We offer both classes and private sessions to meet your training needs. This includes puppy training, basic obedience, graduate level and all levels of competitive agility instruction. Private appointments are tailored to your needs mainly focusing on problem behaviors, or for those who cannot make our class schedule.
I'm Nell Wirtes and since 2008 I have provided class and private instruction to residents of NW Florida. As a certified Pro Dog Trainer with Absolute Dogs my goal is to help dog and owner build a strong and trusting working relationship on their way to achieving real life results. It brings me great joy to help dog and owner reach their potential!
With hundreds of satisfied dog training customers over the years click on the link below to view some of their reviews.
I began Dog Max, Inc. in January of 2008. Since that time I have continuously studied to be able to offer clients the best possible teaching. Along the way I have learned a lot though some of it I left behind as it didn’t further my goal to help connect dog and owner in a positive way.
It gives me great joy to enhance the relationship between owner and dog and create an atmosphere of cooperation so they can reach their personal goals. Those goals are different for every dog and owner but many times it’s a common path that takes them there.
This is where teaching real life skills through games comes in. Dogs learn at a much faster rate when teaching is in the form of a game and I have found that the owners are more willing to play these teaching games as it’s a much more fun to ‘play to learn’ than to ‘drill to learn’.
Games based learning can teach skills that all dog owners want as well as important concepts that owners want but rarely think about…like confidence, tolerance to frustration, grit, calmness, optimism, independence and many others.
Join me in taking the other path that teaches while you play. I use all these games on my dogs and they have helped us overcome many challenges and can give you the real life results you want.
This class is for dogs up to 6 months of age. Utilizing a games based approach to dog training we focus on obedience, confidence building and appropriate socialization. This 6 week class is a vital step in your dog's development as a well rounded individual. This class is held on Saturday mornings at 9 am.
This 6 week class is for any dog over 6 months of age. Through games we will be building the dog's skills and ability to connect and focus on you helping him to become the dog you've always wanted. Class is held on Monday evenings at 6 pm.
This class is a follow-on to Basic Obedience for the dogs and owners that want to take their training to the next level building grit and determination through additional challenges. This is a 6 week course held on Tuesday evenings at 6 pm.
Taking your dog to the vet for routine visits or emergencies can be stressful for the dog not to mention us. In this class we aim to teach the dog what to expect and what we expect from him so that all involved have the least amount of stress possible. This class will only be taught periodically so call for times.
Periodically I will start a new group in agility. This is an on-going class that is on a pay as you go basis.
There are situations that may need individual attention due to dog behavioral issues or schedule conflicts. For private appointments I will come to your house to work with you and your dog. Cost is per hour and initial visits may last 1.5 hours as I'm laying the foundation for training and getting a history.
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I’ve known Nell (owner/trainer) of Dog Max, Inc. for over 10 years, ever since I watched and competed with her and her Dobermans in agility.About three years ago I started driving the 87 mile one-way trip to Crestview for agility classes. I decided to do this because although there are some excellent dog trainers closer to me, there aren’t any better teachers. I love the fact that Nell “teaches” me and doesn’t just train the dog. I also love the fact that she has a positive influence on me and my training methods for agility and there is no rushing involved.
While I only go to Nell for agility lessons she teaches puppy and pet obedience classes, as well as in-home personal instruction. Nell also has a wealth of canine health and nutrition knowledge, which she shares freely when asked. I think Dog Max is an excellent choice for you and your four-legged family members.
Nell Wirtes is truly an amazing trainer. We have 5 dogs, 4 of them are large breed dogs and of the 4 large dogs 3 are male. We had been having some issues with what we thought was aggression in one of the dogs. He would get in fights with the other two male dogs. These fights would get pretty bad and were getting hard to break up. We thought he would out grow it. Of course that did not happen and things continued to escalate. We did not like to have guests come to our home because all but 1 of the dogs were ill mannered and did not listen. We knew something had to change. We had let things go too long and needed help to make those changes. We did not know where to start so we called Nell at Dog Max. She came very highly recommended and after her first session I can see why. She was able to recognize behavior in my dogs that I did not understand. She is teaching our dogs the proper way to behave and teaching us how to work with them and better understand them. Our dogs truly enjoy their training with her. She has given us hope that our dogs can be well behaved and pleasant to be around. I can't say enough good things about her and her ability as a trainer. She is truly amazing and I would recommend her. I wish I had called her a long time ago. Christi S.
I started training at Dog Max with my German Shepherd when she was five months old. Through puppy class and basic obedience not only did she learn all the fundamentals, but Nell helped us as a team over come some of her issues she was having. Now Karma has not only certified with Canine Good Citizen but has also continued to train in agility. We’ve been training here for close to four years and I couldn’t think of a better place to bring your dog! Nell is a resource of information on every aspect from training to diets and is able to analyze issues and help you and your puppy grow. This is the place to go! Ariel Thorp
"I met Nell several years ago when I called her regarding agility training for my young, challenging Doberman. Remi is a very smart and athletic dog, but could be very insecure and reactive. Remi instantly bonded with Nell, and we both learned a ton about agility from her. She is hands down one of the best teachers I have ever worked with, as she is very patient and enthusiastic and willing to think outside of the box. In the course of our two years with Nell, Remi went from being crated and covered during group classes, to socializing and interacting with other dogs and their owners during class. We became a much happier and better educated team and we both loved our Tuesday morning classes with Nell! I highly recommend her for agility instruction, as well as basic and puppy obedience and behavior modification! She is wonderful!" A. Berlew
I have been training with Nell Wirtes for over a decade. Her training methods are sound, her handling techniques are polished and she has an amazing rapport with every dog she works with. She has a solid background in obedience, agility and conformation which she maintains by constantly participating in training opportunities, shows and trials herself. SHE IS NOT AFRAID TO TRY SOMETHING NEW. She brings what she learns to class and shares with her students. Over the years that I have trained with her, Nell has periodically revamped her training methods and classes to incorporate new and innovative training techniques to her clients and dogs. Each change has improved her class presentations and expanded her ability to address a wide variety of behavioral challenges in the dogs she works with. There are other trainers in our area, but what Nell brings to the dog training arena is truly an art form. You will come away from her classes improving your relationship with your dog along with the dog's behavior.