Empathic Dog Training | Hearts & Hounds

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

Alison’s puppy preschool is excellent and really informative. Lots of puppy play time and small class sizes. Highly recommend.”

—HANNA D. & IGOR M.

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I had 4 private coaching sessions with Alison for my two dogs. My dogs behaved really well every time under her instructions (they didn’t seem like my dogs when Alison is here), and she taught us a lot of useful skills and explained all the essential knowledge about dog training. Both me and my dogs definitely learnt a lot from her and I highly recommend her for anyone who wants dog training 👍🏽”

—MEIXIU P. & PHOEBE G.

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Alison’s classes are excellent; she provides such great practical advice and ability to practice during the classes with her feedback. We really appreciated having small classes to really focus on the skills each week. Alison also provides access to online resources which are very informative. We have taken our first new pup through one set of classes and are keen to start training sessions with our second new puppy. I highly recommend Hearts & Hounds!”

—SANDY C. & PETER A.

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These classes were perfect for our puppy.  Alison is clearly very knowledgeable about positive dog training techniques and has an obvious love of dogs.  The amount of material covered each session was perfect to allow the pups to have time for socializing as well as giving us just the right number of things to practice between classes.”

—PAULA D. & AL G.

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My four month old puppy enjoyed the class and learned some great manners!”

—MING-MING G.

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My puppy and I attended Puppy Kindergarten. I was impressed by how quickly my dog learned to respond to commands using Alison’s methods. It was a lot of fun and we both learned a lot. The small class size was great as it allowed individual attention when needed.”

—JEAN M.

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Alison was a great trainer. I put my puppy through two levels with her. She explains things thoroughly and is very positive and pleasant to learn from. I will definitely sign up with her in the future.”

—PAIGE G. & YOUYI B.

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We loved working with Alison!!! My pup loved attending the classes both the Puppy Kindergarten and Life Skills class. I would definitely recommend training here :)”

—ERIN S.

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Alison’s training is thoughtful and effective. I learned more from her in 3 sessions than I did with my previous group classes and feel well prepared to continue my training and improve my relationship with my dog. Most importantly, I can tell she genuinely cared for my dog and wanted her to feel safe in her presence. Highly recommend!”

—KRISTINA M.

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I found the first class chaotic because of the combination of puppies in there. After that however I found the classes to be very good and very practical. I’ve had dogs pretty well all my life but I still find it very useful to go to puppy classes. I attended puppy kindergarten. I will be going on to the next class. She was able to demonstrate what she was teaching very well with our pups and the drills were simple and easy to follow.”

—JANET M.

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Alison is a great trainer who took extra time to give us specific direction and extra information. She made us feel comfortable, and the classes were super enjoyable. Our dog started being pretty shy at 9 weeks but slowly became the most confident puppy. Playtime was really fun and we learned lots from her. We ended up taking three courses with her.”

—ALEJANDRA R. & JEREMY H.

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Alison’s classes were well run and I really like how the class sizes were small. Typically 4-6 different puppies. Alison is attentive and always knew the appropriate solution for any problem we would have with our puppy. At a minimum the socialization in her classes was a game changer and we always get comments on how well behaved/calm our puppy is. I’d highly recommend any of her classes. We did both preschool and kindergarten with plans on doing more classes in the future.”

—TERRAN H. &  AIRA A.

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We did her Puppy Training and Life Skills classes with Charlie and it was awesome! I love Alison’s method of teaching with positive reinforcement, it really worked with Charlie. She is very patient, experienced and knowledgeable. I would go through periods of frustration training my puppy but with her classes it helped understand how to communicate with Charlie through commands, patience, consistency and a reward system.”

—MICHELLE M.

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We really enjoyed puppy kindergarten, our puppy got over her fear of other dogs in this safe environment.”

—DANA & WENDY M.

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Alison has been an absolute pleasure to work with. We recently completed puppy preschool with our golden retriever, and further enrolling him into Hearts & Hounds kindergarten program was a no brainer. Alison is super knowledgeable, friendly, patient, and has done wonders towards our puppy’s early development & socialization. Look no further if you’re searching for a great trainer!”

—KEVIN T. &  JENNY S.

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Our puppy transitioned from a group course to private coaching to help with his reactivity. He’s made great progress so far. Alison is a great doggy coach and trainer, very patient and ensured that my concerns were addressed and a plan was formulated. I only wish we found out about her sooner!”

—YAO L.

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We enrolled our mini schnauzer puppy in the Life Skills and Takin’ It to the Streets classes. Alison is a wonderful instructor, who trained us to be empathetic partners to our puppy, and gave us a great foundation to growing our bond. Highly recommended!”

—MICHELLE L. & SCOTT L.

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Alison is a top tier dog trainer! My pup and I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for dog training classes. We took the “taking it to the streets” class. Despite all the distractions and challenges that come with being outside, the classes were well structured with specific locations chosen for the learning objectives of each class. Alison is really good at explaining the reasoning behind the training techniques in a way that helps owners understand the ways that dogs think and learn. YouTube is great but it’s really nice to attend a class and get real time coaching for both yourself and your puppy in a controlled environment with an expert. Totally worth it!”

—AMANDA & ARTHUR N.

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Alison is fantastic. Took both her Puppy Preschool and Puppy Kindergarten courses with my new pup, and cannot recommend them enough as a great place for young puppies to socialize and practice working with you in controlled, safe, and still higher distraction environments. My puppy was ecstatic to go to class every week, and Alison really helped us both troubleshoot some trickier parts of learning and puppy care.”

—JAY P.

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My puppy was very comfortable in this environment! Friendly and patient trainer :) We enjoyed our experience at Hearts and Hounds DT!”

—ALYSSA T. & WENDELL B.

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We enrolled in the puppy start right preschool followed by the puppy kindergarten. Our puppy Linus had lots of socialization opportunity and learned basic commands/manners. Alison limits each class to 4 puppies which allow for more attention for each pup. We also booked 2 private lessons taken place at our home where Alison gave us training methods tailored to our living style. She is very patient and never rushes on time. I can definitely tell how much she cares for the pups!”

—EMILY O. &  ANGUS T.

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Alison is knowledgeable and compassionate. The program is thorough without being too overwhelming. Very appreciative of this program!”

—ERIN D.

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

—ELENA C.

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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.”

—LORRIE M.

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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.”

—HONOR W. & BEN D.

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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!

—ISAAC W. & MAE M.

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

—CLAIRE M-C. & ANDREW R.

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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 each family felt like they made progress each week. Thanks so much Alison!”

—SONIA S. & DEREK B.

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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!”

—RACHEL G. & FAISAL M.

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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.”

—MARINA M. & BRENT D.

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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.”

—SHARINA R.

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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.”

—MADDIE H.

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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.”

—BRIAN P.

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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!”

—YILIN W. & ANTOINE B.

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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.”

—CARISSA T. & BRANDON K.

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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!”

—JUDY N.

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!”

—JENNA L.

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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.”

—ANDREA W.

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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.”

—SHIRLEY H.

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.”

 —LAURA F.

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!”

—GEORGIA P.W.

Golden Retriever Running Through the Field

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!)”

—SHAWN H. & ANDREW vO.

Happy Golden Retriever