Did you have a great training experience with us? If you have a success story and would like to add it to our testimonials page, we would love to hear from you. Simply email us your story and a photo of your dog, and we will add you to the list of many satisfied students. You can also check out our reviews on Facebook.
Wayne & Freda's Testimonial
In our lives together, my wife and I have owned 8 dogs—6 of them, Weimaraners. We’ve taken each to various training programs, which with our best efforts, delivered only mediocre results. Our dogs understood the basic commands and with lots of rehearsal behaved reasonably reliably.
It was not until we found Top Dog Obedience in Grass Valley that we truly understood what a dog obedience program could offer. Top Dog Obedience combines a proven method with top notch training experts to deliver incredible results. The method is simple yet powerful: dogs learn based only on praise when deserved, coupled with consistent light correction when necessary. This praise-correction method strengthens the bond between dog and owner. You learn together, based on love and mutual respect--not just on the presence or absence of food treats.
For a training method to work though, instructors must be able to communicate with and motivate their students. Dog obedience experts JoAnn Fines and Taylor Davis exceed all expectations in this regard. They use their own dogs to demonstrate every command clearly and concretely. They observe each student and provide guidance and custom advice based on these observations. Over time, they masterfully work with you to build up complex behaviors from simple ones. They teach dog and owner together and help both get the best each has to offer. The results are amazing!
From the beginner program through intermediate and advanced, you and your dog will work together and relate in ways you might now only imagine. If you love your dog and want to take that relationship to the next level, try out Top Dog Obedience. You won’t be disappointed.
- Wayne Grant & Freda Husic. Nevada City, CA (May 2017)
Finn and I started Basic classes at Top Dog when Finn was just a puppy. We are currently in Advanced classes and we LOVE this program! Top Dog training has given me the ability to take Finn anywhere (even the dog bakery!) with the confidence that he will be well behaved and a good ambassador for dogs. The cliché that dog training is really more about training the owner turned out to be very true in my case. Top Dog training has given me the tools to be clear and consistent in my expectations and the motivation to practice every day. The results have been amazing! I really like how structured the Top Dog program is- each session and level builds on the previous one. It does not rely on food rewards, but uses praise and verbal/leash corrections to modify behavior. It emphasizes making training positive and fun for both dog and owner. I am so thankful there is such a top- notch dog training program in my area and can’t say enough about Taylor, JoAnn and the other trainers. I would recommend Top Dog Obedience to anyone who wants to strengthen the bond and enjoy spending time with a well- mannered canine companion.
-Moira McSweeny (March 2017)
A year and a half ago I picked up my first puppy ever. A seven week old German Shepherd that I named Piper. Soon after bringing her home I asked myself what had I gotten myself into. This puppy was the biggest terror of my life! But I had made a commitment to her to take care of her even though I may have wanted to strangle her and part of that commitment to her, was to be her teacher and train her to be the good and loving dog that I had signed up for. My first dilemma was that I have never had a dog before and I didn’t even know the first thing about training. This is where Top Dog comes into play! I went to my first lesson with my 4 month old German Shepherd terror (a.k.a Piper) not knowing how to, or even being teaching her to how to be an obedient dog, but by the end of my first lesson I was more confident with myself in teaching Piper, and I knew that I had a dog that was a great dog she just needed the guidance. Now Piper and I have gone through basic once, intermediate class four times, and in the summer attend the advance class. I can now say with a 100% guarantee that my dog and I have changed for the better! Not only do I now have a dog that is (most of the time, she is still a puppy) well behaved but our bond is even closer than before. All thanks to Joann and her amazing team. Me and piper look forward every week to our lessons not just to learn but because it is fun for both of us. I cannot even begin to express my gratitude towards them. I recommend Top Dog for anyone who has a terror dog like me or even if you have a well behaved dog. They will teach you and your dog how to communicate with each other and to have fun while trusting that you and your dog stay safe. Thank you so much Top Dog!!
-Taylor Day (May 2016)
Well we made it through basic obedience class. We had such a good time. I can walk my girl Ruby with confidence anywhere. She is reliable and well mannered. I am looking forward to the next class And the agility. JoAnn and Taylor have so much finesse with all the dogs and the people. They are helpful and encouraging and I believe the dogs love what they are learning. I know Ruby loves to learn and knows when she is doing well. Top Dog is Top Notch.
-Gayle Plumley (May 2016)
I cannot recommend the Top Dog Obedience classes enough for anyone who really cares about turning their puppy into a well-behaved dog! Judah is a very bright, extremely head-strong Aussie shepherd who certainly challenged our patience. We had been through two sets of obedience classes but knew he needed more structure. Taylor and JoAnn spotted his strengths and our weaknesses right away and encouraged us with very specific guidelines and consistency. I wish we had known about these classes earlier! We have seen great improvement in Judah's behavior and are on our way to further training with Top Dog. It's so nice to have a dog who is a welcomed guest wherever you take him!
-Jeanne Rosenquist (May 2016)
We took our seven-month-old Golden Retriever to Top Dog with hopes to train him basic commands. We didn’t realize we would be walking out of class each week with skills bonding us to Captain such as trust and loyalty. The dedicated Top Dog staff not only made themselves available to us, but also inquired weekly to help us become better dog owners. They are passionate about what they do and the results have tremendously exceeded our expectations. We are currently in our third set of classes and they have individualized techniques to help us with Captain’s needs. We love and enjoy bringing him to different places where we are frequently complimented because Top Dog continues to give us the skills we need to have an obedient dog. Captain has transformed from a hyper, exuberant, and uncontrolled dog to a happy, well mannered, and enjoyable companion. He enjoys going to class and looks forward to training at home. Our experience with training at Top Dog greatly exceeds our expectations. We are excited to continue with agility and advancing through the different classes.
-Robin Olsen (April, 2016)
I am so grateful to have found Top Dog Obedience! Having never raised a puppy before, we were nervous about how to bring up a well-behaved, responsible, safe family dog when we adopted our 8-week-old German Shepherd/Lab named Quincy. The training we've received from Top Dog has totally empowered me with the knowledge & ability to be a strong leader for Quincy and he is maturing into the dog we always hoped we have. We feed him without getting jumped-on, rather he waits patiently until he's told he can eat; he does not drag us along on walks, he heels beside us; and when we tell him to “sit” and “wait” our cat can run by him and he does not chase her. Amazing! In addition to the high-quality instruction by Top Dog's staff, their dedication to our success is the biggest benefit of being their student. Top Dog's assistance does not end at the close of each class. They are always more than happy to answer questions and offer advice on all our challenges before and after class – even in between sessions during their off-season! – and they are extremely responsive to “cries of help” via email, phone and Facebook. I feel that Top Dog has truly partnered with us to raise an awesome pet. For that, my family and I are greatly appreciative and highly recommend Top Dog!
-Lori Murphy (November, 2015)
Mindy's review from Yelp
Top Dog Obedience is Top notch. I've been taking my dog through Joann's classes since he was 4 months old. He's now 15 months old and is currently in the advanced class. With the training he's gotten through Joann Fine my dog is confident, happy and well behaved. People are amazed at how well behaved he is! (he's breed can be... .. a little over exuberant at times) I can take him anywhere. And what a pleasure it is to be able to take your dog with you and not worry about him or her misbehaving.
Joann Fine, Lisa and Taylor are wonderful. I could never say enough on how wonderful they are. Classes are small, so there is plenty of one on one help if needed. The method of training is based on correction, (not jerking the dogs neck) which I strongly disagree with on a previous review. On rainy wet days, classes are held indoors. In a comfortable environment with plenty of room. They give loads of attention and instruction to all of the dogs.. not just the (bigger block headed dogs) Just joking! Never thought of my dog as a block head. Bottom line. If you want a dog that is
HAPPY, CONFIDENT, AND WELL BEHAVED. Sign up for classes. Joann Fine, Lisa, and Taylor. They are the best!!
Dan's review from Yelp
In 2011 my wife and I purchased a 4 month old Miniature Poodle. This puppy came from a reputable breeder, and at this point, had not received any formal training. When we put a collar and a leash on her she was like a "wild horse" at the end of a rope! JoAnn Fine, of Top Dog Obedience, was starting a new "Puppy Class", so we called and signed up for the class!! This decision was one of the best things we could have done for our puppy, and for us! JoAnn's methods are clearly laid out, and the students leave class each week knowing what they need to work on, and how to communicate that to their dog! After our pup graduated from the Beginner's Class, we signed up for the Intermediate Class which took many of the things that we had learned in Beginner's, and expanded them into more advance training for the dog and the owner. After graduating from the Intermediate Class, we have enjoyed being instructed on how to use the Agility Course, which is on sight there at Top Dog Obedience! As a result of following JoAnn's carefully laid out training steps, we have the most wonderful dog! She's obedient; she understands what we want from her and we just love her so much!
Deidra's review from Yelp
I am very well pleased with the guidance given by Joanne FIne and her team Lisa and Taylor. This is an excellent training facility to teach your dog submission and obedience in a very reasonable and loving way. I have a small breed dog that could be nervous and yappy, but he is not with the training we have received from Top Dog Obedience. Instead he is calm, listens to my voice, has good self esteem, behaves excellent while going shopping and on errands and he is a joy to be around by all age groups. It is true that your dog will have less frustration and a happier life because he knows what is expected of him and they do it! It's a wonderful thing! It's been said "you can never over train your dog" the benefits for you and your lovable pet will last a lifetime. Start your training today with Top Dog Obedience you won't be disappointed.
JoAnne, Lisa and Taylor are awesome!!! I appreciate their professional, straightforward method of training. They have helped me to train my rescued Chihuahua-Terrier Mix to: Advanced Obedience, Agility and Certified Therapy Dog. Because we train with a number of other dogs of different breeds, sizes, and dispositions, our dogs have the opportunity to become very well socialized. Even though the class is held as a group lesson, if a dog or handler needs individual attention there is an instructor to lend a hand since there is always 2 or more trainers at each class. I like that the lessons do not include treats to train. The facilities are wonderful ! ! ! In winter we have a cozy heated building with pictures of our dogs on the wall for Training and Games. In Summer we have a huge gorgeous park like fenced yard for Training and Agility. The Trainers, Handlers and Dogs are all so much fun to be around, Enzo and I look forward to our class.
My daughter is 13 and a happy student of Top Dog Obedience, She was only 10 years old when she began training Willie. They have bonded as they have spent time training together.
Vickey's review from Yelp
My dog Gracy and I love Top Dog training! She is so happy to be loaded up in the car to go to classes and when she sees JoAnn she can't wait to give her hugs, kisses and SMILES! The training is fun, creative and has been extremely helpful. We graduate from advanced next week and will be going to The Top Dog winter games next month. In the summer my dogs love to go to the agility course that is set up at JoAnn's. It is awesome! Gracy is my third dog to go from Basic through Advanced with Top Dog and they all have been given tons of compliments from family and friends. Top Dog has been the very best for my dogs!!!
Joni's review from Yelp
This program is the best! I started my rottweiler puppy in the Sirius training program offered in Roseville, it is a treat based program and the practicality of always having "treats" to blackmail your dog into doing what you are asking of him was not working for us.
Luckily and thankfully, I found JoAnn Fine's Top Dog Obedience program. Her program works in every way. I can take my dog anywhere and know that he will listen and behave as he should in every circumstance. I love her and her trainers expectation that you are your animals pack leader and once you accept and follow that rule of thumb, both you and your dog are much happier.
This training literally saved my pup from a rattlesnake bite last month, he was nosing around a bush and once I got closer I heard the noise and gave a "front" command, which means basically, no questions asked, no hesitation, come to me immediately, he did so right about the time the snake was in a strike position. For an unnuetered male pup of 10 months old that is something! I certainly would not have had a treat available at that moment!
I could go on and on in regards to all the great things that come with this type of training but to sum it up it just works.
Mardi's review from Yelp
I wish that I had started out at Top Dog. Seriously, I tried other training venues for the first five years of life with my dog and wasn't getting to first base. My dog is very intelligent and has a very strong will. He is also an opportunist with an intense food drive. The treat system was definitely not working.
I find Jo Ann Fine's method very strict but fair. The methods she uses work, plain and simple. My dog and I have made significant progress with her and we have had fun doing it. Even though the training is intense at times, there is a lot of praise and love dispensed by all of the instructors. The training experience has transferred to home as well. Life with my dog is so much better since we started this training. I highly recommend Top Dog.
Nicole's review from Yelp
When I rescued an abused Rottweiler puppy with a dislocated hip, who was the only puppy in her litter and had no concept of bite-inhibition, I knew good training was going to be important. I tried several different trainers and training classes in the Nevada County area, all at the recommendation of various vets or friends. None of those classes gave me what I was looking for. I wanted a dog who obeyed commands without the need for treats or special walking-harnesses; a dog who did what I asked simply because I was in charge and she wanted to please me. After quitting each of the other training classes within a week or so of starting them, my husband told me to try Top Dog Obedience. I wish I had started there! JoAnn's training method is exactly what I was looking for! It's based in behavior modification techniques, which as a therapist, I can appreciate greatly. Maulie gets positive reinforcement (praise) when she does what I ask and a negative consequence (quick leash correction) when she does not. Any consequence is always followed-up with extensive praise once she does what I ask. Maulie graduates from Advanced Class next week (which is an entirely off-leash class) and is a registered Therapy Dog; she even earned her AKC Therapy Dog title. Although she can't participate in Agility because of her hip, Maulie and I attend the weekend Agility Classes for the ongoing socialization. Maulie gets so excited when she sees JoAnn that she can hardly contain herself until JoAnn gives her some attention. I will take all my future dogs through training at Top Dog and would recommend that everyone else does the same!