|Dr. Elizabeth Lonsdorf, Animal Behaviorist:
"In short, Marc is a miracle worker. All of my years of schooling in animal behavior didn’t begin to compare with Marc’s experience with challenging dogs. He knew immediately the best way to deal with Heidi’s issues and we are all much, much happier now. I can’t thank him or recommend him enough. If you have problems with your dog, take him/her to Marc!"
My husband and I dearly love our mixed-breed, Heidi, but she was becoming quite a handful for us to deal with. Our best guess of her background is a German Shepard/Border Collie mix and she had had a rather unhappy (probably abusive) history when we got her.
She was an angel in the house, but was very hyper-alert, anxious and overly protective when we went out. She would lunge at other dogs on leash, yank our arms out of the sockets going after squirrels and cats, and was very unpredictable around strangers.
My husband and I have a lot of experience with animals, and in fact, I have a Ph.D. in Animal Behavior. We had no problem training our other dog, but we were at a loss about what to do for Heidi. Nothing we tried to do worked.
A veterinarian friend recommended working with Marc and his ForceFree Method...and the results have been amazing! Heidi was walking politely within 5 minutes of training with Marc and has progressed far beyond what we hoped for. We are all much more relaxed on walks and at the park now. She is very reliable on and off leash, even with major distractions like a ball, other dogs and squirrels!
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Dr. Shalini Emmanuel, BVMS, MSC
Choosing a year old Border Collie mix from the animal shelter was probably not the most sensible decision my husband and I ever made, but this dog captured our affection. We knew he would require work and training, but we were not prepared for the aggressive behavior he developed toward strangers, children, joggers and bikes. He seemed to have a dual personality; sweet, loving and trustworthy most of the time, but in certain situations, he became a growling, lunging crazy dog!
We tried a trainer, who gave us some ideas but did not really solve anything. We took him to basic obedience training classes (at which he excelled!) but again that didn’t change things. The veterinary behavioral specialists that we talked to on the phone were very skeptical that he could actually be helped and gave the impression that we just had to accept that he was an aggressive dog.
Then I spoke to Marc, and his manner was completely different. He was interested in Sherman and optimistic that he could be helped. When we took Sherman to meet Marc, he assessed his temperament and behavior problems, but importantly, he also assessed our relationship with our dog and what was wrong with the dynamics.
He told us that Sherman did not dislike people in general, but that he was overly protective and anxious. Marc felt that Sherman was not getting enough leadership or direction from his owners to help him overcome his anxiety in these particular situations. His focus was not so much on Sherman, but on what my husband and I needed to do to become the leaders that Sherman needed.
As well as explaining the situation and the problem to us in ways that made perfect sense, Marc then showed us how to turn the problem around. He gave us the ability to effectively communicate with Sherman and peacefully take back the position of leader of the pack!
Sherman is now a much calmer and less anxious dog. He is getting over his triggers one by one and is becoming a joy to walk. Marc’s humorous, intelligent and enthusiastic approach was just what we needed.
Even though I am a veterinarian, it’s not often that I meet somebody with Marc’s talent, experience and ability in training dogs. He has a gift of understanding dogs and knowing how to communicate with them in ways that best help them choose to behave beautifully. Thankfully for us, he is passionate about sharing that knowledge!
Thank you Marc!
Dr. Shalini Emmanuel, BVMS, MSC
Genoa Animal Hospital
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Dr. Karen Terio, DVM, PhD
Dr. Karen Terio, Veterinarian, professor of Veterinary Medicine at University of Illinois: I had worked extensively with my dog by myself as well as with veterinary behaviorists and other trainers, but had little long-term success. In fact, some of the other trainers focused on criticizing rather than helping me remedy this behavior. In only a short time you had him playing rather than picking fights!....Working with you has brought about an improvement in my quality of life by greatly increasing the enjoyment of taking Poe for walks and being able to take him to public places – many of the things that make sharing one’s life with a dog fun! Dear Marc,
Since moving to the Chicago area earlier this year, I’ve had increasing problems with my dog Poe’s squirrel-chasing, aggression towards other dogs, and leash pulling, making walking him an unpleasant experience for us both. Additionally, since I adopted him he has always been wary of strangers and can be unpredictable. I found that I was constantly tense on walks looking out for other dogs, squirrels, and strangers on our path.
In order to control him, I previously had Poe on a choke collar, about which I felt somewhat guilty. Although at first I had some trepidation about the Force-Free Method, by taking the time to explain the theory behind the training method, you convinced me that it was, in actuality, more humane.
Since we started training with you, Poe has become much better behaved and is even fun to take for walks! Even the day after our first lesson, he was no longer pulling and dragging me around town. Although still excited to see squirrels, he has stopped yanking my arm out of its socket by his sudden lunges after them. Your patience and encouragement in working through his aggression towards other dogs has also been greatly appreciated. I had worked extensively with him by myself as well as with veterinary behaviorists and other trainers, but had little long-term success. In fact, some of the other trainers focused on criticizing rather than helping me remedy this behavior. In only a short time you had him playing rather than picking fights!
While Poe’s behavior has been greatly improved when on walks with me, it is even more impressive to me that his improvement in behavior has carried over to his time with his dog walkers who have not been through training sessions with you. These dog walkers had previously commented on his pulling and fixation with squirrels in their daily “report cards”. However, since initiating training sessions with you, I have received unsolicited comments such as “Poe has been really good on his walks, he is not pulling on his leash anymore”, “we encountered a group of squirrels and he went a bit crazy but was very well-behaved!!”, “Poe was really good on his walk today. He didn’t go after ANY squirrels”.
Working with you has brought about an improvement in my quality of life by greatly increasing the enjoyment of taking Poe for walks and being able to take him to public places – many of the things that make sharing one’s life with a dog fun!
Karen Terio, DVM, PhD
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
PhD in Comparative Medicine
On Faculty, University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine
On Staff at a major American Zoo
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"Thanks for the Wonderful ForceFree Method™ Seminar!"
Jack and Wendy Volhard, world famous dog trainers, and authors of Dog Trainng For Dummies.