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Training Success Stories

Matt, I had an exciting tracking weekend, handling 2 dogs to their TD.  I know Beckie told you about her TD.  Peach blazed along, really committed to the corners following our singular practice the Monday before (in the pouring rain) using huge rewards of cut up grilled cheese after the corners!  She did her track of 450 yds in 5 minutes and the judge commented that “This was how it should be done.”  Another comment to me was “You came prepared.”  My hours on the treadmill and elliptical paid off since I also did the 450 yds in 5 minutes over some pretty rough field and didn’t die.  

Seti’s track was the first one of the day and was in a rolling field with short grass.  He was enthusiastic to start and headed right on out and of course he went at his steady pace.  His corners were very clean although the wind direction caused a brief problem where he overshot the second corner and I ended up standing on it, so I backed up and rescented him.  He gave me a big stink eye and marched off on the correct path never looking back.  On the final turn we were about 20 feet from the glove and he caught a cross wind coming through a break in the fence.  So after about 5 minutes of standing there air scenting and ignoring my please to “find it,” I backed up and yelled for him and he came, I rescented and he headed right to the glove, grabbing it and throwing it a bit.  The judge told me he was about to have a heart attack.  I think we all were!

So, we did our 450 yds in 27 minutes.  Seti earned his TD and this also earned him his AKC VCD1 (Versatile Companion Dog 1; Dog must have CD, TD, NAJ & NJP). Since Seti will turn 12 years of age on Feb. 28th this is a great accomplishment for him considering due to previous back injuries and now a heart condition, our training has been limited.  This now makes him AKC/UKC CH Kaleidoscope Set In Stone VCD1 RAE SHH NFP OAJ OAP THD and he has previously earned his BHCA Versatility Certificate Excellent.  Now he will move on to have fun in AKC Scent Work.

We started training with you in 2014 and the firm basics which you taught us paid off.  

On the TDX attempt, Navy sought out and found the tracklayer hiding behind her car after catching her scent off the first turn. He became agitated and upset when I tried to get him to go back to the start.  In his mind he found her and was done.  We tried to walk the track with the tracklayer but he was too upset and would not settle down, so I thought it best to not push the issue.  The judge told me that even though he had to put “Quit Working” on the reason to fail, he said if he gets lost in the woods with Alzheimer’s, send this dog to find him.  Maybe next time we will get that elusive TDX.  

Thanks for all your help and hopefully we can get a class in if it ever stops being ice and snow and rain.

Terri Ralenkotter and the Bassets 

Peach finally earned her TD title on Sunday, February 17, 2019 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.  She gave a stellar performance with Terri handling her.  The track was 450-yards long and it took all of five minutes from start to finish.  Terri had to break into a trot to keep up with her.

She started enthusiastically on Sunday, making the first turn then kind of getting hung up on the second turn, which was in a depression.  She was acting pretty wild, making a small circle of assurance and darting around.  Then she made a bigger circle of assurance and committed to her corner, pulling Terri up a hill.  I was watching from the car and every time the judges followed I felt good.  Cresting the hill, she made another turn and drug Terri along a ridge before heading down toward a road, where she downed on the glove.  When Terri picked that thing up and waved it in the air, I thought I would cry.

The judge said later that he figured the scent would pool in the second turn and was complimentary on how quickly and efficiently Peach handled it.  Said it was a pleasure to watch her work.

I give my thanks to you, Matt, for your patience and belief she could do it.  I believed she could too, just never could seem to get it together until I admitted that I was the weak link in the chain.  

So that’s it.  Celebrate another victory for Duffy’s!

Thanks again, Matt!

Beckie Russo

It’s been over a year since my dog Millie finished her training, so I’m not sure if you guys remember us. We had David. Millie was very reactive to people, other dogs, kids and on top of that I was pregnant so we were very concerned about her ability to stay in our home once the baby arrived.

Our daughter is a year old and while I will never fully trusted Millie around her, she’s been wonderful with her.

Thank you so much. I know without you guys, we would had to give Millie up.

Sydney Miller

Casey with her dog Jax at Duffy's Aggression Seminar

My name is Casey and my 16-month-old German Shepherd, Jax, and I were invited to participate in the dog aggression seminar. Jax has had explosive dog aggression since he was about six months old. I had no idea how to control it, and it was becoming more difficult to control him as he grew.

He had spent some time at Duffy’s working on this. I can walk him into the building and know that he will not have an outburst there because he knows that it will not be tolerated by the staff. But he was still unmanageable on walks in our neighborhood.

Matt set up a time for me to bring Jax to the training center but not in the building. We did our training on the road out front. Matt told me the things that we were going to accomplish that day, and it included getting very close to another dog and handler. Matt stayed back and instructed me from afar. After a few passes, we were very close to another dog and there had been no outbursts or barking at all.

We were fortunate enough to have two others dogs and their owners that day to practice with. By that time, Matt had given me confidence in myself and my dog so that I could walk Jax near another dog and know what to look for and correct him the right way. We did it with ease.

I have since taken Jax out into our neighborhood with more confidence, and we have had some nice walks. We are not quite all the way there yet, but I now have high hopes for my sweet boy.

I couldn’t have done it without the help of Matt, Josh and David, all of whom endured the heat with me that day.

Thank you and I look forward to doing it again very soon.

Casey and Jax



I am a dog lover! Actually, I love all animals but I don’t know that you can train a cat without it calling you a few names. I have had 3 WONDERFUL Dobermans. They were wonderful simply because of their disposition but also because they were well behaved. Maybe I should say well-trained. All of my babies had their time with Matt Duffy. So did Mom.

I think the dogs got it right and sometimes Mom would mess up but I tried. I found that it was a better relationship when I was not upset because they were jumping on guest, or running away, or tearing something up. Just like a child, you teach your dog to be good because you love them and you don’t want them to get hurt. No, I did not compare a child to a dog. I compared a dog to a child. They are our family. At least in my family they are. All of my dogs were trained by Matt. All of my dogs will be trained by Matt. I have to add a disclaimer here…. “No son that does not mean we are getting another dog soon!”

I appreciate Matt’s love and respect not only for his pets but for animals as a whole. I appreciate the help he gave my family. Two and four legged.

Dawne Gee, WAVE 3 News Anchor

WAVE 3 News



I have one dog doing training at Duffy’s Dog Training. Meka was no less than 80 percent improved our first day! The first DVD is a great learning and teaching tool at home. I have four other dog “kids” that are learning from my training and the DVD. It is wonderful to see the improvements all of the kids are learning. The information on the DVD is so on target. I now walk and am not dragged down the street, all in just two days. The DVD is a tool that no one should do without.

Matthew Duffy: I can’t praise or recommend you enough!

Thank you,

Joan Webb, Meka, Kiya, Santana, Bloo and Jasmine.

This will not be a book to be placed on the shelf and left there. I forsee this to be a much-used handbook that’s peppered with dates of accomplishments both for dog and handler.


Phyllis Wilkins, Executive Director

American Red Cross Clark County Chapter



To Matt, David and Kathy:

What you have done with Plato is simply amazing! We now have a dog we can have very leisurely walks with, who comes immediately when called, that children are not afraid to pet, which friends say they’d like to have!! We are proud fur-parents due to all your work with Plato. Every time we speak with friends who have pets with behavior issues, we tell them about your program.

Our whole-hearted thanks and appreciation.

Kevin and Maria



Matthew Duffy’s Ten Natural Steps to Training the Family Dog dispels the myth that dog training can’t be fun and yield outstanding results in a timely manner. Having personally read the text and applied the training methods with two “intact” giant working dogs, I can verify that Mr. Duffy has developed a high quality approach to dog training that delivers the desired results. Mr. Duffy brings over 25 years of diverse dog training experience to the table, and he has concisely summarized his training plan into 150 pages. The beauty of the text, besides the fact it is well written, is that it is supported with high quality photographs that make the training steps easier to understand. Whether you are a novice or advanced trainer, this manual makes training success a much shorter journey.

Dr. John Parker



Dear Matt,

What a great article. I am so pleased to hear how well things are going. I bless you every day when I see what a find dog Jesse has become because of you and your methods. Thank you for all the time we had together. I am eager to see your second book.

With Love,




Daisy is doing just fine and I have been working with her with loud noises and she is doing better, and she isn’t as afraid. We will bring her back in the spring, when the weather is nice to finish her training. She is very obedient in the doctor offices, even with their service dogs.

We will see you in the spring. Have a safe and blessed holiday.

Cathy and Chrissy



Thanks for being a great trainer and a great friend! Say hello to Dave.

Love ya,

Robert and Sandy



That house is so much nicer thanks to you. Riggs enjoys being inside and even gets along with the cat. Hope all of you have a wonderful holiday season. I think of you often.




Matthew, David, and Kathy:

Thank you for all your help with Lucky and Lady this year!

Justin and Jim



Thank you for all you do to help us and Charley!

Nancy, Jim and Charley – Woof!



Matt, David and Kathy:

Thanks for all your help with Sander. He is doing well!

Tom and Ava




Words can’t express how much we appreciate your help with Trigger. He continues to improve and has become a member of our family! We couldn’t have done it without you! Do you miss your “Trigger action”?

Thanks again,

Andrea, Joe, Andrew, Ben and Trigger



Thank you for all your help with Jackson and Chloe.

Jim and Melina



Matt, Kat, Dave and Josh,

It’s been a fun year introducing Olive to the household. You guys have helped so much! Thank you for the wonderful guidance and advice.

Sarah, Shaggy and Olive


Thanks so much for giving me a better understanding of my dog and helping Zelda achieve her canine good citizen award. I feel like we have a good foundation now and will continue to train her on my own and hopefully it won’t be too long before we can come back and learn more great stuff. Tell your wonderful staff thank you as well.


Hi Matt,

You may remember keeper and I. He is the black Brussels griffon that did not like conformation judges. He was not ready for our national specialty in March but I continued working with him. This past weekend Keeper was Best of Breed at the Paducah, KY Kennel Club Show on Sunday. He is now showing again without showing aggression. I owe you lots of thanks for your help and expert advice. Thank you again.

P.S. He earned two more points at this show and now has 10 points.

Matt, David, Kat, and Josh,

Jessica and I would like to thank you all so much. Because of the wonderful work you have done with Trooper. You are helping us change the view of people about the Pitbull. Once again, thank you so very much.

Larry, Jessica and Trooper


Thank you for all you and Matt have done to restore and maintain the peace between our chubby puppies. We had the best Thanksgiving ever.

All our best,

Jen and Hank

We just want to thank everyone, especially Matt and Dave for helping out dogs pass the CGC test. You have taught us to be better handlers and we plan to continue working with them. What a difference you have made and we can’t thank you enough!!

Lester, Leah, Baily and Piper

Thanks so much for all your help and patience. You’ve made a huge difference in our lives.

We wanted to thank all of you here at Duffy’s for all your hard work and dedication. We couldn’t have done it without you!

This is a great dog training book. I have read several dog training books over the years looking for help with my dogs, but this is definitely my favorite. It is obvious that the author has a genuine love for dogs. Unlike most dog training books without personality, the conversational, witty, and pleasant writing style of this book, as well as the tidy organization of training exercises, makes it simple to quickly reference topics, as well as a book to read for pleasure. In addition to the organization of the training exercises, the pictures clearly demonstrate what the author is describing in his text. This is the first dog training book I have read that actually addressed how to handle your dog when not doing formal obedience with the 5 basic manners lessons.

Finally, after reading dozens of training books I found someone who has clearly defined manners and knows how to teach them!! Other books mention it, but never really tell you how to accomplish it. For instance, I have read in other books not to let your dog jump on guests, duh. I know that, but how? Well, this book explains it very clearly. This book really gives you practical, useful, everyday tools to teach your dog to be an enjoyable member of the family.

If you are looking for an effective, yet enjoyable, book to help you with your unruly canine, then I highly recommend Ten Natural Steps to Training the Family Dog.

– CC

Dear Matt,

Offering a simple thank you for your participation in the Louisville Kennel Club’s Responsible Dog Owner Day appears inadequate. We feel truly honored that one of America’s foremost dog trainers took time out of a busy day to give demonstrations of advanced and basic dog obedience, and to patiently answer questions.

Greater Louisville is fortunate to have Duffy’s Dog Training Center accessible to train their dogs. Our club is so lucky to have had you and your staff represent to the public responsible dog ownership. Please know how much all of us in the club appreciate your participation. If I coordinate this event next year, I hope you will be there.

All the best,

Maureen Schurr

Matt’s book on dog training is one of the best I have read. I have had the priveledge of working with Matt in his Kentucky location and love his approach to training. He understand the dog mind and works with each dog to get positive, quick results. It is an amazing thing to watch a dog go from totally misbehaving to being a wonderful member of the family. If you can’t get to his training center than I highly recommend reading his book and putting his philosophy into play with your dog. I am getting more books to give away to people who need some help with their dog training.

Cocapoo Girl

My dog had me wrapped around his “little paw”. I was afraid to discipline the dog and he knew it. I started out caging the dog and after 8 months he decided to NOT use his cage anymore and I was tired of fighting with him and he knew it. I took my dog to Matt Duffy’s obedience school for two weeks and I was trained to handle my dog.

My dog is a “pleasure” now to have around the house and he now knows I am the boss. I have NEVER spanked, hit or hurt my dog even when he was disobedient. I have USED the techniques learned at Matt Duffy’s training school and they have worked wonderfully. I would definitely recommend anyone to have their dogs trained by Matt and his staff.

Sharon A. Meredith

In Ten Natural Steps to Training the Family Dog, Matt Duffy clearly presents training techniques as well as his many insights into the understanding of dogs. Through accessible explanations and accompanying photos Duffy’s “ten natural steps” inspires confidence that the basic training of the family dog is achievable for all involved – pets and humans alike! One walks away from Duffy’s book (as well as his training classes) with enthusiasm and assurance, since he convincingly shows that an added bonus to the training is the natural bonding and enriched relationship which evolves between us and our dogs through this step by step training process.

Whether one has a family pet or a competition dog in any discipline, I consider Matt Duffy’s Ten Natural Steps to Training the Family Dog a prerequisite to a happy, healthy relationship between us and our “best friends.”

Clara Markham