Ivy League K9s was founded by Gabriella Downey, a positive reinforcement trainer and all-around animal lover. Gabriella spent several years working at Tony LaRussa's Animal Rescue Foundation handling the shelter dogs. There she worked with the dogs on basic manners and skills to make them more adoptable. In August of 2015, she graduated from the Karen Pryor Academy for Professional Dog Trainers and has been training ever since. Currently, she has a rescue dog named Ivy who is a prime example of the wonders positive reinforcement training can achieve.
Here at Ivy League K9s we always use the most humane and scientifically proven methods of training to modify your dogs behavior. If you would like to have a better behaved dog, we are here to help! We will work with you and your dog to build a trusting bond and a peaceful household.
The Inspiration for Training
The first time I met Ivy she was in an overcrowded shelter in Oakland, California. At the time I was working for a rescue group in the Bay Area and we were asked to help the shelter with the overpopulation. My job was to assess the dogs and find the most social and friendly among them and bring them back to the rescue. Ivy was among those that I chose and I felt a connection with her immediately. She exhibited such friendly and social behavior, she was an instant favorite for anyone that met her. Her social skills with both dogs and people were so great that we labeled her a "neutral dog" meaning that we could pair her with most other dogs and know that she would be friendly with them. Ivy soon got adopted and spent several months with her adoptive family. Unfortunately, during her time with them, her behavior began to deteriorate. She became nervous, fearful of her surroundings, less trust worthy of strangers, and downright terrified of other dogs. She was eventually returned to the shelter due to the severity of her issues. The day she came back I was shocked to hear of the changes in my sweet neutral dog. After spending a few weeks working with her at the shelter, I knew that she needed me. I adopted her without a second thought, and we began her long road to recovery. Sadly, fear and trauma are much easier to create than they are to treat . I work with Ivy every day on her anxieties, trying to help her feel more comfortable being herself . I try to show her that strangers can be friendly, that other dogs can be safe, and that strange noises do not come from monsters. She has made incredible leaps and bounds and amazes me constantly with her willingness to learn and train. Ivy has gotten a fresh chance to live a happy life, thanks to positive and humane training methods. I hope to give this chance to many, many other dogs. They deserve it.