Alison and Gudrun, thank you so much for your help with Cooper! I can’t believe how much of a different dog he is after his board and train. I didn’t think you’d be able to change my wild, strong willed puppy, but he is literally a different dog, for the better. He is calm and listens to my commands without any problems. My five year old can even handle him with ease and he isn’t even a year old yet.... not to mention, he’s 80 lbs!!! Thank you!!! Courtney
Thank you so much Leader of the Pack for the amazing transformation in my dogs’ behavior. They were always incredibly sweet and loving but their inability to listen, excessive barking and jumping and not coming when called was causing stress for all of us both at home and when I would travel with them. I was apprehensive at first about the e-collar experience but once I met Gudrun and Alison and felt how much they cared about my dog’s experience, I was sold. I was amazed absolutely amazed after their week of training. Issues that had brought me to tears at home were gone and they minded but still had their same loving personalities. It is a pleasure to walk them without pulling and barking at every dog and human. And, my youngest pup was having issues with housebreaking that I thought I would pull my hair out. Now, no accidents! I can’t thank Gudrun and Alison enough for their kind and loving approach, their great training methods and owner education! I highly recommend them! Thank you for helping me become the Leader of My pack! Merritt
My daughter was 1 year into grad school when she came home for Thanksgiving break with 1 semester under her belt and decided she wanted a dog. The whole family headed out to Hilton Head Humane Society but with the little time before we had to get to the airport our trip was unsuccessful. The next day my husband and I went back, we adopted an adorable hound mix and named her Farley. She was sweet as can be. We decided to stop into the local pet store to get her a collar and leash when we were approached by a local trainer who worked there. She proceeded to tell us how lovely our dog was but she will be untrainable. She said "you know hounds are very loyal inside the house but once you get them outside they run." My husband and I were devastated, our desire was for the dog to be trained off-leash. We were really thinking about taking the dog back. We came home and called Alison Armao. She assured us that her and her business partner Gudrun Kaiser would have Farley off leash within a week. Gudrun was very affectionate yet firm towards Farley. She also spent time with my daughter helping her understand the training process. Just this week, the whole family went to the beach with Farley and she was off leash the whole time. She comes back to us when called, sits, lays down, heels nice on a leash and rolls over. We couldn't be more thankful to Alison and Gudrun for the assurance and comfort they gave us. We now have confidence that we can take Farley anywhere! Carin
Gudrun has changed our lives, for the better! After 5 days of training at their home, Gudrun literally transformed my two unmanageable rescue dogs into not just manageable, but enjoyable companions. With both compassion and understanding, she focused on addressing the behavior issues we discussed prior to the training and more. A few days after our training, Gudrun also conducted an invaluable follow-up session with both dogs and me. I can't say enough about our experience with Gudrun and Leader of the Pack, we are so pleased and our dogs are happier too. Thank you Gudrun!! Lauren
I had a wonderful experience with Leader of the Pack HHI! I have 2 large dogs - Astro, 3 years old (Lab) and Murphy, 4 years old (Golden Retriever). They are my world! When we moved to the Hilton Head area last year, I was so excited about all the things we could do together in this dog-friendly area. I had dreams of going to the beach, going out to dog friendly restaurants, farmers markets, etc. However, even though both dogs had been through basic obedience training, I realized that I was not comfortable taking them out into these social situations. Lots of distractions and opportunities for them to be “extra friendly” with other people and dogs. Additionally, we had some issues with my golden jumping up on people when greeting them and my lab barked excessively and would scare guests. So, after learning more about Alison and Gudrun’s experience and success stories, I contacted them right away. Alison came to our home to meet our pups and assess them for inclusion in their program. Afterwards, we set a date for training. I am SO happy with the results! Not only is the jumping and barking much more controlled, the best surprise for me was the leash walking! I love to walk the dogs and before, there was so much pulling on the leashes for the first half of our walks that it made it difficult for me to do alone. Now, both dogs walk easily by my side, with no pulling, and we are able to enjoy walks with no stress! Gudrun was so patient with them (and us)! We look forward to many more outings in the future thanks to Leader of the Pack! - Melanie
When we got Zena—our Red Doberman puppy—from her experienced breeder, we were told, "she's a thinker, and a terror." As Zena grew older, that assessment proved true in all sorts of ways. Intelligent, decisive, and outgoing, she played energetically at daycare and in dog parks with other dogs, but in our home community she would growl and bark at dogs and people too. After puppy classes and basic obedience (in which she did well), adolescence hit with a vengeance. Finally we decided that positive reinforcement couldn't be the whole story in dealing with this Doberman's determination and focus: We turned for help to Leader of the Pack. Alison and Gudrun explained that Zena is a very confident dog—and that this is a good thing! We needed to find ways to "tone her down, which would be easier than building her up". After about a month of serious leash work, at Gudrun's suggestion and with her instruction we decided to try an electric collar. Used correctly, this tool has provided the stick which, when used in combination with praise-and-treat carrots, helps her break her focus and listen to commands from us. She no longer barks uncontrollably at cats, squirrels, and dogs she doesn't know. She sits on command and does not jump up on people when she meets them. Her recalls are solid even over long distances and with other dogs around. She heels pretty well when there are distractions—even inside and behind a shopping cart at Home Depot. She will do a down stay in our community office and in other locations. In short, at fourteen months, she's well on her way to being the confident, outgoing, happy, and pleasant dog we want—thanks to the help and encouragement of Gudrun Kaiser and Alison Armao, the great trainers at Leader of the Pack. We recommend them without reservation and look forward to working with them as Zena grows up!
Patricia and Elaine
I would like to share my story of how Gudrun Kaiser and Alison Armao of Leader of The Pack, Hilton Head Island, made a profound and positive impact on my family. In the spring of 2016, my wife and I fell in love with and adopted a four year old greyhound who retired from the track. We named him Nash and he quickly became a significant part of our family. Nash and I have so much in common that I tell others he is my spirit animal. Following a full 20 year career as an active duty Marine with two tours to Afghanistan, I struggled with my new “normal,” similar to Nash. He came from a place where all those around understood him, his idiosyncrasies and quirks. A place where an “all-or-nothing" mindset was rewarded. Oh, but that place is temporary. The memory of the chase at breakneck speeds, unbridled excitement of the roaring crowds, and the thrill of it all would not soon fade. Nash’s new home was luxurious compared to the place from which he came. He was waited on hand and paw and always the center of attention. But something was missing. At nearly 100 pounds of furious muscle which makes the breed, Nash hardly had to try to overpower the restraint of his humans. Once he injured another dog after slipping out of his collar. Another time he injured himself chasing a cat who ran up a tree. Nash had to stay muzzled like a four legged Hannibal Lecter for fear that he would seriously injure another animal. One thing was clear, we needed help controlling his prey drive. We worked with a trainer who produced some positive results but had to be cut short due relocation. Moving from South Carolina to Florida seemed to fuel Nash’s already anxious behavior, as we now live in an area surrounded by dogs of all breeds and sizes. Taking Nash for a walk required a muzzle and careful planning in order to avoid certain areas where other dogs might be. This limited where and when my wife and I could walk him. Taking him to dog friendly beaches and restaurants was definitely out of the question. So we found another trainer who belonged to a “franchise” dog training organization which uses electronic collars for training. This nearly spelt disaster for our family. During a training session, Nash was put in a situation he wasn’t equipped to handle. He was forced to sit while more than a dozen other dogs of various sizes, breeds, and temperaments paraded past him. He was clearly uncomfortable and the electronic stimulation from the collar brought everything to a head. He lashed out and bit my wife in the face as she was trying to keep him calm and seated. We contacted the organization that brought Nash to us, Greyhound Pets of America-Charleston, asking for help. Their board of directors recommended we surrender Nash to them for more training and rehoming. What they couldn’t see was that Nash was family and was the cornerstone of my own recovery. A member of the organization, whom we consider a dear friend, recommended Gudrun and Alison of Leader of the Pack based on first hand knowledge of their success working with other greyhounds that were “unadaptable.” Gudrun and Alison agreed to take Nash in and work with him. While we waited for an opening, we took Nash to the vet for medication to sedate his anxiety. The medication accomplished what it intended, but it also robbed us of the boy we knew and loved. The day finally came for him to start his training with Gudrun and Alison. We all drove from Tampa, Florida, to Hilton Head Island for this monumental day. Gudrun and Alison welcomed us and gave us a tour of where Nash would be spending the next several days. There were no false promises as to how long it would take. They explained it could be anywhere from two weeks to a month or more, and we were put at ease because their passion and love for dogs was evident. Pulling out of the driveway was gut-wrenching for me, my wife reassured me that this was good for all of us and that our family would be closer as a result. Everyday there after I wanted to Facetime my four legged friend and worried that he wouldn’t want to come home. I was ecstatic when the first email arrived with an update on how he was adapting and a photo of him peacefully sleeping. The following week we received another update of his progress and additional photos of Nash both playing and in-training. To help Nash with behavior modification training, Gudrun used the Dogtra e-collar, which she assured me would be the best for him. When we received word that he was ready to come home, I was beside myself with joy. The six hour drive seemed to take days. Upon arrival Gudrun gave a complete review of what Nash was taught and the techniques that we would use to continue what they started. After allowing time for all of us to reunite with Nash, one final training session took place, and Gudrun demonstrated how to properly use the e-collar and remote on Nash. We now have the most well behaved dog on the block. He minds so well I can hardly believe this is the same guy who would do “dog-nados” if he heard a dog bark in the distance. When approached by little dogs he looks at us instead of going ballistic. He no longer wears a muzzle on walks or needs to take medication. Now, Nash works as my service dog in treating my PTSD. I hate to imaging the setback losing him could have caused had it not been for Gudrun and Alison. Rod and Sandy
I heard about Allison Armao and Gudrum Kaiser through friends. They have worked with me and my dogs Levi and Maya , Rhodesian Ridgeback's, with the E collar. I will admit I was hesitant at first but now I am so happy with the results. I have a peace of mind knowing I can run on the beach with them having no fear they will run off or bother others. If you truly love your dog you should consider the collar training. Joe
Dickens ,my five-year-old poodle mix joined our family at age three .Dickens and I joined Gudrun Kaiser's basic obedience training class to help make walking in the neighborhood a more pleasant activity. Gudrun had a wonderful rapport with Dickens from the very beginning and helped me gain confidence. It is very exciting to see the strategies that we learned in class applied to our every day walking and to have neighbors comment on what a different dog Dickens has become. Gudrun did an amazing job training both Dickens and me and provided a bonding experience for Dickens and me. Ann
Also I don’t do this very often, I feel the need to share our gratitude with all of you. Gudrun Kaiser is one of the most amazing people that my family has ever met. Gudrun knew about our daughter Naomi who has one of the most gentle hearts you may ever meet, but teen years have left scars and bruises on her soul. At times we prayed that God would send her a true friend. Someone she can rely on... in good and in bad times. When my husband and I discussed the possibility of Naomi getting a Service Dog, the overwhelming cost and waiting period seems a obstacle that we were not sure we could overcome. But with Gudrun's help we found the most precious gem anyone could have given to us. When we reached out to Gudrun, we did not imagine the impact Twinkie (former known as Penny) would have on our daughter. It is incredible to see Naomi’s transformation. Today we took Twinkie to PetCo to set our new family member up with “the essentials.” We can not thank Ashley and the wonderful crew at PetCo enough for their kindness and encouragement. Naomi and I were truly touched by the love and compassion of the staff and people we met there. But we need to extend our gratitude to Tallulah King Mc Gee and the angels at Beaufort County Animal Service, who convinced Goodie of a little pit girl with a huge heart. You all are OUR HEROES! Thank you to all of you for making this world a better place! Patty
My one year old English Springer Spaniel, Otis Lee and I have recently completed Basic Obedience Classes with Gudrun Kaiser. We are continuing with Gudrun for the Intermediate class. Gudrun is an brilliant instructor and has very good command of the class. She is able to control disruptive situations and turn them into a learning experience for the class. She is an excellent communicator in class and does reliable and informative follow-up between classes. My strong willed, independent, hard headed & very energetic springer has responded very well to Gudrun’s leadership in obedience class. Gudrun’s firm yet gentle manner keeps me calm and confident as I work with Otis. Gudrun provides practical tips and solid advice for particular problems we might have with the handling of our dogs. She is always available before and after class for questions and dialogue. I am well pleased with Gudrun’s leadership and would highly recommend her to other dog owners. Vicki
A few years ago Todd and I looked into joining a program that specializes in Diabetic Alert Dogs, as Todd has Type One Diabetes. After receiving the info about the program, we were excited to move forward, then we found out about the cost of this program. To our dismay, to receive a "fully" trained D.A.D., we would need to find funding to the amount of approx. $15,000!!! Our hearts were broken. The program did offer support and guidance for fundraising if the family didn't have the financing to fully fund their service dog. Being small business owners, holding multiple events and or fundraisers just wasn't feasible for us to do as we work at least 6 days a week. On top of daily expenses like Todd's medical needs and diabetic supplies, the personal funds could not cover the cost either. Sad to say but we walked away thinking a D.A.D was never going to be an option for Todd. A few years passed after we lost our 15 & 16 year old fur babies, Oscar and Spike. Todd and I fell in love with a bloodhound puppy we named ButterBean. After being able to bring her home at 8 weeks old, we immediately started looking in to puppy classes. We were referred to Leader of the Pack with Alison and Gudrun. Low and behold after looking up their contact information, we discovered they train service dogs!!!! We felt like we had struck gold. Our dreams of filling our home with puppy breath and fur AND being able to revisit the idea of having a service dog. Alison and Gudrun have been the best with working with us and our crazy schedule. They've helped not only us teach ButterBean so much but have also thought us a lot about training a puppy. Without their guidance and support, this dream we wouldn't be coming true. Alison and Gudrun have done an amazing job of adapting to the specific needs of a diabetic alert dog, tailoring the type of training our ButterBean's needs. We are so excited to continue this journey with Gudrun and Alison.
We adopted Bonnie, an 8-year old Border Collie Lab mix, about 6 months ago. Although she was very friendly, she didn’t have any self-confidence, lacked leash manners, and was dog reactive due to lack of exposure. Since we began working with Gudrun, she has grown in confidence and is relaxed around other dogs. While out walking with her, we even receive compliments from people about how well behaved she is. We’ve also been working with her for responding to sounds and given her calmness, we feel comfortable bringing her with us to public places as a service dog in training. Noel and Renelle
We can’t thank Alison and Gudrun enough for everything they’ve done for us and our babies. Our two rescues Remy (Lab/Chow mix about 2 ½ years) and Gauge (Pit about 1 ½ years) have both been a handful at times. We’ve even had a few very scary fights between the 2 of them. Everything I’ve heard about Pits say they can be very aggressive and we didn’t know what to do. We decided to get some help and 1st called a lady in Savannah who trains dogs. We brought Remy and Gauge to meet her. At first things were going good then the trainer bent down to pet Gauge and he nipped her in the face (he wasn’t being mean). Her attitude changed immediately and considered Gauge a bad dog. She told us next time she saw our dogs Gauge would have to be wearing a muzzle. She also sent us an e-mail with an evaluation of the dogs. Basically she told us we should give Gauge back to the shelter. We couldn’t accept that and decided to get a second opinion. Our vet recommended Alison and Gudrun and we made an appointment with them. Right from our first meeting we knew our babies would be in good hands. They came out and met Remy and Gauge and couldn’t say enough good things about them. They told us Gauge was not an aggressive dog. They suggested e-collar training which we agreed to. We brought our babies to them and after 4 days with them we could not believe the transformation in our babies. They are so well behaved. “Leave it” has become our favorite word and the dogs listen real well. They actually come the first time we call them. We now walk down the street instead of being dragged. I’m so glad we got that second opinion and will definitely us them in the future. Thanks you again. Sue & Dean
My daughter and I had been visiting the Hilton Head Humane Association after school for months. We would visit our old friends, and look for new additions, always searching for the right addition to our family. When we visited Star at the Humane Association, we knew she was the perfect addition to our family. She reacted so well with all of the children and we adopted her as soon as we were able. We noticed quickly, however, that she was quite reactive with people and animals outside of our home. We decided to sign her up for some training to help with these issues and introduce some socialization. When I contacted Gudrun she recommended that she visit Star at our home to see if she was too reactive for the basic obedience class. She was fairly well behaved that day and we then signed up for the six week class. Star did very well during the first class, which gave us all a great deal of encouragement. The next week, however, she was so reactive to the other owners and dogs during the class that we needed to leave. Gudrun contacted me the following day and offered to take Star into her home to implement some one on one training to help Star with her reactivity. Star was doing so well with Gudrun that she brought her home after a couple days. Shortly thereafter, however, Star’s reactivity came roaring back. Gudrun again contacted me and offered to take her again, and provide us with the tools to continue the training at home. After three days of training with Gudrun, and now with the proper tools to continue the training at home, Star is doing very well and ready to return to class with the other dogs! Gudrun has helped our family not only enjoy Star in our home, but now we can take her with us and have a truly wonderful relationship with her that we had been hoping for. Other families in our situation may think that the life we now have with Star is not possible with their own dog due to some undesirable or even dangerous behavior. Gudrun has gone above and beyond for Star and our family and truly shown her desire and ability to help families and their dogs to have the best life together possible. We will forever be thankful to her and all of the support she has given our family.The Ware Family
I cannot recommend Leader of the Pack highly enough! I came to them for help with my girl, Inara. She is a 5 1/2 year old, boxer/pit bull mix. I recently relocated to Hilton Head Island and wanted Inara to be able to enjoy time at the beach off leash. Unfortunately, she had a bad habit of running away and not listening to me the moment anything distracted her. I found Leader of the Pack online and they have been thoroughly professional and responsive from the moment I first contacted them. Alison came to my home to meet and evaluate Inara. After talking to me and working with Inara for about a half hour she recommended electronic collar training. Alison is extremely knowledgeable and really took the time to learn what I wanted to accomplish with training. Inara boarded with Alison and Gudrun for five days during which she received training. She was excellently taken care of during boarding and came back to me well trained on the electronic collar. Gudrun worked with her during the boarding and with me once Inara was back home. She could not have been more helpful. Not only did Gudrun instruct me on how to use the electronic collar when Inara was done with boarding, she met with us again about a week later for a training session on the beach. I am happy to report that I can now walk Inara off leash on the beach (or anywhere else for that matter) with complete peace of mind. She comes when called and doesn’t run off when she spots a bird or another dog. She is so happy to be able to frolic on the beach and I no longer stress out about her being off leash. Alison and Gudrun have been incredible throughout the training process. Every email was answered promptly, I was kept informed of Inara’s progress while she was boarding and the follow-up once she was done boarding has been stellar. Gudrun remains available for questions. She genuinely cares about Inara and wants to make sure that my expectations were met. My expectations were not only met, they have been exceeded every step of the way. I would advise anyone to work with Leader of the Pack for all of their dog training needs. I know I won’t ever go anywhere else! Nancy
Hi Gudrun. I just had to share. You know Bosco has to run! So I took him and his “cousin” (8 year old lab) to our neighborhood soccer fields. Well, we had three fields full of kids playing games and parents with leashed dogs watching. There is also a small softball field, so we “took” the outfield. A boy and his friend showed up for some pitching and batting. The dogs stayed off leash with me the whole time!! I used the electric buzz once or twice in the beginning to remind him that despite a different place I still expected him to come. He did, every time. Did not mess with the games or anyone else, even when some of the other dogs were barking. I’m thrilled. MaryAnn and Bosco
Alison, I can't thank you enough for all of the one on one training you did with Oskar and Nutmeg today. I was gone for two hours this afternoon and when I came home they did not jump. Yeah! It was refreshing not having them jump up when I came in the door. Look forward to see you in a couple of weeks. Betsy
Gudrun Kaiser is a wonderful and caring dog trainer! She recently worked with my Golden Retriever who spent ten days with her in Hilton Head Island. Gibson is almost a year old (11 mos) and was a sweet loving dog but had received no training, due to my physical limitations. It was almost impossible to walk Gibson because of his 75 lbs pulling me over and trying to run away and chase anything that moved. Upon meeting new people, Gibson would jump up on them, often causing physical disturbance and discomfort. After his time with Gudrun, HE IS A DIFFERENT DOG. He is still sweet and loving, but now follows commands such as Heel, Sit, Stay, Off, and Leave It (ignore it). We can now walk in a normal gait, with Gibson staying at my right side. He stops walking on command, and will STAY on command. He has learned the OFF command which tells him not to jump up when meeting individuals. He has also learned the LEAVE IT command which tells him to ignore people, other dogs, and harmful situations. Gibson has been home for three weeks now and we practice these new commands daily. He remembers and follows these commands with little or no motivation. Gibson was always a pleasure to be around, but has now learned assimilation skills that allow him to go with me in public such as dog parks and walks around the neighborhood. I highly recommend Gudrun Kaiser for your dog’s training. She loves animals and is kind and patient. Gudrun understands the process required to train an animal and believes that treating the dog with kindness and creating trust are essential to that activity, she also helps the client learn to change THEIR behavior toward the dog so that both human and animal understand the rules of the relationship. If your dog needs training, you can trust Gudrun Kaiser to prepare your dog, as well as yourself, for a long and loving relationship. Sincerely, Michael
My name is Beth Bolcer and I am writing to tell you about my experience with Alison Armao, Gudrun Kaiser and their fantastic company, Leader of the Pack HHI. I have a pain syndrome called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) which effects my ability to walk without pain. When my Peekapoo, Dolce, was about 3 or 4 years old, I noticed that he was acting strange at times. Eventually, I realized that he was reacting to my antiseizure medication being too low. He was getting it right every time and I had never trained him to do this. He was able to warn me ahead of time so I could adjust my medication and prevent an attack. I had done some basic training with him on my own, but I wondered if someone could train him the rest of the way to become an actual service dog for me. My neighbors had used Alison for basic training and highly recommended that I call her. Alison came to my home, since it was difficult for me to get to her, and we discussed the possibility of Dolce being trained to be my service dog and she was ready, willing and able to do it. It was obvious that she had done this before and knew exactly what I was trying to accomplish. Dolce’s training was everything I hoped for! Alison worked with both of us from where we were with training, found our weak spots and began teaching me to prepare Dolce for the life of a service dog. She also reviewed all the requirements with me for what he needed to do to become a legal service dog. I did not want to take short cuts, I wanted Dolce to be fully trained and comfortable in this new role. She also individualized the experience for me by determining what activities Dolce could help me with. We made a signal that Dolce could give me when my medication was too low and she taught me how to train him. Now he doesn’t get upset because he knows exactly how to communicate with me to tell me to take my medicine. One thing in particular that I wanted, was a way for Dolce to get help for me if I ever was unconscious. Alison helped me design a system for Dolce to set off my home alarm to get me help in an emergency. The first method didn’t work because Dolce was not heavy enough to set off the panic button, so Alison “rigged up” a new design that worked BEAUTIFULLY! She taught me how to train Dolce to use it and it has given me so much peace of mind to know that he can now get help if he sees that I’m in trouble. My friends and neighbors are shocked that Dolce is able to bring me my cane and numerous other things when I drop them. Alison taught us SAFE ways for a small dog to do these tasks for me. Gudrun came into the picture when I took Dolce to their classes to prepare him for his Canine Good Citizen test. This was such a great group and I would highly recommend it to everyone with a dog. They prepared us along with numerous other dogs to act properly in social situations. This aspect was critical to Dolce being able to maneuver in restaurants, hotels, stores and everywhere else I would be taking him. Gudrun was excellent with Dolce and he has a special fondness for her! They even taught him a little agility training which he loved. He passed his Canine Good Citizen test with flying colors. Leader of the Pack HHI has given me the best gift I could ask for…peace of mind. I worried that Dolce may not be happy with the limitations of a service dog, but I was very wrong. He loves to put on his work vest and take care of me. He knows that when the vest goes on, he is going to work (and may get a special treat). I know that he is prepared to help me no matter what situation I get into and he is my true partner as I deal with my limitations. He loves to train, so I continue to use the skills that Alison and Gudrun taught me to train new skills as they come up. I also love the fact that they are still always available to me if I have any questions. I was in the hospital for 3 weeks and Dolce stayed with his Grammy until I could get home again. Alison helped me to make decisions that would be best for him during this difficult time and she was there for me to help Dolce adjust when I returned home. Knowing that Dolce has these skills gives me such comfort that he will know what to do in case of an emergency. As a matter of fact, I DID have an evening where EMS had to help me in the middle of the night. I warned them that I had a service dog and that he would meet the EMT’s at the door. When they arrived, I commanded Dolce for the first time ever, to “bring them to Mommy, bring them here” and he did exactly that. He showed them right where I was and stayed in a “down-stay” while they worked on me and took me out. I couldn’t have been prouder of how he handled the situation and I give total credit to Leader of the Pack HHI. He’s been my service dog for two years now and I wouldn’t trade one minute of it! For anyone who has limitations and is considering training a service dog, Alison and Gudrun are the people you are looking for. Their knowledge, compassion and understanding of the situation is invaluable to training your dog to help you in dealing with whatever you need help with. I hope you follow my lead and allow Leader of the Pack HHI to train your service dog so you can have a partnership like Dolce and I.
Dear Alison and Gudrun,I cannot tell you how much you both have helped us with Rudy! We are SOO very thankful for you both and are just thrilled with Rudy being able to use a crate now! He is even beginning to like it in there! What a difference this has made to him and to each of us as well! It was getting dangerously close to having to make an awful decision to relinquish him! I would never ever be the same if that happened!So thank you again from the bottom of my heart and both my girls thank you as well. Rudy is finally in his forever home and I know he is so happy to be home!Forever grateful, Karyn:I would like to take a few minutes to praise two very special people who have helped my family immensely! Alison Armao and Gudrun Kaiser of Leader of the Pack Dog Training Team both went above and beyond to help train our new dog, Rudy, so he could stay in our family and become a happier and more settled member of our family!We adopted Rudy in May 2017 from HH Humane. It had been 4 years since our previous dog had passed away and we all were ready for Rudy to join our family. All HH Humane was able to tell us was that Rudy was found in Beaufort as a stray and that no one had claimed him. We brought Rudy home and began slowly introducing him to his new home and life. He is the sweetest little guy and loves people and other dogs. I know it was hard for him to feel like he was in his forever home right away but we knew how to show him love and to make him feel less scared. We all took to each other right away. I could tell Rudy was anxious when we would leave the room or the house and after a few days, he began to take things off shelves or under tables, move them to the floor and eat them. He also began eating pillows and clothes and shoes. We keep a clutter free home but he was still able to find destroy our property. He got into crayons, markers, books, glass, string, etc etc!! Even though these things were hidden or in boxes!! This occurred most often when we left the house but it also happened overnight as well. I borrowed my sister’s XL crate to see if that would alleviate the almost daily struggle of him destroying our home’s contents and possibly injuring himself. We had no luck with getting (or even forcing) him in the crate. We tried ALL suggestions, videos, vet training, Petco advise, new crate, everything - to no avail. This was no way to treat a new dog nor was it working for our lives. There was soo much stress and pain for all of us.After many, many weeks attempting everything we could think of or were told to do, I called Leader of the Pack based on HH Veterinary Clinic’s recommendation. Alison Armao came to our house one day at 330p to show us how to crate train Rudy. She allotted 2 hours for us. After the 2 hours, Alison was still unable to get Rudy in our plastic crate! She graciously suggested we bring Rudy to her house for a day of training in a different kind of crate, called an Empire crate.I brought Rudy to Alison’s home and Gudrun Kaiser met us at the door. She promised to work on Rudy’s crate training for us and that we could pick up Rudy later in the day. I got a text from Gudrun that after 4 hard hours of wrestling, she finally got Rudy in the Empire crate!!!! I was not surprised she was successful knowing how wonderful these two trainers are at teaching dogs! But I was overwhelmed at the time spent and how long it took. To be honest, I was petrified to go pick up Rudy and bring him home to our house without this kind of crate! And I said so.Gudrun explained to me that since The Leader of the Pack was committed to keeping Rudy together with our family AND acknowledging that we had done everything we could possibly do ourselves to help alleviate the awful situation we were experiencing at home, they would crate train Rudy for FREE. I was astounded at this offer! And shaking with relief for many reasons!!In another unfathomable display of compassion and dedication, Gudrun and Alison agreed to keep Rudy at their home to continue training FREE OF CHARGE for the time it took to order a new Empire crate for us and for it to be delivered to my house!!! FIVE days later, the $450 crate arrived at my home and Gudrun came over with Rudy to assemble it herself and show us how to get Rudy to use it properly!!!!!!!! It was the best $450 I have ever spent but more than that, my family will be forever grateful for this most generous, selfless and compassionate act of kindness that we have ever witnessed in our lives. Rudy goes in to the crate on command now and has even showed signs of not minding being in there!! We are soo very, VERY thankful!It is hard to put in to words how much these two wonderful ladies have done for us and for our precious dog, Rudy! We needed him as much as he needed us but The Leader of the Pack Dog Training Team made it possible for us to be a family with Rudy. Please, please know these people are changing canine and human lives for the better out of the goodness of their hearts. They are to be commended beyond compare! I have already told dozens of friends this story and I will praise them both for decades to come!
Karyn, Julee, Chelsee and RUDY!!!
I engaged Alison and Gudrun to train our 4 year old golden retriever Callie, as a service animal. Before working with Callie, they took the time to understand my specific needs and physical limitations and tailored a program to suit accordingly. I couldn't be happier with the results. Callie is fully trained to support me when in her service dog role and continues to be our much loved pet. When her vest goes on, she knows she's working. I highly recommend Alison and Gudrun as caring, professional trainers. Callie and I thank you both so much! Mary
Hey! Just wanted to thanks y'all, again so much for your help with Esme. She really is a whole new dog! So much calmer and more confident. Thanks again! Mattie (and Lane and Esme)
I began working with Alison in the Spring of 2016 in preparation for my wedding as we hired Alison to train our 2 year old Lab, Barney to be the ring bearer at my wedding. I knew I wanted Alison to train Barney because I saw the impeccable job she did training my parents lab. Thankfully, Alison took on the task and began working with Barney a few times a week over the course of 3-4 weeks prior to our wedding. I was amazed with the short amount of time she had to work with Barney, how quickly she had him trotting down the aisle all by himself and sitting at the alter. During a very stressful time, I felt like I could completely trust Alison to fully train Barney and his very important job! Needless to say, she exceeded our expectations and Barney was the sweetest ring bearer and stole the show! We added another lab puppy to our family in the Fall of 2016 who was much more high energy than Barney. My husband and I needed help with basic training and setting a foundation on how to deal with his separation anxiety and super hyper personality. I was so pleased with her work with Barney that it was a no brainer that she would be the one to help us with Gus. Alison and her business partner Gudrun took our 9 month old puppy for 6 days where he was boarded and attended one on one daily sessions with Gudrun. I was shocked when Gus came back to us with a completely different set of manners and temperament. He was still the same dog with his spunky personality but was much more manageable for our family. Gudrun and Alison educated us on his old behaviors, why they were incorrect, how they fixed them and showed us how to keep working with him post training. He was trained on an electric collar, heeling perfectly, sitting on walks when you stop, crate trained, minding my voice, learned how to swim with his big brother, jumps in the car with ease, rides in the car without crying and his separation anxiety seemed almost gone. Gudrun and Alison recommended we exercise Gus on a treadmill for his main form of exercise which would help calm down his super high energy personality. They came over to our house for a total of two-15 minute sessions and had Gus walking comfortably on the treadmill. I now have him walking 30 minutes a day with ease and it has helped tremendously. I think Alison and Gudrun have an impeccable dog training business. They are a great team and you can tell they both equally hands on with the dogs they train. I actually am an out of state client as I live in Ohio and arranged for our dogs to be trained by Leader of the Pack while on vacation visiting my parents who live in Hilton Head. I could have found a local trainer, but my dogs are like family to me and I only wanted to best that I would feel 100% comfortable with. Their pricing is fair, they are punctual to their appointments, flexible with scheduling, always available to answer questions about anything that comes up and patient with you and your dog. They both took the time to do a post training session recap where they went over everything in detail, which I found very helpful. They even both came over one afternoon and showed me how to trim both of my dogs' nails, on their own time. They went above and beyond to make sure we were happy and always made me feel like my boys were safe and comfortable. I would highly recommend Leader of the Pack! Lauren
I have a pair of 3 ½ year old female Golden Retriever litter mates. They have always been extremely competitive with each other in every aspect of their lives, whether it be which of them could eat the fastest, garner the most attention from their human house mates, be at the front of the pack when walking, pull the hardest when trying to greet someone encountered on the street, or exhibit the best predatory skills when they would decide to chase our cats. Needless to say, this behavior was unacceptable and made daily life sometimes very stressful. A change in pack leadership was desperately needed. I met Alison Armao and Gudrun Kaiser while volunteering at the Hilton Head Humane Association. After becoming aware of their training business, Leader of the Pack HHI – Dog Training Team, I spoke to Gudrun a couple of times about the challenges that I was having with my pups and asked if she would be able to help. Her answer was a confident yes! Gudrun explained her training approach, which employs an e-collar, and proposed a specific plan and schedule. Prior to the beginning of training, I was asked to prepare a set of expectations so that she and I would have a common understanding of what was to be accomplished. I left the dogs with her on a Monday morning and didn’t see them again until mid day on Friday. She explained that this amount of time would be needed because each would have to be trained separately and then brought together and trained to work as a pair. On Friday, Gudrun spent an over an hour covering what had been done and what I should do to preserve and enhance the training that my pups had received. She also explained how I could use these techniques to address issues that could only be dealt with at home, such as suppressing their prey drive related to the cats. After my instruction was completed, Gudrun asked me to watch her and my dogs display their accomplishments from a hidden vantage point so as to not distract them. During this activity, Alison and one of her dogs were heeling in the same area to simulate what might occur on any normal dog walk. I did not see any over excitement, any pulling, any anxiety, just two calm, happy, tail wagging pups looking up to their leader for guidance. At that point, my only real concern was, can I really take these techniques home and maintain what has been accomplished and deal with other important issues. As I am writing this, one of the pups and one of the cats, who was viewed as prey only a few weeks ago, are on my lap grooming each other’s faces. It doesn’t get any better than this! Sure, there are more things I want to accomplish with them, but now I have the techniques and the confidence to tackle whatever comes along and if I do need some extra assistance, “Leader of the Pack HHI – Dog Training Team” is only a phone call away. On a scale of 1 to 10, this team is a ten! Update: Good Morning Gudrun, This is what I woke up to this morning. Lilac, the little kitty, doesn’t feel like prey any more. Gracie & Sadie will now allow Lilac or her sister to to clean their faces rather than chase them on sight. Our house is a much happier place since Gracie & Sadie went through training with you. Thanks again, Jim
I would like to recommend Leader of the pack training school for dogs. Alison and Gudrun were superb in their approach to our 9 month old puppy. Our dog is a naturally shy and timid dog so, we needed someone that would take their time training her and not try to rush her to much. Gudrun was very cautious with her and did not change her personality. She kept her motivated and happy while she was learning. Alison continued to work on her traditional commands and also training on the beach. They both gave our family a tutorial on commands and guided us through the process. The training has given us the freedom that we wanted with our dog. It is also a great comfort to know that her behavior is appropriate whether we are on the residential path or on the beach. THANKS So MUCH! Bella's mom & family
We want as many people to know Lucky’s and The Leader of The Pack HHI’s story as possible. The training Lucky has received is truly remarkable. Lucky (Lucky to be alive) came to us when he was about 3 months old. He had been severely abused, beaten, bones broken and so skinny. We are 76 and 77 year olds and had no experience with a mixed terrier, but we took Lucky into our home. Lucky won our hearts as we started the process of caring for him. His strength was obvious immediately, even with his dangling left front leg. He was pure puppy, into everything, charging doors and people and if it was in his mouth he considered it his and sharing was not option. We knew we needed help, a lot of help. TRAINING was the only way we could keep this amazingly loving pup. We talked to people and the same name kept coming up Leader of The Pack HHI, Alison Armao and Gudrun Kaiser. We called Alison who came to our home for a basic assessment and showed us a few things we could practice, enlightened us about the real personality of the breed and even gave us information on what kind of a collar and lead to use. Amazing results, but Lucky was still more than we could handle. And he was growing. We had so many bruises , nip marks and were being pulled anytime we tried to walk him. Often resulting in us falling. We were desperately afraid that we were going to have to find a new home for this pup that we now loved. We knew how hard that would be because of the reputation of the breed. We were worried and scared, he was such a sweet gentle animal. We called again and again Alison came back. She agreed things could not continue this way. We were invited to meet with them on Hilton Head Island. That is when we met Gudrun, Alison’s business partner and dog trainer/dog behaviorist. We were so comfortable and impressed with these two women, their knowledge, their credentials, and their compassion that we left Lucky there for 2 days. Amazing. He was happy and perky when we picked him up. We practiced correct procedures with Gudrun and Lucky has NOT nipped or bruised either of us since. Thank you Gudrun and Alison. Subsequent to this letter Lucky has had his left front leg amputated from the shoulder. He continues to grow and the missing leg has only slowed him down a slight bit. He continues to amaze us and he resumed training this week. Our goal is to have him trained as a therapy dog visiting people with a disability and get them inspired how well Lucky is doing on his 3 legs. We are taking Basic Obedience classes with Gudrun. Gudrun assures us that he is a smart, a gentle dog and he will be successful. We have no doubts since Alison and Gudrun have such a success in their training. This dog was rescued from a fighting pit (bait), rescued from people who beat him and did not feed him and given to us to love and care for. We would have lost him if it were not for Alison’s and Gudrun’s compassion and expert training. Training is the only thing that allows us to keep him. Tom and I are so thankful for you two ladies, you are definitely not your average trainers. PS Lucky thinks your pretty great too. Anne and Tom
Family outings are now fun. Thank you Leader of the Pack
I've owned 2 labs for as long as I can remember. Currently I have a 9 and 2 year old. Both have wonderful temperaments but are overly friendly and curious. Labs need training to contain their enthusiasm. My vet recommended Leader of the Pack, Alison Armao and Gudrun Kaiser. I was tired of being pulled down the street when another dog or person walked by. We couldn't walk on the beach and enjoy it. Who wants to keep a tight leash on a dog when you want them to get exercise and enjoy themselves. I moved close to the beach so we could all enjoy it. Both dogs have been through training with LOP. Initially we started out with private lessons in basic obedience and then the “puppy” went to group training to learn and socialize. They did well and I saw improvement but we all needed more training so I turned to Alison and Gudrun. They suggested ecollar training. I had experience with an invisible fence but not ecollars. I was skeptical and worried because I didn't want their spirits to be broken and fear being walked. Alison and Gudrun convinced me this training would cause no harm and in fact make all of us happy. They were so right. So off they went. Bix and Call spent a few days being trained. Movies and pictures were sent by Alison and Gudrun everyday so I could see the progress which was very reassuring. After their training then it was critical that I got trained. This was probably the hardest training for Alison and Gudrun, but I finally got it. Now Bix, Call and I are out on the beach everyday. We are all finally realizing the dream I had from the beginning when I moved. Tranquil and fun walks on the beach! Wendy, Bix and Call
Over the course of the year Alison and Gudrun have been working with my service dog Koba. They taught him everything from sit to stay to certifying him to become a service dog. From the first lesson you could tell a difference. He has become a welcoming addition to my family and does a wonderful job with following direct commands. They are all about you and your animal. They are personable, dependable and always on time. I would recommend them to anyone. They are not your ordinary dog trainers they are always there when you need them. Alison and Gudrun a sincere, thank you. Charles and Koba
Hi, Alison & Gudrun. Bobo is doing great, he is a different dog thanks to you! Miller
Alison and Gudrun:
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you again for all your help. I walked Gracie when we got home on Sunday. She was about ready to “pounce” on a stroller (loves those kids). I gave her the command to “leave it” with one “nick” and she stepped right back and let them pass!!!! Pete is actually learning to use the command words and stand still when giving them! Hope to get her to Dolphin Head beach next week-end!! I have already recommended you to a designer – she has a Pug pup – Henry that she travels with and needs some lessons. I gave her your card and info and hopefully she will be contacting you in the near future. Kathy
I just wanted to share with you how amazing Hudson is doing after being in your training program for 10 days!!! I absolutely can't praise Alison and Gudrun enough!!!! Before coming to "camp" as my family refers to it, Hudson was a crazy, wild, one year old puppy! With NO manners! He jumped on everybody he met, even knocking down the children when they played with him. He wasn't allowed into the house because he ran and ate everything in his path. He couldn't just sit calmly, inside with the family. It was so sad! We had this beautiful Golden Retriever that we couldn't interact with and love the way we wanted too. It was almost impossible to even walk him on a leash. He did all of the dragging while I jogged behind him. We decided to send him to Gudrun and Alison, just hoping for the best... Not really expecting anything drastic since Hudson was already 1 1/2 years old. When we arrived, for training, immediately I was told to unleash Hudson inside the house!!! It was amazing to see the way he "took to" Gudrun. He didn't act crazy at all! Hudson stayed with her for 9 days, and when we picked him up, it was like getting a newer version of our Hudson! He was walking calmly inside the house. He had learned the commands sit, stay, come, down, and leave it. The best part is that now my 6 year old son can even walk him on the leash!!! He knows "heel" and walks without pulling us down. We also incorporated e collar training. Hudson can also be unleashed on the beach and comes back to us when called! It's amazing!!!! Our Hudson is now a member of our family! He's inside with us. Swims with us. Takes walks with us, and never stops smiling!! He's the dog that we've always wanted! Thank you Gudrun and Alison from the bottom of my heart! The Hylton family is very happy!!!
We are the happy owners of a standard poodle named Hercule Poirot. That is to say that we are happy now but that has not always been the case As a puppy Hercule was difficult. Some might say devilish. When on walks he would quite literally drag us along and then, suddenly, dart at anything that moved -- other dogs, people walking past him often with small children, and at moving cars. As a result of this we, on several different occasions, lost our footing and fell down. At home it was no better. He would stand at our front door and bark at any passersby on our street, and when somebody had the temerity to actually knock on our front door he would go crazy, practically knocking them down in either enthusiasm or ire. He was not vicious, just very, very badly behaved. We took him to one of the pet stores for training. Made no difference. He remained naughty and stubborn as a mule. When Hercule was about three years old life was slightly easier, but there were still some big issues regarding his behavior. One lucky day a neighborhood friend told us about "Leader of the Pack." Thus we met Alison Armao and Gudrun Kaiser and we enrolled Hercule in their beginner training class. Hercule did not do well the first couple of classes. Alison suggested that some private classes would make a difference. She and Gudrun came to our house and took Hercule to meet Alison's three big dogs and spend the day being trained. This happened two or three times. We would add here that Alison and Gudrun use only positive reinforcement as their training method. There is no punishment involved. The change in Hercule's behavior has been remarkable to say the least. He has learned from Alison and Gudrun to be a far more civilized animal. It is also clear that he adores the two of them. Hercule is now a pupil in their intermediate class and it is doubtful that he will flunk out. When we go away we board Hercule at "Leader of the Pack," and suffer no anxiety at all over doing so. This could not be said when we left him elsewhere. We have absolutely no compunction about recommending "Leader of the Pack" for training, boarding, or both. We are very grateful for the services they offer. Margaret and Phil D.
We decided to foster Rex for a couple of weeks to see if he would be compatible with us and our cat. I was concerned that he would break or come out of the gentle leader. I think someone forgot to tell us how aggressive Rex was. As we soon learned, if a big or small dog growled or barked at Rex he went after them. In addition, Rex went hard after birds, squirrels and a deer in the next few days. He was one tough customer to walk. A few days later Gudrun Kaiser arrived with a Weimaraner. We spent about one and half hours with Gudrun during which my wife and I learned so much about dogs in general and Rex in particular. After giving us multiple tasks to work on with Rex and doing many passes and the Weimaraner, we discussed the future with Rex. Gudrun was very upbeat and positive concerning Rex. She felt that he was a really nice dog who had been mistreated and had learned to fend for himself. She was positive we could modify his behavior to allow us to live in peace with our neighbors. Gudrun recommended an obedience school in which she worked. We enrolled Rex. We and Gudrun learned more about Rex at the obedience school. He did quite well but had to be watched closely. We left Rex for 10 days with Gudrun while we drove to Maine. When we returned we were greeted by a new dog who responded perfectly to verbal commands and occasional vibration collar. My wife and I were amazed. We knew we had a great dog in our home. Now we have the same dog who is much more relaxed with other dogs and can live in an environment where there are other dogs on leashes, some not so friendly, and an abundance of wild life. We were very impressed with Gudrun’s ability to analyze the problem and to read our dog. She was convinced that he was trainable in spite of his tough life before he came to Rogue Rescue. She proved to be right. We just returned from a twelve day car trip to Massachusetts with Rex. He did great on the trip stopping at roadside rest areas and staying in motels. He was a perfect house guest. All this took place in environments that were brand new to him. We were amazed and in large part contribute his adaptation to Gudrun. Sharon and Bob Leff
We have a wonderful 12 week old Miniature Schnauzer named Tux. Of course we feel he is smart as can be but we were having some problem beginning to train him. Since we wanted to do the right by him, we called and Gudrun came out to teach us the ropes. I cannot say enough about how positive that experience has been in helping us help Tux begin to learn some rules. In one lesson we learned many things that we now implement. Tux sits, lays down, comes and listens to "leave it" on command. He also has immensely improved his walking on a leash. We no longer struggle with him pulling ahead of his or him laying down and refusing to move. It is now a pleasure to walk him and show off his behavior. Of course being that he is a puppy, we continually work with him just as Gudrun taught us. Gudrun was very clear on her instructions to us, setting realistic expectations for Tux. She was incredibly gentle with him. She taught us techniques that made teaching Tux a pleasant experience. I can't thank Gudrun enough for the education she has given us. We will continue with classes when we get back into town. We want Tux to be a confident, pleasant dog to be around and with Gudrun's help we will attain that goal. Sincerely, Paul and Kathy and Tux
Our experience with Gudrun Kaiser has been excellent. We engaged her services for individual private sessions (with heavy emphasis on Service Dog Training) for our Golden Retriever puppy as well as group puppy classes and intermediate obedience classes with Leader of the Pack dog training. Gudrun's training is well informed and very effective. Gudrun exhibits a rare combination of sensitivity, compassion and firmness when needed for both the dog and its owners. She is patient and caring and has a great sense of humor. We highly recommend Gudrun Kaiser for any level of training. Thanks, Gudrun, for all your help. Barbara and Michael and "Darby McDuffy IV"
We adopted a 2 year old rescue standard poodle less than a year ago. He is a beautiful dog, however, had no discipline or training, had been abandoned twice due to his lack of any training… (one might ask, "was he expected to train himself?"). The rescue group gave him some, but he came to us with a few intense issues. We handed him over to Alison and Gudrun for three days of more intense training at their home. They needed to teach him to come when called; this for us had been a big problem! He returned from his 3 day "vacation" coming when called!! Thank you Alison and Gudrun! We are now enrolled in their 6 week course for further training at South Paw where we are sure he can overcome the few remaining issues, such as some leash aggression when passing other dogs with their owners. Once again, thank you Alison and Gudrun for a great job, some excellent tips in training for use at home and for your patience with Big Ben......Sherry and Arthur....and Ben
Our beautiful black lab, Gracie, became part of our family a little over 2 years ago. When she was a puppy, Alison Armao worked with us (I needed training too!) to get started down the right path. It was a very good base for what was to come. Most recently Alison and Gudrun worked with Gracie to overcome her reluctance to get into the back of our SUV and to reinforce her response to both the heel and the come commands. Looking ahead, I’m planning to work with the Leader of the Pack team to prepare Gracie for therapy dog certification. Both Gracie and I have benefited greatly from their help! Nancy
Alison and Gudrun are very special dog trainers. They helped me with training my dog, dog sitting in my home and boarding at Alison’s house. Whenever I leave town I know my dogs are well looked after. Alison and Gudrun have also done a fantastic job in training my dog on the electronic collar. I really appreciate their professionalism, flexibility and willingness to go the extra mile for their clients. They provide exceptional service and their training methods get results. Mary R.
When I brought our 3 month old Airedale to Dr. Dorian Colorado (Animal Care Clinic) for his initial visit, one of the questions I asked her was about training. She highly recommended Alison Armao and Gudrun Kaiser (Leader of the Pack Dog Training). I enrolled Winston in their first available puppy training class. He is now 10 months old and has completed Puppy Training and Basic Training group classes. I have enrolled him in the upcoming Basic Training to reinforce what we have been working on. Alison and Gudrun have also done one on one training with Winston and me. I should explain that Winston is the 8th Airedale we have owned and therefore we know the traits of the breed but I am now almost 75 (a petite woman) and my husband unfortunately has had serious back issues and been unable to walk Winston or take part in his training. It is therefore necessary that I be able to comfortably and confidently walk Winston, have him under voice and electronic remote control, and be assured that he be a gentleman in all ways. He is a sweet natured, lovable and active dog. Alison and Gudrun are of tremendous help in seeing that I achieve my goals and when my husband is able to start walking and exercising Winston that he can do so comfortably. On a personal note Alison and Gudrun came to my rescue when my husband was hospitalized overnight unexpectedly. They picked up Winston at my home and took him to their home where he was cared for, played with Alison's dogs and given additional one on one training. Additionally, Winston loves Alison and Gudrun. He is beyond excited when he sees them. To me that is an excellent recommendation from the dog's part - when he is happy to see the trainer and eager to be with them and respond to them. This I feel is the key to their successful training methods. The dog is wanting to please and learn for love and not fear. Catherine A. F.
Dear Alison and Gudrun, we want to send you this note to thank you for the help that you have given us with our puppies. When our friends from the beach, Tom and Ellen, who also have sporting dogs, recommended the two of you as trainers for our two young Vizslas, we were very interested. After your work with our three year old male, Salty, we were thrilled by his improved behavior and response to voice commands. Our twenty month old female, Elsie, is also showing steady improvement as she grows up using the training methods that you have taught both her and us. In addition to the training of our young dogs, your boarding service of the puppies and our thirteen year old female, Mallory, has been a wonderful experience. We could not feel more secure about leaving them in your care. As the owner of sporting dogs, you really understand the need for both the exercise and the attention required by these breeds. Our dogs really seem to enjoy the interaction with you and your Weimaraners. Thank you again for your work with our puppies and the care that you have shown them and Mallory during her visits. Warmest regards, Meredith and Andy
Nellie, a fifteen month old English Yellow Lab and myself, moved to Hilton Head Island in November 2014. Nellie and I had begun the Basic Puppy Obedience classes in our home city- Pittsburgh and wanted to continue with additional training. As a recently retired Reading Specialist, I knew that Nellie and I were meant to continue working in the field of Education. So we embarked on our search for excellent obedience trainers as well as trainers who would provide the necessary classes and approach for Nellie to achieve her certification as a Therapy Dog. I discovered Leader of the Pack dog trainers, Alison Armao and Gudrun Kaiser while exploring various online sites and after visiting Southpaw Kennel in person. I conversed with Alison and knew that their services were exactly what I wanted. The utilization of positive training with patience and firmness was what I wanted, and certainly what a lab puppy requires to be successful!! Their level of expertise and love and respect for dogs is evident. Fast forward - Nellie completed her classes and passed her Canine Good Citizen test, as well as the Therapy Dog International Test that was administered in Savannah in the summer of 2015. She accomplished this at the ripe age of two years old! Alison and Gudrun's training philosophy and specific strategies offered at class have contributed to Nellie's well behaved manners! Nellie is able to enjoy the beach and play with other dogs at the beach while under voice command. Her ability to heel and walk calmly with me daily has improved tremendously over the last twelve months. Also, Nellie is welcome at our family and friends' homes due to her good behavior. We are a successful Therapy Dog team working currently in the Hilton Head Library and at The University of South Carolina with plans to expand our services. I highly recommend the training services of Leader of the Pack HHI – Dog Training Team. Thanks to Alison and Gudrun, I have a happy well behaved companion. Carol P.
I felt my yellow lab puppy "Jobie" was wonderful in every way except I could not seem to get her fully housebroken. I've had several puppies in the past and have never had an issue with that. But with Jobie, none of the training techniques I knew of seemed to work. So I called Alison and Gudrun of "Leader of the Pack" for help. They suggested working with her during the day for a few days. Gudrun came to my house each morning at 6:00am to pick up Jobie, worked with her all day, then dropped her back off at my house in the evening. Jobie was always so happy to go with Gudrun each morning so I knew she was having a good time during the day away from home as well as learning her housebreaking skills. I have to say the plan worked! I cannot say enough about the worry free service Gudrun provided...we are so fortunate to have such wonderful, caring services available to us and our pets when we need them! Dr Bonnie R.
My husband and I welcomed Greta into our lives in January 2014. Greta was like a breath of fresh air that came along with loads of energy that I knew immediately needed to be addressed. Because I wanted to be a responsible pet owner I sought assistance with professional trainers. Several years ago I had the good fortune to work with Alison Armao so I immediately sought her out. Greta, like all German Shepherd dogs, thrived at participating in training. We jumped right in with the puppy imprinting class at approximately three months of age. Alison Armao’s calm demeanor and encouraging words gave me the strength to forge forward on days when Greta would challenge me every step of the way. Greta enjoyed puppy classes so much that we continued on into intermediate. To our pleasure Greta successfully completed her AKC Canine Good Citizen exam! After discussing upcoming training classes with Gudrun Kaiser, and trying to determine the best fit for Greta at this stage of her development, we signed up for Advanced Obedience. Greta’s confidence increased and her social skills improved with each week. After talking with Alison and Gudrun, Greta and I made our next goal to tackle the training for therapy dogs. I am proud to say, Greta passed her Therapy Dogs International exam in the summer of 2015. My heartfelt thanks to Alison and Gudrun for their belief in us! I have found both of them to be an invaluable resource with regard to Greta’s health, diet, behavior, training, and socialization. The passion, commitment and love Alison and Gudrun have for dogs, and helping others is astonishing. Greta and I are having fun, we’re learning, and it’s truly been a wonderful, wonderful experience! We are both eagerly anticipating our next round of classes! Mame B.
My husband and I moved to Hilton Head Island with our two German Shepherds almost a year ago. Our male was very snarky on leash when he would see dogs and squirrels which made our walking with him everything, but enjoyable. We heard about Alison Armao and gave her a call. She came to our home and worked with us and showed us positive reinforcement that worked for our boy. He is such a joy to walk now. Dogs can pass us and squirrels can be on the ground and he will look at them and continue to walk. We were so impressed with Alison that we signed him up for her class. Gudrun Kaiser was also the trainer in class and with her help as well, we continue to build a great foundations for our boy. Gudrun would give us things to work on at home and we can see the difference all this training has done. We now have s dog that we can take everywhere. Another great part of training with Alison and Gudrun is they believe in positive reinforcement never anything mean. Alison and Gudrun thank you for helping us bring out the best in our fur baby. Thrilled dog owners, Chris and Tom L
We discovered Alison eight years ago when we adopted Etta James from the Humane Society on Hilton Head Island. She assessed the dogs who were taken in by the society at the time and knew Etta's background. Etta was 18-24 months old at the time and is now 10 years old - a beautiful tan and white lab who still loves and needs attention from us or anyone. Alison trained Etta when we first adopted her and recently Alison and Gudrun were hired to help us again with Etta's excitability factor when people come to the front door. All she wants to do is jump on them and lick them affectionately. We learned the "back" technique and "good back" technique. She can do it but does lapse back into her "I just want to welcome you" mode. We keep up the training. Alison also helped us when we decided to install an invisible fence in the front and back yard years ago. It definitely worked as did the training collar she wore in the beginning of her training. We also ordered through Alison our toy supplies. Gudrun trained Etta to walk nicely on a Gentle Leader and in “heel position”, and now she is a pleasure to walk with without that she is pulling us all over the place. Alison and now Gudrun have both been available for help via the phone or coming to the house. We didn't know if they bathed dogs but sure enough Etta was collected by Gudrun, who has a big smile for us all, and returned Etta smelling like a coconut puff. This will be the place she goes for shampoos from now on and even dog sitting. They are a professional pair of women who take their work seriously, caringly, and lovingly. I have recommended them to other dog owners in and out of the neighborhood. I met two neighbors presently training with them. Sometime I know it's we who need training and should be boarded at their facility. Sincerely, Kryl & Ken
I first met Alison Armao and Gudrun Kaiser when I enrolled my five month old Chow Chow Sandi in their puppy training class. Sandi was an abused rescue and when I adopted her she was scared of people and very skittish so our veterinarian Dr. Colorado recommend Leader of the Pack training with Alison and Gudrun. During puppy training Sandi became accustomed to walking on a leash and she learned basic commands. After the 6 weeks of puppy training I continued with their Basic Obedience class because I could see such an improvement in Sandi in terms of her willingness to heel, come, sit, and stay. She also became more comfortable with unknown objects that she encountered during training sessions. At first she was petrified of the teeter totter, tunnel, and wading pool but with special attention and expertise from Alison and Gudrun Sandi became more comfortable and she developed confidence to try out these objects. The training classes also allowed Sandi to interact with other dogs and people which helped her to build trust and become an obedient loving pet. It was also fun to see all the class pictures posted on Facebook and gave me an opportunity to share Sandi’s progress with her rescue group. I would recommend Alison and Gudrun as trainers for any new canine addition to a family. Joy Sions
Dear Alison and Gudrun, How lucky we are to have you two giving instruction and support and friendship. Alison was recommended by our vet on our first visit when Rosie was a puppy and she has been involved in our lives ever since...calming our fears, holding our hands, sharing our joys with the love of our life, Rosie, a four year old labradoodle.. I have enjoyed several classes with "the leader of the pack" that were very instructional and very enjoyable for me. Rosie is in safe hands when Paul and I travel, she's always happy to go to Alison's and returns home in great shape. Thanks, Jane
I met Alison when my 6 year old French Bulldog Oakley was 8 weeks old. We enrolled in her puppy obedience class at Southpaw Pet Resort. Oakley quickly showed signs of being an alpha male. In class, at all of 6 lbs., he was staring down large breed puppies and dogs. Oakley was able to learn basic obedience but as time went on his alpha/bully behaviors increased. He is very aggressive with other dogs but friendly with people. Alison has been on ongoing valuable resource for me in managing Oakley's behavior. She gave me the tools I needed to help him accept a new Frenchie puppy into the family. I also have the knowledge to prevent and handle any situations involving encounters with other dogs.
This past fall I had the pleasure of working with Alison and Gudrun with my 18 month old French Bulldog Mia. I hired them to train Mia to the electronic collar so she could be off leash in the yard and on other outdoor adventures. Mia has also shown some signs of aggression toward other dogs. Alison and Gudrun make a wonderful team! They both took the time to get to know Mia and worked at her pace. Mia mastered the collar beautifully and enjoys a lot of her life off leash. The training also helped Mia become a more positive dog within her pack.Most recently I hired Alison and Gudrun to train my 21 year old daughter's 10 month old Labradoodle puppy Henry to the electronic collar. Henry was constantly humping other dogs at the dog park, wouldn't come when called and jumped up on people when greeting them. Henry learned the collar very quickly. He no longer humps other dogs at the dog park and comes quickly when called even if he is mid play. He is now the most behaved dog at the dog park. My daughter also reports that prior to the training Henry was a bit timid with the other dogs at the park. He is now much more confident and will even approach other dogs trying to engage them in play. Alison and Gudrun gave my daughter the skills she needed to be a good pack leader for Henry. The training has completely changed life for my daughter and Henry. I have been truly appreciative for the level of expertise that Alison and Gudrun possess. Their knowledge changes the lives of the dogs and the humans they work with. I can always rely on them when I need them and look forward to working with them in the future! Lori R. Proud Mom of Oakley and Mia
As a puppy, my black lab Isabelle, was super happy at home but suffered from extreme anxiety anytime we would go anywhere. Just getting her into the car was an ordeal. I thought she would outgrow that, but when she was about 7 months old, I realized the situation was getting worse and not better and I did not know what to do. Someone told me about Alison so I called to enroll Isabelle in Alison's Basic Obedience Class and later her Agility classes. Alison's patient and gentle ways with Isabelle helped alleviate her fears and gave her such wonderful confidence in herself. It was truly life-changing! Now Isabelle is a happy, confident and well adjusted dog who is ready for anything! I will always be grateful to Alison for that! Dr Bonnie R.
We moved to the Bluffton/Hilton Head area in 2014 with three senior dogs (2 Goldens and one Cocker). Because we like to travel, one of our first priorities was to find an incredibly skilled, compassionate caregiver/dogsitter who could handle the many medical needs of these aging dogs. Our Vet, Dr. Bink, immediately recommended Gudrun Kaiser due to her vast experience with dog rescue and dog training, as well as her competence in dealing with dogs with special medical needs. A year later, we decided to rescue an 8 year old Golden Retriever, Maggie. Once again, Gudrun came to our rescue. Since we are both in our 70s, we could never have adopted this wonderful, high energy girl and given her the fun life she deserved without the E-Collar training that Gudrun and Alison Armeo provided. With this training, we are able to take Maggie to the beach and for long walks in the woods without the constraints of a leash knowing that Maggie will consistently come to us when called. Thanks Gudrun and Alison for making it possible for us to adopt (and manage) this beautiful golden girl, and the joy and freedom you have made possible her. We couldn't have done it without you. I am in my seventies and it is important that Maggie is obedient and comes when called when we walk in the woods or play on the beach. I am so grateful for the training we have received from Gudrun Kaiser and Alison Armeo, Leader of the Pack HHI. It has been the single most important thing we could have done to maximize the fun and strengthen the partnership I have with Maggie. I deeply believe that training is the most important gift you can give your dog, whether it is a puppy or an older dog who needs to be "reminded of his/her manners." I know from experience that Leader of the Pack HHI is the best place you can go for that training! Dr. Donna D.
We are delighted to recommend the services of Alison and Gudrun for dog training and boarding. They have been training our two Cavalier King Charles spaniels, Alfie and Nigel, since we adopted them 15 months ago. Our dogs are not "ready learners" and it is amazing to see what they have accomplished with them. Their techniques emphasize positive reinforcement and our dogs love them. We have had private as well as class lessons and both have been effective. The private lessons have the advantage of being geared to our specific dogs. The class lessons enable the dogs to socialize and learn with other dogs. The Trainers posses a variety of training techniques. Thus, they are versatile, patient and disciplined. We wish the same could be said for the dogs' owners. The dogs' affection for them has enabled us to board them with Alison and Gudrun without guilt. It is almost as if they are the dogs "Nanny". Moreover, they are willing to stay at our residence or take them to their home. We have done both and both have been successful. Alison and Gudrun have enhanced our experience with the dogs. We and the dogs have both profited from our relationship. Beverly and Robert
We have been using Alison Armao and Gudrun Kaiser and their Leader of the Pack for over a year. We have a 5 year old Golden Retriever rescue named Rudy. Leader of the Pack has provided training and boarding services on many occasions. We were introduced to Alison and Gudrun through Rudy's vet, Dr. Dorian Colorado. Being a rescue, Dr. Colorado felt that Rudy would benefit from some voice command training - she was absolutely correct and we could not be happier for the referral and outcome. More importantly, Rudy loves spending time and doing all of his training and boarding with them. When we are traveling, we get texts, pictures, and even videos featuring Rudy. The atmosphere is welcoming, and we feel very comfortable with the environment provided. We highly recommend Alison, Gudrun, and Leader of the Pack to all dog lovers. Jane and Steve
To Leader of the Pack: Alison and Gudrun, thanks so much for "leading" Missy to a more manageable life! The obedience training she received was excellent! Thanks, too, for her board and training visit when I was out of town. Also, it was helpful to have a home visit in the early weeks of her training so you all could see Missy in her own environment and help me make a practice plan. If I get another dog, I'll be knocking at your door! As missy outgrows her puppy ways, we'll be back for more training! Thanks again for developing an excellent program for our "fur babies"! Ann C.
Miracles truly began to happen when our little Maltese, Oliver, was entrusted to the insightful training skills of Alison Armao and Gudrun Kaiser. They were able to transform him into a beautifully behaved companion who delights in pleasing us. Miracles do happen!
With our deepest appreciation to Alison and Gudrun, Tina + Herb
Hi Alison & Gudrun, Hope this finds you doing well. I can't tell you how excited I am to see that you and Gudrun have teamed up! I have such admiration for you both. Your email came at a great time, as I was looking into having a professional trainer come to the shelter for some training with a few key people on temperament testing. Would you and/or Gudrun be interested in doing this for us? Just let me know - our folks immediately saw a big difference in the adoptability of our dogs after your visit a few years ago - we have waited far too long to take the next step :) Either way, all the best to you and Gudrun and your efforts to make people better for their dogs! Laura
Dear Alison and Gudrun, Thank you so much for being our Therapy Dog International chapters guest speakers at our chapter meeting on Saturday! I have received so much positive feedback from your discussion, and I wanted you both to know how much we all appreciate your time and effort in educating us about all that you do. I actually had one of our chapter members call me today to thank me for having you both as our speakers! Your talk was not only interesting and informative, but also very inspirational. Thank you for all you do for our dogs, our community and for our chapter. Karen Shea & Chapter # 235 Members
Dear Alison and Gudrun, thank you so much for your generosity in allowing us to participate in your wonderful training classes. Your knowledge and expertise has certainly had an impact on Lana and our family and most certainly will have an impact on the lives of her "forever family". Thank you so much for helping us on this amazing journey! Best Wishes, The Rosenes, Amy, Bob, Will, Jack, Nate, and Lana.
Just a note to thank you for the excellent work with Dixie. She is a sweet dog but was lacking in some of the social skills. In just one session you showed me and Dixie how to work together. She is now answering commands and working off leash with less worry on my part that she will run off. We still have ways to go but she has shown such a difference since your session. Dana and I can't thank you enough for your help. It is a pleasure to take Dixie in public and know that there will not be a tug of war or bad manners. I strongly endorse your training technique for its thoroughness and ease of application.
Mike and Dana C.
Gudrun, Do not know if you heard Sophie is now a Therapy dog working twice a week in a memory care unit. It was wonderful that you worked with her when I was suffering back problems and could hardly walk. THANK YOU !!!
Why didn't I listen to you sooner about the Gentle Leader Head Collar for Benas?! I ordered one from Amazon and it arrived yesterday, but I used it for the first time today. Beans is like a new dog and actually seems to be relieved and relaxed now that he's not in that constant state of excitement while we're out walking. It's wonderful and Frank is actually much calmer too now that Beans isn't pulling his shenanigans constantly - thanks so much. Jeanne D.
Gudrun is intuitive regarding different people and their personalities, as well as animals; and when she picks up a dog or cat into her arms, one can see how they immediately calm down and nestle against her with trust. They must sense that she knows what she is doing, and that she is in charge and, again, can be trusted. It is a privilege to put Gudrun's name on our "We'd Recommend" List. If I were a bank, I'd give her a loan. If I were a business person, I would take her on as a partner or employee. If I wished to board or work with a pet, Gudrun would be my choice. Willard & Elizabeth P.
I have a Goldendoodle, Charlie, who met Alison one day after I brought him home at the age of 9 weeks. I knew I wanted him to grow into a well mannered, happy dog and hoped to avoid as many bad habits as possible in raising him. A good friend had recommended Alison. She came to my house that day and Charlie's training was underway. Since then Charlie (now 15 months old and 65 lbs) has been to puppy class, which he loved (especially playing with his new found friends), and now his Intermediate Training (more work and less play) is underway. It's a pleasure being able to take Charlie to the beach and let him run off leash knowing he'll come back when I call him. He never chases bikes and always plays well with other dogs he meets. Training Charlie is an on-going process but I could have never gotten this far without Alison's help and direction. I have no reservations in recommending her to anyone in need of a dog trainer. Jan M.
Yesterday was a BIG day for us! Petey passed his certification to become a therapy dog! Now he can go into schools, hospitals, nursing homes and bring some good feelings to others. The one challenge that Petey faces was other dogs. We found a fabulous trainer here, Alison Armao, who worked with us to help to desensitize him and did it work! Elisabeth
Alison Armao & Gudrun Kaiser
Leader of the Pack HHI - Dog Training Team