Dog Training Review by Jamie S.

Jake had Fear Aggression

Testimonial by Jamie S for Jake

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. (Read the Review on Thumbtack)

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.

Other Resources

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.

Terms, Conditions and Privacy Policy

By using this website you agree to all Terms and Conditions and our Privacy Policy.

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.


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.