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San Marcos, California  92079



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April 2024

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I enjoyed working with Paula from Canine Inspire because she cares. I took over the ownership of a 2 year old German Shepherd and although the dog connected wonderfully with our family, we didn’t understand her as well as we thought we did. She had spent 2 years in a backyard and didn’t have much socialization. I immediately plunged her into social situations expecting her to just warm up to other people the way she warmed up to us. However tolerant she may have appeared to be initially , she was NOT comfortable. I couldn’t see this and didn’t understand why she became more wary around strangers rather than warming up as I expected her to.
Paula didn’t tell me everything I wanted to hear, like “we can fix this and she will be sociable in time”. She focused on what I had to work with and helped me see how hard my dog really was trying. She also helped me to see that safety is paramount with a powerful dog like mine, and that it was foolish of me to keep forcing her into situations in which she was uncomfortable because, though she has never bitten anyone, it would be terrible if she did.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE my dog! She has become such a calm and beautiful animal – very loving and sweet. I have people over regularly and she warms up to everyone, provided that I remain consistent in how I introduce her to new people – as Paula taught me how to do. I take her on walks daily. There is never a problem. She goes to the groomer once a month and to doggy daycare occasionally. I’m told each time that her behavior is good.
She isn’t ready to sit outside at Starbucks and honestly, she may never be that mellow dog that lays on the ground at my feet while hoards of strangers walk by. And it’s ok.
Paula has shown me how to appreciate my dog for who she is rather than making her into my idea of what a dog should be. And I must also say that Paula has become a friend as well as a trainer.
JudySan Marcos, California

This summer I brought home the most adorable chocolate lab puppy.  I’ve had labs before and I know they can be a handful, but I never expected this.  Unfortunately, he learned at an early age that mouthing would get our attention when nothing else would.  Despite my own behavior training, my efforts to decrease his behaviors were not successful.  Having two children and a 14 year old lab who was too feeble to handle the puppy’s forceful behavior, created a less than desirable environment.  His mouthing behavior generalized and took on other functions and I found myself frustrated and in need of an expert in the field.

When my senior dog was a puppy we used a trainer who utilized a training collar.  While we had great results and amazing experiences with our labs over the years, I was feeling a little uneasy about using a more aggressive training strategy with a dog that was already perceived to be forceful.  But I needed something to work and fast.  Paula was referred to me and at first I was wondering why I would question myself when our previous trainer had worked for our other puppies.  After speaking with Paula I was intrigued by her knowledge of behavior analysis and her ability to incorporate different strategies to alter behavior, all the while using positive reinforcement and nothing aversive.
From the moment she arrived, she had both the senior dog and the puppy interested in what she had to offer and slowly, she gained compliance and required more and more appropriate behavior before reinforcing them.  This was all off leash!  Her clinical understanding of behavior is very solid but her ability to incorporate our emotional stability, given our personal situations and “real life” events is amazing.  I have called her on several occasions frustrated and distraught not knowing what to do next and sometimes I just needed to vent about where I felt I was falling short while working with him.  She has worked with each member of our family and tailored her direction to each individual’s ability.
There is no question in my mind that we made the right decision to bring Paula into our home to work with our crazy little puppy.  Her instruction, feedback and support are greatly appreciated because she has given us back some control in our house that was once very chaotic.  I would recommend her services without question because she has the ability to incorporate different teaching strategies and successfully change behavior to the needs of our family.  And for that we are thankful!
Dr. J. EricksonSan Marcos, California
In my opinion, you would be hard-pressed to find a more suitable canine behavioral counselor and trainer than Paula Phillips. First of all, let me say that Paula is one of the nicest people that I have had the privilege of getting to know. Right from the start, it was obvious that Paula has the heart, warmth, compassion, patience, sense of ethics, and spirit needed to succeed in her profession. It also became evident that Paula possesses a wealth of knowledge and experience that she so willingly shared with us.
I became acquainted with Paula when she worked with my husband and me to train our newly adopted 6 month old puppy. Paula spent many hours showing and teaching us how to incorporate this 7 pound bundle of joy and energy into our lifestyle. She assisted us with potty training, behavior guidance, selecting appropriate toys and chews, stopping excessive barking and playful biting, just to name a few things. She was very thorough when it came to finding out what we needed in order for family and dog to live in harmony. She asked many questions and listened to our concerns before determining the best plan of action for us. After each session, Paula always sent us a follow-up and summary of what we did and what “homework” we needed to do in order to reinforce what we learned at that session. She made herself available by phone, text, and email, to answer any questions or to address concerns. I know that I asked the same questions more than once, but she always responded promptly and cheerfully. Her words of wisdom were always helpful. My puppy adored her and always greeted her as if she was one of the family.
Utilizing Paula’s knowledge and experience has made my husband and I feel more responsible and competent in raising a puppy. If someone needs any type of assistance or advice when it comes to canine behavior and training, do not hesitate to contact Paula Phillips. She is an asset to her profession, but more importantly, she is a terrific human being!
VirginiaPoway, California