What clients have to say...
Anyone who has seen me run agility with my girl Smudge knows that we are not without our challenges.
I started agility like most people I know- learn the obstacles and start trialing! Thank goodness we met Abbie shortly after, or who knows what could have happened!
Abbie didn't just teach us how to get better weave pole entries, start line stays and solid contacts, she taught us how to work as a team. Abbie's expertise in both agility and dog behavior helped me to learn how to be clear with my dog and got me a happier dog!
Because of my ongoing work with Abbie, when I started my next agility dog, I felt so much better prepared. Training Roo has not been without challenges, but I feel like I have the tools in my toolbox to tackle any issues. For example, when Roo started refusing the teeter, I was quickly able to develop a training plan to correct the issue. Roo is now offering the teeter independently!
I want to thank you for all you did for Abbey and I. I feel that you helped us become a team, real partners. You know what a difficult girl she was to work with and from where we had started together, and where we had been able to get recently.
When I first came to work with you, I had felt so discouraged and that nothing would help to make Abbey better behaved, or to make me understand how to work with her. But over time, I began to see results of all the hard work we did together. Putting your suggestions and training to work changed our lives. Abbey and I had become so connected over the years, especially the last year or so. She could look at me and know what I wanted her to do with the slightest of movements or facial expression. I could look at her and know how she was feeling and where she was at. That was thanks to you. Working with you made Abbey and I so close. Of course that also makes this loss nearly unbearable--to lose such a connection. She was and always will be a huge part of my heart. You once said to me when we first started working with you that Abbey was going to be my heart dog. I didn't necessarily believe it then because of the difficulties we went through together when she was a pup, but truer words could not have been spoken.
I will always feel such regret that I never got to work with Abbey during a competition because I think she would have been great. She loved her agility and I think was happiest when she was working on the field. I don't know if or when I will get another pup. We have Big Boy to get into shape and I am trying to turn my focus onto him and maybe I will start working with him with you in the summer. I didn't think there was hope with Abbey but I know how much better she turned out, so I am going to be hopeful with Big Boy too! :)
Thank you Abbie, for all you did for me and my girl. I hope you are well. Kim
If you had a problem with your car you would call a mechanic. Leaky pipe? A plumber. Your pup? Abbie Tamber. Two years ago, my then 6 month old female Dobe, Paris, was attacked at an off leash dog park.
Way before the physical damage was healed I noticed her tail, which had always poked high towards the sky, was now down. When I took her for walks she immediately started barking and backing away from other dogs - something she had never done before.
Since she's my 4th dog and I had read all the books, watched all the shows and attended classes with my male Dobe, Andre, I obviously KNEW how to correct the problem...WRONG!
After weeks of frustration I called ABBIE. In a single consultation the *fear* that I had self diagnosed was correctly addressed as *avoidance* and I was on my way to fixing my pup. Abbie gave me some exercises to practice with Paris and eventually her tail was standing high again :)
We enrolled in agiity - where we get to train with people from across the spectrum. New dog owners, competition agility or just for fun, Abbie mixes the classes so each person gets the most from their dog and themselves. The bond that developes between the canine and human team is priceless.
There is no trainer/behaviorist her equal in the area. Signed:
Alice CA Walters
Andre and Paris
This morning while transferring the girls I left my back door open, and diesel sat patiently and waited for me to come back. I looked at the door and thought oh crap, when I saw him waiting I was so thrilled.
Agility for Duncan has been a lifeline. He was so thoroughly disgusted with the human race when we first, he believed biting us was all that he could do to show his utter disdain for people and all of the injustice that had been done to him.
It was a long first year with Duncan. It was suggested, and we even contemplated ending his misery. Yet we were encouraged to hang in there, to commit to changing his mind about humans and to help him understand life through positive reinforcement. Suzanne Clothier suggested we try agility with Duncan. We needed to show Duncan what ‘to do” versus what “not” to do. So we sought out the sage wisdom of an experienced agility trainer and many recommended Abbie Tamber. She came to our house to meet Duncan and bluntly told us that she was concerned for us because Duncan was so very re-active, and really quite nasty most of the time. But she hung in there, and we hung in there, and we committed to making things right. I learned how to use a crazy contraption called a “clicker”. My husband and I argued more over Duncan than anything prior or since. We knew we were his last option and the pressure to help him was evident and overwhelming at times.
Duncan and I began agility 3 summers ago. From the moment he entered the field he let every living creature know who he was. It was a running joke that everyone could hear Duncan from miles away as we approached Abbie’s field. His excitement and willingness to do what I asked amazed me and often brought me to tears. I remember the class in which Abbie said we were going to teach our dogs how to “stay”. I thought there is no way this side of the Mississippi that Duncan will “stay” when there is a piece of his favorite food within 50 feet of him. He is the biggest resource guarder on the planet so I just imagined what would happen with this lesson. Wouldn’t you know though with Abbie’s confidence in Duncan we learned this command? He does it perfectly so much so that in a commercial we recently filmed I set a plate full of gourmet cookies in front of Duncan and asked him to Sit and Stay until the video guy could film and do you know that he sat there for a long time, drool streaming out of his mouth eyes glistening, but he never moved a muscle until I said it was okay.
There are so many stories like this that I could share. Agility gave us the ability to be in harmony together, to have fun and to play with so many incredible people and dogs. We are so grateful for the life that was given to us all in the form of a big eared goofball that was able to find his way and forgive humans because of wonderful training and humans that refused to give up on him.
Cassandra and Duncan
Just thought you’d like to know how even just a visit to one of your classes has benefitted another dog and her owner! I don’t know if you remember my friend John who attended one of your classes with me last June.
He was really impressed with the ability of the dogs in class to focus, remain calm and attentive to their owners in the presence of other dogs engaged in exciting activity, etc. He lives in Colorado, and before he left last June I loaned him a couple of books and gave him a clicker.
Well, I stopped to visit him on my way to Corvallis, Oregon, for a conference, and found that he hadn’t found time to try the clicker, although he had read the books, so before and after supper last night I had him practice using it and introduce his dog to it (amiable 8-yr-old German Shepherd mix). This morning taking the dog for a walk I had him use it to reinforce her for paying attention to him instead of other dogs, animals, etc. and he was amazed how quickly she figured out the system and now is convinced that he will be able to teach her to walk on a leash without pulling toward every passing distraction.
Sincerely, Chris Camann
When my husband and I heard about Abbie and her training, we knew we had to give her a call. Josie is our purebred boxer. She had just turned a year old when we met Abbie. Josie was a puppy and struggled with self-control and manner issues. The minute Abbie walked through our door, our lives changed.
She taught us how to train the behaviors that we wanted Josie to exhibit. “Ignore the bad, and praise the good” became a common saying around our house. Not only did Abbie help us with learning new techniques, she also gave us the confidence we needed to be consistent and persevere with Josie. - Bethany Evans