"As a veterinarian I am reminded daily that the behavior of our pets directly impacts our relationship with them and can sometimes even determine the care they are able to receive. Being able to take your dog for an enjoyable walk, have them interact with strangers politely and accept basic handling allows both pet and owner to lead a more peaceful and enjoyable existence, helping to strengthen their bond. When my own dog, Bruce, a terrier-dachshund mix started rushing guests at the door and going into attack mode when he saw larger dogs on our walks, I knew I needed help! Thankfully a client recommended Laurie!
Laurie is a wonderful trainer and her approach is kind, patient and specific to the dog! She helped me break down complex behavioral problems into a series of smaller goals that were able to work on which helped Bruce better understand what was expected of him and what behavior gets rewarded. Her private one on one sessions allowed us to work on Bruce's behavioral issues first at home and then out and about on walks, gradually increasing the degree of difficulty for him. He made so much progress we were able to include our other dog in the last session and work on some other minor issues for him, like getting him to be more accepting of nail trims. Now when he hears a knock or door bell he runs to his "place" and stays until released. He is calm and behaved on walks and is constantly checking in with me to make sure things are okay. We are planning on enrolling in agility as he has responded so well to his training-something I would have never believed possible before! I am so thankful to Laurie for all of her help and would highly encourage anyone looking for anything from basic training to working on significant behavioral issues to give her a call."
Justin Miller, DVM, Cashmere
"As a veterinarian, I have known and worked with Laurie and her pets for over twenty years. Her diligent and conscientious approach to training has always been apparent, not only with her personal pets, but with the many guide dog puppies she has taken on. Laurie has a rare passion for successful, positive training and strives to create understanding and cooperation between owner and dog resulting in trust and fulfillment of the human/animal bond."
Ed Womack, DVM, Wenatchee
"When I found Laurie I was starting to run out of hope. My dog had been suffering from fear based anxiety and aggression. I met with another trainer previously to tackle the aggression issues and they had suggested using a shock collar and prong collar. I felt very skeptical about it. I hadn't heard of anyone in the Wenatchee Valley who could help with dog aggression. So, I was very happy hearing that Happy Tails uses ONLY positive reinforcement! Upon meeting Laurie, I could tell she is very confident in what she does and has a passion for helping dogs and their owners to better understand them. It didn't take long for my dog to warm up to her, which really surprised me at first. With the tools and information provided by Laurie through our lessons, he became a totally different dog! Once a very scared and easily triggered dog to now, a confident, obedient, easy going and happy dog. Every penny I spent on lessons was so, so worth it. Thank you so much, Laurie!"
Lorry and Timber, Leavenworth
"Coming home from our summer vacation at the beach this year, I began searching for solutions to help my dog, Ernie. He, like all our other Shar Peis in the past, come from rescues as adults and have lots of emotional baggage. Ernie is fearful and has anxiety when near other dogs, which greatly affects our walks. I reached out to our veterinarian's office for resources that might help him (and me). They recommended Happy Tails Dog Training, with owner Laurie Dawson. Laurie came to our home and spent over an hour talking about what we knew of Ernie's past and what we know of his current personality. We started training with the clicker. It was amazing how fast Ernie responded to positive reinforcement. Having taken several other dog obedience classes over the years with some of our other rescues, assertive training was not the right choice for Ernie. Allowing him to decide how close and how much interaction he could tolerate was the solution. Learning to watch and respond to my dog was my learning. We want to thank Laurie for teaching us these skills and for her patience while we learned"
Jean and Ernie, Wenatchee
"We adopted two German Shepherd puppies and they were not responding to our normal training techniques. Shadow (4 months) was very high prey drive, and Etta (7 months) was very aggressive towards other dogs and leaping at oncoming traffic. In the first couple of weeks we were able to get both dogs to respond to the the clicker and over time they advanced to stop the aggressive behaviors. Within five weeks of training, we had the behaviors under control and were well on our way to good citizen dogs. We have a long way to go, but now we are equipped with the tools we need. We hope to progress to training towards therapy dog and agility training. Laurie's help was essential in helping us to key in on the behaviors and offer solutions to bring the focus back to us and away from the outside distractions. Thank you Laurie!"
Brian and Pam, Wenatchee
"Thanks to Laurie and her knowledge and commitment to training I have 2 very well behaved dogs. With Laurie's guidance, she was able to help me train a 6 month Labradoodle right along side a 9 year old Flatcoat Retriever. Not only did she add guidance to the puppy training, she was able to work on adjustment and bad behavior from my older dog. She is a skilled master in offering suggestions to my every circumstance and issue I was dealing with. I will continue to use Laurie's assistance with the maturing of my puppy as new issues arise. Laurie's method of positive reinforcement training yielded instant results with both dogs. Thanks Laurie!"
"Laurie is the real deal! She has an amazing gift and we were so fortunate for her advice and expertise on how to deal with our rambunctious yellow lab, Murphy. Her patience and knowledge of what he was going through and how he was feeling were incredibly valuable. In just six lessons Murphy learned how to politely walk on a leash, greet others and how to ignore other dogs...not an easy task! Laurie is patient, kind and understanding and we are so thankful for her help. She truly cares not only for animals but her clients as well."
"Working with Laurie has been by far the most positive and fun training experience we have had. Our sweet Golden Retriever Sawyer came to us as a stray and has some fear-based reactivity issues and we had no idea how to help him. Right away, Laurie gave us practical and useful training tips that have helped BOTH of our dog's behavior and anxiety, along with building their confidence. Even our cat loves her! Laurie's calm and encouraging demeanor while training Sawyer (and us really), made for such a positive experience for both my husband and I. I really can't say enough good things about how much she's helped our little family. We will definitely be working with her more in the future."
Charlotte, E. Wenatchee
"Eve and I want to thank you very much for helping her become less reactive and calmer! We have learned so much from you and I feel so much more at ease when out walking her. Thanks for everything!"
Eve, E. Wenatchee
"We recently completed our 6 week training session with Laurie, and are so thrilled with the outcome! While the training was more for my husband and I, our brother/sister pair of Jack Russell Terriers had a great time, and were always very excited when Laurie arrived at our front door. They just loved her. From start to finish Laurie was very thorough; our first visit was a meet and greet (consultation) with a review of an overall training plan. Having two very active dogs, each one needed some special skills training, and this was never a problem. Laurie simply noted what was required and built it into the plan. Our subsequent 6 training sessions were always planned in advance with attention being paid to our needs. Each week she ended our session with a hand-out for us to use as a reference during our practice time. We absolutely loved her gentle and consistent approach, and there was never any fear/intimidation based training which was critical in our choice for a trainer. We proudly and simply state that we have no hesitancy in recommending Laurie to anyone who has dogs that need training of any kind, she is fantastic and is up to the task!"
Rob and Deb, East Wenatchee
"Laurie has been a fantastic trainer for both me and my 1 year old yellow lab Sunny! In just 5 sessions we have tackled all the behaviors I wanted to improve and I feel as though I am armed with the knowledge to continue working solo with my dog. Laurie was prompt and professional and my dog absolutely loved her!"
"Happy Tails Dog Training by Laurie Dawson is very effective and a lifesaver. Laurie came to help us with our 16 week old Weimaraner puppy. We were ready to buy a "choke" chain. Then Laurie came to the rescue and explained her method of training is positive reinforcement. We were directed what type of harness, chew toys and much more that would work best for our girl. One of the best services Laurie provides is coming to you. We thought this was fantastic. Not only for our busy schedules but we thought how important it is to see the puppy in her environment. Plus we have other pets and it was great to get advice on socialization and training advice for them. We would highly recommend Laurie to anyone with a puppy or even an older dog. Laurie is patient and kind and very knowledgeable."
"Laurie is a "dog whisperer!" Her love of dogs shows in everything she does and is why she bonds immediately with them. She has the full trust of my dog and he can't wait to see her come for the next lesson!"
Kathy, East Wenatchee
"We have a very sweet small dog with whom we had a barking problem. We had successfully reinforced this problem and were getting nowhere with changing his behavior. One call and three visits later with Laurie Dawson and now we have a very sweet small dog who responds to our bag of tools (treats and a clicker) and most importantly POSITIVE cues and would rather have a tiny treat than pursue the barking. We and our dog really enjoyed Laurie, her methods and way with dogs. Thank you so much Laurie. We will keep up with your recommendations."
Bob and Cheryl, Wenatchee
"I have had the pleasure of working with Laurie for several weeks on training my two 6 month old puppies. I highly recommend Laurie. Her expertise in positive training techniques is exceptional. She truly cares for and understands the best tactic to use for each dog. She has done a good job training me to be a good trainer for my two dogs as well. It is remarkable to see the rapid progress I have seen with each of my dogs. They have learned several commands in just a few weeks. What is even more impressive is that even after the dogs have not had a session for a couple of weeks they absolutely remember and do the commands. My dogs love Laurie. They have so much fun while learning the things they need to know. It is also obvious that Laurie has just as much fun as the dog during training sessions! I have seen my two dogs confidence grow dramatically. I highly recommend Laurie; she is a very talented dog trainer who truly loves dogs. Her commitment to only teaching by positive methods is impressive. She is trustworthy. I have no problem having Laurie in my home for training sessions even when I am not able to be home for the session."
"I felt hopeless in training my German Shepherds, I didn't know where to start or what to even do. When we hired Laurie and in the 1st session within a few minutes my dogs had a total turn around and calmness about them they started to learn quick, I think it is important that the training is done in the dogs surroundings and I like that Laurie comes to the home, I really think positive reinforcement is important along with clicker training. I could not be happier."
"I met Laurie in 2012 when we were both raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. She is, without a doubt the most positive person I know. Laurie understands dogs and has the patience to teach YOU how to help your dog become a loving, well-behaved member of your family."
Sharon W., Wenatchee
"Laurie assisted me with training my two dogs - each with very different needs. One was a pup and she helped guide me through early puppy training. The other is my 3 yo Border Collie rescue. My goals were to learn how to use clicker training and positive reinforcement to work with the dogs. So Laurie taught me use of the clicker and how to think about training differently than I had been. I'm really pleased with the results and was pleased with the process: Laurie shows up on time, spends her time focused on the dogs, and the dogs really loved her. They both now walk on a loose leash, have improved house manners and I know how to deal with new training issues as they come up. I feel that I have a better relationship with the dogs. I will use Laurie's services again in the future."
"Laurie has provided superb training for our yellow lab Mick. Her easy going demeanor, encouragement and support to both Mick and myself, have us both learning from positive reinforcement. We both look forward to her training sessions!"
Jeane, East Wenatchee
"Laurie worked with one year old Charlie and I for three weeks, twice a week. He is a German Shepherd and at 16 mos he has retained most things she taught him i.e. Sit, down, come and good leash behavior. He and I really enjoyed her coming to our house!"
Teri S., Wenatchee
"I wholeheartedly recommend Laurie and Happy Tails Dog Training! We were frustrated with the behavior of our 7 month old puppy and were at a loss as to how to train him. Laurie taught us how to modify Percy's behavior through positive training techniques. It has made a huge difference in our home. Laurie is very organized, approachable, and the dogs love her. I wouldn't hesitate to use Happy Tails Dog Training again in the future."