"My fiance and I purchased schutzhund doberman from a breeder in Oregon a little over a year ago. My fiance was confident this would be like every other doberman he had had and he would be easy to train. We did all of your ordinary training you would do with a puppy but boy were we in for a surprise when our adorable little baby grew into a 100 lb ball of uncontrollable fire! Still though, we were both convinced that we could handle him on our own. As Axel grew he got increasingly more destructive and just genuinely obnoxious- never aggressive though thankfully. He ate walls, furniture, you name it! The other problem was my fiance is 6'1" but I'm only 5' tall and I was simply no match for my giant puppy when he wanted to do something. I’ll never forget the day that I had just been drug through our neighborhood by Axel and I decided that was IT! I was tired of scraped knees and we needed some help. That very same very desperate afternoon I called Leader of the Pack. Michele listened to my stories, laughed at some of them, and then came over within a week to assess the situation. I explained that we couldn’t have friends over anymore because he jumped on them (which is scary when the dog weighs as much as Axel does), that I was always late to work because he wouldn’t listen to me in the mornings, and that my fiance and I were fighting because the dog seemingly controlled our lives and we couldn’t make him behave! My giant baby dog was put in the Canine Good Citizen program. Within two weeks we could tell a difference. By lesson five we were marveling at what a good boy he could be if we just knew how to handle such a dog. We just finished the program and my fears are gone. I no longer worry I will be pulled down while walking him, he comes when he is called, people are willing to come to my house again without fear of being clobbered, and our home is once again peaceful. It’s OUR house and Axel lives in it instead of the other way around. Michelle is great. She communicates clearly and effectively with both parents and dogs. We are so thankful for Michelle and would recommend Leader of the Pack to anyone."- Alicia F.
"They should absolutely do board and train. Less work for them and all the lessons and bonding transfers easily if they work on it. Your pack was a lot like our pack. By that I mean... loving, child centered, disciplined and thorough.
Maggie & Riley continue to bring so much joy to our lives. There is not a day that I don't think (gratefully) about how I did not housebreak either one of them. They are very obedient and happy pups and you had so much to do with that early start being wonderful." - Judith R.
"I adopted my Malamute, Titus when he was a year old. Wanting to be a responsible owner, I wanted to make sure he knew basic obedience and I chose the Canine Good Citizen class. Titus did very well and I was shown how to work on his weaknesses. Knowing that you only get out of this what you put into it, the time I spent with Titus helped build a strong relationship. Once he passed I could take him anywhere with confidence that he would behave and would be welcomed. It has been a year now. Titus has moved on to become a certified therapy dog. This test is very similiar to the CGC test. Because of his strong foundation with his obedience and behavior he passed the Therapy Dog test easily (this was done elsewhere). We are now looking forward to taking the Tricks for Treats class so Titus can show off some fun stuff when he is visiting patients. - want a good, well behaved dog? Teach him how, put the effort into it. What a great investment. Thank you Leader of the Pack." - Lisa C.
"When I found Merlin (whom we also call Meryl, Mer, and Merrily), I kept hearing in my head the lyrics to a popular Taylor Swift song: “Oh, my God, look at that face. You look like my next
mistake!” But there was no mistake; Mer was meant for us and I can’t imagine being without her.
Since she’d had a rough start in life, I wanted her to have the very best, including training. I wanted the right trainer—someone who was gentle, who wasn’t rigid, who wouldn’t look at Meryl with prejudice. (Most people see a beautiful dog, but some recognize her features and turn wary.) That person was Michelle.
Although training doesn’t come naturally to me, Michelle gave me the directions and encouragement I needed. There were good days and bad days, but I kept repeating what she had written in her instructions, “I believe we can do it,” and ultimately I discovered that my new family member loved to learn and was keen to oblige us.
Two months later, and I am pleased to say that Meryl is well mannered and peaceful. She is not a robot, though; that’s not what we wanted. Throughout the process she’s maintained her quirky, perky personality. And she still amuses us with her puppy behaviors.
I can’t express the freedom I feel, knowing that she’s going to pay attention to me, in spite of that cat, or bicyclist, or potential snack streaking past. When a child flies across a zip line or chases after a ball, I can trust that Mer will not pull him down by his trouser leg! Furthermore, my bond with my dog is bolstered.
This has been a growing experience for both of us, and I am so emotionally grateful to Michelle for her guidance and support, for relieving my fears, and for helping me to believe that “we can do it.” Because we did!" - Dara P.
IACP Professional Member