So what's so different?
A little about me: Becoming a recognized Dog Expert
My life mission and passion to literally save dogs' lives and prevent them from going to shelters and likely euthanization, behavior problems the number one cause and free their struggling, devoted owners.
Creation of my Total Harmony Dog Transformation System
Welcome! I started studying and training dogs when I was 12 with my first dog, immediately beginning to read as many dog training books as I could find. Our favorite trick was to have him sneeze on command, which always got his tail wagging! I now have over 20 years of experience.
After he died, I volunteered at a shelter to help walk the dogs. This shelter – the Animal Behavior Center of New York (ABCNY), also had a certification program to become a Canine Behavior Specialist and Dog Trainer. The program consisted of the intense study of behavior modification techniques to treat behavior problems in dogs, dog psychology and dog training, with over 230 hours working directly with shelter dogs.
It was an exceptional and renowned program, attracting students from all over the world. It is close to impossible to find that caliber today. I chose ABCNY because it allowed me to work directly with dogs relinquished to the shelter and who were under great stress, the most difficult cases. As a great bonus of the program, from our work with the shelter dogs we were directly able to help get them adopted!
I was also certified as a Canine Behavior Counselor (CBC) through the International Association of Companion Animal Behavior Counselors. My BA in Psychology Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa and numerous additional honors proved extremely helpful as I was very familiar with behavior modification techniques. Can view more of my Credentials
I have also volunteered in several shelters, and worked with For Our Friends Rescue Group for over 4 years, performing countless behavioral evaluations to provide the best match between dog and potential adopter, and identify and treat any behavior problems present that would prevent adoption or cause a return of the dog to the shelter. I also trained the dogs and volunteers in some obedience commands, again to increase their adoptability. During my work there I was able to reduce the dog return rate from 1/2 - 1/3 of the dogs to 1 dog - an unheard of level with dog rescue, saving many dogs. See Rescue Reviews
While an acclaimed, named Top Dog Trainer by the APDT, the largest dog trainer association world wide, the majority of my business over my 20 years has consisted of preventing and successfully treating all dog behavior problems and becoming a leader in the field. Along with extensive study of all aspects of dog behavior, I have immersed myself continually in experience with the most problematic, complex and challenging dogs that had been given up on.
I saw a better method of treatment was needed than simply training and created my trademarked Total Harmony Dog Transformation System to permanently eliminate behavior problems while also creating the most harmonious relationship possible dog and owner, ensuring a happy life together.
Further and very critically my system works for all dogs regardless of age, breed, complexity of problem, multiple problems and in the most trying environments like the urban streets of nyc.
Many verified Reviews include: "Saved my dog's life"; "Amazing"; "Christina is incredible"; "Beyond Gifted"; "Christina is a Miracle Worker"
Most Effective Environment For Treatment of Dog Behavior Problems - Your Real life, your home and walking environment where canine behavior problems are created, develop and where they actually occur is critical - not in an artificial, facility setting and never virtually. Why?
Behavior Problem treatment is not Obedience Training (see Methods) and the majority of behavior problems can't be treated successfully and permanently eliminated outside of the real environment creating them and where the actually occur. Further many occur solely in the home - such as separation anxiety, territorial/stranger aggression to guests, inter-dog aggression dogs living together, abused dog rehabilitation, puppy mill dog rehabilitation, fear of stimuli in the home etc.
Walking environments vary widely among clients greatly affecting frequency and severity, the most accurate and expedient treatment plan must be tailored to your individuals dog's fear on walks / leash aggression and the number and frequency of triggers in your environment.
Finally, dogs act different in different environments - can be friendly to strangers/guest at home and leash aggressive or fearful on walks or vice versa, can be fine with dogs they live with but aggressive at dog run, can be mildly aggressive or frightened by sounds on walks in a quiet, suburban walking environment and highly aggressive or terrified in urban areas where triggers are very frequent.
Successful, permanent treatment must be tailored to each individual dog and in their individual, real life environments.
I cannot describe virtually to you how to treat a canine behavior problem and agree wholeheartedly with the American Kennel Club that virtual "sessions" are thoroughly inappropriate and ineffective. Must be "hands on"
I believe it is imperative to provide the best possible quality care of your dog and most effective, permanent treatment as quickly as possible including the worst cases both failed at or rejected previously. I provide in home behavior problem treatment and take on the travel time, cost and effort to travel to your specific location - at no additional charge to you.
Further, and solely due to the very critical importance of successful treatment of behavior problems all treatment is done exclusively with acclaimed Dog Behavior Expert Christina Shusterich, not a lesser accomplished employee.
Christina's 20 yr determined mission continues on successfully, keeping countless dogs and owners happy and harmonious together by eliminating all canine behavior problems with her proven Total Harmony Dog Transformation System!
Uniquely, Christina does not follow any "business model"
All Sessions are directly conducted with Christina Shusterich and specifically tailored and designed by her to you, your dog, as well as your location, Christina traveling in person to your location, essential to effectively treating canine behavior problems, verified by the American Kennel Club.
You and your dog are not a number to be accumulated by using lesser accomplished employees, attempting to use easy, no travel and totally inappropriate virtual sessions for behavior problems and very importantly lacking the credentials of an actual dog behaviorist, which are not those of a dog trainer -proof of dog behavior education, certifications, and proof of experience working effectively with your dog's behavior problem of aggression and/or fear.
My Total Harmony Dog Transformation System
Innovative. Exceptional. Proven. Permanent.
With 2 decades of experience and study, I developed my proven Total Harmony Dog Transformation System to effectively and permanently eliminate all behavior problems in dogs including the most serious, complex, multiple and regardless of the dogs age, breed or prior treatment failures.
Dog training alone fails dogs with behavior problems for several reasons: Problem behaviors in dogs are those caused by poor manners/poor obedience, Behavior problems, on the other hand, are created and caused by negative emotions- aggression, fear, or a combination of both. If the emotion was not there, the behavior problem would not be there so the emotion must be changed to its opposite- enjoyment and dogs are way too agitated - too aggressive or frightened or both -to be able to perform obedience commands, which led to my development of my specific Calming Commands. Read more at my Methods Page for my specific techniques, how it works, and verified Reviews of every behavior problem eliminated from very happy clients, rescue groups (and dogs!)
The Reality: Countless times my clients have found me after trying one, two or 3 dog trainers who have failed them. Further, after exhausting financial resources and faith in prior methods that have failed them, the reality is many, many dogs are then given up and most frequently euthanized, so the dogs and owners most desperate for help have been left abandoned and hopeless. This includes those with the most complex problems, simultaneous multiple problems, at the highest intensity levels with dogs flooded by triggers in our urban environment of nyc. This must be changed. Contact me today for help in order to provide effective, proven and permanent treatment to your dog immediately and most quickly alleviate the very serious distress experienced by both you and your dog as well as real-life problems (eviction threats, dangerous situations) behavior problems can cause, while also attaining the ultimate level of communication, love and harmony between you and your dog with my Total Harmony Dog Transformation System. For some instant help tips, view my extensive Media Library with over 70 of my Dog Behavior Solutions.
Christina's Dog Expert
Christina is a sought after Dog Expert at a National and International level with her brilliant, innovative insights, wide ranging, extensive knowledge of dogs and 2 decades experience. Christina has appeared over 70 times across all media on all dog topics- TV, Radio, Podcasts, Author and her many Press/Quoted Expert advice on all aspects of dog behavior: preventing and eliminating all dog behavior problems, understanding dogs, how they learn and what they feel, best puppy development and dog training techniques and tips, rehabilitating dogs, babies and dogs, bonding ways to groom dogs, acclimating dogs to new situations and so much more
Beyond only being a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, Christina named a Top Dog Trainer and one Author with the most tips published by the APDT, the largest and most respected dog trainer association worldwide, in their essential best selling Dog Training book “The Association Of Pet Dog Trainers Top Tips from Top Trainers: 1001 Practical Tips and Techniques for Successful Dog Care and Training”
Beyond a member, Christina twice-cited “CCPDT in the News” by the Certification Council Of Professional Dog Trainers, the CPDT the highest-level nationwide dog trainer accreditation program
5-time winner Best in Queens, The Tribune
2010, Best Dog Trainer & Dog Behavior Specialist
2009, Best Animal Training
2008, Best Dog Trainer & Behavior Specialists
2007, Trainer Extraordinaire
2006, Dog Whisperer
Additionally Christina has provided her advice to Dog Trainers with the Dog Trainers Connection podcast, and her publications with several Dog Behavior and Dog Trainer Associations including the International Association of Companion Animal Behavior Counselors.
Pooch & Harmony - Dog Behavior Expert Christina Shusterich & NY Clever K9 named in The Top 10 Training Programs for Aggressive Dogs in NYC 2023
For more Awards and Accolades, visit our Awards page!
Check out more of Christina's additional Credentials