Understanding Our Dogs LLC

Stanley, NC

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About this pro

How does your business stand out?

I am Lena Skov, MBA, KPA, and I am the dog trainer covering a very large area from Charlotte, NC to Kings Mountain, NC and from Statesville, NC to Rock Hill, SC. I have vast experience of 18+ years of working with dogs of many breeds and personalities, as well as formal education. I graduated from the prestigious Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behavior. Among many, there are two main aspects that set my business apart from others: 1. While dealing with anxious and aggressive dogs, I try to get to the source of the problem. We have to change the dog' emotional response to the trigger. If we just tell the dog to be quiet or ignore something or punish him for his behavior, we are simply putting a BandAid over the issue instead of getting to the source of it. At some point, the dog will not be able to continue to suppress the emotions and will have another outbreak. I want to make the dog feel more relaxed around other dogs or things that bother him. I want to relieve the anger and panic. 90% of aggression is fear or anxiety based. If we address fear and anxiety, we are going to be much more successful in helping the dog in the long term. 2. I have a very successful Puppy Program. It is based on impulse control or teaching the puppy patience. Puppy learns to compose herself to obtain what she wants from the owner. We not only work on basic behaviors but also teach the puppy to be polite when asking for attention, learn to give owners space and settle. We address no jumping and biting very early on. I teach my clients how to replace behaviors they do not like with the ones they prefer. The training program is very efficient and easy to follow. I am a positive but not a permissive trainer, and I do believe in having rules, but I prefer following through without unnecessary coercion.

What do you enjoy about the work you do?

Nothing makes me happier than seeing my clients and their dogs lead harmonious lives together. All owners deserve a great dog and all dogs deserve great owners.
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Location

Stanley, NC 28164

Background check

Complete

Years in business

19

Number of employees

1

Times hired on Thumbtack

105

Reviews

33 Reviews
  • Nelson E. Sep 14, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Good realistic answers to training problems.
  • Hana C. Sep 11, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Lena was so great with our wild and crazy boxer puppy, Penny. I didn't want our sessions to come to and end. Lena was very patient with both Penny and us as we learned new skills. We are now able to walk our highly energetic pup without her pulling, long gone are the days of her nipping or jumping, and we are working hard to stay in control in large groups and around other dogs. I swear Lena has a magic wand she waves, but in reality she just under stands dogs really really well and will help you understand as well. Highly recommend her for in home training sessions and she'll meet you at the park as well for outdoor training sessions. Thanks for all your guidance Lena!
  • Arthur T. Aug 19, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    She did an excellent job training both us and our dog
  • Wanda H. Jul 29, 2017
    Don't know where to start. Can't say enough about the training our Black lab (Gunner) received. He isn't the same puppy that Lena picked up about 6 weeks ago. We are very pleased with his training and he continues to surprise each day. Gunner is a very smart puppy and we continue to do his training daily. That is very important for everyone to remember.
  • Stacy H. Jul 18, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    She offered honest compassionate advice and put me and my pups needs first even though it meant she would not get to train my pup at that time due to special circumstances. She gave me things to think about and gained my respect. A true professional!
  • Brett P. Jun 29, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Awesome experience! Everything about working with Understanding Our Dogs LLC and its owner/trainer Lena Skov has been wonderful! Her knowledge, experience, guidance, and suggestions have worked perfectly in helping to make my dog's life (and mine) calmer and happier. I would HIGHLY recommend this business to anyone looking for excellent training at a very reasonable rate!
  • Erika A. Mar 8, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Lena is the best. Thanks to her experience and expertise my dog and I can understand each other better. I can now take my dog on nice, calm walks without him pulling with force. My dogs response to training has been amazing. Although he is a puppy he is coming along nicely and is much more composed. I would definitely recommend Lena, she has a great personality, very professional and knows what she is doing. Rufus will definitely miss her when we are finished with our training sessions.
  • Olivia C. Jan 5, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    total family training!
    On our second lesson and my pup and I are already understanding each other better! So far great experience! The whole family trains together with our pup so it's been fun! Thanks Lana!
  • Donald C. Jul 11, 2016
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Lena has been everything we hoped for and more. She is awesome with our 5 month old goldendoodle. After being in our home for less than 15 minutes, Bella was already responding to her requests. We have been given lots of wonderful instruction and advise. I would with no hesitation recommend her and her services to anyone with a dog that has behavior issues. Martha Stanley, NC
  • Eileen M. Jul 6, 2016
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Two visits and we are learning so much. Our puppy is a whirlwind to say the least, and Lena is helping us learn to manage her. Improvements already very visible. Looking forward to the remaining sessions.
  • Amy E. Mar 24, 2016
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Lena has given us hope! We have a puppy and an older dog, and she is teaching us how to teach the puppy self control so he doesn't drive us and our older dog crazy! Both dogs love her. She leaves us customized written instructions at each visit so we know what to practice.
  • Lee J. Jul 31, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • Zack W. Jul 18, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    If you are having trouble with your dog, regardless of breed, Lena is amazing! We are only half way through our sessions, but she has already turned a crazy, obnoxious working breed Aussie into a pet.
  • Marcy H. Jul 8, 2015
    Dog Training - Board and Train
    Verified Review
    My dogs love Lena! She and her dogs have been helpful in training my hard headed 4 year old German Shorthair pointer! Lena has been very accomodating and creative in finding ways to engage him. Our 11 year old rescue enjoys using his natural talents in the nosework class. Furthermore it keeps his aging mind stimulated. I highly recommend understanding our dogs for your training needs!!
  • Betty R. Apr 29, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Lena went right to work with my dog, and he immediately responded to her. She was great at giving me exact directions and helping me to train my dog.
  • Coleen L. Apr 3, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Lena is pleasnat, professional and very knowledgeable. Her method of training is exactly what I was looking. Queenie just loves working her! Lena has taught us all so much. Can't imagine doing this on our own.
  • Scott P. Feb 25, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Lena is fantastic. Rylee immediately took to her and lena knew exactly which direction to go with Rylee. We saw immediate results after the first lesson and Rylee is doing fantastic. Can't wait to see what comes in the next lesson. Lena is very professional and takes time to explain everything and answer all questions. Would recommend anyone looking for trainer to seek out Lena. thank again Scott, Christy and Rylee
  • Lisa B. Nov 17, 2014
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    We have completed our first of 3 sessions and Lena was excellent with not only the dog but the 'humans' in the house as well. She was very deliberate in her approach and gave specific home work for me and my son. Our dog, Joey is responding already, though we have more work to do. I feel confident I selected the right professional for my dog's needs.
  • Donna Z. Nov 15, 2014
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    In just the first training session my dog made greater progress than I was expecting to see for weeks. I could not be more pleased. If I could, I would give a ten star rating. Awesome, awesome, awesome.
  • Megan H. Oct 20, 2014
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    We have had only one session with Lena and have already seen amazing results with our 1 y.o. dog. Lena gives hands-on training to you and your dog. We are training our pup to be a therapy dog, and he is already well on his way to having the skills needed to pass the test. Well done Lena Skov! Glad we found you on Thumbtack!!!
  • Linda S. Oct 2, 2014
    We adopted a puppy from the Animal Shelter that was found as a stray so we had no info about her. This was our third adoption from Animal Shelter and have had no training issues with any of the others. This one was a whole different ball game. She was quickly house trained and learned all the basic commands but as she got older she grew aggressive towards the older dog in the house and towards us. She wouldn't let us grab her by the collar, would snap sometimes when we tried to pet her, pulls when on the leash, jumps on everyone coming through the door and even took a snarling fit at the vet when the techs tried to touch her. We knew we had to do something before she got worse. My vet gave me Lena's card after Sadie nipped at her during her second visit. When Lena came for the first visit I was immediately impressed. She totally understood how Sadie thought and knew what direction to head in training her. She used only positive reinforcement during the training and showed each of us step by step what to do. Sadie made a huge improvement before the second visit. She even accompanied me to Sadie's yearly shot visit so she could speak with the vet (they wanted her sedated for the visit) about why she didn't think Sadie needed sedated and to show me how to make vet appointments a positive thing for Sadie. Sadie did great and it was such a relief for me. I could go on all day about how she has helped us and Sadie. I would recommend her to anyone having any issues with their dog.
  • Joey B. Sep 12, 2014
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Professional, knowledgeable, and obviously cares deeply about working with pets. Remarkable and extremely enjoyable experience. Can not say enough great things.
  • Nicki F. Sep 3, 2014
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    We've just had our first 1.5 hour session. Our 60 pound puppy needs the basics plus some remedial training. He made great progress today and our other dog enjoyed the visit as well. I highly recommend Lena.
  • Gwen L. Jul 17, 2014
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Both my puppies responded immediately to Lena. As did my husband and me. A very professional and personal experience. She was able to relate perfectly to both us and our puppies. I would rate the experience as amazing, very effective, and with true methods of training. We spent two hours one on one with the puppies separately and both responded with amazing results. I would recommend Lena to anyone with a new puppy to learn how to relate and respond with your fur family member of any age. She is a true, proven, understanding our dogs trainer. A wonderful, exceptional, experience!
    Lena S. Jul 23, 2014

    Gwen, thank you! Looking forward to seeing you today!

  • Lauren M. Jul 7, 2014
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Lena was very patient and provided my husband and I excellent and easy-to-use tips to help prevent our dogs from acting up while walking. I can't wait to see how our pups turn out after practicing the excellent tips Lena provided!
    Lena S. Jul 14, 2014

    Lauren, thank you for the kind words. Charlie and Scout are such smart boys! Looking forward to our next session. Lena

  • Maurene G. Jun 22, 2014
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Lena S. Jun 26, 2014

    Maurene, thank you for the review. How is carrier training going? Belly rubs to Chico! Lena

  • Amy S. May 7, 2014
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Loves animals and very good at training them!
  • Linda S. Apr 20, 2014
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Lena was amazing...so patient and understand of our dogs needs and issues. She gave great, thorough instruction and taught us what we need to know to help our dog be less skittish and afraid of strangers. I would highly recommend Lena.
  • Alexandra O. Apr 14, 2014
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Lena is awesome! Our dog gets a little crazy whenever we go for walks and we had no clue how to handle it. Lena was able to come up with a plan for our pup! When she first came over, we started the training session right away and Lena was able to tell us why our dog was behaving the way he was. It's so much easier having a professional come in to let you know what's up with your troubled pup instead of reading about it online! Thank you so much Lena! Looking forward to seeing you again soon!
  • Meredith F. Mar 27, 2014
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Lena was an amazing resource on our very first call! She was full of wonderful suggestions, great resources for further information and put me right at ease. I look forward to working with her through the puppy training process.
  • John M. Mar 23, 2014
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    We hired Lena to work with our poodle regarding growling and biting. She worked for two hours using food reward techniques for improving leash / vest and lap behavior. She gave us many good pointers, which we will use daily. Lena promised to send extra information via email and invited us to call or email her with continuing issues. She also promised a follow-up after our local vet examines dog for possible thyroid problems. Nothing in her training techniques could have been better. My wife and I highly recommend her to anybody that has similar dog issues. John and Terry Francis Salisbury, NC
  • Kari A. Mar 10, 2014
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Lena came to our house to help us with training our puppy. She was here for over 2 hours and she gave us a lot of very useful information. She was extremely patient with both of our children and our puppy. The information that she gave us was extremely relevant to what we wanted to know and when she left, we definitely felt like we had all the tools we needed to train our dog. She was very nice, prompt and I would recommend her services to anyone looking for a private dog trainer. I've actually already given her name to two of my friends who need help with their dogs.
  • Michael D. Mar 8, 2014
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Lena was wonderful. My pug has been aggressive toward strangers to our home. Lena help us to understand the signs of his aggression and what would be the best course of action. She spent almost 2 hours with us working and explaining the process. The wife and I have already noticed a change in our little friend. I highly recommend Lena. She is very knowledgeable and has a wonderful spirit around the pets. All in all a great experience. I am looking forward to our next session.

Q&A

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I am a graduate of the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behavior.