The proof is in the pudding when it comes to dog training. Anyone can claim anything, but achieving it is a different story. We strive to not just teach the dog obedience commands or behavioral modification, but to make sure these obedience commands and behavioral modification work for the owner (when the trainer is not there). And most importantly they work around distractions, aka “when you need them to work the most”. Because of this, we have thousands of testimonials to hang our dog wizard hat on.

When we first decided to adopt Oli from the Humane Society, we knew our little Carolina Dog/American Dingo had a sweet, submissive personality. We also knew we had some work to do. She was smart, wanted to please, and knew several tricks, but had no “manners” when walking on-leash. She showed high anxiety in unfamiliar places, around other people and completely lacked impulse control with every deer, rabbit and squirrel she saw. Most dramatically, Oli turned into Cujo when she saw another dog even at a distance. With some online research, a book or two, and a bit of patience, we trained Oli to walk nicely on-leash within about 3-4 months of having her in our home, and managed a lot of her impulse-control issues. We made a lot of progress—but we hit a plateau with Oli’s dog-aversion issues. She was simply unruly around other dogs. We decided we needed help and began the search for a trainer, and we had Oli nearly a year before we found Robert, the Durham Dog Wizard. We can’t say it was easy, but after six months we now have a dog that we trust both on- and off-leash, and miraculously she can meet and interact with other dogs politely. Most importantly, we can say without question that Oli is a happier dog—she’s less anxious, plays a lot more, and is calmer overall. Finding Robert helped us enjoy the playful, outdoorsy life we envisioned having with our dog. Oli’s a great dog, and we’re so grateful Robert continues to help us bring out the best of her personality. Our only regret is that we didn’t have Robert’s guidance from the very beginning.

Tim K.

We used the board-and-train program at Durham Dog Wizard and I can honestly say I never believed my dog could be so well trained! We had done basic dog training before this program, and my one year old Basenji mix was great indoors.  The problem was that as soon as we went outside, we would basically stop existing as far as she was concerned. With almost no attention span, a stubborn streak, and a bad tendency to pull really hard on her leash, taking her on walks was an exhausting ordeal and sometimes even dangerous when she’d escape her harness.  Robert took her for two weeks and we got back an amazing, well-behaved puppy who can sit still in the presence of squirrels (this is HUGE for her–squirrels are her kryptonite) and actually listen while outside. He did a wonderful job training her, and took great care of her in the two weeks she was with him. My pup has so much more freedom to explore and play when we’re on walks because I know she will respond when I call her. She heels beautifully (without a leash!), comes when called, and is generally much more pleasant to hang out with outdoors.  Now I look forward to going on walks with her instead of dreading them, and feel comfortable taking her out in public with me, knowing she’ll behave herself. Robert’s training has opened up a whole new level of companionship that I can have with my dog, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. I will definitely be recommending this service to my friends with dogs!!

Kelsey C.

Our little, loving, happy, never met a stranger terrier brought us to Robert. He is house trained, calm and not destructive. However, he had an unpredictable streak. In some situations he may snap at our young kids or become aggressive over movie night popcorn!  His response to the “come” command was shaky at best. This unpredictable behavior was putting me on edge with our little terrier. Most good dog trainers can work with the dog one on one. The talent is in working with the dog owner. Robert is a fantastic coach! He helps you learn to manage your dog and understand that as a dog owner you need to manage situations. During the training sessions Robert models the commands and behavior with your dog then gives you the chance to work with your dog trying out the various commands and corrections. Our terrier had a great time and enjoyed the work and play. More importantly, it taught me the value and importance of consistency in working with our dog. It is amazing what they are capable of and how they can be such easy going, enjoyable members of your household with some fun effort on the owner’s part. I would highly recommend Robert to any dog owner no matter how big or small your dog behavior issue might be. You will be happy and you will experience a happier dog!

Jennifer B.

When my husband and I got our rescue pit/lab mix Francy, we didn’t know all of what we would be getting into with her. Francy was unpredictable, excitable, and strong-willed (and strong!). She would nip with intention (ouch), she was difficult to walk and pretty much out of control. We tried another trainer who kept warning us that this dog could be a danger to others (we have small nephews and many visitors) and to our cat. It was a terrible conversation we had when we were trying to decide whether to bring her back to the shelter and we called the shelter to ask for more time and then we called Robert. We decided on the board and train and when she was ready to come home I have to admit I was nervous. Thanksgiving was coming up and the house would be full with kids and older folks and even another dog – it was a real test. Francy came back from working with Robert with all of her joyful personality but with an entirely new set of skills and confidence. She listens and responds, plays with other dogs well, is great with all kinds of people and with new experiences and is pretty much the most fantastic dog ever.  She is still strong-willed but I can walk her now without worrying about running into other dogs or people and we can keep her safe because she listens and responds to us. I am glad we decided to contact Robert. He is great with our dog and she is always happy to see him so I know they had some fun mixed in with the training. He has also been a great help and resource for us- answering all of our questions no matter how odd they may be. I appreciate the continued support and am glad we are able to give Francy a good structured home without all the stress and misunderstanding. Thank you Robert!

Jacqueline C.

I used the board and train program for my 11 month old labradoodle. She is a sweet dog but very stubborn with a bad habit of jumping and nipping at my 8 year old daughter. I tried the traditional 6 week training classes and while she learned to sit and follow some basic commands, nothing was working for the jumping and nipping. After a few conversations with Robert by phone I decided to give this a try.  Sophie spent 2 weeks with Robert and when I arrived to pick her up…I was amazed at the change in her behavior. She has been home for over a month and she continues to improve each day. I am so happy with the work Robert did with her. Sophie is so much calmer and has much more freedom now that she listens and follows commands. Robert has done just as much work with me to make sure that I understand how to manage her behavior.  I traveled a distance for Sophie to work with Robert and even though we are not able to have follow up visits at our home, Robert has been very generous with his time in the form of phone calls and emails. I have no hesitation in recommending The Dog Wizard. Sophie and our whole family are very appreciative of Robert’s patience and expertise.

LuAnn B.

A couple of months ago our 1 ½-year-old Standard Poodle, Fender, who is a great dog in pretty much every other way, had become so unruly on a leash that we dreaded going for walks. We’d met with trainers and had been to puppy classes with him when he was younger, but he just became progressively worse on a leash and very excitable when he met other dogs, usually jumping five feet in the air, barking and lunging at them. We looked into different training options in the area and decided on Durham Dog Wizard based on the online recommendations and results we saw in videos of dogs Robert had worked with. Robert explained to my husband, Kevin, and to me that Fender needs not only physical exercise but a lot of mental stimulation, too. He showed us how to take him on walks and give him “jobs” to do to keep him busy so that seeing other dogs doesn’t trigger overexcitement. Now when we go on walks Fender gets to run full tilt off leash in the park when there’s no one else around, follow our commands to “sit,” “place,” “down” for mental exercise and as a result gets a real and satisfying workout. Now he’s more tired than we are after a walk which is a welcomed change. Fender is a much happier dog now and we have the confidence to take him into social situations we would not have three months ago. Thanks for the freedom you’ve given all of us, Robert!

Constance M.

Chance was always an adorable quirky and loving bundle of joy until he found the need to constantly bolt out any door in our home. we have 3 young children and it was getting overwhelming when anyone came to the door or if the boys went outside and left the door open, my stress level was at a 10 on a daily basis no matter what, I thought we would lose Chance and he would never find his way back. The week before I contacted Robert, Chance got out 4 times and would always run over to the neighbors’ homes to play, etc, but running after him and him not coming back to us when called was not an option any longer. Robert took Chance in the boarding/training program and within 5 days was off leash and within 12 days was back in our home. I cannot express how much I enjoy being able to open the door and leave it open and watch Chance wait for his cue to move. I don’t even have to use the remote, he just knows. We are still waiting on a deer to come by to test him out, but otherwise, Chance has not done anything wrong since he has been back. He has the run of the yard now and is so happy to be able to be with us out there and not tied to a runner. He loves sitting/placing on the front porch while the boys play in the driveway and is much better about greeting people at the door. He was such a loverboy he would knock you over with his kisses, but now he doesn’t jump and only greets you when he is given the ok. The boxer wiggle is just too cute so I don’t make him wait too long, but just long enough for the person to get in the door and ready for his attention. Chance has only changed for the better and he still has his personality just very obedient and a joy to be around. We had a party for our son with over 45 people this last weekend and I was a little worried how he would be with everyone going in and out of the house and in the yard , etc. but once again my stress level was at a zero instead of a ten, which is completely worth the time and money it took for Chance to be a part of this family. We are still working on his separation anxiety, but even that has become minimal because he can come with us anywhere now and not just watch through the window or from the backyard runner. Thank you so much Robert for giving us the dog we knew Chance could be and for letting my boys see how wonderful a dog he is. We will forever be grateful :)

Michele D.

When I first got Max, my Jack Russell, I thought I could do this all on my own. After Max turned from a young pup to an adult male, and began lunging at every dog on the sidewalk, magically escaping from his leash and running away, and becoming extremely possessive of “his” things, I knew I was wrong. I was unhappy and Max had fewer chances to go outside to be a dog because I was afraid of what he’d do. Max was stubborn and resolute. Robert taught me how to get through to Max and show him how he’d have more fun if he actually listened to me. Max couldn’t walk on a leash properly before. Now I walk him without a leash. He’s a natural-born hunter but, now, instead of losing Max forever as he chases a squirrel into the woods, he looks to me before I let him run off and always comes back when called. While visiting family for the holidays, my family was shocked to see this new version of Max. Robert helped me actually get closer to Max. Robert showed me how to convey to Max what I want. Max has thrived on that structure. Because I now have the ability to communicate correct behavior with Max, I can take him places I was originally afraid to go before–I don’t have to leave him home every time I go somewhere. What means the most to me is Max is still HAPPY while also following directions. I really do owe all of these improvements to Robert and “Hank”.

Brian L.