Since I first started teaching group lessons in 2003, I've been extremely lucky to meet so many wonderful people and experience their love and passion for their dogs. The dogs are often teachers as well as students. Here are their stories.
This is Banshee. She’s a 17 month old Cane Corso. Jenn Michaelis began training Banshee at 9 weeks old. Her training techniques, winning personality, and unending patience helped to create an unbelievable pet for our family. Banshee’s fantastic disposition is a testament to Jenn’s skills as a trainer and her ability to be able to train “us” to train Banshee! We can’t say enough good things about Jenn Michaelis....
--Lori Kitaygorodsky, Scarsdale, NY
I first met Jenn three years ago when Millie, our rescue dog from Anguilla, was three months old. She was wonderful in her Family Manners Puppy Class, teaching the dogs and their owners a variety of concepts about new puppies – house training, leash walking, basic care, socialization, and in general, what to expect from a new puppy. I recently contacted Jenn because Millie became very noise sensitive, fearful, and anxious, refusing to walk outside on a leash during the day. We also had difficulty with her pulling on her leash during walks and barking at cars as they passed. With Jenn’s experience, warmth, and trust, Millie was confidently and politely walking during the day within 6 weeks! Jenn has a tremendous amount of knowledge about dog behavior. Each session she gave written training instructions, including information about positive reinforcement training and motivators, safe dog toys & puzzles, vitamin supplements, and nutrition. Working with Jenn I always felt empowered to help Millie feel confident, safe, and happy. Thank you Jenn for your knowledge, patience, consistency, and warmth!
--Karen Parisi, Hartsdale, NY
"I hired Jenn to work with me and with Finn, our sweet but emotionally wounded, anxious rescue dog from Mississippi. We needed help learning how to help Finn with his fear of men and of danger at every turn. I’ve never known someone as knowledgeable or intuitive about dogs. Jenn is highly, highly skilled, and understands dog training so thoroughly and so deeply that she knows in an instant what needs to happen in a given situation. Of course she is training me as well: while I’m still trying to think through the problem — or getting anxious about Finn’s anxiety— Jenn’s expertise, warmth and confidence is reassuring in exactly the way our family (and Finn) needed. Jenn’s a consummate professional and I recommend her training programs without reservation."
--Paula Chu, Dobbs Ferry, NY
"This is Petey, one of my rescue pitties, who is now a lovely therapy dog, thanks to Jenn! I am very involved in dog rescue, along with having 4 dogs of my own. I found Jenn to be extremely connected with each individual dog I have brought to her, along with their specific needs, and differences in learning. Whether it was one of my own dogs or one of the rescues that have been through so many different struggles. Jenn has mastered gaining their trust, and leading these wonderful pups to shine with great success. I highly recommend her, not only for the dog, but also in teaching we humans how to have fun while training with much success and pride in their dogs. "
-Stacy Bove-Fulgenzi, Westchester, NY
"Recently I attended Jenn Michaelis’s AKC S.T.A.R Puppy classes with Rylee, my golden retriever puppy. At the first week of class, Rylee was very shy and fearful. As the weeks went by, I could see how Rylee became more confident in herself. Jenn’s classes introduced the puppies to several novel sights, sounds and objects to explore. The puppies were allowed to interact in small controlled groups. Rylee learned that the world around her wasn’t such a scary place. Jenn also taught us several basic useful skills. Jenn is no doubt an instructor with ‘cutting-edge’ knowledge and goes the distance to help her student’s learn in a positive and fun way. Jenn’s classes have really helped Rylee and me get off to a great start! Thanks Jenn!"
-Fran, Suffern, NY
“Thanks so much for your wonderful instruction and guidance Jenn! Gypsy is eating from her new puzzle toy, running on a 30 ft. leash, and getting rewards for grooming, etc, etc. I really enjoyed the class and especially appreciate your deep understanding and enjoyment of dogs!”
—Dr Carla Paganelli, Pleasantville, NY
"Ollie was turned in to the Humane Society when he was 10 weeks old because his owners were frustrated and couldn’t train him. After a veterinarian examination they discovered that he has been deaf since birth. Our family adopted him, thinking no one else would take this crazy deaf puppy and hoped for the best. Lucky for us, we signed up for a training class with Jenn Michaelis. She taught us how to train Ollie using positive rewards, hand signals, a light instead of a clicker, and a vibrational collar to call him when he hikes with us off leash.
With Jenn as a trainer, Ollie was first in his class in Basic, Intermediate, Advanced and Trick classes, and passed his Canine Good Citizen test with flying colors! Jenn is clear and concise and makes dog training fun and easy. I had no idea that training a deaf dog would be so rewarding! Thank you, Jenn, for helping Ollie learn so much and become an amazing addition to our family!"
--Maggie, Missoula, MT
We got Augustus as a puppy but didn’t enroll him in puppy classes right away. By the time he was 10 months old, we regretted not doing puppy class because it was obvious he needed some training. We were so lucky to find Jenn! Augustus had serious anxiety and reactivity from a lack of socialization when he was younger, but he still needed to learn the basics of obedience and impulse control. Jenn was so patient, using her own dog, Terra, to slowly desensitize Augustus and help him relax in the presence of other dogs. I learned how to help him navigate the “scary” world, and Jenn taught me how to help guide him through making better decisions, so he could make new doggie friends. I'm so proud of him now, and we actively compete in musical freestyle, with three titles under our belt! It’s so great that he can have a good time and focus when there are other dogs around. Jenn keeps up-to-date on all the newest science behind canine learning theory, and I think that helps her be very effective. And she still somehow makes learning and training fun!!
-Caitlin, Dobbs Ferry, NY
"Jenn is an AMAZING trainer of dogs as well as people! With my rescue dog, Sanyi, a chronic run-away who could leap an 8' tall fence, and who had a large number of fears and a suspected history of abuse, she learned to be calm, respectful, accept new situations and to even hike off-leash (in allowed areas, of course!). Jenn's valuable insight and quiet, patient teaching helped me rehab a dog that I nearly gave up hope of ever being able to "reach." Also, she can even teach a cat to do tricks, and her horse is also clicker-trained! Thank you Jenn for all your patience, effort and love!"
-Ruth, Missoula, MT
Our house became a very happy - and chaotic! - home when our cockapoo puppy, Scout, joined our family at 10 weeks old. To deal with the chaos of puppyhood, we researched various training methods. We met with several trainers, but when Jenn walked through the door, we knew she was the best match for us. Her compassionate, consistent and upbeat attitude made it easy for all of us to buy into the training. We picked Scout specifically as a companion to our 10 year old son who has special needs. Jenn immediately understood the job at hand - not only does she train Scout, but she works equally with our little boy to make sure he understands the joys and responsibilities of dog ownership. Now we all look forward to our weekly training sessions and we're so grateful to Jenn for her incredible professional expertise and her kind, caring approach. We're so happy to know Jenn!
Kate and family, Stamford, CT
"My husband and I sought assistance from Jenn when we got our first puppies. It was more responsibility than the older dogs I had grown up with, and Alex had never had a dog, ever. Jenn walked us through potty-training (no small feat with a Dachshund), leash-training, and teaching our boisterous Beagle to come-when-called, off-leash. Sophie was stubborn, loud, and almost the demise of our engagement because I had trouble dealing with her high level of energy. Jenn helped us mold her into the well-behaved, beloved canine she is today.
I also sought Jenn's help when I became the owner of our rescued Pit/Boxer cross. With three dogs, it was imperative they were socialized and well-behaved. Jenn answered our questions with professionalism, modeled the appropriate way to interact (instead of a confused dog trying to understand it's more confused owner), and even met with me at home and in the community to work on specific concerns, such as off-leash reliability. I hope you will take advantage of her wealth of knowledge, love of dogs, and down-to-Earth training style."
---Hannah and Alex, Missoula, MT
I just wanted to report in after Wednesday’s Agility class and to thank you. Wrigley and I did a whole hour yesterday of Agility. He started in his crate, was carried and worked. He did all the exercises set up on the full arena and paid attention. It was the greatest gift. The training on Monday really, really helped, Jenn. He was relaxed in the setting and not all wound up, and was able to focus. He loves to go into “his” crate at the beginning. It seems to make him feel safe. Great to see though that he could do what was asked with complicated crosses and tunnels and do it just fine. We are looking forward to seeing you for our next class together, and sincerely want to thank you so much for your very valuable help. It has taken Agility from a pretty much failure situation to a pleasure for us both.
"Hi Jenn! I'm writing because I wanted to thank you for encouraging us to enroll in a nose work course. We just started an intro class and I love it just as much as OP does! How awesome it is to just watch him be a dog. It's a lot less stressful for me too because I don't have to tell him to do anything except use his nose. He is still reactive but we've made great improvements and finished grumpy growlers. I've also noticed a big difference since I started using the gentle leader. What a great tool! You're a great teacher and I wanted to thank you for teaching me how to help OP and have fun while doing it. Hope to see you soon in another class!"
Margo, Sleepy Hollow, NY
When we first met Jenn, Zoé was an 11-month old, generally well behaved, loveable, playful and smart French Bulldog who knew almost all her basic commands..."sit" was an easy one but "sit and stay' still needed some work... She was full of energy as any puppy her age should be, however, she also had a tendency to get easily over excited with home visitors or anyone/any dog we would meet on our daily walks and regular outings. The behavior improved slightly with age and continuous work, but it remained an issue most of the time. Doubting it was just a "puppy phase" and concerned about her jumping relentlessly on people and dogs alike, often hurting herself in the process as over excitement triggered heavy breathing and over salivation resulting in foamy saliva obstructing her airway, I contacted Jenn for help Zoé and I desperately needed. Jenn's positive reinforcement approach to dog training, consisting of easy to learn exercises, guidance through instructions versus corrections and rewards for good behavior, proved to be a fun and effective method to reshape Zoé's unwelcomed behavior. I am so pleased with the results achieved in just a few sessions and very grateful to see Zoé can now enjoy meeting new people and new dogs without choking on a mouthful of foamy saliva. I cannot thank Jenn enough for the difference she has made in our lives and would recommend her services to anyone without hesitation!
—Patricia, New Rochelle, NY