About The Dog Trainer

Dog & puppy training and dog sitting in Santa Cruz County designed to fit your needs!

In 2003, Vicki feel in love with Rat Terriers. At the time, she had been dog walking and sitting for over 20 years, and she immediately loved these happy-go-lucky earth dogs. And that was what started her on the path to becoming a modern-method dog trainer.

Vicki with AugieIn 2005, with Augustino (Augie), she decided to further pursue her passion for dog training by participating in and assisting numerous Puppy Socials and Puppy classes with various Bay Area trainers.

Vicki is an alumni and graduate of Marin Humane Society Canine Behavior Academy (CBA 1 & 2) and a dogTEC Dog Walking Academy Certified Dog Walker (CDW). She is a Pet Care Services Association Certified Pet Care Technician and also holds Pet First Aid and CPR certification.

Additionally, Vicki has attended workshops and seminars by world-renown trainers the likes of Sue Sternberg, Pat Miller, Trish King, Kim Moeller,Veronica Boutelle, Susan Hetts, Pat Miller, Suzanne Clothier, and Jean Donaldson. Vicki continues her education in the field of animal learning and canine behavior by regularly attending seminars, workshops and conferences.

cat laying bag

Vicki is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), an organization which provides networking opportunities and continuing education for professional animal trainers committed to using humane behavioral science based training.



Training Philosophy

Our Values
jumping puppyAt Augie and friends, we subscribe to the Code of Ethics of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and the ethical standards of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC).

Specifically, we pledge to treat all of our clients and dogs with respect, to employ only positive motivational training methods, and to provide for the safety of all dogs and people with whom we work.

Training Methods

  • Dogs repeat what they are rewarded for!!
  • Dogs make associations!
  • Dogs communicate with their bodies!
  • Dogs’ behavior gets stronger with practice!

All training at Augie and Friends is “dog-friendly.” Our methods are based on behavioral science. The APDT defines “dog-friendly” training as “training that utilizes primarily positive reinforcement; secondarily negative punishment (like time-outs), and only occasionally, rarely, and/or as a last resort includes positive punishment and/or negative reinforcement.” Translated into everyday language, this statement means that we train by relying on dogs natural tendency to seek rewards for their behavior.