Why Us

About Penny Miller

pennyPenny Miller took her first foray into the world of dog behavior eighteen years ago while living in Trinidad and Tobago where she and her family rescued and fed street dogs to teach her children value and compassion for all living things.

Upon the family’s return to Britain, after an introduction to dog behavior through British behaviorist Kendall Shepherd, she formally studied dog behavior and earned professional diplomas in Canine Behavior and Psychology, studied canine nutrition, wolf behavior, worked with British obedience and hunting dog trainers and studied the Amichien Dog Listener methods under Jan Fennell and Tony Knight. She has continued her education with distance learning of international dog behaviorists and attending seminars and workshops both here in the US and the UK.

This provided the foundation of the work she does today, but nothing impacted her knowledge as much as the hands on work that she has done with shelter and rescue dogs. To date, Penny has worked with literally thousands of dogs, many of them last chance dogs that the shelters had deemed unadoptable, unmanageable and unplaceable. It was with these dogs that her most intense learning took place, and continues to do so. To date, she and husband Peter have fostered over 120 ‘problem’ dogs, each of them with unique issues and thus a wealth of learning opportunities.

Over the last seven years in the US, Penny has worked with countless rescues, including Alcovy Pet Rescue, Gracie’s Place, Atlanta Lab, Gwinnett Humane Society, Hall County Humane Society to name but a few, and all pro bono…….. Desperate Dogs gives a minimum of 20% of its time, talent or treasures every year to local and international dog charities and it is the goal to continue this mission that drives this unique business.

Last year, Penny was approached by the Gwinnett County Sheriffs Department to work with their incredibly successful  Jail Dogs Program, to work hands on with some of their aggression and fear cases. She now advises regularly at the jail on their problem dogs and provides free rehabilitation work on an ongoing basis.
Penny is not a dog trainer, and doesn’t pretend to be….her speciality is seeing life from the dogs perspective and solving dog problems using the dog’s unique psychology and drives. This work is completely instinctual and differs from dog to dog, as no two cases, just like no two dogs, are ever alike.

Whether she is working with a 120 pound German Shepherd with severe aggression issues or a  tiny Maltese with fear issues, she works every case herself, hands on. Her belief is that if she can’t handle your dog, then how can a client trust her to fix the problem?

Plain speaking, to the point and with a very British  sense of humour interwoven into everything she does, Penny has  become well known for fixing the cases that others can’t…..the Desperate Dogs Ranch has successfully rehabilitated hundreds upon hundreds of dogs that were otherwise destined for rehoming or euthanasia. This is achieved by a combination of instinctual dog handling and the building of close relationships with both the owners and dogs that continue long after the consult has ended or the dog has left the facility. The Desperate Dogs mission is to find simple solutions that are workable for both the human client as well as the dog, as continuing compliance with any methodology is only going to be achieved if the human client can find time and enthusiasm to follow it.

Instinctual Dog Handling is a completely different approach….it’s hands off, gentle and does not require mountains of food to be administered to the dog every second to get the required result. It does not allow for choke chains, shock collars or pinch collars and does not require dogs to be so called ‘calm submissive’. It’s about empowering the dog to find confidence and happiness within itself, and setting the dog free from the its own pain and fear.

why-usAt Desperate Dogs All-Inclusive Canine Resort we know that you want your dog to have the time of his life and a proper vacation while you are away.

Call us persnickety, but we think dogs don’t really have the time of their life cooped up in a small cage with no company, no other dogs to play with, boring dried food and nowhere to go where they can romp and play. And we really don’t think that daily exercise should be an add-on that you pay more for, or that ‘love and cuddles’ should be a luxury afforded to those pet owners who can afford up to $8 per 15 minutes for this, as in some boarding establishments.

Here, your dog gets the nearest thing to a home from home experience, only better. Lots of off leash supervised play time where they can romp and run to their hearts content in our two acre fenced woodland. Other, friendly dogs to play with so they can polish up their social skills. And as for love and cuddles? Well, we feel deprived if we don’t get cuddle time on the couches every evening…complete with face washes!

We prepare only the best food for your dog, just like we do for our own dogs…human grade meat [organic where possible] and vegetables, fresh fruits and herbs, rice and pulses. We ensure that your dogs dietary needs are met, if he needs more protein than other guests, we see to that, if he has a special dietary requirement, we see to that. All of the food we serve is holistic and is made with loving care in our own kitchen.

We also offer 24/7 care should your dog need the potty in the middle of the night, we can hear them as we live right here on the premises and go take care of their needs. Someone missing home and needs a cuddle all night? We take care of that! Its not unusual to find a few extra bodies in the bed some mornings after a stormy night, and we couldn’t be happier about it! Yes, we do cost a little more than some boarding establishments, but look what you get!