My wife and i are 75 years old. Cheryl raised and trained Alki, a White German Shepard Service Dog for us. We have been able to take him with us to Mayo clinic, Walmart, Ace hardware, Sams  Club, Costco, Dr visits, and Horse Shows many times. Alki is amazing! Cheryl is the very Best! Jon Welch

“We Wanted To Make Sure We Did Things Right, Due To Breed Stereotypes”

Being first-time pet owners, we wanted to make sure we did everything right with Emi, our Shiba Inu.  We were aware of the “behavioral challenges” this breed was known for and wanted to find the right trainer for her to break through the stereotypes.  We did the basic puppy classes but knew Emi needed more.  She was social, but extremely hyper, a classic leash-puller, and wouldn’t come when called (a difficult thing for Shiba’s). Nakiva was able to work Emi through commands and was extremely patient and encouraging when Emi did not feel like listening.  She helped train Emi through issues such as biting, jumping, and learning to be patient.  Nakiva not only taught Emi, but also taught us on how to set Emi up for success.  We very much enjoy attending the group classes, where commands are re-enforced through fun and engaging games.  Emi’s leash-pulling and biting are under control and now comes when called.  We get frequent compliments on how well behaved and friendly she is, especially for a Shiba. Thank you Nakiva, we could not have done it without you!

Jenna Kim

“We Wanted To Start Our Puppy On The Right Path.”

We loved working with Take the Lead Dog Training. We where lucky to have Nakiva help us with our 3 month old Boston Terrier, Indy. She gave us great tips and tricks for getting her started on the right path to be the best dog she can be. These are things that were easy to implement and make corrections on our own. With the first couple of sessions we where definitely able to see some great progress!

Ashley Felts

“My Dog Ruled The House And Didn’t Listen To Basic Commands”

I have a Rottweiler/ Australian Shepherd mix and for those of you who don’t know both breeds can be strong willed to say the least. Before I put Chancellor through obedience training with Take the Lead Dog Training, she was your typical puppy. She ruled the house and wasn’t potty trained, didn’t listen to basic commands and she was unable to walk on a leash. Both Cheryl and Nakiva were very attentive and able to identify Chancellors misbehavior and able to correct her bad habits. I always felt comfortable and they answered any questions I had. She is now off leash trained and I can take her anywhere. We get compliments all the time for how well behaved she is and people are always shocked when we tell them she’s only 11 months old. She’s still stubborn and has her moments but we continue to practice using the tools Nakiva and Cheryl gave us to make Chancellor a well mannered dog.  After completing training, Chancellor earned her Canine Good Citizen title!

Hailey Garrity

“I Was Embarrassed To Take My Dog Out In Public!”

I knew I needed dog training when I was embarrassed to take my dog, Olive, out in public. She is only 11 pounds but when she wants to do something she would pull on the leash and lunge toward people, other dogs or anything that took her fancy. I took her to puppy training and she would do well at the store but as soon as she came home she wouldn’t listen. I would be chasing her around the yard in pouring rain and she would run through every flower bed and crawl under the deck where I couldn’t reach her coming in only when she felt like it. I was totally frustrated! I called Cheryl and she came and evaluated Olive and my willingness to comply with the training.  She was very up front about me putting in the time and effort to follow the rules so I could have a well behaved dog. I received lots of one on one with Nakiva, and loads of patience and explanations about what was needed, and after every session I was always encouraged to call with any concerns or problems. I now have an adorable well behaved dog who is a joy to go out in public with and show off her obedience. The whole family is really impressed with the changes in Olive. I wholeheartedly recommend Nakiva, and Take the Lead, to anyone looking to have a well trained and obedient companion.

Peggy Ohlke

“My Dog Was A Handful On Leash And Showed Aggression At Doggy Daycare”

My dog, Harper, is a three old Rottweiler/Hound mix and had always been a handful on the leash (pulling/lunging at cats). She also had a few incidents of aggression at her doggy daycare. I had my initial consult regarding Harper’s aggression. Throughout training, we worked at my house, at pet stores and at the dog park. After a few sessions with Cheryl, Harper has been a completely different dog on leash – she heals obediently next to me and listens to my commands and body language (automatically matching my speed and sitting when I stop). I am finally comfortable running and hiking with her. We also worked a lot at the dog park on keeping Harper’s focus in a hectic atmosphere – both asking her to hold a down stay while other dogs approach and working on recall when she is playing with another dog or running towards the mud/water. I feel like the training both she and I received will prevent any future incidents with other dogs and I once again feel comfortable taking her to the dog park alone and allowing her to interact with other dogs.
I’ve worked with other trainers before on basic and advanced obedience and always felt like Harper was only performing for treats. After working with Take the Lead, it is clear that Harper is responding to my commands because she honestly knows what I am asking and wants to please me. Both she and I are much happier now that we are both on the same page and we have Cheryl to thank.

Christine Hawkins

“We Wanted Our Puppy To Behave And Stay In Specific Areas Of The House”
Aussie, our Maltese/Shih Tzu puppy,  is awesome…and thanks to Cheryl, he behaves pretty awesome now too! Through Puppy Preschool he has learned to behave himself, play well and (our favorite) stay within the boundaries of the rooms we keep him in, without any gates, even when his toys roll into the no go zone! We love the help Cheryl gave us and look forward to working with her more in the future! Thanks!

Chris Willis

“We Were Secretly Wondering If We Could Even Keep Our Dog…”

Cheryl did a great job training our German Shepherd, Una, who is a bit needy sometimes. With 5 kids (from 13 to 2 years old) we were struggling to keep Una around because of her always being underfoot and in the way. In about 3 lessons, Cheryl changed the whole situation to where we are no longer secretly wondering if we are going to even keep her. Now Una will go to her “place” and stay there. She also heels well and goes into a “down” position quite easily.Since Cheryl’s approach includes training not just the dog, but also the owner, we are empowered to fix just about any issue that might arise with our dog.
In short, it was the best money we have spent on our dog to date.


Hans Eisenman

“I Needed My Dog To Listen Well So That He Could Travel With Me”

Cheryl trained my German Short-haired Pointer, Jake, in Florida. I was about to start traveling for my job and was concerned with Jake’s recall, leash walking and overall listening skills. Jake has been wonderful as I’ve started traveling and credit this to Cheryl. She listens to the areas you want to work on with your dog and structures the training around those areas. I trust her and only wish I had found her sooner.

Chesere Daniels

“My Sweet Puppy Was Out Of Control!”
I would definitely recommend Take the Lead Dog Training to anyone who would like their four legged companion to become the dog they’ve always wanted. Before Take the Lead Dog Training, I had a rambunctious puppy with very bad manners. I didn’t know how to train or control him, especially when we had visitors. We also needed help training our pup to play more gently with our small children, not to bark at neighbors, behave on a leash and just become the sweet little dog we hoped he be. After just a few short sessions, our dog is a wonderful family pet and he’s enjoyed by all who meet him. Thank you, Take the Lead Dog Training!

Brooke Young

“We Can Now Enjoy Our Dog!”
Harlow is a 1 year old Lab/Border Collie mix.  He is a 70lb ball of energy.  The first year we owned him, we were unable to take him anywhere with us, and my wife was unable to even walk him by herself because he would constantly pull to the point that it would nearly drag her down to the ground. Our second biggest problem was his jumping and excitement when guests came over to visit. It didn’t matter if it was someone new or and old friend, Harlow would crowd them at the door, jump up on them, lick them and would not leave them alone the entire time they were at our house.  This, in and of itself was a problem, but we also have 2 young nephews that he could knock down. This  was embarrassing and we weren’t able to enjoy our dog in any type of social setting. So we decided it was time to hire a professional!

Within the first 2 sessions, Harlow was a completely different dog.  He was no longer pulling on the leash excessively, he was sitting away from the door waiting for guests to enter through, and was no longer jumping on them when they were in our house.  Over the following weeks of our training, Cheryl taught us how to control and calm Harlow if he got too excited, she helped build his confidence around other dogs, and taught him to heel and walk next to us at all times while on the leash.  Harlow is much more pleasant to be around over all.  We are now confident in taking him outside of the house and having him around strangers!  Even our 4 year old nephew can now hold his leash while walking and give him commands to heel, sit, wait, and stay!  The changes we have seen in him have been incredible and we can not thank Cheryl enough! We would definitely recommend her to anyone who owns a dog!

Jeff Onorato

“My Jack Russel Terrier Was Severely Dog Aggressive”

I have a Jack Russell Terrier named Riley who is “dog aggressive.” What that means is…that Riley will attack ANY animal she comes in contact with. It doesn’t matter if you are a mouse or an elephant, Riley will attack! I was introduced to Cheryl to see if she could help Riley.  She did an assessment of Riley and wanted to help me. After a 4 week program, I was able to identify Riley’s triggers and control her aggressiveness. What a relief it was to be able to walk Riley and ward off any bouts of aggressiveness.
Cheryl did an awesome job with Riley. I would recommend Cheryl to help you with your dog’s aggressiveness. She is wonderful with dogs!

Diane Daniels

“My Dog Is The Best Thing That Has Happened In My Life”

Cheryl raised Dekker from a puppy for me. So he came to me “pre-trained’. I like to say I have had the privilege of “growing up” with this three year old black lab name Dekker! He is a certified therapy dog and has been one of the best things that has happened in my life! Not only did Cheryl teach him to be obedient, kind, gentle, etc, but she also trained me to be that same way with my Doodle Bug! He is such a happy boy and we have so much fun together . . . No matter where I take him or who he meets, he’s very reserved and friendly! Thank you Cheryl for yet another blessing in my life.

Laura Welch

“I Had A Bad Dog Trainer Experience Before I Worked With Cheryl”

We had the privilege of having Cheryl as our dog trainer. I had a rough experience before her and was scared to have another trainer come in, but Cheryl was FANTASTIC! I have two Jack Russell Terriers that have two very different personalities and it was so challenging to train them because I couldn’t use the same strategies on both. Cheryl came in and assessed this in a matter of minutes and was able to get them both on the same page pretty much on the first session. They now know their basic commands, walk on a leash, and LISTEN to me. Anyone with a Jack can attest they’re a stubborn breed, but Cheryl taught me strategies that make them do what they’re told – well, within the first few times – no dog is perfect! I’ve appreciated her friendship afterwards and continued helpful tips. I live in a much happier household thanks to her. Highly recommend and, if you’re on the fence – don’t be. This girl knows her stuff.

Christin Wheeler

“I Have Never Seen Such Amazing Results!”

Cheryl custom trained our service dog for our daughter here in Lakeland, FL. It was obvious early on that she was adept and passionate about training dogs. I always called her THE “dog whisperer” because I have never seen such amazing results in dog training.
We were confident we were in good hands.  Cheryl trained me and corrected my technique so our dog listens to me and now our 11 year old special needs daughter. When I do what she says we get tremendous results. We had a dog trained by another company long ago, and he only listened to the trainer.
Cheryl is truly gifted and I would highly recommend her services for anyone who really wants to enjoy the lifetime they will have with their furry friends! I have had other trainers, and although they were qualified, the experience was lacking and the results were mediocre…she just seems to have the special something that sets her apart from other trainers.

Colissa Clark

“I Needed More Training Than My Dog”

From first visit to our home Cheryl became part of our family. Gracie was responsive to her right away. She knew Cheryl meant “business” and would learn her new commands instantly.  We quickly learned that teaching Gracie something was easy. It was teaching me the parent that was much more complicated, requiring an enormous amount of patience. My wife can tell you that no one has more patience in dealing with me than Cheryl. Once I finally started to get the message she was delivering I became much more comfortable, confident and at ease with Gracie. Cheryl would introduce the new commands and then would teach me how to practice those commands.

Today Gracie is a beautiful, well trained, loving companion in our home. Cheryl is as much a part of that as anyone could be. I know that I can call on her for help or advice in the future.

Mike Bollent

“It Is A Pleasure To Bring My Dogs Everywhere I Go Now”

Cheryl trained our two Dobermans, Sammy, Tessa and me. I think I was the toughest student. Our two babies go almost everywhere with us on or off leash. It is simply a pleasure to have a large dog that are well-behaved, and can be taken almost anywhere. Our female Doberman (Tessa) was also trained as a Therapy Dog. We then entered Tessa to be examined for certification by “Therapy Dog International” which is a 15 point exam, and Tess aced it, thanks to Cheryl. We enjoyed working with Cheryl, and her dog Duke, a lot and loved having them in our home.

Mert Davis

“With Two Young Kids We Needed Our Dog To Behave”

Cheryl helped us when we got Baxter in 2013. We have 2 small children so it was important for us to have a well behaved dog. Cheryl is knowledgeable and helps teach techniques so that you know how to control your dog. I kind of felt like she was training me how to be a dog owner as much as she was training the dog. I can’t recommend Cheryl and Take the Lead Dog Training enough!

Jason Kupperman

“My Dog Was Stubborn And Hard Headed”

I have a 3 yr old Weimaraner that was trained by Cheryl. Anyone that is familiar with Weims knows they are stubborn and hard-headed. She worked miracles with our Shultz, and in no time he was following commands. What a blessing it was to meet and work with this amazing young lady. I highly recommend her to anyone needing dog training!!

Debbie Hoffman

“We Bought A Mastiff Puppy And Wanted To Train Him Right Away”

Cheryl did an outstanding job training our English Mastiff, Hurley. I would recommend this company to anyone who needs their dog professionally trained.

Michael Moore

“My Dogs Don’t Go Crazy Barking At The Door Anymore!”

Thanks to our training last year with Cheryl, our dogs, Sophie and Sonny were amazingly well-behaved on Halloween night with all the doorbell rings and screaming kids. They were almost perfect! Thank you Cheryl for being our Super Trainer!

Carol Pont

“I Had This Great Dog That I Could Do Nothing With, Until…”

Cheryl is an amazing trainer. My dog, Coco had just a few issues (I say that sarcastically) like pulling on the leash (more like dragging me around the neighborhood). Oh, and then there is the way she greeted people, nothing like having an 80 pound dog jump all over you. I had this great dog that I could do nothing with. Along came Cheryl, who taught me the training methods and worked with Coco and I. With lots of practice time, I now have a dog that walks by my side, greets people from a sit and stays in her “place”. I couldn’t be more pleased. Cheryl really does a great job explaining the training methods, and she was very patient while I attempted to master them. I loved that she came to my house, so my dog could be trained in her own environment. I am thrilled with the results!!!!

Susan Wools