Sherando >Pets & Animals > Auburn Leach K 9
148 Mill Creek Ln, Stuarts Draft, VA | Directions 2447737.976864 -78.971683
We sent our 12 week old golden doodle, Max--who was biting, snarling and exhibiting aggressive behavior--to Auburn for boot camp. If not for Auburn's work, I probably would have had to send Max back to his breeder. Max came back a "new man."
Based on Auburn's success with Max, we decided to send our bulldog puppy, Tug to Auburn as well. Tug came back house-broken and obedience-trained as well. Both of them have gone back to Auburn for "tune-ups" when we went on vacation, and the dogs came back happy and better trained.
I am completely disappointed and distraught.
The dog I adopted from the shelter 7 weeks ago had separation anxiety, I found out after she broke out of her crate within 2 minutes of me leaving to test out how she'd do by herself. I've had 4 dogs in my life, and I didn't even know separation anxiety existed. It's worse than you can imagine. She was in a state of panic. This isn't like, barking to say "get me out". It's much much worse. I emailed a few board and train places in distress (when really, I should have called the Humane Society where I adopted her from and talked to one of their behavior consultants), and then Nancy from K9 called me right after another stressful moment, promising the world. She said that Auburn would turn this shelter dog into a confident dog and that confidence would break her from her separation anxiety. I verbalized that my fear was that this transition would make things worse for the poor shelter dog, and that after a couple of weeks, I would get back a really well trained dog that still had separation anxiety when I left. Auburn said his 20 years of training would fix her right up. I was wishful thinking.
He doesn't answer his phone and his voicemail box is full every time you call. He called me back, though, so I just got used to that. After 2 weeks, he decided to keep her for another week because she was a tough case and her abuse was worse than he had thought. Then she would be dropped off the following week. But I never got a phone call that week. And then the week later, I called and Nancy said the following week. In total, I got her back 5 weeks later. She was almost as skinny as she was when I got her from the shelter. She no longer sat on command. She didn't "down" when he told her too. She was skittish and nervous and didn't enter the kennel when he told her to. It was obvious he loved her, though. He is a dog lover...but certainly not a trainer. The lack of ethics in taking a dog that is so fearful of never being fed again and being abandoned, and using force to try to get past separation anxiety is simply beyond my comprehension. My fear was that I would get back a really well trained dog that still had separation anxiety didn't come true...she wasn't even well trained. She was housetrained, which I am thankful to him for. She still counter surfed, she didnt come when called (I'm not sure she even knew the name I gave her when I adopted her, which he would have used for the 5 weeks), she didn't go down when I told her, she tugged like crazy on her lease (the harness I used on her after I took off her choke collar he used on her worked so much better), and worst of all...she still suffered from separation anxiety. Because it's nothing you can train out of a dog. And he should know that. I have since learned that the only way to cure a dog of separation anxiety is months of desensitization and counter conditioning. 1 minute at a time.
I paid $1450 to get back a dog that was housetrained. She didn't even whine when he left... And really, I'm not upset that he couldn't fix her. She wasn't fixable without months of counter conditioning. I'm upset that he took $1450 from me, and I didn't even get a dog that was well trained. She was leash aggressive and even growled at a toddler.
5 days after she came home, I called him upset that she was still in panic mode re: me leaving. Spinning in circles, trying to get out my front door, panting, ears back, barking, howling. PANIC. I wasn't able to leave her. He said, don't take her back to the shelter, I'll call you back tonight. He never called me. He still hasn't. Nancy won't return my calls. And of course, I don't have a copy of my contract. They kept my only signed copy.
This not a reputable company.
Do your homework. In my opinion, this is not a reputable company. They let bad things happen to good dogs. Do your homework.
I read the other bad reviews against this training company, and still decided to send our dog to auburn leach. He seemed like a nice guy when he came to meet us. But I do have problems with how my dog came back to me. I thought she would be gone for about two weeks, they ended up keeping her for three. They gave us a set time that she would be back, then the MORNING OF they called and said it would be a week later. I understand extenuating circumstances, but I find it highly unprofessional that they can't stick with what they told us.
They ended up returning her the day later, and I was very upset to find that she was covered in cuts along her legs, neck, and face. Apparently she pooped in the cage she was kept in and tried to break out of it.
She is a big, strong dog so I'm not sure why he kept her in a plastic cage to begin with. And she has NEVER ONCE pooped inside the house, or in her cage that we keep her in. So my guess is she was kept in there for entirely too long so she had no choice but to eliminate in her cage, then tried to escape to get away from it.
Along with cuts and communication problems, it's obvious that they were feeding my dog entirely too much. We were working on getting a little more meat on her bones but after three weeks of overfeeding, she is now overweight and doesn't look healthy anymore.
Now to the part we sent her there for in the first place, training:
She has only been back for a day but for the cost of the training ($1300), I haven't seen improvement. I had a pretty well behaved dog in the first place, the only help she needed was with focus and listening a bit more. This was not taught to her. Auburn taught her a different method to walking on the lease, and that is it. So now I have a dog with cuts everywhere that need medical attention and that needs to be put on a diet.
He did offer to reimburse us for the vet bill, which I appreciate.
But if I'm entrusting you with my dog, you should treat her like your child. I would really like to see the conditions these dogs are being kept in and wish I had seen them before letting my dog go there.
Overall I would say that this is a very unprofessional organization Auburn is running and would not recommend.
We could not be happier with Auburn Leach K9 Academy and his work with our darling and immensely spoiled and ill-mannered springer, whom we called the best-looking bad dog in America, pre-Auburn. His communication, follow-through and post-grad visits are so helpful. His approach to training is kind, firm, and super-smart and intuitive. I would recommend him without reservation. Arlo came back to us after two weeks with all of his fun, love of life, and sweetness intact, with an extra measure of calm and discipline. It is telling that Arlo was sad to see Auburn go at the drop off, and so very happy to see him when he came by for the first tune-up. Auburn Leach is and always will be our guru for all things canine, and we are so glad to have found him. By the way, there are two negative reviews of his services, which he willingly and honestly addresses if asked about them. He is a good businessman, he has kind eyes, animals love him, and he is an excellent dog trainer. And his stellar reviews outweigh the others by a factor of ten.
I am so pleased with how great of a dog Happy is. He is very well behaved, follows commands, doesn't jump and even wont get on the couch. He is extremely gentle with our children and is what every family hopes for in a dog. He is completely potty trained, which is SUCH blessing. Mr. Leach was very professional in our dealings with him. He gave us the gift of an amazingly well behaved addition to our family. We traveled 3 hours just to work with him and I can confidently say that I will recommend him to anyone who needs professional training for their pooch. Thank you Mr. Leach for everything you did for Happy. Danny Chavez Firefighter / Medic
Auburn is a great trainer and loves all animals. We've known him for years and he is a wonderful person. He has trained several dogs for us and they did great.
In response to the comment made by "mindel152" below, it is true that "Lynette R" is an independent contractor who does some computer work for us, but she is also a client who paid to have their dog trained by the K9 Academy in early 2012. We feel she has every right to make a comment about her experiences, and we appreciate the positive review.
I can't believe anyone would give Auburn Leach K9 anything but 5 stars. To those folks I say you need to learn to manage your expectations! Auburn did wonders on my best four legged friend. My dog learned all the basic commands. In addition, Auburn and his Team taught my best buddy to not be fearful around strangers. And that, in itself, was not a small feat.
Please do not send your dog to Auburn Leach. Our dog came back with cuts on her nose, swollen right paw and she stunk of urine. My guess was she was lying in a cage and in urine all day. He has good intentions but does not take care of the dog.
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