25 August 2014
Wow, I can’t believe Z and I have only been working with Erin since January. When we were looking for a trainer I was determined to find someone who could help us prepare for AKC Obedience competitions while at the same time helping me work through some of Z’s issues around other dogs (lunging, barking, etc.). After months of frustration in trying to find a trainer, Erin was recommended to me by one of her colleagues and I can’t be happier. In Erin, my now 18+ month old Spanish Water Dog “Z” (Ariosa Fundy Bay It’s A Wonderfullife CD) and I found a trainer that can motivate, inspire and help us achieve the high goals we have set for ourselves.
Erin’s training and experiences have given her an uncanny ability to sense when we’re having trouble with a particular task and to then find ways to help us move past our roadblock. Erin took time to learn about both of us and how we worked together, it was definitely not “cookie cutter” training! When I first asked Erin for her opinion of Z’s potential she said “the sky’s the limit” and while I was hopeful, I didn’t really believe her. Now, a little over six months later, Z has earned both her AKC Beginner Novice (BN) and Novice (CD) Obedience titles. In addition, she has gained confidence and is more comfortable around strangers – both human and canine – than I ever thought she’d be. While she is still a young dog and has the occasional lapse, I’m not concerned when I take her to competitions, on walks/hikes, or to visit friends. I don’t know how Z’s AKC Obedience career will end, I do know that we have a solid foundation to build upon and can rely on Erin’s professionalism, friendship and caring us as we move forward.
A few years ago if you would have asked me what my relationship was like with our dog Dixie I would have told you that it was a love/hate relationship! I had just started staying home with my son full-time, had an at home child care business, and was also spending a lot more time with Dixie. She was driving me crazy most days. I couldn't bare her unruly behavior; she was eating food off the table, tearing up my baskets, knocking over children and the list goes on and on. Dixie was two years old at the time so the puppy behavior should have been somewhat over with and I wondered if I could ever get control of her. She had no respect for me or my eight year old son. By some miracle I met Erin and decided to take Dixie to her basic training group class. It was amazing the difference that took place within the first few weeks and the total transformation of Dixie by the end of the eight weeks. Erin did a wonderful job demonstrating the techniques to use when training and was extremely helpful with any questions. There was times when I felt like I needed a little more help and she would take Dixie and show me what I was doing wrong or what I needed to correct. By the end of the eight weeks Dixie was no the only one that changed, I had fallen inn love with my dog again. After the classes we were able to take Dixie everywhere we went and show off all her cool "tricks." The class gave her a purpose and focused her energy on positive behaviors. She is a wonderful dog and what I learned through Erin's classes has helped me with out other dogs as well. I plan to sign up our weimaraner for the basic obedience class as soon as our schedule allows. Erin has also spent time with our dogs in her home and takes wonderful care of them. When we pick them up they are clean and well fed; our dogs are partial to us, of course, but theya re always happy to see Erin. Like many families our dogs are like our children, we only want the best for them and I wouldn't consider taking them to any other trainer. The proof is in Dixie!!
I love my dog. His name is Bruce. He's a purebred Doberman, and the apple of my eye. I got Bruce when he was 8 weeks old and immediately began my search for a suitable trainer. Owning a Doberman who has never crossed paths with a professional trainer is just plain foolish, and downright dangerous. I will confess right now that I got Bruce on the advice of a therapist who said a pet would help me control my depression. The therapist's counsel was right on the button and so Bruce is more than a pet. He shoulders a great deal of the responsibility for keeping me on an emotionally even keel. The correct trainer for him was of utmost importance to me.
We originally settled on a local trainer who, more than anything else, made glaringly apparent our naiveté in such matters. Other than the painful education (painful for us and for Bruce) he provided, I will say only that he was not the right fit and should have retired himself over a decade ago.
After withdrawing from his classes, my husband and I began again in earnest to find the ?right? trainer. Now that we knew what we DIDN'T want, we also knew what we DID want.
At long last, I found Erin. Warm, friendly, and thoroughly professional, she took Bruce in hand immediately and the bond that clicked between them seemed almost magnetic. With her endless patience and persistence, Erin let Bruce know he had met his match and she would not only insist upon his respect, she would EARN it. And she did. Anything she requires of him, he works his heart out to give her. And, when I need her advice, she?s only a phone call away.
Erin's youth and enthusiasm, coupled with her excellent and up-to-date education received at the Tom Rose School for Professional Dog Trainers, give her an edge over many other dog trainers. Erin?s energy seems endless. Her knowledge regarding the needs and abilities of her four-legged students, and her natural instinct when it comes to directing the responses of the dogs--as well as providing the owners with the tools they require to instill proper behavior in their pets--exhibits Erin?s gentle confidence and rare wisdom.
Our classes start the instant I get Bruce out of the car and continue the entire half hour, yet Erin views quitting time with a relaxed eye. If I need extra help, or Bruce is struggling with a particular command, she has no problem shrugging off the clock entirely and staying with us until we get it.
I am a middle-aged woman whose children have grown and gone. Bruce is my most constant companion. I make sure everything in his life is of superior quality and insist on providing him with the best of all things, which is why Erin is his trainer. Simply put: No one else will do.
Gerrardstown, West Virginia