“I just wanted to thank you for all your help with Marlie. I feel confident that she and I can now live in the same house! All you have taught me has helped a great deal. I would highly recommend your services to anyone. If I come to any difficulties in the future I will contact you. It was a pleasure working with you. Thank you again.”
“Sheila Lobel is a miracle worker for dog owners! Her ability to get a dog’s attention is amazing, and her reward techniques are an invaluable tool for training. Before she came to my rescue I was frustrated with my young border collie’s behavior towards others. Sheila helped me find a way to get his attention, keep it, and avoid issues with aggression towards new people. I now can recognize signs of trouble coming, and I have the tools I need to deal with them and avoid dangerous situations with my dogs.”
“Sheila is an awesome dog trainer!! I was totally frustrated & at my wits end before I found Sheila. She helped me train my “out of control dog” (Petie). Sheila is an “excellent trainer”. She is very knowledgeable, very patient, and was ALWAYS there to answer additional questions that came up. I have seen so much improvement in my dog since our training began. I can’t say enough about my positive experience with Sheila. I would recommend her in a flash. Thanks to her I have a ‘new beginning’ with my dog Petie!”
“I highly recommend Sheila at Good As Gold K9! I initially contacted Sheila for help with my 2 year old rescue, Zuko. He was terrified of storm drains and wouldn’t cross a street if he saw one. From the first conversation, before even setting up an appointment, Sheila was giving me advice on the phone. Her knowledge and passion for truly wanting to help both dog and owner was apparent from that first phone call. The more we talked, the more things I realized she could help with. As soon as Sheila came to my house, she immediately got to work. Some trainers come in and start telling you all you do wrong- Sheila isn’t like that! Her methods are positive, and Zuko loved every second of it. Sheila is able to explain what she’s doing as she is doing it, which is incredibly helpful. Sheila’s programs are a great mix of watching her, and then trying what she did. Within one session, I learned how to start helping Zuko with his fear, calm his excitement (he’s overly friendly to people and animals), and train guests in my house to ignore his negative behavior. In addition, we both got a lesson in loose-leash walking, and walks have become something we BOTH look forward to. Sheila is realistic and has multiple ideas to help with one situation. I have seen a tremendous difference in Zuko’s behavior since working with Sheila. Sheila’s rates are competitive, and scheduling is flexible. She does not force her customers to buy multiple sessions at once, and was willing to work with us on an as-needed basis due to budget concerns. Sheila is always available via phone or email, and responds promptly with suggestions.” Thank you, Sheila for all you do!
“I don’t know if you remember me and my dog, Lovie, (Bichon/Poodle mix). We attended a CCPD sponsored class held at Warren Technical School. At that time I told you my intention was to try to become a therapy dog team after my retirement. Well, it was a long time coming, but we finally tested at TheraPet, Inc. in Edison, NJ. I don’t mean to brag, but I will, about Lovie. We were put through a variety of tests, and she did splendidly. Specifically, because she had learned the “preferred” commands in your class. Naturally: SIT, STAY, and COME, but they were genuinely impressed with the fact that I used WAIT and LEAVE IT during one of their scenarios. They were also impressed with her ability to pass other dogs, people with distractions, etc. when working. Just about everything you touched upon in class. When, I returned home and read the TheraPet manual I discovered that these would be actual commands taught at a future training session. How great is that! Thanks to you, we have accomplished the first leg of our journey towards being a therapy pet partnership.”
Last autumn my husband and I engaged Sheila Lobel to train our then six month old puppy. We had used a group setting for our former dog and felt it was not only distracting for the dog but we did not receive the attention necessary to make the training effective, so we wanted the personal touch. Sheila worked with us over a period of about eight weeks to train the puppy with basic commands, and to troubleshoot other behavior problems that arose as he went through his puppyhood. We really enjoyed working with Sheila. Her method of training is exactly what we wanted – kind, but effective, based on rewards and motivation rather than punishment and fear. She worked very patiently with our puppy (and us!), and always had an alternative method to offer if one way didn’t work for us or the puppy. The lessons progressed in a natural way – getting more challenging as the puppy got the little things under his belt. She customized the lessons to our personalities, and always made sure that there was time to address issues that had arisen between lessons. It was valuable to have her working with us at our home, for example, at the actual door where the puppy needed to wait, and especially with our cat around, (a major distraction). We also took some field trips to test the puppy’s behavior in public settings, and as usual, Sheila was there to guide us through unforeseen experiences. From a human point of view, we really looked forward to our lessons. It was encouraging to have such a supportive, non-judgmental teacher – we always felt we were a team working toward the same goal, even when one of us (people) goofed up. From a practical standpoint, Sheila was very flexible about working around our schedule, always returned phone calls, and was there for us if we needed some immediate intervention. Our puppy is now 14 months old and has retained almost all of his training. He is polite, well-behaved and happy and we had fun getting him that way. We have lately begun thinking of training him as a therapy dog and will most certainly call Sheila to help us out with getting him in shape for whatever requirements are needed for that. We couldn’t recommend her more highly.”
“We just wanted to say Happy Holidays and let you know how wonderfully London is doing! He has turned into a happy-go-lucky dog! It is so wonderful to see, and a lot of it is due to your help! He now rolls on his back for stomach rubs, opens his mouth for the vet, and I can even give him a quick pet while he is on his bed! I just wanted to say “thank you”, and London thanks you too!”
“Sophie, Annie, (my Golden Retriever) and I went into Manhattan to participate in “Responsible Pet Owner Day”. There were hundreds of people and dogs crowded into a park, yet not one growl or lunge. Yesterday, we were out walking and before I knew it four people walked directly toward us. “Oh, what cute dogs, can we pet them?” Without waiting for an answer they were upon us. Guess who was wagging her tail straining to be touched? That’s right, Sophie! They were just two dogs getting attention from the neighbors. Okay, maybe I was wrong – it is a MIRACLE. Thank you!” Sophie’s Story “If I were to write a book about my journey with a rescued American Staffordshire Terrier mix, the title would be something like, “Saving Sophie”. I would begin by introducing the reader to a little brindle puppy, huddled in the corner in the back of a cage in the shelter where she was born, adopted, and twice returned. I would describe how a timid, docile puppy, genetically predisposed to certain behaviors is influenced by harsh treatment and terrifying early experiences. I would also mention how such early exposure to a hostile environment resulted in the development of a hyper, vigilant, fearful and reactive five month old puppy. That is when I walked into the rescue and let my heart decide she would not spend another day in that cage. I would relate the experience I had with several “expert” trainers that were enlisted to intervene. This chapter would be titled: “The Worst Possible Training Techniques” or “Why I asked Sophie for Forgiveness”. I’d include the negative reinforcement / negative punishment techniques I was taught and encouraged to use. I could explain how these methods had increased the behaviors from growls to lunging and finally nipping. Sophie’s world began to shrink as I became increasingly concerned that she would hurt someone. These early chapters would be sad and depressing indeed. But, the next half of the book would begin to take on a positive tone. I would call this “The Turning Point” or “Hope for Sophie”. Readers who love their own fearful, reactive companions would breathe a sigh of relief after reading this due to the fear of how most stories such as this end, (a trip to the vet and euthanasia), because it will not be Sophie’s ending. The reason is that this sad outcome is not inevitable. In five hours of instruction on the proper techniques any one can gain the tools needed to change directions from this downward behavior spiral to a new exciting future. This is not a miracle cure, it is a starting point, (a blueprint that you can use to not only change behavior but build a lifelong relationship with your four legged friend). Not one negative word, dominance stance, caustic tone or harsh correction is used. Every lesson consists of refocusing, reframing and gentle leadership. I would strongly suggest to my readers that if they love, and are committed to a canine that growls, barks, lunges, soils the carpets, jumps at every sound inside the house and out, bites and turns into “Cujo” as soon as the door bell rings – not to give up in despair. Instead, they should contact you at “Good As Gold K9”, to learn the correct techniques using effective, humane methods. Every second delayed is a missed opportunity to start their own, “Turning Point”, real life chapter. Sheila, I have not come up with an ending for “Saving Sophie”. She’s only 1 ½ years old so our story has just begun, the ending maybe sad, say in about fifteen years or so when our time together on this earth ends, but I know at least it won’t be tragic.