We called Jim Burwell for several reasons. One is that, having owned several beloved dogs who had been assets to our family (even members of our family), I had never properly trained a dog. The dog was always the leader in our household. In fact–although it’s embarrassing for me to admit–when we’d have company for dinner, we’d have to board our dog to keep our dog from demanding attention and ruining our guests’ evening. I vowed if I got another dog, I’d be a more responsible dog owner in ensuring I had a well-behaved pet who could remain well-behaved no matter who came to visit.
A few days after we recently adopted our 6 month old hound mix who we thought was so mellow and calm, Mimosa began showing signs of who she really is: a puppy. She started jumping; she barked and growled at any visitor at our front door, and began using our living room and bedroom as a lawn. I initially consulted a trainer whose name I got from our vet. But after one session, I realized his method was one I wasn’t comfortable with. He told me my voice wasn’t mean enough and he insisted on a choke collar all day long, telling me my dog was going to be a nut case soon if I couldn’t get her under control. This only served to make Mimosa, my family, and me nervous, and it didn’t help remedy any issue. After one intense and exasperating session in which we all felt like failures, I recalled another trainer who had been recommended to me some years previously.
Enter Jim Burwell, who is now my dog-training hero. In three sessions, Mimosa has completely stopped having accidents in the house, her barking and jumping has improved significantly, and she has mastered basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and “lie down.” She seems to love responding to commands and succeeding, very eager to please. Rather than labeling Mimosa as a nut case, Jim helped us positively reinforce Mimosa with treats and/or praise on accomplishment; results were almost instantaneous. Because Jim’s method is so easy to use and produces quick results with repetition, it is fun to “work the program” with Mimosa several times a day. I can’t wait to continue Mimosa’s “education” and socialization with Jim’s puppy classes soon.
There are people who are so good at, and passionate about, what they do, that in their presence, one can’t help thinking that they have found their true calling and are doing exactly what they should be doing on this earth. Jim is one of these rare people. His quiet and understated manner, his effective technique for training dogs (and their families) is something which I feel fortunate to have witnessed and in which to have been an active participant.