Happy Pets and Happy Owners
Christina, owner of Copper (Catahoula Mix)
After having been dog owners before, we thought we were prepared for our 5 month old puppy Copper. Although we had some basics down, we decided to work with a trainer, connected with Sophie and we have not looked back since! Sophie's positive manner with dogs, her problem solving approach, and personal attention have been invaluable. We have learned about so many ways to deal with problem behaviors (like excessive barking), appropriate socialization expectations with other dogs, and so many puppy manners that have helped us have a respectful pup. I can't say enough how much her expertise has helped us have a productive and joyful experience with our dog!
Lauren and Chris, owners of Lola (English Lab)
We started working with Sophie as part of her virtual puppy program for our 13 week old Lab Lola. Doing it online, Sophie uses her own dog to demonstrate and gives very clear directions so that you know exactly what you are supposed to be doing and can continue working in the comfort of your own home between sessions.
We have loved training with Sophie and she's made us feel very confident in our abilities to train and handle our pup. She is also extremely responsive to any and all questions both in sessions and via email in-between sessions as things come up. After finishing the puppy program our dog Lola knows Sit, Down, Stay, Come, Roll Over, Paw, Bed, Crate and we are well equipped to handle behavioral issues like barking, biting, teething and jumping. In addition to teaching us the commands for all of these, Sophie has been a wealth of knowledge for us from what treats to buy, what to expect from vet visits and grooming, to walking your dog and making sure she walks well with no pulling.
If you are getting a puppy or have just gotten one, we HIGHLY recommend training with Sophie!
Natasha and Sean, owners of Keira (Shepherd/Collie Mix)
Sophie’s training has been hugely helpful for our pup Keira and for us. Keira was struggling with reactive behavior after being bit by another dog, and we were feeling so overwhelmed. But Sophie gave us clear instruction, helping us feel more confident, and followed up to check on progress between sessions which was great for those small questions that come up. Keira used to not be able to walk past another dog without reacting and now she can approach, sniff, and even wags her tail, and it’s all thanks to Sophie’s help!
Ann, owner of Brodie (Collie)
My dog Brodie is a moving target, except when he is sleeping. Sophie helped me get my high energy older Collie to sit still while I put on his harness, rather than chase him around the room. We were also able to get him to use a ramp to get into the car, that he had previously been avoiding.
We accomplished all this through online sessions. Sophie was able to instruct me and give me feedback, via my IPad. Thank you from myself and Brodie!
Dash, Lisa and Josh, owners of Pippa (Cobberdog)
During our online training sessions, Sophie gave us excellent help in training our puppy Pippa. She is thoughtful, capable, and a great communicator with both humans and canines. We would absolutely recommend her skills as a dog trainer.
Matt and Lynn, owners of Clover (Duck Tolling Retriever)
We are so grateful to have found Sophie shortly after bringing home our new puppy, Clover. Having done our research (including the infamous “Top 10 Reasons NOT to Get a Toller”) we knew we were going to have our share of challenges.
Sophie’s ability to gently transform the zoomies into productive training time is simply astounding. Clover bonded with Sophie from the very first “sit.” She is professional, patient, knowledgeable, and gave useful feedback every step of the way. Clover is doing exceptionally well and we couldn't be happier as puppy parents. Thank you!
Sara and David, owners of Sugar (Bloodhound/Lab mix)
Our newest rescue, a hound mix we call Sugar, lived 8 months in a pack with her sibs, is very people-shy, and was not at all acquainted with a leash. She spent her first week with us hiding in an overgrown shrub.
With Sophie’s help, Sugar will now accompany us on walks, snuggle on the couch (our choice!), and eat with gusto at mealtime without being hand fed. Sugar is not treat-motivated, which knocks out the obvious training strategies. Sophie’s patience and ingenuity are remarkable! Together, we are working on simple commands, and making consistent progress with our very shy girl.
I’d also note that our last dog was a 70+ lb pit-bull mix with a serious seizure disorder. Sophie loved that big guy, and was not intimidated by his size, his overwhelming displays of affection, or his medical needs. Sophie had no trouble working with Benny. He sensed that she was in charge, and that soothed him.
Dean and Jean, owners of Julius & Caesar (Goldendoodles)
I want to write to tell you how grateful I am for Sophie's Puppy obedience course 1 & 2. Her course was what I knew I wanted and what I didn't know I needed: informative, practical, compassionate approach, supportive, kind, low-stress, fun, and MOST of all very successful.
Sophie welcomed us and our 2 Golden doodles for a visit and then to the class, always taking care that the “Boys” and the other dogs were safe and having fun. She helped us communicate better and by the end of the class not only had we learned basic commands but how much Julius & Caesar had improved. More compliments on both Julius & Caesar’s behavior from family, friends and strangers than you can imagine!
I love the way Sophie is able to break down complicated behavior principles into everyday examples and strategies. She was always available to answer any of our questions whether during class or outside of class.
Sophie coaches her “human students” to be more successful dog caregivers and clearly love watching people and dogs learn together. She has truly given Julius & Caesar and my husband & I a strong, healthy, happy foundation.
Thank you sincerely.
Lauren, owner of Elli (Weimaraner)
Sophie worked with us to train our highly spirited (and very naughty) Weimaraner puppy, Elli, from Puppy 1 through her canine good citizen class. Elli posed some unique challenges from issues with housebreaking to poor behavior walking on a leash. Sophie met these challenges with creative solutions, authority, and more patience than we thought possible. Now when we go on family walks and adventures, we can just focus on having fun!
Anneka and Brian, owners of Oskar (Mini Australian Labradoodle)
Our 2 month old Australian Labradoode, Oskar, took Sophie’s puppy class (1 hour/week) & we couldn’t be happier with the experience & the outcome. Oskar picked up all of the basic commands in class & through Sophie’s specific homework. After he got the hang of the basics, she would give us tips and tricks for more advanced training. She also gave us great advice on how to master potty training. Sophie is a wealth of knowledge & is very consistent in her training strategies, I would highly recommend working with her!
Maria, owner of Jerry (Bernese Mountain Dog)
I have had Sophie Oldsman as a group trainer and one on one. I believe Sophie is a magician: she turned my silly, crazy puppy into an obedient young dog. I can walk him unleashed anywhere, and he follows my orders very well. After each class, I saw the improvement in my energetic and happy young Bernese. I highly recommend Sophie for any kind of dog training.
Hillary, owner of Reggie (Bulldog)
"Today was graduation day with Miss Sophie. In just a few short months I learned: sit, down, touch, leave it, drop it, stay, and many, many more commands. Most importantly I now know where to pee, and where not to! Most of my meetings were via Zoom and only 5 were in person.
Miss Sophie is a miracle worker."
- Reggie 7.5 month old stubborn Bulldog
Hannah, owner of Blue (Blue Heeler mix)
When we started training with Sophie we had an adorable 6 month old Blue Heeler mix named Blue that barked for attention, barked and chased people when they walked by the house, jumped up on everyone, had selective hearing when deciding when to come to us if called, pulled on the leash while walking and went crazy when people came to the door such as the mail carrier.
After only 3 training sessions, we still have an adorable Blue Heeler who is one month older and years wiser. Blue no longer reacts when people walk by the house. She calmly watches as they go by and does not try to follow or bark at them. While coming when called is a work in progress, she is so much better and seemingly runs to us with enthusiasm and a smile. Blue often self corrects when pulling on the leash which has made our walks so much more enjoyable for both of us. She still barks for attention, but we now know how we should react and she is doing it less and less. We are also working on how to calmly greet people when they come to the house, but it is already less chaotic and not as noisy.
Sophie’s approach is gentle, patient and rewards using positive reinforcement when training. Blue has responded beautifully to this approach and happily does things again and again. Sophie is intuitive and applies solutions to our problems in a way that seem tailor made for our puppy. I look forward to our visits with Sophie knowing that another hour spent with her will result in behavioral changes in our puppy that will make our lives together calmer, easier and more enjoyable. I cannot express enough how pleased we are with the results that we have had with Blue since we started working with Sophie.
Joanne, owner of Ruby (Terrier Mix)
I rescued a 20 pound terrier mix reported to be 2 years old, but when she arrived she was more like a 7 or 8 month old. I inherited a handful. I had a jumper and a chewer on my hands. My neighbor who works at a local pet store had been raving about the trainer there. That trainer was Sophie and she was terrific. Somewhat desperate, I signed up for a beginner class, found it so helpful that I continued with a second adult class. After just a few sessions, heeling had improved dramatically and we’d mastered sit and down. Knowledgeable, calm, direct, Sophie taught us basic commands with only positive reinforcement.
Then later when Sophie went out on her own, she met with a friend and me at our homes. She tailored the class to our needs. Sophie is approachable, warm-hearted, and just great at what she does. All her techniques are clear, manageable, and effective. And my dog adores her!