About us

Relationship-based training that works

Let’s face it; there are a LOT of dog trainers in the Anne Arundel county area, and almost as many approaches to dog training.  Often you’ll find conflicting advice, or one trainer telling you what all the others are doing wrong, rather than helping you with the information and tools you and your dog need to succeed. How do you choose?

We have the experience and education to get you the results you desire. We’ve helped hundreds of families and their dogs in central Maryland for almost a decade.  We specialize in reliable, common sense training that results in real, positive, lasting, changes in your dog.

Our approach to dog training is founded first and foremost on building a relationship (with you AND with your dog!)  We believe that taking the time to develop mutual respect and cooperation is the fastest way to creating a healthy partnership and to truly solving most nuisance behaviors like jumping, barking, nipping, counter surfing, door dashing, and general hyperactivity, as well as more serious behavior problems like aggression, anxiety, and fear.

The first stage in all our programs is to establish a calm, attentive mindset in your dog.  Once that foundation is set, we can add fair instruction and expectations for better manners and behavior. We show the dog exactly what it is we want, we practice that until he knows it, and then we hold him responsible for it!

We believe training your dog is the key to his leading a better life.  Trained dogs are more pleasant to take out in public and easier to include in family activities.  With effective training, your dog goes from being a headache that you make excuses for, to a companion you love to have around.

Kirsten Tolley, Anne Arundel county’s puppy training specialist

Like many dog trainers, I have enjoyed the company of dogs since childhood.  From the pint-sized terrors that shared my childhood home, to the out-of-control puppy that belonged to the family I was a nanny for—boy, did I love those dogs (but often hated the way they behaved!)

A little over eleven years ago, with four young children and a husband who was not fond of dogs, I knew a dog like many of the others I had lived with was NOT going to pass muster as our family dog.  To make a long story short, I sought out expert help and learned to be a dog trainer so that we could have the sort of dog we wanted to share our home with.  

Along my own training journey, I’ve discovered a passion for training dogs in obedience, for observing and shaping their behavior, for finding better ways of caring for and keeping them.  Most of all, I’ve learned how teaching puppies certain things the right way, at the right time, can make a world of difference to them AND their owners, for the rest of their lives.  

I continue to pursue knowledge, learning from peers and mentors, and deliberately budgeting for seminars, workshops and annual conferences as a professional member of the International Association for Canine Professionals.  I have volunteered with local shelters and several rescue organizations.

As a dog (and owner!) trainer, my purpose is to help more dogs keep their homes, and to help more homes keep their dogs.