I’ve been involved in animal welfare for 10 years. In that time I’ve met and worked with many different trainers, styles of training, techniques and tools. Out of all the trainers I’ve worked with, Cecelia is the only trainer who has managed to do what others can not — REALLY help the dogs and the humans. She teaches from a relationship based framework – which gives the human and dog support and boundaries, which has had incredible success. She helped me with my unruly pit bull who was out of control, due to my mistakes, but once Cecelia taught me the beauty of the word no and trust — My dog and I had a completely different relationship which allowed him to lean into me.
– Angela Adams, Founder and Executive Director of Born Again Pit Bull Rescue
Cecelia Towner really helped our family when we adopted a pitt-boxer mix who was having trouble adjusting to our two cats. My goal for the cats and dog was to cohabitate peacefully. In the beginning, the dog charged the cats and we had trouble knowing what he would do if he caught up to them. They, of course, scattered to the far reaches of the house and were barely around for a few weeks. With Cecelias amazing kindness and insight, we were able to bring them all together and slowly teach the dog to be more calm around the cats but equally, Cecelia managed to encourage the cats to stand their ground and take back their space. It worked. It took time, patience and tenacity. She spent at least 3 hours with us at various times and her observations about their individual behavior was thorough and provided us the information to be able to work with them. The cats are now back in the center of the action and they actually both follow us around the block when we go on walks with the dog. Cecelia has a very special way of watching and interpreting both dog and human behavior and is able to clearly articulate what steps need to be taken to achieve the harmony that is desired.
– Jen Stady
Our young Pit mix got in some serious trouble as a one year old…we didn’t know what to do exactly and thought perhaps a new foster home would be the right thing. However, we could find no one to take her. We contacted a rescue organization…they would not take her. They made it clear if we could not foster her that she would have to be euthanized. Our hearts were broken…we prepared ourselves mentally to accept this, however difficult. Then the day before taking our dog in, the phone rang…it was the rescue folks calling back with a contact for a trainer, a trainer we should call immediately. The trainer was Cecelia Towner. Cecilia soon realized the seriousness of the situation and was at the house the next morning. Our dog immediately took to her and there began a relationship between Cecelia, our Pit, and ourselves that “saved” our dog. Cecelia worked with us and our dog for several months and now it’s been four years since we all met Cecelia…four years of fun and joy with our dog. Honestly, we owe our dog’s life to Cecelia! We are so grateful, thank you Cecilia! You are a true “dog whisperer”.
– Jeff and Shelia McCormack
I contacted Cecelia through the pit bull rescue group where we adopted our adult pit bull terrier when we were having some serious behavioral issues, my husband was at his wits end, and I full of doubt about our ability to manage her safely. Cecelia’s approach to building trust and relationship helped us understand our dogs anxiety and needs and was instrumental in us being able to keep her in our family. She offered practical skills to help reshape our dogs behavior in the situations that we were struggling with, including permission to just say NO! Her wisdom and knowledge made a big difference in how we related to our dog, from the very first time we met with her. I have recommended her to several friends with dogs!
– Rachel Starck
We have been so fortunate to have Cecelia as our personal dog trainer. We learned more from Cecelia during our first visit to our home than we did from two different 6 week long dog training classes. My husband and I were looking for a different approach this time around and Cecilia was just what we needed. I really admire her relationship- based approach. She has a unique ability to work with our entire family and not just with our dog . When Cecelia entered our house our Golden Doodle puppy, Scarlet immediately began to listen to her. I claimed that she was the “dog whisper” but Cecelia made sure that we were all able to achieve the same level of success with Scarlet as she was. I appreciate Cecilia’s understanding of family dynamics and her ability to include the entire family in lessons. When we began working with Cecilia our puppy was experiencing a great deal of separation anxiety and would run out the door when any one would leave. She feared that she would be separated from us. Cecilia was able to work with all of us, including our 9 year old daughter. We learned valuable lessons such as an automatic stay at the door. This was crucial in keeping Scarlet safe as we live near a busy road. One of the most useful things was that Cecilia provided us with lessons in a variety of places to help reduce Scarlet’s anxiety and to give us the skills that we needed to keep Scarlet safe and healthy. Once we were able to be successful with Scarlet at home, Cecelia helped us to transfer our skills into a variety of places including a local park, a pet store, a farmers market and her beautiful dog training studio. These lessons allowed us all , including Scarlet to be much more free both at home and out in the world!
– Jackie Fransen
Cecelia Towner is amazing. Her unique insight into the countless animals that she has helped me communicate with over the years has genuinely changed how I do my work and the way I see the world. As a professional horsetrainer, Cecelia is the ace up my sleeve- when I have a particularly difficult horse or a big decision to make with one of my own animals, her guidance makes the way clear. She is articulate, creative, a master negotiator, emotionally insightful and profoundly accurate. Cecelia always addresses issues at their source–she doesn’t just get stuck on the physical, she incorporates the emotional and spiritual planes as well. I cherish every opportunity to speak with Cecelia and recommend her to anyone and everyone who will listen!
– Lauren Allen