Two years ago, Sara, an eight-week, energetic bundle of golden retriever fur came into our lives. She was enthusiastic, uninhibited, and sweet and lovable, but without a lick of self-control. She seemed to be more than we could handle, and it seemed that she thought that our hands and arms were designed for teething. More than this, she had the idea that she was the boss. We knew that professional training was required. But what kind?
There are trainers that use negative reinforcement, some even with shock collars. This wasn’t for us. We didn’t want a dog that was afraid of us. We wanted her to keep all of her good qualities, her joy for life, and to lose the unpleasant behaviors, impatience and bossiness.
Through friends, we met Marie Selarque, a trainer who specializes solely in positive reinforcement. Cutting to the conclusion, we have a wonderfully sweet, joyously happy, exuberant, loving dog. This didn’t happen without work.
Guided and mentored by Marie, and encouraged with treats and praise, Sara has developed into a cherished member of our family over the last two years. Starting with a class that included other puppies and continuing with one-on-one classes, we learned along with Sara how to shape our behaviors, hers and ours, and to understand one another’s needs and expectations. The process required patience on both Sara’s and our part, and perhaps, most all Marie’s. Marie has patience in abundance. In many respects, Sara was a faster learner than we.
Sara now knows all usual commands typically expected of a dog and can display these at distances of at least 40 yards. She can communicate what she needs with patience and has lost none of the qualities that we loved from the beginning. We owe all of this to Marie Selarque. She has our highest recommendation.
Marie Selarque is a fantastic, gentle and caring dog trainer. She is simply a natural with dogs and her positive reinforcement methods made training our 10-week-old Labradoodle (Daffodil) a great experience.
We so believed in Marie that we flew her from Oahu to Maui on a regular basis to help with the initial training. Due to our hectic lifestyle, we weren't always able to spend as much time on a daily basis reinforcing what Daffodil had learned. Therefore, on two occasions, we sent Daffodil to Oahu to board with Marie. Although we missed having our puppy around, we knew that Daffodil was in the safest hands possible for nurturing and training.
We consider Marie a friend of our family and we wholeheartedly recommend her services to anyone who's looking for the best.
-Lynn & Mick Fleetwood
I usually take Rudi on a walk to a nearby "park" every evening (it is not a dog park, just a big space with some trees and bushes that he loves running around) the other day I walked him off leash (I usually leave the leash on but just let him drag it on the ground, just in case). So we got close to the park and there were a bunch of people and kids there, playing volleyball. I accepted the challenge, and for some reason I wasn't even worried. Rudi stayed by my side the whole time, listening to my every command. I was being quiet and calm, although there were moments when he started staring at the people and it seemed like he would start running. He did an amazing job and I was so proud of him.
I just wanted to thank you for all the advice you gave me while Rudi was in your puppy class! He is a great and smart dog, I couldn't have a better partner in crime :)
He will be one year old next month, weighing in at 46 pounds (haha, yes he is definitely not the average Frenchie). I also started feeding him raw 2 months ago and I could have not made a better choice for him! He looks a lot healthier, his teeth are whiter and he's pure muscle.
Anyways, thank you for everything!
Just an update: Ruby excelled in her obedience training and was in contention to take first place in her final exam last Saturday. In the individual exercises the final challenge was Sit Stay and Recall. She'd already scored well, just missing a couple of points on the Heal portion. She held her Sit and Stay perfectly while I walked 50 feet away, turned and said Come.
Ruby came, walking at first, then picking up speed and then zooming right by me and running up to the parking lot where Mary had gone so she wouldn't be a distraction! Mary got a Ruby hug and the humans got a laugh but we only scored 5 out of 20 points for the exercise and I figured we weren't even going to be in the top half of the 25-dog class.
However, the second half of the competition, worth 40 out of 100 points, included the group Long Sit Stay and group Long Down Stay. We'd been working on those and in practice Ruby could go 10 minutes without moving.
The dogs lined up. The handlers said Sit, Stay, and walked away. The pressure was on. One by one, dogs got up and shuffled apologetically toward their humans, except for Ruby and three others. The Down Stay? Same thing.
Ruby scored 40 out of 40 points! We came in fourth out of 25!
Just thought you'd enjoy knowing one of your alums is doing great and making great progress mastering her compulsions at 16 months of age.
I just wanted to thank you for all the help you gave our son Antonio with his new best friend Ms. Kona. We learned so much from you in a very short time. Your extensive knowledge in the obedience training experience make it enjoyable for both the dog and owner. Watching your relationship with Jazy would make any new dog owner want to have their new family member behave and perform like her. With your guidance any new or even experienced dog owner will learn something new and make their relationship with their dog a better one.
I know that first hand...you did it for us. I thank you and I am very grateful for what you taught me, my 14 year old son and my wife. You helped plant the seed for him to become a responsible pet owner for the rest of his life and that in itself is.....priceless!!!
I am including some pictures of Antonio and Kona that were used for our 2009 Christmas cards. It was our first Christmas with Ms. Kona. You will be my first recommendation for anyone looking for help with their new dog.
Again thank you.
– Ray, Pat, Antonio and Kona...The Cruz Ohana!
5 years after leaving Marie because the army made me, I am still using all she taught me, every day with my dogs, and my horses, (and my kids!). Sometimes I didn't listen to her at the time, but I always came around and took her advice. God has blessed me abundantly through Marie by giving me relationships with my animals that I always dreamed of.
- Melissa and Dexter
Thank you so much Marie...it was such a special day for us. This week I am dog-sitting, and watching another, untrained dog has only highlighted how far Indy has come. Sometimes I get discouraged and feel as though I'm not doing enough for Indy, but he has really proven his manners: sitting at doors, no leash-pulling when I walk the dogs together. We thank you! I only wish more people would understand how obedience training is necessary and can make such a difference in one's family.
– Emily & Indy
Marie of Pro-Dog Hawaii has been a great help in giving us the tools to raise a healthy, happy dog that can interact with humans as well as within dog society. Her reward-based training is compassionate and non-violent, and can be used by children, adults, and seniors. We have boarded our puppy with Marie on a number of occasions, and each time Mele has been welcomed in as an accepted part of the family. We have the utmost confidence that not only will our puppy be walked and fed, but she will also be given both the attention and the discipline that she needs and deserves.
– Mary, Ward & Mele
Marie Selarque came highly recommended to us by a friend. We had just acquired a four-year-old untrained Great Dane. Marie taught us to use gentle techniques when interacting with our dogs. Our dog's manners improved immediately and before we new it they were sitting patiently, lying down on command, walking without pulling on their leashes and becoming familiar with the commands "stay" and "off." We all (dogs included) look forward to our next training session with Marie.
-Wayne & Sydney & Great Danes Kyla & border collie Panda
I first met Marie at the Bark Park when my chocolate lab pup, Sarah, was 4-and-a-half months old. After watching Marie work with her dogs several times, I asked her about helping me give Sarah some basic training. We agreed on a series of sessions at my house. Marie had an immediate rapport with Sarah. After four sessions, Sarah had the basics of her training. Marie was prompt and professional. She has an obvious love and respect for dogs. Sarah stills greets her with great enthusiasm at the Bark Park.
– Dave & Sarah
My husband Chris and I first fostered and later adopted our dog Harvey at 6 weeks old. He had issues that we had no idea how to address, so we did some research and discovered Pro Dog Hawaii.We started off with a private session and I could tell Marie was very intuitive on Harvey's behavior, where to begin with his training, and how to build a strong and positive relationship. We chose Pro Dog Hawaii for all of our training needs and have had him in classes from 11 weeks old to 7 months. Harvey came to us with food aggression issues and was very emotionally disconnected, but with all of PDH's help we now have a dog that looks to us for guidance and has become a happy and emotionally healthy dog that completes our family. It was amazing to see the confidence in my dog grow and how eager he was to learn. We had a wonderful experience and plan to continue training for many years to come. We will miss Marie and her team!!
I really have to thank you......If I hadn't met you ...I don't know what would have happened. I am so much more confident with him and he is so much better with strangers and even other dogs. I have to tell you ....one of the reasons I didn't want to move was that I didn't want to leave you and your class......and all that he was used to. I was worried he would regress and be stuck with a life by himself. I brought him to daycare ...it was hard to find a place ...I was really honest about him and three places wouldn't even try him. One place the woman told me reactive dogs were her specialty and then she met him and he was good.....just kind of scared and she still blew me off....and it was outrageously expensive! The place he started going...is Paws Pet Resort and he has met all of the staff and been really good and they play with and walk him.
– Thank you so much! Barbara and Meka
When Cortes was 9 months old, I was feeling stuck and a bit frustrated in my training. Private sessions with Marie have improved and enriched my relationship with Cortes immensely. Marie was able to address specific issues and behaviors unique to Cortes and teach me to handle them in positive and effective ways. The information, support and techniques she shared with me helped me get over the adolescent "hump" and took my training with Cortes to a new level. Marie is a wealth of information and I look forward to her continued help in learning with Cortes as he grows and changes.
– Cristal & Cortes
For a nominal price, Marie offers a great opportunity to find out if you are interested in agility for your dog without the frightening commitment of seeking out the people who are competing. My dog really liked some of the activities immediately, but she gained the confidence to do even those activities which were initially threatening. I believe, she even likes to show that she can do the scary ones as she repeats them in subsequent weeks.
– Margaret & Ho
Marie and Pro Dog Hawaii have given my wife and me the greatest gift of all: the ability to communicate effectively with our dog, Kapa'a. We can now take our 10-month-old Newfoundland puppy hiking, swimming, or even visit friends with confidence that she will behave appropriately. Recently we went for a hike, that was a wonderful experience. We were able to walk off leash and trust that she would come when called, stop on command, and greet other dogs and people politely. It was true joy to feel as though we were able to understand each other, and this is thanks to Marie. The learning environment at class is effective, efficient, and always positive. Thanks again.
– Matt and Renee Smalley
We just took Emi into the vet to check on a nipple problem and the staff noticed how remarkably different Emi is. They commented on how changed she is, so quiet, calm and non-reactive to other dogs. There were two American Bulldogs in the waiting room with us and Emi totally ignored them as though they were not there. Other dogs came and went and she just lay there looking at them and did not growl or even get up. We were in the waiting room for 45 minutes and the staff said it was as though Emi wasn't even there. It's a definite difference and must be due to all of the training.
– Mits, Scott and Emi
Thank you for this past Sunday's BAT training! It was very interesting to experience first-hand the different types of calming signals, reactions, etc. I never knew that Zoe did a lip lick until Sunday. She initially reacts so quickly by charging and barking [at other dogs]. I now realize that she doesn't understand how to approach dogs properly, and is just initially reactive. It was helpful to see other dogs on Sunday, and hear you explain what they were doing. Will be working with Zoe!
– Carole Koike