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Article for National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors, March 2015

Lindsey Fennell, is the owner of Paragon Dog Obedience, located in Lake County, California. Paragon Dog Obedience was formally established in 2006, although its roots started back in 1996. Lindsey started out teaching local 4-H members, dog obedience, showmanship and care. The ultimate goal was the for the 4-H members to have a well behaved family dog and be able to show their dog at the local county fair, which occurs each September. In addition to the 4-H involvement, Lindsey also had a passion for Golden Retrievers and was often contacted by the local animal control to take unadoptable Golden Retrievers from their facility, rehabilitate them and get them ready for adoption with a new family. As the years went by, Lindsey began working with other breeds that were not adoptable because of behavior issues. She would take the dog and make it part of her own pack of dogs and rehabilitate it. The goal, of course, was to get these dogs stable enough to become safe reliable family pets.

Through the years of rehabilitating unstable dogs, Lindsey watched her pack of dogs and how they would treat the new dog. She watched how lots of little body movements, sounds and energy would correct the behavior of the the unstable dog. "I would sit for hours within the pack or watching out of my kitchen window and began to see how my stable pack would teach the new unstable dog how to act properly. I was intrigued."

Lindsey has a scientific background with a Bachelor degree in Biology from California State University, Northridge. " I had learned a lot about animal behavior and genetics in order to get my degree". However, her thirst for knowledge didn't stop there. She began researching all she could about dog obedience, training and behavior. She took as many courses, read as many books and articles as she could. Eventually, she became a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator #82634 and Puppy Star tester for the American Kennel Club. She is an Evaluator #81 for the Foundation of Service Dog Support. In 2011 she became a professional member #79461 of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. In 2011/2112 she hosted, Canine Corner, a question answer column about dog obedience in the local paper, Lake County Record Bee. She is especially proud of being accepted as a certified member of the National Association of dog Obedience Instructors in January, 2015.

"I am so excited to be a certified member of NADOI. It was a tough process and challenged me in a positive way. The application pushed my skills as a dog trainer beyond my initial expectations, which I am so thankful for."

Paragon Dog Obedience offers group and private lesson. Private lessons are either at the client's home or at Paragon Dog Obedience's facility. Group lesson are held at Paragon Dog Obedience's facility. The facility is on on 2.5 acres, there is a year round creek for swimming, lots of trails for short hikes, a basic agility course and a large fenced area for off leash play and training. The training can vary from basic obedience, agility, scent work, retrieving and anything else that will make the dog stable and give them a job.

"Each dog is an individual, different methods and tools may work for some dogs and not others. In order for any training to be successful the human must be a calm, confident, fair and stable leader. I focus on teaching the humans how important body language is to a dog and that frustration, anger and bullying are counterproductive."

"My goal is what I originally wanted for all dogs in my care. A well behaved, stable, happy, family dog that does well at home and out in the real world."