Jane Powers and Max 01/21/13
"Russ starting working with Max when he was about 2
years old. What a fantastic training experience this
has been for Max and for me!! Max adores Russ and
felt immediately comfortable with him. My only
regret is that we didn't start our training with
Russ when Max was a puppy — I wasted so much time
and money on group lessons. One-on-one lessons with
Russ is the way to go. Max and I recommend him to
you without reservation!"
Jane and Max 01/21/13
“We bought Russ’s puppy package when we got our
first puppy, Tucker. We were inexperienced dog
owners, and Russ gave us confidence and tools to
use. Russ is superb working with dogs, but he is
also very good at working with people. He understood
our constraints and helped us to see how we could
teach Tucker to be a part of our household.”
Beck Kevin and Tucker 01/25/13
This past July 2012, we adopted a six year old Puli
Rescue. Whisk came to us as a much loved dog, but so
loved that he had be given no doggie education. We
quickly realized that his – and our - education
needed an expert teacher. At the recommendation of a
friend we contacted Russ Hollier. We worked with
Russ for six months. Russ equated his education to
that of a ten year old in kindergarten – what a
spoiled little brat! Whisk's education is still
going on, but he now knows sit, down, stay and come.
He knows how to walk on a leash. He now knows he is
not the family boss and will receive “Russ Treats”
for good behavior. Russ also educated us on how to
observe Whisk, anticipate poor behavior and move to
correct it before it became an issue. His methods
are kind and gentle, but firm. We all, Whisk
included, enjoyed working with Russ.
Janet and Whiskers 01/25/13
Russ was invaluable in helping us learn how to train
our extremely lively three year old male fox terrier
- aptly named Rowdy. Rowdy had been to obedience and
agility classes and we knew he was a quick and ready
learner. But he sometimes got so excited he was
unable to calm himself and behave appropriately.
Denise Gelberg and Rowdy
With Russ's help we learned how to shape the
environment so Rowdy could do better. Rowdy LOVED
his training sessions with Russ as well as our daily
follow-ups. His behavior improved immeasurably, as
did his relationships with humans. He is now a
rather mature (for him!) four year old terrier -
lively still, but able to wait at the door before
going out, sit before dinner, cooperate during
grooming, and wait calmly as cars pass by during our
daily jogs. Beyond that, he's just a nicer little
guy to live with.
Russ is a gifted trainer. We feel lucky to have
benefited from his expertise.
We didn't know until he arrived that we had
purchased a "moderately to severely fearful puppy."
Russ saved us and saved our dog through the most
unbelievably patient and skilled work. Our pup is
now a "normal" dog with the most winning personality
anyone could hope for. After seeing the way Russ
works so creatively with dogs and their owners,
we're sure he could solve any canine problem you
Elizabeth and Betsy East 01/26/13
As you might know, KoKo, our little black and white
Basenji mix is very skittish around new people,
especially in close and unfamiliar quarters like the
vet office. Unfortunately for us, she's extremely
smart and can see through our misguided past
attempts to ambush her or to hold her in place.
Muzzles and submission holds just ratcheted up the
tension as her intense flight drive--and
claws--kicked in. But we are fortunate that KoKo
would climb into the jaws of an alligator if they
held the promise of peanut butter or a carrot. Upon
Dr. McMaster's recommendation, we started working
with Russ Hollier to help KoKo practice some
loose-lead walking and confidence-building to lessen
her "stranger-danger" response. Not surprising, Russ
had us using food to help ease KoKo as she was
greeted by strangers.
We wanted to share with you a fun story from our
first vet visit (for shots, wouldn't you know) since
working with Russ. You know how dogs run in their
sleep sometimes bark or whine? Well, KoKo, the
former stray who was all-but-feral when we found
her, is so food-driven that she has always eaten in
her sleep. You can see her jaw and teeth just
chomping away. I'm surprised she's never bitten her
tongue or lips.
Anyway, Saturday we took KoKo to Briar Patch, where
she got TONS of delicious new treats when staffers
met her. This included the tube-o'-peanut-butter
Russ introduced us to. KoKo inhaled it all while
wagging her tail in a blur of excitement. Then we
took KoKo for a brief introductory visit at Pet
Playhouse, where she also got lots of delicious
treats, which she gobbled up as she happily wagged
her white-tipped little tail.
That night, I guess she dreamed of her best day ever
because as she slept, she intermittently chewed
and--get this--wagged her tail. That's right. She
sleep-chewed WHILE sleep-wagging! Then she'd stop
for a few seconds, and as she was given more treats
in her dream (I can only assume), she'd sleep-chew
and sleep-wag some more. She wasn't just nibbling.
She was scarfing down the dream treats and her tail
was going side to side so fast that we were
surprised she didn't wake herself up. CRAZY! We've
never seen a dog wag its tail while asleep before.
We always said she was a dream dog, and now that
phrase has a whole new meaning.
So thanks again to Briar Patch for recommending Russ
and being patient and to Russ for doing a great job
with KoKo, our curious but skittish two-year-old. I
think we'll return the muzzle we bought her as she
seems to have gotten over a big hurdle. Thanks
-KoKo, Robin and Charles 2012
Mac and I learned so much from you (Russ) and feel
comfortable with the basic skills to continue
progressing with Ollie. We appreciate all the work
you have done and will contact you in the future if
anything comes up. Again, it was a pleasure working
with you Russ!
Maureen Fessenden 2012
Rachel and Daphne 2012
I began working with Russ shortly after I got my
dog, and those 10 sessions with him really helped me
establish a solid foundation for training my dog.
Russ had helpful suggestions for how to shape the
behavior of my high energy, slightly anxious dog. He
also had great suggestions for other resources, like
books and authors, that I've been able to integrate
into my training as well.
I have enjoyed
working with Russ and have really appreciated having
someone who is knowledgeable and offered support
training my young dogs in a way that went along with
my values. He interacts respectfully, positively,
and gently with dogs. My dogs have learned quickly
with his help and guidance. He was very willing and
helpful in addressing any behavior issues that I
wanted to work on. He was also available for
consultation with a stressful situation. My dogs
Judy Burrill - Jan 2013
Russ is a skillful guide and
interpreter. I seek Russ’ guidance again
and again, because no two dogs are alike. He doesn’t train my dog - he
empowers me to do that. With humor, patience and consistency he has
helped my dog and me build a thriving partnership. He always gives me
the sense that he has confidence in both of us. That feels great!
"I've observed Russ working with dogs
and people for over five years and I'm continually impressed with his
calm manner and ability to build lasting relationships. Russ is a
consummate teacher with excellent listening and problem resolution
skills. He has an intuitive sense for dogs and their needs. I highly
recommend Russ for learning how to raise happy, intelligent, and
responsive dogs. My dogs love Russ."
a puppy raiser for Guiding Eyes, I have worked with Russ both in group
classes and individually for 2 ˝ years. His calm demeanor helps both the
dogs and the humans to relax and enjoy working and learning together.
His classes are never boring or repetitive; he keeps us challenged, yet
at a level where the dog will be successful. His positive training
methods strengthen the relationship between dog and handler while
getting the behaviors we are looking for. I highly recommend him
as a trainer.