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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.
We found out about Ryan when researching Northern VA dog trainers. We had a 6 month old German Shepherd and didn't know where to turn. To complicate things I was trying to also groom him to be a working dog which requires excellent obedience. After dropping a couple of hundred on a group class at Petco I feel we barely scratched the surface let alone had an obedient dog. Ryan offered exactly what we wanted. A reasonable intensive in-home solution that incorporated the whole family. Ryan was able to see how he interacts at home, on walks and we even go into public areas to increase socialization. After 6 weeks we have seen a dramatic change. K9 Sigmund is now even more prepared to start his career as a K9 SAR member thanks to Ryan.
Pippin was territorially aggressive, and I was having a hard time tackling his chow chow/german shepherd breeding with our other two dogs in the house. Denise was able to help us understand the problem Pippin was having as well as give us the tools to conquer those problems. Pippin has improved dramatically, and continues to improve as we continue to utilize the skills and techniques Denise taught us,.
Jay of Canine Dominion is more than just the best dog trainer ever. Once you hire him, it's as if he's become a member of your family -- a really smart, experienced, savvy member of your family who's truly invested in the successful training of your dog. He stands behind his dog training 100% too -- willing to provide additional sessions if needed at no additional charge. Jay brings amazing skills plus integrity to boot. Now if only I could find an auto mechanic version of Jay. ;-)
I couldn't be happier with the training that we've received from Social Tailwaggers. Jodie, our trainer. is so patient and very knowledgeable. The first time we met, we discussed what training I was interested in and what goals we were trying to achieve for my dog, Cooper. Cooper was around 10-11 months old when we began our first training session. She immediately began to introduce new skills and commands to work on training Cooper. After each lesson, Jodie sends a detailed email outlining all of the skills we worked on and suggestions to help with practicing on my own. Jodie was also helpful with recommendations on types of toys and feeding bowls to help with the energy level of my dog. I would highly recommend Social Tailwaggers to anyone who needs help training a new puppy or an older dog. It is well worth the time, money and effort to have a well trained dog and not only are you going to have a well trained, better behaved dog, it's also a lot of fun time spent with your dog.
We had Brian come to the house to help with aggression towards visitors. After watching our dog for a bit, he was able to give us a simple technique to use. It's been two weeks now and she is much better. She almost corrects herself when she acts up. I also had Brian meet me at a park to deal with aggression towards other dogs. Again simple techniques that really made a difference. Very important note: It only took Brian a very short amount of time to handle my German Shepherd. She warmed up to him almost immediately. Trust with a trainer is very important.
Accommodated a last minute new client. Arrived on time. She was able to get our 5 month old German shepherd mix to start listening to commands right away and made sure we understood everything before she left. She even told us to call her if we had any questions. Will definitely be calling her for another session and will recommend to others!
Vicky provided a professional, fun and effective training to my German Shepherd who was a real challenge to take out for walks. She was always on time, always cheerful and her training yielded results right away. Two thumbs up for a job well done Vicky!
I've had one lesson with Kimberly and wished I had contacted her sooner to get started on training my German Shepherd rescue. What I like best about Kimberly's approach is her care and attention for the well-being of my dog. Working with Kimberly has helped me to understand that an obedient dog isn't necessarily a happy or well-adjusted dog. Kimberly's method of training takes in the "whole dog" concept addressing nutrition, mental, and physical fitness. As a new dog owner she's helped me to understand how to interpret my dogs behavior and what my dog needs from me as the pack leader. Training is fun, the homework is simple and Kimberly is always on hand to answer a question. The welcome package (lots of goodies) she provided exceeded my expectations and Kimberly has become my "go-to" for additional resources for my dog.
From fearful to confident and responsive in a few weeks! We can't say enough about the training, the trainers are knowledgable and great teachers for not only my pup but me and my wife. We never thought our wild child would be able to go hiking without a leash but here we are. Super thanks to all and we will be back for some advanced lessons.
Great trainer. My shepherd Loki loved her.
I can't speak highly enough about Laura and Animal Paradise Pet Care and Sitting. My husband and I needed help working with and training our rescue pup, and from our initial contact with Laura, we were certain we made the right choice. After discussing our needs over the phone, we met in person to allow Laura to make her assessment and create a plan. Throughout our time working together, Laura was always quick to respond, flexible with scheduling training sessions, and displayed the utmost in professionalism. Laura effectively customized (and modified as needed) our pup's training needs, ensuring that everything requiring attention was properly addressed. Again, I can't say enough great things about Animal Paradise Pet Care and Sitting, and HIGHLY recommend you consider working with Laura before going elsewhere. (And this bit of advice is coming from someone who exhaustively researched dog trainers before choosing to work with Animal Paradise.)
Jessica is the best ! We tried multiple trainers before we hired her - and she is a class above the rest. She can work with different moods of the puppy, adapt to our training requirements and still get the most out of each session.
I just wrapped up the basic obedience course with my german shepherd mix, and she is a different dog! Chai was aggressive, impulsive, reactive, and terrified of kids. In our evaluation, she was barking and snarling at a stuffed dog in their office. By the end of of the training, she was happily following instructions in a group class of over 10 dogs. The biggest thing we're walking away with is the tools to succeed. I can't recommend Haywood and his staff highly enough, they're worth every penny.
Clare is a great trainer! She knows exactly what she is doing and I feel confident working with her. My one year old German shepherd is already showing progress after he first 2 visits! Thank you Clare !