PRAISE FOR PACKFIT

Kimberly Artley is a godsend. We reached out to her after our dog had attacked our elderly cat and we weren’t sure what we could do to ensure it never happened again. At six years old Daisy could sit, lay down, roll over and understood the all-important “leave it” command…but we couldn’t figure out how to calm her down, how to get her to stop howling whenever we left our house, or to stop barking at anyone who visited. Most importantly we had no idea how to break her cycle of obsession when it came to our cat. A cat (believe it or not) that didn’t try to provoke the dog or really show any interest in her but was the victim of her sudden outbursts. How can we create a safe space for our cat without giving up on our dog?

When I reached out to Kimberly via email, I sat back thinking I would probably get a response in the next day or two…wrong. She responded within the hour, and it wasn’t some kind of canned “thank you so much for reaching out” response, it was an actual “I’m a person and I’m going to fix this” response. An instantly calming response that let me know she understood where I was coming from, recognized my fear and that time was of the essence. We immediately booked an Initial Behavioral Assessment and Consultation (I.B.A.C.).

The two-hour session that we had with Kimberly was amazing in that right away she could recognize where the deep-rooted issues were with our dog, as well as the deep-rooted issues in how we had learned to treat dogs in general. In our past we both had well adjusted, rather large doofy dogs who were happy to just lie on the floor and wag their tail whenever someone walked by. Daisy, on the other hand, is a high-energy speck that’s probably smarter than a fifth grader. Simply hugging away the neuroses wasn’t going to work, and it showed in her behavior.

We opted for the Stay and Learn program so that Kimberly could rebuild Daisy’s foundation. Two weeks of doggy boot camp where we feared Daisy would wreak havoc inside the Casa de Artley. Wrong again. Kimberly sent us constant photos and videos showcasing our dog walking calmly on the leash rather than pulling. Sitting down next to another dog without snarling or nipping. Being walked by a child without having a total meltdown. Kimberly sent me a video of Daisy sitting down, calmly minding her own business while the dreaded vacuum cleaner was being run in the same room. Seeing our dog behave like this in such a short time gave us such hope that inside that tiny little weirdo was a well-adjusted little weirdo just waiting to get out.

Her methods don’t just include the dog either. She has worked closely with us, answering all of our texts and emails with patience and informative guidance. Kimberly has been our best investment and I cannot recommend her enough. She has done what we thought was impossible: taken away a timid, obsessive dog and returned a confident, calm dog that no longer thinks our cat is the devil himself. She’s taken the hope we had for a happy fur-family and made it into a reality. A reality that involves work from us but work that we’re more than happy to put in based on the return we’re getting.

Maggie D.

Our experience with Packfit was truly enlightening and transformative. I did quite a bit of research and interviewed multiple dog trainers in the DMV area before deciding to seek out Packfit for help. I knew enough about dog training, or handling (whatever you want to call it) to be dangerous, but I could not find a trainer that sat right with my gut. When I asked about others’ training approaches, I wasn’t sold – so many offered what seemed like bandaid methods. I could tell my dog and I had a deeper problem, and reached the limits of my own knowledge. Although obviously important, all the obedience training was mere mechanics. I couldn’t understand why my dog had morphed into a reactive, aggressive dog, but she sure knew how to ‘sit’, ‘stay’ and had fantastic recall. As our situation snowballed from frustration and miscommunication, I knew I was sending my dog all the wrong signals, but I did not know how to fix it.

Packfit’s holistic approach to “dog training” was something I immediately trusted and wanted to know more about. When we initially met with Kim to discuss options, I already felt so much relief and we hadn’t even started working with the dog yet. Kim is confident, grounded, and extremely knowledgeable – all of which was evident within the first few minutes of talking with her. Kim genuinely reassured us that our dog’s reactive/aggressive behavior could be changed.

After meeting us and our dog, Kim recommended private sessions and her online course. I was thrilled with her recommendation, because I really wanted to work through these challenges with my dog and in our home/neighborhood. I’ll admit, there was a part of me that thought paying to work one-on-one with a private dog trainer might be too expensive. However, I just can’t stress enough how important this investment was. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t even blink an eye at signing up to train with Packfit. I can’t think of another purchase that I have made that has given me more bang for my buck! The results are remarkable – the knowledge, understanding, confidence, and balance in my home, in my pack, was a direct result of Packfit’s guidance. We were so lucky to find Packfit and have the opportunity to learn from Kim. Above all else, our dog and relationship with our dog is happy, healthy, and balanced.

For those who are researching for the right trainer, here is a list of the behaviors we were seeing gradually worsen over time in our dog: leash reactivity, fear of children, fear of tight spaces, freezing up during walks, pulling on the leash, barking out the window of our home, barking in the back yard. These eventually snowballed into: fear of all strangers, aggression toward kids, protecting our home, snapping at kids and strangers, snapping at our cat, snapping at other dogs, guarding her food bowl/chew bones, barking at everything. The thing is, we started training and “socializing” our puppy at 10 weeks. We “worked” with her every day. We thought we had checked all the boxes. But very gradually, our nice little puppy turned into a gremlin. We were so frustrated and blind-sided – we thought we had done everything we were supposed to do. Turns out, so many of her behavioral issues were rooted in our human behavior and lack of understanding. There is so much information out there on how to train your dog, but so much of it is misleading.

The combination of Packfit’s online course, the private sessions with Kim, and Kim’s book “My Dog, My Buddha” provided the comprehensive and holistic approach that is needed to genuinely understand dog needs and behavior, and to align the relationship between you and your dog. In other words, to make your pack fit. Each component (the course, book, and sessions) was equally necessary to bring it all together. First, the online course provides extensive information about all aspects of the animal you are trying to share a home with. These lessons lay the foundation to better understand the root of your dog’s behavior and your dog’s need. The knowledge gained from the online course not only helped me understand my current dog, but gives me so much confidence in my ability to understand our future pups as well. I’ll carry those lessons with me for a lifetime.

Kim’s book, “My Dog, My Buddha” hones in on the human aspect of the pack equation, or as she says, the human end of the leash. This book genuinely improved my life and my dog’s life in so many ways. The book is organized in short, easy to read lessons. The very structure of the book allows you to read one or a few lessons and then walk away, giving you the break to really stop and reflect. Often, I would read just one lesson and then spend days pondering my self-improvement. This book is positive, realistic, inspiring, and in some ways was a wake-up call for me. The book was not overwhelming, cheesy, or intimidating. I have already re-visited it and will likely continue to re-read lessons.

Our private sessions with Kim were incredible. Kim shows up ready to teach, and is genuinely present in every interaction. She is a realistic person, and doesn’t judge or shame. The sessions were entirely customized to fit us and our dog. In each session, we gradually pulled apart layers of behavioral issues and worked them out as we went.

After each session, Kim followed up with a detailed explanation of what we worked on and why, and then gave us “homework” to work on daily. While we practiced our “homework” we would send Kim videos of our progress and she would provide immediate feedback. In addition, we could contact Kim at any time to ask questions – which was amazing! Kim is always, always responsive and professional. She has been there with us and for us every single step of the way. She genuinely cares about us and our dog and wants us to succeed. Her actions speak to this, plain and simple.

Working with what I believed at the time to be a reactive/aggressive dog made me nervous. I had convinced myself, prior to finding Packfit, that my dog was so reactive that I could never trust her to walk by other dogs, some people, and kids. I would cross the street to avoid other dogs and people, which was proving to be quite difficult in a city, and was frustrating me and the dog more. During our sessions with Kim, she created a safe space for me to challenge myself, regain trust in my dog and confidence in myself while working in the exact situations I had come to fear. Even after just 3 sessions our dog was an entirely different dog and our home was at peace.

Among the wealth of knowledge gained, quite simply put – we learned how to meet our dog’s needs. It turns out that reactivity/aggression was actually our dog’s cry for help. We learned what it truly means to have a socialized dog, versus what we had been misled to believe “socialization” meant. We were speaking a language our dog didn’t understand, and/or telling our dog things we didn’t understand at the time. We gained awareness of how our actions and energy (body language, emotions, tone of voice), subtle or not, directly influence our dog’s behavior. We now understand that our dog looks to us for leadership, and we know how to step up and be a consistent pack leader.

Packfit holds true to its very name. Packfit’s holistic approach recognizes the uniqueness in every dog and human, allows you to carefully pull apart and understand the reason behind your dog’s behavior, and guides the human end of the leash into leadership and balance, allowing your pack to truly fit together.

Jennifer D.

Working with Kimberly was the best decision and investment I could have made for my dog and for me! When we first reached out to Kimberly, we were distraught about our dog’s behavior and feeling very unsure of how to fix it. But Kimberly first made us feel confident and secure about our decision to seek help and then armed us with the knowledge we needed to improve our behavior and, in turn, help our dog. Kimberly helped us to reflect on ourselves — our values, habits, and behaviors — and set personal goals in other areas of life. I didn’t know just how helpful her approach would be, but in time, I saw a huge change not only in my dog but in myself. By encouraging us to be better version of ourselves while also understanding more fully our dog’s needs, Kimberly allowed us to be leaders and advocates for our dog in all situations. Kimberly truly understands dogs and their humans, and her life coaching experience turned out to a vital part of the training process. In the short time that we worked with Kimberly, we received invaluable guidance, information, and feedback. She was always honest and candid with us about the situation and how to improve. Since working with Kimberly, family and friends have commented on how different both we and our dog are — how calm and confident we’ve all become. Personally, I have grown in many ways and learned a lot about myself since working with Kimberly. All of that is due to the investment we made and to Kimberly’s steady guidance along the way. Thank you, Kimberly! I know that we are now equipped with the tools we need to overcome any challenge, thanks to your support! Meghan W.

PackFit was a smart and rewarding investment!  We have two rescue dogs and were looking for caring and effective behavioral training for both of them.  They are different ages (1.5 and 3.5) and have different backgrounds.  Kimberly was AMAZING with both of them.  We absolutely loved her holistic approach, and numerous times we commented on her “dog whisperer” abilities.  We learned so much from her as dog-parents and have seen incredible results, truly transformative behavior in our younger, more impulsive dog, and noticeably increased responsiveness from our already wise(ish) dog.  We loved the intellectual aspect of Kimberly’s training, and we became much more aware of our own behaviors and how they were affecting our dogs.  We also learned a LOT about our voices, body language, and how our attitudes affect the emotional nature of a situation.  It was definitely both dog AND person training, but I can say with emphasis that the method works better than you might imagine!  Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t say how truly lovely Kimberly is as a person and to work with.  A dog lover for sure, but she has infinite wisdom about what it means and takes to have dogs in your family.  Couldn’t recommend her more highly!
 
Christy and Michael D.

Working with Kimberly has been a truly life changing experience. I got my dog, Lupin, almost a year ago days before I graduated university. He was a dream; amazing with people, calm, gentle, just the absolute sweetest. When I brought him home to meet my family’s dog it was a whole different story. He became possessive, vicious, aggressive and honestly really terrifying. I took him back to Ohio where we worked with a dog trainer, mostly on obedience, and while that was great his reactivity and my confidence as a dog trainer were not being addressed. When I moved back to Virginia and in with my family Lupin and our family dog, Lola, were fighting constantly. It created a negative environment for everyone in the house. That’s when I found PackFit.

Over the 6 training sessions we had with Kimberly, Lupin and I have grown immensely. We trust each other more, I am more confident in my leading abilities and therefore he is more confident in me too, I went from just loving Lupin to understanding him. When you work with Kimberly you aren’t just working with a dog trainer, you’re working with a life coach, teacher, and friend. She was quick to respond to every email and question, beyond encouraging of every step forward and even more encouraging when there was a step back or two, knowing that Lupin and I could push through it.
Do yourself and your dog a favor and choose PackFit. Your life, and your dog’s life, will be forever changed.
Megan R.

Kimberly Artley’s/Packfit is by far TOPS! Kimberly’s education,experience firm, calm and cheery demeanour is truly the best training approach for people and their pups. I inquired about training with Packfit after tons of research, I thought Packfit would suit our needs, and I couldn’t be more pleased!!! I have learned much and Im very grateful. I suggest look no further for your human/pup, education/understanding and training needs! Beth P.

Kim has been an amazing resource for us and our two k9 companions. We have 2 rescue dogs and one has some deep rooted fear issues from her time in a puppy mill. Kim helped us to understand dog behavior and communication which laid the foundation to better develop ways to help our dog Kona adjust to her new life. It’s been a long process but Kim as been there for us in so many ways. She is not only the best dog trainer we have ever met, she is an amazing human being. It’s been a joy to work with her and most importantly to have her guidance on our journey. You can’t find a better person to not only help your dog but to help the humans on the other end of the leash. 🙂 Dennis F.

After searching multiple sites and trying out two other trainers, we found Kimberly on Thumbtack and liked what we read. Her “holistic” approach to dog training really appealed to us and aligned perfectly with our view of the connection between nutrition, physical and mental health, and behavior. When we did the IBAC, we immediately felt a click between the three humans (Kimberly + puppy parents) and Lucy (puppy). Through our work with Kimberly during the training sessions and our practice at home, Lucy has become more calm, responsive, and seems now to recognize us as the “pack leaders”. One of the most important lessons we learned is that adjusting on our own energy and behavior is key to effect change in our dog’s energy and behavior. It is important to bear in mind that no trainer – no matter how good – can make a dog’s behavior change consistently and permanently after the training program without the owners’ follow-through. With Kimberly’s guidance and our constant practice, we’re confident that we will continue making steady progress and nurture a balanced, well-behaved dog and a loving, respecting bond between us. Gloriana E.

Kim did a fantastic job with our two 7 month old puppies in the Stay and Learn program.  When we picked up our girls at the end of their stay, we were amazed at how much calmer they were.  Kim did an amazing job keeping us informed through videos of her training sessions with the girls.  The materials she has put together are incredibly well researched.  She’s thought about every aspect of wellness for both the dog and their family.  And, when we brought them home, she was readily available to answer questions — almost immediately!  Even the neighbors can’t believe these are the same dogs.
We would highly recommend Kim to anyone looking to give their dog the best start for a healthy, happy life.  Her wisdom and ability to communicate are excellent.  She’s a true gem.
MK Yeargin

We contacted Kimberly through the packfit website and got an immediate response and date set up for an IBAC (initial behavioral assessment and consultation) for our Boxer puppy, Gus. Kimberly came to our apartment to meet with us for a little over two hours, where she gave us A LOT of information regarding our puppy, as well as our energy and the way we interact with him. We also learned a ton about nutrition and exercise. This is a very short short list of things Kimberly went over with us at the IBAC. After this meeting, we received a lengthy email following up, which went over everything we discussed as well as different options for Gus’s training programs. Gus is an extremely high energy and very excitable (70 pound) puppy that does not know how to cope with this energy and state of mind. He had trouble with relaxing and this excitement and energy manifested itself into jumping and biting. These behaviors occurred a lot on walks as well as inside our apartment. These were our main concerns with Gus, but his behaviors did not end there. Gus found ways to entertain himself, such has chewing on our couch or stealing food off of the counter. Name any puppy behavior and it was most likely on our list of concerns. Our biggest concern was the rate at which Gus was growing and how strong he was getting.

We chose the two week stay and learn program (that includes a very informative online course) after going back and forth a lot because we knew we needed a lot of help and a lot of groundwork laid for us. While waiting for the stay and learn to begin (and during), Kimberly was ALWAYS available via phone and email whenever we had a question. She would send very detailed responses that helped more than any website or article did. She also helped many times when I would be losing hope. She reassured me that everything will be ok and we could get this under control. Well, Kimberly has had Gus for 8 days now and WOW are we amazed with the progress he has made. We have received many many many videos (I call them mini lessons) of Gus showing what he has accomplished. For example, I used to avoid bringing him outside and on long walks because he would be distracted by anything and everything (jumping, biting, running). Kimberly sent a video of Gus sitting outside without holding his leash while running and jumping around him and he stayed the entire time. Never in a million years would I think Gus would make this much progress in such a short period of time. This is only one example of the many areas she has worked on and improved majorly. Although we miss Gus a great deal, we know how much this is benefitting him. I can assure you that Packfit is the way to go. The best of the best to work with your beloved fur babies 🙂. I can’t thank Kimberly enough!

Danielle G.

Kimberly was so informative and a joy to talk with about crazy, lovable, needy, silly 9-month-old dog. We had her come for an IBAC and got a lot of information we could immediately put into practice.
After out initial IBAC, Kimberly emailed us and broke down what we could with Finn. We opted for the Stay and Learn. While it was an expensive investment for us, we knew that we and Finn deserved a more balanced and calmer existence. Kimberly has an arsenal of knowledge for dogs and humans. She listens to your concerns, questions, and thoughts about everything. She was in contact every day with videos, pictures, and thoughts about how Finn was doing. It was such a joy watching Finn progress as much as he did. Before, he was an active young dog, who never settled down. He was always on the go. While, we know he is still a puppy (toddler) she worked with him to channel his puppy energy through structured walks, duration work, and nurturing calm. All I can say is, WOW! While Finn will continue to test us, he is significantly calmer and will listen and follow through. She set an amazing foundation for us to work with and we can only see him get even more awesome! Annie G.

I’ve had one lesson with Kimberly and wished I had contacted her sooner to get started on training my German Shepherd rescue.  What I like best about Kimberly’s approach is her care and attention for the well-being of my dog.  Working with Kimberly has helped me to understand that an obedient dog isn’t necessarily a happy or well-adjusted dog.  Kimberly’s method of training takes in the “whole dog” concept addressing nutrition, mental, and physical fitness.  As a new dog owner she’s helped me to understand how to interpret my dogs behavior and what my dog needs from me as the pack leader.  Training is fun, the homework is simple and Kimberly is always on hand to answer a question. The welcome package (lots of goodies) she provided exceeded my expectations and Kimberly has become my “go-to” for additional resources for my dog. Jennifer A.

My little buddy Rhody is a highly energetic, loving puppy of about 7 months. However, since he came into my life at around 3 months, he suffered from a great amount of anxiety and fear of the outside world. The big, scary noises of city life didn’t bring him comfort, and it was difficult to get him the exercise and lifestyle he needed and deserved. After three weeks of Packfit’s Stay and Learn program, and thanks to Kimberly Artley’s dedication to my (and all) dog’s well-being and peace of mind, Rhody is now much calmer, more receptive to my leadership, and braver in his life outdoors. As Kimberly astutely teaches, this is where the journey begins: she shows us that the trust built in a relationship between person and pup is essential for continued growth and maturity. She’s not only helped Rhody, but me as well, find patience and peace of mind in our relationship, making our day-to-day life – including walks, playtime, mealtime, and ongoing training – much easier and enjoyable. Thank you, Kimberly and your wonderful pack, for helping Rhody and me build trust and respect between each other, and for giving us the tools to keep improving as we look forward to the next adventure! Charlie H.

Kimberly is ahhhh-mazing! Her aura and energy with our two and four-legged family has made such a difference already. Karen R.

We were ready to give up on our new puppy. She was absolutely adorable and loving with us, her immediate family. But when anyone else got near she would attack. She came very close to biting on several occasions. She was very fearful of anyone but us. And she was only 3 months old. Two other trainers told us they felt it was going to be her behavior for life and they did not think she could be trained without muzzling her. They highly recommended we return her, which I knew would mean she would be put down. From the first conversation Kimberly was convinced her behaviors could change. She spent hours informing me of what dogs need and how dogs and humans need to interact. I learned more from her in a 3 hour session than I ever knew before about canines. I was hesitant and just not sure Bela could change. But I agreed to hire Kimberly and have Bela go into the Stay and Learn program. While expensive, I considered it a sound investment to ensure Bela and I could learn what we needed to do to make sure she and I were meeting her needs. Within 2 days Kimberly had gained Bela’s trust and to watch on video her progression has been amazing. I would never have believed it. It is very evident that not only does Kimberly love dogs, she understands them and is very passionate in helping others understand them as well. If only everyone could spend time with her, there would be a lot fewer instances of people giving their dogs up. I highly recommend that pet owners sign up for her course, or have her come to your house and conduct an IBAC for your pet. It will be the best money and time you have ever invested. Thanks Kimberly. Tamara W.

Life-changing on so many levels!!!! Holly L.

My first conversation with Kimberly over the phone gave me hope that I might be able to improve my relationship with our 1 1/2 year old Miss Bonny and help her be a calmer and happier dog. While Bonny responded very quickly to Kimberly’s energy, it took me a while to accept and respond to the fact that much of Bonny’s frustrations and bad behaviors were the result of my behavior. In the kindest possible way, Kimberly conveyed the importance of my energy and consistency with commands for Bonny.

The sessions we had were not only incredibly helpful, but fun. Kimberly was an absolute pleasure to work with and the change in Bonny’s behavior is amazing.

Many thanks to Kimberly! Susan A.

Ms. Kimberly! Thanks to your incredibly helpful and insightful training sessions we were able to confidently take Mandu along with us to pick berries and go to a winery where there were tons of people, children, and other dogs! She seemed to enjoy every moment as much as we did – when we got home, she K.O.ed and fell asleep on my sister’s arm and tummy. Thank you so much for all your help and care! We look forward to the rest of our training session with you and until then we’ll do our best to keep her as balanced and happy as possible!! Much love, Mandu’s family Mandu’s family

Kimberly Artley brought new hope into our lives when we thought there was none left to find. After adopting a high energy dog with some deep rooted issues, I knew it was going to take a very special, educated and experienced person to help us. This is exactly what we got when Kimberly visited us in our home. She offered us the guidance, tools and knowledge that has allowed our lives to return to balance. There is no better feeling than to know she is always there to offer her advice and wisdom. PACKFIT changed our lives! Mindy V.

My husband and I adopted Oliver from a dog rescue in New Jersey in 2010. He was a fun, loving puppy. He was easily housebroken and crate trained. Despite all of the positive aspect Oliver displayed, he was always a little anxious (like me!).

We thought he would grow out of his nervousness. He did not. Finally, long overdue, we made the decision to seek assistance from a professional. Our goal was to decrease Oliver’s anxiety.

We searched for trainers, we requested recommendations from friends, we combed through websites. We found PACKFIT. We loved the mission and vision of Kimberly’s business. We thought her philosophies would be a great match for Oliver.

PACKFIT changed our lives! Kimberly took the time to understand our situation, Oliver’s needs, and our desires. Kimberly kindly reminded us that we needed to be the leaders Oliver was asking us to be. She taught us the language Oliver was speaking. She gave us the tools to meet Oliver’s needs, in turn, increasing his quality of life.

Oliver is a completely different dog now, and I must say, we are completely different dog parents. Our home, once filled with an anxious tone, is now Oliver’s soft place to land. It is our calm spot in our busy world.

This is all because Kimberly came into our lives. Kristen M.

After getting our 8-month-old dog, Jasper, from the pound we soon realized we were blessed with a high-energy puppy. Even though we did basic obedience we still had behavioral problems that made our home stressful. So we reached out to Kim and I realized in our first meeting she was the one for us! She told us so much about dogs and how to interact with them. We have already seen drastic changes in Jasper’s behavior in just the first 2 sessions. She made sessions active and gave so much helpful information. Jasper know’s he’s in for a fun day (and super special treats!) when he sees Kim waiting for him in our complex’s parking lot. I look forward to more sessions and hope to join group hikes with her in the future! Kate D.

Working with Kim probably has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. On a personal level, Kim is warm, kind, compassionate and understanding. Professionally, working with her is probably one of the most important investments I have ever made. My dog, Louis, and I are more balanced and happier because of Kim. Thank you, Kim. I’m so happy to have found you! Sevinc Y.

We hired Kimberly to work with our two dogs. She is the perfect fit for us and our 2 pups. She is knowledgable and after one visit we have seen tremendous change in our pet’s behavior. We are looking forward to her continued help with us and our dogs. She gets it! Bonnie S.

We were at our wits end with Dino after moving from the suburbs to the city. He was super aggressive, reactive and we weren’t sure if we were going to be able to keep him. Thank goodness we found Kimberly and PACKFIT. She helped us understand our role in his behavior and that we needed to step up and be the pack leaders he needed. We had Dino stay and train with Kimberly for 2 weeks and she was great about sending videos almost every day and keeping in contact with us about his progress. We saw amazing results after just 2 days!

Now our work begins on how to be consistent, set boundaries and step up to our roles. When I saw Dino walk around our neighborhood with Kimberly at drop-off, I literally started crying happy tears. I no longer feel helpless and instead feel empowered!

Thank you so much, Kimberly. You’ve truly changed our lives! Bev & Chris L.

Relief and quality of life starts here.

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In order to create change in behavior, we must first work to understand the underlying, driving forces beneath it.

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