President, Lisa Patrona, Dip. CBST, CPDT-KA, ACDBC, AABP-CDT
Lisa recognized her affinity for all animals, but especially dogs, as a very young girl. She strongly believed even then, that dogs were misunderstood by their humans, and that many ended up losing their homes because of behavior problems. After volunteering at an animal shelter, the very sad and often hopeless environment led her to decide that helping dogs stay in their homes and out of shelters by teaching humans about dog behavior and training, would become her life’s work.
In October of 2005, Lisa became the owner and President of Trainers Academy, LLC - 6 years after joining Trainers Obedience Centers’ staff. During her career she has worn many hats, including General Manager, Director of Behavioral Sciences, Class Instructor and Behavioral Consultant.
Lisa graduated from the Companion Animal Sciences Institute in 2006 with honors, and holds a Diploma of Canine Behavior Science and Technology (formerly known as Diploma of Dog Training and Behavior Consulting). University level studies included developmental psychology, learning theory, training processes, canine social behavior, behavior modification, and professional ethics.
James O’Heare, CABC, President of Companion Animal Sciences Institute said this about Lisa. “Lisa completed her studies passing with Distinction, the highest level of recognition we offer for exceptionally excellent work. Lisa’s work demonstrates that she is highly knowledgeable in all areas of dog behavior, training and behavior consulting. The course work she completed was advanced, in-depth, and at the university level, requiring both academic and hands-on demonstration of her knowledge and skills. Lisa has also been an extremely helpful presence in class, participating in discussions and helping less knowledgeable students understand the topics under review. She has been so helpful in fact that we have asked Lisa to remain in class with us after graduation in order to contribute to future discussions for the benefit of our students.”
She earned the title of Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers in 2002, joining the ranks of less than 500 others to become one of the first in history to earn the certification in the United States and Canada.
Lisa is a Certified Member of the Association of Animal Behavior Professionals (AABP), an Associate Certified Dog Behavior Consultant with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), a Professional Member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), a Platinum Member of the InternationalAssociation of Force Free Pet Professionals (IAFPP), a Full Member of the Pet Professional Guild, and a member of Truly Dog Friendly.
She writes the curriculum for Trainers' educational programs, as well as training articles that have been published on national websites. Her work was also published in the book The Association of Professional Dog Trainers Top Tips from Top Trainers, released in February 2010. She was featured in a front-page article in the Daily Tribune for her work with rescued dogs, and has also appeared in the Detroit News and Free Press, and on Detroit Public Television. In 2010 Lisa was nominated for, and honored with an award for Behavioral Therapy Excellence by the International Positive Dog Trainers Association.
In 2011, Lisa led her school to becoming the first facility in the world honored with personal acceptance by Victoria Stilwell to join her growing network of training professionals licensed by Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training, LLC.
In 2012 she moved her business to a 6,500 square foot facility. Then, in 2016, Lisa and her husband, Tristan, purchased a commercial building and in January 2017, moved Trainers' once again to their forever home, with 11,000 square feet of space, on an acre of land.
Trainers Academy, LLC has been honored to win first place in the WDIV Click on Detroit Best Training category for the past 10 years. Lisa's business continues to grow along with what she calls "the most amazing staff Trainers' has ever had".
She shares life with her husband, Tristan, stepdaughter Ella and their canine kids; Larry, Bradley and Maddie, and their feline kids, Laney, Jolie, and Dishie.
Waiting for Lisa and Tristan on other side of the Rainbow Bridge are their beloved dogs Jeff, Calvin, Benny, BuBu, Simon and Eddie
Read what Lisa's students say about her:
"Thor has definitely benefited from this class! Lisa and her assistants were patient with him, but also very knowledgeable in what was happening in class and at home. They also gave us some advice for outside of class for different behavioral situations, which was super helpful. Thor is now more relaxed with us, and when we have company over or with other people/dogs, we get a ton of complements on how well behaved he is. We learned so much from Trainer's Academy, and we hope to learn more!"
~Elizabeth Whitehead with Thor
"Lisa and Sue went above and beyond to help us understand our newly adopted rescue. They helped brainstorm solutions that have resulted in a most happy family dog."
~Michelle Moniaci with Hero
"Shay's focus has improved. While I know we have a long way to go still with her reactivity, I think we are communicating better in triggering situations. Because I am more aware of Shay's comfort in possibly triggering situations, I can intervene more quickly and Shay responds more readily to my commands. I can have her refocus on me instead of her trigger and lead her out of a reactive situation more easily. I spoke so highly of the classes, and Shay's improvements have been so noticeable that my family brags about Shay's accomplishments to everyone. My family and I recommend clicker training to friends with dogs now."
~Jessica Biebuyck with Shay
"I really loved the support and dedication I felt throughout the class from Lisa and her training staff. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for training."
~Michele Murto with Bella
"Everyone was incredible, I cannot thank the staff and volunteers enough. My Moss has been re-homed a few times before she got to us. I think if she would have been trained she wouldn't have had to be re-homed. Luckily for us, she's found her forever home."
~Tiffany Inman with Moss
"Dear Lisa and Staff,
Thank you so much for a wonderful experience at the Intermediate training class with our pup, Leo. Brooke and I looked forward to each week's lesson. Your cheerful personalities and positive attitudes made the class a pleasure to attend. Your emails were extremely informative and helped explain the target behavior to be worked on. We know we have a way to go in the training process with Leo, but thanks to you wonderful ladies we have a great start!"
Mary Jane & Brooke Butler with Leo
"Lisa and her staff were wonderful, professional, friendly and extremely knowledgeable. I felt like the trainers really cared- which is so refreshing. You can tell the staff is passionate about what they do. Plus Lisa went above and beyond by sending emails to us regarding individual issues we were having at home, and discussed at class."
~Kristi with Paisley
"I realize this is a very old blast from the past but I truly had to share this with you. Beatrix who is now an 11 year old Leonberger has of late developed some arthritis. Not a surprise, she is a 'mature' Leo and this happens. Her vet recommended physical therapy. Off we went to the Animal Rehab center in Commerce. We met with a great vet and therapist and were sent home with exercises and appointments for PT which officially starts tomorrow. so...the exercises....i got home, studied the written instructions carefully (they had demo'd while we were there) and duh...the light went on. This is TRAINING. I mentally broke down the exercises into smaller steps, found my bait bag and clicker in a drawer, got out the high value treats and lo and behold, Beatrix came over tail wagging with a 'we are going to train!!!!!' look in her eyes. To be honest, we had not done any real training for a couple of years (yup...we were training when she was 9!!!!) and she was delighted.
My points in all of this: positive reinforcement training is a life style. You never know when the dividends will pay off big time. it doesn't matter how old the dog/cat/pony/horse/mule, you can use this awesome tool whenever you need it.
I am so very grateful to you for all of your insight and help all these years. I still remember Arielle's first puppy class!!! I can't say enough good things about you!!!"
~Jan and Beatrix Bragoli
We have learned so much and seen such improvement with Isabelle! Thank you so very much for sharing your knowledge with us!"
~Lisa and Patrick with Izzy
I just want to give a heartfelt thank you for your help with River. I know we still have a lot of work to do, but we're feeling much more hopeful than we were before starting the class. I was truly feeling like a complete failure as a doggy parent. But I'm feeling much more optimistic now that we're starting to form a plan for her.
The extra time you spent advising us on the phone, through email, and after class is VERY much appreciated. I can't thank you enough. Jessica has been very helpful and supportive as well.
We thought the class was great. The extra resources and homework provided were very helpful. Also, we really enjoyed the fun and supportive environment of the class. We all had a lot of fun! River is still enjoying her new plushy toy - it's a miracle she hasn't torn it to shreds yet!
I'm sure we'll be in touch!"
~Kate, Johnathan and River
"The class was great. Lisa, you are amazing, a pure dog whisperer! In nineteen years and three dogs before Tucker, we have been fortunate to have positive reinforcement training (except for the first class, which I quit after two hours because I could not treat a dog the way were were instructed, but that's another story). Your class was simply the best! The instruction was easy to follow and there was plenty of time to practice. The volunteers were knowledgeable, helpful, and loved the dogs. There was plenty of individual attention when it was required. We look forward to taking the Advanced Class and/or working with you privately for some refresher training. Thank you so much!"
~Joe Lafata with Tucker
"A fresh breath of air compared to where we took Nova for her beginners class. Loved the explaining of rationale, variables that change the situations and behavior, tips and tricks to advance or make task easier. Always had guidance from trainers. Would HIGHLY recommend to anyone, especially with Lisa!"
~Stephanie & Kyle with Nova
"Lisa you are so kind to respond to our questions, particularly over email. You were so supportive, thank you!!"
~Michelle Richards with Aggie
"I felt pretty defeated walking into the first class, but now feel much more confident in my ability to continue helping Chloe be the best dog she can be! Chloe is more in tune with me and listens more regularly on the first call of her name. Chloe is calmer and more eager to please. I'll recommend Lisa and Trainers Academy to my friends and family in a heart beat. Thank you so much!!!!!!!!
~Nichole Capogrossa with Chloe
"Lisa, as always, goes above and beyond to help with behaviors and patiently explains the thoughts behind what is the best way to proceed. She takes time with each of her students (both human and canine) so that the lessons being taught are understood. Dixie has special problems and we were not made to feel like outsiders. Lisa took the time and precautions to make us feel included and not "problems". When you have a reactive dog, there is a stigma attached. Lisa never made us feel that way and she has taken time with Dixie outside of class to try and help her. All of that is very, very appreciated. If there were more classes to take, we would sign right up. We will be continuing with daycare."
~Lisa Rogers with Dixie
"Lisa and the trainers were so good, so helpful, so smart,firm but fair, and nothing but love kindness and understanding. Terrific, we loved it! I also wanted to say thank you Lisa, we really appreciated the help on resource guarding his food. It's not cured completely but almost...much better every day!"
~Wes with Scout
"Thank you Lisa, Kristi, and the other trainers for helping us learn so many great training techniques! Allie and I really enjoyed the class and are so glad we chose Trainer's Academy!"
~Ashely and Allie
"Thanks so much, Lisa and all of the wonderful assistants who helped so much (and care so much) during the classes. Brava and I learned a lot. I’ll keep working with her on her training. She also loves to come to day care, which she will continue to do every Wednesday."
~Anne with Brava
"The time and money for the program was well spent! I feel that your staff was sincerely concerned with helping Prince to become a better dog and me a better owner. I found the in-class instruction easy to understand and execute and the weekly lesson plans extremely helpful. We will likely have Lisa come to our house to work on some home issues and would consider the advanced class perhaps in the fall. Trainer's Academy rocks!"
~Mike Richter with Prince
"Hi Lisa.. Just wanted to again thank you for the excellent class and everything you and your team does everyday to help dogs better themselves!!
Keep up the great work!
Your friends... Dan, Margaret, Goldie, and Dixie
This class is excellent, which we already knew as we had Dixie come thru it a couple years ago. Thank you Lisa and staff for this most excellent and fun class. We highly recommend it and have to our friends and family. Absolutely love the videos you now provide. Excellent help! Thanks again for all you do. Its fabulous!"
~ Margaret Jankowski with Goldie
Thank you so much for coming over and spending time w/ ZuZu (and us). You were FANTASTIC!
We are all working with ZuZu using the training tips you gave us. She is actually doing very well with them. I am shocked at how quickly her behavior is changing!!!"
Larry & Molly & Jennifer & ZuZu
"Hi Lisa and everyone else : ) Thanks SO much for all the help you gave me with Maxx!! He's come a long way that's for sure! I just love when he's happy!!"
~Janet Benacquisto with Maxx
"Thank you very much, Lisa! We were very nervous about taking Tank to training classes because we didn't want to be judged for having a dog with reactivity issues, but the staff did a fantastic job making us feel comfortable and relaxed, even when Tank would react to the environment. The weekly checklist helped keep us on track with training and the demonstrations that Lisa gave were very easy to follow. The staff was beyond friendly and welcoming, they truly cared about our situation. We both truly enjoyed the class and have learned so much. We also appreciate your insight and expertise on Tank's behavior management, you made us feel more than comfortable during class. I'm more confident in my training skills, as well as Tank's skills. We definitely will stay in touch!"
~Brandi & Tom with Tank
"The class set up was excellent where each dog had it's own area. Lisa was very thoughtful when having one dog go out at a time and managing the dogs and the classroom. We gained a lot of great, useful info and help. The training guides with videos are great too."
~Erin Considine with Percy
"Thank you so much! Lisa, Christine & Jennifer - you were all great! This class was very helpful and I look forward to seeing even more growth from Holly as I work with her further. Love that I have the emails as a reminder of what we learned."
~Laura Burnell with Holly
"Barney and I are so grateful for all of your expert training and wisdom and your patience! We truly appreciate and enjoyed your class and will do our best to practice what we've learned. You've given us such a strong foundation to build on."
~Joanne Berry with Barney
"I love the theory behind it, and really enjoy that dogs become willing and excited to do certain ‘signals’ and excited to learn and focus on you. I also always appreciate Lisa’s attitude as people are learning and making mistakes. I’ve found many trainers over the years can be very condescending with the imperfections of people and their dogs and Lisa always meets them where they are at, offers sound solutions and encourages them. If you do that, people want to come back and learn. I spent some time in the 90’s involved in training and it was before the positive reinforcement concept was more popular, so it was some correction based training back then. Having experienced that, I know nothing compares to Positive Reinforcement/Clicker training in how dogs learn, nothing teaches more about understanding dog behavior and what motivates them, and I’m so glad Breeze and I have been having fun with this over his lifetime."
~Susan Dodd with Breeze
"I received great instruction and saw results. I really felt like Lisa cared about how I was doing with my dog and really wanted us to succeed. She was available for answering questions and giving additional help. I look forward to more classes in the future and we can hopefully get our Good Citizen certification."
~Patsy Hogan with Lando
"We loved this class, as we knew we would because we loved the Puppy class as well. Each dog and handler was given individual attention and the class format was modified as needed to suit the dog's personalities and confidence levels. We learned so much and it's amazing how quickly dogs understand commands when using the clicker method. In only 6 weeks we saw such a dramatic difference in all of the dogs in our class - confidence up, boredom/distraction decreased, etc. Thank you Lisa!"
~Ashley & Chad Blake with Arlo
"Thank you so much for a great experience with Pork Chop. We had been very apprehensive about how he would do but he really came out of his shell and surprised us on wanting to learn. Starting with a frightened, timid rescue dog to having a playful and willing to learn boy has been an amazing transformation. He has come a long way and we thank you for the tools to help us continue to work with him to have him be even happier. He is now eagerly sitting for treats at home!!
Stacy, Joe and Pork Chop"
"Jeni is becoming much more comfortable around other dogs... the exposure to other dogs in a controlled environment has been very helpful for her. She still has a long way to go but the class was the perfect environment for her to work on her relaxation skills. She is quickly becoming much more social with people and in fact I would hardly consider her shy anymore, we had visitors over the other day, a male and a female and she approached BOTH of them on her own with no prompting and allowed them to pet her. Interacting with the staff at Trainers was helpful with this. If we had not had enough individual attention and care to Jeni's special needs in the class she would not have been able to be successful. Participating in a class with Jeni would not have been possible with any other program... Lisa was absolutely wonderful in helping Jeni and me both feel comfortable in class and not pushing either of us beyond what we were ready for. She also was great about letting me dictate the direction of each class for Jeni when I knew she was overwhelmed, but giving lots of valuable advice along the way for helping her relax. I appreciated her taking a phone call outside of class to discuss some of Jeni's anxious behaviors and how to help. All of the instruction was very quality advice for every dog owner and every dog!"
~ Gabi and Jeni
"I wanted to thank Lisa for showing me how to train a dog properly or I may have a mess on my hands today. Because of her, I know what NOT to do and if I were to listen to the German Shepherd "expert" at another place, I would have a HIGHLY leash reactive dog on my hands, maybe worse! They kept insisting I use a prong collar or at least a choke chain. Good thing I know that the best way to train is positive reinforcement.
Once again, Thank you Lisa for teaching me how to train a dog properly and use positive reinforcement techniques. You have definitely given me the right foundation to work with dogs and know right from wrong!"
~Sharon and Amos
I can't thank you enough for the wonderful training session.
As you know, I have been through several trainers in the last 15 months and I have never felt more confident and hopeful than I did after you left. You are truly gifted in your trade and I am greatful I finally found someone whose methods are simple, clear and make perfect sense to me.
I love my baby with all my heart and it was killing me to see her so upset all the time. I felt like I had failed her. But now I'm hopeful she will be able to overcome her fears, gain confidence and become the happy-go-lucky pup she was meant to be.
Thanks again for all your help.
~ Shelley and Zenna"
"This program was absolutely wonderful. People who have seen Gumbo terrorize our house before have walked in amazed at how calm and obedient he is now. I was initially worried that obedience would change Gumbo's "personality," but that never happened, and it has made my life so much easier now that Gumbo is an obedient dog.
Thanks Lisa and everyone! Gumbo and I had an absolute blast."
~ Intermediate class graduate Joel Brockberg with Gumbo
I loved meeting you and was so impressed w/all your help (also very impressive you were able to remember all of our pets names!!!) I will definitely check out the links you gave me and also I wanted to thank you for continuing to provide excellent information on your website. I printed out your preparing for baby info last night!!
Oh also just wanted to let you know I have definitely been referring people your way, I know it's a long way for our clients to go from Clarkston to Troy, but I rave about you to clients especially those w/fearful dogs. I've also been referring them to your website, which continues to surprise me w/the wealth of info available!! Keep up the good work!!
I would really like to thank you for your help on Monday. Simone has been doing much better with the stairs. She was a little hesitant at first after you left, but she did them. And this morning she came up with out any coaxing or my even being in the kitchen. I came out into the living room and there she was!
Now that is progress!
Thanks again and we will be in touch."
Gwynne (Private client. Behavioral Issue: Fear of stairs)
Just to let you know.....Fritz and Lizzie and getting along VERY WELL now and have been!! YES! Love your training methods!
He is a little angel! I can't believe the change in him! Remember when I first called you how I almost couldn't stand him because he was so "mean?" Not anymore....he's a loving dog now! He likes Lizzie now! Yep! No more growling even! Unbelievable.
Just wanted to tell you it's all going so well. He runs with her outside
and I'm just so pleased.
Thanks so very very much!"
Kris Pelkey (Private client testimonial. Behavioral Issue: Older incumbent dog aggressing toward new puppy to home)
"We got our rottie, Dozer, when he was 6 weeks old, he just turned 4 this week. He weighs 110lbs and has a full tail that he can crack like a whip. He likes to cuddle with you on the couch and he will make room for himself even if you think there is no room!
Dozer graduated and even won a skills competition in class! My husband and I are very proud and can not thank Lisa and her team enough for training all of us!
Tori, Dozer and Family He was adjusting well when we had our first baby, until our son who was a year old, got too close to him and his chew treat. Dozer had never acted aggressively before, but he snapped at him. My husband, my family and my friends all said I had to get rid of him. However, I wanted to keep him because I did not blame Dozer for doing what was natural to him, so I contacted Lisa and her team at Woofology, where I received a lot of wonderful educational material. We eventually enrolled in Lisa’s Intermediate class and began to teach Dozer what he should have learned years ago. I wish I learned all of this before the baby came but I am glad I can tell new parents who have dogs to contact Lisa. There is so much that new parents need to know, and watch for."
~ Intermediate class graduate Tori Audritsh with Dozer
"Trainer's Academy has helped my dog succeed in ways I never thought possible. Lisa is a fantastic trainer with a lot of knowledge. She was able to help me so that my dog could learn task(s) in positive manner. I loved the clicker and positive reinforcement training method! My dog had major behavior improvements as a result of taking a class and individual conferences with Lisa. Thank you!!"
~ Intermediate class graduate Brandi Lavely with Oreo
Bruno, Animal Welfare Society of Southeastern Michigan - Private Training
I foster for the Animal Welfare Society in Madison Heights. Early January the shelter rescued Bruno a 3 month old Rottweiler from Detroit Animal Control. He had been dumped there on Christmas morning with a severely broken leg. He did not receive any medical care for his leg and his body formed a false joint and healed on it's own. He was not in any pain and could run and jump like any fun loving puppy.
I took Bruno home and what a sweet guy he was on the way home so mellow and cuddling while I drove. Well once in the house the beast came alive. I had never seen a dog mouth and nip as much as he did. I nicknamed him 'Jaws' as he would just be chillin' on the floor and then wham! He would just reach out and bite whoever was closest. He wasn't being aggressive, it was just his way, but if you were in his range, you got bit.
After a week of this I contacted a trainer that works with one of the shelters vets. Her solution was to grab his jowls and yell at him to knock it off! Well that only worked for a short time. He was better for a week, and he would just go back to his ways.
I had so many bruises on my legs and got worried that if this didn't stop soon he would never find a forever home. I met with another trainer, she had me hand feeding him which he quickly got bored with. She also had me correcting him with his leash and again, it seemed that he improved...for awhile. Bruno learned the basic commands and was a very quick learner.
Let me mention that I respect both of these trainers and they are very good at what they do. But, Bruno was not responding the way we'd hoped, and the more I corrected him he would fight me.
One day I grabbed his collar to pull him away from chewing a basket. He got mad and lunged at my arm and that really scared me. After all he was growing by leaps and bounds and I realized his size could do some damage. Apparently I needed another approach to help me get through to him.
Early on when I got him, Jackie had told me to call Trainers Academy. So I finally did. Lisa was kind enough to spend a lot of time on the phone with me and offered to come to my home for a one on one. The shelter agreed to pay for this and let me tell you the results were amazing. With in two days of Lisa's visit Bruno had stopped biting me. There were times when I would see him start to go for my leg and stop as if he was thinking twice about it. I worked with him using positive reinforcement and when he was getting into things rather than yell or correct him I would redirect his attention to something he was allowed to do and reward him for it! He caught on real quick. Bruno has now been adopted to a wonderful family in Canada. I passed on all I learned to them and they continue to use the methods. Bruno gave them a run for their money the first week, but is now behaving as he should. I always knew he had it in him to be a wonderful dog. Thank you Lisa for showing me how to bring out the best in him.
~ Deb Vaughan
Lisa received this Bruno update in August of 2009:
I do not know if you remember Bruno and I, but I have yet another success update for you. Unfortunately, Bruno was returned after a year and one month of being adopted. Turned out that his owners divorced, the wife took the female with her...his dear playmate and left the husband with Bruno.
Bruno went though quite a depression period of not eating, moping around and loosing weight. Our shelter was sponsoring a "Pet Reunion" in June for formerly adopted pets. Bruno's dad contacted us that he had to give him up due to "not enough time" and dumped him on us at the reunion.
Well our shelter was full to the max on kennel space and fosters. So I took him home with me and after a year of missing this boy, it was like he never left...for the most part. He had yet another couple of weeks of adjustments and misbehavior. I quickly put into practice all that I learned from you and in no time he was a good boy.
Then to top it off, I was in the works of moving to Arizona, so there was even more stress in his life of jumping on a plane, flying 2000 miles and into a new and smaller place with no furniture or anything familiar to him. This boy has been through more than any dog should have to endure with finding a loving family and stability. Well the move just set him back again. So I reverted back to day one of his training and let me tell you, he is an amazing boy! He always knew his basic commands and some tricks, but my diligence in keeping him on track with what I learned through you has paid off.
The positive reinforcement does wonders. They pick it up so quickly and remember it! Bruno had to learn to trust me and he does. Once again I thank you.....Bruno will be a part of my family from now on. He chose me...amidst all the good works I did to try and find him a home. I guess his home was mine and he knew it all along. All my dogs love him and he is one of the gang!
Once again...I thank you for teaching me.
"Lisa and the training staff were amazing. Lisa was able to get Murphy to do
anything she asked of him. She is definitely a master of her trade. Her
techniques and tips were straightforward and Murphy caught on so quickly. After our final class, my husband and I couldn't stop talking about the wonderful changes we've seen in our puppy. Murphy just loved the staff and couldn't get in the front door fast enough to see everyone. Thanks so much and we'll see you in Intermediate Class!"
Puppy class graduates Erin and Matt Naseef with Murphy
"I wanted to share these videos with you of Mikey and Jonas (who both took classes at TA), and my 9 year old Shih Tzu, Andi. Jonas was a VERY shy mill puppy when he first came to class, and I'm sure you remember Mikey, the blind boy, who wouldn't even walk on the floor the first week of class. Andi and Jonas have had the synch down for quite a while on hand signal only, but it was a struggle getting Mikey on board. It took me forever to teach him the spin, but the persistence paid off! So, it IS possible to teach tricks to a blind dog! Thanks again for all your help with Mikey and Jonas. They have both grown leaps and bounds since training at TA."
"Our experience (Otis and me) with the Trainers Academy and the volunteers was tremendous. Lisa was extremely helpful in addressing a neurological problem with Otis and helped us address the issues with our vet. Her keen awareness of what Otis's milestones should have been for his age and his shortcomings helped us get to the proper specialists for Otis. She was always very patient with him and very loving. He gets so excited when we arrive for day care. The day care experience has been very therapeutic to his rehabilitation. We cannot say enough about our experience and we are looking forward to additional classes."
Puppy class graduates Carrie Barrett with Otis
"This class was fantastic! Our puppy has come a very long way from Class #1 to Class #6, and my wife and I are so please to have enrolled Teddy Bear into this course, as we found it to be worth every penny. We both learned so many useful tips to allow for the training to become a normal daily practice for us to use with our Teddy Bear at home. He loved the class as much as we did and it was always something we looked forward to attending each week. Teddy will definitely continue his education with the Trainers Academy."
Puppy Class graduates Frank Ellero with Teddy Bear
"Overall, the training classes were great! I trained all my dogs with old fashioned 70s training, but the experience you get from only positive training is much better. The level of trust and friendship between my dogs and I just rose to another higher level. I have read numerous books about positive training. Patricia McConnell and Temple Gradin are my heroes, and everything that they say makes sense, but it is a whole other story to put this info into the real world. This class finally connected the dots for me, and now I am able to put the book knowledge into the real world because thanks to Lisa, I know how to. Lisa's knowledge about the dog world is really great, and I am happy that I took her class."
~ Intermediate Class graduates Silvie Van Etten with Luna
"Best puppy training I've ever been to, because I learned the most and brought the dog to a higher level of obedience than either of the other two dogs I took to puppy classes from other sponsors."
Puppy Class graduates the Kirkland Family with Caleb
~ Doodle - Private Behavior Consult
Lisa has done wonders with Doodle. I bought Doodle when she was 3 months old from a breeder that mishandled her. She was not socialized properly and Lisa was recommended to me by my vet, who was very concerned about Doodle's inability to meet new people and her lack of socialization.
Within one training session, Doodle was sitting and staying in a special spot while I answered the door . Lisa then taught me how to allow Doodle to come forward and meet and greet new people by using the Click and Treat method. Prior to my 2nd session, I had been practicing with friends, and now Doodle will approach new people within a few minutes. I was not sure the Clicker training would work, but I will be the first to tell anyone, IT WORKS, it has been a miracle for me and Doodle, and Lisa has taught me to use a technique to train Doodle has helped her overcome her fears. While Doodle may always be a cautious dog, she is much happier and has learned that people are not so bad.
At the 3rd session, Lisa had me work with Doodle to "Come when called", I had learned another method from a previous trainer, but with not a lot of success not , but by the end of my 3rd session not only did Doodle come but by the end of the session, she had learned to fetch and return her ball, and to sit on command while walking.
I thought I had done enough preliminary skills with Doodle but as fast as they learn , they forget and they need positive reinforcement continually, I am continuing onto Lisa's Intermediate class.
I had almost lost hope that Doodle would ever be able to approach people and let them handle her, thanks to Lisa's approach, patience and love of dogs , Doodle is a much happier dog.
Lisa, thanks so much
"You run a great program! Lisa, you are terrific- engaging and interesting. You have picked some great support people in your staff. The amount of information you provided was enormous and helpful. I really appreciated the hand outs- I refer back to the notes every time Sully and I work together (especially since
many times I was distracted by my canine friend while you talked). I feel so much better equipped after these 6 weeks. You can laugh about me and my first phone call to Trainers Academy, thinking that Sully was too old (advanced) for the beginner class...I sure do!
Hope we can come back soon and continue (my) education!"
Intermediate Graduates Amy Pilzner with Sully (pictured at right)
Peanut - Private Behavior Consult
We can't thank you enough! For five years, whenever Peanut would get something he wasn't supposed to have, it was so frustrating trying to get it away from him, and sometimes he would bite me in the process. After one session with you, we learned how to give Peanut the "cue": Peanut leave it! And Peanut learned the proper response. We have been practicing with Peanut for only two or three weeks and Peanut loves it as much as we do. He can hardly wait for us to say, "Peanut leave it" and he does so immediately. He's five years old and he learned new behavior on the spot. Chuck, Carol and Peanut are much happier now.
Chuck & Carol Kanirie
"I have been in other training classes and this one is by far the best. Your class teaches the most positive, most sensible and humane way to train. It's amazing how my dogs respond to the positive reinforcement! They are happier than before the class started and so eager to learn! I feel so much more in control of them! Our home has become much calmer. Thanks Lisa, and others. You've all made this experience wonderful. See you in more future classes."
Intermediate Graduates Dawn and Charles Fedraw with Portia and Harley
"Muffin has been to Puppy Class and Intermediate Class, both have been taught by Lisa, who I might add, is the BEST! Muffin has learned so much and at present she is the "queen" of the "leave it" command. This is the one she does best. Muffin has learned to transfer this command to all areas around the house, which makes life so pleasant at our house. I can't say enough about Trainers Academy. Each and everyone of my experiences have been very positive."
Puppy and Intermediate Class Graduates Ann Hager & Muffin
"Lisa is wonderful! I felt very confident in her ability to help Ellie and I communicate better."
Intermediate Class Graduates Rob Denton & Ellie
Dolly - Intermediate Class Graduate
Hi Lisa and trainers,
Just wanted to give you some more good news about Dolly. We took her up north for the Fourth of July and on one of our walks she passed 3 dogs without barking or jumping. She did bark at a fourth dog, but that was a very loud and aggressive one who charges anyone walking by if he's not restrained. Also on our walk, a fifth dog - a puppy - got away from its owners and ran out into the street, right up to Dolly. Dolly just sniffed it and wagged her tail and acted like a normal, friendly dog! We were so happy and impressed! I know she's still quite loud and reactive in class, but we are seeing definite improvements at home when she only sees one or two other dogs at a time.
We're going to continue working withher at home for the rest of the summer and then we'll be back in the fall for another class. Thank you!
Have a great summer!
Olive - Private Behavior Consult
Olive was rescued from Detroit Animal Control as a pup. She had several issues when we started working together - including sensitivity to strangers, especially men, coming into, and being the house. She had already nipped at a man and was very difficult to control anytime someone knocked on the door, or rang the door bell.
Most concerning to the client though, was that Olive had also exhibited worrisome behavior around their young daughter, Alexa. So the owner set up a private consult with Lisa.
Progress follow up 2 weeks post-visit:
Things are going great! Olive is adjusting to the (training) very well.
We have been working with her every night when Chris comes home from work with him knocking on the door and Olive going to her pillow and staying there until he/me releases her.
Olive is getting a hand of "moving on" when Alexa approaches her. I have noticed that sometimes I don't even have to say anything to Olive she just gets us and moves on. The sit, lay, stay on her pillow is also working well, we went outside the other day and worked on it also.
All in all I think Olive is making good progress. I work with her on average about an 1 hour to 1.5 hours a day and always when Alexa is around.
Lisa, thank you so much for the tools to teach Olive to be a great dog. I will keep in touch.
Progress follow up, approximately 4 weeks post-visit:
Over the weekend we had a cable guy come over and one of our (male) friends came over also. Olive did great... When the cable guy came over Olive was in the kitchen with me and I told her to sit, lay, stay where she was, and I could not believe my eyes - the cable person was in our house for about 30 minutes and Olive never once got up to go meet him. I kept telling her to stay and rewarding the good behavior. Once the cable guy was gone I released her. She was great!
Later on that night our friend came over. I told Olive to go to her pillow and did the same sit, lay, stay until she was calm. Once she was calm I released her. Our friend was so impressed (Olive nipped at him before). The whole time he was here he was able to walk around our house with out the fear of Olive nipping at him. He kept saying how impressed he was with Olive.
Progress is being made :) to be continued..
Thanks again for everything
Progress follow up, 1 year and 3 months post-visit:
I can not believe that it has been a year since you were at our home. I can't tell you enough how thankful we were to you have you in our home. Olive and Alexa are doing great together. We have not had any problems what so ever. Alexa is now 2-1/2 and just loves Olive.
We have set boundaries for both of them when they are around each other. I can tell you that I feel comfortable leaving Alexa in the same room as Olive. Within the last few months Alexa wants to pet Olive but we have made it clear to Alexa that she can only pet Olive when Mommy and Daddy are there. A cute story I want to share with you. Alexa has two blankets that she sleeps with. The other day we were upstairs and Olive was laying down just watching what was going on. Alexa went into her bedroom to get one of her blankets. When she came back into our bedroom with her blanket she put it on Olive and told her night night. Chris and I realized after your visit that we thought we were doing the correct things with Olive and in fact we were doing the opposite.
Olive has continued to be great with people that come into our home. When someone is at the door I tell her to go to her pillow and she stays there until I release her.
I have told everyone I know that has a dog to take them to see you for any training needs.
Thanks for everything.
"Saturday mornings are a major high point in the week for Arielle and for me. I continue to be amazed at how much we are learning and how much fun it is. Lisa is fantastic! "
Puppy Class Graduates Jan Bragoli & Arielle
"I have owned dogs all of my life, but I have never had such a positive response from my dogs as I have had with this program. Thank you Lisa for giving me the knowledge to teach my dog to become a great companion."
Puppy Class Graduates Lisa Vanston & Rocco
"I've been to Trainers Academy with all three of my dogs. Lisa is the best instructor I have experienced."
Puppy Class Graduates Lisa Fox & Ruby
"I wish Lisa taught the next level of classes. I considered re-doing the Intermediate class, just to be under her tutelage, but typical of Lisa, she was very unselfish and said that Kona was ready for the Advanced Class. She knows how to train dogs, but she also handles the owners very well. I respect her professionalism."
Intermediate Class Graduates Michael F. Smith & Kona
Editor's note: Good news, Michael... Now Lisa teaches our Advanced Course! Please visit our class schedule to see when our next class starts.
"This was my first experience with a puppy class and I had a great time. I would recommend it to anyone who gets a new puppy. Even if you think you know what you are doing there is always something to learn. "
Puppy Graduates Heather Lestczyrsk & Porsche
I had you this past summer for puppy class, actually Conner had you. You may remember a certain German Shepard plush coat, that took the class from behind the counter in Farmington Hills.
Conner is doing fine, he is one year old now and still a puppy. His manners are much improved since you saw him last, and he continues to amaze me as to how smart he is. I know, I am a little prejudiced, but he picks things up so fast. Only dog I have ever had, where you can tell him to go get his red ball, or the green one and he will. If he has not finished his dinner and wants a biscuit, I tell him not till he is done with his dog food. And darn'd if he doesn't go finish it and come back for a biscuit.
Thank you for your help."
Puppy class graduate Don Harris with Connor
"Lisa is awesome! She is very knowledgeable and worked with everyone on an individual basis. She was able to address any problems and help people with their puppy's personality. All the other trainers were very helpful. You could tell that they all love dogs and I think the puppies could tell too."
Puppy Graduates Linda Hildbold & Haiku
“Lisa really knows dogs and how they perceive the world around them. This really helps an owner work with and understand their puppy during the training process. A positive attitude and consistency are what training is all about, along with taking time everyday to have fun with your pet, and to form a life long bond.”
Puppy Graduates Jan Dahl & Franklin
Daichi Scott - Private Counseling Client
Daichi came from a shelter and also seemed to have been in a neglectful situation. He seemed to be very distant and seemed to have had a fear of unknown. It was clear that he was not socialized properly as a puppy. Because he is so large, we felt that any misbehavior on his part, however slight, may cause a problem. We also wanted to undo some of damages that his previous life has done to him.
We wanted him to feel safe and secure with us, strangers and other dogs (we are still working on cats). We wanted him to relax and to enjoy his new life. We wanted him to be socialized so that we can enjoy his company with many other people.
Although I have had Akitas before, and I was used to handling a large dog and can teach the basic obedience, Lisa (Laney) Patrona has taught me how to "undo" experiences that a dog may have had before, which was helpful. We have never had a completely grown Akita before and this was a new territory for me.
I can say that Daichi now accepts new environments and people well. We can have contractors and guests come over, and once he is done sniffing those guests, he usually finds them uninteresting and goes back to his nap. Several months ago, this would not be conceivable.
We cannot thank you enough. My husband is now better trained (not as well as the dog) and now that he uses the proper leash, he enjoys walking him more. Daichi keeps walking even if:
1. A dog comes up barking
2. A Person comes close
3. A deer crosses the street (unless it is really close and he is startled, then he whines in excitement)
Daichi has become such a joy to have around.
Konomi Gamo Scott
Lou Wells - Behavioral Consultation Client
I wonder if you remember my Beagle, Lou. To jog your memory, Lou had some anger and object guarding issues. He will still steal things and run and hide in a corner, but he will always drop them when I say “Drop it”. You gave us really good advice that I followed.... Lou no longer is dangerous to people at all.
I told you I was going to give him away. I was afraid I wouldn’t be a good pet owner. I realized that he probably didn’t have much of a chance of being adopted, so then I knew I was his best chance of surviving.
Lisa, basically I wanted to thank you for helping make it possible for Lou to have a chance.
Cinnamon Donahue - Intermediate & Advanced Class Graduate
Cinnamon was abandoned in a house and it was reported to the MI Humane Society. The Animal Cops - Detroit film crew went with the investigators to the rescue (her rescue has aired on the show). She was obviously a nursing mother and quite malnourished. The investigators found her 14 puppies in the basement. All of the puppies survived and were adopted.
I went to an adoption at a dog day care facility and fell in love with her sweet and beautiful face. I quickly learned she was not always sweet. She was very aggressive toward other dogs. Numerous times she pulled me down while going after another dog.
After trying on my own to "train" her and 2 different training schools, I was at my wits end. I spoke with my uncle (a professor who specialized in behavioral techniques). He recommended I read the book "Don't Shoot the Dog" by Karen Pryor. The book emphasized training techniques such as clicker training and positive reinforcement. I looked for a school which utilized these techniques and found the Trainers Academy, LLC on the web.
Cinni was so aggressive during the first session of the intermediate class we were kept behind the desk and that is where we stayed for the entire 6 weeks. I took advantage of the Intermediate Class Guarantee and repeated the class 4 times. By the end she was able to be out in the middle of the room with all of the other dogs. She also went on to graduate from the Advanced class.
My hat is off to Lisa and her staff. They taught me the skills I needed. They helped me understand the process of conditioning Cinni to tolerate other dogs and lots of other tricks! I am now able to take Cinni to dog parks, dog day care and even did the Humane Society's Mega March a few weeks ago.
I can't thank Lisa and the other staff at the Trainer's Academy enough! Now, I have that sweet dog.
"Dear Lisa (Laney) Patrona:
It's been awhile since I've contacted you. I consulted you concerning my dog Rocket about a year and a half ago. It's been a while since I have checked out the Woofology web site, so I was surprised and happy to see that you were listed as the owner. Congratulations! That's wonderful.
Everything is going well with our 3 dogs, Coral, Jake and Ari. We welcomed Ari into our home, going on a year ago, and she's wonderful. A little talkative, but a huge cuddler. We feel very fortunate to have 3 fairly normal dogs to help make up our family. We still appreciate your help, but more than that we appreciated knowing that there are people out there like you, who possess the genuine expertise that is so desperately needed.
I'm going to recommend you to my friend. She has a huge black Lab, who is a wonderful dog. He just needs a little training. I'm not sure exactly what she is looking for with him, but I know you can point her in the right direction.
I attached pictures of Coral (black Lab), Ari (golden Lab), and Jake (Shih-Tzu). I may pester you again sometime in the near future with a couple of questions. I hope you don't mind.
Congratulations again on all your hard work!"
~ Lisa Newman
Breeze and Susan Dodd - Puppy & Intermediate Class Graduates
Is there such a thing as too good of a recall? This cute story was sent by one of Lisa's past graduates:
I wanted to share a cute story with you, after all the emphasis in puppy class and intermediate class on the distance recall, and getting your dog to want to come to you.
This past weekend I took Breeze to Ohio to see his breeders. The visit was planned because Breeze has turned out to have wonderful conformation and they wanted to evaluate him. The breeder was playing with him a little on a show lead to see his movement, but whenever Breeze caught a glimpse of me, Mom, he made a bee-line for me. In the house they asked me to call him to see if they could catch his gait going from the kitchen to the living room. I called him and he galloped to me, just as I heard the breeder saying something like "see if you can get him to come, but more slowly". Forget trotting. Of course they did get an opportunity to see him move, I just had to hide behind the car. It was great to see how determined he was to get to me when separated. Pretty Cool!
~ Susan Dodd