Lacey came to me as an older puppy from an unfortunate background. She was a beautiful little brindle girl with big brown eyes, where you could see a fear so profound it was heart breaking. A fear so deep, it controlled her and bound her tighter than any chain ever could. I will never know the truth of what haunted her.
This is Laceys story of freedom.
I have had the joy of loving dogs as part of my family since I was born. I welcomed Lacey into my family with open arms and a heart full of love and optimism.
Lacey is submissive, gentle, affectionate and amazing with all children and with people she knows well. With these people, she is the most loving, silly, wiggily and happy dog in the world. She plays with my children and follows them everywhere they go. She is a cuddly loving girl who sleeps upside down on the couch and snores sleeping in my arms. She is the smartest, most attentive, sensitive and responsive dog I have ever known.
From the start, Lacey was terrified of all strangers. She would hide behind me shaking in fear
when she met anyone new. She would pee everywhere and would run away and hide. I still thought it would be ok as she grew older, that extensive socialization would solve this.
As Lacey matured, her fear began to be expressed differently. She started barking and growling when approached by strangers. Instead of running away, Lacey now lunged and charged. She was so anxious even at home, that she would startle amd shake at any noise. She started barking at everything. All the time. She would hide and shake if anyone raised their voice. She charged the fence barking and snapping if she saw anyone. Then she began jumping my six foot fences. She would not come back if called. No one could catch her but me.
Determined to do the right thing, on everyones advice, I took Lacey to see a well known and respected positive reinforcment only trainer. The trainer could not work with Lacey one on one as the fear aggression was too extreme. Lacey attended classes for almost 3 months. During this time, the trainer could not touch Lacey and the fear aggressive behaviour continued to escalate. I now know that the advice given to me on how to respond to the displays of aggression actually made it much worse. Positive reinforment only training did not work for Lacey.
I own a home based business and have people coming and going every day. I became very concerned about liabiliy and the very real possibility that if an incident happened involving Laceys fear aggression that I could lose my livelihood and that Lacey would lose her life.
I had absolutly no control over the fear aggressive behaviour. The only thing I could do was avoid situations involving strangers. I could not take her anywhere. She would lunge and bark at anything she saw out the windows of the car. I could not let her off her leash even at home as she would jump the fence. What if she got loose and something happened? It was affecting every aspect of our life. No one could come visit socially. My business was suffering. No one could touch her. She could not go to the vet as the expereince for everyone was so tramatic. The fear reactivity and its impact on our life was spirling out of control. I was so worried about "what if ?"all the time. Laceys quality of life was decreasing as she became more and more fear aggressive. It was like she was fighting for her life from some terror known only to her. I began to question my ability to control, care for and live with my increasingly fear aggressive dog.
Then I met Nanaimo k-9. Nanaimo k-9 was able to see past the snarling mask of fear aggression. They saw Lacey for what she was – a terrified puppy living in a world of fear.
Nanaimo K-9 is 100% confident, professional and committed to exploring all options to address the specific needs of each dog that comes to them. They genuinely care about the dogs and the famillies who they work with. They understand that no one method will work for every dog and employ their extensive education, knowledge and experience to tailer fit a behavior modification program to each individual dog . Nanaimo K-9 has the skill and ability to rehabititate dogs who have behaviours so extreme that many other trainers have given up on them.
Lacey was the most fear aggressive dog that Nanaimo K9 had ever encountered. They rose to the challenge and explored new methods to help Lacey heal. They understood how sensitive she is and always treated her with gentleness amd love. That kind of intuitive responsiveness to a dogs needs for training is a rare gift. I was beyond impressed. Lacey stayed at the board and train program at Nanaimo k9 for over 2 months. They were amazing providing me with updates and vidoes of Laceys progress. They worked with me to explore what would work for Lacey. Nanaimo K9 was always available to answer any questions and provide support befoire, during and after training.
Lacey has been home from training for 2 months now. She is, like every dog, her own unique self with her own personality. She will never be a totally carefree steroetypical easygoing dog. Whatever combination of genetics and early life trama which combined to create her fear and anxiety is still there and always will be. That is the reality. I accept her and love her for all that she is. Now, thanks to Nanaimo K-9 there is another layer to Laceys experiences and another powerful and positive aspect to who she is.
Since Lacey has been home from training, she is calm and quiet rarely barks. She does not jump fences. The obvious shaking and anxiety is gone. She is a much more relaxed and happy girl. Lacey now has excellent obedience. She is a joy to take anywhere. She has 100 percent recall and perfect heel both on and off leash. I can take her to places with lots of people and dogs and trust her totally off leash. Rabbits can run infront of her and she walks past them. I can walk her through crowds of people with no anxiety. I am confident that I can take her anywhere. Lacey and I went for a trip to Vancouver which included walking on the ferry and many new people, places and experiences. And she rocked it. Lacey now goes to beaches, friends houses, stores, public events, and even the vet with no concerns. With skills learned from Nanaimo K-9, Lacey can now meet new people and people can pet her. People can now be introduced to Lacey and experience her for the gentle, loving girl that she is. Never in all my years of dog ownership have I had the pleasure of such a well behaved and obedient dog.
Nanaimo K-9 has given me the knowledge, skills and support needed to be the best owner and family for Lacey that I can be. I am now confident that I have full control over Laceys behaviour both on and off leash in any situation that we experience. I have learned how to be a stronger person and how to be an advocate for my dog.
The experience with Nanaimo K-9 has given Lacey her confidence back, it has given her the learned responses needed to face her fears in an approprate and safe way. They have opened for Lacey a quality of life that without their training would have been unimaginable. In fact, I believe that Nanaimo k-9 has saved Laceys life.
Laceys training will always be ongoing. She will forever wear the scars of her past. When I look into her eyes now I no longer see a puppy bound with fear but instead a maturing girl who is calm, confident and full of happiness. Thanks to Nanaimo k-9 our life together will be a journey full of learning, new expereinces, of big doggy smilies, and most of all of love.
Thank you Nanaimo K-9 for all that you do.
Our dog Lexi aka Lulu became extremely dog and human aggressive right around one year old. At home, she was the sweetest, snuggliest dog with no aggression towards us and gentle/sweet with our toddler. If someone new came to visit she would bark and growl at them until she had met them 5+ times. She would lunge and bark on leash towards any dog or human, even far in the distance and there were several bad fights with dogs, one resulting in her biting a person. It was hard to get her enough exercise so she was destroying things in our house and peeing on our beds and on the couch. We put her through thousands of dollars of positive reinforcement training with little progress and the trainer told us to put her down. We tried to rehome her but it wasn’t possible and many friends and family were telling me it was time to put her down for the safety of our toddler and our other dogs.
I found Rebecca online after being rejected by several trainers and put Lulu in for the two week board and train. Her and Poppy were both amazing. I was really nervous about using the ecollar but I can attest to what an extraordinary difference this training has made for our dog. When I pull out the ecollar in the morning she runs up to me excited to wear it and knows she’s about to play outside. She’s relaxed, happy and extremely obedient. I can walk her if there are other dogs or people around, her recall is perfect and she’s warming up to new people right away. I’ve introduced her to new dogs wearing her muzzle and ecollar and within minutes she is the happiest, most playful dog. We just had a new dog sitter come this weekend and she was blown away by what a sweet and well behaved dog she is. I always knew she was a good girl but needed the right guidance and Nanaimo K9 and Rehabilitation provided that. It’s possibly saved Lulus life and made our home so much happier and more relaxed.
We can’t thank you enough!
- Erin sand Lexi
I got Emily last year from my son. She was a rescue from the SPCA and was very hard to handle, with a lot of aggression issues towards people and animals. I thought I could be the one to save her and make her a good dog! Well, that backfired and she attacked our little dog a couple times and would never leave our cats alone either. I knew I had to do something before someone or something got seriously hurt. It was re-home her or even thought she may need to be put down. I couldn't even think of doing either. I was so upset and stressed, and knew she just needed the right training. We tried some training at another place and it did nothing at all. I was so very disappointed and began to think it was hopeless. Then a lady from PetSmart recommended Nanaimo K9 Training and Rehabilitation. I contacted Rebecca and we talked about what Emily needs. Rebecca was wonderful and explained everything thoroughly. I set up a board and train and got Emily in as soon as I could. On the first day, like 10 minutes after arriving at the farm, I saw an immediate improvement. I was shocked!! Nanaimo K9 Training and Rehabilitation are amazing at what they do. I have Emily home now and she has become such a well behaved dog. She still will test me, but its an ongoing job every day. If I keep up with what I have learned I can only go forward from this. Emily and I thank you guys so much for everything you have done. I would recommend Nanaimo K9 Training and Rehabilitation to anyone who has a dog with behaviour issues. You have made Emily a much better dog and me a stronger person.
- Linda and Emily
Rebecca has been my instructor for canine beginner and now canine intermediate since December of 2010. I had first approached her with my recently adopted adolescent border collie/lab as I was having significant behavioral issues at home with barking, biting, etc. Rebecca's skill and knowledge regarding canine behavior, issues, and correction were apparent immediately. With her guidance and direction I was able to significantly change the behavior of my young "trouble-making" dog, transforming him in to a much better behaved and social dog. Rebecca is always willing to go the extra mile, offering personal advice and suggestions when things do not go as expected with my dog. I find her to be very personable, and she is professional at all times. I would not hesitate to recommend Rebecca as a trainer to anyone.
Bonnie Wilson - Spencer
Rebecca's support and guidance has been invaluable to me, as Neva was an abused rescue dog that I adopted at the age of 7 months, and I have struggled to work with her quirks and fears over the past four years as Neva is now 5 yrs old. I had tried dog training in the past and we both failed miserably. I loved my dog unconditionally, but the frustration was getting to me.
Throughout the beginner and intermediate classes, whenever Neva and I would struggle at a specific task, Rebecca has booked us in for private sessions a handful of times at no extra charge to myself and outside of our regularly scheduled class times, to find ways of training that would work better for Neva and I. This is what has made the biggest difference for our success!!! It is ever so apparent that Rebecca is extremely passionate about her job and the success of her clients, no matter how busy that makes her day, and how many breaks she is going to miss to do so!
At times during the intermediate class I felt like Neva and I were falling behind the other dog's capabilities and was starting to feel the frustration creeping back in, but Rebecca was always there to assure me that Neva was doing just great and that we weren't falling behind at all and that Neva would learn everything in her own time and in her own way. She was right, and I am glad that I didn't "throw in the towel" out of frustration as Neva has made leaps and bounds again.
I strongly feel that Rebecca has advanced training capabilities that enabled her to troubleshoot my dog's quirks and fears whereas other trainers have been stumped in the past as to what to try next.
Delane Stockman - Neva
If you go anywhere else for a dog trainer you must be nuts! Rebecca has worked magic with my dogs from the second she met them, it was amazing!
Nico is a 10 year old insane Chihuahua and I honestly had lost hope of him being helped, however, thanks to Rebecca he is now on the road to becoming a balanced happy little guy.
My Shepherd/Border Collie Bruno is one of my bigger challenges, walking him was a nightmare and when people came to visit they would be knocked to the floor upon arrival.
After a few weeks of training with Rebecca, Bruno is now a wonderful dog that I love to walk. I remember our first walk together brought me to tears because it was something I never thought was possible. Bruno has done a 360 and I owe it all to Rebecca! She is very educated in dog behaviour and clearly loves dogs.
I am forever thankful for Rebecca helping my dogs have a happy life,
Rylee Bruno lily and Nico :) paw hugs
THE INDUSTRY PACK LEADERS OF CANINE BEHAVIOUR
"We promise to deliver brutal honesty and total transparency, leaving you feeling safe,
confident and in control!"
Our Dog was a sweet tiny cuddly little puppy named Thea that quickly grew into a large hard to handle German Shepherd/Bull mastiff guard dog!! We signed up for the beginner puppy classes when she was about 4 months old with Rebecca and Brenna at Nanaimo K9. We learned a lot from that class including that we had a puppy that was quickly becoming a dog with aggression issues and we had no idea how to handle that!! We could no longer take her for walks nor even have people come over to our home. When we went for walks she would go crazy and start growling, barking and lunging at any dog we encountered or any new person that came near her!! I was nervous all of the time and had decided that she may have to be put to sleep... then Rebecca suggested private lessons where she introduced us to the E collar! She taught us how to properly use the E collar and between her and her assistant Brenna they worked with us and helped us curb the aggression and improve her obedience. Rebecca was wonderful to us, never showing frustration or annoyance even with the panicked phone calls whenever I got into a situation with Thea that I felt I could not handle. So now we have an obedient 9 month old and 95lb puppy that has come a long way. We have learned that her behaviour wasn't meanness but instead it was nervousness. Thea is a loving and affectionate dog to everyone in her daily life, we are able to go out in public with her now because we know how to manage her and we feel like confident dog owners.
All thanks to the Nanaimo K9 team!!
Wendy and Nicole - Thea
Colin, Beau and I would like to thank Rebecca Preston and her wonderful staff at Nanaimo K9 Dog Training and Rehabilitation for their support, guidance, and advice with our rescue pit bull since he joined our family six months ago.
Beau has accomplished more in this short time than we ever imagined he was capable of.
I remember the email I send Rebecca when we first started fostering Beau. We lite
rally unloaded him from the car upon first bringing him home when he began snarling and growling at a dog walking down the street with its owner, both minding their own business entirely. Our landlords had just agreed to allow us to have a dog, and we bring home an insecure pit bull with nervous aggression. From the get-go we had decided we could not give him up, but as the days and weeks went on we realized what we had gotten into with this pup.
To give a bit of background to the story, Beau was picked up as a stray in Los Angeles at around 4 months of age and put into a high-kill shelter. He was scheduled to be euthanized in two hours when he was pulled from death row by a local dog rescue agency. Beau spent a month or so in the shelter and spent time in one other foster home before coming to stay with us.
Aside from his dog reactivity, his anxiety also manifested as fear of the forest, the dark, strange noises, and being left alone, among many other things.
We consulted with Rebecca shortly after adopting Beau, seeking assistance with these behaviours. She GUARANTEED me that they could help. I'll admit, given what I had witnessed from Beau and considering his stubbornness, I was skeptical.
We started Beau out in the Beginner Class. He whined, growled, and barked all through Rebecca's introduction during the first class.
As the classes went on, he got better. Beau's true potential started to be realized with the confident guidance of Rebecca and her staff. They introduced us to tools that greatly helped in Beau's rehabilitation, such as the positive-reinforcement training, prong collar, and later the e-collar; these tools helped Beau come leaps and bounds with his obedience and in conquering his anxiety. Furthermore, they showed us the PROPER way to use these tools. This in turn gave us the confidence to started addressing and working through these behaviours with Beau.
As most pit bull owners will realize, owning this breed of dog is tough, considering their stubborn behaviour, tough-looking appearance, and the overwhelmingly negative stigma and media that is out there. Beau's challenges were therefore magnified; taking him public places was a constant challenge in dealing with his behaviour first and foremost, let alone trying to work on my confidence in the matter, and ignoring the overwhelmingly negative attention (most times) that we attracted while doing this. Beau and I have been yelled at, and Beau has been labelled as 'aggressive' and 'mean' by those not willing to give him the chance. Even later as he got better, people would walk the other direction when seeing us, or pick up their children when we came near.
I am happy to report that, with the overwhelming support and commitment of Rebecca and Nanaimo K9, Beau has worked through or made significant progress with ALL of his challenges. I sincerely hope you folks realize the difference you have made in this pup's life, to the point of saving him, us, and giving him a new lease on life. Colin and I cannot even begin to express our gratitude.
Of course it is always a work in progress. We plan on registering Beau into the next CGN so he can get rid of that muzzle for good! He now enjoys off-leash hikes with and around other dogs (outside of Nanaimo of course), play dates with his best friend Gus (a boxer), attends doggy daycare regularly, swims, stays in his kennel without anxiety... You name it.
So thank you, Rebecca Preston and Nanaimo K9, for your commitment to helping us with Beau; we absolutely could not have done this without you!
Beau, Colin and Kari
Otis – The “Hug-bully”!
It happened one day...
Otis the Pit Bull Terrier came to us from a friend of ours that was going to put him to sleep. He was 1 ½ years old, friendly and playful. Unfortunately, he was a little too rough with their in-laws dog.
Loving Otis as much as we have since he was a wee puppy, we offered to take him in. At first, everything was fine with Otis, he was great with strangers, other dogs, and he was even great with our 14 ½ year old cat (that instantly asserted his “I was here first” territoriality and Otis learned very fast what sharp claws he had).
Then one day it happened... while walking Otis he was rushed and attacked by 120 pound pure bred Pit Bull. The fight that ensued was horrific! Otis was hurt and he changed almost instantly.
From that day, our poor Pit Bull Terrier was terrified of all dogs except for one. Other people also became the enemy. He even bit a family member (who was originally terrified of him) bad enough that she had to go to the hospital to have stitches.
Fearing the worst for our dog, we sent him to a two-week in-board training program. While his behaviour changed a little (he would now sit on command), he was still aggressive towards other dogs and people. Sadly, Otis also suffered an injury at the hands of this training facility that only made his aggression towards people stronger. We tried several other trainers after the in-board training with no success and received conflicting advice that either made people fear Otis, or Otis fear people.
The end of the rope...
Walking Otis had become a fear charged nightmare! He was always lunging, growling and barking. We would inconveniently time his walks to ensure that we would not come across other people or dogs. His quality of life outside our house was starting to look grim, and ours was fast becoming that as well. We could not even have company over anymore!
Something had to change...
One day in a big box store while buying food for Otis the Terrible (his new nickname), the clerk overheard me complaining about Otis to someone on the phone. I was given a business card for Hilary Douglas! “Call her". She said, "She works with Dogs like yours, and I think you will be happy”.
I called right away! A week later Otis and Hilary met. It was mutual “respect” at first. Otis, never being one for crowds, or other dogs, had a rough go that first time and the end of the session did not go well.
Hilary, with her knowledge and experience in canine behaviour knew that deep down Otis was a good boy. She suggested I call Rebecca at Nanaimo K9 Training and Rehabilitation. After explaining a bit, about what Becca does, I went home and chewed over the idea.
Following a particularly hard walk with Otis, I made the call. Becca was fantastic! Understanding Otis's needs and listening to our issues. A few weeks later Otis was going to Vancouver Island to join Becca at her home for one-month rehabilitation.
Departure is sweet sorrow...
Becca came to get Otis, with her “entourage”. Their initial meeting was very successful. Paperwork was signed, payment was made and I said goodbye to my sweet boy... heartbroken, I held it together until he left.
Updates and Successes...
We received video and contact from Becca right away. Otis was progressing well, learning his boundaries, respecting the rules and making new two and four legged friends!
More videos arrived of Otis learning how to meet dogs; getting his nails cut and PLAYING with another dog! We were in shock and awe, hardly able to believe that this was the same dog that once instilled fear in our hearts when he was anywhere near another person or dog.
We were so excited to pick up Otis; the month could not have been up fast enough. When we arrived for pick up, we were given the ground rules! If Otis was going to be successful, we had to change ourselves as well.
We spent the afternoon learning how to be the best pet family we could be before heading back home to the mainland. We also learned how much of an impact Otis made on Rebecca's partner Richard. Richard had always felt unsure of Pit Bulls... and along came Otis the "man aggressive" Pitty that changed his mind forever, reminding us never judge a book by its cover.
It has been a learning experience for everyone and Otis continues his training here to keep him successful.
Becca has given our dog back... She has given Otis and our quality of life back. Rebecca worked miracles for Otis and for us; she continues to give us the tools we need to keep Otis on the right track. Anyone lucky enough to have Becca work with them and their dog will benefit from it.
To Rebecca and Richard,
Thank you, Thank you, and Thank you!
Yours Truly, Lindsay, Cory and Otis
When we sent our boy to Poppy and Rebecca, we were at our wits end. Now in comparison to many dogs he was not a super problematic dog, but to us it was a very stressful time. He had developed some territorial aggression, he was high energy, very anxious, and vocal in all situations. We had been working with positive reinforcement trainers for months, and even though we didn’t end up continuing with them, I know that they would say we were extremely diligent with their regime, we made his training our number one priority and we worked on it tirelessly.
As the months went on, yes his obedience and “good” behaviors became stronger, but the positive reinforcement was not negating any of his aggressive tendencies in our yard. His anxiety in and outside the home was only worsening. He was stressed and unhappy, and we knew that if ever faced with an uncontrolled situation, he would go after someone that entered our yard (or anywhere he thought was ‘his’). In December I contacted Rebecca in a panic, she was quick to fit us in, and he went for a board and train for two weeks.
When he came home we instantly noticed a huge change in his whole demeanor, we were pleasantly surprised but also knew that we needed to keep up with their protocol for him or he would slip back into his old ways. Overall he was calmer, and happier! We are delighted to say that he now welcomes all guests into our home and yard with his whole body wagging, in a happy calm manor! He is actually happy that they are there, which is something that I thought would be impossible for him! Before he went he could never settle, he needed constant stimulation and would never (no matter how enticing of a toy or treat) just go lay down and chill out, this has been the most significant difference for us, as now he no longer paces, he can self-entertain and relax! There are no words for how this has changed our lives and his, the training they implemented with him, and instilled in us has completely enriched his life! We cannot thank Rebecca & Poppy enough, they have given us the control we needed, which allows him to live a very fulfilling life!
Shayne (Zurc's Mom)
We are just finishing up our beginners obedience class with Rebecca from Nanaimo K9 and I can see a huge improvement in our dog from before. We tried to teach our dog a few things prior to bringing him to a trainer but weren't sure as to the best way to teach him and it was fairly frustrating at times. Rebecca has taught us how to properly communicate what we would like Tonka to do, or not do, and it has become so much fun to teach him new things! She responds quickly to any questions about training that I had outside of class and is always very friendly! We really enjoyed our classes and will definitely be signing up for the intermediate classes :)
Jeri Marshall - Tonka
As a new dog owner, I really appreciated Rebecca's patient and knowledgeable instruction. She was always readily available to answer any question and give much-needed advice and support. My puppy is very introverted and shy in new situations, and Rebecca made sure to give me personalized direction to better handle this behaviour. It didn't take long for my puppy to start feeling more confident and comfortable with the other puppies in class.
Prior to taking this course, I'd attended a puppy training class with another company. Compared to this previous experience, the relaxed atmosphere and calm, reassuring instruction provided by Rebecca allowed both myself and my puppy to make great gains. We are now well on our way to becoming a more confident and well-trained dog and owner!
I would definitely recommend Rebecca's classes to any dog owner.
Lisa Henderson - Oliver
Where to start? Lets start with my friendship with Rebecca, whom I like to call Becca. Our friendship goes as far back as high school and she was inviting and friendly from the first time we met and we have been friends ever since. In the years following, I got to know her very well and realized even though she had been through a lot in her past she still treated people and animals with respect and kindness. From then until now I have seen her work long and devoted hours to see that the rights of animals be seen and heard. Her work has shown me and many others that even an "aggressive" dog can be formed into an amazing companion. I have also had the opportunity to work alongside Becca in some of her group classes and private classes. She truly is the female dog whisperer! There is not a challenge too large or too small for Becca and rain or shine she will be devoted to you and your pet, giving you the right tools and training to succeed. The transformation in your heart and in your dogs behavior will leave you feeling proud and fulfilled. I truly miss working with her and will always think of her as an incredible human being.
What I appreciate most about Nanaimo K9 owner/instructor Rebecca Preston is her honest and direct approach with my Lola, a young shepherd/border collie. Rebecca's ability to observe how I was handling Lola has been the key to our success.
Lola needed a strong confident handler in order for her to respect the rules. I was far too shy and timid with her. Rebecca has taught me that being firm is not the same as being mean or mistreating my pet. Showing Lola that I am the alpha has created a beautiful bond between us.
To help accomplish this Rebecca introduced the Dogtra E-Collar, this tool has been a godsend, and Rebecca's expertise and knowledge of the E-Collar made our training very simple and effective. I would encourage anyone to turn to Nanaimo K9 Training where I assure you Rebecca will give you the personalized guidance that will bring you more joy with your four-legged friend.
Thank you Rebecca
This is Abby, she is a 5 year old American Bull dog / Pit-bull. Abby came to me last year in January from New York. A little about Abby, she was used as a bait dog in dog fighting, for you that don’t know what a bait dog is, it is a weaker non aggressive dog that is thrown in the ring to get the aggressive dog riled up and ready to fight a bigger opponent, sad I know. When Abby first came to us we knew she had a fear of dogs, little did I know how bad this fear was. It didn’t look like fear to us or other people, it look like she had a sever aggression towards them. We introduced my sisters puppy to Abby and she just fell in love and never showed any signs of “aggression”. After meeting with two trainers they were certain it was fear not aggression, but they still could not help Abby, she still could not properly introduce herself where it didn’t look aggressive. She would bark over and over again and lunge towards all dogs, which in return would scare the other dogs away. She would pull on her leash to the point where walking her was a horrible experience for me but inside the house she was this sweet, sweet girl who loved you unconditionally but while outside of the house she was this dog that focused on everything and anything besides me. But then I heard of Nanaimo K9 Training, and met Rebecca, who has truly been a blessing. I truly believed this was my last option and I decided to enroll Abby in the 1 month training and boarding. I was very skeptical seeing as we had been though 2 trainers already but Rebecca reassured me after viewing her place and telling me all her training methods. She also sent me videos of Abby’s progression as well if I had any questions or concerns I could contact her anytime. After a month the day had come to see Abby again, as soon as I saw her I saw a change immediately! The way she was walking on the leash, no muzzle, no pinch collar, and no pulling with lots of dogs around her! Rebecca spent hours with me afterwards training me and my family, because after all we are the problem too. Getting Abby home was such a great feeling being able to walk her freely, passing dogs and cats was such a relief. Abby is a changed dog and it wouldn’t have been possible without Rebecca and her team! Even after all the training Rebecca has done for us, she still continues to see us just to make sure everything is going good, and she is there whenever I need her.
Thanks so much Nanaimo K9 team for not only transforming Abby but myself as well!!
We had been having issues with George our 3 years old basset hound for the last 2 years, he first bit a friend of the family and a co-worker. George was our sidekick going everywhere we would go including work but after those 2 incidents we had to change our habits and George was staying home most of the time, we kept It manageable this way for another year or so. George then started to show signs of aggression at home and we then started working with a “positive reinforcement only” so called dog behaviorist with no tangible results, shortly after George bit our daughter and myself, both the breeder and the vet recommended that we put George down (we never considered that option) and George started taking Prozac as a last resort before we would have need to re-home him. The medication didn’t prove to be affective and George was still showing signs of aggression. George was also poorly behaved in general and would jump on food, bark at people passing by, pull on his leash, jump on the couch and more… It is then that we found K9 dog rehab online, we had no ideas before that this kind of service was available. Rebecca was very fast in replying to our email and 2 weeks later George was dropped at their place. We left George there for 2 weeks and even tough those guys did a great job at communicating with us, we had no idea what to expect. The day of the pick up I was quite nervous as this was the day where I would find out if George had a future with our family or not. I got there and Poppy and Rebecca showed me what they done with George and I was floored, George was a new dog, these guys are hard and that’s exactly what George needed. After they showed me what they had taught him, they got me to do it myself and every single thing I had mentioned them such as getting him in my truck (bite) or cutting his nails (bite) they had solved and I was able to do by myself. They were very clear as to what I needed to do to keep reinforcing those behaviors and have been extremely responsive at my questions after that and they have shown just how much they care by following up all the time. Our new life with George is amazing, not only he is not being aggressive in situations where he would have been in the past which was the only reason for bringing him there but also he is a much better behaved and much more enjoyable dog at home and outside of home, we can walk him without leash in public! Just his behavior in general leaving the aggression alone was well worth the price. I can’t say enough about those girls and how professional they are. We are now able to resume the life that George was meant to have with us and are now able to bring him everywhere. They saved our life with George and might have saved his life too!
- Martin (George's Dad)
When Stephen and I got together I had recently just lost one of my dogs to a tumor and 2 of my dogs to divorce. When we split I couldn't find a dog friendly place and I moved 3 hours away so thought it best they stay with him. I was heartbroken about all 3 so was anxious to adopt a dog that was in need of a good home. I'd had experience with rescuing one of our dogs with aggression while I was married but she was only 12 pounds and had extensive training so had good recall even though she could be unpredictable. Aggression with a 12 pounds dog you can pick up and a 75 pound dog was a whole new ball game.
Stephen and I rescued Raven from the Nanaimo shelter in July 2013. At the time I did not realize that the shelter and the SPCA were 2 different entities. Raven had been surrendered twice but seemed very sweet and because of my previous experience with rescuing an aggressive dog I thought I was fully equiped with the knowlege we needed. After a few meetings with him I started feeling more and more awful every time I left him. The floors were cement with no bed and every time I would come to walk him he seemed to pee forever and like he was in dire need of a poop. We were convinced he wasn't getting the love and attention he needed. The day we picked him up was the first time the shelter expressed any concerns at all. They said he would bark at the front of his kennel if other dogs walked by and they had to hose him down to get him to stop. We were already in love and couldn't leave him there any longer.
After getting him home his issues became more and more apparent. We had to have him on a long leash when we were in the yard because he would charge at the fence anytime he saw any neighbors, planes, helicopters, squirrels, cats etc. and it was to the point where he would choke himself out and be out cold for a few seconds. His aggression escalated and became so random that I couldn't see his triggers anymore. Slowly he stared destroying our house and our vehicles. We hired a trainer in the beginning and she told us that if he ever hurt anyone we could face lawsuits but the training she provided didn't seem to be working. Over the next 3 years we withdrew and just learned to deal with what we thought was our life. No one would believe us when they met him that he had this behavior in him because he was so sweet. That is, until they saw it. Once they saw "Mr. Hyde" they coudn't unsee it.
Our house that we were renting with a 1/4 acre backyard sold in the Summer of 2016 and we had to move into a basement suite with no yard. Nanaimo is a difficult place to find rentals let alone one that allowed dogs. We knew it would mean more walks but tried to think positively that it would mean even more exercise for all of us but with his behavior it riddled me with anxiety. Little did we know what would lie ahead. Raven went from bad to worse and suffered from separation anxiety so severly that he barked from the time we left the house until we got home. I could no longer walk him because he would lose control and "see red" everytime we saw anything from a another dog to a vehicle and be so aggressive if he didn't have a muzzle on he would have biten me. He even reacted to shadows on the wall and would whine and cry if anyone would come to our house and stand rather than sit down. It became too stressful to take him anywhere, leave him alone or have people over. Our life had already been limited with him before the move but now life had changed in a really bad way really fast. Our landlord was super patient knowing he was having separation anxiety but after 6 months of nothing working, and we tried multiple things including malatonin and even medication, she had had enough. We competely understood, we were both at our wits end as well. I was driving home multiple times a day sometimes after her texting me saying he was freaking out making it difficult at work and incredibly stressful. That ultimatum however changed everything and ultimately saved Raven's life. I called everywhere and I mean everywhere. Everywhere I called said the same thing. It was hopeless. Put your beloved pet down. He's aggressive and can't be fixed. We don't take dogs with aggression. He has no chance. We don't take personal surrenders. Even the SPCA said they would have to put him down because of his aggresssion. I was beside myself crying and was convinced we might have to put him down when I left the message to Nanaimo K9 that would change our lives. Within 10 minutes my phone rang. It was Rebecca from Nanaimo K9. In 5 minutes of telling her about Raven she told me we didn't need to put him down and that she could fix him. I didn't believe it. Stephen didn't believe it. Our family and friends didn't believe it. Anyone who loved Raven and saw his good side didn't believe it either. Then he went for training.......
Rebecca 100% hands down saved our dogs life. We have gotten our lives back and Raven is finally comfortable in his own skin. He went to stay with her on June 10th, 2017 for a full month board and train. While he was gone I had so many questions and she answered all of them albiet while withholding a bit of information that we could only learn first hand when we picked him up.
The day we went to get him she was fully on board with us bringing other family members so they could also learn the new rules and proper training Raven needed to continue his board and train.
Seeing him for the first time after a month was emotional but WOW. We couldn't believe the differece. He was amazing around other dogs, chickens, deer, horses and pigs. We spent the afternoon learning and I am in constant contact with her still asking for advice. It's crazy how good he has been since he has gotten home. He can be on our deck now without leash with very little reaction to deer walking by, all I say is "no" and he puts his head down. Rebecca has helped us not only save our dogs life but has made us fall in love with our boy even more than we ever thought imaginable.
I have been trying to write this testimonial for ages, it’s been difficult to put into words just how desperate I was and how much Rebecca helped. I got my dog Tripp as a puppy, he wasn’t a rescue and as far as I know he didn’t have a traumatic past. I did everything right, puppy classes, socialized him like crazy, but he was the way he was.
Tripp hated strangers, he didn’t like people walking past the house, the dog park, the truck if he was in it, etc. Walks were incredibly stressful, to have a person or dog pass us I had to haul Tripp off the trail and physically use my body to block his sight and try to distract him the best I could with food.
I tried a few different trainers and they basically threw up their hands, obedience class was a nightmare. We had to be the first ones in and last ones out because we couldn’t walk past the other dogs. The final straw was Tripp growling, barking, and actually lunging at a man just minding his own business and walking past us on a trail. It was to the point where a decision needed to be made, I didn’t want his world to be limited to the house but I couldn’t take him in public anymore.
Rebecca explained things in a way that made perfect sense. Punish the aggressive behaviour and he will learn he has no other option than to accept strangers and eventually learn they aren’t actually all that bad.
Tripp is a %100 success story, other people can now see the goofy, loveable dog that I have always known. We are always out in public and out hiking off leash. He will accept treats and pets from strangers which is something I never thought would happen. We can pass strangers and other dogs on trails with no issues. Rebecca has given him this amazing foundation and given me to confidence and tools to continue working with him.
- Annette and Tripp
We have been participating in her classes since November 2010 and have been very pleased. Our chocolate Lab, Henry, has taken the puppy class and is now in the intermediate class. Rebecca's ability with dogs of all shapes and sizes, and her patience with them and their owners has been key to us continuing with classes.
We had heard that another provider of dog obedience was the best in town and registered for that concurrently to Rebecca's class. We were extremely disappointed in the instruction and we saw very little progress in those classes, either from our own learning or from the learning or obedience of other dogs in the class. The classes with Rebecca are far more structured and the dogs and their trainers learn the correct way to do things in a much shorter time span.
Rebecca's enthusiasm is contagious. She uses her voice so well and is an excellent role model as those of us in her class try to master new skills. We have recommended her class to our friends who were in the other providers class and the one who is attending has been very pleased. Every session with Rebecca is fun and entertaining and each week we make significant progress.
George and Elaine Stenning - Henry
This is Sierra. She is a 1.5 year old German shepherd/collie cross. She is very intelligent, loves to learn and she is excellent with our family, including our 4 year old who plays with her constantly. We took Sierra to another company for her initial training but they were unable to help us with some issues that Sierra had, like fear issues, an inability to focus when other dogs were around, excessive barking and being overly territorial of our property. The other company also weren't able to challenge Sierra with more complicated exercises when she quickly mastered the basics and got very bored in their classes. Then I went to Rebecca at Nanaimo K9. She quickly put me at ease and from the first class I was able to see more improvement in Sierra than I had in over 6 months of training classes elsewhere. Rebecca and her team were able to help me push Sierra to excel at harder tasks, as well as refine her basic skills and they helped me address Sierra's fear, focus issues and the excessive barking. My neighbors even asked if we had a new dog! Not only did Rebecca and her team explain the how of doing things, but the why. They truly understand dogs and owners and are able to help resolve issues when others told me it simply couldn't be done, plus you can see just how dedicated to animals they are in every interaction. I would never train another dog anywhere else again. Sierra continues to flourish in classes and at home, and I'll be returning to more classes in the summer because Sierra and I enjoy them so much. If you want the best trainer around, go see Rebecca and the Nanaimo K9 team. Thank you to Rebecca and The Nanaimo K9 team. You are all amazing, hard working and dedicated to your job and the proof is in the well trained and behaved dog that I have now. Julie and Sierra
When we moved from the suburbs onto 11.5 acres in the country we knew we wanted a big dog to help deter cougars and bears from wandering onto our children while playing in their forest. Bramley is an Akbash/Maremma/Anatolian Sheperd, a livestock guardian dog. The description of the ancient breeds convinced us he was the dog for our new life on the property.
From the first day we met Bramley he was very affectionate and clearly looking to attach himself to a “pack” that would love him in return. However, we could also detect a hint of caution, maybe even fear, in his behaviour. In our naïveté, we figured to boost his confidence, he simply needed lots of reassurance in the form of love. Although we had had a big dog for 12 years prior and many dogs in our family, we clearly did not properly understand canine pyschology! This would be our undoing.
As he developed, Bramley became more and more protective of our family and aggressive towards newcomers approaching our house in the woods. He would bark, shackles up, ignoring our protests to stop. Eventually, a friend met Bramley and then bent down thinking Bram wanted to kiss him but instead Bramley bit his face, leaving scratches down his cheek. We were devastated and shed many tears as we spent hours and hours trying to figure out what was happening. Two weeks later he snapped at a three year old boy. The next day we called Rebecca. Clearly this was over our heads and his behaviours could not continue. I remember my first phone call with Rebecca; I was distraught, thinking we would have to give Bramley up if this behaviour couldn’t be changed. During our conversation, I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders, immediately relieved that Rebecca was confident his behaviour could be changed.
Bramley spent two weeks with Poppy, one of Rebecca’s fantastic trainers. Poppy did amazing things with Bramley, teaching him with a firm, confident, loving hand. On the day we picked Bramley up, I was so out to lunch on how to be with my dog that I fully expected to drop to my knees and have Bramley shower me with kisses. Rebecca obviously knew I was clueless because she sat us down for a 45 min talk before we even met Bram. Here is where our world was transformed - in Bramley’s eyes, we were definitely NOT the pack leaders. And because we weren’t filling that role, he had to step into it and, with his confidence issues, he was certainly not equipped to be in charge (nor should he be!). Rebecca helped us to understand that his incessant barking at strangers, inanimate objects, other dogs basically anything at all, was him protecting us...because he didn’t trust us to keep the pack safe. It was his job to do that.
After the two weeks with Poppy and a huge shift in perception for us, Bramley was on the road to becoming a well-adjusted, regular member of the pack...and we were assuming the role of confident, calm, assertive pack leaders. Bramley has a new role in our family, to be a deterrent to bears and cougars through his presence but more importantly, to be an active participant in family activities. Instead of being the “property dog” we thought he would be, he now accompanies us on hikes, camping trips even caving adventures! We are now jogging regularly and spending time working with him. He has a calm, relaxed demeanour all the time now because, as we have learned, he doesn’t need to protect us - he trusts that that’s OUR job.
Bramley is certainly more than we bargained for when we got a dog. We have three young children and are building a house and transforming our property...we were not looking to change our behaviour and habits as well . BUT, as Rebecca kindly reminded us, “you don’t get the dog you want, you get the dog you need”. This is entirely true for us. Bramley has allowed us to take the time to focus on ourselves, something we haven’t done in many years. He is teaching us to be confident, assertive leaders, balancing firm boundaries and expectations with a loving touch.
Thank you, Rebecca, for opening our eyes and teaching us these valuable lessons. Thank you, Poppy, for the care and time you have put into Bramley, your way with him has taught us much as well.
We get asked almost on a daily basis who we use for a trainer because Dexter is such a well-behaved dog in public! :-) We have had the great pleasure of being trained by Rebecca Preston with the help of her assistant, Brenna, over a 4 month period. We attended both puppy and intermediate training along with training using the Dogtra E-Collar. When we first met Rebecca we had a teenage pup (one year in age) who had recently decided that he did not have to listen to us anymore. He wouldn't come when called, he jumped all over our 7 and 6 year old children and having company was a nightmare because he would circle around them barking, uncontrollably. His constant barking when in the back yard, at anything that moved, was pretty much intolerable as well. But we love our Dexter and we decided to be good dog owners and get him the training he deserved to be a well-established member of our family who slept in his kennel, indoors, with us. We quickly learned with Rebecca that it was us as a family who needed to be trained in teaching Dexter good manners. Dexter responded to training well, but some issues, like pulling while walking and running were still problematic. Rebecca introduced us to the Dogtra E-collar and WOW! I cannot say enough about the overnight change in Dexter. Rebecca has been teaching us with great care and responsibility that the Dogtra E-Collar is an amazing tool for both dog and owner. Dexter has learned to love having the collar on. He realizes that he has such freedom when it is on. He controls whether he receives a correction by remembering to use his manners. We can see that Dexter has gone from a cautious, sensitive dog to a confident, happy, well mannered dog and we thank Rebecca from the bottom of our hearts for all that she has taught us. Before Rebecca's skillful instruction, there was no way on this earth that I would have let my children walk Dexter. He would have pulled them off their feet in seconds and when I ran with Dexter, it was so dangerous I even got whiplash last winter from being pulled down by him. Now, my children enjoy leisurely strolls with Dexter politely heeled at their sides and I can run with him heeled at my side with or without a leash and he won't chase after a rabbit or try to jump in the lake (his two most favourite activities, besides training). Thank you Rebecca and Brenna for teaching us the skills that have allowed us to have the most rewarding experience with the four-legged member of our family! Dexter and I will be signing up for Rally-O training the next time classes are available!
Kim, Mike and Joshua - Ainsley
My husband and I have a very energetic 18 mo. old Lab named Lucy that we were having trouble handling. Walking on leash with her has been impossible for me – she pulls and strains so badly. We went away for a week and left Lucy with Rebecca. She reinforced many behaviors so that Lucy brings less energy to daily life and she easily mastered walking Lucy on a leash. We have struggled a bit with that but recognize it is us that needs the work. However – Rebecca did not just pass Lucy back to us ending her commitment. She has followed up with additional help and problem solving for us and remains in touch to ensure all is going well. We would call her again and highly recommend her to anyone that has any training or behavior issues with their dog. She knows her stuff, she cares and it shows.
Susan and Brian - Lucy
This is Gracie “Scallywag” Palmer, my Havanese-Yorkie cross, born June 8, 2011 after her pregnant mom was one of more than 70 small dogs rescued from horrendous conditions at a puppy mill. She came into this world as a spirited and curious pup, intelligent and determined to take on the world on her own terms. She has a mind of her own and speaks it often.
Having a new puppy as a mid-lifer, I had under-estimated the level of responsibility and rearing this small bundle of big energy would require. After several months of frustration from failed potty-training attempts, unpleasant walks, and ignored commands, I realized I needed to be trained to handle my fur-baby.
I contacted Rebecca Preston of Nanaimo K9 Dog Training and Rehabilitation to see if she could help my now one-year-old handful.
We began with a one-on-one private session, and within minutes, Gracie’s behaviour on the leash, even with bunny distractions, was nothing short of miraculous. She heeded to a gentle tug and a firm “No” and realized that she was no longer the “boss of me”!
Rebecca allowed me to sit in on a session of a beginner’s class to witness the training techniques used. I was convinced and signed us on to a six-week Beginners Obedience Course. Gracie, though rambunctious at first, soon responded well to the commands. With a lot of at-home practice, we have learned the basic ropes and continue to improve every day.
Gracie graduated with flying colours, and is looking forward to the next level (Intermediate Training) in the spring. She highly recommends Rebecca’s programs for all dog owners who need to be trained.
From Amanda and Riley 💜 🙌🏻 🐶 🐾
When I first contacted Rebecca, I was living in a constant state of fear and anxiety because of my dog, Riley. My beautiful puppy had developed into a fearful adolescent to an aggressive adult and I had no idea how to correct his behaviour. I would lose sleep at night because of Riley, not knowing what to do or how to live with such an aggressive dog. Introducing him to new people was a nightmare, and we eventually just started locking Riley in another room whenever we had guests over. I would never take him out in public without his harness, a leash, and a muzzle - and during the whole walk I would be so on edge because Riley became so unpredictable and I would never know when he would have a reaction. He was always aggressive to people he did not know but was surprisingly okay with dogs until about a year ago when he also became aggressive to dogs as well. I had no idea what to do because owning Riley gave me more heartbreak and sadness than anything else. Riley has always been my little baby and has showed me and my family nothing but love, however Riley had created quite the bad name for himself due to his behaviour. Riley had turned into such a liability, because his aggression obviously included biting. I couldn't live with a dog knowing that he had the potential of dangerously hurting someone, and of course it would be 100% my fault. I couldn't fathom giving him away or even bare the idea of putting him down because even though he had all these issues, he was still my little baby. I researched trainers for probably over a year and tried multiple different approaches and companies, and NOTHING helped. I felt like I had hit rock bottom regarding Riley, and then I came across Nanaimo K9. I emailed them to get more information and Rebecca called me that night and spent over an hour on the phone with me explaining her company and training qualifications and techniques. She answered all my questions and made me feel that I wasn't alone. A couple weeks later we brought Riley over to the island and left him with one of Rebecca’s trainers - Shanna. After a tearful goodbye, I felt confident that I was leaving Riley with someone who would care for him as much as I would. Shanna was up until three in the morning on the first night with Riley, trying to get him comfortable with her. She even slept on the couch with him trying to get Riley to accept her. Shanna always kept me in the loop throughout the month and a half Riley was there. She would send me videos of him going on walks and pictures of the two of the cuddling on the couch. When my partner and I went to pick Riley up after his board and train, we were absolutely floored. He was a completely different Riley, but with all the same loving, smart, and goofy qualities about him. We met Shanna at the dog park to pick Riley up and I have never seen him so happy. He was still our same little baby but all the fear and aggression was gone. Its been about 2 months since we’ve picked him up and our life is so much better all because of Shanna and Rebecca. We live in an apartment and are able to bring him in the elevator with our neighbours, walk on busy streets, and take him to the park with no worries. We don't even walk Riley with a leash anymore because he's such a good boy. Thank you Nanaimo K9, you have honestly changed our lives and we could not be happier with all of Riley’s progress.
We were at wit's end with our Golden Retriever. Despite all we had heard about the breed's gentle temperament, our girl Kayla was nervous & aggressive, barking & lunging at anyone who crossed her path. She attacked other dogs at the park & the final straw was when she began to attack our gentle bulldog, causing serious injury.
We began to reluctantly face the idea that she would need to be re-homed. Our 3 teens were absolutely devastated. Despite Kayla's behaviour in public, she was a gentle, loving dog around the kids. We loved her & really didn't want to see her go.
The first 'dog rehab' trainer I called told me there was no hope & Kayla should be surrendered & re-homed.
Luckily, the second number I called was Rebecca's. Right from the start, she listened, asked questions & really took the time to understand the situation.
Her warm demeanour & depth of knowledge about canine behaviour was reassuring & I began to feel some hope.
We dropped Kayla off with Rebecca as a scared, unpredictable & aggressive dog with no listening skills. It truly had become so bad that no member of our family felt comfortable walking her out in the community, even on a leash.
The dog that arrived home is nothing short of a miracle. Kayla is social, no longer barks at strangers or attacks other dogs. My 17 yr old son now enjoys taking her for long walks on the beach & in the forest where they both feel comfortable exploring. We are so happy because Kayla is no longer sad.
Our family is so thankful to Rebecca for the amazing work she did with Kayla. Her ability to assess & rehabilitate troubled dogs is truly a gift but one that is realized through hard work & a fierce commitment to her clients.
Any dog that spends time with Rebecca is better for it & I recommend her services wholeheartedly.
Laura & family
Hi Rebecca and Dana,
Just want to say that we can't thank you enough for your help with Oreo. She has changed so much and we are so impressed.
When I take her out, I make sure to do a few turns with her in heel with the vibrate so she's cued. At first I reminded myself that every dog/person/cat on the street as an opportunity, but now I walk by with confidence knowing that Oreo will be without a doubt controlled in all situations. Last night when Geoff and I took her for a walk, we purposefully walked within 2 feet of a cat with Oreo off leash knowing she would be fine. Tonight we walked up a street that was busy with people with Oreo off leash and she was 100% ok with things that would have been major triggers before - people reaching out to her (one lady even petting her), walking within a foot of a dog tied up outside a restaurant, etc. Last night I left my apartment and interacted with a neighbour in the hallway and Oreo was totally cool. It brings tears to my eyes to think about how stressed we all were before we sent her to you (Geoff, me and especially Oreo) and how much of a better quality of life Oreo has now.
We're looking to book a follow up session during the third week of October but we'll have to get back to you with dates.
Thank you thank you thank you.
I had the pleasure of meeting Rebecca Preston in September 2010, when she came to me to learn more about social obedience. I was very happily surprised to meet a very knowledgeable and confident dog handler, an amazing canine behaviouralist. I ended up learning just as much, if not more, from Rebecca, and am a far better trainer and behaviouralist myself because of it. Rebecca has infinite amounts of patience and enthusiasm, whether she is working with the dog or the handler. I have the utmost faith in Rebecca's abilities, there is no situation I can imagine she would not have complete control. She is one of the few people who I would trust to handle my own dog, and she is always available to provide support and advice to any challenge I am facing. I would not be the professional I am today, if not for Rebecca's influence, and I consider myself extremely lucky to call her my friend.
In Harmony Canine Training Services
I needed to pick up a harness for my dogs, Rebecca assisted us and gave us some alternate and important information. She told us a bit about herself and her experience as a trainer and offered to help us, with the option to withdraw from training if we were unsatisfied at anytime. I felt totally at ease and respected by Rebecca right from the start. Both my son and I were excited and learned a great deal from our training with Rebecca. Rebecca taught us everything from getting our dogs to sit, stay, heel, and many others as well as some tricks. Our dogs are so well trained now that we can actually walk both of them at the same time, with just one person, without any injuries. We are very happy dog owners now, Rebecca went above and beyond to ensure we were getting what we needed and wanted from our training. She was a god send to our little family and I have recommended her to all my friends.
Annette Favelle - Cooper and Sadie
Rebecca has helped me transform not only my dog but myself! My energetic pitbull mix was showing signs of dog aggression
from a young age. She successfully completed Puppy obedience but wasn't quite socially ready to move on in my opinion as
she was being aggressive towards the other class mates. Rebecca recommended we try Dogtra E-collar training with Lucy and
within the first DAY, I had a new dog. With Rebecca's help and guidance I became a more confident, relaxed pack leader and
Lucy is also continuing to grow into a confident, relaxed.. HAPPY dog. Her dog aggression has decreased so much that we
happily walk off leash most everywhere we can! I have watched her become such a great dog it has literally brought tears to
my eyes on many occasions. I am so thankful that I found Nanaimo K9!
Thank you Rebecca!
Katie & Lucy
Rebecca has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help me with my new puppy Barkley. She is always kind and friendly and has been very understanding to my health issues. She has altered the course due to my circumstances. Which has helped immensely. It is has been such a pleasure going to puppy class with her as my instructor. I will continue as long as I have the money or my puppy is perfect.
Angela Wong - Barkley
Rest in Peace Angie, I miss hearing from you and all of your dog training successes
Where do I begin.. Mickey has always been an affectionate, goofy dog, but sadly that side of him was something only few people saw. Mickey has had deep fear issues with strangers and new dogs from the very beginning. Mickey used to just be nervous, he would pee and shake. As he matured, Mickey began to bark and growl at people to push them away. The last incident Mickey has with a stranger he tried to bite. We new as owners we were not addressing his fear issues correctly in the slightest. We contacted Rebecca, getting an immediate response. We emailed and phoned back and forth and in 2 months Mickey went to his Board in Training with the WONDERFUL Alishia Adams. Now that Mickey is home, I am overwhelmed with a proud feeling. Mickey is stills nervous, and as Alishia has explained it’s totally fine for him to be nervous, it’s just the reaction that needed fixing. Alishia taught Mickey how to socialize, and she taught us as owners how to give Mickey the extra confidence he needs to be relaxed enough to accept love. Mickey has been home two days, we have went for a walk each morning, the difference in my dog is truly astonishing. Mickey walks by my side, looks at me for a command, walks with his tongue out and tail wagging regardless of all the people and dogs around. Mickey met a stranger last night, he showed zero aggression, he actually showed interest. Mickey now has a new friend!! I have never seen Mickey so relaxed when meeting a new male (person). It took under 3 minutes for Mickey to be licking his new friend and playing toys! I am forever grateful for this program and I cannot day enough about Alishia Adams!!!! Thank you, Rebecca, Alishia, and Nanaimo K9 for everything!!!
My pug Oliver and I have just finished taking the Beginner and Intermediate dog training classes with Rebecca Preston. Rebecca has proved to be more knowledgeable, direct, and approachable than other dog trainers I've worked with in Toronto. When Oliver was unable to perform "down" at the end of beginner training, Rebecca offered to do a catch-up session, and by the end of that half hour (with her patient repetition), Ollie was performing "down," something I thought he might not be able to do.
I was always impressed by the way Rebecca's enthusiasm and dedication to detail ensured that every dog and owner in class stayed up to speed each week. She was always available after class to answer questions on how to work with some of Ollie's behavioural issues. I feel as if I have been given an excellent dog training education, and plan to take the Advanced class with Rebecca, as well.
Maia Caron - Ollie
Where to start? We adopted Kai from Texas just over a year ago. He’s a 65 pound pit bull. He was unruly. Pushy. Dominant. Noisy. Demanding. Aggressive. No leash experience. Didn’t get along with our other dogs. Didn’t really like to be touched unless it was on his terms. He growled at us a lot. He growled when we approached his kennel, told him no, asked him to do something he didn’t want to, fed him, and sometimes when we touched him. We’ve been bitten and broken by him. He was disruptive to our entire life. Things were not looking good for Kai.
Until Rebecca entered the picture.
If you are willing to do some work she will give you the tools and resources to move forward and be successful. Her instruction is clear, direct and precise.
Kai is now a fairly calm and well mannered dog. He’s quiet. Obedient. Much softer in the eyes. No more growling. Superb leash manners. Much less reactive. He is a work in progress. Not your typical dog.
Rebecca is very supportive. She answers every question we have. We do phone chats and messages. If we are struggling or need direction we send her video of us training and she offers feedback. She is a wealth of knowledge. We appreciate any tips and info she offers.
Rebecca cares about what is best for the dog and for you. We highly recommend her.
She has given us hope where we thought there was none. She has literally saved Kai. We cannot thank her enough for everything she has done and continues to do.
Rebecca is amazing at what she does!
If you need help with your dog contact her. Right now! She can help you. She can fix the issues. Trust me. Kai is one of the most aggressive dogs she’s seen and he’s doing it. He’s being rehabilitated. Slowly. Steadily.
It takes team work to make the dream work!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,
Christine and Trevor
Arriving for a first training class with an excited puppy and a nervous pet parent can be somewhat overwhelming and a little intimidating for a new owner. Rebecca immediately put all of her clients at ease by meeting each of us where we were at and guided us forward with easy to follow instructions and demonstrations. Rebecca plans her classes so that each owner and pet partnership is able to experience quick success, gain confidence, and have fun. She is willing to pace her lessons according to the comfort level and ability of the owners and pets and will demonstrate and re-teach as necessary to ensure that all participants accomplish their goals. Rebecca maintains a good sense of humour with her clients, which helps to make the lessons fun. She has shown flexibility with clients in arranging class times to suit our schedules and is always willing to schedule make-up classes if necessary.
Jennifer Jellema - Saela
Thank you Rebecca Preston
Charlie is a great companion and a loyal dog. He heals by my side when walking on leash, follows commands and comes back every time when called off leash. He is a responsive, confident and a happy dog.
Six months ago before training with Rebecca Preston, Charlie was facing death row.
If you have a dominant, unpredictable dog that is causing you sleepless nights then you will want to read further. There is help out there and there is an opportunity to turn your demon into an angel. I know this first hand by living through the transformation of an unpredictable dog into a good dog.
Charlie was a rescue dog. His previous owners had surrendered him to the pound after he had been run over by a truck. After the accident, his owners tied him up for a month. After that month, they took him to the vet because he was not getting better. The vet discovered that his hip was fractured. His owners could not afford the medical bills and surrendered Charlie. The vet operated and removed Charlie’s hip and put him up for adoption. When I adopted Charlie, he was around one and had not been mobile for a long time; he was essentially a three legged dog. It was uncertain whether he would keep his leg. I saw potential in Charlie and decided to take him on. I took Charlie swimming every day and we were able to get his leg back in working order.
As Charlie’s leg healed, his personality grew. We formed a very strong bond. He became very attached to me and more temperamental. After a series of misfortunes and instability in my life (house flood, sickness, being attacked by a pack of dogs and death of close friends) Charlie was becoming more and more difficult. I started reading all the latest books on dog training and took Charlie to obedience classes. They helped some but I was unable to get Charlie completely under control. I put into place all the recommendations for dealing with dominant dogs. (Go through the door first, eat first, own the toys, own the bed and the furniture etc.)
Around me Charlie was wonderful. I could brush his teeth, cut his nails, give him pills and he would totally succumb to my requests. However if a stranger came too close to me, he was territorial. Then, the nightmare that every owner of a dominant male dog fears… happened… Charlie nipped my neighbor in the face. Charlie needed to be under control or put down. He is a huskey /collie cross and weighs around 60 pounds.
The only thing that saved Charlie that day is that he is a nipper and not a true sink your teeth in biter. Also I had just had an operation and was not well. Some thought that Charlie was being protective. Friends offered excuses for Charlie and I knew that we had travelled well past that myth. The Collie in him liked to herd and nip. He had nipped before and had never made contact. Charlie was dangerous and a risk. I could no longer ignore the fact and all the book reading and obedience training in the world was not going to change this pattern.
I asked Jo Kelly at Qimmiq Kennels in Yellowknife for help and she wisely recommended that I seek professional help and said that she had heard that Rebecca Preston was good with turning around aggressive dogs. I called Rebecca and we discussed Charlie and I liked her philosophy about training dogs. The only problem was that Charlie and I were in Yellowknife and she was located in Nanaimo B.C.
I chatted with other trainers closer to Yellowknife however I did not feel confident that they could address the issues I was facing with Charlie. The strain of Charlie being a nipper made me lose my confidence and I avoided having people over and walking him in busy places. My greatest fear was not putting Charlie down but having him hurt another person while under my care. I decided that I needed some news tools if I was going to keep Charlie.
I shipped Charlie down to Vancouver Island for training with Rebecca. She recommended an electronic collar to break Charlie of some of the negative patterns he had developed under my care. She trained Charlie for a month. I came for the last week so that Rebecca could train me. I knew that many of Charlie’s issues had to do with the relationship we had formed and we needed a fresh start.
The training on the e-collar was the best tool Charlie and I could have asked for. It has three settings, a page, a nick (or quick shock) and a continuous pulse. For those that think that an e-collar is cruel, I can tell you that it is the most humane training tool that I have come across for Charlie.
I have only used the continuous shock twice on Charlie, once during training and once when I hit the button by mistake. It is rare that I have to give Charlie even a nick these days. He has learned several commands using the pager (vibration only) and that is enough to get his attention.
He is happy and calm when I put on the collar because he knows we are going to do some training, go for a walk or do some interesting activity. I am now confident taking Charlie anywhere and he is relaxed and comfortable with me being in control.
I would not recommend training an aggressive dog with an e-collar. This is why it was so important to have Charlie live with Rebecca for a month so that he could be properly trained and learn to be responsive to commands and corrections.
Charlie has always been a great dog and now I am a better owner because I can quickly, effectively and easily correct unwanted behavior.
Charlie and I are both indebted to Rebecca for her patience and dedication to helping aggressive dogs become better citizens. It would have been easier to put Charlie down…however the reward has been far greater to see Charlie transform.
So again, I speak to those that are facing the same desperation that I was feeling six months ago. There is help and Rebecca is able to assist difficult dogs like Charlie and worried owners like me live a rewarding and happy life together. It has been four months since we completed the training with Charlie and things are going great. My friends also notice the change in us. Charlie is calm and I am confident and in control.
Thanks Rebecca and Merry Christmas. You are wonderful and doing a great service. Thanks for all your help and giving Charlie and me a second chance.
I did puppy classes with Jane when she was 3 months old and was happy with what we both learned from Rebecca and her team of trainers. As Jane got a bit older and bigger I started having concerns because we have 2 small grandsons and whenever they came over she would be so excited to see them she would jump on them - never meaning to scare or hurt them. Knowing she was going to get a lot bigger I needed to do something about it quickly. My other concern was that we don’t have a fenced yard and I worried that Jane would bolt across the road if she saw or heard kids playing so I had to keep her on a leash even in our own yard. I knew about the e-collar and had seen firsthand how effective it is so I talked with Rebecca about it and had her order one and arranged private lessons to learn the proper way to use it. The night before getting it and our first lesson I was a bit panicked – I worried that I was being mean and that I might do something wrong and do damage to Jane’s funny clownish personality. I needn’t have worried at all! Right away a Nanaimo K9 Team member put my mind at ease by having me feel what Jane was going to feel when receiving a correction – it was not painful, it reminded me of the shock you get when you touch a door knob after walking across a carpet – just enough of a shock to get her attention when she’s focused on distractions. By the end of the first lesson I was completely sold! She learned amazingly fast and was not traumatized at all – in fact she received so much praise for how quickly she learned and how well she responded that I’m sure she actually enjoyed the lesson and the training I did with her between lessons.
Now, having had and used the collar for a couple of months her behavioral problem are basically behind us and I rarely use the collar anymore - she doesn’t jump on people at all (she is a boxer so she loves to jump but she jumps up, does a twist and lands back on her own feet rather than jumping on people!), I can take her out for walks off-leash and when I call her to come she does, we can play out in our yard without a leash and I don’t worry about her bolting across the street, and the huge bonus is when I do have her on leash she walks right beside me with no pulling on the leash and doesn’t even break position when there are distractions! I am so happy with the results from the e-collar and the training with Nanaimo K9 – I would very highly recommend both!