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Testimonials

 

My boyfriend and I adopted Fiona from a shelter in Washington D.C. Although we don’t have a lot of background on her, we have a sad hunch that she may not have been treated very well before coming to live with us. Around the time that she turned one, Fi started to display a lot of behaviors that (after some research) we identified as “fear-aggression.” But we had no idea what to do about it. Luckily, our vet recommended Tecla.

From the first consultation with Tecla, we knew that she was going to be able to help us. She immediately gave us practical pointers on how to get our relationship with Fiona back in balance. We regained control of our house, and our dog. During behavior classes, Fiona got lots of exposure to people and dogs in order to desensitize her the things that used to trigger aggression.

Eventually, we moved Fi on to obedience class and she goes to daycare at Tecla’s K-9 Academy two times a week. (Which she loves – and we love because she gets so much exercise in a controlled environment!) I cannot say enough about Tecla and Tecla’s K-9 Academy; she saved our relationship with our dog. (Oh, and for all nervous dog-mommies out there – like me – you will love how patient Tecla is with training humans how to behave around dogs.) Fiona is so much more confident and fun to be around now – people have actually commented on how well behaved and friendly she is! All of that is a result of Tecla’s guidance. Thank you, Tecla’s K-9 Academy!

Rachel, Justin, and Fiona

Since attending classes with Tecla at Tecla’s K-9 Academy Training both of my dogs have made significant progress – one with general obedience the other with severe behavioral issues (high anxiety, fear of people, etc.). Tecla uses a variety of obedience and training techniques, including a Pack To Basics style class that have proven highly successful and have made my relationship with my dogs infinitely greater in a very short period of time. Thanks Tecla!

Patrick

Tecla, Just wanted to write you a note to tell you how overwhelmed I was to see so much cuteness in one room at one time! Your daycare operation is just too cute for words.

I am so happy that Kate’s dog Mailee is with you. When another trainer and daycare suggested that Mailee be sent back to the breeder and that she would never make a good pet, I know that Kate’s heart broke…we were both so depressed hearing this. Truly, you have been Mailee’s angel, and she has liked you from the beginning. Seeing her with all those adorable pups was so heartwarming.

It was a lucky day the day we found you.

Brigid is doing well in daycare, too, up north near Falls Road. The manager of that operation reports that she can tell that Brigid is very well trained. The handlers like hera lot because they say she listens to everything she is told and is very well behaved.

Another feather in your cap!

Keep me on your mailing lists as I want to enroll Brigid in agility classes. She is a fabulous runner, jumper and all around athlete and needs to express that…

Thanks for believing in our girls!!!!!
Liz Hagerty

Tecla–
Thank you so very much for taking time out today to work with Mailee and her fear/aggression issues. It is awe inspiring to see you in action, and I hope in the coming months as we continue to train with you, that we can emulate you more and more. You are the embodiment of a “calm, assertive, fair, and loving leader” to our dogs.

You offered so much hope for us today. We were so discouraged with what others had to say about Mailee not being able to be a suitable pet. You are truly an answer to a prayer…you observed Mailee’s problem, thought it through, then came up with a solution! It was unbelievable to see Mailee playing with other dogs in less than 30 minutes of your time. You were able to show her the proper means of meeting new dogs – something only a mother dog could do—AMAZING!

And thank you for the tip with Brighid on getting her to overcome her fear of cars. I will report back how it works. As I told you, had it not been for your training, I would have panicked when Brighid ran out of the leash and faced off with a fox. Had it not been for the training recalls, I never would have had the where with all to get her back to me, had it not flashed in my brain, “make yourself exciting”…Despite her barking incessantly and a confrontation with the fox imminent, my saying, “who wants to play with sticks” was the magic phrase that made me “more exciting” than a fox!

We are very much looking forward to continue training with you and your company in the coming months. It was a fortuitous day when Tecla’s K-9 Academy was recommended to us…Wishing you continued success in all your endeavors—you are a treasure!

Liz Hagerty (Brighid and Mailee, too!)

Hi -Just another update on Maya. She is doing very well! Tecla helped me with the vet issues and we have been taking her there to just “visit”. While she is still a little nervous she shows great improvements – by the end of our “visit” she is wagging her tail and taking treats from anyone who will give them to her (prior, she would eat NOTHING). She is also doing very well in her Rally 1 class and Alyssa, 10 years old, is having a blast with her.

I was telling someone at the training class how I was thinking of getting rid of her until Tecla came into our lives because she had bit everyone in the family, more than once, and even drew blood. The woman could not believe what I was telling her and it made me take a look at Maya and realize how good she is and that she has a wonderful personality, very respectful, and willing to please you rather than bite. Well, after that realization I remembered you had asked for Tecla’s information, so here it is…… Tecla Walton, AngelK-9, her website is www.teclask9academy.com. She just obtained a training facility (praise God) and it is located at 3243 Bethany Lane, Ellicott City MD 21042, (410)461-DOGS.

I cannot say enough wonderful things about her, along with having amazing abilities with all dog types (I have witnessed this through all the classes we have gone through – I have seen her handle scared, aggressive, hyper, and sluggish dogs) she has a wonderful personality and is easy to talk to and fellowship with. Her love for dogs and desire to help is obvious as soon as you talk with her.

Lauretta

Hi Tecla,

I wanted to thank you for all of your help in the Puppy Training class this past winter. I just wanted to make sure I sent you an email to let you know how well Shu Shu is doing. Being a part of your class has made it so much easier having Shu Shu. When I decided on getting a Shih Tzu, I was nervous. I’ve seen how these little dogs can become so nasty and I didn’t want a dog like that. I remember I was near tears the first day I joined your class. She kept biting my fingers and wouldn’t listen. I thought I made a huge mistake in getting her. But your class and the techniques you taught have helped tremendously. I get so many compliments on how well behaved she is when we are out in public. I take her everywhere I possibly can (including some of my doctor appointments). She travels in a carrier bag – and most times she’s been shopping with me and people didn’t even realize she was with me. She lays down in her bag and watches out the “window”. We had one incident last month at the local Wal-Mart when she barked and a little boy said “Mommy that lady’s pocketbook barked”. But other than that – she’s quiet as can be. I’ve made sure that she is very socialized with people and other animals.

I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful experience. We are enjoying our experience with Shu Shu and are amazed at how well the techniques you showed in your class have helped us.

Thanks,
Carol

Izzie my black Labrador and Cinammon my Golden Retriever never really got along. Both fought for my attention, growled at each other, toy aggression, food aggression (to the point that) I had just given up. But I decided that I wanted to be a foster parent and I could not have children in the house with my dogs acting like they did.

Then I came across Tecla’s K-9 Academy’s website and thought “why not, it will be my last shot.” Tecla came over on a Friday evening at 7:00pm and when I saw her walk up my stomach sunk. I thought uuuggghhh which dog was going to jump on her first / which dog was going to start fighting for her attention first / which dog was going to end up in the crate first? Well, Cinammon my Golden Retriever took the honor of jumping on her first and BOOM Tecla squirted her with the water bottle and that stopped that. Tecla got them both quiet then I said my hello and the introduction of dogs – as if Tecla didn’t know their names already by me screaming at them from the moment she walked up the walkway.

Tecla, calm – collected – unimpressed by my “active” dogs sat me down and started working with me. My dogs knew right away by Tecla’s demeanor who was in charge. Cinammon, the alpha dog, did not like this – she was used to me! As the night went on, lucky for me, my dogs acted up in front of Tecla and she coolly evaluated what was going on and showed me how to resolve the issues. Well, after that Friday night everything has changed. What I learned from Tecla was how I needed to be the alpha dog and how being the alpha dog my dogs will listen to me and will still love me.

In the weeks since working with Tecla, I worked one-on-one with Cinammon and have noticed huge changes. Cinammon would turn her back on me, growl at me and would never think of sitting next to me for me to pet her or hug her. Not only does she listen to me but she looks forward to seeing me and snuggles up with me and it is terrific!!

THANK YOU TECLA – I always sing the praises of your talent to my friends.

Erin

Of the many dog trainers available, there are only a few whose philosophy and technique is balanced, clear, and fair [to the dog]. Tecla is one such trainer. Her knowledge, insight and ability to think of creative alternatives to what can motivate a dog, as well as what subtleties a handler is likely unaware of, are invaluable and essential qualities in a trainer.

As both pet dog trainer and sport trainer, Tecla’s teaching style produces a pretty picture. When I first saw her work her dogs I knew that she was the trainer I wanted to shape my puppy and I into a pretty picture as well. I have watched trials and have seen dogs that don’t enjoy their work because they have been trained in a rigid, unclear system. Tecla is in a class of trainers that truly knows how a dog learns and has the patience and skill to bring them to their fullest potential.

Two of the greatest things I have learned from Tecla are how to strengthen the bond between handler and dog, especially a dog that is independent by nature, and, having a creative solution to motivation when the ball, tug or food aren’t interesting.

I have had  the good fortune of training with Tecla for the past year and I only wish I had met her sooner!

Alexandra & Minka

I am writing this recommendation to tell everyone of the positive experiences I have had with Tecla Heuring Walton and her dog training philosophy.

My name is Paul Anthony, I started training dogs with hunting labrador retrievers in the 80s, as a police K-9 officer in the 90s and presently working in PSA and mondio ring.

I met Tecla several years ago at a training session in Delaware There I watched her work her GSD Penny and we also talked her into taking her first malinois Sky. Since that time I have seen Tecla grow and evolve as a dog trainer evolving her techniques and having a foundation system second to none. You will find Tecla patient, and her training methods are easy to understand and apply. Tecla is one of the people responsible for me changing the way I now train dogs. I believe in her, her methods and her understanding of dogs so much that I bring her to Pennsylvania to train with me, my clients and members of our dog training group.

I highly recommend Tecla whether you have a puppy, have specific behavior issues, are a sport competitor or if you just want to have a better relationship with your dog, Tecla will get you where you want to be.

Paul “Gomer” Anthony
President
Steel City Ringers

We have had the unique opportunity to work with Tecla from puppy kindergarten, through basic obedience, and now on to rally obedience I and tracking. I first contacted Tecla when our Chesapeake Bay Retriever puppy, Casey was 3 months old. We knew we would need basic puppy kindergarten to get her started since Chessies are a strong, willful breed.

I really liked that when I initially contacted Tecla about the puppy class she recommended we have a one on one session with her so we had a starting ground to work from before class began. Casey started to respond well to commands right away and it helped us understand better how to create the boundaries she needs. Tecla helped us to become consistent, patient, and persistent when working with Casey.

When we got to basic obedience 1, this is where Casey and I truly started to bond. Casey was also a bit reactive to strangers by shying away when they would try to pet her. Tecla would take the time each class session to work with her on an individual basis. Tecla got Casey used to being touched all over by her, as well as different people in the class or helpers. This was great for Casey as now whenever we meet someone new, she will sit and let anyone pet her anywhere. I was so pleased to see when Casey and I would meet small children on our walks in the neighborhood that she will sit and let them pet her and she no longer is reactive and nervous around them.

We are very excited to start Rally Obedience 1 and Tracking classes. Casey is a working dog and she thrives on having something to do to keep her mind and body active. We are very pleased our puppy has grown up to be a great dog as she improves every day. We definitely could not have done so without Tecla’s amazing training guidance!

Sara Pollack and Andrew Mintz

We were well aware of the Shiba Inu’s strong-willed temperament; however, we had no idea that the cute puppy our daughter picked from the litter, Aka, would be an alpha male, intent on dominating his new family. We attempted to train him ourselves using books and the internet, but quickly became overwhelmed. Discouraged, we contacted our vet who recommended Tecla’s K-9 Academy, describing Tecla’s training methods as gentle but firm.

Tecla’s positive attitude, experience, vast knowledge, and love for dogs were apparent upon our initial consultation. We breathed a sigh of relief when she told us that Aka’s behavior was manageable – no problem – and we enrolled him in Tecla’s Purely Positive Puppy Class. Tecla proved to be a patient and understanding teacher. Her classes were definitely “purely positive” filled with lots of praise (and treats). She took the time to educate us about the rationale behind her methods – the why of dog behavior – which made her techniques easier to learn. Best of all, by helping us establish leadership; we were finally able to substantially modify Aka’s dominant behaviors.

Aka and our daughter are currently enrolled in Tecla’s K-9 Academy’s Rally class which is great fun for both of them. It is amazing the relationships that all of the owners have built with their pets in this class. Tecla’s training comes highly recommended from our family.

The Gates Family

Zoe is sooooo much better after her week with you! She greets people and dogs now. Today a friend dropped by who had last visited the week before Zoe had stayed with you. The last time, Zoe stayed across the room and twice growled, today she came right up to my friend to be pet. She is so much more relaxed and happy now. It’s amazing what a week with Aunt Tecla did for her.

Thank you!
Jacki

In June of 2010 one of our foster dogs was returned by her adopter. She had bitten multiple people in her home, showed aggression when people entered the home, lunged and barked at dogs on the street, and even lunged at people from time to time.

When we brought her back into foster in we immediately started training with her. We tried the methods of another Clarksville/Columbia area trainer, as well as home-visits from a trainer with a national organization, but nothing was working. She knew all of her basic commands, but if she saw something on a walk she lost it and there was no way to regain her attention.

During the summer I won a raffle at a rescue event for a Rally I course at Tecla’s K-9 Academy. I signed my own dog up for the class, knowing that my foster wasn’t ready for advanced work. The first Rally I class was all about the idea of focus – getting your dog to look at you. It struck me that this was exactly what my foster needed, motivation to actually pay attention to me.

I’ll never forget the moment I knew that I’d found something special. I was in the training room and some clients came in complaining about their young German Shepherd. Tecla said to them, “sometimes God doesn’t give you the dog you want, He gives you the dog you need.” It touched something in me I can’t quite explain and, though I’ve never been a very religious person, it hit me on a spiritual level.

As I trained my own dog, I tried the same methods with my foster. For the first time in months I was able to snap her out of it when she saw something that set her off. I started to talk to Tecla about her whenever I had the chance. She told me she held a behavior modification class on Saturday mornings and invited us to come. She even offered the rescue a discount to make it easier to send our foster to classes.

The behavior modification classes were amazing and, as our foster dog’s behavior became more stable, we were able to start Pack to Basics classes, to help desensitize her to the presence of other dogs. Since starting Pack to Basics she’s been far less interested in other dogs on walks and she hardly looks at most of them.

Another wonderful thing was that Tecla worked with us on our own level – we have 2 dogs (one of our own, one foster) and a VERY busy schedule – helping us with ways of handling both dogs on walks and understanding how their behavior affected each other. This was key for us because it turned out our foster’s aggression was tied not only to her own fears, but to our dog’s fearfulness. Our foster was over-reacting to situations that frightened our own dog. Since our dog was already enrolled in another class, Tecla didn’t even charge us to bring the second dog to behavior modification. She’s so clearly in it for the sake of dogs and their owners; it’s very touching.

We’ve had a long journey with our foster, and it’s not over yet, but in less than a year she’s gone from a dog that had to be muzzled on walks to a dog who stays calmly by my side, watching me, even in stressful situations. She’s a model citizen and has graduated from a Rally I obedience course, in addition to continuing her behavioral work.

Every day I look at the girls and think of the ways, in spite of all of the trials, early mornings, hard work, and occasional frustration, my relationship with them has given me what I need. I’ve learned so much about dogs, and even more about myself. It’s true that I’ve found obedience through relationship, but our work together has given me so much more.

Rebecca Goldring

Tecla’s K-9 Academy puppy day care is my saving grace! First and foremost-I know my puppy is safe and will have a great time with his puppy buddies (Tecla’s K-9 Academy separates puppies from older dogs which is a feature I was seeking). Guinness was a shy boy who needed socializing. Once a puppy who had his tail between his legs after a few weeks of puppy day care at Tecla’s K-9 Academy he is very social with other dogs and people!

I work from home. And anyone who as a puppy knows that it can get hard to get tasks done with an active doggie underfoot. I use daycare whenever I am on a work deadline, have day long meetings, or need to get pressing chores done.

I feel confident my dog is in good hands. Also, I have used the puppy academy to work on Guinness’s leash work and commands. Tecla and her great and friendly staff give my dog the training he needs and the TLC my husband and I want.

When we drive up to Tecla’s K-9 Academy Guinness is so excited he races to the door. Glad Tecla and her trainer taught us good leash control! We attribute Guinness’s out going nature to Tecla’s K-9 Academy’s superior daycare.

Sincerely,
Jann Keenan

My name is Mojo, and I’m a spunky, happy Havanese who loves going to Tecla’s K-9 Academy Daycare. Mom started me at Puppy Daycare. At first I was afraid of the big dogs, but Tecla had everything under control and I just have fun. I have evolved into Doggie Daycare. Mom says I’m becoming a rambunctious adolescent, so she enrolled me in Puppy Academy. Don’t tell her, but it’s really, really fun! I know when she says, ”Do you want to see Tecla?” that it is going to be a fun-filled day. I’ve learned patience and it’s easy to be calm when I know I’m safe. I heard mom say that Tecla’s K-9 Academy has the best trainers she’s ever experienced. And since she’s very old, and has had over a dozen dogs in her life, that’s saying something. I guess I’m pretty lucky she picked me…and Tecla’s K-9 Academy.

Mojo and Abby

After having lost our 13 year old black lab, Pudgie, our family knew that having a 4 legged “person” in our home was needed to feel complete again. We had decided this time that we would adopt from a shelter and happily found Gracie from the Lab Rescue. On first sight, we knew she was the one and after 2 families followed us around wanting her in case we changed our minds, we KNEW she had to come home with us! And happily and energetically she did! But not before escaping from the car and running loose through the neighborhood upon arrival.

The adjustment was “trying” at first. She was named Gypsy when we got her and soon understood why. She loved to escape! We tried the clicker version of training in a class, we had an individual come to us and teach us “time out” but nothing really worked until I met Tecla. She has been incredible (both Tecla and Gracie!). Tecla approached our energetic, strong willed Gracie with loving discipline. We had sessions that really helped me understand the mind of a dog and then we were able to handle Gracie much, much better. Tecla has been a life saver for our home and since I enjoy entertaining, Gracie had become a challenge. She jumped on people at the door, ate hors d’oeuvres off the coffee table, stole a chicken leg from the counter, and basically did all of the rascally things you could imagine, NO MORE! Gracie has happily found a way to be part of the party and still get the attention she craves. Even more so!! Now that she behaves and listens, she is a pure delight. You will never regret having someone like Tecla help you take control of your life and consequently make all of the family’s life more fun and enjoyable with a furry friend who listens, respects and loves you. My thanks to Tecla’s K-9 Academy for flying my way!!!!!

DL

TECLA IS THE DOG WHISPERER… After 3 weeks with Tecla, a remarkable transformation took place: my 18 month old PBGV, Cooper listened to me! Tecla taught Cooper and proceeded to teach me! The end result: a happy, obedient, social puppy; and a very contented owner. To top things off, when Cooper and I run into some behavior issues, Tecla has been there for me with advise and support!

Thank you Tecla’s K-9 Academy!!
Judy

Tecla,

I wanted to send you a note on how positive our experience was with the boot camp for Mulligan. It has really brought out the best in him, and our relationship. I mean, you know Mulligan and I absolutely love each other, but wow, the boot camp helped solidify how we communicate with each other. When I first came to pick him up after three weeks I wasn’t completely sure what to expect. What I learned is that Mulligan completely gets “it”, and I really needed your help in getting “it” out of him. The benefits are priceless and in no way would this have happened without the foundation you provided in working with him. The boot camp allowed him to be in a training environment 24hrs a day with someone I completely trusted.

Everyone won here. When we call him, he comes as if that’s the greatest thing he could do. It’s an all out sprint! It’s no longer me chasing him to retrieve something he’s taken, or chase him if he’s off the leash. He hangs out with me and now we can play outside without fear that he’s going to take off after a scent, or something that could present a dangerous situation. The “with me” and “come” have parlayed into great games of fetch and just playing in the backyard. Not that we had a problem child on our hands, but now I feel like I really do have the greatest dog in entire world and I want to thank you for playing such a large role in that. Thank you!

Dave

I started working with Tecla back in October 2007 to train my 5 year old dog Bear for sport. Bear had been through some pretty tough compulsive training before I started working with Tecla, so we had our work cut out for us with getting Bear to a more trusting and enjoyable place with our relationship and training. The road has been bumpy but mostly enjoyable. Through Tecla’s positive approach of making learning fun, Bear and I have gotten his BH, and now are headed for the AKC ring and Tracking. Bear is a much happier dog, our relationship is more solid, and training him has turned into a partnership, instead of a war. I will forever be grateful to Tec for all that she has done for me as my trainer and my friend. Thanks Tecla.

Denise

I own a one year old American Pit Bull Terrier named Bluticus. He is my best pal, and I love him very much.  I’ve had him since he was 9 weeks, and as he got bigger his behavior problems got A LOT BIGGER.  I’ve always been pretty good at training the family dogs to sit, shake hands, heal, and roll-over, but this dog was out of control! He was constantly barking, whining, and jumping up on people.  When I would take him for a walk he would pull on his leash, and totally go berserk whenever we passed anything unusual (especially other dogs) He was very aggressive towards dogs. He didn’t pay any attention to me when I tried to correct him.  He was turning into a very bad dog.  It was no longer safe to even walk him down the street anymore.  I was starting to feel hopeless – like there was nothing I could do.  Then I heard about Tecla at Tecla’s K-9 Academy.  After just a few short classes with her I was noticing a huge improvement.  I was able to take him for walks out in public, and even go to the local pet store (where we would usually run into a few other dogs) without incident.

He actually started to listen to me.  My crazy out of control Pit Bull would now sit and stay and come to me right when I called him (even with other dogs running around).  He was now heeling and walking calmly next to me instead of pulling or charging after other dogs.   I could take him to my friend’s house without worrying about him jumping up or barking at anyone.

I can’t believe how quickly she was able to solve all of these problems.  I have now been training with Tecla for 12 weeks, and we recently graduated from her basic obedience class.  Aside from solving all of his behavior problems, Tecla really helped me to understand my dog much better, and showed me how I could adjust my behavior in order to make things a lot easier for both of us. She understands that every dog-owner relationship is unique and different, and she really goes out of her way to listen to you and answer your questions.  That way she can come up with the best possible techniques to solve your specific problems.

Tecla has a natural way with animals that is just unbelievable.  I have never seen anyone get results so quickly. My pal, Bluticus, is now a perfect little gentleman.  It is truly amazing! I cannot believe the progress we have made.  I plan to continue training with Tecla, and eventually show Bluticus in competition.  I have been to a few other dog-training classes in the past, and none of them even came close to Tecla’s K-9 Academy.  I am very happy, and so is Blu.  Tecla is the best!

Sean

My husband and I had recently lost our 15 year old mix breed, JZ. Three weeks after the loss we took the plunge again, this time a 12 week old German Shepherd dog who we’ve named Brandi.  Having read and talked to German Shepherd owners we decided it would be a good idea to attend training classes.  I had gone through obedience training with JZ but it had been awhile.  Brandi, my husband and I attended classes.  Tecla’s puppy class is excellent.  We enjoyed our weekly classes and always looked forward to attending.  The three of us have learned a lot and look forward to the next level.  Tecla, thanks so much, your expertise has made having a new puppy in the house enjoyable.

Gina and Kim

When we started the puppy class with Tecla, daily life with our 5-month-old German shepherd, Indy, was quite a challenge, and we really needed guidance. We had tried working with a different trainer, but we quickly realized that the approach that trainer used was not the right one for Indy or us. Tecla’s positive reinforcement approach made all the difference with the spirited pup and her warm manner and sensible advice made all the difference with the stressed-out people! After completing the puppy class, humans and puppy were able to live in much greater harmony. We are happy to be continuing to learn together in Tecla’s group obedience class.

Anne

“In late March of 2007, I purchased my first working line GSD, Crockett. I searched and trained at numerous capable K9 training facilities but all of the places visited were missing a certain element. The search continued for several weeks until our path crossed with Tecla Walton at Angel K9. After attending Angel K9’s puppy orientation/evaluation class, I knew that this was the best fit for both Crockett and me.  From that point, Crockett and I started attending weekly private training lessons. These lessons showed me the proper way to train but also built my confidence for continuing the training at home. The training was explained in a way that made me feel comfortable and involved.  Tecla was awesome about answering my questions outside of class and was always available. This really helped me build my confidence and feel reassured that I was training Crockett properly. The results came fast and the progress was gratifying. The bond that Tecla is able to build between a dog and its owner is remarkable.  This was the missing element that the other trainers lacked.

As Crockett got older his food drive dissipated which made training extremely difficult. I decided to put Crockett in Angel K9’s inboard training school for 3 weeks. During this 3-week period Tecla found other ways to motivate Crockett to work. She used positive reinforcement and her strong bond with him for motivation. One of my greatest fears with trainers that promise results is that they use excessive compulsion to achieve their results. This technique only leaves you with a broken down submissive dog that works out of fear. I never worried about leaving Crockett in Tecla’s care. The inboard training results were amazing and extremely beneficial to Crockett’s progress. Tecla takes a vested interest in every dog she trains and that’s evident through Crockett’s trust towards her.

I highly recommend Angel K9’s inboard and private lessons to anyone looking for the best in dog training.”
Thank you,

Greg Marks
Operations Manager
MW Construction Services, LLC

My husband and I decided it was time to take care of a little bundle of joy and who else better to fill that spot than a Staffordshire Bull Terrier who we named Brutus Et Tu Caesar. As your typical Bull Terrier, Brutus has always been head strong – might I even say stubborn. We knew that as responsible parents of a bully breed (really any breed), we needed to not only train him but socialize him as well. That is when I started doing research on trainers in the area.

So many of the websites looked alike and “felt” the same that I started asking people I knew and strangers walking around with dogs if they knew of a local trainer. I was expecting to have several names, but was surprised to find that most people I spoke to mentioned Tecla’s K-9 Academy. One friend was taking her puppy, Peyton, to train with Tecla and sang her praises loudly! We visited the facilities and saw her interact with the dogs and watched a class and we were very impressed. We enrolled Brutus in The Purely Positive Puppy class and were amazed at how well and quickly he caught on – and all with positive reinforcement! Needless to say, he passed with flying colors (motherly pride)! We were so impressed by, not only Tecla, but her staff and the facilities and in her training methods that Brutus (who turns 1 year old on June 24th) continues to train with Tecla. Although he has not competed with Tecla’s K-9 Academy, he qualified in Rally his first time out at 10 months at the PSBTC weekend. He is also a UKC Champion.

In addition to amazing training and always having time to listen and give great advice to any question or concern we may have regarding Brutus, she also offers daycare for our four legged children. Brutus attends several times a month and is a very socialized and well behaved puppy (although still rambunctious at times – he is a Staffy after all). Tecla’s K-9 Academy’s daycare program has made our Brutus a well rounded doggy, shaping proper behaviors and reinforcing his potty training! We look forward to continuing to work with Tecla and highly recommend her to all who’ll listen.

Erica and Steve Mowatt

Tecla,

Barclay just completed the basic obedience class and I want to take this opportunity to thank you for an excellent program; it far exceeded my expectations.  My original “call for help” describing my frustration with walking Barclay is included below.  While he is still very stubborn and distracted, I now have the tools, vocabulary, and relationship to make our walks more enjoyable.  In addition, the increased exercise has helped him lose 2 pounds!

(Original email)

A couple of neighbors have highly recommended your dog obedience program and I am interested in learning more about it.

I have a 15-month old Scottie and true to his breed, he is very stubborn. He is well socialized and completely house broken, but doesn’t do as well with the “come” command and walking on the leash (some days are much better than others).   He is generally very distracted by EVERYTHING on his walks and won’t budge if there is a car, bird, plane, walker, jogger, garage door opening or closing, kids, other dogs……well you get the idea.

He trots happily along when alongside one of his canine buddies or tracking a scent and  I have some luck bringing a ball or a stick along for him to chase, but I would really just like to have a nice walk with him without relying on neighbor dogs for motivation.  I have not tried bringing treats.

Joanne O’Hern

Hi Tecla,

It has been a huge privilege working with you, I have immense respect for you and your techniques. In my opinion it’s veritably impossible for anyone who regularly goes to your sessions to not see that you have a major positive impact on every owner and dog that comes through your doors, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend you to anyone. You have helped me become a confident owner/handler and you have helped me to understand my Peyton-pup and her sensitive (and somewhat neurotic) personality.
Thank you!

Melissa and Peyton

I have had other dogs trained, but none with as much love and caring as Tecla and her staff. He techniques have been easy to learn, to continue at home and share with rest of my family. The techniques I have learned from Tecla’s K-9 Academy have assured me that my puppy is being taught to obey all the while teaching him self confidence and self assurance.

Everyone working at Tecla’s K-9 Academy has taken the time to get to know my puppy, myself and my family.

My puppy loves going to Tecla’s K-9 Academy and will continue to do so. Because of Tecla and her team, my puppy is growing into a well behaved, playful, self confident, and amazing companion.

I highly recommend and will continue to recommend to anyone that will listen! Thanks Tecla’s K-9 Academy!

Dana Snyder
(Cody’s mom)

Tecla,

I have to tell you how impressed I was with how you run your classes. I have never attended a class where the proprietor lengthened the class because they felt that not every one ‘got it’!!! I love that you have a test at the end of the class too and allow people to audit additional classes until they ‘get’ how to adequately train their dogs. It says a lot about your school and why so many attend your classes. It is very difficult for new dog owners to get the ‘walk’ down properly much less the stay and sometimes it just takes someone more experienced to recognize that they really don’t get it enough!

Pam – Eden Valley Labradoodle
www.edenvalleylabradoodles.com

Tecla,

I wanted to let you know that Sasha and Mya’s play date went AWESOME!!!! No rough houseing and biting…it was chasing and rolling around in the grass….they even sat in the back seat of my car together and shared the windows. There were a few times the spray bottle was needed but since both of them know what it is…if they seen it, they stopped.

Sasha has come a long way since we’ve gotten her and I’m excited to see how she does this weekend with my mom’s dog and Mya together.

Thank You.

Again I wanted to thank you….this wouldn’t have happened without doggy
daycare….they are now best buddies.

Erin

It was our good fortune to first encounter Tecla while she was training her German Shepherd, Penny, in an environment of heavy pedestrian traffic and other significant distractions. Impressed by what we observed, we immediately decided to seek Tecla’s assistance in training our then 15-month old Labrador retriever, Boomer.

Boomer is an energetic and enthusiastic fellow, genuinely good-hearted, but a dog whose exuberance was accompanied by certain behavioral shortcomings. Our own training attempts fell well short of expectations and, on more than one occasion, a return of Boomer to his breeder was under consideration. His issues included a reluctance to behave on walks, playing “catch me if you can” when it was time to be leashed, an inability to relax or settle when at home, and occasional wanderlust. His mischievousness made it impossible to leave him unattended in our home.

Tecla, confronting this challenge, developed a strategy to rectify Boomer’s problems. She tailored a training regimen which resulted in a genuine transformation of our young Lab. His focus, willingness to be controlled, and response to positive motivation were all remarkably improved. Boomer’s performance on recalls, his socialization skills, and obedience all were markedly enhanced and reflected the benefit of his Tecla’s K-9 Academy experience. A key component of our success was Tecla’s emphasis on relationship and training the owner/handler to be the dog’s teammate – without exception, her critiques of our handling were justified and all of her guidance was productive. As a result, Boomer acquired an American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen certificate.

But there’s more to the story. Tecla was impressed by Boomer’s drive, and we accepted her suggestion that we go on to pursue competitive obedience training. With Tecla’s guidance, Boomer and Chris (his owner/handler) achieved two obedience awards: the AKC Companion Dog (CD) title and the Begleithund (BH) title awarded by the United Schutzhund Clubs of America. In addition, Boomer serves as a therapy dog for Howard County Pets on Wheels and visits nursing homes and assisted living facilities. More recently, he has been certified to visit facilities of the Veterans Administration Maryland Health Care System. It is extremely rewarding to observe the sunshine Boomer brings into the lives of the elderly and of disabled and convalescing military veterans. Without Tecla’s intervention, these achievements would have been unattainable.

Boomer remains a most happy dog – we now can work with him safely and confidently, and are more enabled to enjoy his companionship. Our association with Tecla’s K-9 Academy has been a great blessing.

Chris & Emily Vissers

After a full year of working with a global dog training company and a significant financial investment I found myself with an out of control English Golden Doodle. The very problems that lead me to seek training still existed. Phoebe pulled while on the leash, she knew “come when called” but selectively chose when to listen to the command, she counter surfed and worst of all she jumped uncontrollably on people, especially at the front door and she never settled around guests.

The trainer I was working with and I agreed her methodology was not working for Phoebe and she suggested I google Tecla’s K-9 Academy. She was convinced by what she knew of Tecla’s reputation that Tecla could help me.

I was frustrated. I was skeptical. I was reluctant to spend any more money but I had a big dog that jumped on people. I was afraid if I didn’t get control, someone would get hurt. Tecla agreed to come meet Phoebe. She observed my interaction with Phoebe and told me that we could have all problems resolved in 6 visits or less.

Four visits later, Phoebe is amazingly obedient, she comes when called, no longer anxious around guests, no longer counter surfing, heels while on leash and does not jump up on anyone. Not even the people who she loves most and who are her biggest temptation. Phoebe can now be controlled both on the leash and off. The most amazing part for me is that Tecla’s direction was matter of fact and confident but not overwhelming. I recall thinking “Wow, how did that happen? Phoebe listened to me and there was no pulling, yanking, yelling, throwing training aids or growling at her!”

Tecla helped me uncover the best possible Phoebe. It’s clear that Phoebe is a happier dog now that we have worked with Tecla’s K-9 Academy. I now have that wonderful dog I always thought Phoebe had the potential to be. My dog is pretty incredible thanks to Tecla. It is not an exaggeration to say that life will be less frustrating and stressful for Phoebe and I due to our work with Tecla’s K-9 Academy.

Denise Kelly

In March of 2009, we brought home a little sheltie mix puppy that we named “Foxy.”  Foxy was severely malnourished and had been neglected/abused and ultimately abandoned.  When rescued, she had been wandering in a wooded area for some period of time, living in the wild.  It didn’t take us long to discover that Foxy was terrified of everything: a breeze blowing against her, noises (both soft and loud), sudden movements, rain and thunder, snow, other animals, and especially people.   When approached or touched, she would visibly shake and cower.   She was terribly hand-shy, and for months she kept a wide berth from us, never venturing within 20 feet of anyone if it could be avoided.  She slept under beds or tables in the smallest, darkest spaces she could find.  We sought help from a qualified trainer, and thankfully our veterinarian recommended Tecla.

From the beginning, Tecla set about learning what Foxy could and would tolerate and how the dog might best be motivated.  Unlike most dogs, Foxy was never food motivated: even choice treats like hot dogs didn’t appeal.  Tecla was determined to reach her.  Working with Foxy both in a puppy class (for socialization) and one-on-one to address specific issues, Tecla was able to start Foxy on the road toward  comfort and happiness in our home and beyond.  From leash training to following simple commands,   we watched  Foxy transition from  a highly traumatized puppy to a contented and treasured member of our family.

A year and a half later, Foxy’s mastery of her obedience class still shows.  One of our greatest fears with Foxy was what would happen if she ever slipped her leash or ran out through an open door.  With her strong flight reflex, would she return on command?  Clearly, Tecla’s training was properly instilled, as we have had repeated success recalling her when we were faced with this predicament.  Foxy comes when called, and roundup has been easy.  For us, though, the most important part of the Tecla’s training was that it led to Foxy learning to relax with us, to socialize, and to become the energetic, engaged, sweet and funny dog that we hoped for when we picked her out.  Tecla is truly a “dog whisperer” to us.

Susan and Mark Eisner/Berret, MD

Our dog, Brooks, was an 80-pound ball of fear and inappropriate behavior when we brought him to Tecla and her staff for rehabilitation. Although he was a loving, loyal guy at home with his family, including his sister, he was a mess at the dog park and on leash. At the dog park, he barked and snarled; he flunked his entrance exam to a cage-free daycare facility because he was deemed “aggressive”; and more times than I can count, he pulled me off my feet, out of my shoes, and onto my face at the end of his leash. We had worked with several trainers before coming to Tecla’s, but no one else had ever been able to figure out exactly what Brooks’s issues were, or help us really solve them.

Brooks started rehabilitation with several weeks of all-day daycare at Tecla’s. Under the close and careful supervision of Tecla’s staff, Brooks learned how to behave appropriately with other dogs – how to play with them, how to avoid conflict, and how to accept new dogs. Brooks flourished in this environment and came home every night a tired and happy guy. His self-confidence grew enormously. To learn how to walk on leash without pulling, Brooks spent 2 weeks in bootcamp at Tecla’s and when he came back to us he was the same lovable dog, but a much improved version. He now sits in his designated “place” while the family eats dinner – Tecla’s trainers taught him how to go to his “place” and stay there until released. How much more pleasant mealtimes are without dogs circling under the table! Walks now are fun for Brooks, for his sister Lola, and for us – no more pulling, no more lunging, no more acting out. And as Brooks’s confidence has grown, we have been able to relax and enjoy each other all the more. He is Mr Personality at the dog park and plays all day long with other dogs.

Sending Brooks to Tecla’s was the best gift we could have given him. He’s happy, he’s confident, and he’s proud of himself. And we are so very proud of the dog we always knew he could be. Tecla, Denise, Becky, and all the staff provided the structure, discipline, fun, and affection Brooks needed to blossom into the great guy he is today.

Deborah

I have a 3 year old springer spaniel, “Lottie”, and she had a lot of fears and behavioral issue. We rescued her when she was a little over 1 year old. Shortly after her adoption we enrolled her in Tecla’s K-9 Academy. It has not only resolved so many of her fears and behavioral issues, I have also developed a greater understanding with canine companions.

I previously had a spaniel, and I was forced to make a painful decision to euthanize due to severe aggression after many trainers and attempts at behavior modification. I wish I had known about Tecla’s K-9 Academy with him. Tecla is outstanding with her ability to train and make changes in our canine family members’ lives, and to develop better relationships in their lives and ours. We rescued Lottie’s life, but Tecla rescued her spirit. With highest appreciation and gratitude to her and her works.” – Mindy

We adopted our dog, Henry, from the local shelter when he was five months old. In his first five months he had been hit by a car, put up for adoption, then adopted and returned three more times. We thought it was just because he had a lot of energy, and that was certainly part of it. He also didn’t know how to walk on a leash. He growled, barked, and lunged at everyone he saw. He barked and whined all day while left at home. He fought our authority constantly. It was not long before we knew we needed help.

To help him get rid of his extra energy, we enrolled in him doggy daycare at a facility close to our house. They threatened us with expulsion after his first day since he spent most of the time barking in the faces of other dogs. At the perfect time, Tecla’s K-9 Academy was recommended to us. I visited the facility one weekday afternoon and was struck by how calm everything was. I mentioned that our puppy was a little bit wild, but was told that Tecla welcomed dogs like that and was happy to work with them. We enrolled in the puppy class and within the first few minutes of the first class, Tecla could tell that we needed extra help. Her exact words were, “This is cockiest puppy I’ve seen in a long time!” She consistently recognized our problems and gave us the special attention we needed, often putting the rest of the class on hold to deal with Henry when he acted out.

Tecla has been wonderful to us and to Henry; I’m sure she is the main reason we were able to keep him. She has seen Henry through puppy class, basic obedience, Rally 1, and now Rally 2. Henry also regularly attends her Pack to Basics and Behavior Modification classes where Tecla’s ability to work with dogs really shines. Tecla has always been there for us–making time for a private lesson when Henry lunged at a woman in the park, calling us on a Sunday when I emailed her in a panic that he was breaking out of his crate and feared separation anxiety, and always providing a welcoming daycare experience where he can have a blast during the day.

The greatest thing Tecla has done for us is to teach us how to communicate with Henry. We have both formed a great relationship with him thanks to Tecla’s classes and guidance, and that relationship has been the key to our success with him. She lets us know what we are doing right, what we are doing wrong, and what else we should be doing.

A year and a half later, Tecla is one of Henry’s favorite people. We are still learning things that we can do to improve Henry’s behavior. He is not a perfect dog but he listens to us, he is calm on walks, mostly friendly around other dogs, and can now make friends with strangers. We have all worked very hard and we completely believe that we would not be where we are today if we hadn’t found Tecla when we did. Thanks!! – Katy and Dan

I first met Tecla when I took my youngest dog Owen to Tecla’s K9 Academy for basic obedience classes. The program was wonderful and in 10 weeks Owen went from the wild, wiggly (but well meaning) rescue that stole food from my son’s plate to a dog that sat quietly in his “place” while my son enjoyed a snack right next to him. The real miracle Tecla performed, however, was with my other dog, Scout. While training Owen, I saw that Tecla and her trainers had a talent for the “tough” dogs — dogs that are timid, especially stubborn, or even aggressive. Dogs that some other trainers won’t take in group lessons, or worse, write off as unsalvageable.

Scout was aggressive toward other dogs and people. For the last 5 years, my family had basically been “managing” Scout. He was never allowed access to dogs or people outside our family, and didn’t socialize on our walks.

Tecla suggested that I bring Scout to daycare. My husband and I laughed. We never in our wildest dreams thought a Scout could succeed in a “doggie daycare” environment. But Tecla’s is different. Tecla’s trainers worked with Scout slowly, introducing him to stable dogs in a controlled environment, and using their amazing ability to read a dog’s body language to redirect Scout in the seconds *before* he became aggressive. By the end of Scout’s first week in daycare, he was a different dog, wagging his tail and whining with excitement when we pulled into Tecla’s parking lot.

Tecla was not done there, though. Scout was learning to be around people and other dogs when he was with Tecla and her trainers, now he had to learn to be around people and other dogs when he was with me.

I was so nervous the first time I went to Tecla’s Pack to Basics class with Scout that I was shaking. I just couldn’t believe that he was going to be off-leash in a room full of dogs and people. It is hard to describe how proud I was of Scout and myself when we finished that first session. Looking at Scout, I could tell he was proud of himself too.

Thanks to Tecla, Scout is finally getting the chance to act like a normal dog. I am so grateful to Tecla and her staff for giving him that gift.

Carrie Williams

Tecla, Becky and staff have changed our lives. My pit-mix rescue Gracie had leash aggression issues and desperately needed to learn proper social skills. Within a few weeks, she went from being able to “tolerate” other dogs for about 15 seconds to now playing all day in a large group. I cannot thank them enough for all they have done for us. Every single person I have met who works there has been wonderful and professional. I trust no one else with my dog

Mary Ulm

We fell in love with Ace at a Petco adoption event, and afterwards he became our fifth dog. With prior terrier training and ownership under our belts, we knew we could handle Ace. He was 2 years old and we were his third owners, but the potential that we saw in him overcame any reservation about his past.

But we quickly discovered that Ace was afraid of other dogs and expressed that fear with screeching, shrill vocals. We couldn’t take him anywhere, he was out of control and vocal the entire time. There was no history about Ace prior to adoption. Suddenly the term “third owners” took on a whole new meaning for us.

Ace did not disappoint: right on cue he screeched his fear and aggression at every passing dog. After careful evaluation and consideration, Tecla recommended Boot Camp. We were impressed with how she related to Ace, and with her insight into the behavior. After one month of immersive in-house training we concluded that Boot Camp was the best thing we ever did for Ace and for us. The difference in Ace is simply amazing, and our anxiety when taking him out has dissipated.

Tecla’s approach to training includes much more than obedience. Tecla’s K-9 Academy brought out Ace’s potential and taught him how to behave appropriately in any situation. Ace is a very fast learner, and with his behavior issues now under control, there are endless possibilities for his future. We are so proud of him, and words cannot express our gratitude to Tecla and her talented team of training professionals.

Maura and Mike Clover

In June of 2010 one of our foster dogs was returned by her adopter. She had bitten multiple people in her home, showed aggression when people entered the home, lunged and barked at dogs on the street, and even lunged at people from time to time.When we brought her back into foster in we immediately started training with her. We tried the methods of another Clarksville/Columbia area trainer, as well as home-visits from a trainer with a national organization, but nothing was working. She knew all of her basic commands, but if she saw something on a walk she lost it and there was no way to regain her attention.

During the summer I won a raffle at a rescue event for a Rally I course at Tecla’s K-9 Academy. I signed my own dog up for the class, knowing that my foster wasn’t ready for advanced work. The first Rally I class was all about the idea of focus – getting your dog to look at you. It struck me that this was exactly what my foster needed, motivation to actually pay attention to me. I’ll never forget the moment I knew that I’d found something special. I was in the training room and some clients came in complaining about their young German Shepherd. Tecla said to them, “sometimes God doesn’t give you the dog you want, He gives you the dog you need.” It touched something in me I can’t quite explain and, though I’ve never been a very religious person, it hit me on a spiritual level.

As I trained my own dog, I tried the same methods with my foster. For the first time in months I was able to snap her out of it when she saw something that set her off. I started to talk to Tecla about her whenever I had the chance. She told me she held a behavior modification class on Saturday mornings and invited us to come. She even offered the rescue a discount to make it easier to send our foster to classes.

The behavior modification classes were amazing and, as our foster dog’s behavior became more stable, we were able to start Pack to Basics classes, to help desensitize her to the presence of other dogs. Since starting Pack to Basics she’s been far less interested in other dogs on walks and she hardly looks at most of them.

Another wonderful thing was that Tecla worked with us on our own level – we have 2 dogs (one of our own, one foster) and a VERY busy schedule – helping us with ways of handling both dogs on walks and understanding how their behavior affected each other. This was key for us because it turned out our foster’s aggression was tied not only to her own fears, but to our dog’s fearfulness. Our foster was over-reacting to situations that frightened our own dog. Since our dog was already enrolled in another class, Tecla didn’t even charge us to bring the second dog to behavior modification. She’s so clearly in it for the sake of dogs and their owners; it’s very touching.

We’ve had a long journey with our foster, and it’s not over yet, but in less than a year she’s gone from a dog that had to be muzzled on walks to a dog who stays calmly by my side, watching me, even in stressful situations. She’s a model citizen and has graduated from a Rally I obedience course, in addition to continuing her behavioral work.
Every days I look at the girls and think of the ways, in spite of all of the trials, early mornings, hard work, and occasional frustration, my relationship with them has given me what I need. I’ve learned so much about dogs, and even more about myself. It’s true that I’ve found obedience through relationship, but our work together has given me so much more.

Rebecca Goldring

I wanted to thank Tecla and Denise for the truly amazing training they gave Frannie. I was nervous about sending her to bootcamp because she would be away for 2-3 weeks, but I knew with my schedule and my husband’s, bootcamp (with remote collar training) would be the best option for us. We wanted a well behaved Labrador that we could take on hikes and to the park off leash and be confident she would be safe by obeying our commands. We also wanted her to have some self-control around food and people :-). Tecla and Denise delivered. Bootcamp was worth every penny and the heartache of being away from her for almost 3 weeks. If and when we get another dog, we will definitely sign him/her up for bootcamp training!
Thanks again!

Sincerely,
Kelly Geraty