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Wholistic Hound Academy

Wholistic Hound delivers family dog training and behavior solutions that are both dog and people friendly. Their clients achieve excellent results in a short time by learning to communicate with their canine companions and integrate effective dog training techniques into their daily lives. Owner and Instructor Sandy Modell is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and has been training dogs for many years. Her philosophy and methods approach training as more than just dog "obedience." Humane and effective dog training is based on the science of learning behaviors of classical and operant conditioning. The methods and techniques that are used teach your dog to think as they learn new and good behaviors. At the same time, you build a stronger relationship with them. Sessions are positive, motivating, and fun. Private in-home lessons, group classes, and specialized consultations are offered for puppies and dogs of all ages. Group classes are sponsored through the City of Alexandria Department of Parks and Recreation. Visit Website

Or call 703-962-6335 or email info@wholistichound.com for more information.


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  • Silvia
    May 12, 2024
    My egregious experience with them

    I'm writing this review to help others avoid the distressing experience I had, and to caution against potential pitfalls with this training service.

    I initially prepaid for six sessions with a trainer, paying in cash after being persuaded to do the package deal during our separate evaluation which ended up being just a small discount, $30, which definitely was not worth it. The treatment I received changed once they had my money, so I regret opting for this package deal.

    To provide some context, I have previously rescued dogs, but my current rescue has severe flight issues due to past abuse and isolation. On recommendation from her foster family who I later found out only recommended them because of the close proximity to my house, I approached Wholistic Hounds, a choice I soon regretted discovering their limited expertise.

    After an initial evaluation and two chaotic sessions, which felt disorganized and overwhelming, I was more confused than when I started. The sessions lacked focus, constantly shifting from one approach to another without clear direction, I later spoke with the owner, who confirmed that I should have been training with other basic things and not what was presented to me.

    The terms stipulated no cancellations within 48 hours of an appointment, or the session and its fee would be forfeited. My rescue dog came down with an upset stomach within this period- Saturday is when it started and the training session was scheduled for Monday, and I scheduled a visit to her as well on that Monday. Despite this, I attended the session, hoping to discuss my concerns, only to be met with rudeness and condescension from [the staff member]. She scolded me for not bringing specific treats (boiled chicken since I put her on a bland diet until I could speak to her vet) and dismissed my attempt to use the session time for a constructive discussion, saying and I quote- "That’s a long time to be talking. What are we supposed to talk about". she said this with an extremely snarky tone. I am the client and I have questions and wanted to know if there were certain things she could recommend or if there were other things I could be doing better. On top of that, I paid $750(ish) for these sessions.... Shouldn’t we use them how I need them? It seemed that she didn’t feel like making the time now that she had already gotten my money.

    The situation escalated when [the staff member] made spiteful remarks, challenged my handling of my dog, and at that point I told her I did not feel comfortable working with her and that I was leaving. She tried apologizing, grabbing my dog’s leash (which I told her to let go of) and even followed me to the parking lot, attempting to physically stop me as I tried to leave. She quite literally tried to block me from getting in my car! I told her to stop and leave me alone. This inappropriate behavior continued with her knocking on the window as i tried to drive away- even after I asked her to leave me alone.

    Following this incident, I spoke with the owner, who instead of addressing my grievances, pressured me to try another trainer. I declined, feeling uncomfortable and harassed, and requested a refund for the unused sessions. [The owner]'s insistence on retaining my business despite the unprofessional conduct of her staff struck me as purely profit-driven.

    I've decided to report this business to the Better Business Bureau and strongly advise others to consider alternative training options. I went with Core Canine and have been extremely happy with them. This experience has convinced me that this establishment prioritizes money and revenue over effective training and client respect!

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