week while a neighbor's small dog was barking up a storm. I honestly feel like Academy Dog Training saved my dog's life. If his behavior had continued to escalate, he eventually would have hurt someone and been euthanized. Haywood's method was exactly what my dog needed and Alexa (our primary trainer for private lessons) got to know both my dog and myself. There were days I was prepared to give up and without her encouragement, support, and knowledge were invaluable.
Theresia and The Pet Stop have been our go-to sitter for our dog. Tucker loves going to Theresia's and practically pulls my arm off to get inside every time we arrive. Theresia treats all of the dogs who stay at her bed and biscuit like they are her own and I know Tucker prefers playing with those dogs and having the huge yard to play in over any other option when we have to board him somewhere. Theresia has also been great at making sure Tucker gets any medications that he requires while staying there. I absolutely recommend her.
I have two dogs and one cat; all are older animals and one dog is blind. Leaving my pets in the care of others is the hardest decision I have had to make. No one cares for my pets better than me, except for Cupid Pets! Kim and Bruce are down-to-earth animal lovers who have bent over backwards for me and to make sure my pets are happy and safe! They come to your house to evaluate your pets, they listen carefully to your instruction and with their knowledge, can offer some suggestions if issues arise. They have the time (never rushed walks), they have the training (how to greet fearful dogs) and they have the love of animals (belly rubs for the dogs and pettings for the cat) that make them wonderful pet caregivers. They also try to be flexible in their scheduling and are reasonable in their pricing.
Cyndie was a professional with her first appointment screening process. Lots of questions for me that even I hadn't thought of. We hadn't had a dog in a couple years, so her thoughts and comments were very much appreciated. Nancy did a great job keeping us posted from afar while we were away with great pictures of our dog Stella. Prices are very reasonable.
Could not be happier w/ Fabiola. She clearly cares deeply about our four-legged friends and takes a personal interest. We recently had a situation where there was a potential emergency with my dog before she arrived for a walk (ate some potentially toxic). Fortunately it was just a scare and nothing happened, but Fabiola contacted me and we were able to handle it and my dog is doing fine.
Ellie is the dog whisperer! Our two miniature American Eskimos hated to get griomed, however since day one they get super excited to see Ellie when we take them to her! She pampers them and they love their spa day!
I am a life long dog owner. I have tried different businesses for grooming but I was looking for something different and something better for our current dog. Luca is our great Pyrenees - mix, rescue. He is an amazing dog but with his "guard dog" nature, he reacts when faced with dogs he is not familiar with. This trait meant we could not send him to the grooming options offered in the local pet stores. I found "Happy Paws" through "Thumb Tack" during a google search. I did not have to wait before I heard from Happy Paws. From the first contact, through my entire experience, I was communicating with the owner and then the groomer. Happy Paws has impressed me, as their years caring for animals has grown and developed into an amazing well executed business. They do not leave any stone un-turned. They have thought of everything. Every improvement and upgrade they have made, over the years, stems from the their interaction with their clients and the animals. Our first visit included a visit from the owner, Angela, and the groomer, Reena, who have worked together for years. Angela took the time to make sure I was comfortable with our first experience. I truly enjoyed her visit. She is very easy to talk with and so good at listening to all my question and/or concerns. As for the grooming experience, it deserves 5 stars as well. Luca is 76 lbs so I was so curious how the groomer would be able to bath and trim such a large dog - one who doesn't like water/baths. However, nothing fazed Reena. She handled Luca with confidence and as a result Luca had less anxiety because he knew he was being cared for and that Reena could and did handle him with great care. There is so much more I can share about our positive experience. But I will end with the fact that Luca looks beautiful and we cannot get enough of his soft fur and gorgeous looks! I am so grateful to Happy Paws and I HIGHLY recommend Happy Paws to every dog owner!!
Cheryl was wonderful with my animals. I have 4: 2 cats, a guinea pig and a bearded dragon. Not all pet sitters can handle the variety and number of animals, especially the reptiles. She had no reservations handling any of them. In addition, I was provided a daily update and photos of my little guys. She went above and beyond in my opinion, making sure my guinea pig's cage was clean, which I hadn't been able to get to before I left on my business trip. I felt totally comfortable while I was away, knowing they were being well cared for and spending time with them so they weren't so upset that I was gone. I'll be traveling quite a bit the next few months and knowing I won't have to worry about my pets is a great relief.