Junior & Bella
“I highly recommend Alana Stevenson for in-home consultations and behavioral issues/ training sessions with your dogs or cats.”
She provided me with the tools to address my dogs’ behavior problems. Alana has a compassionate, insightful approach with animals; apparent from the way she and my dogs connected so quickly.
In a short time, we made strides towards better understanding their separation anxiety and aggression issues around other dogs and greetings at the front door.
~ Woody Keppel, Junior & Bella
“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate everything you taught me.”
Dakota isn’t pawing at all anymore and doesn’t even try to push Haley away when Haley is getting attention. Dakota just comes over and sits next to her.
It’s so nice! They’re great about waiting to go out and come inside. Food is still a touchy subject, but getting much better. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate everything you taught me.
~ Perry Rooney, Dakota & Haley
“I’m so proud of the progress we have made.”
I wanted to give you a quick update on Annie’s progress.
While we are out on walks, she has learned to turn and look at me every time somebody walks by us. Her barking fits are much fewer and far between. The separation anxiety has greatly improved. I’m so proud of the progress we have made. I’m seeing huge improvements in her temperament while on walks around other dogs.
I’m so proud of her! Thank you so much for your help!
~ Jenna Dodd & Annie
“I am very grateful…”
I came to Alana with my newly adopted dog, not really understanding why Zippy was showing fearfully aggressive behaviors towards strangers and men. She gave me clear, practical information that has allowed me to work with my dog at home and improve how he behaves around others. Her methods make plain sense. I am very grateful for having found a caring, gentle person to give me the tools to help give my dog a better quality of life — without the yelling, punishing, and choking that so many trainers use.
~ Jeanmarie Verruso & Zippy
“Cadence adored Alana immediately…”
When I first started working with Alana, I was in despair regarding my relationship with my dog, Cadence. He was engaging in destructive behavior almost daily, had developed a number of very neurotic habits, and was unable to demonstrate skills he seemed to have known for months. I was overwhelmed and having many doubts about my ability to help him. Before my lessons with Alana, I took Cadence to a trainer who showed me how to keep Cadence lying at my feet by holding his shoulders down by force with my hand. Simultaneously, I was to step on the leash inches from his head so he was unable to get up. I was to maintain this exercise for a half-hour daily. Cadence was clearly unhappy and so was I. I left beneath a cloud of disappointment at the prospect of hours spent forcing my dog into positions. Thankfully, I didn’t go back.
Immediately after the first lesson Cadence and I had with Alana, the cloud of despair lifted! I had never imagined that training could be such a positive bonding experience for Cadence and me. Cadence, who is hesitant and nervous with strangers, adored Alana immediately. He was so enthusiastic during our lessons and at our at-home practice sessions. As I learned to communicate with him in better ways, the blank stares which had previously greeted me disappeared. I quickly found that I had an alert, fast-paced pup who wanted to carry out anything I could request of him, as long as I could explain it to him in a way he could understand. It was clear he experienced a great sense of accomplishment after Alana’s lessons.
As Cadence and I practiced, we progressed in leaps and bounds. The process appeared to be rapidly building his confidence; he was clearly shining and glowing with pride. He would prance around, doing spontaneous tricks to induce practice sessions, which is now one of his favorite activities and his behavioral problems have lessened significantly! The more positive behaviors he learned, the more radically the destructive behaviors were minimized! Cadence’s father, Blue, who is my other dog, eagerly joined in the practice sessions at home. I had never seen such teamwork between the two of them. While Blue did not have any problematic behaviors, it was clear he was happy with my enhanced canine communication skills.
Alana has enabled me to have a dramatically better relationship with both my dogs. They love her methods, and exhibit dedication, enthusiasm, and enjoyment every step of the way. The tools I have gained from Alana’s lessons have allowed me to be a better dog partner than I ever imagined!
~ Noga Zerubavel & Cadence
“Alana Stevenson has a practical and effective, case-oriented approach to compassionate dog training.”
“She gave us a personalized training regimen for our dog, Sara, to get the best response possible, and we’ve seen immediate and positive improvement. Her advice was very helpful and insightful. After the consultation and implementing Alana’s recommendations, we had a reduction in Sara’s “senseless” barking, and had a dinner party of twelve and everyone commented on the noticeable changes in Sara. Alana has a clear passion for pet training and cares deeply about advancing the human-animal bond. I highly recommend her to anyone wishing to get the most out of their relationship with their pets.”
~ Terence Krentz, DVM, Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital
“Alana is an amazing trainer.”
Alana is an amazing trainer. My dog Tyco is an ex-show dog, and came to us without any basic manner skills as he had only lived in a kennel situation and also had some dog aggression issues.
After using her kind and compassionate methods during our private lessons, Tyco has flourished and is now a well-adjusted and behaved member of both human and canine society.
We have both benefited from her expertise and knowledge! Tyco adores her!”
~ Dr. Ilene Segal, DVM & Tyco
“Alana has changed our life with Harvey.”
We hired her to help us with our dog, Harvey. Dave and I both have previous dog experience but the problems we ran into with Harvey were new to us. Harvey constantly jumped on us and barked at me. He would nip and mouth me constantly. He refused to walk on leash and would lie down instead so I couldn’t move him. He also was chasing our cat, Boot. We live in an apartment so Harvey’s barking had me worried. Dave and I both work full-time which added to the stress. When Alana came to our home that was the day things changed for the better.
Since our consultation and lessons with Alana, the changes in Harvey have been phenomenal. Harvey’s barking is no longer a problem. Alana showed us exercises to use with Harvey that eliminated his nipping and mouthiness. He no longer jumps like he used to and walks are a dream in comparison. He is much better with Boot too.
Alana is so knowledgeable and very generous with her time. She has always been there for follow up questions and advice. I don’t know where we would be today if we hadn’t met her.
Before we met with Alana, we had considered returning Harvey to the shelter. But we are one big happy family now and I can’t imagine life without my boy! Alana has changed our life with Harvey. Dave and I highly recommend her!
~ Jill Metcalfe, Dave Everett, Harvey & Boot
“Thanks so much!”
We’ve implemented the suggestions and observations you provided and they have helped a lot. Who knew that a simple covering on top of the pen fencing would help create an entirely new, undisturbed play space? Dogs who normally jump or push the fence are now respecting it as a solid barrier. Also, we’ve been using significantly less treats since the “walking through” method has worked wonderfully as our “Red Light.” The dogs are also more attentive to us when we do give them the “stare.” We ourselves have been more attuned to the behavior and actions of the dogs during playtime, and especially during their entire time here. We’ve been rewarding the behaved dogs and see a boost in their confidence. I feel like it’s catching on even with the more mischievous ones. I mentioned to owners a few tips you gave us and emphasized the need for positive reinforcement on the homefront. It’s important for people to know that simple adjustments in how we carry ourselves really can help with dog behavior in a positive manner. Thanks so much!
~ Yee Wan
“Alana is really great at what she does…”
I met Alana while pet sitting. Speaking with her, I was impressed by her intelligence when it came to dogs and their behavior. I had a dog my family was taking care of and he was having difficulties with other dogs in the house. I opted to take training with Alana. What I noticed was wonderful! Benjamin became so much better at home and was so much more responsive to us. Alana taught us better ways of dealing and interacting with Benjamin when he was having difficulties associating with other dogs. She was teaching us how our behavior directly has an influence over and affects our dogs’ behaviors. It changed our way of relating to our dogs. Alana is such a wonderful, kind, and lovely person and it shines through with her attitudes and interactions with people, as well as dogs. She goes above and beyond others in how much she gives. She is so genuinely sweet and caring to people and animals.
I also suggested Alana to clients of mine who were having difficulties with their dog. Their dog kept biting people and I struggled sometimes to put him on the leash. He would stop and freeze, and would sometimes snap at me when I would try to put on his collar and at times he would not come when called. Since Alana’s visit, I noticed a remarkable improvement. He was not only following me around asking for attention, but kept wanting me to pet him around his neck! He couldn’t get enough. He has completely stopped snapping at me when I touch his collar or put his leash on. Alana is really great at what she does. I recommend her highly to anyone who wants help with or wants to train their dogs.
~ Amy Sornberger & Benjamin
“You had such a totally different approach and it worked…”
I want to thank you for your help with my Belgian Sheepdog, Angel, and her resource guarding. I came to you because my new puppy, Angel, would growl at me when I came close to her when she was eating. I do not tolerate my own dogs growling at me and I dealt with it as I had in the past with other dogs, by punishing her and trying to “establish dominance,” which is what prior trainers taught me. Much to my surprise, that only made things worse. My new puppy did not seem to be bonding with me and the growling only got worse and now escalated into snapping. When she was chewing on a rawhide it was particularly bad, with her snapping at me, and anyone else, strongly whenever approached. From a pup only a few months old, I was totally taken aback and had no idea what to do. I even considered returning her to her breeder.
Now, several months later, I cannot imagine that I even considered such an option. You had such a totally different approach and it worked, while at the same time giving me new insights into how dogs think. So I want to thank you for your insights of positive conditioning — trading, rewarding and giving her food, and hand-feeding her. The positive method, step-wise approach worked wonders! Angel again bonded with me, and now welcomes me close to her food bowl. And the once coveted rawhide? Now, rather than growling or snapping at us when she has one, she actively seeks one of the humans to hold her rawhide for her while she chews!! Angel will turn a year old soon, and is almost full grown. I am delighted to report that she is a playful gal, very loving and deeply bonded with us. We have no problem taking anything out of her mouth at any time thanks to you! We can’t imagine life without her. I feel as though you have given me the dog I always wanted!
I also want to thank you not only for help with Angel, but for the way you opened my eyes to my son’s dog Joe, a dog I had lived with for close to eight years. All that time, I viewed Joe as a nice enough dog, but rather stubborn and difficult to train. To be honest, I was secretly thankful he was not “my” dog, so I did not have to do much with him. I had tried to train him in the old yank and jerk method that I had used back in the late 1970s. Every time I tried to train Joe, he would get slower than molasses in January, would yawn and look away, lick his lips, and other behaviors that I took as stubborn refusal to be trained. I gave up on him as hopeless!
But in clicker-training Angel, I was amazed that Joe was always there, listening and doing what I was asking of my puppy. A few treats, and he was enthusiastic about being trained. But I still didn’t understand his previous behavior — not until you explained calming signals (again in conjunction with my puppy). I suddenly realized that all those behaviors I took as blowing me off and being stubborn were calming behaviors! What Joe was really trying to tell me, in the only language he knew, was that he was no threat to me and would I please stop hurting him! I knew that Joe had tremendous understanding of other dogs and never got in fights — Joe the ambassador we call him. But I had not realized he was using that same language with me. Your insight opened a whole new appreciation for that dear dog and I have integrated him into training, which he now loves! I always said that Joe was not sure I liked him. Now, I understand how he got that impression. We have a much closer relationship and deeper understanding and now, well, Joe KNOWS I love him and I do.
Thank you so much for sharing your understanding and love for dogs, and for opening new channels of communication between me and my canine companions. We are ALL enjoying training now! Thank you!
~ Janet McSwain & Angel
“Alana truly saved my dog’s life…”
Alana truly saved my dog’s life. After I purchased her, I discovered that she had been very abused. At first when anyone new came around her, she rolled up into a little ball in the corner and shook and peed. A dog-loving friend of mine came over and picked her up. Oreo bit her. If any man came into the house, she was so frightened that she growled and cowered in the corner. I took her to one trainer and she insisted that Oreo needed to know who was boss. I was to accomplish this by putting her into a down position and putting my foot on the leash a few inches from her head. This was to be done several times a day. I stopped it immediately because the dog just fell to pieces.
I took her to a second trainer and after the consultation she said that I should consider putting Oreo down because there were many good dogs out there. Fortunately a friend had heard of Alana and as my last resort I called her. From the very first minute, Alana understood the dog. The change in the animal was immediate. I think that Alana could have taught her anything in the world — unfortunately, I was not as quick a study, but together with Alana, Oreo and I worked it out.
People who knew Oreo before Alana simply cannot believe the change — this is a happy dog who greets everyone. It is impossible to feel sad around this little dog. She wants to play but she is happy just to be with you. The children on the block love her, the neighbor with dementia is her good friend, and for me…she is a wonderful companion.
~ Judith Bresler & Oreo
Monty, Patrick & Lydia
“Alana’s obedience class has been a godsend…”
Alana Stevenson’s obedience class has been a godsend for us and our dogs. I recently decided to take my wife’s three corgis to an obedience class. They are wonderful, intelligent, and very good-natured dogs, but they had never had any training, which made life difficult. Any time they were off-lead, they would ignore us, behaving as if humans didn’t exist. When Alana explained her dog-friendly, positive-reinforcement methods to me, I wasn’t entirely sure they would work, but I was very relieved that I wouldn’t be asked to do anything that would upset or inflict physical or emotional pain on these sweet little creatures. Alana’s class produced spectacular results — almost equally for the ten-year-old and the eleven-year-old dogs as they did for the three-year-old. The dogs enjoy life much more because we can take them more places and allow them to do many more activities. Because of her dedication, expertise, professionalism and caring relationship with animals, I highly recommend Alana’s training classes for anyone who wants their dogs to learn quickly and in a positive way.
~ Fred & Veda Chernoff with Monty, Patrick & Lydia
“Daisy so enjoyed training…”
I want to thank you for the effect your group class and private lessons have had on my puppy, Daisy. I did not have a good experience with previous training classes. The instructors were very heavy-handed and did not communicate well with the dogs. The method was more brute force than actual training. Your class not only started Daisy on the right path to training, but also provided an excellent socialization environment. Your private lessons really built on the concepts you taught in class. You also taught me how Daisy thinks. It was a very helpful perspective to have when working with a new puppy. Daisy so enjoyed training and got excited every time we left the house for class. I really believe that early training and exposure has helped Daisy. She is so calm and happy to meet new people. Thank you for giving Daisy and me an excellent start!
~ Sincerely, Nancy VanWinkle & Daisy
“Seth is happier today because of Alana’s training…”
Seth wasn’t able to attend puppy classes because of waiting for all of his shots and I wanted him to start training. So I heard about Alana and had her come to our house to train him. Seth absolutely loved her and her methods!
I had never trained such a young puppy (he was three months) before, so it was all new to me. Seth is a happier and more secure puppy today because of Alana’s training.
We live near a busy road, and it was life or death that he learn to listen and obey me and come when called. I have really learned better ways to communicate and teach him and have a happier and better-trained dog!”
~ Sandi Crandall & Seth
“I can’t thank you enough…”
I can’t thank you enough for all of your extremely helpful training sessions with our dog Rusty. Because of your behavioral training sessions we can keep our dog. I spent twenty years working in veterinary medicine and most of those as an LVT. Never during my education or years of work did I ever come across this method of training. It is such a common sense, user-friendly approach. I find this method of training ten times better than the traditional training classes that we attended with our other dog. I also think it’s great that you give the background behind the training. Understanding how a dog processes information and thinks is very helpful not only for training purposes but also helpful in day to day interactions. Anyone can be successful using this training method. Thanks again for everything.
~ Kelly Devall & Rusty
“Alana’s positive training approach was amazing…”
When I met Alana, I was very impressed. I knew she was the right person to train Bocker. We were told by an agent that Bocker had the “look” to appear in print ads and maybe commercials. I wanted to find a trainer that could do some private work with Bocker on some specific commands to see if he was right for a ‘career’.
Alana’s positive training approach was amazing. Her knowledge on dog behavior was so enlightening. She showed me a whole new way to communicate with Bocker that showed results in getting him to do what I want and which created a greater bond between us.
Bocker is a big boy and I was having a problem controlling him on a leash. I was advised when he was younger to use a pronged collar. I hated doing this, but he is so strong, and I had just had surgery and was afraid of him pulling me too hard. Alana introduced me to the gentle leader which Bocker accepted very easily. Now I can walk Bocker, literally holding the leash with two fingers and all this without any discomfort to him. I’ll never know how to thank Alana for this too. I’m just sorry Bocker and I didn’t meet her much sooner.
~ Marie Shelto & Bocker
“Alana’s knowledge and professionalism is untouched…”
We were looking for someone to work with our 6-month-old Golden Retriever (champion counter surfer, kid bowler (she thought that the kids were bowling pins) and lead sled dog (while she was on a leash she could pull you around anywhere she wanted you to go). We saw Alana’s ad and website stating her philosophy: “People are taught to train dogs using gentle, fun and positive techniques all dogs love and understand. No leash jerks or punishments are given.” This was exactly what we were looking for to train Lucy and exactly what Alana gave us.
We are so very thankful for the time Alana has spent with us and Lucy. Alana’s knowledge and professionalism is untouched. Because of our lessons with Alana, Lucy rarely counter surfs, no longer bowls the kids over and is very enjoyable on a walk (with only her flat collar and a 6′ leash)! Lucy continues to make tremendous strides because of our implementation of Alana’s teaching methods.
~ Dave, Deanna, the kids & Lucy
“Thanks to Alana, I have a well-behaved, good-natured dog…”
Meeting Alana was a blessing. As a new puppy owner, I was overwhelmed and way in over my head. Alana’s warm nature and positive techniques allowed me to enjoy the process of raising a puppy. Through positive reinforcement training, Alana taught me how to curb my dog’s play-biting and showed me how to prevent her from jumping up on people. Thanks to Alana, I have a well-behaved good-natured dog and am a happy dog owner.
~ Gina & Lucy
“…Alana had me thinking differently…”
Nana is a 2½-year-old Brittany, and true to her breed she is friendly, happy, energetic, enthusiastic, athletic and smart. All wonderful qualities, but they presented some challenging training situations. Our pet sitter recommended Alana for training help.
When I contacted Alana, I had a long list of things I wanted help with: focus and attention, coming when called, walking on leash and keeping “four on the floor” when we meet other people and other dogs. I knew Nana and me weren’t making great progress (or having much fun) with the traditional training methods our prior instructor favored, so I was very interested in taking a completely positive approach to training. I scheduled a series of five private lessons.
From the very beginning Alana had me thinking differently about how dogs think and process information. I was very surprised and grateful to learn how I unintentionally influenced Nana’s undesirable behaviors by my interactions with her. That was followed by creative ideas on how to approach training Nana to make it both fun and effective. We’ve noticed great improvement. I now know how to better harness Nana’s natural exuberance without driving either her or myself crazy in the process. All the effort has been well worth it, because we recently had a large party at our home and many of our guests commented on how much calmer and well-behaved Nana was. Now that’s success!
~ Wendy Carey & Nana
“Alana really knows how dogs learn…”
John and I are both very grateful for all we’ve learned from Alana. I only wish I had known about her methods when I had my first dog. After doing it all wrong the first time, including going to obedience classes that taught us to use prong collars and other harsh methods that didn’t work, I was determined to do it differently with Roshi.
Alana’s positive training methods have been so effective. Now we know how to communicate with Roshi and we catch ourselves when we unintentionally reinforce behaviors we don’t want. It makes so much sense! We’re enjoying our puppy so much more than we would if we were using punishments. Roshi responded to Alana’s training methods so quickly. It was obvious she really knows how dogs learn. After taking private lessons with Alana, we continued with her group class to socialize Roshi with other dogs. We saw her methods work just as successfully with the other dogs in the class. It’s really reassuring to know that she’ll be able to help us if we have any problems that we can’t handle in the future. Roshi just loves her!
~ Colleen Yurcik & Roshi
“Your lessons had an immediate effect on Kody…”
I wanted to extend my heartfelt thanks for all the help with Kody, our 5-year-old Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Before contacting you for a behavior consultation, my husband and I weren’t quite sure what to do about Kody and his aggressive behavior. We were beginning to think we would have to give him up, but neither of us really wanted that.
He became very aggressive, especially around food, be it his or ours, especially while I was cooking supper at home or in our travel trailer. He would have a tendency to come at me and growl and sometimes try to attack me. We would put him in a stay and he would end up breaking it. He did not like it when I would put him on his tie out or try to release him. Quite often he would growl and try to snap at me. He also got in the habit of hiding under my desk while I was working. When I would get up, he would dart out at me. Kody had actually bitten me a couple of times in the above circumstances. Kody and I had attended obedience classes where a choke collar was used and after awhile Kody just refused to listen to the collar and when the collar was snapped, he would sometimes growl at me.
After the consultation with you and the subsequent lessons we have a totally changed dog! Your lessons had an immediate effect on Kody and have definitely changed his attitude toward different circumstances and us. And thanks to you, I also learned how to cope with the different situations with fantastic results. I can truthfully say that I now feel more at ease around Kody than I have in a long time and best of all my husband has also noticed the change in his behavior! I definitely recommend your dog-friendly training to anyone and especially anyone who has a dog with an aggressive problem. I know it sure helped us be able to keep Kody as part of the family! Once again, thank you so very much for your help!
~ Cathy Johnson & Kody
“I saw immediate changes in Ari and Hina after implementing Alana’s suggestions.”
In December 2012, I adopted two rescued Siberian Husky pups, Ari and Hina, found running in the desert west of Tucson. I brought them home in a large kennel, thinking “Oh, I’ve had dogs all my life and I’m good at this,” and realized right away I was in way over my head. At almost 5 months old, they were extremely skittish, hand-shy and literally terrified of me and everything around them. The first night it took me 3 hours to catch them and bring them indoors for the night.
Then I remembered Alana. I had magically run across her book at a New Zealand book shop on a trip in 2011. I contacted her and we set up a phone consultation and it was the BEST start I could have ever asked for. Alana’s advice on the use of food as positive reinforcement for basic eye contact and distance work was a pivotal tool and helped me set the right tone with Ari and Hina. She also instructed me on important signals I could give to the dogs through my body-language that would get them to trust me so they would allow me to approach them. I saw immediate changes in Ari and Hina after implementing Alana’s suggestions. Learning to understand what my dogs need (and not what I want them to do in any given situation) has been the most powerful education I have ever had in my life with dogs.
Because of Alana’s direct support and the knowledge she shared, Ari and Hina are now calm, happy, well-behaved, and well-adjusted dogs.”
~ Susan Banes (OMDog), Tucson, AZ
“A nearly complete turnaround…”
We can’t thank you enough for the consultation. Believe it or not, Casey has done a nearly complete turnaround. After Saturday, the past two days she has jumped or barked at us only twice. Before that, it was constant.
Tom & Casey
“Alana is amazing with dogs!”
Alana is amazing with dogs! I highly recommend her positive, non-punishing, understand-it-from-a-dog’s-point-of-view approach to dog training. In 2006, I brought home an adorable yellow lab puppy—who was full of life and bouncy—and I was exhausted!
Someone at our dog park recommended Alana. I called and we set up private sessions at my house. Kiva LOVED her. And really, she was training me, too. By the end of our classes Kiva and I had developed a common language and “groundrules” —to the relief of me and our cat!
I don’t think I would have made it through those first six months without Alana’s help. And I frequently get compliments about how well-behaved Kiva is.
~ Comma Williams & Kiva
“My family and I are thankful for Alana’s help and highly recommend her services.”
My Scottish Terrier Bobby began to exhibit aggressive behavior toward other dogs, particularly big ones, just after his first birthday. I believed that his behavior was fear-based and I asked Alana to work with him.
Bobby responded very well to Alana’s positive training techniques. Alana has a depth of knowledge about animal behavior and recommended effective methods for dealing with Bobby’s issues. He is calmer, more restrained and more confident. Alana’s diagnosis of Bobby as a “highly reactive” dog is the correct one and her program of dealing with this personality trait has been successful in allowing us to take pleasurable and calm walks with him in public places where we pass other dogs and people. My family and I are thankful for Alana’s help and highly recommend her services.
~ Anne Mitchell, Matthew, & Bobby
“My veterinarian highly recommended Alana…”
My veterinarian highly recommended Alana. I signed up for her Puppy Manners class with my puppy, “Sage,” and also took private lessons with her. We have two very young boys who are a handful, and now we had this new puppy who was biting and chewing EVERYTHING, including our children. Sage was chewing almost everything and we had real problems with housetraining. It seemed like a total disaster and we yelled at Sage a lot.
Things improved tremendously after lessons with Alana. Alana taught us how Sage was learning from us 24/7. She showed us positive ways to teach Sage. Instead of focusing on what Sage was doing wrong, Alana