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Hi Dorothy,

My name is Darla and I was at Murphys very first training class EVER on Saturday morning with you. (even though he's almost 5 yrs. old) We have been practicing what we learned from the moment we left your class and I'm sooooooo happy with our progress. I have to tell you that I was in tears last night because I could honestly say that in the 5 years since we've had Murphy, it was the first time I could truly say that it was a pleasure to walk him. He was eager to show off the skills that he had learned. I'm so proud of him and myself too for the efforts that we've made in such a short period of time.

He is way smarter than I ever gave him credit for, and he seems so pleased with himself too when we get back from a walk. He's much more content, and relaxed. It's as if he was craving this guidance and structure all along. I'm just happy that you have given me the tools to make his life feel fulfilled and satisfying. (I know its only been one week, but I'm very positive going forward)

I am very excited to learn more from you, and I know Murphy is too! Thank you for your loving guidance so far :-)

See you next Saturday,

Darla Anderson

If there ever was anyone who could 'talk to the animals', it's Dorothy. Not only does she know how to talk to the canine of the species, but she can show you how to as well. Dorothy's classes take you through all the paces at each level. From basic commands like 'sit' to more advanced motions, Dorothy tunes your dog in to what is expected, and tunes you in to your dog. By the end of each level, you and your dog will become more and more the best of companions. All dogs of every breed, size and temperament have been seen at Dorothy's classes and I have witnessed the amazing transformations of both dog and owner. Everybody, dogs included, has a great time each week, and graduation was an especially proud moment as Luci and Cara received their certificate. Thanks to Dorothy, we can better communicate with both dogs, and we look forward to introducing our puppy Tango to the wonderful world of Mother Knows Best. Thanks Dorothy!

Jonathan Nye

I first met Dorothy of Mother Knows Best in the spring of 2000. I had just done a German shepherd rescue and acquired a 10 month old female German shepherd. Not knowing the dog's background, I knew that I needed to get training for her and for myself.
I had heard about Mother Knows Best through colleagues. They all raved about her techniques, her approach to dog training and her compassion towards dogs.
So I enrolled in my first class with Mother Knows Best and after one class, already there was a difference in my new dog. By that, I mean that Dorothy showed me how to overcome certain problems that were most likely to occur. That I had to establish myself as the pack leader. That I needed to set the parameter right at the beginning with this new dog.
I still have my dog. I have never been happier.
Dorothy's classes are really unique and being the seasoned professional, she ALWAYS has an answer to a behavioural problem, she treats the owners with respect and listens intently to assist with their problems. I have never seen her stumped for a solution to a question. Never !!!! Her classes are a great learning experience, not to mention a great deal of fun. She has a wonderful sense of humour.
If I could sum up her training, I would say unequivocally, firm but fair. Her approach is like none other. I would not hesitate to recommend her for any canine training/behavioural consultation that one seeks. She does it all.
I ended up staying with her for three sessions.

Colleen Morrison

When looking for an obedience school to take my dog to, I called around and was told by many places that my dog is too old to be trained. Then, thankfully I found "Mother Knows Best". I talked to Dorothy about the concerns had with Zander (he was from a rescue and had some aggression issues). Dorothy assured me that my dog was not too old and that she could help with our problems. Dorothy gave me exercises I could do with my dog even before attending classes.
Once you meet Dorothy you understand what we are talking about. She is so amazing and gentle with all the dogs. She understands just what each dog needs and how to help. I was amazed how much fun the training experience were for me and my dog. Also, you will have Dorothy's two amazing assistance to help you during class.
You will not believe your eyes when you are at the end of a level and you remember back to what all the dogs were like the first class. There is a great mix of dogs in the class from Chihuahuas to Great Danes and puppy to adult dog; all the dogs have a great time in the class. I really can't say enough about Dorothy, she wonderful.

Michelle Birrell
(and Zander)

Last November I adopted a border collie/australian shep. cross from the Humane Society. "Mr. Max" (as we renamed him) was five years old and had been abused and dumped in the Humane Society. We adopted him on a medical waiver, though I decided most of his medical problems were due to neglect and could be remedied with proper care. While "Mr. Max" was not my first dog, he was my first shelter dog and I was unprepared for the baggage that comes with animals who have been mistreated. After the initial period of settling in, Max's problems began to surface and they were major problems, as we live in downtown Toronto. Max had been crated and never walked.
Therefore had no leash manners what so ever. Aside from the incessant pulling and tugging (which I failed to remedy with a choke chain) his instincts as a herder were running rampant. Max chased everything that moved, and I mean everything; children, skateboarders, bicycles, but particularly troubling was the fact he chased all moving vehicles, though he really favoured large trucks and fire engines. He was also completely at a loss as to how to behave with other dogs which made walking him anywhere downtown an unpleasant adventure (parks were completely out). At home, Max was an affectionate and gentle dog, but I knew that I needed help with his "outside" behaviours. After having several quite depressing talks with a few dog obedience schools, (they didn't see Max as trainable and instead tried to convince me that without their help I would have an aggressive dog) I was given Dorothy's name. From the first phone call to Dorothy, I knew we had found what we needed. Dorothys' deep caring for the animals came across in the first five minutes of that first call. Dorothy not only gave me hope for my dog, but she also gave me practical advice about techniques to try before the classes even started. The enthusiasm that Dorothy brings to each lesson is contagious. After completing 3 levels (the last one in a park setting) I can't believe the change in Mr. Max. He has gone from an insecure, unsocial, car chaser, to a well behaved and confident dog who now prances down the street on his walks. I can't tell Dorothy how much I appreciate all she has done to help me with Mr. Max, who now responds to "where's auntie Dorothy" with tail wagging and barking that is the unmistakable sign of a happy dog. Thanks Dorothy.

Debbie Dearlove (and Mr. Max)

We adopted a nameless young pit bull mix from the North York animal society in April. She was shy and submissive indoors, and outdoors she couldn't walk a straight line to save her life... but all this changed!
Maxine (our dog) went to Mother Knows Best and had the time of her life. Dorothy showed me and my girlfriend Sara how to teach a dog gently and compassionately to do what was best for both us and the dog. Our dog doesn't pull on the leash anymore, except when we walk by Dorothy's class!
Since taking this class Maxine has become more confident and accepting. Taking her out for a walk is a joyous and fun experience for all three of us. We would recommend Dorothy's class to beginners and seasoned dog owners alike, 'cause there's always more you can learn from your dog.
Dorothy and her expert handlers will teach you how to be your dog's best friend.

Joel Balfour and Sara Brady

Merlin and I took Dorothy's advice a while ago and enrolled ourselves into her dog obedience classes, with concerns on my part I might add. Merlin was a bouncing puppy boy, after all, impetuous and following his own inner dog.
Well, what took place during and since the classes is nothing short of exciting miracles! I very quickly noticed Merlin's keen awareness of what was expected of him and he certainly conveyed a real desire to learn to listen and work with me. I also learned what Merlin needed from me and that was to trust him completely and to continue to take the time to practice beyond the classes to help him integrate his new understandings--while having lots of fun, of course! I am indebted to Dorothy's amazing rapore with dogs and her skills in conveying new ideas to them with love and enthusiasm. I also greatly appreciate her patience towards both of us!
Now Merlin would like to say a few words, too:
My mommy seemed uneasy about our training together, but with Dorothy's confident expertise she eventually allowed us to relax and enjoy learning some handy dandy concepts, which I appreciate the importance of now. Quite frankly, I can see why she brought me to Dorothy as I just wanted to play and make noise, as I am sure she will remember!
Thanks, Dorothy, I learned valuable stuff through you and do enjoy pleasing my mom and receiving her praise; I respect you and your difficult job, and I certainly encourage other puppy dogs to experience your commitment to the dog-and-person relationship!

Rochelle Gai Rodney and Merlin "Party Animal" Rodney,
Animal Communication Specialists of Intuitively Speaking

After finding your website we felt we had to write in and tell the world that Dorothy is a miracle worker. We unexpectedly ended up with two young dogs, a female English Staffordshire Terrier, and a male American Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a.k.a."Texas Rednose Pitbull" (very big). By unexpectedly we mean that we expected one, not two. The second one came three days after adopting from Adopt-a-dog-save-a-life, as our friend's husband was very allergic and knew of nobody else that would take the dog and didn't want to have the pound put him down. Only because the dogs got along famously did we decide to keep Buddy.

In the house they are darlings, but before meeting Dorothy, once outside they were an absolute terror to anything with four legs or wings. They would have killed any animal that crossed their paths, but were absolutely unphased with humans, period. Sadie, the boss, would start up, and Buddy would follow in. Even in the car, Sadie would carry on, wanting at every dog she saw. She would bark incessantly and scratch & push at the windows to get at it. She also decided to hate motorcycles, much to our chagrin. Buddy would get upset when she got going. He wouldn't bark, just whine, stare at whatever it was, walk all over anything and everyone, and ready himself to pounce should the opportunity present itself.

We didn't know what to do. Kindness didn't work. Yelling didn't work. We don't believe in hitting dogs so this was out of the question. We walked them, talked to them, tried every training technique we found, put them on halty's, put muzzles on them, used short, strong chain leashes, all to no effect. Everyone we talked to said to have them put down. But then again, non-dog people don't know what it's like to love a pet. We tried everything we knew to break them of their habits, but nothing worked. Finally, in desperation we called Grace Hall of Adopt-a-pet-save-a-life, from whom we got Sadie and told her of our dilemma. She immediately recommended that I call Dorothy, and gave us her number. Lord love her.

Since the very first time we met up with Dorothy, there have been constant and steady improvements in the behaviour of these "monsters". We've been working steadily for almost six months now, and you would believe the changes. They listen and more importantly, they obey. They can now walk at whatever speed I choose; sit, come and lie down when commanded. They still need to be socialized with other dogs, and we are slowly working on that. Just one month ago, they couldn't pass within a block of another dog without trying to get at it, now we can get to within 30 feet. Sadie has her "seat" in the car, between driver and passenger wearing her leash. Buddy roams the back, but is also leashed. When seated Sadie doesn't go nuts after another dog but she does watch it intently. This will change soon. Without her going crazy, Buddy doesn't get upset and also, just watches the dog pass by. However, if we forget to leash Sadie before going for a car ride, she will still carry on when she sees a dog. Once this happens, we seat her and all is well again.

To say that their improved behaviour is a miracle would be an understatement. They aren't the same dogs today as they were six months ago, and there's still a long way to go before we can go for pleasant walks in the beaches, but it's an amazing change. Without Dorothy we are sure that we would have begrudgingly given up on these dogs. We're glad we found her.

Dorothy, thank you for all you've done and all you are doing.

Barb & Aaron Davis

Many, many thanks to Dorothy and her experience, support, patience and wonderful sense of humour! She has helped us tremendously with our (now) 7 1/2 month old Standard Poodle, Pippin. Dorothy is very accurate when she says that Level I Obedience is for the people - she certainly opened our eyes; through Level I and Level II. Pippin has a mind of his own and it seemed everytime he completed a growth spurt he felt the need to challenge the "chain of command" in our home.

Eventhough we had completed and graduated from Level II, Dorothy continued to help us with Pippin as he became very challenging just as Level II was ending. She gave us new and different ways of showing and reinforcing with him that he's not the alpha - and if those didn't work and some didn't, she always had more suggestions and hope for us all! Dorothy is never without an idea and has such a wealth of experience to draw upon, which she does freely as the situation requires.

We continue to work with Pippin and he has certainly settled down and, I think, has finally accepted his "place" in our home. While this is our hope, Dorothy from years of knowledge in this business, which is also her pleasure I feel it's safe to say, has wisely cautioned that Pippin is quite likely to think up new ways to challenge us and she has graciously offered that we can contact her whenever we are at our wits' end. An offer we will not hesitate to take Dorothy up on!

Dorothy, it's quite a comfort to know you're in our corner and always ready to step in with a quick pop (for Pippin or us!!!!).

Jane & Tom & Pippin (of course!)

Dear Dorothy,

Our dog, Malibu, came to us from the Toronto Animal Services as an uncontrollable and very difficult to handle dog. It has been an incredible transformation, even though we have only finished Level 1 Training. He has gone from barely able to get through the door at classes without raising hell to a dog that the rest of the class does not believe is the same dog. It is amazing that all of the training is done without the use of treats or food. It has been a joy for us to see how far he has come and we look forward to continue our training in future classes. I cannot say enough about the training that all of you provide. Your love and caring for dogs is second to none and is shown in every class.

Sincerely with thanks,
Jon, Michelle and Malibu

You are great! Both Ollie and I love your classes.

I have gained a better and clearer understanding of how to work with him - for e.g.. we go to an open air market on the weekend - before MKB he was all over the place now I know how to work with him and he is better than good he is Fantastic - well behaved and calm.

Thank you for all you have taught us! - we want to keep learning!

Nancy Zboch

Upon searching for a dog trainer for my beatiful new puppy, I found that trainers seemed to be a dime a dozen. If that is indeed the case, then Dorothy Avery is truly in a league of her own - because my puppy and I know Dorothy is one in a million! I have been incredibly touched by the love that Dorothy truly feels for the dogs that she trains. That is what sets her apart. My puppy came to her after two sessions with other trainers. He had challenges with a few basic things. I had challenges too! I found the other trainers ciritical of myself and my dog, hurrying to show me what to do and move on, inflexible to try a different way if it didn't work with my dog. Dorothy was a blessing for us both. The first thing she did was try to truly understand where my dog was coming from........ what is he trying to tell us? She realized he had fear and insecurity around certain activities, and through sheer love, empathy, and affection, she reached his soul and helped him overcome these feelings. In addition, she had patience, compassion, and understanding for me....... a breath of fresh air after being 'told what to do' by the other trainers. I was blown away at how much she cared about my dog, and myself. He responded beautifully and has learned everything she taught him, fabulously. Not only that, but his overall behaviour is calmer, and he is more at peace than before. Dorothy Avery is a very special person. Her technical training skills are excellent, and with total purity, loves these dogs. Ciro and I are so thankful for having met Dorothy! We will certainly be back for more courses in the future! Thank you for your kindness and warmth Dorothy!

Laila Zichmanis

Pebbles and I would like to thank you for everything that we have learned over the past few weeks. When I first brought Pebbles home, I was quite overwhelmed and a bit frustrated with raising a puppy. She was quite frisky and she was into everything! Eatting stones, glass, cigarette butts, you name it she scoffed it up and tried to carry it along on one of her walks. Pebbles was quite determined and strongwilled which means she knew from the beginning that she was in charge. Your obiedence classes really helped in turning that around, and for that I thank you.

I learned how to manage Pebbles! I am able to enjoy my little puppy a lot more now! While out on a walk; people who Pebbles greets are often amazed that she sits on command and listens. She has been responding so well to the commands and consistency enabling her to become a whole new puppy. I know that when Pebbles grows up, she will be a very well behaved dog and she will know what is expected from her. This is a result of you teaching me how to deal with my dog.

Thank you for helping Pebbles and I make the bond and connection that we now have with each other.

Bonnie (and Pebbles)

I just wanted to say a big thank you before you see Donner's huge improvements on Tuesday. We've had two lessons only and he's honestly a CHANGED dog since the instant we left the class last week. We walked all the way home (King and Bathurst) and he didn't pull even for a second, I was SO surprised, and it's been like that for the whole week!! He doesn't have his little temper tantrums, he doesn't try to bite me, he doesn't lunge at other dogs or people (barely even turns his head when they walk by,) he even listens to me in the house off-leash!

Last night was the true test though, and is why I'm emailing you. I came home late and I took Donner outside to the park, everything was fine, then I decided to walk up to the store to buy an iced tea. Of course, King Street was packed with drunk people outside of the bars and restaurants and I was a little nervous, because the slightest pull from him, a Great Dane, would send me spinning but he walked right beside me, navigated through the crowds with me, stopped and sat when people wanted to pet him (only if I stopped).

It was astonishing!! I am soooooo impressed with his progress and want to say a million thank yous! I've already recommended your class to 3 people - he gets compliments left, right, and centre now and not about his looks either. People are so amazed when their 3 or 5 or 10 year old dog is jumping and barking and going crazy and this 5 month old pup is just walking by, or sitting, looking at them like "Dude, what are you doing? Calm down.. eh, mom?"



I just would like to say thank you to Dorothy and everything she has done for our family.

Our year old Portuguese Water Dog had developed a major issue with skateboards. I was unable to walk him anywhere on my own as he had on 2 occasions almost dragged me into the street and almost got hit by a car due to his extreme fear of skateboards. I was so frustrated and at a loss of what to do as we had tried everything and it was only getting worse.

We were walking down the street one afternoon when a skateboard came by and as usual our normally calm, sweet, and obedient dog went nuts. Dorothy was walking down the same street and witnessed us trying to restrain him and come over to us and offered her help.

She met with us over the course of almost 2 months and within 3 weeks there was a huge improvement. I was able to walk our dog on my own down any street without feeling anxiety and fear. I could not believe the way our dog responded to the techniques she taught us and I could not be happier with the progress our pup has made.

I cannot thank Dorothy enough. She has saved our dogs life and made our home a safe and happy environment for us all. Her kindness, knowledge, and dedication to animals is amazing and I will forever be grateful to Dorothy and all the time and effort she invested in us.

Thank you Dorothy!!!

Erin, Lee & Vasco

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