About Us - Northern Tails Dog Training

About Us

Hello, I’m Lisa and I’ve been working with dogs for well over a decade. Prior to becoming a professional dog trainer, I spent many years playing in the mountains with a rag tag team of sled dogs – all Siberian Huskies, several of them rescued or sleddogssecond-hand dogs The name of the business – Northern Tails Dog Training – is a nod to that part of my journey and the curly tails of the Northern Breed dogs,which I saw a lot of from the back of my sled.

In 2004 I became certified through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Maintaining that certification requires that I attend yearly continuing education seminars – consequently, I have studied with some of the most progressive and respected trainers in the world and am constantly revising my approach to training and behavior modification based on the new things I learn.

In addition to working with thousands of dogs in group classes, private training and board and train programs, my experience includes:

  • Trainer and Behaviorist at SCRAPS (Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Services)
  • Training Director for F.I.D.O., which was the prison dog training program at Geiger Corrections Center in Spokane. As the Director of Training I was responsible for developing the teaching and training curriculum, and establishing selection criteria for the dogs. Unfortunately, the program came to an abrupt end after 18 months when Geiger ended its contract with the Bureau of Prisons to house Federal Inmates.

I share my home with my two teaching partners:

  • Dharma, a Belgian Sheepdog who has never experienced anything other than the good life which began when I flew to Dallas to pick her out of a litter and fly her home. She is both sweet and highly opinionated. I trust her with my life.
  • FrancoWPFranco, a Belgian Malinois who has experienced a lot of bad life. I adopted him at the approximate age of six years after two known stays at an animal shelter, an untreated injury resulting in a permanently broken leg and, according to one vet, probably an extended stay on the concrete floor of a kennel. He is now 8 or 9 and after all he has been through, he is still one of the most athletic, confident, fast (in both mind and body) dogs I have ever lived with. He is very quick to highlight my training flaws and keeps me on my toes.

Both of these dogs are part of my beating heart – I love them more than words could possibly express and I am truly honored to be a recipient of all they have to teach me.

“We adopted our German Shorthair Pointer from a shelter and discovered she had severe behavioral problems. She was fearful and overwhelmed by cars, people and especially other dogs. We felt like our situation was hopeless and that we were in over our heads…until we sought help and found Lisa. Although it was often tough, because sometimes we didn’t know why LuLu did what she did, Lisa was able to observe and come up with solutions to help her. After private lessons, we were eventually able to participate in a group class. We would highly recommend Lisa, ESPECIALLY for new owners of rescued dogs who may also suffer extreme stresses from their previous lives. LuLu has been transformed from a neurotic, fearful, stressed out dog to one that is better able to adapt to real life.
~Tim and Erin Olsen, Spokane, WA