“I am a person who needs hands on training to really learn something without frustration so working with Louisa was KEY for putting into action what we were reading about! She showed us step by step basics, watched Bella and I together to give helpful feedback and tips and the best part was that she introduced us to all kinds of fun games that build a strong recall (Ha! that means she comes to me even when she is busy playing or hiking off leash:))) Bella and I are also doing some classes to get used to learning and working together in the midst of her FAVORITE distraction–other dogs! Louisa has so much experience and enthusiasm and knowledge that it all feels like just playing:)”
Katie Buller, Summit County, CO
“We got our dog Merlin from a shelter in Pittsburgh in October 2012. We wanted a second dog because we loved our first shelter dog so much, and both of us wanted to have a dog at the end of the leash when we did activities together – explore, swim, car trips, training classes – we live pretty dog-centric lives. Merlin is a border collie cross. The shelter said she would make a great family dog and labeled Merlin a “green dog” – an easy dog. My husband was in grad school and this seemed perfect. We were planning the training and dogs sports classes we would be part of.
When we brought Merlin home, it was a very different reality. In the first two weeks of having her home we discovered that she was a major car chaser and a very reactive dog. At about the two-week point she bolted from the car, leash attached, ran down the four lane, 45mph road and we thought she would never make it. My husband, who was in pursuit, was hit by a car while attempting to retrieve her and when he hit the pavement, Merlin came back to him. All were pronounced fine at the scene. Merlin chases cars, rain and spots of light on the floor, ceiling and walls and has panic attacks leaving the house. We were living in apartments and were struggling just to get her to do her business. She had severe separation anxiety and about three months in, decided that dogs she met outside were the enemy. She was just terrified and extremely reactive just leaving the apartment.
We knew we needed help and found out shortly after adopting Merlin that we were moving to the Roaring Fork Valley. We started to research trainers. Positive trainers were a must. We were not dog novices – out first dog, Ruka, was trained through entirely positive methods, knows upwards of 20 tricks and participated on dog sports teams. We were so lucky to find Louisa! We began working in May at the Aspen Animal Shelter. She gave us tools to redirect Merlin’s energy and focus – something we previously had no success at. In the first two months, we had more control and could finally begin to take Merlin on walks around the neighborhood! It was such a victory! We recently began to work at our home – now we have general tools and we’re working to build Merlin’s self-confidence and expand her safety net from beyond our house and yard. She is making great strides!
We try to work every day with Merlin. We know we’re in a long term relationship with Louisa and are so thankful to be working with her. Louisa helped us learn how what we do can affect Merlin’s reactions – or at least help mitigate them. Louisa gave us the tools to be able to communicate with Merlin – we’re now speaking the same language and are able to really work as a team. We look forward to reporting Merlin’s future successes and we highly recommend Louisa to anyone who is looking for a trainer and to deepen their bond with their dog.
Tracy Schreiber and Andre Bouchard, Carbondale CO
“My three year old golden, Sage, and I have been training with Louisa since Sage was about six months old. We participated in Rally, Agility, Skijoring and Squirrel classes. We also earned Sage’s good citizen certificate during one obedience class, which was nothing short of a miracle for a young, curious dog with a short attention span! A couple of summers ago, Louisa helped us rehabilitate Sage’s leg through her “Dog Pilates” program. We had tried canine physical therapy but the therapists were unable to maintain Sage’s focus and have her perform her exercises. Louisa was able to show me how to hold Sage’s attention and have her perform a series of exercises that strengthened her weak leg.
Louisa’s training philosophy centers upon capturing and rewarding positive behavior, building the relationship between a dog and his/her human and having fun. I have been amazed at what, with Louisa’s guidance, I have been able to teach Sage to do and how well the training translates to real life situations. The bonus is that all of the training has been incredibly fun!”
Julie Dragons, Summit County CO