Happy Dogs & Testimonials
Posted to Facebook July 2013 by Sue Haslam:I'm half way through growly dog class and was given back a rescue dog I helped place 9 months ago. I was afraid my dog (a four year old rescue) was going to tear him limb from limb. But I used what I had been taught and unbelievably it worked. I reached out and was able to secure a personal home visit in only 2 days. By the end of the visit both dogs were sitting in the same room doing their lesson as if neither were there. There were only a few feet apart (but on leashes) and not one bark or growl or pulling on the leash. It was a miracle. Two days later and we are using everything suggested and we still have had no growls or barks. We are still a few weeks away from having them roam the house together but I would have had to put him in a shelter if it hadn't been for this class. I urge anyone who is on the fence to bring their growly dog there. I waited until my dog attacked a neighbor's dog (who was fortunately not hurt) before reaching out and I'm so glad I found them. I've learned that her reactions are out of fear and it is my dog to help her feel safe. For the first time in more than 2 years since I got her she will sit down in the back seat relaxed instead of standing between the front seats looking back and forth in case a dog, cat, squirrel or jogger dares to come in sight. I haven't even worked with her on this. She just is calmer and i like to think that she is trusting me to keep her safe rather than feeling like she is still on the streets needing to attack to keep the bad guys away. So forget everything you ever learned about dog training and come to Growly Dog class and learn how to really help your reactive dog.
I wanted to forward a photo of Pete with the dog walking group. We never would have believed it was possible for him to be comfortable in a group but here he is with Lexi and our local friends. All the work in the Reactive sessions and ongoing efforts at home have paid off. We are so much better than for all the lessons and advice.
Doreen, Jim, Lexi and Pete
I don't know if you remember us but we remember you, and we are thankful. My husband and I took your puppy class, back before we were married, taught by Meredith and then the basics class with you, with our dog Remy (the Saint Bernard mix). We have since moved to Pennsylvania and have newly experienced the dog park world. Living in Southbridge we didn't have much in the way of dog parks but we did have a great Doggie Daycare, Woof & Whiskers, that Remy attended since he was a puppy and we really loved. Here in PA we have a couple different parks that we now visit and have met so many different dogs and owners, and where we realized how grateful we were for the lessons we learned and were taught by you and your staff. We have seen and experienced so many different situations in which we have used the tools we learned in your class and breathed deep sighs of relief when they worked.We have even had the privilege of passing on some of those lessons to the people we have met. People are amazed by how well Remy responds to us and listens to our commands, at almost two years old, he has turned into a loving and loyal guy. I know that we owe this to the foundation that we created by starting out early and taking your classes when he was a puppy.
We experienced two dogs in an altercation at one of the parks on our second trip there, it was a new world to both us and Remy, and when we realized what was happening instead of panicking, I called my dog to me and held him in a stay until the owners could intervene. My heart was pounding and my knees were shaking but that moment when Remy turned his head from the scene, ran towards me, and stared into my eyes as I gave the command to stay, was the proudest moment of my life. Playing and practicing commands are one thing but actually using them in the face of real danger and knowing that they work is the best feeling.
For that, I just want to say thank you! Thank you for teaching us the tools we needed to help give our dog the best chance at living a happy and healthy life!
Sarah and Danny
I first contacted Donna in August of 2011 for help with my 2 y/o miniature dachshund, Olive, after she had two episodes of biting, which was something new. After some questions, Donna suggested Olive would be appropriate for Scaredy Dog since her biting and some other behavior seemed to be fear-based. I have to admit, I was slightly skeptical because Olive happens to be completely blind in her right eye and has only 20% vision – essentially light perception – in her left eye. She was very skittish around new people and other dogs and we had wrongly babied her. But I approached the class with an open mind, positive attitude, and the determination to be a better dog “mom”. I cannot put into words how much the Scaredy Dog course has helped both Olive and me! We have been given the tools to deal with many situations and to control Olive’s environment. Donna was able to adapt the course material to accommodate Olive’s lack of vision and was sensitive to Olive’s very large “personal space bubble”. Olive successfully completed the course and is just now finishing PAWS 101. We hope to enroll her in Nosework next. I see the signs of all our hard work every day as Olive has become a more confident dog and I have become a more effective dog “mom”. Thank you Donna! I always recommend you to all the dog owners that I know! ~ Karen & Olive
Olive is a great dog who's blindness caused her to warn off any intruder who dared enter her space. Because Olive can only see light changes and shadows, she needed a good offense! The explosive display of barking and snarling was her way of saying "go away you are scaring me".
By teaching Olive to trust that her humans would take care of all situations, giving Olive a safe place that no human is to intrude on, and letting Olive know when someone or something is going to approach, Olive became much more relaxed in many environments.
Olive is a great dog and now has many opportunities before her! She comes on our Sunday morning walks and participates proudly and confidently. She graduated Paws101 successfully and with 5 other dog and she's going to be taking NoseWork soon!
~Donna Savoie, CPDT 12/11
Click some pics to see some great shots of dogs and their families having FUN!
|Yesterday Harry and I went to the Conn. police K9 Olympics at UConn and he was pretty close to perfectly behaved! He was petted by numerous children and adults and appropriately interacted with several dogs, with permission, and was able to be distracted to ignore others.
Thank you for all your help and good advice!
See you at Noah's Ark at 11:30 on Saturday the 16th for another round of classes and focus on meet and greet strangers. I think we are nearly ready for the therapy dog certification test once I can overcome that barrier. As you know, Harry must sit and ignore the other dog while I greet another person with their dog.
You're a miracle worker!
- Martha and Harry
|I'm an "oll dog" who learned new tricks from Donna, the dog trainer. I have had dogs my whole life and never went to a dog trainer. well, I have a german shepherd puppy and thought I'd try the obedience class with Donna. I am sooooo happy that I did. I learned the proper way to teach Kodiak and am so pleased with how much he, (and I) learned. It was awesome. I own a trucking company and take Kodiak wherever I go. He is so well behaved and people remark about it.. wouldn't be this great a dog without Donna's lessons. He learned quickly, what normally took me years to teach my dogs....well worth it....I also got a "pound hound" that I couldn't let out when we had company. Halley was an abused dog and didn't tolerate anyone but my close family. Well, Donna came to the house and worked with Halley and now we can let her out when company is here and I don't have panic attacks on when's she going to bite, as she doesn't any longer.. Donna is a gem. I should mention that we have had Halley for years before Donna came into our lives. She is truly a "miracle" worker. I can't praise her enough. I think you'd also learn from her and it'd be a great benefit to you and your dogs.
Donna literally "saved" our dog, Maggie. Maggie was rescued as a stray from the streets of Tennessee. When we adopted her in June, we noticed many aggressive tendencies in her towards other dogs and men. We took her to another dog trainer, who basically told us that Maggie was a lost cause. The other trainer suggested that we get rid of her. It completely broke my heart. I spent an entire week crying my eyes out, as I had fallen in love with my dog, and yet, was being told by a so-called "dog expert" that I should get rid of her.
Donna is ALWAYS available to help out. If I send her an email with a question, she literally responds within the hour. She has so many good tricks for solving typical "dog problems"- she is completely amazing!!!!!
I HIGHLY recommend Donna. If it wasn't for her, we wouldn't have our beautiful little girl Maggie.
And just to let you know - Tess has been doing great! She is growing and developing into a more confident dog. She can still be a little fearful - but she knows to go to her bed where she feels safe. My son has been home from college with lots of his "Big" guy friends in and out of the house regularly. She is getting used to them all. She is also doing quite well with me at the horses. She sends them in their stalls (without biting their feet) and then backs away to let them eat. Also, I know buying a border collie with small children was not the recommended breed. Let me tell you - this dog still absolutely loves all children!!! She is so sweet with them all - the babies up through the older ones. I could go on and on forever about how much I love my dog. And I would like to thank you for teaching me how positive dog training is the most successful way to develop a healthy relationship with you dog!!
Happy New Year!
|Hi Donna, I wanted to thank you for what Bob and I, along with Emmy and Murphy, are learning in your class. Last Saturday has been one of the best classes yet for us. Emmy seemed to do better with paying attention. (I noticed anyway.) I have to tell you a little story. Monday morning before I put their food down, I asked them to sit and stay. On the THIRD try, I was giving up (going to be late for work). I asked one more time, they both sat, I put the food down. Emmy came without being released and I thought to myself JUST GREAT, NO ATTENTION SPAN!!. Murphy was not at his bowl. I turned around and saw him still sitting waiting for me to say OK. I praised him and went on my way to work feeling good. Have a Great day. See you Saturday.
- Janice and Bob