I put my 8 month old three-legged rescue lab/pit mix Kenzie in Dinyee’s eight week dayschool training and it was such an amazing investment. We both learned so much. Dinyee clearly loves dogs but is also no-nonsense and taught me that dogs really need you to be in control and they need direction to be healthy and happy. Kenzie was super reactive which I learned was mostly from fear, and she is also just super high-energy so we needed to work on her “off switch.” Taking her on a walk was super stressful because she would constantly pull at the leash and freak out at squirrels, dogs, god knows what that i couldn’t even see . Even just a couple weeks in from working with Dinyee I was able to take her out in the woods and keep her walking right by me, loose-leash, focused on point A to point B and unbothered by all the squirrels and birds and smells, and she sits when i stop. This was an incredible difference given how strong her prey instincts are. In the house, she is trained to stay in her “place,” which can be wherever I designate, and she behaves beautifully in her crate. This has been such a gift because I feel I can take her anywhere and can trust that if I need her to go chill out in her crate or place she can do it. But, she hasn’t lost that amazing puppy energy and I am free to get her riled up and play when it’s an appropriate time.
One thing that Dinyee has been really amazing with is training ME about what is reasonable to expect and what Kenzie needs from me. Dinyee’s program includes small group sessions with the owners looped in so we can learn what the dogs are learning and be consistent at home. Dinyee was always willing to talk me through stuff and help put my mind at ease whenever i came to pick up or drop off Kenzie took. As a first time dog owner and someone who didn’t grow up with dogs I had trouble with projecting my human emotions on my dog or feeling bad saying no and setting limits. Dinyee has been so patient and clear in teaching me about how dogs work and what they need, that they need to be controlled, and that they test your boundaries to see what they can get away with. She also has helped me learn to read my dogs body language and recognize when Kenzie is getting too keyed up and needs to be snapped back to a calm/focused state, or when she is scared and needs to be removed from a situation.
Dinyee uses a combination of methods including a ton of love and positive reinforcement with food, plus prong collar and e-collar. It’s so apparent how much Dinyee loves all the dogs she works with and really knows her shit so i instantly felt comfortable with using the collars at her recommendation. The difference even just using the prong collar blew my mind, it really helped establish the connection in the dogs mind between her behavior and my commands and walks became so much more easy and pleasant immediately. the e-collar has also been extremely helpful in snapping her out her reactiveness and training her not to react, teaching her to stay in place for long durations, and in cutting out annoying behavior like whining for attention. If you live in a neighborhood with a ton of dogs, as i do, the e collar is very helpful in curbing reactiveness to other dogs you encounter on walks, even if the other dogs are aggressive or not well trained. Now when I have someone else walk or take care of her they usually remark on how well-trained she is which makes me so proud, and is a great peace of mind knowing that she can handle herself in different situations and with new people.
For me, it was a pretty big investment financially to put Kenzie in an eight week program, and I know there are some cheaper/shorter options out there. Even though I was nervous about the cost at first, it has been SO worth it, as I feel so much more comfortable and confident as a dog owner and pretty much all of her behavior concerns are under control now after 8 weeks (most were already resolved earlier). I have been so happy with Dinyee i am keeping Kenzie in daycare 2x a week, first of all because she loves it (she gets so excited when she sees we are pulling up in the morning) and because there is always more for us both to learn. Brookside also offers walking and boarding which I have used as well, and pick up and drop off from daycare. It’s great to have a one-stop shop where I know her training and Dinyee’s methods will be applied consistently even when I am away. I couldn’t recommend Dinyee and brookside more highly!