"I adopted my dog Wilbur in May of 2013. When I first met Wilbur, I was a little nervous in adopting a 2 year old Pit Bull, but as soon as he waddled up to me, my heart melted as I realized he would be the perfect dog for me. Of course I did my research on the breed before adopting, and talked to many Pit Bull owners about the breed so I knew what I was getting into. I learned they are a stubborn breed, so I knew I would at some point have to hire a trainer. What I was not was not expecting was his sad history. Wilbur was an owner surrender as a puppy in Kentucky, and therefore has lived in a concrete kennel his whole life. He was a favorite among the workers and volunteers of the kennel, which I'm assuming saved his life. New P.A.W.sabilites, a no kill shelter in Oshkosh, brought him to Wisconsin in hopes to finally find him a home, and that's where I came in. However, because of his past, he did not act like a "real" dog, and it took him a few months to finally trust us - I don't blame him, he was left before and looked over many times, I would be scared to be left again too. He basically knew three words, sit, gentle, and treat; so I figured we had a lot of work to do. I hired our first trainer from a company, which didn't work out because of scheduling conflicts, and missed appointments by the trainer. I was pretty fed up with trainers at that point but decided to give it another try. I contacted a local vet office about training my dog, and Jake contacted me back within 10 minutes. We set up an appointment time, and honestly, I was super impressed with his knowledge on behaviors and training, and within just a few sessions, I could see a HUGE improvement with Wilbur. I loved that we jumped into training right away to tackle his problems, and I'm happy to report that my 90+ pound Pit Bull played nicely with my sisters 15 pound Teddy Bear dog, for a whole day! I thought I would never see Wilbur interact with other dogs because he and I did not know how to properly greet other dogs, and what to look out for. Jake has made our life so much better by giving us training pointers, dog body language, and what is good play v.s. what to look out for. Looking back I would have not made a different choice in a dog, he is now one of the best mannered dog on the block. With your training help, Wilbur has changed many of the negative views on the Pit Bulls breed, and I can't wait to continue training with you to change more views."
Julie, St. Peters Wisconsin
"We began working with Jake Guell even before we brought our puppy Hazel home. He was with us at The Golden Choice (Judy Essmann) to help pick out the best puppy for our specific lifestyle. After Hazel was home, we chose to work one on one with Jake and with Jake’s attention to us specifically, we felt attended to and that he really knew Hazel and us. For example, when learning how to walk a puppy Jake uses real life situations, like walking outside with all the noise and distractions a puppy may be distracted by. These techniques help create a better experience for both the puppy and you. Jake’s gentle manner with our Hazel is a testimony that dogs need strong boundaries and leadership, verses any other type of discipline. Jake follows each session with written information that he taught during the training. Jake is an excellent trainer for both your dog and you."
Dale, Oshkosh Wisconsin
"My husband and I have two very loving English Springer Spaniels, but we noticed going into our first obedience class our puppy had issues with other dogs. We didn't notice the problem at home because he got along with our other Springer. We had him in numerous puppy/obedience classes but nothing seemed to be working. The only advice we received was to take him to more obedience classes and dog parks to socialize. We were getting frustrated because nobody seemed to want to take the time to help us. I started searching the Internet for a dog behaviorist and found Jake. I emailed him and he responded the same day. He called me and we discussed the issues we were having. We scheduled an appointment for him to come to our home within the week. When he came to our home he brought his dog which we thought was great because then he could see first hand what issues were going on. After our session he emailed us our behavior assessment and what we were supposed to work on. He was more than helpful. After working with our puppy a few weeks we thought he needed more time around other dogs. I contacted Jake and he said he was conducting a class specifically designed for dogs with behavioral issues around other dogs. I asked if I could sign-up for the class and he signed us up right away. During the course of the class we gained the experience with being around other dogs and tips for how to handle our puppy around other other dogs. Our main concern was our puppy getting along with my brothers dog. With Jake's help they got along great. They played like they were best friends. I would recommend Jake to anyone. He took the time to help us when nobody else would. He gave us tips that we use to this day. We know that if we need him he will be there to help us again."
Anne, Plymouth Wisconsin
"Jacob taught us how to address our Australian Shepherd's fear based behavior problems. We saw real improvement following the first lesson, in part because Jacob had the ability to build on what we learned in the past. We were also impressed with the fact that he understood the specific needs of the breed. We both respect Jacob's work, and have been personally recommending him to people we meet who need help with their canine family members. Jacob is the Dog Whisper of Wisconsin."
Linda and Dave, Fond du Lac Wisconsin
"My dog Lucy completed the Day School Program taught by Jake Guell, CPDT at Tails for Life. Lucy's demeanor changed dramatically in just a few weeks time. It has been a positive experience for the both of us during the entire training process. Jake addressed each issue I had with her and also taught me how to deal with those issues on my own. I previously had taken her to obedience classes in the past and I continued to have little success. This program instilled positive behaviors in her and taught me how to communicate with her effectively."
Jane, Fond du Lac Wisconsin
"Around the time we had applied to adopt a dog from the Humane Society a co-worker of mine mentioned Jacob Guell, CPDT (certified professional dog trainer) was working with her dog London on some new behavior issues they were seeing. At that time I decided if we were fortunate to be selected as best fit home for Bella we would contact Jacob if we came across any issues. This was our first time adopting an older dog instead of starting with a puppy and we were both nervous but committed to this little dog with a huge personality. The issues were almost immediate when she bit her papa two days after arriving in her new home. She was an avid barker with the loudest and more than slightly irritating bark we had ever heard. I contacted Jacob within two weeks of bringing Bella into our home. I didn't understand why she barked. Was she scared, protecting, or possibly aggressive, which was my biggest fear. I needed to understand why she barked before I could begin to address her issues. I discussed all of this with Jacob.
Bella's first day of Day School at Tails For Life was amazing. Shortly after Jacob met Bella he said to me "I can tell you something about her". I felt so blessed when I heard his next words. He said "She is not aggressive, she is fearful". Bella he told me was under socialized with her previous family and succumbing to social pressure. Jacob worked with Bella her first day and was able to begin to teach Bella manners. More importantly Jacob was beginning to teach me the skills to manage Bella in specific situations that allowed for her to have positive outcomes, which has allowed us to greatly reduce Bella's barking. In a very short period of time Bella went from barking multiple times a day to going a couple weeks without a single bark. I refer to Jacob as our very own dog whisperer. Because of Jacob's talent I know our next dog will be a rescue. I know if I come across any issues in the future with Bella, I will again be contacting Jacob with the confidence that he will solve our issues. While Bella's story may have started out a little sad, she is now living her happily ever after with us in her forever home."
Vicki and Don, Fond du Lac Wisconsin
"I chose Tails for Life for my puppy’s therapy dog training on high recommendations from my puppy’s breeders and after meeting with Jake. I didn’t know much about therapy dogs at first, but I did know my puppy had an especially sweet, calm and laid back disposition, a natural love for people and a history of therapy dogs in her pedigree. Since my in-laws had recently moved into a senior care facility, I was intrigued with ways to help ease the stresses of moving to a new home and ways I could incorporate a therapy dog’s love into my church family. My puppy already had lots going for her, but I did not quite know how to go about the training and what would be involved.
After research and discussions with Jake, I took my Libby pup to Tails for Life after she completed puppy kindergarten. With Jake’s training and positive reinforcement, the speed in which puppies learn, and lots of socialization, Libby was taught many of the skills she would need when visiting people who needed extra care. My sweet pup began making supervised “in-training” therapy dog visits to nursing homes and care facilities at the early age of 6 months. With Jake’s careful coaching, Libby would be eased into new environments carefully, positively, and without stress. I am happy to say we are now visiting my in-laws and their friends on a regular basis, shut-ins from my church congregation and make occasional visits to local care centers. Libby has also been invited to participate in the West Bend library “Read with Rover” program this year. She makes regular visits and spends time reading with the children at an elementary school and at my church. Due to Jake’s gentle training of Libby (and me), I can confidently take Libby nearly anywhere we are welcomed, including park activities, local humane society fundraising events, parades and school sporting events. I am continually amazed at what this dog can do and can hardly believe she is mine. She is such a blessing. I look forward to officially registering her as a therapy dog once she is old enough to take the test. More importantly however, I look forward to sharing Libby’s love with others… to bring a little comfort to those who are lonely, sad or needing some extra TLC.
Thank you, Jake, for your continued care and support. I know I can always contact you with questions; you never make me feel foolish for concerns I have. This tremendous blessing I have been given in Libby has been shaped by you."
Amy, Cedarburg, Wisconsin
"Jake is an exceptional trainer. He worked on training our dog Winston, along with helping our family learn how to properly train our pet. Jake thoroughly explained Winston's training plan to us, along with showing us how to do it at home. Any concerns, or questions we had along the way, Jake answered immediately. The training we received at Tails For Life allowed Winston to pass his Canine Good Citizen Test at 9 months of age and Therapy Dog Test at 1 year of age. We couldn't have done this training without Jake."
Amanda, Malone, Wisconsin