Training requires a lot of patience and persistence, but the payoff is there.
Another life saved!
We highly recommend C.C. to address training and behavior issues.
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.
- Larry & Pam Haskell with Emma and Roxie
I feared you wouldn't be able to help Brinkley, that she was too far "gone." Boy was I happy to be wrong! The lessons were a marvel! I was so impressed with how easily you seemed to read Brinkley and to coax her along. It was amazing. Brinkley could not stay alone! She had horrible separation anxiety. We took turns leaving the house so that she was never alone. Now she can stay alone for up to 4 hours at a time. She is CRAZY happy when we get home, but she does not destroy anything and stays in her "Florida Room" area. I would say to trust C.C. implicitly! She knows what she is doing, can offer a wealth of advice and materials and your dog will be the happier for the experience. BRINKLEY CAN STAY at home alone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Donna & Bill Temple with Brinkley
C.C. did a great job instilling confidence that with hard work any problem can be overcome, and with her help it was. My favorite part was establishing an even better relationship with my pet. You get to understand them much better throughout the process, and with feedback from C.C. you can adjust the training 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, C.C. 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 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 C.C. showed throughout the process when I was frustrated. That aspect was invaluable!
Lou Demarinis with Ava
I thought your class was great. I learned many, useful techniques and would highly recommend you to anyone having dog behavior issues. In addition to the class, I also appreciated the videos you shared. It was helpful to be able to watch and learn new techniques in the quiet of my own home. Plus, it was like being able to take an impromptu class whenever I could fit one into my busy life. Your idea for an online training endeavor would be helpful to many people. I was afraid that my “Jekyll and Hyde" dog Lily, would be too reactive to other dogs to be able to participate in the class. She was great in class, thanks mainly, I believe, to the well thought out, strategic arrangement. My favorite part was when the dogs became more comfortable with each other and could get nearer to each other without going crazy. Lily has improved, in that most of the time we can walk by another dog and she will keep her attention on me, but we still have work to do. I love that the training methods you use focus on positive reinforcement rather than punishment, or negative reinforcement. I leaned many useful, new tools to help my dog and I cope with encounters with new dogs and strangers. Finding out how helpful having a real treat bag could be and the importance of higher quality treats was a surprise! Not only has Lily improved, but I’ve been able to use some of the techniques learned in class on my puppy George, who has a lot of the same anxiety issues as my older dog. You're awesome!
Beth Stevenson with Lily
I was afraid that Tusker would attack another dog during class or that he was no longer appropriate for group training. We never had any major issues during any of our lessons! In the months leading up to our decision to seek training for him I was afraid that he would seriously injure another dog and continue to become more aggressive and we would either be forced to put him down or re-home him when we have kids. Now, I still get anxious sometimes, but I feel like we have skills to correct his behavior and I know that he can be the ball of love outside that he always is in the home.
Our problems were completely understood, you gave encouraging feedback and gentle corrections, the techniques were easy to use and worked. The biggest gift was easing my anxiety and fears and improving my relationship with my dog so that I could use positive reinforcement rather than punishment. And also, stop crying on a weekly basis during walks or bathroom breaks due to his reactivity!
With our past trainer we used for puppy training, I felt like the reasoning wasn't explained and her corrections were critical. This was a totally different experience. Before my only skill was to try and avoid other people by 100 feet or more and hold on to him for dear life off the side of the path we walk him on while another dog passed. I used to get either fearful or sympathetic responses from other people, now I get compliments on how well trained he is. Tusker can stay below threshold with about 20 feet between him and a strange dog, maybe less depending on the situation.
Aggression and reactivity snuck up on us around his second birthday. Having a reactive dog made me realize that more people deal with reactivity than I realized. I find that if I bring it up a lot of people can relate. I understand his behavior more and no longer see the need for punishment. We had been trying corrective leashes and collars, we had a e-collar we tried for a while, we tried to show him that we were alpha and none of it was making a difference. Understanding trigger stacking, his calming signals, and trying to eliminate visual and noise cues made a big difference. He has his own Spotify playlist he listens to when we go to work now and he has discovered an obsession with string cheese. We also feed out of a kong now and I think that helps too. The biggest thing is getting him to not visually fixate on a trigger and learning how to do that changed everything! When he was a puppy he used to lay down in the grass like he was hunting in the Savannah...that behavior turned out to not be so cute 2 years later but now we know how to stop it. I wouldn't have known about any of these things before. We are pleased with the results and loved working with you!
Elizabeth & Henry Bennett with Tusker
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. I took the plunge after someone I knew and trusted very well recommended C.C. to me. She 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. 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 post training are all amazing. 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. 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! I am confident that with continued training and consistent practice, we will be able to eventually pass by other dogs without negative behavior. 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!!!
Sherri & Jim Grady with Teddy
It is in my puppy contract that the family must work with a trainer to make sure that my puppy and the family get off to the best possible start. I was so impressed with C.C's knowledge, teaching style and manner that I recommend her to all my parents. I am very, very careful who my puppies go to and am equally careful of who might be training them. Knowing that I can recommend C.C. to help shape their next few months is a tremendous gift for me, the puppy and the parents! I am a lioness when it comes to placing my babies and would-be parents are vetted very carefully. Thank you again for giving my puppies and their parents such a great foundation and experienced advice. I tell all my local puppy people how lucky we are to have you as a resource. Thank you for all your time and help working with all of us Everyone's so excited to learn with you.
Chris Prentiss, Sweetgrass Havanese