Although Mutts wtih Manners was registered as a business in NSW in 1994, our chief instructor, Maria Cunningham was professionally training dogs (and their owners) in 1993. Here is our very first referral! Helping people with their dog training and dog behaviour issues is our passion – we hope you enjoy reading their stories. Please note that surnames have been removed to protect our clients’ privacy.
Mutts with Manners Customer
To whom it may concern,
I am pleased to refer Mutts with Manners to any pet owner that requires assistance with behavioural problems.
I found Maria’s techniques and advice very helpful and extremely successful when putting them into practice. She is very knowledgeable and offers not only tips but a wealth of information about the way in which animals think and act which I found very useful when trying to understand why animals do what they do and then in training my pets. Her methods are kind and gentle as well as highly effective. Her after sales service is also very good and she’s always available to offer ongoing assistance.
I have no problems in referring Maria to anyone that requires her service.
We made various attempts to take Indie to puppy training school where the classes were more like a battle with our dog as opposed to an enjoyable learning experience. Then we were very happy to meet you and join together to train our beautiful new pup. Your advice and assistance in training was comparable to none and the difference in the behaviour of Indie was noticeable in 2 weeks. We look forward to seeing you soon.
Sam, Mike & Indie
I would like to start with a big Thank You. Misty and I really enjoyed puppy training. We learnt so much and lots of great tips. What I liked is I felt I could talk to you and ask you anything and you had great advice to help us through.
Thanks so much,
Julie, Brent & Misty
We must thank you for putting our problem “child” on the right track. Having traumatic beginnings early in his life, Ben proved to be of a stronger character than the normal large breed. With your humane psychological training it was good to see him toe the line and behave. Thanks again for your hi-tech methods in training up our dog to our acceptable standard.
Nick & Marilyn
Thank you for saving our ‘pack’ from total domination!!!! Before your wonderful dog obedience training, we were the ones sitting and fetching. The change in him is unbelievable. He’s transformed from a monster to an angel. Keep up the fabulous work and Ralph would like to give you a big lick and a tail wag.
Yanina, Khufu and Ralph
Sorry I haven’t been in touch, but I have been pretty occupied, settling into our new routine, you know, the stuff you organized with us. We are all getting along famously, since your visits to our house. As you know, us dogs pick up things fairly quickly, and now that my family know how to handle me things are different – it’s amazing what your magic did for all of us.
Lots of thanks and love.
Angel. The Dalmatian now ‘Dealing with it’
I am writing this to let you know just how good your services have been and how happy we are with you. As you know we have had Jordan for over eleven years and the past four years all he does is bark at people and other animals that walk past or into our house. He also terrorises my cat and when my husband or I are getting home from work Jordan can hear our cars coming up the street and he always barks and howls. He is very aggressive to other dogs at the park and always follows me everywhere. But for the past 4 weeks from the day that you have come to see Jordan the life of the cats and my family have been so much better. Jordan does not bark at people that walk past and does not chase the cat around. It is so peaceful coming home from work and not running out of the car to shut him up. But the best thing is now he gets along with all the dogs in the street and wants to go out and play with them. I’ve never known Jordan to be so relaxed. I’d love to write a letter to the person who reported us to the council. They did us a great favour, I never knew I could enjoy owning a dog this much. Keep up the good work.
Hi Mutts with Manners,
I just wanted to thank you for the help you gave Troy and myself in relation to Chloe and Bella’s behaviour. I can see a great improvement from what they were like before. I know they will never be “perfect” but they are a lot more social with other dogs and much better behaved (especially Bella).
Thank you again, Lisa
Fiona and I want to extend our warm thanks and gratitude for your help with training Peggy (and us!). As you know Peggy (the 2½ year old Fox Terrier X) caused us some concern when we first rescued her. We found her rather timid and submissive and we were troubled by her jumping up, mouthing, and some other undesirable behaviours.
We found it most valuable and cost effective to have you consult with us on a one-to-one basis and we were delighted with the results after the first dog training session.
We now have a dog that is much more confident and obedient, primarily because we are more confident and consistent with her. We feel that we have managed to achieve these results because you were able to quickly identify the remedial action that was needed and give us clear and easy to apply instructions. Once again, very many thanks and we would recommend you and your approach to anyone seeking help with training their dog.
As you know Muttley had become a pain that I nearly had him put to sleep because of his behaviour, biting, digging holes, being aggressive to the other 2 dogs and generally becoming unacceptable. With your guidance, Muttley has now become a good member of our household. Behaving himself, doing as he is told when he is told, being able to groom him, no biting and becoming a little darling. I would recommend you to anyone.
To Whom It May Concern
We have a 7 year old female Boxer, named Holly that we got from Boxer Rescue NSW, a number of years ago. Holly had been badly treated in the early years of her life, and whilst she had a friendly and affectionate disposition, she also came with a few problems, legacy of how other humans had behaved toward her. We had tried a couple of other dog trainers over the years, and even started watching The Dog Whisperer on Foxtel, to pick up some dog behaviour pointers, but the key problem areas remained. Our main issues were:
ferocious stance and barking when anyone came to the front door. This would continue for a few minutes, until she was able to satisfy herself that the visitors weren’t going to hurt her
incessant pulling on the lead when being taken for a walk
not coming when called and easily distracted, so no confidence in being able to let her off her leash in the park
attacking other dogs that she may encounter on a walk
These problems are not immediately obvious when selecting a dog from a rescue organisation or the RSPCA, but tend to emerge as the dog settles into their new home and realises they are no longer going to be hurt or neglected.
We found Maria Cunningham, from Mutts with Manners, whilst searching the internet in yet another attempt to find help.Other options we found on the Internet, involved sending our dog away for 2 weeks intensive training. We were not prepared to do that and had heard one or two horror stories from others that had. The difference with Maria, is that she comes to our home and the dog’s surroundings, so that she can witness first hand, the problem areas and determine the remedial actions that are required.Maria was able to tell us what we were doing wrong, and help us change our behaviours, to obtain the behaviours in Holly that we require.
After four sessions of dog training, spaced two weeks apart, we are well on our way. Walking Holly is a delight and we have made significant steps in the other areas as well. For us it is now continued practice and ensuring consistency in approach. Maria is always at the end of the phone or email to provide additional pointers and assistance. And of course if we feel that we need another session, she will be there too.
We, and Holly can highly recommend Maria to assist with dog (and people) behavioural issues
Vicki, Tony and Holly
Thankyou for your help in turning Tiana from an unruly little girl into a puppy who is now easier to handle and a pleasure to take for a walk and have around the home. I am amazed at the great improvement in Tiana after only having 2 puppy training lessons with you. At one time I thought I would have to put up with a wild uncontrollable dog, but with your assistance in training her this has now all changed.
Once again, thank you for all your help and guidance.
Hi there,I just wanted to thank you for the session with Connie yesterday. Already she is like a different dog! She seems less stressed and is doing as she’s told. Also, we didn’t have to block off the bedroom last night and she made no attempt to enter! See you next week.
Hi Maria, thank you again for your help with Prudie, our French Bulldog. I went from being out of my depth as a first-time dog owner to feeling confident in having the right tools and knowledge.
Being an aparment dog it’s so important for her to know how to behave – it’s great to know you’re there for us!
This is a huge THANK YOU for all your help and advice with our dear little Nala. We have seen such a huge change in her (more so us?!) after your visits. Massive thank you and we will tell loads of people about you!
After La bit my friend, and started becoming snappy with small children, I knew something had to be done. Your lessons with she and I have made a world of difference. I now have confidence that she will behave both at home and out. As you know, she was a very wilful young dog, and while she’s now much better behaved, calmer and more confident, she has retained her high spirit and, dare I say, sense of humour.
To whom it may concern,
Mutts With Manners has turned around the lives of our family and more importantly, our three dogs. When we came to Maria for help, our youngest dog had been fighting with our older two dogs, who by then were 7 and 8 years old. We were quite convinced that at their age, they would be impossible to change and had resigned ourselves to the likelihood of giving up our youngest dog.
From the first session with Maria, we felt an instant confidence that we could work on the behaviour of the dogs to get them back together. Her knowledge and understanding of dogs was instantly clear to us, and as the weeks passed and we saw Maria again, we began to learn more about the dogs than we ever thought possible.
Maria has taught us a discipline routine and structure for all three of the dogs that has had the most remarkable by-product – Training of the older two dogs. Neither of our older two dogs had received any training or structure in their lives. At 8 and 7 years of age, I didn’t believe the two older dogs could be changed much. Maria has shown us that the opposite is correct.
Clients at my art gallery who have known these two dogs since they were pups have seen the transformation that Maria has achieved and are constantly amazed. They regularly tell me that they are like different dogs to the barking, over excited and completely untrained things that used to greet them at the gallery door. Every time a client comments on their new calmness and good behaviour, I think about Maria and her skills to get us where we are today with our dogs.
Lew and Pauline