Dogs as Teachers

Meet Jacob


Jacob is still only a puppy but he has shown us that he has great communication skills. He assists dogs that have anxiety issues and makes them feel at home and comfortable at our facility. He shows other dogs that both people and other dogs are nothing to fear. Jacob is the first one to walk with all of our in-house clients on their first day to reassure them. As he grows up, he will be one of our greatest assets!

Meet Ariel


Ariel is Jacob’s sister. She too assists us with other dogs, teaching them obedience and how to interact with other dogs. Her specialty is remaining focused and non-reactive with dogs that have inter-species aggression, as well as assisting her brother Jacob to make our client dogs feel at home when they come for our in house behavior modification and training programs.

Meet Cream

Cream is our 7 year old rescue pit bull. He has had a very rough start to his life. His first owner was a drug dealer who taught him to be aggressive. The drug dealer was arrested and he ended up at a local shelter. He was deemed unadoptable, and was sent to a “Sanctuary” on the West Coast. We received word that the Sanctuary was a horrific place where Cream and all of the other sanctuary residents were abused and neglected.

Cream was released from the Sanctuary and we adopted him in June 2013. He was malnourished and required intense behavior modification and rehabilitation.

Cream is our interspecies aggression specialist, his calm demeanor around other dogs and laser beam focus on his handler has helped many dogs learn to remain calm and ignore other dogs.

His behavior around both people and other dogs has garnered plenty of compliments from many clients, and we are delighted that he has become one of our canine instructors.

Introducing Junior Canine Instructor Molly!


Many of you have seen Molly on our Facebook page working with our clients. Molly is the ultimate success story, because back in March of 2015 she was a client you can view her amazing transformation in our before and after video section. Molly was extremely anxious and showed aggression to people that she didn’t know.  She also showed aggression towards other dogs & she was afraid to experience the joys in a dog’s life, something as simple as taking a walk terrified her and she would shut down within a few inches of stepping outside of her house.  Molly’s parents Lyz & Meg worked hard at following our behavior modification program and slowly but surely Molly became a happy dog. Lyz had asked if she could bring Molly by the facility occasionally so she could continue working with her while helping us with other clients. Just like with Canine Instructor Max the two of them became a fixture here at the facility. Molly now plays with canine instructors Jacob and Ariel regularly. She greets our human and canine friends happily-so much so we have affectionately nick named her “The Welcome Wagon”. Not only that, but Molly’s progress and transformation has inspired her mom Lyz to go through the Graduate Program at the American College of Applied Science where Shari & Dan went to school. Since the summer of 2016 Lyz has been interning with us helping all our clients with Molly at her side. We are so proud to have both of them as part of the Canine Case Squad Family.

In Memoriam: Hank 8/27/06-10/13/14

It is with extreme shock and sadness that we have to announce the passing of Canine Instructor, Hank.

Hank was a remarkable individual, born with a heart that was not formed correctly he was given six months to live by his vet and his cardiologist when he was just 10 weeks old. His heart grew strong, and before long he was given the green light to do whatever a normal healthy dog could do. That malformed heart was full of love for his family, his pack and everyone whose lives he touched for 8 wonderful years.

As head canine instructor CJ grew older, we trained Hank to take over her obedience clients. He also helped us with dog to dog aggression cases. He had a fabulous last day on earth giving a flawless obedience demonstration for the Monroe Animal Hospital’s grand opening of their new Wellness Center. He wowed the crowd and was showered with attention from all that were in attendance and posed for many pictures which he thoroughly enjoyed.

Shari & Dan had noticed that he was not quite himself a few days before the demo. They were not overly concerned as he was still happy and somewhat playful. Unfortunately they were given the news that he had a cancerous mass on his spleen that was quite large and ready to rupture.

Hank passed peacefully at home surrounded by his family. It was so hard to say good bye to this extremely special and loving dog just three months after losing CJ.
RIP Hank, Rainbow Bridge just gained another amazing teacher and most cherished friend.
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Meet Hank

hankMeet Hank, our newest canine instructor! Hank has an interesting story, he was born in 2006 with a heart that was not formed correctly. When he was just 8 weeks old our vet detected a very serious problem with his heart and referred us to a cardiologist. The cardiologist gave us a list of over 20 defects in his heart and told us if Hank lived to be 6 months old we would be lucky. We were told to restrict his physical activity as much as possible. We decided that we were not going to prevent him from being “normal” and stop him from rough housing with our other dogs. Low and behold, his heart grew stronger. We had the cardiologist check him on a yearly basis and when he was three years old, the cardiologist could not believe this was the same puppy, and told us there was no reason he could not do what any other physically healthy dog could do. So when CJ our 10 year old “head canine instructor” needed to lighten her client load as she gets older, we started to train Hank to start taking on some of her clients.

He started working with us in March 2013 and has received rave reviews from his clients! Look for Hank to be joining us at the many events and seminars that we do on a regular basis.


In Memoriam: CJ 2/8/03-7/10/14

It is with a heavy heart that we must announce that CJ, our head canine instructor crossed Rainbow Bridge on July 10th surrounded by her family.

Since Canine Case Squad began, CJ assisted us in so many capacities, be it teaching obedience to our clients and their dogs, helping other dogs conquer their fear of climbing steps, getting into a car, or even swimming.  She helped many aggressive dogs learn to ignore other dogs instead of attacking them.  She helped our human clients that were bitten or attacked by large breed dogs overcome their fears feeling comfortable with her sweet, gentle nature.  She did lectures and demonstrations ranging from patrol work to kindergarten classes; she touched the lives of so many.

At home she was always alert, and bright eyed & active, she would rally our pack for walks, play sessions and always called the pack into the kitchen for feeding time. She leaves behind a long, rich legacy and her loss will be felt for a long time to come.

Now Hank and Cream will continue her tradition of helping our clients and their dogs.

CJ, We love you, and miss you.  You will never be forgotten.


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Meet CJ

If you look through our client photo section you might wonder who the German Shepherd is that appears in a lot of the pictures. Meet CJ.

Dogs can communicate with one another in ways we humans could never imagine. We have found over the years that dogs can help other dogs relax, overcome fears and become social.

CJ has helped countless dogs conquer their fears. She’s taught them to go up and down stairs, jump in and out of cars. She has helped many of our clients with their fears of grooming tools, and children.

One of her most crowning achievements is how she helped our clients and their dogs with dog to dog aggression. We have used CJ to help dog aggressive dogs relax and become able to walk right next to her without any issues.

We used her for our obedience programs so that our client dogs learn how to do commands by watching her execute them perfectly. She was also used as a distraction, exposing our client dogs to being around other dogs on a regular basis while still listening to their owners even while she is running past them or chasing an object while the client dog is in a stay command.


In Memoriam: Max 7/1/07-4/10/19:

It is with a very heavy heart that we must announce that yet another one of our beloved Canine Instructors has crossed Rainbow Bridge. Canine Instructor Max was the first shelter dog that Shari had worked with when Canine Case Squad was incorporated back in 2007.
Max was a 10 month old pup who was surrendered by his family to the shelter. The shelter had asked Shari to work with him because he was exhibited aggression and stress.
Shari helped Max, getting him to the point where he was cleared to walk with volunteers and his Mom Cindy was a frequent volunteer who walked Max regularly. She had decided to foster him and eventually Cindy and her wife Jackie adopted Max in the spring of 2008.

He thrived in their home and went from an unhappy, stressed and aggressive dog, into a relaxed, happy and wonderful companion. When Shari opened her facility Cindy and Max became a valuable part of the Canine Case Squad team. Max became our “Head Canine Instructor” working alongside his Mom, Cindy with our clients and teaching their dogs not to react to other dogs. Max was a daily fixture at the facility before his legs began to fail him. He spent less time working daily at the facility but would be called in when needed for special cases.

Max spent a lot of time teaching and playing with Canine Instructors Jacob and Ariel and loved when he boarded at the facility so he could spend time playing with them when Cindy and Jackie went on vacation.

During the first part of 2019 Max sadly had trouble standing up, climbing stairs and walking. His family made the very tough decision to help him cross Rainbow Bridge on April 10th.
We will always love Max and his spirit still fills our facility with the love and fun energy that he exuded with us every day. He joins Canine Instructors CJ, Hank and Matty at the Bridge helping to guide us in our quest to help our clients achieve their goals.


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Meet Max

Canine Instructor Max

We are pleased to announce the addition of Assistant Canine Instructor Max! You may have seen Max’s story in our testimonial section. He was our fist shelter success story back in 2007.

Max was a young owner surrender who was aggressive and distrusted people. It took many months for us to gain his trust. Soon we were able to teach him to trust others. His adoptive family met him in the shelter and began to spend time with him. They decided to foster him at first but ended up falling in love with him and adopting him in the summer of 2008. We originally helped his family with his transition; we always stayed in touch and became friends.

Over the years we visited with Max, and when we built our facility his owners would bring him over frequently to say hello. We then began using him to help our clients during his visits. With the loss of CJ and Hank last year, we decided that Canine Instructor Cream needed some help in educating our client’s dogs. Max has been a fixture at the facility ever since, helping with training and dog to dog aggression cases.

Call for an Appointment: (845) 651-3647 / (845) 651-DOGS

Contact Us:
Phone: (845) 651-3647 (DOGS)
Fax: (845) 508-6614

37 Grandview Place
Florida, NY 10921
By Appointment ONLY

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Before and After Videos
Frequently Asked Question
Why do dogs have separation anxiety?

Many people use the term, Separation anxiety as a catch all to describe a dog’s action given a particular situation.  There are really many types of separation anxiety and many causes for separation anxiety.  Below are just a few of them to give you an idea of the different types.   Since there are many types of separation anxiety, they cannot be treated the same.  Often books, TV shows and the internet; give ‘expert advice’ on how to treat separation anxiety, but without identifying the type and cause for the particular case, this is highly irresponsible and rarely affective.  This is also why simply placing the dog on a medication, rarely works.  The choice of what medication to use, if any, needs to be targeted to the specific type and cause of the dog’s separation anxiety, usually in conjunction with a modification program, to be truly effective.  When we have a client whose dog is suffering from this ailment, we conduct a detailed evaluation to determine the type and cause of the separation anxiety, then design a custom plan to reduce and resolve the problem.

Medical separation anxiety occurs when a dog has an ailment, often unknown to the owners, that causes an insecurity when they are left alone.  Since dogs cannot tell us how they are feeling, they speak to us through their behavior.  Unfortunately, it is not financially realistic for us to do body scans and MRI’s on our canine companions; this is often not discovered from a medical screening but can be recognized by a behavioral evaluation.

Geriatric separation anxiety occurs as a dog ages and during specific situations they become confused and react through behaviors that would be deemed separation anxiety.  Again, this is something that can be identified and treated through a behavioral consultation.

Specific triggered separation anxiety is another form.  This occurs when a dog develops an association towards a specific sight, sound or smell; that caused a traumatic reaction.  Often this manifests into other areas through something known as forward chaining and by the time the owner notices the dog suffering from separation anxiety, it has morphed far from the original issue.  This type of separation anxiety usually requires a behaviorist to evaluate the dog in order to determine the cause and develop a program to resolve the reaction.

Another big form of separation anxiety is dominance based or lack of leadership. If your dog does not feel you are the pack leader then the job of protecting the pack falls to them. Could you imagine how you would feel if you had a young child that you are responsible for and that child walked out of the house and disappeared without you knowing where they went and if they are safe or not. This is what the dog experiences every time you leave the house when they feel they are responsible for your safety. In order to stop the anxiety the dog has to know that you are in charge and not them. While living with us in our world a dog is not capable of being in charge and only can be well behaved and happy if it is clear that you are the alpha, capable of making decisions for the pack and ensuring the safety of the pack. In the wild when the alpha wolf goes out to hunt those that stay behind do not stress over his or her leaving because they are confident in their leadership and know they will return. The alphas comings and goings are never questioned it is their right to do so and canines operate with this same mentality.

This is by No means a complete list, but as you can see from just these few examples, separation anxiety is a complex disorder that cannot be handled through a ‘cookie cutter’ approach.  A dog suffering from this requires a behaviorist to conduct a scientific evaluation to determine what type of separation anxiety is occurring and why it started, so that a Proper modification program can be developed to resolve the behavior.  Often dog’s suffering from separation anxiety display severe behavior or causes substantial damage but the issue can be resolved once the type and cause is determined. We have had many cases where dogs were set to be euthanized or re-homed due to this disorder but after a few weeks of work the situation was resolved.


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