by Stacey Kuhns
When I first thought about obtaining a service dog, I did a lot of research. After going through many organizations and talking to many people, I finally spoke with Petra Burke of Kindred Spirits Dog Training, in Vista. I am so thankful I touched base with Petra and the rest of the amazing women at Kindred Spirits.
I have had dogs since I was a little girl and have been through a myriad of different dog training programs, including just training my dogs on my own. I have never experienced anything like I have with Kindred Spirits. If you have a puppy, or if you have a dog in need of training, Kindred Spirits is the ONLY place I would recommend. Kindred Spirits Dog Training is located at 3343 E. Vista Way, Vista, CA, 92084. They can be reached by calling (760)630-4824 or they can be contacted through their website (www.kindredspiritsk9.com).
Henson and I started training at Kindred Spirits at the beginning of July 2016. I was so impressed with the classes and the training methods employed by Kindred Spirits. It was like nothing I had ever seen or experienced in dog training and most of all, it is very effective. The women who train us and our dogs are passionate about what they do. They are willing to help with any problem you can think of that would come up with your dog. They current on all dog-related topics, including the best foods and treats for your pet.
Liz Palika is the founder of Kindred Spirits. She has been training dogs for over 30 years and she knows her stuff for sure! Petra Burke, co-owner of Kindred Spirits, has been training with Liz for 30 years. Combined, they are a force to be reckoned with in their combined knowledge of dog behavior. Kate Abbott is also a co-owner of Kindred Spirits. My boyfriend and I believe she is the true 'Dog Whisperer." I swear she works with a dog for two minutes and that dog does whatever she wants it to do. It is an amazing thing to watch. Dawn McMahon and Petra were the first people I met and who sat with me for an hour, answering all my questions about obtaining a service dog. I broke down in tears during our talk and Dawn's dog, who was training to be a therapy dog at the time, came right up to me and pressed himself against my face. It was amazing. Dawn has been wonderful in working with myself and Henson during the training classes. There are a number of other wonderful trainers and volunteers who work at Kindred Spirits. I have not had the pleasure of working with all of them but I know in time that Henson and I will most likely get to work with them and we look forward to that experience.
If you are working on skills at home, learned in a training class, and things are not going well, the trainers are there to help, through e-mail or over the phone. They also offer one-on-one training and training in the home. Their classes are fun, interesting, and never boring for you or your pet. They offer a variety of interesting classes, but I recommend that any dog owner should take their Puppy and Basic training courses. (You can thank me later for this amazing advice).
The best thing about the Puppy training classes is the extra puppy play night offered during the week. If you take the Puppy classes, please, please go to every puppy play date. It will make a huge and positive impact on the socialization of your puppy. (I personally think it should be a requirement for graduation, but that is just my opinion). Oh, and just a word of caution, puppies can get messy at puppy play.
I plan to be in training with Kindred Spirits for at least another year or more and am looking forward to every future class and session we have coming up. Henson also enjoys the training and has picked up the positive behaviors I would expect from a well-trained dog, and in record time. I am so proud of the progress Henson and I have made and could not have done it without Kindred Spirits.
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