Here are a few things our clients have to say about us:
“I’m so glad we found Happy Dog Institute to start our puppy off on the right foot. Puppy class is well structured, not a chaotic free-for-all like some others, with lots of opportunities to ask questions and get guidance. Their program is strongly rooted in positive reinforcement that emphasizes animal behavior, understanding body language, & relationship building, which is exactly what I was looking for. They have a large offering of classes for various ages and skills, as well as fun workshops to continue learning & having fun with your pup.
Paul, Heather and Emma have all been wonderful to work with. We appreciate their hard work and are looking forward to more classes soon!”
_Stephanie P. & Wesley
“First off, thank you Paul!
As a Licensed Veterinary Technician who’s school focused a lot on animal behavior, positive counter-conditioning, and cooperative care for our on campus animals it was really nice to be able to find a facility that has similar values. It was also oddly difficult to find a facility that is up to date on the AVSAB Position Statement On Puppy Socialization, several other trainers turned us away telling us to return when our puppy was fully vaccinated which is also when the most important socialization window closes. Working with reactive dogs and adopting two adult dogs with different behavior issues it was very important for us to jump start on socialization with our new puppy. I am so glad we found you all! It was great to hear things from a different perspective and my partner was able to hear information from someone other than myself for once. Besides all the expected normal puppy stuff it was nice to hear Paul coach on body language, advocating for our dogs, breed specific tendencies, managing reactivity, and vet handling and so much more. I will be recommending this facility to my clients and will probably be back for workshops with Bisky and probably another puppy in the next year or two.”
-Jennifer H & Bisky
“Emma has been fantastic! I actually used to be a pet training instructor but when I adopted little Bella some of her behavior was getting worse with my methods so I contacted Emma and it’s only been 4 weeks and I have a new happy dog! She’s come around and actually happy to greet most people now with just a little barking and my husband and I can actually put our hands on her while she’s eating a treat without fear of losing one!”
— Myree & Bella
“I have no new bruises and it is only taking Jag 1 or 2 corrections [reward removals]. I wish I had called you months ago.”
—Cynthia & Jager
“Emma gave me excellent tools and strategies for managing my new dog in a way that was both compassionate for my pup and for me. I cannot recommend Happy Dog Institute enough- well worth the investment and time for learning how to make happy dogs and happy people live together.”
— Becka and Ludo
“We have some [guests] this weekend. Oliver has already warmed to them. Acting interested. Asking for attention…progress!!”
—Gerry & Oliver
“We acknowledge your eminent patience as well as your extraordinary abilities with dogs as well we humans. We enjoyed your classes very much and will remember them fondly. No doubt we will be in re-attendance in the future unless of course if Mishka becomes perfect between now and then. Kindest Regards.”
— Din, Trisha, and Mishka, The Graduate Dog
“Hello! Had to be a proud mama and show off Sadie doing her “sit-stay and watch me” while out on the Chehalis Western trail recently. What you can’t see is the bikers and walkers coming up right behind me in this shot. Sadie has come so far and I still can’t thank you enough for helping us get started on the right foot! (or, four feet).”
— Christina & Sadie
“I have wanted to send you an email for quite some time, but I never did get around to it…I wanted to let you know how wild man Zeus has been doing. He has turned into an amazing guy! Well, even more amazing. We now can go into stores without any issues. He LOVES Home Depot, mainly b/c everyone there gives him cookies. But he does so, so well, walking right with us and not pulling on his leash or jumping at everyone….Thank you , thank you for all of your help and tips and tricks!! I always recommend you to everyone I meet.”
— Shannon & Zeus
“In October of 2013, I decided to rescue a 2 year old Australian Shepherd. We had 6 already… but what was one more at that point? We didn’t know a ton about Emma [the dog’s] history. It soon became apparent she had an interesting past. She had a very scary bark, lunged at people and acted like she was going to rip your throat out, she was a very intense dog. She was startled very easily and didn’t like new things or people. She would bark at immediate family if we surprised her. I began to take her to ‘regular’ obedience classes with a 4H leader I knew well. After several disastrous lessons we were asked to not return to that particular class. In January of 2014, we began talking about a different route. Chris Soderstrom at Fido’s Farm in Olympia recommended Emma Holly who specializes in behavior.
Emma Holly met with us at home and we started talking about her past and the things we could try and different ways to approach her behavior. We made the decision to start her on a doggie dose of Prozac for long term to help her stress levels.
After the first few months we were able to build her confidence in people and we also built confidence in our extended family. We were able to have positive experiences with them and show them that Emma wasn’t always a terror. In June we introduced her to a large gathering of people and she was a happy dog, no barking or aggression. It was exciting to see the progress of many weeks of training.
At the end of July, we took Emma on a big outing. Our other dogs were left at home while we traveled to Southern Oregon with her. She was able to see strangers and other dogs and be in a hotel setting successfully. It was such a huge improvement. We introduced her to more extended family in a setting that wasn’t her home, and it went well.
To see the change between the February Emma and the August Emma was amazing. We had several long conversations as a family and with Emma Holly regarding the pros and cons of Emma coming to college with me. As I write this now at the end of August, Little Emma is an apartment dog. She was able to pass a meet and greet. It does still take a lot of management and making sure we both have positive experiences but I am so thankful for the help Emma Holly has provided to our family. She is definitely recommended!”
— Kobree & Emma
“Kenji…is doing great. Jordan had a new friend to the house this weekend and he did GREAT! I was very proud of him. And Charly came into town as well, he did great with her too, she can even cuddle with him. I think we are making great strides! We owe it all to you – his dog whisperer! :)”
— Romy & Kenji
“Absolutely love this place!! Very professional, welcoming, and accepting staff that have a great rapport with each other (something that usually indicates how well a business is run). My somewhat stubborn dog that thinks he knows best picked up so many tricks from just one 6-week course – even if your dog doesn’t learn EVERYthing the instructor taught in class, you won’t be disappointed with how much they’ll retain and continue doing at home from these wonderful instructors. They are incredibly knowledgeable and helpful and I will definitely be a repeat customer to take on more advanced courses with my dog.
The instructors are patient and break things down very simply for the owners. They give lots of time for practice and questions and will help steer you and your dog if you’re not quite getting the hang of it. The instructors genuinely care about the progress made with each pair of dogs/owners and that’s what makes giving this small business my money more than worth the investment too.
If you are torn on which dog training company to use, please try this one first! They offer one-day workshops if you’re not ready to commit to weeks of class, and if you are ready to commit, they offer a variety of times of day/days of the week to fit your schedule. If I could give more than 5 stars to Happy Dog Institute, I would!”
__Tierney S. & Balto
“Just wanted you to know that Jake and I are doing so much better!! He hasn’t nipped, attacked my legs, or had a tantrum for almost 2 weeks now….He’s still a puppy, still gets into some things…but a lot less drama and we are both happier and having more fun on a day-to-day basis! So, thanks again…”
—Cathy & Jake. Dog Training Olympia WA
“I wanted to thank you again for meeting with us last week. That…technique is working amazingly well with Maizey. She is already making huge strides with tolerating strange dogs walking past the yard….It’s really incredible to see Maizey’s progress and we wouldn’t have gotten here without you!! The sincerest of thank yous from our whole household!!”
— Rebecca, Andrew, Meeko & Maizey
“We just wanted to tell you how much we all (mostly Brownie and Tom) benefited from our Stranger Fear training. All of the dogs made great progress but Brownie was different and we are now in a much better position to understand and work with his unusual demeanor….with enough time and cheese we think we can give him a good and normal life.“
—Tom, Kolleen & Brownie
“Trisha and Mishka and I would like to thank both you and Heather for going above and beyond your call of duty in our case. For Heather and yourself to split up last Sunday and Heather do basically a one on one with Mishka and Trisha in my absence was extremely generous.
“Heather gave me so much confidence in working with my adopted pit-mix! She’s a caring and skilled professional with a passion for her work that’s evident from her first correspondence.”
“Emma – you are a genius! Parker loves working for his food/treats from the treat dispenser. Thank you for all your words of wisdom. We are both more adjusted just after one day after your consult.”
— Julie & Parker
“Reformed cat chaser, Cooper, waiting on his dad to come home from work. Kirby, the cat, has joined the vigil. Thank you again, Emma and Heather, for all of your great guidance!”
— Lisa & Cooper
“This is to thank you for all you did for us. We were at the point that my husband and I were at odds over Shadow, our Blue Heeler. I called you and Heather as a last ditch effort to get Shadow’s barking, pacing and bullying of my other dog, Ben under control. If it did not work, I had promised my husband I would find her a new home. With your help, no one has to fear when they come to our door, Shadow can quietly entertain herself and leave the other dog alone. She is a true delight. The real test came on Thursday when we brought home a very elderly dog named Bandit to live with us. From the very beginning there was peace in our household. You showed me how I was reinforcing the exact behavior I didn’t want, you gave me a variety of alternative to change her behavior and mine and you were so encouraging. Who would have thought this could happen in three visits. This was much more effective and personalized than the general obedience classes I had tried and the shot in the dark attempts at herding (she turned out to be a herding dog who is afraid of the sheep).
How have things changed? Now Shadow is so quiet and good at entertaining herself that sometimes I have to go look for her. Our neighbors have commented on the difference and a child in our neighborhood told me he would come to our house now because Shadow is not scary. The ultimate sign of success was seeing my husband out in the yard throwing the ball for Shadow. I wouldn’t have believed that was possible.
Thanks again, you are a true blessing.”
— Susan, Jim, Shadow, Ben, Bandit and Elvis the Cat
“We’ve been talking about it and it seems to us that Gideon…is doing well in everything and we are very happy with him…You did a terrific job and we are very grateful.
Thank you so much for helping Gideon get to keep his new home!”
— Kalen & Gideon
“I have put two pups through the first set of their classes and am in love with the way Emma trains owners and dogs. Hope to be doing some more classes soon!”
— Angie, Max & Bailey
“I just finished walking Maya, and WOW, she did a beautiful heel today. Very noticeable difference, so big big KUDOS to you!! Maya also did the come close wonderfully, I walked her about a 1/4 of our walking distance on the leash, requesting a heel, and come close, and then I would let her off leash for some fun, and play throwing sticks with her, for the next 1/4 of our walk. I’d also practice asking her to come close while off leash, and she did it. We did this routine on and off the whole way. It was a lovely walk. Thank you. I’m very pleased.”
— Jane & Maya