The Dog Wizard can help you to become the leader of your pack

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Joining Aurelia (center) and Steve Martin (left) at The Dog Wizard is trainer Shawn Erb (right). Shawn, who has 15-plus years of experience, joined the team eight months ago. (Photography: Benjamin Margalit)

By Patricia Nugent

Locally and family owned, Upbeat K9 has just merged with the national franchise The Dog Wizard, offering the same level of effective and ultra-convenient mobile dog training people have come to expect, along with new avenues for growth.

“Our customized, pet-centered approach to training has been successful for countless dogs, whether teaching obedience to puppies, reducing separation anxiety, controlling behavior issues, aggression rehab and more,” says Aurelia Ford-Martin, who, along with her husband, Steve, owns the business. “Our ultimate goal is to strengthen the bond of owner and best friend and create harmony in people’s lives.”

Joining Aurelia and Steve is their new trainer Shawn Erb, who has 15-plus years of experience.

“He’s especially good at the challenging cases,” says Aurelia. “There was a recent client who had five German shepherds living in the house, and the dogs had pretty much made themselves pack leaders and were running things. He had to reverse their aggressive behavior and re-establish the adults as pack leaders. He did an amazing job.”

Steve explains that they work to build a relationship of trust with each dog.

As a foundation for training, they focus on teaching your pup to look at you for everything and use tools like a place cot for duration. “Leash pressure is an important factor in training,” he says. “Many dogs will pull forward—having them understand and ‘go with’ leash pressure is very important and helps solve the pulling issue. In general, your leash should look like a ‘J’ and not an ‘I.’”

Steve and Aurelia’s ultimate goal is to strengthen the bond of owner and best friend and create harmony in people’s lives. With their specially equipped Dog Wizard vans, they pick up and deliver your dog before and after training sessions.

Day Training and Boarding Training
The training takes place in several ways. With day training, a trainer shows up to your home in their whimsically decorated van to pick up your pooch for the day, training it intensely and making sure it has breaks at their headquarters. Then they return it to your home in the evening.

For a higher level of intensity, and perfect for people going on vacation, they can also board and train your pet at the same time.

“Are you unsure that our training approach will be a good fit in handling your dog’s issues?” Aurelia asks. “Not to worry. We offer free evaluations and unlimited lifetime follow-ups for your dog—what do you have to lose?”

Do Your Homework
“We do our best to manage client expectations,” says Aurelia.

“We live in an ‘Amazon Prime world’ and sometimes we are expected to deliver a perfectly trained dog in short order. These are dogs—not machines or equipment that get a new part or adjustment to be in perfect working order. After each training session, we give every owner ‘homework’ and guidance on how to reinforce their dog’s new learned behaviors at home. We partner with the pack leaders by doing the foundational work, while they work at home to reinforce it.”

The Dog Wizard is centrally located and trainers go to homes all over Northeast Ohio. For more information, call 330-461-9287 or visit Find them on Facebook @TheDogWizardMedina. Check out their helpful blog, with entries like “Top tips for photographing your dog with your phone,” just in time for annual holiday cards.