Hi! I’m Rachel Laurie Harris, Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). I found my calling training people and their dogs after volunteering at MaxFund as a dog walker. There, I saw that the thousands of dogs stuck in shelters are there because of easily trainable behavioral problems. I realized that if you take the time and work consistently with these disorderly dogs, they can learn to trust people, behave politely, and find the homes they deserve.
I’m committed to continuing my education, following key research, and helping you distill that information so you and your dogs are getting the best training plans available. Developing relationships with your furry family isn’t static, and our training techniques shouldn’t be either.
In addition to training my own pups (Waylon + Tiva), I’ve fostered a number of “difficult” dogs to help give them the best chance at finding a new life. I also help organizations train their rescue dogs, helping them understand how to best serve the needs of these special friends.
I work with all breeds and families, but have a soft spot in my heart for blockheaded bullies and pitbull mixes.
Canine Good Citizen
Tiva is a 12 year old American Staffordshire Terrier Mix. She had some serious separation anxiety at a young age, but with lots of time, training, and patience, Tiva learned that being alone isn’t so bad. After spending a ton of time helping her build her confidence, Tiva has helped raise her handful younger brother Waylon, learned tons of tricks, and loves to hike and swim in mountain lakes. Tiva is now retired from the ring, but won a number of agility titles, showing that anything is possible.
Canine Good Citizen
Sunny (RIP) was a 10 year old American Staffordshire Terrier. After I adopted Sunny from Table Mountain Animal Shelter in 2008, I realized he came with some serious fear issues. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to see him happy. We spent a year taking baby steps forward, and he started to come out of his shell. A fearful dog can’t be rushed, and I learned as many lessons as he did. After 6 years together, Sunny began competing in agility, proof that a fearful dog can learn to trust and have fun. Sunny loved sunbathing and playing fetch, and will always be a part of our hearts.
Because we are crazy, we thought adding a puppy to the mix was the right way to go. We were right! We brought Waylon home in the spring of 2017 as a puppy. He was born 1/12/17, and is an American Staffordshire Terrier. He is crazy for water, and loves to compete in dock diving (both officially and diving into any body of water he can find). He’s been training in agility, showing that even the blockhead bullies love to run weave polls and tunnels. He brings everyone around him so much joy, so when he is ready we will test to become a therapy dog team. When on doggy vacation, he loves to hike and snuggle and pick up whatever gross thing he can find on hikes.