We adopted Bella (1/2 Doberman, 1/4 Staffy and 1/4 Weimaraner) when she was six months old. Bella has always been full of personality, loving and enthusiastic.  However she was not very disciplined, she jumped on people, licked faces, barked relentlessly at other dogs and vigorously pulled us along on her walks.  She would occasionally even snatch unguarded food (potentially off plates!).  She did all of these things in the best of humor often looking at back at me or licking my hand to say “aren’t we having a great time?”  Her rescue organization had recommended obedience training and I located Canine Academy on the internet.  We began beginner classes and day training.  The classes changed a  lot of Bella’s behavior and things were really improving at home, but if you added any distractions (other people or dogs) she would not respond to commands quickly, or at all.  I left a few pet stores to put Bella back in the car and then went I back in to the store complete my purchase.  People were intimidated by her behavior and it was embarrassing.   The trainers in Birmingham suggested that off leash training would help Bella overcome distractions.  I was very nervous about a six-week separation and worried that all of Bella’s personality would be trained away.  But I read a lot of other testimonials on Canine Academy’s website and I thought that it would be unbelievable if  Bella could respond to all the commands described in off-leash training.   So after meeting with Linda and Lisa who explained the whole program, Bella attended off-leash training for six weeks in November and December.  All of the Canine Academy trainers and staff helped me survive the six weeks while Bella was away at “boot camp”. I watched the blog and the Facebook page and made an occasional phone call and the time flew by.  When Bella came home, I had the same experience that other people described. She still had all her quirky and endearing traits (somersaulting into you for cuddles and defining her conditions for watching television as a family (must be touching!).  She immediately sought out and began playing with her favorite toys.  The difference is that she does all these things in a well-behaved fashion and listens and responds to all her commands under all sorts of distractions. Her behavior is amazing and we continue to take her into more and more new situations with great success (she even recently attended a party and did not sample anything off the buffet).   Bella is now a Great Dog!  We wholly recommend off leash training. Everything Canine Academy said was true and we am very happy we did it!

Paul, Jane and Bella



To those of you considering this off-leash training program, this was the best money I have ever spent. I have a Shiba Inu who like most (all), have a mind of their own. I love an outdoorsy lifestyle and wanted my dog to enjoy it as much as I do, which was not possible when I’m in constant fear of him running away absentmindedly. After a little over 6 weeks of a strangely quiet home, I was able to pick my dog up. I am now able to take walks off leash and know that as soon as I call him, he comes running back to me with his tail wagging and a smile on his face... every time. That’s all I really wanted, but I got so much more. I have a confident dog who knows how to behave in all sorts of situations. Things I never realized, were corrected. The entire staff is fantastic and so supportive. The daycare is perfect for a little refresher and I feel happy leaving Oscar for boarding knowing that everything he has learned is being maintained and strengthened. Long story short, I have an off leash dog, something I never really was possible. It makes my heart happy that he is happy, and that’s an investment well worth it. 






Thank you so much for taking such good care of my Bucky he always enjoys his stay and I know he is well taken care of and safe.  It was a long stay for me and I sure missed him.  He slept on my bed last night and could not get close enough to me. I wish you all the best with all your new programs and new facilities, they all sound fantastic. Canine Academy is a wonderful place and I have one of your Great Dogs.  Thank you again! I wish you a Happy New Year and a successful 2018.   

 Joanie and Bucky



We were not supposed to have another dog after our dog, Gracie, passed; but along came Kody, who needed a home.   We looked into those blue eyes and how could we resist?

Kody "moved" in at 12 weeks old and we knew immediately we had our hands full.  He's a mini Aussie Shepherd full of boundless energy.   Walking became a challenge, he would pull us down the street.  We'd  prayed we wouldn't see a squirrel or bird, especially geese.  Kody would become almost uncontrollable, jumping up and down,  barking, and pulling. Our arms soon began to hurt from all of his pulling. He was terrible when passing other people walking their dogs.  It wasn't unusual for others to avoid us because of Kody's behavior.   It was so embarrassing.  He was constantly barking at the children as they walked to school in the morning and home in the afternoon.  He would not come when we called him. The back yard was a challenge, he was always chewing on sticks, pine cones, and digging holes.  We made so many trips to the vet.  If we'd try playing with him in the back yard, it was not fun.  He loved herding us. He would nip our ankles and it hurt.  It didn't take long to figure out that Kody definitely needed training. 

We often drove by Canine Academy, read the reviews,  and eventually called.   Linda went over with us what the Beginner class entailed and we signed Kody up. After Beginner class, we did  Intermediate and Advanced classes.  Kody did great, life improved but we wanted more. We had hopes of doing some traveling.   The skills that Kody had learned were not quite enough. We talked with the trainers and all agreed how much Kody would benefit from Off Leash training.   We soon learned that Kody would spend 6 weeks at Canine Academy,  no coming home at night.   We were not comfortable with that.  Would Kody forget us? Would he still love us after leaving him there for so long? Would he ever want to go back to Canine Academy after he came home? Would his personality change?  What if he got sick? So many doubts ran through our minds.  Even though we had these thoughts plus so many more, we made an appointment with Lisa to discuss Off Leash training. 

Our meeting with Lisa went great!  Lisa carefully went over everything about Kody's behavior issues and how Off Leash training would improve both our and his life. Lisa explained what a typical day for Kody's training would be like.   Kody would be traveling around town to Birmingham,  Rochester,  Oxford,  Detroit,  and to the farm for daily outings and training. One thing for sure, he would not be bored.  It sounded so good, we wished we could sign up for Off Leash training too!  Lol.  Lisa explained the process and gave us access to videos to help us prepare for Kody’s return home.  Once Kody completed Off Leash training,  there would be weekly outings we could attend with other owners and dogs to help us master the use of Kody’s training.   Lisa also told us that if any health problems occur, Kody would be checked out by the vet.  We were told that Kody's personality and enthusiasm would not change.  He'd be the same energetic guy only well trained.   

It wasn't easy leaving Kody at Canine Academy.  Lots of tears and needless worry.  We would email, we'd check Facebook constantly to see a picture or video of him, and  lots of calls to check on him.  Every time we called,  we were always reassured how great Kody was doing.  We must admit, there were some silly questions.  Was he eating, how's his poop, did he make friends, was he happy.  We must have drove them nuts, especially Lindsey.  Just before Kody was done with Off Leash training, we met with Lisa and Kara to discuss Kody s progress.  Kara explained how to use the training and worked with us and Kody. Our next meeting,  Amanda helped us in working with Kody.  We had lots of questions and they were always answered.   On our third meeting,  we finally brought Kody home.  Little did we realize our life with Kody was about to change dramatically!

When we got Kody home,  it was like he'd never left ,only now he obeyed!  Kody actually came to us when we called!  No more barking at the kids as they walked by.  A simple come command and Kody came running to the door.  No more eating sticks, pine cones or digging.  A leave it command,  and Kody would stop herding.  Walking became a pleasure, no more sore arms. We were actually able to talk to other dog owners with their dogs while Kody remain in a down stay.   It was definitely noticed.  So many times we heard what a great dog Kody was,  he listens so well.   One day a squirrel was in a tree over head of us, Kody looked up and continued walking like the squirrel didn't exist.  We were amazed!

We finally took Kody to our cabin in northern Michigan.   We were always afraid of taking him because of his behavior.   He loved it, especially all the new smells.  The best part for us was that he listened even when the neighbor's dog came over to visit uninvited.   We enjoyed having Kody with us.  We now have plans to go to Florida for a few months after Christmas.  We can honestly say that we have confidence in Kody to be a great dog on our trip.

When Thanksgiving day arrived, we knew it would be a test of Kody's Off Leash training.   He was thrilled to see everyone.  While on his mat, the children wanted to play with him.  Kody wouldn't leave the mat until we released him!  It was very impressive.   Dinner was great. No begging for food or under foot.  So many times we heard what a great dog Kody was.  We are so very proud of him.

We continue to drop Kody off for day training and an occasional over-night. It's great to see him so happy when we pull into the parking lot.  He loves seeing everyone. This gives us so much peace of mind knowing he's so well taken care of and loved at Canine Academy.   We know that if any questions or concerns arise, we're just a phone call or email away from an answer. 

We can't thank Lisa and her staff for all the wonderful training and love Kody has received and continues to get. We feel so blessed to have found Canine Academy.   Kody was a good dog but now he's become a GREAT dog!  We're no longer embarrassed to take him anywhere.  We are now truly enjoying Kody.

Thank you,

Janet and Larry Dougla


Happy owner … Happy dog!

We brought Wilson, a Yellow Labrador, into our home on July 25, 2016 at eight weeks old.  We watched him grow from the moment he was born.  We loved him … unconditionally.  Wilson has always been a charmer.  Good looks, great personality, ready to please, curious, tons of energy.

The challenges we were having with Wilson involved him barking for attention, putting his mouth on us (not nipping at us), pulling on the leash during walks, jumping on our senior golden Lab, jumping on us when we entered the house, chasing squirrels and birds, jumping on counters.  So here we are with a wonderful puppy with so much potential!  We tried and tried, but we couldn’t get through.  We weren’t sure what to do, and he wasn’t sure what he should be doing.  We wanted a well-behaved dog and most importantly, we wanted him to be safe.

We reached out to Canine Academy on a weekend.  That same day we received a returned email letting us know when the next available opening was.

Wilson has gone through the Canine Academy Beginner through Advanced training session, achieving his Canine Good Citizen and Community Canine Certificates.  We weren’t sure he would pass.  During one test during a “heel” command he picked up an orange cone mid-stride!  I thought I was going to die (I had to admit this was funny, but not when your testing!)  I though Lisa would tell us he had work to do.  Instead, she said, “Wilson gets extra points for that!”  At this point Wilson has overcome most of our concerns and he acts appropriately in public settings, but distractions such passing another dog, birds and squirrels were still a struggle.  Here’s me:  “Oh no there is a bird”, and Wilson: “Watch me, I’m going to run as fast as I can to get that bird!”  Wilson’s really a great dog, it’s just the distractions!  But you take a dog for a walk and you’re going to get distractions!

We decided to enroll Wilson in the Off-Leash training program to overcome these distractions.  Six weeks of solid, hands-on training with experienced trainers and staff.  Lisa and her awesome trainers worked each day with Wilson to teach him the skills he needed to be overcome those distractions.  They taught him to listen to his 15 commands, the first time.  What I am most impressed with is they made the learning fun.  Wilson worked hard for six weeks to learn everything he needed to be successful at the training.  We were not going to let him down.  We faithfully watched the videos.  We anxiously awaited for Wilson’s return.

Through Wilson’s training at Canine Academy, Wilson is now confident; he knows what is expected of him; he listens to what we say, when we say it, the first time!  Canine Academy guided us through every step of the way.  They continue to guide and support us through day visits and weekly outings.  Canine Academy wants Wilson to be just as successful as we want him to be.  Wilson knows the commands better than we do!  He knows when we mess up, but he forgives us!  Good thing Canine Academy has several outings a month that we can attend to practice our skills!  Canine Academy is there every step of the way if we have questions or notice we are struggling with something.

Food falls on the floor, distractions come upon us, everyday situations.  We know the commands to help Wilson overcome all of these things.  We now know what to do to help him be successful.

The kids came home to visit and said, “Wilson’s different”.  I said yes, he is.  He now knows what not to do.  He knows not to jump on you when you come in the door.  He knows not to jump on the counter.   But he is still the same, loveable, quirky dog he was when we first invited him into our home!  He still loves to play, he still loves to cuddle, he still loves to be with us wherever we are.

Remember the birds?  This is me now, “Hmm, there’s a bird.”  Wilson: “Stupid bird!” Remember the orange cone?  Yep, he still wants it, but will he try to get it?  Nope! That dog on our walk he wants to meet.  Will he pull to go meet it?  Nope!

Through Lisa’s good humor, love and passion for dogs, hard work, and team (this is not possible without her awesome team), we are pleased to say that Wilson is an obedient, well-mannered and awesome canine companion!

In closing, we thank Lisa and all of the trainers and behind the scene staff at Canine Academy for your encouragement, support and guidance and most of all, love you have shown to not only Wilson, but all of the dogs that go through your wonderful program!  The training you have provided our family is invaluable.  We could not have achieved these results without you!

Canine Academy is, well … Priceless!

Love Wilson and his Parents!


To Lisa Farlin and the excellent staff at Canine Academy

It is four weeks since Barley came home from Off Leash Training and I wanted to take a little time to let you know how pleased we are with the outcome.

As you know, Barley is a sweet dog but we were unable to achieve the outcomes we desired with the levels of training we had gone through.  He was able to get away with quite a bit as the corrections didn’t phase him. 

The biggest problem for us at home was his jumping on people who came over to our house.  And eventually he was jumping on Wayne as he tried to get out the door in the morning for work.  It forced us to put him in his crate or other rooms by himself.  During his day training stays he was giving the girls a hard time and unfortunately starting to nip at them.  Having a dog who could potentially bite someone was not an option for us.  Our yard is unfenced and we could not go out in the yard without him leashed.

After Off Leash Training the dog who came home with us is still our sweet, silly, loving  Barley.  He did not forget us!  He is so attentive and well behaved.  Our expectations of what our dog would be like when he  came home  are blown away!  We now have a dog and a gentleman in our house.  He has not once jumped on us or any guest in our home.  We have the tools to correct him should he need it, but I must say it is very seldom.  Our family and friends are truly amazed at the changes in Barley.  We tried for quite a long time to manage Barley on our own but were limited and thus unsuccessful.

We enjoy Barley so much more now.  There are no ‘bad times’ with him or plans we change because of his potentially bad behavior.  He is confident in what is expected of him and we are confident taking into challenging new situations.

Finally, I would like to say that I worry less for his safety.  I know he will listen to me and that in the off chance that he doesn’t, I have the tools to correct him.  I know he will not dash off after a squirrel or deer on a walk or jump and run at a startling noise.  He will ‘leave’ or ‘drop’ anything he should not have (including a piece of chicken fat that fell on the floor in the kitchen yesterday).

So, I sign off with much thanks from the Richards family for transforming our dog into the dog we always hoped we would have!

Joan and Wayne Richards.....and Barley too of course.


 Dear Lisa and Staff

We want to thank you for taking such good care of our Parker (Black lab}.  When you get a dog (any pet) you are taking the responsibility to love, feed and provide a well-protected balanced life.  You feel that it is your job.  What we were not prepared for was to find a team of loving, highly trained individuals, who would help us, and have the same feelings.

Lisa you and your team cared protected and loved our Parker beyond any expectations.  You’re way with our Parker (and all the dogs), and most important, their way with you was heartwarming to us as his owners.   We felt that our little guy was in great hands, and in a safe, clean environment that showed how much everyone cared and how hard everyone worked for his well being.   Your accomplishment with his behavior, without him losing his individual personality, is making our life with him so much more pleasant and meaningful.  He has learned that knowing what is safe and unsafe will make his life a whole lot happier as well. Parker looks for our guidance that you have taught him to expect (and taught us as well) and allows us to have a GREAT DOG.

We can't thank you enough for taking that extra step and making Parker good for Don, teaching to heal and walk at his pace, was the most considerate, caring thing that you did for Don.   

In the beginning the hardest part was the separation anxiety, we more than he!!  You helped us work thru that with pictures and answering my over the top anxiety questions.  Thank you for listening and understanding.  It was tough.!!.... But when the day came that we got our Gentleman back...his personality the same...his understanding of how to behave and be a Great Dog just blew us away. Yes I admit I cried...what else was I to do!!  You have such a compassionate, loving relationship with your dogs and it shows in their behavior.  We honestly don't know how to thank you for saving our little guy (he swallowed 2 socks) and giving him the tools to be a Great Dog and safe...

What is so very important to me now, is that you are there to help guide and train the PARENTS with every step of the way.   My questions and my little hiccups in working with Parker that I have had, you have been there to train ME thru them!!  You are training us to be Great Dog Owners and we are so grateful. 

Lisa, and staff.... We thank you for making our life so wonderful with Parker and Thank You for being part of our life...It is a honor to know such passionate, compassionate people who love what they do!!  So glad we made the first phone call to you and you spoke with me and told me what you could do for Parker and us!!  You changed our life and we THANK YOU!!!

Don & Lissa White

Parker "James"... Your devoted pupil


I just wanted to give a big shout out to The Canine Academy.  There are not enough thank you's to show how much we appreciate Lisa and all the staff at The Canine Academy.  

We started out doing the classes with our Sable (German Shepherd).  She was 4 months at the time.  After doing the classes we found that we could not give her the time she needed to train to be her very best.  We have two toddlers (2 and 4) and adding a puppy into the mix was very stressful. So we decided to put Sable in the off leash program. I CAN NOT stress enough that this is the very best thing for your dog and family.  DO NOT wait till your dog is a "OK" dog or even worse a "hard-to-control' dog. Start from the beginning so they know its the way of life.  

Everyone at The Canine Academy welcomes you with big smiles and heart warming conversations.  I knew Sable would be in the greatest hands.  I actually felt bad bringing her back home once she graduated because she loved and still loves them all.  When we board her she goes in with a wiggly butt and all.  She is so happy to see them. And yes when she graduated she was able to board with them. So you can now go away and feel confident your furry love is being well taken care of.

It is remarkable how much she has been taught.  The confidence in both of us is the best feeling ever. She is gentle and great with our kids.  She is now able to be included in all our family happenings.  Even hopping in the car to go to the local hardware.  She has and will continue to have a great life.  Please let your dog have the best life ever.  After all they are family and deserve to be included in every aspect that is possible.

Many thanks, 

The McNabb's



 It is not a dream!  It has been about six weeks since Guy graduated from the Canine Academy off-leash training and he is still a Rock Star.  I have held off writing this testimonial because I really wanted to make sure my words were not out of emotion and the initial euphoria of having him home again. I am very pleased to say Guy is still rock-solid with this training he received, every walk, outing or explore we go on is pure joy for this dog-lover and her dog.  

 After adopting Guy he was great in our home but to take out in public or even for a walk was a challenge and it was getting worse, to a point where he would be limited to our home unless we invested in professional training.  After much consideration, my husband I decided to invest in off leash training and now Guy has the whole world open to him to explore.  Unexpected bonuses in Guys behavior, as a result of his training, is his increased confidence.  Guy no longer gobbles his food at meal time which must have been a result of fear, not what we thought was hunger.  Also, he now enjoys our yard without the need to have one of us nearby at all times because he now feels safe and secure as a result of his training.

He so well-mannered in public now and having him on a leash is a breeze leaving few limitations to involving Guy on trips or outings.  A true test was a recent dinner on a patio at a local restaurant, Guy came along and calmly rested on his ‘place’, no begging or distractions from him, many patrons didn’t even notice a dog was even there until we were leaving.  I honestly thought having such an awesomely behaved dog was a dream and not something I would have in my lifetime but Canine Academy did a fantastic job and now Guy will have the best life we could hope for him and every experience will be a joy.


I brought Cassie to Lisa at the Canine Academy in the spring of 2004.  She was a six-month old sassy rescue.  We tried a couple of puppy classes at the Academy but Cassie was having nothing to do with me telling her what to do, even showing a bit of aggression.

After some discussion with Lisa and assuring her that I did not want to give up on Cassie, she recommended six weeks of Off-Leash training with her…

So off to boot camp she went.  At the end of six weeks, I could hardly believe it was the same dog who came back to me.  She was a happy dog, ready to respond to every command.

We were given a full year to attend classes for help and practice as needed.  We also joined the Academy on numerous outings, agility exercises, and good citizen certification; even became registered as a Therapy dog team.  What fun for Cassie and I!

I have enjoyed my best friend for almost 14 years, and I’m so glad we found the Canine Academy.