Hi Sabine, I just wanted to put this on record: I can't thank you enough for your help, guidance, support and encouragement! I am so fortunate to have met up with you at the SPCA, and that you agreed to take us on. Life is good for Rupert and me, and we'll continue to improve, because of you. Happy-happy, Elaine
Elaine Fitch, Shawnigan Lake, BC
Thank-you so much for all of your time and help last week--you gave some great tools to use in working with Baxter. Since we met, I have seen a huge change in Baxter's behaviour and I am not the only one to notice this!! He now sits calmly in the store and is coming when he is called. He is now finding alternative behaviours to humping--no longer steals slippers and clothing--HE IS A HAPPY DOG!!!
Gwyneth Laidlaw, Ladysmith, BC
We just finished our puppy lessons and I am thrilled with what I have learned so far and truly appreciate Sabine's positive reinforcement methods. Everest is only 4 months old but with Sabine's knowledge and guidance feel we are on the right track to achieving a happy, healthy, well adjusted dog. I truly admire Sabine's apparent passion for these animals and how she really wants their human owners to understand them. I definitely had some light bulb moments after she explained why a dog may perform a certain behavior. I also love how Sabine says expect only good things from your dog and always praise good behavior. I believe this is so important! I left each training session with a better understanding of Everest and excited to practice our homework. We still have a lot of work to do, but because of Sabine, feel that we have laid a solid foundation to build on. I look forward to more training sessions with Sabine in the future and highly recommend her and her techniques! Everest and I thank you!!
Johanna Ponsioen, Whitehorse, Yukon
Thank you so much for the puppy classes. Chilko really enjoyed them and we got a lot out of them - both at the time for his socializing and information with which to continue to work with him so he stays the happy, lovable dog he already is but with always increasingly better behavior and more learning for all of us. I would recommend your class to anyone with a puppy.
Pamela Hudson, Whitehorse
Your positive training has encouraged my dog to be friendly toward other dogs and humans and to obey me quickly when I am using the basic obedience commands. He is in public places through out much of his day and being obedient and loved is crucial for my dog. He travels with me in the vehicle, on walks and on the kayak, so he must be obedient and yet be a guard dog at the same time. He is a pleasure to own now. Thank you Sabine. See you at the next level of K9 Nose Work.
Dorothy Bradley, Whitehorse
Timber says THANK YOU SABINE! WOOF!
Just want to say thanks Sabine for teaching my mom about BAT. You are a wonderful trainer and we really liked your classes; it was so much fun! Thank you for teaching my mom how to help me with stranger dogs.
Lots of licks for you from,
Timber (and my mom Krys)
Krys March, Haines Junction
I like the gentle way of your training and the results I get from it. You were absolutely amazing with Joey. I never thought I would ever get to take him for hikes. He was such a challenge as he is so not food driven and you did it. He is a very happy dog running in the hills and his return is awesome.
You are the best trainer I have had for my pups and I always recommend you to anyone who needs a trainer.
Sandy Thompson, Whitehorse
My name is Linda Priesley and I foster puppies. In August 2013, I offered to foster four feral puppies who had been dropped off at the shelter. I quickly realized I was in over my head. Fortunately Sabine stepped up and gave me suggestions and support that precipitated immediate progress with the puppies. She continued to support me and several of the forever families through all the challenges of helping the puppies learn to trust and accept human contact. Sabine's positive, consistent approach made all the difference in the life of these precious animals. Thanks Sabine, I will recommend you and your training classes to everyone starting out with a new canine addition, young or old. Couldn't have done it without you.
Linda Priesley, Whitehorse
Sabine, there is no substitute for your knowledge, experience and compassion. When the shelter called me to foster a scared feral 12 week old husky-cross found near Watson Lake, I knew I couldn't say no. But when I went to see him and learned he could not be touched or picked up without screaming in fear, I knew I needed help. You came to the rescue with the know how and patience to walk me through the steps. In your puppy class I watched him blossom into a fun loving confident pup and with all your suggestions he came to trust people one day at a time. After 6 weeks he was ready to be adopted and now he has a family. I know now the value of your training and classes. And to anyone with a dog that could use some training, I recommend Sabine 100 %. Thank you.
Jacklyn Stockstill and Toby, Whitehorse
We enrolled our dog Rosie in Puppy Kindergarten Class when she was about 4 month old, and it was well worth it. Rosie is a high energy dog that craves attention. Using Sabine's positive reinforcement methods Rosie's obedience has improved along with her skills. The skills and guidance Sabine has taught us are very useful. She encouraged us to continue practicing these skills to help reinforce the behaviours we want to see Rosie perform.
When we got Rosie from the animal shelter, she had some anxiety issues regarding leaving familiar areas. When we tried to take her for a walk, we would only get a short distance from our house and she would turn and face the house, then sit down and refuse to move. We used Sabine's private one-on-one training to help Rosie get over this. Sabine came to our house and by watching how Rosie behaved and responded to us, she was able to instruct us on how to get her to come along without force and on her own accord. Now she loves to go for walks.
Sabine is a very skilled dog handler and an excellent instructor. She provided us with an excellent set of skills and encouragement to help make the relationship with our dog very rewarding. We are planning to continue our skill development through other courses Sabine offers. I would encourage anyone interested in dog training to make use of Sabine's FunDogs School of Dog Training. You will not be disappointed!
Happy Dog Owners!
Sharon & Elden Pfeiffer, Whitehorse
Four years ago, I adopted a beautiful dog that had a very difficult start in life. I worked with different good trainers to help solve his issues but the progress was slow despite all the work that Nanook and I did. When someone recommended FunDogs to me, I called Sabine immediately for her advice and assistance. She came to my home for one-on-one classes after providing me with an assessment of Nanook’s behavior. What I took for aggressiveness turned out to be that Nanook was scared of just about everything due to the fact that he really never had a social life. For this reason, he was barking a lot and was very difficult to control on the trails.
Sabine offers a positive reinforcement approach which works miracles for Nanook and me. While there is still some barking involved (and we will continue to work on this) he is much better behaved on the trails and there seems to be more trust between him and I.
In turn, I would like to recommend Sabine and FunDogs for your dog(s) training. With perseverance and love, you and your pet dog(s) will achieve best results with Sabine’s positive approach.
Françine Blais, Whitehorse
In January 2011, I drove out to a musher’s camp in Carcross and picked up a blue-eyed ball of white fur who later became known as Dawson. He was the result of an accidental breeding between a Siberian and an Alaskan Husky and was apparently the most timid of the litter. The litter had been found under the horses’ hooves in the barn and had been moved to the porch of the musher’s cabin for safety and slightly more warmth in -20 weather.
Dawson mewled for his mother in Husky “language” all the way back to Whitehorse and although he may have been the shyest in the litter, he was certainly not the least energetic. He bucked like a bronco at the end of a leash and was an unrepentant thief. He was open and curious about everything and everybody but also a bit skittish when approached too suddenly.
At about the time he was starting to resemble a small white goat, I happened upon Sabine Almstrom’s “Fundogs School of Training”. Dawson wiggled through the door with excitement and immediately felt relaxed and happy, to the point of falling asleep in the sit and stay portion of the class. To this day, I can simply imitate Sabine’s voice and get him to relax and redirect his behavior. The lessons were geared to the puppies’ developmental stage and Sabine had an intuitive sense of understanding and timing for who needed ‘’ what and when ‘’ in terms of positive social interaction. (This included the owners.) It was amazing to watch a timid puppy or an aggressive puppy very quickly become a well adjusted puppy because Sabine recognized their fears and concerns and was able to gently and intuitively provide the appropriate intervention.
When Dawson graduated from puppy kindergarten, we continued with Sabine’s Good Manners class and then attended regular doggie play classes at the Takhini Arena in the winter. These classes were invaluable to keep the dogs exercised and socialized over the winter months and it was remarkable to see adult dogs with entrenched behaviours also respond within a very short time to Sabine’s positive training methods. Classes started at 11:00 and it was not uncommon to see an agitated dog begin the session in an unfriendly state only to end the session at 12 drooling with enjoyment at being given the skills to be a happy, approachable dog. In fact, Sabine encouraged owners to bring dogs with challenging behaviours so she could teach them to socialize in a friendly manner. Many of the dogs were adoptees from the shelter and faced an uncertain future without this intervention.
As a clinical counsellor who has worked with many clients who have a history of trauma, I recognized immediately that Sabine understood the implications of trauma and how it affects behaviours and was aware of the sensitivity required to walk someone through trauma, be that a person or a puppy. Far too often, we read of neglected, abused dogs in the Yukon who have attacked handlers or other unsuspecting dogs. And yet, there prevails the notion that it requires harshness and fear based methods to teach a dog how to behave. It’s true that you can scare a child or a dog into demonstrating the wanted behavior but you don’t create a healthy outcome and sooner or later, that will become apparent.
At 1 ½, Dawson has grown into a giant but he is welcomed by everyone, trusted by the neighbourhood parents to play with their toddlers and a friend to every dog he meets. All of this has been accomplished through utilizing the positive and attuned training methods learned in Sabine’s classes. The results could have been vastly different given his inauspicious beginnings ad his large size.
With the large number of dogs in the Yukon, we should be applauding the positive methods taught by Sabine and ensuring that there is always space provided for these type of lessons so that we are creating happy and well adjusted dogs for the safety of all concerned.
Heather Dickson, formerly Whitehorse
Sabine, Kaltag and I would like to thank you for all your help. I was concerned that I maybe wasn't the right mother for Kally, but if we keep working hard, I see a happy future for him with me. I like your methods of teaching and your outlook on dogs. I will always recommend you in the future. You helped give Lucy a better quality of life, and for that I am grateful. Best of luck on the trails to come!
Erin Stevens and Kaltag, Whitehorse
I highly recommend Sabine Almstrom of Fun Dogs School of Dog Training; she is exceptional with dogs. Our Shiba Inu, Yumei has reactive behaviour issues which we really didn't know how to correct or why she behaved aggressively towards other dogs. Sabine provided the insight to why the behaviour and a non-aggressive solution. We attended "Growly Dog classes" and saw a huge improvement in Yumei around other dogs and we learned to understand her body language to prevent the reactive behaviour, while having fun. Sabine was willing to work with us 1-1 so I was able to develop the skills and feel comfortable implementing them.
Debbie Wren, Whitehorse