First Choice Canine Reviews:
Here's what dog owners say about our trainers in Northern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire.
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"Backstory: I adopted my 3-year old lab/beagle mix a year ago, and quickly learned she has a serious case of fear aggression around large dogs and any strangers.  She barks, growls, and is generally a frightened and aggressive mess around anyone and anything she doesn't know - which is clearly a problem living in Boston.  

Fast forward a year: 3 dog trainers later, I was about ready to give up and accept this is how she will always be.  Contacting First Choice Canine was my last ditch effort.  Upon my consultation, Khaled immediately had a plan to attack the problem - which involved a solid foundation in obedience and then layering in behavior modification.  We are not even halfway through our training and I already see marked improvements in her obedience and overall confidence.  I've learned that it's not all about the dog - a lot of the training is for the owner! I'm excited to see how far she will come with continued training, and I have a renewed confidence that with the right trainer, you can make a difference! I highly recommend Khaled & First Choice Canine.  I'll be back with a follow-up once our training is complete."

—Jenna D.
Boston, MA

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After seeing three dog trainers for her lab/beagle mix's behavior and obedience issues, Jenna and her dog got great results from First Choice Canine's dog training classes.

Shown here: a big Rottweiler from Martha

Baus is a massive Rottweiler from Martha's Vineyard, but as you can see, he's no bully! Baus received off-leash obedience training by First Choice Canine in 2012.

"First Choice Canine is an unbelievable asset to the northeast. I have two show/working Rottweilers. Before finding Khaled and his team I was shipping my dogs all over the country for training. Khaled was referred to me by a close friend when I met his dogs and saw the caliber and reliability of their training. Since then I have worked with Khaled on a number of occasions and a number of subjects. We have worked on high level off leash obedience all the way to family protection work.

I would not hesitate to recommend Khaled and his team to anyone. My dogs are family and I trust Khaled to handle my dogs without any reservations.

If the best is what you are after then it's clear this should be your first choice."

—Brian P.
Martha's Vineyard

This is a screenshot of a Facebook review of the off-leash obedience training we gave Baus, a Rottweiler from Martha
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Brian McKernan and his family talk about dog training in Boston while Dundi patiently waits in the background

First Choice Canine's customized and systematic training brought Jessica and her Beagle amazing results when other training methods and medicated approaches weren't working.

"I have a 3 year old Beagle, Bradley, that I placed in a board and train program elsewhere when he was 5 months old and they abused and lost him. After thousands of dollars in medical bills and a lawsuit, I was left with a severely fear aggressive dog. I reached out to 5 different trainers who all failed and even put my dog on Prozac; First Choice Canine was my last effort.

My favorite result from the training is that I can be comfortable with Bradley off leash. I became extremely over protective and fearful that something else bad would happen to him that I sheltered him from new experiences and made his situation worse. Now I take him in public off leash. He's never been more happy to be free and run around without a leash constricting him. We are still continuing with the training, but we as a family are much happier! I highly recommend First Choice Canine."

-Jessica S.
Wakefield, MA

Thank you for all the work you have put into Clara so far! She is like a different dog. She’s still her sweet and fun-loving self, but she’s listening to basic commands and she’s much calmer! Hooray!

-Lisa W.

Here is Lisa and her dog Amber—they came from Swampscott, MA for puppy training and off-leash obedience

Lisa is a dog lover and rescue coordinator. She lives in Swampscott, MA and took her German Shepherds to First Choice Canine for off-leash dog training.

Sarge takes a break from a dog training session at his Newton, NH home.

This handsome St. Bernard is Sarge, a dog from Newton, NH who came to us for off-leash obedience training and behavior modification.

Thank you so much for all you've done for me and my 'baby' Sarge. I had given up taking Sarge for walks anywhere due to his aggression, and we have people who won't come back to my house because he scared them. It's awesome to take him for walks now, and have people stop to admire how beautiful he is and how well-behaved! I didn't think it was possible! I also have to thank you for helping me with my 'problem child' Cooper.  Good grief! We adopted him as a 3 year old from the MSPCA. You have saved Cooper's life! He was about to be loaded into the car for a ride back to the MSPCA but you gave me hope that he could be a good dog.  He had a good temperament but so many bad behaviors. Your training has helped him become a well-behaved, loving companion, which is what we had hoped for when adopting him. Thank you so much!

-Dawn M.

The main reason for me to go for training was the dog aggression Kamden had with other dogs when I used to walk with them on leash. I couldn't control them and they were running all over the place, and that's the main reason I looked into dog training. I went to many dog training places, did puppy training with them, and even went into advanced training, and they were all based on pinch collars and using the pinch collar on a leash, and I still wasn't able to control them, especially when Kamden was with other dogs. Once I worked with Khaled I was sure that they could go off leash. The main thing with training is that I also wanted to make sure they didn't lose their personality. And it's always good to have them under control at all times, but they are part of our family and my wife and I enjoy them at home and we want them to behave like dogs.


Niranga talks about his FCC experience during an off-leash dog training session in Boston, MA

Niranga brought his German Shepherds to First Choice Canine from Salem, MA for dog training years ago and still has total control with them.

Kris Daniels confidently walks her dog Oscar off leash after training with Khaled in Haverhill, MA

Kris Daniels sought dog training in Groveland, MA after Oscar's aggression issues got out of hand. Now she can confidently walk him off-leash around other dogs.

Oscar’s aggression problem started off sort of minimal, and then it got to the point where we couldn’t take him for a walk or he’d try to lunge at other dogs, and attack the leash, and if I was in the way he’d bite me too.

I’ve tried training Oscar at different places with different trainers, and I haven’t had any luck—I would only get so far and really we just never found anything that would get to the root of the problem.

A friend of mine recommended First Choice Canine, and my first thought was, “Well, if nobody else can fix Oscar I don’t know how they’re going to be able to fix him, but we went away on vacation and (Khaled) took him for us and said I’d have a new dog, and sure enough, when we came back, he was a new dog!

This whole process has made me become more aware of him and how he behaves, and being more confident as a handler. It’s a really cool process to see because I would never have believed it. We thought he was going to end up going to a new home.

-Kris Daniels

We decided to bring Brady to obedience training because we adopted him from the MSPCA. We felt like a lot of people kinda just gave up on him because it was really tough to train him—that’s why they put him up for adoption. Training was a huge part of my lifestyle with Brady. It was a lot easier ever since he did the obedience course. I’ve been able to take him to the park off-leash and not have to worry about him. He listens really well on command. It’s huge considering I’m a real outdoors person. I like to do a lot of trail walking, I hunt and fish, and it’s good because he’ll stay right with me, I don’t have to worry about him running off.

-Matt Bates

Groveland, MA resident Matt Bates and his dog Brady received FCC

Matt and his dog Brady go for a walk off-leash near Groveland, MA after a training session.

Brian McKernan and his family talk about dog training in Boston while Dundi patiently waits in the background

Brian McKernan and his family took part in a Boston, MA dog training session and shared their thoughts about First Choice Canine's results.

I have two sons, a ten and a twelve year old, Connor and Aiden, and my two boys can walk Dundi throughout the city off-leash at any time. He follows them—he’ll move from my command to their command without a trouble whatsoever.

I’ve had a lot of dogs in my life and by far Dundi, my Belgian Malinois, is the best trained dog I’ve ever had, and
the training I received from Khaled is by far the best training I’ve ever seen in a dog in my life.

-Brian McKernan
Boston, MA

"Amazing!! I can't say enough praises about Khaled and his team in every dimension of our training!!!
I was a wreck and felt I was in over my head with a dog who outweighs me, and I was beginning to think was a dog I could not handle.
We saw this training as serious as raising a child properly. This training would be their "college". Here was hoping not to flunk :)

With a bad rap sheet of play issues with other dogs, getting kicked out of doggy daycare my two giant sized dogs with two giant size issues, and a very distraught human mom, with a serious lack of confidence, called Khaled.
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Tanya brought her dogs Maia and Zeus to First Choice Canine to give them off-leash obedience and great social skills. Their days of doggy daycare delinquency are behind them, and now Tanya can take them anywhere!

At the beginning, I was in a panic. Zeus, (my Newfoundland/Neopolitan Mastiff mix) then 130 lbs at 16 months, who I know is not bad, needed manners in how to be around other dogs. Most importantly, his human mom, needed training on how to be confident with him.

It scared me to tears how helpless I felt. Zeus is my baby, and I want to do right by him. I did not want to own a dog that is not behaved, I can't take with me everywhere, and have to wonder "what do I have to be worried about in this situation."
We opted for the 18 week on/off leash obedience. It was so worth the 1 hour trip each week for Khaled's personal training.

From a dog that played way too rough borderline aggressive, and another dog that was starting the aggression issue early, we now have two well mannered dogs that go with us on hikes in the woods, on trips to the park, outings to dog friendly stores, meeting new people, children and dogs along the way.

Everyday I take them on their walks, with a new found confidence, and the two dogs are able to stay right next to me off leash as well as on leash. Of course leashes are brought, but just knowing they have the ability to be behaved either on OR off leash is an amazing feeling!
I wouldn't change a thing about our training! Khaled delivers the results you see on his website. You won't be disappointed.

Zeus and Maia say "hello"!"

—Tanya P.
Fitchburg, MA

Brian McKernan and his family talk about dog training in Boston while Dundi patiently waits in the background

After training with First Choice Canine, Treon can take control of Rosie's behavior in situations that used to be unmanageable.

I can't thank Khaled and his team at First Choice enough for working with us and our dog Rosie. We adopted Rosie through petfinder at 4 months and as she grew (and we grew), her behavior intensified over time: a new baby, a move to the suburbs, a change in dogwalker and less social interaction with other dogs. We met with a behaviorialist that diagnosed Rosie with Seperation Anxiety and Fear Aggression. We worked with other trainers throughout her life, some with the ecollar where she didn't react well to pain where it was used inappropriately, some using only positive reinforcement (clicker) and were unsuccessful with her behavior modification. Medication was not an option we were willing to take, as the two disorders each require different medications that stimulate the other. We were scared that we couldn't do what was best for Rosie and even considered a different home may be in her best interest.

First Choice Canine knew the right balance of what Rosie needed - to help reduce the neurological issue of fear aggression and give her the confidence she was seeking.

Now that we have Rosie back in our home, I am confident she is under my control and the fear aggression is no longer an issue. We have worked with her on our own for a couple of months and our job is to not ruin what Khaled and First Choice Canine have done :) We are able to walk Rosie off-leash in situations that we have avoided in the past - near men (especially with baseball hats), around other dogs that she would normally lerched towards and even birds or squirrels. We are in control of her behavior. We have a loving part of our family back and are happy to report us as a success story. Thank you to Khaled and John. We are forever grateful for the relief and life you have given us.

—Treon D.
Boston, MA

Read more First Choice Canine reviews:

"We just completed our training at First Choice Canine and are completely satisfied with the results. Prior to meeting Khaled (dog trainer) we could not have anyone over our home because our dog Bruno would try to attack them. We tried many dog trainers, but none of them seemed to have a solution to help us with our fear aggressive dog. Not only at home, but for walks around the neighborhood or in car rides, Bruno would bark and try to go after other dogs and people. It was very stressful for all of us. I searched the web and found First Choice Canine and set up a consultation. We met Khaled and he was professional and very thorough during the consultation and discussed our training options moving forward and how getting Bruno off leash is very important as it will build his confidence. Also, he discussed leash and e-collar training and how it is instrumental in getting Bruno to the next step. Also, I might add Bruno was barking at Khaled during the consultation and Khaled was very calm and told us to take Bruno off leash while we were in the training room. We took Bruno off leash and Khaled in just a few minutes was able to get Bruno to approach him without barking and showing his teeth. That was when we knew we found a dog trainer that understands dogs, especially fear aggressive behavior. Prior to this we had dog trainers at our home and they could not approach Bruno so we were at a dead end. As a result, we proceeded with the First Choice Canine training and met once a week with Khaled. The training started with leash training where we built the foundation of obedience to only e-collar training (no leash) - all this training was done inside in the training room. Towards the end of the training we moved the training to a dog park and other congested areas where Bruno was off leash and responded to our training commands. Also, dogs and people would approach Bruno during our walks around the park and Bruno did not show any fear aggression. As a result, we are now able to have people over our home and go on walks with Bruno with a leash and without a leash and we do not need to worry about Bruno showing any fear aggression. Bruno is so confident now and the leash and e-collar training showed very positive results. I highly recommend Khaled's training and I am considering going back to him for advanced dog training on various dog tricks/agility training."

—Ralph D.
Middleton, MA

"After finishing the training with my dog, Pablo, I feel as if I finally have the perfect dog. Khaled, and his team did an amazing job training my 10 month old Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Pablo, was a great dog, but had a hard time listening to commands, and ran around the house tearing up everything he found. We had tried a couple of different trainers in the past, and didnt really get the results we expected. When we got married in September, we put Pablo into training with First Choice Canine. He spent a month working with Khaled and his team. My wife was upset leaving him for a month, But her concerns went away when me met the team, and the trainer , Chris , who Pablo would be staying with during his stay. While away we received updates. and photos of Pablo, and he looked happy in every one of them. We weren't sure what to expect when we picked up Pablo, but were amazed at the results. Not only was he able to listen commands, he was incredibly focused and enjoyed training. When we got home, he was like a different dog. He was well behaved and needed little correction from us. Khaled was great with the follow up training, in which we had to learn proper behavior and training techniques. I would highly recommend First Choice for the results, personal attention and care they put into what they do."

—Stephen D.
Medford, MA

"Khaled and Ashleigh are great. I brought my dog to his class because she had nipped a couple of people and had general walking issues - trying to lead etc. We started with me going to all the training classes for about 6 weeks and then due to my schedule switched to broad and train. My dog now walks beside me with no leash and stays beside me. She sit or lay down and stay there until I give the magic command at which point she runs right to my side. It was really a great transformation and I feel much more comfortable about taking my dog for nice long walks.

As someone else mentioned, they do use e-collars. But it's not in a traditional sense of just punishing the dog, it's a slow process of associating not paying attention to the owner with the collar and praise plays JUST as much of a factor in their training method. (And what I found is my dog is now responsive to just the vibrate setting on the collar.)

The negative review here is someone who stopped at the consultation level. That doesn't seem fair. I went through the entire process with Khaled and could not be happier with the results. Remarkable.

—Zak B.
Brookline, MA

"After two previous trainers we were at wits end with our 2 year old Boxer. We are home number 3 for this guy who came to us with practically no socialization skills; he was very fear aggressive with other dogs. Taking this dog for a walk was a project. We have two other dogs, one is a 10 year old Boxer so we thought we had this under control. I wasn't sure about the ecollar at first, but Khaled explained the concept and suggested we read up on it.Thank goodness we found First Choice. Here we are about two months later: no more bolting out the door; no more dragging me down the street; he can be walked off leash; no more jumping on people. The aggression/fear with other dogs is coming along greatly. Khaled has been there 100% for us. I would recommend First Choice training to anyone. Our Boxer (and ourselves) now live a much happier and social life."

Haverhill, MA

Contact our dog trainers in Northern MA/Southern NH.

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