Chelsie with Daija "She helped Daija and myself work at a way to greet new dogs with less barking.  This has decreased frustration for me and allowed for my pup to meet new dogs.  I recommend Sue for training help!"

Chelsie with Daija

"She helped Daija and myself work at a way to greet new dogs with less barking.  This has decreased frustration for me and allowed for my pup to meet new dogs.  I recommend Sue for training help!"

Chelsea, Lucia and Kory "I had a few nights filled with tears and my husband wondered what in the world we did by getting a puppy.  Then we went to classes with Sue and now we don't know what we'd do without our happy Lab!  We are looking forward to taking many more puppies to Sue's classes."

Chelsea, Lucia and Kory

"I had a few nights filled with tears and my husband wondered what in the world we did by getting a puppy.  Then we went to classes with Sue and now we don't know what we'd do without our happy Lab!  We are looking forward to taking many more puppies to Sue's classes."

Sam and Jaxon "We drove out to Pennsylvania to get a German Shepherd puppy with the temperament we were seeking. This dog would be an important part of our family for a long long time, so we were dedicated to making  the necessary investment of time and effort to enable Jaxon to reach his full potential and become the dog we hoped for. A fellow dog-lover recommended training with Sue Kapla. Jaxon started his education with Sue in a puppy class and has continued with her through his first year. Not quite a year old, Jaxon is well behaved in any social situation, well-balanced, obedient, happy and calm. I'm a firm believer that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so while Sue is excellent at correcting behavior issues in dogs, starting Jaxon out right has made corrective measures unnecessary (so far!). Jaxon is now well on his way to earning his Canine Good Citizenship certification. We highly recommend Sue Kapla's training techniques and so does Jaxon!  He is happy to meet new people, so please feel free to visit Jaxon at Nagelkirks in Harvey, or check out his Facebook page."

Sam and Jaxon

"We drove out to Pennsylvania to get a German Shepherd puppy with the temperament we were seeking. This dog would be an important part of our family for a long long time, so we were dedicated to making  the necessary investment of time and effort to enable Jaxon to reach his full potential and become the dog we hoped for. A fellow dog-lover recommended training with Sue Kapla. Jaxon started his education with Sue in a puppy class and has continued with her through his first year. Not quite a year old, Jaxon is well behaved in any social situation, well-balanced, obedient, happy and calm. I'm a firm believer that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so while Sue is excellent at correcting behavior issues in dogs, starting Jaxon out right has made corrective measures unnecessary (so far!). Jaxon is now well on his way to earning his Canine Good Citizenship certification. We highly recommend Sue Kapla's training techniques and so does Jaxon!  He is happy to meet new people, so please feel free to visit Jaxon at Nagelkirks in Harvey, or check out his Facebook page."

I’m Linda.  My husband is Willie.  And this is Buster…… Buster is a little Heinz 57 dog who came to us in May of 2016 with BIG problems. We adopted him from UPAWS after his having had several different homes in his short four years.  He had an “aggressive” label; and they weren’t kidding.   Having had a “sassy” Jack Russell for 10 years, I felt I could probably deal with Buster’s temperament.  First and foremost, Buster did not want to be touched.  Any purposeful hand movement in his direction illicited snaps and snarls.  After a month, I was ready to call uncle on this project.  I was ready to surrender him to UPAWS.  But, Buster was so smart in other areas.  He whistle trained in 2 days.  He follows directions better than any dog I have ever owned.  He devotedly follows me everywhere and happily does anything I am doing.  But I could not pet or touch him.  Then he began to get aggressive towards my husband, Willie, if he would walk towards me; this behavior could not be tolerated or lived with.   Earlier our vet had suggested Sue Kapla, Animal Behaviorist, as being potentially able to help us.  So we decided to give Buster a final chance before giving up on him.  We called Sue.  After a thorough initial phone interview and a one-on-one visit, we learned the techniques of clicker training and behavioral  reconditioning.  We learned that a dog will only learn and do at his speed, mini baby steps are necessary to keep trust and learning going and all this takes time and patience.  Our work began with a HUGE wrench thrown in however:  Buster tested positive for heartworm disease.  So at the same time we began reconditioning, he also started heartworm treatment.  Thanks to Sue Kapla, with her teaching and support, in spite of the rigors of heartworm treatment, Buster now, four months later, lets us pet him.  I pick things off of his fur and pick him up. He sits on my lap when I knit.  He no longer reacts to Willie coming near me.  He enjoys people.  We still have to go at Buster’s speed and willingness to engage;  but, he is very excited about clicker training and this seems to give him confidence in himself.  Some of the clicker training is aimed at him being touched.  Other clicker training is just fun and getting him to be a stable member of the family.  He is becoming a great dog.  I’m so glad we didn’t surrender him and sought help instead. We will never know what happened to Buster to make him so afraid but he is getting better using the knowledge we gained from Sue Kapla.  Thank you, Sue!

I’m Linda.  My husband is Willie.  And this is Buster……

Buster is a little Heinz 57 dog who came to us in May of 2016 with BIG problems.

We adopted him from UPAWS after his having had several different homes in his short four years.  He had an “aggressive” label; and they weren’t kidding.   Having had a “sassy” Jack Russell for 10 years, I felt I could probably deal with Buster’s temperament.  First and foremost, Buster did not want to be touched.  Any purposeful hand movement in his direction illicited snaps and snarls.  After a month, I was ready to call uncle on this project.  I was ready to surrender him to UPAWS.  But, Buster was so smart in other areas.  He whistle trained in 2 days.  He follows directions better than any dog I have ever owned.  He devotedly follows me everywhere and happily does anything I am doing.  But I could not pet or touch him.  Then he began to get aggressive towards my husband, Willie, if he would walk towards me; this behavior could not be tolerated or lived with.  

Earlier our vet had suggested Sue Kapla, Animal Behaviorist, as being potentially able to help us.  So we decided to give Buster a final chance before giving up on him.  We called Sue. 

After a thorough initial phone interview and a one-on-one visit, we learned the techniques of clicker training and behavioral  reconditioning.  We learned that a dog will only learn and do at his speed, mini baby steps are necessary to keep trust and learning going and all this takes time and patience.  Our work began with a HUGE wrench thrown in however:  Buster tested positive for heartworm disease.  So at the same time we began reconditioning, he also started heartworm treatment.  Thanks to Sue Kapla, with her teaching and support, in spite of the rigors of heartworm treatment, Buster now, four months later, lets us pet him.  I pick things off of his fur and pick him up. He sits on my lap when I knit.  He no longer reacts to Willie coming near me.  He enjoys people.  We still have to go at Buster’s speed and willingness to engage;  but, he is very excited about clicker training and this seems to give him confidence in himself.  Some of the clicker training is aimed at him being touched.  Other clicker training is just fun and getting him to be a stable member of the family.  He is becoming a great dog.  I’m so glad we didn’t surrender him and sought help instead.

We will never know what happened to Buster to make him so afraid but he is getting better using the knowledge we gained from Sue Kapla.  Thank you, Sue!

Jack & Lucky

My wife and I have always made a puppy part of the family for life.  After losing our 11 year old golden retriever to cancer, we decided to look for a mature rescue dog rather than a puppy.  We were thinking that a couple of months of loving would be all a rescue dog would need.  Obviously we were way off target.

We adopted a 6 year-old Golden named Lucky.  Lucky had a difficult past and more than his fair share of issues.  More than just a little hyper, Lucky had high level food and possession aggression, did not get along with other dogs, was completely non-responsive to any command; in fact, he seemed to not recognize his name.  We best describe Lucky as living in a different world.   He would look through us with glazed-over eyes and had to be in control of any interaction.  There was no joy in Lucky; he was a stressed-out bundle of fears so intense that he was uncontrollable in a vehicle, would shudder at practically any noise, and would never look us in the eyes. 

After four months of unsuccessfully trying to turn Lucky around combined with several demonstrations of high level aggressions, we turned to Dr. Sue Kapla.  This was Lucky’s “last chance.”  During our initial visit Dr. Kapla who was familiar with Lucky from an aggression evaluation she administered during his shelter days did a thorough evaluation and discussed in detail what we desired.  Dr. Kapla’s assessment was not pleasant to hear; however, it came as no surprise and we so appreciated her honesty and how open she was to tackle the challenge.  Next Dr. Kapla developed a plan that identified the most pressing needs to be addressed first; then she taught us how to properly train Lucky using positive reinforcement to bring out the desired behavior.  Between on-site training visits Dr. Sue provided weekly phone consultation which fostered our ability to adjust training methods to eliminate undesirable behavior and advance good behavior.  What a value!   Being able to tap into Sue’s expertise to help me adjust training strategies is a real life-line.

Within several weeks we could see positive changes in Lucky; however, it took several months before we felt that he may make it as his glazed blank stare turned to an alert and attentive look with sparkling eyes.  We are even more optimistic now at 6 months.  Lucky is responsive to directions and eager to work on new tasks.  He is a completely different dog.  He has even found that famous golden tail wag.

It’s a fact that Lucky has so much more to learn and he will never completely shake the past.  I suspect behavior training with Lucky will be a long process; perhaps life-long.   If so, that’s okay.  We love our Lucky and simply want him to be happy and safe to be around.

We know that Dr. Kapla saved Lucky’s life.  We are so appreciative.   

Marvin & Ruger

"I give Dr. Kapla my highest recommendation. I adopted a 3-year old Gordon Setter who came from a troubled background, including abuse and neglect. He was a sweet dog from the beginning, but he needed a lot of work. Dr. Kapla came to our home to evaluate the dog. She listened carefully to what I wanted from the dog, and gave us a program to achieve it. The training took a lot of work from us - she did not try to train my dog, she showed me how to work with him to achieve my goals. She came back numerous times, and adjusted the program to suit my personality and the dog’s character - she did not have a cookie-cutter, one size fits all program. She worked with our individual needs and abilities. I had never done any dog training before, I was a rank beginner. I could not be happier with the results, or with my experience with Dr. Kapla. Ruger (my dog) and I are a better team as a result of working with her, and I thank her in my mind after every time we come in from a walk."

Kaylee, Josie & Mandy

In 2012 I adopted two golden retrievers, Josie and Mandy. While they were never mistreated in their first environment, they severely lacked any mental stimulation. Josie suffered from terrible noise phobia (storms, fireworks, etc) as well as reactivity toward other dogs. Per my veterinarian’s recommendation I contacted Dr. Kapla. She came to our house and evaluated both of my girls. She was upfront and honest with me from the beginning and took the time to ensure that my veterinarian was part of the conversation.  Now, nearly three years later, Josie is a functioning member of the dog world. She handles controlled interactions with other dogs and her noise phobia no longer paralyzes her. Our experiences with Dr. Kapla have opened many doors for us. She equipped me with the tools to change the trajectory of Josie’s behavior and develop an incredible trust between me and my dogs.  Through positive reinforcement and consistency Josie no longer lives in a world where she is constantly on guard.  I am so grateful to Dr. Kapla for believing that this life was possible for Josie and ensuring that we not only had the tools we needed to excel, but clearly understood what our next steps would be. 

Kellie & Bella

"Sue Kapla changed my life. I came from the “jerk and choke” school of dog training with previous dogs – I didn’t like it, but hoped both my dog and I would come out the other side and be able to function.  And then the pinch collar came out.  Enough.

Sue’s training, begun when my Bella was little more than 3 months old, showed me an entirely new and different way of relating to my dog.  The work was gentle, consistent and customized for our particular situation and for the results desired.  Bella was perfect, but I needed quite a bit of work.  That’s the point – all the training showed me how to bring out the behaviors that I wanted in my canine partner and how to extinguish the undesirable ones.  I didn’t care if my dog heeled, but I wanted a social dog with exceptional recalls, solid stays and “leave its” and a friend that enjoyed working with me.  And that is exactly what I got.  Using the lessons learned from Sue, Bella and I did recreational agility, took hundreds of long walks in the woods, had adventures and enjoyed a 16 year-long relationship was bolstered and enriched by the training we did together.

Sue Kapla changed my life.  She opened my mind and heart to a deep, rewarding relationship with a great friend.  That is a huge gift."