Sammy and Banshee, the Golden Retriever Mix

We cannot thank you enough for all of your assistance in training all of us (puppies and humans alike)! We had decided to rescue a dog, and as we were either first time dog owners or our experience was as a child, we were looking for a trained slightly older dog. We decided upon a Golden Retriever as a breed that would adapt well to our lifestyle (we both work long hours).

One day, we saw 3 rescue Golden Retriever Mix puppies – the cutest we had ever seen – and unwanted because they were not purebreds. Once approved for adoption, we heard that only 2 were left, and we did not have the heart to break them apart. I had NO idea what we were in for: 2 puppies, 3 months old, and siblings to boot? Wow! Were we stupid; in addition, the mix appears to be Chow, Huskey and German Shepard (none of which are recommended for the naïve dog owners like ourselves).
After two nights of getting up every 3 hours trying to potty train, and enduring the whining, the crying, and the constant assaults on our bodies, carpet and furniture, we signed up for the earliest puppy class available to them when they were old enough.

On the first day of puppy training you told us that if we did what you said, our dogs would come when we called instead of chasing a squirrel. I thought surely you were wrong, but if you could just help us to get those puppies potty trained, I would be happy. I had no idea how lucky we were to have happened across you as an instructor. You taught us everything from what leashes are the best, how to know the amount of food our puppies need, what toys to buy, appropriate and inappropriate ways to play, and so on.

Absolutely everything we did the way you told us to worked! Our puppies will sit in front of a full food bowl and will not eat until we tell them too; our puppies sit, wait, and come when we call (off leash, in the dog park, while chasing a squirrel or bunny).

The issue of deep attachment with each other is under control, and they have truly bonded with us dispite being from the same litter. This is not because they are naturally sweet, loving, and well-behaved dogs (they are not); it is because your methods are fundamentally successful. Absolutely everything we did as you suggested, worked.

If we decided to try a different approach, the puppies simply did not learn the task and we had just wasted time having to unlearn what we tried and then adopt your methods. Your advice and tutoring absolutely works, and I cannot thank you enough.

When the puppies were a little over 1 year old we were at the vet, and a big well-behaved Golden Retriever came out of an exam room. The owner looked at our dogs and commented that they looked like big versions of dogs in her puppy class. It turns out her dog (Jersey) was in the same class, and equally (well, perhaps better) well-trained. We spent 5 minutes discussing how wonderful you are Ami, and how beautifully your techniques work, and recommending you to other clients at the clinic.

Jersey’s mom even shared how you took care of Jersey when they ran into a kennel backlog during spring break, and how happy he was to have stayed with you. Ami, you probably have no idea how much you helped us all in our tiny household. You created a positive environment from which we could all learn. You were strict with us in our being disciplined, and you were kind yet firm with the puppies.

Within one week our household was on its way to some sort of relative peace (it hasn’t been calm or clean since, but peace we achieved thanks to you), and at the end of the puppy class we were all well-trained, and ready to enter adolescence!

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