Testimonials: Behavior Modification-Aggression,
A Track Record of Success
My mission at Canine Point of View is to teach dog owners in the Jacksonville, Florida area to train their dogs. Combining your home’s real-life dynamics with my training and experience, I create a plan to get your dog to behave the way you need him or her to.
I’ve spent my whole life around dogs and will help you understand their behavior, mannerisms, gestures, and why your dog is behaving in a certain way. Once you understand the behavior and the triggers to look for, you can then be proactive rather than reactive.
What My Clients Have to Say
As a first time dog owner, I must admit I was overwhelmed with our new puppy, Turbo, an 11 week Pembroke Welsh Corgi. He was (and is!) cute as a button but those puppy teeth are sharp, and my husband and I had never trained a puppy. We had no idea what was normal puppy behavior vs. behavior we should be concerned about (e.g., how much biting and growling is normal?! Turns out, Turbo’s biting and growling were all in play, albeit sometimes/oftentimes painful. I’m happy to share that his bite inhibition is much, much better). Mel was recommended to us by our vet who also hired Mel to help train his puppy.
As soon as Mel walked into our home, Turbo was smitten. During our first session, Mel had a lot of wisdom to share. But perhaps what was most helpful to me initially was watching him interact with Turbo throughout the session. While he talked, we saw him play with and praise Turbo, and also calmly and easily redirect any of his undesired behaviors (like biting Mel’s shoes). (As a side note, I originally though a 2 hour training session was going to be too long for Turbo. But boy was I happy it did last so long. For a while, Turbo was on his best behavior, clearly excited to make a new friend. As time passed, Turbo displayed some of his more trying behaviors, which allowed us to see how they should be dealt with properly by watching Mel and being told the reasoning behind his actions in response to Turbo’s.
Had the session been shorter, I don’t think Mel would have seen Turbo’s many colors – quite like bringing your car in for servicing but having it fail to make the odd noise that needs to be fixed.) Mel’s natural ease with Turbo really put us at ease with our puppy, sharp teeth and all. We and Turbo learned a great deal (recall, stay, redirection, loose leash walking, for examples), and we really appreciate our fun little dog with a big personality so much more now that we understand Turbo’s point of view and how to train him. We highly recommend Mel Wilson.
“We would like to extend our sincere thanks for your assistance in training our new rescue puppy, “Brittany.” We had been cat people for many years, but in recent months lost two of our three loving little fur balls. Deborah and I had discussed adopting a shelter dog once all cats had gone to the big litter box in the sky, but when our yellow tabby “RD” left us unexpectedly, we were heartbroken and decided to adopt a dog with one cat remaining.
We found Brittany in North Carolina through PetFinders.com, and she became part of the family at six months old. We immediately realized the challenge we faced given the stark difference between raising a puppy vs. cats. We humans would need to make a major adjustment. Wanting to get Brittany off on the right paw, we obtained the services of a trainer in North Carolina to help us with the basics. Upon returning to our home in Jacksonville, we wanted to continue with Brittany’s obedience development. We sought recommendations and searched the internet. Your company logo, “Canine Point of View…training people from the dog’s point of view” caught my attention. After our phone conversation we decided to enlist your services.
It was apparent from your first visit that you truly have a connection with dogs and, I would imagine, all animals. Your approach to understanding what we wanted to achieve and of Brittany’s capability was obvious. You developed a program that allowed us to progress with Brittany at a pace that truly allowed her to succeed, but more importantly allowed us to enjoy her progress and responsiveness to our commands. All pets in the proper environment can thrive and make their owners happy and proud. You gave us the tools, understanding and knowledge to have an enjoyable and lasting time with Brittany. Please feel free to list us as references for your prospective clients. We enjoyed your expertise and pleasant demeanor. Thank you again.”
– Bob and Deborah Stephens
“Mel was instrumental in teaching my husband and I how to train our rescue dog, "Sassy.” I thought that we would not be able to keep Sassy, because of her aggression towards our grandpuppy, "Brodie.” We keep Brodie everyday and could not let any harm come to him. When I took Sassy to the vet for a check-up, I mentioned our problem. The vet suggested I get a dog trainer and recommended Mel.
He started out with just Sassy and taught us that positive reinforcement is the correct way to teach a dog. It was amazing what we learned. Praising accomplished far more that scolding. With patience and doing what Mel had instructed, Sassy and Brodie are great buddies. Mel works with your dog, but "you" are the one that will be trained to train the dog. I never thought I would spend money for a dog trainer, but I can say that it was the best decision I ever made. Thanks Mel. Sassy and Brodie say thanks too.”
- Joy and Wayne Jordan
“We highly recommend Mel at Canine Point of View to any family with a new dog (Carter), or anyone with a dog. Mel sees/thinks of things from the dog’s point of view, which makes training more understandable and effective. Mel was very patient with our two young children (and mom and dad) as we welcomed Carter, an Australian Shepherd puppy, into our home. Because of our work with Mel, we have a well behaved, happy dog. When we take Carter places, we regularly receive comments on how well mannered he is. Our children have enjoyed Mel’s training sessions and are confident with basic commands with Carter of sit, stay and lay down.
At only 7-months-old, Carter can walk off leash with ease, which we attribute to the foundation laid by Mel during our sessions. This training is worth every penny and more. We have also left our dog with Mel when we have traveled out of town, and we have no worries whatsoever. When Carter comes home, he certainly is happy to see us, but he is also his usual happy self because he has had a great time at his “second home.”
- The Zabijaka Family
Hi Mel, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for working with my English Mastiff, Gee, and Rottweiler, Mako. Your training was very fair, totally positive, both dogs love you and are better for the training they received from you. I observed you working with a mentally challenged client. All I can say is WOW. You were wonderful with both him and his dog, had the patience and care to work with both of them and I saw the gentleman actually start enjoying group classes. Whether he was mentally able to follow through with the training at home is irrelevant – for he achieved a better sense of self, more confidence, and made friends…..–Johnell Barkley
‘Recommendation for Dog Training! Mel, when we decided to get a new puppy we knew what breed and breeder, but we did not know who would help us train our dog. After our initial consultation with you, we knew right away that you were the right person to trust with our newest family member. Your passion and professionalism for canines was easy to notice. Our puppy Maverick is a great dog and you were the one who made it possible. I would highly recommend you and your methods for dog training any puppy or dog and we thank you for your commitment and conviction for Maverick our Chesapeake Bay Retriever. –Pete and Jennipher Kemp
Pete and Jennipher Kemp
It has been my pleasure to have assessed, advised, and worked with Mel Wilson in several dog obedience settings here in Jacksonville. Not only is he a true dog lover, but he is extremely interested in their well-being and not just in the group setting. He worked extremely well under my supervision in the classroom and was always ready to tackle even the most difficult issues. Every assignment that I gave Mel, he eagerly met it and succeeded with it. Most importantly, Mel continues to be engaged in research and in the study of Positive Reinforcement Training while volunteering at several local rescue groups. Jacksonville watch out! Positive Reinforcement Training is on it’s way in and thankfully, with a trainer like Mel Wilson, you and your canine will succeed. Congratulations Mel…it has been a pleasure. –Stacy Strickland, Dog Obedience Instructor and Canine Good Citizen Evaluator for the Jacksonville Humane Society
A friend who worked with Mel to train her Labrador referred Mel to me. I reached out to Mel prior to getting my first puppy, Brewer, since I knew I wanted a well-trained dog. In my first conversation with Mel, it was apparent that he was educated and truly passionate about dogs. Most dog training programs will not enroll puppies until they have received their shots. Mel comes to your home, and will train a dog the day you get them. He is very well versed on the psychology of dogs. There are so many theories out there and you can find answers to any questions you have on the Internet, but there are also lots of inconsistencies out there. Mel has a very consistent, methodological way of training a dog and truly does it from the dog’s point of view…and then teaches you how to think like the dog. Dogs love positive reinforcement, just as we humans do.
Although punishment and dominance theories are still used by many trainers out there, Mel accomplishes results through positive interactions with your dog. Which makes for a much better relationship with your dog! My puppy not only loved the training sessions with Mel…but he quickly became fluent with verbal and hand commands. Mel teaches you the details: the timing, the voice inflection, etc. I worked with Mel and Brewer from ~10 weeks old until ~15 weeks old. It was a huge progression in the time. It was also fun to not only grow with Brewer as an owner, but to receive
elevated training, advice, and tips that furthered a great relationship with my puppy. Hiring Mel is a win win…he comes to your home and makes it convenient, he trains your dog in their environment, and you are the one that trains the dog (he just guides you very well).
A little update on Brewer...he jumps off the couch and climbs some stairs. He got his first haircut and is still looking handsome. :)
I hope you are doing well! Lily and Brewer
Lily and Brewer
My husband and I were referred to Mel by Stacy Strickland at the Jacksonville Humane Society. It had been 9.5 years since we had raised a puppy. With Mel’s instruction we were able to better understand our puppy's behaviors and the behaviors demonstrated between the puppy and our older dog. We all four looked forward to Mel's visits! Mel’s approach of understanding cognitive behavior from the canine’s point of view, rewarding good behavior and setting our dogs up for success were extremely helpful and beneficial to us and our dogs. We would highly recommend Mel to anyone who needs help positively training their dogs.
Chris and Amy
When we first hired Mel it was to help us train our new chocolate lab puppy, "Leila". It didn't take long before our 7 year old red bone hound "Ruby" wanted to join in on the fun! By working with us in our home, Mel was able to watch the dynamics that happen on a daily basis and see how both dogs interact with one another. It was a real family affair whenever Mel would come to the house. We had everyone involved in the training process from our kid's 80 year old grand mom to our youngest 12 year old daughter. Both the dogs and our family learned so much from Mel and we are now able to enjoy the dogs on a whole new level. Mel gave us many different teaching tools that we will continue to use with both dogs, so they can continue to be enjoyable household dogs and an important part of our family.
In early March I rescued a 5 year old dog "Star" from the Nassau Humane Society. Although she was five when I adopted her, she was very strong-willed and RAMBUNCTIOUS! I have never had a yellow lab mix (previously had smaller dogs), and when I brought her home I thought, "What have I gotten myself into?" Walking her through the bike paths in my neighborhood seemed comparable to walking a wild horse on a leash! Whenever she crossed the path of another dog, she dodged towards them and on 2 occasions, I actually found myself on the ground trying to gain control! I dreaded our walks and prayed each time that we did not encounter any other dogs! A week after I adopted her, I took her to the vet for her check-up and to start heart worm and flea prevention. The staff made the quick observation that WE needed help and they suggested I contact Mel Wilson. Without hesitation, I called and scheduled obedience classes for Star (and me).
During our first class, Mel sensed my anxiety and apprehension and taught me positive reinforcement techniques with the use of a clicker and a reward when the dog exhibited the desired behavior. After a few sessions, and lots of practice and positive reinforcement, I was able to walk Star without fearing some type of personal injury or unprovoked "dog fight." When we finished the series of sessions, Star and I were able to enjoy our 2 mile walks through the bike trails! My confidence grew and I no longer was anxious! I have been challenging her by taking her to different locations such as the beach, and now I can take her off the leash and she stays by my side! Also, she no longer feels threatened by other dogs and even ignores them when they behave aggressively towards her! I highly recommend Mel and applaud his calm demeanor and expertise in positive reinforcement methods with dog obedience training! Star and I are living proof that this method of one-on-one training is truly effective! Many thanks to Mel for giving me my shining "Star."
After our Golden Retriever passed away my husband and I got a labernard puppy at 8 weeks old. Named Benson. When we first got home everything was great and we were ready to train him. Within 3 weeks we were exasperated as nothing seemed to be working. One morning when I was getting ready for work my puppy was working on my last nerve. He was barking, jumping, nipping, tearing my clothes etc., I remember looking at him thinking what is wrong with you? What do you want from me? What are you saying? I immediately thought I am out of my league and I need help. I got on the Internet and started looking up dog trainers. After looking through countless web sites I came across the Canine Point Of View site. I thought, this is exactly what I want to know, what is my dog saying, what does he want, I need to know his point of view. Once I went through this site I was thrilled they offered home training.
I was contacted by Mel the same day and he explained to me his way of training us to train our puppy which is exactly what we needed. I booked his services and we began. The first night I was floored by the difference in my dogs behavior. By the second session I was beginning to understand the way my puppy was thinking. By the last session, not only was my puppy better behaved, but had been taught a Lot of commands. I'm glad I found Mel and I appreciate all he did for us and our puppy.
Thank you, Mel!
It did not take long after rescuing Jaden before I knew I needed professional help. He is a loving... but very excitable nervous dog who has had NO experience around children. (I have a 3 yr old) I brought my concerns to my vet and he recommended Mel Wilson. Mr. Wilson was able to teach my whole family how to relate to Jaden. To understand his anxieties, and how to observe him to see any signs that he might need redirecting. It has been amazing. He taught us to use positive reinforcement to obtain the behavior we desire. It has been a great experience for everyone involved. Jaden's behavior has improved tremendously. So thankful for
everything we learned..
Mr. Wilson.... You are a Godsend! Thank you!
Jaden and Snickers
2 1/2 years ago we adopted a dog. Mel was highly recommended by the organization we adopted from. We quickly called him and he was eager to get started. We learned so much so quickly. I love his positive approach to working with the dogs. We worked consistently and saw amazing progress quickly. A few weeks ago some new behaviors were brought to our attention. I gave Mel a call and he was over in two days. In those few short hours that he was over, we learned again a great deal of positive techniques that helped not only the dogs but us. We are so lucky to have found a trainer that has positive reinforcement training and so knowledgeable. If I ever have a question, he has the right answer. Mel will be apart of our lives as long as we have dogs...which is forever.
The Verducci Family
Hi Mr. Wilson, I cannot thank you enough for the assistance that you gave for Isabella and our family.
We are doing so much better and Bella is so much calmer. As you remember (I am sure you do), I was pretty desperate for help as to how to handle her jumping up and directing her attention away when company came over. She was just quite the battering ram so to speak. I must say, we were very impressed and it was with great pleasure to have your help and guidance. I would certainly not hesitate to recommend you to those that ask or we see that may be in need of a great trainer!
Thank you, again, so much for your services!
Allen, Beverlee & Bella Flowers
Monarie, Marcos, myself, and Orion wanted to thank you for coming over our house and teaching us new skills in training our dog Orion.
We really enjoyed your lessons and your teaching style. You did an excellent job in ensuring everyone in the family was involved and a participant in all your lessons. We all learned a lot and will keep up applying our new puppy training skills! Thank you for also recommending the dog agility kit for our high energy puppy.
Thanks again from all of us and take care.
Pedro, Monarie, Marcos and Orion
WERE IT NOT FOR MEL’S INSIGHTS INTO HOW WE DOGS THINK, HIS PATIENCE IN DEALING WITH MY OVERLY APPREHENSIVE-FIRST-TIME DOG OWNERS AND HIS ABILITY TO SENSE A TEACHING MOMENT, NEITHER I NOR MY SHIH TZU “PARENTS” WOULD BE AS ADJUSTED AND HAPPY AS WE ARE. THE IN-HOME TRAINING WHERE THE FAMILY MEMBERS AND I ARE MOST COMFORTABLE AND FREE OF DISTRACTIONS FROM OTHER DOGS AND PEOPLE SURE WORKS WELL FOR US. I FEEL VERY FORTUNATE THAT WE HAVE MY BUDDY MEL AS OUR TRAINER. HE HAS ENLIGHTENED MY OWNERS AS TO A CANINE POINT OF VIEW WHICH IN TURN HAS HELPED US ADJUST TO WHAT CAN BE EXPECTED OF ME. WE ALL RECOMMEND MEL (WITH MANY CLICKS). MAX, BERNIE AND IVA MCCARTHY
MAX, BERNIE AND IVA MCCARTHY
My dog Piper of 13 months was fortunate to meet Mel Wilson during a training session. When they met Piper was shy and untrusting. Within minutes, Mel had Piper literally eating out of his hand. At the end of 3 sessions Piper was sitting, waiting, lying down, and more comfortable with Mel & us.We were very please with services provided by Mel. With continuous follow-up on skills taught to us by Mel, we are looking forward to a wonderful life with Piper, Sincere thanks to Mel.
Darryl & Myrtle Johnson
My 10 year old dog, Lady, suddenly developed severe separation anxiety. She became destructive and the only way I could leave the house was to board her at the vet for a few hours. She was fine as long as she was around people. It was very frustrating for me and difficult for her. My doctor recommended Mel Wilson and spoke highly about the results he had seen with his own dog. I contacted Mel on a Friday and he came to my house on Monday. He gave me lots of useful advice on how this behavior could be changed in a positive way. Within a week, using Mel's advice, I was able to leave Lady for 45 minutes. Two weeks after that, I was able to leave her for 2 hours at a time. I'm so very appreciative of the help that Mel was able to provide. He has the knowledge and skills to help any dog.. He kept in touch with me during this time to see how Lady was doing and I felt comfortable calling him to let him know of the progress we were making. The progress we were able to make was dramatic and I would recommend Mel to any dog owner. I am so thankful for his help!
Marcia Sanders & Lady
"When I took a stray in recently, he was out of control. He intently looked out the window and lost his cool at the sight of a squirrel, a child, a dog, or anything else that looked interesting. He would run around the house and bark like crazy. I couldn't stop him. I could not bring him outside unleashed, because he barked so much it bothered the neighbors and tried to escape on multiple occasions. On top of all of this, while my two dogs got along well at first, the new dog did not know when to quit, bringing out the worst in my older dog.
Mel was very direct about the situation, letting me know what was and wasn't acceptable for my dogs. He let me know that I had to find a way to get the new dog's attention and showed me how to use treats successfully to do that. He also counselled me on how I talk to my dog, how I praise my dog, etc. so that he understands what I am trying to communicate. Mel could see that the new dog, unfortunately, needed more space and more attention than I could give him as a single man. He helped me to understand that we would continue to make each other unhappy. I made the right decision to find a home for him as a result. I can safely say that Mel will get you on track with your dog so that you can have a happy, healthy, loving relationship with him or her."
We contacted Mel when we ran out of ideas training our Silky Terrier pup - Jack. We were concerned that Jack was naughty, stubborn and very slow to train. We'd had a dog before but none of our tricks were working on this little puppy.
We chose Mel as he seemed to be committed to training dogs - it wasn't just a job and he wasn't working for a company with a "system". It turned out to be a smart choice and within 10 minutes of meeting Jack our little puppy was calm, happy and attentive.
It turns out that our dog is very smart and keen to be part of our family and we were frustrating him by not thinking about the world from the dog's point of view. Mel trained us more than he trained the dog and that's exactly what we required.
There's still plenty of work to do but we are now having a completely different experience and we're all a lot happier (Jack especially). Mel knows what he's doing and he can probably help you too.
- Steve Pratt