Polite Pups

Client Reviews

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Ziva and Emmie - walking clients

Having Donna is my life is a complete lifesaver! Donna came into my life right when I needed her and I couldn’t be happier with the results and support Donna has given to me.

Donna has shown me the proper words and techniques to use with my dogs and it works!

My dogs love her! Donna goes above and beyond what she needs to do for me, not because it is her job, but because she is the most caring dog lover I know!

I would recommend her services to anyone who needs a compassionate, caring and the most responsible dog walker and trainer to come into their life to help with their dogs.

Allison


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Lou - training client


We chose to invest in puppy training to enhance communication between us and our pup, to help establish boundaries and expectations. Also, for the safety and security of our pup, it was/is important for us to have her trained. We believed that understanding commands would certainly help keep our puppy safe while living within the respectful boundaries/expectations we set out for her.

In working with Donna, we learned more about behavioural traits of dogs, which helped us to consider and understand why our puppy, Lou, may be acting or responding in certain ways. We also learned the importance of play time and when to recognize that our girl may need a break from training. Additionally, we very quickly learned how much of the training is focused on us as dog owners and the importance of both team work and consistency. Something as simple as having all members of our household using the same commands to ensure retention is something that admittedly, without Donna, we wouldn't have thought twice about.

Also, we found it very helpful to learn about husbandry/grooming skills while caring for our puppy.

Donna's training program inclusive of shared information and practiced techniques helped reassure us as puppy owners. Although both Tyler and I have both owned dogs before, this was our first experience with a puppy. In her first six months, our very curious pup would frequently blur the line of exploration and mischief which often resulted in worry for us as puppy parents. Donna was always a text message away, sharing information that would help explain Lou's behaviours.

Our repeated practice of cues and commands, combined with gradual introduction of new commands and tricks, kept our pup engaged and challenged in a very positive way. Understanding that our own success as humans is most often achieved through motivation and encouragement in supporting environments, we respect that our puppy would thrive in the same type of environment. I could not fathom using aggression towards her to force a response, most especially in hindsight, given Lou's success achieved through positive reinforcement.

We chose to invest in puppy training to enhance communication between us and our pup, to help establish boundaries and expectations. Also, for the safety and security of our pup, it was/is important for us to have her trained. We believed that understanding commands would certainly help keep our puppy safe while living within the respectful boundaries/expectations we set out for her.

In working with Donna, we learned more about behavioural traits of dogs, which helped to consider and understand why our puppy, Lou, may be acting or responding in certain ways. We also learned the importance of play time and when to recognize that our girl may need a break from learning. Additionally, we very quickly learned how much of the training is focused on us as dog owners and the importance of both team work and consistency. Something as simple as having all members of our household using the same commands to ensure retention is something that admittedly, without Donna, we wouldn't have thought twice about. Also, we found it very helpful to learn about husbandry/grooming skills while caring for our puppy.

Donna's training program inclusive of shared information and practiced techniques helped reassure us as puppy owners. Although both Tyler and I have both owned dogs before, this was our first experience with a puppy. In her first six months, our very curious pup would frequently blur the line of exploration and mischief which often resulted in worry for us as puppy parents. Donna was always a text message away, sharing information that would help explain Lou's behaviours. Our practice of repetition combined with gradual introduction of new commands and tricks kept our pup engaged and challenged in a very positive way.

Understanding that our own success as humans is most often achieved through motivation and encouragement in supporting environments, we respect that our puppy would thrive in the same type of environment. I could not fathom using aggression towards her to force a response, most especially in hindsight, given Lou's success achieved through positive reinforcement.

Michelle and Tyler


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Stella - walking client

We started working with Donna at Polite Pups in the fall of 2018 and have since happily recommended her to friends and colleagues.

Donna is an exceptional dog walker because she doesn’t just take our Duck Toller, Stella, for a walk. As an experienced dog trainer, Donna knows how important it is to exercise a dog’s mind as much as their body. She plans a variety of mind puzzles and challenges for Stella that she incorporates into the walks and also knows how to properly address any unwanted behaviours while out and about.

I have worked with other dog walking firms in Calgary and I never knew who would show up at the door to walk Stella. I would simply get a note saying who had been there that day. There was also no connection built between Stella and the previous walkers nor did I have confidence in who had access to our home.

Donna has created a trusting bond with Stella who greats Donna at the door like one of the family (not a typical Toller trait)!

Truth be told, I’m a bit of an over-the-top dog mom and it gives me such peace of mind knowing Stella is with Donna. Donna has an INCREDIBLE work ethic, and is extremely professional and knowledgeable. Her love for dogs and passion for helping people have the best relationship possible with their canine companions is ever present.

The best bit for me? I travel a lot with work and Donna always sends me a report of what she and Stella did on their walk as well as a few pictures....as an OTT dog mom, it’s the best part of my day!

Kristine


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Jax - training client

With our previous dogs, we did not use professional training and we did not want to make the same mistakes with Jax. We knew he was going to grow upwards of 100 pounds and wanted to have a well behaved dog that we could bring anywhere with us. An essential factor that we learned through this experience is that our dog responds best through the positive approach. This has been most useful as it has built our dogs faith in us due to the fact that he never had to be fearful of physical consequences. To be specific, this was prevalent when training him to release objects without becoming possessive. The training has given us the tools to be able to minimize unwanted behaviors, such as leash biting, pulling, jumping, and releasing dangerous items that he picks up.

Overall, the training has given us the peace of mind that our dog will behave accordingly despite stressful situations or encounters. This has, therein, built trust and confidence in our dog. These techniques were easy to incorporate into his everyday walks, while we watch TV- we were able to teach him how to lay down and be calm. Overall the process was very adjustable to our everyday life and changing schedules. Positive Approach training it is the only approach we would suggest. Having experienced different methods of training we have come to the conclusion that positive training is the most effective, least stressful on the owner and animal, and creates the strongest bond between us and our pooch. Rather than introducing new areas of training, we would like to continually reinforce what he has been taught. This is to insure that he doesn’t slip into any unwanted behaviors.

Barb & Rebekah


 
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Louis - training and walking client

'Having had a few dogs before, we know that to invest time in training them while they're young will pay dividends for the rest of our lives together. We found that Donna provided a structured and positive learning experience for both Louis and us! I liked that Donna didn't just tell us what to do but explained the dog psychology behind things and genuinely understood the individual personality of our puppy. We found that the positive reinforcement techniques Donna used were easy to understand and quick to apply for every family member.

I was genuinely pleased to see how quickly Louis would catch on to the training. For completeness of understanding of the training experience and ease of application, I'd happily recommend Donna to work with big dogs such as our giant schnauzer anytime.'

Marc


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Ruby - training client

Investing in puppy training - even if you have had a dog before - is being a responsible pet owner and could save you time and money later….and could even prevent you and your dog from getting into a very serious situation.

We learned how to communicate effectively with our dog - she is always looking to please us. But if we don’t let her know what behaviours we are looking for it can be very frustrating for all.

The positive reinforcement techniques that you provided us can be used anytime/anywhere - and by all members of our family.

Our walks are so much more enjoyable! I still give Ruby the first 10 minutes to “check her P-mail” and then I stop and let her know it’s time for a walk (“let’s go!). If she still wants to get out front we do lots turns, big steps and weaves – it is more fun for both of us!

Positive approach training has made our relationship with our dog better and I believe every dog owner should do some training before they get a dog - even if they’ve had dogs before!

Thanks for all your support Donna!

Loretta and Ruby


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Luna - training and walking client

Donna has been a pleasure to work with. We have a very high energy, easily excitable, one year old Golden Doodle. Donna has been working with our Luna for several months now.

Through positive reinforcement, Donna has taught our Luna how to calm/settle herself faster in high arousal situations. Donna also trained Luna to follow commands and has done an excellent job. Not only has she worked so well with our dog, but she has also included our four year old daughter in the process of teaching, rewarding and game play.

Donna is a true dog person and does her best to improve the dog-human relationship. She is very knowledgeable and always available for answering questions, to which she provides great insight.

Donna’s training is well worth the investment in your dog’s happiness and your own sanity. We highly recommend Donna!

Laci and family


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Enzo and Pepper - walking clients

We have one mastiff cross rescue, Pepper, and when we adopted a second younger mastiff cross, Enzo, this year we knew we might need some help with managing their different training and energy needs between the two dogs.

We have loved learning from Donna all things “dog” and have improved how we train and live with our pups as a result. Donna speaks fluent “Dog” and has a gift for understanding dogs and their behavior. She brings knowledge and an approach that is fun, patient and thoughtful. These attributes quickly built trust and put our dogs at ease. They eagerly put their energy into sessions and walks with Donna, she is definitely their favorite visitor!

Walking two 80-90 pound pups is something we need to do safely. Donna has been working closely with us to understand and manage their impulse control, particularly with bunnies and squirrels in our neighborhood. On walks together, she’s explained dog psychology and given us really useful techniques for managing those super-exciting bunny sightings! I used to try to avoid bunnies, other dogs, and people all together, but not being a realistic strategy, we now can more confidently continue on our way.

Besides training our dogs, Donna also put in extra time to show us brain games, trials of dog toys, and harnesses. The harness she recommended substantially reduced Enzo’s pulling on his leash and is more ergonomic for his body type. I appreciate having her guidance – pet supply stores have received a lot of our money unnecessarily!

Donna’s training has been amazing. Her professionalism, kindness and genuine love of dogs is apparent. We really appreciate that she works around our schedules and was there to support our home/dog sitter while we were away on vacation – it brought peace of mind to have her nearby and so happy to help.

Jaime and family


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Maggie - training and walking client

We have a standard poodle (with her full tail). Even at the age of 6 months, Maggie was very headstrong ....... after all,she is still a very young pup. Some of the problems were nipping, biting, and jumping up on people and objects. When taking her for walks she was always pulling on the leash.

The good news is that with Donna's training, these bad habits are disappearing. Donna has taught us to be consistent with our commands. Some of the commands that we use now are, "Come, leave it, wrong, down, stay, treat, all done, sit and shake a paw”, to name a few.

Donna’s goal is to raise polite dogs. We discovered her thru a referral and were never disappointed!!

No intimidation used on Maggie, just patience and love!

George & Elaine