Dog Training Testimonials

Kathleen James came to our home to help us with our five-year-old Heeler mix, Asher. Asher was displaying aggressive behavior whenever a human or dog stranger came onto our property. He would bark, growl and lunge and I was afraid he was going to bite someone. I had tried my own tactics, but I remained nervous in these situations.

Fortunately, Kathleen came to the rescue. In just three training sessions, Asher is so much better. She trained him using an E collar. She utilized a positive training method by dispensing lots of treats, so that he would not be frightened but, instead, would understand what we wanted from him. Now, he is so much calmer when people or dogs come onto our property and I am so much happier.

Marjorie & Asher, Rockport, MA

I have owned dogs all my life but it wasn’t until I adopted a German Shorthair Pointer that I felt the need for professional training. Inside my home Brady was a well behaved and affectionate 2 year old. Outdoors he is a hunting beast. When he got loose it was bedlam.

So Brady and I had a short course in e-collar training with Kathleen James from Atlantic K9 Training. Brady and I now have a much happier relationship and our walks a far more relaxing.

I would highly recommend Kathleen and Atlantic K9 Training to anyone in need of professional dog training.

Tom Cannon & Brady

When I found Kathleen and Atlantic K9 I can’t tell you how instantly relieved I felt. I had been looking for support for my 9mo old puppy regarding separation anxiety and crate training and had reached out to many other companies and individuals in the industry. I believe it was within 4 hours of my initial contact with Atlantic K9 that I had already spoken to someone on Kathleen’s team and also had arranged a time to speak with Kathleen directly. Kathleen made herself available to hear our concerns and issues we were facing and come up with a plan that supported us and our puppy. She really listened and made us feel heard; like we mattered and so did the welfare of our puppy…this speaks volumes to who Kathleen is as a person and her genuine passion for her work.  When we got our puppy home we knew it was important to keep up all their hard work because the puppy we got home was still a work in progress but a COMPLETELY different puppy than who we sent to her. He retained his little puppy spirit and yet was able to take on all the training she put in to him. We’re so grateful we found her and Atlantic K9, this team is here to support us all. Also, of note they have been so wonderful about staying in touch. It was as if Kathleen intuitively knew when we would’ve wanted to hear from her and she stepped right up to the plate. Not only that, but even post ‘boot camp’ week I still here from Atlantic K9 to make sure we’re all still doing well. Thank you thank you thank you!

Delia Cox & Pemi

“Kathleen saved my dog’s life.  Annie had a bad experience with a runner at the beginning of last summer, a nasty person who screamed at me and at her.  Annie reacted by becoming more and more aggressive around runners…. to the point where I could no longer control her.  Annie weighs 105 – small for a Newfie, but a big dog.  I was so afraid she would bite someone and then be taken away from me and put down.  Kathleen was my last resort.  She fitted Annie with an “e-collar” and within a month we were ready for our first test.  A friend of mine volunteered to be the guinea pig and Annie passed with flying colors.  Now I can walk her anywhere, even off leash if the location is right.  She heels perfectly and comes when she is called and all the while, I know I am completely in control if something unexpected occurs.  Thank you Kathleen – from both of us!” — Karen Galat,  Hampton Falls, NH

“Thanks Kathleen! Eeyore wouldn’t be with us without you!” — Jay, Kathy, Logan and Eeyore Schevis, Peabody, MA

“I have been involved in the dog world for over 25 years. I thought I knew it all. Wow! after one training session these are different dogs! Precious and Lovely really enjoy your training style. We can’t thank you enough.” — Jean Wolcott, Merriment Kennel Standard Poodles, Hamilton, MA

“We contacted Kathleen when our 5 year-old Portuguese Water Dog’s behavior started to slip.  He was annoying visitors who came to the door, would chase the UPS truck down the street, and steadfastly refused to give up his tennis ball on the beach.  Because he’s not a pup any more, we were a bit skeptical about how easy it would be to retrain Monty.  But after four sessions of working with Kathleen, Monty’s behavior is much improved.  We would highly recommend Kathleen for any age dog.” — The Cheshire Family

“Kathleen gave me encouragement on the initial phone consultation and even more encouragement after our first session that my two dogs and I were not beyond hope. My 5-year old black Lab Kodi and 6-year old Rottweiler mix Jade have been a handful since we adopted them a year apart. Each was 18 months old at the time…They barked/lunged/growled and pulled when a walker, biker, or other dogs went by. Neighbors would avoid me when I had the dogs. The “girls” were so high energy and scary that some of our friends were afraid to visit. After practicing what Kathleen taught us, I have been able to walk the girls without avoiding other dog walkers and even chat a little. Several neighbors have commented on the change in my dogs’ behavior. I no longer feel I have to time my dog walking to avoid everyone else!” Ilia, Ipswich, MA

“’When I first met Gretel, she was a 2 1/2 year old German shepherd previously named Smarty. She was one of 36 German Shepherds found on a school bus in Bennington, VT, the product of a man on the run, a hoarder named Larry Mason. Their story made headline news. Gretel and her pack had been living in a pack outside with little shelter, food and water. She was never socialized. To her the world was a frightening place.

I knew I needed a qualified trainer, and that’s when I contacted Kathleen.  She had the patience, knowledge and experience to handle Gretel’s issues. Through many months of training Gretel learned the basic commands: sit, stay, down, come, and heel. But more importantly, through Kathleen’s training, using positive reinforcement, Gretel’s world was no longer scary. She has made tremendous strides, including passing the AKC Good Canine Citizen Program.  We are currently working on the BH (Begleithund), also called the Companion Dog Title. It includes field exercises, obedience, and how well the dog behaves in heavy traffic.

Thanks to Kathleen’s dedication, knowledge and experience, Gretel is a different dog than when I first adopted her. Gretel is a happy, very well behaved dog. I am proud and comfortable taking her anywhere.” — Sarah Baumann, Amesbury, MA

“Before Kathleen O’Connell came to help me train my dog my life was a series of frustrations.  My puppy bit me frequently and seemed to spend her time, intelligence, and energy trying to convince me that I was born to be her slave. She is a very beautiful Papillion, but I had finally reached the stage where I was so completely discouraged that I would say, “Cute doesn’t cut it,” in an angry voice.

I did have one hope to cling to:  with the right trainer it might be possible to make this dog into a happy, willing and obedient charmer.

Kathleen’s first lesson was mostly for me.  She encouraged me to have faith in the dog’s future and to have the patience and wisdom to realize that dog training is a process that takes a great deal of time.

One step at a time, without choke collars or zap collars, we began to see great changes.  Now I have a dog that wants to understand how to behave.  Before long she will be a treasure.

Kathleen is a talented and experienced dog trainer; she also is a gentle and persuasive trainer of dog owners. I heartily recommend her and hope you will be fortunate enough to engage her services.” — Phil G McGourty, Shrewsbury, MA

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Our Clients Say it Best

Grace & Henry

I can’t believe how much your training has improved my life. I get to go on walks through the neighborhood, I don’t waste so much time barking like a MadMan at all those silly little dogs. I’m learning to be in very good control when I see another dog while I am out walking and I come when I am called.


Our​ ​eighteen​ ​month​ ​German​ ​Shepherd​ ​has​ ​been​ ​nothing​ ​but​ ​successful​ ​in​ ​her​ ​training​ ​with  Kathleen​ ​and​ ​Dogtra.​ ​Our​ ​family​ ​adopted​ ​Shayna​ ​last​ ​February​ ​with​ ​a​ ​limited​ ​knowledge​ ​of​ ​her​ ​background, and​ ​were​ ​a​ ​bit​ ​surprised​ ​with​ ​her​ ​initial​ ​demeanor.​