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Dawn Francis - M.D. Mayo

Ruff Break is the best discovery we've made in Rochester. They have completely changed our lives. Our dog had spent a good bit of time in an animal shelter prior to our adopting him. As a result, he is traumatized being kenneled, no matter how nice the facility. Ruff Break provided a ready solution by coming to our home and caring for him. Now we feel comfortable leaving our dog home when we go on trips knowing that we will return to a happy and healthy dog. Not only do we trust the Ruff Break staff with our dog, we also trust them to bring in our mail and leave lights on for added security when we are away. On one occasion, we forgot an important file on our computer and called Bert who kindly agreed to go over to our house, find the file on our computer and e-mail it to us. Good help is hard to find, and Ruff Break is the real thing!

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James and Christy Godwin - Lawyer/Mayo

When we adopted Tucker, he was a typical one-year-old Labrador, but somehow with much more energy. My family has always had labs, so my wife and I were pretty sure what to expect. We were wrong! No matter how many times we walked Tucker or brought him to the dog park, he always had energy to spare. That?s when we turned to the Ruff Break. He gets Ruff Breaks three times per week and Fast Breaks twice per week. Tucker is such a pleasure after his Breaks. He wants to cuddle rather than sprint around the house. Bert has even taught us to bike with Tucker and other ways to help him use his energy. Now I can give him a good run before I go to work and my wife can take him out to bike when she gets home. With an outlet for his energy, Tucker is a completely different dog. That is, he?s the dog we always wanted.

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Tiffany McCormick - R.N. Mayo

Bert and the Ruff Break team are the best! The Ruff Break team takes great care of my two Shiba Inu's Brandy and Bailey, and I would highly recommend them to anyone who is looking for someone to take care of their dog's while at work, or for help in managing their dogs behavioral issues. I am a Registered Nurse and work long shifts; it is a huge relief to know that Brandy and Bailey are getting to have a potty break and be exercised while I am at work! The Ruff Break team is always available to provide my dogs with a break, even on short notice and when I am working night shifts. It is hard for me to imagine any other dog-care provider that is so committed to their clients that they will exercise your dogs at 11 pm at night, even in the middle of a freezing cold Minnesota winter! In addition to providing my dogs with a much needed break while I am away, Bert has helped me to work with my dogs and correct some of their behavioral issues. My Shiba Inu's are a somewhat stubborn and dominant canine breed, yet with Bert's help I have been able to better control their behavior and become the "alpha" in the household. I have been a Ruff Break client for nearly a year, and feel that I have healthier, more well-balanced dogs as a result of their interaction with Bert and the Ruff Break team! I can not recommend them higly enough!

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Lynn Estes - Mayo

The Ruff Break Company has far surpassed my expectations. I definitely give them my highest recommendation. I asked if I could write a testimonial because I hope it will help other local dog owners to benefit from the unique services this company provides. My recent adoptee, Chloe had been in 2 different dog rescues and at least 2 previous homes and was quite a handful. After Bert came to my home and explained the services in detail, I enlisted the Ruff Break Company to exercise Chloe a couple times a week when I had to work long hours or was away on a weekend. Both Chloe and I are thrilled with the Ruff and Fast Break sessions and it makes me feel at ease, knowing such responsible and knowledgeable people are working with my dog when I?m gone. They also provide regular feedback on how the sessions are going. Bert and his staff have recently been running her alongside a bicycle; one of my upcoming Ruff Break sessions will be to learn how to do this myself. How great is that? If your dog likes swimming, skating, or running?they can accommodate that too. I?d like to also emphasize that Bert has been a tremendous asset in behavioral training. As you might imagine with a rescue dog, Chloe was not leash trained and pulled strongly. I devoted a couple of Ruff Break sessions to obtaining personal training to help both of us (mostly me). Bert helped me immensely in teaching me how to walk her by my side. He?s given me numerous other training tips as well. I think the value vs. cost of these behavioral training sessions is unbeatable. If you have any concerns about home security with someone coming into your home while you?re away (as I did initially)?they are insured and bonded and after having numerous break sessions, I definitely no longer have any concerns about that. Many testimonials sound too good to be true; the ones on this site are genuine.

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Kim and Jaime Koenck - R.N. Mayo

Before starting with The Ruff Break, Dodger, my powerful GSP, was short tempered and would occasionally pick fights with Darby (my build for speed GSP) or respond aggressively when she initiated play. Physically he had a lack of muscle tone on his right hind quarters because of a recent total knee replacement surgery that left him with a steel cage holding his upper and lower leg bones in place. Darby absolutely loves and needs to run. Bert started regularly exercising her with bikes and skates and increased her distance from 6 miles to 11 miles per Ruff Break! Darby was making obvious improvements but we wanted Dodger to start benefiting from the exercise sessions as well. Bert started taking both of them together on Ruff Breaks. At first Dodger just physically could not keep up. In fact, we doubted whether Dodger would ever fully match Darby's endurance and speed. Little by little Dodger started to get stronger in his right leg. Now the only difference between Dodger and Darby are their colors! Their Ruff Breaks now consist of running on the Douglas trail 2 to 3 times per week, averaging 14 mph over a 9 - 11 mile distance, and reaching maximums speeds of up to 22.5 mph! Even our veterinarian's jaw dropped when she saw Dodger again for a follow up exam to his knee surgery. It's amazing... you can actually see the tension he held in his face is gone. Dodger is visibly more relaxed. His play with Darby is gentle, and his anxiety is at an all time low. We're now attempting to wean him off his anxiolytics--we would have never even considered this before. Have you ever seen a dogs smile? Mine do when they get home from thier run with Bert. ITS AMAZING!! Bert and his staff are just amazing. My dogs have never been so at peace and happily worn out. Ruff Break does, simply, what I could not. His insightful knowledge never fails. I'm always amused at all the new ways he comes up with to wear my dogs out.

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Gin Bartlett-Haffner

Everything was great when we got home and the boys were doing great! Maverick is still finding treats you hide in the kitchen! Thank you so much for taking such good care of Maverick and Iceman!

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Jen and David Brogan - M.D. Mayo

The service has been exceptionally reliable and flexible. We have really appreciated your ability to work with our crazy schedule and the emergencies that have cropped up this spring. The dogs seem to really enjoy the exercise and it is good for them to be social with other people. Thank you for being so great!

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Diano Orbelo - Mayo

Kelev is a wonderful dog who is more wonderful when he gets regular exercise. Ruff Break is the perfect answer to Kelev's energetic needs and my busy schedule. Ruff Break has offered expert service with attention to detail and great consideration. Most importantly, my wonderful dog is as happy and healthy as he has ever been. I can not say enough to encourage you to give Ruff Break a try!

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Megan Dawson

The Ruff Break team is Awesome! We recently moved to the Rochester area and were in need of daytime care for our dog. They were so great with my Adult Husky, and then when we got our two month old puppy, they really went above and beyond the call of duty. My dogs went on a Ruff break everyday, and had their fair share of weekend dog sitting. I needed dog sitting while my puppy was still very young and they were wonderful, giving her extra special attention. My dogs just loved their time with Bert and the Ruff breakers! They cared for my dogs as if they were their own, and for that I'm forever grateful :)

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Kerry DePew - Kerry DePew Photography - www.kerrydepewphotography.com

Bert, First off, I just want to thank your wife for just being amazing. Her updates (texts, pics, and phone calls) made me feel better that we had Precious in good hands. Who would have guessed, the first time we use a professional service, we would have a bloody mess that involved a vet visit and then meds?! And I am so glad we utilized you guys. We are so incredibly grateful that she has great initiative to even give Presh the porkchop in the fridge- it's exactly what we would have done. We really cannot begin to express that our little fur kids were in such good hands!

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Chris Hacker

Outside of finding a place to live when moving to Rochester my biggest concern was finding proper care for my dogs while I was at work. Fortunately, a quick internet search connected me with Ruff Break in-home pet service. I am in temporary accommodations while closing on my house and my dogs do not have much room to exercise. With Ruff Break my Weimaraner and Jack Russell get the daily dose of vigorous activity that they need, and I get the peace of mind I need, knowing that they are well cared for by Bert and the crew at Ruff Break.

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Brian and Jill Barnes - M.D. Mayo

Scout really enjoys her Ruff Breaks! Every time we come home after a long day, she is very happy and relaxed. We cannot thank you enough for taking care of her over the Christmas holiday. I know our neighbors are thankful that you took care of our packages, maintained our walkways, and pushed their car out of the snow bank! You went above and beyond our expectations! I know Scout is looking forward to seeing her new friends again!

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Sue Davies

We feel so fortunate to have found Bert and "The Ruff Break"; they have been a Godsend to us. When I returned to work full-time in the Fall I was really worried that our sociable beagle, London, would be alone all day. I was hoping to find a reliable and professional dog walking service and fortunately I found "The Ruff Break"! Bert cares about London as much as we do and has been extremely reliable, arriving to exercise her--whatever the weather. London gets really excited when Bert arrives and even our vet commented on how fit and toned she looks with her new exercise regime. Bert spent some time getting to know London and assessing her needs before we started a membership and he provides regular feedback on her progress. He is also extremely flexible. I cannot recommend "The Ruff Break" highly enough.

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Aliza Krizan

Roxy is an extremely energetic 2 year old golden retriever. A friend recommended I call Ruff Break a few days before an unanticipated surgery. Bert began running Roxy on his bike six weeks ago. Bert would return from their ride excited when Roxy set a new puppy best time or speed record. As winter approached, I asked Bert if we could train Roxy on the treadmill. Roxy now climbs up on the treadmill each afternoon without prompting and looks at me as if to say "I'm ready for my run". The exercise Roxy receives each day has allowed her to focus, follow commands, play independently with her toys and become a more loveable puppy. Bert is terrific and has continued to run Roxy with below zero wind chills. Roxy gets so excited when his car pulls up and after a quick drink of water on their return, Rox has to go back to say thanks to Bert. I so appreciate the change Ruff Break has made in Roxy and my life.

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Jan Finkelson Mayo

I really wanted TJ to be home with me while I recovered from my knee surgery...and this service has worked out better than I ever expected...someone who "knows what they are doing" is walking her, so I don't have to re-train her bad behavior which could happen if "just a neighbor or friend" walked her. And, you arrive on time which works out perfect for us. You are both personable, professional & upbeat even when the weather is "not so pleasant". All in all TJ is doing awesome. She is calm, happy, & tuckered out...after her walk with either of you.

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Gay Eastman - IBM

We adopted our 3 year old German Wirehaired Pointer, Rilee, from the Humane Society about 2 years ago. At first we hesitated about adopting him because of his high energy and the constant exercise needs of his breed, but he seemed to do well without regular exercise so we proceeded. In the last year we noticed an increase in Rilee's anxiety and especially his aggressiveness toward people coming to our door. Then he started being more aggressive with our other 3 dogs. Rilee recently got loose on us and bit our neighbor's child in the rear end. We were devasted and feared that euthanization was the only option for him. We reluctantly made the appointment and were heart broken all week. We emailed Bert to tell him and he suggested that we ask Animal Control if we could try some intense training with Rilee with Bert's help. The great news is that we canceled the euthanasia appointment and Bert came over and helped us with Rilee's behavior and reinforced the need to exercise Rilee daily. We have noticed a huge difference in Rilee since we implemented the changes Bert suggested. Bert helped us save Rilee's life!

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Deborah and Randy Stratman Mayo

Our overall level of satisfaction is extremely satisfied. You have helped us to learn how to acclimate and train Maggie and the others to exercise on the treadmill. Although we need to work more with the other two on this, our main focus for treadmill training was Maggie, since she is our highest-energy dog. She really seems to enjoy it and it really seems to keep her more balanced throughout the day. We have also found that the dogs are much more comfortable and calm after their Ruff Break when we arrive home after being gone for a while. It is VERY nice to come home to happy dogs that are not over-excited and really wound up!

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Brittany Buckmaster - R.N. Mayo

When I adopted my 90lb + Rottweiler mix, Ted, from the Humane Society, I thought I was a little over my head in my town home that has an extremely small yard. Although Ted is quite a big dog, he seems to think he's still a lap dog and was a little too much to handle at first. Within a week of Ted starting his Ruff Breaks, I could tell a difference in the way he acted. He was much more mellow both at home and on walks. If I remember right, Bert had Ted walking while he rode his bike within a couple weeks of meeting Ted! As if that wasn?t enough, Bert would check in with me to see if everything was doing alright with myself and Ted. When I came to him with a few concerns about Ted?s behavior (pottying in the house, whether or not I should get an invisible fence, etc), Bert replied with extensive information on my issues (and I'm happy to report Ted hasn't had an accident since!). Bert has been incredibly flexible with my schedule and is always giving me updates on how his Ruff Breaks go. I am so thankful to have found The Ruff Break to help Ted's transition into a new home and would most definitely recommend The Ruff Break to anyone who wants a happier dog!

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Belinda Galeano

Two years ago I adopted my first dog, a Pitbull Terrier mix by the name of Eclipse, from a local humane society (Paws and Claws). Since Eclipse was part Pitbull, black and a senior dog, not a lot of people were interested in adopting her. She ended up staying at the humane society for four and a half years. When I first got her, she was not used to going for long walks and would pull hard on the leash. After starting with the Ruff Break program, I have seen significant improvements in her stamina and overall health. While previously reluctant to go out for exercise, Eclipse now jumps at the opportunity and is very happy whenever her trainer shows up. She thoroughly enjoys the running and biking, but seems to love the rollerblading sessions the most. Bert really cares about dogs and treats Eclipse as one of his own. Eclipse has never been healthier and happier. Thanks Ruff Break!

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Jason Doffing

Tracy and I are very pleased with the Ruff Breaks Ash is receiving and the service you and your team are providing. We are really glad to hear he is able to get out with other dogs. Ash is such a social dog, he loves meeting every dog he sees. The barely audible excitement noises are Ash's form of expression. Typically to let you know "Hey I'm here..." or "Hey I'm happy," he's more like a cat that way then a dog. You and your staff are genuinely concerned for the dogs in your care and we appreciate it. Ash is always very happy on the days he has his Ruff Breaks so we know he truly enjoys them. Your prices are reasonable and a value for the service provided. Bottom line for us is Ash is happier overall and his Ruff Breaks are to thank for that. Thank you Bert to you and your team for the great service you provide.

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Emily Rode

Soy is having a great time with all of you! She seems very content and tired when I get home! Thanks Ruff Break

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Susan Shernit - Nurse Mayo

Rochester may be known for the Mayo Clinic, but it should also be known for being the home of Ruff Break! Mary Lou and I are moving back to Michigan next week. Mary Lou and I will miss the Ruff Break crew. I greatly appreciate the excellent care she has received. Your flexibility has rescued me several times. Thank you!

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Amy Reynolds

Thanks so much for taking care of Jasmin and Sully while we were gone! It is such a good feeling to know that they are well taken care of. When we got home today Sully was as calm as Jasmin!! You guys are magic!

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Billy Shultz

I just want to share that Chester and I have both appreciated the care and attention by your team. I think this experience has helped shape Chester into the social, happy and healthy (cough notwithstanding) dog he is today. I have recommended The Ruff Break to other dog owners and will continue to do so as I was impressed by the reliability, flexibility and genuine sense of caring by the team.

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Dana R.

The Ruff Break team is incredible. Trustworthy and affordable. They really do care for my dog and give me peace of mind while I'm at work all day. They're also very flexible and understanding when my schedule changes unexpectedly. I recommend them to all friends with dogs!

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Lillian Perez-Poveda

Cutie. She is a high-spirited and energetic Rat Terrior. We thought we had tried everything and had no idea what else to do. Bert taught us the importance of exercising our dog and taught us how to regain control. Within days we had a calmer and more obedient dog. The difference has been amazing. We are actually enjoying her company now. Bert has a way with dogs and is very knowledgeable about their behaviors and issues. I would recommend his training and techniques to any family who wants a little peace back in their home and a happier dog.

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Carrie Mulholland - Teacher

I have known Bert Rivero for five years. During that time he has helped me train both of my dogs. My older dog, Gracie, a black lab mix was having some issues with aggression towards other dogs. Bert suggested I give her more exercise. He taught her how to run alongside him while he bicycled. He then taught me how to do the same thing with her. Within a few times of biking, I noticed that she did not show as much aggression towards other dogs. She also seemed like a much happier, healthier dog. Bert also helped me train Gracie to run on a treadmill, which has been invaluable during the winter! As for my puppy, Bert helped me train her to walk properly on a leash without pulling me around the neighborhood.