Laura Fennell, owner
Laura has always loved dogs. She trained her first dog, a mini Eskie named Nikita, at age thirteen. That began a life-long love of training and playing with dogs. As an adult, this passion took a more pragmatic focus when Laura realized her sweet Aussie puppy rescue was becoming reactive and she needed to learn how to "fix" him. Helping Scout with his behavioral issues led down a much more interesting path of training and behavior, enabling Laura to learn how to live with, manage, and train reactive dogs--It's an ever-evolving pursuit of Laura's to learn more and get better. Most importantly, Scout set Laura on her current path of using reward-based training, while minimizing anything the dogs finds painful, scary, or unpleasant. This approach, called Least Invasive, Minimally Aversive, is integrated into Laura's approach to teaching all dogs and their people, in group classes and private training.
Laura was also fortunate to share her life for eight adventurous years with an initially very fearful and shy--then later very reactive--Aussie rescue. Helping Lola to navigate the world without either cringing in a corner or exploding in the middle of the agility show helped Laura to develop the skill-set as well as the empathy to help people teach their shy and fearful dogs in a way that makes them feel better about the world and builds their confidence. When Lola passed prematurely from hemangiosarcoma, people did not believe she had ever been either shy or reactive. Lola's life may have been shorter than was fair, but the latter half was peaceful and confident:^)
Laura's focus is teaching dogs life skills and confidence while providing them and their people an opportunity for recreation and enrichment. Laura's newest area of interest is canine enrichment and how it can be used to improve canine behavior issues. This dovetails with the fun stuff she particularly enjoys training: agility, disc dog, canine musical freestyle, tricks. Laura's next area to explore with her own dogs is canine nose work.
Laura enjoys coaching people to become better dog trainers. In May 2021, Laura successfully completed the requirements to become an AKC-approved Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and plans to test for the Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) certification Spring 2023.
Laura lives in south Austin with her husband, son and their three dogs: Olive, her chihuahua/Jack Russell mix, her border collie Harper, AKA Tequila Mockingbird, and Moxie, a Westie/poodle mix. Everyone in the family is owned by cats Astrid and Giles.