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About Positive Puppy Dog Training

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Sue Lavoie, Trainer / Instructor / Behavior Counselor

I began my dog training career over 30 years ago, teaching pet parents and their dogs in a wide variety of disciplines including ~

  • Pet dog training (all ages and breeds)

  • Obedience training

  • Service dog training

  • Scent detection and Search and Rescue

  • Therapy dogs

  • Canine Good Citizen

  • Companion dogs



It has been my experience that dogs and pups trained with positive reinforcement/reward-based training are far more eager and willing to learn and to work for their owners than dogs and pups who are trained with other methods. When new dog parents hear the word “reward” they immediately think of the treats one might buy at the pet store. However, there are hundreds of different reward options available to a pet parent and their dog. Let me show you what will work for your dog. Every dog has his own idea of what's rewarding.

No matter your goal for your dog or pup, it's attainable with positive reinforcement training. Let me help you reach your goals.


I have experience as an AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluator and Therapy Dog evaluator and I volunteer with several dog rescue groups as a home screener, transporter, and temperament tester. 

I am an NACSW (National Association of Canine Scent Work) judge. 


My dogs and I are featured in several books including:

  • To The Rescue, Found Dogs With a Mission

  • Dog Heroes of September 11

  • Search and Rescue Dogs, Training the K9 Hero

  • The New Owners Guide to German Shepherds

  • Found Dogs, Tales of Strays Who Landed on their Feet

  • Second Chances, More Tales of Found Dog

With over 30 years of experience as a search and rescue dog trainer and handler, I have served as Assistant K9 Coordinator for the NY State Federation of Search and Rescue Teams for 5 years and I'm currently the Vice Chairperson for that organization. 


I am currently a K9 evaluator for both the NY State Federation of Search and Rescue Teams and the Search and Rescue Council of NJ, certifying dogs in live find/air-scent, human remains detection, and water recovery.

I'm previously a member of NADOI (National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors) and APDT (Association of Professional Dog Trainers). 

When not training others I enjoy agility, dock diving and hiking with my dogs, "Elsa", "Cisco" and "Willie."



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