Puppies are great fun -- and irresistible -- but they also need clear guidance from their owners.
We adopted Fitzgerald (Fitz) and Francesca (Frankie) in October of 2013, two beautiful pit bull puppies and loved every minute of their puppy-hood. We read books about training and committed to working diligently on basic commands. We were initially unsure of paying someone to go to class or to do any kind of formal training because we thought that we could do a lot of it home.
As they started getting bigger, though, we decided we needed more control in situations with a lot of distractions. We wanted them to be ambassadors for their breed - to be so well behaved that we could open people's eyes to how wonderful pit bulls can be. We found Julia's class through some searching online for a quality provider with good reviews and decided to go for it.
The first day of class was very challenging - our dogs were older (7 months at the time) and MUCH bigger than the rest of the dogs. Our dogs' aggressive demeanor, which was new to us, seemed to scare every other owner in the class. Neither dog paid any attention to us or our commands - it was very frustrating for all of us.
Julia quickly identified our need for extra help and offered to meet with us a half hour before each class to do some more focused training. She also recommended better correction collars for both dogs so our training efforts both in class and at home would be more effective.
By the second class, our dogs were completely different. Their behavior improved drastically - they followed our commands, left the other dogs alone during training time, and even played well at the end of class when the dogs had off-leash time. It was incredible!
After completing the four sessions, we feel so much more confident with our dogs. We recently took them with us for a day on the town and they were exceptional. From waiting in a long line with other dogs at the Humane Society to sitting quietly on the patio of a downtown restaurant while we ate brunch, Fitz and Frankie were both so well behaved. Everyone that came up to greet them told us how impressive they were, and how sweet and loving too! They are well on their way to being the exceptional ambassadors we know they can be.
We are so grateful for Julia and all her training. We highly recommend her to anyone in need of a better relationship with their dog!
Andrea and Lindsey
Our first puppy (Magnet) was a new experience for our family. Not long after arriving in our house, we took Magnet to puppy kindergarten where he learned his first dog socialization skills. After that we wanted to train him to walk nicely on a leash and to meet other dogs without misbehaving. However, other than dangling treats in front of him and hoping, we really didn’t know how to train the behaviors we were looking for.
At about this point we brought an irresistible little second puppy (!) into our family named Mouse. We soon realized we were soon going to have two poorly behaved dogs if we didn’t get some help.
Our veterinarian recommended Julia to us and it was the best call we’ve made. We liked Julia immediately. She’s personable, warm, full of good humor and confident. She commanded our puppies’ respect and earned our trust from our first meeting.
Julia came in to our home and not only observed us with our dogs but listened to us and to our concerns. She helped us work initially with Magnet to identify problem areas and methods to correct the behaviors. We also enrolled him in her training class which provided additional socialization time with other dogs, and worked on how to train particular behaviors such as how to walk the dogs, meet other dogs, meet people, come, stay, etc.
The reason Julia was so successful for us is not so much about how successful she was in getting our dogs to behave. (And she is incredibly effective at getting them to behave.) One of Julia’s main areas with us was to focus on our understanding of our pets and their behaviors. She helped us to understand what our dogs need from us (strong, clear direction) and gave us the tools we needed to effectively communicate that direction to our pets. Once we understood our role and had behavior management/modification tools to use, we saw a huge improvement in their obedience, attentiveness and cooperativeness.
We are grateful to Julia for her guidance, for the friendship she showed us and the great affection and attention she showed our puppies.
Lisa Tarzia and Eric Amidon