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782 Whittier Road - Derby Line - VT 05830
Canine Obedience by Claire Silver
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Photos of Canine Obedience by Claire Silver
My advancement into the field of agility would not have been possible without the expert obedience instruction that I received from Claire Silver.
I began working with Claire shortly after purchasing my Miniature Schnauzer, Cricket. My first experience was during a puppy socialization class where Claire provided much needed help with getting your puppy comfortable around other dogs, as well as answer all of those crazy questions that any new dog owner has in the beginning. It provided a fun and relaxed learning experience for both dog and handler.
My next step was to enter a beginner obedience class. Again, another positive learning experience - I found that the more I worked with my dog the more we bonded. Claire also used attention training to get our dog more focused on their work, something I would stress everyone learn. Additionally, Claire added a challenge to the class - teach your dog a new trick to present at graduation. I decided to build an agility tire for Cricket to jump through. My dog just LOVED to jump through the tire, and I had such a great time training her to do so, a light bulb went off in my head. If she and I loved it that much, perhaps agility training might be right. Claire immediately encouraged me to pursue agility.
In order to be successful at agility, an obedience foundation is absolutely essential therefore my next step was intermediate obedience. This class was both challenging and immense fun for us. Claire's professional training methods, clear and concise directions, extensive handouts, and hands-on help gave us this handler/dog team the solid foundation to begin agility training.
A quick story about Claire's routine method of attention training: I so happened to be training with a very well known agility coach and one of our first instructions was to be sure to have our dog's attention at all times. Her comment was, "no one can just say "look" and have their dog keep their attention on you" My comment was, "I believe that I can." Upon saying "look" to Cricket, she immediately swung around and looked at me. The trainer couldn't believe it, therefore asked to repeat the exercise while distracting Cricket. Again, the word "look" worked like a charm. All I can say to Claire is thank you for the wonderful and positive training experience. Because of your help here is picture of Cricket from the United States Agility Dog Association Show! Three blue ribbons that weekend!
Elaine Morin & Cricket
Fern was surrendered to our local animal shelter. For the first ten months of her life she lived under a porch with several other dogs. Full of porcupine quills and apprehension, when we reached into the kennel to attach the leash - GRRR!
I adopted Fern from the Frontier Animal Society. She had been returned after having been adopted out to a farm family - it was not a good match - when she returned to the shelter she was even more anxious and shaky than before the adoption. Something about her sweet face and pretty eyes - I just knew this dog had potential, if only I could get through to her.
Once in our home, she quickly warmed up to her new family and fit right in. House training was a snap, she played with our other dogs appropriately . . . I thought we were all set.
And then I brought her into work for the first time. Each time a customer entered the store they were greeted by a snarling red Tasmanian devil, not my sweet little Fern. Scary and aggressive looking, she would bark and growl in fear. This was not her true personality, if only I knew why she was acting like this.
We signed up for Claire's class, hoping to unlock Fern's true personality. We arrived for the first class with a lot of growling, barking and anti-social behavior. Not only was it embarrassing, all of the other students and dogs gave us a very wide berth, "Steer clear of that mean dog!" Determined to do what it took to change her attitude, I took all of Claire's advice to heart and followed instructions closely. Lo and behold - it worked. By the next class, she sat near people, by the third class she sat near other dogs, by week four she approached other dogs and people with a wagging tail!!!
We have had to work at this behavior, it didn't happen overnight, but the exercises weren't difficult or time consuming. Fern really enjoys her training sessions and it has helped her form a solid bond with me, as well as gain trust that I will not put her into a dangerous situation. When I ask her to do something new, she knows that I am the leader, trusts me to correct her and acts appropriately. I have a confident, relaxed and happy dog ready to please. This was my goal when we started obedience class.
Where will this all lead? I'm not sure where the training will take us . . . maybe therapy work, maybe a store greeter, maybe none of that will be her destiny. I only know that now the rest of the world can see what a beautiful dog I have!
Melissa and Fern
Shelly's Dog Story
Just wanted to say thank-you again. Without your class this would not have happened!
(a picture is worth a 1000 words- this says it all)
Obedience Class Graduates
Therapy Class Graduation: One of the most rewarding classes for all.
Sonya & Rue's Story
Taking obedience classes with Claire is a decision you won’t regret. She is firm, fair and straight forward. More importantly, Claire genuinely wants to help. I’ve completed many classes and even repeated some as a refreshers. I’m always amazed to see the progress each and every dog makes in such a short period of time. The difference in each dog from the first class to the last class is just astonishing! Not only do the dogs learn obedience but their confidence also grows rather exponentially as they learn what is expected of them. It’s like they are saying “Look at me! I know how to do this and I’m happy to show off my new obedience skills!”
Don’t get me wrong; it’s not easy work but it’s not hard either; it just requires actual effort. During obedience class, Claire is there to train you, not to directly train your dog (although this does happen sometimes and you can opt for this option outside of the classroom as well). The training skills she will teach you, will be of value for the rest or your life, not to mention all the future pets you might acquire over that lifetime. But what you learn from Claire is only half of the formula. Your effort is the other half. The end result can only be as good as your very own effort.
Our German Shepherd Rue would have been a very different dog and perhaps even a difficult dog if I hadn’t sought Claire’s expertise. Claire helped me to understand how important it was to establish the alpha role through proper training and how increasing her confidence would change what Rue initially perceived as threats. She stressed that Rue not only needed a good obedience foundation but also needed to be mentally challenged considering how smart she is or she might resort to destruction out of boredom. Our family also learned how to use distraction techniques with unwanted behavior and how to promote good behavior through reward reinforcement.
Today, Rue is just a pleasure to spend time with. Rue is a very happy member of our family that we can and want take everywhere that dogs are allowed. We can go running and hiking together off leash without issues. No longer are the worries of counter surfing, food snatching, garbage digging or toy, shoe and furniture chewing. All those little nuances that can sometimes make owning a pet a little frustrating are nearly non-existent and that makes having her around even more fun and enjoyable. Rue also gets her share of compliments from friends and strangers alike about her good manners and obedience excellence and to think that it all started with Claire!
In summary, if you want an unhappy and lonely dog that just sits in the back yard because it’s too difficult to deal with, then don’t take the class. If however, you want the time you spend with your best friend to be enjoyable and want a strong bond with them, then the class is a must! Every penny, minute and once of effort will be worth it... A happy and well- mannered dog is a happy owner.
Sonya Abbott and her dog Rue
Krissy's Story & her Family of Dogs
We've know Claire for 20+ years and she has helped us with all our naughty and not so naughty doggy issues over the years. We've taken ALL of the classes she's offered: beginner to advanced obedience, therapy dog class, tracking and more! Our dogs go visit the farm for a little doggy vacation when we take our people vacation and they are always so excited to be there! She takes amazing care of them and they enjoy it so much. It makes a stress free vacation for us when we know the fur babies are in such good hands!We ❤️ Claire and look forward to the next 20+ years!!!
All of these dogs were trained by Claire and are Dogs from Krissy Gregory or her family!
Best Dressed Anne & Lucca
Elle Mae - A Happy Bulldog Story from Training to Day Care!
We have been going to Claire Silver for a little over a year now. My first experience with Claire was a private obedience lesson, that led us to Beginner Class, Therapy Class and now we are enrolled in daycare 3 days a week, which in turn led to a great friendship. Claire has boarded my Ellie on occasions when I could not bring her with me. My dog loves Claire, and is reluctant to leave when I pick her up.
Claire is wonderful, I cannot say enough good about her, and the hard work, compassion she has for all furry four legged friends and their owners that enter her facility. She has called me when my dog was not herself and has offered to bring her to the vet (we have reoccurring incidents, medically). She follows through with medical treatments, if necessary, and is a pleasure to work with. She is highly educated on canine behavior, and gives humane corrections.
She has a large outdoor facility for dogs to JUST BE DOGS, and daily walks through the woods are always exciting. Every dog has their own crate in the house, providing air conditioning in extreme heat.
I am very fussy on who watches my dog, and will not leave her with just anybody. Receiving pictures of happy dogs playing throughout the day, on daily walks, or dogs just being silly, is a great addition to my day. When you pick up your dog, they might be a little dirty, but it is worth it in the long run. It means they were not boarded in a crate, all day with nothing to do. It means they were having fun!!
Heidi & Elle Mae
I could never have had my puppy and my baby together without DOGGY DAYCARE at Claire's. Sophie is a 5 month old Mastiff mix puppy and Doggy Daycare makes all the difference.
Elle Mae & her doggy pals at DOGGY DAYCARE