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I have a very special dog daughter, Mavis Blue. I rescued her from a shelter in North Carolina when she was 8 months old. About six months after bringing Mavis home she had a string of aggressive incidents. A year and many biting incidents later my dear friend Lara, of Pup Active, told me, “Mavis needs Don. Don is the one who can fix this.” Our experience with Sit Happens has helped in such tremendous ways it is hard to know where to start. I cannot begin to express how our experience with Don has been next level. It truly does not even compare. Mavis has learned coping mechanisms as an alternative to aggression – shaking off, keeping eyes on me, etc. We have learned tricks as a healthy way to be simulated and interact with strangers at a distance. The day we walked into Sit Happens I struggled to think of what the future might look like for Mavis and me. After completing our initial course and continuing with training, the future is bright. I know and “get” my dog. Important to note, through this process we are now off meds completely, but continue to use CBD and plan to always have it as part of our care routine. We attend Fungility class on Wednesdays for reinforcement on skills learned and the opportunity to learn new tricks/challenges. I love going to group classes for the learning and stimulation, but also the peace of mind that everyone else there knows how to behave wisely around dogs they don’t know. Sit Happens offers great training – they fixed me, taught me, trained me and also my dog. Don KNOWS dogs. He reads, understands and interprets dogs (my dog!) like no other – and subsequently has taught be to do the same. If you are frustrated and concerned, at a loss, unsure what to do – Sit Happens is the place for you. There is hope here. I never in a million years would have thought my Mavis and I would be where we are right now. All credit to Don and his team.
Addy was less than six months old when we started our Sit Happens journey. She went from an unruly puppy who pulled on her leash, begged for food and chewed everything to a classy and mature lady who is so well behaved she doesn’t even make a sound when we travel through the airport. Not only did I get a well behaved dog, but I grew an amazing bond with my best friend. Training made me understand Addy and her needs and how to help her grow into a well behaved adult dog. Addy and I still drop in to the FUNgility classes as a way to keep Addy active and obedient. I appreciate that Sit Happens is always willing to add on tasks or accommodate us so Addy and I are still learning new material after two years. I wanted Addy to become a Canine Good Citizen because I wanted to feel at ease traveling with her or taking her around town or to the park. Once I saw how kind and loving she was with new people, I realized I wanted the certification as a first step to preparing Addy to volunteer as a therapy dog in hospitals and nursing homes.
Cellie and I are very happy with the time we spend at Sit Happens! Cellie, a then 10 week old border collie, came into my life at an awkward moment, but it was love at first sight. So I needed to find a way to make it work. Enter Sit Happens and Don. We needed manners, first and foremost. Basic skills to get along with her canine and elderly human housemates. I work a full-time, sometimes unpredictable job, and LOVE the drop-in classes. I am not “punished” for needing to miss a week. Homework was explained in class, and in email. I always felt encouraged, even if we didn’t get much homework done. In our first few months of class the biggest accomplishment for us was not jumping on people. Though we learned lots of things, and they all help to curb that jumping urge! Cellie and I practice, sometimes without realizing it, in every day activity. Walks, greeting strangers, greeting great friends, all require good manners. Don has been a great teacher and best supporter all the way through. My puppy has grown into a lovey companion with Sit Happens guidance. She is a bigger part of my life than any dog before her. We now even preparing for our Canine Good Citizens test with the help of everyone.
We love Sit, Happens! I could watch Don train my baby labradoodle all day. I came to him before I decided what kind of dog we were getting and he completely opened my eyes to the perfect kind of dog for our needs AND pointed us to our dream breeders. We have 2 toddlers, 2 businesses, and travel frequently, and Don has helped make getting a puppy a reality for us.
He helps you change your mindset about your dog’s behaviors and what your responsibility as a dog owner actually is. Our baby Hetfield is a fluffy little angel, so let’s be real who is actually getting the training.
Do the homework he gives you, practice weekly, and remember when they mess up it is your responsibility and Sit, Happens will be the perfect place for you to learn how to train your dog.
Meeko is an extra challenge-a mix of Husky, Chow, and Pomeranian. Three very independent breeds = one super hyper & sassy dog. Don at Sit Happens has been working with crazy Meeko since he was a 4 month old puppy. He helped me overcome several challenges with him from being fearful of children, the pool, the vet & groomer and some men to now he is fearful of none of these and sits, stays and comes when called on command. Most recently he has gotten him to the point where he passed his canine good citizen test so we can work towards someday making Meeko a Therapy dog, my biggest wish for him. I never thought I would see the day but Mr. Meeko has developed some good manners and is becoming a calmer sweet boy thanks to Don.
I’ve been taking my mini schnauzer to Don’s group classes for two years. Not because my dog isn’t well trained by now, but because of how much she enjoys going. We mastered basic obedience and earned the American Kennel Club’s canine good citizen recognition. Now, we’re having fun in agility class and working toward getting her able to pass a therapy dog test to volunteer at local hospitals.
Don preaches ethical, positive reinforcement training. No choke collars or anything that would ever harm your dog. He explains how your dogs brain is working — it’s as much lessons for you as it is for the dog! It can be hard work, but it’s so worth and Don and his team make it such a joy.
Life saver! We started training with our 6 mo old terrier mix who had limitless energy. Sit Happens helped us replace her bad behaviors when she was excited with correct ones. We did the group classes, Level 1 then Level 2 and our dog is constantly praised on how well mannered she is. Not only did it help correct her behaviors but it also taught us how to lead her when she is over stimulated. Now she no longer barks in public and can be calm in social settings such as restaurants. A unique feature to Sit Happens is you don’t have to book all at once. With the use of their app you can schedule classes when its convenient for you and pay only once you’ve been. Looking forward to Level 3 and some fungility courses!
Two of our friends came over today and they haven’t been around Ellie. Usually she barks and is so anxious. We practiced what we learned last night and here she is belly up totally relaxed! This is seriously magical! I’m SO happy!
Don is excellent! Our pugs are always learning something new and are getting better and better trained every time we see him !
Don is fantastic. We recently adopted a two month old puppy and had no idea what to do. Don holds a free puppy parenting class that covers the basics and really cleared up a ton of our confusion. We’ve been taking classes with him for the past several weeks as well as participating in group puppy playtime and could not be happier. Chewie is picking up the lessons so quickly (he’s mastered sit, down and drop it already) and it’s great to let him socialize and get used to other dogs in a safe and controlled environment. The space is clean and very inviting and Don is patient and very helpful and knowledgeable. We can’t wait to continue our training and look forward to every class (Chewie does too!).
I can attest to Don’s expertise. He helped my young blind dog overcome fearful aggression. And, he absolutely adores Don!
Love Sit Happens! First of all, the decor is adorable. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable - they started putting up pictures of all the dogs they train and it’s a really personal touch. It’s been really amazing to see the growth of this company compared to when it first started, now they offer so many services. I actually live in Tampa and drive about an hour to get to classes and love seeing the change in my dogs. Thanks Don!
Sit Happens has been the absolute best thing for my dog! I can’t believe that so much has changed in only a few months. I walked into Sit Happens struggling to even take my dog for walks because of how she reacted towards other dogs. Now, she has completed her very first group class and I take her for daily walks without any problems. I can’t thank Sit Happens enough for teaching me how to correctly socialize and walk my dog.
Wonderful staff and great space. Don is amazing and attentive to every dog’s individual needs. I highly recommend and will bring future rescues.
Don is amazing! I reached out via their website to learn about puppy training and Don responded basically immediately and answered all of my questions. Just for the record, this was after hours on a Friday, so I didn’t expect to hear back so quickly. Very impressive and I don’t take that for granted. He is so knowledgeable and I feel so happy and thankful I found this place to teach our puppy some tricks and manners. We had a great experience at puppy class. There was a small group of people with their pups and the training felt personal and efficient. Treats and clickers were provided for everyone. Instructions were clear and easy to follow and I had a lot of fun! So did our puppy! The homework handout really helped as well and we are practicing at home. Thank you and we’re already excited for the next class!
I brought my dog in to work with Don on some behaviors I’m hoping to change. Don was super friendly, demonstrated skills and then had me practice them, and explained why we were working on these skills. I would highly recommend sit happens! Friendly, knowledgeable staff!!
Sit Happens is an excellent business! Don and Aubrey are awesome!! Great owner and most effective results! I recommend to anyone seeking behavior modification, for their fur babe!
Don & Aubrey are the BEST. The care they have for every individual animal is more than amazing and admirable.
Don is by far the best trainer that we have worked with. He really understands dog behavior and individualizes his approach to each dog. We previously had lessons with a training club that often didn’t feel safe due to aggressive dogs in close proximity. Our dog is really small and we feel completely comfortable at Sit Happens. Our dog has really come a long way since staring training here. It was evident after just the first lesson that we were working with an expert in the field. We are so happy to have found this St. Pete gem!
As a veterinarian I have referred a lot of my patients to Don Hoover over the years for many reasons, the biggest is the awesome feedback I get from my clients. I have come to trust and believe in his judgement in so many facets of my job and education of my clients. He’s genuine, and the real deal.
I’ve been working with Don for a while now with my standard poodle. She LOVES Don! He has more patience as a trainer than I’ve ever experienced. Very knowledgable & upbeat. He has taught my poodle so many wonderful behaviors with the utmost kindness and gentleness. I highly recommend him!!! (So does Whisper my poodle).
Magoo perfectly “says hello” to the Mayor of St. Petersburg on Friday at the Pier event. Thanks Don and Sit Happens!
Your classes were a pleasure to attend and it is quite evident that you are the “Pied Piper” of pets! I am already feeling a sense of withdrawal now that we don’t have our Monday night sessions anymore and I know that it will really seem strange not to go to St. Pete next week. It is amazing to see the progress we have made!
Don Hoover has worked with our dogs! He is a miracle worker! He has an incredible talent. He can help you understand and speak your pups language. If you’re having trouble with your dogs behavior or want to teach an old dog new tricks He’s the man to talk to!
Savannah wouldn’t be the well-behaved 7 year old dog that she is or 15 year old Sydney would not know how to “wave” were it not for Sit Happens. You can teach an old dog new tricks.
Don’t know what me and our girls would do without Sit Happens and all the wonderful services they provide.
The best thing about you is you are always available for questions. You always help us so much. Thanks again for coming to the rescue.
Don is one of the most amazing trainers one could hope to have for their dogs. One of the most knowledgeable and passionate people I have ever had the pleasure of encountering in the dog community. He consistently displays professionalism and patience that is truly amazing when working with animals (and their owners) no matter how difficult the case may be.
Don is an amazing trainer! He’s extremely knowledgeable, compassionate, and kind. Give yourself and your pup this great gift that will last a lifetime.
AMAZING! 5 stars.
Don is amazing ! Class is always great and I learn something new every time.
Best dog trainer in the bay! Don has an amazing way with dogs and their owners, and he has the awards to prove it. Stop by the studio and see him in action. Also, his training sessions make great gifts for your friends with unruly dogs 😁
I LOVE sit happens, and so do my furkids! We drive an hour just to take classes with Don :)
We need more places like this. I have met the owner of the facility and he is wonderful. So sweet and polite!
Don provides excellent training for our Bulldogs and their human servants. Great price and top notch training!
I cannot say enough about this place. I have 6 dogs and we are slowly making our way through them all. So much knowledge and patience!
We took in an abused, unsocialized foster, and at 70 lbs he can be very hard to control. Don has managed to make a HUGE difference in just a few private lessons, and we have learned so many tools to help him in his journey to becoming a gentleman. Because of his past, we were adamant of finding training with positive-only reinforcement, and Don has exceeded our expectations. We could not recommend him enough!
Had our first session today and it went so great! Don was amazing very calming and even in one session I felt like I learned a lot! Can’t wait ‘til next week!
Wonderful staff and a great atmosphere.