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The Training Studio

Rylee Rose Testimonial

Rylee started showing aggression very young. She started using this really deep growl; I remember one time she sat on the floor beside me, and all of a sudden she was almost attacking me. I had to grab her. Rylee was always really happy and wanted to interact, she was just going about it the wrong way. Mom is in a wheelchair, and Rylee would jump at my mom. It was as if Rylee wanted to do the right thing, but had no control.


I had a trainer come to the house to help me with basics to help her get some control. I just don’t think it helped her a lot. Rylee and my Plott Hound Gracie’s horseplay seemed to get so wild, and I couldn’t control them. Rylee’s aggression from that seemed to increase. I knew it was not good for either of them. Gracie had more control, but during those times, Gracie would be so into it too, it was a problem to get them to stop.

My vet, Dr. Kathleen Sohner at Summertree Animal & Bird Clinic (since retired) was examining her around her head. Rylee looked to the side and gave this growl. I wanted to believe I didn’t have a problem, but at that point, I knew I had to do something. Dr. Sohner referred me to Dr. Florsheim. That was probably about 1½ years ago. I took Rylee to meet her and Dr. Florsheim observed her and she put her on some medication.

Rylee takes fluoxetine. I had some private sessions with her and Cathy. At my first meeting with Dr. Florsheim, she started by showing me basic things to expect – things to get her attention. She taught me to give her a person to focus on and take direction from.

The medication started working, the training was going well, and I started enrolling her in

some of the classes.


With Cathy, one of the first things we worked on was Rylee’s jumping, and it’s so much better now.

She would jump and jump; and when she would jump, she would grab your shirt; it wasn’t just

“I want to see you”; it was overly aggressive. Now I can see every muscle in her restraining

herself to sit. She went from an uncontrolled dog to she has learned she needs to sit without

being asked. She’s doing a lot better.

Rylee loved the classes. She started with the first three basic classes, Canine Life Skills . Rylee is very good training with treats. I’m a retired teacher who worked in special education and with children with learning disabilities, and Rylee reminds me of a child out-of-control. A lot of people think children don’t like restrictions and guidelines, but they do. I believe Rylee is like that. She was so glad to know what to do.


So many kids are misunderstood and don't get a chance because people don’t understand what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. At night I would put Rylee in her crate and love on her, and she would look at me and it broke my heart. The look in her eyes to me was that she was sorry she couldn’t do what she was supposed to do. I knew I wasn’t going to give up on her. I was going to do whatever means it took. Some people think punishing is the way to go. I couldn’t do that to her. I’ve seen in too many cases what happens.

Cathy helped me understand how Rylee was thinking. That’s what helped me so much: I didn’t know or see in her anxiety. I understand her so much more. I compare it to someone who has a cancer diagnosis: I thought it was the end, but then you learn it’s treatable; all of a sudden I had hope, and then things started to improve. I love her so much; I can’t imagine not having her. She loves the classes, I would take her to all of them if I could. We will continue to work on making sure she feels safe and has relief from that anxiety.

Gracie and Rylee still wrestle. It is calmer now since Rylee has learned to escape the situation and check in with me. I am working with The Training Studio’s Relaxed Rover class with Sydney Burton on some strategies to help Rylee feel safer when these kinds of activities occur.  


You see people talking about their dogs, saying, “They do this bad behavior and I don’t know how fix it.” Cathy has such a deep understanding of behavior and has ways to approach training that teaches the animal to learn and take on the responsibility. What I think is so neat is after we saw Dr. Florsheim and Cathy, and started in on medication and learning things, I saw such a visible change in Rylee physically taking control of herself. She became a different dog. She doesn’t have to jump and tear your clothes. I really believe it made her feel bad to behave in that manner. I really believe she wanted to please and do what she was supposed to do; she just didn’t know how. I’m thankful to Cathy for helping us further our understanding, and giving her challenging things to do that encourage her to use her mind The Training Studio has given Rylee a base from which to keep going.


After we started seeing Cathy, it was just a blessing. I was so happy because I knew I could keep Rylee, and I was happy for Rylee to be the loving dog she could be. Before, we couldn’t interact with her. I believe the medication and training made her feel better about herself. She knew what to do and how do it. She loves the structure of the classes. It’s as if it challenges her mind. Rylee loves it. I love it, too.


Debbie Langford

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