Joan is all about positive reinforcement, including clicker training and tone of voice when working with your dog, which is the only kind of training I believe in. We adopted a rescue dog with many fear issues, dog reactivity on leash, and separation anxiety. Over time, these issues have lessened
by building a trusting relationship. The biggest change is that our time out and about is less stressful; she now looks to me any time she sees a person or another dog as she knows she will get a treat. Like magic, new and scary things result in something yummy. Through lots of work, she has grown very comfortable around other people, to the point where we go visit residents in a nursing facility.

Barbara and Sweetie PieSanta Barbara, California

I contacted Joan on the advice of my vet because I needed help training my golden retriever, Digby, to be a service dog for a family member. Joan was great: extremely knowledgeable about teaching Digby the necessary new skills, patient with me when I forgot what I was supposed to be doing, and always thinking about how to solve problems Digby may encounter in his future as a service dog. Plus she is a kind person who loves and understands dogs.

Maureen and DigbyMontecito, California

I have taken several classes through Adult Ed with Joan Hunter Mayer and also a private class. Joan is very thorough as she has the first meeting with just the dog owners. It is a was helpful to meet together first without the dogs. During classes, she shows great control of the situations and is firm but positive in her response to the owners and dogs.You can tell she loves what she does as a career and it pays off for both the owners and dogs. Joan always has very helpful suggestions for all problems and situations. I will enroll again this fall in more classes as I feel she is a very effective dog trainer for both dogs and their owners.

Sharon and LilyCarpinteria, California

My dog Luna and I had the pleasure of working with Joan in both her group class entitled, “Dog Training and Life Skills for Our Canine Friends” and through private training. Luna and I had recently completed a cross-country move when I noticed some behaviors that were concerning to me, like her appearing anxious and fearful in a number of new situations. My little girl also had a tough time listening in our new home and needed a refresher course on dog manners! Luckily, we turned to Joan who was able to help us with both, as she is truly an exceptional dog trainer.  From our very first meeting with Joan, it was clear that she would go above and beyond in trying to help us. I really appreciated her asking us about our unique situation and long-term goals for training while brainstorming ways in which we could achieve these. Joan was always incredibly hands on and so enlightening! In both our private training session and through the group class she was able to describe to me how to effectively engage with Luna so that training was productive and fun. I learned to recognize “triggers” that might upset Luna and how to avoid them through positive distractions. Joan also taught us a number of techniques to practice so that Luna could master basic skills and build upon others. These included techniques like increasing the time or distance when Luna was asked to “stay”, or showing us ways to master good on-leash walking. After each of our sessions together it was clear to me that not only is Joan an exceptionally knowledgeable trainer, but her gentle nature and endless patience are also invaluable for the work that she does. Thank you so much, Joan, for helping us transition to our new home in dog-friendly CA!

Catherine and LunaSanta Barbara, California

Joan is truly a dog lover, and working with her and my dog Max was a pleasure.  We took her class, and instantly I saw results since her techniques are simple and easy to follow.  I would highly recommend working with Joan.

Rainy and MaxSanta Barbara, California

I have a stubborn young Yorkie that would not come when called. It made for a dangerous situation and she was even hit by a car. I knew I needed help. Joan was extremely helpful in providing me with several ways of getting her attention and motivating her to come when called. My dog will even come now if she hears a sound she was trained with. I would highly recommend Joan to help with your dog.

Judy and AvaMontecito, California

My husband and I, and our dog Oliver, attended a workshop that Joan offered at the Santa Barbara humane society.  We were excited to attend the workshop because it focused on loose leash walking, which is something that Oliver (and we) needs to improve upon.  The class was fantastic!  We learned so much from Joan and really liked her approach.  She went over dog training theory and encouraged us to understand life from our dog’s perspective, and how we can use that understanding to better train him.  She recommended useful training equipment, which we hope to soon buy, which are effective tools and also safe for our dog.  She demonstrated how to perform training and then gave us an opportunity to learn during the class.  We were amazed with how quickly our dog caught on!  Towards the end of the class, she and her dog Poncho acted as normal strangers you would come across during a walk and we practiced our newly learned skills.  We took away many useful skills and have already noticed changes at home with our dog.

We look forward to taking more classes with Joan and highly recommend her services!

Amy, Chris, and OliverSanta Barbara

Joan Mayer is a rare breed of dog trainer. We thought we loved our puppy before taking her to Good Manners Class, but now she is even more of an absolute joy to have in our lives! Now we really understand her behaviors, and know how to coach her to exercise good manners! We enjoyed working with Joan so much because she really took the time to address our individual needs. We really enjoy traveling with our dog, and now we have the confidence to know we can manage her in different situations, no matter where our lives take us!

Emilia and Nick, Santa BarbaraSanta Barbara

We really use the skills we learned from you with Lulu on a daily basis. She continues to become more confident and loves her walks now (tail up and happy). You have completely changed the way our family thinks about dog-raising. We’ve always been kind and loving dog owners, but thought we had to do certain things (scold when they growled, pull back when they pulled on their leash, etc.) that we now know are counterproductive. We are definitely learning!

Brenda Hill and EddieOjai, California

Thank you for all your great advice and helpful information. One of the best things for Sara was her first ‘Puppy Social’ at the Inquisitive Canine studio. She was timid at first, but with some practice and patience, she was able to overcome her initial shyness and now loves to play with all the other dogs. Thank you for teaching me how to engage my dog in a positive way so she is not afraid. I love to watch her interacting and having so much fun. We still have a lot to learn, but we’re off to a good start.

Cheryl and SaraPort Hueneme, California