What a difference Ana has made
with my two Rottweilers!
I believe what Ana has taught us
has helped shape our puppy, Max, into a wonderful, happy ten month
old puppy. He not only comes when called, he RUNS to me! He knows
sit, lay down, and stay; he knows “leave it”, come!” His leash
walking is very impressive and continues to improve with every
Major, our five year old Rottie,
has dog aggression and dominance issues. Ana came to my house for
an In Home Session and she noticed behaviors that I didn’t know
were important to watch for. She gave me “homework” to do with
Major and he has shown amazing improvement. I’m now in Ana’s Leash
walking class and we go for walks in the park. I feel like she has
helped me free Major from a prison. I hadn’t walked Major in a
park in over two years due to his dog aggression.
My Vet was incredibly impressed
with Major's change in disposition! Two years ago, Major
tried to bite him while he was giving him a shot. Since then,
every visit has required a muzzle. NOT ANYMORE.
ALSO, Major sat politely at the
door going into the vet and leaving the vet!
My dogs are happy, and that makes me
My name is Cricket, and I am a Cavalier King Charles
Spaniel. As a small little puppy I was extremely scared and
shy. So, when I was about 3 months old I went to Ana’s puppy
socialization class. After about ten weeks I no longer
feared going into the pet store, and I just loved (and still do)
greeting all dogs and their
My mom wanted to continue on with an obedience
class, but Ana suggested taking an Agility class instead, saying that it
would help to bring me out of my shell and help find my inner most self
(and that it did!). I have been doing Agility for about a year now, and I
absolutely love it!! In the beginning, though, I was a little reluctant.
I was super afraid of the A-frame, the dog walk, and especially the
teeter-totter. After months of Ana’s positive reinforcement and
creative ideas, I finally overcame my fears and went over the teeter and
never looked back.
I would just like to say that Ana has a great
passion for what she does and in all of her classes. I am always taught
with treats and praise, and if it were not for Ana I would not be the agility
queen I am today. I would probably be living out my scared life shy.
Instead, Ana has helped me discover my passion in life, Agility!
Ana has a way with dogs, her kindness and human
methods are creative and effective. I love the fact I could throw that
terrible choker away and have a more human way of teaching my dog right
from wrong. Her methods are not the sort of things you would find in any
book widely available to the public. Ana is precise and in control as are
her three dogs Grace, Argos, and Meg. They are an inspiration to me and my
dog. A true testimonial to what can be achieved by learning how to have
great human-dog communication skills. Our dogs are trying to tell us
something, we just need to learn what they are saying. Ana is straight to
the point and honest no bushes to beat around, just the facts. Her no fluff
approach has been a huge asset to our family, and the mental health of our
dog. I only wish we would of started sooner. I trust Ana implicitly with
the development of our dog and our family relationship with our dog. I
really can't describe the huge effect she has had on our home. Ana has
helped us turn our dog into an asset for our family, rather than the
liability we feared she was becoming. Thank you Ana for saving our family,
we love you.
Ryan Kramer and Phara
My border collie Ben has always had fear aggression problems
- that is how he ended up with me. He was originally my grown daughter's
dog, and was headed for the pound when I agreed to take him. Ben made it
through obedience training at Boulder Humane Society, barely. He would curl
his lip and snarl at the instructor when she came too close. At the end of
the six week session, I mentioned that I would like to learn agility with
Ben, but I was told Ben could never do agility because of his fear
aggression. Ana agreed to let me try agility with Ben. When I first came
Ben would freeze whenever Ana came near. Ana learned she could get near Ben
if she looked away and held out a treat for him. Over time Ben warmed up to
her, and became pretty good at agility. (We are still learning the weave
poles). Now it is the highlight of Ben and his companion border collie
Maggie's week to go train with Ana. All I have to do is mention the word
'agility' and both Ben and Maggie run around deliriously happy. Ana really
has a gift with dogs. I have seen my formerly fear-aggressive dog go up to
Ana and lick her hand, on his own, which is a testament to Ana's way with
- Jim Ratzloff
When my new puppy began acting aggressively towards other
dogs, I was overwhelmed with advice, good and bad, helpful and not so
helpful. It was very confusing and sometimes frightening.
Ana helped sort through all the information and made sense out of the
chaos. She developed a program appropriate for this particular
dog and his specific issues. She has been available every step of the
way to progress him to each new level. Best of all is her consistent
encouragement and support of both the human and the dog throughout the
- Lori Hansen
In December, 2003, a greyhound that I was fostering for
Colorado Greyhound Adoption exhibited a behavioral problem that I was not
equipped to handle. When seeing strange dogs in the park, three year old Chester would lunge after them. When I tugged on the leash to correct him, he would turn
around and bite me on the leg. Knowing that Chester was not adoptable
because of this behavior, I was put in touch with trainer Ana Melara who
had generously consulted with CGA in the past.
Ana visited our home for an on-site evaluation of Chester. She observed him for his level of reactivity, ability to accept leadership and
fitness for rehabilitation. She provided us with recommendations for
reasserting our authority and started us on a program to deal with his
leash aggression and re-directed aggression. Ana also suggested that I
purchase and read Feisty Fido, to complement our
lessons. We practiced daily in the neighborhood and had weekly sessions
We began with the “Watch” command at home and,
once mastered, practiced in our neighborhood, well away from other dogs.
Gradually we worked on this command closer and closer to other dogs. Months
later, as Ana had promised (I was incredulous at the time), Chester sat with his attention focused on me at the training center while Ana’s dogs
approached him. After months of Ana’s positive training, Chester was a changed dog! We incorporated “Sit,” “Stay,”
“Wait,” “Down,” “Up” and
“Speak” into our lessons. It got to the point where Chester would see another dog, look at me and sit for a treat! We eventually met all sorts
of dogs and Chester mingled peaceably with scores of greyhounds at CGA
events. In September, Chester finally found a home of his own!
Without Ana’s help, Chester’s miraculous
transformation would not have been possible. She trained me to communicate,
using positive reinforcement, what I wanted Chester to do. We achieved our
training goals without the use of any punishing choke collars or yelling.
In fact, he was fitted with a special harness that left his neck and muzzle
free, so that no pressure was exerted when seeing another dog. I found it
revolutionary that instead of hurtful things (choking collars, yelling)
when seeing another dog, he experienced only good things (treats, praise).
At our sessions, Ana provided a running (and often funny)
commentary on what Chester was thinking. This helped me to read him better.
It was truly amazing to observe this rambunctious, dog-aggressive greyhound
become a well mannered boy who amused all who met him with his repertoire
of tricks! And it was no less miraculous to see him happily and confidently
meeting strange dogs in the park...
Ana has become Chester’s and my hero! She is a
wonderful trainer - of people and dogs alike! Ana’s training methods
have become my gauge of what excellent, effective training should be about.
- Judy Greenfield
I came to know Ana Melara through a chamber of commerce
networking group. I was immediately impressed with Ana's knowledge and
enthusiasm. Her presentations were always entertaining as well as very
When it came time for my husband and I to pick out a new puppy, Ana was
instrumental in helping us to make a good choice. She worked with us to
determine exactly what traits we desired in a dog and what activities we
intended to participate in. Ana did a full temperament evaluation on our
chosen puppy and pointed out a few potentially problematic behaviors. She
then showed us how to properly work with Hachi, our new puppy, to make sure
that she grew up into a well-mannered, non-aggressive dog.
Ana has been a constant resource for my husband and I. Whenever we have a
question we know that Ana is just a phone call away with the answer! I have
been around dogs my entire life and I thought that I was pretty
knowledgeable about them, but I am truly amazed at how much I have learned
about dog training and behavior from Ana in the past year. I have taken dog
training from some very well-known dog trainers in the Denver area and Ana
is by far the best trainer I have ever encountered. She has a wonderful mix
of knowledge, good communication skills, humor, as well as a true passion
for what she does. I would not be surprised to see Ana one day hosting a
television show or writing a best-selling dog training book.
Thanks to Ana, for the first time in my life I have a dog that doesn't
ignore me when I say "come here"! I wholeheartedly recommend her
services to anyone who has a dog or is thinking of getting a dog.
- Tracy Smith
Myself and others have noticed a significant decrease in my
dog Molly's agression since we began working with Ana Melara. I was ready
to give up my dog because of her aggression towards other dogs. I have decided
otherwise because she has become a better dog through training with Ana. I
really appreciate Ana's willingness to allow Molly in her agility classs
despite Molly's issues. The classes have made a world of difference in my
relationship with Molly.
- Andrea Sarantos and Molly
As the owner of The Downtown Dog, I believed it was
imperative to employ a dog trainer that not only provided the absolute best
in technique and instruction but one who also keeps my best interests in
mind. Ana Melara is one who demonstrates a high level of expertise when it
comes to any of the capacities of dog training. She is extremely
resourceful and enthusiastic, exhibiting her love for the job. My clients
truly appreciate what she has helped them to accomplish and in many cases
continue an ongoing relationship. And on personal level, she displays a
high degree of honesty, loyalty and integrity, which has made her an
irreplaceable component of my team.
- Chad McGlothlin, The Downtown Dog
Magic has me so well trained, that when we met you, I knew that I was the
one who needed the training! Still do for that matter!
It has been your ability to deal with "The
Trinity": Magic, myself and our relationship, that is leading Magic and
I to work together in a way that I was beginning to think was impossible.
We are genuinely learning to communicate with each other. Your methods are
so simple and effective, I marvel as to why no one else has ever suggested
these to us before! Your positive attitude, clever training manner, and
ability to recognize Magic's individuality, needs, behavior, and
intelligence (things that I seem to fail to notice) are beginning to rub
off on me! Your explanation as to the whys, and not just the hows of training,
are especially beneficial.
Your use of agility as play for building our relationship and
keeping Magic's mile-a-minute mind is an outstanding way to build on our
relationship. Magic may never have an agility title, but it will make her a
better water dog.
This has been an incredible experience for Magic and I. I
have a better understanding of the learning process of both dogs and
people. We have a relationship that is improving daily. You have never
hesitated to offer help and encouragement with a personal touch. You are
continuing to provide us with the tools to create and secure a life long
relationship of honesty, respect, and fun.
Our whole family is lucky that you have come into our lives.
- Magic's Mom
WOOF! I would like to add my 2 cents worth!
My name is Magic, Black Magic! I am an adolescent newfoundland . When I drive Mom crazy, I am also known as "VooDoo Dog" or
"Possesed Pooch". I love to antagonize other canines by staring
at them, I am rude with my pushiness and I can barely be trusted off lead.
I know just how to push my Mom's buttons and love I doing it! And my Mom
has this vision of me being some great water rescue dog! All that I want to
do is play!
Thanks to Ana, Mom is better at reading me and getting and
keeping me focused. I LOVE agility! I get to use my brain! I also get to
use my brain training for my water trials. Ana has taught my mom that you
can use my play drive and my intelligence to do great things!
After we got our new
puppy she began showing subtle signs of aggressiveness. She would growl
when we reached for her food or when she didn't like the way we handled
her. Her behavior was inappropriate, and we were worried that we might
eventually end up with a dangerous dog on our hands. Ana showed us how to
communicate the proper chain of command to our dog, all the while showing
love and respect to our pet. Now our dog is over a year old, and she is a
dream. I can't imagine how many problems Ana helped us avoid!