Tami Gabrielsen and Quincy, Danville, PA
We recently brought a new mini Golden Doodle puppy into our family of seven. With five children and a very busy schedule, we realized we needed to seek some direction in training our exuberant, wiggly puppy to make sure we set her on the right course towards becoming a well-behaved and safe member of our family. HeRo's in-home Puppy Starter Package was just what we needed. The sessions were customized to our needs, and being able to train right in our own home and yard was invaluable. Silke addressed our questions about our puppy's behaviors including jumping on the kids, mouthing, pulling on the leash, and getting along with other dogs. Because our puppy was showing some signs of bullying towards my mother's dog, Silke even did a session at my mom's home to work on those behaviors with both dogs. The "field trip" session at a local store offered the chance for our puppy to practice her new skills in an unfamiliar environment with many distractions. Silke was creative and thoughtful in involving our five kids in the training and in giving us suggestions of how to teach them to work with our puppy. The handouts, websites and resources she provided through the trainings were excellent. Overall, we found Silke to be knowledgeable, professional, thorough, and gracious. We hope to enroll our puppy in a group class at HeRo Canine Consulting sometime soon.
Sue Johnson with Zac, Sunbury, PA
I have always loved the cuddly, furry dogs who like to curl up on your lap and adore you beyond all else, when into my life comes Zac a foster dog who was all muscle, energy and loves chasing squirrels and bunnies way more then me. Still, I knew I wanted to adopt him but even after 3 months wasn't sure I could give him the kind of home he would need to be really happy. Finally I made an appointment for Silke to do a home visit, hoping her assessment would help me make that decision. Within 1 hour she was able to show me how to address every concern I had and recommended I enroll in the Distraction class offered through Hero Canine.
Enter Lisa Godin. The Distractions class was small and tailored to meet the concerns we expressed on a survey form presented on the first night. The class started on time and ended on time, which was important to my personal schedule. I was amazed at the prep work Lisa did for each class. Our dogs had encounters with mops, umbrellas, wheelchairs, canes, whistling beeping radio controlled cars, toddlers, cats, and bicycles. Because it was an issue for several dogs, they even had the opportunity to deal with a prearranged motorcycle riding up and down the street. We were given multiple times to practice the strategies Lisa demonstrated, received handouts and even got follow-up emails. The dogs were given the opportunity to choose acceptable behaviors and we were given strategies to deal with anything less then acceptable. I cannot say enough about the home visit option or the Distractions class.
Betsy Howell and Eddy, Harrisburg, PA
As my introduction to Canine NoseWork, Silke has been marvelous! She is able to combine a wealth of knowledge about dogs, an understanding of canine scenting skills, and a natural ability to teach humans with an approachable, friendly manner to create classes that are both enjoyable (for dogs AND humans) and productive.
Edy and I look forward to every class--I only wish we lived closer than over an hour away!
Betsy Thompson and Sophie, Muncy PA
Hi! My name is Sophie! The lady-who-loves-me-and-feeds-me (you humans call her Betsy) is always looking for things to do and ways to keep me busy. A year ago someone suggested this thing called K9 Nose Work®. We found a place in Bloomsburg called HeRo Canine Consulting run by a very nice lady named Silke! She convinced Betsy to just let me be a dog and use my nose the way it was intended to be used!! How much fun is this!!! I get to sniff out food and odor, and Silke is teaching Betsy how to stay out of my way - until I might need her! It's the BEST!! You should really give it a try. Your dog will thank you and you'll have a great time - Betsy and I sure do!!
Amanda Staskiel with Alyssa and Noelle, Bloomsburg, PA
Silke is an amazing trainer to work with - not only for dogs but for people as well. My dogs are complete opposites in many ways and she tailors her training to each of their needs. Her patience and persistence has helped me to connect with my dogs in a totally new way and I always feel like I am a part of their training. She encourages student feedback, questions and suggestions. I know the success (and fun!) I have had with my dogs is largely due to her and I highly recommend her to anyone I know with a dog!
Darrin Kass and Shiloh Erdley, Danville, PA
We have taken both of our dogs to Hero Canine Consulting with fantastic results. The training classes are fantastic, and our German Shepherd puppy Mobie has become an absolutely wonderful dog with the techniques we learned. Our other Shepherd, Marzo, had a great deal of anxiety, and the nose work classes really made a difference in his focus, confidence, and happiness. It really made a difference in the quality of his life.
Anna Simpson and Artemis
Artemis and I have taken several courses now through HeRo Canine Consulting. The staff is helpful and professional, with a focus on positive training methods that work for both dog and owner. Classes are flexible, and each attendee gets personal attention tailored to their needs. I really appreciate their willingness to work with dogs from every background and with various strengths and weaknesses. The atmosphere is always upbeat and fun, and every class has strengthened the bond and understanding between me and my dog. We are greatly looking forward to taking more classes!
Jenn Shaffer with Max and Murphy
Murphy and I have been working with Silke for about two years now and it's been a great bonding experience between all of us! I trust Silke completely and have every confidence that she will be totally upfront with us as to our skills...there are no holds barred here, which is what I want. After all, the only way to learn how to do it right is to hear it honestly - and it's not only honest, it's loving too. Silke loves the dogs and handlers and genuinely wants her pairs to do their best, but she never pushes beyond where the skill level is. She is all about the training and not about the reward. The fun is in the training! The more practice and the more that confidence is gained, the better each team will perform and the more comfortable we will be. I don't know if Murphy and I will get to a trial, but I do know that if we do get there, it's because we are ready and because Silke has deemed it so! Next is Max's turn!!
Brian Marino and Glover, Stillwater, PA
Silke is more than a dog trainer, she is also a teacher for the human side of the equation. She is always learning more to pass on to her students. Every Nosework class with her is fun yet challenging. The bond I have with Glover would not be as close if it were not for Silke and Nosework.
Michele Stone and Gordon, Williamsport, PA
My dog, Gordon, a three year old German Shepherd, and I enjoy nose work for many reasons. One of the primary motivations for me to initially sign us up for nose work classes was because the dogs work independently. Gordon has animal aggression issues making it impossible for him to take other, more common, canine classes such as group obedience classes.
For me personally, the nose work classes have provided an opportunity for Gordon and I to build a stronger bond with each other and communicate better (for example, as a result of the nose work classes I have become much better at identifying my dog's non-verbal signals). The nose work classes also provide my dog an opportunity for mental exercise (finding the odor is like solving a puzzle and the dogs are tired after class). One aspect of nose work that is really special is that it is something that dogs of all ages can participate in. Since it is likely that Gordon will have hip problems in the future (x-rays of his hips have determined this likelihood, but also his breed is prone to hip problems), I know that there will come a time when physical exercise for Gordon (ball chasing) will no longer be possible. However, I take comfort in knowing that Gordon and I will be able to play this "hide-and-seek" game well into his old age. For all these reasons, I strongly recommend to other dog owners consider enrolling in nose work classes.
Warren and Sherry Walker with Rainy,
New Columbia, PA
We adopted Rainy when she was two years old. She was very insecure and timid, she also did not like to be around men. With Silke's help and K-9 Nose Work® Rainy has gained confidence and really enjoys going to different places to do nose work. Being around strangers is no longer an issue for her. Silke has also helped us with Rainy's son Brahms attitude problem. There is no question that Silke really cares about the dogs she is working with.
Donna Casselberry and Skylar, Williamsport, PA
I started K9 Nose Work® with my Field Spaniel in July 2011 when he was ten years old. We are still taking classes because we enjoy them so much. In addition I have two more of my dogs started in nose work classes at the Williamsport location. Silke is very enthusiastic about the sport and is an excellent teacher. She is very organized and continues to have interesting classes in an amazing variety of places to expose the dogs to challenges that might come up in a nose work trial. We also enjoy the mock trials and ORTs that Silke has sponsored. I would recommend K9 Nose Work® and Silke to anyone who wants to have fun with his/her dog.
Deb Steward and Theo, Williamsport, PA
Theo is my 4 year old German Shepherd Dog. He has fear issues with strangers and loud noises. K9 Nosework has helped him be a better all around dog. He gets excited when we head to class and goes right to work, even with the distraction of strangers in the room. Through K9 Nosework classes, Theo has become a more confident, less fearful boy.
Laurie Edson and Harley, Benton, PA
I've been taking my German Shepherd, Harley, to K-9 nose sniffing classes for about a year now and he absolutely loves it As soon as I put his harness he knows it's time to go to "work" and he gets so excited! Harley is a very lively, adolescent who needs to be kept busy. "Sniffing" for Harley is a lot of work but it's a ton of fun too. I have 2 other dogs so the K-9 nose classes give Harley and I some "one on one' time and usually gets me over being angry with him for eating my Pepperidge Farm cookies! It's really gratifying to watch your dog work so hard and feel the sense of accomplishment when he "finds" the "hide". It's emotionally tiring for the dogs as well so even my Mr. Harley usually sleeps all the way home. Silke is absolutely wonderful. The K-9 course has become such a passion for her that you can't help but get caught up in the excitement. Her positive reinforcement, for dogs and their humans, makes the classes comfortable for all levels of dog owners.
Suzie Dupont and Sandler, Benton, PA
I have known Silke for about five years and have worked with her in a variety of dog training situations from assisting with another trainer's obedience classes, to helping Silke with her classes for training dog rescue volunteers, and participating in her classes with several of my service dog foster puppies (I foster puppies for Susquehanna Service Dogs).
I think Silke's greatest strength is her ability to focus in very quickly on a dog's behavioral issues and come up with an effective solution. She has helped me innumerable times with my foster puppies to work through issues they are having and that I was having trouble resolving. A great example is a foster puppy I evaluated for a week because she was barking and biting her foster family. With Silke's input I was able to identify and reverse the triggers for the barking and biting and, just when I needed it most, Silke sent me a wonderful short video that summarized how to manage a high drive puppy like this one. This gave me a very clear set of guidelines for the dog's foster family who successfully implemented them. The dog is now in advanced training and matched with a client – a very different outcome than dropping her from the program which was being considered.
I appreciate Silke's constant research and self-development that makes her a great resource for new dog activities and problem solving. I am so glad she moved to our area.
Lynne Smith and Celt, Glen Lyon, PA
Celt was born and raised on a farm in Susquehanna County. Celt comes from a long time of working border collies. Unfortunately, Celt's mother died shortly after his birth. He and his sister were hand raised with love and care. Because of the special attention Celt received as a puppy, he became very people oriented. Herding sheep was just not something he wanted to do. He tried some other border collie jobs, but Celt just did not find his niche. Knowing that Celt would be better suited as a companion dog, Celt's owner decided to let him go to my family. Raised on a farm and living the life of a working dog, Celt had little exposure to life as a family dog. Things like the refrigerator, the sound of aluminum foil, and a telephone ringing were very frightening for Celt. Knowing that Celt needed a job to do, I enrolled in Pet Manners classes. It was a good experience, but not quite the perfect fit. Luckily, one day I read a story about a growing dog sport, K9 Nose Work, which was described as a sport for any dog- even those fearful or nervous. I was thrilled to find Silke, a certified Nose Work instructor. After our first class, we were hooked. A little over one year since we started classes, Celt competed in his first trial and earned the NW1 title. K9 Nose Work has given Celt the confidence he needed to get out, explore, and experience the world. Through Nose Work, Celt and I have built a deeper relationship which has given both of us more self-assurance. With Silke's help, Celt found the job and the life he was looking for. We are grateful to Silke for sharing her enthusiasm for the sport of Nose Work with us.
MJ and John Mahon: Bloomsburg, PA
We bought our pup, Porter, and we knew right away we needed help to raise our fur baby the right way. I called Silke and enrolled him in puppy class through HeRo Canine Consulting. We are so grateful to take taken part in her class! Silke trained us, not him! We learned how to motivate him, understand and guide him into the family member he is today. Her expertise helped us teach him not tricks, but cues that have helped us to teach him what he can pick up, what he can't and how to be a gentleman. Even after the class sessions, Silke has been available for advice when needed. We could not have raised him without HeRo Canine Consulting's help!
Kathy Zelazny with Dachshunds Calvin and Murray, Danville, PA
I take classes in the new canine sport Nosework, and I highly recommend it! My dogs build confidence and burn energy while using their natural instinct to search for scent. Silke is an excellent teacher who uses positive methods,knowledge, and encouragement to make every class fun and a great learning experience. She is the only Certified Nosework Instructor in the area and travels all over the country to attend workshops. Whether you want to compete or not Nosework is fun!
Whitney Quiggle - SPCA staff member,
I got the opportunity to work with Silke when she came to the Lycoming County SPCA to donate her time and held a K9 Nose Work class for staff and volunteers to participate in with the shelter dogs every Wednesday for several weeks. We all chose a shelter dog, several who had been at the SPCA for awhile and worked through the class up until they were adopted. Silke made the class a lot of fun, and a great learning experience for everyone (including the dogs & a potbelly pig! J) Silke also helped us create fun videos of the dogs participating to post online as well as printed up a certificate for the dogs to hang on their kennels in order to help make them appear more adoptable! She worked with each us one on one and gave us an opportunity to learn a new way to help stimulate the dogs minds during their stay at the shelter!
Derek Harhigh and Ashlea Shannon with Brynn, Harrisburg, PA
K9 Nosework and Silke have turned our couch potato into a star. We never thought we would find something that Brynn would enjoy so much! We love watching Silke challenge her every week and help to develop her searching abilities.
David & Gina Rutkowski, Bloomsburg, PA
Irene came to us via the local SPCA. She was one of 8 brothers and sisters who were brought to the shelter after the breeder couldn't sell the remaining litter. Irene was 4 months old and probably spent most of her life in a crate. If a dog could be afraid of her own shadow it would have been Irene. She cowered when anyone approached her be it animal or human and retreated to her crate whenever possible. Although we've had dogs most of our lives Irene presented a challenge we were not able to handle on our own.
We first went to a trainer for one-on-one sessions but because of the distance and Irene's propensity for car sickness that became difficult. So equipped with training strategies and information about a class called K9 Nose Work® we ended our one-on-one sessions.
We had to actually carry her into the first K9 Nose Work® class because she was so intimidated, but the rest is history...... Irene met Silke and the love affair began! She enjoyed the challenge of "sniffing out" her treats even entering an area with close proximity to people didn't seem to phase her as it did in the past. She was much too interested a the task at hand. Each session demonstrated to us the confidence Irene was building. Towards the end of our first set of classes Silke along with Irene's very generous classmates would meet to get to know each other just for a little play time.
Irene has completed 3 sets of classes and is looking forward to attending more. She also attended AKC S.T.A.R Puppy classes where she continued to learn basic obedience with Silke.
Today you'd be hard pressed to know that there was a problem with Irene thanks to the training and guidance from Silke.
Ron Haas and Sue Schiemer, Bloomsburg, PA
Silke Wittig is a superb teacher of dogs and their humans. She applies the science-based principles of teaching and learning in her classes. Class activities are tailored to the individual dog and handler team to ensure maximum success. You will come away with knowledge, skills and handouts to help you develop a positive relationship with your dog.
We began working with Silke in 2009. Since that time we have enjoyed the following classes offered through HeRo Canine Consulting: Getting There, Young and Restless, Mature or What, 101 Tricks, Doga and K-9 Nosework. Both Brooke (4 years old) and Daisy (13 years young) are excited to participate in the K-9 Nosework classes.
You and your dog will benefit from Silke's classes!
Hope to meet you and your dog in a class sometime,
Ron Haas and Sue Schiemer