Dog Training Burlington, VT
Rhonda Bilodeau is a dog trainer certified in Syn Alia Training Systems Trainer (SATS). SATS establishes quick communication with any kind of animal, empowers animals to cope with stressors, manage their own emotions and prepares animals to live successfully amongst humans. Rhonda is also a certified E-Touch trainer. She is trained in Chad Mackin’s Pack to Basics Socialization & Dogmanship Program. She is a member of the International Association of Canine Professionals (#4924). She is trained in PetSaver and Pet CPR & First Aid through Pet Tech.
The “Best Friend” Dog Training Package
2 Week Board & Train
This is the program to sign up for if your dog is very strong willed or you’re looking for off-leash reliability. This program gets your dog to want to start packing up with their handlers. Your dog will master all of the basic obedience commands and we’ll implement an at home routine for your dog that creates harmony in the home. We teach you how to be your dogs leader, how to change your dogs default mode from aroused to calm, and their prey drive to pack drive. The E-collar work includes 100% reliable recall off-leash, a solid down stay, solid sit stay, solid place command, perfect heeling and teaching the dog right and wrong behaviors in the home.
When you pick up your dog we have a 3 hour take home session to set you up for success. This program also includes a 1 day brush up back with Rhonda or a 2 hour in-home training scheduled at your convenience. We provide hand outs with lots of information and the cost also includes your evaluation fee should you come to Vermont Dog Socials, LLC.
Includes an Educator E Collar
$1995 (At our facility, Fort Ethan Allen, Colchester, VT 05446)
The “My Buddy” Dog Training Package
4 day Board & Train
The My Buddy package is a great program for owners looking to have a dog that can be relaxed in any environment. We teach your dog how to walk nicely on a leash, how to relax in the crate and teach them commands around the house to get them to listen and relax. We’ll work on any specific issues you’re having problems with and create a nice routine for you to follow when they go home. At the pick up we’ll go over handouts and an at home routine program that includes crate training to set you up for success. You’ll be given tools to help you with the transfer over to your home and lots of information.
$595 (At our facility, Fort Ethan Allen, Colchester, VT 05446)
The “Basics” Dog Training Package
1 day In-Home Consultation
This one day in-home dog consultation is 3-4 hours long. We work on teaching your dog the basics and also focus on teaching them how to self regulate their emotions so that they can be relaxed in any environment. We master the walk so we can change your dogs prey drive to pack drive. We’ll show you how to best handle your dogs reactivity on leash. We teach the owner the importance of controlling resources (space, affection, time, food, water, people, objects, playtime) and how being your dogs leader helps in all situations. We also go over all my handouts and work on an at home routine that includes crate training to set you up for success. This also includes a 1 hour follow up with Rhonda scheduled at your convenience.
$395 (At your home)
$295 (At our facility, Fort Ethan Allen, Colchester, VT 05446)
$75 /hour for additional follow ups
Do-It-Yourself “Best Friend” Dog Training Package
Starting with a 3 hour session and following up with 5 One hour dog training sessions at our facility
This package combines our most popular packages- “The Basics” dog training and our “Best Friend” E-collar board and train package. The “Do It Yourself” package is designed for owners who have a well mannered dog but are looking for solid commands they can teach their dog in the comforts of their home. Together we’ll teach your dog what the E-collar means and you’ll have lots of practice teaching your dog the basics- heel, come, sit, down, place. I’ll put you on a program to set your dog up for success. Our first meeting is roughly 3 hours long. We go over your dogs history, behavior and talk about what you want to get out of training. We meet for a minimum of 6 sessions and you’ll take home a collar fully understanding how to use it under any circumstance.
Includes an Educator E Collar
$895 (at our facility, Fort Ethan Allen, Colchester, VT 05446)
$75 /hour for additional follow ups
S.A.T.S. Dog Training Package
for Arousal, Phobias, Addictions and Reactivity
Syn Alia Training Systems (SATS) is a powerful tool and is used in all Rhonda’s daily interactions with the dogs. Rhonda finds SATS to be most powerful when teaching aroused dogs to self regulate to a calmer state. Rhonda will teach you how to touch, talk and run cycles to get your dog out of their bad habits of reactivity, addictions and even phobias. Many dogs who need SATS are highly aroused dogs who can’t learn new behaviors because they are constantly pumped up with adrenaline. Rhonda will show you and teach your dog how to reprogram their triggers so that they choose balance instead of arousal.
$300 for 3 sessions
$75 /hour for additional follow ups
We had our Redbone Coonhound, Rita, for 5 years before we worked with Rhonda. Rita is a rescued stray who had many issues including: running away when off leash, stealing food at every opportunity, eliminating in the house, poor leash walking skills, dog aggression when on leash, rushing the door, and excessive barking (and sometimes biting) when people visited. Soon after we got Rita, we attended a highly recommended local dog trainer’s class and enrolled in a 6 week, treat-based training course. The only thing that we learned was to teach Rita to sit. The instructor said that based on Rita’s breed and history, we would never get a solid off leash recall. She would walk next to us on leash IF we had treats in hand, but would jump and beg for the treats the entire time and become easily distracted if she saw something more interesting. They couldn’t even get Rita to lay down, let alone stay. We left feeling discouraged and frustrated at our “bad” dog!
After telling Rhonda about our issues and how little I was enjoying being a dog owner, she offered to help. In less than 4 sessions with Rhonda, Rita was no longer stealing food, eliminating indoors, or rushing the door (thanks to the “place” command), and was walking off leash with 100% recall. Our last session included an off leash walk at a popular dog walking spot, something I never thought possible with Rita. Our lives are forever changed! I can now go on dog walks with friends, take Rita to my daughters soccer games, have people over for dinner, and enjoy spending time with her. Rita is a much happier, playful, and attentive dog. Thank you so much Rhonda!
– Laura Oliver, Rita and Family
My girl Adia has been shy, submissive, fearful, and “hyper” from the moment we adopted her at 3 months old. Being my first dog, I thought these were all behaviors that would resolve as she grew into adulthood. Shortly after her first birthday, she started to become reactive on walks towards dogs she didn’t know. I was shocked and horrified. I was confused, upset, and disappointed. At the time, we were enrolled in an obedience class, which only seemed to make it worse, as she became reactive even if the other dogs looked at her. We continued to go, staying after most classes to speak with the trainer about how to handle our new situation, which involved lots of distracting with food methods. Six weeks later and we hadn’t started to see much improvement, and it had gotten to the point where I was dreading taking her for walks. I didn’t want to go one more day without a plan for resolve, and that’s when I found Rhonda.
We started out with the Basic Package, and set to go to work immediately on the strict program for recovery. Sure enough, the “easy” walks, structured crate time, and the “place” command, seemed to be helping! Adia was learning how to be more calm in day-to-day activities, and although I knew there was still lots of work to be done, I was finally starting to feel hopeful again. Then, to continue improving her socialization skills, we began attending the dog socials. I was thrilled that after only going a few times, Adia began playing with other dogs that she just met, for the first time in months! However, she was still very nervous most of the time, especially on-leash. That’s when we began working with Rhonda using the SATS training method. I cannot explain how grateful I am for being introduced to SATS, with all of our previous efforts as a base, this was the cherry on top.
Using SATS, Adia has learned that instead of getting the rush from being reactive, she can choose to stay calm in stressful situations, and it leads to great things (like butt sniffing)! Adia is no longer reactive on leash, she is much less nervous in general, she started to play with other dogs again, and the level of communication between the two of us is greater than I ever thought possible. So, thank you Rhonda! Thank you for involving us in the Vermont Dog Socials, teaching us the amazing world of SATS, and for your time, efforts, and understanding. You’ve helped bring the positive energy back into our lives!
– Katharine Delp owner of Adia
Two years ago I adopted a pit bull after my 13-year old lab had passed away. Rudy was a wonderful dog, but he had a lot of anxiety and fears that I had never encountered with my lab. Rudy always seemed stressed out, and he was always trying to assert himself in unhealthy ways. We spent the first year of his life going to “click and train” classes and learning positive reinforcement techniques for basic behavior. But Rudy continued to act out. He began getting reactive with other dogs he met, and he soon began getting territorial about our house, often charging the door when people would arrive, and barking incessantly at them. Because Rudy was a pit bull, many of our friends and neighbors had their doubts about him, and thought maybe we had gotten a dog we couldn’t handle. I soon began to wonder if they were right.
We began working with Rhonda about 5 months ago, and she put us on a hard core training program which included both a lot of crate training, as well as learning to use a head halti and an e-collar to work with Rudy and his issues. I was extremely hesitant about the program at first, because it included a lot of time in the crate, and eventually involved using an e-collar to control his behavior outside. But I trusted in Rhonda, and we followed her program for 12 weeks. Within the first three weeks, I began to notice a difference in Rudy. With Rudy spending more time in the crate, he was learning to be calm. Rather than pace around the house constantly, he would lay on the floor near my feet when I took him out of the crate. He also didn’t feel the need to follow me to every single room.
Soon, he learned to let me take control of situations and just relax. He began to trust that I was his leader. I hadn’t realized how important it was for Rudy to have a strong confident leader that he could look to. I soon realized that much of Rudy’s stress was coming from my inability to be a strong, consistent leader for him. By following her crate training and halti lessons, Rudy learned to give up control to me, and I learned what Rudy needed from me.
We then began working on the e-collar training. After 2 months of e-collar training, I was finally able to enjoy walking my dog. I wasn’t getting pulled, I wasn’t fearful that he was going to snap and lunge at every dog that walked by. We are now walking and running leash free. Rudy and I are able to go on nice long hikes in the woods without even having a leash. We barely have to use the e-collar while walking, but just knowing that we have it, and can use it, has made a huge difference for us!
Rhonda has given me the ability to be a strong leader for my dog, and in turn, has given my dog a happier, less stressful life. He is now able to enjoy being a dog, without the daily anxiety he was suffering from due to not having a strong pack leader. Rhonda is amazing, and I would recommend her to anyone who is having trouble with their dog. Rhonda was my last hope for Rudy – and she has given me the wonderful dog I wanted and the best running partner I could ask for!
– Laurie Noyes owner of Rudy (read Laurie’s trials and tribulations on her blog
Rhonda has shown us a completely different way to interact with our very crazy, highly adrenalized dog, Coco. I adopted her as a puppy so I know she has always had behavior issues. We went to two series of puppy trainings, obedience training & finally as a last resort, a two week long boot camp. She was VERY mouthy, sassy, aggressive, prey driven (she is part hound) and totally disinterested in living in our environment under anything but her rules. At the time, we were in Atlanta and she always got along with other dogs.
When we moved to Vermont, her dynamic totally changed where she was calmer around people but became very dog aggressive. I videoed some of her behavior for the vet and he said that he had never seen anything like it so, she was put on clomipramine. Even though I had spent a lot of money on previous training, we decided that we wanted to give it one more try. I interviewed a number of trainers but when I talked to Rhonda, I knew we had our fit. Her methods teach a dog how to self regulate their emotions so that they can be relaxed in any environment.
After just a few sessions with Rhonda we started to see dramatic improvements in Coco’s behavior. With a few simple techniques that Rhonda taught us we are now able to interact in our neighborhood with much greater ease and comfort. We are grateful for Rhonda’s support and for the dramatic improvements we are seeing in Coco as a result. Thank you, Rhonda!
– Laura & Laurie owner of Coco
We have a wonderful, energetic and vivacious big puppy. Her unruliness sometimes got in the way of our enjoying her and that was sad. Rhonda took her for two weeks when we were out of town and she came back transformed. She is happy and playful and she listens to us and obeys all of our very reasonable and necessary commands. This not only enhances our relationship with our dog, but it is essential for her safety as well. And Rhonda’s approach and personality are so cheerful, loving and smart that we had complete confidence in her. We knew when we entrusted her with our dog, that the puppy was in the best possible hands. The cost is well worth it – it’s an investment in a life long positive and loving relationship with the canine member of the family.
– Andrea Bayer owner of Malia