Success Stories

April 03, 2017 TressaFM 0 Comments

Because each dog is an individual, there is no set formula for training — each session I strive to be flexible and observant to each dog's needs, to figure out what motivates them and excites them, or alternatively what is overstimulating or disconcerting for them. Although there are some core behaviors I strive to teach each dog that I get to work with, each dog and owners' training plan will be different and will evolve as we get to know each other better and figure out how to communicate. Here are some testimonials from clients and stories from different dogs I've been fortunate enough to work with:

My sweet puppy Lola is a wild and crazy gal. She is my first dog and I was at a loss how to handle her incredible energy. We invested in multiple training and socialization classes, private training, dog walkers, puppy play dates, we even had to change work schedules to accommodate her and we still felt challenged.

Then.... we found Tressa and Path and Paw! Lola immediately responded to Tressa and her gentle and steady approach. She loves the other dogs and gets so excited when she knows we are heading to Path and Paw. I love the relaxed setting and the walks they talk on the farm and in the pasture. Tressa's training and guidance for us, Lola's family, has helped so much. Lola is almost a year now and she has come so far. I really attribute her success (and our sanity) to Tressa. I can't say enough about how wonderful Tressa and this place are.... literally, every time I meet a new dog owner I share her information. She really IS THAT GOOD!

Erica & Lola


Tressa is amazing! Her approach is always positive and she uses science-based, current research as the basis of her style of interacting with dogs. She takes such good care of our Vinny, and provides excellent training for us. The dogs get great well supervised play time with other dogs, as well as walks at the farm and the opportunity to safely greet the other animals there. In addition, after EVERY stay, she provides an extensive write-up of the day, video of his training, photos, and lots of feedback to help us maintain training continuity at home. We are incredibly fortunate to have Path & Paw as a resource and I highly recommend Tressa for your day care and training needs.

Kelly & Vinny

Koko & Lola on a walk during daycare.

As soon as we pull into the driveway of Path and Paw, Koko's tail is wagging a mile a minute. She is instantly greeted with love, pets, and a treat from the owner Tressa. Not only does she get to play with her dog friends, but she gets one on one training during the day with Tressa. Whether it's working on her manners, her "leave it" skills, or fun tricks, Koko is always treated with kindness and positive reinforcement. I love the updates I get after the day is done. It is such a great feeling to know that when I drop my dog off in the morning, she is in the best hands. And the biggest bonus is that Koko is pooped for hours after pickup!

Rochelle and Koko

Graduates of the Canine Good Citizen class! From left: Sophie the Bulldog, Bell the Boxer, and Laika the Dalmatian.

The search for qualified trainers nowadays can become overwhelming; we consider ourselves very fortunate to have met Tressa during a "puppy play-night", there she informed us about the importance of our dog's early social interaction with other pets and humans; we immediately felt a positive energy from her and didn't hesitate to start attending training sessions with her. The connection and trust that she earned with our dog was immediate and palpable. We loved all of the exercises she taught us and practice during our sessions, she greatly enhanced our connection with our dalmatian. Despite our dog's young age and personality, we are able to take our dog everywhere she's allowed and we have to thank Tressa for that. Our Laika will forever have Tressa in her heart :)

Rene and Aileen
Pet Parents of @LaikaDijon

My somewhat out of control six month old boxer and I took training from Tressa. She introduced me to positive training methods and my puppy responded immediately to her. Tressa was patient and also very helpful with issues I had at home. She really knows her stuff and always had a suggestion when I needed help. After two class sessions we have a great foundation and are now doing agility. Whenever we go back and visit her my dog still gets so excited to see her. I highly recommend Tressa.

Barbara and Bell the boxer

Oso (right) was found in the woods by his pet parent, and because he hasn't had much socialization when he was younger, he was very insecure around other dogs at first. This six month old shepherd mix would bark and snap at other dogs in proximity, but his body language showed us that he was just afraid! Oso's pet parent was awesome about rewarding him for keeping calm around overwhelming stimuli, and by letting him meet his classmate, Bindi, on his own terms, he was able to relax and engage in appropriate puppy play and has since become a good friend of Koa's and an active adventure dog!

Bindi was around 12 weeks old when we started class, but with a large breed like a Great Dane, getting an early start on training is especially important! Setting a  solid foundation for Bindi now will help her be a great pet once she surpasses 100lbs, and by the end of her puppy class, she was learning some great impulse control, getting the hang of leash manners, and starting with the beginnings of "stay!"

Initially, Maddi was very
easily distracted, but with a nice variety of high-value reinforcers, we were able to get her focused and she was a great student. Like many dogs, Maddi struggled with pulling on the leash, but once we set up the rules of the "game" and she realized how she could earn tasty snacks, she did great. With a problem like pulling, consistency is key! If you sometimes allow a dog to yank you down the street, but sometimes want them to stay by your side, they have a hard time figuring out what is okay when.

Pepper was a very high energy girl and a fast learner. I love this photo of her (which I chose instead of a photo of with her certificate) because it shows how much energy a training class can take! At the end of our sessions, Pepper let us know when she was officially pooped by plopping down and taking a break! It's always good to listen to your dog, and keep sessions fun and voluntary.

Sparks was a very nervous guy, so we took our time in his classes and worked on building his confidence in new situations and around other dogs. Sometimes the pet store can be a challenging environment for nervous dogs, so we kept things slow and calm and simple for him, without asking him for more than we thought he could handle. Sparks made some great strides towards learning not to react in fear and bark at other dogs.

No one told Bella she was a big dog! At the beginning of her puppy class, she was terrified of her classmate, who was about half her size, and at the same time, drove her pet parents crazy with her jumping up and pulling. By the time she finished her puppy class, though, she had gained a ton of confidence and was well on her way to being a polite pooch. She continued with adult classes, and is well on her way to earning her Canine Good Citizen.

Blue was a happy, high energy guy that dragged his pet parents around and initially spat most treats he was offered on the ground, but eventually we discovered that he responded great to a squeaky ball, a stinky reward like freeze dried chicken hearts, and lot's of praise!

These crazy Frenchie brothers were very different — Nugget (left), was a more high energy and praise-driven, and Goose (right) was more treat-driven. We also discovered that Nugget simply would not lie down on the cold, slick floor in the training area, so we got out a little mat, and soon he was performing happily performing "puppy push ups."

Sassy Marley was so high energy and mouthy that his owner's girlfriend was a little afraid of him! But once he knew he could earn tasty pieces of chicken by walking politely on a loose leash and waiting at the doorway instead of bolting out, he made huge strides!

When we started this puppy class, Wilt (left) was absolutely terrified of Bristol (right), who was so excited that she could barely hold still and would bark at him to try and get his attention. With lot's of hard work, we were thrilled to get this photo of Bristol calmly sitting beside her buddy, Wilt, who had gained enough confidence to romp with her at the end of our training sessions!


Harold was another classic example of a high energy, intelligent dog that just needed some guidance! This goofy boy would get so excited about his walks that he would snatch his leash and chew on it, so worked on developing a strong "drop it" and loose lease walking skills.

These two sweet sisters originally came to class together, but after a while it became clear that they, especially River, had developed Separation Anxiety from each other, and it was very difficult to work on exercises separately as they would become frantic, whining, barking, and pacing to find each other. Instead, I had them come to class separately, since the car ride and arrival at a new location was enough to get the other sibling off of their minds. Spending a little time getting used to being apart was great for building their individual confidence, and they both did excellent!

I can't tell you how often a new husky owner will come in to talk to me, fearing that their dog is absolutely insane and beyond training. Mino was a young, high energy pup and her pet parents thought she was out of control, but she was actually quite eager to please, she just had a lot of energy and needed to be shown what was wanted from her!

Ruby is my "niece" (my boyfriend's sister's dog). While I was working on my Dog Training Instructor Program, I was dog sitting this rambunctious lab puppy and using her as my guinea pig for my new knowledge. Ruby has a young human sister who was initially terrified of Ruby as she started to get bigger. She was a big jumper, uncoordinated and overly exuberant, and her unpredictable movement scared the little girl, who would climb onto the couch and cry when she was in the same room as the pup. But once they came home from their trip, witnessed Ruby's new skills and learn a new way to communicate with her, the two girls became best buds. Now, Ruby's human sister begs for Ruby to share her bed. Ruby is also a frequent visitor at our house, where she and Koa will wrestle for hours!