Training Testimonials

To read testimonials from clients who have worked with Zoe, our new training partner, please visit her company Yelp page!

**Rachelle is currently unavailable while she attends veterinary college!**
Read testimonials written by our training clients about Rachelle, the Dog Days head trainer!

About 3 years ago I adopted a dog, Lando, from a Humane Society in San Diego. About a month after I adopted him I was noticing that he was having a lot of trouble interacting with dogs at the dog park; he would freeze up around other dogs and would snap at other dogs that were attempting to get close to him. He also had a minor habit of counter surfing and trouble walking on his leash without pulling.

Rachelle came out and observed Lando while we were at a dog park. She was immediately able to calm my distress about my dog not being able to go to dog parks and gave me pointers/tips on things that I was doing that was increasing his anxiety at the park. She then worked with him, desensitizing him to other dogs. Because of her work with him and helping me handle situations that could arise I am happy to say that we have very few incidents at dog parks. In those cases where there is an increased potential for incidents, her tips have helped me to stay calm and better assess what I can be doing to de-escalate the situation.

As for his counter surfing, she was able to show me how to minimize this through reinforcing good behaviors while I had food out on counters/table when I was at home, as well as tricks that would deter him from counter surfing while I was not at home. With his leash handling, Rachelle worked with him multiple times and also showed me to stay consistent so that he would not slip back into his old behaviors.

I am grateful Rachelle was able to show/give me these techniques in handling all of his minor and major problems that have come up throughout the 3 years that I have had him. She is very responsive to any concerns and questions that I have on a variety of topics including a chocolate poisoning incident, selecting the right dog food, and veterinary services that really listen to my questions and concerns about my dog as well as places that offer alternative options for dental care. Her volume of knowledge about different training options has been very helpful, especially when certain techniques do not work as effectively as I would like.
-Amanda R. Vista, CA

lando training

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Rachelle has helped me tremendously with my Dogo Argentino puppy Turtle. Technically, I am Rachelle’s employer, but I would not have asked her be Turtle’s trainer if I did not firmly believe in her skills and methods as a dog trainer to help me with my young pup. I am currently 8 months pregnant upon writing this testimonial and Turtle is 9 months old, and as a powerful, intense, dominant, hunting and working breed, she requires extremely careful handling and specialized training that I wanted to be the one to provide, but found myself unable to do so in my current and unexpected situation. I trust Rachelle to understand her unique personality and her breed’s tendencies and to train her to be obedient and stable even in the craziest scenarios that I imagine will be occurring when a new baby is involved, while still preserving her protection capabilities and working drive. Rachelle is also my go-to when it comes to interesting or puzzling behavioral and health related issues, whether it be customer dogs or my own personal pets. I rely on her judgment and knowledge, because even when her opinion differs from my own, I know that when we put our heads together, the best possible conclusion for a dog’s well-being will be the outcome. A trainer with an intuitive grasp of canine communication and development, a knowledge of holistic care, and the skill to teach basic, advanced, and competitive obedience and behavior modification is a rare find, and I feel extremely lucky that Turtle and I have Rachelle to depend on.
– Tammy S. San Diego, CA

turtle training

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Rachelle is amazing!! Her training and support with our German Shepherd puppy, Schatzi, has been life-changing. Schatzi had a lot of issues with reactivity and on-leash fear reactions. As she got bigger her behaviors were getting more difficult to manage. We had trainers in the past who were unsuccessful in giving us the tools to manage these behaviors. Rachelle is truly amazing in the way that she understands dog behavioral issues. The difference I found in her training style is her calm, assertive manner and the way she trains the entire family not just the dog. She came to our house for home training sessions, then walks, and eventually even took Schatzi to off-leash dog parks. I feel so much more confident with my dog after working with Rachelle. Her ability to teach recall to dogs even when there are many distractions has been amazing. It really gives you the ability to take your dog to many more off-leash places. Rachelle will also respond right away to texts or emails regarding any dog behavior questions. I really cannot say enough good things about Rachelle. She truly loves her work and understands dogs in a way I have never seen before. Schatzi is now 2 years old and we continue to work with Rachelle to keep up her good behavior. My only regret is that we did not find Rachelle sooner.
–Miah H. Coronado, CA

Schatzi.Harbaugh

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I met Rachelle when Ace started at dog day care and chose her to continue Ace’s dog training as I could see how well she worked with dogs and how they responded to her.  She is an intuitive trainer and she is responsive to the owner’s goals and needs as well as the needs of the dog.  She is firm, calm and grounded and the dogs respond to her. She is able to work the training around what you want, whether it be a service dog, working dog, companion dog or specific behavioral issues, and is flexible as you learn more about your dog in training.  Rachelle takes Ace on focused runs and it gives him exercise and the satisfaction of a job well done. Rachelle is one of the most hardworking and conscientious people and Ace loves her.  She has taught me how to be good dog-mom.
–Dale B. Downtown San Diego, CA

ace training

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I can’t thank Rachelle enough for meeting with us and our furry children. Our youngest dog Nola, has been such a challenge, barking all the time and jumping up on people as soon as they walk in the door. She took her time listening to us and observing her behavior during our session. She gave us such great advice and helpful tips that actually worked!! Which has really made us and our neighbors happy :)

Nothing we had done worked, until we had the opportunity to meet with her. We want to say thanks for her guidance and extensive knowledge on dog obedience. She gave us useful tips that we could use, to teach Nola on our own.  Also, she shared some great tips for feeding our furry children a healthier diet, because our other little one, Charger, was overweight. I am happy to report he has lost weight and is more active. Thank you!
–Jennifer and Tim D. San Diego, CA

IMAG1294      IMAG0698951
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Rachelle is part dog whisperer and part human whisperer.

My dog Luna is a tiny force to be reckoned with – (36 pound Aussie) she’s a sweet girl but was not socialized properly as a young pup (she’s now almost one year) and is very reactive around humans.  When it came to a point that I thought she might bite someone, I called on Rachelle.  That—and the fact that my boyfriend was coming out from NY to stay with us for a week.

Just after one meeting with Rachelle, I saw improvement in Luna.  That improvement was also due to the fact that I also needed some “retraining” to cue in on Luna’s body language etc.

We also coordinated with Rachelle when Stephen got here, as I was expecting a really rocky get together.  (She typically reacts way more aggressively to men).  The advice Rachelle gave us on how to deal with possible situations that might come up were beyond our expectations.  (Stephen has very little experience with dogs)  Her advice to him was concise and relevant.  The advice given to me also made sense, and more importantly, it worked.    We learned a lot about how different dog and human behaviors are, and how something that is totally acceptable in our world is perceived as aggressive in the canine world.  Stephen took the advice to heart, as did I, and knowing also that Rachelle was just a phone call away if we needed her was very reassuring.  Luckily no “emergencies” occurred and as a matter of fact, by the end of Stephen’s visit, Luna was getting belly rubs from him and she was doing just more than “drive by sniffing” she was lying down at his feet, calmed and relaxed, and waiting for that next belly rub.
-Lisa C. and Stephen D. North Park, San Diego, CA

luna and mom

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I have a 4.5 year old Yorkie named Paris.  About two years ago, it became increasingly necessary to seek professional help to aid in my interactions with him. Paris’s behavior was less than stellar. He would aggressively bark nonstop at other dogs. He would pull and tug on his leash when taken for walks and was basically rather disobedient. My attempts to self-train using commands such as sit, stay, come, etc. proved to be futile. I knew it was imperative to get professional help.  I got that help from Rachelle, who recommended new specialized training gear and techniques to help in getting Paris to become a more obedient and manageable dog.

I found the e-collar to be an effective tool almost immediately. Paris is a challenging dog to manage. He is very active, stubborn, wicked smart, has an independent spirit, and is always several steps ahead of me.  Working with an e-collar has allowed me to control Paris and his behaviors, but most importantly, afforded the “reward/discipline” balance (balance between giving attention/affection and providing discipline to/correcting unwanted behaviors). It has given me peace of mind. I am no longer anxious when Paris and I are outside.

I’m extremely grateful to have come across Rachelle, who has proven to be a life saver. She is attentive and professional. She and Paris are buds—their close relationship has been conducive to productive sessions.

I am and will continue to use Rachelle’s services whenever seeking guidance and advice regarding Paris and his needs. I would recommend her without hesitation.
–Lana B. Downtown San Diego

IMG_1739

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Hello, my name is Cheri Davis and I am a lucky recipient of one of your rescues. On October 27, 2013 Warrior Dog Foundation introduced me to my new best friend Odin. He’s a young Belgian Malinois that had a rough start in life, but thanks to the participation of Rachelle Folker Head Trainer at Dog Days San Diego (DDSD)and the Warrior Dog Foundation (WDF) he was rescued from an unhealthy environment and given a second chance in life. I want to thank Rachelle Folker from DDSD and the WDF for all that you did for this wonderful dog. Thanks to the WDF, the necessary funding was provided to remove Odin from his unhealthy environment. Odin was then placed in a safe and healthy place where he received the best veterinarian care possible. The goal in the seven-week interim before I took custody was to get the dog healthy and socialized at an accelerated rate. That is where Rachelle with DDSD stepped in and performed her magic by setting up a training plan and nutrition program which helped the dog benefit immensely from his short-term experience with Ms. Folker. Although the young Belgian was horribly underweight from poor nutrition, had kennel cough, lacked social skills, was completely afraid of the world (fear driven flee) Rachelle at DDSD, supported WDF endeavors and nursed him back to health by providing good nutrition, exercise, discipline, pack time, grooming, and affection. Rachelle’s actions were instrumental in starting this dog down the path of success on a solid foundation. The feeding routine, training plan, toys, crate, prong collar, leash, etc. were items provided for me to continue down the path of success. The tools and knowledge that Rachelle shared with me have been implemented daily and continue to help Odin grow into a mature, healthy, balanced, well behaved and socialized dog. I am most grateful to Rachelle Folker for the personal care given to this wonderful dog and me. I appreciate Rachelle’s broad understanding of dog behaviors and their nutritional needs. I found her to be a professional, knowledgeable and supportive of my understanding what it is my dog needs. Today my Odin a hefty 78 pound happy pooch who receives a healthy amount of exercise, discipline and affection. Thank you Warrior Dog Foundation for all that you do for this magnificent breed and Rachelle Folker for all that you did for my sweet Odin.

Sincerely yours,

Forever owner Cheri Davis
Albuquerque, NM

Odin

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

My fiancé and I have a 3-year old Australian Shepherd, Jaxon; like most Australian Shepherds he is high-energy which translates into a lot of barking, jumping and general over-excitement.  We knew what Jaxon’s triggers were but didn’t know what to do to curb his behavior.

Rachelle came over and was able to explain his tendencies and how we could correct them. After a couple sessions with her we had the building blocks from which to continue training and since then he has significantly improved.

Rachelle has always gone above and beyond. She works around our schedule to find a time and place that works for us. Not only that, but on a day-to-day basis, if we have a question when picking up Jaxon from daycare she takes the time to help us.  If that weren’t enough, she’s helped us in the same way with various foster dogs that we’ve brought home. Overall we’ve never worked with a better trainer who is as knowledgeable in obedience, diet, and canine communication. We don’t know what we’d do without her!
– Jessica & Garron R. Little Italy, San Diego

Jax

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I hired Rachelle to guide me in managing my fearful German Shepherd/Rottweiler mix, Tara, around her triggers. The most pressing trigger I wanted to tackle was her reaction towards strangers coming into our home. Rachelle showed me a few ways on how to direct Tara’s attention while hosting guests. Rachelle also shared some really helpful reading material that has better developed my understanding of dog behavior and has made a big impact on my relationship with Tara. Lastly, and most importantly, Rachelle helped me advocate for my dog’s needs in any given situation. That advice has been priceless in training my dog. A big thank you to Rachelle!

– Jennifer G. San Diego

IMG_5394

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Rachelle helped train my rescue, and it’s been a great experience.  I spoke to many trainers and I’m glad I kept looking till I found her.  She was honest with us and didn’t make any unrealistic promises.  My dog is not food or toy motivated, so she worked hard to give me training options that would be fun for him, but also manageable for me.   She took time to figure out what we needed, what our dog is like, and came up with exercises that would work for us.  We do the exercises she gave us for a few minutes every day, and my dog is really progressing along.  She worked WITH me and my dog, rather than simply telling us what to do – that personalization has been key.  It’s been a real pleasure to work with her.  Thanks Rachelle!

– Sally S. Santee

IMG_1569

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

As the proud parents of rescued dogs, we are always faced with challenges with the baggage our dogs have.  With Rio, we were experiencing a new level of energy and issues.  Rio was great off the leash with other dogs, but was leash aggressive and we couldn’t figure out what was triggering it.
We contacted Rachelle and she started working with us.  Rachelle quickly saw what Rio needed and what we were not doing to provide Rio with the direction and stability she needed.  Rachelle helped showed us how to redirect Rio’s attention, creating a positive association for Rio when she sees other dogs when she is on the leash.
Rachelle’s approach with both our dog as well as ourselves was very reassuring and easy to learn from.
We would highly recommend Rachelle for anyone with a dog.
– Craig and Carie R. San Diego
IMG_1453
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Rachelle and Luke are total pros. From the moment they arrive with their own dogs, there is no question that they have cracked the formula and are prepared to train your own dog to the best of its ability. We’ve seen them take on animals, both calm and out of control, during the same session and manage them to get the best results from both.

As Downtown residents, our primary concern was the ability to have our new puppy grow into a level of comfort and composure while walking around the city – with all of its distractions. Rachelle and Luke delivered, and we couldn’t be happier with the results. I cannot recommend enough that dog owners use them to guide their dog’s development.
– Vanessa K. Downtown San Diego
IMG_6939