Our dog Joey was found outside of a convenience store. We know he had been living on the street for a while. He definitely acted as if he had been through a a rough time as a puppy. He was very fearful and shy of new people and other dogs. He was in several foster homes, but none of the foster parents were willing or able to keep him. Joey had many issues, but since he was so adorable and cute, we wanted to help him get over his fear and knew we needed lots of professional help. We were familiar with Victoria Stilwell from her show, “It’s Me or the Dog” on Animal Planet and liked her methods. After researching Victoria we found that she had a network of dog trainers using the same methods we had seen on her TV show. This is how we found Donna and “Mutts With Manners”. She was a great fit for us and our dog. Joey was not easy to train, but Donna was very patient. She spent a lot of time with us working to change Joey’s reactive behavior and training us how to manage Joey. With her positive training methods Joey was able to walk outside on a leash without reacting to people and their dogs. Joey also learned all of his basic obedience commands and he was taught to “go to his place” when someone knocked on the door. Training was fun for Joey and us. If you need dog training we highly recommend Donna and Mutts With Manners.
- I called Donna because my dog, Sam (9 years old) was having major aggression issues with my parents new dog, George. You see, my parents had to put their 14 year old Yorkie, Max, to sleep in December because of health issues. Sam and Max were best buddies and when George, an adopted 2 year old Shih Tzu came into the picture, Sam showed so much aggression that I had never seen that side of Sam before. This brought tears to my eyes because I felt I had an aggressive dog that wanted to harm another dog, which to me was extremely sad and not acceptable.For the first week or so, I tried socializing both dogs on my own. Then, very quickly, I realized I needed professional help and that is when I called Donna. Donna met with us twice, doing exercises and giving us homework to do on our own. She was amazing with both dogs and as calm as could be. Three days after our first visit and doing our homework every day with Sam and George, I started noticing a calmness with Sam which I can’t tell you the happiness that brought me. After two visits with Donna, both dogs were totally socialized. Everything Donna did and told us to do was based on positive reinforcements. It was amazing! Donna made Sam a very happy dog and she made me a very happy owner. During both visits, Donna was never in a hurry to leave. She stayed at the house as long as she needed to or as long as she needed to explain our exercises.Both dogs have become best friends and this would not have been possible without the help of Donna. I cannot thank her enough for what she has done and most important, the technique that she uses. Donna, thank you so very much!! -Jenny Lidback
- “Donna has extensive knowledge and takes an in-depth approach to resolve behavioral issues. She far exceeds any expectations I have of a trainer.” -Andrea Dugger
- My American Bulldog, Buster, has a history of severe abuse by a male owner. He was found emaciated with numerous injuries including damage to his brain and ribs, for which he never received medical care. Buster was a “country dog” and remained a “country dog” when I first adopted him. He was frightened by any movement, by sound, by any strange objects and especially by men. He was able to bond with me and my other rescue, an American Staffordshire Terrier, Cinnamon. Shortly thereafter I moved to Atlanta to be with my sister after her husband was killed in a car accident. The move to the “big city” proved to be horrible for Buster. A walk down the street had him trembling and cowering in fear. Normal neighborhood noises and sights were just too much for him to bear.
- I met Joyce and Donna through Dogma Dog Care. They quite literally saved his life as Buster has hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, which can be life-threatening and is triggered by stress. Joyce and Donna took Buster in one of their basic obedience classes and worked with me for countless hours. They taught us using only positive training techniques, taught me clicker training, gave me a ton of reading materials, and answered hundreds of questions. I did not have high hopes for his ability to learn due to his brain damage, but they proved me wrong. Buster did a great job in class and learned enough tricks to entertain the children at the local elementary school. He can now walk down even busy streets with no fear and a spring in his step. He is still not crazy about men, but a couple of men in our neighborhood can approach and touch him. His BFFs are an 80 something year old man and his little dog. Joyce and Donna are wonderful trainers and wonderful people. They continue to be available to me by phone in case of emergency. I call them Buster’s guardian angels. –Katherine Smith and Buster
- Donna has been a wonderful trainer for our Atlanta Pet Rescue dog, Bailey. When we first got her we had several problems such as leash walking, excessive barking in the house, riding in the car and her meeting my parents dogs. Donna was prepared with different items such as double leashes, harnesses/gentle leader, and even a mask. She taught us different things to do with Bailey and in 2 sessions we saw a great change in our dog. The car became more pleasant as well and Bailey only needed her mask for a week! Now she loves car rides and isn’t afraid of her surroundings. We met for the 3rd session at my parents house so we could have all three dogs together. Donna, after an hour and a half, had all 3 dogs liking each other. It was a miracle! Whenever I email or call Donna, she always gets back to me right away. She never “checks the clock” on our training sessions. She wants to finish what she has planned at the session. She also has stopped by just to drop something new off for us to try. She is truly amazing at what she does! My husband and I, as well as my parents, highly recommend Donna for dog training. –Tami Feldman
- “Donna Elliott is a very knowledgeable trainer. She provided much needed guidance teaching me how to train my very active Labrador Retriever puppy utilizing a positive approach. She always made herself available for one-on-one individualized training advice targeted to each dog’s behavioral issues.” –Valerie Baginski
- I would be happy to recommend to anyone who has a new puppy that they seek the training expertise of Donna Elliot. Donna is not only a true dog lover, but a people person as well. She understands that creating a foundation of love and trust between owners and their new puppy is absolutely essential.From personal experience, the puppy that we rescued was especially difficult at first. We thought very hard about finding her a different home and that we may have made a bad decision. Donna compassionately understood and offered to help us find her a good home if that was what we decided. The training program we were in with Donna was easy to execute and we found that our puppy excelled once we dedicated the small amount of time each day it took to do the exercises. We’re so happy we stuck with Lila. She’s turning 1 this month and we have Donna to thank for the great relationship we have with her.Another note about early socialization of puppies which Donna will stress the importance of: Our previous dog had several bad instances with other dogs that led to her eventual ban from being in social situations. Naturally the concern that this not be repeated with Lila was top of mind with us. Donna showed us how to let Lila interact safely with the other pups and taught us to control the situation so that our dog associated playtime as a fun reward and not to be nervous or feel the need to protect. We love being able to take Lila everywhere with us and not worry about how she’ll act around potential playmates.
-Mike and Leah Green
- When my husband and I rescued our 8 week old golden retriever puppy, we thought we could just train her at home like we did our other dog. Boy were we wrong! She destroyed everything in our house and was out of control. We were on the verge of going crazy when we signed up for classes with Donna at Dogma. We now have a well behaved puppy who loves learning new things. I don’t know where we would be right now without Donna’s one on one training and very helpful advice. Thank you for sharing your expertise! -Ashley and Grant Nelson
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