Michelle is such a wonderful person and an amazing dog behavioralist. She's patient and knowledgeable. She was willing to travel to us and be available by phone and text. Our dog was overly protective (aggressive to others), pulled us on walks, ate trash, and counter surfed. It didn't matter that we'd had dogs our entire life (or that my spouse had worked with dogs)...this is entirely a different kind of experience. This is not command training. It's emotional awareness...in the dog's language. Michelle helped us understand what our dog needed from us in order for our dog to give us what we wanted from her. Our dog is growing into the contented (but still full of sweet personality) member of our family we hoped she would be, thanks to Michelle's insight and professionalism.
Michelle has been an absolute blessing for our entire family. I contacted her in tears after coming home from walking my dogs, because they were so out of control. They were pulling, running around me in circles, and my younger dog was bolting and showing aggression towards other dogs. The first time Michelle came to our home she had a huge impact. She showed us how to communicate to our dogs what behavior we didn’t like, and they immediately responded and started listening. She taught me to walk them calmly and attentively. After several sessions, my adolescent daughter was able to walk my older dog with no issues. My younger dog is so much better behaved and less reactive. This whole experience has allowed everyone in my family to become closer and have better relationships with each other. I am so grateful to Michelle for all of her help.
Michelle was asked to train our 5 year old Yorkie, Little Mac last year. She was greeted at the door by a crazy, jumping, barking, mess of a canine. She was here a minute when she saw who ruled our home. You can guess who that was I'm sure. So the "training" began with my husband & myself. Little Mac was immediately on his best behavior while Michelle was here. His respect for her was amazing to see. We joked later that she put a magical spell on him. Throughout the year our sessions continued with us learning to try to think more as a dog would. Little Mac although sweet & loving, is not our human child. He needs permission to be on our laps & understand that commanding him to "get back" at the door is necessary for him before he's allowed to walk outside. We can now walk him on leash & rejoice in the quiet time we do so.
I cannot thank her enough for her knowledge & expertise along with absolute beauty in working with us. We love & miss her.
I like to call Michelle a miracle worker! She has so much passion, dedication & knowledge. With just ONE session we saw an immediate change in our pup, we couldn’t believe that was our dog behaving so well in just a matter of hours that he was with her. Without a doubt I’d recommend Piece of Cake Dog Training. At first we thought the training was going to be for our dog but little did we know that she was also training US. She taught us the importance of words and tone of voice towards our dog that allowed him to see us differently. Best decision we’ve made!
Where do I even start!? I 100% recommend Michelle!! My husband and I rescued our Catahoula mix about a year and a half ago and he was quite the challenge... he would bark, lunge, and/or growl at just about anything that moved. For about a year, we tried many different types of "training"... we had people come into our home, we took him to doggy classes, we even sent him to a two week board and train program, nothing seemed to help. I met Michelle, and our training world was flipped upside down, in the best way possible! After just one in person session with her, we were amazed. She helped us to take a step back and understand the underlying reasons as to why Ollie was acting the way he was. She helped me to truly communicate with him and I can't thank her enough for all the confidence she has given, and continues to give me, to help Ollie. She is kind, compassionate, knowledgeable, and truly a blessing!
Michelle works tirelessly to understand what makes your dog tick. She then customizes a training plan based upon her extensive knowledge of the mindset of dogs, explaining pack mentality and how you can use this to your advantage to train your dog effectively. During our sessions with Michelle, she was unfailingly upbeat and positive with our entire family as well as our dog Layla. She took extensive video to show us as a training tool to allow us to see our areas that needed improvement. She followed up with us several times during the next two weeks to check in, provide encouragement and support. At our two week visit, she helped us to refine our techniques. We were 100% pleased with Piece of Cake Dog Training and Michelle and would not hesitate to recommend and to use the service again in the future!
Ella, my mixed breed hound is 3 years old and a menace to society! She does not like humans nor dogs she is unfamiliar with, and I’m sure she would bite if given the chance. Last fall I was at my wits end after trying medication and another trainer. Nothing worked. Someone recommended Michelle to me and I gave her a call. I couldn’t believe how much she was willing to do for the money! She spent 2 Saturday’s with us and I felt she had Ella’s number very quickly. She sat with us a long time and learned about how we were going about dealing with Ella, and then she gave us directions on how we could improve. We worked in the yard and took a walk in the neighborhood. We also went to a dog park and walked Ella around the outside perimeter to have her near dogs but unable to interact up close. Both my husband and I were shocked how quickly Ella responded. She is still Ella, but we now have strategies to respond with when she misbehaves. I have recommended Michelle to others since then and will continue to do so. I have said repeatedly that it’s the best money I ever spent!
Finding someone you feel comfortable and trust with your fur babies can be stressful. However, Michelle puts your mind at ease immediately. She is simply the best! She comes to pick up our dogs weekly for the pack adventure, takes them for a day of socializing and fun, and then drops them home- does it get any better than that? We also have worked one on one with her on the side to help with a few behavioral issues. She is so knowledgeable, responsive, and truly willing (& wanting!) to help in anyway that she is capable. She listens to your concerns, evaluates the situation to see how she can apply her learnings, and hits the ground running with a game plan. She goes above and beyond to make sure that you are getting the most out of the experience. You can tell when you work with her, she truly cares about these animals and her work- it really brings you comfort knowing your pups are in good hands. On top of all this, she is the most understanding, kind, and thoughtful person… I am pretty sure my dogs would rather stay with her when she drops them home at the end of their adventure!
Michelle was wonderful with our very difficult hound mix rescue. She taught me how to speak "dog"and regain my place at the top of the pack. We are now living a more harmonious life with both of our dogs getting along. Michelle taught us a lot of techniques and gave us a lot more information than other trainers we have tried. She also videos everything so that you can revisit and "study"up on your training. Thank you Michelle!
Michelle has the abilities that we all need, She listened to our concerns and approached the behaviors we wanted to change in a warm and caring manner. All aspects were covered and she was open to any and every question including nutrition. Not a moment was wasted with her helping our Ava to have a better life and with us learning how to give her that better life. I give her 5 stars but she should have 10.
We truly cannot recommend or thank Piece of Cake and Michelle enough!! She taught us how to solve behavior issues at the root and restore balance by teaching us how to communicate with our dogs in a way they understand and what is natural to them. Their methods are not traditional or mainstream, but they should be, and Hampton Roads is so lucky to have this company as a resource.
We recently experienced behavior issues with one of our dogs that manifested as severe separation anxiety. Non-stop howling, tearing through doors, chewing walls, shoes, and even power strips became a daily norm. After trying all of the popular recommended methods by the mainstream training community, the behaviors actually got much worse. When Michelle intervened we learned that our actions were feeding all of the unwanted behaviors and she taught us how to provide clear direction for our dog in a way he understands. We experienced a 360 degree change on day 1; the results speak for themselves. After a few days of self-reminders it became easy to incorporate the changes into our daily routine. This training requires no additional money spent on unnecessary items or bribing the dogs with treats, it’s simply about just changing the way we communicate. We’ve learned that it’s actually pretty easy to change even the worst behaviors in dogs as long as people are willing to accept a change in mindset from what we have been conditioned to think and do. It makes perfect sense, but hey you don’t know what you don’t know and sometimes it takes reaching a point of hopelessness to be willing to change.
Michelle has a special gift for understanding dog behavior and working with people. She understood where we were and how we felt, and met us there. She took the time to ensure that we truly understood why things were happening and how to fix it. Even our 100th question was met with a thoughtful and compassionate response. She works to move the glacier, not just chip away at the top; and her drive to do so is unmatched. If you feel like you are reaching the point of giving up or even if you just got a new dog and want some direction, please contact Piece of Cake!
Great training! Lots of personal attention.
Michelle is very compassionate, knowledgeable, and is confident in her work with dogs. My dog Chance has had behavioral issues starting from a young age. I have used multiple trainers with Chance , but none have worked. Michelle is the only trainer I have used that I can see tremendous difference positively in Chance . Michelle and I have videochatted about his behavioral issues. Michelle is prompt to respond to my calls about Chance. Chance is making an amazing difference with his behavior, and understanding his role. Michelle is an amazing trainer!! I highly reccomend her!! Michelle truly understands dogs and they respond so well with her training!!
Michelle is an extremely talented professional that was able to help turn around my 3 year old German Shepherd/Border Collie. He had no manners and was always on guard. With Piece of Cake's training I saw a difference after one day! Through continued practice and CONSTANT support from Michelle I now have a model dog citizen. I never thought to communicate with my dog like a dog, but that’s what he needed, he cannot speak English after all. I cannot say enough glowing accolades for Piece of Cake!!!
I loved working with Michelle and accomplished exactly what I wanted with my dog, Milo! My objective was to have more control and confidence with my dog on walks. He would pull the whole walk no matter if it was 15 minutes or 1 hour. Within two sessions with Michelle, Milo was staying by my side with zero pulling and relaxed. Now it's fun to go on walks. In addition to achieving our goals with Milo, Michelle is a joy to work with and I benefitted from her patience, confidence, and passion for dog training.
~ Alyssa L.
Michelle has that natural special sauce many folks work to train for. Not only is she one of the most kind-hearted, compassionate gals I know, but she's also got exceptional instincts. Especially when it comes to working with animals. This is a gift no one can teach... it just is. Anyone who works with Michelle will be in for a treat, as she really gets what it takes to create and solidify relationship (the hallmark of any successful training program), and sherpa their way to greater heights and understanding with their dog. Virginia Beach is a very, very lucky area.
~Kimberly Artley, PackFit
Michelle is a very responsible, hard working, and honest individual. She also exhibits a high level of skill, passion, and commitment in her work as an animal trainer and behaviorist. Any animal, human included, would be fortunate to have her experience and patience to guide them. Thank you, Michelle, for all you have done, and how much you have meant to me and my pack!
Michelle is knowledgable, passionate, confident, and really understands animals. We are so appreciative of how much she has given to our dog. Highly recommend!
Michelle came to our home for three sessions with our schnauzer. The results were far better than the many weeks we went to another trainer. She is passionate about her work and is a pleasure to work with. We are thankful to have found her and highly recommend her.
~Dave & Jeannie Y.
Michelle came to our home and in a 2 hour session with our very hyper, anxious, one year old "bugg", Lilly. She was very thorough and effective. In a very short amount of time, I'm amazed at the amount of training we got in. Michelle is very personable, friendly, and her training techniques were taught in a way I felt my husband and I could continue to work on. I will be singing her praises to everyone!
Michelle was wonderful working with our anxiety-ridden rescue "pit mix". She helped us figure out ways to work with her and our English Mastiff so that I could take both dogs (and a baby) on walks... by myself. She was so patient and understanding of the issues I face alone with 2 dogs and a baby while my husband is off working. She had my best interests in mind when coming up with ways to make the journey easy on us. I will continue to recommend her to anyone needing help understanding their dogs.