515-287-4809 Tonja Osborn, Owner/Trainer
Des Moines Dog Training, and surrounding areas
Do you believe in the Easter Bunny? How about the Tooth Fairy? And, Me?
Once again, you are here to help pull me up from the depths. I guess I do have a few special angels trying to
watch over me.
Several years ago, I had heard of this incredible trainer in Des Moines. I had been in town for quite a while. And
sometimes you hear inflated stories. Then, internet became available. You could look her up on the internet and find her
pictured with the most unique pack of dogs I have ever seen. The shepherd pictured with was gigantic! Her stories
I started believing it when I met a very high spirited Vizsla that she helped train. Wow, if she could help his owner
make him behave, she must have some good ideas. I thought I would give her a try, because I had a client with a puppy
that was about to lose her happy home. I tried calling her for a consultation, got to speak with a very nice receptionist,
and was gently guided to setting up an appointment for my client. Over a few years, I referred several people to her.
All clients had nothing but incredible things to say. How could any trainer be so good?
Then it was my turn. I was lower than low. I was desperately searching for help for my daughter and her dog. I had to
find an outlet for my daughter. I had to help find a special interest. Nobody wants to deal with a frantic mother, and
“independent” 10 year old child, and her dog. What, you want your daughter to learn how to handle and show the
dog…..in obedience!?!?!? You never said that to me even though you might have been thinking it. You said, yes, I can
This was the beginning of an amazing adventure. I couldn’t believe your quiet, magical nature and ability to work with
“us”. It was incredible watching things evolve. My daughter was starting to develop confidence and patience. The dog
was learning commands and performing for my daughter. Friends were also noticing. People were complimenting my
daughter on her well-trained dog. My daughter was asked to bring her dog to school and talk about him. School was
becoming fun and grades were improving. Working with her dog became special and fun. She started setting goals,
dreaming about how far they could go in competitions. This is a gift that I can never repay. You helped teach the value
of patience and hard work. From these qualities stem self-confidence and success… and wonderful friendships. I am
truly blessed. You are an incredible person, Tonja. You have made such an impact on my life. I can’t thank you enough
for the gifts you have given me. The answer to your question…yes, I do believe in you.
I want to thank you so much for all the help you have been. We
started with your Obedience + More Class, an awesome help with
my new puppy, which is the first dog I have had as a puppy on my
My driven Border Collie needed more, and that was possible with
your Advanced Handlers classes that we attended, until my best
friend turned into a teenager. We lost our way and direction.
You helped us get back on track by asking us to attend the
Obedience + More class again. And now things are better than
I had taken for granted that my past experiences with dogs would
be alright. As it turns out, I needed the refresher courses more
than my puppy, she just wanted me to tell her the direction we
were headed for, and you pointed us the correct way!
Not just my experience with your classes, but watching how the
other students grow, is just fantastic to watch! Sometimes I
forget in class how well we are doing, because I am watching the
others accomplish, and exceed, their goals, also.
You ARE a Dog Whisperer.
Eli and Brande, the busy Border Collie
I travel extensively for work, so when I adopted my dog Malcom
last fall, I wanted to ensure he would be a good traveling
companion. Malcom had the right personality, but I needed to
learn how to train him to be well-mannered and sociable.
Through the obedience classes and agility training at Mystic
Moon, I've achieved that. Plus Malcom and I have had a lot of
Tonja has the heart of a teacher with an approach that is
consistent and disciplined, while at the same time always positive
and encouraging. Along with coaching her human students as we
work with our dogs, Tonja models her training techniques in class
as she works with her own dogs. She's experienced,
knowledgeable, and enthusiastic. One of the things I most
appreciate is that while training my dog to be obedient, I've also
built an affectionate, respectful relationship with him. I've
received numerous compliments from people we encounter in our
travels about what a nice and well behaved dog he is.
Malcom loves learning new things, and we'll continue to
participate in the many ongoing opportunities offered at Mystic
Moon. I would highly recommend Tonja's expertise to anyone
who desires to own a dog who's a pleasure to be around.
Malcom is so smart.
Tonja Osborn, of Canine Training By Mystic Moon, Inc., talks about J.J., a Russian Wolfhound, on April 27 during a special program at Merrill Middle School. Also, present for demonstrations were Tonja's dogs: Sky-Louisianna Catahoula, Shine-Ibizan Hound, Tali Ho-Dalmatian, Jett-Silken Wind Hound, and Q-German Shepherd. Merrill students got a chance to have fun, and learn how they can help others, when Kids With a Kause (KWAKers) introduced some of their community service projects to their peers at school. KWAKers is a youth community service group, that started among a group of neighbors on 44th Street. For more information, please visit www.IowaDogTrainer.com
Merrill Middle School, Kwaker Community Party:
4/27 - Raise Money for the ARL
Thank you so much for inviting us today. I love to teach, and show off my dogs.
Tonja Osborn, Owner/Trainer
Canine Training by Mystic Moon, Inc.
Yes, and it shows!!! The fact that you and Chuck were there with your six fabulous dogs, made
our day! I got so much great feedback from your "show". I also appreciate your educational
component. The kids walked away knowing more than when they came in ------ and many of
them were inspired in various ways. One of your student helpers, Josh, told me that this was
one of his best experiences ever!
Thanks so much, Tonja, to you, Chuck, and your assistants for providing a wonderful experience
for our 220 7th graders! I can appreciate that we put you all through a pretty grueling schedule!
I know your dogs will probably sleep well tonight!
Jennie, KWAKer Coordinator
lots of energy, serious worker, tries to keeps everyone in their place
sweet, gentle, kind, friendly, loves to look into your eyes
stand off'ish, doesn't like much hugging or kisses, serious watch dog
easy going, loves everyone, never fearful or shy, sleepy
wants to be boss, she keeps the boy dogs in their place
sweet, gentle, kind, friendly, loves hugging, loving and kisses
I couldn't wait for Thursday's class to tell you what happened
earlier today. My building's fire alarm went off (someone was
smoking in the hallway) and so my puppy and I had to go
downstairs while the fire department responded. My puppy is the
chocolate lab, with the 'big hello' that has been having trouble
heeling. But you had given me a training collar and so I put it on,
took him outside and he never left my side. The other tenants
were downstairs, and he very calmly looked at them as they
walked past, but never once moved to say hello.
The other dogs were outside, too, and after a little fussing
(while sitting down and looking up at me, barely able to stay
sitting his tail was wagging so hard) I asked their owners if Sarge
could say hello, which he did by smelling their nose - no jumping,
no attacking, nothing. When the other dog lost interest, Sarge
came back to my side and sat down. Very calm and appropriate.
Several of the tenants came by to pet my pup and they all
commented on how well behaved and restrained he was.
THANK YOU so much! This is exactly what I'm looking for in
my dog, as I love going to the farmer's market and hiking in
warmer temperature and would love to take my dog with me - now
I'm confident that this will be a very real possibility when that time
I can't wait to know what's in store for next class, as they've
definitely had a huge impact on my relationship with my dog so far.
My fiance and I just began training class last Saturday with you. I'd like to
interject this...we had no idea what to expect but have become huge fans of
your methods. We almost instantly saw a change in our Scottish Terrier.
With the change we have seen in one week we intend to stick with this for the
long haul and continue the different levels of training. It all just made SO
Amy L. Roberts
Tonja Osborn and four of her amazing dogs visited with students at Crestview Elementary School in West Des Moines as special guests in the Media Center on the evening of January 16, 2010. Audible gasps and squeals of delight were heard as Tonja & Chuck entered the library with their four HUGE dogs. The children sat with smiles on their faces, some whipped out their personal cameras to take photos. Tonja brought each one forward to explain the dogs’ background and temperament one by one. They demonstrated their tricks, carefully watching her every cue. It was inspiring and educational; the kids loved it!
Thank you Tonja we sincerely appreciate your visit, a wonderful memory for all of us. Please visit any time!
Ann E. Reynolds
Crestview Elementary School
West Des Moines, IA
Sent: Sun, Sep 27
Subject: Testimonial from Al Sandubrae
I've had Golden Retrievers going back to my childhood. For the most part I trained them myself . . . with fair success. After several years without one I decided the time was right to get another 'best friend'. However, now living in a Townhouse, I was concerned about training my new baby. A fellow dog lover recommended Tonja Osborn of Canine Training By Mystic Moon, Inc., for initial training. I called to see what Tonja's training philosophy is. It's very evident that she believes in positive reinforcement and great communication . . . well, I was impressed and ultimately hooked. We attended the beginner's class and it was evident from day one that Tonja and all the dogs developed a very special connection very quickly. Her calm, soothing, yet in control demeanor connected with me as "Dad" and Giselle immediately. There's no doubt in my mind that this was the best investment of time I could have possibly made. Not only did Tonja have an extremely positive impact with my puppy but she trained me as well . . . not an easy task! Yet now I have a growing puppy that's fully integrated into the household, who's extremely happy, content and well mannered. I have since enthusiastically recommended Tonja to several people who also share my happiness with her training methods and results.
Tonja is much more than a "dog whisperer". She has the ability to connect with both your dog and you. A skill set and gift that is truly rare. She helps you develop a strong fundamental base for a great lifetime relationship between you and your pet. For us it's become a relationship that's continued beyond the initial class.
I have to travel occasionally and was very concerned about where Giselle would go during my time away. Once again, Tonja became the perfect answer. Giselle is more than happy to spend time with "Aunt Tonja" and "Uncle Chuck", while I'm away. Even more gratifying is that while she's away visiting, Tonja continues to take the time to make sure Giselle is learning and growing while 'on vacation'. My dog is still a puppy with an occasional independent streak. Yet, every time she returns from her stays with Tonja I can see a little more maturity, she listens just a little better and she certainly comes back home extremely happy.
My appreciation for Tonja and Chuck runs deep for it's clear that they really do become emotionally invested in you and your pet. You can't ask for anything more, and frankly I doubt that there's another trainer around that has Tonja's magic. Yes, magic with your pet and you as an owner.
It's my honor and privilege to continue to recommend Canine Training By Mystic Moon, Inc. It's also an honor and privilege to know that Tonja is there for you and your pet for the long run . . . again a rare, unique and wonderful trait. It would be impossible to over-state my great respect, appreciation and admiration for Tonja and Chuck. Plainly said...they're just great people!
So if you've been wondering where to start with your puppy, give Tonja a call. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
With best wishes and warmest regards,
teach our dog to live easily with us
we train with you because it's fun
your expertise is extensive
you've shown nothing but kindness
we highly recommend you
I want to tell you how grateful we are for the success you have helped our family to achieve. When we first met, we had just gotten our year-old terrier- mix rescue dog, Judy, who had no training or socialization with well-behaved dogs before coming to live with us. She was extremely over-excited (barking, pulling) around other dogs. She ran through open doors and tuned us out at her discretion. I was pretty sure we were in for twelve to fifteen years of noise and destruction, if Judy didn't get injured or killed running out the door.
We enjoy Judy's sweet temperament, but we also want to be able to enjoy walks and being in the house with her. Two active young boys mean we need to trust her not to steal, or be boisterous when children are eating snacks, or playing games on the floor. An active schedule means we want to take her out with us and not worry about how she'll behave. And, when necessary, we want to leave her at home knowing she's housebroken, and won't be destructive.
This was not the dog we brought home from the shelter, and as far as I knew, there was no way to "fix" our dog. I didn't know it at the time, but I was wrong—and right. Our dog didn't need repair—we needed to build effective dog/human relationships. We have learned from you how a little training (two minutes here, two minutes there a few times each day) and some appropriate expectations can teach our dog to live easily with us. You've shown us how to be consistent with her, and how to help her understand what we want. You've helped us to understand what she is telling us about what she needs.
We noticed big improvements in Judy the very first week we came to you, and saw how much she (and we) learned in four weeks of classes. We also benefitted from a few private lessons to address specific issues. And you were, and still are, so accessible when something new comes up, or we need reminders of what we were taught.
Now, we have our same sweet, kind-hearted dog who is even happier than when we brought her home. We have pleasant walks with almost no pulling. She enjoys outings to new places and we are confident about bringing her with us. She doesn't pester us when the boys sit on the floor with a snack. In fact, when we were out at a baseball game today, a family came to sit near us and the husband said to the wife, "That's the kind of dog we want. Not too big, and so calm and quiet." All this in the middle of cheering crowds, lots of foot traffic, other dogs and popcorn on the ground. It has been a big turn around for our little girl!
So now people ask me why we still work with you, Tonja, even though Judy is "trained." Well, there's always more out there to be learned by the creatures at both ends of the leash. Here is one reason that we still train with Canine Training by Mystic Moon: It's FUN. Judy and I both look forward to getting out, and learning something new. Every time we come to a class, I leave knowing more then when I arrived.Working with you in so many different situations increases my confidence as a handler. I'm learning to recognize all the messages in dog body language and use those messages to avoid and solve problems. Your expertise is extensive. Judy is now working on her Therapy Dog certification, and may even compete in Rally Obedience. It makes us both happy to be working on these projects, and you have the knowledge to help us reach our goals in these and many other area.
We are contemplating adding another dog to our household. With the benefit of your experience picking dogs and giving puppies the best possible start, we will be well-prepared. Thank you. You've never made us feel foolish about all we didn't know, and yet you've taught us what we needed. You've shown nothing but kindness and gentleness to our family pet. You have helped us have the dog we really wanted, and now you're opening up new doors for me about just what's possible in a dog/human relationship. Whether a client needs help teaching their dog to be a good companion animal, or has ambitions for the conformation, obedience or any other show rings, we highly recommend you, Tonja, and Canine Training by Mystic Moon, Inc.
Kristi Reck and family
We had a great time in training and look forward to some classes in the fall! We both will be much improved by then!
Barb, Butch, and Bleu Anderson
(Me and You and a dog named Bleu)
I found a dog whisperer it was amazing
words of wisdom
The marketing whisperer
By Drew McLellan
McLellan Marketing Group
1430 Locust Street, Suite 200
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
You may remember that there was an addition to the McLellan family this fall -- Maggie the mostly lab (no idea what she's mixed with.) And yes...that's her sitting on the deck table. And yes, I did tell her to get down. Now you see the problem.
Since her arrival, two things have happened. She's gotten a lot bigger. And she's gotten a lot less obedient. Think Marley and Me without popcorn or previews.
I took her to puppy school. Pretty sure we only passed because the instructor did not want us back. As she was standing on her hind legs, paws on the kitchen counter... eating what was supposed to be dinner (ours, not hers) and I am shouting at her (without her even blinking of course) I realized I needed more help.
So I found a dog whisperer. She doesn't call herself that...but that's who she is. She came by yesterday for our first "in home" training appointment and it was amazing. Truly amazing.
Within 20 minutes, she had Maggie calm, sitting and laying down without giving her a verbal command. While she trained the dog....she was really training me.
What she didn't realize is that she's also a marketing whisperer. Here were her key lessons for yesterday.
Dogs (potential customers) aren't going to pay any more attention to you if you shout. If you're not speaking their language, it doesn't matter how loud you are. Shouting just scares or irritates them.
Dogs (potential customers) will behave the way you want them to because there's something in it for them. We don't go to work because we love it, we work because of the paycheck. Show the dog (potential customer) what they get and they'll change their behavior.
Dogs (potential customers) need consistent behavior. It's what reassures them and makes them comfortable. When you behave erratically or there's lots of inconsistency -- it scares them. They don't know what to expect or believe.
Dogs (potential customers) have very short attention spans. Better to train/talk to them in lots of 2 minute increments, rather than a single hour-long session.
There you have it....words of wisdom from our very own marketing whisperer. Which of those training rules are you breaking? Have you learned a tough lesson by breaking one of them?
you were amazing
thanks for sharing your talent
highly praised training techniques
love the calmness and sincereity she taught with
Dear Ms. Osborn:
On behalf of the Iowa Public Defender's Association I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for generously donating your time to give a presentation during our June seminar.
As the host office we were pleased with the attendance and the many positive comments we received regarding the seminar and the topics discussed. Particular mention was made regarding the very informative demonstration you presented. Providing top quality continuing education and training programs for our attorneys and investigators is the chief objective of the Public Defender Association. It would not be possible to conduct these seminars without speakers, like yourself, who graciously donate their time to share their expertise and insight.
Valorie K. Wilson
Our most sincere thanks for civilizing our two exuberant and undisciplined Shih-Poos, Yin and Yang. In the space of a few short weeks, you've managed to teach good habits and break bad ones without breaking their spirits. Our dogs are much better members of the family and citizens of the neighborhood, and all of us are happier for it.
You were clearly in control of our dogs from the moment you walked in the door.
They understood that you expected them to work hard, and they loved every minute of your attention (and your rewards!). Frankly, we've learned as much as our dogs have.
You've shown us that pack animals look to a leader for direction, and that humans must be the leaders. We've learned that even the most determined, rambunctious dogs can learn not to charge the door, not to jump on people, and how to walk on a leash. You've taught us that dogs need to learn to obey commands well enough to stay out of harm's way and not to hurt people, and if they can accomplish that much, then we ought to be able to live with a little silliness. And, wonder of wonders, we're learning that even two- and-a-half year old dogs can be taught to potty outdoors---and like it!
The animal-loving philosophy that is reflected on your web site attracted us to Mystic Moon, and we are delighted to testify to the effectiveness of your methods and your marvelous skills as a trainer and coach. You can be sure that we'll continue to call on your expertise in the months and years to come.
Saturday, January 14
Tonja & Chuck,
From Cindy, Mark, and Izzie (the ''little white dog'' with blue collar also described as 5-year-old Westie rescue female with ears and tail cropped by previous owner) . . . we were in your Wed. class that ended just before New Year's.
THANK YOU for what you shared with us in your class. Mark and I appreciate it very much, Izzie, too, but perhaps me most of all. I have grown up with dogs, all moderately to somewhat poorly trained, though much loved. As an adult I had have had two Labrador retrievers, one after the other, which I adored but struggled with given their size, energy, and my shortage of time and help available then. I've taken classes with three local trainers/sources, but never with the kind of results that we're getting with Izzie. Mark is new to dog ownership and has not trained dogs previously and he thought it all made sense and was pleased as well. I should admit that simultaneous to taking your class I read two of Jon Katz' books, and as you likely know Katz too is a big fan of ''positive capture'' and reward-based training. So much of what you teach, Tonja, seems common sense once you hear it, but common sense isn't always in abundance! After bringing Izzie home I was hot to trot to add another to our household and office, but now I'm committed to waiting. I really want to build on what she's learning so that we can have fun together, so that she can be a relaxed and constant companion at home, work, and on adventures such as hiking and paddling and camping. I am somewhat interested in agility just for the fun. Anyway I wanted to say THANK YOU.
Would you be willing to board Izzie in March? We would love to have her with you.
Hope all's well with you two and yours this New Year,
Cindy Pearson, Mark Dixon & Izzie
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for the help you have given us with our Irish Setter, Riley. Without your assistance he probably wouldn't still be with us, which would have been a loss for us since he's turned into a wonderful companion.
When we rescued him from the Animal Rescue League he was 9 months old and had little if any training, but he was such a beautiful dog. I had always wanted an Irish Setter, but never figured I'd get one. Then shortly after we got him home I wasn't so sure living with an Irish Setter was for me.
show us a glimmer of hope
He was difficult to work with, would not obey and did not get along with the other pets in the house. He was really a four legged red terror. But then when we were just about totally fed up with him, he would show us a glimmer of hope with his loving personality.
When we first contacted you, we had reached the end of our rope. We were close to taking him back to the Animal Rescue League and writing it off as a
bad experience. We really doubted there was much hope for him. Then we started working with you. We didn't see immediate results, but slowly we
started seeing a difference. He was showing more promise.
encouragement you gave us
By the time we finished the basic training class, he was much better and turning into the pet we wanted and had hoped for. Without the work and encouragement you gave us, we would have returned him to the Rescue League and it would have been a loss for us and Riley.
Now, he's not perfect and he has his moments, but then again he's a healthy, energetic, fun loving Setter. He gets along well with the other pets in the house and has become a loving companion for both us and his Wheaton Terrier brother, Buster. And since he started doing squirrel watch in the backyard, no one has been attacked by a squirrel.
We were eager to take the advanced class you offered at the Valley Junction Farmers' Market. When we first heard you talk about it, we never suspected Riley would do well, but we decided to give it a try. By the the end of the class, he was "almost" a model citizen - we could even drop the leash and walk away from him and he would stay. Pretty good for a dog with his energy level.
patience and understanding of dogs
Again your patience and understanding of dogs and their companions (and their frustrations) showed as you helped every dog and companion in the class to better understand each other and work better together. It's hard to imagine you could have 7 or 8 dogs sit on the street and watch their people sit on the curb and eat supper and not once did a dog try to steal a meal.
Thanks again for all of your guidance and patience. We look forward to the opportunity to learn more about rally and agility. If we can channel that big red dog's energy, it'll be a sight to behold. And we'll have the Irish Setter we dreamed of owning.
Steve, Sue and Riley Gibbons
Saturday, January 21
Last February while my husband and I and our three kids were spending a quiet weekend at our cabin in southern Iowa we found a small female puppy, or in more truthful terms, a small female puppy found us. We were not looking for a dog; we already owned a sweet, old, obedient, mixed Border Collie/ Husky. I'd heard my husband tell our three teenagers many times when they asked for a second dog, "We're a ONE dog family". But I could not turn away from this young, hungry, scared, ball of fur darting across the Iowa farm fields. We brought her home. The next day our veterinarian told me that although she was healthy, she had probably never been touched by human hands and she would be difficult to train. He also said she might bite us out of fear. But I had successfully trained our older dog, Barkley, and I wanted to try to keep this little puppy. We named her Cleo.
gave me a great recommendation
taught Cleo to focus
Two weeks later, in spite of my efforts to train the puppy, I was surrounded by torn window treatments, chewed furniture, destroyed shoes and ruined carpeting (she ate it!), and also a very unhappy husband. I realized I would either have to train Cleo quickly or find her another home. I remembered seeing a truck in my neighbor's driveway a few months prior; on the side of the truck was an advertisement that read "Canine Training". I called the neighbor and she gave me a great recommendation for Tonja Osborn, the owner of Canine Training By Mystic Moon,Inc..
When Tonja came to my house for the first visit I explained to her that contacting her was a last ditch effort and that I was close to giving Cleo away. I showed her a huge list I'd compiled of Cleo's bad behaviors. She told me she wanted to work with me so that I didn't feel like giving Cleo away was my only option. I was skeptical, however, because I knew this particular puppy wasn't interested in learning how to behave. Within minutes of her arrival, Tonja established that she was in charge and both she and Cleo knew it. Tonja taught Cleo to focus on her and I watched as Cleo's eyes began to follow Tonja's hands and face. Cleo responded well to Tonja but I wondered if Cleo would respond to me. Tonja taught me how to work with Cleo and even told me the vocabulary to use. She left me with written instructions and a phone number to call if I got into trouble.
great at problem solving
lots of tail wagging
Within a few days I started to notice a small difference in Cleo's behavior. Tonja is great at problem solving and she gave me lots of ideas and possible solutions to the problems I was having with the puppy. We had some bad days that first week, but we had some good ones, too and by the time Tonja came the following week Cleo had made a couple small improvements. Tonja told me it wouldn't happen overnight and that I'd have to be patient but if I kept up with the training, I would see results. Everyday I took out Tonja's written notes and continued the training. Soon Cleo began following simple commands.
Cleo began to look forward to Tonja's weekly visits. There was lots of tail wagging and excitement (but after a short while, no jumping :-)) when Tonja arrived. Tonja also had fun games for Cleo to play; her favorite was a game called "Find it". We still play that game. It didn't take many weeks before I felt like I could handle Cleo on my own. Occasionally, I'd call Tonja if I had a question or needed help with a problem. But most helpful of all, when we travel and need to board both our dogs, Tonja boards them for us at her home and acreage, and does training with them while they're there. She even picks up and delivers the dogs!
rewards have been plentiful
We've had Cleo for almost a year now and it's been quite a while since I've thought of giving her away. She has settled in and become an important part of our family. I'm grateful to Tonja for teaching me how to train Cleo; it required some effort on my part but the rewards have been plentiful. Thank-you, Tonja!
"dog whisperer" extraordinaire
We were delighted to learn about "Canine Training by Mystic Moon INC" through our vet at Jordan Creek Animal Hospital. Tonja Osborn is a "dog whisperer" extraordinaire. Our Lucylou loves Tonja and is instantly transformed in her presence. Her assistance in training and boarding Lucylou has been invaluable to us. We highly recommend Tonja and "Canine Training by Mystic Moon INC" to anyone experiencing puppyhood.
Lucylou, Rita, And Jack
I adopted my dog, Prince, when he was one year old after the loss of my 11 year old female lab mix who had been my faithful companion for 8 years. He is a beautiful white Shepard mix, who had been neutered and house broken but was definitely still all puppy, locked in the body of an adult dog. While he was very lovable and a good protector of our house, he had many bad habits which were making it difficult to live with him. He barked constantly at anything that moved in front of the windows; he jumped on people who came to visit and refused to relax. He is very tall for a Shepard and often frightened my children if he jumped on them or would knock them down. Although housebroken, he marked items in the house (mostly the children's' toys); and if he were ever to escape through an open door, he would run the neighborhood, ignoring all attempts to coax him back.
I was amazed
saw results quickly
I had taken him to basic training at the local pet store and then again to a class who specialized in German Shepards. While he picked up the basic commands, his bad habits still remained. By the time Prince turned two, I was at my wits end. I contacted my veterinarian and he suggested that I call Tonja at Mystic Moon who offered one-on-one training and experience with problem dogs. When Tonja showed up the first night, Prince displayed his usual high energy behavior; however, she went right to work with him. I was amazed after just one session how she was able to get him to calm down and listen. Much of the session was also for training me how to handle him. One of the great benefits of coming to our house was that she was able to see Prince in his normal environment and was able to make suggestions based on his surroundings. I used her simple techniques every day and saw results quickly. Tonja continued to work with us for the next several months. She admitted to me after he finished the first program that she was concerned that I had adopted a dog who may have been too much for our family. Prince is now three years old, and although, he still possesses a lot of energy, his behavior has improved 180 degrees. He is a loving member of our family. The children now adore him and have become his playmates. Prince continues to visit Tonja when a business trip takes me out of town, where his training is reinforced.
an amazing way with dogs
Tonja has an amazing way with dogs and I would recommend her to anyone for any level of training.
When asked by Tonja Osborn to provide a reference for her dog training ability, I enthusiastically said YES. Since we began our process nearly five years ago, we have developed and maintained a wonderful relationship with Tonja and so I considered it an honor and a privilege to be asked to give testimony to the success we have experienced.
As I thought about how to express my satisfaction with the results we achieved in our dogs, I thought about our experience with Tonja, myself, our family, and our two Labrador retrievers, Hershey and Bailey, and I realized that in fact, the dog trainer had successfully trained us humans! Tonja came into our home, observed and interacted with our animals, listened to our frustrations, and formulated a plan for behavior modification which included not only the dogs, but myself, my husband, and our three children.
made our lives just about perfect
We, in fact, were all reminded of our place and function in the family, and she artfully taught us how to communicate that hierarchy to our animals in a soft, gentle, consistent manner. The time she spent in our home was concentrated in helping us learn about our "pack animals" and teaching us how to communicate with them at their level. Understanding how and why they behave as they do, helped us to more effectively demonstrate to them how we expected them to behave in our home and with our guests. The result of this method of "practice, practice, practice", made our lives just about "perfect, perfect, perfect".
I have since recommended Tonja to many of my friends and even a few strangers. I have received in turn countless "thank you's" for sharing our good fortune with everyone who has received training from Tonja. I will continue to highly recommend her!
Canine Training by Mystic Moon, Inc. Des Moines Dog Training, and surrounding areas Tonja Osborn, Owner/Trainer
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