We adopted our mixed breed dog, Chase, from a local rescue shelter. We read several books about dog training and since I have off during the summer months we expected training to go very smooth and quick. What we did not expect was separation anxiety. Chase developed severe separation anxiety whenever I would leave the house. We tried to crate train him and leave him in a crate while we were out. When we would return we would find him covered in drool and urine, shaking, crying, and he even managed to bust out of his secure crate on several occasions. He even chipped one of his lower canine teeth during one of his escape attempts. We quickly realized that we needed to do something to treat his anxiety. We tried various methods including vet prescribed sedatives, the Thundershirt, and Rescue Remedy but nothing helped. We talked to several trainers in the Santa Cruz area and we were blown away by some of the unprofessional responses I received. Two trainers actually told us to "return the dog" because separation anxiety is very difficult and time consuming to treat. That was not an option for us, as we did not want to give up on our sweet pup. Also many trainers prefer to use methods involving shock collars which we were not interested in. Once we talked to Sandy our hope was renewed. She met with us in our home for a free consultation and we were very impressed with her knowledge and skills. We met for four sessions and in that time she trained US to help Chase without clickers, treats, or shock collars. We have learned so much and we are so happy with how the training has helped us help Chase to be happy and healthy. We were not only able to calm his separation anxiety but he also learned many useful obedience skills. Whenever we have company over we get compliments on how well behaved Chase is and we owe that to all that Sandy taught us. We are so grateful we found her. We highly recommend Sandy to anyone considering dog training in the Santa Cruz area!

Lacey and Josh
Indian Land, SC


We just wanted to say thank you for your training. I know we didn't go as far as your training could have taken us. But we have really seen an improvement in Shea and Chase and are happy with their progress. It is so nice to be able to go for a walk and look normal going down the street. There are even times that Shea, Chase and I will go without Alex (I never thought that could happen). We no longer have the baby gate across the stairs and yet they do not go up unless invited. I feel confident to have the front door open and they do not run out. Even when guests are leaving...they just stand there while we say goodbye. But my favorite and what prompted this e-mail was the other day at the dog park. Multiple times while off on their own I called for them to come and they came EVERYTIME. I think others where impressed :) Even Alex at the time acted tough and kind of stubborn with the training, says all the time it was money well spent.

Thank you again,
Kristin, Alex, Shea & Chase Ossip

My husband, Tony, and I thought we picked the perfect dog for our family. Scooter, a Havanese, was high energy and playful for our son and small and cuddly for us. Then the reality of potty training and controlling all that crazy puppy energy set in. We were in over our heads and I was quickly running out of patience. Scooter made everything harder! Answering the door was always stressful, mail on the table ended up shredded and all over the house, walks were miserable, and mopping was impossible around Scooter. He would even jump up and steal the laundry right out of my hands! My husband nick named him “Fluffy Nemesis”. So after already spending money for two semesters of training from our local pet mart, that clearly wasn’t enough for us, we called Sandy. I can’t say enough how things have changed in our household. I finally feel like I am speaking his language and he is listening! I no longer worry about him being a nuisance dog with every activity of daily living. He even rings a bell at the back door now when he wants to potty! Thank you, Sandy for helping us help Scooter.

Elaine Muñiz



My wife and I decided to adopt a dog from a shelter and their was some concern about Jake because his breed (australian shepherd) can be a handful. Although we both have had dogs before we decided to try go with Sandy for some personal training sessions. As young professionals we don't have a lot of extra money to spend so we were excited to find that the price was more than affordable and the service was beyond our expectations. Sandy's training method is well developed and she is especially talented at meeting the needs of both the dogs and owners. Her flexibility allowed us not to feel rushed, and is a true testament to her commitment to the families she serves.

Her focus on off leash voice command as well as establishing a healthy pet/owner relationship have made life with Jake unimaginable. Whether it be with friends and their small children, guest at our house, or accompanying me to work, I can be confident that he will behave and make himself available for all to enjoy.

Thank you Sandy, for your continuing personal service and I would enthusiastically recommend her to anyone motivated to have the pet of their dreams! Anyone who reads this is free to email me and ask any follow-up questions that may come up.

Sergio Villegas


More testimonials


Two labs are a handful and I was becoming more and more stressed attempting to maintain some type of control of the two. My labs are my “kids” and I felt guilty not taking them to the park to play and get exercise. They were too hard to control and I could not walk them on leashes due to the tugging and pulling in separate directions. I called Sandy and after the first session I was able to walk the dogs with no problem and they listen to me. Sandy was the best thing I could do to regain control of the labs and my sanity.

Thanks again,

Kerrie's labs

Sandy and her off leash training techniques were definitely a great investment. We did a lot of investigating into the different methods and options available. After talking with Sandy on the phone many times, we decided that her approach to obedience matched our training goals. Her numerous home visits, knowledge, caring approach and patience with our dog, and us, taught and helped us to form her into a happy, well-mannered member of the family.

Thank you again,
Jennifer, Kevin & Izzy

Thank you for helping me with Jazmin and Holly. The two dogs are more under control. Jazmin does not bark as much. They both stopped jumping on my company when they come over. I am now able to walk both of the dogs the same time without them pulling me every which way. My dogs have become more of a joy to have in my home.


Jazmin and Holly

Bill and I have, over the years, worked with four other dog trainers and Sandy is by far The Best! She is not only extremely knowledgeable and caring, but she makes it fun. For the very first time ever I am so eager to work with my dog. I experience fantastic results in a relatively short time. Dolby, our Lab, was uncontrollable just five weeks ago. After only two sessions with Sandy, today I was able to walk him past other dogs. Even though he was tempted to lunge, I walked by with my arm still in its socket, saying "Thank you Dolby. What A good dog!" Woopie...Thank you Sandy!

St. Helena


More references upon request.



Fetch the Paper


Golpher Dogs

For Dog Trainers

Nana's Pet Sitting


Animal Rescue




Please contact for detailed information:
email: Sandy@offleashtrainer.com
"The best dog trainer in Santa Cruz County!"