Through this business, I have made lifelong friends, met dogs who enriched my life beyond measure, and found my passion. It’s really hard to call this a job.


“I first met Nancy after adopting my dog, a golden-chow mix. I assumed she would already love me, enjoy walks, and play the part of by my side good dog. I quickly found out, however, that she was all over the place on a leash, didn’t care about me, didn’t like other dogs, and only did what she wanted – including snipping at me when I thought otherwise! I came to Nancy at an emotional loss, not knowing what to do with my dog and afraid that adopting her had been a bad decision. Nancy quickly assessed the situation, and after a series of classes I learned how to work with my dog better, how to teach her to work with me, and how to understand dog behavior in a much better way. During classes I felt as though I was learning more than the dog, as I learned how to modify my behavior to change my dogs. My dog loved classes, adored Nancy, and together we grew so much closer as pet and person pals. Nancy helped me gain confidence and saved my relationship with my dog, and I’m so very thankful.”

—Christy Marsden

“Chris and I have been taking our dog, Tristan, to Nancy Abplanalp for training for more than three years. She has excellent skills, and a lot of enthusiasm and energy. She has improved our lives and Tristan’s life greatly. We recommend her highly.”

—John and Chris Davis

“You and your precious pup will grow together and thrive on the expert training from Thinking Dogs. Instructors have different exercises and explanations but the approach is solid, positive, and consistent. There is no better gift for you and your dog.”

—Linda Gage

“Nancy Abplanalp is the best trainer I know. Nancy and her crew know dogs, and they know people. They’re realistic in their expectations about what their clients and dogs can accomplish in a week (no long “homework” assignments! — just short and doable ones) yet they guide each client and provide support and challenges tailored to their needs. Moreover, Nancy grounds her methods in current research in animal behavior and goes to conferences for continuing education. As another mark of the quality of Thinking Dogs: Nancy has high turnover in her assistants as they get snapped up by graduate programs in animal behavior, veterinary practices, and zoos. And classes with Nancy are creative and just plain fun.”

—Carole Hom