Hear What Our Parents Have to Say

Arya might be your biggest fan ever.
“Arya has learned to be patient and wait for things she wants. She is much more polite and asks nicely by sitting to say please. She also has been socialized with other pups so that she understands that all pups have different personalities and boundaries. At home, that has translated to better interaction with our older, grumpy doggie. Arya also is better retrained and less impulsive than she was when she began with WDW. That has made her interactions with our kitty much better and he likes her now. It is such good fun for Arya. She is learning and being stimulated at the same time. She looks forward to her day in school so much that she waits by the door for the bus to pick her up and won’t move until it arrives. WDW Academy is the most fun your puppy will have! They play games and interact with the greatest people while learning to be patient and have good manners and get along with others. Best thing we have done for Arya (besides adopting her from a rescue)!”

Arya’s mom

For the Love of Learning

“Besides Saturday’s, Wednesday’s are my favorite day of the week! My boys Ruger and Duke, are so happy and excited to go to What Dogs Want with Stef and that makes me so happy on Wednesday’s too! She not only has taught them great things like sitting before a door is opened but they are so smart they also know what day it is and what time it is and they both wait by the door looking out the window on Wednesdays at 7:30 am waiting for her to pull up! Watching the joy and excitement they have as they run to the van also makes me so happy! I’m beyond grateful to Stef and her team for all the years of happy, well behaved dogs! Thank you!


Ruger and Duke's mom

I have never been disappointed with Stef

“Stefanie is soo great with animals and especially our bulldogs. Dogs get all day work with other dogs in unending games and lessons. We get a break and so do the dogs. Stef is so gentle and just loves dogs. For a long time. I trust her 100% . Hey the dogs are buckled in on trips to and from school. I have never been disappointed with Stef, always on time and gives her all to teach and enjoy her results.”


Ellie’s dad

A safe place for dogs to exercise their minds

“Redford benefits from the program in so many ways including productive, safe socialization with other dogs and humans. He also learns impulse control, and he is becoming more confident in general. Only one of our three dogs attends the program, but all three benefit because we continue to work on the activities at home with everyone.

Two of our favorite things about sending Redford to the program is that he is SO excited to go arrive at school (which we take as a very good sign that the program is good and fun for him) and loves the professors and activities and he is SO tired when he gets home. We also love watching the videos on Instagram and the monthly syllabus with homework so that we are able to practice the activities at home with Redford and the other two dogs.

I have told several people about What Dogs Want Academy and I describe it not only as an enrichment program for dogs, but a safe place for dogs to exercise their minds in ways that meet their instinctual needs. Each activity in the program is specifically designed to address dog behavior including problem solving, choices, body awareness, working in groups with other dogs, impulse control, and so much more. Dogs always have the choice to participate in the activities, and all activities are scaffolded starting with very easy and progressing to more challenging so that every dog experiences success!”


Redford's mom

Enrichment has made all the difference
“Our Jack Russell mix has been attending WDW twice a week since he was a pup. He’s now midlife and is just as excited to meet the bus on school days as he ever was. He’s a smart, high energy breed and the enrichment has made all the difference in terms of understanding and managing his personality and behavior at home. The program really delivers “what dogs want,” and need! We especially love the bus option and the videos of our dog and his doggo friends at work and play during the school day.”
The Dessaules Family

Melvin’s family

Creating Vigorous Students
Individualized attention as well as group activities. Watson is much more confident and problem solves at home. Gained impulse control. Learned how to play and be social. The staff is creative, positive, nurturing, consistent and appreciative of Watson’s uniqueness. I am grateful for the to and from transportation. The communication to “parents” is stellar, frequent, complete, friendly, professional and two-way. Watson comes home from his experience exhausted mentally and finds family to take a nap with. Staff challenges Watson but if he doesn’t accept the challenge then staff changes activity and revisits the challenge from a different perspective. Stefanie respects the dog parents and credits them with knowing and understanding their fur babies. Activities are not routine day after day; they are varied, have different levels of ability, rewards are positive, and frequent. Any negative behavior is immediately addressed and not tolerated. The atmosphere and activities and staff are inclusive. Easier to say what it is not: it is not school nor training; it is not unsupervised day care; it is not all about appearance and it is dog focused not society focused. WDW is a compassionate environment supported by staff that is team centered and focused on identifying and developing individual canine potential. In short, WDW is a blessing to all connected with it.

Watson’s mom

The benefits are many and Jeter is one happy dog = happy family!

“The curriculum at WDW provides Jeter with opportunities for continued physical and mental stimuli through hands-on activities in one-on-one or group settings. The program builds confidence in a positive manner and allows for healthy social development.

Jeter absolutely loves school! And watching him wait by the window for the school bus in the mornings says it all!! The program Stefanie has created encourages dogs to problem solve in a safe environment and at their own pace. The program builds self-confidence, body awareness, and social skills through hands-on learning and creative choices – ALL of which are the making for a happy healthy pup! When watching Jeter work on his activities, you can see in his eyes, facial expressions and demeanor that he is fully engaged in the activity, thinking through the many ways to solve to the puzzle, and finally when he has achieved the goal, he walks away proud and confident of his achievements. What’s also so awesome about the program is that you can continue to reinforce these same lessons at home. It’s incredible! These lessons aren’t just for the classroom, they can continue at home too. I have way too many favorites memories of WDW experiences to list here – but some that quickly come to mind are: when Jeter takes a “victory lap”at home when he realizes that he has solved the puzzle or when he helps me with chores and hides a toy for me to find … and guides me to help me find it. At school, I just love that Jeter, a german shephard/malinois mix is besties with a spunky fun loving chihuahua, the confidence he showed when he was asked to spell his name with treats – “Oh, yeah, I got this!”, target practice – Jeter loves using his nose to point, or when he and his buddy figured out how to catch the ‘rabbit’ on the lure course. Jeter is also eager to welcome the new kid, make him feel welcomed and help in teaching ‘em the ropes at school. He has a nourishing nature, perfect for being a teacher’s student helper. It’s been over two years since Jeter started school, so when asked “what do we love about WDW?” or “why do we love sending Jeter to WDW?” – Well, EVERYTHING about it!! It truly warms my heart to see Jeter so happy … and we attribute a big part of his happiness to his experiences @WDW.

WDW is a Montessori School for Dogs! At their own pace, each pup explores different activities, building confidence and development. It is a thoughtfully prepared learning environment where the teacher guides each pup into exploration, encouraging your pup to be their own best.”


Jeter’s mom

Buddy Schantz here! I am the lucky guy who gets to attend the Academy!

To start I must mention the school bus. I mean look at it! Look At It! It is sooo cool! Who wouldn’t want to hop in it, doggie dancing and twirling all the way to greet all your BDFs, Best Doggie Friends? Lots to catch up on before school starts.

And then the fun begins. Learning something new. Practicing something old. Learning to listen. That’s very hard sometimes for all of us! Understanding team work. Also understanding the importance of accomplishing something on your own. Being proud of yourself. But not being a bully or using bad behavior. All things all people and pups should know. Don’t you think?

And then there is MaMa Stefanie our leader in all things. The very best. What more can I say?

And when we arrive home, a chance to share our happiness and good life lessons. All always say, The best day of the week Buddy. Good job Buddy.

Then there is a lot of sniffing. A lot! And then I plop on my back with legs straight up in the air and think…Whew! What a lucky guy I am!!

Our Favorite things are everything. How could you choose? Impossible.

We like it because School Day is our favorite day of the week. We call it—All Smiles Day!

Buddy our Academy student likes to share and show us, to engage us in things he has done at school. It’s like we are all included.

WDW Academy is the very best experience you could have…for all the family.

Thank you Stefanie and the What Dogs Want team.

Buddy and family
Archie benefits from What Dogs Want in every way

“He gets a chance to run and play, falls in love with the other dogs. He uses all his senses, smell, taste, sounds. There are games that challenge all parts of him. He comes home exhausted, curls up for a nap and he is ready to go again. He spent the last two months enjoying every part of What Dogs Want.

My favorite things are the staff. Stefanie is a dream. Her love for dogs and her deep knowledge and understanding makes this place unique. Archie feels the same way. When he is picked up by stefanie and/or Adrian he runs over to give kisses (not to me…) It’s a safe and creative environment. Just check out Instagram and you can witness all the fun and learning materials she has to offer our dogs. They are never bored. Not for a moment. It’s all fun and games.

My feelings about the program is clear as you can see from what I wrote. If I were only a puppy I know where I’d like to spend my days. I can only say what a brilliant time Archie has. He sits by the window every morning waiting to get into the puppy van. He fell in love with a gorgeous cavalier named Poppy. This will last forever. What a great place.”


Archie's mom

IT's a Confidence and socialization school

“The program is not really an obedience school it’s a confidence and socialization school. The goal is not to control your pet but to have your pet be in control of themselves.”


Chloe and Marley’s dad

love how the dogs are gently guided and are learning

“Chloe is fairly new to your program but loves it already. She has typical puppy energy at 8 mo. old and my other dogs are older so I felt she needed something extra to do. I also wanted her to socialize with other dogs so she would be more confident when we take her on walks etc. She and the other dogs look so engaged and HAPPY doing all your activities. I love that we can see the videos! I love how the dogs are gently guided and are learning while most importantly, having fun! Your staff are excellent at what they do and very intuitive when it comes to dogs. Chloe and I are so glad to have found you!”

Joy Martin

Chloe’s mom