Two years ago we got our Labradoodle Tigo. Seeing how much energy he had as a small puppy, I knew having him trained was very important. I had seen and heard about other dogs that Certified Canine had trained and had only heard good things. Tigo had the 3 week training and I couldn't be happier! Like everyone else says, my dog is still full of energy and an all around goofball but I can count on him to be very well behaved. He is very patient with young children, an angel on hikes and in stores. I can take him anywhere with me. I have been meaning to write my testimonial for well over a year now, but I'm glad I hadn't gotten around to it when I experienced a whole new reason to be grateful for Tigo's training. This winter he unfortunately severely cut one of his pads from top to bottom and very deep. We rushed to the vet with him bleeding profusely and whimpering. It was absolutely amazing that while Tigo was in incredible pain and now to have a vet examining and cleaning his wound, he lay perfectly still on the floor. The vet even commented that his calmness and trust in us was amazing. I absolutely credit his training with that! I don't think we could have been so successful at keeping his foot bandaged, clean, and soaked daily for the 36 days it took to heal, had it not been for his training. We never want to see our pets in pain, but I will forever be grateful that while Tigo was in pain, he had the trust in me to let me tend to him. Thank you Certified Canine!
Trista House VanDuzer
Pulaski, New York
Rachel, Neal, & Brad: I wanted to thank all three of you for bringing more love and joy to my family since we were able to get Dillion the family has grown just a little closer from our hearts opening wider. I have always said I would never get another dog that wasn’t trained by you. When our previous dog, Guinness whom you trained passed away and we wanted another dog that would make a great family pet, my husband thought of you to email to ask what kind we should get. The reason is the training you did with our other dog was remarkable and we know how many dogs you see to train and would make a great recommendation. I never thought for one minute we would buy a beautiful boy from you. You called me the next morning and said we want to sell Dillion to you; I knew he would be ours. Since then Dillion has become a huge part of our family. When I get home from work he is there with his funny grin, tail wagging waiting for his humans. He is amazing, and anywhere we go everyone wants to know where we got him and what a beautiful, laid back, well-behaved and trained dog we have. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, The Arrao Family Update: Dillion has become the family dog you have always wanted. He is well behaved, loveable and incredibly all human friendly (big or small). He has continued with his training with us and has obtained his Canine Good Citizen thru the AKC. CertifiedK9 helped us to get that. Dillion is a well-balanced dog who enjoys doggy daycare, and going to camp to enjoy the great outdoors. He is not much of water dog; we’re hoping to get him more comfortable with the water. He loves to ride in the car and have the wind in his face. We are hoping that this fall we can work with getting his therapy training for the local hospitals because they work with a specific local group that all dogs must attend their classes. I’m sure Dillion will go through like a champ. We are considering getting him a friend, who will also go through training at Certified K9, without a doubt. We can’t thank Certified K9 enough. I believe without a doubt it was completely worth spending the money to buy a trained dog, because sometimes you just don't know what you're going to get!! (I am more than happy to send any pictures you would like - not sure if Rachel still has them on her phone) And again thank you!!
Problem : We could barely hold onto him on a leash but that was not the main problem. One of our dogs, Dexter, is a harmless, good time Charley and just loves to run and be chased. Outside, Cowboy was so intense in his play that he would always run Dexter down and Dexter would get scared and they would fight. There would be bloody lips and cuts on both of them. Nothing serious enough to go to a vet, but upsetting nonetheless. It was particularly bad when we first stepped outside into the fenced in yard with the dogs because their excitement level went skyrocketing from a 1 to a 10. Dexter changed and became frightened and was always on edge looking to see where Cowboy was. Oddly enough, inside the house, the 2 were inseparable and always sleep intertwined. After agonizing, and I mean it was incredible emotional torture, we were on the verge of taking Cowboy back to the rescue in order to secure Dexter’s well being, when our vet told us about Neil and Rachel.
Solution #1: I picked him up Certified Canine Services after 3 weeks. WOW! He heels perfectly and I can walk him down our road past chickens, horses and other dogs while holding the leash with 2 fingers on one hand. On 2 occasions when I stopped to talk to neighbors, he sat down next to me and stayed there when their dogs came up and sniffed his back end. I still use the e-collar sporadically, but we have taken him into town and on hikes and it has been fun not having him pull your arm off. When we let all the dogs out at once or when we step outside with them, we put Cowboy into a sit and leave him there for 2 or 3 minutes while the other 5 dogs run around crazily. Once they all stop running and calm down, we then release Cowboy. We are now able to control the previously out of control situation and as a result, he and Dexter have learned to play together nicely when outside alone. I am incredibly grateful to Neil and Rachel for saving us from giving him up.
When we were approved to have a therapy dog at our school, I immediately called Neil at Certified K9 to be our trainer. Our black lab, Wilson, is now 6 months old and Neil and Rachel have been involved since they conducted a temperament test and picked him from the litter to be our dog when he was four weeks old. I picked up Wilson from the owners and went straight to Certified K9 for a puppy lesson before bringing him home. Neil gave my husband and I pointers on every aspect of puppy training at home as well as what I needed to do to immediately integrate Wilson into our school. The very next day Wilson went to school with me to meet the students and has gone everyday since. Although he was going to school, he had many things to learn before he could go to classrooms and freely socialize within our population. Wilson’s first training session was when he was fourteen weeks old. He went to training for 3 weeks. He came back a different puppy. He wasn’t play biting and he was always listening to commands. Neil conducted a training session for the staff in the building so we could be consistent with commands and provide the best environment in order for Wilson to be successful.. At the training, Neil extended his services to us to answer questions or come to school to help with any issues that may arise with Wilson and his training as a therapy dog.
One of the programs we are using Wilson with is an after school program called “Just Read”. Neil and Rachel came as guest speakers to the program and even brought another dog that was in training to meet our students. Neil and Rachel are willing to go above and beyond to ensure not only the dogs are properly trained but also the people working with the animals are as well. Wilson greets students as they come in each morning, goes to classes, and is the star of the office. He brings a smile to many faces each day and we owe it to Certified K9.
Wilson Elementary School
Adams, New York
Ebony has gone from being an annoying, nuisance of a pet (I know how bad that sounds, but she was worse than a house full of toddlers hyped up on Red Bull) to a very much loved and treasured member of our family. Before training, she was an out of control, hyperactive, absolutely crazy and insanely large 7 month golden doodle puppy. She would constantly jump on people, furniture, literally almost dislocate the shoulder of anyone trying to walk her on a leash, gave skin tears to multiple people, help herself to anything and everything - to include the food off the plates of our two toddler boys, counter surfing, bolting out the door and knocking anyone in her path right out of the way…the list could go on and on. She had become so unmanageable for our family and was an almost constant source of frustration. I happened to meet a woman and her golden doodle, who was so well behaved and calm. I asked her what her secret was, and she handed me the business card of Certified K-9. After searching prices online via their website, I gasped and thought we would just have to deal with her. I was afraid to spend the money, as I wasn’t sure she could be calmed down with anything. After much time and consideration, as well as a bit of desperation, we contacted Neil and Rachel at Certified K-9 for the 3 week program, dropped her off, and kept our fingers crossed as we hoped for the best. We honestly weren’t sure she could change. As awful as it sounds, part of us enjoyed the 3 weeks without her, as it was a break from the constant crazy energy that NEVER ended. When it was time to pick her up, we were beyond amazed at the change in her. When we re-introduced her to our little boys, she remained well-mannered. She has a new calm about her, which has been there since we picked her up. Her calm presence has created a much more peaceful household for all of us. I told my husband Neil and Rachel are definitely the dog whisperers and miracle workers of the north country. Ebony truly was a different dog when we picked her up, and she still is. In fact, she just keeps getting better and better. She is such a good girl. The reason for this change is Ebony has been educated, learning her basic commands from Certified K-9. We continue, on a daily basis, to work with her to teach her and reinforce how to mind her manners. We are all happier, and so is Ebony. We recently went to cut down our Christmas tree with our two toddlers. In the past, we never would have taken Ebony with us - she would have been left behind in her crate. Instead, she joined us and was so well behaved in spite of many distractions. This sweet, loving, gentle, and calm (never thought I’d use that word to describe her) doggie of ours will have a much happier life because of Neil and Rachel. They are fantastic and professional trainers - well worth every single penny spent. Any dog we own will definitely go through their training. Thank you so much - you have no idea how much you’ve given to us. We are eternally grateful.
Mike & Heather Jones
Watertown, New York
I don't even know where to start. We took our Blue Heeler Charlie to Neil and Rachel at eight months old. Charlie was uncontrollable, constantly play biting, barking, he was pulling awful on a leash and chewing EVERYTHING! Charlie became unbearable for us. We were constantly miserable at home and very frustrated. We enrolled Charlie in the three week program. When we picked him up from Certified K-9, we couldn't believe the difference. We literally teared up the first time we took him for a walk. He was amazing. We have had Charlie home for about six weeks now and we are so excited to come home to him every night. We went from having to watch him literally every single second to him going fishing with us for hours and going on hikes in the Adirondacks without a leash on. So here are a few facts....if you are looking at this website, you probably are in need of some help...you have absolutely no idea the life that Neil and Rachel can help you have with your dog. Our Charlie is a high energy dog that without there help, he probably would have bounced around home to home his entire life. Before training, Charlie would not listen to my wife at all and now they are inseparable. Neil and Rachel are true professionals. The best of the best. They go way out of there way to help you and will teach you more than you can imagine about how to communicate with your dog. I made endless calls and had constant questions and they always got back to me and were always so kind no matter what the question was. And if it is the price you are worried about.....TRUST ME....it is worth every single last penny. Every dog I own will go to Rachel and Neil for as long as they stay training. Thank you both from the bottom of our hearts. Our life with Charlie is so awesome now and he is so happy!!
Chad & Kayla Farmer
Pulaski, New York
After assessing our dog and our needs Neil recommended a four week program which was perfect for us. Her shy personality and very physical nature required strong leadership so we were trained as well.
I would like to point out that this is a before picture of our dog Fenja (Fen-ya). No more sitting or running on the couch now!
Also no more counter surfing, garbage diving, digging the rugs in the house or holes in the back yard which looks like a moonscape, chasing cars while on the leash, play biting, or terrorizing our little Shi Tzu Gracie. She doesn't even get carsick anymore! But best of all is watching her run freely in the yard. And she loves to run!
Fenja seems more relaxed now and has accepted our leadership. We are very grateful to Rachel and Neil for helping us achieve this and for their continued support.
Our Pug Guinness has done a complete 180 degree turn around from the dog he who used to be. Before he would knock my son down, and I couldn't leave them alone (my son was very young)! Neal has worked miracles, though we still have some work to do with him, Neal is just as much dedicated in making Guinness the family dog we want as we are. Guinness is a joy to walk, and people always comment how good he is. If your dog needs a week or a month spend the money, I wouldn't send my dog anywhere else. Thank you to Neal and his wife for making our cute dog into an obedient dog.
Christopher, Jerry & Jennifer Arrao
Our goldendoodle puppy, Wilson, is an important member of our family, and we knew it was important to trust the people who would train him to be a cooperative, adaptable dog in our household. We were fortunate to have Neil and Rachel’s experience and knowledge in giving Wilson that skillset. Bad habits like playbiting, combined with a frustrating stubborn streak at an early age, were going to turn into bigger issues later on if they weren’t addressed.We sent Wilson to Certified Canine Services for three weeks. It’s always a difficult decision to part with your puppy for that length of time. But what’s amazing is Rachel and Neil didn’t change Wilson’s personality. They simply gave him and us the skills and understanding to put a stop to unhealthy habits. Cooperation between dog and owner has led to a happier life for both.We’ll never forget the day Wilson came running up to us in the training room after three weeks apart, licking our faces as he was reunited with his people. Soon after, Neil walked us through all his new skills, along with new ways to communicate. It was amazing how responsive Wilson was. As Neil said, for example, the “come” command could save Wilson’s life.It seemed impossible that we would ever work with Wilson as well as Neil and Rachel did. But carefully and patiently, they walked us through everything, and soon Wilson was responding just as well to us as he did with them.Wilson is still happy-go-lucky, and at six months old now, he still sometimes acts like a puppy. No one wants to take that away from him. It’s the foundation he now has, thanks to Rachel and Neil, which will ensure years of cooperation and love in our household.We are blessed and grateful to have such a loving, sweet, cooperative little dog and much of the credit goes to Certified Canine Services.
Joel & Jamie Lehman
We are so thankful to Neil and Rachel for helping us gain control over our playful and mischievous Brinkley. We had the most loving and obedient rescue Old English Sheepdog for 10 years, and a year after he passed, we began looking for a new dog. We purchased an Old English Sheepdog puppy from a reputable breeder, and from the beginning, we knew he was not going to be anything like our previous dog. Brinkley had no desire to please and became very destructive. He loved getting into the garbage, eating socks, tearing up the floor on the back porch, and digging holes in the backyard. He looked for trouble everywhere he went. Controlling him on a leash was nearly impossible due to his large size. Brinkley would not listen, and sometimes it seemed like he did not even hear us. After taking him to Cornell for testing, we discovered he was deaf in one ear and had a significant heart murmur. Everyday was a battle, and Brinkley started becoming more aggressive. We tried other trainers, but nothing seemed to work or made a lasting impression on Brinkley. Due to his health problems and dominant personality, we strongly considered giving Brinkley back to his breeders. A friend recommended Certified Canine Services, and we were willing to give it one last try before we gave Brinkley back. Brinkley was enrolled in the 3 week training program, and when we picked him up, we thought they had switched him with a different dog. He listened the first time you said a command! It was truly a miracle. We have enjoyed having Brinkley so much since then, and he has become a more loving dog. We are able to take him for walks and to the park, without worrying he will pull us the whole time. He is no longer aggressive or destructive, and he seems less stressed. We are truly grateful for Neil and Rachel spending so much time with Brinkley and training us too! We are confident that Brinkley is safe and loved when at Certified Canine Services, and we now use their boarding services. Their training program has allowed us to keep Bri!nkley in our family, and he no longer runs the house!
Sarah Beth Pilch
Clay, New York
Thank you so much neil. You folks are amazing. I never thought my emmy could ever be trained at four years of age. And I know that lab's are full of energy. She's been by my side since my wife and I got her. Had three back surgeries and she stayed by my side through each recovery. I've never been able to walk her at all. She would pull me very hard and cause back irritation. I'd walk every day under my surgeons orders but couldn't take emmy with me. After two weeks of training with you folks I'm able to walk with her every day. She's like a little lady with me. Never pulls me, always listens to her commands. Hat's off to you guys, you folks are the greatest. Thank you so much Neil and Rachel, I'm spreading the word out there about your facility, you guys are the best. Thank you for everything you have done with our Emmy.
Bud & Cindy Burnup
Cleveland, New York
Certified Canine has helped our family immensely with our two year old Boxer, Indy. Indy was anxious and had several behaviors that we did not know how to correct. We took Indy to a behavioral veterinarian who was uncertain that Indy could change and medication helped his anxiety but not his behavior. I called Neil and Rachel and set up a consultation and in the first few minutes of meeting Indy Neil had a clear plan of how to help him. Indy was anxious and had behavioral issues because he felt that he had to be the leader. Indy completed the four week program and our family also learned how to be the leaders that Indy needed us to be. Neil and Rachel have been there for us every step of the way and Indy has grown so much. He is much calmer, happier, and listens when we give him a command. Thank you again Neil and Rachel for all that you have done for us and for Indy!
Watertown, New York
Bubba the dog! Bubba is a 120 lb Bull Mastiff. I got Bubba when he was about 15 months old and I was his fourth owner. We had an instant bond. However, Bubba picked and chose who he was going to like and who he didn't. We have a big family, a lot of friends, and a very busy household. Bubba was nervous, aggressive at times, even with family members, and sometimes had issues with the other two family dogs. After a short time he became very territorial when people stopped over. He was an accident waiting to happen, so to speak. I was at the point where I had to decide if I could keep him or find a different home for him. Then a friend recommended Neil and his K9 services. Bubba stayed at Neil's camp for a month. He was a totally different dog when he came home. It was amazing. He was relaxed, he wasn't aggressive anymore, he was more willing to deal with new situations, now he greets people with his tail wagging, we don't have to chain him up outside when we take him out.He just hangs out with the other dogs.
Oswego, New York
I learned about Neil and Rachael through a friend that had her dog trained at certified canine. She spoke very highly of her experience, so I called when we picked up our 8 week old German Shepherd . Sig is a direct descendant from Germany which makes for a very high drive dog. By consulting with Certified K-9 (Neil and Rachael) we agreed on a 3 week training . I would not have the well trained socialized dog I have today without them.Their professional knowledge in-depth experience and their overall patience and compassion for dogs is second to none. I would highly recommend Certified K-9 if you want the best training.
Terry & Marge Shupe
Skaneateles, New York
Straight up. This is true. If we ever get another dog and we live ANYwhere on the east coast - we will send him to Neil and Rachel!! Our 12 month old yellow lab, Miles, is pure joy to be with now. He is an amaaazing part of our family and it was worth every single penny!! Thank you for your expertise and love for our dog. We are forever grateful!
Lauri St. Pierre
Hi Rachel and Neil, we wanted to add to your testimonial page but I'm not seeing a way to do that. If you're still uploading to that page feel free to add the below.
No means no – check
Come means come - check
Peaceful walks – check
Toy sharing with no worries – check
Dog envious of the neighborhood – check
Compliments on behavior – check
Amazing dogs - check
The Grimme family sends a HUGE thank you to Brad, Rachel, Neil and Hannah for giving us such a great foundation for our dogs Addie and Flip.
The week of drop off we all went back and forth on if we were doing the right thing. Reminded me of when our kids started day care. The worry of will they be cared for, will they eat, will they cry, will they play well with others, will they remember us, kept creeping in our minds.
Did any of that happen, no.
Do we have any regrets, none.
A special thanks to Brand and Rachel for always showing patience!!
I have a Saint Bernard and while living in NY while my husband was stationed at Fort Drum our saint become aggressive towards strangers and we were very fearful to bring him anywhere or have people of the house. He was good at daycare until one day he aggressively barked at a customer while I was paying and that was the last straw for me. I contact Neil and his team and a couple weeks later Xander was brought to Certified Canine for the 3 week program. When I picked him up I was amazed at the transformation. I was able to walk him without him pulling and he listened on command. We still had an issue with him and being aggressive in the home so Neil and his team made a house call a couple weeks before we left NY. We had got an e-collar for Xander and today we are able to have people come into the house without having to put Xander away and when we our outside in the backyard with company Xander is able to be off the leash and with no collar and is he escorts our company into the house he is fine off the leash and without the collar as well. He is still a little territorial when stranger initially come into the house but we are able to control his behavior and are able to handle him now. Neil and his team did a wonderful job with training Xander and I and I couldn't have asked for more as Xander enjoys people now and as my baby prior to contacted Neil a couple of trainers had told me that I would probably have to put him down which was not an option for us and I was very upset. Neil and his team were able to reassure me that the problem is fixable. They were more than able to fix the issues and we couldn't be happier! Thank you so much to Neil and his team!!! I recommend Certified Canine to everyone and if we were still in NY we would have sent our Husky! Thank you again!
Neil Mathews is a godsend. Neil was able to train our three year old Bullmastiff, Rocky, when we thought it was going to be the end for him. Neil also trained us and gave the us the tools to provide Rocky with the type of environment we all needed to be successful. Neil will forever be Rocky's lifeline. We rescued Rocky from a neglectful environment. Rocky was tied to a tree by a rope and chain collar with no food or water. Rocky was extremely malnourished and alone. He also had scarring on his neck from an embedded collar. We talked to the owner and they willingly gave Rocky up at a cheap price knowing he would get the proper care and love he needed and deserved. Rocky is a very loving dog with those he trusts, but was a handful from the beginning. He had no discipline so controlling him was difficult. We were able to make some progress with him, though. After several months, however, Rocky became aggressive toward strangers. Not knowing Rocky's history made it even more difficult to determine what triggered him in order to prevent him from having aggressive behaviors. We tried basic obedience training and it was not effective enough to keep him from snapping and biting when provoked by a stranger. Neil was our last resort before having to put Rocky to sleep.We brought Rocky to Neil and he made no promises. Neil was honest and said it was no guarantee that he would be able to help us and Rocky. Neil spent some time with Rocky and concluded Rocky's behaviors were due to a combination of aggression and fear aggression. Neil also said Rocky is very fearful of humans and does not trust them. Rocky would not even make eye contact with Neil but after his hardwork, dedication, and determination he was able to gain Rocky's trust. Once this relationship was established training soared. Rocky was still very stubborn and bull-headed but Neil's persistence enabled him to teach Rocky all of the elements of the four week obedience camp. Throughout this time Neil and Rachel kept us updated on their progress. They also communicated with us the importance of our responsibilities too. We prepared for Rocky's pick-up date by watching the training video and understanding many changes to our environment needed to be made. Rocky's personality and history meant he needed a more structured and disciplined environment. Neil and Rachel helped us to recognize what we needed to do to make that happen. The day we picked Rocky up Neil went through everything we needed to know. He showed us a video with everything they taught Rocky. Neil also walked us through everything with Rocky and made sure we were using the proper techniques with him until we were comfortable to take him home.When we got Rocky home he tried to fall back into his old habits. Things like taking shoes, jumping on furniture, or demanding play time were minor misbehaviors. These little things, though, all made Rocky "King" and it could no longer be tolerated. It was amazing how easy it was to prevent Rocky from doing these things anymore once he was corrected. It did not take long for Rocky to understand he was no longer the leader. As Neil said, the training is all about keeping Rocky from having any control and making his own decisions. It has been five months since we brought Rocky home and he is still a success. We go for long walks in the park and I can even let him off leash! We are all more confident and Rocky is more content. Rocky is still a stubborn dog and tries to make an inch a mile so slacking off on his obedience is out of the question. Rocky is definitely a happier dog, though. Having a true leader in his life is a must.We cannot express the amount of gratitude and appreciation we have for Neil and Rachel. We know without Neil's help Rocky surely would not be with us today. We are so very thankful!