Be inspired by these dogs and their owners
My 13 year-old-daughter fell in love with his face. So, our family adopted Tank, a four-year-old, 70 pound, lab-pit bull mix, in the summer of 2014.
Tank was well mannered and easy to walk. I work from home, so he had company most days, regular walks, and feedings. My daughter liked to snuggle with him, so we let him up on the couch and sleep in her bed. All seemed well and everyone was happy.
After about four months we noticed his behavior changing. One day, when he was in his favorite corner of the couch my 16-year-old son sat close to him and he growled. When we tried to get him to get off the couch, he growled more. In another incident, a poodle from up the street started to approach us as we walked, and Tank, hair standing up, started pulling and barking in an aggressive manner. My husband was concerned about his pit-pull pedigree and this, combined with the change in behavior, caused me to be fearful of him and what he would do.
A family member who has knowledge about dogs referred us to Kathleen. Kathleen asked us many questions, watched us with Tank, and assessed him both inside and outside the house. In our first meeting she gave us so much information. As a novice dog owner I had no idea what his behavior meant, nor what I was doing wrong. Kathleen explained that we had no rules and while we were giving him lots of love and free reign of the house, we had set no boundaries and did not establish ourselves as his leader. (It clicked for me when I realized the dog is like a child. You, the parent, decide what happens…not him.) Apparently, it’s a mistake many new adopters make.
Kathleen is a great trainer. She taught us what we needed to do and helped us feel confident in how we were directing him. Most importantly, she explained his behaviors and in doing so, removed my fears so that I could successfully manage him.
Tank is doing great. No more growling. No more pulling toward other dogs. He seems happy to know we are in charge, and he rewards us with his joyful tail wagging, loving kisses, and good behavior!
If you are adopting a rescue you should contact Kathleen about training and integrating the new dog into your home. It’s an essential step in establishing a great relationship with your dog.
When we got our first Bernese Mountain dog, Trouble, six years ago we asked around for recommendations for a good dog trainer in the area. Several people independently from each other highly recommended Kathleen, and so we turned to her for help in training our boisterous and at times stubborn puppy. And we could not have been happier! Kathleen is very friendly and personable, and extremely knowledgeable about dogs and dog training. The training she provided for Trouble (and us) was immensely helpful and effective and we have enjoyed a well behaved dog ever since. In fact, Trouble is so well behaved that she started working with children as a therapy dog.
So when we got our second Bernese Mountain dog, Pippa, we reached out to Kathleen again for help with puppy training. Pippa is a very rambunctious and willful puppy, and even after weeks of group classes we felt at a loss. Kathleen's feedback was incredibly helpful and I feel like we learned more in those few hours with her than we did in all the group classes combined. We have been enforcing things she showed us at home and Pippa is catching on quickly. I cannot recommend Kathleen highly enough!
Debi & Ted B.
We sought out Kathleen for help with my 10 year old Chihuahua-Pinscher mix, and it turns out old dogs can learn new tricks. Lupo had never been trained before, which had never been a big problem due to his small size, but after recently getting married and welcoming a baby into the family, we needed someone to help Lupo relax and adjust to all the changes and new pack members. Kathleen was wonderful with Lupo and flexible with my unpredictable schedule. She was able to explain and demonstrate so clearly what Lupo's issues were and how to work on them. We had a big problem with excessive barking and even biting, especially when people were coming and going, and she showed us how to use a leash and other tools in the house, as well as how to utilize daily walks with commands to burn off extra energy. Lupo has shown great improvement and our friends, the nanny, and the dog walker have noted the difference. We can now have people over, which is something I used to avoid. I would recommend Kathleen to everyone - wish I had not waited so long!
Elsie and I are so glad we got to know Kathleen! Kathleen started working with Elsie when she was about 8 months old. Just in time! Kathleen created a schedule for walking which made such good sense and really got Elsie into a good pattern of behavior. We also worked on teaching Elsie how to behave with other dogs - especially helping her to calm down her very enthusiastic greetings. Kathleen was so easy to work with and I really enjoyed our sessions together.
Since Elsie has received her diploma, Kathleen has kept in contact with us, checking on Elsie's progress and even calling us to go on training walks. I am so glad I met Kathleen - I consider her a friend and am always so impressed with her ability to work with dogs. She is a very kind, caring person and Elsie loves to see her! Thank you Kathleen for all you have done to help us.
We desperately needed help with two (Annie and Stella) of our three dogs, but for very different reasons -- one came to us desocialized and fearful; and the other is a bundle of exuberant, unfocused energy. Two very different dogs requiring two very personalized training plans and approaches; Kathleen was able to adapt her training techniques to suit both needs. Our fearful dog warmed up to her quickly; our more free-spirited dog respected her right away. Kathleen has served as a valuable trainer to our girls, but more importantly, she has helped us re-evaluate our management of our dogs -- both in the house and out in public. Observing how Kathleen works with our girls, we have found her to be patient but firm, and the girls really respect her -- even when they have their stubborn moments. As pet parents, working with Kathleen, we have found her to be honest and straight forward, but still reassuring and patient with us -- especially when encouraging us to breathe through the frustrating or nerve-wracking moments! We continue to work with Kathleen and have referred her training services to numerous friends and neighbors. Our girls love her and we have learned so much from her! We highly recommend Kathleen as a dog trainer!
Valerie F. and Chris N.
We came to Kathleen when we were at the end of our rope with our new rescue puppy. After several weeks of aggressive behavior, including chewing and scratching every wall in our home, we were ready to give up. That's when we met Kathleen. She assured us that he wasn't a lost cause, and after intensive private sessions helping not just our dog learn but us too, we made major breakthroughs. He quickly settled in to his new role in our family, and we couldn't have been happier.
Wendy and Alex S.
We couldn't be more happy with the results of our training with Kathleen. She took our headstrong and defiant German Shepherd and turned her into an attentive and obedient companion dog. She also trained us to be the leaders of the pack and worked with us to build our own training skills and confidence. Every step of the way, she explained her teaching approach and helped us understand our dog's reactions to commands and stimuli. The time and energy she invested into our dog--and us--will yield positive results for many, many years.
Mary and Gary P.
I first met Kathleen after I adopted my Sheltie mix Pippa. Pippa was just a puppy and needed basic obedience training. Also, Pippa was feisty and a bit of a challenge. Pippa viewed me as a playmate, not a leader. She liked to jump and nip at my hands on a regular basis, so I knew I needed a trainer. Kathleen was a great fit for us. Kathleen has a calm and confident demeanor that Pippa and I responded to immediately. After working with Kathleen, Pippa transformed from a mischievous puppy to an obedient and confident dog. Both Pippa and I looked forward to our lessons with Kathleen.
Kathleen is always willing to work on other skills in addition to obedience training. For instance, I brought Pippa back to Kathleen after her initial training, because I needed help introducing Pippa to cats. I had a friend who had cats and I wanted to insure Pippa would not be aggressive towards them, so I took Pippa to see Kathleen. Kathleen introduced Pippa to the resident cats at Old Towne School for Dogs. She worked with Pippa and as a result Pippa LOVES cats.
Kathleen is a wonderful trainer that goes above and beyond. When Pippa had a conflict with my girlfriend’s dog, Kodi, Kathleen trained both dogs together. Pippa and Kodi responded positively to training. Thanks to Kathleen, we were able to come up with a workable solution.
I had such a positive experience when Kathleen trained Pippa that I asked her to train my second dog, Petey. Petey is blind, so I knew that his training might require special attention. Kathleen was happy to train Petey and made slight adjustments to her training technique to accommodate his blindness. Kathleen was patient and kind. She made training a learning experience for both Petey and me.
I have recommended Kathleen to numerous friends. Kathleen is trustworthy, knowledgeable, and dedicated to her profession. She not only trained my dogs, she taught me how to be the leader my dogs needed.-
We are so thankful for Kathleen and her help with our English Lab Tucker. Kathleen has an endless “bag of tricks” to address every problem we had in dealing with a rather stubborn puppy. From nipping, to excessive jumping, to leash pulling she has a solution. Thanks to Kathleen’s instruction Tucker is a great dog. Neighbors constantly comment on how well trained he is. It’s such a pleasure to walk an 85 pound dog that heels well. We couldn’t have done it without Kathleen.
Donna and Bill M.
I met Kathleen three years ago, begging for help with an exuberant, strong-willed puppy who liked to eat everything in sight, chew furniture and drag me around the neighborhood. I wasn’t sure there was much hope to get Lacey under control, but things turned around when we met Kathleen. Lacey spent three full weeks under Kathleen’s guidance. While I was just looking for Lacey to learn the basics, Kathleen went above and beyond my expectations. During those three weeks Lacey appeared to mature while under Kathleen’s care. Not only does Lacey now walk nicely on a leash and refrain from eating items around the house, she also listens, understands and obeys a wealth of commands. Making this an even more well-rounded experience, Kathleen made sure to include me in the training sessions, ensuring I understood what Lacey learned that week so I could carry those lessons into our everyday lives. This experience allowed both Lacey and me to become calm, happy and content with each other – something I was afraid would never happen. Kathleen literally changed our lives and we could not be more grateful!
K.B. (the daughter)
Lacey's first litter produced a beautiful boy named Rider who was an unbelievable carbon copy of his mother—exuberant, strong-willed, furniture-chewing, and very large. Off to Kathleen he went and back he came having mastered all the same positive traits his mother had learned with Kathleen. What a change and what a joy! He's now ready for the show ring! Thank you, Kathleen!
Rebecca B. (the mother)
Kathleen is a great trainer, for the dogs and their people. She offers advice and instruction without making you feel bad you weren't already responding to your dog's behavior in the most productive way. Kathleen has trained three dogs I love, along with the dogs of several friends and colleagues. All of them have had great experiences. She trained Fitz soon after I adopted him. He is so easy on a leash and around the house. She even worked with him so he could walk and run well when I had more than one dog out for an adventure. Having such a well trained, happy dog means I am more likely to get out and about with him.
I moved to Denver, Colorado, and adopted another young puppy, Gretel. Her demeanor was very different from any of my other dogs. She growled and snapped when the vet or I tried to look at her teeth or touch her paws. She used her mouth and teeth a lot in interacting with people. Gretel was tough, and she had really good walkers and a good trainer working with her in Colorado. But, I really wished Kathleen could work with her. I trusted Kathleen and wanted her insight and influence on Gretel. I also knew she would be honest and kind and humorous about what I needed to work on in how I was reacting to Gretel. I ultimately decided to drive Gretel to Virginia so that Gretel could spend a couple weeks with Kathleen, who went out of her way to make time in her schedule. Kathleen was a huge part in helping me interact with Gretel in a way that sets Gretel up to succeed in interacting well with people. I used to worry about Gretel, and now she is a really great part of the household and does well with guests.
I only have good things to say about Kathleen. She’s trained both of my Siberian Huskies and they have been a joy to own since the training – especially the 7 year old female, Katya, who Kathleen trained about six years ago after I adopted her from a couple who’d had problems keeping her obedient. She’s a good dog that just needed a little structure in her life – and Kathleen gave it to her by training both Katya and I. A little over five months ago I purchased another Husky, Lucas, from a breeder and the first thing I did was arrange to have Kathleen train him. He wasn’t as rambunctious as Katya, however, it was still good to have Kathleen teach him and myself the fundamentals. I now have two well trained dogs who I enjoy walking in the Dupont and Logan Circle neighborhood and to the local dog parks where I know they’ll obey me. I can’t recommend Kathleen more highly.
I most highly recommend Kathleen Langheck as a professional dog Trainer. My training experience with Kathleen was professional, educational and delightful. Kathleen is a pleasure to work with and a very experienced trainer. I could tell from the initial interview with my new puppy, Oliver that she was experienced and had a passion for training dogs and educating their human partners.
It was very important to me to find an excellent trainer, and Kathleen exceeded my expectations. Over the past three years - from basic obedience, through successful Canine Good Citizenship and Therapy Animal Program - Kathleen has been very effective in helping us bond as a team and achieve these goals. Equally importantly, after our different training sessions were completed, if I had questions or challenges, Kathleen made herself available. It has been very nice knowing that I have a professional and knowledgeable person there when needed.
Oliver has just turned three and we have worked with Kathleen since he was 4 months old. As I look at new opportunities to have fun and bond with Oliver, such as agility, advanced obedience, or even participating in shows, there is no question that I will call on Kathleen and her training expertise.
Without hesitation, I wholeheartedly recommend Kathleen as a trainer for anyone’s four legged loved ones. She has been a great teacher for us. Thank you Kathleen.
It is my pleasure to recommend Kathleen. I have never hired a dog trainer before, but knew I wanted to get our new dog Olive off on the right foot. Kathleen put both the dog and me immediately at ease, and spent time with us helping to identify our goals.
Kathleen broke down our goals into manageable chunks, and together we mastered a long list of skills we use everyday. She always demonstrated the training technique first, and coached me along as I learned her techniques. She returned my phone calls and emails between lessons each week when I had questions, helping me stay on track and keeping me from getting frustrated. It quickly became obvious how easy it is to train a dog when you have the right person guiding you. I know Olive and I will be back to start another series of lessons soon, this time joined by our family's new puppy Maisie.