Any Breed, Any Age, Positive Dog Training
Bowen aka BOLT 4 month old GSD
After dropping Bowen, at the time a 4-month-old white GSD, off at the Lever's K9 Obedience Training we joked on the way home about how they would be calling us shortly to have to come get him for being a lost cause! From the moment I brought Bowen home from the breeder he was extremely fearful of strangers, constantly barking and howling as well as running away form anyone who approached him. I began to worry about this trait seeing as he was so young and I was frequently told that it was not a modifiable behavior due to its inherent nature. Despite attempts to socialize him things seemed to only get worse because as he grew larger strangers were even more apprehensive to approach hm. In addition to constant barking he was impossible to settle down. He was hyper almost at all times and the only way he would interact with me was via jumping and mouthing relentlessly. This became more and more frustrating because the biting started to become painful and the jumping resulted in lots of scratches from his nails. Most importantly, I found it difficult to bond with him, as it was impossible to even pet him. I looked into many different K9 boot camps but after speaking with Jenny I knew that the Lever's would be his best shot at modifying these behaviors. I wanted someone that was familiar with GSD's and loved the idea that Bowen would be brought into their home rather than stuck in a crated during all but training sessions. My expectations were exceeded when I went to pick him up. He seemed like a new dog!!!He does not jump up or bite hardly at all anymore. Most importantly, Thomas gave us the tools we needed to combat these behaviors when Bowen has the occasional slip up. He is much better behaved all around and I have been able to bond with him, as I no longer worry about losing a finger when petting and interaction with him! The time necessary to be spent on skills upkeep is very reasonable and not difficult to maintain on any schedule. I could not have asked for a family to be more loving towards Bowen during his stay and I know that he was just spoiled with attention. Photos and videos of him during training and relaxing with the family were uploaded regularly and it was such a relief to see them knowing that he was having a blast. I also greatly appreciate the lifetime promise of advice from the Lever's to continue to help with anything that may arise in the future with Bowen. I highly recommend them and am very satisfied with their program!!!
After sending our dog, Pepper, to Levers for their On Leash training program, I feel very confident in recommending their training services. It can be a difficult decision to leave your dog with someone for two weeks, but Thomas and his family made us feel at ease and developed a special bond with our dog. Pepper has shown great improvement with her obedience training, as well as with her separation and environmental anxiety and lack of confidence. Since picking up Pepper, Thomas has consistently followed up with us to check on Pepper's progress and is always available to answer questions as they come up. We greatly appreciate everything Levers has done and continues to do for Pepper and our family.
DAKOTA the amazing Aussie
Our 6 month old Australian shepherd Dakota is full of life and has a mind of her own. Typical of Aussies, she is smart and has high energy, loving to jump and nip A LOT! Before we got her, my husband and I talked at length about wanting a well-behaved dog that could travel with us as empty nesters and be an integral part of our extended family. Our son Matt summed it up for us: We wanted a mid-sized dog with a big dog personality. We were well aware of the good work Thomas and his family had done with our best friends’ golden retrievers (a brother and sister), so we knew where to go if we needed the help. In short order, we realized we REALLY needed help! On a scale of 1 to 10 for stubbornness, Thomas said Dakota was an 8. We took her to the Levers after Christmas and they worked with her for two weeks. There was no doubt Thomas spent a lot of time with Dakota. He was great to send us videos of her training or post them on YouTube. They also said we could visit anytime, which I did after the first week. When it was time to bring her home, Thomas spent a lot of time with us, reinforcing the proper way to correct her and how being consistent is the key to success. Since Dakota has been home, Thomas has reached out many times to see how things are going and offering his assistance if needed. Jenny, Savannah, and Tommy were also involved in her training. It was great knowing Dakota was getting so much attention and love. Truly, we couldn’t have asked for more. We are extremely pleased with the results. Dakota knows these commands: sit, down, place, kennel, watch, heel, off, release and her favorite “you’re free.” Our favorite is “kisses” which she does sparingly (proving she can still be an 8 on the stubbornness scale). In summary, I highly recommend Levers K9 Obedience to anyone who is considering canine training. It has helped us tremendously. Jennifer Madaris
Jan 2014 Sasha, sweet young female GSD
Lever Family, We can’t thank you enough for the excellent training and loving care our Sasha got while she was with you. She came home happy and pleasant. She’s a sweet dog, willing to please but we didn’t have the tools to get her to respond to us appropriately. After coming home to us, she was more content and less restless. She needed the discipline and the results are evident. I was especially appreciative of how you were willing to take her last minute and right after Christmas. We were in a bind and were also not sure we could be without her for 2 weeks. The timing was great and a true blessing for our situation. While I did my research for a trainer for her, my greatest concern was she would lose her sweet disposition with inappropriate training. After watching your videos and reading about your philosophy towards training, I liked what I saw online and then spoke with Jenny who was so willing to listen and address my concerns. I felt like it was too good to be true. You were exactly the kind of and KIND trainer I wanted for her. When I brought Sasha to you, I felt confident that she was in good hands. You gave her time to adjust and I could tell your home was warm and friendly and she would be well cared for. Even though being away from her was tough, because you kept us informed and provided videos it made it fun to see her happy and doing so well. When we came to pick her up, you and your family were so gracious to take the time to show us her progress and teach us how to train her, as well. The good news is she is still doing what she learned and is so enjoyable to be with. I took her on a walk the day after picking her up and I couldn’t believe the difference. No pulling and she was listening and heeling. We had so much fun! I have already recommended you to another friend and will continue to be a big fan! Anyone who is interested but hesitant, please have them call me. I will rave about what you did for us and Sasha. It was so nice to meet you and the kids, thanks for everything! David and Becky Peed
LEVERS K9 OBEDIENCE
Elka female GSD 4 months old
1-4-15 Dear Thomas, It’s hard to put into words how much we appreciate all your hard work, dedication and most of all the love that was obviously spent with her. We are thoroughly pleased! I was raised with German shepherds and have been around them my whole life. When I met my husband the same was with him so it was a given that this would be our preference in dogs. My husband is a natural "alpha" male and the dogs respond to him as such.. me being the mother.. well let’s just say I tend to let them get away with more than maybe I should! In years past this has not been a problem, but I find that the older I am getting it is so important that I have the control to handle a puppy and into adulthood. Leaving Elka was a big decision, but after a lot of thought and much consideration we felt it best to go ahead and leave her the full month so that you could have her completely to yourself with no interruptions. Living almost 3 1/2 hours away, it was so comforting to be able to be in contact with you and see the videos and pictures! It was truly amazing the difference from day to day. Letting us come and visit on the weekends as we could get away was also great and we appreciate you letting us come into your home to do so... Your children are amazing! They honestly share your love and compassion for dogs and I see one day them following in your footsteps. You should not only be flattered but honored! In closing, we would like to again thank you for everything you have done to make our puppy such a joy to have. Thank you for giving me the confidence to be able to take her places and know she will be well behaved and enjoyed by everyone! May God continue to richly bless you and your family, and enable you to keep making such a difference in people’s lives! Sincerely, Suzanne & John Rigsby
Nahla 3.5 month old female GSD
Hey Thomas, My family and I want to thank you for the wonderful job you did with Nahla. We’ve had her back home for a week, and the difference is amazing! She is so responsive and eager to practice all that she has learned. The kids (12, 7, and 4) even work with her and she listens to them as well! I thought I would give some feedback on several areas that were a big deal to us and may help you and your future clients. A little backstory: (I know you have heard this before, but in case the details get fuzzy in the future, I’ll give a little backstory about Nahla.) Nahla was one of 2 German Shepherd puppies born from a litter of my parents’ dog. The other 4 puppies were stillborn. This obviously made Nahla and her sister extremely special to us. When we learned that we were getting Nahla, my dad, who lives in Georgia, and I started searching for the best trainer we could find for the puppies. I mainly looked in North Carolina, and my dad searched throughout northeast Georgia, including all of Atlanta. Between the two of us, we probably spoke with a dozen or 2 trainers. Once I met with you and your family, my search was over. Below are some of the experiences we had since we started the process: * 2 week in house training: I think the biggest hurdle in making the decision to send Nahla to you for training was the fact that she would be away for 2 weeks (which turned into a month with the off-lead training). We were certainly apprehensive about leaving her for so long. What helped us make the leap of faith was coming to visit with you and your family during our ‘interview’ process. I was very impressed and relieved that she would be living with you and your family in the house and around your kids. Once we made the decision and dropped her off with you, your communication really helped, which leads me to my next point. *Picture and video updates: It was so exciting to receive the pictures and videos of her in her training. We could see her progress, but more importantly, we could see that she was happy with you. Now that the training is over, we also have those videos to use as guides and reference to help us continue the progress. * Extra commands that were helpful for our kids: We really appreciated your teaching Nahla ‘Calm’ and ‘Into My Arms’. It really helps the kids, especially the younger ones, to engage with her and let them see that she will be easy with them. Since Nahla is still a puppy, and a big puppy at that, it’s good to have a few commands to help her show her gentle side with our little children. * The Pickup Consultation: When we picked Nahla up from you, we were very impressed with how much time you took to help us learn what you have taught her. We really felt you would have let us stay all day if we wanted to! I think it was during that time when we truly understood how much you care about Nahla and that the training is much more than a job to you. Don’t get me wrong, we knew you were doing an awesome job with her from the beginning, but your patience with all our questions and repetition showed how much you wanted us to understand what we were doing with her. * The Follow Up: I shouldn’t be surprised, but it was a pleasant surprise to hear from you in the days that followed our taking Nahla home. It’s obvious that you had already done your job and would be justified in moving on to the next project, but you still took the time to make sure she was adjusting well. This may be natural for you, but it means the world to us since Nahla is such an important part of our family. I’ll wrap this up with another thank you for the time that you invested in Nahla. You showed us how to have an obedient dog that is still a puppy, and not a robot. She loves to play and work on what you have taught her and we will reap the rewards for the rest of her life. I can’t think of a better way to start her relationship with our family. We have a much better understanding of how she works, what drives her, and how we can bring out the best in who she is. God Bless! Byron Dunn VAR/OEM/International Account Manager
Obedience Training/Solving Problem Behaviors and Pet Sitting
Thomas Lever LEVERS K9 OBEDIENCE 3209 Bow Hunter Trail Matthews NC 28104 Dear Tom, This letter has been long due to you for the excellent work you did with Bailey our German Shepherd puppy. I was under the Impression that I could easily work with Bailey as she tries so hard to please by my wife convinced me that I should find a professional trainer and boy am I glad I did. Bailey was a typical puppy when I brought her to you and she is a completely transformed dog when I picked her up. She really knows her commands well and she listens to me so much better now after her training with you. I loved the family approach to training that you used- Jenny, Savannah and Tommy thank you so much for working with Bailey. She listens to my wife and daughter and she is so good with her commands it is very helpful. Savannah- thank you for all the updates and pictures that you did. The kids loved it and it kept us informed of how Bailey was doing with her training. We have received a lot of compliments on how well Bailey behaves and that is all due to the work you did with her. I also appreciate how you kept in touch with me months after the training- the little tips were very helpful. Overall our confidence in handling Bailey has gone up so much since you worked with her. Thank you again for helping make Bailey the awesome companion that she is becoming!!! The Varghese Family
We have a 14 month old German Shepherd named Max who is a fantastic and beautiful dog. He is a smart dog and is excellent around us and our friends. We reached out to Levers K9 Training to help us with some areas where Max was not so comfortable with which were his shyness n public situations with lots of people, on leash pulling and with other dogs. Thomas took Max in like one of his own and made him feel very comfortable. When entering the Lever household I experienced and great vibe and knew I had chosen the right place for Max. Throughout Max's training Thomas gave us updated on his progression and the different scenarios he was taking Mas through. When we picked up Max it was impressive to see how much Max had learnt to listen to Thomas and his family and how much he enjoyed their company. The results from the training were Great. Max no longer pulls on the leash and Thomas gave us tips on how to be more in control as alpha. He flooded us with knowledge about handling GSD's that we had no idea about. Max's demeanor around other dogs has improved as well as his reluctance to be approached or petted. More important than immediate results were the skills Thomas taught us for the future to continue to help Max be more social and less shy. We would definitely recommend Lever K9 Obedience training to anyone looking for Professional, Top Quality training. Chelsea and Dale Handley
In the front training field
_From: Karen DeVries
Date: Mon, Ju121, 2014 12:13 pm July 20,2014 We got our German shepherd female puppy, Maddie, in January of this year when she was 8 weeks old. We also have a 12 year old Lab
and a cat so we knew we would need some help in training a German shepherd puppy to adapt to our home. In April we sent her to
Lever Kg Obedience training for two weeks of basic training i.e., sit, down, place, get back from front door, etc. Immediately upon
dropping her off we could see she would be well cared for by the whole Lever family. The Lever children were involved which was
wonderful as we also have children and wanted Maddie to be comfortable around our children as well as our children's friends. When we
picked Maddie up after the two weeks, Tom went over all she had been taught as well as how to continue with the training at home.
Maddie did great once we got home! It was amazing how much she had learned and how calm she had become in the house. Earlier this month we sent Maddie back for two weeks of off leash training. Maddie enjoys running on the nearby bike trails but at
times had issues with barking at bikers and other dogs we passed. As he did with the training in April, Tom sent us videos and pictures of Maddie so that we were able to see the progress she was making. When we. picked her up Tom spent almost 2112 hours
going over all the training and commands she had mastered. Maddie now knows to get to the side of the trail as soon as someone
approaches and waits patiently for us to give the ok to go ahead. She now comes to us immediately in our yard when called and is just really well-behaved. We have continued the off leash commands and work with her daily. She is really coming along. . Lever Kg Obedience is somewhere Maddie has grown to love. We will definitely board her there when we travel if we are unable to
take her because we know it to be a clean, safe place where Maddie feels at home with the Lever family. They are a wealth of
knowledge about dog behavior and habits and we have received lots of tips on how to handle issues with our dogs. They obviously
love dogs! Thank you to the entire Lever family for your training and care of Maddie!! Sincerely, Dan & Karen DeVries and family Sent from my iPhone
To: Thomas and Jenny Lever
Re: Levers K-9 Obedience
From: Kim Prestis
Dear Thomas and Jenny
We are so thankful we chose your service to send our German Shepard to. Sasha is only 5 ½ months old, but has a very determined attitude. Before you worked with her, she was jumping on furniture, jumping up on the counters, and helping herself to our dinner! We also live on a street with a lot of children and she would bark at them uncontrollably. Since she has returned from your two weeks of care and training, she has already become a different puppy. Her bad habits have been corrected and we now have the ability to give her commands and know that she will obey them, even without a treat. She is still very determined, but now we have good ways to get control of her.
When we decided to send Sasha to training, we were obviously concerned about her safety and treatment. Our investment in Sasha was significant and we needed to know the training would be worth it. The way that you sent us pictures and video, almost on a daily basis, removed those concerns very early on. When we opened the first video we could tell that she was being treated with proper care and love. We were almost concerned she would not want to come home!
Our son travels regularly for hockey, so we also needed to find a place to board her when we were gone. Knowing how you handled her and her training, made boarding with you a very easy decision. We know when we leave her she will be properly cared for and will be even more disciplined on return.
When we decided to get a dog, we knew it would take a lot of care and training, but sending her to you made the training part just that much easier. The big box stores offer some training, and we tried this path, but in the end, every dog is different and training 10 dogs at the same time is impossible. Your one on one time with her, and family atmosphere, is exactly what Sasha needed. If anyone asks me where to take a dog that needs care, love, and training I know where to send them! The Lever’s (family J) K-9 Obedience. Thank you so much for making Sasha a wonderful dog and pet.
Sincerely, The Prestis Family
Hey Lever Family,
Just wanted to let you know that Sailor&Finn are doing great! Definitely a 150%
improvement!! They both are a pleasure to walk with now and they
are so obedient going in and out doors and their crates! A "huge" improvement
and Mr. Rick and I are catching on pretty good also! I've learned that
Sailor walks especially good when I have a treat in my hand or pocket and we are
ready to start bringing them around people and other dogs now
that we are more confident handling the both of them!
We can't thank you "all" enough for the wonderful job you did and for all of the
love you shared with Sailor&Finn and how you welcomed them into
your home. Savannah and Tommy were awesome and it was such a rewarding
experience for all! You all made training "fun" while teaching them
such great foundations to be well behaved dogs!
With much love,
Lever's K9 Obedience Training, Sept 16th 12
I am writing to say thank you for training Greta. After I saw you working with the other German Shepherd dogs at Beatty park, I knew you would be great for Greta. Where before she barked and threatened every dog she saw, she now can sit in the yard and ignore any passing dog. On walks, she will regard other dogs and just keep walking. We have tried "immersion therapy" by having her sit outside the neighborhood dogs fence while their 2 dogs are barking like crazy. Greta just sits calmly looking up at us for what to do next.
Also, by using the come command, she plays fetch with the kids rather than taking the ball and making us chase her. When we need to leave the house, I simply open the door and with the come command, Greta comes no matter where she is in the yard. We can make her lay down on the sidewalk while we walk away and she stays until we release her. Our neighbors are amazed as they knew Greta before and after.
We are so happy with her changes after training. She is much calmer and now sees us as Alpha all the time. We will also tell our friends about your dog boarding. Greta loves the boys!
Drs Will and Susan Lester
January 22, 2011
To whom it may concern:
My son purchased Max, our beautiful German Shepherd, as a puppy in April, 2010, from Thomas and Jenny Lever of B'Lever's German Shepherds.Max was a bundle of boundless energy with a short puppy attention span who loved to run and play, but as he got older, was not so fond of obeying commands. We contacted the Levers about the problems we were having with Max and Thomas suggested that we send him back to them for a two week course in basic obedience training. We were so lucky to have purchased a puppy from a breeder whose advise and help did not end when we paid for our puppy and drove away. We took Max back to the Levers this past December. When we went to pick him up, Thomas spent the whole afternoon working with both Scott and Max together to make sure they both understood what was expected of each other. It was a wonderful learning experience for all.When Max returned home he was a changed dog. A joy to be around, still full of playfulness, but now so obedient! I would highly recommend that anyone looking for a German Shepherd contact the Levers before any other kennel. Not only will they get a beautiful, exceptionally well bred dog from working stock, but one that has a breeder behind him whose interest in him continues throughout his lifetime. The Levers also train and board and we would not hesitate for a moment in sending Max back for some advanced training if we so desire later on, or if for some reason it became necessary for us to board him, because we know he will be well taken care of and happy there. Sincerely,Diane Chester
August 22, 2010
To whom it may concern:
I have used Leaver German Shepherds for everything from purchasing, to boarding, and even training.
When I visited the Levers in February of 2010, I didn’t know what to
expect, but was pleasantly surprised. I was given time to visit with
each of the pups in a clean and sterile environment while Thomas
educated me on exactly what I would be getting myself into. I felt
not only educated by the end of our first meeting, but confident
that if I bought from the Levers our contact would not end when
I drove away with my puppy. During the time that I was waiting
for Apache Star to turn eight weeks, Thomas and Jenny kept me
updated via email with pictures and comments about how she was
doing, her veterinarian visits, and what I could expect from her
personality as she got older.
Because of this, whenever I go out of town, I use their boarding
services. When she’s with them, I’m never concerned as to her
well-being, because I know she’s in excellent hands. Thomas also
trained Apache Star. I must admit the puppy I dropped off and
the one I picked up were entirely two different animals. Where it
was a task to just walk Apache Star, it became a pleasure. Where
she wouldn’t come when I called, now all I have to do is whisper
her name and she comes running. Thomas did an outstanding job!!
The Levers are exceptional people, educated in all things German
Shepherd. If I or any of my family members or friends were ever
in the market for a puppy, the Levers are the only breeders we’ll
Cathy D. Colebrooke
Where to even begin, from the first visit to Thomas's website to the welcoming of my new pup Sabel to the family it has been an absolute pleasure working with this family. When I decided to get a GSD as a companion dog it was clear from my first visit with the Lever's that the temperament and bloodlines of their dogs were the best fit for me and far superior to the other local breeders which were few in number. It was very apparent the love they had for these dogs and just knew I was making the right choice. Sabel is approaching 10 months now and with the continued help of the Levers she is developing into a great companion dog who is very eager to work and please. I can't thank Thomas enough for the time he put into training and loving Sabel but can stress that as an owner you will not find a better family to work with. It goes without saying that their focus is the dogs first but also their willingness to teach me along the way is above and beyond what I have received from other breeder/trainers. One of the greatest aspects of working with the Levers is that they continue to want to be apart of all their dogs lives long after the pickup date and love having Sabel back for training or boarding visits which makes me feel at ease that she is in great hands. I have never enjoyed such great service and look forward to keeping Sabel apart of their lives as she continues to grow into the perfect companion.
God Bless & keep breeding wonderful companions,
Brandon & Sabel
Lever GSD are next to none! This truly is one of the best
decisions we have ever made and we could not be happier
with our Lever GSD. He is now top of his class in obedience training; he adopts extremely well and lives just to please.
This is truly one of the most balanced, intelligent and well grounded GSD we have ever seen. He truly is a member of
our family and a joy to take anywhere; he is always the
center of attention and he loves it. This demonstrates the
quality of Lever GSD. I would not hesitate for even an
instant in highly recommending Lever GSD, they are truly
Top of the line, grounded, intelligent and solid dogs.
Ricardo & Claudia – Charlotte NC
Dear Thomas and Jenny,
I could not have asked for a better family to give my GSD its great
start in life.
I would just like to thank your family for Crystal. She has enhanced
our lives so much. Now that she is coming out of her puppy stage
I can really see the loyal dog she has become. She is so good and
just wants to please! Thank you all so much for the amazing blessing
you provided us with (although I know it was God who led me to your family). God Bless,
Chris, Tracy, Amanda, Jennifer and Matthew Dickey
Ali...hmmm...she's an amazing sweet dog all around. Everyday my
husband and I talk about how happy we are to have her and how
great she is =) It's hard for me to rate her, but off the top of my
sleepy head I'd say she's a 9 for smarts and a 9 for drive (except
on really hot days =). I really can't name a big challenge with her.
As long as she get's good exercise, food and love she's happy and
wants to please us. It's really a big deal to us that she loves our
boy Carter so much. She's awesome and we don't have anything
bad to say about her. We think your family is awesome and are the
kind of people who should be raising animals. Ali has awesome
genetics, but her life with you all is a big part of why she is so secure
and stable. From our short meeting we really came to think alot of
you guys- and these days that just can't be said enough.
We'll keep in touch and send more pic's! And we plan on doing
business with you again someday.
Blessings to you all!