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“Meet Oaken. After being highly socialized for the first 6 months of his life, other dogs suddenly were the enemy. After engaging in more than one dog fight, off leash hikes and bike rides became obsolete. I began avoiding all trails with off-leash dogs, dog-occupied aisles at local stores, and I was terrified of Oaken meeting my new boyfriend’s dog- Bernie.Determined to make our life better, I enlisted the help of another local trainer. He deemed that even with extensive training, Oaken would never be able to be around dogs. After a few sessions with him, I knew that we needed to go somewhere else. Then came Bernadette. After two weeks at boarding school, Oaken is a dog that is responsive, respectful, and best of all- he is able to interact with other dogs. Bernie is now his best friend. While he will never be a “dog park dog”, Oaken and I are now able to enjoy off leash hikes, mountain bike rides, and skijoring. Working with Bernadette has been a life changing experience for both me and Oaken, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the quality of life she has given us. Thank you, Bernadette!”

 

oaken    Oaken
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I just wanted to give you an update on Oakley...she is doing GREAT!  I cannot thank you enough for helping train her, and most importantly, your patience in training me! Oakley is attentive and responsive.  You provided me with the tools needed for an obedient dog, I just had to figure out how to provide Oakley with the routine and consistency she needed in order to thrive with the training she learned from you.   We enjoy going for off leash runs, hikes, walks, and Oakley's ultimate obsession, playing ball.  I am so appreciative for your training and mentoring!!
Jenna A.
Cleo, my Standard Poodle, was exhibiting fear based aggression with other dogs at 6 years old. After a lot of apprehension and embarrassment on the open space trails, I decided to take Cleo for a two week Board and Train at BlackPaw Training. Boy, am I glad I did! Not only did Bernadette and Kolleen teach me that Cleo needed more structure, guidance and boundaries, they also started training her on basic commands so that I could continue the training at home. They spent a few hours when I picked Cleo up to train ME on the training. We even went to open space and went on a walk with my well-trained dog, giving me good in-field practice. I am excited to continue the training at home and also to continue working with BlackPaw when we board Cleo and/or need tune ups in her training in the future. Even if you think your dog is perfect, I would still recommend BlackPaw to all dog owners. They also helped Cleo not jump on people in the house, how to stay in her "place" on command, how to heel properly while walking on leash, and how to tolerate crating at night. A huge thank you all of your dedication and expertise!
Lindsey L., Boulder, CO
Our son has a beautiful three year old black lab, Karma, who often stays with us, but going for walks with her around the neighborhood was truly an ordeal. She would pull us in all sorts of directions, wrapping the leash around our legs, nearly knocking us over to chase a squirrel or get to another dog. We tried various training techniques, but since she divides her time between us, consistency was lacking in her routine. After hearing about Blackpaw from a friend, we decided to try that as a way to provide consistency and expertise. After two weeks with Bernadette, Karma is greatly improved, and taking her for walks is a pleasure. She has also been trained in other areas that we didn't even know about and since we 'graduated' from the handler training - which is a critical part of the process - we are all much happier and better behaved! I can't recommend Blackpaw and Bernadette's program more highly. There is simply nothing like it and it's worth every penny.
Lianne C., Denver
We welcomed an eight week old chocolate lab into our family, in July of 2016. Our children, ages eight, five, and two, were thrilled beyond belief. My husband and I, both grew up with labs and figured "we got this". It became clear, at month three, that "we DO NOT got this". Scout was smart, stubborn, manipulative - and completely in charge of our house. By October, I was doing extensive research on training. I had spent over a thousand dollars on training books and couch pillows combined... it was time to bring a professional into the picture. Scout was completely running our household, and NO ONE had quality of life... especially me. Bernadette COMPLETELY changed our life. She was able to work with Scout (who is an extremely difficult lab), and then, most importantly, train my husband and I, to work with her, to achieve a quality of life after training. She explained to us what Scout needed, in a way that was easily understood, and our entire relationship with our dog changed. I couldn't be more grateful. Without Black Paw Training, we would have had to re-home our dog, which would have broken everyone's hearts. I'm eternally grateful to Bernadette, for teaching ALL of us how to live as a family.
Elizabeth
We are very happy with the results of Cheyenne’s training.  I think we are now 2-3 months out from her week with you and she seems to be getting better every week.
Charles
Meet Kenai. This pretty Shepherd mix came in with some serious fear aggression. She was very afraid of new people and other dogs and had a couple of bites to her credit. Kenai made an amazing turn around during her rehabilitation in our Boarding School Program and we are happy to report that she is enjoying life a lot more now that it seems less scary. We have had a trend lately of dogs coming into training with fear issues like this. For more info, check out our blog "Fear and its Role in Training".
Bam Bam and Oakley showing off their amazing self control after training!
Just wanted to give you an update on Azell - we LOVE this dog! She has settled into our home well, learning to deal with her new brother and another GSD rescue who is young, oversized and can be obnoxious. I also board dogs occasionally and thought this might be a problem for her but she has become much more tolerant of other dogs, MANY thanks to Bernadette Pflug. Her obedience is spot on, always wanting to please us. Thank you again
Bernadette did amazing work with my boxer-mix Bernie! Before training, life with Bernie was stressful and becoming impossible. For 2 years I worked with various trainers using various training methods and nothing seemed to be effective in controlling Bernie's aggression toward people and dogs. After 2 weeks with Bernadette, Bernie is able to walk past people and dogs on a trail or path without lunging or even so much as paying them any attention. I am able to let her off leash on a hike and have her instantly come when called. Bernie is even able to sit calmly on her bed while guests enter the house, where before she would be lunging and barking at anyone who came through the door. Bernadette gave me the tools and the training to help Bernie overcome her fears and give her the happy life every dog deserves. Thank you, Bernadette!
Mo, Joe and Bernie
We did a lot of research and interviewed several dog trainers before deciding on Bernadette and BlackPaw Dog Training. Our private sessions have been infinitely helpful. People comment daily how well behaved Clarence is for his age (5 ½ months). Bernadette’s enthusiasm, knowledge, suggestions and teachings are terrific. Clarence can’t contain his excitement when she comes for a training session. We would enthusiastically recommend her to anyone looking for focused, intelligent, loving and effective training for their pets!
Michael & Leigh M.
Some friends of our took their German Shepherd to Bernadette. Their dog was so well behaved and respectful, we thought it was time for Jackson and Bernadette to meet. And they did, for two weeks. When we went to pick Jackson up, I felt very nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. Would he be the same dog? Would he be different? He was wonderful! What a difference! We loved doing this with Jackson and being able to include him in family activities. Thank you Bernadette!
Fletcher B.
I had 2 Great Danes (Havoc & Chaos), that were well behaved and peaceful. Then I bought a 3rd Great Dane puppy (Ruckus) and everything went nuts! Ruckus and Chaos started out best buds, then as Ruckus grew up he became very aggressive towards Chaos, and a general trouble maker. They were poorly socialized and I had no control walking them anywhere. I had e-collars and chokers and nothing controlled these big guys. I wasn’t comfortable walking them anywhere, and it even got to the point where I had to keep them separate 24/7 and never let them cross paths in the house or yard. Now after Bernadette’s Boarding School for Ruckus & Chaos I can see a HUGE turn around. I can walk all 3 under control, the house is peaceful, I can have company over, and most of all they are happier. Just last week I dropped in on one of her training classes for some follow up and my Ruckus was one of the best behaved in class! Best investment ever!
Neysa C.
Pepper celebrated his first birthday this month. He has changed a lot over the year and Bernadette is largely responsible for those changes. We enrolled Pepper in the puppy training class because we were unable to get him to walk with us on a leash, and he was not sleeping through the night. As with many Chihuahua’s he also growled at everyone who came near him and rarely let anyone play with him or pick him up. Over the course of Bernadette’s class we learned how to train and socialize Pepper properly not just with his leash, but also in giving affection and treats. Her counsel has helped us tremendously. Pepper regularly snuggles with us now. He is excited to take walks. He is patient when we put his leash on and ready to take off and walk with us once we give him the command. He sits for treats. He sleeps through the night in his own bed. He is completely house trained thanks to a lot of feedback from Bernadette and follow through at home by us.We highly recommend her classes!
Thomas
Dewey is a 170lb Mastiff with a history of aggression towards other dogs, cats, and occasionally people. After six private lessons Dewey walks happily and under control with his owner around lots of other dogs. He is a star student! “Dewey is doing AWESOME!! Last night we walked and there were tons of dogs barking from their yards….he was perfect as they were charging up to their invisible fences…then we almost stepped on a baby bunny….and it ran…he took two steps after it and I said leave it, and he stopped. I tell you, he is so good. Thank you sooooo much.”
Gayle M.
Charlie is the cutest Goldendoodle but boy was he naughty. Charlie liked to pull and bite at the leash, nip at the children, and behave completely out of control. After two weeks of Bernadette’s Boarding School, he’s a loving, gentle, and well-behaved boy, who’s completely off-leash trained. ”We LOVE the new Charlie. Thank you so much.”
The McCormick Family
Sophie is a beautiful white collie but before her training, she had a few bad habits. Sophie liked to chase joggers and bikers. She would bark for attention, refuse to come when called, bite and pull on her leash and nip at her owner’s heels. After six private lessons, she is a pleasure for her owner and works confidently off-leash. “Sophie and I are having a wonderful time together thanks to her training! We’ve been playing off leash every night. I am relaxed with her, she has a wonderful time!”
Wendy F.
Bernadette is awesome!!!! If anyone had ever told me that I would even think my dogs could go off leash I would have laughed at them. Bernadette made a believer out of all of us! Thank you so much!!!!!
Jacqy
We just sent our dog, Cody, to spend time with Bernadette who owns BlackPaw for private training. Cody was so out of control that we couldn’t/wouldn’t bring him anywhere because it was too stressful with his bad and rude behavior. I was so frustrated and so were the kids. We picked him up last night and I can’t even believe this is our dog! We can walk and hike with him -off leash!- we took a hike last night and another one this morning. He is so happy to be able to socialize and go places! He still has some fears and anxiety but Bernadette spent so much time with us , teaching us how to control him and make him feel safe so he can be a happy dog. My kids are absolutely beside themselves with the joy of being able to take their best friend everywhere now. Cody’s smile is enormous as he hikes with us and plays with other dogs. BlackPaw’s store is amazing too with quality products and people that know and care about animals. Thanks so much for improving our quality of life! You have made a boy and his dog very happy!
Kelly W.
We have 2 Old English Mastiffs, with a combined weight of 355 lbs. Before we started training with Bernadette, our dogs would bark like crazy when people came to the door. We couldn’t take them out in public because they would bark at everything while driving in the car and they were dog aggressive. After training, our friends and my clients can’t believe that they are the same dogs. They are more relaxed, and so much more fun to have around. When people come to the door, the dogs bark once, look at me, and go lay on their dog beds (instead of the couches!) and stay there! Most of the time, our visitors don’t even know we have dogs until they see them laying in the other room when they leave! They even met a 2 pound Chihuahua and a wild and crazy Jack Russell Terrier, made friends, and even went on a walk with them! Now, we take them to the pet stores and even on vacation. We have taken 2 other dog training classes, but nothing seemed to work after we finished class. This is the best investment we have ever made with our dogs. Our dogs are more relaxed and now they get to do everything with us.
Kelly G.
Before working with Bernadette, I had worked with a couple of other trainers and still had troubles with my Luna. She had long displayed leash aggression. I felt that I couldn’t take her anywhere like a dog park because I was uncertain how she would react to the other dogs. After working with Bernadette, I am much more confident in handling Luna in situations with other dogs around. In addition, she was horrible on a leash. I knew she knew the commands, but getting her to listen and obey was next to impossible. Now I have no troubles on walks or when jogging. I even work in the front yard with her off leash and don’t worry about other dogs or people. I can calmly take her to places I never thought possible, like McGuckins or the pet store. While I haven’t gotten her green tag yet, I do plan on it and know that she will not only enjoy it, but do so without freaking out about other dogs. Thanks!
Stephen K.
Penelope is a teacup pot bellied pig and my first training pig! Her owner was struggling with housetraining this little cutie. With a little coaching, Penelope is on her way to using a litterbox. “That’ll do pig!”
Jake has done really well since you did his board-and-train over a year ago. He’s still a very energetic and enthusiastic dog, but he knows how to do what I want. He’s filled out to be a big dog – and is such a love. And, during the first year after my dad’s stroke, Jake was able to come with me to visit him in a nursing home. The residents and staff loved him. There’s no way I could have brought him into that kind of environment without the training you did for him. Thank you.
Molly
Enter Bernadette!! We did the one-on-one training which she offers for two weeks at her home. The new and improved Lolli is a delight!! Bernadette not only trained Lolli to obey basic commands, she got her to the point of “staying” while off leash until she was given the “come” command. When Bernadette met with my husband and me after Lolli’s two week stay, she patiently went over everything they had done and gave it to us in writing, as well. She worked with us for a couple of hours as we tried out the new commands and behaviors. It has been almost three weeks since she has been back with us and she is doing great!! Lolli stays by my side on our walks, she doesn’t jump on people at the dog park, she drops her toys on command, sits at curbs, and sits (and stays) while I walk away until she gets my “come” command. What fun it is!!
Gayla L.
Hildie is a lovely boxer mix adopted from the Denver Dumb Friends League. She was very shy and fearful of many things when she first arrived home with her new family. Hildie is typical of many dogs who have been under socialized as youngsters. We call them “deficit dogs” and they often arrive in our home with a common theme, fear of all things new. Through careful socialization and positive introductions to novel things, people, and places, Hildie was able to relax and grow into a happy, healthy and playful dog.
Sox is a cute little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel / Bichon cross. He’s a sweet little dog who had very little control. Before attending Bernadette’s Boarding School Sox would jump on people, bark incessantly, nip at people, pull on the leash and refuse to come when called. His owners are amazed at his progress following two weeks of intensive training. “Bernadette’s two week Board and Train was everything she promised. When Sox returned home we were amazed at his maturity and obedience. He is now wonderful with our three grandsons, loves going to baseball games, and is most mannerly in meeting other people and dogs. Of course, we needed as much training as Sox did! Bernadette was very patient with all of us and continues to be available to answer questions and solve any challenges that we may encounter. Sox loves going to visit “BlackPaw” and Bernadette; and we appreciate the family’s sharing and caring attitude!”
Steve and Louise C.
Little Ellie came to training extremely fearful of other dogs and left hiking happily with my two large German Shepherds. This sweet girl was afraid of many things including riding in the car. She now rides happily in the front seat. Her owner’s other big complaint was that she would run away when called and they had a very difficult time catching her. She now comes so well, she is trusted off leash. Ellie is a sweetheart!
Bernadette has forever changed the way I relate to Remi and the way he relates to me! The most invaluable thing she taught me was how to be a strong and confident leader and that one thing has completely changed Remi’s behavior around other people and especially other dogs!! Training with Bernadette gave me the confidence to tackle any situation that might arise and because of that Remi is now a calm and confident member of my family! The greatest gift Bernadette gave me was changing Remi’s behavior and my leadership in such a way that he can now play with other dogs and enjoy their company and I can finally relax when taking him on walks around other dogs! Thank you so much Bernadette!
Claire N.
I recommend Bernadette without hesitation for anyone else who has a strong willed dog that does not respond to treats or praise when pursuing their own agenda. She is an expert trainer and exceeded my expectations-I am grateful that she was available to help me Samson and how quickly he was trained. I am at the McCaslin open space park daily for anyone who wants to see how well trained and happy Samson is!”
Donna R.
My ‘Boo’ Radley is a wonderful dog, but since we are in the same weight class, when he wanted to go somewhere, I really struggled with being able to control him. He wasn’t aggressive, but he is a huge dog that wanted to jump on every human and dog he saw. I was concerned that the training would take away his intense joy with life and confidence, but he is the same Boo. Only now he clearly understands that there are rules and we speak the same language around what’s ok and what’s not and he listens! One other note – Bernadette’s training is obviously filled with love and respect for our furry friends. When I brought him by to see her weeks later, he almost turned himself inside out at the sight of her. Thank you Bernadette and your whole extended family — this was a life-changer.
Michelle P.
We are very grateful for the incredible training you provided them (and us). They were extremely dog aggressive, to the point that on walks we had to have them on leash and muzzled. We can now take them to dog parks, let them go unleashed and unmuzzled and they are very well behaved and obedient. They have even tolerated other dogs who were less than well behaved. What a remarkable change. We are still wondering if you didn’t substitute a pair of well behaved white shepards for our two. Thanks again!
Michelle and Walt M.
Thanks for helping us learn how to lead Riley and make her a great canine citizen of the world. Thanks,
Les and Marci
Marley is a two year old St. Bernard who had learned to use his size and weight to push people around. He was guilty of knocking people over, busting through doors, running away, and stealing entire casseroles off the kitchen counter. During his two weeks in Bernadette’s Boarding School, Marley learned to RESPECT people rather than dominate them, revealing one of the sweetest personalities I have ever met!
Maggie and Molly are two year old Chocolate Labrador sisters. They were sent to Bernadette’s Boarding School after three previous trainers had given up on them. The girls are high energy retrievers with a rap sheet a mile long. They were impossible to walk on leash, didn’t come when called, stole food whenever possible, barked incessantly, jumped on people, climbed on furniture, and rushed out doors. Their owners were at their wit’s end. Although, I would never recommend adopting litter mates, Maggie and Molly made wonderful progress during their training and went home respectable and obedient dogs.
Bernadette has given both Champ and I training that has changed our lives. I am a better and more confident leader for him, and he is a more attentive and trusting follower for me. Private training has been extremely fun for us and highly effective because of Bernadette’s commitment to our success. I also would like to strongly recommend the electronic collar because it was very convenient and easy to use, and gave us lasting results in a short period of time. Many of our friends were complimenting Champ on his good behavior after a week of training with the collar. Champ has his ‘Green Tag’ and is ready to tackle the trails of Boulder off-leash.
Sharon
Bailey is a six month old Doberman puppy. She was a fast learner and a pleasure to train. She now hikes off leash with her owners and has the freedom she has always dreamed of!
I fought e-collar training for 27 years and now I think Why? When implemented with a good trainer (like Bernadette) the response is quick and rewarding for both dog and guardian…plus I do not swear at them anymore!!!!! JOYFUL!
Sandy C.
Grover is a typical 6 month old Golden Retriever puppy. He has lots of energy and not a lot of self control. During his two week stay at Bernadette’s Boarding school, Grover learned to walk politely on and off leash, stop play biting and jumping, sit politely while his owners go up and down the stairs as well as sit while people go through doors, and lots more! He was a pleasure to train and is now a pleasure for his owners. “He really has the commands down and going for walks with him is such a joy now!”
Tonya and Peder
Navy is a nice dog who had some serious issues. His family came to me for help after he had killed one of their Chihuahuas named “Max.” With another Chihuahua left in the household, they were desperate to regain harmony in their family and be able to trust Navy again. “Bernadette, Your training and guidance has been priceless to our family. The confidence you have given us as parents has made us a better family. We can’t wait to see how things will be in future years with more furry friends that are bound to be in our home. Thank you so much for this lifetime gift. We know our beloved Max would be proud of us.” Sincerely,
Nick & Deborah
Nesta is a lovely Rottweiler that came to me from California. He had a history of aggressive behavior, pulling on the leash, lunging and barking at other dogs, skateboards, bikes, etc. After two weeks of Bernadette’s Boarding School, he is walking politely on leash, happily ignoring his previous triggers for aggressive behavior. “Nesta has improved so much. I haven’t had to use the pinch collar at all! He used to pull me around without it. He has been excellent with his “go to bed”, we use it especially during our dinner time. We enjoy our walks so much more now! Thank you for helping bring structure to our routine.”
Jaime & Michael
Champ is a ten month old German Shepherd and already weighs 85 pounds. I enjoy hiking and running the trails in Boulder and he is a great companion, but before training he was uncontrollable, nearly yanking my arms out of their sockets as I tried to hold him on a leash. Now that he has worked with Bernadette, he is a pure joy to take on the trail, both on and off leash. He comes instantly when called and sits at my feet on command even with other dogs nearby. I find that I am getting out more often, being more active and getting more exercise because I have such a wonderful, well controlled companion. Even in the worst weather both he and I enjoy our time on the trail. What Bernadette says is true; having champ understand what I want him to do and immediately respond in a positive way makes both of us happier and markedly improves our relationship. At this point we love him so much we tend to be a little less strict then we should at home but he always responds appropriately as long as we pay attention. And he’s only ten months old. We look forward to many, many years of a wonderfully close relationship.
Tracee J.
Cadie started out as a rambunctious and out of control pup. After training with Bernadette, she is now a therapy dog at Avista Hospital. Way to go Cadie & Sue! “Thank you for your excellent training classes. Cadie is one of your many success stories!" Gratefully,
Sue
I brought my 24/7 companion Golden Doodle to Bernadette and as I released him into her amazing hands I cried. My dog/partner at 2 1/2 had become very fearful of the world in which he navigated and was becoming aggressive. Bernadette was my only hope to keep him. In just two weeks she gifted both Winston and myself with the gift of "peace." He learned how to be in the world and Bernadette then taught me how to be his alpha and to allow him the gift of tranquility. She is truly amazing. A stranger was petting Winston while he was in my truck yesterday and winston merely handed him his paw and smiled. The gentleman said: "what could he possibly have needed from a trainer. He's perfect." Winston and I shared a private smile.
April S.
Sweet Gracie, the Rottweiler, went home from Bernadette’s Boarding School to a very happy family. Before training, she suffered from severe aggression. She was unable to be handled by the vet for routine care or to be walked in public. After training,… she is up to date on her shots and walked Waneka Lake during a massive Easter egg hunt with no problems. Good girl Gracie! Thanks to everyone who helped to socialize Gracie while she was in training with Bernadette.
Chilli is a beautiful Alaskan Malamute with some aggression issues towards both people and other dogs. After training, she is able walk politely in public without any outburts. Way to go Chilli!
Our family adopted Boulder, a Bernese Mountain Dog, in June 2015. We absolutely adore him. However, shortly after he came to our home, we noticed that he was having aggression issues with nipping and barking. We felt that we needed to deal with these issues as Boulder was only going to keep growing. The vets said he may mature to 160 pounds! We researched dog trainers on the Internet. We kept returning to Bernadette. We had bought supplies and food at Black Paw in the past and felt like we were meant to reach out to her for help. Boulder went to Bernadette for a two week training. We missed him so much, but knew he was in good hands with Bernadette. She was very calming for him. She would send us videos of Boulder’s training and we could see that he was enjoying himself. At the end of the two weeks, Boulder was like a new puppy. He would listen to us. He would come when we called him and stay when we asked that of him. And, most importantly, we could tell that he was happy because he was making us happy by behaving and having a task to do. We highly recommend Bernadette and Black Paw for all of your puppy needs.
Jennifer
Sammi is a sweet Border Collie puppy belonging to an amazing Denver Bronco’s family. She used to bark a ton and get crazy with her family’s little ones, but after two weeks at boarding school she is a well behaved little girl.
Cricket is the cutest little Scottie you have ever seen but had the biggest attitude to match. She fought with the other dogs in her home, lunged at other dogs when on leash, and refused to walk if she did not approve of her owner’s path. After two weeks in Bernadette’s Boarding School, Cricket is back in her home and doing better than ever. “You are very good at what you do!”
Pat H.