I have been so blessed to own many wonderful dogs in my lifetime and I consider myself a huge dog advocate. I found out my husband was getting me the dog of my dreams (a white lab puppy) for a late Christmas present. I was elated to say the least but I also knew that a happy dog is a well trained dog and that I had some work ahead of me in finding a trainer that did not believe in harsh treatment, shock collars or choke chains. It’s amazing the number of people I spoke with all over the State of Texas that thought I was nuts to rule out what they called “appropriate training tools.” The clock was ticking and I knew that my puppy “Zeus” would be ready for me to pick up mid January of 2013 and I had to have a trainer! After speaking with several people in my area and finally my vet the name Lillian Sikorski of Speak Dog was one of the best in the State of Texas. From the first telephone conversation I knew Lillian’s philosophy, training techniques, love for dogs and patience would be a perfect match for Zeus and me. Lillian asked if she could come over and meet Zeus and she would answer further question my husband and I might have. Lillian was extremely prompt meeting her scheduled appointment time and from the minute she walked on the property, she began training Zeus (he was 8 weeks old) and I. During that first meeting she so easily was able to understand him and recognize his stress signals. Lillian gave him several breaks and taught him to sit, stay, come, down and to walk nicely on his lead. Lillian’s training techniques were fantastic! She displayed such gentleness with Zeus and never once raised her voice, snapped the lead, jerked or reprimanded him in any manner. Her handling of the dog with based on positive reinforcement, the use of doggie bait and maintaining an upbeat and positive demeanor at all time. Lillian understood what Zeus was saying to her when he was confused and she would then gently guide him until he was able to complete the task successfully. It is so admirable, and frankly rare that a dog trainer not only trains your pet,but she trains the owners as well. At the end of each class (whether it’s private lessons or in a class scenario) Lillian will send you a written overview of what was done in each session. In addition, Lillian assigns homework for you to work on with step by step instructions. When the next training sessions begins,your pup has an idea what will be expected. She also encourages you to call her or send her an email if you have a problem or concern with your pet. Lillian goes that extra mile and will answer your questions promptly to insure neither you nor your pup become frustrated. I would highly recommend Lillian Sikorski to assist you with dog training needs. She is a woman of integrity, faith, honesty and truly loves the canine species. As I was a professional dog handler and showed many dog breeds, Lillian is one of the best professional dog trainers that I have ever seen. I can honestly say, “Lillian Speaks Dog!”
— Cindy Powell
When we adopted a Chocolate Lab puppy, the Orvis store in Rockport recommended Lillian as a trainer. We were specifically looking for a kind trainer who did not use any type of negative reinforcement while training. Lillian’s philosophy is to use 100% positive reinforcement. We spent many sessions together doing basic training with our 2 dogs- the new puppy and a slightly older retriever we had rescued. Lillian worked hard with our pups and now they have learned the basics very well; they sit, lay down, stay, fetch and come. They learned to go on walks and socialize with other dogs . We worked on swimming skills with our Lab who learned to fetch different colored bumpers. He is rewarded with floating on a pool raft which he learned to step onto from the poolside. It was great having Lillian help us get through puppyhood. She addressed each issue that came up and was always available for questions so we never became frustrated or felt like giving up on our puppy. The best part of our investment in the training with Lillian is that our family now has two very happy dogs who love life. Through getting to know Lillian, we enjoyed seeing her late Golden Retriever, Cisco perform to a packed house at the Orvis store as well as a huge classroom of sixth graders at Incarnate Word Academy. Her Golden Retriever Cabo has become a good buddy of our pups and shows them many tricks they might learn one day. Lillian goes far beyond being a dog trainer. She writes books about the dogs she loves, helps teach children the valuable lessons we can learn from animals and is active in the community organizing dog walks in the park. She’s also involved in Rockport’s future dog park. Lillian teaches adults what is possible when you spend time and give love, ultimately teaching us to Speak Dog.
— Wendy Black
Brodie came to our home at the end of December 2009. He was very aggressive with the 3 cats who where living here. So much that I worried that he might seriously harm them. They became very terrified of him. Lillian came to our home and worked with Brodie and me on several issues besides the cat issue. She gave me encouragement and several websites to go to for additional advice on the cat/dog issue. I got very discouraged but she kept telling me it would get better. AND IT DID. In October 2010 Sammy decided enough is enough and became the ALPHA animal in the house – even to defending the other cats. In November, Sammy and Malachi started moving around the house and also going outside. It was a miracle as far as I was concerned. Now, Brodie doesn’t really even pay much attention to the other cats in the neighborhood. Not to say there are not hisses and growls occasionally but it is totally good here now. This past week Dazzledelite has even started coming down to the floor with Brodie in the room. I can’t say enough about Lillian’s training and her knowledge as to how to handle the animals and also the owners.
— Bobbie Walker
We have been dog owners most of our lives – always ‘outside’ dogs, and we never had any training for our dogs. Dogs were dogs, and they were supposed to be outside (that’s what we USED to think). When we rescued GG after the death of our long-time pet, we wanted to do things a little differently. We are so impressed with Lillian’s style and ability to talk to our puppy and to teach US. We quickly learned that our dog is brilliant – WE were the ones who needed the training! GG is so responsive now that we have the tools to work with her – and she is a beautiful, well-behaved ‘inside’ dog. The best thing we ever did was rescue GG. The second best thing we did was to hire Lillian.
— Tammie and Tracy Shelton
When I first saw the ad for “Speak Dog” I thought it was a catchy name, but not sure what it meant. Now after several training sessions with our dog Mazie, I know exactly what it means. Lillian literally speaks ‘dog’, and therefore, she also speaks for the dogs. She is a compassionate teacher that lets “Us Humans” know what our dog is feeling, saying, needing, etc. through their actions. Training with Lillian not only gave us great handling tips, but an understanding of what our animals are actually feeling. Mazie loves working with Lillian. Her recognizing Mazie’s needs keeps Mazie interested and motivated. Lillian’s caring training changed us all — we are now communicating, and really enjoying “listening” to our precious Mazie!
— John and Phoebe Taylor
We adopted a dog from San Antonio in November 2009. We had never adopted a dog before so we were new to acclimating a dog with “issues”. After the second night with us, we were ready to bring him back. We totally did not understand the process of giving our new family member the time he needed to get used to his new surroundings and to realize that this is “home”. Lillian came in and immediately made a difference. She educated us on the process of adoption and gave us home work that truly made a world of difference. Lillian’s calming approach was perfect for us and for Brady. We also have a special needs son who needed some help with how to interact with a rescue dog and Lillian was perfect. Brady (our dog) is now a quite confident little guy who rules the neighborhood. He is still distrusting of strangers but has made many friends in our community and is a wonderful addition to our family.
— Donna Martell Gordon
I am a very dedicated pet owner but I was guilty of disciplining my dog with a rolled up newspaper or a swat on his rear for barking. He would receive a severe reprimand for his infrequent accidents in the house. I thought I was training him. Due to my ignorance of pet training I had no control and this led to his tragic death. He dashed out the front door before I could grab him, encountered my neighbor’s aggressive pit bull and was mutilated and killed. Months later I acquired a Norfolk terrier puppy named Alex. This time I wanted to be a knowledgeable trainer so I proceeded to research various trainers and their methods. A friend suggested I contact Lillian because she had heard excellent reports of her positive training methods. I arranged for Lillian to meet with Alex and learned it was also my training session. Lillian arrived at the appointed time and within a few minutes, Alex was happily responding to the clicker she had introduced. Harsh words, shock collars, choke collars were no where in sight, only gentle, patient training. Two of the most important behaviors Alex and I learned were “Touch” and “Leave it”. Alex learned to touch a bell beside the back door when he needed to go outside by placing his paw gently on the bell. To our amazement and amusement this behavior led to Alex playing a small piano. The cue “Leave it” came in handy for a variety of uses, but most beneficial when we go on walks. We have approached dead birds, dead squirrels and discarded KFC lunches, not to mention other dangerous articles for Alex to consume. By utilizing “leave it”, we enjoy a much safer walk. Through Lillian’s clicker training method, I now know there is not a need for abusive or cruel training methods. Lillian is very dedicated to her profession and understands dogs by observing their body language and is sensitive to the relationship between an owner and their pet. Due to Lillian, we have a wonderful dog that is a family member who gives us great joy and much love.
— Anita Phelps