Darwin Dogs LLC

Darwin Dogs LLC

Lakewood, OH

5 years in service

2 employees

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“Your Natural Selection for Dog Training Needs”

About Darwin Dogs LLC

hired 75 times on Thumbtack

We believe that your dogs are absolutely perfect as they are. They don't need tinkering to be the perfect dog. Unfortunately, most dogs are really terrible at being human. To make matters worse, most people make rather unfortunate dogs. So, we have two different species trying to achieve cohabitation in a crazy human world and just not quite getting it right.

The object of Darwin Dogs is to teach people how to communicate with their dogs. To do that, you must have a common method of communication.

In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself up to the possibility of becoming partly a dog.

The more you respect your dog's need to be a dog, the more they will respect the human world in which they live, and the easier a time they will have navigating the human world.

Darwin Dogs is about both dogs and humans learning a common language to attain mutual respect. We are different than big-box pet store trainers. Training is done in your home, so you and your pet can feel comfortable, not stressed in some strange location with other dogs. Typically, training is complete with just one 2-hour session. Yes! Just two hours and you are on your way to a calm and content pet. How does that happen?

We believe that our clients are able to think for themselves. They are go-getters who want to take action, not wait for other class members to catch up to their level. Let's take a look at how the big box, eight sessions of one-hour per-week dog training courses work:

* Week 1: Learn to sit followed by socialization with other dogs
* Week 2: Relearn how to sit, learn recall (come) command and socialize with the other dogs
* Week 3: Focus on some of the puppies/dogs who still haven't learned how to sit, attempt to work with the one dog who has started nipping at the other dogs, and try to introduce the come command again.

Unfortunately, after weeks and weeks of training sessions, most owners are lucky if their dog remembers what the word sit means. But, what about many of the other issues dog owners encounter?

We do the following:

- Basic Obedience (come, stay, etc.)
- Dog Aggression/Reactivity
- Leash Etiquette
- Jumping
- Excitable Behavior
- Destructive Behavior
- Separation Anxiety
- Housebreaking
- Counter Surfing (grabbing food)

That list doesn't even include some of the less common issues we have seen including a dog who would attack the oven every time it was turned on and even a dog who was terrified of the garage door!

We tailor training sessions to your dog's needs and to do that, we need to see them in their natural habitat - your home. At home, your dog is comfortable with his family and not stressed because he is surrounded by strange, barking, and nervous dogs. How can you learn how to answer your door without doggie drama anywhere but your home? Your home presents unique challenges and situations that can't be reproduced in a store environment. That's why we come to you.

But, you may ask, two hours? Really? Really. Dogs are simple creatures, not stupid but simple. They communicate in simple terms, and they have simple questions with simple answers. Once we teach you how to communicate with your dog in a way they understand, the rest is, well, simple!

Our methods are easy. We use the innovated PAW method developed by Kerry Stack, alongside the Touch, Talk, and Treat theory. We do not use any gimmicks, such as clickers, constant treats, etc. You learn how to communicate with your dog without cumbersome extras. We are against the use of shock collars or prong collars. We do not believe there is ever a place in training for fear or pain when training a dog, so no yelling, hitting, etc. Communication based upon mutual respect is our goal.

After training, you are encouraged to contact us with questions, concerns or any issues that come up. You are never just left on your own after training. Call us the next day or 3 years later, and we will answer your question and address any concerns.

We look forward to working with you and your dog!


Lakewood, OH 44107

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  • 5/5 stars May 13, 2015

    Kerry did an amazing job teaching me and my family techniques to control my dog's behavior. She was friendly, funny, and very knowledgeable about dog training. I highly recommend her to anyone having trouble with their dog.

  • 4/5 stars April 11, 2015

    Kerry was great , very knowledgeable, but a totally different style ..it will take me a while to undo most of the problems , but daily I see some changes of who"s the boss and it is not my dogs and Harvey isn't being such a bully to Izzie ...greeting guests is another story , it is difficult for me to get 2 goldendoodles to calm when people come over

  • 5/5 stars March 30, 2015

  • 5/5 stars January 7, 2015

    I needed some help communicating with my 6 mos. puppy and to learn how to deal with his separation anxiety. Kerry was very helpful in explaining why things were happening and how to work with Mac thru it. She spent a little more time than allotted to be sure I understood everything and answered all my questions. Kerry was very professional and knowledgeable. I highly recommend her to everyone!

  • 5/5 stars December 30, 2014

  • 5/5 stars December 28, 2014

    Kerry had the expertise and the ability to share and teach her knowledge to me, a novice. I highly recommend Kerry Stack!

  • 3/5 stars December 8, 2014

  • 5/5 stars November 21, 2014

    Kerry seemed to know right away what the issues were, the sources and the solutions. My dogs are responding positively to the interventions. The anxious barking has greatly decreased.

  • 5/5 stars September 20, 2014

    Amazing experience with Kerry. She taught us more in 2 hours than we learned on our own in the nearly 2 years that we've had our dogs. Highly, highly recommend her training!!

  • 5/5 stars September 8, 2014

    Our time with Kerry was very informational and eye-opening. She helped me to realize that many things I had learned about dog training in the past were setting my puppy up for failure and me up for a lifetime of frustration . And some of his bad habits that I found so frustrating were a result of my own rearing. She showed me products and ways that I could work with him that will help his mental and physical well-being. Just her presence when she walked in the room immediately gained his control and showed me that I could do it to. I can't wait to see how well he progresses and would suggest her services to anyone with a dog who has a big heart (and an affinity for chewing, jumping, and not listening)

  • 5/5 stars August 29, 2014

    Had an in-home training session with Kerry last weekend to help with some behavior (see: hyperactive) issues with my Border Terrier. Within the first 10 minutes, it was clear that she had him figured out and knew exactly what I needed to learn to help him and work with him on a daily basis. I am already seeing major changes in him in the past few days just from recognizing what he needs and how to correctly respond, even if it is not always easy.

    Kerry is a great resource and I would recommend her to anyone looking to communicate better with their dog(s)!

  • 5/5 stars August 19, 2014

    Me and my 3 kids had a wonderful experience today with Darwin dogs. Kerry is an amazing trainer for both dogs and humans! We saw immediate results in both of our dogs. I highly recommend using her company. Thanks Kerry!!

  • 5/5 stars August 17, 2014

    It was well worth the money, she was awesome. She came in, took control of our two dogs and showed us exactly what we should be doing and why. Then she had my boyfriend and I do it so we could get experience and pointers from her on what we could do better. I would recommend her to anyone who needs help with their dogs or just wants some pointers. after she

  • 5/5 stars August 1, 2014

    Our family had a very great experience working with Kerry. She was very patient with us and with our children as we finished dinner and started working with our lab, Buddy. All of the information she provided was easy to understand and she presented her methods in a way that my and I could apply to better training Buddy. I highly recommend her.

    Kerry S. from Darwin Dogs LLC replied to this review on August 1, 2014:

    I usually don't respond to reviews because I think people don't want *another* email to open. However, I have to point out that Tim's 4-year old daughter, Libby, colored a picture of she and I training her dog, Buddy. :) It's pretty easy to be patient with kids of that caliber. It is hanging on my fridge. A pleasure to work with you!

  • 5/5 stars July 16, 2014

    Frankly, I was skeptical of whether my dog could learn the things I needed to teach her In two hours. But I soon discovered it is the people that were being trained-- a way to train my dog to learn with my appropriate behavior. Today is the first day after our session and things are definitely improving - not perfect but much improved behavior. Judith

  • 5/5 stars June 16, 2014

    After one session with Kerry, I was amazed how much more control I have had with my dogs. I have two Great Danes, and they can be a little unruly sometimes, to say the least. Recently, one of them has had a couple aggression issues towards other dogs when we go for walks, to the park, etc. Kerry gave me the tools to manage her nervous aggression towards other dogs she perceived as threats. With showing my dogs that I am a leader and making myself more aware of my body language, I am able to put them at ease that I am the one in control whenever we leave the house. Half the battle is making sure you and your dogs are calm and you're the one leading them, and patience is key. Kerry also showed me how to handle my dog when she does get into an aggressive area and how to handle her so she doesn't get hurt, and I don't get hurt. I have done other training techniques with my dogs and other trainers that were not getting the results that I have seen Kerry get within minutes of walking into our house! I would highly recommend Kerry for owners who are really interested in understanding their dogs and understanding their roles in their dogs lives.

  • 5/5 stars May 21, 2014

    I had the privilege of working with Danika from Darwin Dogs and I must say, she was outstanding! My "little" girl Dakota (hound/gsd mix) is fear aggressive. While we have made great headway with her, we've had several setbacks, due to some irresponsible dog owners and I was getting a bit gun shy and needed some better tools in my toolbox to continue with Dakota's progress. Danika gave me exactly what I needed and so much more! In less than 2 hours, I learned how to tell Dakota that I was more than capable of keeping her safe...and have her believe me. By the end of our session we were walking right by dogs that would have previously set her off. She was even walking side by side with a dog she had never met before. I can't thank Danika and Darwin Dogs enough for renewing my confidence and getting us back on track. I highly recommend working with Danika and Darwin Dogs!

  • 5/5 stars May 1, 2014

    We had a fantastic training session with Kerry. She helped me a lot with out newly adopted Jack Russel/ Beagle Mix. Especially walking on the leash became so much better since Kerry showed me how to give Bruno the right signals. Thank you very much for your service!

  • 5/5 stars March 27, 2014

    Kerry came into our home for two hours and helped us with our year old and senior dog. She was very professional and addressed all of our questions. One day later our home is peaceful and everyone is happy!

  • 5/5 stars March 23, 2014

    My senior rescue dog, Chester, is very sweet and loveable, but had barking, nipping, whining, growling, and stair issues. Kerry came to my home 6 days ago and I must say, with Kerryís tutoring of me, Chester has made some great strides in becoming a super duper dog! With his lead on, Chester has gone up the stairs ever since Kerry was hereÖ with a little trepidation at first, but he follows right on up! Also, Iíve been able to get him to stay back and not whine when my Dad is trying to eat his dinner. Leash walking with him in the backyard is a delight. He wags his tail and with his leash, he walks calmly. Finally, the door bell rang yesterday and as usual, he started loudly barking and galloped towards the front door. ButÖ.he stopped in the dining room and paused to look back at me, then went to the door and I was able to back him off into the foyer hallway. Minimal barking. Iím hoping this is a trend! Iíve definitely noticed that Chester seems calmer and happier. Thanks, Kerry, for putting us on the right track!

  • 5/5 stars December 5, 2013

    Kerry has been a sympathetic, empathetic, and thoughtful professional since my first phone call with her in the spring of 2013. I have utilized all of the Darwin Dogs offerings (selection, people training, dog behavior assessment, pack walks) and would, withoutany hesitation, recomend Kerry Stack.

    The first dog Kerry helped us with blessed and changed our family forever. I am eternally grateful and indebted to you for your support Kerry. My toddler with struggles would not be the person he is today if Alley Girl was not there for him. Thank you. Now, Max is teaching me many lessons , and Kerry, three seasons latter, is still expanding the way I think.

    Finally, when it was necessary Kerry interacted with my vet. He was throughly impressed with her professionalism and knowledge, and stated that I was working with the right person. Of course, I already knew that.

  • 5/5 stars December 4, 2013

    I like Kerry's approach to training dogs. Kerry is spot on with the way she instructed me to pilot my bored dog. Also, her instruction on how to curb barking has been heaven sent! Before I knew Kerry, I saw her at our local pet store and thought.... Wow, she really handled that dog well. I'm
    Very happy with the advice I've been given.

  • 1/5 stars December 4, 2013

    Stay away!!!! She believes in chocking dogs! Also pretty pathetic that she has to write her own reviews to make herself look good. If you want to mess your dog up Kerry will do it! She has cruel methods!

    Kerry S. from Darwin Dogs LLC replied to this review on December 4, 2013:

    At first I was horrified to read that one of my clients had a bad experience with me! Obviously I immediately went to my client contact page that I maintain so I could call them and rectify the situation, but then I realized, I have never had a Tammy J. as a client, nor even exchanged so much as an email with this individual! However, their warning has been taken to heart, and I will watch out for people who like to "chock" their dogs. I'm not sure what that entails, but I'm hoping I'll recognize it when I see it. Other than that, I will continue to provide the best service possible to my clients, as can be seen by my 60+ other positive reviews. I should also point out that Thumbtack strives to make sure people can not leave reviews for themselves. I would not associate my business with such diseased practices as false reviews!


  • 5/5 stars October 7, 2013

    Kerry was very professional, and informative. She also has a wonderful personality that makes the learning "fun." We learned a lot from her in the 2 hrs. Don't think the time is "Too good to be true," our Bentley is on his way to being a great dog, thanks to Kerry & her methods. The Guenther Family.

  • 5/5 stars September 30, 2013

    This woman is a five star. She is simply outstanding. He helped me realize that my dog was not the one that needed help. But I was! She taught me all the proper ways to handle every situation, and now my relationship with my Bentley is excellent! I can handle his huge strong self on a leash with ease. He walks next to me with the extra leash between us. I do not understand how I went three years without her. Kerry was a blessing to me, and I know Bentley sure appreciates his more wise owner! Now if only I can train my boyfriend to train his dog properly!

  • 5/5 stars September 28, 2013

    Kerry was at our house for two hours and helped us fix the dog-owner relationship that we have spent months working on!!! Her methods are worth every penny and the other reviews are true, just one session makes a huge difference. I have complete confidence in my ability to control my dogs now and cannot believe how much I learned from her. Thanks Karry!!!!

  • 5/5 stars September 19, 2013

    Kerry walked in the door and immediately had our dog under control. Amazing! She showed us how to do this ourselves. We will try to do everything she showed us. Thanks Kerry for giving us back an amazing dog.

  • 5/5 stars September 11, 2013

    Our standard poodle is so much easier to walk & does not jump or bark when someone comes to the door thanks to Kerry! We are managing so much better - her use of apt metaphors really made sense to us. We are very glad to have made a connection with her!

  • 5/5 stars September 4, 2013

    Kerry was great, she took control of our "crazy" dog. She explained everything thoroughly. Kerry also took Barney for a walk, where we watched out the window. Then, went through a lot of lessons, what to buy (with coupons) to help us out. She also took all of us out for a walk in the neighborhood. We had lots of challenges because of the deer, and other people walking their dogs on leashes. Unfortunately, there were other dogs without their leashes running around. She helped us out to address these problems. She also stayed longer than expected. The only thing I could improve was, I wish I had more sleep the night before, my bad, I was tired! Oh yeah, she said, call, email, FB, whatever if we have any questions or issues.

  • 5/5 stars September 3, 2013

    In minutes, Kerry had our two doggie delinquents on the road to rehabilitation! She quieted their insane barking at visitors at the door, and patiently instructed us how to achieve the same results. She diagnosed our little dachshund Mike's growling and biting, and knowing that the behavior was a fear response rather than aggression has made it easier for us to solve the problem.Kerry also taught us how to walk them on the leash, rather than them walking us - or more to the point - them pulling us down the street. As we suspected, it was not so much a case of bad dogs as it was the dogs' OWNERS that needed to be trained! Kerry's GREAT!

  • 5/5 stars July 22, 2013

    Kerry is terrific in what she does. I highly recommend her to people who want to care for their dogs with dignity and love.

  • 5/5 stars July 15, 2013

    Learned a lot.

  • 5/5 stars July 15, 2013

    Kerry did a great job. She immediately assessed the problem when she walked in the door. She showed us how to master the walk, how to take control of the door when the doorbell rings, how to address unwanted behavior and it has really helped! Plus, Kerry had a great sense of humor! Highly recommend!

  • 5/5 stars July 12, 2013

    Kari was a great teacher. I am extremely happy with the service and I would gladly recommend her.

    She was prompt and very professional.

  • 5/5 stars July 12, 2013

    She is fantastic! We saw a significant improvement after just 2 hours of in home training. I would recommend her services without hesitation.

  • 5/5 stars July 11, 2013

    Carrie was awesome! She taught us so much in just two hours & we're already using it on or dogs. Will definitely recommend to our friends!

  • 5/5 stars July 11, 2013

    Darwin dogs training was great. Kerry (the trainer) gave advice and instruction on how to hangs my behavior to get the results I was looking for. My dog and I are definitely on our new road to success. I highly recommend Darwin Dogs training!

  • 5/5 stars July 11, 2013

    Darwin Dogs was amazing! She got right to work and just after one day we have seen a HUGE difference!

  • 5/5 stars July 11, 2013

    Carrie was wonderful and I learned a lot and so did Oscar (the Dog). thanks Carrie. Oscar was the best with the Amelia. thank you. Doreen Davis

  • 5/5 stars July 10, 2013

    Incredible experience....training for me and the dog! Both of us our happier, and no nipping since our session .... incredible! Thank you so much.

  • 5/5 stars July 10, 2013

    It was a very educational, helpful profesional and wonderful experience. Kerry gave us the techniques to my husband and I to work with our behavioral great danes puppy better. In addition ahe came in short notice to assist us with our Gabby. We can enjoy our Puppy!

  • 5/5 stars July 10, 2013

    Excellent....the training made sense and was effective!!!!Highly enthusiastic and knowledgable!!!!

  • 5/5 stars July 10, 2013

    Well worth the $ spent for Groupon! The trainer knows her stuff and spent the whole promised 2hrs with you.

  • 5/5 stars July 10, 2013

    Darwin Dogs was amazing!! Best Living Social investment ever!!

  • 5/5 stars July 10, 2013

    This was a great experience for the family. Our five year old even gained a lot of knowledge and is using the information everyday with our dog. Thank you!

  • 5/5 stars July 10, 2013

    Learned a lot in 2 hours. She definitely knew how to fix our dogs.

  • 5/5 stars July 10, 2013

    Carrie was wonderful! We would definitely use her services again!!!

  • 5/5 stars July 9, 2013

    I loved her! She was so informative and beneficial! I am now recommending her to everyone! Thanks Karri! If my dog needs anymore training, she will be the only person I call.

  • 5/5 stars July 9, 2013

    Very knowledgable and effective!

  • 5/5 stars July 8, 2013

    Darwin dogs was such a great experience!

  • 5/5 stars July 8, 2013

    I've never seen anything like Kerry, she had complete control of my dogs in the first 5 seconds! I hope I can keep it up.

  • 5/5 stars July 8, 2013

    She is very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful.

  • 5/5 stars July 6, 2013

    Absolutely fantastic! My dog is trained in 2 hours! Phenomenal! As long as I follow what I was taught... There is no doubt in my mind my dog and I will be a success!!!

  • 5/5 stars July 5, 2013

    Loved Kerry! She is a master of her craft.

  • 5/5 stars July 5, 2013

    Carrie was terrific. I wouldn't hesitate to take advantage of her services again!!

  • 5/5 stars July 5, 2013

    It was WONDERFUL!!!!!! She was very helpful and professional. I will recommend her to everyone I know!

  • 5/5 stars July 5, 2013

    Kerry was very good at demonstrating and explaining. We are very happy with our purchase and highly recommend Darwin Dogs!!

  • 5/5 stars July 5, 2013

    She was exactly on time and left exactly at the end of the agreed time. She was prepared and straight forward to business. I am pleased and excited to continue what we started today, I need a refresher, I would happy to have her back.

  • 5/5 stars July 5, 2013

    Great advice and help!

  • 5/5 stars July 5, 2013

    Carrie was FANTASTIC, so informative... Best money ever spent!!

  • 5/5 stars July 5, 2013

    Great ideas!

  • 5/5 stars July 5, 2013

    Kerry was prompt and professional. She was very thorough in educating me about working with my dogs. Before she left, a major problem had already been solved. This valuable training will make a big difference in our lives! Highly recommend Darwin Dogs!

  • 5/5 stars July 5, 2013

    Kerry was great! I am so glad I did this. My dogs were behaving better in just 1 day.

  • 5/5 stars July 4, 2013

    Karey gave us great methods on how to train our dog using body language & simple commands that keep our dog engaged and content. We especially liked how she was able to explain dog mentality to us and our small children & also involved the kids in the training process. We have already seen improvements since her in-home visit yesterday.

  • 5/5 stars July 4, 2013

    Very informative.

  • 5/5 stars July 4, 2013

    Very professional. Great value. Highly recommend to others!

  • 5/5 stars July 3, 2013

    I can now walk all three of my dogs at once with confidence! Kerry showed me the proper equipment and techniques. Her Sunday pack walks are fun for my dogs and I . Thanks for all your help Kerry

  • 5/5 stars April 13, 2013

    Working with Kerry was amazing. She had great tips on how to keep our dog reactive pup in control. When we started dealing with some food aggression, she was there for us every step of the way.
    Kerry is great about following up and answering any questions that come up at any time. Once the training session is over, she doesn't disappear. She stays in touch and is always there for some great advice.
    Her pack walks are great as well and I am so happy we chose her as our trainer. We have gained confidence as owners and dog lovers, and our dog has improved on all levels.

  • 5/5 stars April 10, 2013

    Kerry drove to my farm and helped me to understand and direct my puppy. I practiced the work she gave us and she returned later in the year to help us refine our relationship. She is humorous, compassionate and knows her stuff. I highly recommend 2 hour sessions. A pup gets worn out and obeys more readily!

  • 5/5 stars April 10, 2013

    Excellent training service, I highly recommend Kerry at Darwin Dogs! Kerry came over for a 2 hour in-home session with our 8 month old puppy. After she left I felt like I knew everything I needed to know to raise a happy, well behaved dog. She also taught us how to walk the dog with no pulling within about fifteen minutes. After the session she makes herself available for any questions that come up which is helpful. I definitely recommend Darwin Dogs!

  • 5/5 stars April 10, 2013

    I asked Kerry for help when I got my 8 week old French Bulldog Hamilton. She came to my house and worked with us and the results were immediate. She also came to my office to help with Hamilton and two other office Dogs. Without her help, Hamilton and I would have been in trouble. Hamilton remembers Carrie and loves seeing her when we go on her pack walks. I cannot recommend anyone any higher than I do Darwin Dogs. Greg

  • 5/5 stars April 9, 2013

    Excellent trainer, respectful but will tell you what you're doing wrong. Highly recommend!!

  • 5/5 stars April 9, 2013

    wished we had kerry to help us with our first dog. she has done an outstanding job teaching us how dogs think and how we communicate with our dog to keep him safe. :)

  • 5/5 stars December 30, 2012

    Kerry came in and amazed me at her ability to control dogs. My 5 month old female german shephard sat at her side after a brief walk in which she transformed my dog. I sat and watched in amazement as my dogs, ( I also have a corgi and two shitzus) sat in the living room across from my husband and myself completely in her control. The shephard barks at everyone, and is even a little bit nippy. I swear we woke up the next day with a new dog. I will do my best to use the technlques I was taught in a brief 2 hour session. Kathy Gehalo 10 stars

  • 5/5 stars September 24, 2012

    What a phenomenal experience! Believe me, I went in as a doubting Thomas! I really didn't feel you could do much of anything in 2 hours and I was right - she did it in 1 hour 45 minutes! And what a pleasant individual! She instantly made my dogs so comfortable. Thank you so much!!!

    Kerry S. from Darwin Dogs LLC replied to this review on September 24, 2012:

    It's easy to be "a pleasant individual" when working with people who truly care about their dogs. I look forward to hearing about Scarlet and Sasha's continued progress!

  • 5/5 stars May 15, 2012

    Kerry of Darwin Dogs is an amazing person that really "knows" dogs! She traveled from Cleveland, Ohio to our home in Brockway, PA on May 12, 2012. My husband and I needed some help with our Lab, Buddy. We had concerns that he was becoming aggressive. Kerry evaluated Buddy upon her arrival and within minutes delivered the great news that he was not aggressive, but was lacking leadership. She trained my husband and I during her visit and we now have the confidence that we lacked. We will be taking the leadership role back from Buddy and will then be able to give him the "peace of mind" that he needs in order to live a more enriched life. Kerry also took us out for a leashed walk and as she walked by dogs in our neighborhood that Buddy would ordinarily act out toward, we witnessed the beauty of a true leader and how a dog should be walking! She then handed us the leash to walk by the dogs and I can't begin to describe the feeling that filled my heart! Kerry also sat with us in our living room and talked about all kinds of things that we really hadn't thought about that will now be a part of our daily lives. Some of the things she talked to us about included, Body language. Us being first in and out of all doorways instead of Buddy being first. No free feeding!!! Exercise. How things work in a "dog pack." Proper "staccato" use of a choke collar not made of metal and all corrections. Going potty. Remaining calm at ALL times! "Reboot" when necessary! And many, many more topics. I cannot say enough about Kerry! She has a gift and I am thankful that she is willing to share it! I would HIGHLY recommend Kerry to anyone! I believe there is nothing about a dog that she would not be able to help with. But I am sure that more times than not, she will be training the human and not the dog. ;0). Thank you Darwin Dogs for giving us what we needed! We are forever grateful!!!!

  • 5/5 stars May 6, 2012

    I have 2 rescue pugs and was dealing with behavior problems of every type and some aggressive behavior. Kerry worked miracles in a very short time. I learned so much and really appreciated that she had me practice what I learned rather than just watch her train the dogs. I do believe she is a dog "whisperer" and truly qualified to help people with their dogs. She is professional, prompt and very skilled. She is readily available by phone to handle follow-up questions and concerns.Thanks to Kerry I am a happy, confident dog owner. I highly recommend her as a trainer!

    Kerry S. from Darwin Dogs LLC replied to this review on May 7, 2012:

    Thank you for your kind words. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with you guys, and I am so happy to see how dedicated you are to their well-being. I look forward to your updates!

    Kerry Stack
    Darwin Dogs

  • 5/5 stars May 3, 2012

    Kerry is an excellent trainer. I didn't know where to turn with my "wanna be leader" Lab, Ian. Kerry trained me to take control in a 2 hour session. She's always available to talk or answer e-mails with any questions I have. I send updates periodically. He has improved SO much with her help. Enjoy the bits of information on her Facebook page. Always recommend Kerry when someone I know needs trained!!

    Kerry S. from Darwin Dogs LLC replied to this review on May 7, 2012:

    Shelley - You and Ian were two of my favorite clients. The effort you put into Ian is truly amazing. People like you are why I love training dogs. Keep the updates coming. I love to see how far you have both come together.,

    Kerry Stack
    Darwin Dogs

  • 5/5 stars May 3, 2012

    I called Kerry to help us with our Golden mix Sammual Adams as we wanted to get another furkid and he was not really good with other dogs. Also, he would go crazy when the mailman delivered the mail, and of course those evil man eating squirrels as well. Kerry was recommended to me by my Sister Amy as she helped her with her pack. From the second Kerry entered my home I could see the difference in our boy. Kerry showed me that I needed more training than my boy did. Now that I have the tools Sammual is more calm and we have a new member of the family Amstel Light. The biggest thing for me is that Kerry always keeps in touch and asks for updates on how Sammual is doing. Her job did not stop once the 2 hours was up! I would and will recommend her to anyone.

    Kerry S. from Darwin Dogs LLC replied to this review on May 7, 2012:

    Thank you! I enjoy seeing your posts on the Darwin Dogs Facebook page! I'm happy to see that either the squirrels have ceased with their man-eating ways, or you have taken over the Pilot position with Sam. I'm guessing I know which it is.

    Kerry Stack
    Darwin Dogs

  • 5/5 stars May 2, 2012

    I absolutely loved Kerry from Darwin dogs! In just two hours we accomplished everything from basic obedience, separation anxiety, behaviors in public and treadmill walking! Not only did she have amazing control over my out of control dog but she gave my husband and I the tools to keep up with his training regimen. I consistently check her Facebook for little tips and hints!

    Kerry S. from Darwin Dogs LLC replied to this review on May 7, 2012:

    I truly appreciate the complients you have posted, and definitely enjoy seeing your name pop up on Facebook. Make sure to keep me updated on everyone's progress!

    Kerry Stack
    Darwin Dogs

  • 5/5 stars May 2, 2012

    We already had two giant breed rescues and just signed on for our third. A year old mastidane from a neglectful home. He had been bounced around with no real structure when our paths crossed. I have trained dogs for 25 years in obedience, breed, and agility. After only being in his new home for less than 5 hours he went after both the girls with severe warnings. No blood but now both girls were scared. I could see he was a good dog but I had no idea how to communicate to him it wasn't his "job" to be leader. The adoption cooridnator from the rescue got me in touch with Kerry at Darwin Dogs and the next day she was at our home. She gave me the tools I needed to communicate with our new guy and allowed him to become a member of our pack. We now are living a fairytale ending..."and they all lived happily ever after" Kerry is awesome!

    Kerry S. from Darwin Dogs LLC replied to this review on May 7, 2012:

    It was a pleasure working with you, as you have taken on the Pilot role like it was your life's ambition. Thank you for your dedication to your animals, and for introducing some new vocabulary and phrases to my training routine, i.e., "stink eye", and "into someone's Kool-aid".

    Kerry Stack
    Darwin Dogs

  • 5/5 stars May 2, 2012

    Kerry S. from Darwin Dogs LLC replied to this review on May 7, 2012:

    Thank you!
    Kerry Stack
    Darwin Dogs

  • 5/5 stars April 29, 2012

    I plan on arranging an appointment w/ Kerry Stack for myself and my dogs, based on the assistance she's given friends and the Berea Animal Resue. She has gone into some of the shelter's foster homes to assist with dogs, and there has been wonderful feed back on the techniques Kerry has given. I look at her site daily for the tips she gives...some are so simple, so common sense, I can't believe I wasn't handling things that way! I partnered with Kerry on the rescue of a little puppy mill pup, and Kerry was so helpful concerning his personality, and assisting with his medical care when the dog was handed over to the Berea Shelter, and brought to my home to foster and place in a home.

    Kerry S. from Darwin Dogs LLC replied to this review on May 7, 2012:

    In this case, I would have to say that Debby did 90% of the work with regard to that pup. I truly wish we could rate foster parents, because Debby was one of the best I've ever seen. Berea Animal Rescue is lucky to work with her, and that pup was blessed to have a discerning guardian. Thank you!

    Kerry Stack
    Darwin Dogs

  • 5/5 stars April 28, 2012

    If there were more stars, I would give them to Kerry of Darwin Dogs! We had rescued a puppy & had signed her up for classes at one of the local pet store chains. By chance, I found Kerry's card somewhere & emailed her. We ended up cancelling our puppy classes & had Kerry out instead. She was amazing!!! Right from when she walked in the door, she was "Pilot/Leader" of the dog...& us! We sat rapt the entire two hours...my husband, myself & our two daughters. She was so informative, funny & so effective (again, for all of us, not just the dog!). She even took us outside to teach us how to walk her properly. It was amazing & we were so thankful we found her before we went to the puppy classes at the store. We never would've gotten half the help or information there in 6 weeks that we got from Kerry in two hours! She didn't leave until she had answered all of our questions, which was great also. She definitely has a calling. Her Facebook page is also a wealth of information. I cannot tell you what a blessing Kerry has been in our lives & that of our pit bull puppy, Sammy! I tell everyone with dogs to call her!

    Kerry S. from Darwin Dogs LLC replied to this review on May 7, 2012:

    Sammy was a joy, and I was honored that you shared her with me, and enchanted with your entire family (well-mannered tweens! whodathunkit!!!!) I look forward to hearing how Sammy is doing - keep the updates coming!

    Kerry Stack
    Darwin Dogs

  • 1/5 stars April 17, 2012

    I had begun a successful training regime on my own, and cancelled our appointment, as I indicated I would, in plenty of time for them to fill my spot. I explained my training process, and indicated I would be in touch if I ran into any snags.

    Instead of responding to my e-mail, the trainer ranted on her blog about me, my methods, etc.

    If this is an indication of her real character, I am grateful that I didn't subject myself and my pup to interaction with her.

    Kerry S. from Darwin Dogs LLC replied to this review on May 7, 2012:

    With regard to not responding to your email, you had declined my services, and please bear in mind that you had responses to your roughly 14 other emails, including the one where I, at length, helped you find a reputable breeder. I find it difficult to accept that after the time and energy put forth by me, that the lack of response to your cancellation of our appointment resulting in such a scathing review. Especially given no payment had ever been received.

    I believe I have finally narrowed down the post that "ranted":
    "Can anyone explain why people are obsessed with clicker training? I find it frustrating that people willingly add a layer between their dog and their being leader. That clicking noise is NOT a magical incantation!"

    This was my daily post after receiving his email that he'd started clicker training.

Question and answer

Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.

A. Everything from leash skills and door manners to dog-on-dog reactivity and "aggressive" behavior. Some are very simple to address, and some require a great amount of skill for it to be accomplished in a safe manner for all involved. Each one is unique, and all are treated with the same dignity and respect. Your pit who greets everyone with (too much!) enthusiasm is given just as much time and focus as the Jack Russell who feels the need to snap and growl at your guests.

Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

A. Be careful of the "all positive" reinforcement claims. Children cannot be raised with strictly positive reinforcement, neither can dogs. In order to find your place in the world, you need both latitude and longitude, left and right. Communicating with a dog strictly through food is not communication at all, it's bribery. True communication requires no such gimmicks. There is a time and place for positive reinforcement, and it's not always and everywhere!

Stay far away from anyone who uses scare tactics or "machismo" style training: they obviously have something to prove and the dog is going to be their vehicle. If the words "prong collar" or "shock collar" are mentioned, ask yourself why that would possibly be necessary - dogs don't communicate with each other like that, why should you? Anger should never be a part of training. Frustration happens, but it should never happen around your dog when you are working with them. Walk away, reboot, and start fresh rather than venting your frustration on your dog.

Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?

A. That there is more in life than positive training, and that negative training shouldn't be thought of as "bad". Your dog is incapable of being bad. They just haven't had their questions answered!

I had a client the other day, we'll call her Sharon. She had two dogs who were off-the-hook. I call them "No No Bad Dogs". They weren't bad dogs really; no dangerous behaviors like resource guarding or dog reactivity. They were just hyper masses of entropy. Totally lovable dogs, though. I'm sure you know and/or own what I mean.

Part way through the training session, Sharon mentioned how she had never thought of interacting with her dogs using methods such as the Paw Method. I asked her to give me an example.

"Well, your training bag, for instance. I notice that every time the dogs start to nose in there, you are using your body language to tell them "no". That's not what I would have done, " she said.

"What would you have done", I asked.

"Simply removed the bag."

Sounds like a simple enough answer. If your dog is getting into something, remove what they are getting into. Here's the problem: simply helping them to avoid something is different than actually training them. For example, I personally have not been trained to never approach a rhino from their blind side, simply because I've never met a rhino. See the difference? Removing all interaction with something does not teach an animal how to appropriately interact (or not to interact) with something. It merely removes their choice.

It also doesn't work because, well, if they are on our couch and you don't like it, how are you going to remove the couch? Exactly.

Poor Sharon had been through several other trainers before she worked with Darwin Dogs. She had done the X amount of classes, Y times per week for Z hours each time, and still hadn't seen much progress. She seemed a little frustrated, but still determined, to get her dogs trained. Unfortunately, it would seem as if she had gone to trainers who only used positive reinforcement or strictly negative reinforcement. One trainer had wanted her to deal with everything her dog did/didn't do by using treats, which as Sharon pointed out herself, was ridiculous. She told me a story about how her one dog managed to steal an entire chicken off of her counter. Her dog, Kally, was running around the house with this chicken! Sharon knew that Kally could get sick from ingesting cooked bones, but remembered what her positive only trainer had told her: offer her a treat! So Sharon approached Kally with her favorite Milk Bone. Kally took a look at the offered Milk Bone, and then promptly ate the chicken. Some things are just higher value than other, and sorry, Milk Bone will never trump a freshly roasted chicken. Not everything can be dealt with using positive reinforcement.

Sharon had another trainer who was the Throat 'Em and Make 'Em Cower kind of trainer. Yes, you can get results like that. However, why would you want to? The PAW method focuses on gentle body language, and answering your dog's questions. "May I please have the food you dropped on the floor?" doesn't need to be answered with a tug on a prong collar. A simple, "No" will suffice. Further, bonding occurs when you both share a good experience. I love giving my dogs a positive reinforcement at every chance I (appropriately) can do so because it feels good!

Considering all I was hearing about how many different techniques Sharon had been working with, and how many different trainers, I'm still amazed that she even called Darwin Dogs. That's what I call the triumph of hope over experience. However, she did. We came, and two hours later, she had both dogs on a leash, and was literally skipping down the sidewalk, both dogs heeling right at her side. I kid you not. Totally made my day.

She's got a long road ahead of her, but now she has tools in her toolbox. Yes and no. That's all she needs. You only need two things to know where you are in this world: latitude and longitude. Yes and no. Catch the moments and behaviors you want with positive (latitude). Answer the questions that are being asked, and use "no" every time you must (longitude). Pretty soon your dog will know their place in the world: with a kind, loving, Pilot who happens to be their best friend.

Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?

A. My work stands out from others because this is my full time job. I do it every day, sometimes 7 days a week. I stand out because I am constantly honing my skills, and immersing myself in different training scenarios and combinations of issues. For example, a dog who doesn't walk well on a leash may require a little bit more finesse if the person who wishes to walk him is quite elderly and the dog is very large. Compound that if the dog is showing fear aggression towards other people or dogs. Since I am practicing my trade every day, several times a day, I have a broader scope of past experience to draw from.

I also thoroughly enjoy my work. I am charmed by every dog I meet, and truly enjoy running into clients at the local pet store or while on a hike. I always welcome phone calls or emails, whether the day after training or 6 years later. I am always there to answer the questions!

Q. What do you like most about your job?

A. I thrive on the positive results I get several times a day. It's like climbing Mt. Everest every day, and reaching the top every time! Some problems seem just as insurmountable, but when I'm finished, I can proudly look at what I've accomplished and cherish the new, healthier and happier dog/owner bond I've helped create.

Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

A. Do you work with aggressive dogs? Well, that's a tricky answer, because almost all dogs described as "aggressive" are merely reacting out of fear, and shouldn't be classified as aggressive at all! However, yes, I do work with all issues a dog may be having, from the Labradoodle who jumps on guests to the Shepherd who doesn't want strangers near her house. I show you how to address the cause of the fear with your dog and answer your dog's question, which is typically, "Is this a threat?"

Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?

A. I had a woman call me very upset because she'd had it up to "here" with her dog. She had a small dog named Lulu who would not let her bake anything. As a matter of fact, if Lulu's owner even reached for her oven mitts, Lulu would become a hysterical mess, snapping and growling at both her owner and the oven! Their solution to this mess before they met me was just to lock her in the laundry room, where Lulu would throw a very loud, very destructive temper tantrum. In less than 2 hours, we had handled the issue. Lulu's owner sent me an email soon after:
Quick update:
One banana bread baked Sunday
One meatloaf baked Monday
Both done with no chaos and just a little work!! She's almost perfect!
We are a happier home!
Thank you so much!
The Matteuccis"

Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?

A. It is very hard work, and requires a lot of concentration, especially when dealing with reactive dogs, and I have to make it look easy so you have confidence in me. The whole time I am working with you, part of my attention is on you, part of my attention is focused on the dog, and part is focused on how to help you both learn to communicate in a harmonious fashion. Some dogs may be fearful of new people, or I may be called in for an aggressive dog. My attention can never waver from that dog, but I am fielding questions and teaching you communication skills with your dog. Your mind must be able to follow several paths at any given moment.

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