Dog Behavior Solutions
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Client Feedback

photoThe best rewards for Dog Behavior Solutions, Inc are improved dog behavior, more relaxed owners, better dog-owner relationships and happy customers - both dog and human. Our clients frequently return for new dog training classes (and with new dogs) and refer new clients. While this speaks strongly to our positive instructional methods, we also want you to see testimonials first-hand from our clients:

"When Bella, our eight year old Weimaraner, broke free from her leash right outside our back gate and took off, leash trailing, after her arch enemy (canine) walking with his owner, we knew we were in trouble. When she reached the other dog and owner, she bit the owner in the ankle.

We chose to turn to an animal behavior specialist knowing that our problem went beyond the knowledge of simple training commands.

Janice came to our home, observed and worked with Bella and discussed all aspects of her behavior extensively. She carefully tried to piece together the puzzle that lead to Bella’s aggressive behavior. We discussed our goals for Bella. Janice then set forth a plan of action which incorporated her age, personality, our resources and circumstances. The components of the plan included retraining on specific issues, a new restraining device and different training techniques.

The next time Janice came we all went out to the park together. Seeing Janice working with Bella, we were convinced not only of her skill as a dog behavior consultant but also her dedication to helping find real solutions for Bella. Janice wasn’t just going through the motions, she seemed to really care.

As confrontation with other dogs is the source of Bella’s aggression, Janice was determined to show us how these confrontations could be handled peacefully and in effect, eventually counter- condition Bella to have a positive association with the presence of other dogs. Janice darted around the park looking for other dogs in order to practice a number of exercises we had already been working on.

Janice introduced us to a training approach which takes advantage of the natural tendencies of our dog. In Bella’s case, this was more humane and far more effective than our previous training experience. We are now aware of how to control Bella in order to entirely avoid her aggressive behavior and not only that, from an incorrigible puller, she is now a pleasure to walk on a leash. We are just sorry that we did not approach Janice sooner."

- Ainat & Zack K. (Weimaraner)

"Janice Triptow was a dog in a former life. That is the only explanation for her encyclo pedic and intuitive knowledge of the canine realm.

I met her when I took on the challenge of a Cocker that had five previous homes in the first year of his life. I knew that I needed a behavior evaluation when he bit me and then seemed more 'defiant' than 'remorseful.'

In the first session, Janice taught me skills that helped me begin to redefine his aggressive personality into the charming lapdog that he is today.

Janice's approach encourages patience, positive reinforcement, and a sense of humor. She is an effective problem solver who has tremendous rapport with both her canine and human clients."

- Kathy V. (Cocker Spaniel)

“The dog we adopted, Ela, came to us sick, emaciated and with more ‘baggage’ than a 747. We got her healthy again after three months of antibiotics and a highly nutritional diet, but the behavioral issues, which included separation anxiety and aggression, remained. We agreed that she showed signs of abuse, and though we'd both had dogs our entire lives, we knew that expert help was needed.

After just a few months of positive-reinforcement based training and behavior modification with Janice and continued adjustments with veterinary-prescribed anti-anxiety medication, she's made great improvements, gaining confidence in both herself and us. Having a dog with behavioral issues is challenging, but positive reinforcement training allows us to actually enjoy the process of drastically changing her behavior. You should see her eyes light up when we bring out the clicker -- that kind of confidence wasn't there before.”
- Kelly and Tim R. (Springer Spaniel)

"Our Lab/Shepherd mix became aggressive towards our Black Lab shortly after undergoing surgery on one ear. The situation progressed to the point that the Black Lab was noticeably fearful to enter certain rooms within the house, and had been injured in a fight with the Lab/Shepherd. We were referred to Janice and immediately found her to be comfortable and confident in remedying the problems we were experiencing.

Through a combination of behavior modification, a few strict household rules, and a prescription for anti-anxiety medication from our vet, we conquered the "mid-life crisis" that our Lab/Shepard was enduring. The Lab/Shepard was weaned off the medication 1.5 years ago after a steady progression of positive results and we've had peaceful coexistence since! Janice's course of action was always practical and reasonable. We are very thankful for Janice's expertise and her responsiveness to our occasional, continued queries."

- Heather and Brian U. (Lab/Shep & Lab)

"After moving into a high rise building when Ben was 5, Ben became aggressive toward other dogs, who would routinely run into the elevator off leash. Unsure where to turn for help, I was ultimately referred to Janice, who agreed to come to my place to do an initial assessment of what was going on with Ben, and with Ben and me as a team.

To my complete surprise, Ben responded to Janice almost immediately, and was responding to her commands (and mine too!) by the time she left an hour later. It was a huge relief to me to see and experience this.

For the first time, I felt empowered with my dog. Ben and I continued to work with Janice, who not only trained Ben, but trained me how to work with Ben. After working together for some time, I began to feel confident about my relationship with my dog. Janice taught us how to work together.

A few years later, I turned to Janice for help again seeking her guidance in introducing Ben to my fiance's dog (another large male), in preparation for the two dogs living together (peacefully). Once again, Janice proved to be an excellent resource, guiding us through the introduction process every step of the way.

Janice laid out a clear plan for us to follow, and offered to be there with us at any point should we feel we needed additional help. Working with Janice, I have found her to be extremely attentive and understanding, and also very accessible (by phone, email, etc). But more than anything else, the thing that makes Janice stand out in my mind is her leadership as a trainer.

Janice commands the respect of not only her human students, but her canine students also. I don't know what Ben and I would have done without her excellent guidance and leadership. Her comprehensive training has made a real and significant difference for us."
- Mary S. (Staffordshire Terrier)

"We contacted Dog Behavior Solutions when our otherwise obedient dog, Daphne, bit a six year old child in our house. We became greatly concerned that Daphne might not be safe with our one year old toddler. At an in-home evaluation, Janice helped us understand Daphne's limitations with children (i.e. she may never do well with other people's children) as well as how to recognize warning signs of aggression towards our own child.

In addition, she has worked with us to condition Daphne, using treats, soft petting and praise, to accept all kinds of touching and attention (with supervision, of course) from our daughter. Currently, Daphne does not so much as bat an eye when our daughter grabs her fur, sits on her tail, or points at her eye.

She has learned to associate positive things with our daughter's presence. We will keep working with Daphne, and though we will always need to supervise her with our child, we feel we can create a safe environment."

- Mary S. (Staffordshire Terrier)

"Our dog Wrigley had been the baby in the family for his first year of life. The impending birth of our first child had us concerned about how Wrigley would react to having a new baby in the house and so we contacted Janice. Janice worked with us and Wrigley on how to manage his enthusiastic greetings and his expectations of being the center of attention and taught us ways to get him used to the inevitable pulling and prodding of little hands. Now that our daughter is a year old, Wrigley is her best friend. And though he may not love to share the spotlight, he's always gentle and tolerant of her."

- Shoshana B. (Portuguese Water Dog)

"We adopted Ginger, a three month old puppy, who had been left in a crawl space. Within the first few months Ginger showed signs of a highly anxious dog, very skittish. Ginger did well at puppy class but in her frightened state she would not listen to any command or even eat. Ginger began to growl at us and even show her teeth, we feared she may bite us or someone else. She was very afraid of the vacuum, did not want to come into the house from the yard, preferring to be alone -- not with her family. She once even cornered a relative and growled and barked so severely we began to lose hope and thought our only option was to get rid of her.

Anti-anxiety medications were recommended and we were referred to Janice. Janice was great and it was so convenient as best of all she came to our house, Ginger’s environment!! Through Janice’s training and expertise we became more aware of how we could help and understand Ginger. We were pretty clueless. Janice and our family worked at getting Ginger to trust us.

We rewarded her for listening and doing what we asked and we learned that exercise, "enough to make her tongue hang out," was important for Ginger to release anxiety. Through consistent, positive reinforcement and work Ginger was able to be weaned off her medication and we haven't had the lip lifts or growls. It’s been about six months without the medication and Ginger is doing well. She enjoys being in the house with us. She is still a little afraid of the vacuum but Janice has recommended a treatment plan and we are hopeful!!

Eileen K. (Doberman/Whippet/Shepherd mix)

Janice Triptow is an extraordinary dog trainer and communicator. Her use of positive reinforcement in dog and owner behavior management is highly effective and eye-opening. Janice and her advice have been invaluable to us as new dog owners.

She serves not only as a role model as to how an owner should interact with their dog, but also as an educator for owners. The lessons learned from early training sessions are easily applied to the lifelong training an owner must provide for her pet.

- Suzy T (Swiss Bernese Mountain Dog)

"We bought Sophie, our 3 – 4 month old Boxer puppy at a flea market. She had severe scars where her dewclaws had been removed with razor blades, was underweight, had an unhealthy coat, and was wearing large motorcycle chains around her neck. After deciding to keep her, our vet said he was concerned about her health as well as her behavior. In the waiting room she wouldn’t let anyone near her. This was not normal behavior for a puppy.

Sophie was afraid of everything: dogs, people, sounds, being outside and the strangest … she wouldn’t go for a walk. Any more than a few feet from our front door, she would slip her harness or collar and run back to the door step. We knew her fears were larger than just being a shy puppy. We live in downtown Chicago where there are lots of people and noises and Sophie was going to be big.

We needed help. I researched thoroughly, different trainers and types of training. We knew we wanted an approach based upon rewards rather than punishment. Choke chains and prong collars were not going to get us where we needed to be. Sophie was already fearful and we needed to build trust. We knew we would rather learn via encouragement than fear. Whole Dog Journal listed Janice and a local shelter recommended her as well.

We had an evaluation with Janice and started our weekly lessons – with homework! It wasn’t always easy and took time and patience.

Sometimes we went one step forward and two steps back. Sophie is now more than two years old. Often people are surprised at her history. Many people have asked who our breeder was as she “has such a nice temperament.”

Even the vet commented how sweet and laid back she was at her last visit. Our neighbor can’t believe what a wonderful dog Sophie turned out to be and has credited our hard work. Luckily, we got the help we needed. We put in a lot of love, time and energy into bringing her around but we needed to be guided, educated, and taught how to appropriately work with Sophie.

She still has some fears if she is stressed but today, she happily goes for long walks all over the city. She goes to the park and plays with other dogs all the time.

She is friendly with people and if you visit our house she will give you a very warm welcome and she is well-behaved. She is sometimes shy with strangers on the street but never aggressive. She loves children and knows quite a bit of obedience. Sophie is now a happy, well-rounded dog who enjoys life and we enjoy her!"

- Laurie & Sahail (Boxer)

We adopted our dog as an adult and we had her for about a year before she showed signs of some aggression toward other dogs (uncontrollable barking, lunging, etc.). It made our daily walks a bit of a challenge and not very pleasant. We contacted Janice to see what we could do to work with our dog's behavior.

What we like most about Janice's approach is that she is very open and honest about what is possible and helps you to understand why the behavior may be happening. For example, our dog is likely never going to be friendly toward other dogs so her goal for us was to be able to walk around our neighborhood with tools to handle the behavior (and cut it off before it starts). She helped to set our expectations and identify the triggers so we could manage them. Our walks are now more enjoyable and we're able to manage situations when they arise.

- Tracy and Sean K. (Cattle Dog/Border Collie Mix)

"Casey was my first dog and one of my biggest problems was my reservation about taking charge. As the teacher of our obedience class, it took a lot of patience on Janice's part to finally get me to understand that I would soon have a monster on my hands if I did not change my ways.

I finally did get the right attitude. Janice was always so gentle and rewarding with the dogs, all of whom responded to her so positively. She also knew how to psychologically help the owners learn. It's the owners, you see, who are the students. I am very grateful for the good start Janice has given us."

Casey says: "What I loved best about Janice is that she always understood what I was thnking. Then she would help my mother. What a relief for me -- I really didn't want the responsibility of being in charge."

- Dr. Gloria L. (Miniature Schnauzer)

"We adopted Winnie from a shelter completely unprepared for the sort of dog she is. Perhap she is brighter than all the dogs I'd ever met but, at the time she seemed more diabolical.

Janice was recommended to us and she has been responsible for an extraordinary shift in the way we interact with, anticipate the behaviors of, and enjoy our dog. When Janice arrives [I tell Winnie she is her psychiatrist] it's a very intensive, information-filled practicum that we all enjoy.

When she leaves we're always in a more optimistic, prepared frame of mind. Janice is flexible, sympathetic, energetic, has a broad range of interests and experiences in canine behavior, as well as a generous heart. I exaggerate not, she has made the difference between our keeping Winnie or giving her up in frustration and fear."

- Anne F. & Tim B. (American Eskimo)

"Along with four dogs I've owned, I've attended classes where Janice taught beginning and intermediate obedience, Canine Good Citizen training, and tricks. Janice delivered individual attention to each student in the classroom. I've gone through other classes that use 'leash corrections'i.e. pain, to increase wanted behavior. Positive reward-based training, including food and praise to get desired behavior, was definitely up my alley. My dogs were smiling more. I witnessed unquestionably improved behavior, and had a lot of fun with my dogs doing it.

Last May I adopted a new dog who was a stray, not much known about her. Although very sweet, she was fearful. After a couple months, she began to display some unwanted fear-reactive behaviors .... lunging at strangers, air snapping at people when frightened, pulling or cowering on the street when startled. I was nervous and on guard being out in public with her.

Janice to the rescue! After a limited number of private sessions, Janice was able to offer immediate tools for me to use with my dog. Janice came to my house and walked the neighborhood with us, where she saw firsthand the problem. I was taught how to teach my dog. We both learned. My dog replaced old negative behavior with new positive responses. Today my dog is more secure and I have a better relationship with her. "

- Deb G. (Blk/Tan Coonhound)

"My dog started showing serious signs of aggression toward people and I needed help fast. After researching the web for someone who specialized in dog behavior, I stumbled upon Janice's name. What appealed to me about her was her association with a local shelter. When Janice came for the initial consultation, I knew I had made the right decision.

She is so knowledgeable - an overflowing source of information and exercises. We are working in baby steps to make every situation between my dog and people a success. I am also working on having different family and friends help with training him in order to get him more comfortable with various people. Rewarding his good behavior with positive reinforcement has been the key in getting him back on track to being a good boy."

- Becky B. (Boxer/Rhodesian Rdgbk X)

"When I adopted Maggie in 2002, she was an extremely nervous, hyperactive dog. Because of an unfortunate situation with her original owners, she did not trust anyone. Within six months, I had hired Janice to help me train and socialize Maggie so she could eventually interact with people in an appropriate way.

After only four or five sessions with Janice, Maggie was responding to commands, and able to begin trusting others. She immediately responded to Janice unlike anything I had ever seen. The connection was immediate and amazingly natural. I will be forever indebted to Janice for helping Maggie to become a productive, integral part of my family."

- Eileen C. (Toy Spaniel X)



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