Chris feels much more confident now …

Chris from Scottsdale, AZ called us at Kona’s Dog Training about his pitbull, Griffin. Chris said that Griffin was a great dog with his family and new born baby boy and that at home he listened well and enjoyed his “lap of luxury” lifestyle. Chris also talked about how he took lots of time during each day to spend with Griffin and to make sure he felt special and wanted after his baby was born, but there was one thing he couldn’t get past with Griffin…his reaction to dogs while on and off leash. Chris said that it was almost like a trance and that for Griffin nothing else mattered, but getting over to “that” dog. So, we spoke for a while and we learned a lot about the dynamics of the situation and found out very quickly that it wasn’t “aggression” that led to Griffin’s reactions around other dogs, but his need to protect the family and Chris.

When we sat down for our initial visit, we saw so much more about why Griffin was acting the way that he was. We talked with Chris about how little changes to both training tools [which include collars and leashes] as well as how to communicate with him could lessen and then eliminate his reactions to other dogs while out in public. Chris knew then that we were the right fit to help him and Griffin work through this issue. Chris signed Griffin up for the Unlimited Program and we started the training the next week.

We helped Chris with changing simple communication with Griffin. We made sure that commands like “come”, “place”, “sit” and “down” where much clearer and showed him how changing these things both inside and outside the home could better Griffin’s understanding and make things that much easier when he saw another dog. We also helped Chris use the tools to communicate with Griffin and that the tools should be helpful to him and Griffin, not a hindrance. Each week we saw so much progress that before both us of knew it we were going out to places that had a lot of dogs.

Chris feels much more confident now that he has the skills to help Griffin. He takes him out almost daily to allow him to watch and interact with other dogs in both his neighborhood and parks. He works with him on a short and a long leash to allow Griffin to build his confidence and understanding that other dogs aren’t bad or a problem, that they are just dogs.

Now they can take him to the farmers market …

Stephanie, from Gilbert, AZ contacted Kona’s Dog Training after they learned that their Bernese mountain dog – Border Collie Mix, Eli scared people when they came over. They also learned that Eli was being a nuisance to their neighbors when he would jump on the kid’s playground equipment and bark at them. Eli wasn’t being mean, but a large dog barking constantly could very well make anyone uncomfortable. Stephanie also started to notice that Eli “herded” the kids when they are playing inside the house. This was the kicker that prompted the family to look for training help because the last thing anyone wanted was for Eli to bite one of the kids when he was trying to “control” them.

When we met Eli, he wasn’t fond of us as strangers. He kept watch while we talked with the family and it took him a while to warm up to us and allow touching and petting. His “guarding” the family was definitely much more prominent when they were in a strange place rather than at home. Eventually though, Eli began to trust and by the end of the visit, became a pretty fast friend. Stephanie was very happy by this and knew that signing up for training with us was the right thing. She signed Eli up for the Unlimited Program, which allowed her and the family to work with Eli on his behaviors around the kids and the neighbors at her pace and help her feel more comfortable.

During each lesson Eli progressed so nicely. He learned how to walk well on leash. After only the second lesson he learned “down” even while we allowed the kids to “run amuck”. It was hard at first, but Eli quickly learned that the adults would handle any situation and all he needed to do was just enjoy watching them play. Eli has also learned that the playground equipment is off limits and that while not every neighbor is the friendliest, that his are…..when he is being just as polite.

Stephanie and the family tell us that they are doing very well with Eli and even take him to the farmers market to get him out and about town. They feel a lot more comfortable now know that Eli isn’t a “bad dog”, but just a dog who needed guidance and expectations both inside and outside the home to become the best family dog he would be. We are all looking forward to seeing what the future holds!

She wasn’t “aggressive”, but that she was “over excited”…

John from Tempe, AZ called Kona’s Dog Training after his family adopted Hannah, a pitbull, from the Maricopa County Shelter. They loved Hannah because when she met their two small children she had the best time with them. Hannah allowed the children to play all over her and pull her ears and tail. They would run around and play without any issues from Hannah. It was as if Hannah was their newest “nanny”.

After the first couple of meets the family knew she was the dog that was just right for them. That is, until they got home and took a walk in their neighborhood. Without being given much information from the shelter other than “she did ok” Hannah didn’t have the best reaction to other dogs. Even when she couldn’t see them through a fence, she would bark, lunge and pull at the end of the leash to try and get to the dogs she knew were there. John described it as getting his armed pulled from his socket. John had tried lots of tools, like the harness, gentle leader and even just Hannah’s tag collar, with no success. That was when the family decided to find help with her training because they didn’t want to give up on a dog that was so great with the family, but scary in public.

After meeting, John and the family felt we were the right fit to help with Hannah’s reactions around other dogs and they signed her up for our Boarding School Program. When John dropped Hannah off on her first day, he was able to bring her inside and see the living situation Hannah would be getting comfortable in over the two week stay and as soon as we
brought her in, John was shocked by her “non-reaction” to the other dogs that were waiting politely inside of their crates.

When Hannah settled in, she was breezing through her commands. She learned “come” quickly and continued to run up to us like an excited puppy. She found her “place” to be a comfy spot where she could rest her mind and enjoy laying “down” whenever asked. The best part of all….she learned valuable social skills with the other dogs. We found that Hannah wasn’t “aggressive”, but that she was “over excited” around other dogs and had
learned skills that seemed rude to other dogs. Before she headed home, Hannah changed all of that. She learned how to understand dog to dog play and when it’s appropriate to be energized and excited and when it was time to be calm and casual.

John was so happy to have Hannah home because his kids had missed her so much and the best thing of all was how much better she listened and how much calmer she was during the times when the family couldn’t involve her in family activities. They even wondered if she was the same dog they had left. Hannah now walks very well on a leash and the family gets to enjoy evenings going around the neighborhood spending that calm, quality time together with Hannah nicely by their side.

Millie is so much better around other dogs now…

Sandy and Gary Criter, from Fountain Hills, AZ called us at Kona’s Dog Training looking for answers and help for their newly adopted Australian Shepherd Mix, Millie. They had told us they were looking for a great companion for their older Boxer and went to the rescue and fell in love with Millie right away.

Millie was found of the Navajo Reservation and had recently had a litter of puppies, and Sandy and Gary knew they couldn’t leave her. They were not given much information about Millie because she had only been at the rescue a few days and took her home without any issues. That changed on a day later when they were on a walk and Millie began lunging and barking at passing people, but was even worse when she saw another dog. She would growl and pull on the leash, almost knocking Sandy to the ground. Sandy and Bill knew this was a problem and they didn’t feel comfortable even going outside to their front yard.

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Sandy and Gary came in for a visit and said that they could never give up on Millie, but couldn’t live with the fear that they couldn’t control her. She didn’t listen to any commands in the house and outside she was in a whole other world. They were worried this couldn’t be fixed and felt like there was no hope, but we reassured them that that wasn’t the case at all.

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They were not alone in this and many owners have these concerns with dogs every day. After this, they signed Millie up for our Unlimited Program right away. Each lesson we taught Sandy and Gary how to use the proper leash and how to communicate with Millie without getting overwhelmed. We worked on getting Millie to listen better to commands by teaching her rules and showing how discipline would help to clarify any confusion. Every time they came for a lesson, which included home and public lessons we all saw great progress with Millie’s reactions around dogs and crowds. She was calmer and began watching her surroundings, instead of fearing them. Dogs barking in their backyards, kids playing in their yards and people saying “hi” became something Sandy and Gary came to enjoy and Millie relaxed around. Sandy and Gary are really happy that retired life includes Millie!

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Bailey is enjoying the freedom of being off leash…

Mackenzie, from Tempe, called us at Kona’s Dog Training because she felt she needed some help with her Golden Retriever, Bailey. When she was first describing her concerns, we knew we could help her immediately. Mackenzie told us that she was unable to walk Bailey on a leash because every time she went outside Bailey “almost takes my arm off”. Bailey was also a big counter jumper and wandered around the house looking for anything any one of Mackenzie’s roommates might drop or leave out. Bailey was doing all the things so many owners face on a regular basis and Mackenzie felt saddened that there might not be anything that could be done. She said she was even told by another trainer that her dog was “untrainable”.

Mackenzie came in for a visit with Bailey and we reassured her that Bailey was absolutely trainable and could be a wonderful, enjoyable family dog. Bailey is still an adolescent or “teenager” and teaching her rules and Mackenzie’s expectations would be easy, once we taught Bailey how to understand. Mackenzie was very excited to hear this and happy to know that someone could help her. She immediately signed Bailey up for our Boarding School Program.

Bailey stayed with us for our two week program and had a great time learning commands like “come”, “place”, “down” and “let’s go”, which is learning to walk nicely on a leash. Bailey even learned how to interact and politely be around and play with other dogs. She learned life skills that Mackenzie has already told me she has practiced. Mackenzie called me while on vacation with Bailey at a lake to say that Bailey is enjoying the freedom of being off leash and wandering around. Bailey now comes when called and can be trusted to listen without a problem no matter the distractions. Mackenzie is doing a wonderful job taking Bailey to lots of places and practicing everything they both have learned. She is taking this “untrainable” dog to new heights!

Now They Listen and are Much More Polite…

Carl and Deanna, from Tempe, AZ, signed up Rugger and Rossie, their Belgian Tervurens, for our boarding school program when the dogs became a little more than they felt they could handle. Rugger and Rossie would bark and lunge at the other dogs and people during walks in the neighborhood and they would jump on people when they entered into their home. Rugger and Rossie would also bark at a lot of different noises when they were inside their home and fed off of each other’s energy when they got over excited about something. Carl and Deanna were not sure how to handle this because they were not even able to get the dogs to go inside of a crate let alone be able to have them respond to commands.

Rugger and Rossie stayed for our boarding school program at different times so they could interact with other dogs and learn to be polite and engage with as many dogs and people as possible. Both dogs improved tremendously during the stay and they would listen better to commands, like “come”, “place” and “down” as well as walk nicely on leash, even with other dogs or people around. They each learned to love their own crate during their stay and now spend quality time in them while their family does daily activities.

Carl and Deanna are incredibly happy with the progress Rugger and Rossie have made. They learned the skills to help them relax around the neighborhood and know how to address anything that may come up when they are on their daily walks. They listen to commands and are much more polite when people come over to their house. Deanna has also taught them
how to walk on the treadmill inside their house, so during those hot summer days Rugger and Rossie can still get great exercise. I wonder how much more these two will learn in the future. Maybe tightrope?…maybe not!

Now Peanut Can Go To More Places…

Ana, from Mesa, AZ called us after Peanut, her Corgi – Chihuahua mix had snapped and bit her friend during a house party. Peanut also lunged while on the leash and barked and growled at people when they walked by and inside her home. Ana was very worried that Peanut was aggressive and couldn’t be around people. She needed help and training to see if Peanut was able to be a friendly confident dog, rather than a fear biter. When Ana set up her visit with us, she was so surprised that Peanut didn’t initially lunge, bark and growl when she first met us. Peanut actually warmed up very quickly and was even confident enough to approach and smell. She even responded well to touch and talk.

Ana signed Peanut up for our Advanced Boarding School program, were she stayed with us for four weeks and learned everything from manners, leash walking nicely and socializing with other dogs and people too. After a couple of days Peanut was already skilled in general obedience and would respond to verbal commands. After that we focused her training on getting her out in public, going to brunch and Home Depot as well as our local parks and places where people and dogs frequented often. Eventually Peanut went everywhere and calmed down so much that people complemented her on her behavior. People had no idea she was once a dog who was afraid and uncomfortable to be around people. Peanut made her biggest progress while playing and interacting with other dogs. She learned very quickly that she was allowed to voice her opinion about how other dogs could interact with her; that she was allowed to say “no” and learned that many dogs respect that. She then realized that she didn’t need to be loud to communicate. She stopped barking around other dogs and very simply let out a small growl to let other dogs know she needed a little space. She eventually warmed up so well that she started to play and engage with them.

Ana was so happy when Peanut went home. She learned how to communicate with her better and how to handle any uncomfortable situations, so Peanut could lean on her to guide her through any issues. She learned to trust Ana that much more. Ana now feels more confident with Peanut and she has been taking her to more and more places and continues
to build both of their confidence. They are striving to have the next 10 plus years be the best!

Their relationship couldn’t be better…

Karen, from Mesa, AZ called us to see if Bodhi, her 8 month old standard poodle would be a good candidate for work as her service dog. We scheduled a visit to talk everything over and see if he might have the personality for service work. Well, when they arrived I questioned Bodhi’s age almost immediately since he was a very calm, relaxed and well- mannered poodle who sat next to Karen almost the entire time we talked.

Bodhi was curious, but not over excited about the facility and he engaged with me when I encouraged interaction. Karen and I talked for a while and I then found out that she was having some trouble with him while on leash and coming when called. Bodhi was too happy to see people out on walks and would pull slightly on leash. While his pulling was not what most people were used to it was hard on Karen, whose health isn’t the greatest. Bodhi also listened sporadically inside the home, not listening to commands regularly.

Karen decided to sign Bodhi up for our Unlimited Program as well as having him stay with us for boarding while she traveled back to Kansas. We knew to even consider service work, we would have to get his excitement in public down and get him to listen consistently in all types of environments. Karen was so happy to get the guidance she needed to work with Bodhi. She practiced every day and constantly came back to lessons sharing her progress.

standard poodle training for mesa az

Bodhi started to walk much nicer on leash only after a few days of our first lesson and would consistently come when called after the third. Karen loves spending her days interacting with Bodhi and building their relationship. Service work is just around the corner.

Karen has even moved one step further with Bodhi’s training, working him with an electronic collar to get long distance coming when called better. Karen wants Bodhi to have the freedom of all the acres she has in Kansas, but with the reliability of knowing that even when he can’t hear her that he should still “check in” when the collar is used. This way she doesn’t have to worry about Bodhi getting lost or not listening. He responds to her using the collar every time now, even at close to a half of a mile away. Their relationship couldn’t be better and Karen is so happy knowing that Bodhi will one day soon be her very own helper.

She will answer me in a timely manner…

I came to the valley for the winter with my 8 month old standard poodle. I was needing to get a trainer that was not only willing to train my Bodie but also myself. Gabby not only is awesome with Bodie, she can explain the different techniques & the reason why to perfection.

If I have a question I can text her & she will answer me in a timely manner. I know that we have the best trainer that there is and for that I am very grateful! I think Gabby is the BEST!!!!!

-Karen D.

Now Stormy listens very well …

Luke Ruiz, from Scottsdale, AZ was at the dog park one day when he noticed a red nosed pitbull calmly listening to his owner after a Great Dane had been bothering him. Luke thought it was awesome how this pitbull stayed so calm even when he was being bombarded by this annoying dog, so he started talking with the owner. He quickly found out that the dog, Benny had gone through our Unlimited Program and was doing great with the commands his owner was working so well with him on.

After getting our card, Luke called us to schedule a visit to talk about training for his Akita, Stormy. Luke knew that Stormy was a nice and well-mannered dog, but she didn’t listen very well and sometimes was a little rude to the other dogs in the dog park. Luke wanted help learning why she was doing these things as well as how to get her to listen better.

Akita Training Scottsdale, az

After calling, setting up a visit and sitting down with us, Luke signed up Stormy right away for our Unlimited Program because he had already felt that Kona’s Dog Training was the right fit for him. We scheduled regular lessons and helped Luke to get Stormy to walk nicely on leash, listen better to commands, especially “come” and helped him to understand why Stormy did many of the things she did. Luke asked questions, like “why does Stormy follow me around the house?”, “why does Stormy listen to me sometimes, but not all the time?” Luke learned a lot of things about dogs while training. Like, often it doesn’t matter what you say, but how you say it and how he feels around Stormy and how to acknowledge those feelings when they aren’t the best. Luke, like many of our clients, learned a lot about himself just as much as he did about training with his dog.

Luke tells us he couldn’t be happier about the training help he received with Stormy. He tells us often that he has so much more work to do on himself than with Stormy!

Akita Training Scottsdale, az

Luke now finds that Stormy listens very well at home, out on walks and at the dog park, where he doesn’t have to worry about what might happen with other dogs. Luke and Stormy’s relationship has grown leaps and bounds since he first adopted her.

Akita Training Scottsdale, az