How Do We Measure Success?

“There is no greater calling for a dog than to be a very good pet and a much loved family member.”  Canadian Trainer Sue Ailsby


If you would like your story to be included here feel free to send it to us!


From our Time for Tea-Control Unleashed class-
Just wanted to reach out and extend my thanks again. I’ve noticed quite a difference in Fin during our hotels, pee breaks and such. He has had NO reactivity while walking through the two hotel lobby’s we’ve had to do. Seriously just walked beside me (muzzle on of course), and he’s seen quite a few people walking by at distance during pee breaks and walks and the most he’s reactive was a few huffs which I responded with a treat and a “breath” and it brought his focus back to me. 
We still have a long way to go but never would I have imagined that he would be able to bring his focus back after seeing a trigger. 
Thank you thank you thank you!!!!

“Finally, I am no longer buying new TV remotes!  Thanks so much for teaching us how to Trade.”


“What can we say?  Thank you!! Thank you!! Without you there is no way we would have been able to keep our dog and we just love her!  Thank you so much”.


“Just wanted to let you know that the classes are working!  I just took Grace for a walk myself and 75% of the time she walked perfectly – the rest of the time she was distracted by cars, smells, other dogs etc…..Anyway, just wanted to let you know how happy I am with her progress.”

“I have been to different training classes my whole life with every dog I have ever owned and I have never had a sit down discussion like this before.  Thank you so much!”


“I just wanted to drop you a line and thank you again for your continued support of Kenzie and me. I also want to confirm for anyone interested in my feedback that not only is the Puppy class full of wisdom and support to guide through those formative weeks, the Basic Good Manners and then the Intermediate really sealed our commitment to training as an ongoing integral part of our lives. Taking advantage of the many quick little training opportunities throughout any day has given us lots of satisfaction and growth. While my almost perfect 🙂 28 month old Double Doodle has a few kinks to work out, we are a happy little team thanks to the stepped approach – building on skills. The core concepts that are taught pay off great benefits and make Kenzie a great companion. The saying that the first class is for the dog, the second class for the human, and the 3rd class for you both as a team is soooo true and led us into sampling Sarah’s (LeBlanc) fun agility classes at GDW which were a great fit for us and opened unexpected new doors for us. We’re attending our first trial Sunday in the Starters Jumpers class! So much of our enjoyment of this fun but challenging activity is due to the foundation skills we learned in those first 3 classes. The agility classes following were a bonus.
It doesn’t matter so much what you want your dog to do – there are many possibilities. The classes help you to help your dog to be what’s possible – priceless! I highly recommend that people dive in and take at least 3 classes. The lights really came on for us in Class #3 to the extent that earning the Canine Good Neighbour was earned first try.”


“Things have been working wonderfully with Hailey in regards to other dogs and things she sees that scare her! I think we even have the parked car thing down pat. It was great talking to you and I appreciate you calling back to follow up! It is especially nice knowing that if I run into any other problems with her that I can call you. Thanks for everything!!!!”

“I just wanted you to know that I am so glad we took your course.  I just have so much more confidence in my dog.  I feel like I understand her so much better and I’m less afraid of not knowing what she is going to do.  Thank you so much.”


This morning, I was walking Mopar before work. He ran down a bank to chase some ducks, that launched themselves into the water. I noticed a beaver sitting on the other bank…yikes.( Mopar did not see the beaver he was so interested in the ducks)
I called Mopar and he turned around and came to me!! Just like that. I keep going over it in my mind…it is like a dream. He looked at the ducks and he turned right around when I called!
I can’t believe it…….ducks!!! Did I mention he just came when I called

Some of our current and past students also train and compete in a variety of sports and we recognize their achievements here.

Solo with his Companion Dog Excellent ribbon

Way to go Ed, Marion & Solo!!  Now he’s Quymera’s Solo Flight, CDX, CGN & TDX! 

Tracking with a Rottweiler

Congratulations to Risky, Mylene and Preston on achieving your Tracking Dog (TD) title on your first day out!

Hector & owner get their Pre-CD

Congratulations to Penny on Hector’s Companion Dog Excellent (CDX) and now his Rally Excellent Title as well as Ginger on her Rally Novice title!


Congratulations to Braedy and Elizabeth for achieving your St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog team!  Joining previous grads Dawson & Dave, Autumn & Viola and Wendy & Ivy.  My mother, who shared her love and respect of animals, lived in a long term care facility and I know how much the doggie visits improved her day.    I am so thankful to those of you who do this work!

Some notes from our class evaluations.

Puppy Class

“Thank you so much for puppy class!  We are so glad we all came.  It has been lots of fun and we have learned tons.  Can’t imagine having a puppy without going to this class.  We’ll be back for Basic Good Manners in the Spring.”

“Thank you so much for having off leash play in Puppy class! I have always been nervous about dogs playing together.  I learned so much about their body language and have more faith in my dog.”

“I highly recommend this class, particularly for first time dog owners like me.  It gave me great ideas, created opportunities for bonding with my dog and was something we both looked forward to each week.”

Thank God for your sense of humour!  I didn’t think I was going to survive Darcy, thank you so much for all your support.”

“This was great.  My pup doesn’t have much chance to play with other dogs, it was really good to have him play with everyone here.”

“It was a great class.  I’ve really learned a lot.  I didn’t realize how much there is to know about dog behaviour and I learned it was possible to train even my dog and that I can do it!!”

Basic Good Manners

We had a great time and the information you provided is very helpful.  Thanks for your time and information, Sam and I really enjoyed the 7 weeks.

“When I started this class I felt so overwhelmed with Jess and just I knew I was doing everything wrong.  Thanks so much for giving me confidence in myself and giving me the tools to turn things around, what a difference this has made.  I love my dog”

“I liked the relaxed atmosphere.  It was easy to ask questions and I learned to have more fun with my dog.  She is the best!”

“Finally I can say something other than “No!” to my dog!”

“The class was small and it meant we got some one on one with the teacher and we really liked the practical approach to real life situations”

“I’m keeping my dog thanks to these classes.  You are a lifesaver.”

“I liked that you told us as well as showed us what to do and meeting other dog owners and the humour, helpfulness and genuine caring for dogs demonstrated time and again. 

“This was a great family night for us.  After class we go for pizza.”

Level 2 Good Manners

“Okay, I get it.  You are training me to watch what my dog is doing and I am training my dog.  I had no idea that she didn’t enjoy being petted and that I could train her to enjoy it-incredible.  I feel very sorry for my past dogs because I just know so much more now.

“I am amazed at what we have accomplished in just three courses”.

“Our heeling with distractions is coming really well.  I am so glad we kept coming.  It has really helped all of us.”

“She learned to put her toys away!  She is just the best dog!  Thanks so much for showing me just what she can do.”

“My favourite thing was watching her figure out how to ride the skateboard.  Now she does it three paws on and pushing with one paw, cool.  We are so ready for agility!!”

Level 3 Good Manners

“I keep telling them (new owners) to keep going to class because really the first course is for the owner and the second course is for the dog and then finally they can work together as a team in the third course!”                               Dan MacDougall, Cairn Terrier breeder

“I have never had this much fun with a dog before.  I can’t believe what she has learned to do!  I get home from work and totally wind down while I train her to do something.”

Excerpts of Letters from our Graduates

Wanted to share a couple special pictures from the last month. One is of Henley in near perfect heal – at the beach I might add!! We had been trying the long lead which you can see her dragging but neither of us had to touch it to keep her within the 30ft limit of the line! The other is just tonight as I was putting up Christmas lights – which she let me drape on her back without so much as a flinch! I never thought I would get to enjoy such simple pleasures with our little “misfit” so to you and everyone at Good Dog Works I would like to say a huge thank you!!

Henley_2012 with Xmas lightsHenley heeling at the Beach

Ella and I are both doing great. We both really love the city life. She seems very well adjusted and happy. Ella started at a daycare closer to work in Mississauga a couple of weeks ago. She gets excited to go, of course, and then she’s exhausted for two days afterwards. They can have upwards of 50 dogs there sometimes … can you imagine?

The area we live in has very few children … it’s mostly single, young professionals like me so that means almost everyone has a dog! Ella is super friendly with all dogs and her behaviour is amazing. I am thankful everyday that Ella and I went to obedience training at Good Dog Works! before we moved here. I don’t think things would be the same here if we hadn’t done that. Thank you for everything that we learned! We’re getting pretty good and peeing and pooping on command too which will come in handy in the winter haha!

Ella with a big labrador grin

I don’t know if you remember us but we remember you and the 3 courses we took. Hannah, an Akita, was a challenge in her puppy days due to her excessive strength, size and stubbornness but she has turned into a great pet. In the last 6 months she has made a best friend, a year old golden retriever. They share toys, food, walks and playtimes. They like to chew on the same toy chewable bone, simultaneously. The retriever is very excitable still and Hannah, at 9 years old, keeps up very well and shows Holly how to do things as the top dog ! She is extremely friendly to all humans and dogs, which was my main goal when I got her. She enjoys visiting residents in a senior’s home and stays settled to be petted. She tends to still jump up on young people who enthusiastically excite her, but not children, so I’m cautious and can control her by leash. She doesn’t walk in heel fashion very well but will if commanded over and over as needed. It works for me for her to be a bit ahead as I can read her body language of what she sees and is thinking – less surprises for me as she is still powerful. I continue to use the halti because of her strength when she gets excited. I still occasionally use the clicker, as things come up, which is still effective. I never let her off leash outside of a fence and probably never will trust her that far!

She has shown great intelligence (smart enough to know that my shoes aren’t for her eating pleasure!) and I’m sure your teaching taught me how to tap her ability and potential. She continually amazes me at what she can do and what she understands that I say to her. She is a constant pleasure, which I didn’t think she ever would be when I was going to class. She was inattentive, highly distractable and stubborn. She missed out on free play experiences in class due to her size and breed. Your teaching made the difference for her, I’m sure! Her litter sister hasn’t been as outgoing and pleasant, especially with other dogs.

We miss the New Glasgow area and we’d use your services if we still lived there. When I looked on-line for training courses here, especially with clicker training, you were the person that came up for this area. That was a surprise since I’m living near Charlottetown !

 She does suffer from separation anxiety at times now that I am retired and my schedule is less predictable for her. She’s aloof, like the Akita breed tends to be, but loves attention and definitely shows she relies on me when I disappear. She’s cuddly enough but not a lapdog!

You helped us so much getting started that I wanted you to know she is another of your success stories – thank you! 

Hannah & her new friend Holly

“We just wanted to thank you for all your help with Sami. From the moment we decided to get a pup we knew we wanted to raise him to become a loving, well behaved member of our family. We just had no idea how to get there until we learned of Good Dog Works. Starting Sami in puppy class was the best decision we could ever make and I believe every dog owner should enrol in classes. Through the course of the year we have taken Basic Good Puppy, Basic Good Manners and just finished Intermediate Good Manners. The change is Sami has been amazing. Not only has he learned how to have “good manners” we have learned how to teach him to behave in the way we want him to. People who have never been to a class are amazed at his obedience especially listening when we say “off”. The classes have been a lot of fun too, which is great to be able to have fun while learning because sometimes it gets frustrating. We all look forward to future classes and thanks to you Sami can make use of our old skateboard!    We also wanted to thank you and everyone at daycare for having such a safe, fun place for the dogs to play. I cannot tell you enough how much Sami loves to go to daycare. I have never seen a dog more excited for something in my life. He adores it and everyone there. At first, I was only going to take him every once in awhile so he was used to staying somewhere when we had to go away, but he loved it so much that I can’t not take him on a regular basis. Now when we go on vacation we know he will have a great vacation as well and could not imagine leaving him anywhere else.  Thanks for everything.”

St John Ambulance Therapy Dog

“I wanted to share with you my new appreciation for the clicker training method of dog training. As you remember my golden retriever Autumn and I attended several of your training levels and I am very pleased with Autumn’s education results. Prior to your classes I had virtually no dog training skills or tools. Now I have been able to implement this knowledge once again to better the life of a small puppy. I met this little fellow while out walking one evening, tied by his neck to a dog house in a neighbour’s yard. He was only approx. 8 weeks old, alone and scared with days of virtually no human contact.  I felt so sorry for him and I approached the owner who gave me permission to play with him, so each evening I would try to spend some time with him. At first he literally ripped my clothes to shreds from jumping up and tearing with his teeth and acting so uncontrollable. He was literally starved for attention. Armed with my clicker and treats I took him to an enclosed ball field one day and set him free. Oh Alex, after only minutes, he got the idea, and has since learned the foundation of basic manners that shows he is really a wonderful smart boy. To make a long story short, the owner had to quickly move away, and asked me to take him and re-home him if I couldn’t keep him myself. I jumped at the chance to help him find a better life, so now he is living with me.

Thanks for being there with your obedience classes to help educate us dog owners how to better the lives of these beautiful creatures and build better relationships with them.
It really works, even in difficult situations!”

Puppy Nate