Does your dog exhibit behavioral issues that are very challenging to deal with in everyday life?

Does your busy schedule make it almost impossible to put in the necessary time and repetitions to work with your dog and help them overcome behavioral issues?

Do you feel like you’ve tried everything to overcome your dog’s behavioral issues to only find yourself frustrated and confused?

Do you have a dog that would benefit from staying at a beautiful Ranch in Nature that is dedicated to optimizing your dog’s behavior where they are treated by professional dog trainers as a member of the family?

Whether your dog has minor issues such as pulling on leash, jumping, excessive barking, not listening or more serious issues like anxiety, fear, reactivity to dogs, or objects, we are here to help you accomplish the same amazing, life-lasting results we have been achieving for over a decade!

Below are some of the common behavior problems we deal with. We’ve helped people who are dealing with just one behavior problem all the way through helping people with many different behavior problems.



After over a decade of rehabilitating dogs and training people, Steve Del Savio (Owner & Founder) realized the most optimal time for a dogs stay to be a minimum of 4 – 8 weeks given how long it can take to break bad habits and imprint healthy ones as well as how much time the human needs to not only grasp the information but also how to apply it hands-on with their individual dog.


No two dogs are the same which is why we will customize a plan based on your dog’s specific behavioral issues, their individual traits and your energy paired with the individual goals for you and your dog.

Energy is everything in the way a dog sees the world. They have a specific energy and you yourself have a specific energy as well. Those energies are in a relationship with one another.

Everything we do will be based on your energy and your dog’s energy.
The laws, principles, tools and techniques of Dog Psychology are applied to all cases, however, HOW we apply them is dependent on your energy and your dog’s energy.

We address all forms of behavior problems such as:

  • Difficulty calming down
  • Reactivity to dogs
  • Hyper/Over-excited
  • Crate training
  • Excessive barking
  • House breaking 
  • Fearful, nervous, unsure
  • Leash reactivity
  • Leash pulling
  • Not coming when called
  • Jumping (people/furniture)
  • Excessive barking
  • Easily excitable 
  • Counter surfing
  • Chewing on objects

Trust, Respect and Love 

Energy is the most important thing there is in the animal world. We make sure that when your dog is in our care, we are ALWAYS working on creating trust, respect and love to the fullest with your dog and then showing you how to achieve the same.

Calm and Respectful Behavior in the Home

The Maddie Ranch features a 5000+ square foot home where we practice teaching your dog how
to behave inside a home as opposed to learning in a warehouse or yard that doesn’t translate to
a home environment.

Leash Walking
Loose leash walking with dog at your side in a calm state of mind in a follower mindset, listening
to your direction.

Crate Training
Ability to relax and be respectful in a crate or kennel

Learning to go to bathroom outdoors and NOT indoors.

Place/Bed Command
Staying on a dog bed or mat on command. This can be used inside the home, at the park, a
restaurant or anywhere you’d like your dog to stay on a bed or mat.

Bike Riding, Rollerblading
Exposure to higher intensity structured exercise options. We are very careful about the physical
development of dogs and take great care during higher intensity structured exercise This option
is individual dog dependent. Provides more options to exercise higher energy dogs.

Treadmill Training
Learning how to walk on a treadmill. Great option when weather or time become an issue but
still need to exercise your dog. Walking on a treadmill is also great for mental focus.

Obedience and Overall Good Manners
Basic obedience commands

Socialization with Balanced Dogs
Socialization done the right way! There is no better teacher for a dog than other balanced adult
dogs. Your dog will spend the entire time being socialized around well-behaved adult dog role
models learning how to properly interact with other dogs.

Positive Interactions & Exposure with People
Your dog will be staying with professional Dog Trainers and Handlers who are experts in Dog
Psychology. We will expose your dog to as many positive interactions with people as we possibly
can during their stay with us.

Weekly Training Session(s) during Behavior Optimization Stay We feel it’s very important to include the owners in the process and train YOU in understanding Dog Psychology and your individual dog while going over any questions you may have so you know exactly what you need to do with your dog at any moment.

60-90 Minute Go-Home Session
During the Go-Home session, we will do a full review of what we accomplished in the program,
work hands-on with you and your dog and answer any questions you may have about bringing
your dog home for it’s new balanced life!

Follow-Up Session 2 Weeks After Program
We find it very beneficial to do a follow-up session to see how things are going, work on
anything we need to improve and answer any questions that may come up after bringing your
puppy home for a few weeks.


Rehabilitate (verb): restore to a former state.
Train (verb): to teach so as to make fit, qualified, or proficient.

Why is it that so many board and train style programs produce below average to poor results? What tends to happen is dog owners send their dogs away to be “trained” by dog trainers to fix behavioral problems. These board and trains are usually for a duration of 1-3 weeks that
focus on obedience. At the end of the board and train, the owner comes for a crash course go-home session that lasts about 1 hour.

The problem with this approach is that the idea is the dog is the one who needs training, however, we believe that the HUMAN is the one who needs the training on what to do and how to be a great leader for their dog. The dog is in need of rehabilitation, which is restoring his/her mindset to who they were when they were born, BEFORE humans created imbalance in them by not understanding Dog Psychology and in turn not understanding what to do to achieve a balanced relationship with a dog.

So, what makes our program Behavior Optimization Retreat different than everybody else?


Here at Pack Leader Dogs by the Maddie Ranch, we understand how important it is for YOU to be included in the process of rehabilitating your dog. Dogs learn by associations which is why it is critical for you to be associated with your dog’s rehabilitation.

What does that mean exactly? During your dog’s stay with us, we will do trainings with YOU and your dog WEEKLY, not just a go-home. During these trainings, we will understand why your dog was behaving the way it was, what changes we need to make moving forward, educate you about the Psychology of a Dog, work hands-on in real world scenarios, show you all the tools and techniques you will need and finally give a blue print for success when taking your dog home for its new balanced life with you!

On top of that, we are in communication with you on a daily basis for the duration of your dog’s Behavior Optimization Retreat at the Maddie Ranch.


We’ve found that to ensure the highest success rate possible, we bring your dog 95% of the way through the rehabilitation process and then work with you step by step to complete the last 5%. As you now know, we require private training sessions once a week throughout your dog’s stay with us where you the owner are included in the rehabilitation process finishing with an elaborate go-home session.

We’ve found that this provides owners with a clear understanding of what the dog has learned, is learning, their progress and how to reinforce the dog’s new balanced behavior through consistency and structure. By doing this it lets the dog associate it’s owner with its new structured and balanced lifestyle before heading home.

Once you leave the Maddie Ranch, the Transition Period begins which is usually about 90 days. This is the 5% we are talking about which is you applying everything you and your dog have learned in YOUR home. During this time, you will be learning to overcome the habits of your old relationship with your dog and replacing them with the new and improved habits you and your dog have learned during their stay with us.
We are here to support you throughout this process and will continue to do so after the TransitionPeriod has ended.


Our Behavior Optimization Retreat comes with a support guarantee for the life of the dog. We want our dogs and families to be happy and successful throughout the lifetime of their dog.
That means we’re available to assist you by phone, text or email with advice when needed. If you need to see us again, you can schedule a visit at our location and work on anything you
may not have clearly understood or may still be having some issues with. Truthfully, our training works so well that our clients very rarely require support but we are always here to support our clients in achieving their goals with their dog.

Our program is unlike any other program available because we focus on bringing your dog’s state of mind back to balance FIRST through Dog Psychology, then teach your dog obedience through Dog Training and finally include you along the entire process. We consistently provide outstanding REAL-WORLD results time and time again.

We‘ve had so many life changing success stories and have gained so many amazing relationships with our clients over the past 10+ years. We’d love to have you join our pack and become our next success story! Are you ready for the life you’ve always dreamed of with your dog?!

What our customers are saying…

After trying literally every other available training method and option out there, I was recommended to reach out to Pack Leaders. I was skeptical only based off of my previous experiences having tried everything and having nothing work to help my anxious, fearful and defensive dog. In the first meeting with Steve, he assessed my dog, identified and diagnosed the issues immediately and then prescribed a course of treatment to take action. I felt hopeful and began training with Steve to address my dogs core issues. The results started becoming apparent - for the first time ever, because we were working on his core behavioral issues. Steve looks past the superficial, doesn’t give you a band-aid answer to cover anything up. He analyses and examines deeper psychological characteristics and drills down on those core causes to correct root issues and promote lasting changes. Steve brings a treasure trove of knowledge and if you just trust the process and defer to his expertise like I did, you will see the return on your investment and the long lasting enrichment of your dog. I’m looking forward to continuing training and Pack Leaders will also be my go-to for boarding when I need to leave my dog alone for extended periods.
Ron Beshay
Ron Beshay
I cannot begin to say enough wonderful things about Pack Leader Dogs. We have been working with them since our yellow lab Jax was a puppy and he will be 5 this summer. We have utilized all the services they have to offer and have been so happy. We did one on one training sessions with Steve and the puppy training program where we left him with them. Steve was amazing with Jax and worked wonders. He helped him to be properly leash trained and how to walk in a city environment. He helped with discipline, teaching us how to meet his needs, overcome fears and minor behavioral issues, as well as preparing for our newborn to come home. He instilled all these changes in Jax and taught us how to be confident leaders to succeed. We have had several others in the company walk Jax on a daily basis for several years pre covid. Each walker was dependable, reliable, and took amazing care of Jax. Finally we boarded with them on multiple occasions in Hoboken and at the Maddie ranch. When boarding I know Jax is getting the exercise he needs, being safely socialized and is an ideal environment. To put it into perspective we have moved and would rather drive over an hour to board him before trusting another facility that just leaves the dogs unsupervised. Steve and his team are passionate and genuinely care about each dog and family that joins the pack. I highly recommend them for all of the services they have to offer.
Nicole Nagle
Nicole Nagle
Steve has helped us work with our dachshund Oscar and his separation anxiety. We saw improvement in Oscar beginning with our first session. Steve is patient, so authentic and real (which we appreciate), and has given us effective tips and guidance from a dog psychology lens that has strengthened our relationship with Oscar. We’ve noticed the beginning of his transformation from a purely fearful, anxious dog to one that is more curious and outgoing. It’s still a work in progress, but we’re so hopeful and confident that with continuous work with Steve, Oscar will be ready to confidently socialize and enjoy his surroundings, even when alone.
Crystal Ovalles
Crystal Ovalles
Having a new puppy can feel like a full-time job, but when you have a full-time job you need other people you trust to help take care of your dog. That's where Pack Leader Dogs comes in. I have used Dana Beck for training -- she is a dog genius and can understand your specific dog and what she needs right away. And if you're stressed about sending your dog to daycare, I know that my dog is in such good hands when she goes there for daycare; I know that she will be put in good situations with balanced dogs and will benefit from the exposure to such incredible trainers. It's worth every penny.
Kathleen Harris
Kathleen Harris
I can't say enough about Pack Leader Dogs. Have you ever worked with a company where you immediately consider everyone that works there family?? B/c that's how we feel about this team. We initially contacted them last year about our pit bull who had become pretty dog aggressive, including one of the dogs in our own house. In getting between them in a fight one day, I also wound up in the hospital needing about 80 stitches--we didn't know what do to. We had met with another trainer/ "behaviorist" who said he didn't think he could help us. Felt our dog was too confident to be able to be trained to a point where he could live with us and our other dogs. He also didn't think he would get adopted--and actually suggested euthanizing him. I found Pack Leader online that night and they were basically our hail mary. We initially met with Steve for about 30 minutes. He suggested we enroll both of our dogs in his program--the pit and the puppy who was making him crazy, but Steve was cool. He didn't promise anything. Said he thought he could help but needed more than the 30 minutes to really determine if they could help us and gave us the heads up that they might call us in a week or 2 and tell us that they can't help and he would help us decide what was best for the dog--finding a new home etc. Fast forward about 14 weeks and our pit bull came home a new dog--they completely rehabilitated a 7 year old pit with no history (we adopted him after he was abandoned). He went from super anxious--anything could set off his anxiety to this super chill dog. Changed our entire lives. From the training, we now use them for all of our boarding needs. When we used to travel I would always worry about the dogs. When we would pick them up from a boarding place they would be so manic and you could tell they hated it the entire time--when I'd leave them with Wag/ Rover walkers I would worry about someone without experience watching them. When I leave them at Pack Leader?? I know they're better off there than they are with me! They're getting trained, properly socialized, properly exercised. When I go to pick them up they're usually freshly bathed and so happy and so exhausted. If PLD had a regular city operation, we would probably use them almost every single day.
Jillian Worswick
Jillian Worswick
Can’t say enough good things about Steve and the Pack Leader team. Learning about dog psychology has helped us create a more balanced environment for Theo and helped us be better humans for him. The Pack Leader team is always available to answer any questions we may have. We have so much confidence in them we drive an hour each way in order for Theo to board at the Maddie Ranch!
Natalia Feigin
Natalia Feigin
Steve and the team at Pack Leaders are amazing! While we have used many of their services, I wanted to highlight their Training and Psychology camp in particular. I adopted a rescue puppy who had some behavior issues, due to what we think happened to him early in his life. It got to the point where the puppy nipped a dog walker and they refused to walk him anymore. With our mounting concern, we reached out to Pack Leaders and enrolled him in their Training and Psychology Camp. It was a game-changer for us. Not only did Steve and team correct his behavior, they took the time to teach us why it was happening, how we should handle any outbreaks, and trained us to reinforce the great training they provided. Thank you Steve and Team - I don't know what we would have done without you!
Fabiola Miranda Ferra
Fabiola Miranda Ferra
I sincerely wish that I found Steve way sooner than when I did. We have 2 Dachshunds that had separation anxiety, were reactive to strangers and other dogs. It got to a point where I’d get nervous if I saw another dog in the streets or if someone asked me if they could pet my dogs. We took both boys to see Steve and by the end of that first session, we already saw a difference in them. Not only that, but I learned so much more that goes beyond of just owning a dog. Oreo (my younger one) went and spent a week at the Maddie Ranch and to be able to see updates of him starting his 1st walk away from the dogs in the pack in the back to being in between other dogs and looking comfortable by his 2nd walk was one of the most amazing thing ever. It’s still continuous work, but we are now able to walk by other dogs, have another dog in their personal space where they are not barking, lunging, etc. towards them. I’ve already said that with all of our future dogs, we will be taking them to Steve for puppy enrichment. One of the best investment I’ve ever made.
Ollie Queen
Ollie Queen
Steve and the Pack Leader Team are amazing. We have nothing but great things to say about our experiences with them. This review focuses on their Training & Psychology Camp. We adopted a rescue who had some puppy behavior issues, and enrolled him in the Training & Psychology Camp. Not only did we notice a huge improvement, but they took the time to teach us how to better understand our puppy and how to correct his behavior when he acted out. And they taught him a bunch of cool tricks - he can even run on a bike leash with us while we go on bike rides! Thank you Steve & Team!!!
Brett Hanson
Brett Hanson