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- Notes from veterinarians, colleagues and our clients -

"I really need my life back." That's what I was thinking when I decided to get serious about finding the right balance with my Labrador Retriever Maya. You see, I have been blessed with an absolute spark plug of a dog…and she with me! We had been through several trainers, vets and animal hospitals when I finally decided to seek out the preeminent animal behaviorists at The Behavior Clinic at University of Pennsylvania’s Ryan Veterinary Hospital.

Well, sir, I thought I had heard it all, and I had! All, that is, except the truth, the whole truth and nothin’ but the truth. It turns out that the conventional wisdom (whispers you hear on television, the considered opinions at the pet store and the voice of experience at the local kennel/groomer/training salon) are oftentimes the opposite of what you should be doing to achieve pet/life balance. I quickly learned that it was in fact possible to get my life back and to live comfortably and safely with my beloved pet. 

Which brings me to Roseann Burrets Baars and Big Tail Waggin’ Dog Training. I found Roseann's practice to be in accord with the Penn Vet Behavior team’s understanding of dog behavior and methods for harmonious pet/owner living. I’ll spare you the specifics (anyway, you should pay for that information and expertise).

I rarely recommend anyone, other than the Beatles, Van Gogh and the Bugatti Veyron; but if you have a big old handful of a dog and you really want your life back, add to that list Roseann Burrets Baars and Big Tail Waggin’ Dog Training. And you’re welcome!

Rick Skelly (with Maya, relaxing).

We started working with Roseann when our (at the time) one year old deaf dog, Lola, started having serious behavioral difficulties. We had previously sought help from another local trainer, but her problems only worsened despite our efforts. After an in-depth consultation and meeting, unlike the other trainer we had consulted, Roseann strongly urged us to first seek professional veterinary help before beginning training with her.

Because at that point we felt helpless and as though we were out of options, we decided to heed her advice and visit UPenn's Behavior Department to meet with a team of veterinary professionals. Roseann joined us that day so she could be involved with the planning of Lola's subsequent training protocols as suggested by the Veterinary Behaviorists. I believe the efforts of the interdisciplinary collaboration that day saved Lola's life; it turns out that she had several underlying medical conditions that were exacerbating her existing behavioral issues.

After that visit, Roseann tirelessly worked with us to follow through with the training protocols given to us at UPenn. Things started to slowly improve with Lola and we finally began to see positive changes. Once unable to have any houseguests, Lola learned to become tolerant of visitors by engaging in alternate behaviors that made her feel safe when they arrived at the house. Once intolerant of unfamiliar humans approaching her, we learned how to use counter conditioning exercises to help her remain calm and non-reactive.

We continued working with Roseann for the next several years and have made progress which I never thought possible. Although Lola's fear and anxiety will always prevent her from behaving like a "typical" dog, we've successfully learned how to manage her behavior so she can live a happy life.

Roseann's compassion and empathy is unmatched, as she treats each client as she would her own dog(s). Roseann remains abreast of the most up-to-date research and utilizes only the most humane, scientifically based training techniques with her clients. It is these qualities which set her apart from others in the unregulated field of animal training. We are forever indebted with gratitude to Roseann for sharing her expertise and knowledge with us.

Maggie Lazur

I have sent numerous clients to Roseann Baars for puppy training because I know her to be conscientous and thorough. She is concerned with every aspect of training for the pet and the owner, in an effort to provide a safe and loving environment for both. Roseann has great client communication skills, taking time to discuss areas of concern and monitoring progress. The feedback I have received from my clients has been an enthusastic confirmation of their satisfaction. Roseann Baars is someone I can refer my clients to with a great deal of confidence.

Thomas S. Trotter, VMD, RBVH

Dear Roseann and Derek, We can not thank you enough for all of your help in the training of our Torre. My little terror has grown into quite the handsome well mannered young man. The constant reassuring and encouragement you both gave me during his puppy class days made me stick with your classes to the benefit of both of us. I don't know who enjoyed the classes more, Torre or us! Every class and especially the Just For Fun Agility were great and time certainly well spent. We will always think of both of you with fond memories of the many hours we have spent being compassionately trained by you and the special friendship we developed.

With love, friendship and kisses from Torre, Nancy, Bobby and Torre Zarro

Frank and DogRoseann's instruction, mentorship and counseling has largely been the reason that we are able to manage and enrich 5 adopted dogs safely in our home. Our greatest success to date is our beloved Menelaus, an adult male Border Collie cross, whom at the time of adoption was hyperactive, fearful and aggressive. Today because of Roseann's thorough knowledge of learning theory and understanding of behavior he is competing successful in agility, off leash in the presence of hundreds of other dogs and their handlers. She is truly an asset to the companion dog owning population!

Frank and Carol Bilski

Dear Roseann,

I can't begin to tell you how much we enjoyed both your Puppy Kindergarten and Dog Obedience classes. I have owned dogs off and on for most of my life and have dealt with various trainers both in group settings and private training. Your methods surpass any dog training method I've experienced with trainers or through reading books on the subject. The fact that these methods work better than any others I have come across is miraculous. Your special rapport with these creatures is obvious and your joyful demeanor while working with them is infectious.

Sandy, Michael and Gershwin Amador

Dear Roseann ~

Thank you, enormously, for your expertise and patience with me and my beloved service dog, Ruah. Not only do I love Ruah; she has a serious job to do. From your evaluation of her temperament when she was seven weeks old, through three sets of classes, and your ongoing coaching when Ruah and I have a new challenge to overcome, you have taught Ruah and me how to work together as an effective team. I am grateful every day! Ruah is now four years old. It's hard to put into words how much she has helped me, and how much you have helped us both.

I've been able to integrate your gentle and extremely effective training techniques into every aspect of Ruah's work. Ruah and I never, ever would have been able to accomplish as much as we have without you, and that's the truth. It also is very reassuring that my veterinarian feels as strongly about your skills as I do, and that you and my vet can work together to help Ruah be the healthiest, happiest German Shepherd she can be.

Wholehearted thanks from the both of us!!

Terri S. Blair, M.Ed.,LPC

“Choosing a new dog for a whole new family can be a daunting experience! Each person’s expectations and needs can be so personal and so different. My main goal was sharing my pet as a therapy dog. My husband placed an emphasis on cheerful stability, manners, and obedience. To our son, fun and friendship was all important. We asked Roseann Baars from Big Tail Waggin’ to help us in the careful selection of our boxer pup. Her testing methods were always gentle, concerned, and best of all, successful. Bogie is everything to everyone in our family!

As an experienced dog owner, I had read so much about positive reinforcement and was eager to put it to work. Could positive reinforcement avert those unpopular puppy behaviors that my first time dog owner husband and I worried about? Without a doubt! In fact, classes at Big Tail Waggin’ were so much fun, that many times I got bumped out of my handler spot by my son and husband. In a year’s time, we have all participated in Puppy Classes, Basic Obedience and Manners, Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog together. Each week, helpful information was always presented in a professional, easy to understand method. The Big Tail Waggin’ staff is absolutely dedicated to you enjoying your dog.

Recently Bill and Bogie have branched out for a little canine fitness activity all their own, Agility. Fun is the bond of this team! Roseann’s enthusiasm and passion are contagious. You might just find your new pup is a new dog life style!

Frank, Mare, Bill, and Bogie

Dear Roseann,

We just wanted to thank you for the GREAT job you did in helping us in the training of our 'Zoey'. We really have learned so much about training puppies. Having a "hands-on" course like yours is really the only way to go. We are so glad we took the course. A little bit of personal praise. You are so GOOD at what you do that you make the training seem simple, which we all know it is not. Your presentation of the program is super. Your articulation of the instructions tells us that you have put a lot into learning about how to train dogs. Again, thank you so very much for all your help. Hope to see you at the next level.
very sincerely,

Delores and Sam Karinja.

Roseann Baars is dedicated to understanding dogs and altering their behavior through positive methods. While at the Behavior Clinic at the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania, I frequently gave Roseann’s name out to clients whose pets needed basic training or help implementing the behavior modification prescribed by the Behavior Clinic.

Dr. Lisa Radosta DVM, Diplomate ACVB

Nothing like a kindred spirit. We live today in Raleigh, NC and love every minute of it. Spencer is now a certified Therapy Dog and together we visit nursing homes, assisted-living facitlites and most anywhere that a smile and a soft touch is needed. He is 115 lbs. of pure love, health and happiness. Spencer's beginnings of being the great dog that he is today is because of you and your training. We will always appreciate that. We have wonderful memories of his days as your student. I've attached our photo of us on the day that Spencer graduated to Therapy Dog this June. Stay well and thanks, again.

Nancy, Robert and Spencer Tracy

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