A Lifelong Passion
Lisa discovered early in life that she intuitively thinks like a “mother dog” and thus teaches and interacts with dogs in the way nature intended. After a childhood of raising and training dogs on her own, right here in Newton, MA, she knew that this was what she wanted to do with her life. So Lisa earned a Bachelor of Science in Animal Behavior from The Ohio State University. She then worked as a veterinary technician for 11 years. That, combined with a second degree black belt in karate, gave her the reflexes of a cat! What matters is keeping the patient calm and helping their their humans stay calm, too.
Lisa then set her sights on achieving the highest levels of distinction and accomplishment within the canine competition obedience world. Two of her dogs, Rowdy and Cowboy, earned the award of #1 Competition Obedience Dog in North America, receiving multiple perfect scores in the process. Throughout all of these jobs and different times in her life, Lisa was always finding ways to teach group classes, private lessons, and make house calls. For the past 15 years, Lisa has further specialized in helping fearful, reactive and aggressive dogs. She was associated as a trainer with Especially For Pets for over a decade. Now, as the Founder and Owner of All About My Dog, her lifelong dream has come true!
The Right Path for You & Your Dog
As a culmination of over 50 years of both professional and life experience in Canine Behaviorism and training, Lisa has developed a unique way of working with dogs of all ages, sizes, breeds, and temperaments. We call this The Lisa Rockland Method. Our training techniques and foundation classes have been designed to start young puppies off on the right paw, guide adolescent dogs as they grow to be well-behaved family members, and teach adult and even senior dogs how to be exemplary canine citizens. We don’t believe in “one size fits all” training; there is no technique or piece of equipment that will work on every dog or for every person. We treat each end of the leash as individuals and as a team.
If you’re thinking about taking classes or scheduling a private lesson with us, take a look at our Which Class Is Right For My Dog? page and let us customize the perfect training package for you and your dog to create the dog of your dreams!
Meet the dogs who shaped Lisa’s life
“Who’s Your Mama?”
At the age of seven Lisa got her first dog: a black miniature poodle named Jolie. No one had to tell Lisa to take care of him because she was already on top of everything; she was totally responsible for walking him, feeding him, taking him to the vet and training him. Even as a kid Lisa was naturally inclined to be a good mother dog! Part of being a mother dog, though, is protecting your puppies – and she had to do just that when a local German Shepherd faced her down one day while she and Jolie were on a walk to the vet’s office. Lisa tells this story as one of the pivotal teaching moments in her life and you’re likely to hear it in one of your beginning classes – but suffice to say that Lisa and Jolie arrived safe and sound at the vet. Her time with Jolie was a beautiful friendship full of learning together, growing up, and having fun. Lisa already knew exactly what she wanted to do with the rest of her life!
Ridgewood’s Frankly Onyx Josh UD WRD
“College Buddies Growing Up Together”
Lisa adores horses and is an accomplished equestrian. In college, a horse was too big to fit in her dorm room…so she found the next best thing: Joshua, a handsome 140 lb. black Newfoundland dog. Joshua was the perfect college buddy. As his “Mama Dog,” Joshua was with her 24 hours a day. She trained Joshua to stay with her or stay put without a collar or a leash and he would even wait quietly and patiently on campus behind the bushes while she went to class wearing nothing but his red bandana. In 1978, Joshua and Lisa earned one of the highest achievable obedience competition titles: “Utility Dog.” In the 1980’s Newfoundlands were not a “traditional” obedience competition dog, but then again, neither Lisa nor Joshua were traditional from the start. Since they both loved the water, Lisa and Joshua went on to achieve “Water Dog” and “Water Rescue Dog” titles as well.
OTCH Whipaly’s Ready Or Not
“A Name By Any Other Name”
As her passion for obedience competition continued to grow, and as she had more and more success in the ring, Lisa decided to seek out another prospective canine partner and thus met Rowdy — a large, sweet, submissive Golden Retriever. Rowdy started out with a total lack of the confidence and coordination needed for obedience trials and advanced competition. Lisa had her work cut out for her to transform him into a national champion. Through her patience and dedication, together they scored in the top 3 in premier national competition 9 out of 9 times with multiple perfect scores! He also earned the absolute highest honor possible for a dog to win: the title of Obedience Trial Champion (“OTCH”), known as the “PhD for Dogs.”
Propwash Ride ‘Em Cowboy UD
“Love At First Sight”
Seeking a bigger challenge and loving every minute of it, Lisa decided that she wanted “one of those new, smart dogs” known as Australian Shepherds just as they were being recognized as an official breed here in America by the AKC. These dogs are bright, fast and need a job – they’re not for the faint of heart! Lisa brought her four-year-old son, Joe, with her to the breeder . . . and that’s how Cowboy picked Lisa’s son to be his new brother. It was truly love at first sight. Like Rowdy before him, Cowboy, with Lisa’s help, won #1 in US Competition Obedience. He was also the first of Lisa’s dogs to co-train with her in the classroom – another pivotal moment in her teaching career. Talk about proof of concept! Now, trainers using their own dogs as role models and examples in the classroom is a signature part of the The Lisa Rockland Method.
Propwash Little Miss Rodeo CD CGC TDI
“She Taught Me Everything”
This time the breeder came to Lisa’s house and Rodeo “marched right up to Lisa’s kids and picked them for herself!” But Rodeo was feisty, and at just 4 1/2 months old, she had already begun showing signs that she had the potential to grow up to be a bossy, aggressive dog. Rodeo was the strongest, most confident, and most natural lead dog that Lisa had ever met in her already long career. Rodeo was not afraid to confront people, dogs, or whatever she thought needed confronting! With insight, patience and using her ‘Mama Dog’ skills and method, Rodeo grew up to be a fantastic classroom teaching dog and even earned her official Therapy Dog Certification from Therapy Dogs International®, widely recognized as the top-tier program for therapy dogs in America. Rodeo then spent years bringing comfort and companionship to people in nursing homes and bringing joy to Lisa’s daughter, Jordan, as her first competition dog; Rodeo went from confronting people to comforting them. The most common comment from Lisa’s students was, “Can we please bring Rodeo home with us?”
Rodeo passed away peacefully at the age of 15 in the summer of 2015 after a long, wonderful life.
“The Best Co-Training Dog I’ve Ever Had – A Winner!”
Bronco, now 9 years old, is Lisa’s current teacher dog and probably one of the first assistant teachers you’ll meet when you come to All About My Dog. Bronco started as one of the most fearful, cowering dogs that Lisa had ever met – “like he was almost completely feral,” as she puts it. He was terrified of people. He was terrified of the car. He was terrified of the beeper on the door of the pet store! Now, he’s a bouncy, bubbling ball of joy – and he absolutely loves his job at All About My Dog! If you had known him as a puppy you wouldn’t even recognize him! Bronco exemplifies everything Lisa works to achieve with every dog; he’s overcome tremendous odds and challenges to become a role model for a balanced, approachable, cooperative and loving companion dog.