Dog training,Puppy training,Puppy Class,Behavior Problem,Obedience
Is the dog you love driving you crazy? Call today, we can help! Customized training for your dog since 2003, Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
Is the dog you love driving you crazy?  Call today, we can help! Customized training for your dog since 2003, Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

Success Stories


4 months ago
Michelle is not only knowledgeable with all things dog, she has the ability to effectively and easily communicate that knowledge to pet owners, therefore accelerating both dog and handler learning! She’s thoughtful and helpful!


Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Reliability, Responsiveness, Value
My partner and I have a miniature dachshund puppy, Lola. He has owned mini dachshunds before, but I’ve never had a dog. I watched YouTube dog training videos, but found that Lola apparently hadn’t watched the same videos and didn’t react the way the YouTube dogs did! I was at a loss after a couple of months of trying on our own and really didn’t know what to do. She’s an adorable little girl, but we were not making the progress in training her that we wanted to. I contacted MIchelle at Leader of the Pack and she came over to do an evaluation session with us. Turns out that Lola was, in fact, very good at training...she’d been training US for a couple of months! We opted for the Good Dog Manners program and we have been so incredibly happy with the results! It was great to have Michelle come to our house to show us how to train and we always had specific homework so we could practice what we learned. We still have practice to do with Lola, but now we know what to do and how to do it and what she responds to (food….lots of treats! LOL). And she is super smart (of course!). Michelle is wonderful! She’s very patient with Lola AND with us and Lola absolutely adores her! The change in my stress level and frustration is amazing and I will be forever grateful to Michelle!
We were nervous about having a trainer work with our rescue pit because of his anxiety, but Michelle was very responsive outside of sessions to help us troubleshoot specific behaviors he was exhibiting with us. We were quickly able to address those and then moved on to off leash training, which has been huge for us living on a cattle farm. He has gone from ignoring us and chasing cattle til he tired himself out to ignoring the cattle and coming when called. He’s so much safer now on the farm, and we are so glad we decided to do private lessons so we could build that bond and have the knowledge to continue working with him instead of doing a board and train.

Lisa Pedro (Lisa P)

If you need help training your fur babies, look no further. Michelle at Leader of the Pack is AMAZING. We recently adopted a 1 year female border collie- she is as sweet as they come, but also very stubborn and high energy. Even with walks and exercise, we had periods of destructive behavior and lots of frustration in the house. With Michelle’s help we found with mental stimulation like games, training, crate time etc, on top of the physical exercise, we have a whole new dog. Additionally, Michelle helped the humans in the house learn to become the boss with a ton of advice and corrections in communicating with the pups. I am beyond grateful for all I have learned from Michelle. I highly recommend contacting Leader of the Pack and Michelle!


I contacted Michelle at Leader of the Pack to come out and work with my Parents dog “Chuck” who is 17 months old and adored by everyone! Chuck is a very sweet and loving doggie who loves his family and also loves to play. He has however become out of control with jumping on everyone, his playful biting and trying to eat the house! It had gotten to the point that my mom could not wear shoes or socks inside the house without Chuck wanting to “play bite” her feet. After one session with Michelle, Chuck is a completely different dog! It it absolutely amazing and I wish I would have called a year (and several articles of clothing) ago!! Can’t say thank you enough to have a loving dog back! I would highly recommend her to anyone who is in need of a good dog trainer!


"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.



Leader of the Pack

Dog Training, LLC

Michelle Bowersox

IACP Professional Member

Licensed, Insured


Serving Staunton, Waynesboro, Stuarts Draft, Verona, Augusta County and other areas of VA


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...let's talk dog!

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