Working with Heather was a truly wonderful experience. Her professionalism, compassion and thorough knowledge of canine behavior and training were very apparent. She is able to make a difficult situation understandable and thus more manageable. She is a true asset to those who love and care for animals who exhibit challenging behaviors and are in need of solutions.
Beth Marchitelli, DVM
4 Paws Farewell
Mobile Pet Hospice and Home Euthanasia
Heather was absolutely awesome! Her explanation of behaviors and signs of stress in our pooch has given me so much hope in what I feared could be a hopeless scenario. I am eager to see all the homework she gave us pay off (it already has in the education she gave me). Looking forward to working with her more in the future and highly recommend her!
Amity Pedroza, Arden
Asheville: if you need a dog behaviorist, advice, training or whatever… I highly recommend Mindful Mutz Training & Behavior Consulting llc. She is so calm and informative and photographing her dog Eppy is proof that change can happen with patience and positive reinforcement. Photographing Eppy for Dog Tag Art was magical today – she is a fantastic listener and lover of treats
Terrah Johnson, Asheville
Le Howl Photography
Beyond amazing!!! Highly recommend Heather, she has way more knowledge in training then I could have even imagined ♥
Rachel Weisberg, Asheville
Titan is my first true love, my first dog, and my best friend. He had a rough few years before he found his way to me and that resulted in several years of HORRIBLE leash reactivity towards other dogs. After having so many bad experiences with him (as extreme as him dragging me down and busting up my knees on pavement to get to another dog across the street, and even going after a puppy who approached him off a leash) I confined his walks to the Biltmore Estate only, due to their strict leash laws. This meant I had to maintain a pricey season pass so that he could get out of the house on the weekends. But we simply could not risk him coming into contact with another dog off leash. He gets along very well with his two sisters; he just went bonkers on a leash. Heather has given me the tools and skills I need to help him have successful walks in places where other dogs are. She has made it safe for me to walk him at the park, or even take him hiking which is something he once loved to do. Now he knows exactly what to do when he sees another dog and it is no longer to lunge, bark, and bear his teeth, but to wait patiently and sit for his treats and praise. Heather has helped me to better understand the things he is trying to tell me and she has also made it much easier for me to communicate the things I need from him in order for both of us to have pleasant walks together. I cannot speak highly enough of her and Titan gives her two paws up!
Katie Edmonds, Registered Vet Tech
Pinnacle Animal Hospital
Heather Polechio has been a great asset for Mitchell County Animal Rescue, Inc in dealing with difficult dogs. Her assessments of the dogs are honest and complete. The solutions she offers have been sensible, effective and have resulted in three dogs we have asked for her help on being adopted into the right kind of home. Shelter staff uses her methods on a daily basis to improve the time the dogs spend in the shelter and keep them happy so they can get adopted. We and our dogs highly recommend Heather.
Patricia Beam, Director
Mitchell County Animal Rescue
Amazing. Heather made progress with our dog in the first session. I’m amazed by what she taught our puppy and us. Highly recommended! Don’t waste your time on group lessons! This is the way to go!
Stephanie Carson, Asheville
I found Heather after 5 difficult years with my extremely intelligent and troubled dog, when I was determined and heartbroken to give him up. Heather has excellent communication skills both with dogs AND people, she has given me invaluable resources, like links to lectures by academics in the field. Most importantly, she takes the time to make sure I understand how to implement new exercises.
Alsace Young-Walentine, Asheville
My husband and I have operated a pet hotel and doggie daycare and been involved in animal rescue for the last 8 years. I called upon Heather to help us with the most difficult foster we have ever had. We were at a loss with what to do for Juniper to give her a good quality of life and perhaps one day find her a forever home. Heather agreed to come out and see us in Marion and did such a thorough job of getting Juniper’s history and assessing her in various circumstances. Thanks to Heather we are able to manage Juniper’s aggression and work on her issues. Heather gave us a plan to carry out to help Juniper improve. Juniper has improved and continues to live with us. We are hopeful one day to find the perfect home for her. What makes Heather so special and different from other trainers is the depth she goes to in assessing a dog. She understands dog psychology and biology and combines that knowledge to form a plan. We highly recommend Heather.
Susan Menard, Marion NC
This is day 25 since I became the proud but naive owner of Chloe, a nine month old terrier mix that had been rescued only a month before from an outdoor puppy mill. I didn’t know what I was in for never having heard of “scared dog syndrome” Chloe was scared of every sound and movement. I wasn’t even able to make eye contact without a quick retreat deep into her crate, much less touch her. Constantly talking and maneuvering around her was slowly bringing her out but I knew I needed professional guidance in order to move forward. Heather Polechio was recommended by brother wolf so I gave her a call. My requests were to incorporate Chloe into the house hold and to know when I can reach out and touch her. At this point we had only been making eye contact for about 5 days. I almost had to cancel my appointment, upon arrival of my first guest Chloe ran under the bed and stayed for 30 hours, she came out on her own just in time only to run under the couch as soon as Heather arrived. I was having my doubts about the situation, however Heather took and shared plenty of information, accessed our living quarters, made some rearrangement suggestions in order to give Chloe ” safe places” throughout the house without isolating her. We then got her out from under the couch, I held her for almost the 1st time until long after her hart stopped pounding. Several hours after Heather left and Chloe adjusted to the rearrangements I was stunned when she bounced upstairs, approached me and wanted to interact, but as usual it was two steps forward and one step back so downstairs she went needing that comfort zone. Staying on course with tricks and treats today Chloe came upstairs unexpectedly to join me on the couch and even licked my fingers, I am thrilled. I suspect tomorrow she may regress a little as has been the pattern but I no longer have my doubts. Thank you Heather!
ps. Day 28 her tail went up and she started to play…
Leah Black, Asheville
Heather is awesome! She helped my family and our dog Goblin with leash manners and reactivity, and went way above and beyond the call of duty by giving me a phone consult when I called her in a panic for help with an incredibly fearful feral dog that found his way to my home. She is incredibly thorough in her initial consult and assessment. Her positive reinforcement methods not only modify behavior but change the dog’s state of mind to be more receptive to and actually enjoy training. I particularly appreciate her down-toearth approach and ability to adapt to each family and pet’s unique circumstances. Her advice is always practical and most importantly “do-able.” Heather is excellent at communicating and is great at explaining not just what to do but why to do it. She gave us all the tools we needed to understand Goblin better and to apply training techniques on our own. Thanks to Heather we have a calmer, well mannered, happy pup!
Ann Bean, Asheville
I am so grateful to have found Heather. From the initial consultation all the way through both private and group sessions, it was clear that I made the perfect choice. My golden retriever puppy was six months old at the time and was going through a wild and mischievous streak. Hap presented every challenge possible, from extreme excitability to short attention span. Heather approached our situation professionally and patiently, and designed a personalized training plan that worked successfully. The results were incredible! Thanks to Heather, Hap is now calm, attentive, mindful, and loyal. Heather has been such a valuable resource. She is passionate about what she does and makes the training environment fun for both dog and owner. Hap and I benefitted from our time with Heather in so many ways… I am able to trust my dog in any situation and we can enjoy each other’s companionship wholly. I think what I treasure most about the experience with Heather is the education I received. I now understand my dog’s behavior fully and will build off of that knowledge for a lifetime. Thank you, Heather!