Drama Dog Training LLC

Jenison, MI

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About this pro

How does your business stand out?

My approach to training is to first understand how the dog sees a situation so I can communicate on her level, rather than being a "drill sergeant." Dogs are intelligent animals, but don't always think the same way humans do, and they learn faster when the trainer works within their life-view.

What do you enjoy about the work you do?

I get to meet so many wonderful dogs and their owners. Each dog is an individual, even within a breed! It's challenging to find a way to connect with each dog so they love training.

Location

Jenison, MI 49428

Years in business

8

Number of employees

1

Times hired on Thumbtack

322

Reviews

112 Reviews
  • Cathy C. Aug 12, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • Thumbtack Customer Aug 11, 2017
  • Michael G. Aug 11, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary has been great so far! Looking forward to the next two sessions. She has great command with our dog and is an excellent teacher to the dog owner!
  • Heidi W. Aug 3, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • Mandy L. Jul 31, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • Jim K. Jul 27, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    We aren't finished yet,but she's been incredible,considering we are harder to train than the dog ! I would recommend her highly !
  • Phyllis B. Jul 27, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary has been a life saver helping me to better understand how to read and communicate with my Boston. She is very precise and her knowledge is obvious by how my dog responds to her. I am enjoying my puppy because she has helped me better understand him.
  • Ron V. Jul 9, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    We just started working with Mary and she is helping us already.
  • Tara M. Jun 24, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary was fantastic with our puppy Rocky! We did in home private lessons and we definitely be attending classes with her soon. Very satisfied. Mary definitely knows what she is doing and is very professional.
  • Barb I. Jun 11, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary is a very knowledgeable trainer. I have a rescue dog with no training, not even the basics. He responded very well to Mary's method of "no free lunch". She was always professional, punctual and knowledgeable. I highly recommend Mary and Drama Dog Training.
  • Dianne W. Jun 8, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary was an excellent trainer for my puppy and me...we both learned a lot and I will hire her again in the near future this fall!!
  • Adam T. Jun 6, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary did a great job.
  • Brenda R. May 20, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary was very good with our dog maddie. We appreciated her help.
  • Adina W. May 13, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    She's very good. Honest, tells it like it is, gives you homework. Our 9 month old puppy's behavior has improved dramatically after just 4 lessons!
  • Carrie S. May 11, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary was great she helped me with my two big pups Del and Jade so much I learned a lot . Thank you from the Stevenson Family
  • Shirley S. May 3, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Due to bad weather and my health I haven't been able to meet with Mary yet. She comes well recommended by a neighbor lady who attended her classes. I'll get with her as soon as possible.
  • Mary T. Apr 29, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary helped me understand my dog's body language and natural instincts. Her sessions were focused and strategic, and she provided written homework to reinforce training. She taught me how to use simple hand motions and one word commands that my dog seemed eager to learn. We made excellent progress in four weekly lessons, and plan to continue. I highly recommend her as a trainer.
  • Brad T. Apr 28, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Pleased
    Really pleased with Mary and the training techniques she uses and teaches us...Leo is learning new things each and every visit...glad we did the four visits
  • Carla L. Apr 26, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Drama dog training removes the drama and frustration in dog training
    Mary is great at what she does--understanding​ dogs and helping owners train them. I can't recommend her to highly. I have a lovable but challenging dog, and he loves her and so do I.
  • Jeanne H. Apr 22, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Many praises for Mary!
    Very knowledgeable & easy to talk to. She helped me and my puppy in many ways. Thanks, Mary!
  • Joshua Z. Apr 18, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Would recommend
    Great experience thus far!
  • Lindley M. Mar 27, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary the best from Drama Dog
    Mary is the certified owner of Drama Dog. She heard my urgency and came immediately! Her knowledge was amazing and she taught me things I never would have thought to do! Many were very easy to follow with great results. I'd hire her again. She's fabulous. Lindley M Zeeland
  • Jordan L. Mar 25, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Awesome experience!
    The package of 4 lessons is a great value. Mary is very good with her clients and helped us make great improvements in Maggie's behavior! I highly recommend Mary!
  • Amanda T. Mar 22, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Puppy training is no joke!
    As a mother of 5, I thought puppy training would be easy...not so much. We were very thankful to have Mary and her expertise. Mary, was punctual to all our appointments, effective in training our puppy (and me), prepared with all equipment and treats, and encouraging to us for all our hard work and progress.
  • Brad K. Mar 19, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Great! Mary was very helpful and gave us many tips/tricks to help make our dog more obedient and learn to live with our cats without trying to chase/stalk them all the time!
  • Danielle H. Feb 13, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Highly Recommend
    Mary is amazing! She knows exactly what she's doing. She explained why my puppy was doing the things he was doing. Most of the reasons were because of my actions/or inactions. She explained how puppies think and communicate. I would most definitely recommend her for help training your puppy/dog.
  • Vicky M. Feb 8, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Unbelievable results!😊.
    After one, one hour session with Mary, our dog comes inside with a hand command.!! WOW! Mary's rates are very reasonable compared to others we tried. We have 3 more sessions to go and I can hardly wait to see Alleluia the results we asked for, come to light. Mary understood what we needed for Duffy to learn from us. I would recommend her to anyone needing help with training their pets.
  • Joy B. Feb 3, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Grizzly's Training
    Learned some Very useful tips and training skills. Thanks Mary
  • Amy C. Jan 28, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary was great !
    Awesome experience ! Learned valuable information to help with our 1 yr old golden retriever..
  • Garland K. Jan 17, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Great Experience
    It was a wonderful experience. We saw improvements in our dogs behaviors right away. Would highly recommend.
  • Andrea K. Jan 14, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Great service
    Service was scheduled promptly at our home. She was very helpful with explaining our dog's behavior. After the training session, she provided written feedback and homework. We are looking forward to next week!
  • Michelle V. Aug 27, 2016
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary was wonderful! She always made sure that we were happy with where the lessons were going and what was being covered. She types up detailed notes about each session with step by step instructions to work on skills at home. She always took the time to answer for all our questions even when they weren't directly related to our pup's training. The customizability she offers at such an affordable price is really one of a kind. Absolutely recommend her to train your pup! P.S. Don't be put off by the somewhat obscure location - she is very good at what she does.
  • Jill S. Aug 27, 2016
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary is a fantastic trainer. It is clear she has such incredible knowledge about dogs (any breed) and can teach the skills necessary for better behaved pets. She is also very thorough in sending notes, feedback, "homework," etc. If you are committed to doing the work at home, Mary will be a great asset to you! I am so grateful for what I've learned in becoming a better pet owner, understanding what works and why. Mary is also very affordable. We paid way too much for training a couple of years ago and it wasn't nearly as comprehensive or thorough.
  • Rachel K. Aug 20, 2016
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    She was fantastic! Had great insight into why our pupper was doing certain things and great advice on how to shape her behavior closer to what we wanted. Highly recommend to anyone!!
  • Todd B. Aug 16, 2016
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    We reached out to Mary about some behavior issues with our dog. She was willing to come to our home to work with our dog which we feel was beneficial to our dog's learning. We learned a lot about a dogs behavior and how they communicate and how us humans need to communicate with them. Our specific issues were addressed and beyond. Regardless of behavior issues, we would recommend Mary to teach you how to communicate with your dog.
  • Ruth T. Jul 30, 2016
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    mary is a great trainer. She taught me a lot too.
  • Marilyn D. Jul 2, 2016
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    We did 4 private lessons with Mary for our 4 month old lab puppy Duke. She did a great job teaching us basic home leadership skills for Duke. Duke picked up the training very quickly (it was my husband and I that had a tougher time learning ;-) ) Mary also provided great notes for follow up and practice after every session. The training has really helped Duke to be more well-behaved, fun to work with and be around. I would recommend Mary for anyone with a dog or puppy - young or old.
  • Misty M. Jun 11, 2016
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary had very decent prices and insightful ideas into why our dogs behave the way they do. Our pit bull mix has extreme anxiety issues, and she really gave us some great ideas on how to minimize it. I highly recommend her as a professional.
  • Petra R. Jun 8, 2016
    Dog Training - Group Lessons
    Verified Review
    Mary is a wonderful and patient trainer. I so appreciated the "homework" she provided for me to work on. I would recommend her highly.
  • Manoj P. Jun 1, 2016
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary did a great job in training our puppy. He now can understand most of my commands and is being very good around the house. I would surely recommend her to others.
  • Elizabeth G. May 31, 2016
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Great! She is the best!☺
  • Stephanie M. May 22, 2016
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • Kyle R. Apr 29, 2016
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • Ananda F. Apr 27, 2016
    Dog Training - Group Lessons
    Verified Review
  • Amy D. Apr 25, 2016
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary is very knowledgeable and really wants to see you succeed with your dog. She makes and sends notes to you each week following your lesson which are so incredible since there is so much to learn in such a short time. Highly recommend drama dog training!!
  • Karen C. Apr 17, 2016
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • Kati H. Apr 12, 2016
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    We received a lot of instruction and information to help us help our dogs to be more successful at home and during walks.
  • Brianne V. Apr 10, 2016
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary is SO great with our dogs...the one on one training works so much better for them than a class full of other dogs to distract them! They are learning so much, as are we. I would HIGHLY recommend her to anyone!!
  • Kelly S. Mar 31, 2016
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    We have a new Great Dane puppy. Mary taught him and us basic obedience. Our puppy learned quickly and so did we. She came to OUR home and we can't wait to take the next class in a few months.
  • Dustin B. Mar 27, 2016
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    We really love working with Mary. Our puppy Apollo couldnt get enough of her. She not only told us what to do ,but why we were doing it. Which gave us a better understanding and made the training easier for both us and the dog. We received both emails and worksheets to help us at home with training which were a big help. Would definitly go back for future training.
  • Judy S. Mar 26, 2016
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • Jonay B. Mar 19, 2016
    Dog Training - Group Lessons
    Verified Review
    I appreciated Mary's experience in training my dog- helping us along as I hope to have Finnigan as a companion dog for the elderly. Her very practical and helpful advice trained me as well! Very easy to practice at home so training Finnigan happens every day. I would recommend her training to anyone wanting a well behaved, happy dog and owner.
  • Kyle B. Mar 7, 2016
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • Nicole C. Mar 6, 2016
    Dog Training - Group Lessons
    Verified Review
    She does a great job! She is very friendly and helpful when it comes to any dog questions or concerns. I would recommend her to anyone needing help with their dog!
  • Bruce D. Mar 1, 2016
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • Randi S. Feb 8, 2016
    Dog Training - Group Lessons
    Verified Review
  • Jeanie O. Feb 6, 2016
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary taught me how to distract my dog from potentially aggressive behavior, use positive reinforcement, and comply with verbal as well as hand signals. Her explanations of "dog thinking" helped me understand my dog better. She is great!!
  • Jade W. Jan 20, 2016
    Dog Training - Group Lessons
    Verified Review
    I am so pleased with the training me and my dogs have recieved. I will walk away from the six week program with knowledge and understanding of how to interact and handle my dogs.
  • Sarah J. Jan 4, 2016
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary has been great since our first session with her. She is patient and gives great instructions for training us! She doesn't believe in harshly or aggressively training dogs and that works great for us. Our pups love her too! She is also very flexible and offers in home training appointments. I highly recommend Mary!
  • Kristina L. Jan 1, 2016
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary is very accommodating to the needs of our dog. She focuses on what our issues are.
  • Deborah M. Dec 23, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • Melissa G. Dec 20, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary knows her stuff and is very good at what she does!
  • Rose O. Dec 19, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • Leo L. Dec 19, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary is a very competent trainer. She taught us a lot. I feel fortunate to have had her as our trainer.
  • Lin B. Dec 18, 2015
    Dog Training - Group Lessons
    Verified Review
    My dog and I both enjoyed the sessions, and he never knew he was learning obedience!
  • Krystle E. Dec 16, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary was fantastic to work with! My boyfriend and I have a 10 month old Australian shepherd (Jolene) who we were having some communication brakedown issues with. Mary did at home visits with us and taught us so many helpful skills. We almost immediately saw a change in our little Jolene. The training style she uses is positive and has brought so much good energy into our home. We learned things we will use forever! I couldn't be more satisfied! I would recommend her to anyone looking for help with their dog. We enjoyed the training so much that we hope to start working on agility with Jolene and will most likely be having Mary start us out on that journey! Can't thank you enough, Mary!
  • Rich M. Dec 10, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • Kirsten S. Dec 9, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary does an amazing job helping owners train their dogs. She is kind and gentle with the animals, and teaches the owners how to train in a very positive way. Our dog Kaia never knew she was working, and always enjoyed having Mary come and work with us. If you have a dog with specific issues, or if you have a puppy that you need help training, my family would highly recommend Mary. After the lesson, she sends a detailed E-mail with instructions for working with your dog during the week. When she comes out, she reviews the previous weeks lesson, and introduces work for the next week. We felt that the time and money were both well spent.
  • Kathleen D. Dec 8, 2015
    Dog Training - Group Lessons
    Verified Review
    Mary does a great job with the lessons. It was amazing what we accomplished in a short time.
  • Suzanne A. Dec 7, 2015
    Dog Training - Group Lessons
    Verified Review
  • Brad K. Oct 31, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Has problems with some training of our second daschund, Izzy. Every idea and training step we discussed always worked! She is a dog whisperer ! Could not have done this training without her, she is very well trained in dog behavior. She is awesome with dogs!
  • Ginny B. Oct 20, 2015
    Dog Training - Group Lessons
    Verified Review
  • CRISTY M. Oct 9, 2015
    Dog Training - Group Lessons
    Verified Review
    Mary was clear, concise, and firm with her training. I saw a lot of improvement in our puppy very quickly. I would definitely recommend Mary to anyone in need of help with their dog.
  • Stacy M. Sep 29, 2015
    Dog Training - Group Lessons
    Verified Review
  • Terrie C. Sep 19, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary is very knowledgeable, professional and caring. Our Carmen responded well to Mary and her training as did we, the owners! I highly recommend Mary and Drama Dog Training.
  • Colleen Q. Sep 10, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • Valerie D. Sep 4, 2015
    Dog Training - Group Lessons
    Verified Review
  • Michelle F. Aug 29, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • TJ A. Aug 24, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • Paige V. Aug 16, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • Julie M. Aug 8, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary is a very skilled and knowledgeable trainer. We enjoy her individualized instructions and thorough, practical ideas. She is very passionate about her craft.
  • Tracy L. Aug 7, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • Mackenzie S. Aug 7, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary has done an excellent job with teaching us how to train our dog correctly. Having her come to our home and gaining more one-on-one attention for our dog has shown results so quickly. Very impressed with the outcome, and we love having her come weekly to check on our progress and keep our dog's behavior in check.
  • Julie P. Aug 6, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • Linda T. Jul 8, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary has been very helpful with our very energetic puppy. She has given us the skills and knowledge to challenge Cooper and to make learning fun for him in the process. Mary was always on time for our lessons and her follow up homework the next day was really helpful as it reminded us what we needed to work on for our next lesson.
  • Kevin G. Jun 29, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Great experience! My dog can learn better than me.
  • Natalie R. Jun 12, 2015
    Dog Training - Group Lessons
    Verified Review
  • Jennifer B. Jun 2, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • Jana B. May 30, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • Kim B. May 30, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • Melissa K. May 23, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    We have truly enjoyed working with Mary. She has taught us so much about training our puppy, and it WORKS! The repeated practice to ensure we have the training down and the emailed "homework" to work throughout the week has been very beneficial to our family and our pup. I highly recommend Mary.
  • Pattie D. May 22, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • Dyana H. May 18, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • Mary D. May 3, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    I got an email response right away to my request for a dog trainer to work with me at home. Mary was professional and transparent about her training options, fees and potential schedule. I've had two sessions so far - I signed up for a four session package. She emails a detailed lesson recap the next day so you don't have to remember or take notes during the session - a big plus, in my opinion. She also texts, which is convenient. I am over-the-top impressed! Mary can get my dog to do things I never thought possible in so short a time. It is obviously me who needs the training! So we are working on that. Mary is personable, encouraging and a real pro at this. I'm extremely pleased with her service.
  • Jeremy P. Apr 27, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • Erika A. Apr 25, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary was a pleasure to work with and our puppy is doing great with her training!
  • Amanda S. Mar 18, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • Lisa K. Feb 20, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Excellent!
  • Melissa B. Feb 17, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary is an excellent teacher -- as proven by our dogs! She communicates clearly with them and they respond very well. We have had several lessons in our home, and Mary is always on time, friendly, and positive. She gives us detailed "homework" assignments to work on between training sessions. I recommend Mary highly.
  • Bett S. Jan 25, 2015
    Mary has been working with my labrador Abby for the last three years. Training Abby from a wild, out of control typical labrador puppy into a calm, gentle labrador. She is our boarder of choice, both for day care and overnight stays. I recommend her services to everyone I know that is struggling with any type of animal behavioral issues or simple dog training. She is the best!
  • Alaine K. Jan 17, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary has given us a great start for Ariel. Ariel is a little "bossy" and Mary has helped me see exactly what I need to do to "put her in her place"
  • Carleen K. Jan 15, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary worked with me on training my 2 year old dog who had some bad habits. Mary was fantastic! She gave me some great ideas, showed me how to incorporate them and sent an email after each lesson with notes and homework. I highly recommend Mary!
  • Doug W. Dec 27, 2014
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Mary is extremely knowledgeable regarding dog training and has a delightful way of passing that knowledge on to dog owners. In fact I wonder if I didn't learn more about our dog Dolly's mind than she did.!Mary is extremely methodical and has an extremely well thought out lesson plan for the course of the class. I would recommend her highly to anyone who would like to see more discipline in their dear puppy. Thank you Mary! j
  • Sarah J. Dec 18, 2014
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    My boyfriend and I started doing one on one training with our American Bulldog mixed puppy that we thought was a terrible boy who didn't like to listen, we shortly found out from the training sessions he was deaf or hard of hearing and not as bad of a puppy as we thought. Since we have started getting Mary's help a lot has changed in our lives but our puppy is growing up to be a pretty good dog and we couldn't have done it without her help. She is very flexible and can work around your schedule which is great and she works very well with Duke and my boyfriend and I.
  • Sheila Z. Dec 6, 2014
    I have sent my dog to Mary Keon during my outing for more 5 years, she sent me email everyday during my dog stay. she is very professional and price is very reasonable
  • Lyndsey C. Dec 6, 2014
    Our experience with Mary was fantastic. She was very helpful and knowledgeable in every aspect of class. She took the extra time to make sure we understood so that our puppy could learn at his greatest potential. He loved going to class!
  • Julie T. Dec 5, 2014
    My Border Collie, Luci, has been going to Mary's for doggie daycare for almost 5 years. When we are about 5 minutes from her home, Luci gets very excited! It is good for her to be around other dogs and Mary's understanding of dog behavior is enlightening. I talk to her about any issues I may be having with Luci and she gives me her thoughts and suggestions. I have left Luci over night with Mary and love that she is treated like part of the family and not kept in a cage during the day. She follows Mary around just like she does with me at home. It is great peace of mind leaving Luci in Mary's care!
  • Barb Y. Dec 5, 2014
    When we rescued our Cleopatra I had no clue what taking care of and training a dog meant. Mary took us through the obedience training and I learned what is best for Cleopatra and she learned how to listen to me. Mary was patient, and kind but most important she is knowledgeable.
  • Matthew I. Dec 5, 2014
    Mary did a wonderful job with our two dogs that we're having issues with marking and peeing in the house. She taught us commands to help encourage better behaviors from our dogs. The one on one training was exactly what we need to become better dog parents. Mary each taugh us new skills to help train our dogs and then in between lessons have us homework and notes from the previous lessons. I highly recommend Mary to help you with your four-legged family members.😃
  • Michelle B. Dec 5, 2014
    Mary has not only helped our family with behavior training for our poodle-mix, Coalbie, she is also our go-to for boarding whenever we have to go out of town. She is so caring and kind with our furry friends! Coalbie absolutely LOVES going to Mary's for a doggie vacation. He jumps up and down at the mention of her name and barely gives us a backward glance when we leave. She is reasonably priced, offers wonderful care, and even sends daily e-mail updates about what Coalbie is up to while we are away. We would never go anywhere else. She is absolutely the best in the doggie business!
  • Susan P. Dec 5, 2014
    Mary was amazing with my 2 year old lab, who was afraid of her own shadow, and on Prozac. She is drug free and loves parties, car rides , and is a rock star at Home Depot!!! 😄
  • Shaunna K. Dec 5, 2014
    Mary's combination of love and knowledge about dogs and her extensive experience with dog training makes her the perfect person to trust in training your beloved pet. Her classes include very practical instruction that is easy to apply on day one. We took our first puppy, Snickers, to her Puppy Manners class and were so thankful for her wisdom and guidance as we learned to be good dog owners. To this day, we continue using what we learned with Snickers and he is a VERY well behaved pooch! My husband and I HIGHLY recommend Mary/Drama Dog Training for your dog.

Q&A

How did you get started doing this type of work?
I've always loved dogs and been good with them. 11 years ago when I got my GSD-mix, Kita, neighbors and friends invariably commented on how well-behaved and well-trained she was and started asking for advice with their own dogs. So, I got some formal training and started volunteering at local shelters even before I started Drama Dog Training!
What types of customers have you worked with?
I'm most often called in to help the family dog learn manners. Though the dog may know basic commands, she might not always do them on cue. She may be rowdy, mouthy and jumping on guests. Some dogs may get too excited around other dogs and/or not walk nicely on leash. I find using the No Free Lunch philosophy combined with marker training works wonders!
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
The owner of a Pitbull mix wasn't able to walk him because he reacted to EVERYTHING on walks -- people, dogs, squirrels... He wasn't aggressive, but super-charged with energy outside. Inside he was pretty much a couch-potato. That told me the outside distractions were probably triggering adrenaline rushes, and he just let it all hang out because he didn't know any better way to behave. So, we laid some groundwork with obedience cues like FOCUS, SIT, STAND and DOWN, along with teaching the whole family to be leaders using the NO FREE LUNCH method. At the same time, we worked for three weeks to get him used to a Gentle Leader head-collar. Not just used to wearing it and getting it fitted correctly (which are VERY important) but also teaching him to equate the GL with FUN and GOOD THINGS like play and chicken. The very first time we took him out on a walk wearing the GL, he walked right by a neighbor he'd reacted to the day before. He was interested in my dog when I brought her out, but remained under control and was able to listen to his owner and obey commands. A week later, she emailed me to say that she felt like she had a brand new dog, and they BOTH were enjoying daily walks!
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Look for the results the trainer gets, but there are two equally important results to consider: 1) Do the dogs learn the material using the trainer's methods? and 2) Is the dog happy and confident obeying those commands? Lots of trainers get quick results but dogs approach the handler with lowered head, ears and tails and averted eyes. Happy and confident dogs have bright eyes that look straight at you, perky ears, a bounce in their step and a wagging tail. I'd rather teach a dog to be confident, even if she sometimes gets a bit "cheeky" than have her cringe around me while she obeys.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
I come to training dogs and teaching their owners to train them from an education background. For 15 years I was the Director of Education at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre and taught classes for 10 years before that. Thus the name of my business -- DRAMA DOG TRAINING! When it comes to dogs, they're often a lot like little kids and can be real "drama divas!" So, if your dog is ACTING UP -- call me!