Testimonials

What are Michelle’s clients saying about her services?

Before I met Michelle from the Art of Dog Training, my labradoodle puppy Harvey was unruly and wilful.  When he didn’t get his way or wanted attention, he would growl, bite, bark and jump up on me. I still have scars on my hands and legs. I have always been consistent with Harvey and tried to set clear boundaries but he didn’t respect me, or other people. He is a very smart pup, the problem isn’t teaching him what to do,  it is getting him to do it when I want him to do it.
The biggest difference Michelle has made is in my understanding of  Harvey’s personality and how to communicate with him. She drew my attention to each of Harvey’s and my actions and explained what these behaviours mean in the dog world.  Actions that I had not taken note of before, like Harvey resting his head on my foot, have meaning.  Michelle showed me that every interaction with Harvey is an opportunity to assert my leadership.  Michelle also showed me how and when to step in to stop unwanted behaviours before it got out of hand.
Michelle doesn’t just assist you with the particular concern you have raised with her.  She gives you feedback on everything she observes during the training session. A few months after our first session I asked Michelle for help with managing Harvey’s behaviour when he gets picked up to go for his group walk during the day. He was jumping up on our dog walker, and jumping up on the other dogs. During this session Michelle observed that Harvey was not using his nose enough. I also learnt that Harvey was not walking nicely on lead. Whilst he was walking on a loose lead, he was sniffing the ground as he walked, a big no no!
I’ve found that the first couple of days following a training session are the most challenging.  Harvey is dominant and very stubborn.  He shows his displeasure at having freedoms he had previously enjoyed, such as biting his lead and my ankles, and getting off his mat whenever he wants, taken away.  He threw some pretty spectacular tantrums.
Thanks to our time with Michelle, these times were not as stressful as they could have been.  Michelle gave me the confidence and the tools to follow through.  Once Harvey realised I wasn’t going to give in to him, the dynamic between us quickly changed and Harvey’s behaviour steadily improved.
As a result of applying what Michelle has taught me, Harvey is a calmer pup.  I am now able to enjoy Harvey and enjoy training him.  Harvey now goes to his mat and stays there when told, walks nicely on lead, is able to wait calmly and watch people and dogs walk past (mostly, we are still working on ignoring plastic grocery bags!).  He doesn’t talk back much and when he does, his grumbles are rather half-hearted, he knows I’m the boss.
It goes without saying that you need to put in the time and effort.  It is equally important to have the right tools and this is where Michelle has been extremely helpful. Thank you Michelle!
- Rebecca Sang, South Yarra         Screen Shot 2014-05-09 at 10.08.04 pm  

 

 
 
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We met Michelle from Art of Dog Training, through friends that had used her services to train their Boxer. After seeing how well behaved and well trained their dog was it was an easy decision to engage her to train our little Toy Poodle, Soda! 
 
The biggest difference Michelle has made, is to get the whole family on board and show us how to quickly and effectively correct Soda when she’s been head strong and trying to explore where she shouldn’t be. She has also helped us with how to get Soda to walk by our side and hopefully achieve having her walk off lead some time in the near future. 
 
The results we have achieved with Soda since applying what Michelle has taught us have been invaluable. She is sitting on command, she is walking by our side on our walks and when Soda gets a little cheeky and tries to ‘test’ us we simply re-enforce what Michelle taught us and she quickly gets back on track! Michelle has also made herself available and taken time to help us when we’ve had puppy questions. 
 
We would recommend Michelle to anyone with a new puppy and indeed with a dog that needs to be pulled back into line. She has a firm approach however her love and care for dogs is tremendous. 
 
Thank you Michelle. We look forward to having you over again so you can help us out with the next phase of Soda’s learning journey!
 
- Tiziana Ubaldi and Family, Balwyn NorthSoda

 

 

 

 

Before I met Michelle from the Art of Dog Training, our border collie puppy Hugo was becoming aggressive around food with other dogs. He would snarl and bite both us and the other dogs and for a four-month-old puppy we were shocked and really concerned. Michelle was able to book in a time very quickly and the two-hour booking was just what we needed.

The biggest difference Michelle has made is probably to our own confidence as dog owners – she has enabled us to stand up to our unruly puppy and, using the tools she has given us, we are looking forward to seeing him transform into a well-mannered dog

During the session, however, the difference in Hugo was equally amazing. There were periods of calm and obedience that we had never achieved before. We are able to repeat the same process at meal times and achieve similar results (although we are in training too!)

It will be an ongoing process, and we will work with Hugo using the tools Michelle as given us - I won’t hesitate to call Michelle again in the future should I feel we need further help and support.  She surpassed any expectations we had of our first session with a dog trainer.

- Zoe and Joe, BrightonHugo

 

 

 

 

Before we met Michelle from the Art of Dog Training, our 14week old dalmatian puppy Basil had begun to rule the house. My partner and I are first time dog owners and we thought we had read all the training books to help us but Basil challenged everything we tried. What we thought would be an enjoyable experience was becoming extremely stressful and unenjoyable. He wouldn’t listen to us if we disciplined him, he was persistent and stubborn with doing things like jumping on the couch (which he’s not allowed on), he would pick up and eat rocks (which he ended up in doggy hospital for) and would bite when he didn’t get attention or if you told him off. He also was becoming increasing frustrating to walk as he would stop/start/pull/bite and walks were not enjoyable at all.

The biggest difference Michelle has made is teaching us why he is behaving the way he is, and training us on how to manage his dominant and hyperactive behaviour. We definitely needed more training than Basil and it’s been so helpful!

Since Michelle has come one week ago we now have a different dog! He still challenges us at times but now we have the tools that actually work to stop the unwanted behaviour. Walking him is a very enjoyable experience as it should be and it’s become something that I look forward to instead of dreading it! We can now sit on the couch without him biting or scratching and when he picks up rocks now he will listen to us when we tell him to drop it. He is a much calmer and happy dog. We still have our challenging days but can see such a great improvement already, we’re so happy with the results so far and will keep implementing Michelle’s techniques to help shape Basil into the beautiful dog he can be.

- Alice and Huy, CoburgBasil

 

 

 

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Before we met Michelle and Sarah, April was very nervous and uncertain which I thought was her behaving aggressively. I had no idea where to start because I wasn’t reading her body language properly, so I would get frustrated while walking her because she would pull and bark.
The biggest difference Michelle has made is given Tim and I the tools to help April be confident and comfortable. 
The results we have achieved with April since applying what Michelle has taught us is a calm, more obedient dog. Which means we are now able to enjoy walking April without being frustrated and her barking at home has stopped completely. 
I would really recommended Michelle and Sarah as dog trainers. They really put me at ease and even though I blamed myself for my dog’s bad behavior they helped me see it was no ones fault. April is a much happier dog and I could not be happier with the results.
- Rachel Gardener, Hawthorn EastApril

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I brought my puppy home, I thought yeah, I will teach him to sit, stand, fetch, interact with other dogs and go potty and he will be a loving and eagerly obedient dog. Unfortunately, over a few weeks, I noticed that my sweet little puppy had developed the temperament of a wild tiger but I didn’t know how or why this happened. What I could be certain of was that it was getting worse by the day – not only was I becoming afraid of him because of the fresh, painful bites he was inflicting on me, I was afraid he was losing his happiness and only showing two characteristics, withdrawn and aggressive.

My mind had been racing, conjuring up thoughts such as, Is my puppy really as bad as I think he is? or Maybe he is just playing? Or Maybe he just isn’t fixable…once I realised his behaviour was beyond my capabilities, I scoured the web looking for any help and perhaps hoping I could find an answer that was going to be a quick fix with little out of pocket expense. I found it hard to find the right information and when it came to my puppy potentially being a danger to anyone who comes into contact with him, I asked my puppies playgroup owner Rachel from “Windsor Walkies” for any recommendations as this was now to be an investment into the future happiness of my pup and I. Rachel highly recommended I chat with Michelle at “The Art of Dog Training”.  

Michelle was fantastic and very generous with her time and advice!! She took my call, spent the time needed (free of charge) to ask me questions, and quickly and correctly managed to pick when and what triggered my puppies attacks. Michelle gave me some techniques all I could try immediately at home before our appointment but insisted that I was only to do this if I was comfortable and in no way scared. I’m not going to lie, my puppy, as I said had the temperament of a wild tiger so I was understandably scared but I tried the techniques Michelle suggested, stood my ground and persisted. The results were almost immediate. Every morning and every evening I had intense training sessions with my puppy during feeding time or bone time and within four days, the growling had almost stopped, the possessiveness of food was almost gone, the biting stopped completely and the state of trance my puppy went into with food was gone. My puppy comes most places with me so he is one of the “boys” now and all of my friends have noticed he is much happier, he is more relaxed and his aggression has gone.

Michelle has since been out to my home for a 2-hour session and picked up that my puppy has a dominant, insecure personality type and had him under control immediately. Her techniques are simple, easy to replicate and work. 

I would highly recommend Michelle from The Art of Dog Training to anyone who can and wants to invest in the happiness and future of their dog. I am 100% certain that if I had not enlisted Michelle’s services, I would not be able to go near him right now and he would not be living his life to the fullest. Gold stars all-round. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

- Tans & BecksScreen Shot 2014-05-09 at 10.46.28 pm

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Before we met Michelle and Sarah from the Art of Dog Training, our puppy/ Kobe was to put mildly, a handful. Kobe was our first dog, which we got from the shelter, and of course you don’t realize how much work they are going to be. What makes it worse if that without good training that lovely cute dog that you have got from the pound can become the master and you the disciple. I remember getting up in the middle of the night to check on the dog and pandered his every whim. And this is where Sarah and Michelle come in.

Firstly I think that they are not only dog behavioral experts but HUMAN psychologists. I came to realize over the course of a few Saturday group training session that the dog Kobe was fine, he was just being a dog, and that the changes that needed to happen was with us the owners. Now I’m not saying that doing the classes was easy for our egos as a dog owner. Sometimes we needed a few home truths about where we were going wrong. But both Sarah and Michelle’s passion for getting your dog to where it needs to go is great. They are like yin and yang, which works out well today in their styles and interactions. Also I really enjoyed speaking with the other dog owners who are in the same boat and the group walks are fantastic for getting your dog used to the real world.

The biggest difference Michelle and Sarah have made is Kobe is on his way to becoming a ‘balanced’ dog. By balanced it means that Kobe is starting to know when is playtime and when is work. His interactions with other dogs is getting better and better and also walking on the lead is great.

The results we have achieved with Kobe since applying what Michelle and Sarah have taught us not to be so hard on ourselves when we have to discipline him and that setting boundaries is a good thing. We are so happy we found Michelle and Sarah after initial lackluster training session with other puppy schools and mostly delighted to have a happy, content and well behaved dog. We can’t recommend them highly enough.

- Neill & Steve, South YarraKobe

 

 

 

 

Before we met Michelle from the Art of Dog Training, my puppy Diego was being super dominant and demanding attention either by barking or claiming territory, this was really frustrating as we have neighbours and we didn’t want to upset them.

The biggest difference Michelle has made is teaching us how to show Diego who is the boss in the house and to follow our commands and rules as we say, as well as earning the love and affection we so much have for him.

The results we have achieved with Diego since applying what Michelle has taught us is unbelievable, he is now a very obedient and happy dog, who accepts now that we are the boss in the house and he has become the most loved dog around thanks to his calm and obedient attitude. I can happily say he is becoming the balanced dog I always wanted.

We are forever grateful and thankful to Michelle, as we can now happily leave him in the house and he will be calm or even when we take him out to restaurants or cafe, he just relaxes and listens to everything we ask of him.

- Shu-hwei & Carlos, ElwoodScreen Shot 2014-05-09 at 11.08.17 pm

 

 

 

 

 

“I wasn’t the least bit skeptical about enlisting the services of The Art of Dog Training as the word in the park was all good about Michelle. I contacted Michelle for an assessment of my 12 week old puppy Bella, a gorgeous blue English Staffy. Michelle and Sarah took Bella for a walk and were excited to share their knowledge and help me train her. Bella is a very smart dog and caught on very quickly, but Michelle put the effort into me and helped me learn about a dogs body language so I could become a better owner and feel more confident with Bella. Bella is now 9 months old and an absolute delight. I recommend the services of The Art of Dog Training when other dog owners comment on my well behaved staffy. Of course I try to take all the credit, but alas I cannot – with the regular pack walks I can top up my skills and Bella can learn some new tricks too! The Art of Dog Training is an investment – the rewards are endless unconditional love from your well behaved pooch!”

- Liz, MelbourneBella packwalk

 

 

 

Prior to hiring Michelle of The Art of Dog Training, there was chaos and a cause of great concern regarding our decision of adopting a puppy. We have an older dog (10 years) and had recently lost our oldest pet dog. With the expert advice and training by Michelle we became very hopeful for a positive outcome and it certainly turned out to be the case. Now, thanks to the Michelle’s training which I will add at this time showed to be caring and connected and highly professional, we can rest easy. Our older dog and new puppy have become pals. The cuddle at night and when we are out we find them, upon our return, sleeping together and quite content.This is direct opposite of what the situation was before Michelle, where the older dog was hiding all day and the puppy was in command.

We would like to take this opportunity to express our thanks to Michelle and highly recommend the Art of Dog Training.

- Madeleine and Jack Zufi, Melbourne

Maddy's dogs

 

 

 

 

We had bought our new pup Lilly seven years ago.  She was very lovely and went to the local puppy school before moving on to further training with a wonderful man who had previously trained seeing eye dogs.  Lilly learnt to be friendly towards other dogs and obey simple commands.  She lived with another golden retriever seven years her senior.

We did not have Lilly spade until she was six years old which was not really such a good idea.  Lilly appeared to have a very bad experience at the vet and when she returned for her check-up became very agitated and showed aggression to another dog which she had never done before.  We subsequently were not sure how she would behave with other dogs and ceased taking her off lead.  Lilly also showed some aggression to the dog she had lived with for many years when eating food.  We then realized that Lilly needed some assistance which we were not confident of providing.  I had researched many local dog training organisations and dog behaviourists however were not confident of their responses to my inquiries.  I found the website for the, “Art of dog training” and decided to ring Michelle.

Michelle suggested that she could come and view Lilly at our house to gauge the level of  assistance we might need.  Michelle brought her pack to meet Lilly and miraculously, Lilly was able to walk with the pack rather than pulling in front of us as she had been doing for quite some time.   I was confident that both Michelle and Sarah understood the behaviour of dogs and decided that Lilly would benefit from working with this dog training organisation.  It was a relief to find somebody that could assist Lilly to be the happy dog that she had once been.

Lilly stayed with Michelle and Sarah for about a week.  It was fantastic to follow her progress via email and facebook, I was able to watch videos of the learning sessions that Lilly had been involved in and ask questions which were promptly answered. Michelle worked on Lilly’s obsession with owning her food and her ability to feel more confident when meeting other dogs.

Click here for food training…

Our family now feels more confident when acting as pack leaders for Lilly because of the expert guidance given by Michelle and Sarah.  I was also able to ask questions about Lilly’s behaviour after she had come home to ensure that I was continuing a good practice to further improve and reinforce Lilly’s behaviour.

I have just returned from the dog park at Diamond Creek after taking Lilly to play with a Labrador which was fantastic for both dogs.  I try to ensure that the dogs that Lilly plays with have a good energy and do not put her in a situation that could cause her unnecessary stress.  Michelle has made me aware of the energy of other dogs and has improved my ability to make sure that Lilly is in a calm and confident state.  I have no hesitation taking her to eat at outdoor cafes where she often ignores passing dogs.

I would have no hesitation in recommending Michelle and Sarah to anybody who needs to address an issue with their dog. They will receive professional advice and support and develop new skills to assist them to understand and enjoy their dog.  I would also highly recommend the services of this organisation when bringing home a new puppy.

- Helen Bouris and family, Cottlesbridge

Lilly Graffiti

 

 

 

 

After bringing our boy Hudson home from the animal shelter, we discovered all his little eccentricities in no time - both the good and the embarrassing! His excitement whilst out on a walk held no bounds, and only increased with every passing dog. We quickly realised that expert advice was needed if we were to ever enjoy a walk, rather than a wrestle, in the park with him. Thankfully we discovered Michelle from The Art of Dog Training! She has educated us on how to take the lead with Hudson, and in the process teach Hudson some much needed manners. Hudson is still improving, and his daily walks are becoming more and more enjoyable. We would recommend Michelle and The Art of Dog Training to anyone who loves their pooch, but is tiring of those embarrassing and tiring moments when their pooch makes it difficult to ‘like’ them. We are so glad we didn’t waste any more frustrating time trying to teach Hudson ourselves, as Michelle’s expert advice really cut to the chase and we now have many wonderful years ahead to look forward to with our gorgeous, well behaved Huddy.

- Kristy, Dog Walking & Training Client, MelbourneHuddy

 

 

 

Three years ago, my partner and I brought our two rescue dogs, Maizi and Mogli, over from England to settle in Melbourne. Both dogs had a variety of behavioural problems that had a detrimental impact on our daily walks. Maizi’s anxiety manifested itself in aggressive outbursts towards other dogs and people, while Mogli’s lack of confidence and over excitement meant he would bark at every dog we walked past.

Since Michelle and Sarah started working with us and teaching us how to be better pack leaders, through giving us practical tips and helping build our confidence, things have improved dramatically. We’re now able to enjoy our walks as both dogs don’t pull on the leads or react anywhere near as much as they used to. Maizi is less anxious and Mogli has much more confidence. They’re much happier dogs which means we’re much happier. Walking them is actually an enjoyable, rather than stressful experience.

The most important thing Michelle and Sarah have taught us is that it’s absolutely vital to get the walking right and then everything else will fall into place. They walk Maizi and Mogli twice a week and the results have been amazing. The dogs have been calmer, better behaved and much happier around other dogs.

I can’t speak highly enough of Michelle and Sarah. They’re always available to offer their expert advice and their support is invaluable.

- Rachael & Tom, Dog Walking & Training Clients, South Yarra Maizi and Mogli

 

The best thing we have done since bringing our pet rescue dog “Ralph” into our home was contact Michelle McClurg from The Art of Dog Training. Ralph was and still is somewhat an unknown entity as we have a limited amount of information regarding his history and training. From one two hour training session Michelle has provided an ideal starting place for our training with Ralph.

Having tried another trainer that came from a recommendation, we were disappointed with what we were shown. Looking around and approaching many other dog training services we came across The Art of Dog Training. After a short conversation with Michelle, we booked a session and have not looked back. Michelle uses a great balance of reward techniques with correction methods, something which we both support and can see in practice.

Michelle listened to what we were looking to achieve regarding our expectations for Ralph and his behaviour. She addressed all our questions with clear and direct answers. This often included expanding on the original question to explain Ralph’s behaviours and how best to address other issues. Two weeks after our training session, Ralph is already a much calmer dog and now a joy to walk. Both of us no longer have to detour around other dogs or people in the neighbourhood for fear of Ralph’s previous boisterous behaviour. We are still working on his manners and skills and are definitely seeing the results. The training tools that Michelle has taught us are invaluable.

The results we have achieved with Ralph since applying what Michelle has taught us include;

  • Ralph is a less excitable dog.
  • We are in the process of teaching him his name and the ability to come when called.
  • We are more able to balance correction techniques with positive reward techniques.
  • We are able to structure training sessions, so they are not over taxing and integrate them among daily activities.
  • We believe we have a happier dog.
  • Ralph looks forward to training sessions.
  • We were able to discuss dog “keeping” information re bathing, cleaning and advice re normal & abnormal dog behaviour.
  • We now know how positive reward treat works.

Bree and I thoroughly recommend The Art of Dog Training to anyone who is serious about training their dog and achieving realistic results as soon as possible.

- Ian and Bree, Dog Training Clients, AshwoodRalph

 

 

 

By chance I happened upon ‘The Art of Dog Training’ in action. I knew I had found something very special. It was Michelle McClurg with her pack of dogs walking all on loose lead, a pack walk its called, dogs aplenty, walking in rhythm, all calm and in the moment of the walk, it was a delight to behold.

Having a dog that we love dearly, but unable to walk him down our street, my heart soared with this beautiful vision in front of me! Maybe I thought, if only we could walk Jimmy like that it would mean the world…maybe they can help us and one day walk our dog just like the pack walk.

Never sceptical about engaging ‘The Art of Dog Training’ as I had seen them in action and felt this left no doubt that they could help us in regard to our dog Jimmy.

We had problems with Jimmy from the start, we tried two different types of training, positive reward and distraction, which was a disaster, the other was dog trial training, which we stood week after week in the freezing evenings and at least learnt some basic sit and stay business, with being new to the world of dog owernership we knew we had a problem, we read books, watched training videos to try and unlock the problems we have had with our boy, our beautiful four legs.

Our boy was afraid of the suburban street; any encounter with car, person or pram anything that contributed to movement or size. Our own street was out of bounds and as time went on he started to even have trouble with the appearance of people into our home.

The Art of Dog Training has given Jimmy and us the tools to overcome his issues. The pack walks have helped him socialise and have built his confidence to a degree that we are now able to walk our street. During a pack walk we walked along Punt Rd, one of the busiest roads in Melbourne and watched our Jimmy walk proud. Dreams do come true.

Michelle & Sarah have guided us and taught both Jimmy and us. Our home visit with Michelle for a one on one training was a treat for us all, and we put in place methods to deal with Jim’s behaviour. It was amazing to see the difference in Jim.

Over the years we have engaged a very senior and highly recommended behaviourist only to be devasted at the recommendation of medication or worse, dare I say the word …euthanasia to our beloved Jimmy and this consultation was extremely expensive…with many tears shed during the consultation. Staggering!

Other consultations with other trainers in our home proved fruitless. We have searched for the answers to our problems and have at last found our answers in the services and guidance of  The Art of Dog Training.

We recommend them to all.

- Maggie and Rory, Dog Training Clients, Elwood

 

 

 

We enlisted the services of the Art of Dog Training just over a  week ago to help us with our dog Bea and her aggression towards other dogs. I was at my wits end with how to handle her aggression after another dog attacked her earlier this year. I hoped that the Art of Dog Training would have the knowledge and understanding that I needed to get Bea and myself back on track – and they certainly did!

Michelle and Sarah came to our house for a one-on-one training session. From the moment they entered the house, it was obvious that they both knew dog behaviour very well and were experienced in what they were talking about. Michelle and Sarah have such a calm, caring and non-judgemental manner and explained things that we had never realised about our dogs. Michelle identified that Bea’s aggression was based on fear, and she gave us the tools and confidence to conquer this behaviour. By the end of the session, Bea was taking part in a pack walk with Michelle and Sarah and their two dogs!

Not only did Michelle and Sarah help us with Bea’s aggression, but they gave us advice on toilet training, calming techniques and mastering the walk – something we had never been able to do in our previous eight weeks of puppy school! After one session following Michelle and Sarah’s techniques, we are much more in control on walks. And if things don’t go quite right we know how to correct things.

During our session, Michelle and Sarah also observed our other dog Dexter. They helped us to see the areas where he needed improvement and how to help him become less excitable and more calm. I was highly impressed that on our group walk, while Michelle was working with me and Bea, Sarah was following behind and helping my husband learn how to control Dexter on a walk. One of the most valuable things we picked up during our session with Michelle and Sarah was the confidence to lead our dogs and take control of the situation. Understanding how to correct our dogs’ behaviour has been the key to us moving forward to help our dogs become balanced and truly happy.

We also took part in one of Michelle and Sarah’s pack walks this Saturday at the Botanic Gardens – and it was fantastic. We were able to put all we have learnt into action with the knowledge that Michelle and Sarah were there for guidance and support when needed.

I could not recommend the services of the Art of Dog Training more highly. If you have an issue with your dog, or just want to learn how to allow your dog to be the best they can be, then these are the guys to go to. Their knowledge, understanding and communication skills are fantastic. I only wish I had done this sooner but I now feel confident about the road ahead! Thanks Michelle and Sarah!

- Samantha and Cameron Dog Training Clients,

East Caufield

 

 

 

I highly suggest anyone who is looking for some outstanding assistance with their dog to touch base with Michelle. Since getting our new pup we have faced never ending battles with finding the right assistance that can work in well with our own lives. Not only are both Michelle and Sarah lovely people to deal with but they also provide honest and caring advice about the best ways for us to turn our new pup into the best dog he can be. I can’t suggest the services provided by The Art of Dog Training highly enough.

- Mathew, Dog Walking Client and Business Owner South Yarra

 

 

 

Having problems with your dog?  Michelle is the woman to talk to! Having dealt with numerous dog trainers in the past, who charged me a fortune only to tell me ‘there’s nothing more I can do or help you with’ I was at my wits end, desperate for answers on how to control my enormous, over friendly, stubborn 65kg dog. Michelle invited me to her pack walk, something I was dreading, as usually I’d cross the road to avoid other dogs. Instantly Michelle put me at ease. She has a genuine passion for the welfare of dogs and their owners, and understands the problems us dog owners have. I really liked the way Michelle put me in the driving seat and observed, guiding on what corrections can be made to make my time with my dog more enjoyable. Michelle has given me the confidence to handle any situation that may arise with my dog. I can’t recommend The Art of Dog Training highly enough. 

- Rick & Danielle, Dog Training Clients

 

 

 

Our 2 year old Border Collie had previously enjoyed playing in the park with other dogs and coming to brunch with us on the weekends. When he was 9 months old he was attacked at a dog beach in Sydney. Following this he started barking and growling at other dogs whilst on or off lead in the park or at cafes. This started off only happening occasionally but was getting progressively worse to the point  that we couldn’t take him off lead or to cafes – or anywhere around other dogs. 

Having been through 2 other behaviorists and a dog ‘psychiatrist’ with our 2 year old Border Collie we were very skeptical about trying another one – the others has made no difference – in fact one had made the issue significantly worse and another had prescribed him prosac! After bumping into Michelle during one of her pack walks and having a chat with her we thought we’d give it a shot one last time – we were new in Melbourne and thought maybe the change of scenery would make all the difference. 

We decided to engage the services of The Art of Dog Training as we liked some of Michelle’s ideas and methods and the way she handled the dogs in the pack – but there was also an element of ‘nothing else is working, we may as well give it a try’ in there! 

We had a one on one session with Michelle first up. We went to the park and approached some dogs with typical results (barking, growling etc etc). Michelle quickly identified some of the issues (basically fear driven) and got Bonnie under control and feeling comfortable. By the end of the session he was off lead chasing the ball with other dogs in the park and walking in the pack with her 3 other dogs.  This was something we did not expect to see after one training session and particularly so quickly into the training session.

Bonnie is now walking with the pack twice a week and is improving all the time. He still has his moments but he’s now playing off lead with other dogs in the park, we’re able to walk down the street or through the markets with him and he’s even good company at brunch again. I think a lot of this is due to Michelle’s help – and of course her pack! 

I would definately recommend the services of The Art of Dog Training to anyone who’s having issues with their dog/s. Particulary where these issues are stopping them from being able to include the dog/s in theirdaily lives… Michelle has a good sense for dogs and their emotions (not all behaviorists or vets do) and the use of her pack in the training / progression makes all the difference…  also for anyone whose dog is lonely, get them to join the pack for some regular walking and socialisation sessions - they seem to love it. 

  • Anthony and Liz Dog Training Clients, Albert Park

 

 

 

When I arrived home with my Boxer x Kelpie puppy Stella, I thought I had prepared myself enough by reading books and researching online.  But as she grew and both of us began to develop bad habits, I knew we needed help while she was still young.  Stella was pulling me down the street at four months old, asserting her dominance over me and other dogs and not coming when I called.

Michelle helped me to see what I could be doing differently to take control of the situation.  As she worked with Stella I could see straight away that her methods worked.  She practiced them with me and made sure I knew how to implement everything myself.  Michelle taught me how to become the calm assertive leader I’d read about in my books. It took dedication and commitment but Stella is now walking like a pro and we’re loving life together.

Michelle breaks down barriers and does what is best for the dog. It may at first seem unconventional to the untrained eye, but the way the dogs respond to Michelle’s training is proof enough.  Her deep love for animals is what drives her firm, calm presence with them.

I found that I could apply what Michelle taught me to all types of situations. She gave me a strong foundation to work from and she continues to follow up and help me with issues that may occur.  Her own dogs have been very patient with Stella and have been amazing teachers and friends.  I credit the close bond that Stella and I have to Michelle and her training methods and I recommend her to anyone who wants to share many happy and balanced years with their best friend.

  • Danielle Katich, Dog Training & Walking Client, Prahran 

 

 

 

Taj came into our lives when I turned 70…. a gift from my son and daughter-in-law!  I was not sure about having a dog at this time in our lives, and besides we lived in a high-rise apartment.  To add to this mix of uncertainty I was about to have hip-replacement surgery.  However I decided I wanted to keep this puppy, a chocolate latte Moodle, and that was that!

My primary concern was then to find someone to mind my 10-week old puppy while immobile from the surgery.  “The Art of Dog Training” and Michelle came highly recommended by a former client of hers, and after meeting with her, I was fully satisfied that she was the right choice.

During the 2-week period of hospitalisation and convalescence, I received daily texts and videos of Taj at home and at play.  I just knew he was happy, contained and being well socialised.

After this period a seamless routine developed of daily walks with her pack of dogs, whereby Taj was picked up and delivered back to the apartment. Since my hip recovery is complete, and I am back at work, Taj continues to walk with Michelle, Sarah and the dogs at least twice a week.  Michelle subtly coaches and educates me over time. The result is, the best is being brought out of me and my dog.

I feel confident and secure in the knowledge that there is a mutual affection and professionalism when Taj is in Michelle’s care, and I intend to continue to foster this relationship.

- Helena Rymer, Dog Walking Client, Melbourne 

 

 

I valued Michelle’s training very much and really do believe that Teasha and I are a better team because of her training.

Before we (Teasha and I) trained with Michelle, Teasha got too excited around certain family members and friends, I had no confidence with the halti, I was always losing control of my temper and blaming Teasha.

All these said problems have now been rectified and the best thing is I am in control of my temper all thanks to Michelle’s training and support.

- Jaebin Saunders, Dog Training and Walking Client, Windsor

 

 

We engaged the services of The Art of Dog Training in late 2010 after a chance meeting with Michelle and the pack on the street in South Yarra.  We were immediately impressed with the variety of dogs she cared for and their happy and controlled nature.

We started Ruby, our Whippet puppy, with Michelle when she was 4 months old and she has since enjoyed many benefits!  Spending time with Michelle’s pack as she matures has helped to teach Ruby good social skills with dogs of all breeds and ages. She enjoys quality supervised play time in addition to lots of exercise through structured walks. Michelle is firm but gentle with the dogs and we know that Ruby’s training is reinforced and she is spending time with someone who loves her as much as we do!

Michelle is always open in offering advice to us for any questions we have about Ruby.   We would confidently recommend the services of The Art of Dog Training to people with dogs of all types and ages.

- Erica Trandafilovic and Steve Miller, Dog Walking Clients South Yarra

 

 

 

We engaged the services of this wonderful group on the advice of fellow dog walkers at Fawkner Park.

They have been an integral part in the training of our Westie pup,  Abby, from a very early age.  From helping us teach her to be calm around our long suffering cats, to providing extra time around their incredibly well trained dogs, that in turn give her guidance on how to behave in a pack.

It is a real joy to see our happy pup also become a better behaved pup in the wider world and we would recommend The Art of Dog Training to anyone who needs help with their dog or just simply needs their dog walked and socialised with others.

- Max Moser and Kristine, Dog Training & Walking Clients South Yarra

 

 

 

I was at first skeptical about engaging the services of The Art of Dog Training because my dog Milo had an ongoing anxiety issue with dogs, certain people and objects. I had tried to get help from other dog trainers and had yet had no positive results.

I contacted Michelle because Milo was anti-social and it was impacting our family’s life, as well as his.  It was becoming difficult to walk Milo down the street as he would often be triggered into barking episodes which were difficult to stop or control.

Since getting training with Michelle and socialising with her pack Milo’s behaviour with other dogs has improved dramatically.  I have realized that he can be trained and his behaviour is now manageable.

I have and would recommend Michelle and The Art of Dog Training to anyone that was having trouble with their dog’s behaviour, or anyone that had a dog that could benefit from socialisation.  I think very highly of what they have achieved with my dog Milo.

- Pam Cambria, Dog Training & Walking Client, South Yarra

 

 

When I first met Michelle and Sarah, they were both walking a pack of dogs. The pack were all well behaved, calm, submissive and well trained. I had a good vibe about Michelle when I saw the stability in the dogs. I wanted Billy to be like her stable pack of dogs. Billy is a playful beagle puppy and I wanted Michelle’s help to train Billy to be like her dogs. Ultimately, I wanted what’s best for Billy and I knew that I could count on Michelle’s services.

I saw improvements in Billy after the very first day he walked with Michelle, Sarah and the pack. He was calmer, and was actually walking beside me when we went for a walk.  I was really amazed.  Before Michelle came into our lives, Billy was usually the one “taking me for a walk”. He was usually pulling the leash and it drove me crazy because it was hard to keep up.  Billy also used to bite his leash while walking. Michelle has taught and showed me what to do if Billy ever does it again.  And today, he has stopped doing so.  Billy has also learnt to socialise with dogs, be it any size, or breed. Billy is great now when he meets dogs.  He does not bark or growl at any dogs.

Michelle has also taught me many things about myself as a pack leader.  She taught me the importance of being calm when I greet and leave Billy and that it is essential that I and the whole household are consistent with the rules we set for him.

I would recommend The Art of Dog Training to all dog owners.  Michelle is great and very professional.  She has displayed and showed me that this puppy process does not have to be stressful at all.  She has shown me that training is about communication and conditioning your dog to respect you as the pack leader.

Cindy Wong & Bayu Muliasa, Dog Training and Walking Clients, Melbourne

 

 

 

As first time dog owners, our English Staffie ‘Aldo’ was certainly a new challenge in our already busy lives.  We initially came across Michelle at Fawkner park and was instantly impressed by her general demeanour and impeccable control over her own dogs.

We have had several home visits from Michelle which have all been highly successful.  She is so easy to work with and explains obedience concepts in logical and practical terms.  She has heightened our awareness as dog owners and empowered us to take control over situations using inner strength and energy.  No matter what the issue has been Michelle has helped us find a tailored solution that suits our lifestyle and level of comfort.
In particular, Michelle has helped us with the following: 

  • How to place Aldo into a submissive position – anytime, anywhere.
  • Appropriate use of the correction collar
  • The ‘Wait’ and ‘Release’ commands – very beneficial for so many situations!
  • Good dog walking techniques
  • Separation Anxiety and crying at night

Michelle was even willing to bring her own dogs to some sessions to help with Aldo’s socialisation skills.  Aldo gets along incredibly well with Michelle’s ‘pack’ and always comes home so well behaved after spending time with them.  He has learned how to behave as part of a pack in a well controlled environment.

We would recommend using these services for other dog owners with larger/stronger breeds, particularly if they have behavioural problems relating to dominance and/or separation anxiety.

We now have a baby on the way and we are confident that with Michelle’s guidance we can manage Aldo’s behaviour in a safe and enjoyable environment.

Havi and Peter Rubinstein, Dog Training & Walking Clients, Melbourne 

 

 

 

When people talk about Beagles many say  that they are a nightmare to train. Since we met and worked with Michelle we learnt that this is simply not true.

Michelle is like a trouble shooter, she goes straight to the problem and gives you very easy, simple tools to solve it. She caters directly to your needs.

Before we worked with Michelle there were a few things that were quite stressful with our young Beagle Barry. He never used to come to the lead. When it was time to take Barry for a walk he would turn it into a game of chase. It was so bad that some days Barry didn’t get to go out because he was too hard to catch.  We could not have the front door open for more than a few seconds or he would run out, he would run down our street for another game of chase and it was a real concern for us that one day he would be hit on one of our nearby busy roads. We also have a little baby Daisy, and so when Dani would try to take Barry and Daisy out for a walk, it seemed impossible as Barry would be dragging mother, baby and pram along the footpath.

Michelle demonstrated what motivates Barry and now we can get him to come to us when it is time to put him on the lead.

Barry waits at the door for a command before he enters or goes out. He is also very enjoyable to take out on walks as he trots nicely beside the pram.  There has been a transformation between us being frustrated and running around after our dog to feeling confident to command and lead him in all situations. Thanks Michelle!

Dani and Steve Burns, Dog Training & Walking Clients South Yarra

 

 

 

I first heard about Michelle through word of mouth.  I was looking for someone to walk and socialise my Husky Dexter.  I was searching for someone experienced that could take care of a large, strong breed.  I was a little concerned about how my dog would get along with Michelle’s pack, however this was quickly alleviated when I met Michelle and I saw the way she is with the dogs and how they respond to her.

I love the fact that when Dexter is with Michelle I know that he is being looked after properly, he is being well socialised and enjoys his walks with the pack.  He comes home nice and tired so that I don’t have to walk him again in the evening.

I would recommend Michelle and the Art of Dog Training to anyone that was concerned about who to entrust their dog with, and also anyone with a dog that has some behavioral problems.

Tatiana Bosichi, Dog Walking Client, South Yarra

Dog Walking South Yarra. Dog Walking Prahran 

 

 

I am writing to you to with regard to the training and exercise of my cavalier spaniel “Belle”.  I can’t thank you enough.

I am so delighted with your professional attitude, genuine care, training and knowledge, it makes all the difference.

It is a pleasure to see how Belle enjoys her association with you.  She has benefited enormously.  Animals know when they are accepted, have a leader and they respond with confidence.

Because she was not socialised as a puppy, she was timid, nervous and ready to growl near other dogs and then received their aggression, this of course it made me nervous.  She pulled on the lead and despite many attempts to correct this it was only you who has been successful.  It is delightful to see your genuine care and interest in each dog.  You are generous and encouraging, you reply to any questions clearly and in detail.

Her experience of being walked to and from home, (not taken in a car to stroll about in a park) has been very beneficial for her and walking with a pack I believe is the ultimate enjoyment and balance for a dog.  She feels accepted and now walks well on a loose lead.  After her walk she has been very well exercised and is calm and content, she certainly looks happy.

It was only by chance that I enquired re training Belle when I saw you walking dogs at Fawkner Park.  I instantly felt I had at last met the right trainer by what I saw and your positive and friendly response.

I certainly have every confidence in recommending you to future clients.  I count myself so fortunate that Belle continues to mature and respond to your training.

Thank you and I do appreciate the extra assistance you have given.  It always comes with a smile and positive response “Yes I think I will be able to do that” or “I’ll try and if not now then later or another day should be ok”.

Liz Bird, Dog Walking Client, Toorak