aylafamily.jpgAyla is our German Shorthaired Pointer. She is only a little over a year old and has an extreme amount of energy. One of her natural tendencies is to run. She always comes back, but she may go several blocks before she returns, and living in the city, this is very dangerous. I didn’t trust Ayla off-leash. After Ayla worked with Curtis for a bit, he helped me out at the coffee shop. There are many distractions there like dogs, people and food. Curtis put her in a “down stay” and simply dropped the leash. I was terrified and amazed that under his command she stayed in a down stay. Seeing him control her in that way gave me the confidence to believe she can do what I expect of her. Another area Curtis has helped me with is taking emotions out of corrections. When Ayla isn’t listening or doing what I expect of her, I need to keep my cool and put her in her place and start over with consistent training. That’s how dogs learn the rules. Curtis has given me the skills and confidence that I need to have with my dog. Seeing what he can do with my dog has given me an understanding with my dog that I didn’t know I could have.

Thanks so much Curtis! Ayla and my family are much more balanced and happy now.

Susan Crotteau – Minneapolis

20070627-liz.jpgCurtis Johnson has disproved the old adage that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I own a 10 year lab (Molly) and a one year old puggle (Oliver). I brought Oliver into our home naively believing that he would be good company for Molly. Really what I wanted was a second chance to train a dog, which I did not do well at all with Molly. In addition, Molly was an anxious nervous dog, and I threw an active puppy at her. Because of Curtis, Molly, is now a calm, content dog, who is a pleasure to walk and who I feel very comfortable having people and other dogs around. It wasn’t like that before. Oliver is developing into a nice dog with only the typical puppy-like behaviors. And yes, Molly and Oliver are great companions. Curtis helped me turn a situation going down a really bad path into one with a happier owner and happier dogs.

Elizabeth Erdahl – Minneapolis

p1010016-1.jpgRocco is our second Newfoundland – with a very different personality than our first. He came to us with boundless energy and enthusiasm at 6 months– which showed up about a week after moving in. Whenever walking him, I would frequently get dragged across the street so he could greet another dog he wanted to play with or chase a squirrel or bird.

I saw Curtis at Java Jack’s one day with a handful of dogs all laying down, happily panting – while he sat at a table sipping his coffee. “No way!” I thought “ would my Rocco ever be able to do that… but …wouldn’t it be nice if he could…?” A few conversations later and Rocco had joined the group. I have to admit I was a bit worried for Curtis that first day, but he didn’t waver in his confidence that this would work.
A couple weeks ago, my daughters school had a “fun” day at the Lake Harriet bandshell – I decided it was time to take him along. He walked by my side at a nice pace – I hooked him up to the stroller once we got to the park and told him to “sit – stay” – after a bit of time and a lot of children running around – I looked up and he was regally doing what I requested of him. We walked back home from the lake completely surrounded by young children. Rocco was a perfect gentleman. I realized that, with the help of Curtis, I was capable of trusting my dog, not doubting my ability to communicate with him or his ability to listen to me.

Val Ritacco – Minneapolis


Curtis is a person all dog owners should worship. He has transformed multiple neighborhood dogs that could not be tolerated at Java Jack’s into role model pets that anyone would love. He is a the Master of Master’s.

Jerry Nelson – Minneapolis
Owner Java Jack’s



Dear Curtis,

As a member of your Citizen Kanine dog pack and beneficiary of your coaching over the past five years, I was honored when you asked my owners to share our story. Not certain if they could adequately portray my gratitude and respect, I decided to submit my own testimonial.

I was a youngster when we first met. Of course I had heard of you. My owners had a Golden Retriever previously, and he had learned a great deal from you. But I don’t think my owners did. From what I heard, they appreciated how well-behaved this dog was when you were around, but didn’t seem too in control when they were alone with him.

Maybe that’s why things were a little different when I came on the scene… (Although they say, in not such flattering words, that it’s because I have extra “personality.”) You got involved right away, helping them understand that when they’re excited, so am I. Just because I could spring straight up to their eye level when they walked in the door, apparently didn’t mean that I should.

When they cuddled me as a puppy, letting me on their laps, you would say, “Do you really want a 70-pound dog doing that?” It hit home. (They still did it, but seemed to feel guiltier.) 

When I pulled on the leash, even when wearing that annoying Gentle Leader, you stepped in. “Try to not rely on the leash,” you’d say, helping them understand that I needed to heel to them… the leash was more of a formality. 

Bottom line, I’m a happier dog because you helped my owners be better at owning me. I’m well-exercised, understand my place in my home pack and generally bring joy to our home. This is greatly in part to your guidance! I thank you, and so do they. 


Reggie O’Brien

(Golden Retriever of Michael and Suzanne)


Best Of TwinCities
iacplogo.jpg facebook best of TwinCities

%d bloggers like this: