Dog Care Services in Northern, NJ



What’s up pack?!! My name is Steve Del Savio, Owner & Founder of The Maddie Ranch & Pack Leader Dogs.

Beginning in childhood, I always had a passion for the behavior of animals, specifically dogs. Both of my grandfathers where very nature focused so I spent a lot of time outside in nature with animals.

After graduating high school, I went to Pace University in New York where I played NCAA Division 1 Baseball. My intention was to play baseball professionally after college as I was being recruited by professional teams. Plans changed when a severe arm injury ended the possibility of playing baseball professionally.


Feeling uncertain about what career path to take, I decided to begin working in my father’s NYC construction business after I graduated college. At the time, it seemed like the safest decision for a secure future. That’s what most of society was doing and I ignorantly joined right in.

I quickly realized that I was not feeling passionate or fulfilled working in construction. During my spare time, I began studying dog training and behavior through books, seminars, videos and real life, hands on experience working with shelter dogs and dogs owned by friends and family. This was when I discovered my passion and desire to work with humans to help them achieve a balanced life with their dogs.

I decided to leave my career in the NYC construction business to really figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I was living in Hoboken, NJ at the time and up until this point I had never thought about working with dogs as a career. Normally I was in NYC during the day but now that I in Hoboken I started to notice the dog walkers in town. They were letting dogs pull, lunge, bark, jump or just bringing them to run chaotically in a public dog park.

This was when and how the idea for Pack Leader Dogs came about. I wanted to offer the public a higher quality dog walk that was focused on structured exercise, good behavior and of course a fun experience.

As a new dog walker, I began getting the dogs that other walking companies had “fired” because they had behavioral issues. It all started with just one dog but before I knew it, I had multiple packs of 10-15 dogs each!

My dog walking clients were seeing such dramatic improvement in their dogs behavior that they started asking me to teach them what I was doing with their dogs so they could have the same success. This was when I realized my passion for helping people understand their dogs through Dog Psychology! Many of my clients had already worked with a dog trainer, oftentimes multiple dog trainers with little to no results. Sometimes situations were even worse after working with a trainer.

It was obvious to me why the results were so poor. Dog trainers were attempting to train a dog to do obedience, which is commands to achieve
physical positions like sit, down, come, stay, heel, look at me, without understanding the psychology of a dog or understanding why their individual dog was behaving the way it was.

On top of that, the dogs did not view their humans as leaders and were being seen as followers to their dog. Therefore, trainers were teaching humans to become reliant on treats, training tools and techniques to get their dog to listen to them.

Not one of the trainers educated the humans on Dog Psychology, explained the importance of providing leadership to a dog and how to apply it which is an instinctual need for a dog. They didn’t explain how important the energy of the human is in building a balanced relationship. They couldn’t see how something like a lack of structured exercise was leading to frustration or how the owner’s own anxiety was contributing to their dog’s anxiety and so on.

I’ve now spent over 10 years working with thousands of humans helping them achieve a well-behaved dog and a balanced relationship with their dog.

Working with people from all aspects of life and all over the world has given me extensive experience in many different situations. Stay at home moms, billionaires, working class, actors/actresses, veterinarians, pro athletes, executives, couples, dog professionals, influencers, politicians, families in the suburbs, people in the city, citizens of other countries and so on. You name it, I’ve worked with them!

The understanding of Dog Psychology through 10+ years of hands-on experience has allowed me to achieve amazing results with my clients, even when training failed with another dog trainer or multiple dog trainers prior to working with me.

I’ve helped my clients with everything from puppy training to aggression and everything in between including some very rare behaviors.
The customized approach I use always depends on your dog’s individual energy, your own individual energy, the unwanted behaviors being exhibited and the goals you have with your dog. It’s incredibly important to me that you not only learn what to do with your dog but to primarily understand the way dogs see the world through Dog Psychology. The goal is to also help you understand why your dog is behaving the way it is and provide a game plan that sets both the human and the dog up for success!

I built the Maddie Ranch to be destination where both humans and dogs come to find balance. Every dog that comes here is treated as one of our own and we tend to become friends with our human clients!

When it comes to our exclusive Adventure Camp (Specialized Day Care) and Luxury Boarding Program, we frequently get feedback from our clients that they feel an overwhelming piece of mind knowing their dog is staying with our team of Dog Trainers in a beautiful nature setting!

I truly look forward to helping you. Whether it’s finding the right dog for you or your family, what to do with a new puppy, finding solutions for your dog who is misbehaving or helping you take care of your dog where they are treated like my own when you are unable to care for them. Dog care reinvented: Nature’s Way!

It is my honor to be able to share Dog Psychology with you and to be able to bring balance and harmony to you, your dog and your home.



Steve Del Savio is one of the only people on the planet who is Certified by Cesar Millan, “the Dog Whisperer.” Cesar regularly refers clients to Steve, including celebrities, as he fully trusts in Steve’s ability to help people understand Dog Psychology and in turn understand themselves. Steve has been teaching a life-changing workshop called, “Training Cesar’s Way,” since 2013 with Cesar who are great friends to this day.


It all started in 2006, when Steve discovered the TV show, “The Dog Whisperer.” He found Cesar’s way of explaining the psychology of a dog and how our energy effects how a dog feels to be fascinating. It was so different than all the books he was reading about dog training that all seemed to be about teaching about putting dogs in physical positions like sit, down, come, stay or heel. He knew there had to be more and when he found Cesar and Dog Psychology, his outlook on dogs and life completely changed. 

Steve spent years studying Cesar’s content by watching and reading anything Cesar put out. It was fascinating to him because no one had talked about energy, nature, dog psychology or life in the way Cesar did. When he saw that Cesar was going to be inviting people to work with him at his Dog Psychology Center, Steve followed his instincts and knew he had to apply for this opportunity.

In 2013, Steve and his dog Maddie were selected to attend Training Cesar’s Way, a week-long workshop at the Dog Psychology Center in California. This was the 1st time
ever that Cesar was going to spend the entire week working with the students hands on. Steve quickly realized this workshop was not really about dog training but instead about understanding the psychology of a dog and primarily learning about yourself. It was a life changing experience for Steve.

Following the workshop, Cesar invited Steve back to help him teach future workshops which he has been doing since 2013. Steve and Cesar have become great friends over the years and Steve is on a mission with Cesar to make the world a better place for dogs and humans!

They plan to bring the Training Cesar’s Way Workshop to the Maddie Ranch here in New Jersey in the future so stay tuned for your chance to train with Steve and Cesar!



Steve Del Savio, Owner & Founder of Pack Leader Dogs, is a Dog Psychology Expert and Trainer who has turned his passion for animals and their behavior into a flourishing career in dog training.

Through working with dogs for over 10 years, Steve has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience that ranges from puppy training to severe aggression along with the rarest behavioral issues and everything in between.

In 2006, Steve discovered Cesar Millan, “The Dog Whisperer.” He spent years studying his methods of training and dog psychology.

He now considers Cesar not only a mentor but a great friend. Steve continues to travel and work with Cesar regularly.


Upon graduating Rutgers University, Dana has had successful careers as both a Television Publicist for NBC, FOX and CBS as well as a Kindergarten teacher holding a dual Masters in Early Education and Special Education.

Dana’s passion for dogs eventually led her to one more career. She found her true calling in dog training. Since then, she has worked with several expert trainers throughout the country over the past 8 plus years.  In doing so, she has learned how to handle everything from typical puppy behavior to reactivity to resource guarding and aggression and everything in between.

Dana joins us at The Maddie Ranch after successfully running her own dog training business for several years. She currently resides in Bergen County with her husband, two girls and a rescue Bluetick Coonhound and two rescue cats.


For as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to dogs, and felt they would be an important part of my life. I started working with dogs professionally in 2011, and immediately knew it was right. Dogs have taught me so much.

Each one I’ve cared for over the years has taught me lessons about behavior, communication, trust, and so much more. Having raised my dog Willow with these lessons in mind, I’ve come to a deeper understanding of all those things, along with a much deeper understanding of myself. I started training with the dream of helping other people achieve that special bond they’ve always wanted with their dog.

Now with a decade’s worth of knowledge and experience in various tools and techniques under my belt, I’m living that dream in ways I never knew were possible. There’s so much joy in the harmony between our species. Every dog and dog owner deserves to experience it fully! My passion has led me to Pack Leader Dogs, and I’m excited to share all the lessons I’ve learned!



“Steve is not only knowledgable and professional, he clearly cares, a great about the animals in his care and supervision and we see that every week with the respect and excitement that Riley greets him with.”
— Katie R. & Riley

“I have found Steve to be extremely trustworthy, dedicated, and a generally great guy. He is kind, generous, and one of the most pleasant people to work with as a customer that I have ever come across. I wish all of my service providers were so easy to work with and accomodating.”
— Gideon S.