I grew up attending dog training classes, obedience trials, and dog shows - I took care of my "sister's" Sheltie from the age 9 onwards - 1-5km walks daily, grooming (bathing, trimming, etc.), feeding, and more, and have a good grasp on reading animals having had worked with them for 5 years in my late teens/early 20's.
We brought our year old large dog to Paola's Agility classes as per recommendation from an acquaintance, who was also bringing one of his older siblings to the same introductory course.
Although our dog did well balancing and approaching the strange obstacles associated with Agility, this certainly was not due to Paola's training techniques.
We managed to muddle through two classes, however, after the last class, all three of us sat in the car almost in tears as she was just not a positive trainer. At. All.
She didn't ask about dogs' background or anyone's training background, we were never introduced to the other class members, and she did not get to know our dogs or how they worked while training.
She made us feel like everything we did or his behaviours were awful, and that he would be un-trainable.
She did not ask us how he learns, what drives him, and his past experiences. Fields to our dog meant Dog Park - running, playing, having fun - not obedience training (the setting was outside). Seeing his sister, he just wanted to play with her - being a puppy, it was difficult to show him that we were working, not playing.
If there had been an interior building setting, he would of responded a lot calmer, and we he wouldn't of wanted to go into play mode when he saw his sister (we kept them apart).
She had nothing positive to say to us or our dog, making us feel like failures.
As per her website, she certainly did not show us how to have fun training, did not treat us or our dog with respect, was impatient, didn't show any effective training techniques, and we didn't return after the second class.
We heard after we left that another 4 dogs pulled out, and 1 other pulled out after the first week - we did receive a refund for the % of classes that we did not attend.
Sure she may win trials and have a multitude of awards, but when she has 1/3 of her class drop out, and made us feel so negatively against the entire situation that we never attempted agility again,
God forbid if we ever brought our rescue pup who had no socialization until he was 14 weeks old due to a sad situation at his breeders - he has reactive/trigger issues and anxiety that were eased dramatically with private lessons with a trusted and reputable instructor. I feel he would not of liked Paola's attitude, and would of failed miserably in her hands vs the positive reinforcement, patience, and understanding of his awesome trainer @ CaroLark.
I would never recommend Shake-a-Paws classes to anyone.
These reviews are the subjective opinions of ChickAdvisor members and not of ChickAdvisor Inc.