Zen Dog Training

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Raising a New Puppy

Trainer: Elissa Carreras

Your visit was awesome and we all learned so much!  You are so good at your job.  Both Joe and I are eager for your next visit!

- Jodi, Joe and Abby, Somerville, Ma

Puppy Class Participant Feedback

Trainer: Elissa Carreras

"Elissa was so patient and willing to listen to our 'New Parent' concerns. She was very good with ALL the puppies."

"I loved Elissa's enthusiasm. She does a great job using all the dogs to demonstrate exercises and not singling any one out. Loved the personalized Q&A sessions."

"Elissa has a great energy and pacing to her classes. Love the answering of participant questions."

"Elissa gave lots of extra tidbits that were helpful and was always willing to answer any questions."

- Zen Dog Puppy Kindergarten Participants, Charlestown, Ma

Puppy Class Update

Trainer: Elissa Carreras

Wanted to give you an update on Hudson! He is getting big, and is now officially 6 months, AND potty trained! YES! He is the best! Thank you for giving us all the building blocks!

- Kat, Zack and Hudson, Puppy Class, Charlestown, Ma

New Puppy Training

Trainer: Elissa Carreras

We had a great time with Elissa today-- we had almost as much fun as Annabelle and learned lots of great tips and tricks to keep her a happy puppy! THANK YOU!

- Emily, Dan and Annabelle - Fenway Area, Boston, Ma

New Puppy Training

Trainer: Nayiri Krikorian

Getting a new dog can be overwhelming at times and I credit my survival to working with Nayiri Krikorian (who reassured me that Penny would be the best dog she could be with a little practice).

I still remember the first time I spoke with Nayiri.  I was in Las Vegas on my first work trip after the arrival of Penny.  While Penny was adorable in every possible way, I was anxious about how I would be able to manage the lil bundle of love and energy.  Speaking with Nayiri was an instant stress relief because it was clear that this was her area of expertise and that she would be able to handle Penny (and me).  Our training sessions only confirmed my initial instincts -- Nayiri has mastered the technique of training dogs (and humans).  Her love for dogs is obvious, but her professional manner and focus on what works best for her clients is equally noticeable and important.  She arrived at each session with a plan for the session and maximized the time she had with both Penny and me.  I also really appreciated the fact that she would spend the time at the end of the session reviewing what we had done and talking about what to do going forward. Nayiri's commitment to training did not end with the session -- she was (and still is) available by email and/or visits when she is in Charlestown.  

Because we had such fun in the training sessions, we also took Nayiri's puppy kindergarten class at Durty Harry's.  Despite four very active and excited puppies in one room, each week Nayiri worked with the group to get the basic pup skills down (and have some play time).  She knew each dog, its owner(s) and the puppy's strengths and weaknesses and did a great job of working with each dog one-on-one equally among the group.

With every new pup I meet in Charlestown (thank goodness there is a never-ending supply), I recommend Nayiri because she was definitely a life saver for me (and Penny)!

— Alex + Penny the Labradoodle

New Puppy Training

Trainer: Gordon Fontaine

Gordon is great. I could stop there, but I won't. 

We first heard about ZDT from a neighbor who suggested we look them up. Our Dog walkers were familiar with Gordon's name and knew someone who had used him in the past who had positive results. I then took to yelp, and found many positive reviews and I was excited! 

We have done both an in-home session as well as are in the midst of puppy kindergarten taught at Durty Harrys in Charlestown. 

First, our one-on-one session with Gordon:  Gordon was great, he arrived and immediately greeted us, as well as our pup June (who was more than willing to provide puppy attention to anyone willing to play with her). It was a great two hour visit. We went over our homework, and did some in-home training, as well as went on a walk to do some leash training. We even walked down Broadway for a bit to see how she would handle loud noises--- Gordon spent *more* than the promised 2 hours with us. He really is committed to his clients, and to his dogs. 

Gordon left us with good homework and "games" to play with June that would help her training. More importantly we understood WHY and HOW certain training techniques worked (or didnt!). The first visit is really about US learning how to deal with her, not the other way around.... so do not expect 2 hours of non-stop training your dog. Its just as much about you as it is your dog. 

Also, Gordon gave us log-in access to his online database of videos (hours and hours!), training tips, guides he's written, and other tidbits on his website. 

We have also started a class at Durty Harrys in Charlestown with another Zen employee, Nayiri. Nayiri clearly has the same mentality as Gordon-- so much of it is positive reinforcement. Durty Harrys was easy to get to and find (despite is rather unassuming sign outside). Nayiri took the time to understand how all of us learn and communicate with our dog... also she welcomed us to arrive early before class to have puppy socialization opportunities. (which, as we all know, is critical in a dog's development!) 

To anyone considering taking a class or a one-on-one session... do it. The earlier in the dog's life the better. Especially puppies! 

Zen, Gordon and his team are great, and I already would highly recommend it to anyone!

New Puppy Training

Trainer: Gordon Fontaine

It was so great having you over for a training session with Lola. Your techniques are useful, effective, and to the point. You've decoded the language of dogs and simplified it for everyday use! I'm impressed with your ability and gift.

I think the most important part to training is having the owner feel comfortable and wholeheartedly believe in what they are being taught because that is what gives them the confidence to convey that message to their dog.

You have helped me achieve that with Lola and I can already see an improvement. The crate and tethering techniques you've taught me have really set in with her.

On the topic of socializing our puppy, I took Lola to the Boston Public Garden and we randomly came across a pig. His name was Bobby and he was domesticated....came when called, waited for a treat, even sleeps in the same bed as the owner.

Maybe he can be your next client!

– Stephanie and Lola the Golden Retriever

Puppy Kindergarten

Trainer: Nayiri Krikorian

Took the puppy classes at Durty Harry's Charlestown and couldn't be happier! Classes were fun, informative and very helpful. A must for anyone with a new puppy who wants training help, great socialization, fun for your pup and a great trainer. Nayiri is very informative, knowledgeable, friendly and always there if you need help or are having trouble. Best of all, class size was small and everything was very positive ! I now have a well-mannered puppy that loves to learn, what more could you ask for?

— Fran + Merlin the Australian Shepherd

Puppy Kindergarten

Trainer: Nayiri Krikorian

We took our puppy to class at Durty Harry's in Charlestown with Nayiri.  She's the best!  Not only is Nayiri very knowledgeable and knows how to run a class, she is super friendly and fun to be around.  We (parents + pup) learned a lot at puppy class and actually looked forward to going every Sunday morning.  Nayiri was always available when we had questions or just needed to vent about those tough puppy times.  We definitely recommend Zen Dog Training!

— Kaity, Kevin + Piper the mixed breed

New Puppy Training

Trainer: Nayiri Krikorian

My partner surprised me with our puppy Kona for my birthday... which was great because I always wanted a puppy but not so great because I wasn't prepared for the amount a work it would take to train her!  Playbiting, jumping, pulling on the leash, chewing...  you name it, Kona did it.  

Enter Nayiri from Zen Dog Training!

As soon as Nayiri came in, Kona tried to jump all over her but Nayiri started her training "magic" right away, discouraging Kona from jumping while explaining exactly what it was that she was doing.  Soon she had Kona sitting instead of jumping all over the place, and she was able to keep Kona under control during the entire visit.  Nayiri spent two hours with us, listening to what we wanted to work on with Kona and prioritizing our needs.  She was really patient with all of our questions, and gave us really clear and easy to understand instructions.  She even left us with a bunch of training material (that she and another trainer wrote themselves!) so we would have written directions on how to keep up with Kona's training in between visits with Nayiri.  

We've seen such a difference in Kona's behavior since working with Nayiri.  We know she has a way to go, but we're confident that if we stick with our new Zen Dog Training plan Kona is going to grow up to be a really well-behaved dog.  And we know that if we have any questions, Nayiri is really easy to get a hold of!

—Michelle + Kona the mixed breed

New Puppy Training

Trainer: Nayiri Krikorian

In one word: Awesome!

Nayiri is extremely knowledgable of all things puppies/dogs and did a great job going over the fundamentals: potty training, leash walking, "sit"/"down"/"stay"/"leave it" and much more! The handouts she provided reinforced our lessons, which was helpful.

Nayiri is extremely dedicated to her students/pups and will follow up on any specific issue you might have and work with you one on one. She is fantastic. She makes you feel there is NO such thing as a dumb question which is great for a first time dog owner like myself! Zen Dog Training is a great community to be a part of, I highly recommend, as does my dog Charlie!

— Stephanie + Charlie the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

New Puppy - Rambunctious strong-willed

Trainer: Gordon Fontaine

I just wanted to write you and tell you how much we appreciate your coming out to help us with our little Cassie.  I CANNOT believe how different she is -- it is a total transformation! 

She is like a new dog, and we are SO grateful to you -- and to my friend who led me to you and your gentle methods of helping Cassie become a good citizen. I have to be honest, it was hard for me to love her before because I felt to at so odds with her, and now that has completely changed.

—Suzy Axelson, Reading, MA
Cassie, 3-month old Yellow Lab

New puppy - Young children in the home

Trainer: Gordon Fontaine

I just wanted to tell you some great news - Duncan is amazing - he's a totally different dog!

He doesn't bark at me. He's really mellow in the kitchen and when we are hanging out. He's not chasing Brady at all! (Brady is her 3 year old son) Not one bit! Not a nip. He's so gentle. He sat on his lap. No biting. No nipping. No chasing!

And what did I do? I did the things you said. I did it two times and that's it! He's never touched Brady again. It's a miracle! He's so calm, he's so happy, he's so loveable!

And I'm just amazed. I'm amazed! So I just wanted to thank you so much! It's been really great, and I'm definitely going to need you to come back again soon."

—Laura, Belmont, MA 
Duncan, 9-week old Chocolate Lab

New Puppy Training

Trainer: Nayiri Krikorian

We adopted our puppy, Bailey, at 3 months old and immediately started looking for a trainer. What I loved most about Zen Dog Training is that they offer in home one-on-one training unlike some other places I had looked into. They also offered night/weekend training which was exactly what we needed. Also, the initial phone consultation was a great preview of what to expect.

We signed up for the Perfect Pup package that gave us two visits lasting 2 hours each. Definitely worth it! Nayiri was an absolute joy to work with. You could tell she had a great love for dogs! As soon as she entered our home and Bailey raced to 'greet' (i.e. jump on) her she was in training mode yet was still able to do the initial meet/greet with us. Nayiri took the time to listen to our specific concerns as well as tell us about common puppy issues and what to expect since this was the first time either of us had a dog under the age of 1. Nayiri showed us fun ways to teach Bailey common commands and how to advance once he got the hang of it.

It was great that there wasn't a cookie cutter program; everything was tailored to what we wanted to achieve. We received great training material as a reminder once she left as well as access to their online site with an abundance of training videos and info for all stages of a dog’s life. Nayiri was extremely flexible in terms of setting up the follow up appointment which we had to reschedule on our end a couple of times due to work conflicts. Nayiri was available through email for any follow up questions/concerns we had and responded quickly with advice which was helpful as we continued our training. The follow up meeting was great. We were able to discuss all the things that had happened with training and what we still needed to work on. Nayiri also gave suggestions on some next steps she thought Bailey was ready for. We recommend her to anyone who would like to train their dog and will definitely keep her info handy just in case we feel the need for additional training in the future. We definitely lucked out finding this service!

—Jenny, Pat + Bailey the retriever mix