What People Are Saying About Almudena:
I just wanted to say thank you for providing Roscoe and me some very good training.As you know, when I first contacted you, I was in a panic about this crazy, active dog we had adopted. I felt like such a failure and was even thinking we should take him back to the shelter. After talking to you and getting even one session of training, I realized that we could make it work. Now both Roscoe and I have learned so much from you and he is part of the family! We will keep working and training and using what you have taught us, but he is so much better…and so are we!
Thank you for your patience and humor and knowledge!
Lee Ann Rael, Santa Fe, NM
“Your relaxation class, although we were unable to attend the last session, was a life-saver the night of Millie’s spay surgery. When she could not settle in her crate due to pain, I grabbed her blanket, a pillow for me and moved to the floor. She almost immediately lay next to me, tight to my side and as I stroked her and practiced breathing, she relaxed and fell asleep! Wow!!! We are not able to attend our last class; but feel the experience was more than worthwhile!
I look forward to taking another class with you in the future.”
Betsy Ranck, Santa Fe, NM
“Dear Almudena, thank you for all the wonderful help you provided to us. Gracie and William are lucky that we have learned such good advice from you. You are an expert dog trainer, and we very much admire your gentle but oh so very effective approach! Hope you are having a wonderful summer!”
Fondly, Susan and Dave Joplin, Santa Fe, New Mexico
“It wasn’t this adorable, little fur ball that was trying to bolt out of the door! I was! I had had it with the biting, barking and complete upheaval of our home. At our wits end, my sweet husband found Almudena! With the first training session, I knew that this woman would bring sanity back to our home! Almudena possesses all of the qualities that we desperately wanted to impart to our new puppy, but didn’t know how. Almudena’s intelligence, understanding and compassion for dogs was instantly obvious! She teaches with positive reinforcement, kindness, patience, love and respect. I looked forward to every training session as much as Dude did! There was never a minute wasted. Everything Dude or I did was a teachable moment! What turned out to be a delightful surprise, was how empowered she made me feel as Dude’s mom! With Almudena’s skillful training methods, I now have the confidence and knowledge to lovingly raise Dude into the family member we always dreamed of!”
Becky Buckingham, Santa Fe, New Mexico
“Thank you so much, Almudena, for the fantastic training you provided us as we start our life journey with Goji Bear! We absolutely love your teaching style and the creative ways you help us learn very important concepts which assist us daily in “real life” scenarios. Kinder Pup class has been fun and extremely valuable to Goji Bear and us making Saturday Class days our very favorite day of the week thanks to your thoroughness, professionalism, and excellent care.
We really appreciate you and look forward to enrolling in the Basic Obedience class with you at a future offering!”
– Monique and Ben Barrow, Santa Fe, NM
“Cayley and I were so impressed with your training methods- they are compassionate and effective. I am happy to report that thanks to your training yesterday Suki settled in her pen while we ate lunch at the dining table today without a peep! And she went into her crate a few times when she was done playing and wanted some alone time, we were amazed! Plus she has taken so well to the puzzle feeding instead of filling her bowl up for meals. You truly love dogs and it shows. We wouldn’t want to trust our sweet Suki with anyone else.”
– Carly Murphy, Santa Fe, NM
“Frankie had a bath today, in preparation for his road trip, and it went really well! The video (separate email) is his post bath zooms! It went really well- lots of treats involved (including some pancake pieces!), and lots of cuddling. We were even able to do shampoo and rinsing. He loved snuggling in the towel afterwards. And then more treats! Still no brushing, but we’re not pushing it. But he looks fabulous as is!
Thank you Almudena for getting us this far!
– Lori Wittaker, Adel and Frankie, Santa Fe, NM
“I wanted to share with you Tank’s progress with meeting the dog sitter again. It went great!!! I followed your instructions for meeting strangers in the house and he did so well! By the end of thirty minutes, he was sitting down with his back to her and relaxed. He kept going up to her and would ‘go say hi’ like a champ! I am super pleased! 😄 Thanks for your help!”
– Janet Kirk, Santa Fe, NM
We went on a long hike with him in the Pecos last weekend. We came across other hikers with dogs and he checked them out, but stayed with us. During the hike, he would go out ahead and check things out, but continually “checked in” with us. I also took him with me on a bike ride.
He loved that! We ran into another biker, he said hi, and we went on our merry way.
I feel so lucky that we met you, . . . you’re awesome. It is so nice to have a dog that will listen to us and that we can take him with us without being totally stressed out”. – Lori Primas, Nambe, New Mexico
“Hello Almudena, I don’t know if you remember me but we met once with my dog Che. After meeting once so much changed for me personally that I could not continue meeting, however, meeting with you just once offered so much support that I had renewed my work with Che. We created ABC charts, and worked at home at first each night baby steps through the spaces in the house he showed the most resistance such as the kitchen/ bedroom/ bathroom we did baby steps each night. It took many many months of not pushing past his threshold but offering a positive association. I cannot tell you how much reading, observing, and being patient paid off.
Little by little Che became less and less afraid. To the point that he became engaged in smelling his house/playing tug-a-war and ball. Occasionally he would get stuck in a place (like the bedroom) and start crying and we would help him patiently to move forward but I have not seen him do that in three months. Tonight, he is lying by the washer and dryer as they both are going -he did not even move when I opened the dryer door.
He is like the other dogs around the house, no longer showing fear of the house environment and goes about the house naturally, definitely a different dog from last year.
On our walks now he is weary of people and will bark, but he also is curious and smells the air, compared to last year when he would want to bolt and run from the slightest presence of a human. Though we only met once you sent me in a direction with Che that proved to be a positive direction. Although I understand we would have benefited from many lessons I cannot tell you how thankful I am for your insight direction and support that one meeting provided. It would be great to meet again. Thank you.
Here is a picture of Che with my youngest when she made him peanut butter cookies and had a tea party with her, willingly. This was very huge, but he tends to feel confident around her, we say Che is her dog. This was after aprox. 7 months of daily gentle experiences.” – Haley Tucker – Los Lunas, NM
“We just wanted to update you about Gator. We were thinking about you when we walked up the Arroyo with Gator yesterday without a leash. We go on many hikes and walks with him without a leash and he is so deeply attached to us. We wanted to thank you once again for the excellent start that you gave us with him.” – Betsy and Joseph Riggs, Tesuque, NM
Well, here’s another testimonial to the great training you’ve done with Clifford. I had to take him to the vet this afternoon to have Cliffy’s skin examined. He developed a minor rash on his underside and has developed some “hot spots,” on his hind legs where he’s broken the skin. He’s also been rubbing his muzzle on the carpet everyday after we get back from our morning walks. So here’s a chronology of how the visit went from the start to the end:
1. Gave Cliffy a chewy, and his tennis ball and then we went to the car. Fortunately, Flower took her chewy to another room so I didn’t have to deal with her wanting to come along.
2. Cliffy was calm on the drive to the vets. When I arrived, I took him out of the car and had the clicker and some treats with me. No one was in the waiting room. Cliffy walked in calmly, no visible signs of stress as he looked around. I grabbed some treats from the desk and had him get on the scale, He weighs 96 lbs. As I talked to the receptionist, he remained at my side. I requested that Dr. Dobesh see Clifford as he knows him very well.
3. We went to the waiting area and I had Clifford sit. As people and technicians were walking about, I would ask him to “look away,” click and give him a treat. Again, he stayed calm. A few minutes later, Dr. Dobesh comes and greets us. He approached Clifford calmly and petted him on the neck. No signs of anxiety in Clifford. I think he remembers Dr. Dobesh. I showed the Dr. the areas where Clifford’s skin was irritated and we talked for about 5 minutes.
4. We went to the exam room. Dr. Dobesh commented that Clifford was “another dog.” He said he could tell we’ve put a LOT OF WORK into training him. He agreed that Clifford’s demeanor has improved significantly.
5. I asked the doctor to examine Clifford’s ears. He left the room to get the ear scope and came back with a muzzle and a technician to steady Clifford’s head. This was the only time that I saw some anxiety in Clifford. I suspect that the combination of having the muzzle put on him and a new person in the room put Clifford on guard. His eyes got real big. But still, in the past, Clifford would bark and shake his body when a muzzle was put on him. None of this behavior occurred. As soon as the technician left, I took the muzzle off and Clifford relaxed, eyes were soft again.
End of story.
Thanks again for everything you’ve done to help Clifford. His life and ours is much more manageable due to the training you’ve done with him. – Yvonne Becerra, Santa Fe, NM
“By attending “C.H.A.C.O Dog Training & Behavior Consulting LLC” classes we learned a lot and so did our standard poodle Dash. Almudena has a first-class facility with a large field for classes, within a larger securely fenced area that readily adapts to the wide range of activities she incorporates in her teaching. She is a personable and caring individual as well as a very knowledgeable professional totally committed to helping owners and their dogs.
The classes are usually small, 4 owners with their dogs, which allows some one-on-one time with Almudena when needed, and the classes are nonthreatening and fun for the dog. With her extensive knowledge, she is able to address any special problems encountered. For example, our dog had spent the first nine months of his life in a kennel being mostly ignored. Almudena really helped socialize Dash and he’s become a confident, happy dog, who likes to play and he enjoys the company of other dogs and people.” – Robb & Kate Palmer, Tesuque, NM
“I took a Recall class with Almudena and was so impressed by her skill as a trainer that we continued with some private training sessions and an Agility 1 class. I liked the class structure that combined clear instruction with a significant amount of individual time with each dog. She is professional, focused, insightful, and supportive.
She has an excellent rapport with dogs (as well as people!), and our dog Scout loves her and loved the classes.
As a result of working with Almudena, Scout is now able to walk safely off leash with us because we know she will come when called. Having a well-trained dog who can join us in our outdoor adventures is such a delight. Thank you so much, Almudena!” – Lesley Mansfield, El Dorado, Santa Fe, NM
“I made the first call to C.H.A.C.O. Dog Training & Behavior Consulting LLC after yet another frustrating and negative walking experience with my Jack Russell Terrier Petey, only this time I was in tears (I don’t cry easily). The combination of her fears, high energy, dislike (?) of other dogs and the resulting uncontrollable behavior was just more than I could take.
I am so happy to say that after completing the course working with Almudena, Petey’s all round behavior has improved tremendously. Petey and I have learned so much through Almudena’s patient and consistent training. We now take pleasant and calm walks in the park; I am now able
to handle my daily affairs without a barking and demanding dog; and Petey is learning to ignore other dogs that we meet on our walks without a total meltdown.
Almudena gives her all and gets results and she does this while showing compassion and great respect for the animal.” – Monte McBride, Santa Fe and Taos, NM
“We wanted to update you on all the goings on since our Saturday morning consult a couple of weeks ago. Our new puppy, Widget, arrived the day after Thanksgiving. We used all of your suggestions working with Cooper, the Schnauzer, and Tom, the toy poodle, for making the transition with the new puppy safe and happy. The first night we had the puppy, we were all able to sit on the sofa together and watch TV. By the 3rd day, we were able to let her walk around the house with the two boys. By the fourth day, all three dogs were in the courtyard outside together. We want to thank you for giving us the tools and confidence needed to bring about such a positive result for our whole family. You made such a tremendous difference for all of us.” – Joyce Arsenault and Pam, Santa Fe, NM
“They say when the student is ready, a teacher will appear…and in my case it was Almudena who is saving the day with my dear wonderful puppy who is now 12 years old. We rescued her from the shelter when she was three- but it is really she who rescued us. She is always there for us showing unconditional love and happiness in just being with us. Looking into her eyes, just walking beside her, there is an unspoken conversation that fills my heart with happiness…and I want to do everything I can for her.
From the start, she went everywhere with us and was a delight to our friends and family. She loved playing with children, going into town, being at events, shopping in stores, sitting on the couch with her head resting on friends’ laps. However, a family medical tragedy necessitated that we had to spend hours and eventually months in a hospital situation which left her quite suddenly alone for most of the day. We all were in a holding pattern…and not socializing at all. She became isolated and very protective of our home where she spent her days alone. Now I hope to reintroduce her to situations so she can feel safe and doesn’t feel the need to be so protective.
At our first meeting with Almudena we didn’t let her into the room…just watched her from behind a gate as she was in her protective mode and not used to mixing with company. By the third lesson, Almudena had her outside, off leash, obeying her command to “sit” and literally eating out of her hand!
With Almudena she became the puppy she used to be- she actually trusted someone besides me… she is learning that not everyone is a threat and it is a joy beyond measure to watch.
Almudena is a pleasure to work with…I am learning so much…I can’t say enough about her approach with both of us who I feel are her students!!! I would trust her with our lives and recommend her unconditionally. We continue to learn and move forward with each lesson – it is a valuable learning process for both of us…an amazingly rewarding experience.” – Carol Maloney, Santa Fe, NM
“We were very impressed with the knowledge and compassion that Almudena showed while helping us train our dog Barney. Although Barney is a good boy, he gets excited when greeting people and uncontrollably jumps up on them. We explained our challenges to Almudena, and she came to our house with a thorough training program already prepared specific to Barney’s behavior. In just one session, we were able to learn the reasons for his behavior and several techniques to correct the behavior. We have since used Almudena’s techniques with great success and Barney has become more calm and comfortable when greeting people.” – Brian Durkee, Oakland, CA
“My wife Emily and I met Almudena when we were adopting our dog Trudy from ARF. Almudena was the resident trainer and was very helpful in the orientation session at ARF. Because she so was so knowledgeable, helpful and so easy to work with we had her help us with further training sessions. She helped us deal with some separation anxiety that Trudy had and a number of other adjustment problems. Trudy has turned into a wonderful dog and I attribute part of that to Almudena’s skillful help I highly recommend her.” – Dan Loeb, Berkeley, CA
“Almudena, thank you so much for training Poppy and the family! I know we all feel better about handling Poppy and I can feel and see that she’s a happier doggie, and there is a beautiful friendship beginning between Ari the baby and Poppy.” – Laura Dubinett, Kensington, CA
“I am pleased to recommend CHACO Dog Training and Almudena Ortiz Cue. I know Ms. Ortiz Cue as a trainer since I bought my little Schnauzer, Puppe, 7 years ago. Puppe was a mess back then; she couldn’t walk on a leash without pulling and would bark at anything and everything. Her anxiety, normal for such a breed, was annoying to visitors. Almudena attracted Puppe’s attention in such a way that would keep her interested in the activity without making her anxious. She worked with Puppe for several days reaching little goals in no time. The first session involved getting-to-know-the-clicker exercises that through easy tasks got Puppe all excited, from that day on she showed a positive attitude towards learning. When Ms. Ortiz Cue handed me Puppe’s leash I couldn’t believe the immediate change on her. Following Almudena’s homework and advice, which she very kindly gave me as handouts; Puppe became a more social dog with less anxiety problems and developed a special charm with visitors.” – Macarena Blanco, Mexico City, Mexico
“It is my pleasure to highly recommend Almudena Ortiz Cue and CHACO Dog Training. Ms. Ortiz Cue has worked with one of my dogs, Koni, a rescue with all the attendant anxieties that such dogs have. She communicated with my dog in such a calm and tender manner that Koni happily remembered her after not seeing her for months. Ms. Ortiz Cue worked on Koni’s barking and anxieties as well as her often out of control antics. After a few sessions, Koni calmed down considerably, learned obedience commands, and became the Perfect Dog as I called her.One notable individual training session involved Ms. Ortiz Cue and me walking Koni around my neighborhood, training her to ignore people and dogs passing us. Koni kept looking at Ms. Ortiz Cue and welcomed the treats given her as she relaxed. Almost immediately, Koni stopped worrying about others on our walks. I was most impressed with Ms. Ortiz cue’s ability to communicate with Koni and earn her trust.” – Carol Brummerstedt, Berkeley, CA
“Our dog Ernie loves Almudena. She’s a terrific trainer; firm, fun, creative, positive and a great problem solver. Oh, and according to him, she gives the very best treats!” – Peggy Klaus, Berkeley, CA
“I feel very fortunate to have had the chance to work with shelter dogs alongside Almudena in a California rescue organization where she was a staff trainer. The programs she designed to address issues such as fearfulness, anxiety, and aggression were extremely effective in improving these and other problem behaviors so that the dogs became much more confident and sociable and therefore more adoptable and able to be successful in their new homes. Almudena has a holistic, purely positive approach to training which utilizes alternative techniques such as massage and TTouch as a complement to established professional methods. She is also a natural teacher who makes it easy to understand and implement her advice and recommendations. I do a lot of volunteer work with shelter dogs and find that I make use of what I learned from Almudena all the time and in all kinds of training situations.” – Melanie Norris, Walnut Creek, CA
“Having worked with Almudena since 2007, I find myself continuously surprised and delighted with her professionalism, ability to sensitively interact with our animal friends, and effectively adjust their behavior. She lives up to her company name—a truly compassionate person who’s training and commitment set her above her piers. Ask any of her clients – they’ll give her three paws up.” – Linda Kalin graphic design — pet owner, Richmond, CA
“I met Almudena at the SF SPCA’s Academy for Dog Trainers years ago.Since then, she’s become one of my trusted trainer colleagues with whom I often consult about training. She’s passionate about her work, professional, compassionate to humans and animals, dedicated to continuing education, and extremely creative in her approach to training.Not only is she a terrific trainer, she also happens to be one of the few dog trainers who is also a certified T-Touch practitioner. Santa Fe dogs & humans, you are very lucky to have her in your midst! I am so grateful for all I have learned from Almudena.” – Lisa Manolious, Oh Behave, San Francisco, CA
“I was almost in tears when I consulted her, shortly after our family got a dog for the first time. She quickly pointed out that if I did a few important things, the dog would have his needs met, and we would all be grateful to have this new family member. She gave me several training tips, as well as help with specific problems such as how to deal with chewing, bolting from the house when the door was opened, stealing food off the counter, dealing with car-sickness, and tips for healthy diet and exercise. She helped me outline specific routines for the dog and family, which challenged him mentally, gave him enough exercise, especially off-leash. Tibault is no longer my “step-dog”, and is instead my most obedient child! Thanks Almudena.” – Gita Mazumdar, MN (consult via video & email)
From Participants From the Class: Developing The Confident Dog, Santa Fe, NM
“Almudena’s class was the most humane and sophisticated dog training class that my dog and I have ever done. Techniques to work with my dog’s nervous system and an orientation to learning and brain games that mimic an animal’s healthy wild instincts have really enhanced my dog’s life and our relationship. We’re all happier!”
“Almudena’s dog training approach has been the MOST valuable training I’ve done with my dog. She comes from a place that really puts the dog first and takes the pressure off of your dog to “perform” like all other dogs–all dogs are different.. I especially liked how she opened my eyes to my dog’s body language. For my dog, who lacks confidence, I learned that when he is fearful, he won’t learn as well; it’s important to create a safety zone for your dog, so he can trust you and feel safe. I learned the tools to do this. I really liked learning TTouch from her. This will be very helpful. She is the first person to break down dog training into pieces I can digest and use!! Thank you so much, Almudena. You are a great teacher and great with dogs!!”
“The TTouch training in the context of the exercises was very helpful for both me and my dog”
“Dear Almudena, About 3 years ago, I found you through Animal Rescue Foundation in Walnut Creek, CA, and you helped me with our newly adopted dog, Grace, who was having some serious separation anxiety issues. You were so helpful, and Grace has become a calm, confident, and loving member of our family.” – Angela Koregelos and Grace
“Thanks so much for the excellent recall class that Roxie and I attended. I really enjoyed it. You teach important concepts in interesting ways, and your class is a very different experience than other classes I have taken over the years. It was very helpful and thought provoking.” – Patty Sciarrotta & Roxie
Note: If you would like to leave a testimonial for Almudena you can do so here.