Tail Wags

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The Stephensen’s In Phoenix.

JackWe learned the nuts and bolts of basic obedience during our sessions with Crystal, which was very valuable with our dog, Jack, who needed confidence and got it as he began to understand what we wanted him to do. He’s an overly-anxious dog, and we found that when a situation was beginning to look dicey for him, a simple command from us to “sit” gave him something to focus on, something he was sure of, and therefore some relief from his worry (we got some of this too, which helps). But the most important thing we learned from Crystal — and it’s a bigger lesson than just basic obedience skills — is that loving your dog, like loving your kids, means more than giving him scratches and treats and hugs. It also means teaching him the rules and expecting him to follow them. Giving him structure, which is really just a roadmap for a good life with his new family. We gained confidence in our growing skills with — she made us feel proud of how far Jack had come. So remember: Cut the treats to the size of raisins, be generous with them, be consistent and don’t give up. And listen to Crystal. You won’t be sorry.


BuffyThe Schwaab's of Apache Junction

I’m Buffy and my Mom starting me training with All Ways Pawsitive when I was five months old. Actually I thought it was a game and I got lots of treats. Now I knowexactly what is expected of me and I'm glad that I make my parents happy with my behavior. That’s all I really ever wanted to do, but I didn’t realize what they expected of me until Crystal came to my house and played those “games” with me.I love Crystal.

Buffy Schwaab

the Forsberg's of Rio Verde

Maf in gateWhen a Christmas gift of two six-week old ShihTzus came into my life I was thrilled but very anxious. With arthritic issues and some challenged mobility, I wondered if I could manage the care and needed training puppies need. My last two dogs had passed away at the age of 17 years so it had been many years since I had the joy and work of puppies in the home. I learned about AllwaysPawsitive training and turned to Crystal for some instruction and guidance. I was overwhelmingly pleased with the positive approach and the clear direction she provided. Her training me has helped my confidence, gave me clear, manageable “homework,” and I think I’ve become a better “master” to my little dogs. After the first class my two little pups, then only 11 weeks old, were “ringing the bells” on the kitchen door to go out. They continue to learn and we enjoy our lesson review and practice every day. The training I received has provided me with solid and meaningful principles and continues to guide my work with my new little family. I highly recommend the Allwayspawsitive training and the opportunity to work with Crystal.

The Carpenter’s in Mesa

The Carpenter's LadiesWe adopted two English Springer Spaniel sisters, about 2 years old, through the ESS Rescue organization. Crystal Coll conducted our home visit after the adoption, and probably would not have recommended our home because our outdoor retaining wall is low enough for them to jump over. However, she limitedly mentored us through difficult early weeks as we discovered the dogs had not been house trained. Her email mentoring even before she started formal training was invaluable as we came very close to relinquishing these two back to the ESS Rescue after bonding with them. Her commitment to people who adopt is remarkable. She communicates well, and we like her use of email and the internet because we all have crazy schedules. She demonstrates important flexibility not found in all “pros.”

We were skeptical of the clicker training. Crystal connected us to more information and eventually put us at ease as we started training. Her main challenge was training us as well as our ladies. It did not take long to feel confident with her direction. She gave us extra advice about how the two sisters relate to each other, when to train them separately or together, and what is normal dog behavior. Our two exhibit anxiety behaviors, probably not atypical of rescue dogs. They have settled some with Crystal’s help, yet remain very exuberant, loving English Springer Spaniels. Nothing is boring about these two!

We quickly recognized Crystal’s positive reinforcement of our actions, not just the dogs’ actions. She helps the owner understand how the dog perceives what you are trying to get it to do and how to recognize and reward success. Accepting and rewarding “baby steps” is so important, because it works and the dog is so happy about it. Yes, “stuffing with treats” works fabulously well. Crystal tells you how to compensate at their feeding times so they don’t become fat. The behaviors we can count on with our dogs now are remarkable, and we can catch ourselves when we do something right (or not-so-right). There are no reasons to get angry with our dogs to get the behaviors we want. And, yes, the clicker and heavy treating are no longer necessary, but we bring it out for games and reinforcing and progressive training exercises.

Our ladies had their 1-year check up with the vet recently. He exclaimed how healthy and fit they are, commenting that 85%-90% of his dog patients are overweight.

Crystal’s positive training method is the ONLY way to go. Our work was to change our previous mindset, to be open to her suggestions, and to listen well. Crystal really understands dogs and owners, loves her work, and is professional. Bottom line, you will get pawsitive results, will love your animal(s) even more, and will feel confident with them on your own.

Barbara and Jim Carpenter, Companions to Regina and Rani