Samantha Haeussner

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About Me
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Sam believes that creating and improving the relationship between a dog and her human is accomplished through positive training methods. She uses proven science-based techniques that are fun for both owner and dog! These techniques not only create clear communication for peaceful living with your pooch, but also foster that deep, lifetime bond that we all seek with our dogs.


Sam grew up in a family where all but one of her siblings had four legs! She started her professional training career when she was 19 years old at a very busy PetSmart in Colorado Springs; that store became one of PetSmart’s top-performing training locations. Sam was originally hired as a cashier, but within a few months she grabbed the eye of the training team and was inducted into the world of positive reinforcement training and clicker training through the company’s program designed by Dr. Suzanne Hetts. In Sam's two years at the store, she worked with more than 300 dogs from Lhasa Apsos to Cane Corsos, along with their families. Sam taught Basic through Advance Manners classes, CGC-level classes, and creative trick classes. She also assisted a client who was beginning to self-train his service dog.

During this time, Sam discovered a passion for learning as she applied and studied the science behind clicker training. She left PetSmart to continue her education, and graduated from Fort Lewis College in May of 2014. Sam jumped back into the training world quickly after graduation, working with Durango-area trainer Annie Phenix. Her role was to assist Annie in classes designed for reactive dogs. Looking to expand her training knowledge through a formal program, Sam sought out the intensive Karen Pryor Academy (KPA), enrolled in the KPA Dog Trainer Professional program, and became a KPA Certified Training Partner (CTP). These days, Sam continues to assist Annie Phenix with her business, volunteers with the local humane society, and is working towards becoming a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA).

Along with her experience working with members of the canine community, Sam also loves to work with people of all ages and from many different backgrounds. She works as a Family and Health Advocate at the La Plata Family Centers. Sam has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology (Human Services and Gender and Women's Studies), is a certified life coach through Guiding Mindful Change, is trained and experienced in Motivational Interviewing, and is heavily involved in community building.

Services Offered: 

Customized Private Sessions for any training wish or issue

Help getting started with a new puppy or rescue dog

Consultations to create a training plan

Training that incorporates the whole family

A variety of classes coming soon! Contact Sam for more details.

*Sam serves Bayfield, Iganico, Vallecito, Pagosa Springs, T.A.R.A communities, Durango, Mancos, Cortez, and other surrounding communities in the Four-Corners area.

Services Offered Summary: 
In-home consultations; customized private training; whole-family training sessions; help finding the right dog; Canine Good Citizen (CGC) training A variety of new classes coming soon!
Contact Information
Phone Number: 
+1 (719) 484-9196
Bayfield , CO


Member for
3 years 8 months