Case Studies and Testimonials

…and they lived happily ever after

 

People come to us for a variety of reasons. Some simply want their dog to have better house manners or stop pulling on the leash. Others call us to help them find a special dog to love. But for some owners facing difficult behavioral problems, we are often their last hope. Their beloved dog has become aggressive or destructive, fearful or high-strung. They love their dog, but something has gone terribly wrong. Life has become increasingly unbearable, even dangerous. 

Whatever your story, we can help you have a more obedient dog, a more enjoyable relationship. We've been crafting happily-ever-after stories for dogs and their families for over twenty-five years. From helping you find just the right dog to solving the most difficult behavior problems and everything in between. Let us design a dog training program for your happy ending. 

Below are a few stories to illustrate the range and uniqueness

of the training and behavior services we can offer you.

Little Puppy Twinkie: Big Dog Behavior Problems

John, 
Just a short note to thank you for your wisdom and guidance with our new puppy. As you know, I spent twenty years trying to find a pet for my family that my allergies would allow me to tolerate. So, finding an adorable American Hairless Terrier that I am not allergic to was a very special event for me. 

Then, bringing the dog home and finding out that she was growling, barking and downright nasty to one of my children was very alarming! I got even more upset as I got conflicting opinions from professionals including the veterinarian, the breeder, other dog owners, and of course, the ubiquitous google. I was advised to do everything from give her extra treats, to drug her, to send her back to the breeder. Nothing felt right and everyone in the family was very stressed. 

Your advice and guidance was straightforward, practical, made sense, and, most importantly, is improving the situation. No drugs, no punishment, but no extra cookies either! We are all learning our new roles and enjoying our sweet pet more and more very day. Now, she's not perfect, but neither are we!  

We are continuing to work with her and slowly see changes. As I look back on our discussions, it is clear to me that you are not only great with managing dog behavior, you are pretty good with people too! 

Thank you again for your even handedness of approach, and your great understanding of dogs . . . and people . . . 

Audrey

Finding Hope: A Chocolate Lab Finds a Home for the Holidays

The CEO of a Fortune 500 Company wanted to find a fun-loving year-old Labrador Retriever for his children. He didn't want to leave this important decision to chance but knew he didn't have the time or knowledge to find the perfect match. John met him at his home to discuss his needs and assess the family situation first hand. 

After weeks of researching, calling, and traveling to breeders, John located a wonderful young Chocolate Lab female. She was brought home to live with our 5 children and our own dogs where she learned basic obedience, house manners, and given plenty of exercise, social interactions and structured play time.

The result — a Christmas morning that will last a lifetime, a cherished new family member and a quick and easy transition that ensures a picture perfect ending. Eternally joyful, Hope continues to come back and visit us every now and again.

Taming TK: The Little Dog with the Big Attitude

A small business owner took her Miniature Daschund to work every day. This little dog with a big attitude quickly learned if she said "jump" she could make everyone say "how high?!" Her territorial and fear-based aggression had everyone in her office on edge.

The doorbell became a game of ring and run - when she heard the ring, she would run down the hall barking and then biting the ankles of whoever was at the door. But TK's owner had an even bigger problem. She was moving and would have to take TK on a plane. She knew she'd never be able make it unless she fixed TK's vexing and frightening behavior problems. 

John went to her office to witness TK's aggressive behavior in person. By the end of this first visit, TK was retrained to respond to the doorbell with more appropriate behavior. John then worked with TK in other social situations outside of the office. 

The result — After only a few training sessions, TK learned to live without fear and not only tolerates but enjoys people. Her ecstatic owner can't believe the change. Having learned basic obedience and with her aggression at bay, TK is a much more enjoyable dog both in and out of the office.

Two Jack Russell Terriers Plus a Staffordshire: Equal a Houseful of Mayhem

Murphy a 9-year old male Jack Russell, Jackie a 3-year old female Jack Russell and Sydney a 6 year old female Staffordshire Terrier came to us with problems including excessive barking, marking and peeing in the house, jumping on counters, getting in the garbage, rushing out the door, socialization problems with other dogs, anxiousness, running away, pulling on the leash, and more. We took Sydney and Jackie into our home for a week and worked with all three dogs and their owners at their home.

The result —

Hi John, 

Just wanted to say thanks again for all the progress you made with Sydney & Jackie. They are both exceeding our expectations.

Sydney (our 6 year old Staffordshire Terrier) is now calm in her crate, does not jump on any furniture or people, and responds to "here", "sit" and "off" very well. Barking is at a bare minimum, maybe one woof here and there...and that's about it. She's much more attentive to our commands. On walks and in the yard, she is focused on us rather than the passers by. Sydney sits before she is let outside or inside, rather than just rushing in and out of the door.

Jackie (our 3 year old Jack Russell) has made great improvements. Her barking and over excitement has been curbed substantially. She's much more focused on us and is doing well with sitting before being released outside/inside. Most importantly, the hysteria when we walk in the door is under control. It's now peaceful when we arrive home.

Murphy (our 9 year old Jack Russell) has picked up in the other two dogs' behavior. It's a much calmer home to live in. All the dogs seem more content and at ease. Brian and I thank you very much and look forward to your follow-up visit!

-Nicole

Three Generations of Care: Rottweilers Bruno, Hugo & Kaiser

Twenty years ago John was asked to train and care for a wonderful year-old Rottweiler on a beautiful historic estate in Connecticut. Nearly every day John took Bruno out to play and train. John trained and titled Bruno in Schutzhund earning the SchH I, SchH II, and SchH III training titles. 

Bruno lived with our family when his owners travelled—we were his second family. When Bruno's son Hugo was born, we raised him until he was ready for his new home and then continued the training and play for both dogs. We were there for Bruno and his family through his cancer treatments and helped him adjust to the loss of one of his legs. Eventually we were there with his family to console them in their loss when Bruno passed away at a ripe old age. We kept Bruno's legacy alive as we cared for his son, Hugo. Kaiser is the third generation and newest addition to the family.

The result — The security of knowing your beloved furry family member has a home away from home when you can't be there.

Saving Rusty: GSD Now Drug-Free, Healthy and Happy

A young paramedic and his wife were very much in love with their half American, half Czech German Shepherd dog. But poor Rusty was rarely at peace. His working side compelled him to be on near-constant sentry duty, but his soft-nerves made everyone and anything seem threatening. He spent his days bouncing on the couch and going ballistic whenever anyone passed by his front window.

His owners were afraid to entertain, worried about what would happen when they had children and afraid to take him off the property. He became overweight and under-exercised exasperating his problems. Because of their devotion to their beloved dog, this young couple went from trainer to trainer desperate for a solution, but to no avail. Distraught, the paramedic called John begging for a solution. They spoke several times on the phone and traded emails. They agreed to meet, but based on previous experiences, the paramedic was skeptical that any training could work out. John's advice sounded good, but why would he be any different?

Rusty came to us for behavior modification and training that included confidence building, constructive play, obedience and socialization. Rusty learned he could handle a lot of things and that not everything was a threat. John taught him appropriate outlets for his pent up energy and countered his aggressive behavior helping him learn how to stay in control. 

Back home, Rusty's owners were taught how to read Rusty's facial expressions and body postures, allowing them to counter growing anxiety before it became aggression and to channel this energy into more constructive behaviors that would lead to successful outcomes. Additionally, John taught the couple how to lead their pack so Rusty didn't have to.

 

The result — No more death sentence, no more pills. Rusty learned to relax and enjoy life and can now get the exercise he needs to maintain his physical and mental health. With his anxiety diminshed and his aggression under better control, Rusty's owners can finally enjoy the loving, playful, loyal pet that was underneath all that anxiety and aggression.


"John,

After being told many times by half a dozen "professional" (I use that term loosely) dog trainers to "put Rusty to sleep" and "I wouldn't keep a dog like that", only you understood how important Rusty was to us, and why putting him "to sleep" was only a last resort. We tried everything for him, even taking him to a Board Certified Animal Behavioralist, all without an ounce of help. He was on medication daily to help calm him down, at the cost of $30 a month, without help.  

My wife and I can only wish we found you sooner. Your passion for dogs, especially German Shepherds like Rusty, can be easily seen just minutes after talking to you. I can honestly say, you were worth every penny we spent, plus some!!! After taking our "child" from us and bringing him to your home, Angela and I were both honestly skeptical. You made the transition very painless for us, constantly updating us on his progress! What you brought back to us one month later was amazing. A well mannered, well behaved, and a much less aggressive dog, not to mention he's in the best shape of his life!!! 

Before we couldn't even consider having strangers in the house, now, life is much easier and much less stressful for Rusty. He understands what's acceptable and what's unacceptable behavior. I can only say this about you John, you define a "Professional Dog Trainer." We both understand that training is a constant, but you have laid down a very sturdy foundation for us to work with. I have recommended you to several people, including our Vet. Please reiterate to potential clients that you may have in the future how important you are to difficult dog behavior. Also feel free to use me as a reference to any clients that may be skeptical leaving their dogs, as we were.  

Again, from Angela, Rusty, and I, a huge thank you from the bottom of hearts."

Three's a Crowd: Helping Hudson the Rescue Labrador Fit In

Hudson was a rescue lab who was out of control. Besides general disobedience and behavior problems, Hudson didn't know how to interact appropriately with the two older labs in his new home. His family of five humans and three dogs was having a hard time dealing with their new rambunctious member.

Hudson came to live with our large family full of kids and dogs of all ages. In the two weeks he was with us, he learned to play retrieval games, how to respond to children and other dogs and beginning obedience. Once home John worked with Hudson's family showing them how to play and work with Hudson and the new house rules that would set Hudson up for success.

The result — One big happy family that stays in touch with us and continues to refer dogs and their people to us year after year.

Kinetic Lulu: The Super-Charged Rat Terrier Jumping Bean

Lulu, a super high energy year old Rat Terrier was out of control. Pulling, spinning and jumping, she didn't come when called and would nip one of her owners mercilessly. She was difficult to walk and went after other dogs. Lola's mind and body were in constant kinetic tension. 

Lulu came to live with us for 3-4 weeks where she learned to how to stay in control and channel her energy into more constructive behaviors. Once she gained control over herself, she was taught house manners, socialization, and basic obedience.

The result — By relieving her from the anxious tension that had previously characterized her life, Lulu learned to keep her mind and body under control.

Raising Riley: Our Sweet Golden Retriever Girl

A busy New York City attorney was looking for a family companion but knew his schedule wasn't compatible with properly raising a puppy. He had researched several breeders and located a couple of older puppies he was interested in.He wanted us to check out the dogs and their breeders to help him make the final selection. We were then to raise this special puppy for him and have her ready when his new home was finished.  

John spoke at length with him about his dream dog and then went to look at the first puppy. Although she was very nice, she wasn't a match. The next dog, sweet Riley, a gentle 6-month old Golden Retriever was just right. We took her into our home and raised her as our own. 

The result — Riley arrived trained and ready to move in to her new home where she provides her beloved owner with limitless joy and serenity. She also comes back to visit with us every now and again. After Riley past away, we brought Jenny into their lives and continue to care for her as we did Riley.

 

Call John to see how you and your dog can live happily ever after! 

203-232-8018

©2020 by John Rodriguez Elite Canine LLC 

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