I learned a lot working with Sharon, and highly recommend her as a consultant for trainers taking on service dog cases.
An invaluable resource, she’s highly experienced and very knowledgeable, and will help you avoid common pitfalls while exceeding your training expectations. Not only do I appreciate that she is a serious and skilled trainer steeped in evidence-based training methodology, but I loved that she’s aware, thoughtful and caring and has an eye out for the emotional and physical welfare of both the human and the dog.
I can’t say enough good things about my experience working with her, and am so glad I reached out for her expertise. I look forward to working again with her in the future, and am glad to know that I now have another fabulous resource to enhance the training experiences and outcomes of my clients.
Sara Munro, CPDT-KA, KPA-CTP, CSAT
Thank you so much for reaching out.
Deus continues to be Deus, but he also continues to make lot s of progress. He loves the relaxation protocol and that has become part of our everyday life. He sits around calmly while I cook and clean and he waits patiently while I do things in the kitchen and other parts of the house. He waits quietly and enjoys getting his treats.
He is doing a great job with fetching and dropping balls and other items.
He is now walking off leash when we go for walks and is doing an excellent job with the Here Here recall. It is amazing to see him running back when I say Here Here…He has been doing an excellent job with this except for yesterday when he went chasing a coyote. I was grateful that he came back was not hurt and that things ended well.
There is room for improvement for keeping him calm when strangers come. He is making progress in that area as well.
I actually was away for 4 days during the holiday and I had a new dog sitter come and stay and Deus did really well. He was really good with her on the walks and everything went well!!!!
So, he is growing and maturing and so am I. I am way more relaxed and we are trusting each other daily. I am more confident about everything and that is directly related to my work with you. Everything that you taught me comes into play regularly as I work and train Deus daily. I now leave him in the house while I am away…..
We still have a ways to go and so much to learn, but we are well on our way.I hope things are going well for you and your work.
Layla was not a typical 5-month-old puppy when she started with At Your Service in March 2017. Although friendly and playful, Layla was so wild when Jim brought her to Family Dog Manners group classes that she could not focus and one night actually broke apart her collar with the intensity of her wiggling! In June, Gloria Young asked me to do an in-home behavior and training consult. I learned that at home Layla was so out-of-control — including constantly jumping on and painfully hard-mouthing Jim — that she could never be in the same room with any of their four children (ages 2 through 10). She was crated much of the time just for everyone’s safety. I shared my concerns about whether Layla could be safe around young children. Gloria wanted to try, so I recommended multiple changes to routine, equipment, and training approach, as well as an intensive three-week day school package. I focused Layla’s lessons on learning how to be calm and self-controlled. We also switched up some equipment and management solutions that would allow Layla to be with her family more often. Transition lessons with Gloria and Jim transferred these training skills to them. Lessons with the kids incorporated them into training and, using the Doggone Safe “Be a Tree” curriculum, helped everyone to learn to be together happily and safely.
I loved getting joyous updates from Gloria, usually accompanied by videos or pictures of Layla succeeding in her good behavior with her family. Halfway through Day School, I got this post (accompanied by a video of their 9-year-old son)
“Look Ms. Sharon!!! Gavin is actually petting Layla and Layla is letting him!!!!”
Then these updates over the next three months:
“Layla is doing better. Check out these pictures I took tonight of James and Layla. They have both come a long way!”
“Tonight’s playtime. Look at that. Who would have thought that I’d be able to capture this moment!?”
Gloria’s most recent email, when I asked if I could share Layla’s story:
“You’re phenomenal and deserve the recognition. I’ll have to check out your class schedule because I think Layla is ready for classes. My pup baby will be 1 on Sunday. Getting big so fast. Thanks Sharon! Talk to you soon!”
Kudos to the Young family for their hard work and dedication to making Layla a productive member of the family!
Holly Wilder asked for my help after she moved into a home that had two out-of-control cockapoos named Toby and Coco. Since she lives in California, we conducted consults by phone and email. After two consults, she emailed me:
“I didn’t really understand about dogs when I moved here. It felt overwhelming and chaotic with Toby and Coco’s barking, running at the door, jumping on me, and I didn’t know what to do.
You made the process easy, told me things clearly, gave me doable steps, and planned for each step to be achievable. You wrote up very clear notes which I used and still refer to. You gave me info so I could understand the dogs better and know why things worked or didn’t and how things look from their point of view.
Working with you, I felt encouraged and empowered. When I had questions, you always had an answer or found out really quickly. You broke things down into really doable steps so that we were building things incrementally and I had a sense of where we were going and why we were doing what we were doing. You supplied me with videos and made product suggestions that were really helpful, even supplying me with links.
You’ve been great on tailoring things to my specific situation. Also, you’ve been really empathetic, nonjudgmental and encouraging. Definitely, the quality of life here is much better because of your help.”
Later, on my urging, Holly worked with a local trainer and was confused and disappointed by some of the trainer’s advice. Hollycontacted me for help sorting it out. After our consult and my email follow-up, Holly said:
“Thanks so much for this, it is so helpful, as was our session! I do really appreciate the doable, not intimidating, clear step-by-step instructions that you give while explaining the reasoning behind it and what the overall picture/goal is. And I do refer to your notes on multiple occasions. I also love the links to items and videos. I guess you have spoiled me for other trainers.”
Tamir traveled quite a distance to meet with me (upstate New York, about 2 hours each way) about her German Shepherd Dog service-dog-in-training, Merlin.Your information and guidance at our meeting was fantastic and I felt charged up to proceed on our partnered canine/human journey. The handouts are a wonderful resource. Also I read your story and was deeply moved by your courage and exploratory spirit.My goodness Sharon, you are so very, very generous with your reply. I did read all the handouts you gave me and will follow up on all the links you just sent as well. You are right to slow me down, sometimes though I feel I need to do more, but as a 15 months old puppy he is entitled to being just that.Thank you again for all your detailed guidance and advice.
Jon and some of the other managers and security staff at Thornes Marketplace in Northampton were having trouble with people bringing dogs (and sometimes other animals) into the building. When tenants said they have an emotional support animal, were they covered by the law or where only service dogs were allowed? What about if the dog is off-leash, barking, or has soiling accidents? They contacted Sharon at At Your Service for a presentation and consulting to help them understand service dog laws and terms and how to handle such situations.
I am the Facility Manager for a five-story retail establishment. Sharon’s guidance was incredibly helpful to us in learning how to navigate the complex and shifting web of codes, rules, and regulations surrounding service animal law.
Sharon clearly and succinctly tutored our staff on how to identify service animals, how to approach customers with these animals, and how to support them.
At Your Service provided best-in-class guidance on these issues and we wholeheartedly endorse them to anyone in the service industry.
As a retail facility operator, we have observed an escalating volume of customers who expect to bring their animals with them into the marketplace. Navigating the opaque and overlapping expectations
related to code compliance on these issues can feel hopelessly challenging. Sharon’s guidance can help cut through this confusion and provide critical expertise. We cannot recommend her enough.
Joelle got in touch for help with Hazel barking at and chasing cars and neighbors, coming when called, and killing chickens that got loose. Here’s what Joelle emailed at the end of five private lessons.
Hi Sharon,Thank you so much for your lessons! Hazel has come so far; her progress has beyond exceeded my expectations. I’m really proud of her. I cannot thank you enough.Thank you,Joelle
Karen and Jon contacted us for training with their two miniature poodles, Ziggy and Marley. Soon after we started, their daughter’s puppy, Luna, also joined the family. Due to COVID-19, all of our sessions, from the behavior consult through all the lessons, were online. Here’s what Karen said in two email updates.Hi Sharon,Ziggy has responded beautifully to the tighter training off leash with Marley and has not had a single episode of lunging and barking ferociously at her since we started this new off leash method. Ziggy is also doing much better since we have Luna and him separated except for training when we reward him for looking her way or late at night when they are all cuddled into one of us. He seems to enjoy looking at her for the most part now. Marley is getting along great with Luna and is a peach.Ziggy does especially well with his thunder shirt and seems a lot calmer. I have ordered the composure and its arriving today. We understand this will take time for Ziggy to adjust to all these changes and we are trying to take it slowly for him and Luna.We are so grateful for our work with you and our dogs. The positive changes in their behavior are remarkable. Thanks for everything you have done to help with this transition. You do wonderful work. See you this Friday at 6.
Hey Sharon,Thanks for being so flexible and so clear with us in all of the trainings for our pups. Ziggy is doing better each day around Luna. He seems to be adjusting well to social distancing with Luna 🙂He’s doing well with Everybody sitting with Luna and when she is on a leash and he is back with me. He looks at her all the time with interest. We have gone for walks with Ziggy, Marley and Luna with Luna on a leash and Ziggy and Marley loose way ahead of Leah and Luna and Ziggy is doing great with that. He is good with off, and all the other commands and Marley is a peach and responding well to being around Luna.We are so grateful to you for all the help you have given us with our dogs. We could not have asked for more from any dog trainer.Take Care,Karen and Jon
Alexandra Jefferson brought her big Goldendoodle Charlie to Family Dog Manners I class and said one of her major training goals was pulling on leash. At the graduation class, she said she had experienced her first-ever enjoyable walk with Charlie the day before! She sent me an email and video:“We are getting some exercise before class. Look at this loose leash!!Actually able to enjoy a walk woohoo”When I asked about sharing it, Ally said…“Oh yes I would love for you to share the video. Sorry the quality isn’t better, we were moving pretty quickly hahaI will definitely be following up with you in the future about more classes and maybe some private lessons. You were absolutely wonderful and we are very proud of the progress Charlie has made over the last few weeks. My biggest goal was to improve the leash walking and we did it!! I will continue to practice his skills in increasingly distracting environments.Thank you, again!!Ally”