Follow Me Dog Training, LLC, Testimonials

The Dogs were a Part of Our Wedding

Photos permission of Allison KuhnWe came to Renée when my husband (then fiancé) picked out a new dog. My husband wanted to trail run with him, and having strong recall was absolutely necessary. We were so happy with how it went—how my husband and Kaiser bonded and how well behaved Kaiser became—that we also trained our other dog, Houdini, a rescue. Prior to the training, Houdini lacked confidence. Through the course of it, not only has he become more well-behaved, but his confidence has soared! He’s no longer the timid dog he was. He is able to confidently play with other dogs where before he was unsure of them.

Photos permission of Allison KuhnWhen it came time for our wedding, we knew we wanted them to be a part of the day. Renée was able to be there for them and for us. She transported them to and from the wedding and handled their remotes during the ceremony and for the photos after. It was amazing. They were a huge hit with our families and guests, and made the day and the pictures unforgettable.

V&O Bartsch

Photos permission of Allison Kuhn
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Life changing. That is not an understatement.

Casey

Life changing. That is not an understatement. We were at our wits end with our four year old mini Golden Doodle, Casey. Her enthusiasm for visitors and out of the home visits such as the veterinarian or groomer was overwhelming for all involved. Her jumping on humans and the accompanying crying was off putting and bothersome.

Not only does Renée teach obedience training in her one on one sessions, more importantly, she addresses specific issues and challenges. Her ability to zero in on the difficulties, the probable cause and strategy to resolve the issue, is amazing!

She has taken our energetic Casey from a wild and crazy canine to a beautifully in control representative of the breed. We have gone from dread and embarrassment to pride for and pure joy with our fur baby! Thank you Renée!!!

D and D Logan

Thanks to Renée, Tira's Back on Track

TiraI met Renée almost a year ago, and looking back on it I have no idea how I handled Tira before working with Follow Me Dog Training LLC. I adopted Tira from the shelter when she was about 8 months old, and by the time I sat down with Renée I had Tira for nearly 6 months. I believe the initial consultation with Renée started out with me saying something along the lines of, “Well I like Tira, but… [insert any problematic thing a dog can possibly do].” At the time, I felt like Tira was a liability. In the apartment complex I lived in, Tira would try and bite people while in the elevator. On walks she would lunge, growl, and bark at any dog she saw. She would often lunge and snap at people walking or running by as well. Despite being only 30 pounds, Tira also pulled with every muscle in her body and I would have blisters on my hands. Walks were the worst part of my day, and I did everything in my power to avoid seeing dogs or people. As if her behavior outside wasn’t stressful enough, Tira was a terror inside as well and could care less if I was giving her commands.

I had tried several other dog trainers in the area before meeting Renée, and nothing had worked. At the end of the consultation, I remember telling Renée that if the training didn’t work, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with Tira. Renée reassured me that this would work and she would be the last dog trainer I would have to work with. She was absolutely right!

After the first lesson, I was able to take Tira into the elevator without her trying to bite people. This was huge! Soon after a few sessions, Tira and I were getting compliments on how obedient she was. It was weird- my dog was the ‘good’ dog. Now, almost a year later, Tira is a completely different dog. Tira and I have developed a strong and trusting relationship by working with Renée. I am able to trust her around kids, take her on off-leash hikes, sit quietly in the vet’s office, take her to restaurants and eat on the patio, and go on pleasant walks around the neighborhood. Tira is a completely different dog and I am extremely thankful for Renée.

What I value most about Renée is that she is dedicated to her clients and their dogs. Just a few months ago I moved and Tira had trouble adjusting and therefore was acting out on our walks. Instead of feeling like I was helpless, all I had to do was call Renée and she helped get Tira back on track. In my opinion, there are very few trainers who are as invested in their work as Renée and I think that’s what makes Follow Me Dog Training LLC different and effective. My only regret is that I didn’t contact Renée sooner. Thank you Renée for everything!

-J Daly

Positive Behavior Changes

BellaAs first time dog owners, we were looking to take a class that would lay the foundation for long-term success with Bella, our goldendoodle puppy. A friend referred us to Follow Me Dog Training LLC and the Puppy Steps Program based on their experience going through the class.  Renée immediately impressed us with her experience, knowledge and organization, but it was her almost immediate connection with Bella that really won us over. Plus, it helped that all the tips and tricks that she was teaching us translated in practice to positive behavior change in our new puppy.

Almost two years later, Bella’s completed a Board and Train, numerous group classes and the Pre-baby Talk with Follow Me Dog Training LLC.  Everywhere we go, we receive complements on Bella’s temperament and good behavior in public. Renée’s guidance and our reinforcement of her trainings from the Board and Train are the main reason for those. We are so thankful for Renée’s impact on Bella. It has opened up Bella’s world by giving her people the peace of mind that has allowed us to include her in all of life’s adventures. 

Thank you, Renée and Follow Me Dog Training LLC!

-The George Family

The Wonderful Wheaten

The Wonderful Wheaten after training with Follow Me DogCooper is an 11 month old Wheaten Terrier that has been just that…a terror. He came to us at the age of 9 weeks and from the moment we got him he has regressed into a shy, timid, fearful pup with little to no self-esteem. We got Cooper because we wanted that "neighborhood dog" you know the kind two people with no kids get so they can have some sort of presence in their small suburban town. We thought oh, this will be great we will take Cooper on walks, he can play with all the kids and we can take him wherever we go. Well that pretty much came to a screeching halt as soon as we began to introduce him to people, places and well…anything. He became so fearful that he would often flinch at his own shadow. I read books, did research on the internet, and contacted the breeder all in hopes that we could find some cure for what ailed Cooper. We tried everything we could think of but the problem seemed to be getting worse not better. Eventually we (Rick and I) went into avoidance mode and found that excluding Cooper from anything "scary" would be better on all 3 of us, so we did. We stopped taking him places, we stopped introducing him to new people and we stopped putting him in any kind of situation that we felt he could not handle. Sadly, Cooper became an inside dog that was happy and content as long as the front door was closed.

We had accepted that this was our dog and our life, until one day when Rick came home and said…Hey, what do you think about moving to NYC. At first I was really excited but then quickly I started going through the scenarios of what, who, etc. we were going to do/give Cooper to. I didn't want it to be like this but we really had no choice. Cooper could never survive in NYC, until i met someone who turned me onto Renée and Follow Me Dog Training LLC. I thought that this was my absolute last try. If this didn't work we were going to find another permanent living situation for Cooper (and that was going to break my heart). Renée came and evaluated Cooper. She right away picked up on the challenges he AND I were facing and accepted Cooper into her month long boarding program. I was sad to see Cooper go for those 28 days but as we drove away I thought I will do anything to give him a chance. The thought of him walking down the streets of NYC growling, barking, darting, out of fear were way too much. Weekly updates and a few skin aliments later and here sits the MOST AMAZING WHEATEN EVER. Cooper is a completely different dog. He is well mannered, he is respectful of my space, he is calm, he is relaxed, he is confident but most of all Cooper seems really really happy. He just has this look about himself that speaks confidence and self-assurance. We were so happy when we picked him up from Renée's but the real test would come on the streets of NYC.

Our first journey out in the big apple was AMAZING. Cooper walked with confidence, poise, grace and calmness. He was the perfect gentlemen. He did get a little spooked every now and then but hey…it's NYC who doesn't get a little spooked walking down the street. LOL LOL LOL. Cooper now loves to go outside and test his skills in the big city. He amazes me every time that we step off the elevator that he can handle anything the streets throw at him. He/we could not have accomplished this without Renée. She took Cooper and turned him into the dog he is today. We are so grateful to her that our family is happy and peaceful living in New York City. Thank you so much Renée for all the faith, confidence and patience that you have in Cooper and seeing all his potential. We are so happy!!!!!!!!!!! (now, do you train children)

Angela DeRusha

The Benefits of Training Two Dogs...

Finnley and Sadie after training with Follow Me DogI can’t tell you how much we have enjoyed and benefited from your board and train and private training classes.  We had the crazy idea of getting two puppies, Finnley (lab) and Sadie (white golden), at the same time.  Not only did you help restore order and fun to our lives but we now have two well behaved dogs.  I have been able to do things with them that I never imagined I would be able to do with dogs let alone two puppies.  I can walk both of them (now 60lbs+ a piece) on a coupler down Cary street, off-leash at the river (where there are a ton of bunnies and the lure of water), at the soccer field with giggling running children and they are so well behaved, adapting to the sounds, animals, children and chaos with no issues.  People just can’t get over that I have two dogs (let alone puppies) that I can take anywhere and they adapt to their surroundings and really make the experience that much better.  I wish this program had been available to me with my previous dogs.  I know that this training has made our relationship with Finnley and Sadie all the better. 

Joelle and Elliott Buckner

Ruby the Dog is One Lucky Girl!

Ruby the Dog is One Lucky Girl!Our Australian Shepherd, Ruby, is one lucky girl...she has had Renée around since the day after we brought her home! In the few weeks before Ruby was old enough to start her training program, we had a quick glimpse of what life could have been like without Renée's guidance and we are so glad we didn't have to go down that path. Our fussy, whining, leash-pulling puppy became more focused within a few days of working with Renée and has only gotten better and better since. Ruby's stubborn attitude was turned into a serious drive to work and please. We never could have imagined that, at just a year old, Ruby would be responding so well to both of us and bringing us so much fun without the stress of the puppy years. Everywhere we take her, people are amazed by how well-mannered she is and everyone wants to know the secret. Renée has made it possible for us to truly enjoy every moment with our dog - we can't wait to see how Ruby will continue to grow and learn.

Shannon and Dan Nemer

Walking the Dogs, Coffee in Hand

Allison & Sandy Appelman, Clients since 2008We had a 4 year old black Lab, Cookie (who is now 7), that was an angel.  Never had any issues with her behavior, following commands (although she only knew the basics) or issues with other dogs.  We adopted a yellow Lab puppy that year and Cookie’s disposition changed.   She became a bit protective over the new puppy and would bark and lunge towards other dogs at, what seemed to us, random.  After having Cookie off-leash for so many years we now had to be more careful and were not happy about it.  We tried two different trainers before we found Renée.  The prior trainers did not make a dent in changing her behavior, even though they had different tactics. 

"Onto trainer number three," I thought as I searched Google.  I came across Follow Me Dog Training’s site and saw Renée’s interview on TV.  I thought a free consultation couldn’t hurt. 

Renée showed up and I think we immediately clicked.  She had a great disposition and enjoyed joking around (as we do).  We had Cookie and Meadow (the new yellow Lab) in the front yard and were explaining the issues.  Meadow, who we thought was also an angel, didn’t like to walk on a leash at this point.  She actually protested the walk by lying down.  Within 10 minutes, Renée had her walking with ease.  My wife and I were amazed.  Renée explained how her lessons work and we knew without a doubt she’d be hired!

I will admit, as I’m sure many think this way too, that I was very hesitant to put “shock collars” on our girls.  Once Renée explained the purpose and taught us how to use them properly, I was very at ease and have become a big proponent.  Using them properly I found was the key.  In my opinion, they shouldn’t even be sold without proper training for us humans, I see too many dogs yelp unnecessarily.  But, when you need to correct behavior and get your dogs attention, no matter what their energy level, without hurting them, these are amazing.  Not only did they give us the confidence we needed around them, but they have changed the way the girls look to us as pack leaders.  We were all equals before Renée and she taught us how and why we need to create that pack hierarchy.  It is truly for the dogs own good.  Thinking back, our girls were perfect, we needed training.  Now, our girls are more special to us than ever and such an amazing addition to our family. 

Since we started using Renée, our friends have all asked how we trained our dogs so well.  Needless to say, we refer people to Follow Me Dog Training LLC as much as possible and they have all been as grateful as we are.  She is truly a dog whisperer.

I now walk two dogs, off-leash with two remotes in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other every day with ZERO incidents.  Who wouldn’t want that?  Thank you Renée!!!

Allison & Sandy Appelman, Clients since 2008

...a Completely Different Dog!

Chloe...a completely different dog.I adopted Chloe 5 years ago from Henrico County's Animal Shelter. She was so cute and calm when I saw her that I forgot how rambunctious boxers can be. A week after getting home, and her full recovery from "kennel cough" and surgery (I had her spayed), I was introduced to a new Chloe. This new Chloe was a 6-7 month old boxer puppy that was full of energy, short on manners, and who "played" roughly with other dogs and me.

I previously had other dogs, even another boxer, but Chloe was a handful. She would not listen at all. I had to trick her to get her into her kennel; I did not trust her with children or even other dogs. There was no sitting, staying, or coming back when called. I had to always keep her on a leash when we went out and walking with her around the neighborhood was a chore. She did not respond to any of the previous methods I had used with my other, more genteel dogs. I was extremely frustrated and was at the end of my rope when I decided to Google "Dog Trainer's in Richmond" and Follow Me Dog Training LLC was in one of the search results.

Renée's website offered a lot of information and testimonials, and the video of Leinie also helped. I was sure I couldn't get my dog to be as trained as Leinie, but if I could just get her to sit still for a minute, I would be happy. I felt I had nothing to lose since Renée offered a free demo, so I made an appointment.

I really appreciated Renée's style. During that initial consultation, she listened to me and my needs and made some small suggestions to help me modify Chloe's behavior according to my house rules. When she had Chloe walking with her , not pulling, within a few minutes, I was sold (show off ). Over the next few weeks, Renée, and Leinie worked with me and Chloe. The training was really about building my confidence in Chloe and trusting myself and her.

Well Chloe is a completely different dog and I am a different owner. I know what she will and will not do and I know that she will listen to me, even with distractions.

This past Monday, I was doing yard work and Chloe had been exploring around in the yard. She finally settled down near me as I continued to work. I had my back turned to her but I heard her bounce off the porch. By the time I turned around she was across the yard and into the cul-de-sac. Only my neighbor and I share the cul-de-sac, so it is very quiet and we treat it as an extension of my yard. But when I looked up, I saw two kittens in my neighbor's yard oblivious to the slobbery boxer that was about the pay them a visit. There was no way I could catch Chloe before she would get to the kittens, she was only 1 or 2 strides away. So, I called her and she stopped immediately! The great thing was that I knew she would stop. I never even started toward her. I called her back to me and she, reluctantly came (she kept looking back at the kittens). I "placed" her on the porch, and there she stayed while I finished my yard work and the kittens played in my neighbor's yard in full view. THANKS Renée!!

Cordelia D. Starkes

The Shaffers

A Great Foundation for Smokie

Smokie the DogSmokie my little over one year old Aussie and I have just returned from our yearly family beach trip down to the Outer Banks. I wanted to drop you a quick note to thank you for your work with him during his "Board and Training Session" back in May of 2012 and with me during our follow up sessions. Not to mention the ongoing group training sessions. I know we still have lots of work ahead of us both but I believe he has gotten a great foundation from your program and now it’s up to me to continue his learning. I also know you will also be there to help me with any future questions I may have.

In my first year with Smokie I learned quickly that he was going to be a handful that would require a lot of work from me or some help from a personal trainer. So I began working with him myself for some time but soon felt I needed more than what I could do to help focus his attention on myself and what he already knew and still needed to learn.  I just didn't have the time to give him what I wanted to between work and other things in life. So to get him to a point that I would be able to take advantage of I decided it be best to try and find someone to work with him and myself.

Smokie had the typical self-control puppy issues I know we all go through with a new puppy from not coming when called to wanting to greet everyone that came over with the normal let me see if I can jump up on you to get more attention. These were all things I know I wanted to get a handle on quickly before he got older and bigger.  So I started my mission in finding a local personal dog trainer online and I ran across your site along with a few others that I had also called and talked with.  After our initial consultation and confirmation on how you worked with each dog personally in the board and train program I felt you and Smokie were going to be a good fit. Once he entered into your program I knew he was in good hands. I also knew he would learn quickly as he was extremely quick on picking things up. Then came the part of training Smokie’s human, we all know us humans take a little more work than our dogs.

I am happy to report to this day Smokie and I are working daily on old and new commands along with things learned from your group lessons too. During this past week the icing on the cake came during our family vacation. I was able to allow him off leash with me as we went on our morning walks on the beach with a few distractions of people and other dogs around. While he would occasionally stray (ran quickly) I had the confidence in knowing with a calm come or quick click of the training collar if needed he would come back right away and heal next to me if asked. He was also doing great with his sit and down commands; he would stay in position as others walked by us or wait to be released...

I must say one of the best command learned from the training program is the "Place” command! I have also gotten a few place boards from you after his training (he loves them). He did great when asked to go to them as the family sat down for dinner or other activities. The whole family has been so amazed with the change in him from their first meeting him over a year ago as a puppy. The comments I hear often from family and friends is "It's like a day and night difference in his obedience and self-control".

I would be more than happy to recommend Renée and Follow Me Dog Training LLC to anyone out there looking to form a better bond and learn how to communicate with their dog or puppy better. I wish I would have known about Renée and her program the day I had brought Smokie home.

W.Tsang

An Incredibly Intelligent, Loyal, and Loving Companion

LunaWe got Luna as a puppy, and honestly, we looked at each other after the first month or so and wondered if we had made a huge mistake. Then we took Renée's Puppy Steps Program and from there went onto private training, and our sweet but very rambunctious puppy has, a year later, become an incredibly intelligent, loyal, and loving companion. There have been a few bumps in the road as Luna has grown from puppy to teenage dog, but Renée has always been incredibly responsive and helpful in troubleshooting. In the last year we also added a baby to the mix, and because of Luna's training and Renée's pre-baby talk to prepare us it has been an easy transition for everyone so far. She, the baby, and I all look forward to our walks every day, and we get a lot of compliments from strangers about how well behaved she is!

Thanks!

L. Kohler

Wild Child Tamed

Wild Child TamedMy husband and I had done some puppy sitting for some friends for three weeks during the summer they acquired their Boston Terrier, Toby.   We immediately fell in love.  Since our friends wouldn’t give us Toby…I knew I had to have a Boston of my own!  Although my husband wanted a big dog, he agreed to get a Boston because they weren’t girlie dogs and he wouldn’t feel silly walking one up and down the street.  We contacted the breeder that Toby came from and she informed us that a litter of Boston pups would be ready by New Year’s.  So, on December 30, 2005, we made the trip to Elkton, Virginia to pick out our precious little puppy.    

We were so excited to have a puppy and spoiled Stella rotten.  Neither of us had ever had puppies, so we knew nothing about training one.  I read several books and did some minor training routines.  I taught Stella to fetch and do simple commands in return for a treat. However, without a treat, she refused to do the commands.  Stella was so little, you could pick her up and snuggle her all the time.  She had us wrapped around her little paw.  When something that little jumped on you or pulled on the leash while you were walking, it was cute.  

We enrolled Stella in puppy classes at Petsmart when she was 6 months old.  She began to show some aggressive and dominant behaviors during our classes, but we thought nothing of it.  Our class leader said she was going through a "rebellious" phase.  We moved to a new neighborhood and Stella began to become increasingly more aggressive on walks.  She would bark, foam at the mouth, and pull so hard to get at other dogs as they walked by.  She also began to freak out when someone would come to our door.  She was a wild child, jumping all over the furniture and bouncing off the walls.  She was still gentle and loving with my husband and I, but she was becoming a terror!  During one of our routine vet visits, she bit our vet and had to be muzzled.   Our vet recommended we see a trainer.

We contacted the recommended trainer and paid for home visits to work with Stella.  She could get Stella to behave when she was working with her, but did nothing to transfer those skills to my husband and I.  We also enrolled Stella in some group classes offered by the trainer to help her become socialized.  After shelling out hundreds of dollars, we still could not walk Stella and her behavior problems continued to persist.  We even contacted the SPCA to get help because we were worried Stella would bite someone or something.  We took her to a private class and got some new pointers for how to work with her.  However, since we had no idea what we were doing, and had been told 4 different ways to give a command, we could not consistently convey to Stella how she should behave appropriately.  We began to accept that we had a naughty, wild dog that couldn’t be around other dogs, people, or children.  We walked her less and less because she would pull so hard that she would choke herself and pull the muscles in our backs.  It was embarrassing.

Some good friends of ours that lived around the corner were also having a hard time walking their dog.  They had heard about Renée and had contacted her for the free demonstration.  One evening, while we were over at their house, they filled us in on how great Renée was during the lesson.  We went home that night and contacted her because we were at the end of our rope.  A day later, Renée came over and sat us down.  She spent about an hour getting to know us and getting to know our issues with Stella’s behavior.  The lesson and demonstration were eye opening; Renée promised us that Stella could behave even when she was gone.  She was going to teach us how to work with our dog, no matter what it took.  Even though Renée was trainer number 5, we knew she was the perfect match for us and would be able to deliver!  Her knowledge, personality, and experience were just what we needed…we signed on the dotted line and never looked back. 

Renée began her sessions with us in August of 2009.  As I look back at those first few lessons and field trips, I realize that Renée wasn’t really training Stella, she was training my husband and I.  I had a really hard time feeling confident and not being tense with Stella as we were out and about because I knew how she could react, but Renée kept telling us that positive repetition helps Stella to learn the appropriate behaviors.  I think that positive repetition was really for me!  As we continued to work with Renée, we were taught to read Stella’s body language to anticipate her reactions and channel them in a positive way.  We gained confidence and as we continued to practice with Stella, she trusted us to be in charge.  Renée found numerous places and situations for us to practice having Stella out and around dogs and people.  We also really got to go out and see Richmond!  We had no idea there were so many parks.  We are even able to take Stella to Stony Point, something we never would have dreamed of doing before working with Renée.

Now, nine months later, we have a truly balanced dog.  Renée kept her end of the bargain and worked with us as we worked to train Stella.  She even set up four lessons this month to help us prepare Stella for her annual vet visit.  In addition, Renée attended the vet with us to ensure that we had the support we needed.  Stella passed her vet visit with flying colors and was a perfect angel!  That positive practice helped me to be confident and allowed Stella to be comfortable at the vet.  The vet even removed the "bad dog mark" from her record! 

We continue to attend group classes, but instead of being the naughty dog, Stella is well behaved.  A few weeks ago, we were asked to model one of the skills because the other class attendants hadn’t learned them yet.  Stella got to show off!  We were so proud, because she executed the commands perfectly!   Renée has proved to us that she really can help anyone and we look forward to working with her for the rest of our dog owning lives!

Jayme, Drew, and Stella Klammer

A Canine Good Citizen

A good canine citizenI  just got back from a wonderful walk with our 2 dogs.  1 year ago I was being pulled enough I worried about my shoulders being injured, the dogs would bark at everything, and in general-walks were dreaded.   When we called Renée we had no idea how horrible our walks really were.  We called her because our pit-mix (Loki) was chasing small animals and I was terrified of her.  We thought Loki was our problem child, but after 5 minutes of Renée working with Loki we realized she was not the trouble child-it was our other dog, Odin (lab mix).  After several visits with Renée, we were able to control our dogs when visitors came, walk the dogs without horrible experiences, and had a happy doggy home once again.  As we continued to work with the dogs, Renée taught them to run on the treadmill (for days we couldn’t walk outside) and had our confidence built up enough to take the dogs to parks and to the river.  Renée has been such a blessing in our household bringing peace to chaos.  My favorite part is when Odin started acting out again Renée came right out to help resolve the problem.  We go to group classes when we can to help remind the dogs of the training they’ve learned and to keep up with what’s going on.  The best part of all the hard work is that Loki is now a Canine Good Citizen, which I never thought was possible.  Much appreciation and thanks to Renée.  You have done wonders for our home.

Laura & Josh Jensen

Great Manners and Behavior

Bel the labradorWe can't say enough about how great Renée is! We got a new chocolate Labrador puppy, Bel, six years after we lost our Labrador of 14 years. So imagine that we had not had a puppy in our house in 20 years! Renée came to our house for a private puppy lesson and helped/trained us how to manage a puppy again. It was such a great experience we decided to do the "Board and Train" for Bel. We did not know what to expect, but all I can say is it is worth every penny. Bel is the most well behaved dog. Renée brought her home after the 3 weeks and worked with each of us (wife, 2 teenage boys and me) on all of the commands that she had taught Bel. Immediately it was amazing how a 6 month old puppy came home with such great manners and behavior. We are always complimented by friends and strangers how well behaved Bel is. We are about to get another Labrador puppy and my first call was to Renée to book the Board and Train for her. Thanks Renée for everything. You have a client for life and we will always recommend you to anyone with a dog that needs help!

-J. Gillenwater

Teddy - A Happier Dog

TeddyHere sits Teddy "in place". A few months ago if you had told my daughter and I that Teddy would obey any command we would have laughed. Teddy was a much loved pup but he was aggressive - don't be fooled by his cute face. He would growl and nip when he didn't get his way. Renée likes the story about Teddy grabbing a knife out of the dishwasher and running through the house with it. In other words, we had no control of Teddy - he was in charge.

Finally, it was either, Teddy would behave or he would have to go - that's when we called Renée. It was a life changing decision for us and Teddy. Even though he bit Renée on the first visit, he turned into a nice family member once we signed up for lessons and learned that "we could be in charge of a 10 pound dog" (smile)

Thanks Renée -Teddy is now a happier dog and we are much happier owners.

Karen Carpenter

Doonan & Annie

Doonan and AnnieI am not exaggerating when I say that Renée and Follow Me Dog Training LLC changed our lives.  We loved our dogs but I dreaded returning home at the end of the day.  Doonan, our Australian Sheppard mix, often greeted me by jumping up on me and knocking whatever was in my hand out of it.  Typically, the mail was shredded and splayed throughout the house compliments of Doonan (we also used to enjoy Doonan’s two hour barking spree during mail-delivery time… and don’t even ask me about the Christmas season... non stop barking at any delivery truck within three blocks of our house).  Mail didn’t bother Annie, our Australian Cattle Dog, but upon my arrival, she immediately began nipping my heel or my shoe, or whatever else she felt like nipping.  Apparently, I was merely a sheep she was trying to herd.  

Annie was a bully.  When she wasn’t herding me or our two daughters, or our daughters’ friends, she was herding Doonan.  Doonan did not want to go outside when Annie was outside.  (Life was pretty good before we decided that Doonan needed a friend!)  The neighborhood kids only wanted to come over if Annie and Doonan were outside.  The final straw occurred when our daughter’s friend was nipped as she was leaving our house.  We knew that we had to do something.  We had taken Doonan to traditional dog training and it just hadn’t helped as much as we had hoped.  Fortunately, we found Renée!

We deserved to be judged and probably berated for our lack of discipline, but Renée was calm and clear and didn’t judge us.  She just let us know what we needed to do to get the behaviors under control.  The best part was that training was fun!  We looked forward to our weekly training with Renée and we were really sad when our dogs graduated and met their goals.   We didn’t want to give up our weekly sessions.    

The dogs no longer shred our mail, they come when we call them, and they stay in the place we tell them to.  The best part is that the neighborhood kids are back!  They love coming to the house and they enjoy taking walks with our dogs.  I have to admit, that I love it when I am out walking and my dogs are calm, remain in a heel, and don’t bark as we pass the neighbor who is being pulled by their barking dog as they say, "Oh, don’t worry… he is friendly."  I will admit that our dogs will never be loveable labs, but they are fun and well behaved.  I look forward to coming home at night to take them on a walk or to play catch with them.  Thank you Renée and Follow Me Dog Training!

Katie and Robert Baughan

Lexie & Chloe

Lexie and ChloeSince Renée started working with our dogs Lexi and Chloe, I found out how much people dreaded coming to our house!  Our dogs were so much trouble before; jumping on people or barking from their crates; people didn't like to come visit us.  Everyone keeps saying how much more they enjoy coming over, now, and how much they love the well behaved dogs!  And that was after only the first lesson!

Our puppies have gone from being stuck in their crates or out in the back yard to being the part of our family that we always wanted them to be.  Thanks to Renée, we don't feel frustrated and angry with them anymore, we get to enjoy them!  Walks are a pleasure again, with no pulling and barking at passing cars.  I can finally enjoy my dogs the way I always wanted to!

Rachel and Todd Lawrence

Sage is No Longer a Terror

SageSage looks all sweet and innocent in this picture but she was a terror for us until we found Renée and Follow Me Dog Training LLC.  We couldn't catch Sage, she was so fast. She barked at everything that came down the street.   Now all we have to do is say OFF if she barks and she stops.  She walks with me at a heel. The most wonderful thing Renée taught us was PLACE.  When we want her to stay, inside or outside, we just put her on Place and she stays there until we release her.  Group classes, and participation in the MS Walk in the spring with the other Follow Me Dog Training LLC clients is extra fun to experience with your dog.  Sage is no longer a terror, but the sweet lovable dog that appears in the picture. We love her company so much now.

 M. Malone

Tulip - A Completely Different Dog

TulipIf you’re looking for a trainer, you’ll never find anyone you or your dog will love more than Renée.  Five years ago, my older dog, Dexter, and I met and fell in love with a sweet adult dog, Tulip. After about a year and a half, Tulip started to become increasingly aggressive with Dexter during times when there was a lot of activity going on. During a BBQ at my house one evening, she attacked him badly enough he required immediate vet attention- stitches, drains and antibiotics. I knew I needed help.

I was scared and sad and stressed constantly over the next few days. Interviewing trainers was making me more upset as each one had very specific rules, some of which would’ve deterred from the quality of life we had. I wanted to keep a life in which my dogs could be involved as companions but make sure that life was safe and happy for us all. Instead of telling me the rules, the first thing Renée asked was “What do you want your life with your dogs to be like?” I knew Renée was different from that one sentence and she’s done nothing but continue to prove that.

Lessons were catered to us and our life. The 1:1 attention let Tulip and I focus on learning from Renée without distractions. We did our homework each week (don’t cheat!) and the improvement was nearly immediate. Throughout the six sessions, Tulip’s behavior changed so rapidly that even people in the neighborhood we don’t normally converse with were stopping us to comment “how ladylike” she had become. The compliments continue today.

Throughout training, I loved that both Dexter and Tulip were always thrilled to see Renée arrive, meeting her with waggly butts and smiling faces. As training progressed, Tulip’s sweet disposition never changed. She remained (and remains) the most loving, adorable, chunky little cow of a dog. But training increased her confidence in her relationship with me, gave her more security assuring her of her place in our home, and allowed her to relax. She no longer needs to worry about exciting situations or get stressed out enough to snap when things get hectic- she has learned to just come find me. At the same time, I was just as much of a student. Renée helped me understand that my dogs are individuals with their own needs.  And that’s allowed and embraced. Renée taught me how to get past the notion that my dogs should love dog parks or other dogs. Renée helped me learn to feel good about defending them and speaking up for them.

Renée’s knowledge and guidance and (sometimes tough) love, was absolutely life changing for us. Tulip has always wanted to meet every human she sees. She wants them to pet her and admire her and be her friend. Thanks to Renée and Tulip’s near perfect manners, most people we see are now more than happy to oblige her. I cannot possibly recommend Renée and Follow Me Dog Training LLC anymore highly. Neither can Tulip and Dexter.

-C Conroy