When my husband and I adopted Ginny, a Chow/German Shepherd cross at the Humane Society, she was already 6 years old and we had no information about her background prior to her arrival at the pound 3 months earlier. We soon discovered that she was probably mistreated in her past and as a result, she showed aggressive tendencies toward some strangers. She knew some of her basic commands, but I had never taken a dog through obedience training and had no idea the best ways to reinforce her positive behavior and correct the negative behavior. We began researching various dog-training programs in the area and were very interested in the training methods at Canyon Crest K9. After speaking with Ron over the phone about Ginny’s unpredictable aggression toward strangers, he assured me that the Canyon Crest program would help teach me techniques to work with her and that it would give us the tools that we were looking for to modify her behavior. Before committing to the program, we wanted to see how it worked, so we set up an appointment to watch another dog’s one-on-one training session with Cara Putnam. Seeing Cara’s calm approach to training the dog handler as well as the dog really convinced us that this was the right program for us. When I started the training, I thought that Ginny was going to get most of the training, but I was wrong. The program really focused on teaching me the correct way to handle my dog and to make the subtle corrections that Ginny quickly learned to follow. I can’t say enough about how great Cara and Ron were during training sessions. Their calm, confident instruction helped me become a better pet owner/handler and helped to correct Ginny’s erratic behavior. One of the most memorable lessons we had was the session where Ron taught me how to get Ginny to come to me, while off-leash, on a single command. When he told me to let her off her leash for the lesson, I just knew it was going to be a disaster and that we were going to spend the 30-minute session chasing her down to get her back. However, by the end of the lesson, she was coming to me without hesitation. My husband and I were both shocked at how little time it took to achieve such amazing results. I truly believed that Ginny would never come to us on command, but now she does. The group sessions have been a tremendous benefit in our continuing training. The lessons we learned during the initial one-on-one classes are reinforced with every session, and it allows me an opportunity to train Ginny around other people and dogs in a controlled environment. Ginny’s behavior has improved tremendously and she is a much happier, more responsive dog. The training continues, and I realize that her training (and mine) are a long-term commitment that take dedication, consistency, and time.

Tacoma, WA