When my physician recommended I take on a new addition to my life, i.e., a puppy; I selected one small enough to handle given my multiple disabilities and one who could grow into a service dog. Although my pup arrived at only five pounds, he proved to be too much for me to take care of while living alone without assistance. So I began researching dog trainers who utilize the ‘board and train’ approach. I knew my pup (Cakebear) needed concentrated training in order to assist rather than hinder me. Of course, I also wanted the training to be compassionate as well as intensive.
After interviewing twenty-four trainers, I selected the best in show and substance - Sean Ryan of City Wolves NYC. Our first communication imbued me with confidence in Sean and his abilities and he did not disappoint. Rarely today does anyone deliver the service they claim to offer but Sean is fortunately the welcome exception. During our initial meeting, Sean asked me as many questions as I did him- as we wanted to be on the same page regarding my needs and those of my dog. My puppy’s immediate response to Sean was one of attention and affection, a unique combination which makes for a happy dog and owner. After spending a significant amount of time with me and my pup, Sean evaluated our particular situation and explained fully what he determined were the most critical training points and how he would work with Cakebear. He then patiently detailed every aspect of the process.
Although my pup would be away for one month, I knew he’d be in the best of care. In addition to training, a huge plus was that my dog would be socialized with Sean’s own beloved dogs. I knew Sean would be in touch with me throughout the month but I was pleasantly surprised to receive consistent contact via videos, photos and detailed updates. This constant, detailed communication throughout the training period provided me the opportunity to share in my pup’s progress as a virtual participant. In each image, with each command, my dog’s respect for Sean was evident and mirrored the high regard I have for Sean.
My little one was returned to me transformed from a fluffy ruffian to a ‘by the book’ soldier, fresh from boot camp, albeit in a loving yet structured setting. I’m sure Cakebear wouldn’t mind reenlisting if given the option for Sean’s agility work with my dog resulted in blossoming confidence, something difficult for a five pound puppy to have, especially in a new environment with dogs larger than him. With Sean my pup grew into a muscular, helpful, emotionally supportive, task performing adult (in spirit and ability) far exceeding what I had expected- the usual commands of heel, come, sit, etc.
As I am routinely in Manhattan, it was critical to have a trainer work with my pup in a congested, city setting and City Wolves NYC was the perfect fit. While most ‘board and trains’ are located in Jersey or Long Island, City Wolves is exactly as its name states- city-bred through and through. Cakebear is now unafraid of buses, the honking of cars, screeching sirens and the stampeding of pedestrian feet around him, sights and sounds that often frighten even larger dogs. My dog is now undaunted by noise and commotion and this enables him to keep us both safe in the city.
Sean Ryan goes far beyond the celeb-trainers such as The Dog Whisperer or Victoria Stilwell. He treats dogs with a philosophy- the wolf mentality- for even though my dog is small, he is, at his core, a wolf. Sean is not just a brilliant trainer who understands the innate character of dogs, he is an intelligent, compassionate, genuine and spiritual person whose love for his work as well as canines and humans, shines through with each tail wag my dog so eagerly gives me.
Not only did my dog return trained, I too was trained in the process, for the handler/owner of a dog needs to be familiar with the commands, structure and more, all of which Sean covered with me in detail. At first meeting and upon Cakebear’s graduation, Sean spent an enormous amount of time with me and my dog, demonstrating how I should work with Cakebear to maintain the structure Sean instilled in him. Then, it was my turn. Sean patiently watched as my dog and I went through the training paces.
Soloing in front of Sean was without fear, as corrections for my dog and me were non-judgmental, kind and welcome. To aid in my remembering the command language, Sean prepared a custom booklet outlining the commands my dog now knew as well as detailed steps for me to keep up the training process. Graduation day was a proud moment for me and my dog. My expertly trained dog is respectful, happy and buoyant, much like Sean himself.
From graduation day onward, I work with my dog to enforce the training for both of us. As questions arise, Sean promptly addresses them rapidly, no matter how many or how often they occur. Sean’s dedication to each dog he trains extends past the day a dog earns his cap and gown. It is an everlasting relationship which my dog and I evolve within with Sean as our nurturing guide.
Sean Ryan possesses a unique ability to transform any canine into a loving, obedient and enjoyable companion. In my case, this is essential to my health and for those who are able-bodied; it is necessary for a successful and fun dog/owner relationship. The skill set Sean brings to the table in dealing with dogs AND humans is exceptional. Although I interviewed twenty-four trainers before choosing, my homework paid off as I made the ideal choice for Sean Ryan of City Wolves NYC is one in a million!