Royal Oak, MI 48073
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Celebrity Testimonials

Detroit Radio Personality - Chad Mitchel
I wanted to take a minute to thank you for your time and attention. As you know, my wife and I have 2 dogs, 2 jobs and a little girl. It was a struggle to put it lightly when we got our second dog SUKI (German short-haired pointer). Before we had your help, we really questioned our sanity. Thanks to your experience, techniques and patience, we now have 2 wonderful dogs that listen and are a joy to be around. I can't tell you how many people comment when they meet our dogs about how well behaved they are. I will be happy to recommend your services to any of my friends and or listeners. THANKS AGAIN!
Retired Detroit Radio Host - Jim Harper
We've had dogs for years but they always "ran our lives." Having never used a trainer, we ended up over-nurturing them to the point that we could barely leave the house, let alone go on vacation or even have company. After just ONE session with Bonny Wainz we learned how much better the dog-parent relationship could be, using her methods.

No scary tricks, no weird noises, nothing we couldn't learn if we simply applied a fair amount of discipline.

Bonny has a great way of training not only the dogs, but also training US on how to develop the perfect relationship for both our loving dogs, and ourselves. Now we have one of those dogs people always compliment and say "why can't our dog be that good?"
NBC / Detroit News Reporter - Paula Tutman
My dog was a rath scallion. Seriously, a naughty dog who wasn't welcome anywhere. He was a cute little dog I rescued from the humane society. I wondered why anyone would surrender such a little darling. But looks were deceiving and I found myself thinking about returning him myself, even though I knew it would be a certain death. He didn't know basic commands--sit, stay, come. He chewed up valuables. He crapped in his crate and then turned around and ate it. He was awful. I sent him to Alternative Canine Training as a last ditch effort to keep him. ACT not only trained him, but me, as well. I actually saw a difference in one session. Now Mailliw is welcome everywhere. He visits nursing homes, travels on airplanes, and most importantly has become a welcome, loving member of our family. Bonny and Alternative Canine Training really changed all of our lives for the better.
Owner of the Buffalo Bills - Mary and Ralph Wilson....Go Bills!
My husband Ralph and I adopted an Australian Sheppard 6 weeks ago. Ralph wanted a dog to solve our geese problem. Reese not only chased the geese but all our guests as well as Ralph. I knew within a day that this 18-month old fellow needed some training. A friend told me to stop in at the Pet Ritz that they knew of someone who was good at helping animals become the pet you have always wanted. I picked up one of Bonny Wainz's cards and it was one of the best things I have ever done. Bonny began a 5-week program with us meeting once a week. She took charge the first day and began to teach us the way animals think. We needed to become the leader of the pack and this would create a happy dog and happy household. Reese was running the show before Bonny came. Reese would follow me all over the house. If the doorbell rang Reese became our protector, he would charge the door and start barking. On walks he would charge people and dogs. We could not walk him for fear he would attack another dog or person. We did not know what Reese was capable of doing. Would he harm someone? He was showing us no respect. We began using Bonny's training methods and he was making progress. We decided Reese needed a week of extensive training with Bonny so off he went to Bonny's Boot Camp for a week. Reese came back a different dog. Reese no longer wonders all over the house, he knows his PLACE. I stand over him, use my arm to direct him and say place and off he goes and lies down, happy and content to know his place! He no longer charges the door barking when the doorbell rings, he understands that we do not need him to protect us, that he is safe in our home. Today Bonny, Reese and I had a fun hour in the Village with people, and other dogs. It was a pleasure showing off this well behaved dog to everyone in the Village. Even with all the distractions in the Village Reese walked beautifully with me, showing me respect by letting me lead the way, he would sit until I told him to "let's go Reese", when I told him to lie down he did it perfectly and stayed until I told him to "let's go Reese". Reese is an amazing animal, he is happier and we are happier. We are going to have many enjoyable years together. In January we will start Bonny's agility class. That would have been impossible to even think about with the way Reese use to behave around other dogs and people. With the skills Bonny has taught us and Reese we can now go anyplace together! Let's Go Reese!
Channel 7 Action News Reporter - Val Clark
My dog Uno, was on his way out. He would pee and poop on the floor, bark constantly and if the door was open a crack. He would run away. He was so bad that at 5 months of age I was his second owner. I took him in, because of the desperate pleadings of my Granddaughter. After a few weeks I began to wonder if I had done the right thing. I heard of Alternative Canine Training from a friend of mine and called hoping that they would find him a home. After talking to Bonny she convinced me to keep him and that with her training he would be a great dog. I decided to try, so I sent him to Bonny’s Bootcamp. I am very busy reporting breaking news, so this seemed like the best option. He was gone for 2 weeks and came back transformed into the perfect dog. We then had a few follow-up lessons, so I and my Granddaughter could learn what to do. Uno is truly a great dog and I wouldn’t give him up for anything.

Uno no longer barks at people when I take him for walks or car rides. He is mine or my Granddaughter’s constant companion. Calling Bonny and Alternative Canine Training was the best thing I ever did. I can’t say enough about them. Thank You for giving me such a wonderful dog.
Ambassador Magazine's 2009 Ambassador of the Year - Florine Ministrelli
Bonnie has been a dear friend of mine and Prada's for over five years. When I leave my precious Prada in Bonnie's care, I know I don't have to worry about anything. Bonny trained Prada when she was a puppy and today Prada is a very well trained dog and always listens to me. Bonny has always cared for Prada as if she were her own. I am very happy with everything Bonny has done for me. Bonny is the best!

About Florine:

Florine Ministrelli is particularly dedicated to raising awareness about women’s heart health. She provided the initial funding six years ago for the J. Peter and Florine Ministrelli Women’s Heart Center at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak. Today the center – the first of its kind in Michigan devoted to women’s heart care – is a leading prototype for medical institutions across the nation.

In addition to the women’s heart center, the Ministrellis’ extraordinary philanthropy at Beaumont has established an endowed chair in the department of Cardiology; the Ministrelli Advanced Cardiac Research Imaging Center to establish a new standard-of-care for MRI and CT imaging for diagnosing and treating specific cardiac diseases; and the Ministrelli Program for Urologic Research and Education.

As one of Ambassador Magazine's 2009 Ambassadors of the Year, Florine Ministrelli has been honored for her charitable donations and generosity in and around Detroit, including the Ministrelli Women's Heart Center at Beaumont, Royal Oak.

Student Success Stories

Dear Bonny,
I just want to thank you for all your help with my Labrador “Canyon”. I had worked with previous trainers from Invisible Fence and other sources to stop Canyon from breaking through the Invisible Fence and running into the street (as well as acting up in front of other dogs on our trail), but to no avail. Thankfully, you were able to work with Canyon and myself to break him of these habits. I am now able to walk or run on the trail or pass other dogs on the street with him in control. He is now a much more enjoyable pet and I can be proud of his behavior.

Lucy H. Shields Henney, DVM
Surgical Specialist
Owner of the Oakland Veterinary Referral Services, Bloomfield Hills, MI.
Alternative Canine Training, a master in owners and their dogs. I found that Bonny Wainz really uses her enjoyment and experience in teaching the owners how to have well behaved dogs in all her classes. We learned so much all through the process of Puppy Class, Basic obedience, advance, agility and Field trip classes. I have and will continue to tell people to go to Bonny for teaching their dogs. Come and be part of, The Family of Bonny Wainz and Alternative Canine Training.

Barbara Munyan
Bonny Wainz is our miracle worker!! After a previously unhappy puppy experience, Bonny selected "Otis" out of a six male litter, to join our family. After performing a few different "tests" on each of the males, Bonny guided us towards Otis. She knew Otis would grow to be a gentle and more laid-back dog. This is exactly what we needed after our bad experience with an aggressive pup. After settling in at home, Bonny soon came over to offer important guidance during our puppy consultation. She had him in the sit command within minutes of being at our house. Six weeks later when Otis was about four months old, Bonny came back to further train Otis and us, the humans. In a short time, Otis was doing things I never dreamt my dog would do. When I say "place" Otis goes to his special cushion in the kitchen. He waits until my "O.K." before he gets up. There are so many amazing things that Otis can do. In fact, in 2005, he was certified as a "Pet-Therapy" dog. This is certainly no easy feat. There were many challenges to overcome and Otis sailed through each part of the testing. I know it is because of the techniques taught to me by Bonny Wainz. We owe Bonny a world of thanks for bringing Otis into our family. Her fabulous training has made a nice dog a really fabulous dog. Thank you again Bonny.

Edie Arbit and Family
Bonny Wainz trained my rescue dog Vinnie. Now, Vinnie was almost a year old when Bonny began to train him, and being a rescue dog, he had some bad habits that he had acquired out on the street. However, with Bonny's exceptional skills, she was able to train Vinnie so that he walks properly on the leash, and that off the leash Vinnie always walks next to me on my left side, as he was trained to do. Also, through Bonny's work with Vinnie he listens to my commands of "sit", "stay", "come", and he has been broken of such bad habits of getting on the furniture, jumping on people and begging. If you have a dog that is not listening to your commands, or if you have a puppy and you want him trained right, then I highly recommend that you contact Bonny Wainz and you will be pleasantly surprised at how well behaved your dog can be.

Reverend Ron Browne
What to do? Mom wants company, something living in her house. I suggested that the kitchen was full of ants, but that was not well received. Her last dog was literally the dog from hell. He took over her house, killed her cockatiel and was just mean spirited. She had gone without a dog for a number of years. We found what we thought would be perfect companion, a little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. We had to make sure that he was well trained and behaved to live with alone with a lady in her 80s.. Bonny Wainz had given me hints with my own Golden Retriever and helped to train a friend’s Caucasian Shepherd. Bonny was the answer to our prayers. Little Charlie bonded with mom instantly. With Bonny’s training in “boot camp,” he became a perfect little gentleman and a perfect companion for mom. I cannot begin to recommend Bonny highly enough. If you are getting a dog, or if you have one already, Bonny can be a tremendous help. With Bonny’s help, life will be so much more enjoyable both for you and for your dog.

Rev. Msgr. William Easton
Pastor National Shrine of the Little Flower
Royal Oak, MI
Just over a year ago I brought home my first puppy. How excited and nervous I was!! He was an 8 week old Cavachon – part King Charles Cavalier and part Bichon. He was adorable, but I didn’t have a clue how to train/live/play/care for this little creature. Bonny and the trainers at ACT have been invaluable. I have taken him through the classes - where he and I both learned to communicate, establish my authority and have such fun together. He has been through Basic Puppy Class, Advanced Canine Good Citizen, Off Leash and Field Trip Classes. Without the training and the help from ACT, I would probably have one of those undesirable yippy small dogs that pull my arm out of the socket as we struggle to walk around the block. As it stands, I am always being complimented on how well Max behaves as he is still only a year old….and people expect much less from him. He is well socialized with people and dogs. He is now an 18 lb. dog with lots of energy – he plays with small dogs and large dogs equally well. Any behavioral challenges I have had have been addressed quickly and really easily. The ACT trainers have been so very generous with finding solutions when needed. They are excellent at working with the personality of the owner as well as the dog. Their use of positive and negative reinforcement makes good common sense and has worked for me in building a great relationship with my puppy. My thanks to all the folks at ACT/Pet Ritz for helping to make my first dog experience such a rich and rewarding one.

Fran Sam Max
My dog Paulie is 2-1/2 years old and is a rescue dog. Needless to say he came with a lot of behavioral issues. The main problem was his excessive barking and lack of socialization. He was terrified of everyone and everything. He would attack people at the door and could not calm down without reassurance from me. Walking on the leash or should I say pulling on the leash was not enjoyable for either of us. Any person or child he would see would set him off. He didn’t trust anyone. Grooming was impossible and took 3 people to handle him. I tried everything, books, TV trainers and pet store classes. Nothing worked. His issues needed professional help. I found Bonny and after the first lesson I was amazed at the difference in his demeanor. She explained why he behaves this way and what I needed to do to change our situation. The main difference with Bonny is she taught me techniques specifically for Paulie’s issues and they worked. Bonny truly is a dog whisperer. I recommend her to everyone regardless of the dog’s problems. This is the best decision I could have made, because of the end results. Paulie is more relaxed. Quieter and more trusting of people. I don’t worry about him attacking anyone especially children. He walks at my side and doesn’t chase cars anymore. Her training and techniques work and I can’t thank Bonny enough for what she has done. I firmly believe no one else could have corrected our problems as quickly and effectively. So call her and allow her to help you with your dog’s problems.

D'Ann Zacharias and Paulie
My name is Ursula and this is Miyko, my 13 month old Shiba Inu, who is happy and very well behaved thanks to Bonny and Alternative Canine Training. I believe that Miyko could be the poster-pup for ACT. We've been training with ACT since she was about 4 months old and we still continue classes to this day. Anyone who knows the Shiba Inu breed understands how stubborn, independent and determined this breed is. Fortunately, that challenge is what I wanted in a dog and I was able to conquer those behaviors with Bonny's help. Miyko and I have been through puppy, beginner, advanced, off-leash, agility, and field trip classes, all by the time she was a year old. We achieved her Canine Good Citizenship at 10 months. You may say to yourself..."any trainer can do that" but I disagree. I've had dogs my entire life and have tried many different training methods and trainers. With Bonny at ACT is the only place that I've stayed for more than the initial class. She makes it comfortable, intimate, very positive (for myself and my dog), and just a lot of fun! It's obvious she's dedicated her life to this and it is her calling. She has such rapport with all the dogs, its amazing to witness; Miyko and all her classmates love and respect Bonny so much! Here's my best comment so far from training with Bonny at Alternative Canine Training. Scenario: Field trip class to a downtown like village. All the dogs are on a down/stay in front of an ice cream parlor (a nightmare for Miyko because ice cream is her favorite treat!). A lady approaches me and says: "I've NEVER in my life seen a Shiba Inu stay like that and listen to her owner! I am totally amazed, I can't believe what I'm seeing, never in my life!" This was so amazing to me. We've been working together so long now that I just didn't get the big picture of what a wonderful dog my Miyko had become. When I step back, remove myself, and watch the progress we've both made, I can't think of any words but amazing, awesome, and proud! I'm so happy that we were able to find Bonny and thankful beyond what words could ever express for all the wonderful teachings she's given us and for the wonderful dog she has given me!

Ursula Schabowicz
I purchased a dog crate at Teacups and Toys eagerly getting ready to bring home my eight week old yellow Labrador retriever. The owners of the shop, Jeff and Kim were extremely helpful sharing tips to make the transition from breeder to new home as smooth as possible for our new puppy, Halle.

I was surprised and grateful for their advice. It had been over 20 years since I raised a puppy and didn’t realize techniques on various training methods improved. They casually mentioned Bonny at Alternative Canine Training - in home, personalized dog training. I didn’t give it too much thought; after all I had raised two Labrador retrievers and they turned out to be wonderful house pets. Okay, well maybe my black lab didn’t come every time I called her but, for the most part, she was a great, well-behaved dog. Okay, so she jumped on guests when they came in the door but, for the most part, she was a great, well-behaved dog.

My husband and I brought our puppy home on November 1, 2008. Adorable - what puppy isn’t? She screamed in her crate, chased the cat, ate plant dirt, didn’t come when called - but she certainly was the cutest Labrador retriever we have ever seen. I was pleased that she didn’t chew anything but her toys, didn’t have accidents in our home that wasn’t our fault - but I wanted more.

I had a third chance to do it “right” so I made an appointment for a house call with Bonny, Alternative Canine Training. Bonny arrived and promptly put Halle in her crate so we could talk without disruption. Halle didn’t like that at all. Now keep in mind, Halle is a laid back, sensitive, couldn’t hurt anyone Labrador if I’ve ever seen one, however, she can be stubborn. Bonny had her quiet in her crate the third attempt! WOW! I’m impressed!! We got the preliminaries out of the way and went to get Halle out of her crate. Halle couldn’t wait to make an escape but learned very quickly the proper way to exit her crate - at 10 weeks old she was sitting inside her crate patiently waiting to be told she could come out!! WOW! I’m impressed again.

Keep in mind, Ms. Bonny has a voice sooooo sweet it could be bottled and sold as honey. Behavior modification was achieved by loving my puppy first, gaining her trust and never, ever abusing that bond. Bonny takes charge, puppy knows who's boss and understands who is in charge, acceptable behavior is rewarded and misbehavior corrected with authority and always patience and love. Everything is black and white and I quickly learned that gray areas, or lack of clear, concise direction only would confuse my dog. I had to pay close attention and focus on clear, straightforward commands and follow through, every time.

Halle was just shy of 6 months old when we had Bonny return for 10 more sessions. Halle walks properly at my left side, comes when I call her, goes to her “place” when instructed to do so. She will sit stay and down stay on command, will not run after other dogs or people, stays “in place” while riding in my vehicle, sits in the car while I put her leash on to exit. I was unaware of the injuries Halle could sustain by the airbag if ever deployed!! Halle does not jump on people when they come over, she will sit stay when someone is approaching and say hello when I tell her it is okay.

I highly recommend Bonny to anyone who would like a well behaved dog. I recommend Bonny if there are any other behavioral issues a person’s dog exhibits.

I really think Bonny was a dog in a previous life because she thinks like a dog and, therefore, is extremely insightful and successful with training. Bonny means business with love and authority; she truly knows what she is doing!!!

Syndi and Halle
It is very crucial to me as a priest working with a lot of people on a daily basis that my dogs be obedient, harmless and well behaved. Bonny has been God’s blessing to me and my dogs from the very beginning of my canine adventure. Starting with my first dog, Saba of very demanding and powerful breed –a Caucasian Shepherd. Saba was very fearful as it turned because of chronic pain she suffered from hip dysplasia. Bonny was the one who brought out a lot of confidence to me and peace to Saba. It turned out that my dog who was intimidating to many became like a lamb every time she was with Bonny. It took much more to train the owner (me), because dogs under Bonny’s leadership turn into very obedient and cooperating creatures looking for their master’s leadership. I think this is the key to Bonny’s method – helping both the owner to become a true leader and thus the dog remains a happy pack member. She taught me a lot on how to become the alpha in my pack and how to be loving, firm and a happy dog owner. And I know what I am talking about: after the sad necessity of putting Saba down only at age one, because of her hip dysphasia. I now currently own two Caucasians: Russia (3 years old) and Hashim (6 months). I cannot find any better person that I can trust more to leave my dogs with when I travel than Bonny. It almost makes me jealous when I come back and instead of being greeted and jumped on all over the place I see obedient dogs sitting next to Bonny’s leg. On the other hand, every time “Aunt Bonny” visits, my dogs go crazy out of joy. Caucasians are very independent, big and extremely powerful dogs you have to be always firm, but first of all you have to be the pack leader. Having Bonny around influenced my decision on having more than one dog because with her training skills, assistance and friendship. I am very confident I will get good training, hints and support when needed. I completely trust Bonny’s method and would recommend her to every dog’s owner because there is no dog she cannot train and turn into loving companion.

Thank you, Bonny!

Fr.Tomek Maka
Pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish

Stories from our Therapy Dogs

Meet Bruno!

In the news: Intuitive and Special Therapy Dog Dies at 14

The Jewish News: Therapy dog Bruno leaves behind a comforting legacy.

Dr. Eisenburg

Let me introduce, Bruno a Portuguese Water Dog who is a Therapy dog working with Dr. Eisenburg. Everyday Bruno goes with the doctor to the clinic, DNS Hematology-Oncology. Bruno also accompanies Dr. Eisenburg to the hospital to visit patients. He is trained to calm a nervous patient by giving comfort. He always seems to know when to perform his duties and will often perform many cute tricks. It’s amazing how people start smiling whenever Bruno enters the room. Some patients even insist that Bruno be present whenever a procedure is performed.

When it was decided to get a dog for the clinic it was understood that the dog would need to be trained to the highest level. Initially Bruno was like any other rambunctious 8-week-old puppy and it was apparent that help was needed. Bonny Wainz from Alternative Canine Training was called and started training Bruno. The training was very positive and he learned quickly.

At five months old Bruno began to challenge as any teenager will do. Because of his special job; it was decided to send him to Bonny’s Bootcamp. So off he went, to learn all of the things necessary to become a Therapy dog. He returned 2 weeks later and was listening to all commands on and off leash. No one could believe a 6-month old puppy could be so well behaved.

There were a few specialized tasks that Bruno needed to learn to perform his duties at the clinic.

Bonny came to the clinic for several weeks and worked with Bruno there. The staff was also trained on how to handle their new co-worker. It was of course very important that Bruno go to the hospital to comfort patients. To be in this type of environment he had to be under complete control. Bruno became a certified Therapy dog when he turned 1-year-old and officially began his career as a Cancer Treatment Therapy Dog.

It is hard to say the number of people who have benefited from Bruno’s presence at the clinic. Patients often ask, “Where is Bruno?” The minute they walk through the door. The thank you letters Bruno receives speak for themselves. Too bad Bruno can’t read. I sometimes think he can as he seems to know when people are talking about him. We do know that if it wasn’t for Bonny all this wouldn’t have been possible. Thank you Bonny and Alternative Canine Training.

WHAT????? A dog in my office!!!!! This was my reaction when told by my daughter the psychologist dealing with handicapped children. I also heard “Dad you should have a therapy dog in your office it helps a lot of patients with serious illnesses.

Then I learned and realized what a therapy dog means seeing how patients reacted to the presence of Bruno our therapy dog provides to patients.

I call Bruno a human dog because his approach to patients is just unbelievable and amazing in the hospital or office how he senses patients with care and love.

He is a GREAT therapy dog. BRUNO!!!!

Dr. Eisenberg

Judith Erhmann

Bruno the Therapy Dog

On and off for the past few years, I have been receiving chemotherapy at Dr. Eisenberg’s clinic. Everyone knows it’s not much fun. However, Dr. Eisenberg’s office has a saving grace the therapy dog Bruno. He is a black and white teddy bear of a dog, with large soulful eyes. He always greeted me like a long – lost friend, tail wagging, as he followed me to the chemo room. Bruno allows himself to be petted, will bring his toy if you feel like throwing it. If it’s not a particularly good day for me he might rest his head in my lap or even just lay down next to my feet. Bruno seems to have that 6th sense his mere gentle presence always made me feel better, more relaxed.

I look forward to seeing him again at my yearly check-ups, that is!


Bruno the Therapy Dog






Molly's Training

A look into Molly's training and how it has positively affected a young boy and his entire family.

Click here to read the story

Video Testimonials

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