I have known Steven D. Nicely for several years. We have been in contact frequently on issues involving the Principles Of Conditioning which are the scientific principles for training dogs. He exhibits a very thorough knowledge of these principles. His experience in the field of training dogs is extensive.
He has taken courses in behavior modification and demonstrates the ability to take technical knowledge from the classroom and apply it to real world conditions. He understands why accountability and documentation are necessary in the behavior field. To him opinions are just that opinions. Facts are still facts and measurement is power.
I recommend him to anyone who wants to modify dog behavior for a useful purpose.
DAN J. CRAIG BS, DVM, MS dcraig10 @ satx.rr.com
Steven Nicely is the most patient and understanding trainer I have ever dealt with. He took on this Big Guy and his to kind owner and made a very obedient and fun pet to have. Bull is one of the family, now he knows who the pack leaders are and it’s not him. Steve would travel great distance and meet me anywhere I thought would be best for that day of training. He was always available either by phone, email or person. I cannot thank him or praise his work enough. I hope he will always remember Bull, I know Bull and I will always remember him.
Thank you Steve.
We called Steve after months of researching dog trainers and trying to find one that we not only felt was good at training dogs, but one who really knew why they behave the way they do. We had been to multiple trainers with our previous dog, including a behaviorist at a local vet school, and no one has known more about why dogs do certain things as well as how to quickly begin the training process.
We have a 17 month old Vizsla and a 4 year old Vizsla. The 4 year old has never been a problem, but the puppy was out of control. After speaking with Steve on the phone, we knew he was more than knowledgeable about training and various issues and we asked him to come out. He said he would be to our home in only a few hours!!! He really WANTED to help us and this is the first time we felt that.
After four sessions with Steve we were amazed. We went from having a dog that didn’t pay any attention to us or commands, to a dog that would sit, stay and allow us to walk 100 feet away without moving!! We talk every day about how he is a completely different dog in so many ways. He is now a part of our family, whereas before we were just trying to manage his bad behavior.
We recommend Steve to all of our friends, vet, and anyone else who has a dog. He not only helped us train our dog, but helped us take back control of our lives. Thank you Steve!!!
Sean and Andrea Maayeh
Thank you for the wonderful training you have given us. I can’t believe we have a puppy that is so obedient and well mannered. Its just like the guitar or martial arts: you have practice. When you have a great teacher like you it makes training fun and inspirational.
All the best,
Roy and I have worked with four dog trainers prior to working with you, and we have over two years of experience training our three dogs – Mattie, a 4-and-a-half-year-old German Shepherd; Blitz, a 2-year-old German Shepherd; and Eze, a 1-year-old Standard Poodle. We came to you for help with two specific problems – to work on some dog-dog aggressive behavior in Blitz and some overall fear-aggressive behavior in Mattie. In the past, we had used only positive-reinforcement training methods with our dogs. One of the things that has been the most helpful about working with you is that you have shown us how to balance the positive training methods we know with strong, assertive leadership. This has had a very positive impact with both Mattie and Blitz.
Roy and I also appreciate how you have gone above-and-beyond to educate us and provide us with the theoretical background to the training methods we are working on together. We appreciate the web links and Power Point presentations that you have sent us. In addition, you have always taken time to sit down and explain clearly what is happening with the dogs and how we, as handlers, can improve our own body language to get better results.
We feel we have made significant progress with both of our dogs thanks to your training sessions. In particular, we appreciate your willingness to work with us and the dogs in a variety of locations – at our home, around the neighborhood, and at Town Lake. This has helped us to practice in more challenging situations and to reinforce the good behaviors outside of the controlled environment of our home.
As you know, we came to you as clients from a direct recommendation and we have recommended you to many of our friends. You have a very unique skill set that is difficult to find in Austin’s other dog trainers. In particular, your approach has a refreshing combination of theoretical expertise and practical experience, not only with positive reinforcement methods but also with leadership and discipline (for both dog and owner!). Lastly, I would emphasize that Roy and I consider you the most experienced trainer we have ever met in working with aggressive dogs.
Your help and support has given us renewed hope that we can help our dogs to find greater peace in their own lives and thereby help us to achieve greater peace in ours! Many thanks for all you have done for us and we look forward to continuing to work with you.
“There were so many things I wanted to write, but I wanted to keep it relatively short,”
Roy and Suzi Sosa
Cathy and I want to thank you for the help you have given us in training our new dog Lady.
Our two main concerns were that she would bolt out the door and run away as soon as the door was opened and when we went for a walk with her she would run after deer or other animals even though we commanded her to sit or stay with us.
In two sessions with, us we were able to go on walks with her and keep her under control with leash and voice commands. However she still wanted to bolt after deer. We appreciate the fact that you introduced us to a training collar that .gets her attention when activated.
With your help we are now able to control our dog both at the front door and on daily walks. Your procedures not only trained the dog but it also trained us on how to handle the dog.
Bill and Cathy Mallory
Steve Nicely provided us training methods that are working for our Japanese Chin puppy, Nori. We were at our wit’s end. Nori had already lived with another trainer for several weeks, and her separation anxiety issues had not changed. We also had Nori evaluated by a second expert who also diagnosed the separation anxiety but did not suggest remedies. Then we found Steve Nicely. He suggested behavioral modification approaches that have led to great improvement with Nori and her issues. We are encouraged. It will continue to be a slow and ongoing process, and we feel we have a way forward. Steve is always available to suggest the next steps. We will always be so appreciative to him because, otherwise, we probably would not have been able to keep little Nori. It is going to be wonderful to have now, instead of a little puppy marked only by separation anxiety, a “Nicely Trained Dog.”
Elizabeth & Jerele Neeld
Thank you so much for your excellent presentation to my classes on dog training using Behavior Modification and Behavioral Analysis principles on March 22, 2007. Your good examples and engaging style really brought home the principles. My students are still talking about it!
Thank you again so much, and I will be in contact in the fall for future presentations. Sincerely,
Robyn Rogers, L.P.C. Senior Lecturer
Thank you so much for the work you have done with myself and my 5 month golden retriever Sunny. I have had many golden retreivers who have all been fairly well trained. After just 5 weeks working with you, Sunny far exceeds the level of obedience any of my other dogs ever attained. I live in the in the country where it is extremely important that a dog always respond to the come command as their life can depend on it. Sunny not only comes whenever she is called but can sit, stay, lie down, and stay both on and off the leash. I am very impressed especially for a dog so young.
I would be happy to recommend you to any prospective client. Both Sunny and myself have enjoyed working with you and look forward to training at an even higher level in the future.
Thanks again for all your help!
I was lucky enough to find Steve’s website while looking for a way to train my very active and smart Vizsla puppy. I brought her home when she was about 9 weeks old and realized she needed some serious training! I have a condition that causes me to have seizures occassionly, so I need a nicely trained dog! I took her to a puppy class, but it was obvious, that was not going to work for Shanti! She wanted to make friends with everyone, and I was not that impressed with the trainer’s tactics. I called Steve and he got right back in touch with me. You can tell right away how much he loves dogs, and Shanti took to him immediately! He has been working with her since Feb. and she and I have learned so much from him! He is good at training the owners as well. She is going to grow up to be the best dog ever, and I am so proud of her thanks to Steve!Thank You Steve!
billysmom @ austin. rr. com
Steve has been working with us in training our two German Shorthair Pointer pups since January of this year. Gunner and Max were seven months old when we started working with Steve and both boys were extremely unruly at that time. A week previous to our first lesson the boys had bolted out of the house and ran around the ranch without restraint. To say the least we were petrified that they would get hurt as they ran in and out of cattle and horse pastures or that they might just keep right on running. This was the impetus for our urgent call to Steve.
We were absolutely amazed at the immediate response the boys had to Steve and to the training. Gunner was our problem child. He began his transformation the minute Steve started working with him during our first lesson. Over the following nine weeks Steve has given us six lessons and the boys have learned to be well-behaved members of our family. Between our lessons we work with them on a daily basis to reinforce and help the boys to internalize the skills Steve demonstrates during the lessons.
It has been important for us to be active participants in Gunner and Max’ training but it would not have been as successful without Steve’s expert training of us as their handlers. Steve’s knowledge of canine behavior and psychology makes him a wonderful person to work with because of his ability to help owners understand and better communicate with their dogs. We feel as though we better understand why Gunner and Max behave in the ways they do and how to more appropriately respond to those behaviors. It has been an amazing learning experience for each of us as well as the dogs. Steve’s training has the added perks of being diverse in it’s perspectives and it’s accommodations for specific dog breeds and individual personalities. He has gone with us to different areas for training so the boys are able to understand that where they are does not change our expectations for their behavior. Max and Gunner are still working on their training but our stress level in relationship to their obedience has decreased tremendously thanks to Steve’s guidance. An important component to having Steve work with our boys is that it is obvious how much he loves what he is doing and loves the dogs and how important the dogs’ progress is to him. We talk on the phone and through emails throughout the time between lessons. He is always available and very willing to assist us with any questions or needs we have. He is also a very pleasant person to spend time with.
It is our pleasure to provide you with this recommendation for Nicely Trained Dogs and personally for Steve. If you should have any questions please, don’t hesitate to call us – 512-296-6241.
Deb, Mike, Gunner & Max Bay-Borelli
My 2 ½ year old (what I had been told by the SPCA was a Mastiff/Ridgeback mix), Biscuit is a 90- 100 pound sweetheart whom I love, but his behavior (and mine) when he was on a leash was so bad that we were practically housebound. I only walked him at 5:30 a.m. and late, late at night so we wouldn’t encounter other dogs and people.
Steve walked into my house, took one look at Biscuit, told me that he was a Belgian Malanios and all about the breed. He showed me on the internet a picture and sure enough it was Biscuit! We went out for a walk right away and in 45 minutes of walking and running into other people with dogs and finding a few cats, it was if I had the best behaved and well trained dog there ever was! While I had avoided other people with dogs, Steve had us out looking for them. He is so confident and positive I wasn’t nervous as I thought I might be.
He was understanding to my financial needs as a single working mother and assured me that we could meet my goals in just a few sessions. Other trainers contacted told me I had an aggressive dog and that it could take weeks and up to $1200 to train him.
By the time Steve left our first contact I was so confident and optimistic. Biscuit and I walked twice as much and twice as far every day. Still I was nervous about agreeing to meet Steve the following week at Town Lake among the masses to really test Biscuit and myself! It was amazing. Steve has such total assurance and control due to his experience and knowledge that within minutes on the “dog walking superhighway” of Town Lake we were walking like old pros.
Meeting and working with Steve has changed our lives in such a happy and positive way I’ll always be grateful!
Dear Mr. Nicely,
I have always wanted a dog as long as I can remember. My parents finally thought I was responsible enough at age 13 and that is when we adopted Lorelei. I had no idea what I was getting into. She was horrible on walks, pulling so hard she was constantly choking herself. She also ran after deer and cars. In the house she would chew everything on the floor, jump on us, and tear holes in our clothes.
We went through 2 series of training classes at Petsmart and it didn’t’t help. And thankfully we found Mr. Nicely. Lorelei can now heel off leash, and even do it on a bike ride. Also she will immediately drop anything on command. She has also stopped jumping on people and sits to be petted. Mr. Nicely has made training so much fun, and was always encouraging. I couldn’t’t have done it without him. I am so proud of Lorelei. Having a dog is now so much fun.
Kelly Caplan, age 13
A note from Steve:
This young lady could serve as a model dog owner. She is very talented and has a natural ability with animals epically dogs. It would not surprise me if this young lady did not become a very successful dog trainer.
Working with Steve Nicely, of Nicely Trained Dog, is like being in psychology class all over again. What Mr. Nicely has astutely realized is that dogs respond to the same stimuli that humans do. He has been working on many behavior modifications with our two lab puppies, and is allowing my children to take the lead on training them. The thing I really like about Mr. Nicely is his flexibility. We do precisely what the kids (and I) want to do. There is no pre-set syllabus. If something is not working well for our two, he will try another approach until we find an approach they respond to. I would recommend Nicely Trained Dog to anyone who has a canine, whether a puppy or a full-grown dog. He is great!
Cheryl NW Austin
cheryllameeludwig @ yahoo.com
“I am owner of Pet Butler “America’s Pet Waste Clean Up” here in San Antonio, and one of my clients was telling me he was looking for a trainer. I hired Steve Nicely for a session with them, and like liked him so much they signed up for more sessions. Now before the training the dogs (great hyper adolescent dogs) were so excited whenever they saw me their manners would go right out the window. Now after the sessions with Steve Nicely, the dogs when given a firm command do as told. I was able to get them to sit and stay, walk backwards and hold them there, then release for a reward! Great job Steve!!!!!”
San Antonio’s Pet Waste Cleanup Service
Mobile Office 830-496-0305
My goal in life is to be as good a person as my dog thinks I am.
I would like to thank you for all of your help with my rescue puppy, cooper. Before your help, I was unsure if I would be able to keep him. Having been a stray and abused, he was out of control and very misbehaved. The word obedient and cooper could not have been used in the same sentence. Although we still have a way to go before he could be considered the perfectly behaved dog, your help has put us on the right track. We continue to work on all the things that you have taught us and we look forward to your next visit so that we can show you all our progress.
Cooper has brought great joy to me, and I would not have been able to experience that without your help. Thank you, steve.
mlhines @ keyetv.com
I have to thank you for the work you have done with Max and me! I think you need to change the name of your company to “Nicely Trained Owner”! Max has always been smart – he had me trained in no time! I am so pleased with the reprogramming you have been able to do with me! I am now in control of Max and we have so much more fun together. Our walks are an absolute joy and something we both really look forward to. I am much more comfortable taking him to public places. He is very polite and well behaved with people and other dogs.
Your patience (with both me and Max) is impressive! I really appreciate your knowledge, your attitude and your professionalism. Working with you has been a terrific experience. I will certainly recommend you to anyone who has a dog! I would love for other people to feel the same pride, comfort and confidence that I have when I am with Max!!
Vickie CokerTravel Masters
1001 W Anderson Lane
Austin, Texas 78757
Bulle Shah is my 18-month-old male mostly Malamute. I say mostly because the breeder I bought him from said his father was maybe 1/8 wolf. As far as I can tell, his behavior is mostly Malamute-like: stubborn, needs a lot of stimulation, very friendly and social, and a digger and puller. He has a sweet nature and seems quite devoted to me and my husband.
His very basic commands are pretty good, but he doesn’t reliably come when called; he pulls the leash while walking (in spite of my pulling up frequently on his choke chain collar); and of late he sometimes takes off while on a walk if he sees a cat or a bird that he might be interested in catching. This is often almost impossible for me to handle. He weighs about 110 lb. (not much less than I), and he’s very strong, so I really need to get him to obey better.
What kind of a training program do you suggest, and what is your rate schedule? Looking forward to hearing,
Amelia Maciszewski, Ph.D.
Ethnomusicologist, sitarist, music educator
9808 San Luis Tr.
Austin, TX 78733 USA
tel. 512 263 2944
After the first session she was emailed and asked on the dog’s progress. Amie replied:
” His heel has improved dramatically, and he seems considerably more cooperative in general. The reliable come needs improvement, though. Your session was remarkable–thank you so much!”
If you are looking for a super qualified great dog trainer look no further than Nicely Trained Dog. My dog Skyler is a King German Shepherd who will probably be over 30 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh over 150 pounds. Knowing what a huge responsibility he is I put a lot of research into who would be the most qualified person to train us both and found out about Steve. Let me tell you he is great!!! Skyler is 5 months old and heels very well, sits on command, lays down on command, will do the sit stay on and off leash and we are working on him sitting and staying when other dogs or people walk past. This picture was taken after an off leash 5 mile run in the dog park. There were many other dogs and distractions and Skyler stayed with me for the entire run!
Steve is a super nice person, fun to talk to and be around. Skyler and I highly recommend Nicely Trained Dog!
Austin School of Music Inc.
Steve’s experience and expertise has helped us immensely when training Rollick, our Aussie pup. He is incredibly knowledgeable and has taught us the most effective training methods. Our puppy responded very positively to his friendly demeanor, making training run as smoothly as possible.
christina frisard cfrisard @ yahoo.com
The dictionary defines “nice” as good, pleasing, agreeable, thoughtful, and kind. How appropriate that Steven has this word as his last name.
I ’ve had the privilege and pleasure to get to know Steven’s character through a professional encounter. He has been working weekly with Sofi, my Maltese/Poodle to direct her toward more positive behaviors.
Other qualities that are very evident in Steven are great focus, honesty, integrity, compassion, dedication, and realistic setting of goals. I highly imagine that “give up” is not a part of his vocabulary.
Steven has been kind, yet firm while employing structure and direction for Sofi. His performance and techniques in training my pup has been “first class” each day.
Obviously Steven’s background in the military, police department and his many experiences training dogs all over the world have added to his success.
I highly recommend Steven to assist you in the process of molding your dog’s behavior. He will achieve your goals.
512 576 6934
“My 6 year old Lab mix responded almost immediately to Mr Nicely. I abolutely liked what I saw with the training and handling of my dog. It was obvious Mr. Nicely had a thorough understanding of dogs and their behavior.” Thanks Steve!
Sunni sunnirichardson @ yahoo.com
I was on the verge of having to look for a new home for our 5-year-old golden retriever, Comet. She was in constant need of attention, and being a single mom, I did not have enough time or energy to give her the attention she needed. She would dart out the door and run into traffic. When she was on a leash, she would pull so hard she ’ d almost knock you down. When anyone came to the door, she would jump all over them. The worst thing was how she would absolutely not leave you alone when you were in the house. She would constantly try to get in your lap and try to get you to pet her.
That all changed when Steve started working with us. Through the use of positive reinforcement and a process of showing her exactly how we wanted her to behave, Comet has turned into a very happy, much calmer dog. She sits happily by herself in the house. She walks calmly on a leash. She no longer jumps on people that come over. She no longer darts out the door. She ’ s still learning, of course, but aren ’ t we all?? J
Thank you, Steve, for helping us!
I want to thank you so much for helping me with Honey. When I adopted her, I absolutely fell in love with her. She was the perfect dog for me to take to work, she was good around the horses, good around the children, I could leave her off the leash and know that she would never be far from me. As we bonded more and more, she developed this seperation anxiety. Every time I left her alone she’d bark and howl and break out of crates, tear up door frames, push out window screens, and had even jumped out of a second story window while in the same room with half my family when I left the house. I thought for sure I would have to find her another home. Even when I was looking for a dog trainer, I didn’t really have faith that she would get through this. I was doing it so that when I had to find her another home I wouldn’t feel guilty for not doing everything I could before I gave her up. Everyone who knew Honey had doubts about whether a dog trainer could help her.
After my first phone call with you and hearing your faith in Honey’s recovery I grew so excited. I also appreciated your understanding of my financial situation (being a college student and all) and your offer to bring your rates down for me. You really cared about my dog and me, and I can’t tell you how grateful I am. I never thought that Honey would be able to stay alone for an hour or more at a time after only 2 or 3 weeks. When you told me that it was possible after our initial conversation, I thought “Well, you don’t know Honey”. But you did. Everyone who knows Honey is amazed at how much she has progressed, and they all have noticed a change in the way she interacts. She is more confident and seems more relaxed and happier than she has ever been. You are an incredibly generous and kind-hearted man, and I am so blessed that you stepped into Honey’s and my life. Honey and I are very thankful for all the work that you have done, the extra hours that you have spend with us, and the knowledge that you have shared. I feel like I can’t say enough to express my gratitude to you. Thank you for everything!
I realized how much better her behavior is than just 2 weeks ago. Daisy listens to me now with such little effort on my part. Instead of spending our walks pushing and pulling, we are actually able to walk in harmony and it’s really nice! I always thought it was just something other people got to do with their dogs. Now I get to be one of those people!
…Who would have thought that I would have tried obedience training for the 3rd time on a 4 year old dog? Not me! I guess I just thought that Daisy and I were beyond training. I figured I would just live with a “bad” dog because that’s how she has always behaved, but I love her so what’s a girl to do? Now I live with a well behaved dog that I love and life is just that much sweeter!
Thank you so much Steve for helping Daisy and I to understand each other better.
“Dulce, my spoiled Pomeranian, has never had any obedience whatsoever. Whenever Steve approached me about training her, I was a little hesitant because I know how ornery she can be. I never thought she would learn anything! But, after just a few weeks, I was truly, honestly amazed at how much she was actually listening to me. I never, ever thought that she would learn to heel, lay, stay, etc.
I have to say, that the one thing I really enjoyed about Steve’s training is that he has so much confidence in the dog’s ability to learn. The one on one training was so helpful and enjoyable. I really can see that he cares that the dog understands and excels. He is a true dog lover. Thanks so much, Steve!!”
Angela Grayson angelagrysn @ yahoo.com