My dog Bodhi and I have been working with Tomoko for over a year, and she has been incredibly knowledgeable, supportive, and encouraging during our appointments, through email, and on our dog walking outings with her pup, Kolohe.
We started working with Tomoko to do BAT set-ups because my dog is very dog-reactive. All of our BAT sessions went well, and Bodhi was able to use her communication skills to meet new dogs without barking, snapping, and being stressed. She made new doggie friends, played, and realized she didnt have to be afraid of them. During BAT sessions, Tomoko also taught me how to properly handle a leash (which is a really great skill to have) and how to read Bodhi's body language better. She has really helped me understand Bodhi and avoid situations that stress her out. Bodhi is a happier dog for it!
Tomoko has also been great help for other concerns I have, such as working on counterconditioing at the vet's office (Bodhi is terrified of the vet) and troubleshooting problems at home. She has given me great advice on addressing problems we encounter on walks, since Bodhi sometimes alerts to golf carts, joggers that surprise her, and of course other dogs.
Tomoko has rehabilitated her own reactive dog, so knows first hand how to address many of the issues a reactive dog has. She also is great at handling anxious owners like myself, and more times than I can count has helped me out on her own time, answered my questions, and given me advice when Bodhi has had a bad day. We have been very lucky to have met Tomoko and we continue to consult with her when we have a problem or when I want Bodhi to make a new doggie friend in a controlled, calm way :) Also, Bodhi loves her to death!
Here is a picture of Bodhi walking with Tomoko and Kolohe and another dog friend she met during a BAT set-up.
~ Darcey Iwashita
November 6, 2015
It is with great confidence that I recommend Tomoko Nakagawa for her dog training and walking services. Tomoko is truly the dog whisperer. Her experience and knowledge working with animals and their humans is exemplary.
She has been assisting me with my dogs for over 4 years now. Coal, my 10 year old terrier mix, had some basic obedience training but had developed fear/aggression behaviors towards other dogs and strangers. Lani, my 7 year old hound, was an adoptee from the Hawaii Humane Society and had lots of issues. It ranged from pulling, lunging at people, and barking at other dogs. It was dangerous for me and others when I'd take them for walks. Tomoko worked patiently with me and my dogs. She taught me that building trust between myself and my dogs was the basis for any successful training. They look to me before reacting , trust and respect that they are safe. Being consistent, firm but with a loving approach made a huge difference in their behavior. That is the essence of Tomoko's success in the training of dogs and their humans. She's patient , sensitive and easy to work with.
What blessing Tomoko is! When we have to travel, she is our dog walker extraordinaire. Her undivided attention and care of Coal and Lani on their walks makes our time away stress free knowing they are in trusted hands. Best of all is they love her! I can tell when she comes to walk them they just can't control their joy.
I appreciate all she's done and continue to do for Coal and Lani. I know we would not have reached such a place without her. She's the best!
~ Stacie Beaman
I adopted Duffy, my 3 year old mixed terrier from the Humane Society. He was great in the house and got along really well with with my other dog. When out for a walk he became a different dog. He reacted to everything by barking and lunging and becoming uncontrollable. Nothing I did seemed to help. Going for walks became a nightmare for both of us. Working with other trainers did not help. We finally started working with Tomoko. She is the calmest person I know. She taught me that my anxiety was just making things worse. We started out slowly, going for walks in areas where there were few people. She taught me to recognize Duffy’s triggers and to realize when he was stressed before it became out of control. Distance became my ally. Over time and with a lot of patience and positive reinforcement, Duffy has become a more confident dog. We are now able to go for walks and to actually enjoy it. Without Tomoko’s knowledge and help that never would have happened. I highly recommend Tomoko.
~ Sheila Pagliaro