About Me

Phoenix, Zoe and Me

Hi! I'm Lauren the author of ZoePhee: The Adventures of Zoe, Phoenix and Alice. I've been an animal lover my entire life and have had all sorts of different animals growing up, including goats, rabbits, chickens and more! My true passion has always been for dogs. My whole life has been dedicated to learning about our canine friends! As a young adult, I worked for over 13 years as a dog groomer (while also training my own dogs, friends and neighbors dogs) but now I'm following my dream and currently working as a trainer, specializing in fearful and/or reactive dogs! I love teaching classes and working with dogs and their pet parents who are struggling with a variety of behavioral issues. I really enjoy teaching dogs advanced behaviors and tricks.

I know this is going to sound funny but I went to my first agility trial when I was just ten years old! They were having an event at the park behind my house and I borrowed my mom's mini poodle and entered her in the trial. I had no idea what I was doing but the wonderful ladies at the event humored me and let me run the course with my dog on leash. They helped me do the course and even gave me a red ribbon. My love of training dogs flourished from there. 


When I was 15 years old I got my own dog, his name was Moe and we did all sorts of training classes. Back then, training wasn't very positive and compulsion based training techniques were what was taught. Training wasn't as fun as it is now. Right around my 18th birthday, I found an amazing trainer who used something called clicker training. It wasn't wildly popular yet and I only went to a few classes. The trainer taught her dog to pull a cart with his teeth in under 5 minutes with something called free shaping. It was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen and I ended up using clicker training to teach Moe a bunch of tricks. Even into his old age he still remembered every trick I ever taught him with clicker training. 


By the time I got Zoe the Dog Whisperer had been on the air for a while and just like everyone else I had gotten sucked in by his methods. I tried poking Zoe one time while on a walk when I first got her to redirect her attention and she nearly bit me from being so startled. The look on her face when she realized that I was the one that caused her pain was heart wrenching and I knew then and there that I would never do that again. I walked her home and immediately went online to find out more about different methods and to look to see if there was any more info on the clicker training I had learned years ago. I found a positive reinforcement only forum and learned everything I could and completely switched methods. Luckily for Zoe it was literally a month after I had gotten her. We've been doing positive reinforcement training ever since! In fact most of the time during training sessions both of my dogs are naked. No collars, no harness no leash. 


When I got Phoenix I learned even more about dog training because I could not physically touch her. She taught me so much about capturing and shaping behavior. I also learned about rehabbing fearful dogs and I had a few lessons in patients, too. Phoenix was the dog that changed my whole world. Everything I thought I knew about dog training was thrown out the window and I ended up doing a complete 180 with the way I thought about things. Everything was challenging with her. We had to learn to trust each other. Phoenix had to learn how to learn. I had to learn how to teach her without sending her running from me in fear. My husband even learned a bunch of lessons from her as he loves to be loud and animated when he talks and that would send her flying out of the room. So he learned to quiet himself, too! Once we got over the fear hump and learned to trust each other things became a lot easier. She is still a challenging dog at times because she can be reactive. Somewhere along the way, she became my heart dog and I'm glad that she's in my life and thankful for all of the lessons I've learned from her. 


Alice is our newest addition, she's a 10 month old Australian Cattle Dog/Chihuahua/JRT mix puppy. She's a spitfire of a dog. You want to do it, she wants to do it. You don't want to do it, she still wants to do it. I've been working with her since February and she's completely opposite of my other two dogs. She's extroverted in every way. She loves people, dogs are WAY TOO exciting and the world is her oyster. She's a great little addition to our family and I'm very happy she's here!

Zoe and Me

When I'm not training my dogs or helping other people train their dogs, I'm probably photographing them. I've had a passion for photography since I was a kid, as well. You will generally find me with a camera around my neck! I think blogging is perfect for both of my hobbies!

I really hope everyone enjoys my blog as much as I enjoy writing it and chatting with everyone! I absolutely love talking about all things dog related and could chat your ear off for days. I'm so passionate about dog training and feel that every dog from the tiniest of yorkie up to the biggest of great danes can benefit from positive reinforcement training. I love helping people out with their training problems and I have a ton of training resources on my training page. I really hope you will stick around! I can't wait to get to know you!