Empathic Dog Training | Hearts & Hounds

My dog Bruno is now so much more focused on our relationship. It's mutual.

We really enjoyed taking classes with Alison! She is knowledgeable, patient, and my puppy absolutely loves her! :)”



I cannot say enough great things about Hearts & Hounds. Having a new puppy is so exciting but also overwhelming at times. Alison, the instructor, interacted with the puppies confidently, casually and with patience which, as a new parent to a pup, is so helpful to see and to try to emulate. Each class was packed full of excellent information and teaching techniques. I am so happy that my pup and I went to pre-school and we are looking forward to going to Kindergarten.”



Alison was fantastic at helping us work on some frustrating behaviours in our 1 year old high energy border collie mix. She was punctual, friendly, hugely knowledgeable, easy to talk to, and had affordable pricing. Conveniently she came right to our apartment for the training sessions. We loved that the training is all about positive reward and not being harsh or punishing your dog. Our dog has been responding well to training so far and I would highly recommend Alison to any puppy or older dog owners needing support.”


Highly recommend Alison’s course for socializing puppies and teaching owners the basics of proper training! Hearts and Hounds provides a safe and controlled environment for your puppy to learn to be around other dogs. Despite being a very small breed and having some initial shyness, our puppy learned to play with other dogs in his Hearts and Hounds course. He is now a social butterfly who confidently approaches other dogs multiple times his size without fear. Thank you Alison!



We loved taking our puppy to Hearts and Hounds. Alison was super helpful and accommodating. Her Puppy Kindergarten class was great for socialization.”



We initially brought our 5 month old puppy, Parker, to Alison’s Life Skills Class with the goal to nail down basic obedience (which he was pretty good at already) just in a group setting with lots of distractions. We got so much more. Alison brings so much knowledge and expertise to the table. She is extremely patient, positive, funny and helped point out how my partner and I can do better on communicating on basic commands even our pup knows well. Our class had a broad range of skills and backgrounds and she was able to work and adapt to each dog very well so that that each family felt like they made progress each week. Thanks so much Alison!”



I couldn't recommend Alison's classes more highly for any new puppy parents looking for practical and accessible tips and to socialize their puppies in a safe and controlled environment. Alison is very professional and non-judgmental in her guidance to families. She makes the classes both educational and enjoyable for both puppies and parents. Our puppy has come away from these sessions much more confident and social, and we are definitely more informed puppy parents. Thank you Alison for your kindness and patience with both us, and our cheeky pup!”



We really enjoyed our time in the Hearts & Hounds Puppy Preschool classes. A ton of resources are provided as part of the class and it was a great way to reinforce skills we were teaching our puppy in a new environment. It also provided a safe and controlled way of socializing with other puppies (very cute too!). Alison was great at monitoring puppy play sessions and teaching us what to look for in good play, addressed common behavioural issues, and spent time with each puppy as they practiced their skills.”



I rescued my dog a few months ago and attended Alison’s Life Skills class. Benji and I learned lots of new skills to practice moving into the future together and it put me at ease knowing we had a patient and kind trainer like Alison. You can tell her classes are very well thought out and that she puts 100% of her effort into making sure you and your dog feel comfortable during class. Highly recommend her classes to any and everyone.”



Mac was very shy about meeting other puppies when we started Alison’s Puppy Start Right Preschool and now he is happy and confident making new friends. Trainer Alison is so sweet, you can tell she adores all the puppies and loves holding the classes. She is knowledgeable and very experienced and takes the time to answer lots of questions and explains the importance of the training and socialization topics each week so well. Mac absolutely LOVES seeing her every week and getting cuddles!  I highly recommend Hearts and Hounds, especially if you are a first time puppy parent.”



From the moment I came across Alison’s website, I had a gut feeling that her positive, affirmative training approach was going to work for me and Ripley. After enrolment in Puppy Kindergarten and through private coaching – I’m pleased to say this is very much the case. After every class, I could see growth and learning on Ripley’s part – and was constantly amazed at how much content  Alison was able to integrate into each hour, without ever making it feel rushed or overwhelming. I credit her training with helping me set up Ripley for her best life as a dog – and cannot wait for our next round of Life Skills classes.”



We brought our puppy Boson to Alison’s classes (Puppy Preschool and Kindergarten), and loved every second of it. Boson went from a scared-cat hiding and shaking under our chair the first class, to a confident and happy puppy with excellent social skills within the first few classes.  Alison is wonderfully experienced with puppies (and I’m sure older dogs too) of all sizes and breeds. I absolutely recommend her puppy classes to any new owner of a young puppy. Wonderful learning experience for humans and canines alike!”


Australian Cattle Dog on a Leash

Alison’s Life Skills classes are a must for any pup! I’ve seen how our pup has improved with certain issues we started with. I’ve also learned a whole lot about how to continue training our pup even outside of official training lessons. Would definitely recommend.”


Puppy on Training Leash

My fiancée and I worked with Alison when we adopted our puppy, Tony. Tony is a rescue who came with a few quirks. Working with Alison was so incredibly helpful for his development. She gave us the confidence and resources we needed as first time dog parents. Tony has come so far since first starting training - we cannot recommend her more. We plan to continue working with her as Tony grows older. Thank you Alison!”

—IAN Y. & ANA W.

Puppy Relaxing

Roxy and I were struggling. Her enthusiastic leash-pulling and reactivity made our daily walks difficult for us both. A recommendation led us to Alison, and our lives have completely changed.  Alison's approach is consistent, positive and gentle to Roxy and equally so to me. Appropriate cues, positive reinforcement, and the right equipment have totally changed the way we walk each day.  Alison’s tailored approach has been the right fit for us both!”


We had such a wonderful experience with Alison! Both Charlie and I learned so much from our Puppy Start Right One-on-One weekly training sessions. Charlie has made fantastic improvements and we are very proud of her progress. Thank you Alison for all of your positivity, support and guidance!”


Puppy Sitting On The Grass

I am very grateful to have found Alison as she has helped me put the final touches on the training of my 2 year old Golden Retriever, Lily.  I learned to stop her incessant on-leash pulling in the first session I attended—with a powerful dog who is incredibly strong when focussed; that has been a game changer.”


Happy Dog Sitting Down

Alison has a keen sense of what is required to successfully train our dog,  Sugo. She is extremely knowledgeable and genuinely cares about his well-being. She is very patient and approachable when it comes to sharing her extensive wisdom on the needs of both dog and owner.”


Happy Puppy Sitting On The Sidewalk

I was referred to Alison when my dog Whiskey was just 2 months old and I never looked back to search for another trainer.  Whiskey is quite nervous, shy and gets distracted very easily but Alison gave me tools, skills and confidence to support him. Alison's 1:1 sessions as well as “Out & About” classes were amazing. Both Whiskey and I look forward to more.”


Alert Dog By The Water

Alison is fantastic. She worked with us since Brodie was a wee pup, and her patience and kind determination helped us immensely. Her “Out and About” classes were especially useful, setting Brodie up for good behaviour out in the real world. Her methods are 100% positive and always encouraging. Brodie absolutely adored her, and I deeply appreciated her rock of support. Sadly we've recently moved back to Scotland and I haven’t yet managed to persuade Alison to hold weekly classes here too – I'm working on it!”


Golden Retriever Running Through the Field
Happy Golden Retriever

Alison’s approach to dog training is so gentle and positive and the results we have seen with our Golden Retriever have been like magic. With Alison’s patience and skill, we watched our girl become a more confident and happy dog.  Her classes taught us how best to work with our dog using only positive reinforcement. (Alison only used positive reinforcement with us too, as we learned!)”