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Laura Fennell, CPDT-KA

Owner, Dog Trainer

Laura is a life-long dog lover, training recreationally since the age of thirteen. As an adult, she began to dive more deeply into training to address the reactive behavior that developed in her Australian Shepherd Scout, and started on the path to learning more about behavior, training, and helping other people train their dogs. She apprenticed to a professional trainer 2003-2007, assisting in and leading pet dog training classes. She also developed an interest in dog agility and began training, competing, and then teaching dog agility classes, and serving as training director for her dog agility training club. She earned a CPDT-KA (certified professional dog trainer-knowledge assessed) in 2006. After the birth of her son, Laura shifted focus, starting and running a successful pet sitting and dog walking business for seven years, until March 2020, when she suddenly found herself out of the pet-sitting business due to a global pandemic.

Fortunately for Laura, just three months prior, she had adopted her dream dog, a border collie named Harper Lee. If Scout had been her pathfinder dog, Harper is Laura's renaissance dog. In the quiet, isolated, first few months of 2020, Harper helped Laura rediscover the passion she had for dog training and the joy she found in it. As she emerged from her house more and more frequently to do things outside with Harper, she began to connect with people who needed help with their own dogs, and she began to reclaim her identity as a dog trainer. Laura started teaching dog training classes again in December 2020 and launched Fuzzy Matters Dog Training in February 2021. She also became an AKC-approved Canine Good Citizen Evaluator in 2021. In 2023, she earned back her lapsed CPDT-KA and became an AKC Certified Fit Dog Instructor. Over the last two years, Laura has taught classes in CGC prep, pet dog training, tricks, disc dog, and dog agility, as well as helped numerous clients in private training. Laura consults with the Texas State University Animal-Assisted Counseling Academy to provide support for their program participants in preparing for the CGC test and successfully completing the dog behavior aspect of the program. She also serves as training coordinator for her dog agility club. In September 2023, Laura and Harper Lee became a certified therapy dog team through Divine Canines. So far, Harper and Laura have most enjoyed visiting with stressed-out university students on study breaks and elementary-school kids participating in the Barking Buddies reading program.

Laura's approach to dog training is to lead with empathy and a science-, evidence-based framework to help people improve their relationships with their dogs. Laura helps clients develop realistic behavior expectations for their dogs and then realize those expectations. She likes to emphasize enrichment as the big picture and training within the context of that because a dog who has all its needs met is a better-balanced dog--emotionally, mentally, and behaviorally. By extension--their peoples' lives are also enriched. How beautiful is that? Fundamentally, Laura wants to make the world a kinder, happier, funner place through dog training.

Laura shares her life in South Austin, Texas with son Lincoln, husband JP, her three spectacularly sweet dogs--Olive, Harper, and Moxzilla Cthulhu--and her two cat roommates--Astrid and Giles. Laura also still shares her heart with every dog shes ever had: Goldie, Bear, NIkita, Caliban, Angus, Scout, Lola, and Zaphod.

Laura Fennell, CPDT-KA
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