"What made Sean different from other trainers is that he actually listened to our problems and concerns"-
Eiko and Scooby
We adopted Scooby (100 lb Red Doberman) from LA Animal Shelter when he was 13 months old. He is very laid back, people-friendly dog, but didn’t know any commands, how to ride in a car, nor walk on the leash. After a month or so, he started reacting to other dogs – any sight of dog made him flair up, barking, lunging, and pulling. I began hiding behind cars, and avoided walking any street with barking dogs. Since he’s a Doberman, everyone was so afraid of him, and we were very embarrassed and felt helpless.
After 4 trainers and 2 group lessons, he still had same reaction to other dogs. I finally decided to contact Sean. Many of our previous trainers came highly recommended and had been in business for a long time, but I noticed that they seemed to force their training styles, even there were no improvement after a few sessions. One trainer even said Scooby had mental problems when we did not see any improvement after 5 lessons. What made Sean different from other trainers is that he actually listened to our problems and concerns and pin-pointed Scooby’s problem (he is not vicious and aggressive, he is very nervous around other dogs) and showed us how to handle him on the walk. The best thing is that he made me feel more comfortable walking Scooby. I know Scooby is not anywhere near perfect, but he can tolerate other dogs much much better and I am not hiding behind the cars any longer! Even some of our neighbors noticed Scooby’s change and commented how far Scooby has come! Now he is a regular member of Sean’s pack walk twice a week with many other dogs.
Thank you very much Sean for helping me to control Scooby on the walk and making me feel much comfortable doing so.
After our son was born, our dog Beasley went completely off the rails. He started growling at the baby, barking at guests, peeing everywhere, cowering in corners, and running away whenever anyone touched him. He was depressed, anxious, jealous and borderline anorexic. We were fairly certain he was beyond help and had started looking for a new home for him, but as a last-ditch effort, we sent him for a board and train at The Good Dog.
We were shocked when he came back to us two weeks later — he was confident, sweet, obedient and — most importantly — happy! Sean and Laura taught us how to communicate with Beasley in a more effective manner, and the difference has been night and day. I can’t recommend this program highly enough. I only wish Sean and Laura could e-collar train humans, because I have a few people I’d like to send over there!
"Sean had an ENDLESS amount of knowledge on our relationships with our dogs and how it affects the dynamic.”"-
Robyn the Daschund
Sean was referred to me through my work at a vet hospital and I never thought I could be so impressed. I finally called Sean about my 3yr old dachshund Robyn who, for over a year, was putting on the breaks EVERY time I tried to walk her. She also had issues while at work with me– aggression toward dogs coming in and out of the hospital and incessantly jumping from chair to counter. While some people thought she was a cute greeter, my coworkers were tired of having charts walked on and I didn’t like her barking at boisterous dogs that came into reception.
Sean did an initial 2 hour session with me which COMPLETELY transformed my dog on her walking. He pinpointed her issue as insecurity (rather than what I assumed was a Napoleon complex) and over the next few weeks, worked with me to conquer her insecurities and dependence as well as teach my husband and I how to shift our relationship with her.
Sean had an ENDLESS amount of knowledge on our relationships with our dogs and how it affects the dynamic. He taught us how to be more authoritative and trustworthy to her without any kind of emotional or physical abuse, the fear of which often deters a lot of people from hiring a trainer. He was patient and incredibly observant about things I never would have picked up on.
Now, Robyn is a star on her long walks!! She is no longer jumping on chairs or barking at dogs that she hears come into the hospital. She stays in her “place” calmly and all my coworkers are stunned by her swift transformation! She isn’t perfect but the training continues to be a rewarding process and Sean gave us the tools to continue. I would recommend him to ANYONE because he knows that doing everything you can to make your dog feel secure and calm through behavior-modification is the highest form of love we can give. He is such an awesome person with a truly synergistic approach to dog training. I could slap myself for not calling him sooner. THANK YOU SEAN!!
"After Woody, we truly believe he can help any dog with any issue. We cannot recommend him highly enough.”"-
Schuyler Kent & Keith Feldman
Our dog, Woody–a 20lb Border Terrier, was a lost cause. By age 6, his dog aggression had reached dangerous levels. Not only was he vicious toward other dogs but, if thwarted, would attack anything nearby including me, the dog walker, and a few other people. One of my greatest fears was that he would bite a child–mine or someone else’s. In addition to his dog issues, he was rapidly becoming unmanageable inside the house, as well. He was constantly jumping on people, scaring kids with his over-excited behavior, stealing food off the table, darting out the front door…he was completely unmanageable and had to be locked in a room whenever we had guests over.
Over the years, we’d tried many times to solve Woody’s problems. We’d spent more than ten thousand dollars and tried numerous reputable dog trainers who used reward-based training–clickers, treats, distraction, spray bottles, penny cans, you name it– with absolutely zero results. After all that time and money, he could do a perfect SIT but he’d snarl and practically froth at the mouth when he saw any dogs–even on tv!
The last trainer we hired, after 6 weeks board and train, actually told us Woody had a “wire loose” in his head and was “unfixable.” We had resigned ourselves to constant vigilance and the thought that Woody would probably live a short life–either he’d attack the wrong dog or bite a child and have to be put down. It was an extremely stressful situation.
Then someone online mentioned Sean O’Shea and The Good Dog and how great Sean was at dealing with aggressive dogs. We visited The Good Dog website and emailed Sean and told him our story. After a bunch of emails and a long phone conversation, he convinced us he could help. Still somewhat skeptical, we agreed and Woody went to Sean for 3 weeks of board and training.
As the days went by, we watched videos of Woody’s progress with growing hope and amazement. Woody took walks with other dogs! He sat, relaxing, next to other dogs and there wasn’t a single growl or bark or attack or anything!
When Woody came home after his training was finished, he was like a different dog. He was calmer and didn’t jump on anyone. He didn’t dart out the front door. He was more responsive and better behaved. Even our friends who said it wouldn’t work were completely amazed. It’s like night and day. We still have to keep the training going and it takes a bit of work but compared to what we dealt with before, this is SO much less stressful and has such a positive result that it’s worth every effort.
This training has made our lives, and Woody’s, so much better. Taking a chance on Sean is one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. Our only regret is that we didn’t find Sean years ago. He is amazing. After Woody, we truly believe he can help any dog with any issue. We cannot recommend him highly enough.
"Sean is a skilled dog trainer who knows how to get the job done in an organized and efficient manner”"-
Venus and Marilyn
As I am writing this review, a plumber is in my house fixing my sink while my Shepherd Mix, Venus, is in her down stay sleeping. This is not the same dog I had five weeks ago… thanks to Sean.
Prior to becoming acquainted with Sean’s services, I had been using treat-based training for the past year to help her with social interactions. She had been a nervous, anxious dog and when people walked through my door, she’d lunge—attempting to bite them. For over one year, Venus’ behavior did not improve with the treat-based training method. Her poor social skills did not end with strangers. I was completely distraught when Venus put my 16-year-old dachshund in her mouth—her own “sister”—and hurt her. I knew I had to do something more productive to help Venus, because I was committed to training my dog, and to keeping my family and friends safe. Just as I was at a loss with what to do, I found Sean.
Initially, I was against prong and e-collar training. When I spoke to Sean, however, he put me at ease. He was patient and listened to my concerns regarding his method. Something about his calm demeanor and explanation regarding his style told me instinctively that I could trust him. Believing he was the man for the job, I took a risk. Shortly after working closely with Sean and his assistant Laura, my relationship with Venus took a turn for the better. Sean helped me to realize that there was a way to become authoritative, without allowing Venus to run my guests out of town, and me right behind them. Now, I’ve gained an inner peace with Venus, and I am in charge. Sean is a skilled dog trainer who knows how to get the job done in an organized and efficient manner. He was up to the task, took the challenge and succeeded. His training methods have managed to make us all happy. I am grateful to Sean for knowing intuitively just what we all needed. Venus is thankful as well! I cannot recommend him highly enough.
Sarah & Jason Thrift
We would like to thank you again for taking our Annie for board and train and e-collar training and returning to us a happier, well behaved joy. You really did change our lives! The foundation you laid with her and then the training you gave to us to continue with her in the right direction has made a world of difference. We are now able to take her virtually anywhere we want (both on leash and off where we can) and know that she will be well behaved and under our control. And the “place” command has completely changed how we handle her at home. No more jumping on guests and bouncing off the furniture. Annie had no real problems before. She was just an over-exuberant puppy without enough rules and boundaries. But with your help we now enjoy a calm confidence about her that we thought would take years to achieve. The Good Dog Training and Rehabilitation has not only transformed our dog but our entire family. Thank you so much!
I had a fantastic experience with Sean. I have a large pit bull who is very dog aggressive. I used to be embarrassed every time we would go for a walk because my dog would lose his head the moment he saw other dogs. He would lunge and bark while I apologized profusely to my neighbors. After just four sessions with Sean, I can confidently take my dog on a walk without anxiety. My dog is well behaved and obedient. It is actually fun to go for walks with my dog now.
Adam and Elana Besserman
We have a year and a half old Goldendoodle, and taking him to The Good Dog is the best thing we have ever done for our little Topher. The difference in Topher’s behavior and state of mind is palpable. Overall, Topher was a great dog… he was sweet, friendly, playful, loved people, gentle with kids, great with most dogs, and really smart. But he had some issues. Topher would pull on the leash, jump on the table for food, occasionally bite hands (playfully) while playing, he would chase bikes and skateboards, would get stubborn at times and only follow commands if a treat was involved, and he was anxious and clingy. After just 1 session with Sean, we saw most of these issues vanish, and by the second session a week later, Topher had pretty much tackled every one of his issues.
Now, in addition to being the smart, friendly, lovable guy he always was, Topher does the following… he remains calmly by our side on walks, obediently sits and lays down when we tell him to (and doesn’t move until we release him), goes to his “place” when we command him (and he doesn’t get up off his mat until we release him), doesn’t jump on people or bite hands, and he can calmly sit at the edge of a bike path watching bikes and skateboards zoom by, completely unphased. Now, we even run Topher on the bike path, and he has lost all interest in bikes and skateboards. But the best change is his state of mind. Topher is visibly more relaxed, comfortable and at ease in the world. He doesn’t seem to mind if we get up and walk away, he doesn’t race to the door at the sound of the door bell, and he’s just much more at peace.
We’re thrilled of the changes that Sean helped evoke in Topher, but we’re equally appreciative of the care he took in explaining the theory behind his approach. Sean equipped us with an understanding of how these changes lead to other, bigger changes in Topher’s state of mind, which helps us reinforce the learnings by always keeping the bigger picture in mind. Instead of telling us what to do, Sean explained why we’re doing it, which creates less of a situation where we’re blindly following steps, and more of a dialogue between us and Topher. Sean hasn’t just helped Topher overcome some behavior and mental issues. He helped us to understand Topher, and empowered us to have a much closer relationship with our dog.
Jay, Mike and Lloyd
We rescued our little terrier mix Lloyd in May 2012 because he had everything we were looking for in a dog. Unfortunately, once he got comfortable in our home after ten days, Lloyd starting attacking and biting us when we would try to touch him or give him any commands. The acting out got progressively worse until we felt like prisoners in our own home! We couldn’t control him, but we couldn’t leave him alone. Though the shelter had offered a return policy, I refused to let this dog go back and potentially be killed for bad behavior. We made a commitment to the dog that we needed to see through, and so instead of turning in the towel I started asking for help. A friend of mine recommended Sean and The Good Dog for serious cases. I called them late on a Saturday night and they were kind enough to listen to my story while I was in tears that my dream of rescuing a dog had turned in to a nightmare. Sean and Laura decided that Lloyd needed to be seen immediately since the situation was dangerous. We booked the first available in-home session where I learned all the basics. I was scared about the undertaking, but felt like it was necessary for my troubled dog. I attempted to follow the rules to the letter after they left, but unfortunately things only got worse because Lloyd was a very serious case and the two of us were now in a battle for control.
After realizing I was in over my head, Sean and Laura came and picked up Lloyd to take with them for a two week board-and-train at The Good Dog (that turned in to a three-week stay because Lloyd needed more time to adapt his ways). During this time I felt horrible and anxious, but knew that it was for a good cause and Lloyd was in capable hands. We learned so much about dog (and human!) psychology through Sean and Laura’s teachings–they were very patient and kind while answering our innumerable questions, and where most trainers would have thought he was a lost cause, they expressed such confidence with being able to help Lloyd that we never had any doubts that things would get better. They both have very positive outlooks for dog training and life, and that helps immensely when dealing with distraught dog owners such as myself. Our nerves and fears were calmed when hearing about Sean and Laura’s trials with their own dogs, and knowing that they understood our feelings in that moment was one of the key things to gaining our trust.
Ultimately, Lloyd came back to us and we were all thrilled for the reunion. We now understand his issues so much better and know the work that needs to be done to address them. We followed the necessary doctrine for the first month to establish our leadership, and we slowly eased up on things as his behavior got better and his anxiety eased. We are so well educated about our dog now that if we do start seeing any signs of disobedience, we immediately go back to basics with him and reestablish our dominance. It’s been one of the hardest things emotionally that we’ve ever done, but in the end it was totally worth it. Our lives have changed for the better and getting to see Lloyd find joy in a world that previously dealt him a rough hand is the greatest reward we could have asked for with all our hard work!
Mary and James Cramer
We took Ryeley out today on a hike through the woods. He was an engaged hiker – checking out all of the frozen-over low spots, sniffing what the coyotes left behind, and checking to see where we were. He came when called even when sniffing apparently aromatic matter or playing in the water! We all practiced down-stays in the sun. It was an amazing time, thanks to the work that Sean and Laura did last week with Ryeley and with us. Who would have thought you could make so much difference in 4 days! Thank you!
Kristin Bauer van Straten
I have never had a problem with any of my dogs ever…until a few years ago. About once a year my beloved Asher and Ozmund started to fight. It was a mystery to me and a few trainers. The rest of the year they were perfect. Finally they had a really bad one and I was too scared to put them together again. Words cannot express my upset and I knew it was something I was doing wrong. I found Sean and Laura and now we are all back together as one happy family again! They’ve been amazing. I really was at a loss as to how to fix this on my own. We all needed training and Sean and Laura were the perfect team.
LINDSAY, TYLER, AND DESMOND HALE
I know we have said it 100 times, but truly, from the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU! We so badly want to enjoy life with Desmond, and be able to take him to places like the promenade. We thought this was never going to happen – a far off dream, and to see it become a reality is truly amazing. We are living the dream thanks to you guys!
CHANG LIM AND LUKE
Sean O’shea of the Good Dog Training and Rehabilitation has been a pivotal force in helping me train my young German Shepherd.
I acquired our family dog Luke when he was a three-month-old puppy and began training the day after he came home with us with a highly respected trainer in my area. Unfortunately, the treat-based training classes had severe limitations and whatever commands Luke learned was practiced only in the presence of treats. It was a struggle to control the puppy once we were outside or when he was off leash. To make matters worse, when Luke was six months old, he was bitten by a dog at the trainer’s when we boarded him while away on vacation. We were told not to make a big deal out of this, and that the wound on his face would heal. When we came home, his personality changed. He became more and more reactive to dogs and was difficult to control on the walks. As he grew in size, it was nearly impossible to walk him with the traditional flat buckle collar and leash. I was told by this trainer that the problem was my lack of leadership.
Being completely demoralized and distraught, I found Sean O’shea through my internet research. Because I wanted to scrap all the training that I had experienced for over a year and start all over, I enrolled Luke for a two week board and train at the Good Dog. The training was transformative for Luke. His commands were refined. He looked happy, and, to my relief, he had a chance to play with balanced-minded dogs. Sean and his wonderful assistant trainer, Laura Morgan, also trained Luke with the state-of-the-art electronic remote dog collar, and Luke was trained for obedience even when off leash. Incredibly, Luke was able to walk by dogs without the usual lunging, barking that he exhibited before. Sean provided me with a complete training philosophy to follow at home to establish and maintain my leadership position with my dog without becoming a Sumo wrestler or use any form of intimidation.
The challenge in this, however, is the owner/handler, who, unfortunately, is not able to undergo the same two week board and train. Thus the learning for me began after I brought Luke home. This is where Sean and Laura continued to support me and to provide me with information day to day so I could continue to train Luke and achieve the same results as they did. The reality is that both Luke and I had established behavioral patterns that I needed to discover and break when we returned to our home environment. This was the hardest part. Through ongoing support of The Good Dog via e-mail communications and their extremely active and information-rich Facebook page and blog, I was able to discover the issues that belie my dog and me.
Magically, by following Sean’s training philosophy, my dog now sees me as a leader and looks to me for direction.
The incredible part is that I am now able to use spatial pressure even with my petite stature, the communications with the prong collar, and my voice to influence and relax my dog when he sees a dog on our walks and supplement, if necessary, with the low level electronic collar stimulations. This is an unbelievable transformation.
I would recommend Sean O’Shea of the Good Dog to anyone who is struggling with training his dog or with a behavioral issue. Sean’s training is user friendly and does not require me to do anything extraneous as I train the dog all the time when he is with me. It becomes a natural part of our family lifestyle, and every family member can participate. It was far more difficult for me to drive and take my dog to classes. The bonus is that I can now take my dog everywhere with me because he is so well behaved. There is no chaos. Our family and our dog enjoy being together wherever we are.
SARAH ELLIS AND LOLA
When I first found The Good Dog, I truly thought it was too good to be true. How can anyone take dogs that are unmanageable and even aggressive and in a few weeks transform them into new dogs? I seriously couldn’t believe my eyes watching some of the videos. My pitbull mix Lola had long given up on listening to me years ago. She didn’t understand that a walk meant “walk” and instead would pull me down the street to the point where I’d given up thinking walks were even possible. Walks were also only the beginning, she was very anxious, severely dog aggressive after being in some nasty dog, and needed to be in control of every situation she was in. Other trainers I worked with told me that Lola would never be able to be around other dogs and getting her a gentle leader or muzzle while avoiding all dogs would be the best way to handle her aggression and pulling. She was only 3 when I was told this….and I thought how the heck will I last another 10+ years like this? Reading Sean’s blog and the testimonials started to give me hope, but it wasn’t until I spoke with Laura that I actually thought there may be a light at the end of the dark tunnel Lola and I were headed. I was frustrated, feeling hopeless, and I had given up trying because I didn’t know how to handle any situation with her out of the house. When I met with Sean I told him that this was my last hope. I have since seen that having Lola board with him for 2 weeks was by far the best thing I could have done for Lola’s quality of life, and our relationship together.
Sean originally told me that Lola was far from his worst dog case, which definitely helped my confidence and hopefulness. If people had dogs worse than Lola, and they were able to improve, then maybe Lola could too! The 2 weeks that he had her, I kept looking at the updates on his Facebook and was shocked that 2 days into her boarding with him, she was sitting HAPPILY next to another dog and playing with his pack of dogs. By the end of the 2 weeks, I was amazed at my beautiful girl and how calm, relaxed, and happy she was. She was now receptive to directions and commands, enjoyed being able to relax in her place while not being overly anxious about what everyone else was doing, and most importantly no longer were walks something to dread, but instead a refreshing exercise for both of us where she would walk along side or behind me….instead of the pulling until I was running that I had been used to.
One of the most important things I’ve learned from Sean though was how I needed to change and if I didn’t, all the work he did would be useless. I had to realize that MY actions affected HER actions in every single way. My treating her as an equal gave her the impression that I wasn’t strong enough to handle tough situations, so she had to do it herself. She lost the same faith and trust in me, that I lost in her when things got tough. Sean gave Lola the foundation to be a calm and relaxed dog in her environment with him, but it was my job to continue building upon that so she felt safe and secure enough to relax and not be anxious about all that was happening around her no matter where that environment was. I needed to show her that I had control and would protect her regardless of the situation so she could believe it and not try to take matters into her own hands. Changing my bad habits of babying her, working on my leadership skills, and ending the excuses I continuously made for her by holding us both accountable for our actions were key in the work Sean had me do.
I may not think his training is too good to be true anymore, but I wholeheartedly believe Sean is a miracle worker with dogs in how quickly he gets them to turn over a new leaf. Each new day since Lola has been home has been amazing. now know it’s possible for us to live a much more relaxed and happy life together, which is all I ever hoped for. I can have the balance of doting on her while still letting her know I’m in charge and she can still be just as happy a dog in a relaxed mindset instead of a hyper mindset.
I would recommend Sean and The Good Dog Training to everyone that I meet who has a dog – he isn’t about fixing that one issue that your dog has, he’s about changing the mindset of you and your dog so that those issues and others don’t even exist if you’re using his tools correctly and consistently. There simply are not enough words to truly express my gratitude and appreciation for how much he’s helped improve Lola’s and my life. I only wish I would’ve called him sooner.
SOPHIA N. AND IGGY
A few years ago, my family and I adopted an Italian greyhound mix who had been found as a stray. He was very fearful when he came to us and after a few months he started rushing strangers who came to our house and snapping at the hand of any stranger who tried to pet his head. We quickly realized he was turning into a liability and looked around for a trainer to help. Two trainers (and no improvement later) we heard about Sean O’Shea and the Good Dog from a friend. We sent our dog for a two-week board and train, and our dog came back a much better behaved dog–one who comes on command, stays in place, walks nicely on leash, and just generally does what we ask him to do. It has been a year since we got him back and, we haven’t had any more problems with him. The Good Dog helped him change his behavior, and helped us change our behavior, so that everyone could be safe.
DONNA PADE AND GRACIE
After having to put our Jack Russell down, we decided to rescue a dog this time to keep our 13 year-old dachshund company and thought that adopting an “older” dog (Gracie was 5 at the time) would eliminate all those puppy hassles and be a piece of cake….well, we were mistaken!
Underneath that adorable exterior lurked a terrier with some not very nice tendencies. She bit one of my husband’s friends who came over for Monday Night Football, she was a nightmare on walks…would bark and freak out if she saw another dog, even if it was across the street and did this to the point where on one walk she thrashed around and bit at her leash resulting in her inadvertently biting me on the leg…she would also growl at and try and hide from the dog walkers when they came to let them out – kind of defeats the purpose of having a dog walker.
I was at my wit’s end, but refused to give up and The Good Dog was recommended. At first just worked with Gracie on walks, but realized (after she went after my daughter’s fiancés feet) that she needed the board and train as well to help with her “in home” behavior.
Happy to say it worked! After the first Monday night game of this past football season, the guys could not believe this was the same dog. Even my very skeptical husband was impressed. Gracie was still having issues with the dog walkers and Sean and Laura took the time and came to the house and worked with each one of the walkers, resulting in no more problems (The Good Dog is always available to assist you).
A couple of weekends ago we went out of town leaving Gracie for the first time overnight with the sitter, contacted Sean and Laura and said they would be more than happy to be “on call” in case Gracie had any issues while we were gone….thankfully not necessary…Gracie and the sitter did great!! If you had asked me if I ever thought this would have been possible back when we first got her I would have said absolutely not…we just love having Gracie as part of the family thanks to The Good Dog!
MINDI MEMEL AND SKIPPY
Skippy, my rescue with the broken hip, that would bite your ankle if he didn’t like you, barked at everyone who came to the door, would chase cars and runners, run out the front door and not come when I called him is CURED. Only three training sessions with Sean O’shea of The Good Dog Training and Rehabilitation, and I have a new dog!! He is the true dog whisperer.
KIA HERMAN AND SIDNEY
We got our foster-dog yesterday, and everything is going great with Sidney. He is totally relaxed around her, and even let her in his bed with him last night. Here they are hanging out in Place. We’ve done some work on her as well in the day we’ve had her. She’s gone from pulling on the leash and having no inside manners, to respecting the rules of the house and walking nicely. Thank you Sean! Without you, Sidney would never have even tolerated another dog, let alone welcomed her!!
MICHELLE AND ROBYN
THANK YOU for everything you’ve done for us and Robyn! We have learned SO much from all the meetings and look forward to a NEW relationship!
CATHERINE SHEPPARD AND EMMY
Here’s Emmy practicing Place command for the first time at home last night. She’s totally getting it down! We know we have a lot of work to do but our sessions with you guys were EXACTLY what we needed to get on the right track with both of our pups. Thank you thank you thank you for all your help and for everything that you taught us all. The future looks bright for two wonderfully behaved dogs and we couldn’t be happier.
REBECCA BULMAN, BRONTE AND HENRY
The kids are out of quarantine and rocking their ‘place’ downunder in Melbourne!! Thanks Laura and Sean, Bronte and Henry are promoting your work in OZ!!