Hello! Welcome to Happy Tails Dog School, the best Denver dog training you can find. I so thoroughly believe in what I do. For more than 12 years I have worked to teach my clients to build positive, loving relationships with their dogs as they work in my dog obedience classes. We have such fun watching each dog catch on to my relationship-based positive training methods, and my clients are thrilled with the lasting results they get from a Happy Tails Dog School course.
I am a cross-over trainer. I trained my first dog, a beloved Rottweiler named Sophie, using traditional dog behavior training methods with a choke chain. Sophie was a magnificent dog, very intelligent, and these traditional methods worked well for her. I did the alpha roll and the scruff shake and a whole lot of collar pops, and yes, she learned. She was a model family member for years. But with my next dog, a yellow Lab named Bijou, I learned a positive reinforcement approach. I was amazed at how much more quickly Bijou learned, which is saying something because she was not as intelligent as Sophie was. When I look back and remember the things I did to Sophie, I am filled with guilt about the traditional methods I employed. With Bijou, using the positive approach meant light-hearted, fun training sessions filled with treats and instant, dramatic results. The contrast is stark -- positive reinforcement training is clearly a far-superior, kinder, and better way to train, hands down. When you know better, you do better. How I wish I could have a second chance to train Sophie. I would do it the right way, the positive way. Bijou earned her American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen title in 2007 at the age of four, she was my demo dog in class until she retired at 13, and she died at age 14 in 2015. I now have Rollo the Rottweiler and Hamish the Pomeranian. Rollo has been a challenging dog but we have trained our way to a Canine Good Citizen certificate, beginning, intermediate and advanced AKC trick titles, UKC/V1 INTL (ICE)/AKC championships in conformation, a stellar performance on a temperament test, and we are currently training in scent work. Hammy mostly sits in my lap and looks cute but recently started nose work with Rollo and is making his big brother look like a snail searching for hides.
In addition to training more than 2,000 owner-dog teams, I continually strive to update my education, regularly attending training and behavior seminars and classes whenever I can. I have been educated by some of the best dog trainers in Denver, Boulder, the U.S. and the world. I studied with local trainer Vicky Kirkland for six years, received a certificate in dog daycare management from Boulder trainer Nana Will, and absorbed all the pearls of wisdom I could collect in in-depth seminars with Dr. Ian Dunbar, Dr. Patricia McConnell, Behaviorists and Trainers Pia Silvani, Claudia Fugazza, and the amazing Suzanne Clothier. Other guiding forces for me include Karen Pryor, Turid Rugaas, and Jean Donaldson. I am also a full member of the APDT, the American Professional/Pet Dog Trainers Association. I recently attended the 2019 APDT Conference in Portland and worked for two days with esteemed canine expert Sue Sternberg and Neurobiologist Tim Lewis.
I invite you to visit the References page to hear from other Happy Tails Dog School clients about their experiences with me as their Denver dog trainer. I also invite you to give me a call if you have any questions. I would love to fill you in more about my classes and what I do, so call me - 720-839-5145. You have many choices of dog training in Denver, but if you decide to go somewhere other than Happy Tails Dog School, please let it be with a positive reinforcement or relationship based trainer. There are a lot of great ones out there! Trust your gut and believe in the training you choose. Your dog is so lucky that you care enough to train him! Thank you for that.
WHERE DOGS HAVE FUN LEARNING TO BE GOOD!
Heidi & Bijou, CGC
Rollo, Demo Dog
Heidi & Rollo,
CH Ironstone's Roll O' the Dice
CGC TKB TKI TKA TT