FOUNDATION COURSE – Loose Leash Walking
1) 2016 Student: Wendy
Dog Breed: Border Collie
“The dog that I have now is a completely different and transformed dog from when I began the FOUNDATION Course.
If I did not have access to the online videos and blog, I honestly would not have had the success I did with my newly adopted 4.5 year old Border Collie. I appreciated ALL forms of Roxanne’s learning props including written, verbal and hands on. The online facilitated using all these forms, and it worked!”
2) 2016 Student: Harry
Dog Breed: Great Pyrenees
"My wife and I bought a 12-month old Pyrenees, Phoebe, from a small farm in Pennsylvania. The owners were having some issues with the dog and wanted to get rid of it. I knew of the Pyrenees character and could easily see where these behaviors came from, what caused them and why. I soon found out that those problems did not go away and were much harder to deal with then I originally thought.
The problems we had included constant barking, constant escaping and succeeding at it whether tied outside or while walking, aggressing towards our cat, aggressing towards motorcycles, UPS and other trucks, showing friendliness towards other dogs before aggressing towards them to name a few. We kept her in a separate room by herself and out of our bedroom and living room out of slight fear what might happen. It was obvious we had to do something about it and more obvious that we did not have the knowledge to do so. Don’t get me wrong, the dog had and still does have other great qualities. We decided to work at reforming Phoebe rather than giving her up.
We bought some books from the internet and tried some of those methods. We also went to the SPCA to an introduction dog training class. We read Milan's book and bought his collars. None of these methods did anything for us. The books and other material were useless probably because we did not know how to use the information. I am pretty sure if I bought The Koehler method of DOG TRAINING we would not have known how to implement it. Other people have the gift to know what to do but we do not.
As far as the SPCA training, their trainers used treat based methods which sounded pretty good. We tried the treat based method in our home and it seemed to work. I started carrying treats with me to give to the dog if something happened. One day something did happen. We came across another dog being walked. Phoebe started aggressing. I held the leash tight and held my position. Her forceful lunging lifting her off her front paws. I grabbed a treat and waved it in front of her nose yelling “Phoebe, Phoebe…. Look! a treat. Here Phoebe. A TREAT!!”. Looking back now, this can’t be anything less than absurd and comical.
One day Phoebe dragged my wife down aggressing against a UPS truck. My wife held onto the leash for the dear life of the dog. My wife loves animals and did not want Phoebe to get hurt. Unfortunately, she injured and pulled several sinews/ muscles on her shoulder that needed medical attention and treatment.
The next day, she came from work and plopped a trainer's name and telephone number on my lap. Her coworker highly recommended Roxanne for the work she did with her daughter’s dog. Talking to Roxanne we realized she talked straight, devoid of political correctness. Her straightforwardness took a while to get used to, but in the end was greatly appreciated. She told us about her training methods using the Koehler method and how difficult it would be especially for our type of dog, its age and the habits it picked up.
She also went over the differences between the Koehler method and treat based training and also made the point that the dog is much easier to train than the handler. She informed us that we are nearing the tail end of the range in age where training would be most effective and that it was a very good time to start. The reviews of the Koehler method were not positive, but we decided that the safety of ourselves was more important than the comfort of the dog. We decided on Roxanne and the Koehler method. Besides, a dog under the rolling tire of a UPS truck would be much crueler then a yank on its slip collar.
Our first week was Longe line work where we use a 15' line and work the dog to make it understand that it needs to pay attention to the handler and stay close to them. We saw immediate results. The constant fear and attention barking disappeared and the aggression barking happened less often. With results in the first week, it was a no brainer to stay the full 10 weeks.
At the end of 10 weeks Phoebe can be handled off-leash, she can be with other trained dogs without aggression, stays calm with the cat even though the cat aggresses against Phoebe. Most issues with Phoebe disappeared and others were mitigated. She can now be with us in the living room where she lounges in front of the TV as we watch and in the bedroom at night protecting us. We are still working on getting the cat and her to be buddies, but that will take a little time.
The biggest transformation though was in us and how we became more confident in handling a big dog like Phoebe, understanding when she is tired, when to push her and when to back off. In essence, my wife and I developed a good and healthy relationship with Phoebe. Phoebe is now a different dog than when we got her and we are different persons as a result of going through the FOUNDATION Course.
The training has been educational, difficult and time consuming, but well worth it. There is still more work to be done to expose Phoebe to higher skill sets but, with the basic training provided by Roxanne, further training hasbecome easier and much more fun."
3) 2015 Student: Monika
Dog Breed: German Shepherd
“Drago was the most beautiful German Shepherd I have ever seen. We fell in love with him immediately. Unfortunately, though he looked like royalty he behaved like a rude peasant around the house and towards my other dogs.
At 90 pounds and eight months of age he acted like a wild beast. He chased down his own shadows, chased his tail, and he chased my other dogs. He barked, bumped into our knees and bolted through the door. He chewed a hole in my carpet and a piece out of my new ottoman. He pulled like crazy on the leash and jumped on counter tops and us. Most disturbingly he was very aggressive towards strangers.
We feared that one day he would end up hurting someone. I could not bear the thought of having to put Drago down, as that seemed to be a very likely outcome if he continued reinforcing his natural instincts. It was time to be a responsible dog owner and do the right thing.
That is when Roxanne came along. We scheduled our first lesson and instantly life got a whole lot better for everyone, especially Drago. Roxanne immediately equipped me with tools to stop Drago’s dangerous behavior. She showed me a couple of exercises to begin training. At the end of the first hour, I had a dog who paid attention and chose to be attentive to me.
In the weeks following our first meeting, Drago and I learned a common language. I learned how to read him better and he learned to pay attention to me. Not only did Roxanne address all of our issues, and that happened very early in our training, she also transformed my relationship with my dog and redefined my idea of what a “well-behaved dog” really is. I now understand that I can expect more from Drago. I do not need to be ignorant, raising a rude dog who only lives to take advantage of me. He is smart, able and willing to learn and occupy his intelligent dog mind with constructive work.
Drago no longer jumps on us, the furniture or the countertops. He walks beautifully on the leash. He comes when called. He does not pester my other dogs and does not run through the house like a wild hog. He learned numerous commands, which are not only fun for us to apply but also make Drago a much safer German Shepherd in his tamed world. Most importantly, although he still does not love strangers, he now tolerates them just fine and when he is in doubt he comes to my side and awaits my commands.
What I love about working with Roxanne is the support she gives me. I love the method she uses to train dogs. I also greatly appreciate the blog she set up for me. I do not have to bother with taking notes because it is all right there on the blog for me to review. On good days, she celebrates with me. On bad days, she supports me. She goes above and beyond the once a week lessons and gives her attention to me as if I was her only student. I am so happy that it is her who walks with me through what continues to be a wonderful dog training adventure.”
4) 2015 Student: Dave
Dog Breed: Labrador Retriever
"I am incredibly happy with my training experience with Roxanne Lee. Our family got Bailey at 8 weeks old and from day one it was clear that he would be a handful that functioned best on his own time and train of thought. He notoriously chewed through shoes and ran through mud in the backyard with a strong case of "selective hearing." I met Roxanne at the Rappahannock River Retriever Club in Virginia, were she was holding her Puppy Class. I was impressed by her knowledge and training methods and decided to enroll in her course.
The course is based on the Koehler Method of Dog Training, so I was able to read up on the tactics prior to beginning. The book acts as a great outline and is backed by an abundant amount of research. From Day 1, she proved incredibly knowledgeable and I was able to ask, and receive great answers to questions, that were wide-ranging. The training was not only for Bailey, but for myself. There was a strong emphasis on my handling skills and understanding of how and why the training is done the way that it is. She supplements class time with training videos that you can refer to during the week between classes. On those days when you’re struggling a video is worth a thousand words. The training has led to a stronger sense of trust between Bailey and I - and truly paved way for a path of constant growth through the course and beyond.
Less than 6 months after beginning training, I find Bailey to be much more attentive. He watches me on walks and prefers to stay close while off leash, due to the training. The step by step progression and building blocks of the course ensured the training success of both Bailey and I. While Bailey is still a puppy at heart, I find him ready to learn. He is eager to please and happy to comply with requests (for the most part).
I look forward to continuing training with Roxanne and moving towards off-leash success. Hopefully advancing on to hunt tests. I would give Roxanne a 5-star rating. For anyone who is looking to transform their dog into a more attentive, well-behaved dog, this course is for you. Whether your dog is a puppy or older, Roxanne has the tips and skills required to make training a success. Be prepared to learn more than you would have imagined from dog training!"
5) 2015 Student: Shannon
Dog Breed: Labrador Retriever
A little late - but I wanted to do a testimony to what I learned throughout my six weeks of the class! Although I wasn't able to complete the entire ten-week course with Rowdy, I do feel that a training foundation was established that will last far into the future.
The first piece of this training was understanding the psychology behind it. In order to train properly, I learned that I had to understand what Rowdy was thinking and how he learned best.
Furthermore, I had to think purposefully in every move. The training is laid out in a thoughtful way that places reason behind each and every step. Things like stepping off on the right foot, using proper commands, and giving praise were all important to think about.
Through your training program, Rowdy learned to listen and follow me as his leader. Rowdy is a very soft Lab, but through this course, he grew more compliant and observant. His heeling improved drastically. I noticed him watching my feet frequently, even when not on leash. Other commands like Sit, Stay, and Stand improved. He grew more trusting, which was another key to success.
Above all, I believe the biggest learnings were the importance of consistency and patience. My frustrations had a domino effect. I learned to step away from training if I found myself frustrated and come back to a clean slate the next day. With that, I learned that much of the frustration stemmed from inconsistencies with MY training. Rowdy was ready to listen and please - it was just a matter of telling him what to do and showing him how to do it.
Thank you very much for your time over the last few weeks! Your knowledge on the subject does not go unnoticed. It was great to have a trainer that was honest, open, and has an abundance of knowledge on the subject.
I was thankful to have trust based training, rather than fear or food induced compliance. I know that this sort of training is the type that will last long term."