I chose Austin Dog Zone for training for my new puppy, Thea, because of the great reviews that I saw on here. Thea did a Board and Train for 10 days with Donna Wasielewski and it was awesome! She came back after her training with much better manners, and a calmness and respect that she didn’t have before. Donna particularly worked with Thea on “asking” and “saying please” to get what she wants instead of demanding. She also worked with her on learning to calm herself, work through her excitement and not jump. The two-hours that Donna spent we both Thea and I doing the exercises that we need to practice was invaluable. I definitely recommend the board and train for busy professionals or single folks who may not have the flexibility to do as much training on their own as they’d like.–Eileen S. (from Facebook)
I absolutely loved working with Laura!! She helped me work on recall skills with my dog. The biggest win was her helping me realize that the way I communicated with my dog was sending mixed signals. Other training facilities just focus on the dog, and not how you continue their training.
Since working with Laura, I have confidence taking our staffy-mix on outdoor trips. And now she ABSOLUTELY loves her beach time. Thank you again!!!! We give your service a paw-five.–Nicte
I approached ADZ when I decided to look into getting a service dog. I have multiple psychiatric disorders, including PTSD. My quality of life had been going downhill fast. I couldn’t work, and I had terrible agoraphobia which prevented me from doing simple things like going to the grocery store. As a single woman, I didn’t have anyone to help me on a daily basis.
I initially emailed Laura after looking at the ADZ website. I can’t tell you how remarkable she has been. Laura listened to my problems and answered all my questions with patience and understanding. I decided to go ahead and start the process. I was a bit terrified, having never had a dog, but reassurance from Laura helped make me comfortable. ADZ started the process of finding a suitable service dog for me. As they initially stated, it took several weeks for them to find the right match. I was in the bathtub one night when my phone rang. It was Laura telling me they had found the perfect dog! I cried and cried. The next morning, Caitlin brought my dear Kincaid to my apartment. I don’t think I have ever been that happy and relieved.
Caitlin is the most amazing trainer. She has turned my wonderful boy from a stray- with not much interest in following commands- into a real service dog who loves his work. Kincaid ADORES her. He gets so incredibly happy when he sees her coming for our training sessions. Her patience and experience in training comes through at every session. Kincaid has come SO far in such a short period of time.
Kincaid now helps me go to the store and other errands, he catches me when I fall, brings me back to the present when I am in a bad place and best of all…. we just got a new job!!!!!!!! I could go on and on, but I’ll just say that ADZ not only changed my life, but also the life of a stray who now has a forever home and a job to do. We couldn’t thank them enough!” Leigh, from Facebook
“I will only use Austin Dog Zone when I need to board and train my dog! Why? Exceptional value for the money you pay! What a great experience working with Laura and her team. We had just rescued our dog Coco from the pound and the thought of putting her in a crate in a room somewhere just wasn’t going to cut it. I contacted Laura and after talking through options, we settled on Boarding and Training. Our Coco was in exceptional hands the entire time and I received frequent updates and videos to ease my mind as well as to show me the great progress she was making. I love that while she is being so well taken care of, she is also receiving critical training – in any area we specify. In particular we needed focus on prey drive, riding in the car, walking nicely on a lease, and basic dog manners and recall. Tall order, but she had a fantastic trainer! Coco has come back to us calmer, happier and better trained, which makes it easier for us once we get her back home. For our next trip, we will not hesitate to give Laura a call!” Abbie A. from Google
To Megan: “Rose and I can’t tell you enough how happy we are with Luna’s progress and your training (of us and her!)
All my life I have wanted a well trained dog and it looks like we are going to have one this time. Thanks again for your help and for your generosity of your time.” The Berrys
From meetup.com: “I was pleased with the size of the group, the location and with the trainer- very patient, friendly and knowledgeable. I’m looking forward to next time!”-Paula
— Theresa on Aug 30, 2014.
“Great meetup! Megan is wonderful. None of us is a professional dog trainer and yet, with some tips from Megan and some efforts on our parts, we can see how our K9 kids can be calm when there are other dogs around.”
A big thank you to Austin Dog Zone for helping me and my dog, Joni, to learn to overcome leash aggression by providing the fundamentals needed to achieve success in turning this behavior around. They gave us all the tools necessary to keep the momentum going. The rest is up to Joni and me.–Ruth B.
Caitlin is an amazing dog trainer. I’ve worked with her in both private lessons and group lessons and she has been a great help every time. Caitlin has 3 qualities that make her the perfect dog trainer: she has a natural connection with any dog I’ve ever seen her meet, she’s always ready to go above and beyond to help a client, and she really knows her stuff.
Her classes are great fun for both dogs and owners. There are never so many dogs that you feel like you aren’t getting enough one-on-one time with her.
Private lessons are wonderful if you have a specific problem to work on. Caitlin helped me address my dog’s leash reactivity in just a few lessons. The change was impressive and made my life, and my dog’s, so much better.-Karl Sutton
Caitlin is a gifted dog trainer. We have had four private lessons (plus preliminary consultation) for our five month old puppy (now seven months), and Caitlin’s demonstrations, tips, and insights have been invaluable. She has a real knack for this; it’s obvious that she can relate to dogs and vice versa.
Did I mention it is fun? When Caitlin came to our house and worked with our little Zoe, it was like being treated to a show!
-Eric, Fei and Zoe
From Yelp: Caitlin and the folks at Austin Dog Zone gave our puppy Henry such a wonderful time at both our private lessons and his board and train. It was our first time leaving him, so we were obviously very nervous, but he ended up having so much fun, I think he was a little sad to come back home! I would certainly recommend using Austin Dog Zone for all your training and boarding needs.
We found Austin Dog Zone through Google when we were trying to find options for having our new puppy watched while we were out of town. We didn’t want to go the kennel route, so board and training seemed like an excellent alternative.
Jack was just about two months old at the time, though we’d only had him for about a week and a half. (Poor planning on our part to be going out of town so shortly after adoption.) He was making progress on his training but we wanted to keep it going and strengthen it while we were out of town, instead of having him forget.
We couldn’t have been happier with the overall experience! Laura was great to work with for coordinating and arranging options, and Caitlin did a wonderful job with him! We were incredibly pleased with the results; not only was his response stronger to the things we had started training on him, but he had also learned new things as well.
We highly recommend them! Prices were reasonable and results were outstanding. Overall a great experience!–Jeremy H
After friending Austin Dog Zone on Facebook, I decided to enlist their help with my three dogs, 5, 2 and 8 month old. Anytime there was a knock or doorbell my guys went nuts, even if it was on the tv, but it made answering the door a nightmare with them crowding the door and barking away. Caitlin made the treck all the way down to South Austin to help us out. She was truly amazing with my dogs and us, puppy parents, too. She taught me how to teach the dogs to sit and wait on a mat for a release, which made the door situation so much more pleasant. Caitlin was super patient with my dogs and respected them and most importantly didn’t give up on them. I would recommend this business to any and all of my friends and plan to get more help from them for one individual dog who was a problem with children. Both Caitlin and Laura are very sweet, easy to get in contact with and great to do business with!–Stephanie M.
I was looking for another dog trainer in Austin to work with Austina, my miniature dachshund, after a rather unpleasant experience with another trainer. I discovered Austin Dog Zone online. Luckily, Caitlin came to meet us and agreed to work with us. What a transformation! Austina grew in confidence and just loved working for and with Caitlin. She just adored Caitlin! In fact, getting to go visit Caitlin as a reward for the correct behavior was valued highly by Austina. It was so good to see Austina wanting to be around, approach friendly, large dogs and be part of their space. She was not able to do this with the previous trainer. Austina would do anything to please Caitlin and was so happy to receive recognition for doing the correct behavior. We had two private lessons, completed two ‘Canine Life Skills’ and the Canine Good Citizen prep courses. Yes, we are happy to report that we passed the test. Now we want to become a pet therapy team. Sadly, we needed to leave Caitlin’s tutorage because we were about to embark on a new life adventure in England. We will take what we learned from Caitlin with us and look for the same positive traits in a program and trainer in England. We highly recommend taking classes with Austin Dog Zone, so you can experience the genuine love and concern showed to the dogs and their companions. Also, behind the scenes is Laura, who did a great job of sending out reminders for attending classes. So, in conclusion, a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to Caitlin and Laura of Austin Dog Zone. You can’t go wrong training with Austin Dog Zone. Barbara and Austina
Gotta love Caitlin and the positive reinforcement techniques at Austin Dog Zone! I have a leash-reactive pup that I worked with to the extent of my abilities (which wasn’t very far…) before I realized that I needed the help of a professional. I was very impressed that during the initial communications I was asked to describe the problematic behavior and my specific training goals. Apparently, my dog has a very high prey drive, which is not helped by the colony of stray cats that lives across the street. Yeesh!! Caitlin gave us some great techniques to redirect his energy around dogs, cats, squirrels, etc. and taught him some awesome new tricks (“sad puppy” might be the cutest thing ever). At the end of our last private lesson, we were even able to greet Caitlin’s dogs — ON LEASH! This is a HUGE accomplishment for my dog, and I feel empowered because I know that I have the tools to help him succeed. I’m aslo extremely appreciative of Laura. I’ve emailed her with random questions or explained situations to her, and she’s been able to give great advice and point me to helpful resources. Thanks to the extensive work my pup and I did during private trainings and the homework in between, we’re now enrolled in a group class and will continue to work on everything we learned in a controlled, supervised setting. Thank you, Austin Dog Zone! –Jennifer W. and Floyd
We just finished our first class with Caitlin and Austin Dog Zone. Not only did our eight month old Jezzibel learn so much, we really learned the right ways to act both when she is doing something good and when she’s acting naughty! Not to mention we had a blast while doing it! Jezzibel adored Caitlin…she just has this incredibly special relationship with all dogs that you will see the moment your dog meets her.
I cannot highly recommend taking a class with Caitlin enough. She has helped us train Jezzibel with the basics and given us the skills to keep up the training so Jezzibel will improve even more. We can’t wait to sign up for our next class with Caitlin!-Hillary B.
Rue came into our lives when I found her running loose in Liberty Hill, Texas one day. We tried to find her home, but believed that she was set loose and dumped. I noticed how friendly and calm she was and had aspirations to make her a therapy dog, particularly to children, military veterans and disabled people.
I knew that Rue had the potential, but she lacked manners and obedience. She wouldn’t listen to me and had a terrible habit of chasing our horses. I had always had hunting dogs and admittedly have used force and traditional methods in the past for dog training. I’ll be the first to admit that the dogs lost their spirit and personality after being trained this way. My hunting dogs always acted fearful of being punished. I didn’t want to do that with Rue, so I contacted Caitlin.
After training sessions with Caitlin, Rue would return happy and confident to show off her newly learned skills. I needed my own training sessions from Caitlin to get the best from Rue because I had zero experience with this type of training. Caitlin was always patient with me and always helpful.
Now, Rue has near perfect recalls on our ranch, comes with me to work, and is doing therapy visits for my non-profit organization, Texas Serenity Group. Rue always had it in her, but I needed Caitlin’s help to bring out the best in our Rue. I’ve never had such a rewarding relationship like this before with a dog and I can’t thank Caitlin enough for her help!-Todd H.
My two lab/great-dane puppies and I went through basic training with Caitlin, and we are planning to continue with her. Caitlin has a gift with understanding what makes sense to dogs, she is a strong believer in positive reinforcement which aligns with my philosophy. We had a great deal of fun in the class, and I never felt looked down on when my pups were misbehaving. My pups learned a great deal but what is more important is that I learned how to work with them better!
I rescued 10 year old Ranger from the English Springer Spaniel Rescue in late August 2010. He had been turned into a kill shelter in Dallas and was saved by someone there and ESR. His coat was in bad shape and his ears were a mess. He did NOT like to be messed with by vets, problem was he had ear infections. He had to be muzzled and finally bit the vet on the hand (no blood) while she was trying to muzzle him. After 6 months of this very stressful situation and still no good result for his ears, we started sedating him for treatment. This is not something a mother likes to do, nor do the vets, or Ranger. I saw Caitlin’s information at the vet’s office and they told me that she did private lessons, so I called her.
My goal has always been to get Ranger’s ears healed and to get him to trust me to put ear cleaner in his ears so that he can go swimming. Having always had swimmers, I have never seen a dog who enjoys the water more.
It has truly been a pleasure working with Caitlin. I love watching her work with Ranger and watching him learn. You can literally see the “wheels turn.” Sometimes it was hard not to laugh out loud at him as he thought through what he was supposed to be doing. He worked soooo hard for her, he was an exhausted, happy dog at the end of a lesson, and was always thrilled to see her come again.
Ranger is now ear infection free, allowing me to get cleaner in his ears – we make it fun – and will be swimming soon.
Of course, I learned as much or more than Ranger, to be patient,
work in increments, relax and enjoy. I was a tired and happy owner at the end of a lesson, my wheels were turning as well.
**Video of Ranger’s progress can be seen here**