We love working with people and their dogs—and feel so very privileged to have had, and continue to have, the opportunity to work with so many wonderful canines and humans. We’ve helped new puppy owners weather the challenges of raising a stable, healthy, happy, and well-mannered baby canine. We’ve guided people working to integrate and bond with a new rescue dog, often overcoming a variety of obedience and behavioral difficulties. We’ve assisted many aspiring therapy dog teams to prepare for certification and the wonderful work that comes with it. And, we’ve saved many people from being dragged down the street at the end of a leash, being bruised and battered from an over-enthusiastic jumper or nipper, and many more barriers that prevent us from enjoying our dogs.
The comments below represent the experiences people have had with us since we started teaching classes in 2009!
Read below if you’d like to see what our students have said about working with us.
Learned a ton-much more than at our first round of obedience classes that we took elsewhere...
Gold Star Training is aptly named as I would rate Deb Helfrich and her Gold Star training classes and educational lectures with five gold stars! I stumbled upon Gold Star last winter and signed up my dog Maple for an obedience class with the hope of eventually becoming certified as a team through Therapy Dogs of Vermont (TDV). Maple and I both learned a ton-much more than at our first round of obedience classes that we took elsewhere, and Deb's lecture on dog communication was both insightful and entertaining. She is a patient, supportive and gifted instructor and her passion for dogs shines through in all she does. Maple is now certified and making a difference through TDV, all thanks to Deb!!
―Ellyn and Maple (Yellow Lab), Richmond
Most knowledgeable trainer with whom I have worked… classes are relaxed and fun!
Deb is the most knowledgeable trainer with whom I have worked. She is the real deal! Deb has a deep understanding of how dogs communicate and shows you how to better communicate with and understand your dog. It was so interesting to watch the communication and that moment when the human command made sense to the dog. There is always follow up material from the class to continue to understand and train at home. As well, Deb is available to reach with any questions. At the same time, classes are relaxed and fun! I’ve recommended Deb to everyone I know working with a dog. On our first class we were the pair with a dog pulling at the leash yanking towards other dogs. At the end of the course we were: waiting before entering a room and calmly leash walking outdoors with other dogs in a group.
―Beth and Liesl (Terrier mix), Westford
Blown away by how much we both learned
My 18 week old Golden puppy and I just finished Deb's basic training class. I was blown away by how much we both learned in such a short amount of time. Deb's easygoing personality and clear communication made class a joy to attend, and the small class size allowed for plenty of one-on-one time. My family and I are now able to thoroughly enjoy a much better behaved puppy, and plan to take the "Beyond Basics" class in the near future. I am SO glad I chose Gold Star Dog Training over other options in the area! I truly believe that the in-depth education (including reading body language, bonding, and actual training) is a combination that cannot be found elsewhere. Deb is a wealth of information and the "lifetime tech support" is something that I will definitely take advantage of. Thank you for sharing your love of dogs and training capability with us!
―Jordan and Dempsey (Golden Retriever), Essex Junction
So impressed with Deb…5 stars
We had lost our beloved yellow lab this past January after 14 wonderful years, and since we have never been without a dog we decided to adopt a stray rescue, Paige came to us from the streets of Arkansas at 9 weeks old. Since it had been a long time since we had a puppy we decided to enroll her into Gold Star Dog training, the Basic Training course (since it was the first for both Paige and us) with Deb. Deb was great and was encouraging every step of the way. We learned how to communicate with Paige and teach her the basic commands. Deb was very professional and focused on getting us to achieve our goal in training Paige, she provided assistance even by phone or email if the needed. We were so impressed with Deb that after Paige graduated the Basic Training Class we enrolled her into the Beyond Basic Class. Enrolling Paige in Gold Star Dog training was an excellent decision on our part and we would give Deb 5 stars and highly recommend her classes to others.**
―Gail, Garry, and Paige (Lab mix), Richford
Exactly the kind of trainer every dog owner needs
Deb at Goldstar is exactly the kind of trainer every dog owner needs. People will stop us and comment how good our young dog is. I am sure to point out it’s not the breed but having a quality training class like Goldstar. Her methods are positive and encouraging and the classes are extremely safe for all the dogs and handlers, affordable and convenient. We have been to two different levels and always picked up a new tip at each class.
―Deborah and Piper (Bernese Mountain Dog), Underhill
Wealth information, tools, and resources
We just completed the 6 week Basic Training and Social Skills class with our 5 week old puppy, Luna and loved it. Deb's instruction during each class is easy to follow and she provides a wealth of information, tools and resources via email following each session. The class we took in St. Albans was indoors which made it comfortable and safe with few distractions. Whether you've got a puppy or adult dog that needs to learn the basics, this class is wonderful.
―Nancy and Luna (Lab), St Albans
Learned techniques for encouraging better behavior
Deb is a fantastic trainer! We brought our puppy to her Basic Training & Social Skills class and learned so many helpful skills. Deb taught us how to best communicate with our dog, as well as techniques for encouraging better behavior. We look forward to taking more dog training classes with Deb and recommend her to all of our friends and family who have dogs!
―Ally, Andrew, and Cub (Lab/Shep Mix), Fairfax
My dog Willow and I just finished the Puppy Basic Class that Deb teaches. I really loved the approach of training and social skills that were taught to us. Kind and Gentle......The class is taught in a calm controlled environment with a small group of dogs.Our class had young puppies as well as a couple adult dogs. Deb made the classes easy to understand. The day after the class she emails you all the notes from the class the night before so you have them to review.The class really helped my Westie puppy and I bond. My goal from taking this class was to start to learn how to teach my pup how to have good manners and socialize her. And I did.....my pup and I have signed up for the Beyond Basics class and are looking very forward to learning more.
―Cherie and Willow (West Highland Terrier), Fairfax
Because of my age I felt self-conscious in the class at first...Thanks to Deb and her wonderful training skills I now feel confident
Dory, a rescue dog came to my husband and me from Texas a year ago. A 2-year-old 40 pound red heeler, she was and is playful, strong and delightful. The problem for 74-year-old me was that her exuberance made it difficult for me to walk her, and when she jumped I was afraid she'd knock me over. Thanks to Deb and her wonderful training skills I now feel confident with Dory. She is polite and obedient, while retaining her playful personality. Because of my age I felt self-conscious in the class at first, but Deb and the other students were kind and encouraging. Since I'm also hard of hearing, Deb offered to use a microphone in class! Altogether a worthwhile experience...for young or old. Dory and I plan on attending the advanced training class, and beyond!
―Millie and Dory (Red Heeler), St Albans
Engaging, funny, kind and extremely knowledgeable
Deb is an amazing teacher! My dog and I learned so much from her and look forward to taking more classes. She is engaging, funny, kind and extremely knowledgeable. I recommend Gold Star 100%.
―Jennifer and Benny (Golden Lab Mix), South Burlington
Instructions and follow-up materials are clear and easy to follow
Class is excellent (amazing with many dogs who are not allowed to mingle!), instructions and follow-up materials are clear and easy to follow, and demo and practice in class with Deb's input are perfect. Deb has a wealth of knowledge to share and use to train us!
—Sarah and Lucy (Black Lab), Williston
Immediately Signed Up For the Next Session
This is the first official training class we've ever taken, and our young terrier pup just ate it all up. He was so, so happy to go each week! We still have a lot of work to do, but Deb gave us a great foundation to build on. We immediately left the last class and signed up for the next session - if that's not praise then I don't know what is!
―Jennifer, Manuel, and Monty (Airedale), South Burlington
pup is already growing to be the dog of our dreams and I believe this is due to the guidance and support we received with Gold Star.
AMAZING! We have had such an amazing experience with our new German Shepherd puppy in Deb's class! Our pup is already growing to be the dog of our dreams and I believe this is due to the guidance and support we received with Gold Star. We can't wait to start the next class, it is our favorite part of our week!
―Anna, Oliver, and Seven (German Shepherd Dog), Burlington
Deb took time to individualize a plan for each pup and also connected our puppies and their humans as a group
Deb is amazing!! I recently finished Basic Training & Social Skills in Essex Vt with my 5 month old German Shepherd pup. Her experience, training skills and expertise knowledge in puppy and dog behavior combined with her positive reinforcement and fun approach made every class enjoyable! Deb took time to individualize a plan for each pup and also connected our puppies and their humans as a group. I am highly recommending Good Star Dog Training and looking forward to attending Beyond Basics Training.
―Kathy and Chief (German Shepherd Dog), Fairfield
Ryder was the youngest, most rambunctious of the group but by the end of the class...
"Beyond Basics" was the third Obedience Class we completed, and the first with Gold Star Dog Training. We have a 1-year-old male Chocolate Lab, Ryder that has an abundance of energy and loves other dogs. This class was exactly what Ryder, and I needed to move forward with our training. Deb is so patient and pays close attention to each dog in her classes. Ryder was the youngest, most rambunctious of the group but by the end of the class his focus work, and ability to settle (which we only began through this class) has come leaps and bounds. We are really excited to complete more classes with Deb with hopes of Ryder eventually doing the TDV test.
―Lauren and Ryder (Chocolate Lab), Winooski
artfully addresses each dog and owner's needs...She is a true gem
We have participated in a number of classes and training opportunities with Deb, and we have been incredibly pleased with every encounter with Deb. She genuinely loves helping dogs and their people develop positive working relationships to enable responsible, happy behavior. Her patience, creativity and enthusiasm make her classes a joy in which to participate. She artfully addresses each dog and owner's needs and graciously responds to question and concerns between classes too! I would give Deb and her teaching style and expertise 6 stars if I could! She is a true gem.
―Valerie and Balsam Golden Retriever), Essex Junction
encouraging and warm in her manner
We found Deb's classes to be clear, organized, and precise with helpful follow up synopses of each class. She takes a personal interest in each student (human or dog) and is encouraging and warm in her manner. We will definitely be seeking more instruction.
―Anne, Peter, and Winston (Standard Poodle), Burlington
Course is worth attending
I found the Basic Training course extremely helpful. The course was not just how to train your puppy but, also training yourself. Consistent behavior on our part will lead to consistent behavior of our dogs. This course is worth attending.
―Laura and Snoopy (Poodle mix), Enosburg Falls
On the right path to becoming a Therapy Dog
Deb is an excellent dog "whisperer" I learned a lot taking this class, and my dog Dice improved a lot from the first class to the last one. Deb gives clear directions and dosen't rush you, and this helps build confidence. Dice has a lot of work still to do, but I feel he is now on the right path to becoming a Therapy Dog.
―Gail and Dice (Samoyed), Essex Jct
steady path of training that showed results after the first class
The training with Deb was extraordinary! She has an intuitive sense of the animals, and is very skilled and reassuring. The training is thoughtfully organized, well-paced, and should be applicable to most! Our pup is a rescue with traumatic history, so experiences overarousal and shyness. Deb set up on a steady path of training that showed results after the first class! We all feel so much calmer and happier! She is extremely approachable, makes herself available outside of class, and her materials are very well done and helpful! We will be signing up for the second series next time around!
―Masha, Mark, Maya, and Ela (Staffordshire Mix), Williston
This is the third time I’ve taken a class with Deb
This is the third time I’ve taken a class with Deb and, as always, it was fun, informative and just a great learning experience! Deb gives great insight into dog behavior and thought processes and uses that information to help us learn to communicate effectively with our dogs. Deb’s techniques are always gentle and aim to improve the dog/human bond. She is always very helpful and makes herself available outside of class by phone and email to help address any individual questions/issues we may have with our dogs. I will always go to Deb for any dog training needs!
―Heather and Hazel (Beagle-Collie Mix), Milton
I have acquired a better understanding of how to communicate with my dogs
Recently I enrolled in the Dog/Puppy Essentials: Basic Training and Social Skills with Goldstar Dog Training. I found that the class with multiple dogs and their handlers run in an open-classroom environment to be very helpful as it offered the opportunity to hear other's questions as well as my own. The materials and instructions provided by Deb while Stephanie [class assistant] moved about the room to help guide the handlers were clear and easy to understand while the homework assignments reinforce what we learned in each session. While I enrolled only one of my two dogs, I found that the homework was instrumental in teaching the one not attending class along with encouraging the enrolled dog to behave more appropriately in a variety of environments as I have acquired a better understanding of how to communicate with my dogs.
For anyone hoping to find a better way of communicating what behavior is appropriate and how to encourage his/her dog to be more obedient, I would highly recommend Gold Star Dog Training. Deb is very kind, understanding, and most willing to help any individual have a better relationship with his/her dog through proper training.
―Carol and Willow (Lab-Collie Mix), Fairfax
Taught me how to communicate with [my dog] and build a bond that that will last forever
Feeling overwhelmed with a German Shepherd puppy that I felt that I had no control of and very frustrated then I found Gold Star Training and signed up for Deb's Basic Training Class and it's the best thing that I could have done. When I first contacted Deb her class was full but she figured out a way to fit me into the class and I was very grateful. She truly cared about helping Mason & I adapt with one another, she taught me how to communicate with him and build a bond that that will last forever and having no more frustration which made home life much better for the both of us. Her classes were very controlled and she took time with each of the dogs to make sure they all got special attention. It was a true joy to have the opportunity to attend these classes and looking forward to start a new class with her. What really impressed me is that Deb is always their day or evenings whenever I had questions she was always open to talk. It seems great to have that support whenever I need it. Deb is the best in what she does and such a caring person. I can't express how fortunate I feel to have met her. Thank you Deb for everything!!!
―Tammy and Mason (German Shepherd Dog), Hinesburg
positive and organized approach was great
Dahla and I really enjoyed our Basics class with Deb. Her positive and organized approach was great. She had lots of helpful handouts, gave clear instruction, made herself available for questions after class or during the week, and approached each dog/handler team at their own level. Progress was made, both dog and human, and we are looking forward to another class in the spring!
―Kate and Dahla (Tibetan Terrier), St Albans
a great way to get started communicating with your dog
Fernie and I really enjoyed our class with Deb, she shares helpful techniques and advice in an easy to understand and well organized way. I'd definitely recommend her class as a great way to get started communicating with your dog!
―Lauren and Fernie (Lab-GSD mix), Colchester
Has helped me with several foster dogs...
Deb has helped me with several foster dogs...she uses positive reinforcement practices, is extremely encouraging, and I love her calm demeanor. Recently, I took her canine communication class and found it super helpful in learning how to read a dog's body language. Highly recommend.
―Christi, Foster home, VT Dog Rescue, Hyde Park
highly, and enthusiastically, recommend Deb's classes...
Deb is a fantastic instructor! She not only "knows her stuff" but she can explain it in a way that her clients can easily understand. She's kind, compassionate, loves dogs, and loves helping people develop a great relationship with their dog(s). I highly, and enthusiastically, recommend Deb's classes!!
―Maryellen (Fellow Trainer), Stowe
Can't offer any better praise than how well my George has learned...
Awesome training!! I can't offer any better praise than how well my George has learned. And I believe that is because I was taught how to read and know my Newfie. George only wants to please and I'm learning how to speak the language that will help make us a great therapy pair. We are looking forward to continuing our journey under Deb and, her wonderful team's guidance.
―Debra and George (Newfoundland), Fairfax
Our pup grew into such a nice well mannered dog...
With Deb's help our pup grew into such a nice well mannered dog! Couldn't have done it without her help and knowledge. She is a great instructor and I still am able to go back with questions if I ever have something come up. Can't say enough good things about her-highly recommend!
―Stephanie and Nitro (German Shepherd mix), St Albans
We came to Gold Star because our skittish little pup…
We came to Gold Star because our skittish little pup would regularly get spooked and dart away from us, leaving me terrified for her safety every time. Deb knew just how to handle our situation. She gave our pup extra attention and gave us instructions specific to her particular disposition. With regular practice our timid girl has become able to comfortably go with us to parks and patios and is even a great off-leash hiker. It means the world to us to feel safe enough to let her have fun and be independent knowing that when we call her name, she’ll always come right back to us.
―Meagan and Maleah (Pointer/lab mix), Vergennes
Years of experience has seasoned her classes to being an affordable, safe, fun, orderly, and informative…
Our experience with Gold Star Dog Training is exactly its name itself. I'd rate 5 gold stars for Deb's clear cut communication and very practical use of dog behavior tools and knowledge of canine behavior. It helped tremendously with our very active puppy with basic foundations to be a well received member of human society. All commands learned in the class have been retained even a year later. It's obvious her years of experience has seasoned her classes to being an affordable, safe, fun, orderly, and informative school for our beloved Jupiter. Most importantly, she is very open and receptive to questions, concerns, and challenges that come her way. Can't recommend this class enough!!
―Rita and Jupiter (Hound/lab mix), Jericho
Cannot express enough the high regard I have for Deb and her teaching abilities…
I cannot express enough the high regard I have for Deb and her teaching abilities, not only for the dogs but for their owners as well. Deb's ability to explain and demonstrate training methods in a relaxed environment and easy to understand terms is a rare trait. Being a 1st time dog owner, Deb was always available, either by phone or email, to answer any questions and offer encouragement.......always kind, patient and very positive. Ruby and I had a great time learning together in Deb's class. Thank you so much!
―Yvonne and Ruby (Labradoodle), Stowe
Before your introductory puppy class, Copper was out of control...
Just a short note to thank you for all you have done for our dog, Copper. We started puppy classes with you when she was 10 months old. In just 8 short weeks we are on the road to having the dog that our family wanted. Before your introductory puppy class, Copper was out of control, creating a lot of stress in our house and on her way to a new home. Your classes taught us basic obedience, simple one word commands and techniques to discourage bad behavior and reinforce good. Our family would like to sincerely thank you for your instruction, patience and encouragement.
--Tania and Copper (Yellow Lab), St Albans
Excellent teacher of people, and reader of dogs...
I recommend Deb as an excellent teacher of people, and reader of dogs. In addition to offering straightforward advice based on her analysis of what she sees (the dog and the owner) Deb is always kind -- every time she stresses the positive. This is not just feel good, it happens to be her principle method: rewarding good behavior goes a lot further than reprimanding negative behavior. Besides, her class was a lot of fun and people felt good about each other, each other's dogs, and their own dogs. My dog tends toward shy and gentle. Deb's class and advice was just right for the pup I have now. It would have been just right for my now-gone-dog who was very assertive and brave. I'm speaking from the perspective of being an owner of Australian Shepherds for the past four decades.
--Mary and Hank (Australian Shepherd), Hinesburg
Will be forever grateful...
My experience with Deb was amazing. As a first time dog owner it was so much more about training me that the pup and this class was perfect! Our dog responded well to the style and we just keep going! My husband and I were able to form a bonded and positive relationship with our rescue pup from the skills we learned in the basics class. I will be forever grateful for Gold Star LLC!
--Trisha, Joshua, and Kip (Lab Mix), St Albans
Greatly appreciated that so much patience and guidance was provided...
My husband, Andrew, and I just completed the basics training class with our pup, Josie. It was a very worthwhile experience, as Deb was a very knowledgeable and personable instructor. The class sizes are kept small, which allows for a lot of personalized attention and a less hectic environment. Josie is a bit of a handful, so it was greatly appreciated that so much patience and guidance was provided. We now have the groundwork to continue fostering the growth of a loving, smart, and exuberant dog. Thank you, Deb!
―Laura, Andrew, and Josie (Airdale Mix), St Albans
Her lectures are first rate...
Deb is an amazing translator who helps humans understand their dogs very individually. She looks at each dog-human team and finds the key to helping them click! Deb, her classes and her lectures are first rate. I'm honored to call her my friend and fellow, professional trainer.
―Jill (Fellow dog trainer), Richmond
Hands Down the BEST trainer I have ever worked with...
Deb's knowledge of dog behavior and troubleshooting of concerns is impressive. Her skills are complemented by a warm & friendly personality and a genuine love of helping dogs & their people communicate. Hands down the BEST trainer I have ever worked with. Thank you Deb!!
―Brigitte (VT Dog Rescue), Hinesbeurg
So invested & committed to having you and your dog really know each other...
Deb is amazing. She is fantastic at explaining what your dog is trying to tell you and is so invested & committed to having you and your dog really know each other. And she really cares about you & your dog.
―Christy and Cooper (German Shepherd), Starksboro
The sweetest person you will ever meet...
I absolutely love Deb! She is great with dogs and people. She is the sweetest person you will ever meet. If you go to her class, you will love it.
―Josh and Frankie (Yellow Lab), Burlington
Canine communication seminars are an amazing resource...
Deb is awesome! Her canine communication seminars are an amazing resource for our community. Her group training classes will prepare you and your dog for a lifetime of success and happiness together.
―Emily (fellow trainer), Ferrisburgh
Highly recommend their training...
I work with dogs for a living, although in more of a working dog atmosphere. I've been to Gold Star's classes, helped at Gold Star's classes, and have sent several folks their way, and all have been happy. I highly recommend their training.
―Dave, Police k-9 Handler, Colchester
Expertise, coupled with a refreshing sense of humor, made for an extremely enjoyable class...
I attended a class led by Deb Helfrich and it was wonderful! The content covered a wide array of topics and situations dog owners will likely encounter. Deb's expertise, coupled with a refreshing sense of humor, made for an extremely enjoyable class! Her passion for what she does shines through!
―Paula (not a current dog owner), Groveland (MA)
We took Deb's puppy class 3 x...
We took Deb's puppy class 3 x not because we had to but because we wanted to work with her and were unable to attend the " Beyond Basics". She tailored our experience to include basic plus! We did the same as the Basic class with added challenges! "Individual learning" was provided!
―Patti, Stuart, and Rosie (Griffon), Stowe
So very easy to work with…
I took my rescue, Phoebe, to the Basics and Socializing class. She instantly knew my dogs fears and what she was saying with her body language. The class was very thorough, and covered pretty much everything you could want to know, but best of all it was all positive reinforcement. So many little tips and tricks to help with the attention of my pup. Deb is extrememly knowledgeable and so very easy to work with. Very thorough instructions. I highly recommend Deb D'Agati Helfrich!
―Linda and Phoebe (Lab Mix), St Albans
Her patience and compassion for helping dogs and their human counterpart is unsurpassable…
Deb is a fountain of everything-dog knowledge. Her patience and compassion for helping dogs and their human counterpart is unsurpassable. If you're looking for some assistance with a pup, for whatever reason, Deb is the right source. Thanks for helping Winnie grow!
―Tessa and Winnie (Yorkie Mix), Winooski
Deb is patient, understanding and willing to go beyond the canine classroom...
Our German Shepherd puppy, Bishop, went from being an overly enthusiastic, barking, jumping, will-of-his-own beast into a much more manageable 9-month old who now (somewhat grudgingly) accepts the fact that there are rules and consequences. Learning how to manage this boy took two rounds of classes with Deb, a great many phone conversations, and a LOT of email exchanges. Deb is patient, understanding and willing to go beyond the canine classroom to make sure you and your dog are comfortable and that her techniques are working. We've stopped threatening to put him on the front lawn with a FREE sign (!) and we will probably take another round of classes in the spring, just to keep Bishop on track. We are all huge fans of Deb and her training methods.
--Lisamarie, Tom, and Bishop (German Shepherd), St Albans
Dedication and unconditional love for dogs...
Dear Deb, I wanted to let you know how much my son and I loved taking your six week advanced puppy training class. We learned so much from you. Your dedication and unconditional love for dogs is clearly shown in the way you teach. There are so many incompetent people around today, who think they know how to teach and train dogs. I have heard and read about people training by force and abuse. Deb, you have the knowledge and experience to teach people in the most kindest and humane way possible. We need more people like you our dogs need more people like you. You have taught us so much and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts, for teaching us how to train Burton with respect, praise and love.
--Brenda, Landon, and Burton (Yellow Lab), Williston, Vermont
Her instruction is calm, clear and concise...
I've taken 2 classes with Deb and have found her to be a thoroughly competent and professional dog trainer. Her teaching approach is positive and fun, her instruction is calm, clear and concise and, her follow-up with support materials is both exceptional and comprehensive! I highly recommend taking a class with Deb whether you are a first time dog owner or have previously had a dog(s) in your life - Deb will surely have something to teach that will benefit both you and your pup!
--Sara and Meadowsweet (Black lab mix), Colchester
She has that unique ability to quickly assess both handlers and pups...
I cannot imagine raising a pup without the training and coaching Deb provides in her classes...her manner is low key but her directions are clear, insightful, and timely. She has that unique ability to quickly assess both handlers and pups and share insights on how to best socialize the dogs. Handlers feel respect and listened to and Deb went on to help us listen to or 'read' the behaviors of our own dogs. One of Deb's greatest strengths was her ability to break tasks into sequential steps so that we were able to guide our dogs into specific desired behaviors (i.e. 'heel' 'come' 'stay' leave it' etc). I would sign up for any level of class Deb teaches!
--Lynn and Charlie (Labradoodle), Shelburne
We have a high energy dog who wanted to be in charge...
Working with Deb was wonderful. We have a high energy dog who wanted to be in charge, but with Deb's guidance we were able to get things smoothed out. The way she uses different items and people to help the dogs be less skittish and nervous was a wonderful tool that helped us get our puppy used to new things.
--Stacey and Thea (Weimeraner), Fairfield
Always available for questions outside of class...
I’ve had dogs in the past but had never really trained one. Deb's positive and calm approach has helped me learn how to read and train Whitby, my yellow lab. Classes are small and effective…just having the chance to socialize my dog with other dogs is great, but having the opportunity to train alongside others is an enormous bonus. There are also other resources (books, articles, training tips, etc.) available, including Deb, who is always available for questions outside of class! We look forward to taking more classes with Deb!
--Joyce and Whitby (Yellow Lab), Enosburg Falls
Learned how to play some fun games that we still play now...
The Puppy Class was perfect for both me and my dog. While it covered the basics, I also gained tips on how to be a better trainer and how to keep my dog behaved while he's introduced to different kinds of situations like meeting a firefighter in full gear, hearing loud noises, or being handled by someone other than myself. Plus my dog got to socialize and we learned how to play some fun games that we still play now!
--Jessica and Bosco (Chocolate Lab), Essex Junction
Helping me to instill discipline in the correct way...
I really do appreciate everything you have done, helping me to instill discipline in the correct way. That was big for me -- you know how I was kind of a pushover...especially with those puppy eyes staring back at me.
--Autumn and Huckleberry (Lab/Rottweiler mix), Craftsbury
We'll come back to you for more...
Dear Deb, you have a great understanding of dogs, and helped me to understand how to teach her to keep safe and have fun, although we have not had further training yet, when life allows we'll come back to you for more. We worried a lot about having a little dog, we didn’t want her to be a "yappy jumpy little dog" and thanks to your teaching she's not, she is calm and well behaved, gets along with children and adults and other dogs, and I think this is because you taught us how to be comfortable with her in any situation, and so she is comfortable too.
--Joan and Josie (Schnorkie), Waterville
Helped me bring out the best in my dog...
Cleo and I attended two beginning classes with Deb. Even though they were both beginner classes I loved Deb's training methods enough to ask if it would be beneficial for Cleo to attend a second class. Cleo definitely benefited as Deb individualized the training to built on Cleo's previous skill level and helped me bring out the best in my dog . Deb is caring and really helps you to see the bond between yourself and your dog. Training with Deb is more about team building than dog training only. She is an excellent instructor and I would highly recommend her classes.
--Janet and Cleo (Standard Poodle), Milton
Her patience and suggestions have paid off far more than I thought possible...
I'm very grateful to Deb for helping me with my fearful 9 year old dog. Her patience and suggestions have paid off far more than I thought possible for an older pet. He benefited from controlled exposure to various new socialization experiences in her classes and has continued to improve with the techniques I learned from her. He is now able to enjoy a wider range of activities because of her. Her classes were equally successful and FUN with our new puppy. I highly recommend her obedience classes to anyone with a new puppy or an older dog who needs some help. Her methods are easy to understand and very practical and she is very responsive to individual needs.
--Peggy and Ted (Tibetan Terrier), Milton
We now feel confident we can bring Cane into any situation and he can handle it...
Cane is our 2 year old black lab. We enrolled Cane in Beyond Basics class with Deb at Gold Star Dog Training, this class was great we had the opportunity to socialize Cane and build on his basic skills. We now feel confident we can bring Cane into any situation and he can handle it.
--Jason, Shannon, and Cane (Black Lab), St. Albans
This class was a perfect introduction to starting a great relationship with our new puppy...
My husband and I have never raised a dog before and this class was a perfect introduction to starting a great relationship with our new puppy. The training helped us start off on the right foot. We were able to learn quick, easy tips that were not overwhelming for us or our dog Gus. Deb breaks down each step very calmly and consistently. Our dog Gus is now 4 months old and when people meet him for the first time they are amazed at how well behaved he is. We get asked all the time 'How did you do it?' Our response is easy….'Gold Star Training with Deb.' We are so thankful that we had the opportunity to join this class and have Deb work with us. We would recommend taking the course for anyone with a new puppy!
--Dorey, Derek, and Gus (Yellow Lab), St. Albans
Training with Deb has made Montie enjoyable to have around…
I wanted my new family member Montie (Border Collie/Australia Cattle dog) to be all he could be. We enrolled with Deb when Montie was approximately 7 months old. He is a rescue and I wanted him to excel at his furever home. Greg, my significant other, was not sure of training. Within two weeks of training, Greg, could tell a difference in Montie.... Training with Deb has made Montie enjoyable to have around. Friends have commented on his good behavior and stated he has changed their minds about dogs in general. Deb gave Montie direction and he had success which made him want more.... Our granddaughters, 9 and 7, are spending more time with him because he is a good boy.... Not only did Deb work with Montie, she worked with me.... I don't know where we would be without Deb. Not only did Deb show Montie and me what we could do, she won Greg over. I have heard him tell others about his "boy" and Deb, his trainer. We were so lucky to find Montie and we were lucky to find Deb. I can not thank you enough, Deb.
--Mary, Greg, and Montie (Border Collie), East Fairfield
Great techniques and useful skills...
We just finished our first class with Deb and couldn't be happier. We appreciated the focus on positive reinforcement. We learned great techniques to help teach our puppy useful skills. Thank you Deb!
--Courtney , Evan, and Darnell (Boxer), Westford
Our pup will be a much better dog...
Deb is great! We learned so much and our pup will be a much better dog because of Deb. Thanks so much!
--Amber , Luke, and Madison (Boxer), Jericho
I was amazed at how she could take a dog...and have them do exactly what she wanted...
Deb has exceptional ways of you learning about your dog and having him/her trust and listen to you. I was very amazed at how she could take a dog who was young and won't listen and she would take to him/her, I called her the "Dog Whisperer", and have them do exactly what she wanted them to. I would recommend Gold Star to anyone who wants to learn more about their dog and how to train them.
--Bernice and Mickey (Maltese), St Albans
Her information makes sense and works...translates well to the home...
Just completed Deb's Basic Training class with my Yorkie Samuel. Deb is a super instructor. Her information makes sense and works .... I have three other Yorkies at home and her information translates well to the home. She is really training the owner which makes it even more useful.
--Karen and Samuel (Yorkie), St Albans
I have taken two classes from Deb. She is a fantastic teacher and I always learn useful training skills from her. Her classes are not overly crowded which guarantees time for everyone to receive individual assistance. She is so knowledgeable and always available for issues that might arise.
--Pam and Neela (Standard Poodle), East Fairfield
Provided us With a ton of information and guidelines that will help us become better trainers...
Deb came all the way to The K9Edge in Danvers, MA to give a presentation supporting the German Shepherd Resource and Resource Center. She provided us with a ton of information and guidelines that will help us become better trainers/handlers with our dogs. Her time and knowledge are greatly appreciated. I look forward to attending another of her seminars.
--Kathy, K9 Edge, Danvers, MA
She takes the time...
We loved Training our rescue pup with Deb. She takes the time it takes for each dog and/or person. Looking forward to taking more classes when we can.
--Carmel and Tucker, Essex Junction