What are people saying about us?

Testimonials 1

"When I first got Evie, I had no idea just how unprepared I really was. An almost completely impulsive decision kicked off the most difficult year of my life." 

As it turns out, nearly everything about my situation made things harder; I was a first-time dog owner raising a high-energy 14-week-old puppy by myself in a tiny apartment. Basic training classes, countless YouTube videos, and well-intentioned advice from friends helped to some degree, but I eventually realized it wasn’t going to be enough. There were so many emotionally and physically drained moments where I thought, I felt defeated and ashamed, but I wasn’t ready to give up. I started looking at board+train options because I needed personalized help and, quite frankly, a complete break from Evie and her destructive behaviors. Pupgrade first drew my attention by checking off all my boxes, including a customized training plan, positive reinforcement methods, and board+train service. 

The biggest difference from other trainers, though, was the fact that Nicole reached out to me personally to get an understanding of what we needed. I appreciated so much being able to tell my story and to be heard, compared to the generic copy-paste email replies I had received from other places. Luckily, Nicole was able to get us in pretty quickly. 


While Evie was boarded, Nicole worked on building her confidence, practicing loose-leash walking skills, addressing problem behaviors like jumping, and more. While that was all helpful, I found that the biggest thing I’ve gained from Nicole was something I didn’t know I needed: Learning about who Evie really is. I had always thought of dog training as “finding solutions to a specific problem,” but Nicole takes a much more holistic approach. 

Nicole emphasizes the importance of teaching her clients about overall dog behavior and how to build a successful relationship with their dog, which included taking the time to familiarize herself with each specific dog and their needs. We’ve now worked with Nicole for almost a year, and she’s helped us in so many ways I’m not even sure I can articulate. Life with Evie will always be a little hard and the training will always continue, but Nicole helped me see what’s realistically manageable. Not everyone will need the kind of training Nicole provides nor is her training for just anybody, but I would highly recommend her to the type of person who is truly committed and willing to put in the work, because it was worth it for us; I know my dog now — the good the bad — and I love her more for it.
Lynh V.
Testimonials 2

I know we’d never have gotten to this point without Nicole.

When we adopted Cherry at seven-weeks-old, we knew that we wanted to find a great trainer to work with us. She didn’t have any major behavioral problems beyond the usual puppy stuff, but with a cat and small child at home, we wanted to feel confident that our pup would be a good member of the family.
We tried a group class with a different trainer first, but it just didn’t work for us. We have full-time jobs and a young child, so our schedules are busy and we wanted more one-on-one time with the trainer. That’s when we found Nicole! She’s a rare gem: She knows dogs incredibly well AND is an excellent communicator with people. Plus, her curriculum let us go at our own speed, get practical feedback from her very quickly, and easily schedule special sessions to focus on particular topics.
The biggest benefits we’ve gained from working with Nicole are understanding how our dog’s brain works and building our toolbox of exercises and activities we can do with Cherry. She’s given us all the resources we need so that Cherry continues to grow and mature into a wonderful dog, even when the class is done. 
One highlight we can share in particular is we saw another dog Nicole was working with going for bike rides with his people and we wanted to try that. Cherry was a very reluctant companion on bike rides when we tried to do it, but Nicole re-built Cherry’s confidence around the bike step by step from the simplest things (like eating her kibble around the bike), to playing games in the same room as the bike, to walking alongside the bike, to now going for multi-mile rides with us. It gives us a fun experience and way to give Cherry the running and exercise she craves and I know we’d never have gotten to this point without Nicole.
Simon H.

Your household peace, joy, and freedom are within your reach!

Testimonials 3

I reached out to Nicole to help me with my rescue pup. He is sweet but obviously a little scared of things that I really wasn’t always able to identify. Nicole was so kind and patient with both of us! We have made a lot of progress and will continue to do so with her help. Thanks Nicole!

Patrice N.

Testimonials 4

Our German Shepherd, Moe, can be a very challenging guy sometimes. We’ve been working with Nicole for nearly a year now and we appreciate how very reassuring and encouraging she is with us. She helps us set realistic goals as pet owners and always provides positive tips and techniques to help us shape our dog’s behavior. She is patient when we don’t do all of the training exercises and keeps encouraging us to keep working even when progress is slow. Moe is definitely making progress and he’s calmer and more fun to be around.

Thanks Nicole!

Jane C.

Testimonials 5

Pupgrade was recommended on the Greenhill shelter website, and I wanted to use positive reinforcement rather than punishment.

Nicole is very knowledgeable and brilliant at training dogs as well as with teaching people. She is passionate about dogs and turns the necessary training into fun!

The training is great and we really appreciate how much it is helping.

Melissa G.
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Testimonials 9

Nicole is absolutely fantastic! She works with all types and breeds of dogs with various behavior issues and special needs.

I saw how Nicole values each dog for their own personality and every dog loves her. From my observation, Nicole doesn’t treat dog training like there’s only one way to train every dog. 

I highly recommend Nicole! 

Tamara W.

Testimonials 10

Nicole has excellent customer service, was spot on in her observations of my dog, and brought any concerns to my attention in a kind and compassionate way. I particularly appreciated the one-month package for the two dog camp days per week and the handy pick-up and drop-off service, something that would have been impossible for me with recent injuries limiting my mobility.

There are so many awesome things I have learned from Nicole and I have appreciated her care for my dog.The value of this package was excellent and I couldn’t have had a better experience with Nicole.

Thank you, Nicole, for such a great experience for Edda and me!

Kevin E.


Testimonials 11

I’ve been working with Nicole at Pupgrade dog training to address reactivity issues with my young Border Collie. Her program had proved itself very helpful in better understanding my dog as well as myself. Training a young dog (or old) is an on-going process but if you are willing to do the work and have the support of your trainer your goals are within reach!

Nancy R.

Testimonials 12

We chose Pupgrade Dog Training because it offered a service that we found no where else. Additionally, we wanted to find a trainer who only took a few dogs at a time, to ensure our pup was getting the attention she needed.

What we liked most was that our Pupgrade trainer showed genuine interest in training our pup as well as educating us on best practices for training. The when, how, and why of dog training basics were clearly explained and demonstrated. Working with a Pupgrade trainer was way better and more reliable than trying to sift through hundreds of articles online. Overall, the service was above and beyond!

Pupgrade dog training cares about the success of each and every client.

Kris and Brooke


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