Archived Q&A and Reviews
Can anyone recommend a really good dog trainer? Our dog is sweet, and good with people but not trustworthy around other dogs. She either seems to love or really not love other dogs, This is, to say the least, a problem for us. She is very unpredictable for reasons known only to her. We love her and really want a trainer especially good with this bad behavior. Thanks!
Sandra Mannion is the best dog trainer I've ever met. Hands down. http://www.sandramannion.com/ If you read the testimonials on her website, you'll get some idea of the challenging work she has taken on. She works with the dog owner(s) as (very, very) well as she works with the dogs. Seldom have I felt so confident in any professional I have worked with! Her training is exceptional. Tell her Sarge sent you. Sarge's mom
I HIGHLY recommend Youngblood Harris at http://trainingwithyoungblood.com/ . We have a truly unruly dog (doesn't like people/kids/etc) and he worked magic with her after two other trainers did very little. We were completely awe struck when he had her walking one foot away from another dog in her first season. That said, she'll still never be able to run off leash with other dogs but that's her and we weren't looking for a solution to that problem. All in all Younblood was fantastic. Melanie
Kathy Keer at Cause and Effect dog training was great. She helped us get our crazy rescue Boxer managable in public and even off leash (major dog and sometimes human aggression issues). She's not super chatty but she knows her stuff. http://www.causeandeffectdogtraining.com/ Jaime
I'm looking for a dog trainer for a two year old dog to train off-leash and also to get him to stop jumping on people. Bev
Kathy Keer @ Cause and Effect Dog Training was a miracle worker with our rescue Boxer. Our dog has pretty major fear aggression issues and Kathy was able to get our dog walking next to her doggie arch nemesis with nary a snarl. More importantly, she really trained us on what cues to watch out for and how to handle our dog when she's being aggressive. http://www.causeandeffectdogtraining.com/ Jaime
I can highly recommend Sandra Mannion of The Village Dog as a dog trainer. We had great success with our rescue dog with her last summer. http://www.sandramannion.com/home.html Lisa
I highly recommend Jill Breitner www.shewhisperer.com 707-601-3332. Jill is wonderful person and a fantastic trainer. She helped us understand our rescue dog and provided us the how-to to change his fearful behavior. She immediately becomes the leader when working with a dog, which enables her to elicit the desired behavior. She then taught us how to be our dog's leader so that he could be a happy member of our pack. She also taught us that our dog just wanted to please us and wouldn't need treats from us to obey. Our dog is confident and well-behaved, thanks to Jill's guidance. We can take him off leash because we know he will come back when called. And we know how to handle his fear when he is off leash. She is firm but gentle, doesn't coddle but does provide lots of love. Whenever we've encountered a problem, she responds immediately and seriously because she wants our relationship with our little guy to be a positive one. I continue to be impressed with her knowledge and her intuitive understanding of animal behavior. dog Mama
I highly recommend Sandra Mannion sandramannion.com Sandra is great with dogs - she knows her stuff. But she is also great with people. We worked with her for months when we were working out some kinks with our new pup and our five year old. We loved our training sessions. And I can't imagine where we would have ended up with out her. She is just wonderful. Happy Dog Owners b/c of Sandra
i'd highly recommend bow wow ventures, specifically shasta marlowe. we adopted/rescued two pit bull mixes (not at the same time) and shasta has helped with their off leash training and address their behaviorial issues. shasta is great to work with, truly loves dogs and has delivered results www.bowwowventures.com yvonne
I have a recommendation for the best dog trainer I've ever met, and her specialty is with the interaction between dogs and children. We began using her when we got a new dog and my kids were ages 7 and 4. She has helped train our dog and now our dog is a beloved and gentle member of our household...she has never hurt anyone in our household. Our dog trainer's name is Jane Rosenblum, and she has a website: www.caninekidconnection.com. suzy
I need to do something about my dog. He is peeing in the house again. He bit my son. It wasn't a hard bite but still a bite. He is a small dog. I really need a dog trainer. He did go through a obedience class. I am now willing to pay for someone to come to my house. Does anyone know of anybody to help me? I have asked this about a year ago but I didn't save all the replies...please reply again. Thanks! lise
A friend gave me the name of the best dog trainer I've ever seen. We hired him to help train our newest dog and he was just incredible. His name is MATT HIBBARD and his phone # is (510)769-7442. His website is www.dontkillyourdog.com You'll be pleased with the results. Patty
I know of a dog trainer who is especially skilled in working with dogs who live in a home with children. She can help you establish good behavior in your pet, and also maintain the safety of your child. Contact Jane Rosenblum, (510) 869-3799, and also check out her website for the Canine/Kid Connection. Good luck. Caroline
I highly recommend Sandra Mannion. Check out her website sandramannion.com She is unbelievable with both dogs and their people. We worked with her after completing a group dog training class to help our puppy, young child and myself sort out our roles and learn appropriate behavior. We now have the sweetest dog and I think Sandra has everything to do with it. We are her biggest fans. KS
I am having trouble with my dog peeing on everything. It is getting worse and worse. He uses a kitty-litter box inside or goes outside. He been spraying everything or just going on the floor. Any help would be great. I am thinking of hiring someone for a day or two to advise me, but I don't know where to look. I am in hercules area. Lise
I highly recommend Francis Metcalf at Friends of the Family dog training. His website is www.friendsofthefamily.info patrice
We love our listener Penny. She doesn't do standard obdience or behavioral modification it is a bit different but I actually feel like I understand my dog better now. We had pooing and peeing in the house problems that have gotten much better. Plus she is really nice and easy to talk to. Take a look at her website and give her a call she will tell you a little about what she does. http://www.allabout-canines.com/ Dog pee is no fun
We just recently adopted a dog, and (assuming she masters basic commands!) we're interested in finding a fun agility class for my daughter to take with her. I've seen training happening at Terrace Park in Albany, but I have no idea who runs that, or where else it's offered. We're in Berkeley, for the record. Thanks!
The person who runs the agility classes in Albany is Nancy Frensley. I think the class is thru Bkly parks and rec....or maybe it's thru Albany Parks...you could check at the Albany community center. Nancy also does dog training thru the Berkeley East Bay Humane Society. If you can't find her, e-mail me and I''ll get her exact number. Our office manager is friends with her. I did the agility class a few years ago. It was really fun. Hope your daughter has fun, June
We are looking for a dog trainer for our 9 1/2 year old dog. She has always been a sweet dog, scared of others, but never aggressive. We the arrival of our now 11 month old daughter she has become increasingly threatened and high-strung. She growls when my daughter approaches, barks at the slightest noise, and last week she bit the plumber at my parents house (where she spends a lot of time). That was her first bite, but it needs to be her last. I would really appreciate any recommendations for trainers that can help us out. Thanks.
Try Deena Jesmok in Richmond. I've seen her work with a variety of dogs, from puppies (my own) to very aggressive nervous dogs. Over time she has helped change their behavior and teach good habits. she really loves animals and is a great teacher for humans! Her number is 235-4485. adria
I'd like to recommend a trainer that we've worked with, Deena Jesmok (235.4485). Deena worked with our family after we adopted a terrier mix from a local rescue group. Ultimately the adoption did not work out for us because the dog, although trainable, was also 'hard wired' in some very aggressive behaviors that put us and others at risk. We were, however, extremely impressed with Deena who worked with us in weekly training sessions. She was incredibly patient, calm and committed to working with all members of our family on basic obedience. She is an experienced and knowledgable trainer who is unflappable in situations where dogs become aggressive (and we witnessed many with our own dog). She gave us a lot of calm, objective counsel as we debated what to do and was very supportive after we made the decision to return the dog. We now have another dog who is much better suited to our family and we are happy to be working with Deena again. You're welcome to ask her for a refere! nce from me if you choose to meet with her, Lisa, mom of Shadow
We need a one on one dog trainer for our recently adopted young adult dog. Sirius did not work for her and the philosophy was not a good fit for our family. We can't all walk around with fanny packs stuffed with treats wherever we go! Our dog is very sweet but she barks endlessly, nips the kids sometimes and chews their stuffed animlas like crazy. Any suggestions are welcome -we are in North Berkeley
I can recommend a fabulous dog trainer for tough behaviors, such as barking, pulling on leash, chewing etc. The Dog Squad, Steve Bettcher and Patrick Gibbons. dogsquad.biz, 510 632-6594. We have 3 dogs. Our recent rescue adoption, Toots, was a little guy who barked incessantly. My other rescue dog, Gilly, would jump and pull on leash and came only when he felt like it. I did a training class with Gilly a few years ago when we got him. It was a lot of work to train him and he got some stuff but I never kept up on it. It was very time consuming and I let it go. When we got the barker(didn't know he was a barker till we had him a week or so) I knew we needed help ;and Sirius was not the place for us either. Steve and Patrick are GREAT. They use an impulse collar. Steve came to our house and did a presentation...showed a DVD of him training dogs and owners trining dogs. When he came I didn't know about the collar, he'd been highly recommended by someone else though. I was horrified, really, when I found out he used a ''shock collar''....well, we decided to go with it. First he showed us the collars and how the impulse feels on our hand. It definatley did not hurt, even at the higer levels. Just feels like an uncomfortable electric impulse. Patrick came and put the collars on our 2 dogs, showed us how to use the remote and did a training with us. In minutes each dog was changing behavior (and with no signs of discomfort from the collar).... We signed up for a ''package''. 2 collars, 2 remotes, 3 private training sessions and unlimited group classes taught by Patrick and or Steve. We now have well(weller) behaved dogs. It's been about 5 or 6 weeks. Gilly is working on healing and doing pretty well. He rarely jumps on people and when he starts to, a verbal command now works. Toots barely barks at people. There are times he freaks (he's very timid) and barks crazily but we know how to deal with it and we're still working with him. Both dogs wait at the door till we say OK to go, both dogs sit and stay and lie down and stay. The both come when called most of the time. I take them out in the morning and do training for about 20 minutes and again in the afternoon. This training has been/is SOOOO much easier than any other training I've done with dogs (I've owned dogs most of my adult life). Especially the barking issue. THis is an ongoing process and we will always need to maintain the training, but the main behavior problems are well under control. So, long explanation to recommend these great guys. You can e-mail me if you want more info. June
You might try Nancy Frensley at the Berkeley East-Bay Humane society. Her contact info is (510) 845-7735 x22 or nfrensley[at]berkeleyhumane.org. They also practice a positive reinforcement philosophy, so I don't know if it'll work for you, but it would definitely be worth talking with the trainer on the phone or email. The other dog training approach I've been impressed with is from Cesar Millan who does the Dog Whisperer show on the Natl Geographic channel. The emphasis is on understanding dog psychology and training your dog through ''canine'' language. His approach is as much about training the humans as it is about training the dogs (training the humans to be the pack leaders). He has a new book and video that could be helpful. The web site is www.dogpsychologycenter.com. It also sounds like your dog has a lot of pent-up energy - are you giving her a good, structured walk for at least 45 min. a day? You might want to start with that until you can hook up with a trainer. You should also know that, whatever training method you use, dog training will take a lot of time, dedication, and consistency on your part. -another dog guardian
If your dog is nipping your children, you need to take immediate action. Having dealt for 11 years with a dog that has aggressive tendencies, I cannot stress enough the need for you to get help, even if her nips and toy chewing seem just benignly annoying right now. It sounds like you are concerned about it, which is great. For the basic misbehavior: is she getting enough exercise? Does she have separation anxiety? Toy chewing is a sign of boredom and separation anxiety. First things first: she needs to be crate trained (it gives her a ''safe place'' to retreat when the kids are bugging her, or for you to put her when needed - and protect her while in there; don't let the kids poke or play with her there). She needs to get enough exercise. She needs to bond with a person in your family and to be taught her place on the totem pole. To bond her: clip her leash to your belt loop and keep her on it. Don't act like you're ''walking her'' - just go about your normal routine. SHE has to go where YOU go and she has to get out of your way. Never let her go through a door first. She is last in ranking. Use the NILIF rule: ''nothing in life is free.'' For example, if she asks for a treat, have her sit. I listed URL resources below to specifically help with the toy chewing.
For the aggression (for that's what nipping is, no matter how playful or harmless it is): 1. I would first think of rehoming the dog, although if she has bitten your children (even a nip) rescue organizations won't take her (although if it's a purebred, that breed's rescue group might help rehome her). For future reference, Pat Miller (mentioned below) has a 10-step evaluation method to determine if dogs are viable adoptees.
2. It is absolutely unacceptable for a dog to bite, it means the dog has crossed a boundary with regard to what it sees as okay behavior. Kids are loud, fast, and often annoying to many dogs. If your dog can't handle the stimulation, she needs her own safe place - outside or in her crate. A dog is a very social animal but it is always thinking in terms of its place in the pack. Its place is the bottom of the pack and it must recognize your children above it. If there is any ambiguity or if the dog senses an opening, it will insert itself up a level.
3. Resources for you - dog behaviorist. Jean Donaldson wrote a great book on dogs, ''Culture Clash,'' and we are lucky to have her at the SFSPCA. She is nationally respected for her work.
You can take your dog to their Marin location for an evaluation. You can also make an appointment for one of their behaviorists to come to your home to do the evaluation. 4. Resources - books and web: SFSPCA: http://www.sfspca.org/behavior/top10.shtml is Jean Donaldson's site. http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/ is a wonderful newsletter that always contains a column from Pat Miller, one of the nations best trainers. http://www.peaceablepaws.com/ is Pat Miller's site. One of the best online resources is the Aggressive Behavior yahoo list (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/agbeh/). Hundreds of behaviorists and trainers are there to help you. We've had 3 behaviorists tell us our dog was not treatable and should be put down. His breed (Weimaraners) don't do well with kids, plus our dog came from a questionable breeder. We felt we could manage his resource guarding and protect our children at the same time- but that meant he became an outside dog and the kids were NEVER outside unattended (he is MUCH happier outside away from the shrill kid noises, whereas our Rhodesian Ridgeback is like the Nana in ''Peter Pan,'' laying wherever the kids are playing). It has provided an extra 4 years of life for him and he has never acted out toward our kids. But I've spent at least 7 years intensively researching dog behavior, to help both sides stay safe. And every action around him is planned and knowledgeable.
Good for you for taking your dog's misbehavior seriously, and I hope this reply is helpful. Feel free to email me if you'd like to chat further Shannon
I have a dog walker that I like quite a lot. He also has taught obidience classes. He is easy to work with & very honest. So, you could contact him, tell him your expectations, & then I would expect he would tell you what's feasible. His name is Brian Sullivan www.piedpiperdogtraining.com Jennifer
Try the ''Uncle Matty'' (dog trainer Matthew Margolis, I think is his name) training videos. He has some simple tips that we've used on our dog which have proved effective. I don't know the exact name of his website but I know his shows have appeared on KQED during pledge drives. Dog owner
The dog obedience class recommendations are rather old (August 2002) so I'm asking for more up to date recs. Basically I'm interested in a class to help my sons, especially the 2nd grader get some ''dog sense'' and help us and the dog to get used to each other (the dog is housebroken and crate trained but not really leashed trained). We pick up our new dog this Friday (a two year Basenji/Terrier mix - very cute and loving dog that was surrendered due to his incompatability with cats - we don't have cats so that's not a problem)so I'd really like to sign us up for classes rather soon - I want the new member of our family to start off successfully! Karen H.
We found that the Berkeley Humane Society Sirius dog obedience training very helpful for us when we got our new 1-1/2 year old small dog from a rescue operation. We (adults and child) all needed training on dog obedience. Their approach is focused on movitation, rewards (not just treats, but praise, drinks of water, toys, etc.) and consistency among the humans. The training is fun and it is a great approach for kids because they encourage all family members to attend and incorporated how kids can be effective trainers too. Our dog was very responsive to the training and really wanted to ''please.'' A main approach seems to be if you train long enough and as a part of your routine, the dog will eventually learn behaviors and do them out of habit. Reward with treats starts the dog down the path of what you decide is good behavior and eventually you can wean the treats.
With a new dog, a really good way to immerse yourselves in dog training is to rent a Sirius dog training video from the library so you can watch how to train and also get a few books on obedience. Both helped us get up to speed quickly as we immediately realized the humans probably needed more training than the dog.
We also attended a dog training class by a fellow who comes to the Petfood Express (MLK and University). Although I like the store very much, we did not like the approach to training that this one teacher provided. It was based too much on punishment, corrections,and sharp yanks to the collar. That made our dog freeze up and refeuse to do anything and it took all the fun out of having a dog. I have no idea if he still teaches there. While I am no dog expert and some dogs may need a firmer approach, we just couldn't follow his advice.
Last, once you get through basic dog training, you might enjoy the dog agility classes that are offered through the Albany Rec Program on Saturday mornings at Terrace Park. We've been doing these and it is really fun to get your dog to run through tunnels and jump fences, walk bridges, etc. The teacher is great and can help on behaviors too. She uses the reward and consistency approach too. Good luck and enjoy your new pooch! Lissa
Oakland Dog Training has very good dog obedience for companion dogs. They have a series for puppies, and a series for adult dogs also. Elizabeth Soares is the teacher, and she is very kind and good at reading your dog. She also has good knowledge about types of behaviors and training that are common or suitable for particular breeds or breed mixes. Classes are held in El Cerrito near costco, right off the Central Ave. exit on Jacuzzi Street. You can reach Oakland Dog Training at 339- 3276. gayle
Congratulations on your new dog! I highly recommend the dog training classes at Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation in Walnut Creek. It would even be worth the drive if you live in Oakland/Berkeley. Here is the link to the info on the website. http://www.arf.net/Resources/training/description.html I am a volunteer and have gone through the class with some ARF dogs and was really impressed with the trainer, Jennifer, and her techniques. She uses positive reinforcement only, gentle leaders are used, no prong collars or choke chains. And she encourages the entire family to participate, especially the kids. If the drive is too far, I would suggest calling anyway for a referral to another trainer in your area. Good luck!
We just adopted a very sweet but in need of some training 3 year old dog (part border, terrior, etc.) The Milo Foundation where we got him recommends Sirius Dog Training School. I've heard this is the best one around, but it seems rather pricey at $165.00. (I know, it's worth every penny for what you get out of it, but....). Pet Food Express in Pinole also has classes for $89.00 Does anyone have experience with the Pet Food Express classes for a non puppy type dog? I was impressed with the people at PFE, their knowledge about dogs and products. Other recommendations for other classes around the Bkly/EC area? Also anyones favorite methods for introducing a new dog who chases cats, into a household with existing cats who are NOT happy with this situation. We're using the spray bottle right now (on the dog)....seems to be working...we've got a way to go. Thanks for any info. June
I took one of my dogs to the dog obedience class held by Orinda recreation, taught by Lauretta (Dellinger?), and it was great. I was dragged into the first class, and walked out calmly that same night with a dog who almost knew how to heel. It was like a miracle - and my dog just got better as the classes progressed. Although I hardly work with him at all now due to time, he is still very attentive and obedient. Smart dog, and Lauretta is a great teacher and her methods are effective. She uses small treats to make them pay attention.
I took the other dog to Donna Dale's Dog Training (due to a schedule conflict) in Martinez Adult School and didn't get nearly the same quick and lasting results. That dog may be a bit dumber, but I noticed absolutely no residual effect after that class - she still drags me around and has ''selective hearing''. when I get time, I'll take her to Lauretta's class. nancy
We have a five year old, very ''high energy'' male beagle named Curly, who was in desperate need of some training. My husband took him to Deena Jesmok 510-235-4485. She is in El Cerrito, near Barrett Ave. She provides small classes (2-3 pets) or one- on-one instruction. She is VERY good. You can teach an old dog new tricks. Curly is showing great progress. Lisa
I am a local vet, and have not met the teachers of the Pet Food Express class you mentioned. I always suggest that people visit a class given by the instructor they are interested in, and see if they like the person and whether that trainer is getting good results for the owners in the class. Dogs usually figure out if you don't like your teacher, and seem to learn very little under those circumstances. I think Sirius is a good dog socialization class, but feel that for problem behaviors the success of Sirius varies tremendously with different instructors. Matt Hibbard of Elite Dogs mentioned in a prior post now works in Sacramento, and does run classes in Alameda once weekly. Other places to look would be the Oakland SPCA, EZTrain, and Companion Dog Training. The best trainer I know of for tough behavioral problems is Alon Geva, but his cost is well over $165.00. Definately check individual classes before you start, and think less of price, and more what you plan to get out of it. 6-8 efficient weeks of good training are better than wasting time in classes or with instructors who don't seem to help you get the results you need. anon
We used Leslie Elliot of Animal Works (510-653-7765) for Dog/People Training. She is in the Rockridge/Broadway Terrace area of Oakland. I liked her alot. She also does dog walking, doggie daycare and dog boarding in her home (2 visitor max). Her recommendation for introducing dogs and cats was to install an ''I'' hook-type latch on the door of a room you can put your cat in. It should allow for enough snout room so the animals can sniff and see each other. Let them get to know each other this way over a couple week period before they have more contact. Good Luck! Terry
My friend Greta is an excellent dog trainer. She personally has two Aussie rescues, who are delightful. She's a very smart person who has spent a lot of time thinking about and working with animals and their behaviors including a fairly intensive, academic animal training camp in Arkansas. She treats animals with respect for their individual needs and temperment. Here is her write up: Greta Kaplan, of Fuzzy Logic Dog Training, is a local trainer who teaches owners how to train their puppies and dogs in basic companion behaviors and manners. She uses positive,reward-based methods. For more serious behavioral problems, she can refer you to a specialist. You can email her at nickelsmum AT yahoo.com Myriam
Oakland Dog Training teaches all their classes in El Cerrito on Jacuzzi Street (near Costco). I have trained our three dogs in their classes, and the instructors are wonderful. The classes are also very reasonably priced. The training methods are positive and gentle, and work well for dogs of all ages and backgrounds. You can dial 339-3276 for more information. There is also a website which you might be able to locate by doing an online search (I don't know the address). Gayle
We, and several of our neighbors and friends, have had excellent luck with Matt at Elite Dogs. He is particularly good with dogs who need a little extra attention. (We adopted a guide dog dropout Golden Retriever at 18 months who had significant fear issues that have all been resolved.) He now mainly operates out of his new kennel in West Sacramento, but I hear that he's down at least once a week to do some classes in Alameda, so it might be worth a call. 916/372-4700. He really turned our dog owning experience completely around -- we are thrilled. Nancy
Has anyone out there had positive experiences with local dog obedience trainers? We live in the North Oakland-Piedmont area and would love to find a good class, perhaps on Saturday mornings. new dog owner
Sirius Puppy Training. 658-8588. Hands down! One person I don't recommend is Matt Hibbard. I found out he was convicted of animal cruelty for his dog training practices in Solano County, and set up shop in Alameda since he has no record here. A bit stomach-turning! GK
We use Sirrius Dog Training located in Berk. It is the BEST hands down. We took our toy poodle at 6 wks to a class that was held for one hour for six weeks at Live Oak Park. After the first class our dog came out from under the chair to play w/the big dogs (normal size guys at 6 wks). Thats not all, he learned to sit, stay, down, roll over and numerous tricks.. Oh, yes, also to not touch highly important. Splling may be incorrect chk for their number at the Lucky Dog Pet Store in Berkeley on San Pablo they know them well. Happy Dog Owner
In response to GK about dog training: I trained both my dogs with Matt Hibbard, he did a wonderful job and even nagged my husband repeatedly about not giving the dog enough praise. I trusted him with both my dogs, and with my then-infant son and would do it again. kridgway
Highly recommended: Nikole Sledd at Creature Teachers (www.creatureteachers.com). For a price similar to the cost of group classes, Nikole actually comes to your home or preferred location, at a time that's convenient for you, and provides one-on-one training for your puppy or dog. She focuses on your needs instead of just the standard group-class topics. In just a few weeks, our puppy learned a lot of socialization, our whole family learned to train her, and the whole process was absolutely delightful. And the first consultation (again, at a location of your choice) is free! (Frankly, Nikole is so terrific and the private training is such a convenience that I'm surprised the cost is so reasonable.) Brenda
I highly recommend Elite Dogs with Matt Hibbard for dog training. I have had dog training from both Sirius Puppy and Elite Dogs. My dog was first trained by Sirius Puppy where she learned basic commands such as sit, come, and stay. However it wasn't enough for my dog who was a very big, strong, playful, energetic puppy. She was dragging me down the street with a leash, and not under voice command at the dog park. In seeking more personal attention from the Sirius Puppy trainer, I was dissatisfied. They also relied heavily on the use of treats to entice the dog to behave. A staff person at Codornices Veterninary Clinic suggested I call Matt, because he had trained many ''spirited'' dogs and saved many dogs' lives. So I did...and this is when he had just closed his business in Vallejo. Within one or two private lessons with Matt, my dog was under voice control. Matt told me to throw away the treats, and he taught me how to be a good dog owner with control over my dog so that she is very well-behaved to the point that she urinates on command!!! I have the utmost confidence in Matt as a dog trainer. He provides very personal attention and really understands dogs....from the little easy going ones to the big difficult or scary looking ones. I am so glad I went to him because I have had a very fun and loving dog for the last 9 years. Matt can be reached in Sacramento at (916) 372-4700. He still provides training in the East Bay. Lisa
Hi. My Mom is a dog obedience trainer who happens to live in Columbus Ohio. That being said, you can STILL find Quality Positive Reinforcement right here in Berkeley.
I know that you are probably completely overwhelmed by the arrival your new baby, but you sound as if you want to prepare for the baby and the dog.
Check out this link: http://www.behumane.org/training1.htm
It's the dog obedience training page of the Berkeley Humane Society web site. Nancy (the class instructor) is great and REALLY believes in positive reinforcement obedience training for ALL dogs. I used to work with her and the shelter dogs. Her rates are competitive and I can't recommend her or her classes enough. Best, Beth
Re dog obedience: There are two books by the Monks of New Skete (How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend and How to Raise A Puppy (or something like that)) that are terrific. Hang on -- three-month-old puppies are impossible (the reason they are so cute is that otherwise you would kill them), but they get better.
Try the book Good Owners, Great Dogs, as well as the puppy training book by the monks of New Skeet (I think that's the order). Both were great books. Otherwise, check out the dog obedience class at your local SPCA. Good luck!
Several people including us have taken our puppies to Oakland Dog Training Club, which actually is near the Central Ave. exit in Richmond. I'm pretty sure the dog needs shots. And the place is very clean. Their number is 510-339-3276. There's also an outdoor Saturday class given by the City of Albany at Terrace Park, which is near Gilman St., east of San Pablo Ave. And, there are classes given by well-known puppy authority Ian Dunbar, but they cost much more than the others and I've heard are no different.
My dog was trained at Elite Dogs, 634 Eagle Ave., Alameda, 510-769-7442. Matt Hibbard is an excellent trainer, and specializes in protection dogs and difficult ones. I first went through puppy school with Sirius Puppy classes. They are group classes. My dog was about 3 months old, rambunctious, chewing, almost out of control. My pup learned the commands but she was still not under control. She use to drag me down the street on leash and never listened to me at the dog park. She was as Matt told me, a near liability. I had private training with Matt, 6 sessions, and my dog was no longer top dog. He is expensive but worth every penny. After the private lessons, he will encourage you to continue going to group classes, where you can attend like 4 times for $25. The other advantage of Matt is that if he trains your dog, you can board your dog with them. Their rates are reasonable, and his facilities are probably cleaner than your home. I highly recommend him....If I hadn't taken my dog to Matt, I probably wouldn't have her now...and I am so glad I have her too!!!! Most of the dog owners who go to Matt take care of their dogs very well so I wouldn't worry about the flea problem too much.
The book that changed my dog's and my life was _How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend_ by the Monks of New Skete. I don't know about obedience classes because I trained her myself using this book and also observing a roommate who had a wonderfully trained dog. She was around 2 years old when I began, had been abandoned twice (once by me- from her perspective anyway), had been brought out of a rural environment into a city one (not to mention a different country!) and yet she learned the basics within a week. It took longer than that, of course, but I now take her everywhere I go, usually off a leash, leave her waiting outside countless places for me for lengths of time and we heel across incredibly busy streets.
It's not the technique, it's the philosophy. Training a dog is not about teaching it to obey commands, it's about cementing your relationship. Other books I read stressed dominating the dog as the alpha-wolf and started with the sit-stay. The Monks book began with what seems to be the most complicated command, the heel, because it uses the dogs natural inclination to follow it's mother and teaches it to trust you, it's owner. Once you get that down, then you can teach sit and stay (i.e. trust me to come back for you) with ease.
S. I'd like to respond to the person with the question about puppy training. I'm a veterinarian, and in my experience, Sirius Puppy Training, the program developed by veterinarian Ian Dunbar, is excellent for helping owners and their puppies come to an understanding of each other, which is the foundation of a long and rewarding relationship. They stress socialization of the puppy -- to other dogs, and also to people. While they teach the basic commands - sit, stay, etc - I think their strength is that they inform the owners about normal dog behavior, and give tools to enable effective training of acceptable behaviors at home. There are classes all over the Bay Area; for more information, call (510) 658 - 8588. The most important thing to remember when training a puppy is: be consistent, realistic, and consistent! Good luck!
A while ago there was some discussion about dog obedience classes. A couple people recommended some classes and I've also found out about other classes. There seems to be a lot of classes out there, with big differences in prices. Does anyone have any advice as to whether you get what you pay for for these classes, or whether they are all the same? Some people say they are all the same, while others say there are differences. Also, if anyone has recommendations on the following classes, it would be appreciated.
- Sirius puppy training (various locations, $145 for 6 classes)
- Perfect Paws (SF, Menlo Park)
- K9K9 (San Mateo)
- Oakland Dog Training
- City of Albany's Recreation & Community Services ($42 for 6 classes)
We've just entered the world of dog shows. It's exciting for our whole family, but there's one major problem. We don't know what we are doing. Haven't seen anything on our website about training classes for adults/kids in AKC conformation. Are their classes in the East Bay? Ever on weekends as we work during the week? The closest classes we have found are in Concord but we work in San Francisco and live in El Cerrito. Any suggestions welcome. (We have toy dogs.) Another Dog (and friends) for Peace
For conformation classes we took classes from Laurie Kauth in El Sobrante, she is a professional handler with small dogs. Her phone number is 510-223-4367.
Dog showing can be great fun for the whole family! You can start by visiting the AKC website at www.akc.org to read more about conformation, junior showmanship, and the standard for your breed. You can also request a copy of the booklet, ''Rules applying to dog shows'', which you will want to read and understand thoroughly before you enter the show ring. There is a schedule of upcoming shows there as well. There are a number of good handling books available at www.4mdogbooks.com that will explain how to train and handle your dog in the ring. I haven't shown in over 5 years, but there used to be very good handling classes held at the Kensington Youth Hut on the Arlington. I can't remember exactly, but they were held either Tues, Weds or Thurs around 7 pm. If you are willing to drive to Fremont, you can't beat Tom and Kay Lams for handling classes. They used to teach in the parking lot behind Cindy's Pet Shop. You could also check with Nancy at Dog's Best Friend in El Cerrito/Albany about handling classes. Once you and your dog are trained, you can attend practice matches before entering a real show. You can get information about local matches through the publication, ''The Campaign Trail'', which is published in Sunnyvale I believe. Finally, Oakland Dog Training holds obedience classes in El Cerrito on Jacuzzi Street, near Costco. They may also be able to refer you to conformation handling classes, and they have fliers for matches. You can reach them at 339-3276. Feel free to contact me privately for more information. I finished three champions before moving on to obedience and agility, which are great fun. Gayle