On this page, you will find dog training reviews from our many wonderful clients. All client reviews are from real people we worked with. Many will gladly provide references when asked. These client testimonials are a testament to the work and effort we put into helping every dog develop its full potential. We recently also started collecting dog training reviews on Google. You can find them on our Google My Business Profile.
From 2012-2017, we also connected with clients through Thumbtack. You can read 46 more reviews on Thumbtack. Some were cross-posted on our website.
Our Dog Training Reviews Cover Many Areas
My clients have written me many five-star reviews over the years. I think the breadth of these speaks for itself. These testimonials cover a broad range of dog training areas. They include basic and advanced obedience training, helping fearful dogs gain more confidence, getting aggressive behaviors under control, training for GRC Dog Sports, shadow programs, and many other behavioral areas.
Does a dog training review with any particular client dog resonate with you? Does a case sound similar to what is going on with your dog? I love helping people whenever possible and often can make progress where others fail. I have and continue to spend a significant amount of time and money every year to further my canine knowledge. My clients benefit.
If you are ready to get help with your own dog(s), please use our dog training contact form to schedule a free phone consultation.
We got Arthur from the Seattle Humane Society. He came with notes on his file that we would be his fourth home and that he was aggressive towards men. Despite the warnings, we wanted to help this poor pup out, and he played very well with our dog. Over the next year, despite hundreds of dollars spent on trainers, books, and classes, the problems got worse. His scary and unmanageable behaviors increased over time, including growling at men, lunging at cars and bikes on walks, and attacking other dogs.
Additionally, Arthur bit several members of our family. We moved from Seattle to California last year and were at our wit’s end. We were so desperate and afraid of what Arthur would do next that we started calling shelters in our new area to try and find another home. All of the shelters advised us that the best thing we could do was put Arthur down due to his aggressive behaviors. Happy Dog Training was our last resource, and my wife and I agree that Ralf saved Arthur’s life.
Ralf Saved Arthur’s Life
Ralf wasn’t the first trainer we met to help Arthur, but he was the best. The first and best thing Ralf gave us was hope. He told us during our first session that there was hope, that our snarling scary beast was a friendly, scared, and cute dog that just needed consistent, firm leadership. Ralf didn’t just give us the usual “tips and treats” like the other trainers did, telling us that “he’s never going to be a cocktail dog” or, my favorite, “he’s a real dog’s dog.” Instead, Ralf taught us a philosophy of dog leadership and specific techniques we could use and live with. As our skills and confidence grew as pack leaders, the frequency of Arthur’s “bad” behaviors rapidly decreased.
Arthur no longer growls at men and doesn’t lunge at bikes and other dogs on his numerous walks throughout the day. Now, he wags his tail when he meets new people! Arthur no longer lunges at me when I get up in the middle of the night, and we are no longer afraid that he will bite someone. Words cannot express the gratitude and appreciation we have for Ralf, his patience and knowledge, and all that he has taught us. We are now more confident, consistent, and hopeful dog owners and look forward to enjoying the rest of Arthur’s long life together as a family. Thank you, Ralf!
— Simon and Molly T.
I attended one of Ralf’s Dog Walking 101 classes. My 18-month-old female Pit Bull is obedience trained but still has a problem wanting to walk a little bit ahead of me. As soon as Ralf took the leash, she walked perfectly! He demonstrated to me the right way to hold the leash and the right way to correct it. Ralf also explained dog psychology in a way that made sense and was easy to understand. He respects the dogs and their owners.
I took my Pitty for a walk this morning … OMG! It was magic. I kept her leash much shorter, and not to say I didn’t have to correct her, but so much less, and she responded immediately. I quit being so paranoid about the fact that she wasn’t exactly where she was supposed to be according to AKC standards for obedience shows and allowed her front legs (shoulder) to be even with my legs with her head a little in front of me. Some professionals say that is a no-no. Well, it worked fine, and I was very happy with it. Sometimes she would even drop back a little on her own, which Ralf told me she would eventually do. I sure didn’t expect it less than 24 hours later!
People Noticed the Change
Sometimes, when we walk, a few people will comment on how pretty she is. This morning a man on a bicycle said, “She is a very pretty dog.” Another man walking said, “What a nice dog.” Another man on a bicycle looked back at us and said, “She is very smooth.”. I didn’t catch the rest of it cause, looking back at us, he went a little to the left and almost into the path of a bus! I had to yell at him to watch out. The whole point of this is my one lesson with Ralf last nite was amazing and made my walk with my Pitty today the BEST I have ever had with her.
I intend to go further with my dog’s training, and when she and I are ready for that, I will be calling Ralf to get started. Thank you, Ralf !!!
— Ellie D.
Jake is, by far, the strangest dog I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. I rescued him when he was four months old. His beautiful blue eyes, wrinkly face, and “I can do it myself” attitude captured my heart when I first met him.
From what I can gather, his first few months of life were rough. He was found by the side of the road with both of his back legs broken, and the day I went to pick him up, I also learned that he was (and is) completely deaf. After my first few days with Jake, it became clear that he had somehow been abused. Unlike any other young puppy I’ve ever met, he was very unwelcoming to touch of any kind. To make matters worse, I quickly learned he was not fond of other dogs. It started with growls and nips, and as time passed, it quickly turned into calculated attacks. I could see brief glimpses of his sweetness and softness at home, but there was such a thick layer of anger covering it up. It made me so sad to see him this way.
I spent months learning how to train a deaf dog and socialize aggressive dogs. Google became my best friend. But try as I may, Jake’s aggression towards other dogs became, quite frankly, unmanageable. Eventually, I had completely given up trips to the dog park, hiking, the dog beach, and any form of activity that offered a chance to encounter other dogs. I was sad, and Jake was visibly becoming very depressed. The quality of life for both of us had diminished, and I felt guilty and hopeless. I felt like I had nowhere to turn. And then I met Ralf.
Nothing I Tried Had Worked
I had tried other trainers in the past, and one had even told me that there was nothing that could be done for Jake at all. So suffice to say, things didn’t seem promising, and I didn’t have a lot of hope going in. I can’t tell you how wrong I was. Very quickly, Ralf taught me about being the leader and making Jake both respect and trust me. We learned that Jake’s aggression was coming from fear and not dominance, as I had originally thought. All of this time, I had been treating the wrong problem! As a happy side-effect of our sessions, our walks improved (no pulling at all!), and Jake started to let me touch him in places I’d never been able to before (ears, paws, belly, etc.). He had become more affectionate and calm and seemed much more relaxed.
Then, after two years of failed attempts, I was shocked and amazed that within only three months of working together, we could take Jake INTO the dog park for our lessons. Soon enough, he was off-leash, and it was only a matter of a few weeks until we saw him, for the first time, actually playing with another dog. He was running, wrestling, and jumping just like a puppy should, and all of this without any aggression being shown. I started crying right there in the middle of the dog park.
An Amazing Transformation
The change I have seen in Jake is nothing short of a transformation. Family members have told me that he is a new dog, and we are now taking regular trips to the dog park. I even took Jake camping with two other dogs, and he did great! I cannot say enough about Ralf and the fantastic work that he’s done with my little canine hero. He has changed our lives for the better. Thank you doesn’t even begin to cover it. I fully intend to call Ralf with all of my future dog training needs and highly recommend him to anyone with dog needs of any kind.
— Jamie S.
Shelly and Rocky were running the household until Ralf got here. One day, Shelly didn’t want to go into her run anymore. She became what could be called hysterical, in a human being; we knew we had to do something.
Ralf took charge right away and we saw progress within a half hour. My husband and I were looking at each other, mouthing, “Did you see that?” to each other.
Our dogs were not good walkers, so we almost never walked them, but let them out on the property to do what they needed to do. When we walked, they would try to rip your arms out of the sockets. They would strain and bark and go wild when there was any change in their world, a car, a leaf, a person- and watch out world- ANOTHER DOG! Once we got them in line on the walk, it is now a pleasure to take a walk, and everyone looked forward to it. They notice distractions in the world but don’t lose their composure anymore.
Ralf Teaches The Humans Too
The best part is that Ralf teaches you how to get the same results he gets. It appears to be magic until you do it yourself a couple times and realize how easy it is to be the boss of these two.
Since we had Ralf’s help, we are maintaining the rules and getting the same results. If I see us getting sloppy again, I just review what Ralf taught us and see that the answer is there. We make a few corrections and everyone is happy again.
Ralf explained a lot about how dogs think and behave and why. It makes perfect sense. If you remember the way dogs think, you can apply what you have learned when you encounter some odd behavior and need to figure out why your dog is acting the way he is.
I would recommend Ralf to anyone having any behavior issue with their dog, or to improve your relationship with your best friend, even if you see no big problem. It was fun and we got results right away.
— Lynn S.
Services and Area
We are located in Southern California and train dogs nationwide. Happy Dog Training currently offers local dog training services in the following counties. Riverside County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, Los Angeles County, and San Diego County. In addition, we offer our board-and-train program nationwide and all virtual training services worldwide.
Do you want your new puppy trained right from the start? Are you looking for help for your fearful dog? Do you need to resolve a severe aggression problem? You came to the right place! We are experienced, professional dog trainers. Ralf has trained over 1500 dogs in over 18 years, and Sarah has trained over 1200 dogs in over 11 years. Consequently, we can help you with any dog training goal.
What We Offer
For many of our clients, we train their dogs from puppyhood, getting them off to a great start. However, we also have extensive experience training rescue dogs from all imaginable backgrounds and circumstances. Our Board-and-Train program is our most popular.
We can help you, regardless of your dog's challenges or training goals. Being a professional dog trainer means having experience, knowledge, and skill. Further, we developed a highly effective training program to specifically help fearful dogs gain more confidence and become the best possible version of themselves. Building Confidence is our second most popular training program.
Last but not least, we are experts in dealing with all types of aggression in dogs and are often the trainers of last resort after many other programs have failed. Most of our aggressive dog clients previously spent significant money on half-baked solutions without much improvement. This is different from us. We will give you an honest assessment of what goals are realistic for your dog. We will tell you what can be resolved reliably and what likely needs to be managed before we start.
Our flagship product is our board and train program. But our virtual dog training and coaching services have become quite popular over the last couple of years. Our setup enables us to deliver online dog training services from our indoor and outdoor training areas. This allows us to help clients worldwide.
Also, check out our Free Dog Training tips on Separation Anxiety in Dogs, Potty Training aka Housebreaking, and Leash Handling for expert solutions to common challenges.
Additional Services: Presentations and Q&As on Dogs | Professional Service Dog Training
Contact Us and Start Training
Finally, once you're ready to move forward, please use our dog training contact form to schedule a free phone consultation or book a paid, in-person consultation.
About Ralf and Sarah
Happy Dog Training is the pet dog training business of Ralf Weber and Sarah Gill. We are certified professional dog trainers in Southern California. We are specialized in advanced obedience training, all forms or behavioral challenges and service dog training. For behavioral training, we are known for our work with aggressive and fearful dogs. Our service dogs, through Total K9 Focus, have a nationwide reputation for their reliability, longevity and performance.
Ralf Weber, MS, TWC CPDT, IACP CDT, CDTA
Certified Professional Dog Trainer Ralf Weber is lead pet dog trainer of Happy Dog Training. Ralf is a long-time dog owner of German Shepherds. During his career, Ralf has worked with over a 1500 dogs of many different breeds. Moreover, Ralf has a thorough understanding of all aspects of canine training. This includes evolutionary psychology, ethology, and, most importantly, learning science. Ralf is specialized in resolving dog behavior challenges—especially fear and aggression. Apart from this, Ralf trains dogs in basic and advanced obedience, service dog tasks, and GRC Dog Sports. Ralf is further certified in a broad range of other canine training areas. Last but not least, Ralf is the author of the behavioral book If Your Dog Could Talk: Understand Your Dog Like Never Before.
Ralf loves helping people have a better relationship with their dogs. He is a certified professional dog trainer in the Training without Conflict™ methodology by Ivan Balabanov (TWC CPDT). Ralf is also a member of the International Association of Canine Professionals and also holds their basic and advanced dog trainer certifications (IACP CDT, CDTA). In addition, Ralf is an AKC-approved evaluator for the AKC Puppy Star, CGC, and Advanced CGC programs and is also certified in canine first aid by the Red Cross.
Sarah Gill, Certified Professional Master Trainer
Sarah Gill, is a professional service dog trainer and handler. Sarah entered the world of professional service dog training after a car accident. As a result, she had to use a wheelchair for almost two years, trying to maneuver in a house not designed for it. No one expected Sarah would walk again. This opened her eyes and became a driving force behind pushing herself to defy the odds. When she regained some stability, Sarah attended a dog training school and learned how to train service dogs. Sarah completed her Master Trainer Certification and gained further experience by training new trainers. However, the school wasn’t accommodating to those with physical difficulties and PTSD. Hence, Sarah moved home to Dallas. In 2019, Sarah teamed up with Ralf and moved to California.
Sarah started this journey because she had a trained dog to mitigate her disabilities. But Sarah needed additional tasking for a new diagnosis. The only option she could find was getting a second dog for the new diagnosis. She knew there had to be a different way to address this. Sarah's passion is changing the ways of the service dog training industry.