Magalie Lafreniere & Jedi
"I feel incredibly fortunate to have come across Ivy League Dogs during some late night scrolling.
When you become a dog guardian for the first time, you come home excitedly with a new furry friend and become quickly overwhelmed with how to raise this now furry shark who is scared of his water dish.
Jedi and I started our journey with Sabrina and Maja in puppy class. The instruction set us on a path to success, and gave us the right set of tools to navigate the ups and downs of puppyhood.
What I couldn’t have imagined while scrolling on my phone, is that Ivy League Dogs would become part of our family.
We continued to work with Sabrina on separation anxiety. While we’re still working towards our ultimate alone-time goal, I couldn’t have survived the last year without her instrumental guidance. I can’t thank her enough.
We also took teen class with Maja, which was the perfect follow-up from puppy class. Maja has become Auntie Maja to Jedi, and her help and tips have kept this guardian calm and ready to face whatever garbage (sometimes literally) comes our way.
Finally, we also met another member of the Ivy League Dogs team while taking Rally-O level 1 with Audrée. She made the experience and sport so much fun, and we can’t wait to take the next level!
Overall, Ivy League Dogs’ training philosophy aligned with my own —judgement-free, science-based methods that consider the individual needs of the dog through positive reinforcement. What I didn’t expect is that each trainer would love Jedi as if he was their own dog.
Both Jedi and I look forward to continuing our journey alongside this wonderful team."
Lilia Collar & Valerian
"Trust and care are what define Ivy League Dogs. They are clear as to what to expect and follow through to delivery. The trainers show genuine love for their task and you can feel it is a fun time for them. Their passion and knowledge is also backed by their studies and how well prepared everything is to meet the needs of the dogs.
We have been with them for puppy school, teen school and then some grooming training for our poodle. Maya, was our main trainer throughout and from day one she realized the particular way in which to relate to our puppy. She certainly has known how to get him out of his shell and into happy well behaved territory. The first day he was so scared he would not leave our side to play with the others. Maya found ways to get him gradually more and more at ease. Thanks to her dedication he grew out of being a scared pup into the fully open playful teen he now is.
Maya has helped our dog with obedience, fears and in getting him acquainted with grooming. plus modifying undesirable behaviours towards our very senior cat. All of this while keeping it fun and counting on our doggie to be voluntarily participating in his training."
Allison Gauthier & Ruby
"Did the level 1 Rally-O class with our dog Ruby and we loved it! Ruby had a great time and was so tired after each class! A really great indoor activity for wintertime (or anytime)! I was a bit worried about it being in a group setting because she doesn’t always love being in close quarters with new dogs but it was really well organized and the dogs never interacted with each other during the class. Andrée is a fantastic instructor and takes the time to guide each dog and help with their individual needs! Can’t wait for level 2!"
Cathy M & June
"June and I registered for the Reactivity Class with Nina and Maya. We loved it!
In each class, we were introduced to new training concepts, how to read our dog's signals, practice drills and homework activities. Coupled with building exposure to other dogs in a safe and controlled environment, we came away with a complete set of tools to continue to practice and build on for helping our dogs navigate stressful situations.
Nina had a way of tailoring the content to make sure it addressed all the levels of spicy in the class. June loved it and was definitely the noisiest (and nosiest) 🐶❤️"
Sarah Chatton & Harley
"Whatever I write I couldn’t even begin to convey what an amazing trainer Sabrina is, the outstanding job she has done helping my dog with all of his behavioural issues and how much she has completely transformed both our lives.
Due to his background he wasn’t comfortable with strangers, with anyone coming into my home or with people getting close to me. He used to bark incessantly at visitors and follow them around the home which was intimidating for a lot of people as he’s a big dog. In the end I stopped asking people to come over as it was just too difficult.
The biggest issue by far though was going to the vets. He was so afraid of them he wouldn’t let them come near him. It was so bad that in the end the vets insisted that he was heavily sedated before arrival and even then it was a fight to do even a standard check up let alone give him a vaccination. It was extremely traumatic time for both him and for me.
Sabrina had worked with my friend and her dog previously and she said she was probably the only one who could help us. She was right. Starting his training with her was a game changer. In a short time she had worked through a lot of his issues however a few weeks later the virus came and we had no choice but to stop the in-house training. We had just started his vet training and Sabrina sent me lots of notes so I could carry on getting him used to various new things - mimicking what the vet would do so he would become more and more comfortable with it each time.
Two weeks ago she was able to come back to my home and we continued with his vets training. This week she took us to see a lovely new vet and two days ago he had his first actual vaccine! He had it with no heavy sedation drugs, no forcing him and absolutely no trauma at all. In fact he was wagging his tail the whole way through it! He was now so comfortable with Sabrina and trusted her and the new vet so it was a positive experience for him for the first time ever.
If I hadn’t been there and watched it with my own eyes I wouldn’t have believed it. It was a very emotional moment for me after years of horrible experiences at the vets. I am just so thankful for Sabrina and for everything she has done to help us.
If you are thinking about working with a dog trainer Sabrina is the best there is. I have worked with many trainers but none of them were able to do what she has done. I guarantee that you and your dog will love working with her and whatever the issues are she will overcome them. You will be so happy and grateful that you found her - she’s amazing!"
"I highly recommend Ivy League, and especially Maya -- my almost
4-month old American Bulldog pup, Rosie, and I worked with her both privately and as part of the puppy socialization classes she led. She was incredibly professional, knowledgeable, and warm. With her help, Rosie is getting better and better at playing well with other pups, can sit, stay, drop it, leave it, house (crate), and touch (recall), has very few potty accidents in the house and none in her crate, sleeps almost all the way through the night, nips and jumps substantially less, and I no longer cry on my kitchen floor out of sheer exhaustion and defeat. So incredibly helpful, so worth the investment."
Samantha Lara & Pascal
"My dog and I completed both levels of Rally-O with Audrée and we had a blast! It was such a lovely way to bond with my dog and for him to try out a new activity. He loved it!
He would pull me into class every week and didn’t want to leave when class was over. Audrée is kind, patient, and reassuring. She excels at helping to troubleshoot problem areas by breaking them down to the tiniest level to identify where disconnect happens. She works with you to address that specific point and build from there. We’ve tried other dog sports and this is one that my dog most enjoyed because Audrée made the class so fun and welcoming. I loved seeing dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds in class! We also leaned on Audrée for some in-home support for both of our dogs, particularly our puppy. We cannot thank her enough for her coaching and kindness!"
"If you have a reactive dog, you have to take the reactive dog group class!
Nina and Maya are so knowledgeable, plus they have reactive dogs as well, so they know where we are coming from. My boyfriend and I have a very excitable teen dog who loves life more than I ever seen it be possible. His level of excitement is very high!
I was worried of doing a group class, especially with 3 other reactive dogs, but my worries were gone after the first class. Nina and Maya made it clear at the beginning that we are in a safe space and that everyone is experiencing the same thing so we are in this together.
They make the class fun with a lot of jokes so the atmosphere is not tense, because if you have a reactive dog like us, you know how stressful it can be at times.
That being said, you will have a lot of work to do and it won’t be easy! BUT, our dog Tigger made major improvement throughout the classes and we will be forever thankful for all the tips and advices we carry with us now, which make life way less stressful now.
It really gave us a new perspective of what is going on with him and how to take care of him so he doesn’t get triggered by life! Thank you soooooo much again!!"
Amanda Barrios & Link
"Sabrina did both obedience and separation anxiety training for my dog. Throughout both processes, she made the training approachable, manageable, and fun. My dog adored the training sessions (and the hot dogs..)! She also provided me with all the tools and support that I needed to be able to work through my dog's separation anxiety. While my dog has a more extreme case, we've still been making huge progress over the past few months and that ultimately comes down to the training that I received with Sabrina. Thanks for everything, Sabrina!"
"Maya is the most amazing trainer we have met. After having tried two other services in the Montreal area, and having felt hopeless, judged and lost… Maya brought some light into our lives by introducing us to the world of dog language and behaviour.
She showed us that our puppy was smart and highly trainable. We followed several private classes with her, she was always prepared and answered all of our questions.
She never judged our puppy who is mixed race and she believed in its capabilities since the beginning. Our puppy has passed an evaluation to become a Certified Service Dog and is now training for that.
We will continue our training with Ivy League Dogs since it brings balance to our puppy’s life. Overall we are grateful and we feel educated and ready to face new adventures in the company of our furry companion."
Heidi Vaillancourt & Maple
"My dog Maple and I simply LOVE Ivy League Dogs and the humans behind it! We’ve tried just about every service they offer, including basic training, day training, group classes and their personalized separation anxiety training program. Through all of the services we’ve tried we got to meet all of their trainers, and my nervous dog approves of every single one!!! I can’t thank the team at Ivy enough for all their dedication and hard work, they’ve helped us find ways to navigate everyday life challenges with a nervous rescue. Heidi + Maple :) <3
"We are so thankful for Ivy league! The progress after each class was substantial. We started private classes with Audrée to work on his leash reactivity which was so helpful. She was so kind and caring with her approach and the little tips and advice made a world of a difference to my 11 month old Mini American Shepherd.
We then joined the group reactivity class with Nina & Maya which were so informative and fun. They were so understanding (even with the loudest barking dog in the class!) and they never stopped their encouragement to help us through each of our dogs.
We couldn’t be more grateful and could not have done it without the help from Ivy Leagues. I am still in awe and how in such a short time there has been tremendous results! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts"
Marc Elfassy & Cosmo
"Fantastic experience, both with Maya for basic puppy training, and later with Sabrina for separation anxiety training. In both circumstances our Cosmo and most importantly my wife and I came out with the tools to succeed as far as raising a well-adjusted and happy pup. They both would take the time to answer all our questions outside of training sessions, be it by email, text, or phone call.
Focusing entirely on an R+ method, you won't have to worry about "being the alpha" with your dog in order to obtain great results.
For separation anxiety in particular, Cosmo went from barking and losing his mind as of 5 minutes alone, to sleeping for roughly 2 hours, in the span of a month. Thank you for everything Maya and Sabrina!"
"I highly recommend working with Ivy League, Sabrina’s gentle & engaging nature made our dog, Izzy’s lessons so enjoyable! He was just so happy to work with her.
The trainers at Ivy League have tremendous knowledge and experience, which is apparent from the first encounter. Sabrina taught Izzy so much more than just basic commands, she explained everything to us, step by step.
Thank you to a Ivy League for providing us the necessary tools required for being more ‘in-tune’ & responsible dog owners."
Paula Motta & Laro
"Training and enrichment for a senior dog
I highly recommend Maya and the Ivy League Dogs to everyone with a dog, no matter how old and no matter the situation.
Contacting the Ivy League’s team and getting Maya’s help was absolutely the best decision and investment I could have made. Laro was going through cancer treatment and that was really affecting our routines and our mental health. I needed help as Laro was feeling sad, not understanding what was going on with him and his body, he wasn’t up for walks anymore, feeding him became harder than ever and our relationship started to get very difficult.
From the first visit, Maya has brightened our lives! She showed me little tricks to get Laro motivated again, while she encouraged me and helped remove the guilt from several things, including less natural treats, which were really required to motivate Laro at that point. Her passion for dogs and for her work are amazing to see and quite contagious; Maya is extremely loving and patient, the pet’s wellbeing is her biggest focus and her technique can really work miracles.
Not only every visit felt like a party day, with Laro so happy and excited, but also Maya taught me a lot of tricks and enrichment activities to keep him happy and entertained, and to find joy and light in our lives every day. We’ve been adjusting the activities to Laro’s energy level and condition, and I could not be more satisfied with all the support, care and attention that Laro and I have gotten from Maya and the Ivy League’s team for the last 5 months we’ve been working together.
Thank you, guys, from the bottom of our hearts!!!"
"Easily the best money I have ever spent. Maya, the trainer teaching the class, is very knowledgeable and patient. I have a very difficult dog and at times walked into class feeling defeated only to leave with a smile on my face and a feeling of true progress being made. There is weekly homework given for you to practice at home as constant training is required throughout the dogs life. Once the courses are complete, it is encouraged to reach out if you have any questions, concerns or just need to vent. Having a puppy is hard. If i have one take away, even if my dog learned nothing (she learned a lot) it's a great opportunity to socialize your puppy. You only get one shot at that. You might even make a few friends and have some puppy dates. I'll end this by saying, if you have a puppy, this training school will take care of you."
Natalie Lambert & Vlady
"Can I give ten stars? It's hard to put into words how much Sabrina has changed the lives of my dog (Vlady) and myself, and as a result, probably many other dogs as well.
Sabrina is that magical trainer that is amazing with dogs and humans alike. She is incredibly patient, non-judgemental, cool-headed, and provides not only the dogs but the humans with the clear and easy-to-understand training guidance that achieves results.
Sabrina has been with us since day 1 when I got Vlady. He came with a whole bag of anxiety-related issues and zero obedience training. With Sabrina, we worked on recall, barking/charging at the door/visitors/noises, excessive barking at the dog park, leash walking, leash reactivity, resource guarding, desensitization to wearing a head harness,...etc etc etc.
Most recently, and most impressively, Sabrina worked with Vlady to help him be more comfortable with vet procedures. Just to give you an idea of how bad it was, when I first brought Vlady for a check up, the vet flat-out asked me why the shelter had allowed him to be adopted. Sabrina worked with the vet and the technicians to slowly desensitize Vlady to the clinic, then the staff, then the handling. 2 weeks ago we were able to take his first blood draw - and it was no big deal! It was like any other day and Vlady was stoked because in his mind, he got to hang out with his favourite people and eat ham. The vet was astounded at the transformation "it's like night and day."
Not only did this drastically improve my and Vlady's quality of life, it will also improve those of others too, because the vet and the technicians learned skills that sadly had not been provided as part of the veterinary training.
Working with Sabrina was, and continues to be, one hundred gazillion percent worth the money. Book her now!!"
"We have had the greatest experience with Ivy League Dogs. We started working with them when our little Léon was just a few months old in their puppy class and haven't stopped since, with teen class, day training and soon recall class! They are super resourceful and very dedicated. Not only have they helped with basic obedience/life skills, they have also helped us with modifying undesirable behaviours, all in a fun & force-free way! They have made the first year of Léon's life so stimulating for him and so much easier for us :-)"
Niamh Fitzpatrick & Thor
"I honestly can’t recommend Sabrina enough and only wish I could take her back to London with me to continue Thors training. Thor in general is a lovely dog, and was so lovely and non aggressive on leash until the last 6 to 8 months or so, when, due to unfortunate incidents where he was attacked, on separate occasions by 3 different dogs (luckily and thankfully, none caused any physical harm), he become reactive and aggressive on leash. It got to the point where I dreaded coming across other dogs while on leash with him as I didn’t know how he was going to react.
After the first couple of sessions with Sabrina his on leash behaviour improved immensely and I was more confident taking him out as Sabrina gave me valuable tricks, tips and exercises to enable us to have stress free walks.
Sabrina also worked with me on Thors recall and he is much better at coming back to me when I call him. He wasn’t great before and only came back to me when it suited him, after the training sessions with Sabrina, it’s every time I call him now
Sabrina made the training sessions fun and enjoyable while all the time I learned a lot from her as did Thor. She has a gentle caring, kind personality, which you can clearly see from the way she interacted with both me and my dog."