My favorite call of 2017 was the one I made to Sarah--in 30 minutes she gave me all the insight I needed to resume sleeping! And nothing beats a good night's sleep. I truly have two of the best dogs in the world, both Guiding Eyes for the Blind breeding girls. But when the second dog, Kat, came to live with Kit and I, she was in the habit of getting up with the birds. Literally. Did you know birds get up before 5AM in the summer? So a friend suggested Sarah’s remote training. I booked a session. Her advice--simple things really, like not feeding her until 7AM and putting a pillow over my head so she couldn’t see my face in the morning, and calmly pushing her away both in the morning and to help her calm down when she was excited during the day. And it worked in less than 48 hours. I wanted an extra half-hour of sleep but she now sleeps until 6:00--when Kit and I get up anyway. Thank you, Sarah!
Just wanted to share with you; this afternoon Emma and two girlfriends were playing in the yard as only young girls can. Their screams and laughter filled the air. I grabbed Kobe's leash and some treats as I knew that this was a golden training moment. I walked around the bend and was perhaps 20 yards away from the girls playing on the hammock. I commanded Kobe to sit and down which he did without any hesitation. I put the leash down and stepped back a few feet and watched. His natural curiosity directed his eye movement to the noise for a second and I commanded leave it. I immediately had his attention once again. Gave him a treat & walked up the street. About 50 yards up Todd Road, a neighbor's Golden Retriever shot out into the street
at us. Kobe turned to face him and I sternly commanded leave it and only had to give a slight tug. We walked a few yards away as I reprimanded the other dog to go home. Kobe did great. I thought I did pretty good myself!! You've given me tools to better deal with these situations. THANK YOU! - Hugh
Have a problem four "footed" child? Maybe a delightful one that has one really annoying habit or a new member of your family? Have I got the woman for you! I have had the pleasure of watching Sarah work her magic with not only my dogs, Bella & Skittles, but some of her other client's dogs as well. She's kind, understanding and the dogs completely relate to her enthusiasm and positive energy. Our dogs are members of our family and her loving, non-judgmental approach made it so easy to work with her. Fur-ever my friend and go-to dog expert! Thank you Sarah!
- Lorna Graham
Thank you so much for sharing your book with my and my family! Your deep love and understanding for dogs shine through every line. Your informative and humorous style makes for an enjoyable read. Now, every time I'm assessing a new situation, I think "What would Sarah do?"
Now that both kids have moved out, it's nice to have another baby to love.
With deepest thanks,
Sanjo & Niko
Auntie Sarah was a great help, again! I have 5 Afghan hounds of various ages. 2 males, 3 bitches. One happy herd...until, one day, there was a tussle between the males. One is 3, the other, the patriarch of the clan, is 10. Thank God i was there and separated them, no broken skin. Then, it happened again. They were okay, but I couldn't take a chance and separated them, which was a big pain for me and I knew that they weren't happy because they are pack animals, and the pack wasn't right.
Cue Auntie Sarah to the rescue! In no time at all, she had them all together again. The little guy has a gentle leader on, for a duration of one week, and they're both happy little campers now. The males sniff each other nicely and mosey along together when they're outside in the yard. When they're inside, they sleep next to each other!
Thank you, Auntie Sarah!
- Zazoo's Mama
Sarah has rescued us several times, not only with her tips and advice but with her confidence in us as dog owners. Actually, we have our current golden retrievers because she knew our personalities from past puppy kindergarten sessions and basically chose puppies, that she had temperament-tested, that she knew would give us great joy.
Saga & Erik, named to honor their Swedish mothers, have had their moments of reckless abandon, pulling out small plants and tossing them to each other, digging holes everywhere, and going on runs, off the beaten trail, with apparently no ability to hear or look back. Sarah recommended a sleep schedule where they can be in a safe "cave" for several hours. With this sleep training, they are angels, no kidding.
So many things I thought made sense as far as training were wrong! Aligning with the dog's brain is a satisfying thing. We have Sarah to thank for expanding our vocabulary and our ways of handling situations that come up along our travels.
- Brian Sisco
Sarah is a miracle worker. My English bulldog Sal was going through a period of being very skittish and fearful of people, which was a total surprise to me. He had been heavily socialized as a puppy but at approximately 14 months of age suddenly became fearful and wary of strangers. This was particularly troubling because everybody wants to meet Sal. I know I am his owner - but he is abnormally cute. He went from a "happy go lucky" pup to a lunging and aggressive adolescent. Six weeks later under the tutelage of Sarah he's back to being a gentleman and I am regaining my confidence bringing Sal into environments where he is meeting and greeting strangers. We still have a little ways to go, but we are definitely on the right track with the goal of Sal graduating a therapy dog. He has a good soul and makes everybody he meets very happy.
- Tim, CT
Just when we were at wit's end with our adorable but rambunctious labradoodle puppy, Ace, we found Sarah, and we are eternally grateful to all she brought to our family! She is intuitive, creative, and thoughtful--she listens carefully, observes keenly, and swiftly and effectively transformed our puppy's behavior AND our behavior. Sarah brings an ideal balance of love and positivity mixed with clear boundaries and expectations--she empowered us to adore our puppy and lavish him with love and praise while also teaching him to follow rules and behave appropriately in our home. Sarah was brilliant at incorporating our three kids into Ace's training regimen and making it a playful and fun. She tapped into the energy and motivation that our kids brought to Ace's training and gave them special responsibilities and "games" to teach Ace. We all loved our sessions with Sarah, most of all Ace who could barely contain his excitement every time she walked in the door. We thank Sarah for our loving, harmonious, fun-filled dynamic with Ace!
Emily Stern, Greenwich
We were incredibly lucky to have found Sarah! I have rescue dogs who have a challenging mix of strong personalities. My dogs immediately responded to her and adored her endearing ways. I have so much fun working with Sarah and especially appreciate her high energy, positive reinforcement methods, as well as her easy to understand commands and explanations of dog behavior. She took on our difficult situation with a calm and optimistic attitude, which in turn gave me hope and encouragement! I highly recommend Sarah to all of my dog friends and can't wait to work with her again!
- Sarah Koch & family
Sarah has a remarkable way of relating to dogs and owners both. We started with Sarah when our puppy was a rambunctious three-month-old, and in a couple of months, Sarah has helped transform our interaction and training with our puppy into a positive, constructive, fun, growing experience. Sarah's approach is pragmatic, uses common sense, and she has the wisdom, instincts, and appreciation of the unique relationship between each pet and the family. Sarah taught us the basic importance of the puppy's regular sleep routine, how to use the proper vocabulary and intonation, and the consistency of commands. Sarah is both insightful and passionate about our dogs and the roles they play in our lives.
Each session with Sarah brings new realizations to us, and uncanny progress with our puppy. We feel so fortunate to have Sarah working with our family. - P & L
There is NO other teacher for pets like Sarah Hodgson! She is the nutty- pet-professor you have longed for in your dreams!
After meeting Sarah in 2014 during a difficult time, including a challenging relationship with my partner’s Bichon Frise pup, Sarah reassured me that my new family would be an awesome family. I cannot thank her enough for her care, kindness, and wisdom. Her advice has always felt humane and heartfelt with each and every observation.
Sarah has the unique gift of being all at once sharp-witted and keen, yet warm and empathetic to the quirkiest of pet-rearing needs. She takes her work seriously and our time together was well spent. I listened to her advice, and was successful in many ways with her practical tips. But mostly,, Sarah taught me to love my pup and let go of my resentment!
I’m not a “dog person” but after working with Sarah Hodgson, I learned that my little Bichon named Lily is an integral part of my family! With each new challenge I am less and less angry and more open to the unconditional love and affection my dog gives to me each and every day. Lily has boundless and unlimited love for me that I am now able to recognize and return freely.
Thank you Sarah! You have given me the tools to be a great Dog Mommy and I love you for that!
Christine D. – Pound Ridge, New York
We called Sarah before we got our new puppy as we knew that WE would need a lot of training before our lovely Goldendoodle arrived. Sarah was very helpful in anticipating and planning a routine for our dog that fit into our family life - boundaries for the dog, what supplies to buy, how to manage the feeding and walking schedule, as well as invaluable training tips to get us started.
We signed up for Sarah’s Puppy Kindergarten class and were so impressed with the immediate results we had. With consistent reinforcement at home, Sarah gave us the tools that we needed to ensure our puppy was safe, happy and well behaved. And the socialization that the class atmosphere provided was great. Sarah answered all of our questions thoroughly and until we felt comfortable with a new puppy in the house.
- Christine M.
I live in India where not all dogs are appreciated. We have a pretty big street dog population and it's a problem over here. People don't always understand just how much I love my dog.
So when I started to have a problem with my dog's barking at the window and acting angry when people came to visit I needed to find someone who not only understood how much I loved my dog but who could also help me solve my problem fast.
I liked the approachability I felt when I visited Sarah's site. Her blogs made sense and I noticed she offered Skype sessions so I filled out my form and asked if she did international consultations!
I've already done three Skype sessions with Sarah- first to address the barking, but also my Brownie's leash pulling and rough play with other dogs. Her suggestions work and her words make me feel empowered instead of hopeless!
Just a quick note to thank you for all your help with Shane. He is almost the most perfect 7 month old golden doodle! The classes were great in helping him socialize with other dogs and learn his manners, and there is a big difference in our walks now.
Your visit to our house and assessment on him at home ( moving him out of his crate) has been a total game changer - especially at bedtime. As you suggested, we tether him near our bed and he goes to sleep the same time as we do and wakes up when we wake up. He is happier and so are we!!!
You have made a big difference in our house with Shane and we thank you very much.
Many, many years ago we took group dog training lessons with Sarah. Our two very different dogs (an exuberant Lab and a reserved Chow Chow mix) happily learned the basics of canine good citizenry. We were very pleased with the results.
We moved away from Sarah’s home base and as always happens, time took our beloved and well-mannered (thanks to Sarah!) dogs. When we adopted a new dog, we decided to try a well-known local trainer. Over the course of three sessions, he made fun of my husband’s New Jersey accent, told me my dog thought I was a jerk and demonstrated a “leash correction” that actually hurt my elbow. We apologized to our dog and never went back. I missed Sarah.
When I learned that she offered Skype sessions, I signed up. Compassionate, funny, effective — she took us through the simple steps needed to understand and guide our dog down the road to civility. It was a relief and a pleasure.
Just because someone hangs out a shingle and says they’re a professional, don’t make assumptions. Do your research. Check out Sarah’s credentials, books and website. Her philosophy shines through. She’s a true pro.
-Maureen C. , RedHook
Tesla is my first puppy and I have been overwhelmed. I raised two children and falsely assumed a puppy couldn’t be that different. Boy, was I wrong. I first met Sarah several years ago when she came to the house to help with my son’s rescue dog. She worked miracles in one short session. So it was a no brainer to call Sarah when my husband I rescued a puppy. Tesla, the puppy, and I enrolled in Sarah’s puppy kindergarten.
There, Sarah works with Puppies and their owners to learn how to encourage good behavior and resolve some of the many frustrations that are common to puppyhood. These include chewing, house training, nipping, jumping, etc. At the last class, I mentioned that my puppy, Tesla, just didn’t seem to like her mat. Sarah said to just keep trying and made some suggestions, but I didn’t have high hopes. I was also worried because my husband was coming home from rehab following an operation to insert a rod in his thigh. Needless to say, he isn’t too steady on his feet. Lo and behold, when the three of us got home that day, Tesla immediately went to her mat and my husband settled in with out incident. It’s been relatively smooth sailing ever since. (She is still a puppy!)
I cannot say enough positive things about Sarah Hodgson. She loves every animal – and their owners. She doesn’t “teach” or “preach”. She has fun with you and your dog and in the process both you and the dog learn the tools you need to live together, happily and stress free.
Sarah Wise Miller
Working with Sarah has been a gift for our whole family. Her personalized lessons, simple solutions, and direct, practical demonstrations have helped our puppy develop into a wonderful companion and playmate, and all her online resources (not to mention the books) meant that we were never at a loss between lessons.
Although we have graduated from puppy training, we will certainly be keeping her number and her website at our fingertips, for any questions that arise!
Sarah your knowledge and book smarts about dogs in always spot on. You
spend time getting to know the family and the dog; that makes for the
most successful outcome. The best part is, your training techniques make
sense. You pull all of the pieces together to create a balanced home.
Finn is already showing signs of improvement in our house and we know he will be the protector we want but also the welcoming dog we need! We
can’t thank you enough.
Sarah has trained not 1, not 2, but 3 of our dogs. And the reason why we love Sarah is that she really does “get” dogs, so each of our dogs was helped in just the right way.
Nugget, pedigree Golden Retriever, learned to love you without knocking you over. Hershey, a pedigree Rottweiler, learned to think: “Oh, that person at the other end of the leash is really the one in charge.”
Shaina, our newest addition, came up from a Mississippi shelter, and suffice it to say that her original foster parents named her “Shy- Shy.” Sarah knew just what to do to bring Shaina out of her shell and into our hearts.
When dogs talk, Sarah really does listen.
~Loretta — Somers, NY
When my dog started growling at other dogs in the neighborhood I thought I was going to have to take him back to the shelter. Then Sarah showed me how he was just confused about his role–that his growling was actually a sign of being unsure of what he was suppose to do. In one 90 minute session, Sarah helped us learn how to walk him in town – around other dogs and people – and resolved his jumping issues, too. I never dreamed it would be so easy to have a better life with our dog. And all in one session. Wow!
-Moira and Luke, in New Paltz