Frazier, Brad, and TrudyMae
Frazier, Brad, and TrudyMae
I wanted to send a note of Thanks to Kasey. Charlie is our rescue baby, and even after 1 year of love and socializing, he remained so fearful of people and dogs. We could not trust him to remain gentle on the leash, and walking him was a struggle.
Kasey came to our home and worked for hours with Charlie and us. We have employed her method for several months and he is a different dog. Just working on healing and sitting provided him with structure that calmed him and shifted control enough for him to build confidence. So much so, that he is trustworthy in most situations. It has made all the difference and all of us enjoy our walks now and we no longer hesitate to invite guests into our home.
I strongly recommend 2Speakdog, and Kasey. It is one of the best investments in happiness that you can make.
Ben and Mary Sexton
In Loving Memory of Connor, who has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge.
In March of 2014, I adopted Connor, a 4 year old lab mix. He was a really good dog in the house, but on our walks would pull terribly on the leash. Around 3 weeks after he arrived, he began displaying leash reaction to other dogs when we were on our walks. Although I had prior experience with dogs, this was a new situation for me, and I was at a loss as to what to do. The rescue group I got Connor from recommended I contact 2SpeakDog. We started with a private lesson in my home with Kasey Herrera. Kasey observed Connor and gave us some things to work on, and recommended he attend Basic II group class. I have to say initially I was hesitant that Connor could learn to control his behavior, but between classes, walking workshops and some one-on-one coaching he and I learned how to walk nicely, and to control reactions towards other dogs.
Fast forward to a year and a half later ... Connor has completed Basic II, Intermediate and Advanced Classes. He has earned his Canine Good Citizen and Community Canine/Canine Good Citizen Advanced Designations. He has been in 4 charity dog walks without any reaction incidences. He loves to walk (nicely) with his pack buddies! Does he still react to other dogs? Sure, sometimes, but he and I now have the tools and resources to work at controlling the situation, and I have the confidence to help him to continue to overcome this behavior.
We are very thankful to Kasey Herrera, Jennifer (JD) DeGarmo and Jennifer Kyzer for all of their help, patience and encouragement with me and Connor through this process.
Before we started working with Jennifer, my dog Ani would react aggressively to every dog she saw. Walks were incredibly frustrating and stressful. I was too scared to walk her past another dog and would only walk her at night when there were not as many dog walkers out.
At home, she attacked the windows every time she saw a dog outside and I was constantly on alert to prevent her bullying my other dog who is smaller and older. I tried two different trainers with no success and I had even been told to give her to a rescue or have her euthanized. I felt like I had failed both my dogs.
Then Ani bit my other dog and I decided I had to try again. This time, I was referred to Jennifer. She really helped me to understand Ani better and was able to clearly explain what it was that Ani needed from me. I love that she took the time to assess Ani’s personality and how we interacted. We’ve done private lessons and workshops where Jennifer and Kasey give us a lot of encouragement and great feedback.
Everything at home is so much more relaxed and I even catch both dogs lying together sometimes. Ani has improved so much that now some of my neighbors ask to pet her instead of turning around when they see us coming. Every new little achievement is a great moment of triumph for us and it feels great to let go of all the frustration and guilt. Now, everyone in the house is happier, and Ani and I both walk with confidence. Confidence is the key!
UPDATE 1/15/16: I just wanted to let you know how well everything is going with Ani and my three-year old nephew, T! We took it slow & followed Jennifer's instructions. Within the first night that T stayed over, he declared that he and Ani are now “good friends.” He even got down on the floor with her and barked saying he was a puppy, too. He’s started giving her commands and if she's being too pushy, he calmly let’s us know that he’s done with her attention instead of screaming. All the obedience training Ani and I have done seemed to help too. Whenever she got too excited about him I did “settle” with her which worked great and we used “place” and “wait” a lot too. What a relief! Thank you SO much for all your help.
I got Holden at four months. He was a rescue. He was largely indifferent to us and extremely aggressive with strangers. He was an alpha but bordering on fear/aggression with other dogs. He is very smart and you could tell he thought he was smarter than us. He was also extremely reactive to high pitched voices, hand gestures, loud noises and engines … I could go on and on.
I took him to a puppy training class with another company and he learned basic commands. He also bonded with us and that improved things. But when he was ten months old, I received a serious head injury. I wasn’t able to leave the house, which exacerbated all of his stranger issues and led to him being very under-socialized.
It was then that I reached out to 2SpeakDog. I learned from Jennifer Kyzer that Holden felt he had to step up and take care of me. That combined with his fears was making him a nervous wreck, and his nerves led to aggression.
Through an in-house session, Basic I and Basic II Obedience Classes, and many workshops, I can now tell you that Holden is a different dog. He trusts that I will look out for him so he doesn't have to be on alert. He looks to me for guidance in new situations. I’ve learned to keep him working, and to read his signals and react appropriately to every situation. I also now know how to keep him (and me) calm in potentially escalating situations. I can introduce him to strangers and calm him when he gets nervous/reactive.
2SpeakDog, thank you so much. The bond I have formed with Holden as a result of this training has been monumentally important to me as I continue to recover from my head injury. And if he could talk, I know Holden would be thanking you, too.
For the first 3 months of living in our new house, Fenway was terrified to go downstairs to our walk-out basement. He went freely up and down the other stairs, but he appeared terrified to even get near the top of the basement stairs. We had tried everything our vet has suggested but Fenway would push his feet into the floor and refused to budge. We tried leashes and collar grabbing; he is over 100 pounds so carrying him was not an option. We ended up having to take him out the front door and walking him around to the fenced in back yard.
We reached out to 2SpeakDog and Jennifer Kyzer came over, got to know us a bit and discussed all the things we had tried. We spent our training session working with her on new approaches and WOW! Just two days of working with Fenway and it seems his fear of the basement stairs is history! After Jennifer left, that afternoon and evening he did great on the stairs using the leash.
The next morning I used the harness only, but he did not seem to be as comfortable. However, after that he went down easier and easier with the leash. At dinner time I went down to fill their bowls, and to my complete surprise he came charging down the stairs on his own!
Ever since then, Fenway hasn't needed the leash. He seems like he is totally ease. I can't tell you how thrilled we all are! This is such a relief, and I wanted to share and let you know how appreciative we all are!
Robert and Diane
I am a big fan of 2SpeakDog! Using the techniques I learned from JD and Jennifer Kyzer, I started working with my Labrador Retriever puppy at 9 weeks old. He will be 2 years old next week and he responds to over 70 vocabulary words and many hand commands!
My 2SpeakDog obedience class contained several deaf dogs and I learned the importance of visually communicating as well as teaching verbal commands. In addition to the basics, Waldo knows the names of friends and family, fun tricks, many toys by name, and best of all, when I call him, he runs to find me!
Instead of “Where’s Waldo,” we play, “Waldo, where’s … ?” and I add the name of a toy or person. He knows to go find that toy. If he can’t find it, I can say, “Check your toy box!” and he will go in the living room and check his toy box. He is amazing and I can imprint any toy or person with him in less than 5 minutes. He just "gets" it.
2SpeakDog opened up a whole new world for me – now my dog and I can communicate, with or without words. So many people stop me and compliment me on Waldo. We still have a few things to work out, but I am hoping to spend the next 13 years working with him!
Thank you so much, 2SpeakDog, for this fun and rewarding relationship!
Our family acquired a gorgeous English Cream Golden Retriever and she integrated well into the household with our other dog, Yuki, for the first few weeks or so. But by the age of 4 months, Marlee was quite a handful. She showed no respect for our two young children, would not follow commands, was loud when crated, and would growl, snap and even bite us when she would steal a child’s toy or other ‘off limit’ items. The kids would scream for her to get away from them, cry when she jumped on them, or took food from them, and we were beyond frustrated!
Our vet referred us to Jennifer Kyzer with 2SpeakDog and we were encouraged after our first session. We also realized she was very SMART and we had to learn more about training and behavior to ‘keep up with her’! I remember the first night she slept through the night (in her crate) and also the first time our 4-year old daughter could feed her with a ritual in which Marlee would wait for her food until she was released. We also practiced calming techniques to settle her down, and worked hard on crate training and obedience commands and tricks.
Marlee is now about a year old and is a wonderful addition to our family. She knows all her commands, does well on- and off-leash. She has even welcomed a kitten gently and appropriately to our family!
We got our "problem dog" Roger about 3 years ago. We knew about his issues from the beginning but thought we could work on them over time. We had always had good luck training our other 2 dogs and figured time and love was all Roger needed. Roger had always shown signs of aggression around new people. We called it his "stranger danger", but it wasn't cute. He would growl and even snap at new people. We tried everything we could think of working with him. We tried constant walks in hopes that he would just eventually be de-sensitized and we tried anxiety meds. Eventually we just had to settle in to the routine of keeping him penned up in his kennel whenever someone new was around. He just wasn't improving. At home he was the sweetest most loving puppy dog, but when a new person came over he turned into a growling, snarling terror!
We decided to try a trainer and called 2SpeakDog. Jennifer Kyzer came over to our house and she got to see first-hand how hard to handle Roger could be around strangers. Jennifer observed Roger’s behaviors for a while and then set in place a plan for us. She taught us how to think like Roger so that we could better understand what was going on in his head. From Jennifer we learned that Roger felt like we needed protection and how we could lift that burden from him. She taught us exercises that let Roger still fulfill his need to protect us but also give us the option of taking over control so that Roger could relax and let US protect HIM! She even helped us fix a minor food aggression issue he had been having that allowed us to feed him with the other dogs instead of all alone in his kennel.
These days Roger is a brand new dog. He's still our loving puppy at home but when we have company now Roger surprises us every time with his good behavior and friendly attitude. He has obviously gained confidence and lost his fear. We are SO appreciative to 2SpeakDog for giving us and Roger that gift. We LOVE 2SpeakDog!
Emily & Colin
Wow, what a difference our lives are since we discovered 2SpeakDog. I cannot say enough of how wonderful Jennifer was in helping us. I give 2SpeakDog 5 stars.
I have been given the task to care for my sister’s sheltie while she is in China for 2 years. I have 2 Australian Cattle Dogs. For some reason the female Cattle dog took a disliking to the Sheltie. I tried to deal with it but was getting nowhere fast. I did not want the Sheltie to live in fear. My vet recommended 2SpeakDog. Jennifer, of 2SpeakDog, came out to the house to assess the situation. In the time she spent with us she came up with 3 very easy changes for us to implement with the Cattle dogs. They were so simple but something I would not have thought of. They were: to make the dogs sit and stay at a designated spot before I let them out and to do the same before feeding them; the third thing was to have my back to the Sheltie when there was a stressful situation showing the Cattle Dogs she was not a threat.
It is AMAZING how these simple things have made such a difference with all three dogs. Now they all eat together and go on morning walks together. I cannot thank Jennifer enough. I would recommend 2SpeakDog to anyone. Jennifer really does speak dog. She did follow up with us and made sure everything was going well. She even helped with other issues with barking and eating too fast. She had some great ideas that have helped with those issues as well.
As I prepare for week six of 2SpeakDog's Obedience I class, I feel compelled to tell you what a great experience the sessions have been for my dog Willie and me. Willie is a very enthusiastic (also, crazy, funny, and silly) 14 month old Golden Retriever.
When my husband and I acquired Willie from a breeder at eight weeks old, little did he know what a big job was ahead of him. He had to fill a huge hole left in our hearts caused by the loss of three older Goldens between 2012-2014.
We live in the Farmville area and have a 1.5 hour commute to get to your facility. I initially wondered if the 3 hours of drive time would be worth it. I can say YES on so many levels. Your facility is perfect for training and everyone there has made us feel like family.
I thought I had the perfect relationship with Willie, but since training at 2SpeakDog and working on our homework - it has greatly enriched my bond him. He actually looks for the opportunity to do good things and get rewarded.
We look forward to future training opportunities at 2SpeakDog!
Terri (and Willie!)
This is a big THANK YOU to Jennifer Kyzer! She is simply amazing. She walked into our house and right away both of our dogs knew that she was in charge (and so did we!). We have been dog owners for 16 years and have been around the block. But we got a new puppy recently and our house was turned upside down. Our 4.5 year old dog was injured twice by the new puppy and we were distraught. Our veterinarian, Dr. Randy Mortimer, told us to call Jennifer Kyzer. She has changed our lives. We did an initial consult and within 24 hours, we saw major differences in both our dogs. We were taught so many different things in the first session - how to recognize the dog’s body language, how to set boundaries, how to diffuse a situation, etc. We are living so much more peacefully; it is truly like night and day. We can’t wait to continue to work with Jennifer with more private sessions and with puppy school. Jennifer is gentle and kind and we trust her completely. She is so knowledgeable, and we know if she could help us, that she can help most any situation.
Christopher & Kelly
We are soooo thankful for all that Jennifer Kyzer taught us when she came to visit our foster dog, Jeff! Thanks to her help, Jeff was adopted to wonderful home with a dog trainer. Even more exciting, thanks to what she taught us, we recently went and spent a day with a litter of puppies and were able to pick the perfect puppy for our home!
We were torn between two puppies, one was the middle of the pack and the other was the runt of the litter. We knew Jennifer had suggested a middle of the pack pup, and when we tried the settle with the pups, clearly the middle of the pack did best with all of us - she had just about an instant settle! Having the knowledge Jennifer gave us, we were able to help our daughter understand why the runt of the litter, which was strikingly beautiful, was not the best choice when you took into account the dynamics of our house.
When we brought the new puppy home, all of our animals greeted the puppy and all have fully accepted her. The advice Jenn gave us was incredible and right on target. It is amazing to see what a difference picking the "right puppy" for our home made. We have used the strategies she taught us in teaching leave it and she picked up on them right away. Once she gets all of her shots, we look forward to signing up for one of your puppy socialization classes! Thanks again!
In December of 2012, we adopted a rescue pup, Molly, a border collie mix. We began our training with 2SpeakDog with a Walking Workshop to address the leash aggression we were experiencing. We had leash rules and she had lots of friends at daycare, but we've never had a dog with this behavior, so we needed some assistance! Not long after we began our training, we realized we have one amazingly SMART girl on our hands and we need to keep her mentally stimulated to keep us all happy.
We have now attended Intermediate and Advanced Level classes, Molly has received her Canine Good Citizen, had a few private lessons, attended several Workshops and is continuing to learn something new each week. We always come away from a session energized about our training, and with a tired pup!
We're confident that we now have a good foundation of tools to help Molly be her best doggie self. It's been a lot of work, a lot of fun, and we look forward to continuing her training with 2SpeakDog!
Julie and Mike
I rescued Carson almost two and one-half years ago. He had been a hunting dog who, I discovered, clearly didn't like loud noises. I originally contacted Jennifer to help me with him because he was shut down and anxious when left alone in the house. She taught me how to make him confident and how to lead him. She suggested we start training classes; as it turns out, Carson loves training and has met a good buddy because of the classes. For two years we would take training classes and retake them, just to keep him socialized and mentally stimulated. He even passed his CGC exam.
Recently I started working longer hours and had to take him out of an Intermediate training class before we could complete it. Soon after, Carson started getting into the recycle bin, barking during the day, and would be almost frantic to see me when I came home. I have a roommate that comes home and walks him immediately, so he wasn't alone any longer during the day, and he was still being walked two hours a day. The big difference was he was no longer in training with me. JD emailed to see if I wanted to pick up the last half of an intermediate class (the same level we dropped out of). Her timing was perfect! Four days after being back in training, Carson was back to his usual calm, confident self in the house while everyone was at work.
Because of my training and workshops with 2SpeakDog, I knew what to do when Carson's anxiety returned and undesirable behaviors cropped up. 2SD helped me know my dog and his needs well, and I am grateful for the way they helped us develop our relationship.
Two years ago we brought a beautiful, blue-eyed bundle of energy home. We had never owned an Australian Shepherd before but we had researched the breed before getting Bogey. We knew, as a herding dog, he would need lots of exercise and socialization. Furthermore, training was a must. We had to wait a month before the class began, and we dedicated ourselves to housebreaking him and providing the exercise he needed for his boundless amounts of energy.
We walked Bogey on leash, let him run through the woods behind our home, and take him to the river to swim. No matter how much exercise he got he would return home and pace relentlessly. We kept questioning what we were doing wrong or if we had just under estimated an Aussie's physical activity needs. We were certain he needed training.
Finally, class began and we quickly learned it was us that needed the training. Jennifer helped us to understand that while we were meeting his physical needs, we weren't meeting Bogey's mental needs. Bogey responded instantly and we participated in many classes and workshops. We developed a much stronger bond with him. Bogey has a strong herding instinct and is very reactive. This can cause problem behavior when in public and especially around children. With Jennifer's help, we learned what to do in these situations.
There was a time that we would have considered ourselves crazy to add another Aussie to our pack. However, after learning so much from 2SpeakDog, we did just that. We now have Finn and he has benefited so much from all we have learned. He resisted crate training so Jennifer came to our home for a private lesson. He went immediately in the crate and has not had a problem since. We laughed and often say she sprinkled her magical fairy dust everywhere. Finn is now participating in classes and workshops. We are so happy we found 2SpeakDog and they truly are the best!
Debbie and Andy
In January 2012, our family bought a male European Great Dane. Finn became a much beloved member of the family and a good pal of his terrier brother and sister. I thought that training meant housebreaking and doing basic commands like sit, stay, and coming when I called. While for a little dog, that may be sufficient, it definitely was not enough for me to control a 175 lb. dog. On top of that, Finn thought he needed to be in control and became aggressive with other dogs. After a few incidents where I was unable to stop the escalation, I sent Jennifer an email saying that I thought we would need to surrender Finn. I was heartbroken, terrified, and felt like a total failure.
Jennifer listened to my concerns and assured me that together, we could come up with a plan to help me better control Finn. Many things she suggested were just little things, like making him wait for his food, that showed Finn that I was in charge. I was also fortunate enough to be able to work with Kasey, 2SpeakDog's Large Breed Specialist, who has two Great Danes of her own. I began to gain confidence and feel like I could train this dog.
I have stopped being terrified to take him for walks. Finn has become much more calm because he can relax, knowing that he no longer needs to be on guard. My whole life, I have had confidence issues. There is nothing like the feeling I get from being able to control this huge dog!! To go from total despair and feeling like a failure to where we are now is a miracle! We still have much to learn, but I am so thrilled with all we have accomplished. I can not thank 2SpeakDog enough for all they have done for our family!
It's days like these when every penny and every second of teaching Runner to walk well on a leash becomes worth it. With two ribs out of place, I simply could not have tolerated any amount of tugging/pulling on the leash. We got in 3 miles in the morning and 2 more in the afternoon of near flawless walking.
Thanks to all your walking workshops in 2011 and 2012, I made it in one piece and Runner is happy and not destroying my house! Thank you!
Jennifer Allen Kyzer really provided what my dogs and I needed. It wasn't elaborate training for commands – I credit her with getting Neo and me to work together, and for him to trust and respect me. I did not find anyone else who understood quickly where my dogs and I were as a team and what we needed, nor who had the "walking workshop" format that she offers. I can't thank her enough. I really appreciate the work Jenn did with us and the help and encouragement. We can go places with more confidence now. Neo is still Neo – he still has his moments – but I know what to do, when and how.
I am so excited about the possibilities I can see for Neo and Breezy after our session. I really felt that Jenn "got" Neo and she "got" me too. It felt like Neo, Breezy, and I all clicked into our rightful spots … a great feeling because it's progress! Already! Tracking has been a really nice activity for us. He gets to be "the boss" and there are no other dogs to really worry about. He really loves it and I really love watching him work. I can see all the subtleties of when he is on the scent and when he is searching for it. Jenn, thank you so much for coming out and working with us.
Thank you SO MUCH, Jennifer! I can’t tell you how much you helped last night. Knowing what to work on and that I CAN do this is making all of the difference. Sascha and I worked on respect for hands and focus this morning, and she did great. She barely even sniffed my hands - just looked at them intently and then looked at my face! AMAZING! Then I was actually able to get her through the door etiquette routine! I was a little worried I wasn’t going to get that one. One visit and I’m a believer!
Cathleen and Rob
When Mike and I found out we were pregnant, we realized the time had finally come to reign in the bad behaviors of our first baby, our American bulldog Abita. We had adopted her when she was two from a college friend who had already trained her quite well. Naturally sweet-natured, Abita came to live with us with the perks of also being house-broken, aware of her name, and able to "shake" on command. We affectionately came to call her "the girl," as her loyalty and affection broke us of ever establishing many house rules. Instead, she slept where we slept, sat where we sat, and more or less walked us around the neighborhood.
We met Jenn of 2SpeakDog at the monthly Birth Talk meetings that she facilitates and soon decided our girl could use a refresher on dog manners and some tightening up before baby. What we didn't realize was that we were the ones who needed the discipline! We first attended 2SpeakDog's Dogs and Babies: Fostering a Healthy Pack Part I class and learned that if we wanted Abita's behaviors to change, we needed to first change our own. So our first assignment was to ditch the baby-talk and constant questions (questions like, "Abita, do you want to go for a walk? Do you need to go pee pee outside? You want a treat, girl?" to which Jenn wisely asked, "Does she ever say no?"); establish proper "door etiquette;" and once and for all, create some furniture boundaries. She also talked us through ideas for introducing our skittish girl to unfamiliar baby items like the car seat and stroller and suggested ways to later best introduce her to our baby when we all came home from the birthing center together. It was so helpful to have a plan in place that would honor our relationship with our dog during this big, family transition. We later took the walking workshop to establish a better routine for our girl. She was notorious for stopping and sitting, chasing after squirrels, and pulling us harder than we could handle. After trading in her old harness for a new collar and practicing our new walking techniques, we finally began to make some headway, creating confidence in us to later successfully walk her alongside the stroller.
Aside from the practical tools learned, Jenn also taught us these lessons: when baby comes, your dog will simply become your dog and that's ok, and there's no room for guilt in parenting - both babies and dogs.
Abita has eagerly welcomed home our son, greeting him with excited licks every time we return home and seemingly guarding him from our bed as he naps in his nearby bassinet. She gently joins him for tummy time on the floor and snuggles the three of us on the sofa - from her designated, blanketed area, of course. As we settle in as a new family of four, we are grateful for the lessons learned through 2SpeakDog's baby-specific classes. It was a worthwhile investment and opportunity to focus on our dog during those final months of the pregnancy so that we can now invest our energy into getting to know our child.
Catherine & family