If only our four-legged clients could do the talking. Since they can’t, find out what their human companions say about us!
We could not be more pleased with the wonderful training Jessica Wheatcraft gave to our rescue dog, Samantha, and to my husband and me. We adopted the cutest little dog who was petrified of everything. As much as we wanted to help and care for Sammi, she did everything she could to keep us away from her. We were unable to even touch her for the first two months or so that we had her. We knew fairly quickly that we needed professional help if we were going to become a happy family. We were not new to raising a dog; we raised three dogs who lived very long lives, but we were new to raising a “fearful dog,” and had never before even heard of that term.
Jessica was referred to us through another dog trainer who, after listening to what we were dealing with, admitted that she did not have the expertise we needed. We will forever be indebted to her for recommending Jessica. Despite the fact that Jessica did not get home from her dog training until after 7:00 p.m. the first day I called and left a message, Jessica called and spent a long time on the phone listening to all we were going through and our concerns that we might not be able to even keep this little pup since she was so very afraid of us.
Jessica made an initial appointment to visit our home to evaluate Samantha. She was completely honest with her assessment. Jessica was sure she could improve the situation, but she also said that we might not be able to do those things we have done with our previous dogs, i.e., go to restaurants, travel in the car on trips, spend days at the beach…basically having a dog that wanted to be part of our life experiences. We needed to think about whether we wanted to invest time and resources into a dog that might not improve to the point we had hoped to experience with her. Jessica sent us literature to educate us about fearful dogs and to assist us in making a good evaluation. We did proceed with a series of training sessions with Jessica.
We went from having a very fearful dog who did not trust any person or any other animal, to a confident, loving, cuddling dog who is now an integral part of our family. Her interaction with other dogs is more appropriate, and rather than being afraid of new surroundings, she shows healthy inquisitiveness. After six sessions we are now taking Samantha on long walks in busy locations, going to crowded events, dog festivals, restaurants, Balboa Park and any place that allows dogs. Every day Samantha looks for signs that we are going on an outing. Our friends and neighbors and even her foster parents are thrilled with Samantha’s progress. We have learned so much from Jessica…how to interpret Samantha’s actions and reactions, how to protect her when she becomes fearful, and how to be very patient with her progress. Truly, we could not be happier with the results of our initial sessions of training. We are feeling like proud parents whose “child” has just received an outstanding education and graduated with all A’s. We highly recommend Jessica Wheatcraft of Synergy Dog Training to train a dog from being very fearful to one who is very happy, content and joyful to be around.
Jacque and Dave B. of Lakeside
I have personally owned and loved dogs since I was 18 months old. But I have never had a fully obedient canine even though I enrolled and participated through several training sessions with my animals over the years…then I met Jessica. Jessica Wheatcraft is a brilliant and effective dog trainer. She is knowledgeable about how dogs think, and an articulate teacher for the dog owner. My Lab puppy Gracie has learned more in the 8-10 weeks that I worked with Jessica than any other dog I have had into their adult years. Jessica demonstrates she does research on the habits of dogs and is professional and caring in her approach to training. I will continue to use her services because she has made me a believer.
From Lis J in La Mesa
My Pit bull/Boxer mix Boomer was out of control! He barked at the wind, chased everyone and everything. He jumped on people, ran them down and was a menace out in public. With Jessica’s help and training us how to work with Boomer, he is much calmer, obeys more often than not and we are now learning to walk him without the pain and struggles we had. She is an amazing trainer, finds great qualities in the dogs and shows by example how to work and play with the dog. We are about half way through our package we bought and I just love every minute with her and all her suggestions. Thank you Jessica for allowing us to see Boomer as he can be.
From Karen F. in Chula Vista
Jessica was recommended to me and I’m so happy she became Winston’s trainer. We had attended the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) classes with the goal of becoming a therapy dog team, but Winston was having trouble with 2 parts of the test. We tested twice and after he didn’t pass, I felt it was time to call in an expert. I’m certainly glad I did. Jessica gave me lots of pointers in working with Winston and after many hours of practicing on my own and with Jessica, we passed! I know that without her help, we’d still be in the practicing mode. I bought a package of lessons. Jessica thoroughly evaluated Winston’s strengths and weaknesses and gave me lessons tailored to our needs. Jessica’s very experienced and knows how to builds success on subsequent lessons.
After passing the CGC classes, I felt confident enough to be supervised/evaluated by a therapy dog organization and Winston and I passed with flying colors! It wouldn’t have happened without Jessica’s help.
From Lisa G. in Kensington
We adopted our terrier-mix Bochy when he was 1&1/2 years old, and he came to us with many fears–fear of anything on wheels (strollers, bikes, skateboards, etc), fear of people (except for myself and my husband), fear of noises (even toys that squeak), fear of balls, etc. The fears translated into aggression towards other people and other dogs. We tried using the “dog whisperer" techniques and we tried a trainer who used negative reinforcement. The results were disastrous–every time we’d yank that spiky collar around our poor boy’s neck, the more violent his aggressive reaction became. We got in touch with Jessica through a recommendation, and we’re so happy we did.
Jessica has the patience of a saint. Through her positive reinforcement training, she gained the trust of our frightened dog. She’s the only person aside from us “parents" that Bochy loves to see and work with. On her recommendation, we’ve changed his diet, consulted with a behavior-oriented veterinarian, and found that there were physical reasons for some of his problems. Once Jessica gained Bochy’s trust and was able to work with him one-on-one, she expanded his training to include additional co-trainers coming with her (to get Bochy used to other people), introducing other dogs (to teach him to react without aggression), and taking the training outdoors (to work on his reactions in the real world). She’s also taught us humans many skills to continue on with his training on our own. Bochy is a very smart dog and learns quickly, but Jessica always has ideas that keep him interested–never bored. He enjoys his training immensely, which is a big change. Prior to Jessica, he either reacted aggressively towards others or shut down completely. But when we say, “Jessica’s coming", his tail starts wagging and he waits attentively at the door for her.
We’ve seen great improvement over the time we’ve worked with Jessica. Bochy’s reactions to people and other dogs are fewer and much less violent. His aggression was never directed towards us, but we did have a tough time keeping him interested in training or even just finding ways to play with him. Now, due to training with Jessica, it’s easy to engage him, he looks forward to training, he’s learned how to have fun, and he’s a much happier dog.
I highly recommend Jessica Wheatcraft for all dog training needs. Her methods, her experience, and her obvious love of dogs are sure to benefit any dog or owner in need of help.
From Debbie N. in Encinitas
I adopted a “Tijuana Terrier" through a local agency, only to learn he had terrible separation anxiety – to the tune of $2000 damages and termination of an overseas vacation.
Jessica created a lengthy plan, and after six months I was able to leave him at home when I went to work, etc. There were times when I thought I would have to give him up but we were both committed and now he’s a wonderful little guy.
Jessica was always prompt, professional and positive . . . I strongly recommend her services.
From CWW in Bankers Hill