From Private Lesson Clients:
“From the start, we knew we had chosen the right trainer for our family and Gemma. Catherine prioritized human education, emphasizing our understanding of canine body language as yet one more way we could create a positive and respectful relationship with everyone in the family to Gemma. Fast forward eight years later and I have a son who understands our dog. As a family, we see and understand Gemma for what she is – a valued member of our family, but she’s a dog whose driven by outside factors sometimes greater than her love of us. (But man, does she love us!) We know that how she behaves is very connected to the time and attention we offer her in return. Is she crazy sometimes? Of course, she’s a Labradoodle and we’re not perfect owners. But we love the heck out of that dog and so much of that love comes from feeling confident in ourselves. That confidence stems from learning from Catherine. Her clear, honest and direct teaching style is what every family dog owner should have the benefit of experiencing. The time and care she took with us as humans was incredible. I recommend Catherine’s unique and outstanding skills to anyone who asks. Her knowledge and talents will forever change the way we raise our dogs.”
– Heather G.
“Again, thank you for your help…even the little tip about the dish towel really did the trick. I guess that’s why you call your business ‘Sensible K9’. I feel like all your teachings are common sense, but not always obvious to us novices!”
– Marcia L.
“Catherine has an unbelievable way of being able to tell what a dog is thinking by even the simplest reactions they give – we often comment she should have a show on Animal Planet! Our dogs have totally different personalities and Catherine’s training with our puppies has been so practical and individual to get them both to be able to be better behave and safer. We continue to rely on that instruction every day for support and we encourage anyone we know with a dog (of any age) to contact her to work with their pets.”
– Bruce and Lisa M.
“Catherine is very good at teaching. I was impressed with her techniques and how quickly we progressed.”
– Theresa T.
From Therapy Dog Students:
“We passed the Delta Society Pet Partner Test!!!!!!!!! Georgia did such a good job! All of the items with people i.e. yelling, staggering, multiple people petting her at once being bumped from behind – she did wonderful!!!!
“Also, when we had to walk/heel, she did PERFECT – I was so happily surprised. I want to thank you SO much for everything. We could not have done it without you. Thanks again!”
– Susanna F.
“You are a wonderful instructor. I know you helped me so much with Brooke.”
– Jill M.
“Catherine Comden was very thorough and effective as to obedience training with our puppy Queenie. As a result of this Queenie passed her Delta Society certification for therapy dogs easily. We highly recommend Catherine for private lessons regarding dog behavior.”
– Dr. Lex Cavins
From Canine Good Citizen Students:
“I met Catherine 2 years ago when I took my then wild and crazy puppy, Barney, for obedience training. I was truly at my wit’s end, having no idea how to manage a large dog, or even how to get him to respond to basic commands. Catherine took pity on us and calmly, patiently and kindly set us on the road to a better life and kept me from losing my sanity. We trained with her for over a year and Barney, week by week, became this well-behaved, manageable dog. Catherine will probably never truly realize how grateful I am…Barney passed his (AKC) Canine Good Citizen test.”
– Mary Anne S.
“Catherine has been working with me and my Shitz Tzu mix dog, Molly. Our goal is to become CGC certified by the end of this summer. I think Molly has the perfect disposition to visit people in nursing facilities, Hospice Houses and those who are “shut-in”. Catherine has been very sensitive to our needs and is very skilled. Her (private lesson) visits have been very helpful. She is very affirming as we have worked together. I feel that Molly and I have made a new friend.”
– Elizabeth G.
“Catherine gave me a strong foundation to continue to work with my rather difficult Australian Shepherd puppy. She taught me how to read his body language, and keep him engaged in training. Her principles work!”
– Teddie L.
“Thank you so much for your help. I am so glad I decided to do the training and I am very pleased with what Brady and I have both learned so far.”
– Deanna Q.
“A big thank you because we had a wonderful time last evening as friends gathered at our house for fellowship and football. Last evening would not have been fun (and maybe not even possible) without all the good training and coaching we got from you! Thank you, Catherine and Sensible K9! Leo was a star and got lots of lovin’ and treats!”
– Holly H.
Overcoming Fearfulness of Children:
“Thanks to your brilliant advice, she loves kids … Everyone loves her. Except for the shedding, she is just about perfect. Thanks again!”
– Gina B.
Involving Children in Dog Training:
“Catherine engages my children brilliantly in the training process.”
– Elise N.
“Our children loved having Catherine teach them about dog body language. The game she played with them really helped them understand that our dog does not like to be hugged. Catherine was gentle, fun and made the children enjoy learning.”
– Sally R.
Fearful / Aggressive Behavior Toward Strangers:
“Over the past four years that we have had our dog we have tried all kinds of training including group training classes and personal trainers in our home. We have had rather limited success until we began working with Catherine. With her patience, professionalism, and clear instruction we are finally making great progress! Wish we had found her earlier!”
– Dana S.
From Group Obedience Class:
“Just wanted to say THANK YOU for your help with my dog Ivy. There are many talented dog trainers to choose from. Some are better than others, but few stand out above the rest. Catherine, you are one of those stand outs. You clearly demonstrated a mastery of positive training techniques during our class. More than that, you are an out-of-the-box thinker always looking for new and better ways to improve the lives of the dogs she works with.
“You use what you know, and do so with great compassion towards dogs AND their owners. Your insight helped me quickly find a solution to a problem with my six year old dog that for years several other trainers could not. As you said – it’s not about training the dog, it’s about training the human. With hard work, patience and you guidance, helping my dog become the best she can be is becoming a reality rather than a dream. Thank you.”
– Leanne B.
“I took your puppy training class last year with Orion, the black lab. I wanted to thank you for all of your help. The class was wonderful and very helpful in training Orion. We have received so many compliments on how well behaved he is, and we owe a big part of that to you.
“Since I never had dogs before, it was great to receive training and practical tips on how to have a puppy that is well mannered and pleasant to be around. Of course there are always new things to learn, but to this day, he is doing great! I’ve attached a few pictures to see how my 25 lb puppy has grown to 100 pounds of joy and happiness.”
– Eryn E.
“Catherine was very creative in her way of helping those of us in the class to train our puppies. She was very practical and thorough in her training. After that class, our entire family felt comfortable in training our new Labrador puppy.”
– Diane G.
“Mal started the Sensible Puppy curriculum with a host of behavioral problems including body handling issues, reactivity towards other dogs, and resource guarding. With the course guidance and our fabulous trainer, Catherine Comden, we had a clear action plan for Mal’s development on a weekly basis. With an emphasis on enrichment activities to keep his busy mind occupied, lots of “trading up” games to address his resource guarding, and “tug sit tug” and “leave it” games for self-control, he’s changed dramatically in a year’s time. Plus, all of these transformations have been accomplished through positive training and no punitive methods for a pup with lots of smarts and breeds which could be labelled as “difficult to train”. Thanks, Sensible Puppy and Catherine!!”
– Christine K.
“Catherine was in tune to each puppy in the class. She has a passion for sharing and teaching her training ability to others so they can instruct their puppy/dog to be a joyful lifelong companion. Catherine’s notebook was easy to follow and to put into practice. I plan to use it as a guide for years to come. My family (husband and three children) and I have made it a practice to be consistent in training our puppy and putting into practice what I learned through Catherine. Our puppy, Edna (a lab/collie mix) is a joy!”
– Kim M.
“CC would have made you proud tonight! She met a crazy great Dane puppy on our walk and just sat there being sweet. 🙂 Never would have imagined this feasible a few months ago!!! Thanks for all of your help!”
– Mary T.
“Catherine was super about answering personal questions with my puppy! She made the class fun for both of us and it was a fabulous experience! I would recommend her to everybody!”
– Tracy K.
“Observing Catherine instruct her Sensible Puppy classes with her reward-based training has made me a believer that this is the correct method for socializing and training in very young puppies, as well as throughout the rest of their life. It is exciting to me as a Veterinary professional to think that Catherine will someday be able to share her knowledge with other trainers and Veterinary staff, and see the same great results as us at Michigan Road Animal Hospital! Our clients have definitely benefited from Catherine’s classes, comprehensive book, & well thought out training.”
– Nicole Fletcher DVM
“She has a sound understanding of learning theory and the application to the training sessions. She is able to assess each session and adapt the training schedule for each individual dog”
– Dr. Jean DeLong, DVM
“We loved your class and appreciate being taught principles that apply to our dogs in various stages of their development, not just as a “puppy class”. We considered it an invaluable investment in the upkeep of our house, the peace of our home (nothing worse than a dog who rules the roost!), and the good relationship with our dogs because we really like them and how they behave.
“You know we have recommended you to numerous pet and puppy owners and will continue to do so.”
– Dr. Jean DeLong, DVM
From Veterinary Technicians:
“As a Certified Veterinary Technician for almost 20 yrs, a member of the Society for Veterinary Behavior Technicians, and the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, I feel that …Catherine’s material, teaching style, and ability to communicate the correct information quickly, clearly and completely, is a must have in all veterinary clinics.
“I have observed and assisted Catherine in teaching many of her weekly Sensible Puppy courses. Catherine’s expertise, knowledge and experience in the field are evident the first time you hear her speak, watch her interact with a puppy, or listen to her communicate with a puppy owner. She is truly a gifted teacher.
“In Catherine’s Sensible Puppy classes I have watched owners get excited about training their puppies. They are excited about turning in the weekly homework, they are excited about coming to class, and they are excited about learning how to teach their puppies.”
– Debra L. Konkol, CVT, RLAT
From Professional Dog Trainers:
“Catherine and I first met through agility classes and I soon came to value her training help. At that time she was the Animal Behavior Technician at Purdue University’s Vet. School and she invited me to attend and informally assist in some puppy classes she taught there.
“Her teaching style was engaging and fun for puppy owners as well as those of us who helped in the class.
“Much of what I learned in her classes is incorporated into my own puppy classes, held in a Veterinary Clinic, where I have taught for 7 years. She was effective in teaching her students and me, because her presentation style is easy for people to grasp. She has a common sense approach along with professional training and experience that make her a great instructor. Her approach is one that I believe will help others who want to teach, become good instructors. It certainly has been beneficial to me!”
– Jill Evans BA, SLPA