Cheers & Raves

Our community wants the best for their four-legged family members. Their stories may sound familiar to you. As you read about their journeys, imagine the possibilities for your pup here at Wonder Dog University!

Stories from Our Happy Customers

Larry & Pam Haskell

We have fostered 74 dogs and have a lot of experience with them and this was the most extreme case of fear we had encountered. Emma, our foster dog, had been seriously abused and was very wary of people. It took a long time for her to become comfortable with us. Even after she became less fearful, we had difficulty trying to walk her on a leash. She would resist when we attempted to put a harness on her and would either lay down and refuse to move or buck wildly when we attempted to walk her. We were very concerned that, even if we were able to get her on a walk, she might struggle out of the leash and run away. Her behavior when confronting unfamiliar situations was unpredictable. While she was comfortable running free in our back yard, there were obvious situations like vet visits that required controlling her outside our property so this was a very serious issue. We were able to put the harness on Emma and we can now walk her. It was a really dramatic change in behavior and attitude. She went from being fearful and resistant to walking on a leash around the neighborhood and giving every indication that she enjoys the activity. The training requires a lot of patience and persistence, but the payoff is there if you persist. Another life saved! We highly recommend C.C. to address training and behavior issues.

Sherri Grady

I am so very thankful for C.C! Teddy is my first pet. I got him when he was 8 weeks old and he is now 7. I have been wanting to take lessons since the first week I got him. I had reservations about group lessons because I thought that since I was so unfamiliar with pets and dogs in general that it would be very difficult for me to benefit from them with Teddy. I continued to read books and tried to implement suggestions. However, I never got anywhere with them on my own. My vet  recommended a private dog trainer but I was resistant. It was so expensive and I didn’t know if the benefit would be worth the cost. I didn’t know if I would connect personally with the trainer which I knew would impact how much I would actually be able to learn. I took the plunge after someone I knew and trusted very well recommended C.C. to me. I knew within the first 15 minutes of our first training session that neither of my fears were true. C.C. was so intuitive in her observations of Teddy’s behaviors including the dynamics between Teddy and me. She helped me actually understand him so much better. I was absolutely amazed at how Teddy responded to the lessons and to C.C. I saw immediate improvement after one lesson which was priceless from a cost/benefit analysis. I love hearing her observations of what his experiences seem to be because it helps me understand him at a different level. For example, I did not realize that he was doing certain things to “calm down.” Once I realized how to read his arousal process better, I was more equipped with how to prevent it and respond to him effectively at any point in the process. Watching C.C. demonstrate training is so fun because she is amazing with him and he responds so quickly to her cues and interruptors. It is extremely helpful for me to observe her.

The videos and extra information C.C. has sent to me post training are all amazing as follow ups to our training session. They help me remember what the highlights of the lessons were with videos to demonstrate techniques. The information about calming methods has been extraordinarily helpful!! Teddy is usually extremely anxious and on high alert. For example, during thunderstorms or fireworks he usually is excessively whining or barking. Now, with the help of the training and the calming methods we have used, he has no problems during those specific events. It is as if they are not even happening! I used to let Teddy ride in the front seat of the car with me which would result in him randomly getting agitated and barking at other cars, people or dogs. When I used to try to put him in the back seat, he would whine so much that I would give in and bring him up front because he is just so cute and I couldn’t stand it :-) Now - he only rides in the back seat - with a harness and dog seat belt. He loves it - he stays below threshold the entire time. He lays down and usually falls asleep for the whole ride with no whining at all. Overall Teddy’s baseline threshold of arousal has decreased significantly since our lessons began. Everyone who interacts with him regularly has noticed. The comments have been, “He seems soooo chilled out,” “Teddy is so relaxed,” etc. He is barking less and whining less in general. Teddy used to go over threshold immediately when we went outside. Now we can walk out on the porch and even go for short walks and he can focus on me with limited negative behavior. This is huge. I haven’t felt comfortable taking him on walks in 5 years. I have been mostly playing with him in the house and only going out for potty breaks and occasional play time. Now, we go on short walks at least 2 times a day and have lessons on the porch! The lessons helped me have techniques to use to help him lower his threshold. We are still in the process of training with seeing other dogs or cats up close on walks but I am confident that with continued training and consistent practice, we will be able to eventually pass by other dogs without negativebehavior. C.C. is phenomenal. Not only is she knowledgeable, dependable and personable, but she is also an amazing teacher for both humans and animals! It is absolutely worth the time, money, and effort if you are struggling with any negative pet behaviors. Do NOT wait to take the plunge. I sooo wish I had not waited this long. I was concerned that we weren’t going to make progress because of Teddy’s age and how long I have reinforced his negative behaviors through ignorance. I have been shocked at how quickly he has learned to respond differently. I am delighted with the results. I could not be more pleased with where we are after 3 lessons. The results have far surpassed my expectations. In addition, our lessons are one of my most favorite things to do! Thank you so much for the gifts you have given us!!!

Jenni Tyler

I worried, will this be a waste of money? Is my dog crazy beyond repair? I had actually signed Buffet up for a basic puppy class when he was less than a year old. He was older than the other dogs in the class (and much, MUCH bigger), and I was told that that class just wasn't suitable for him. So I was terribly afraid the same thing would be said of the Growl Class. Of course, I was wrong. The course was perfect for my big guy. The personal attention was exactly what he needed. My favorite part was that CC redirected the training after observing my dog's behavior. He is (or was rather) very reactive to other dogs, but is even more so reactive (excitedly) to people. So when she saw that he wasn't paying attention to the other dogs because of all the people milling about, she sent in an assistant trainer to work on his people manners - a training above and beyond what I had paid for. I have recommended this class to my best friend - to many of my friends, in fact! But I tell them that a year ago, I considered giving my dog up because his behavior was beyond my control. I feared going on walks because I worried about what would happen should we encounter another dog. And if I can't even walk my dog, I don't deserve to have him. But now, all I have to do is point at my big guy while we're out. He (usually, he still has his moments) sits nicely simply observing passing dogs now. The course training quickly worked into all other areas of training. By teaching him one simple command, the look-at-me command, he not only learned not to overreact to other dogs as was intended, but he also learned how to walk politely on a leash, how to come when called, and how to return to my side after he had wandered off to sniff things as dogs do. I'm so thankful that I didn't have to give him up. That would be the second time someone has let him go, and that's not fair to him. Also, I love my dog! I would hate to re-home him. But I'm also extremely pleased about how accessible CC was and is, even now, a year later! I know that if I have questions or concerns, I can easily contact her and she's always happy to help.

Pat Miller

I have worked with C.C. on numerous occasions, both at our academies here at Peaceable Paws, and doing phone consultations with her for her own work with her clients. The academy dogs have always benefitted significantly from her attentions. I have been consistently impressed both with her skills here, her commitment to her own professional education, and her dedication to providing her clients with a top quality, effective and professional service.

Pat Miller, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA
Director, Peaceable Paws Trainer Academies

Lou Demarinis

Before the lessons I would say my biggest fear was the training not being effective. In the end, this did not come true at all! The cost for the training was minute compared to the results. CC did a great job instilling confidence that with hard work any problem can be overcome, and with her help it was. My favorite part of this experience was establishing an even better relationship with my pet. You get to understand them much better throughout the process, and with feedback from CC you can manipulate and adjust the training schedule to better accommodate your pet. Unequivocally, I can quantify the difference in her behavior! Ava is much calmer, and has very little anxiety upon being left alone. It was a long, hard process but she is clearly much more comfortable in her own skin. Not just with separation, but just with anxiety in general. She still needs to sit by the window, but she is usually taking a nap when I pull back home ☺. If you want a compassionate trainer that is available from morning to night to answer your questions and concerns, CC is perfect for you. She was willing to get to know my pet and adjust a schedule and program to fit her and my needs. You can tell she is someone that genuinely “gets” animals and has a deep compassion for them.

C.C. surprised me with her attitude, approach, and determination to make our training program a success. There is so much misinformation and lies peddled on reality shows and the thousands of blogs. It was shocking to learn from C.C. how many of these approaches can make a situation much worse. Outside of the results, what pleased me the most was the availability and willingness to lend an ear that CC showed throughout the process when I was frustrated. That aspect was invaluable!

De Daltorio

To have a professional dog trainer with C.C.'s experience and knowledge is invaluable for any program! Charleston Animal Society acknowledges 77% of bites may come from a dog kids know and love. Due to this astonishing fact, we realized the importance of teaching children how to be safe around dogs and read body language.C.C. was willing to take on this task! She came each week, for 10 weeks of our summer camp, and was able to explain the importance of noticing fear and anxiety in dogs and what children should do to help alleviate the chance of an incident. Not only did the campers love her personality and wit, they could understand her concise instructions. Also, as a result from each encounter with her, numerous shelter dogs benefited.

De Daltorio - Sr. Director of Humane Education, Charleston Animal Society

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