"Always thankful for you guys!! I love when I tell everyone to sit and I can walk out the back door without them rushing to try to leave with me. Brody (shepherd/husky) and Piper (tan golden) were trained by you 5 yrs ago and of course Teddy. Best investment in our dogs we have ever made."
"We took my 6 month old Mini Aussie to the Black Paw training center for 2 weeks. She is a little shy and was not reliable off leash...plus some other house manners that needed working on. I'm beyond happy with, and impressed with all aspects of this training. Bernadette communicated with us the entire time, sending pictures or little videos throughout the 2 weeks. She also sent home a training book and emailed lots of videos to help us prepare for her return home. Upon pickup, we had an extensive lesson to help us learn how to use our new tools and continue her training. Now that she is home, I cannot stop talking about how happy we are that she went to this training. She is an absolute joy to have in the home and outside. She stays on her bed while I cook dinner, she walks beautifully when I take her into town, she doesn't charge the door when people come over, no jumping...I could go on and on. We took her to a park with the kids today and she played fetch off leash and stayed close to us and we felt completely confident in her ability to not run away. Aside from the wonderful training, Bernadette and her team are an absolute joy to work with and I know that my pup loved her time there and developed such a bond with Bernadette and other trainers. If I could give 10 stars I would."
"The team at BlackPaw is fantastic. The depth of skill, knowledge, and focus sets up dogs for success. The team built a wonderfully strong relationship with our German shorthaired pointer and their level of care for her was top notch. She participated in a two week board-and-train and we couldn't be happier with the results. Her recall with distractions is near 100%. Her separation anxiety is reduced a ton. And after two years of trying everything we could, she walks on a leash (or offleash) with a perfect heel. No more pulling. It's a massive credit to the team at BlackPaw who spent time getting to know us, getting to know our dog, and then spending time teaching us and reviewing how to maintain her new skills. The only advice I'd give is for people to book early because BlackPaw only takes a few dogs at a time and they get the attention, love, and training they need. I've already recommended BlackPaw to 3 other friends."
"We have had Giddy since she was 8 weeks old (brought her home June of 2020), and to say she has been an energetic puppy is the understatement of the year. I struggled badly with her pulling on the leash and not listening to me. I went through a half dozen harnesses, could never run with her because her speed and pulling would likely kill me, and I always had to plan on a minimum walk length of an hour twice a day to even make a dent into her energy levels. That was until I sent her to Black Paw for a 2-week training camp. Bernadette and her team worked daily to teach Giddy leash manners, how to sit calmly in a public place, how to listen consistently while off leash, and a host of other common skills that make for a polite dog. Since I brought her home, it has become one of my great joys each day to walk Giddy because 99% of the time, it’s more like walking with a friend, as opposed to maintaining a wild creature. She doesn’t pull the leash, and when it’s safe, I can walk her off leash. Now I can take photos like this one. Also thanks to her time at Black Paw, Giddy now goes into crates and cars far more willingly, and no longer demonstrates the anxiety she once had about cars. The training is pricey, for sure, but the payoff has been worth it beyond words."
"We brought our smart, strong willed German Shepherd, Echo, to Bernadette’s 2 week boarding school in April. As first time Shepherd owners, we needed serious help. Echo was out of control and ruling the roost. I spent weeks in a heavily treat based, group training program, but with Echo’s sensitive stomach and spirited nature, it was clear he needed a different approach. Three months later Echo is living his best life. He heels perfectly on leash and is a joy to hike with off leash. Our cat also is also very appreciative as she finally is getting the respect she deserves. No more chasing the cat! I also could tell when I picked Echo up that he had a great time at boarding school. He came home a happier, more relaxed companion. The real test happened last week when hiking with Echo. I turned around and to my horror, I saw a coyote stalking us, a mere 10 feet away. It was a very scary situation, but Echo immediately came to my side and followed my lead as I hazed the coyote and slowly backed away. The encounter lasted an unnerving 15 minutes, but Echo was completely obedient and focused. I later leaned there was a coyote den near by and possibly more coyotes hiding during the encounter. I am so thankful to Bernadette and her team for doing such an amazing job. If he had blown me off and chased the coyote, the outcome may have been different. 5 stars all around!!!"
"I wanted to say a personal thank you for your services. It's like Huxley is under a magic spell now - he is an amazing listener and so HAPPY! We've taken him on a number of open space hikes since picking him up and have already run into a number of situations that in the past would have given me a panic attack (cows, other dogs, runners, tall men with funny hats) but now we stroll by with ease! There was even one dog aggressive toward him and he just ran right back and sat in front of me without me saying or doing anything."
"We rescued Sammy when she was under six months old. She quickly became my canine-soulmate and our household seemed more complete with her as a part of our family. I thought we had a good handle on her training and although she was rambunctious, we enjoyed her strong spirit…that was until she reached adult maturity. That’s when we realized that her fear and anxiety were taking over, not just her personality, but our household as well. She was an out-of-control handful and I could no longer trust her or take her out without a lot of frustration and worry. That’s when we realized how much we needed help. Bernadette and her amazing staff to the rescue! I’ll admit it – leaving her for three weeks was not easy. I was apprehensive, and an emotional wreck. Bernadette’s text messages and videos helped, but it was still a very long three weeks. I worried things would never be the same – Sammy would change, and our relationship might suffer. Oh, how wrong I was! When we picked Sammy up she had changed but only for the better, and our bond was only going to get stronger from that point. She was responsive, calm, and seemed so much happier in general. But Sammy wasn’t the only one who received the training – we were trained as well. We learned how to help Sammy be her best, how to read her cues and level of anxiety so that we could respond in ways to de-escalate her fears. We learned how to help her relax and how to ultimately control her reactions. It is impossible to deny she is a happier dog and we definitely have a better relationship because of it. Each day we work with her, we see progress. It is now a pleasure to take her on outings and into public places. Thanks to Bernadette and Black Paw for giving our family such a precious gift… the best version our Sammy can be!"
"Our pup Stanley graduated from the Black Paw training program with Bernadette and her fabulous team 1 1/2 years ago. We adopted him when he was 5 and he is very high energy Springer Spaniel/Lab mix and came to us with some bad leash manners. We sent Stanley to Black Paw for some help for my husband and I an of course our boy Stanley. He is such as love and this was our only large obstacle. Of course, we were anxious to leave Stanley for 2 weeks but after the meet and greet with Bernadette we knew it was the right decision. They sent videos and pictures almost every day with his progress which the improvement was almost immediate! It was honestly amazing to see. Long story short here we are 1 1/2 years later and Stanley is doing amazing. Bernadette is always more than willing to answer questions and help when we need it and will always schedule a follow up as needed. This team wants you and your pup to succeed and go well above and beyond the call of duty. Sending Stanley to Black Paw was the best thing we could have done for our family and I would do it again in a minute."
"Willow was trained by BlackPaw at six months, in their two-week boarding program. I was blown away, not only after seeing her progress and obedience at our follow-up training, but NOW almost eight months later! She is my number one adventure buddy - hiking, camping, and running with me like an ANGEL. I can’t count the number of compliments I’ve received on her model behavior, especially when I reveal that she is only a year old. All the praise goes to BlackPaw!"
"We recently brought our 2-year old Shiba Inu for training with Bernadette, and we cannot overstate the amazing impact she and the team at Black Paw have had on our dog and family as a result. Since she was a puppy, our dog has struggled with fear, aggression (towards dogs and humans), defensiveness, and just being a bully. We worked with him from a young age with trainers, behaviorists, and puppy classes, but unfortunately his combination of behavioral issues made him a confounding case to figure out, and we were left with very limited and difficult options. Having run out of resources to turn to, we found Bernadette, and through her and Black Paw, we have been able to reclaim our home and confidence in our ability to manage his behavior while simultaneously keeping everyone safe, and still giving our dog a happy life. Bernadette is extremely knowledgable and compassionate, and is an incredible guide through what can be an otherwise really difficult, isolating process."
"This is a review and a recommendation for all of those who sit on the fence about the best thing to do when they realize they need some help with their dog. Get off the fence...Call Bernadette at BlackPaw. The more time you spend contemplating, researching, and trying to fix this all on your own, the more time you waste. I looked at all my options and I loved what BlackPaw had to offer and the large field socialization sealed the deal. Calling Bernadette was the smartest thing I have ever done and I immediately felt relieved after speaking with her the first time. I was trying to help my dog all on my own and when dealing with fearful aggression, it is not something that is easy to tackle all by yourself. While I love training my dogs, I was not an expert in this area and kept getting mixed advice from different people on how to best address it. If you do not have experience dealing with behavioral issues, it is in the best interest of you and your dog to seek professional help as you can actually make things worse. Bernadette and her awesome crew helped my dog get on the right path in feeling confident and safe around other dogs. I now know what makes my dog uncomfortable and how to set her up to succeed and have positive experiences. The e-collar training along with the large field socialization did wonders for her. No it’s not magic, it’s a training plan they put together especially for your dog. You have to continue to work hard with your dog and follow the guidelines Bernadette recommends. You get out what you put in. This is an investment and you have to look at it that way. You can either choose to live with a dog that you don’t understand or you can put the money into higher education for you and your dog and both live much happier lives. It is knowledge that you will have forever and apply whenever needed. You will see a better behaved dog and a more confident handler after working with BlackPaw. I can’t say enough good things about Bernadette...She always kept me informed and sent pictures and videos during the training progress which were the highlights of my day. Watching my dog run and play with the pack was the best! She is always available to answer any follow up questions or concerns that I have and I know that’s not easy with how busy she is. The cherry on top is being able to board your dog with them after completing the training. I love that she can run with the pack and get the best care available if I have to leave town. I have learned that if you love your dog , you must be firm with your dog. Boundaries and respect go hand in hand. Making little changes can make a big difference in the relationship between you and your dog. I am relieved to be able to go out with my dog and feel prepared and ready to handle any situation. Even if you aren’t dealing with behavioral problems, I would recommend starting off on the right foot with BlackPaw. Their obedience training program is top-notch and lays a great foundation for establishing the pack leadership every dog craves. What are you waiting for?!"
"We have a ten month old mini Aussie, Rikki, who has been a total handful since we got him at eight weeks. Chasing cars, joggers, bikes. Trying to herd kids, ridiculous fence fighting and leash aggression for a fourteen pound dog. He’s nearly strangled himself while pulling on the leash on a walk. We sent him to a different trainer for five weeks when he was younger, with almost no change. The sad thing is that he is also the sweetest and snuggliest little fellow. A neighbor told us about BlackPaw training, and I decided to check it out. I was impressed with Bernadette from the first visit, and how she walked through how they would train our dog and showed us the facility. We ended up sending Rikki for the two week session. I was cautiously optimistic about the results, but was blown away when we came to do the pickup appointment. He is like an upgraded version of the same dog. He walks beautifully on the leash, comes when called, sits on his mat until we tell hime he can get off. Doesn’t chase everything that moves, and no longer tries to attack the other dogs on leash. He also watches people walk by the fence now, and I know that it is hard for him to not bark at them, but he has a lot better self control and looks to us on what to do (or not to do). I know if we are consistent with all the training he received, he is going to keep this up. It’s an amazing transformation. I can not recommend BlackPaw training enough. The ladies there are extremely skilled dog trainers. Thank You!"
"Daisy is living her best life. Everyone we come across remarks at what a well behaved dog she is. Our new life together brings me such joy. Thank you for giving her the best training base possible."
"Black Paw is more than just a great pet store, they also offer an amazing training program. Sophie, my almost two year lab mix rescue, had a lot of confidence issues, even after over a year in a loving home. She barked and lunged on leash walks wanting to play with other dogs, was scared of noises, and flinched at new things in the house, like a package that was delivered or a new pair of shoes sitting on the floor. She is so loving and sweet, just skittish and unsure, and she wasn’t responding to any method I tried with training. She loves other dogs and loves to play, but she would bark non-stop at the dog park or doggie day care, and it was becoming problematic. I brought her to Bernadette, at the Black Paw Training Center in Lafayette, for the two week boarding school program. The facility is really amazing, the property is gorgeous, with lots of room to run and fun creatures like horses to learn about. I debated hourly training vs boarding, but Sophie really needed both the socialization and total immersion in the program, where someone “other than Mom” would teach her what she needed to learn - to become more calm, socialized, and a well behaved little girl. The attention at Black Paw is very personalized, with only a small number of training dogs at a time. They quickly assessed Sophie’s personality and trouble spots, and worked closely with her, both one-on-one and as part of “the pack” to help her grow and learn. Sophie came back home two weeks later a very confident little one. She learned all of the basics of sit, stay, come, but also learned to go on walks without pulling, to ignore other dogs or loud noises like skateboards. She did so well with learning to go outside restaurants and parks and sit calmly until it was time to go. The COVID crisis hit just as I got her home, so we haven’t had as much consistency with home training as I would have liked, but she’s clearly a happier, more confident girl. And I’m more confident too, in that a lot of what I was trying to do to train her just wasn’t working. I had all but given up on taking her places, like outdoor concerts in the park by our house or walking to the local coffee shop. I can’t recommend Black Paw training strongly enough, and I feel that they’ve really opened up a whole new world for me and my best little friend. PS: I love the store and the grooming as well! We buy all of Soph’s food and toys there!"
"Bernadette performed Magic with our dog with her professionalism, caring, and kind treatment. Our Big guy was brought to Bernadette in a veritable mess. He was so afraid and had such fear issues that he would not eat or drink anything around other dogs or people. We have recently found that our boy was the “runt” of the litter and was rejected by his mom and litter mates. He had to be bottle fed. By puberty, our guy had developed “extreme” fear aggression towards other dogs, new situations, and people. New experiences, or living entities were extremely difficult for him. Bernadette returned to us a calmer, less fearful, responsive young (very large) dog that responds to commands, follows training parameters, and continues to improve daily with precision, personality, and enjoyment. We now enjoy the company of an alert, lovingly playful dog who follows directions and is a pleasure and a privilege to enjoy and partner with. I searched a long time and read a lot of information, before choosing BlackPaw and Bernadette. My choice could not have been improved! Bernadette, thanks again for your special magic."
"We took our two year old border collie mix in for some work on confidence and responsiveness. We did the two week training, which is worthy every penny! We had done several training programs prior to this, which were ok, but we needed some refinement. After all the work had done, our pup was still getting into scuffles with older dogs and had some aggressive behaviors toward strangers. Not to mention only listening when he wanted to. After this program, I have more confidence not just in our dog, but myself. I learned that only rewarding, without teaching him what I want, was not working at his level. Now we communicate on a deeper level and he is more calm and responsive. Bernadette and her amazing trainer sent us daily videos which were reassuring and enlightening. We will continue working with our pup for as long as we have him, but back paw gave us peace of mind and realistic goals. A huge plus was seeing our dog in follow up after our two week stay respond to Bernadette in a way that reassured me that he was happy and wanted to come back. Therefore, we now have a wonderful place for boarding when we leave town without him. We will be back for sure!"
"This is my boy Stanley! One of my favorite pics sent during training! Stanley is a month out of training and doing amazing! Sending him to BlackPaw with Bernadette and her team was the best decision we made to help us be much better dog parents. Thank you again!! Happy New Year! He is a much calmer dog on leash and has learned some much needed doggie manners!"
"BlackPaw is a God send! I dropped Ody off a little wild man. He was dog aggressive, pulled on leash, didn't listen, play bit, wouldn’t recall and didn't settle. After two weeks in BlackPaw's boarding training program Ody has passed a canine good citizen exam, a therapy animal exam and a service exam! We are set to begin our therapy team shifts in the new year! Thank you Bernadette and everyone at BlackPaw for changing our lives so we can help others."
"We describe the training our dog received at Black Paw as nothing less than miraculous. We pinch ourselves while walking him and remind ourselves that we had only dreamed of being able to walk our dog and have him remain calm and attentive to us when passing other dogs. We adopted our dog from a rescue group while we were living in Dubai a little more than 2 years ago. We were told that he was 2 when we adopted him. He was receiving treatment for erlichea when he came home with us. We were told that he had been left at the municipality covered in ticks. The rescue agency brought him to a vet where he was named Magic because he survived the night and they had not thought he would survive. He was a dog that had been on the streets his entire life. We fed him by hand for 3 weeks and gained his trust to give him medication and then also treat the ring worm which developed on his tail. From the beginning he was a gentle, love bug with my husband and I. We quickly learned that he became quite aggressive and territorial with anyone and everyone who entered our home and with dogs we encountered on our twice daily walks in the city. He would get his hackles up and become fierce as soon as he saw a dog. Needless to say, we needed help. 2 different trainers worked with us while we were in Dubai and we made great progress, but could never really get him under control and trust that he would obey our commands. Last April we repatriated to CO and I began searching for a trainer. We found Black Paw and after meeting with them, decided to entrust our dog to their 2 week training program. We were amazed at his behavior when we picked him up, but if I am honest we were a bit overwhelmed with OUR training instructions and worried that we wouldn't be able to keep things up. We studied the information sent home with us and did our best to follow the instructions. The check up training session really helped us fine tune the areas that we needed help with. Fast forward to the present and I am happy to report that we are able to trust our dog 100% to follow our commands. We have even hiked and had him off leash, (I hope Bernadette doesn't scold us for that :)), and he remains at 100% recall for the come command and no longer barks at anyone who comes to our door, passes the gate and even better he stays in his place when people visit and after some time warms up to visitors and snuggles with them too. We are happy to recommend Black Paw and when/if we get another dog, the first training stop will be at Black Paw. Much thanks to Bernadette and her team!"
"We brought our dog Barley there to work with Bernadette. He was a rescue dog and from the time we got him, we had worked with trainers to help us. He would get fixated on other dogs and not listen, sometimes pulling me off my feet. I was always nervous how he would respond to new people, bracing for an aggressive response. I never could predict when he would be aggressive or when he would be fine. We are a very active family and I didn’t like having a dog that I was nervous having around other people. He is a loving dog and we thought his aggression was fear based, but we didn’t know how to control it. We had tried three other trainers before we found Bernadette, and nothing helped. Bernadette took him for two weeks and the dog we got back was one that we love taking on the trails and biking with us. She taught us how to take control so Barley didn’t few like he needed to. We work with him every day and still have a ways to go, but he is finally a fun dog to have around other people and to take with us when we go out on the trails. If I knew he could be like this, we would have done it a long time ago. Well worth the money!!"
"I had tried multiple dog training options, both group classes and highly rated in-home trainers, but still had a dog I couldn’t handle. Oscar was a nine month old ninety pound puppy who was sweet and adorable, but stubborn and impossible for me to control. I came to Black paw hoping to see an improvement. After two weeks of boarding school with Bernadette, I got back a different dog entirely!! It has been six months, and he is still an amazing dog. He is still just as sweet and adorable as before, but now he enjoys doing the right thing, and actually seems proud to be praised for being a good dog. He is truly my best friend now, and everyone we meet continues to be amazed at what a great dog he is. This is the dog I had hoped I was getting, when I brought him home at eight weeks old!"
"Our aussiedoodle Hank was very leash reactive to other dogs and that made taking him on walks/hikes stressful for all of us. He was very anxious and had difficulty being calm in the house and would bark at any sign of a dog out the window. We had worked with 3 different trainers with no results. He went to the two week boarding program and the results have been amazing. We can go for walks in the busiest areas of our neighborhood that we would previously avoid and take him anywhere in public. He's been great both on and off leash on busy trails. He is also so calm in the house. He stays on his bed and finally sleeps quietly in his crate over night. Even though there are many months of training ahead of you after the program, it is so helpful to have strict guidance on how to keep up what he learned at BlackPaw and we feel like we have the tools we need to keep making even more progress with Hank. Bernadette has been so helpful in the weeks after we picked him up, responding very quickly and thoroughly to any questions or concerns we have. It's also great to know we have a place he can go for boarding that will reinforce his training instead of potentially undoing it. Hank has also gone to grooming at BlackPaw and has always come back looking great! Thanks again for everything!"
"My dog and I have a very special relationship, to the point where it got co-dependent. I couldn’t leave my house without constantly worrying if my dog would hurt himself trying to escape his crate, if he would destroy everything in sight if I left him uncrated, or if he would defecate/urinate repeatedly in my house. I called BlackPaw because I had run out of ideas. I tried everything I could to help my poor boy. When I dropped him off at BlackPaw, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. Bernadette was extremely informative of the entire process. The text updates really helped ease my mind. When I went to pick Morty up I was completely blown away. I’ve been continuing his training at home and there have been some ups and downs, but we both have such peace of mind now. He’s got a long journey to go to conquer his separation anxiety, but the gals at BlackPaw have helped Morty get on the right path and stay on it! I am so proud of my dog, and he’s gaining the confidence he needs to be the best boy he can be. Thank you black paw!!!"
"We brought our 1 year old black lab, Henry to BlackPaw for training. Before Bernadette, he was quite the handful. Henry was obsessed with sticks and balls, bringing them to you and then demand barking until they were thrown. He would burst through doors, eat the baby socks, counter surf... you name the bad habit-he had it. We couldn't take him anywhere, nor have visitors because he was too crazy. After the 2 week camp, we were presented with our perfectly trained dog. We got lessons as a family on how to communicate with Henry, and the trainers were available for follow up phone questions as well. I have been given compliments on his behavior on multiple occasions. We can take him to Pearl Street, off leash hikes, Estes Park, backyard bar-be-ques, anywhere we want and we know he will behave! The work and energy put into Henry is apparent. Friends that knew the "old Henry" can't believe his transformation. If you're on the fence about training, I can personally testify that the investment is worth every penny."
"I'll admit that I have always questioned the practice of sending dogs away for training. As a veterinarian and a dog owner myself, I recognize that we humans are generally the problem and need the training not the dog. However, when a shy but sweet German Shepherd/St. Bernard puppy named Piper came into our family and her fearfulness started to turn into fear aggression I knew I didn't have the knowledge, skills, time or patience to help her. With the chaos of normal life and the other dogs and kids, the situations when we most needed to be doing the training were the times we were already overwhelmed so we turned to Bernadette for help. She helped us to understand what Piper needed to feel safe, be safe and happy. In two weeks Bernadette was able to give Piper a set of skills that we can now adapt into our daily lives. It's wonderful to see Piper relaxed and happy in situations that used to terrify her. We know we still have to work to keep her that way but now have the tools to do that. Thanks Bernadette!"
"Parlor trick or miracle? You boarded and trained Otis (three year old SpringerDoodle) and Finn (six month Wirehaired Pointing Griffon) for two weeks and the results are amazing. I’ll admit to being intimidated by handling two dogs with collars and remote controls, but following your instructions, both dogs are completely transformed. We walk the golf course every morning without leashes. Otis and Finn “leave it” when encountering rabbits, geese and other critters. They come when called, sit on command and stay where I leave them until called. We practice every morning and most evenings to the delight of friends and neighbors. Now after just a few weeks home, they follow direction whether by signals from their collars or by treats. This morning in fact, we did the entire off leash morning without collars and just the treats. They are incredible thanks to you and your simple, straightforward instructions. Thank you for transforming our dogs from headache to complete pleasure."
"Cleo, my Standard Poodle, was exhibiting fear based aggression with other dogs at 6 years old. After a lot of apprehension and embarrassment on the open space trails, I decided to take Cleo for a two week Board and Train at BlackPaw Training. Boy, am I glad I did! Not only did Bernadette teach me that Cleo needed more structure, guidance and boundaries, they also started training her on basic commands so that I could continue the training at home. They spent a few hours when I picked Cleo up to train ME on the training. We even went to open space and went on a walk with my well-trained dog, giving me good in-field practice. I am excited to continue the training at home and also to continue working with BlackPaw when we board Cleo and/or need tune ups in her training in the future. Even if you think your dog is perfect, I would still recommend BlackPaw to all dog owners. They also helped Cleo not jump on people in the house, how to stay in her "place" on command, how to heel properly while walking on leash, and how to tolerate crating at night. A huge thank you all of your dedication and expertise!"
"Our son has a beautiful three year old black lab, Karma, who often stays with us, but going for walks with her around the neighborhood was truly an ordeal. She would pull us in all sorts of directions, wrapping the leash around our legs, nearly knocking us over to chase a squirrel or get to another dog. We tried various training techniques, but since she divides her time between us, consistency was lacking in her routine. After hearing about Blackpaw from a friend, we decided to try that as a way to provide consistency and expertise. After two weeks with Bernadette, Karma is greatly improved, and taking her for walks is a pleasure. She has also been trained in other areas that we didn't even know about and since we 'graduated' from the handler training - which is a critical part of the process - we are all much happier and better behaved! I can't recommend Blackpaw and Bernadette's program more highly. There is simply nothing like it and it's worth every penny."
"We welcomed an eight week old chocolate lab into our family, in July of 2016. Our children, ages eight, five, and two, were thrilled beyond belief. My husband and I, both grew up with labs and figured "we got this". It became clear, at month three, that "we DO NOT got this". Scout was smart, stubborn, manipulative - and completely in charge of our house. By October, I was doing extensive research on training. I had spent over a thousand dollars on training books and couch pillows combined... it was time to bring a professional into the picture. Scout was completely running our household, and NO ONE had quality of life... especially me. Bernadette COMPLETELY changed our life. She was able to work with Scout (who is an extremely difficult lab), and then, most importantly, train my husband and I, to work with her, to achieve a quality of life after training. She explained to us what Scout needed, in a way that was easily understood, and our entire relationship with our dog changed. I couldn't be more grateful. Without Black Paw Training, we would have had to re-home our dog, which would have broken everyone's hearts. I'm eternally grateful to Bernadette, for teaching ALL of us how to live as a family."
"Just wanted to give you an update on Azell - we LOVE this dog! She has settled into our home well, learning to deal with her new brother and another GSD rescue who is young, oversized and can be obnoxious. I also board dogs occasionally and thought this might be a problem for her but she has become much more tolerant of other dogs, MANY thanks to Bernadette Pflug. Her obedience is spot on, always wanting to please us. Thank you again"
"I just wanted to give you an update on Oakley...she is doing GREAT! I cannot thank you enough for helping train her, and most importantly, your patience in training me! Oakley is attentive and responsive. You provided me with the tools needed for an obedient dog, I just had to figure out how to provide Oakley with the routine and consistency she needed in order to thrive with the training she learned from you. We enjoy going for off leash runs, hikes, walks, and Oakley's ultimate obsession, playing ball. I am so appreciative for your training and mentoring!!"
"Bam Bam and Oakley showing off their amazing self control after training!"
"Meet Kenai. This pretty Shepherd mix came in with some serious fear aggression. She was very afraid of new people and other dogs and had a couple of bites to her credit. Kenai made an amazing turn around during her rehabilitation in our Boarding School Program and we are happy to report that she is enjoying life a lot more now that it seems less scary. We have had a trend lately of dogs coming into training with fear issues like this. For more info, check out our blog "Fear and its Role in Training"."
"We are very happy with the results of Cheyenne’s training. I think we are now 2-3 months out from her week with you and she seems to be getting better every week."
"Bernadette did amazing work with my boxer-mix Bernie! Before training, life with Bernie was stressful and becoming impossible. For 2 years I worked with various trainers using various training methods and nothing seemed to be effective in controlling Bernie's aggression toward people and dogs. After 2 weeks with Bernadette, Bernie is able to walk past people and dogs on a trail or path without lunging or even so much as paying them any attention. I am able to let her off leash on a hike and have her instantly come when called. Bernie is even able to sit calmly on her bed while guests enter the house, where before she would be lunging and barking at anyone who came through the door. Bernadette gave me the tools and the training to help Bernie overcome her fears and give her the happy life every dog deserves. Thank you, Bernadette!"
"Some friends of our took their German Shepherd to Bernadette. Their dog was so well behaved and respectful, we thought it was time for Jackson and Bernadette to meet. And they did, for two weeks. When we went to pick Jackson up, I felt very nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. Would he be the same dog? Would he be different? He was wonderful! What a difference! We loved doing this with Jackson and being able to include him in family activities. Thank you Bernadette!"
"I had 2 Great Danes (Havoc & Chaos), that were well behaved and peaceful. Then I bought a 3rd Great Dane puppy (Ruckus) and everything went nuts! Ruckus and Chaos started out best buds, then as Ruckus grew up he became very aggressive towards Chaos, and a general trouble maker. They were poorly socialized and I had no control walking them anywhere. I had e-collars and chokers and nothing controlled these big guys. I wasn’t comfortable walking them anywhere, and it even got to the point where I had to keep them separate 24/7 and never let them cross paths in the house or yard. Now after Bernadette’s Boarding School for Ruckus & Chaos I can see a HUGE turn around. I can walk all 3 under control, the house is peaceful, I can have company over, and most of all they are happier. Just last week I dropped in on one of her training classes for some follow up and my Ruckus was one of the best behaved in class! Best investment ever!"
"Pepper celebrated his first birthday this month. He has changed a lot over the year and Bernadette is largely responsible for those changes. We enrolled Pepper in the puppy training class because we were unable to get him to walk with us on a leash, and he was not sleeping through the night. As with many Chihuahua’s he also growled at everyone who came near him and rarely let anyone play with him or pick him up. Over the course of Bernadette’s class we learned how to train and socialize Pepper properly not just with his leash, but also in giving affection and treats. Her counsel has helped us tremendously. Pepper regularly snuggles with us now. He is excited to take walks. He is patient when we put his leash on and ready to take off and walk with us once we give him the command. He sits for treats. He sleeps through the night in his own bed. He is completely house trained thanks to a lot of feedback from Bernadette and follow through at home by us.We highly recommend her classes!"
"Pepper celebrated his first birthday this month. He has changed a lot over the year and Bernadette is largely responsible for those changes. We enrolled Pepper in the puppy training class because we were unable to get him to walk with us on a leash, and he was not sleeping through the night. As with many Chihuahua’s he also growled at everyone who came near him and rarely let anyone play with him or pick him up. Over the course of Bernadette’s class we learned how to train and socialize Pepper properly not just with his leash, but also in giving affection and treats. Her counsel has helped us tremendously. Pepper regularly snuggles with us now. He is excited to take walks. He is patient when we put his leash on and ready to take off and walk with us once we give him the command. He sits for treats. He sleeps through the night in his own bed. He is completely house trained thanks to a lot of feedback from Bernadette and follow through at home by us.We highly recommend her classes!
"Charlie is the cutest Goldendoodle but boy was he naughty. Charlie liked to pull and bite at the leash, nip at the children, and behave completely out of control. After two weeks of Bernadette’s Boarding School, he’s a loving, gentle, and well-behaved boy, who’s completely off-leash trained. ”We LOVE the new Charlie. Thank you so much.”
"Dewey is a 170lb Mastiff with a history of aggression towards other dogs, cats, and occasionally people. After six private lessons Dewey walks happily and under control with his owner around lots of other dogs. He is a star student! “Dewey is doing AWESOME!! Last night we walked and there were tons of dogs barking from their yards….he was perfect as they were charging up to their invisible fences…then we almost stepped on a baby bunny….and it ran…he took two steps after it and I said leave it, and he stopped. I tell you, he is so good. Thank you sooooo much.”
"Bernadette is awesome!!!! If anyone had ever told me that I would even think my dogs could go off leash I would have laughed at them. Bernadette made a believer out of all of us! Thank you so much!!!!!"
"Sophie is a beautiful white collie but before her training, she had a few bad habits. Sophie liked to chase joggers and bikers. She would bark for attention, refuse to come when called, bite and pull on her leash and nip at her owner’s heels. After six private lessons, she is a pleasure for her owner and works confidently off-leash. “Sophie and I are having a wonderful time together thanks to her training! We’ve been playing off leash every night. I am relaxed with her, she has a wonderful time!”
"Nesta is a lovely Rottweiler that came to me from California. He had a history of aggressive behavior, pulling on the leash, lunging and barking at other dogs, skateboards, bikes, etc. After two weeks of Bernadette’s Boarding School, he is walking politely on leash, happily ignoring his previous triggers for aggressive behavior. “Nesta has improved so much. I haven’t had to use the pinch collar at all! He used to pull me around without it. He has been excellent with his “go to bed”, we use it especially during our dinner time. We enjoy our walks so much more now! Thank you for helping bring structure to our routine.”
"We have 2 Old English Mastiffs, with a combined weight of 355 lbs. Before we started training with Bernadette, our dogs would bark like crazy when people came to the door. We couldn’t take them out in public because they would bark at everything while driving in the car and they were dog aggressive. After training, our friends and my clients can’t believe that they are the same dogs. They are more relaxed, and so much more fun to have around. When people come to the door, the dogs bark once, look at me, and go lay on their dog beds (instead of the couches!) and stay there! Most of the time, our visitors don’t even know we have dogs until they see them laying in the other room when they leave! They even met a 2 pound Chihuahua and a wild and crazy Jack Russell Terrier, made friends, and even went on a walk with them! Now, we take them to the pet stores and even on vacation. We have taken 2 other dog training classes, but nothing seemed to work after we finished class. This is the best investment we have ever made with our dogs. Our dogs are more relaxed and now they get to do everything with us."
"Bernadette has forever changed the way I relate to Remi and the way he relates to me! The most invaluable thing she taught me was how to be a strong and confident leader and that one thing has completely changed Remi’s behavior around other people and especially other dogs!! Training with Bernadette gave me the confidence to tackle any situation that might arise and because of that Remi is now a calm and confident member of my family! The greatest gift Bernadette gave me was changing Remi’s behavior and my leadership in such a way that he can now play with other dogs and enjoy their company and I can finally relax when taking him on walks around other dogs! Thank you so much Bernadette!"
"Sox is a cute little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel / Bichon cross. He’s a sweet little dog who had very little control. Before attending Bernadette’s Boarding School Sox would jump on people, bark incessantly, nip at people, pull on the leash and refuse to come when called. His owners are amazed at his progress following two weeks of intensive training. “Bernadette’s two week Board and Train was everything she promised. When Sox returned home we were amazed at his maturity and obedience. He is now wonderful with our three grandsons, loves going to baseball games, and is most mannerly in meeting other people and dogs. Of course, we needed as much training as Sox did! Bernadette was very patient with all of us and continues to be available to answer questions and solve any challenges that we may encounter. Sox loves going to visit “BlackPaw” and Bernadette; and we appreciate the family’s sharing and caring attitude!”
"Thanks for helping us learn how to lead Riley and make her a great canine citizen of the world."
"Bernadette has given both Champ and I training that has changed our lives. I am a better and more confident leader for him, and he is a more attentive and trusting follower for me. Private training has been extremely fun for us and highly effective because of Bernadette’s commitment to our success. I also would like to strongly recommend the electronic collar because it was very convenient and easy to use, and gave us lasting results in a short period of time. Many of our friends were complimenting Champ on his good behavior after a week of training with the collar. Champ has his ‘Green Tag’ and is ready to tackle the trails of Boulder off-leash."
"Navy is a nice dog who had some serious issues. His family came to me for help after he had killed one of their Chihuahuas named “Max.” With another Chihuahua left in the household, they were desperate to regain harmony in their family and be able to trust Navy again. “Bernadette, Your training and guidance has been priceless to our family. The confidence you have given us as parents has made us a better family. We can’t wait to see how things will be in future years with more furry friends that are bound to be in our home. Thank you so much for this lifetime gift. We know our beloved Max would be proud of us.”"
"My ‘Boo’ Radley is a wonderful dog, but since we are in the same weight class, when he wanted to go somewhere, I really struggled with being able to control him. He wasn’t aggressive, but he is a huge dog that wanted to jump on every human and dog he saw. I was concerned that the training would take away his intense joy with life and confidence, but he is the same Boo. Only now he clearly understands that there are rules and we speak the same language around what’s ok and what’s not and he listens! One other note – Bernadette’s training is obviously filled with love and respect for our furry friends. When I brought him by to see her weeks later, he almost turned himself inside out at the sight of her. Thank you Bernadette and your whole extended family — this was a life-changer."
"Before working with Bernadette, I had worked with a couple of other trainers and still had troubles with my Luna. She had long displayed leash aggression. I felt that I couldn’t take her anywhere like a dog park because I was uncertain how she would react to the other dogs. After working with Bernadette, I am much more confident in handling Luna in situations with other dogs around. In addition, she was horrible on a leash. I knew she knew the commands, but getting her to listen and obey was next to impossible. Now I have no troubles on walks or when jogging. I even work in the front yard with her off leash and don’t worry about other dogs or people. I can calmly take her to places I never thought possible, like McGuckins or the pet store. While I haven’t gotten her green tag yet, I do plan on it and know that she will not only enjoy it, but do so without freaking out about other dogs. Thanks!"
"We are very grateful for the incredible training you provided them (and us). They were extremely dog aggressive, to the point that on walks we had to have them on leash and muzzled. We can now take them to dog parks, let them go unleashed and unmuzzled and they are very well behaved and obedient. They have even tolerated other dogs who were less than well behaved. What a remarkable change. We are still wondering if you didn’t substitute a pair of well behaved white shepards for our two. Thanks again!"
"I fought e-collar training for 27 years and now I think Why? When implemented with a good trainer (like Bernadette) the response is quick and rewarding for both dog and guardian…plus I do not swear at them anymore!!!!! JOYFUL!"
"Grover is a typical 6 month old Golden Retriever puppy. He has lots of energy and not a lot of self control. During his two week stay at Bernadette’s Boarding school, Grover learned to walk politely on and off leash, stop play biting and jumping, sit politely while his owners go up and down the stairs as well as sit while people go through doors, and lots more! He was a pleasure to train and is now a pleasure for his owners. “He really has the commands down and going for walks with him is such a joy now!”"
"Maggie and Molly are two year old Chocolate Labrador sisters. They were sent to Bernadette’s Boarding School after three previous trainers had given up on them. The girls are high energy retrievers with a rap sheet a mile long. They were impossible to walk on leash, didn’t come when called, stole food whenever possible, barked incessantly, jumped on people, climbed on furniture, and rushed out doors. Their owners were at their wit’s end. Although, I would never recommend adopting litter mates, Maggie and Molly made wonderful progress during their training and went home respectable and obedient dogs."
"Hildie is a lovely boxer mix adopted from the Denver Dumb Friends League. She was very shy and fearful of many things when she first arrived home with her new family. Hildie is typical of many dogs who have been under socialized as youngsters. We call them “deficit dogs” and they often arrive in our home with a common theme, fear of all things new. Through careful socialization and positive introductions to novel things, people, and places, Hildie was able to relax and grow into a happy, healthy and playful dog."
"Bailey is a six month old Doberman puppy. She was a fast learner and a pleasure to train. She now hikes off leash with her owners and has the freedom she has always dreamed of!"
"Marley is a two year old St. Bernard who had learned to use his size and weight to push people around. He was guilty of knocking people over, busting through doors, running away, and stealing entire casseroles off the kitchen counter. During his two weeks in Bernadette’s Boarding School, Marley learned to RESPECT people rather than dominate them, revealing one of the sweetest personalities I have ever met!"
"Enter Bernadette!! We did the one-on-one training which she offers for two weeks at her home. The new and improved Lolli is a delight!! Bernadette not only trained Lolli to obey basic commands, she got her to the point of “staying” while off leash until she was given the “come” command. When Bernadette met with my husband and me after Lolli’s two week stay, she patiently went over everything they had done and gave it to us in writing, as well. She worked with us for a couple of hours as we tried out the new commands and behaviors. It has been almost three weeks since she has been back with us and she is doing great!! Lolli stays by my side on our walks, she doesn’t jump on people at the dog park, she drops her toys on command, sits at curbs, and sits (and stays) while I walk away until she gets my “come” command. What fun it is!!"
"Little Ellie came to training extremely fearful of other dogs and left hiking happily with my two large German Shepherds. This sweet girl was afraid of many things including riding in the car. She now rides happily in the front seat. Her owner’s other big complaint was that she would run away when called and they had a very difficult time catching her. She now comes so well, she is trusted off leash. Ellie is a sweetheart!"
"Penelope is a teacup pot bellied pig and my first training pig! Her owner was struggling with housetraining this little cutie. With a little coaching, Penelope is on her way to using a litterbox. “That’ll do pig!”"
"We just sent our dog, Cody, to spend time with Bernadette who owns BlackPaw for private training. Cody was so out of control that we couldn’t/wouldn’t bring him anywhere because it was too stressful with his bad and rude behavior. I was so frustrated and so were the kids. We picked him up last night and I can’t even believe this is our dog! We can walk and hike with him -off leash!- we took a hike last night and another one this morning. He is so happy to be able to socialize and go places! He still has some fears and anxiety but Bernadette spent so much time with us , teaching us how to control him and make him feel safe so he can be a happy dog. My kids are absolutely beside themselves with the joy of being able to take their best friend everywhere now. Cody’s smile is enormous as he hikes with us and plays with other dogs. BlackPaw’s store is amazing too with quality products and people that know and care about animals. Thanks so much for improving our quality of life! You have made a boy and his dog very happy!"
"Jake has done really well since you did his board-and-train over a year ago. He’s still a very energetic and enthusiastic dog, but he knows how to do what I want. He’s filled out to be a big dog – and is such a love. And, during the first year after my dad’s stroke, Jake was able to come with me to visit him in a nursing home. The residents and staff loved him. There’s no way I could have brought him into that kind of environment without the training you did for him. Thank you."
"I recommend Bernadette without hesitation for anyone else who has a strong willed dog that does not respond to treats or praise when pursuing their own agenda. She is an expert trainer and exceeded my expectations-I am grateful that she was available to help me Samson and how quickly he was trained. I am at the McCaslin open space park daily for anyone who wants to see how well trained and happy Samson is!”
"Cadie started out as a rambunctious and out of control pup. After training with Bernadette, she is now a therapy dog at Avista Hospital. Way to go Cadie & Sue! “Thank you for your excellent training classes. Cadie is one of your many success stories!"
"Sammi is a sweet Border Collie puppy belonging to an amazing Denver Bronco’s family. She used to bark a ton and get crazy with her family’s little ones, but after two weeks at boarding school she is a well behaved little girl."
"Chilli is a beautiful Alaskan Malamute with some aggression issues towards both people and other dogs. After training, she is able walk politely in public without any outburts. Way to go Chilli!"
"Sweet Gracie, the Rottweiler, went home from Bernadette’s Boarding School to a very happy family. Before training, she suffered from severe aggression. She was unable to be handled by the vet for routine care or to be walked in public. After training… she is up to date on her shots and walked Waneka Lake during a massive Easter egg hunt with no problems. Good girl Gracie! Thanks to everyone who helped to socialize Gracie while she was in training with Bernadette."
"Champ is a ten month old German Shepherd and already weighs 85 pounds. I enjoy hiking and running the trails in Boulder and he is a great companion, but before training he was uncontrollable, nearly yanking my arms out of their sockets as I tried to hold him on a leash. Now that he has worked with Bernadette, he is a pure joy to take on the trail, both on and off leash. He comes instantly when called and sits at my feet on command even with other dogs nearby. I find that I am getting out more often, being more active and getting more exercise because I have such a wonderful, well controlled companion. Even in the worst weather both he and I enjoy our time on the trail. What Bernadette says is true; having champ understand what I want him to do and immediately respond in a positive way makes both of us happier and markedly improves our relationship. At this point we love him so much we tend to be a little less strict then we should at home but he always responds appropriately as long as we pay attention. And he’s only ten months old. We look forward to many, many years of a wonderfully close relationship."
"I brought my 24/7 companion Golden Doodle to Bernadette and as I released him into her amazing hands I cried. My dog/partner at 2 1/2 had become very fearful of the world in which he navigated and was becoming aggressive. Bernadette was my only hope to keep him. In just two weeks she gifted both Winston and myself with the gift of "peace." He learned how to be in the world and Bernadette then taught me how to be his alpha and to allow him the gift of tranquility. She is truly amazing. A stranger was petting Winston while he was in my truck yesterday and winston merely handed him his paw and smiled. The gentleman said: "what could he possibly have needed from a trainer. He's perfect." Winston and I shared a private smile."
"Our family adopted Boulder, a Bernese Mountain Dog, in June 2015. We absolutely adore him. However, shortly after he came to our home, we noticed that he was having aggression issues with nipping and barking. We felt that we needed to deal with these issues as Boulder was only going to keep growing. The vets said he may mature to 160 pounds! We researched dog trainers on the Internet. We kept returning to Bernadette. We had bought supplies and food at Black Paw in the past and felt like we were meant to reach out to her for help. Boulder went to Bernadette for a two week training. We missed him so much, but knew he was in good hands with Bernadette. She was very calming for him. She would send us videos of Boulder’s training and we could see that he was enjoying himself. At the end of the two weeks, Boulder was like a new puppy. He would listen to us. He would come when we called him and stay when we asked that of him. And, most importantly, we could tell that he was happy because he was making us happy by behaving and having a task to do. We highly recommend Bernadette and Black Paw for all of your puppy needs."
"Cricket is the cutest little Scottie you have ever seen, but had the biggest attitude to match. She fought with the other dogs in her home, lunged at other dogs when on leash, and refused to walk if she did not approve of her owner’s path. After two weeks in Bernadette’s Boarding School, Cricket is back in her home and doing better than ever. "You are very good at what you do!""