BOTTOM LINE – Mr. and Mrs. Warfel are simply amazing at what they do. Our little Lakai was struggling with basic obedience commands (e.g. would not go in the crate willingly), and was highly reactive to other dogs and strangers. Aggression was the primary concern. But beyond that, she was not compliant around other people and she suffered from severe separation anxiety whenever we left her alone (i.e. excessive panting, salivating, breaking out of several crates, etc.).
We couldn’t walk her with confidence or control, we couldn’t get near her during feeding time, and we couldn’t take relatively new things out of her mouth when necessary.
The conventional training systems didn’t seem to work at all on Lakai. We tried using the “humane” (*emphasis on the air-quotes*) methods of positive reinforcement and reward-based training. Toys and play didn’t work at all. Food/treats would occasionally work. However, what we found was that Lakai would only respond to treats if she was extremely hungry. We would have to not feed her all day (essentially starving her) so that her hunger would overcome her desire to act on her bad behavioral impulses. But, upon reflection, that was NOT HUMANE.
This is not to say that reward based training never works. It may work for some dogs, like it did for my late Golden Retriever Zack. He would eat anything anytime. He was highly responsive to treats. But Lakai is not like that. We knew a different approach was required, and we were lucky to find Dream Dogz.
Their holistic approach, using verbal rewards, stimulation via E-Collar and leash (pressure/release), and essential oil therapy, among other tactics, worked wonders on Lakai. To be clear, she is the same dog…just better. She demonstrates self-control. She complies with commands 99% of the time. Walks are easier. Play time is safer. She is a joy to have around now.
I feared that the 30-day board and train would fundamentally change Lakai’s personality, which we obviously fell in love with. It didn’t. I also feared that after leaving the Ranch and coming home, Lakai would simply return to her old ways. She didn’t. However, WE had to follow through. WE had to reinforce everything she learned with Mr. and Mrs. Warfel. WE had to read the books, understand the methods, and practice, practice, practice. Sure enough, it worked.
We can’t thank you guys enough for literally saving our dog’s life. Critics of their methods should really reflect on and consider the alternative. They should also actually read the literature before rendering opinions. We knew that Lakai was not going to be re-homed. At a shelter, she would have surely been euthanized. The Warfel Method is humane and it works. If you have a troubled dog that struggles with aggression and doesn’t respond to reward-based training, look no further than Dream Dogz.