Happy Tales

Paws up to our clients and friends who have learned and continue to learn ways to communicate, appreciate, and grow with the canines in their lives.
Ellie - AKC Canine Good Citizen Graduate



"Classes were wonderful and worked wonders.  Ellie received lots of personal attention and positive encouragement.  We are so excited that she passed!  She cannot wait to start volunteering at the women's shelter." Stacey

Dexter - AKC STAR Puppy Graduate

Here is Dexter playing in the tube at puppy class last night after he passed his test!! Thank you for providing a wonderful and informative class for my little guy, he learned a lot! - Nikki

Mack made more progress in seven weeks of class with Michelle than we did the three months I had him before. He started off skittish and unsure, had only learned to sit and could not tolerate people. By the end of class he was happy to be there, knew all his cues and was even approaching people in class making eye contact and nudging their hands for treats! As a training student I was prepared to work with him but really wasn't sure how much "healing" he was capable of. We can visit with other people now, I just bring his Place and he will lay down and settle there. When people visit us, he barks for a minute and then will calm himself down; recently, he approached a new person on the couch to be pet within ten minutes of her arrival. I'm completely amazed and pleased with his progress, and we would not have made it so far so fast without Michelle's help. Thank you for being an excellent training mentor and teacher, me and Mack were both so lucky to have your help and guidance!! Fondly - Sarah & Mack




Hi my name is Max, try not to stare at my gorgeous eyes – it makes me a little nervous.  I was rescued and then my Dad was deployed and I moved with my mom to Grandma and Grandpa’s and they have lots of cats to chase.  I’m really nervous around new people and new things.  My mom had a trainer come visit me and I was scared of her too.  A few private lessons and off to group obedience class I went.  Don’t tell anyone, but all those humans standing around in one place, yikes!  But then I saw my trainer and ran to give her a poke with my nose – that’s my way of saying I think I like you.  I learned so many new things and I love surprising my mom and trainer by performing a new skill and happily poking them.  Best of all, I went on to agility class and my mom made me some equipment to practice with at home.  I love it!  I quickly learned that I can make my trainer squeak with happiness and she will give me a back rub whenever I try something new.  She gave me a big ball and I was pretty sure that thing was trying to get me, but you should have heard my trainer squeak when I targeted it and nudged it along with my nose.   I never know what these crazy humans will come up with next, but I’m having a great time figuring it out.  When my Dad gets home he won’t believe all the things I have learned!


Michelle - I love what you wrote about Max and I am so grateful for all of your help with him. He has come such a long way in a short amount of time. I am excited for my husband to see the transformation when he comes home on leave. When he left Max was very anxious and aggressive towards strangers.  Max's confidence has increased immensely and I am no longer afraid of how he is going to act around new people. I don't know what I would have done without your help. Thank you again.  Rebecca


Gus and Bailee

Don't let the calmness in our picture fool you...we are fully loaded with energy and we love exuberant greetings. Come to our home and we would greet you with lots of barking, running, jumping, kisses, and all kinds of fun craziness.  Then our trainer came and we learned a whole new way of dealing with our impulses, greeting people, and passing other dogs on walks.  Our parents were a little nervous when they heard that we were going for a walk with a training dog to improve our behavior with other dogs.  We even overheard them telling our trainer that it was not going to go well.  We admit that we generally put on quite a show whenever we saw other dogs, and scared them and their owners right off - secretly, we thought it was kind of fun.  Our parents did not think it was fun.  So we each took turns being introduced to Cody, our training dog.  All our usual antics did not scare Cody off or entice him to bark or react in return.  Off we went for a very successful walk together.  Our parents could not believe it!  After our well-behaved walk, we even got to play with Cody for awhile.  Now we are invited on the weekly Walking Club walks with all the other dogs.  Our last walk on the Millbury Bike Path we did not bark at people walking, rollerblading, riding bikes, other dogs - we were pretty impressed with ourselves.  We even stayed calm when a passing bike trailer actually had a barking beagle in it instead of a child.  We did all this in only 3 in-home private lessons!         


- - We loved Gus and Bailee before, but we loved them even more after Michelle came to the rescue! Through in-home training my husband and I were able to learn how to correct every day (unwanted) behaviors. Both Gus and Bailee have come a long way, and walks/house and visitors are no longer stressful situations.  Michelle's expertise made a world of difference in our house!





Yes, I'm a natural blue...blue Doberman that is.  I just finished puppy class at The Barkwood Inn and I had a great time playing with my new friends.  I also attend Daycamp at the resort and boy does it tire me out.  I'm looking forward to taking Backyard Agility because I love to run through things, around things, under things, over things - my parents are going to wear their shoes out keeping up with me! 


- - HI Michelle. I got some great pics of Syd today with her new toy:) I will send them soon. Thanks again so much. We all learned a great deal from you and we look forward to working with you again soon.





 Boy, when I was leaving the shelter I had visions of chewing up my new home, chasing the 4 children around until they shrieked, and pouncing on any human who dared move in the family kitchen...those were my plans - until the lady with the treats showed up.  Something called positive reinforcement happened.  I resisted, I rebelled, I did my best to continue to harrass my family. But alas, my family has a background in education and they had other plans for me - plans I was totally unaware of.  I've since learned to have manners, walk nicely, and respect Mom's space in the kitchen.  I'm still wondering what happened to the lady with the treats though....



- -Thank you so much for all your help.  We do think Brady has come a long way.  We'll keep working with him and hopefully when you see him at a group class after the holiday's, he'll make you proud!  Enjoy the holidays.


Hi, I'm Fenway, the cattle dog on the right in the picture.  I had a really big problem with moving cars and other dogs.  My behavior was getting worse and worse.  I completed 3 in-home lessons with Cody, my training dog, and here we are together in the picture.  When we first met, I was not too happy.  However, my owner and I learned how to manage my anxiety, set up successful greetings with other dogs, and improve my tolerance of moving vehicles.  My trainer said my owner and I made AMAZING progress during our lessons.


- - Update from Fenway -

Hi!  Thanks to Michelle & Cody, my owner no longer dreads taking me on walks.  I walk nicely with her and am less and less anxious about trucks and other dogs.  I even have made friends in my neighborhood!  Between you and me, I think my owner was ready to run away!  Thank you again Michelle & Cody - I am one happy pup!


During my in-home training I made a new friend and learned some new behaviors to help reduce my anxiety.  I've had a lot of medical issues and am a bit cautious as a result.  I was not too sure of making friends with Cody, the big goofy Swissie, but he put me at ease and I learned to be comfortable and even invite him to play.  I've reduced a lot of my anxiety, continue to swim at Aqua Dog for exercise, and am really working hard on my greeting behavior at the door.  I'm planning on teaching little sis Grace a thing or two.



- - Our family found Michelle Payson by reading information on the site PT PET SUPPLY where we purchase our dog food and pet supplies.  We have an 18 month old awesome yellow lab named Mason with multiple congenital anomalies and a 6 month old beautiful precious chocolate lab Grace. Mason had been going thru some very rough issues and we thought it was best to seek a professional trainer. Honestly we were very skeptical at first.  Michelle has made such a TREMENDOUS impact for our family unit, both humans and canines. Our lives have CHANGED SO VERY POSITIVELY. You see Michelle's training involves everything being positive. She has not only worked diligently with our dogs but she has also worked with us. She has taught us that there is a definite connection between how the owner responds and how the owner carries out tasks and in turn getting a more positive response from your dog.  Her knowledge base is SUPERIOR, her ability to interact with our dogs has been PHENOMENAL, and the way she treats her clients TRULY EXCEEDS ANY EXPECTATION WE EVER HAD. If you are reading her site and wondering what shall I do , give her a call. It truly will be the BEST INVESTMENT you can make for you dogs and yourself. Michelle truly is the BEST MEDICATION you can give your dog and yourself. Michelle would be a WONDERFUL MENTOR for other dog trainers.  Most Sincerely, The Frederick R Loconto Family


Boy, when my mom first took me to group training class, I was not very excited about it.  I've got some physical issues that make me a little wary of other dogs.

I took some special in-home lessons with Cody to help me learn proper greeting behavior.  Apparently, showing my teeth and staring wasn't making the other dogs very comfortable.  Cody and I became great friends and now I even welcome other dogs coming over to see me at my house.




- - I can’t thank Michelle & Cody enough for everything that you have taught us! I’m continually impressed with Michelle’s knowledge and competence. She works with the dog and the owner, I learned so much from working with Michelle and can’t wait to continue with classes. Sam’s first class was spent mostly panting and walking in circles as he was very anxious being around other dogs, I really didn’t have high expectations. With Michelle’s patience and understanding Sam and I completed Paws in the Park and went on to schedule sessions to work with Sam one on one. Cody and Michelle showed up at the house and I was truly a nervous wreck, because of Sam’s medical issue he has a tendency to put up a big bully front when really he’s a big softie at heart. With Michelle’s guidance and Cody’s wonderful nature Sam was won over and I became much more confident handling Sam. He learned how to properly greet other dogs and even bows to invite Cody to play with him. I look forward to working with Michelle again in the spring and would recommend her as a trainer wholeheartedly! - - Suzanne and Sam




The Webster Lake Pack

Say hello to Callie, Otis, Taz, and Webster a multi-family pack that summers on Webster Lake together.  In addition to being super cute, yes...we are super smart.  In just 3 easy lessons we learned how to stop barking at visitors arriving by boat, come as a pack, stay at the door until released, stop attacking the vacuum cleaner and hair drier, and a few other general manners.  We taught our parents a thing or two while we were at it!!!




- - Working with Michelle was a great experience for all of us!! Our dogs run in age from 1 1/2 to 11 years old, and to answer anyone's question, yes you can teach an old dog new tricks!! We never would have believed it, but it's true. Not only were we able to train our dogs, we were also trained ourselves, after all they only know what we've taught them or what they have learned on their own and what they can get away with!! Michelle was more than accommodating, she came out to our house, even got on the boat to get there and worked around our schedules. It was so much easier than taking all four of them on the boat, then into the car, then to class some where. We recommend her to all of our friends on the lake. I'll tell you what, she gives the dog whisperer (Cesar) a run for his money. We call her our own local "Dog Whisperer." Thanks again for helping us, life on the lake is much quieter and so much fun, now if you can only teach them how to waterski!!! ha ha Sincerely Deb, Cheryl, Otis, Webster, Callie and Taz









My parents are trying to keep up with me, but I am so excited that I am known to sit, down, and roll before anyone even asks me to do anything.  I have perfected the "Kaiser Roll," yes the humans coined that phrase, HA, HA, very funny!

- - We just completed our 6 wk training session with Michelle and our experience was WONDERFUL! Having Michelle come into our home to get our family on the same page was exactly what we needed for our new pup! Michelle is a very experienced trainer of people as well as dogs. She is very patient, knowledgable and addressed all of our training questions. (Especially since Kaiser displayed his bad behavior for her everytime she came over - bitter apple spray - Kaiser just loves it! HA HA).

Everything we learned was basic and very easy! Kaiser is a piglet about training treats, so he learned alot very quickly, including his signature "Kaiser Roll". And when we haven't practiced in a while, he will let you know about it! He sits by the snack counter and barks for treats, looks at you, barks, then looks to the treats again! He's very persistent!

Consistency and practice is what it took for us, so we will continue to do it every chance we get even if it is only 5 mins here or there. Now, we can't wait to get him outside during the nice weather and train him all over again! Look out Franklin and Otis, Kaiser can't wait to meet you down at the pond!  Kristie and Steve

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