Testimonials


Testimonials

You read here what Tuff Pup alumni have been saying about their training experience. If you have already had a great experience training your dog with Tuff Pup Training, please leave us comments here


This was my first time working with a private trainer, and it was an incredibly positive experience from start to finish. My 3 year old Jack Russell Terrier, Zoey, started to display some anxiety-driven on-lease aggression towards other dogs and territorial behavior around our house, and I tried to handle it on my own to no avail. I couldn’t predict when/how Zoey would react to seeing other dogs, and it made both of us very stressed on our walks in a very busy part of the city where we couldn’t avoid walking past other dogs. I was attracted to the positive reinforcement philosophy of Tuff Pup, and signed up for the 3-session private lessons with Casey. After the 3 sessions, its fun again to take Zoey for walks and she’s much more comfortable with other dogs/people entering her ‘turf.’ I was definitely surprised by how successful the training was! Zoey is a very anxious and timid dog, and Casey was patient and sweet with her and got to know Zoey’s temperament before starting training. I think this helped a lot, as Zoey doesn’t respond well to confrontation or being rapidly approached by strangers. We started by identifying the ‘problem’ behavior to address and discussing strategies to address the problem behavior. Casey was incredibly knowledgeable about the philosophy behind positive reinforcement through clicker training, and explained exactly when/how I should ‘click and treat’ to help Zoey feel less anxious in stressful situations. Casey was also incredibly communicative and responded right away to texts, and while we were out by the Schuylkill park we ran into previous clients of hers who were so excited to see her. Zoey clearly made the most improvement with on-lease aggression and territorial behavior, and as a bonus we worked on greeting manners at the door (previously Zoey would bark nonstop in response to knocking at the door and would rush at strangers and bark at them when they entered the house). Zoey is now SO MUCH better at greeting, and can sit patiently and wait for visitors to enter - its incredible. Tuff Pup was such a positive experience, and really was the service I was looking for when I couldn’t address my dog’s behavior on my own. It made working to solve Zoey’s anxiety a rewarding click-and-treat game which helped both her and me feel more comfortable on walks, and gave us the tools we needed to continue Casey’s training on our own. I highly recommend Casey and Tuff Pup to anyone dealing with similar dog-walking/ territorial dog-behavior issues!
— Katerina Placek - Owner of Zoey, a Jack Russell Terrier / Dachshund
Tuff Pup far exceeded our expectations!! It was so much fun and we were surprised how much it really strengthened our bond with our puppy. The outlines of each session were so, so helpful in reminding us what we had worked on the previous session so that we could practice during the week. We had initially figured we would do some sort of group training but the one-on-one training was so much better suited to what we actually wanted to get out of training. Tuff Pup Training was very professional, available, and flexible. Our dog improved the most with leash walking. I would 100% recommend Tuff Pup Training to other dog owners. I had total confidence that I was getting quality training because I could see the difference after only one or two sessions. No amount of research on my part could have provided what we got out of this training program and I could tell that Matt really cared about our experience and our puppy’s well-being. Thank you!!
— Marie Papalia, Owner of Luna, a boxer/lab mix
 
Matt was very professional and easy to schedule with, and he answered my questions between sessions. My dog has improved a lot with leash walking, and has made the most improvement in calming down when guests come over to the house (and in general). He now calms down much faster and lays down frequently when guests come over, instead of jumping on them and barking at them the entire time. I didn’t know how to go about changing my dog’s very high-strung behavior, and Matt showed us a lot of good ways to help my dog with his anxiety.
— Stefanie Lassin, Owner of a Pomeranian/Pekingese named Gizmo
 
Tuff Pup Training was even better than I expected. Matt came to us as a referral so I knew he would be good, but we were able to cover so much more information than I thought we would and yet nothing felt rushed or forced. I knew that the training would be as much about us as it was about our dog Maya - but I didn’t expect to walk away with so many useful every day tips. It was also really helpful that Matt gave us everything we went over in writing at the end of every visit so that we could refer back to it over the course of the week. It’s almost as if Matt teaches you how to think like your dog thinks. It makes everything so much easier! Mostly it was about self-control. Maya is a young pitt-mix with a lot of energy. She’s a super sweet-natured dog but just had some habits like jumping on people or other dogs to say hello. Now she’s so much better on the leash and from that is getting much calmer when we encounter other dogs. It’s almost as if she’s grown up a little bit in the past few months since we worked with Matt. I really liked Matt’s style. He’s got a very calm demeanor and tone. Our dog loved him and really responded well to him. Matt covered every topic or question that we had. The things you’ll learn can be used and expanded on forever. It’s really about training you how to train your dog.
— Melanie Cataldi, Owner of a Pit/Lab mix named Maya
 
Matt is extremely professional. He always got back to me in a timely fashion. My husband and I are medical residents and have a very difficult schedule. He made it work and he was flexible when we needed to change. He was always responsive to the emails that I would send between sessions. I even sent him a video of my dog at one point and he sent a VERY helpful email back. I expected my dog to learn basic commands. I did not expect to learn so much about dog-dog interactions. We also learned about my dogs behavior, body language, and needs. Matt also helped us understand our dog’s learning style so that we could make the most out of our training sessions. We started with Matt when our dog was about 3 months. She could sit and that was about all. Now she comes when called, walks great on a leash, drops any item we tell her to, and is great with other dogs. We have been told many times by friends and family that she is very well-behaved (and not just for her age). She has a great disposition but also has a lot of energy. I’m so glad we started early training with Matt. We have the skills to rein in that energy. My husband, my dog, and I all really enjoyed working with Matt. He was very patient and made sure we got the commands before he moved on. He was professional and very pleasant to work with. He took your goals into mind during training. Most of all he is great with dogs. He would get her to do things that I would bet money that she couldn’t do. He just knows dogs so well. My dog would actually cry a little when he would leave. Your dog is an investment. Why not have a great trainer. The cost up front is small in comparison to the years of enjoyment you will have with a well-behaved and happy dog.
— Suzanne Wood, Owner of a Boxer named Sophie
 
Tuff Puppy far exceeded our expectations. This was due, primarily, to the way Matt combined expertise, patience and kindness with an obvious love for dogs! Matt was really an ace at ensuring that we felt comfortable with the whole training process; he certainly was accessible in between suggestions and followed up. Our biggest take-away from our training sessions was understanding the importance of combining structure and love and that the two are complimentary! Eye contact is the vital link, it seems. I would recommend Tuff Pup Training without a doubt. I feel that the training was comprehensive and that Matt really thought long and hard about the sequencing and timing of lessons. It’s great to know that I can contact him with questions, if they arise.
— Libby Pollak, Owner of a spanial named Lilly
 
I am so happy I decided to call Tuff Pup Training. My dog’s fear aggression was becoming a serious problem, and our sessions with Matt have done a fantastic job resolving a potentially serious situation. On top of helping with the aggression, the behavioral games Matt taught us ended up being quite fun for both my dog, Ace, and I. Ace even initiates the games now! Matt was happy to work around my rather tight schedule, and has been quick to answer all my questions! Now, both Ace and I are able to see potentially stressful situations ahead of time and act accordingly. Since we have spent so much time practicing what to do in a stressful situation, Ace knows exactly what to do, and sometimes he even does it without me asking! I tried so many different things to help with my dog’s fear aggression and NOTHING worked. Matt’s training made such a tremendous difference, I think I am getting more sleep at night! He is kind and knowledgeable, and his methods really work. | I had a very positive experience.
— Sasha, Owner of a dog named Ace
 
Matt was fantastic to work with! Always patient, Matt helped me learn the proper skills to train my energetic Pitt Bull. It was a great experience, and I am very grateful for all of his hard work. I found Matt was welcoming, knowledgeable and enthusiastic to help me mold my dog into a more well behaved best friend. Matt truly seems to love his job, I would recommend Tuff Pup Training to anyone.
— Gabrielle, Owner of a pitbull named Chunk
 
The training was surprisingly pleasant and Ben seemed to really respond to it. The method Matt uses is very effective. Matt responded quickly and professionally to e-mails and phone messages and he was willing to meet my scheduling needs. Without any hesitation, I would recommend this service. Matt has a never-ending supply of patience and genuine love for the dogs he trains. Ben lights up every time he sees Matt.
— Angela, Owner of Ben a charming lab/pit mix
 
Tuff Pup Training gave us more knowledge about our puppy than we ever could have hoped for. We now understand why she does the things that she does instead of just getting frustrated and upset over them. Matt was always easy to get in touch with for any problem or concern we may have had about our puppy. He was flexible and worked with our schedule always. When we first rescued Charlie it was almost impossible for us to even sit down. She was ripping apart everything in sight. Now Charlie is the one that sits, lays, goes to her spot, dances, and shows you her belly on command. I would certainly recommend Tuff Pup Training and I already have. The relationship that Tuff Pup helps you build with your dog is priceless...
— Lyndi and Jack, Owners of Cairn Terrier Mix named Charlie
 
I found the whole training process much more simple than I expected. Matt provided very clear helpful advice. Matt was always easily available for questions. Matt’s approach and his methods make the whole training process less mysterious and totally practical and clear.
— Glen Sacks, Owner of a Schnauzer named Nero
 
I recommend Tuff Pup Traingin to all of my friends. The method of training makes sense and actually works, plus the dog is having fun the whole time. I’m also really glad that Matt made it clear that if you as an owner don’t make an effort to keep up the exercises given on the day of the training the dog will not fully benefit. It’s such an important point, people think that dog training magically transforms your dog into Lassie, but it’s a little bit of a lifestyle change for you and your dog. It you put in the effort it benefits everyone!!! Thank you so much Matt!!
— Kali Taylor, Owner of a very sweet pitbull named Mia
 
I can’t thank you enough! The training exceeded my expectations and taught me skills that I continue to use now that my training is over. The training was easy to understand, follow and implement...
— Robyn Marino, Owner of two Mini Schnauzers