Bob Minchella's Dog Owner Counseling


After bringing our first Pembroke Welch Corgi puppy to Bob for Puppy Basic Classes, we followed him to his new facility for Advanced 1 classes for her, and classes for our second Corgi and our newest addition that we adopted from Big Dog Big Hearts. Bob had great ideas for our second Corgi, who was very shy, timid, and afraid of most dogs after being "rushed/attacked" on a walk in our neighborhood. Today he is meeting new dogs and people happily on his walks. We highly recommend Bob and his complete staff for any dog owner whether they have a puppy or older dog. The only issue may be the first week or two after classes end where your dog is wondering why you are not heading to training center and will look at you like, "where's Bob today?"

— Todd, Nicole, Olwyn, Blaze, and Stella (Fairport) —


When we adopted Ruby, a 3-year-old mystery mix, from a local shelter, she had no confidence, no training, and was afraid of people and other dogs. Ruby was so anxious when we first got her, she destroyed her kennel, jumped through a closed window and routinely messed in the house. After two trainers told us she was basically a lost cause, we turned to Bob Minchella, who has helped Ruby become a more confident, well-behaved and happy dog.

Over the past year and a half, we have participated in four obedience classes and two tracking class with Bob. When we first started taking classes, Ruby would mope around and give up after about 15 minutes of class, but now she loves class (especially the agility obstacles in Advanced Obedience II). With each course we see improvements in Ruby. She has changed so much from the shy, scared dog we adopted. She is no longer afraid of new situations, people or animals, and no matter where she is, her tail is waging.

Through working with Bob we've learned that training a dog is not just about getting her to do what you want. It is about building trust, confidence and understanding though a shared language.

If you're reading this because you are trying to find a trainer, look no further. There's no one better than Bob.

— Jen and Adam —


Bob's classes have been a big help to Lacie. She started out at a rescue in a small group in Louisiana, then to Lollypop, next to me for 3 months of Foster Care during heart worm treatment and lastly to Wendy for adoption, yeah!!

Lacie has had a tough time with her confidence and she can fearful. At times, she has exhibited fear based aggression. She's had a rough past, I'm sure. Her confidence has been slowly growing and she's doing much better with other dogs. She's doing great with the commands that she's learning because she's so smart. Of course, I'm not biased at all!

Thanks for all that all of you do for the dogs. It's very evident, especially with Bob, that you are genuinely concerned with all of the dogs that come to you for guidance. I do realize that it's the humans that most times need the direction! Thanks again!

— Lorena Fiore —


Junior was extremely aggressive and would attack our family viscously on a daily basis. Literally shedding blood every single day. It was clear that we needed serious help, FAST! We had tried showing Junior we were in charge, unfortunately-he wasn't buying it. We could not have him alone around the kids for even a second or he would attack them and pin them to the ground and start growling and biting them. If I told him NO, he would growl at me show me his teeth and then attack. When I would attempt to cut his nails he would attack me and I would be lucky to get 2 or 3 nails done at most in over an hours time. Junior was also fearful of many other dogs, and I feared that this may turn lead to dog fights as well. My husband said if he did not stop the attacks we would have to get rid of him. I was so desperate for help!

I learned about BOB and gave him a call. I thought he was crazy when he gave me a few tips on the phone of what to do until I could get him in to class. I listened despite my reservations and was sure that Bob just didn't understand how really bad it was. It was amazing, we started using positive reinforcement and stopped doing the things Bob told us not to do, and the change is unreal! Absolutely no more attacks-no more blood and my children do not need to fear their own dog any longer. I can now cut all of his nails within only a couple of minutes and no growling or biting at all. In fact now when I get out the nail clippers he lays down happily (knowing treats are coming). He is still a big puppy with lots more to learn but has come so far and even successfully completed the advanced class. Junior loves other dogs now, and shows no more fear around them. We have so much more peace in our house and have great hope for the future. We continue to take classes with Bob and learn something new every week. Without Bob we would likely have had to get rid of our beautiful puppy! Bob, we can't thank you enough!

— Lora, Shawn, Trevor, Kelsey and Junior (Rochester) —


Chase is my mastiff that just turned 3 last week. He came to me from the mastiff rescue group as a totally unsocialized, fear/ aggressive, probably abused 2 year old.

I have been doing rescue for over 20 years but he was a tough one. I took him for "training" at one of the large, well known facilities in the area. He only got worse. No one could come into my home except children. He especially disliked men. The people at the "training" facility told me I need someone with more experience than they had.

I remembered that Bob Minchella had worked successfully with my son's Anatolian who had aggression issues. So I called and Bob came to my house and saw the problem first hand. Although Bob thought Chase might be a tough case with which to deal, Bob was willing to give it a shot.

Chase and I started Bob's Basic Class the next week. Our first session wasn't stellar as Chase still showed some fear/aggression. Bob taught me techniques and worked with my vet on meds. Chase steadily improved. Chase and I did 1 ½ more Basic Class Sessions and now we have moved on to Bob's Advanced Class where Chase is doing quite well (I think). Chase is now the sweetest, kindest most willing to learn dog... and a real lover.

Chase and I went on a "mastiff walk" last week with 15 other mastiffs and the head of the rescue organization could hardly believe Chase was the same dog that she gave to me in February. He was the best behaved dog there…even among the show dogs. Thanks, Bob!

— Maryaan White (Webster) —


Bringing our 3 month old Doberman to puppy class was a definite for us as this was our first puppy. Finding Bob and his awesome assistants was a dream come true. His teaching technique has made training our puppy enjoyable, fun and less stressful. Bob has a lot of great tricks up his sleeve to get each dog and owner to work together and get good results. Without some of these tricks we would not be where we're at today with Henry. We plan to stay with Bob for quite some time.

— Anni, Mike & Henry (Rochester) —

Jasper and Troy

Bob's unique way of instruction makes the classes enjoyable to both human and canine. He has a strong understanding of how the dog brain works and trains his human students how to relate to their pets. I have brought both of my timid collies to Bob and now they are running the agility courses and they let anyone walk up and pet them. Neither of which would have happened the first day we walked into class. I also work in rescue and Bob has assisted by helping to train our foster dogs as well as assisting in our fund raisers.

— Kersten MacLennan (Rochester), Vice-President, Going To The Dogs —


It really speaks volumes as to what a great trainer Bob is when you ask your 9 month old puppy "do you want to go to school?" and she runs back and forth from you to the door whining! Well that is exactly what our puppy does! She cannot wait to get to school and learn new lessons, she even likes doing her homework! We enrolled Bella with Bob when she was 3 1/2 months old and we could not be happier with her progress! Bob has a unique way of understanding each dogs' needs and it amazing how he can teach individually while at the same time teaching to the group. Bella is now a 9 month old Doberman puppy and we can and do take her everywhere with us. Thank you Bob for training Bella and us and sharing your knowledge and expertise, we plan on staying with you for a long time to come!!

— KiKi Di Stefano and Mark Leeper (East Rochester) —


Adopting a shelter dog was the number one choice for us, but we still were nervous as to what to expect, not having raised Tuffy as a puppy. There was no history on Tuffy, but as Bob says, "It's not what happened in the past that matters, it's what they can do now." Bob has given my husband and I confidence to give Tuffy a second chance at a great life! Tuffy is such a special part of our lives, and we continue to recommend Bob and his expertise to our friends and family.

— Lindsay Zelter (Webster) —


I have been learning dog obedience from Bob since I was 6 months old. I have been in puppy/basic class, advanced 1, advanced 2 and tracking classes. Now that I am 3 yrs. old I am a canine good citizen and enjoy tracking and running obstacle courses. My parents have also become better handlers too. My favorite part of class is "Love your Dogs!

— Delaney Aka: Kathy/Roger Crandall owners/parents —


When I first started bringing Maggie to Bob's classes at Dogs at Play she spent most of the class cowering behind me and generally being afraid of everything. Bob has helped me to have patience with her and teach her manners in a way that helps build her confidence. He really takes the time to get to know you and your dog and has a personal approach to each situation. While Maggie will never be a social dog, she's made leaps and bounds since we started seeing Bob. Watching Maggie race around the agility course during class now you'd never know how shy and fearful she used to be!

— Alexandra Danforth (Webster) —

Bob is the "Obi-Wan" of dog training. When Bob teaches a class he takes the time to explain the commands to work with you and your dog. The purpose of these commands is to make your dog a good companion and you a good owner. Our dogs have progressed through all of Bob's classes and along the way we have made friends both canine and human. It has been a pleasure knowing and participating with Bob these past 3 ½ years. We look forward to many more!!

— Kathy & Roger Crandall (Victor) —

"What a wonderful experience we had at your puppy training class. It has been a real help in understanding our dog's behavior and knowing the right way to reinforce positive behaviors. It also helps teach our kids how to work with the dog to ensure we're all doing the right things."

— Celia and Gary Palmer —

"Bob's training methods are the most down-to-earth, sensible, and kindest that I've experienced. He teaches the usual commands, but more importantly, he has taught me how to understand my dogs' thoughts and needs and guide their good everyday manners."

— Jan Teitgen —

"My dog Lucy and I have attended Good Citizen, Basic and Advanced training classes with Bob. His training was thorough, based on true expertise in canine psychology and behavior, and allowed my dog and I to succeed at a level higher than I anticipated."

— Linda Marino —

"Bob helps us see the world from the dog's point of view. He can analyze a situation with uncanny speed. And he makes the classes fun."

— Carol Lawrence —