"I knew I had to meet Luna when I first saw her picture on Suncoast Animal League's FB page, and when I met her in person it was love at, well, second sight!
As much as I loved her I realized within several days that she was a handful and going to need some serious training. We have two children who often have friends over, and Luna would try to "herd" them by nipping at the backs of their legs. She thought nothing of jumping up on the dinner table or kitchen counter to sneakfood. Leash walking was an upper body workout. Her translation of "Hi! I'm glad your here!" was to repeatedly jump on you and chew on your hands (or various other body parts.) Although she was crate trained at night (thank God), she wanted no part of her crate during the day and would whine unmercifully. Telling her, "NO," was grounds for some serious barking. Obviously, these were all unacceptable behaviors for any dog, especially for one who will always be around children and will top out around 60-65 lb!
Thankfully, a good friend of mine referred me to Alicia, and I called her right away! She came over for an evaluation, and we discussed my concerns and goals for Luna. Alicia is so personable and professional - I was impressed and "sold", and that was before I went outside and met two of her own dogs, Declun and Riddick - impeccably trained rotties!
We have just completed Intermediate Obedience Training, and could not be happier!!! Luna now realizes that any and all flesh is a NO TEETH zone, even playfully. When we eat dinner, she will lie nearby but won't come near the table. I can ask her to "crate", and she will walk in on her own, not making a peep the entire time she's crated. Leash walking is a breeze - she walks right by my side and is always listening for commands like "wait", "sit", or "down." (I love this when passing other dogs who are barking at or lunging toward her - she just watches them and waits for me to tell her, "OK, let's go!") She now knows that "sit" and "down" come with an implied "stay", which also comes in handy when preparing her meals. She stays "down" until I release her with "OK", and only then will she approach her food bowls.
The turn around in Luna's behavior has been dramatic. She has always had a sweet disposition and has been so loving, but her behavioral changes, learning right from wrong, accepting the word "no", and obedience training has made her even more of a joy for all of us. I have and will continue to recommend Alicia/Refined K9 to everyone, and can't wait to start Advanced Obedience Training in the fall!!
P.S. We adopted Luna at 4 months from a Suncoast Animal League event at the Countryside Petsmart. Her previous owner could not keep her bc they were moving to a military base where Luna was not allowed - she is a border collie pit bull mix. :)) Don't ever give up on ur pup, and don't commit to one unless you commit to train - regardless of breed or size!"
"I rescued Romeo when he was 2 months old after he was dropped off on a school soccer field. He was about 15lbs, cute, lovable, and to me, perfect. Being a first time dog owner I chose to take him to a big chain dog store for puppy training. While they did teach him basics such as sit, down, and shake they never prepared me for the day he would be 96lbs and as tall as a mini horse. I knew Romeo was going to be a big dog, but never imagined him to be as tall as the kitchen counters and as stubborn as a mule. Romeo is now a year and a half old and my baby, as I am sure most dog lovers could understand, but to say he listened to me was a joke. So when I moved into my sisters home 2 months ago it became quickly clear that in order to get her 2 dogs and Romeo to coincide we were going to need some major help. I first heard of The Refined K9 at my local dog store and decided to call Alicia to see if she could help. Romeo had major anxiety issues, didn’t listen to me unless treats were involved, and used his body weight and size against me to get what he wanted. Going on walks with Romeo was more like being dragged around by a bull and I would only go out at night in fear of Romeo barking at strangers. When he was told let’s go he would sit and stubbornly not move an inch, to the point I was going behind him to push him forward. Romeo used to whine, bark, and eat his bedding while inside his crate as well. The first day Alicia came to train, Romeo about took her arm off when she made him go using the prong collar. I was very hesitant to use the prong collar, or the e-collar because like I said before, Romeo was my baby and I was scared he would hate me after that. Fast forward 4 weeks: Romeo now walks loose leash and no longer drags me on our walks, I no longer have to wrap his leash around my hand 5 times to gain control, he is even walking drop line for as long as 10 minutes! We walk during the day without any barking at strangers or other dogs. He no longer whines, barks, or eats things while in his crate and moves as soon as I say the words lets go. Romeo has learned to sit/down when told even without a treat reward, and to stay in a down position for as long as 30 minutes without leaving his place. His anxiety has almost come and gone completely and he is learning to be calm inside the house without jumping all over everyone and everything. He now can say hello to new faces without being overly excited. When I thought the corrections would push Romeo away from me, I feel like we have an even stronger bond now that he has learned to trust me. I am so grateful for all the training and lessons I have learned with Alicia. I now have a well-mannered, social, and happy dog that can now go out in public and enjoy life. I would highly recommend The Refined K9 to anyone. Out of 5 stars I give them a 10!
"Let me start this review with Alicia speaks dog. I swear it. I came to her with a working dog that had gotten to the point that, from the effects of previous training, was almost unwilling to work. Both of us
had been trained in a way that was completely wrong. Alicia’s love and
devotion to the training of dogs is evident from day 1. And her tolerance of my insecurity and ignorance is astounding. Her education in canine and human behavior and motivation is evident. My boy needed more rebooting than we anticipated, and it was touch and go for a bit. But she never gave up on him, and was in constant communication with
me every step of the way, not only verbally, but with pictures and
video to explain what she was doing. When we were reunited, his entire
demeanor was different. It was evident that he was a much happier,
much more relaxed and confident dog. She then worked with me step by
step to re-educate me on how to properly understand his communication to me, handle him appropriately, and communicate effectively to him in return. That is a rare thing, as most trainers don't understand humans, especially those of us that have our own challenges to
learning. I don’t know that I’ll ever truly express my gratitude. If
you’re hesitating to let her help your best canine friend/partner,
don’t. I would do it again in a heartbeat".
"What you did for Duke not only changed his life but mine as well. He is such a happy pup and loving life. The owner of my Doggie Daycare said it was as though Duke had a brain transplant! The change in him was that significant. He is no longer confined to "Cell Block D" at the daycare but is out with all his canine buddies. He runs and plays all day and I pick up a tired, balanced pup.
I am enjoying this sweet goofball without all the stress of how he will act/react to things we encounter on our walks or at our front door. No more bark fests, fear of noises, or over protective behavior. While all dog owners love their pups, Duke holds a special place in my heart. As you know, he is the last pup my late husband and I rescued together. Thankful for you!