There is simply no one better, more knowlegable or fun to work with in his field.
Brian has trained 4 of our dogs (and us as owners) over the past 20+ years. There is simply no one better, more knowlegable or fun to work with in his field. He’s also hosted several fund raising events where is humour and personality and story telling skills shine … as they do on his dvd’s and tv shows! Have recommended Brian and his work dozens of times to friends and associates who continue to thank us … just the best1
Everyone comments on how well-behaved and adorable Leo is.
“Reddy” a chihuahua mix, adopted from the County shelter was so reactive towards other dogs it was impossible to walk him without him screaming and lunging towards all dogs we passed. We had resorted to hiding in bushes when we saw another dog or not walking him at all. In very short order you succeeded in teaching us how to walk him past other dogs while keeping his attention focused on us, not other dogs. We are now well on our way to enjoying taking a walk with him and he has gained a great deal of confidence.
18 years ago, after reading your book “Good Owners, Great Dogs” we contacted you for advice about our rescue dog “Shep” who had severe separation anxiety. The excellent advice you gave us saved his life. Had we given him up he surely would have been put to sleep. He became a wonderful dog and lived 17 years.
Your dedication, knowledge, skill and compassion are unsurpassed in the field of dog/human training. And, we will not forget your words, ” Have fun with your dog”.
Reddy, Gail and Bob
If your dog is in need of some manners, a personality make over or any other issue, Brian Kilcommons is the man for the job!
As my husband has said many times, he’s the real deal. I’ve had dogs my entire life and each pet comes with different issues. I initially became familiar with Brian’s work through my veterinarian in 1996. I had a Brittany who was very high strung. Brian’s training books were very helpful to me. Years later, I now have 3 dogs but my Belgian Malinois was very insecure. Many of my friends had used Brian to help them with the issues of first time dog owners, but my issue was much more complex. First of all, Brian is very quick to respond and returned my call quickly. He had me fill out a questionnaire and our work began. Brian first formed a bond with my dog. He wanted to establish a trusting relationship with him before moving to the next step. All family members were involved with the training which took place at our home and the surrounding areas where we took the dog. He wanted to make sure we were all on board and understood the game plan collectively. Since my dog was not confident, Brian decided it was best not to take him from his comfort zone with his family and continued with all the training at our home. Because of Brian’s expertise, my dog is now calm and secure and living happily and peacefully with our other dogs and family members under one roof. I can say without hesitation that Brian can deal with any and all situations that come his way. Brian is patient, extremely knowledgeable and professional in every way. He is wonderful to work with and truly makes sure that you have an understanding of what the dog needs from you. We all looked forward to our sessions with Brian because he makes training so rewarding and fun that you want to go out and get another puppy immediately. Brian is the real deal and I consider him our friend as well.
Brooke & Peter Cohen
Craig, Mary-Frances and Joay
After 6 months of attempting to housebreak Joay, our adorable female mini labradoodle, we entrusted her training to Brian and Toni. As a typical puppy, Joay also had a mind of her own and needed to learn to respond to basic commands, as well as to find her place in our Manhattan apartment which included an ornery, 15 year old tabby cat. Joay spent a month with Brian and Toni who not only perfected her “daily business” habits, but trained her to listen and respond to everyday commands. They also worked on her self-confidence and canine skills to help her to live and thrive in the noisy and challenging Manhattan environment. Brian and Toni provided a loving home setting for Joay, where she had the opportunity to spend time outdoors and with other dogs in training situations.
My German Shepherd, Shadow, and I are living the good life and it’s all thanks to Brian Kilcommons!
When I started working with Brian, Shadow was 9 months old and well on his way to maturing into a large dog. Since I am just 4’10?, I knew I needed help training him. I had taken some private lessons from one trainer and this was such a disaster that I decided to try training him on my own. After all Shadow wasn’t our first German Shepherd, so I figured I’d be fine. But Shadow is like no other dog that we’ve owned, and I soon knew that I needed help.
At our first meeting with Brian, I couldn’t even walk Shadow down his driveway in a mannerly fashion. Shadow was all over the place with me trailing along trying to get him to listen to no avail. After watching us, Brian asked what my expectations and goals were for my dog. He gave me his professional, matter of fact, opinion which is something that I’ve been grateful for ever since.
You don’t know me at all, but my dog owes you her life (twice) and I wanted to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for writing Good Owners, Great Dogs. A little over four years ago, my fear aggressive black lab, Sam, became dangerous. Truly dangerous. She bit my husband, she bit me, and she had attacked our younger dog. We had a toddler and we were frantic. I had actually read your book several years before and it had helped me figure out how to manage her fear aggression and even that was such a huge blessing. She had seen a behaviorist at the time her vet determined she was fear aggressive and the behaviorist felt the best solution was to put her to sleep. I disagreed and that’s where your book came in the first time, so it had already saved her once.
This time, I thought maybe the behaviorist had been right and Sam was at the end. We had to barricade her in our room to keep her away from our son, she had no joy no anything, and was snapping, growling, and all the things that are the stuff of nightmares. BUT, I remembered reading in your book about the suddenly aggressive dog who was put to sleep and then they discovered severe ear infections after the fact.
We unequivocally recommend Brian as a dog trainer. He has trained all three of our golden retrievers. This year when we called Brian, we were in a fairly desperate situation. I was becoming ill, unsteady on my feet. Gracie, our beautiful baby, was sweet, but rambunctious, headstrong and nipping at my legs and feet. She put me at risk of falling. It wasn’t safe for me to have her home. Brian immediately made availability for us so he could assess the situation. He told us she was absolutely trainable, but she should be trained as soon as possible. Although we were reluctant to leave so young a puppy with Brian, we decided it was necessary. She was with Brian for a little over a month. During that time, I started using a cane. After we told Brian, he started to train Gracie so that she would walk at my glacial pace when I had her on the lead. Amazing for a three-month old puppy. When we brought her home, she was a doll – well-behaved, respectful and still sugar sweet. People comment all the time on how incredibly well-behaved she is for such a young puppy. But for Brian, I don’t know whether we could have kept Gracie. She is sleeping at my feet as I write.
How often can you say you know, and have worked with one of the world’s best in any given field? Amazingly, I have known and worked with Brian over the last 20 or so years, beginning when he sized up my dog Watson in a couple of minutes, and helped us get him under control. I would put him up against any other trainer in the world. It’s just one of those things, there is a gift involved here that he possesses, as well as a crazy resume of experience. He has no bullshit in him, and he will always tell you the truth, no matter what you want to hear, or don’t want to hear. I really do not think anyone could be better than him at what he does, I really don’t.
Ed Boks, Executive Director, Animal Care & Control of New York City
“Brian Killcommons is more than a nationally respected author, dog trainer and behavior specialist. Brian is also a compassionate visionary. While his expertise is actively sought out by the rich and famous, Brian has never forgotten the neediest animals – animals with difficult behavioral problems abandoned at municipal animal shelters. I have seen Brian transform these discarded animals into loving companions. By working with animal shelters across the United States, Brian plays an instrumental role in decreasing the number of pets euthanized. His many seminal books and media appearances has equipped all of us with the knowledge and skill required to continue and expand his live saving work. Whoever the dog, whatever the issue, I recommend Brian Killcommons without hesitation”
“I would put him up against any other trainer in the world.”
“How often can you say you know, and have worked with one of the world’s best in any given field? Amazingly, I have known and worked with Brian over the last 20 or so years, beginning when he sized up my dog Watson in a couple of minutes, and helped us get him under control. I would put him up against any other trainer in the world. It’s just one of those things, there is a gift involved here that he possesses, as well as a crazy resume of experience. He has no bullshit in him, and he will always tell you the truth, no matter what you want to hear, or don’t want to hear.
I really do not think anyone could be better than him at what he does, I really don’t.”
“You and Toni rock! Thank you for your commitment to us.”
Tony’s daughter asked if we would take her dog into our home for a year while she settled into a new job. I have owned several dogs and felt confident that I could easily handle her 8 year old Australian shepherd mix. Little did I know! Tucker was an enigma to me: when we were in the house alone he was sweet, well-behaved, and playful. But when company came over or especially when we saw other dogs in the street he would suddenly become a barking, unmanageable mess. Nothing I said or did seemed to make a difference, and I came to dread Tucker’s explosive outbursts.
Brian was our saving grace. He is equal parts animal behaviorist and human psychologist (the latter became especially important as Brian had to manage the very different responses and skill levels of me, Tony and his daughter who was nervously monitoring our experience from the West coast).
Brian has both the patience of a saint and a zero tolerance policy for sloppy or inconsistent efforts on our part. He is 100% dedicated to creating a human/dog relationship that is a joy for all concerned.
Under Brian’s tutelage I went from being over reactive, angry, and dominating (all of which made Tucker worse) to being a relaxed, confident, this-is-what-I-expect leader that Tucker listens and responds to. Both Tucker and I are happier and more relaxed, and it’s a joy to feel that we are now working together instead of working against each other.
Brian, you told me it would be easy someday, and you were right! Thank you.
“If you work with Brian you will get positive results.”
We agreed to take over the care of an eight-year-old mixed breed dog who had been found abandoned and roaming the streets many years ago by a family member. The dog’s experiences over the years created fear aggression in him that occasionally would be explosive. On his daily walks in the neighborhood he was always alert for “danger” and frequently activated aggressively to ward off imagined threats.
Through Brian’s example of handling Tucker, and more importantly his training of us as Tucker’s every day handlers, we saw enormous improvement in his behavior. As we gradually learned to be consistent in providing structure as well as praise, Tucker became more relaxed and found less and less reason to activate. When he felt that we were totally in charge of the environment he could and would relax. He is also keenly aware of when we the handlers get distracted and do not provide the leadership and structure needed. He then can revert to the belief that it is he who must be alert to “danger” for he and his pack.
Brian’s considerable experience and understanding of canine behavior enables him to develop a corrective action plan in a New York minute. More importantly, his understanding of human behavior with dogs results in tailored advice that meet the needs of the dog and the person who is responsible for the dog.
When you work with Brian, you get so much more than the time you spend with direct face-to-face training. He goes out of his way to be available by phone to discuss behaviors and get advice. And he will often take the time himself to call to check in on how things are going. And if he senses you have veered from the path, he provides direct feedback and encouragement.
If you work with Brian you will get positive results. Your dog will be better behaved and more in sync with you. But make no mistake about it; the more challenged your dog is the more you can expect to be challenged to take the right steps.
When you are working with Brian, it is clear that he cares about your dog and he cares about you. And he is driven to create success for all.
“She is a dog so treat her like one…”
Brian has worked with my greater swiss mountain dog only two days and what a difference! She is a shy dog with little confidence, but in just two days she is a different dog. I have had several trainers. They all have said to take little steps with her and not force her to do any thing she is not ready to do. Brian said the opposite. ‘she is a dog so treat her like one”. In a nice calm way he trained her to sit, down, stay, wait, come, and she has gained so much more confidence just knowing what is expected of her. Before he started training her, she would not go through doors and certainly not the animal hospital or any house but her own. Now with the right tone of voice and a little trust in me she goes into all places. In a very short time she is a changed dog. All thanks to Brian!!
Nora Cushing, Newpport RI
“She seems less nervous and a more self confident girl…”
What a great difference you have made in the life of Pansy and me. Have tried to follow your teachings with some good results and fortunately she is a quick learner (except for her bathroom habits!) She seems less nervous and a more self confident girl. Many thanks for what you have accomplished with our sweet Pansy. Hopefully we’ll see you in Boca Grande this winter for another lesson…
Happy van Beuren, Newport RI
“Her dog was a changed animal…”
Hi Brian. We met Nora Cushing on Ocean Drive this morning and she had an ear-to-ear grin. She said that her dog was a changed animal, and that she was the BOSS! Dublin has been great as well, and Devin is doing just fine. She runs to the front door with a little growl, but no real barking.
Thank you for your tremendous talent and passion for what you do!
All the best, Edith & Hank
“It’s funny how much you learn about yourself when you are training a new puppy”
“Rylee (my Puggle puppy) and I have had the pleasure of working with Toni and Brian for several months now. Rylee is a strong willed puppy and they were very patient with he and I from the start. After a couple lessons, Rylee was behaving much better and had a much calmer and obedient demeanor. Toni and Brian give you the tools and instructions necessary to keep things going outside of the sessions. They don’t just teach your dog how to sit or fetch, they do an amazing job helping you to understand how your dog interacts with you based on your behavior towards them. It’s funny how much you learn about yourself when you are training a new puppy. The key is following their direction outside of the sessions to create consistency. They are both extremely knowledgeable and professional and the best part is you have a really good time during the session. They are great people and great instructors. Well worth the time and investment. I would highly recommend them to anyone.”
Jason and Rylee
“She is now a mature well behaved puppy.”
I wanted to take this time to express my sincere appreciation for the job you guys did with my dog. For being 6 months old I am extraordinarily impressed with her behavior. She is the talk of my building and the neighborhood. She is really such a pleasure to walk and to bring around people including young children and elderly people as well. I know I did not give her to you with behavior issues but she was a true puppy in every sense of the word. She is now a mature well behaved puppy. I also realize that the majority of issues I will encounter will probably be my fault due to lack of consistency and learning how to be a good dog owner. My time working with you guys was invaluable and I appreciate the continued support in always being available to answer any questions that I might have. The operation you guys run is really in a league of its own! I look forward to continuing to work with you guys throughout my dogs continued education and training. This has been an amazing start for mine and Zelda’s journey. Thank you so much!
Chet and Zelda