Our mission is simple: to help dogs and their people live happy, fulfilled lives together.
We help dog owners resolve behavioral issues through positive, force-free training methods that deepen their bond.
Why Positive, Force-Free Training?
The idea that we should treat our dogs like members of a pack who need to be dominated is based on bad science. Positive, force-free training is the most efficient (and fun) way to teach your dog—and learn right along with them. Our methods are proven to work for all kinds of dogs, from puppies and out-of-control adolescents to shy or reactive adults.
Behavioral science has proven that pain and coercion-based training often elicits aggression, fear, and anxiety as a side-effect—making many problems worse, not better. Fear and pain inhibit learning in both humans and dogs. Force-free, reward-based training yields maximum results without unintended side effects.
Our training methods are guided by modern behavioral science, which is why we are force-free trainers who exclusively use reward-based methods. We’re committed to helping you achieve results and enjoy the process.
Meet the Trainers
Patrice Kuiken (she/her) – CTC, CNWI
Owner / Founder
Patrice fell in love with dogs as a little girl. While earning her BA in Psychology and volunteering for the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, she learned that force-free dog training was the best way to improve behavior in shelter dogs, making them more adoptable. She wanted to do even more to help dogs live long, happy lives in their forever homes.
Today, she has over a decade of experience working with a wide variety of dogs and their humans. Patrice’s specialty is young/adolescent and “out-of-control” dogs. (Her own former wild child, Finnegan the Australian Shepherd, was the best teacher she could have hoped for.)
Patrice is always seeking to further her knowledge of dog behavior, and holds the following professional certifications and memberships:
- CTC (Certificate in Training and Counseling)
- Graduate with Honors from The Academy for Dog Trainers (also known as the Harvard of dog training)
- CNWI (Certified Nose Work Instructor) through NACSW (National Association of Canine Scent Work)
- Association for Professional Dog Trainers (APDT)
- Pet Professional Guild (PPG)
Kara Polansky (she/her) – CPDT-KA
Kara has over 15 years of experience working with dogs. She’s worked nearly everywhere you find dogs, from boarding kennels and vet clinics to service dog organizations. She’s even worked with exotic animals in AZA-accredited zoos.
Kara shares her home with four dogs, three cats, and an ever-changing cast of foster animals who are on the way to their forever homes. She specializes in behavior modification for shy, fearful, and reactive dogs of all ages and breeds, but especially terriers and herding breeds.
Her professional certifications and memberships include:
- CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed)
- AKC CGC (Canine Good Citizen) Evaluator
Sam Griffin (they/them)- CBCC-KA, KPA-CTP
Like many behavior consultants, Sam always loved animals and has been working professionally with animals for 5 years. They have worked as a veterinary assistant in veterinary emergency, in shelters in the foster and the behavior departments, and with a veterinary behaviorist as a behavior therapist. In each of these fields, they prioritize the human-animal bond while increasing both humans’ and animals’ joy and confidence.
Sam has experience working with cats and dogs with compulsive behaviors, fear and anxiety, animal and/or human-directed aggression, separation-related behaviors, and pet-to-pet conflict. They also enjoy working with farm animals on cooperative care and adding enrichment to their days. They share their home and life with their wife and two lovely cats, Charm and Sushi.
Their professional certifications and memberships include:
- CBCC-KA (Certified Behavior Consultant Canine – Knowledge Assessed)
- KPA-CTP (Karen Pryor Academy – Certified Training Partner)
- Fear Free Certified Veterinary Professional Cats and Dogs Level 3
- Fear Free Certified Professional – Equine