A Pawsitive Difference
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We just wanted to thank you for your expertise in training  our puppy Cooper. As you know, dachshunds can be stubborn and difficult to train, however with your calm and "pawsitive" approach to training, he is now a very well behaved little guy.

We really appreciated your ability to teach Cooper the basics with such a gentle, yet firm approach. You definitely have a gift with animals.

I would definitely recommend your services to new puppy owners!!

Thanks again.

Janice, Bill


Hi Viola,
Just wanted to thank you again for your kind and gentle guidance with Casper and I. You have helped me calm down, in light of some scary experiences between Casper and other dogs in the past and you have certainly taught me very useful techniques to use with him when he is nervous and defensive around larger dogs.
It is so nice to meet someone who not only knows dogs, and can train us effectively but who is also is a very caring person herself. It has been a real pleasure working with you and we will continue with the desensitization/exposure "therapy" (as I like to call it).
Hope to see you around and I'm sure I'll be in touch for a refresher or two...
Wishing you all the best,

Your pawsitive friend,


Viola worked one-on-one with our one year-old Siberian husky for five sessions. After educating ourselves as much as we could and spending a good amount of time training, we still had some inappropriate behaviour-based concerns. Viola was quick to identify, much to our relief, that our dog was indeed a bit of a handful, but wasn't doing anything that couldn't be addressed and remedied. She used her time very efficiently and we were able to cover a lot in the one hour sessions. She worked with us to make sure that we understood the exercises and she was very patient when we hit roadblocks. When one method didn't work she always had alternative and often very creative suggestions to keep us moving in a positive direction. She would make sure we were comfortable with the exercises, and offered us written "homework" instructions to complete between sessions. When we got frustrated she remained positive and calm, often using a good deal of appropriate and much-appreciated humour. She would arrive promptly at our residence and even brought along her own dog on one occasion to assist in some training exercises! More than anything, she taught us that with some persistence we could, easier than we'd originally thought, have a well-behaved dog. We saw a lot of improvement in our dog's behaviour after our sessions with Viola and recommend her services wholeheartedly - thanks Viola!


Sage, Mark and Michelle 


I wanted to share with you what a great experience we had working with you! We came to you looking for help with Hunter our big personality Yorkshire terrier. Hunter was becoming fearful of children, aggressive towards dogs and had recently bitten a stranger which was very concerning to us.  We had tried other trainers in the past who gave us techniques to work with Hunter around the house much of which I felt was information we had already read online or in books. Although all great advice, we needed a trainer who could show us how to work with Hunter in the situations we were facing on a daily basis on his walks and with children.   We were so happy after our first training session to see this was exactly the kind of training you offered. Immediately you gave us techniques to use when guests came to the door and took us out on a walk to see Hunter’s reaction to other dogs. You even brought your own dogs to all of our classes which was great practice for Hunter! After only 4 classes, I now feel much more confident on our walks and am happy to say he has made a few friends along the way. We have also noticed he is becoming more comfortable around children. We will continue to use your methods for a long time to come!

Thank you! Stephanie and Richard 


Just wanted to share the fantastic experience we had with you Viola. Sky our rescued German Shepherd has continued to improve on her manners and behaviour. Your knowledge and positive re-enforcement techniques are the best in Ottawa. As you were aware I have trained Shepherds before-- but for an entirely different role, not as a family pet per/say. Neeve and I learned more about ourselves than I could imagine. Sky loved you also very much. She is one happy dog and we will continue to train her with your methods forever. Thanks again. Talk soon.

Al & Neeve Harvey


 I called Pawsitive Differerence because my Great Pyrenees was becoming increasingly aggressive towards dogs unknown to her both on and off-leash. It was to the point that I couldn't control her so walks were no longer fun. That has all changed. I now look forward to meeting up with leashed dogs so I can practice what I have learned from Viola. 

I always thought a quick fix was the only way because the slow progress was frustrating. It's like wanting to run a marathon next week but you haven't even begun training. I didn't think there was going to be a solution, especially with Zeetie. However, the dog she was becoming was not acceptable so I trained with Viola for two sessions in February 2011. She gave me the tools with which to work and I took up the challenge. It's not quite two months and it's like a miracle. Yesterday, we walked closely past yet another unknown leashed dog and I only had to tell her once to leave it and she turned away and walked forward. Hallalujeh. She did want to look back but there was no lunging or barking. Occasionally, she will growl but nothing like she was doing. Even my partner sees the difference when he walks her.
Dedicated and persistent work is the only way to achieve your goals.
I understand now that she is only afraid of these dogs and rather than run, she becomes defensive. This training gives her guidance, shows her she can trust me and gives us an even closer bond.
I am now confident that with continued work, she will be able to go off-leash again. I am very excited about her progress.
Thank you, Viola!
From Donna, Ottawa


 Viola’s consistent approach to training has allowed for improved understanding and communication with our Sasha. Her teaching methods are pet-friendly and owner-friendly. Viola’s non-invasive training courses are planned, systematic and provide our Sasha with structure. Her comments and opinions are relevant, clear and concise.  Also, her flexible schedule and mobility has greatly eased the dog training process.

We are thrilled with the training results and thank Viola for her assistance!

Précila and Erik
Ottawa, Ontario


 Thanks for your help this evening Viola.  I feel that I have a better understanding now!  I'm definitely feeling more confident with training Macie.I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your support and guidance! 

Thanks again,
Ottawa, Ontario


 Hi Viola, well, Chantal & I were very happy to meet you yesterday and very appreciative of what you have taught us for training our Bradey! We practiced last evening and all is going very well.  Was able to let him go out this morning no leash to do his business...ventured on deckafter, but a quick whistle and in the house he came, went into a sit position..and I had treat waiting! NO WORDS WERE SPOKEN!   Wow that was awesome.  We will continue on.

 Thanks again and see you next week.

Louise & Chantal


  We were delighted our 4 mth old puppy picked up 5 tricks within 2 sessions!! Viola made the training fun for our dog and he completed his puppy training, now we are moving onto the advanced puppy training classes!



 We were very excited bringing our 9 week old Golden Retriever puppy home for the first time.  Derry!  The reality of what we had introduced into our house, a highly energetic chewing machine, set in quickly.
The first positive step towards returning our household to some sense of normal was to enrol Derry in Viola Larkin's puppy kindergarten.  Viola's approach of rewarding our puppy for desired behaviours began to show results immediately.  Her methods have givien us a strong foundation on which to continue working towards a well-behaved, well-adjusted addition to our family.


Hi Viola,
I want to thank you again for the training with Mika after two sessions it worked wonderfully. It was more me that needed to be trained and I noticed a huge difference just after one session!
Thanks again Mika's owner
I would like to thank Viola for helping me with Zurich, a seven year old Bernese Mountain Dog that I adopted from the SPCA in November 2009. Since Zurich was never trained - he was used for breeding and never lived with a family - he had a lot to learn. Viola (and her two faithful canine assistants) were able to build his confidence in his new environment, especially walking outdoors.
Thank you Viola for your patience and words of encouragement! 


 I  was looking for a personalize service for my dog Bijoux who had just turned 5 months and was a little out of control and a very intense little chi-pou!  I approached other dog trainers but it was always in a group setting and I wanted my dog to get 1 on 1 attention and also I wanted to learn from that experience.  This is when I called Viola on feedback from my groomer.  We made an appointment to meet with her and right away, I sensed that Viola had a great approach with Bijoux he really liked her teaching and her treats certainly helped.  After the 1st session we already had some success in obedience and we also learnt a few tricks.  We went for 5 1 on 1 sessions and both me and my wife were very impressed with the progress we had achieved in a very short time.  Bijoux is more mature now but is still a hand full at times but the tips and tricks we learnt with  A Pawsitive Difference Dog Training will last a life time.
Thank you - merci Viola! 


 Hello Viola

I am writing to thank you so much for helping train me to be a good doggy (grand)mom. Our 2 year old Boxer Blaze, was a dog that I could not control and would bark and lunge at people and dogs, ate my furniture and could not be trusted to be left alone.  As a result we did not bring Blaze out much, which only made the situation worse.  I felt so sad for him that I could not bring him out to play and have puppy friends.You were able to teach me how to be the pack leader and I cannot believe how much he has changed. Other trainers I had talked to, before I found you, had said the best thing was to crate him and send him away for training for a month.  I am so very happy that we did not do that and found you.I am very pleased to say that after a few short weeks Blaze is going off lease and playing with other puppies with no problem at all.  His acceptance of people is getting better everyday J Blaze even will give a paw now and will sit and wait for me for as long as I need him to.  I can’t express to you how happy and grateful I am to you, for sharing your knowledge and understanding of dogs-it was a gift for me.To anyone who is considering Viola as a trainer I highly recommend her.Blaze and I thank you again with all our hearts.

Paws up to you J Warm regards,



Hi Viola,
I just wanted to thank you for your professional and patient dog training. I finally have more confidence knowing some basic tools to continue working with Pippa. The in house sessions were easy to follow, covered a variety of techniques all of which are exceeding my expectations. The best part is I'm experiencing
Increasing success as we practice. I'm so pleased and grateful to have secured your service.
Many thanks,
Greg S