There came a time when I decided to do what I really wanted. I wanted to train dogs. The path that opened before me was an opportunity to apprentice with Pia Silvani, one of the great voices on the forefront of canine welfare and trainer education.
Pia, author and internationally known speaker on canine training, has given some of the best trainers you can find their start. Her five-day ITC workshop was extensive, exhausting, and sent me home with things to think about for a very long time. Those who are fortunate enough to see Pia working with dog owners soon recognize they are taking a master class in trainer/client communication.
When I needed a teacher, Pia appeared.
Simply put, Pia Silvani is the best. I've admired her work for over 20 years. As one of the founders and innovators of the emerging field of reward-based, fun and games pet dog training, Pia has a wealth of practical experience. She is an internationally respected trainer of trainers in addition to working with people and their dogs. Pia has a unique ability to communicate with dogs and their human companions. She is a gifted teacher and trainer, with an infectious easy-going and fun-loving, dynamic personality -- she is enthusiastic, creative and has a delightful sense of humour. Pia makes learning and training quick, easy and utterly enjoyable, always showing care and compassion for those at both ends of the leash.
If you truly want the finest for your best friend, by hiring a superlative trainer and behavior counselor, then you need Pia!
Roberta and Frank Graffeo, client
From the moment we first met Pia we knew we were in the right hands. We could tell that she was an extremely caring person and passionate about her profession. It was quite evident that she was very knowledgeable on how to approach and treat the problem we were experiencing with pets in our home.
We initially contacted Pia because of serious dog aggression exhibited by one of our dogs toward the other two in the household. We previously consulted with the University of Pennsylvania Animal Behavior Clinic and, after numerous sessions, they recommended an in-home trainer. Pia was highly recommended to use and was familiar with this type of aggression.
With the utmost respect and faith in Pia's capabilities, we would wholeheartedly and immediately recommend her services to all friends and families seeking to provide a home or training for a pet.
I have known Pia both as a fellow certified professional dog trainer and as her client. A few years ago I contacted her to help with my extremely reactive dog, Mia, who would explode if she saw, heard or smelled a dog a hundred yards away. On Pia's recommendation I took Mia to a board-certified veterinary behaviorist. Pia helped me with a behavior modification plan in conjunction with the vet's pharmaceutical intervention. Since it wasn't feasible for me to meet with Pia on a weekly basis, she provided professional support via email, reviewing and commenting on my videos and reports of Mia's progress. She pulled a variety of tools out of her trainer's toolbox, rather than using a cookie-cutter approach and today, largely thanks to Pia, Mia can enjoy walks, tolerate a visiting dog in our home, participate in some competitive venues, AND can boast the title "Canine Good Citizen".
There are trainers who are excellent with animals and instructors who are excellent with people. Pia is both. I hold her in very high regard and consider her to be one of the most important names in the field of professional dog training today.
Laraine Mocenigo, client
Pia is a true dog inquisitor. She is not afraid to take on the issues of any dog and you can see she really tries to understand them and not just "train" them. Her techniques and approach demonstrate how to train your dog during his or her every day routine and not just training him/her while at a class, only to have them become monsters at home.
I have fostered and adopted numerous rescue dogs and Pia's extensive knowledge and expertise have been invaluable in helping me understand and overcome issues of some of these troubled dogs. Not only that but her enthusiasm, humor and positive attitude make working with her and my dogs just plain fun!
Carolyn Lloyd-Cohen, client
You helped me unlike anyone else to control Saksie's reactivity with other dogs. A number of people have given me advice because they have had a reactive dog themselves. But each dog is different, and what works for one is not a guarantee for another. It is your advice, good humor, willingness to experiment, encouragement, confidence and patience in guiding me to develop better teamwork and relationship that has made the difference.
As an attest, Saksie and I have been successfully competing in agility for well over a year which I thought would never happen. She would get so worked up around other dogs that I never dreamed we would be able to line up at the start line. Turns out we both love the game of it and she is really talented!
In my opinion, Saksie's reactivity is a blessing. Because of our work with you and your commitment to our success, I have learned to think for myself and gain control quickly when something gets her aroused. My wonderful Saksie and I now have a relationship that is far more fulfilling than I ever thought possible.
Pia Silvani is one of the most respected professionals in the field, combining knowledge, experience and a sincere love for the animals at both ends of the leash. I wouldn't hesitate to call her for advice, as a matter of fact, I have myself, and was always glad that I did.
I have worked with Pia for over 15 years. As a seminar and workshop host, it has been an honor to have Pia teach for me at conferences, seminars and courses. She has successfully coached hundreds of current and future dog training professionals to be the best in their field and has inspired them to pursue excellence through her own dedication to professional development and love of learning. As lead instructor for Dogs of Course’s yearly Instructor Training Course, Pia’s generosity of knowledge and spirit has given our trainers a powerful and memorable education that has launched or fortified many careers.
Pia is a dedicated professional that truly cares about making a difference in the lives of dogs and their families. She has the rare combination of a deep understanding in animal behavior and training as well as superb skills at connecting and communicating with people at all levels of knowledge. Pia’s upbeat approach puts people at ease so they can get the most benefit most from her services, making her one of the best in our profession.