A Gift for the Whole Family!

 
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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!

Smoochie Poochie

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.

From Shy to Happy

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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

My boy Leroy, in a whole new light

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

Confidence Boost

After we got our German Shepherd puppy “Harley” she started puppy kindergarten with Sarah. Harley was very unsure of people and needed socialization and boundries. With Sarah’s guidance, we were able to open her up positively to people and teach ourselves we are not the sheep but the Shepherds! Harley graduated most improved, and we were given skills that we will take with us forever. Harley recently graduated from Sarah’s grade school class, and is such a wonderful improved family pet. Sarah is ALWAYS available to answer our questions or listen to our concerns, and we truly enjoyed as a family (my husband, myself and our 10 year old son) participating in her classes. We look forward to starting High School classes soon! We cannot thank Sarah enough for all she has taught us, she truly is an amazing gifted individual. I would recommend Sarah’s guidance to anyone, with a dog/pup of any age.   

Nicole M.- Yorktown NY

Fantastic Trainer!

Sarah Hodgson is a fantastic dog trainer and a pleasure to work with. When I became the owner of a big black Newfoundland named Bear I knew I needed to find the right trainer for him. He was the runt of the litter and so the last to be sold but my whole family fell in love with him. When we picked him up from the breeder he was nine months old and 80 pounds and had never been off of the farm on which he was born. Consequently, he did not know how to walk on a leash or other basic
commands such as sit and heel. I got in touch with Sarah after having a bad experience with one of the popular dog training franchises. My dog was terrified of the trainer. I didn’t trust him with Bear and the methods he used were uncomfortable to watch. He didn’t seem to have Bear’s best interest in mind. The first time I saw Sarah approach Bear I knew it was a perfect match. She took a genuine interest in him and taught me how to practice commands with him. She explained exactly what Bear needed to work on and showed us the activities that would help with that. She also only used positive reinforcement, which we particularly appreciated after our previous bad experience. I saw a difference in Bear’s behavior after one session. Sarah provided all the guidance necessary to give Bear a very happy life. She has a unique and creative style, and throws herself into her work. She’s friendly, down to earth and it was easy to schedule appointment around my very busy life. I would recommend Sarah to anyone who loves their dog and wants them trusted like part of the family.

~Erin N.

Thank You!

Sarah – I wanted to send you a huge thank you. Our Kaia is a different dog in just 2 days. We have a long way to go, but it’s all working and having a measurable impact. I never expected so much from just one lesson. The kids are so much happier now!

Sweet Bella Jane

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I only wish I’d known to call Sarah when we welcomed our first dog 13 years ago. This second time around I knew just who to call! Sarah was so amazing with Bella, our black Lab puppy. We started private lessons right away and that was the perfect thing for both me and Bella. Sarah gave me the confidence to know that I could train and teach Bella. Bella would just melt and do whatever Sarah wanted and that showed me that I could get Bella to respond in the same way to me. All of Sarah’s “tricks” and ways work with Bella, from commands to products to use, she knows just how to relate to dogs and get them to want to behave. She’s magical! She is a dog magnet. I can’t stop recommending her to everyone and anyone I know and meet who tell me they’re getting a new dog or need to teach an old dog new tricks.

Endless Knowledge!

After reading Sarah’s book “Puppies for Dummies” and learning Sarah and I lived in close proximity, I was determined to meet her.

After conversing a bit through email, my family and I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah in person prior to our puppy arriving from the breeder. That meeting was the best experience for our family as we were all well prepared for the puppy’s arrival. The things we learned are endless!!! Having Sarah before the puppy arrived worked best for us as there were no interruptions and we could focus on exactly what Sarah was teaching us.

Sarah is a fountain of information and knows her stuff inside and out. We have implemented her teachings into our everyday lives and we have a well-behaved puppy. There is nothing better than a well behaved puppy.

I would highly recommend anybody who is getting a puppy have Sarah come to your house to teach everyone how to care for a puppy.

Thanks again Sarah for everything. You are an amazing person.

Housetraining Simplified

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I first heard of Sarah through a friend who recommended her for my new Maltipoo puppy, then a month later my veterinarian recommended her when I brought up housebreaking frustrations. I was nervous about using a dog trainer as I thought it would be a lot of corrections and we love our Bosco boy so much! I was thrilled to meet Sarah–not only did she help us housetraining him (almost overnight) but she was great with my husband, daughter and our older dog too! She brought us together– “team puppy,” she called it and the urine smell is gone just in time for the holidays!

Triple Woof

We first met Sarah eleven years ago with Laszlo, our first Viszla. He went through kindergarten and grade school with a little extra private help for housebreaking issues (why should the dog go to the bathroom outside when the cats, a duck, and the people get to go to the bathroom in the house?) and some mild, persnickety aggression (reluctance to get off the couch or give up his bone…). We didn’t think twice about bringing our next Viszla puppy, Bela, to class and now four years later she is well on her way to getting certified as a therapy dog with Sarah’s help.

A couple of months ago we adopted a young dog, Branson, from a shelter where he’d been for at least a year. We knew he was coming with some fear and aggression issues, but when he bit someone who came to our house, we got in touch with Sarah right away. She immediately saw him and gave us some things to work on until we could bring him to grade school and he’s already improved so much.

Our dogs have always been just like extra people in our house, but Sarah’s been key in helping us understand where they’re coming from when they act up and teaching us how to give the right amounts of love and direction they expect and need from us.

–N.T & friends!

Order from Chaos

Dear Sarah,

Thank you bringing order to chaos! I can’t believe the changes we are seeing in Shamrock—I’m so glad I took my vet’s advice and called you. I guess he could see the desperation in my eyes during our last checkup.

It’s such a relief to be able to understand what’s going on in that furry little head, and I’m sure Shammy feels the same.

Just a funny side note—I’ve been using some of the techniques that I learned in the puppy consultation on my husband and kids—have you considered a side business? It’s amazing what a little clear communication will do for household harmony!            

Thanks again,

Holly A.

Veterinary Hospital Managers Association

I met Sarah when she came in to do a presentation for our intern class this past summer, and I realized that she is awesome, so I quickly made an effort to establish a long-term relationship with her and our hospitals. Sarah’s perspective is very interesting – she is able to see things from both a human point of view and an animal point of view – and she definitely is able to communicate very well with the dogs I have seen her with. Sarah is a great person, a fun speaker, and a good teacher who always puts a positive spin on her topic. It is obvious that she enjoys her work, and sharing her experience with others, so I hope to have her continue to speak to our technical staff, our doctors, and our clients moving forward.

Kristen Mauro, CVPM
Hospital Manager
VCA Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center #735
Norwalk, CT

Rascal is a smart dog after all!

Hi Sarah, 

Thanks for coming to help us with Rascal. He seemed to understand right away after you left that he should spend more time with us as opposed to always hanging in his kitchen crate when we’re in another room. I see a difference. He still does fall into kitchen mode especially when he is wanting treats. But we’re on our way!
Also, he also seemed to understand right away that he can and should play more with toys. Even my husband got him to play, which is new.  I like the belt leash, as well as the strategy of keeping myself between him and “offenders” on walks.  I think I understood you correctly that moving him more often into play and not too excitable seeking behaviors is good for his well-being. Less fear and frustration.  The one thing not working is his new harness. I like the idea of his not being able to pull so much, but it’s rubbing under his arms, creating redness there, even when I eventually loosened it. Also, since he’s so low to the ground, I spend a lot of time pulling the leash out from under his legs. Sometimes, the new harness also starts to fall off. So–we’re back to his old harness due to the redness, tightness, and challenge with coordinating the other one. Is there another option you recommend for a short but full-chested guy like him? Thanks also for your collar ideas. I will watch the DVD too.  Last night, he was trying so hard to make sense of his new desire to play more with me. He was very goofy, was “guffawing” a lot (his mouth was wide open in a goofy smile), but the playfulness is definitely coming out. Like a kid who is discovering a new talent. 

Thanks again. He enjoyed meeting you and seems a quick learner!!
Jean

Twice the Fun!

Christmas 2012  I put my 16 year  old “first born” chihuahua down. She was old and in a lot of pain but obviously we were devastated. Our other chihuahua/min pin rescue is in retirement, she sleeps all day and shows up for mealtimes. The rumblings for another dog began. I was hesitant after our second failed rescue Then a phone call from Sarah: ” I have the perfect dog for you, you have to come and see.” We fell in love, and now we have twins. Our rescue puppies are delightful. Thanks to Sarah they are the perfect match for our family. They can cope with the chaos that is my house. They are included in dramas, they have feature roles in video star, they play fetch and frisbee.  They are sweet and perfect and we are so happy. I will never try another rescue without Sarah, her advice and her selection saved us so much time, money and a lot of heartache. A million thanks.

Dog Psychology 101

It is both a pleasure and a privilege to reflect upon my professional association with Sarah Hodgson. 

I have known Sarah for approximately a year.  She was referred to me as an outstanding professional by my vet.

I met her at the time when my rescue dog, a golden retriever, was having serious medical difficulties.  There was something very wrong that caused her to be potentially dangerously aggressive with persons she might encounter when walking.  There was nothing that could be done to alter that behavior and, through the knowledge and support of Sarah, I agreed to make the very painful decision to have her euthanized.  Sarah’s kindness, compassion and professional insights were of utmost value to me.

Subsequent to this resolution, she got me another rescue dog.  My new dog is in all ways perfect for one of my age [80] and temperament.  Sarah spent time making this recommendation until she knew me better.

Her reputation is one of being a brilliant trainer, teacher and owner of four wonderfully behaved dogs.  She teaches, trains and writes.  She enjoys an outstanding reputation with the vets in my area, Fairfield County, CT.

Sarah is an exuberant, intelligent, loving teacher.  She possesses a high level of knowledge about animals and is seriously committed to the welfare of all those with whom she works.  She obviously loves what she does and handles her responsibilities with commitment and love.

I have enjoyed knowing her and am looking forward to our ongoing relationship as she helps me with my pet, if needed.

I must conclude that she has a very high energy level and quick response system.

It is my pleasure to know her and have her educate me in this field of endeavor.

~ Sue B. — Fairfield County, CT

The Insider's Perspective

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When I heard my wife was working on the long awaited testimonial page I felt I had to slip one in under the table.  I knew two things were for sure when I married Sarah…she could not reverse a car to save her life, and that we would in the course of our lifetime have a lot of pets. Little did I know.  Now nearly a decade later we have two kids, 4 dogs, 3 cats, a lizard and a rabbit.  I keep telling her “There’s no more room at the inn,” then sure enough she or the kids find another creature, with a sorry tail (tale?), in need of love.  And in our house love seems to abide.

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But for a kid from Cleveland who never had so much as a fish, and whose family routinely lifts their brow that we’ve packed in a little more, I’m amazed at how well our household flows.  Sarah does more than trains the pets, she communicates calmly.  She’s taught me and the kids a kindness and empathy towards each of them, that isn’t obvious because the pets don’t speak.  I’ve learned to “listen with my eyes” by watching their postures and how essential it is to provide a consistent routine of feeding, play and structure–day in, day out.

I watch my wife with our family and while she’s clearly the stricter of our two, she’s also incredibly loving and fun.  The animals swarm to her, the kids gather around and I sit back and am so grateful to know her.

Westchester Putnam Retired Public Employees Association

Dear Sarah,

On behalf of the Westchester Putnam Retired Public Employees Association,  I want to thank you for your engrossing presentation at the September meeting.

You have gift for entertaining as well as training.  Your three canine assistants,Hootenanny, Balderdash, and Whoopsie really drew everyone into the moment, showing that dogs do have distinct personalities — and how, with understanding,  compassion, and diligence, they can be trained to fit into their human families with ease.  All that’s necessary is someone like you to translate “dogspeak” and guide the rest of us humans in how to interact with our canine companions.

Thank you especially for your generous gift of time and energy, which made for a very special meeting.  Many people said they had enjoyed themselves, and had learned something new about people and their dogs.

Very truly yours, on behalf of the Westchester Putnam Retired Public Employees Association,

~ Cheryl G. – Yorktown Heights, NY

Bruno

I just wanted to thank you again for coming to help me with Bruno.  We are doing really well!  We’re taking long walks twice a day and he is heeling beautifully and staying focused!  My husband is thrilled to walk with him now.  I take him out back to just ” take care of business” throughout the day and he’s going on command. And for some reason he is ringing the bell!!! Which he never did before so that’s been awesome.  

We schedule a playtime in the backyard as well every day too.  Much to my surprise he is napping – taking long naps and listening to jazz and opera upstairs when I leave and during nap time even when I’m home.  He jumped the gate only once and that’s because he heard my son leaving the house for school :( 

 I’ve read your blog posts and am reading thru your books.   Anyway I will continue to be consistent with him and keep you posted.  Hopefully next time we can work on getting him to stay, get down and not freak out when he sees a squirrel through the window. 

Thank you thank you for being so helpful and wonderful.

Thanks for Loving Our Terriers!

Dear Sarah,

After 12 years and one well trained dog we came back again for more help with puppy number two. It was a tougher transition than we had thought but all your time and advice has really paid off. The Dixon family wants to wish your family a happy holiday season and say thank you for all of your help. Life is so much calmer here and there is finally love between the dogs. Peace at last!” Sawyer has become the puppy that we wished for
and more and Briar will always be our first baby.