"The Humaner Trainer class is amazing. They are a very passionate about their job and it shows by their actions. I have never had someone give as much time out of the class as in the class. You and your staff are different and it shows.” - Cori R.
"Humaner Trainer was a godsend to me. After a 6 week puppy course, I knew Fozzie was going to be difficult to train. I called many places & I knew a 6-8 week course would be a waste of time & money. With Margaret’s patience & help, Fozzie came a long way. We needed a long term program that would allow him to grow at his own pace. The Humaner Trainer methods could be tailored to each individual dog, even a stubborn one with issues. I honestly don’t think Fozzie would be such a well behaved loveable companion if we had not found you. I thank you from the bottom of our hearts & am always quick to refer people to you. Even after all this time, Fozzie is still learning & growing. He is still stubborn & will always have problems, but I have learned how to work with him & deal with his issues." - Cyndy G. & Fozzie Bear
"Margaret and the Humaner Trainer staff have been great for our new family member, Kili. We took Kili to her first class when she was a little puppy - only four months old. Our friends and family are amazed how well behaved and trained she is at 8 months (note that she still has her puppy moments). They take care to customize the approach when training the trainer no matter the age, breed, size, personality or physical ability of the dog. Their patience with and love for all of their students (people and dogs alike) definitely makes training fun. Kili can hardly wait for her next training session." - Dawn & Wes B.
"During my first phone conversation with Margaret, she spent time on the phone talking to me about bringing a new puppy into our home—a home with a one year old baby and an eight year old dog. She took the time to find out about our situation and our needs, and she offered advice which she followed up with a packet of reading material in the mail. And at that point, I hadn’t even signed up for her classes. Neither of the other two trainers did this for me, and I don’t feel they should have, but it shows that Margaret went that extra mile to help a prospective student—something she did not have to do.
After signing up and completing her classes, there are many things that really pleased me. All classes take place on her property, which is well lit and maintained. Margaret is well connected in the 'dog community' and spends time updating her skills. She is well versed in all current training methods, health issues, and training equipment and continues to keep herself educated on the latest developments.
I also felt that the instructors really cared about each individual student and dog. All are available and responsive to needs and questions at any time—either in class or through phone calls and email. The classes were accommodating and the dogs could move through the classes at their own pace, so there was no pressure to get something right." - Peggy K.
"I can tell you what makes you and your program so wonderful in our book:
- That your focus is on teaching people to understand what and how dogs communicate and learn, squarely placing primary responsibility on the humans, where it belongs.
- That by working with our dogs following your training we've been able to enjoy them more, and to deal with three dogs -- Isabel, Lucky, and Suki -- who each, in his or her own way, is a difficult creature.
- That you didn't tell me Isabel might be a bad choice for a pet because of her aggressiveness and general freakiness.
- That you didn't let me think Isabel was really a great dog as is, and could be treated like any other dog." - Brandt P. & Casey W.
"The Humaner Trainer offers obedience classes and individual training using reward-based training techniques.
Margaret Johnson’s company is different because she insists on positive experiences for her clients, both human and canine. Margaret and her team teach clients how to train their dogs in a fun and safe environment. The lasting benefit is that once you complete the classes, you're a trainer of sorts yourself.
Margaret also invests in her relationships with clients. The Humaner Trainer team consistently goes the extra mile for unique training issues and client questions. They understand that our dogs aren’t just pets, their family members. The Humaner Trainer is truly a breed apart." - Susan F. & Max the Mastiff
"I cannot thank you enough for your incredible wealth of knowledge and creative thinking. By my standards, Henry is perfect thanks to your insight. We may always struggle a bit with leash walking, but most of the time that doesn't matter for us. He recalls well at the park (much better there than in class!) and that's where he gets most of his exercise. When I do walk him on leash, he's great.
Compared to where he was this time last year, I am over-the-moon-thrilled with his progress. He started your class as a shell-shocked, traumatized rescue who was afraid of Jack and most other dogs. Now he loves Jack, maybe more than me, and gets along beautifully with other dogs. That would have been enough for me, but as a bonus he sits, stands, lays down, stays, comes when called, is learning to 'leave it', pees outside instead of in the house, lets us bathe him, brush his teeth, clean his ears, move him when he's sleeping without protest, and is above all extremely well adjusted.
Thanks to you, I would adopt another rescue with severe issues all over again. You are a genius! Thank you for training me so well." - Michelle H.
"Humaner Trainer has to be the best dog trainer in Austin.
Our 8-year old daughter and I spent about 6 months with the Humaner Trainer after adopting an adult rescue with a lovely but quirky personality and some issues that needed to be ironed out (such as jumping up, bad behavior with guests.) Adopting a dog had been on our family's agenda for about 3 years, and we knew that our daughter would be its primary companion and, as she grew older and more responsible, its primary caregiver. We were worried about the dog's behavioral predictability, especially since our daughter and her friends were then physically smaller and more vulnerable. And we were worried that our daughter wouldn't have the 'tools' to make her relationship with the dog a positive one.
The bottom line: the Humaner Trainer helped us train our dog to be a fantastic pet for our family. Even more importantly, she taught us (and especially our daughter) how to train, productively spoil, and structure our relationship with our new companion.
The Humaner Trainer's philosophy is that reward and reinforcement works better than punishment. She believes that this produces not just better behaviors, but also a better relationship between the dog and its masters. And most importantly it creates a 'grammar' of communication between dog and master that is likely to produce a more productive training and living environment than one that relies on the display or exercise of power. This gave us great results. It also immersed our daughter in style of interaction that has paid dividends far beyond dog training.
Although I can't imagine any dogs that would be bad candidates for the Humaner Trainer, I think some people might be. If you want a training style based on hierarchy and 'popping the leash,' you will probably find her training sessions frustrating. Also, the Humaner Trainer believes that anybody -- no matter how young -- who takes responsibility for an animal, deserves to have that responsibility treated in an adult way. As a result, the Humaner Trainer expects that kids will take training seriously. In our case this worked great ('seriously' does not mean 'fun-less,' and our daughter had a great time at Humaner Trainer). But if you have kids who want a dog to behave like a video game, the Humaner Trainer is not for you.
If you are willing to invest your family in a pet dog, you should make the investment in training yourself, and go to Humaner Trainer." - Isaac B.
"Margaret Johnson from Humaner Trainer is an amazing dog trainer. I only hope I can actually convey in words the respect and admiration our family has for this amazing lady and her ability to understand dogs and their 'persons.' Margaret is the quintessential dog trainer. She is good with little dogs, big dogs, edgy dogs, calm dogs, designer dogs and rescue mutts. In a word—she is a dog lover and it shows—she has studied her craft diligently and combined her knowledge with a wonderful sense of humor and the Austin area is fortunate to have her available for dog training.
Last Fall we invested in a puppy so we could introduce our autistic grandchild who lives in Georgia and his parents to pet ownership. I had read about the therapeutic benefits of pets with autistic children. Very specifically we know that service dogs are fabulous for autistic children, however at this point our children had not been able to afford the cost of such a dog for their child, but had started considering a 'pet' for the family. It only took one visit with our children and their six year old autistic child bonding nearly immediately with our Zoe for Chris and Melissa to start shopping for a puppy of their own. Our way of helping out was to offer to do the initial training of their puppy. Together we found their perfect puppy online from the same kennel that we had used and, after 15 years without a dog, I suddenly found myself with two puppies to train. My first move was to ask my vet for a trainer recommendation and he offered for my consideration, Margaret Johnson from Humaner Trainer.
Margaret relates so well to dogs that I have an ongoing joke with her that my dog likes her better than me. When we do the 'come' exercise in class, Ginger stays with Margaret and reluctantly comes to me finally after a lot of encouragement. I was working on 'training' both Zoe and Ginger so eventually a partially trained Ginger could go to live with the Taylors in Atlanta. During a Taylor Texas visit, Margaret came to my house to meet Ginger’s prospective family and to give the Taylors some training pointers so Ginger’s transition could be as smooth as possible. The Taylors have four children ages 11, 9, 6, and 3. After spending a couple of hours with us all, Margaret asked us quietly about how determined we were to send Ginger to live in Atlanta with the Taylors. During the training sessions she had observed that Ginger preferred more quiet and private time than our energetic Zoe. Zoe was so happy to be in the middle of everything. The long and short of this account is that we finally settled on sending Zoe to live with the Taylors and Ginger has stayed with us. It has been a perfect placement. The Taylors enjoyed their time with Margaret so much. Not only was she intuitive of different personalities of the dogs she quietly discerned the inclinations of the children and made a conscious effort to engage each one of them with the dog on the level that would make them successful with their new puppy. She makes everything look so easy—she brings a sense of humor to every session and is just full of encouragements and fresh ideas for every situation that any of us have ever presented to her. She is available online between classes for any frustrations that crop up with those of us less experienced at handling our new pets. I highly recommend her. Her group classes are fun and highly effective and she is really great one on one during private lessons." - Charlotte H.