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Ian trained our French bulldog in a group setting almost 10 years ago, & that time was spent training people, not dogs. The people that have complained about Ian here, I feel, were not seeking the real answer to the problems (the people, not the dog!!). People are shocked by my Frenchie's exceptional training. Ian doesn't train specific breed issues in the group classes, but rather; techniques that work universally (positive vs negative reinforcement, extinction, etc) & when it comes to individual temperaments (bullies are VERY stubborn & I needed breed specific advice), pay the extra money for private classes. SO worth it. Sure, he comes off like a know-it-all & like he doesn't like people much. He understands dogs & is frustrated with people not taking responsibility for their role in their dogs behavioral issues. I get that. Anthropromophism drives me nuts & I don't hear it on a daily basis. (ie: But he loves me! But I see that he's mad at me! /headdesk) Now, 8 years later, I've adopted an abused Frenchie from Spain. Ian's lessons are intuitive & focus on the training, not Ian. This dog is very aggressive & it has taken 1 day (YES, ONE DAY) to reverse most of his bad behavior. Nearly a decade later, I could still kiss Ian's somewhat anti-social feet. lol Ian is, indeed, like an anti-social Caesar Millan. Be grateful or he'd cost more than Caesar. ;) In picture, formerly abused Frenchie on right lies down & stays; fights stopped, 1st day. :D
Posted: 7/14/2012 • Link to this review
I was extremely disappointed with Ian's puppy class; it was not interactive at all. Everyone just sits on a bench with their dog for 2 hours while Ian lectures (mostly repeating himself).He would sometimes take one dog to illustrate something but there is no opportunity for the owners to work with their own dogs and troubleshoot any issues(because Ian trains people!). As one of the Yelp reviewers noted, there's also alot of bragging about his own expertise and Frisbee championships. I feel taht he likes to just take one dog and illustrate a command himself to show off his own training skills rather than commit to working with the actual dog owners and the numerous problems a lot of people have with new puppies. He's also very off with how he relates to or reads people. He often shrieked at people during the class (Snap his leash! Snap his leash! I can't believe you just did that?! Why would you do that?!!).I would say that he does have some good recommendations and I'm sure he is skilled at training dogs himself. If you've never cared for a dog and know nothing about them you may find the class informative but because of his patronizing manner and seeming lack of interest in actually helping people rather than listening to the sound of his own voice, I can't recommend the class. Suggest owners sit in on a class first (w/o your dog) to see if you feel it is worth the cost.
Posted: 10/05/2011 • Link to this review
If you are looking for a non-interactive dog training class, sitting on a bench for 2 hours, listening to the Ian brag about his throwing acuity, his dog, his waivers, his undergrad years at Auburn, then this is the class for you. The problem with not being able to work with your own dog in class, is that if you are doing something wrong when you get him home, there is no one there to correct you. I'm astounded that he can get $300 for his 5 week class. The buzz around town is that 10 to 20 years ago when there were not many dog trainers, he was the go to trainer. No trainer should tell you that when you see a dog with a raw red neck, missing some hairs, that's a dog who is in "snap training." Research your dog training class carefully...I wish I did...
Posted: 4/04/2011 • Link to this review
I trained my shepard mix, Inka with Ian at Highland Pet back in 1999 and the training we received has stood me in good steed for nearly a decade now. Training @ Highland Pet is more about training owners than pets. This is not the typical "walk in a circle, sit & stay" kind of class. Classes involve a teaching and demonstration of course, but it's really about sitting and listening and then working outside of class. These are not quick fix classes. They are for owners who want to commit to a pet and take the time on the front end to create a well-behaved companion. Almost every really good dog I've met in the past 10 years has trained at Highland Pet. It's worth your time and money and will pay you back a hundred fold.
Posted: 7/09/2007 • Last edited: 1/02/2008 • Link to this review