I wanted to share my experience with this amazing company because I am blown away by what they did for our family. No, this is not a paid advertisement. I reached out to Cornerstone for help. I was desperate. They are amazing at what they do. I had to share our experience and let others know that there is help. And a well trained dog is worth the time and investment a million times over.
A little background story to set the stage....
I grew up with crazy dogs, and I vowed that I would always have well trained dogs in my home. Dogs that don't dart, that come when called, that don't steal food. Fast fwd to adulthood, things were going great, I had kept the promise to myself. We had a little Pom that we never leashed because he never left my side. He was perfect. Life was easy and carefree.
Enter chaos. My kids had begged for a big dog for years, a companion for our little Pom that was nearing death each month with growing cataracts and arthritis. Of course I always said no as any level headed person would. Why mess up a good thing.
Well, during a moment of weakness while I was hopped up on drugs from donating one of my kidneys last year, my kids knew they had a chance and they started pulling up photos of puppies on the internet. I can't resist puppies on a normal day, so while under the influence of some hard core pain meds, I opened my Venmo app and placed a deposit on a giant Golden Retriever puppy.
Luckily I had enough sense to get a breed I loved. Hard pass on the wet mustache dogs. Sorry. I'll take fur over wet dog smell, but to each their own.
So began our life with Winnie. Good thing she was cute, because she was equally crazy. Like I said before, I've had awesome dogs before that were so well trained and I knew this one would be no different... until it was! It was totally different. Maybe it was that I hadn't trained a dog in 12+ years, maybe it was that she was big, maybe she was extra crazy, or I was extra tired, but whatever it was, it was the perfect storm.
Cue me braking my ankle the first week of spring, the same week she decided to she started darting when we opened the door. It was the last straw. I reached out of social media for help. Multiple people recommended CornerStone Dog Training so I scheduled a free consultation.
They offer online courses (most popular), one on one training, and also boarding options. We decided boarding was the best option for me since I was on crutched and Winnie was 50lbs and had no concept of heeling.
I can't tell you the relief I felt after our consult. They promised some pretty big things, and they said they guaranteed it! I didn't think they could do it honestly. Maybe with another dog, but Winnie was a straight up terror at this point. I was convinced that they would return her as being the first dog to fail the program.
1st day of board and train was one of the happiest days of my life. Good Luck Cornerstone! The next 3 weeks having her gone was both peaceful and nerve racking. Waiting for the call that she was getting kicked out.
Now, I don't want to make it seem like Winnie is an awful dog. She is the sweetest actually. I was just doing a lot of things wrong. Looking back, it was totally my fault for how things started going down hill so fast. But after her training, we got to go pick her up and Cornerstone then trained US. That's when I saw the error of my ways and why things had started raveling out of control.
I took the kids too so they could also learn how to speak Winnies new language so we were all on the same page.
After a very exciting reunion, we got to work seeing what she had learned and learning how to enforce on the new commands. I wanted to cry when she started walking, so focused on me! She could be a seeing eye dog!
She was so responsive and excited to follow directions and do so quickly.
Remember how they said they guarantee their work and I doubted them? Well, I am here to say they exceeded all expectations!
We have had Winnie home now for about 6 weeks and I can't even tell you how happy I am. She responds perfectly to me as well as my 5 yr old. No more running out the door. You have to say "ok" before she will cross a threshold. She happily goes into her kennel where before we had to carry her to it and force her in. She comes like a lightning bolt when called, where before she would only come if I held a treat, and sometimes that wasn't even enough. She heels like a champ! And we are to the point now that she will even choose to heel when she is off leash at the park! And her favorite trick is "place". She will jump onto anything you point at and stay there for an extended amount of time. It's very impressive.
This was the day we dropped her off. My only thought was Good Luck!
This is the day we picked her up! Of course we were happy to see her. But we were mostly so overjoyed at the Jason and Lorelei's talents in transforming our dog!
Her personality didn't change, but our ability to communicate with each other did.
I have been sharing bits of our training journey on Instagram, check out my highlight bubble for some epic
"before and after Cornerstone". I've also been flooded with questions about their program so I wanted to touch on the most asked questions here.
Why did you pick Cornerstone?
I got on social media asking for help with training. Cornerstone was the most recommended of all the companies sent my way. I loved that they had board and train option and that their training is run out of their home! The dogs are trained professionally but also put to the test by learning in real life situations, sitting in their home, heeling with a 3 year old, and experiencing all the distraction that come with a house full of kids and still mastering difficult commands.
How much is the program?
They offer several options and they are all different (online, one on one, puppy, board and train). You can reach out for a FREE consult to find which class is best for you and your dog.
What age does your dog need to be?
Again they have classes for all ages, but if I were to do it over again, I'd start her in puppy classes. I couldn't have prevented a lot of negative behaviors if I knew what I was doing.
Where are the classes?
Online, Kaysville UT, Saratoga Springs UT, Ohio
One other thing I LOVE is that I have life time access to get help with training. They have monthly in person group trainings that anyone can attend if you've done one of their local classes. You show up with any concerns or questions and they help guide you and your dog in the right direction.
I have nothing but good things to say obviously. My life is 100x better having invested in this course. I love having a well behaved dog that is calm and obedient. Now I can truly enjoy going on walks and hikes and even just hanging around a home. No more frustration. Just a sweet puppy that listens and is happy and eager to please. And every day I am in awe that this is really my dog and that she's really this good.
Thank you Cornerstone, from the bottom of my heart. You built the bridge for me to have the most fulfilling relationship with my dog. We were headed down a path that was going to lead to a lifetime of swear words and frustration. Now, it's just pure enjoyment. And I know Winnie is happier too! PS She loves her kennel now! Even goes there on her own just to take a nap (happy tears). You gave me the adventure companion I always hoped for and I'm forever grateful.