The Dog Training, Dog Behavior & Veterinary Behavior world is currently stuck in a cookie cutter, one size fits all training style that doesn’t take into account a dog’s instincts or how dogs truly see the world. So many of our clients come to us having already worked with Dog Trainers and Behaviorists (in many cases more than one) with little to no results. Why you may ask?
Dog Trainers tend to be focused on obedience commands where they attempt to bribe the dog (usually with food/treats) to achieve certain physical positions such sit, down, stay, come, heel, look at me, etc. or focus on using tools to force the dog to obey or be punished. Whereas the Behaviorists tend to start with medication then proceed to use excessive amounts of food/treats to “desensitize” or learn obedience commands.

We believe that these are outdated and subpar approaches to helping a dog find balance. While we believe that obedience is an important piece of training, understanding Dog Psychology MUST be understood by the human before attempting obedience. One of our blogs titled Dog Psychology Before Dog Training goes into further detail on how important it is for the human to understand the psychology of a dog FIRST and then learn how to apply obedience commands. Think about it, how can we train something that we do not fully understand?

Leadership, which is a huge principle of Dog Psychology, is rarely discussed in the dog training or behavior world yet is a critically important instinctual need of a dog. There’s a reason so many people have a dog that will only listen if there is food, treats or toys. It’s because the dog is in the leadership position with the human in the follower position who is trying to negotiate with a dog
who believes it’s leader.

Dogs do not want to lead, however, when the human is not providing leadership in the way a dog sees the world, the dog will fill the void of leadership out of instincts. To dogs, the leader must behave in a way that dogs see leadership. To do this, we must understand Dog Psychology. We will teach YOU how to create yourself as leader with a puppy or how to reclaim the role of leader with your adolescent or adult dog. This allows the dog to be in their natural position as a follower where they can feel safe, protected, happy, balanced and fulfilled life following the direction of their calm and confident leader…YOU!

A mother begins with leading a puppy from the day the puppy is born. She is calm and confident, sets crystal clear rules, boundaries and limitations that she wants her puppies to follow and only provides affection at the right times, when the puppy is calm and respectful. She is not emotionally reactive, anxious, tense, angry, frustrated, avoidant or nervous when providing
leadership as she knows her puppies will not listen to that energy. She makes sure to follow through on the rules, boundaries and limitations she puts in place through her energy, body language, sound and touch to provide consistent leadership which results in her puppies being well behaved.


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!


Every human, dog and situation are different which means each relationship requires a custom plan based on the human’s energy, their dog’s energy, the relationship between them and the unwanted behaviors being exhibited.

Most unwanted behaviors are a result of their human owner’s lack of understanding of Dog Psychology. Once they understand Dog Psychology and how to apply it with their individual dog, it becomes clear to a dog how they should behave with their human leader. Dog’s instinctually know how to follow a calm confident leader, we just guide you on how to become that leader in the way your dog sees the world. This allows your dog’s true spirit to shine through!

We often say, “it’s not the dog, it’s the human behind the dog.” Once you change the things that are contributing to your dog leading which is resulting in the unwanted behaviors, the dog will change and unwanted behaviors will disappear.

We will train you on how to deal with these unwanted behaviors in everyday, real-world situations so you feel confident to lead your dog in aspects of your life. Leadership in the dog world means protection, direction and love. We want your dog to feel safe and understand clearly what is expected of them in all situations. That is the definition of truly fulfilling your dog’s instinctual needs and gives you the opportunity to give affection to a calm, happy, well-behaved dog who feels safe and understood.

As always, this requires commitment and consistency from you to follow through on what you learn working with us. Please check out Testimonials page to see how many lives we have changed!



Do you dream of walking your dog calmly down the street on a loose leash with no reactions? How would it feel seeing your dog who has issues with other dogs being able to happily socialize with other dogs?

Do you have an excessively excited, hyper, reactive, nervous, anxious or fearful dog and feel unsure how to help them become happy and well behaved?

Is your dog difficult to deal with inside the home? Do you wish your dog would listen to you and follow your direction in all scenarios inside the home?

How would it feel to have your dog relax at home while you are away without freaking out? Do you have a puppy or plan to get a puppy but not quite sure where to start?

Have you been told “that is just how he/she is” or that your dog is unable to be trained by other trainers, veterinarians or professionals?

Would having a clear understanding and step by step plan to overcome any unwanted behaviors completely change your life?

If you answered yes to ANY of these questions, then you are definitely in the right place! We have the solutions to ALL these problems and will help you achieve the balanced dog and relationship that you always dreamed of! Find out why Dog Psychology based Training is achieving remarkable results, the way Nature intended!



In this private, 2-hour session, you will work one-on-one with Dog Behavior Expert & Trainer, Steve Del Savio, on any behavioral problems you may be experiencing in the setting of your choice whether it’s your home, a park, on the street, the back yard or anywhere else you may desire.

Steve will assess your dog in their everyday environment, discuss the situation with you, work hands on with you and your dog and lastly come up with a game plan for continued success moving forward. Steve will provide you with a wealth of invaluable information in Dog Psychology that will last a lifetime that can be applied to not only your dog but all the dogs you interact with throughout your life.

Our custom plan will be based on your dog’s specific behavioral issues, age, energy level and, most importantly, your individual personality and capabilities.


Our unique approach to training is based on teaching from a Dog Psychology perspective where we will focus on your dog’s state of mind and not just obedience behaviors that are usually achieved through bribery and rarely sustain long-term or reliable results without understanding Dog Psychology.

By understanding a dog’s state of mind and psychology, it gives us the opportunity to tap into the dog’s instinctual side making learning much easier. Using Dog Psychology we will show your dog how to trust and respect you as a leader which will create a calm, happy, obedient and balanced dog.


Initial training sessions are 2-hours in length and include a consultation, assessment, hands-on training and game plan moving forward. You will begin to experience dramatic results within your first session with us. Follow up sessions are at the owner’s discretion but always recommended. During any follow ups we will continue to work hands-on with you and your dog on any behavior issues until we achieve the goal of a happy, healthy and balanced relationship between you and your dog. Remember, working with your dog is supposed to be fun so be prepared for a fun filled, educational experience that you will never forget!

*Greater distances may require an additional travel fee.

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