Tanner Was Biting People
Another dog trainer recommended me to Ralf at Happy dog Training after my 7-year-old Chihuahua, Tanner, started exhibiting signs of aggression. His aggression was directed toward other dogs and people, including my family and me. I’ve had Tanner since he was nine weeks old. He was always the kind of dog that was happy to see people but kept his distance. Seemingly, he would be social at one point and then retreat. He would greet people, tail wagging, and he would run away when a hand reached out to pet him.
However, my family and I would always be able to pick him up to calm him. But then this morphed into growling at people approaching him and nipping at their hands or feet. I started becoming worried and feeling helpless and sad, especially after getting bit myself. I had no way to calm him when he would start growling and lash out. It was very scary, and my family encouraged me to get rid of him since I was about to have a baby. This was not an option I was willing to consider. So, I took him back to various basic obedience training and one-on-one training programs.
The trainers often weren’t sure what to do. One trainer recommended that I use drugs to calm him so he could be more receptive to training. I felt increasingly helpless until I met with Ralf about a board and train program. He evaluated my dog and immediately reassured me that my dog was not “aggressive” and that he would be able to get him to make better choices. It was tough to decide to hand over my furbaby for 6-8 weeks. I had never been away from him longer than two weeks in the seven years I’ve had him. Ralf assured me he would send videos, and I could check on him whenever I wanted.
I also worried it wouldn’t work. What if my little rascal outsmarted this super qualified dog trainer? Talking with Ralf through the whole process was enjoyable. I thought he was a real nerd about everything dog-related and very open-minded to individualizing training for each dog. We spoke about every detail, down to the food I was feeding him. I’ve seen a lot of improvement in my dog after changing his food.
It’s been a few months since I’ve had my dog back home. I am so grateful for all the work Ralf did with Tanner. My biggest fear when I gave up my dog for training was that I wouldn’t be able to keep up the habits. I feared he would go back on his old path or that my dog would have changed so much that it wouldn’t be my dog anymore. What I got out of training was the best version of my dog. Whenever Tanner is anxious now, he looks at me for directions. This is amazing!
Ralf taught me about respecting his boundaries and ensuring others also do this. It’s been a game changer for us. We’ve had no problems with him biting or growling anymore, and it’s easy for me to calm him when he starts to get nervous. He also follows commands, especially on a leash and when other dogs are around.
I have a 1-year-old baby now running around, and I’m happy to say there are no problems with their interactions. This may also be because the baby always has snacks, and they love the same rubber squeaky toys. Thank you so much for all your hard work and attention, Ralf. You’ve made a difference in my life in a short amount of time. I should have done this way before but was scared to start because I didn’t imagine what the result could be. Tanner thanks you too.
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.