Reactive dogs are dogs that bark and lunge when they see other dogs or people.

The goal of The Puppy Perfectors is to give owners with reactive dogs the tools they need to be able to safely take their dogs out in public. A reactive dog did not develop over night and it will not get better over night. It takes practice and to practice you need a controlled environment that will help you succeed. A group class is the perfect controlled environment and the most cost effective way to attain your goals.

For the safety of everyone in class, only one reactive dog will be allowed at one time in a class, and they will enter from a separate door and be in their own space. As you & your dog develop appropriate skills, you gradually are integrated into the class. To begin, you will need to first attend an orientation. Next, a private lesson at The Puppy Perfectors facility will need to be scheduled. In the private lesson, you and your dog’s needs will be evaluated, and you will be taught how to redirect your dogs attention, how to read your dog, and practice skills needed to have success in the group classes. You will then be able to attend the drop-in Novice classes.

For $260 you will receive an initial private lesson and 6 Novice drop-in classes. If for any reason, it is determined you will need more than one private lesson before you begin the drop-in classes, additional private lessons will be at a reduced price of $75.

Poor Reactive Patches 'Perfected'

In retrospect, I should have known that Patches was reactive when we got him for our seven-year-old daughter. He was our first dog, though, so even glaringly obvious traits escaped my notice. Patches turned out to be a twelve-pound, self-proclaimed tough guy: we could not walk down the street without him taking on every dog in sight, regardless of size. Walking my second-grader to school was particularly embarrassing; as soon as he saw the Well-Mannered Family Dogs, he would go ballistic.

Thank God for Nancy and the rest of The Puppy Perfectors team. It took a few months to train me and Patches, but now we look like any other respectable dog family in neighborhood. Patches still has his aggressive urges. When his ears prick up, I’m prepared and know what to do. Once it even happened when he was off-leash in front of our house. A provocative dog was coming down the street and I could see Patches getting ready to pounce. All I had to do was say, “hey!” in the proper tone of voice and he responded instantly. Hurray! What a relief for all of us.

– Deirdre Murano

Rewarded by a Less Reactive Tasha

Three weeks after we brought Tasha home from an eastern Washington shelter she began to exhibit reactiveness to other dogs that soon manifested itself as outright aggression. We were committed to trying to save her and brought her to The Puppy Perfectors to see if obedience training might help calm her down. I’m fairly certain that most people who met Tasha at that time assumed she was a lost cause and that we were crazy to keep her. I admit I was skeptical much could be done. But Nancy and her staff were optimistic about her from the start and although they’re quick to point out that all dogs are different and there are no guarantees, they provided the encouragement I needed to stick with it.

We first started classes in the back of the room separated by a fence from the other dogs. Even then it was often too much for Tasha to handle but over time we carefully worked our way into the group. Although it was very slow at first, Tasha became increasingly comfortable with the proximity to the point where we began to introduce her to suitably tempered dogs. At that point the behavior just started melting away, and the better she got with her obedience training the more relaxed and playful she became.

Today, a year later, Tasha and I are regular visitors to Seattle off-leash dog parks and she is happy and playful with all comers. I would not have believed it possible had I not gone through it. If you have a reactive dog don’t give up. With some time and patience Nancy can help. I can honestly say that she saved Tasha’s life and in doing so gave me one of my most rewarding life experiences.

– Ted Webber