Happy Tail Dog Training LLC

Positive Methods.  Positive Results.

Serving The Greater Baltimore Maryland Area



Certified Canine Behavior Specialist, The Academy of Dog Behavior

Certificate of Excellence in Science of Animal Behavior Change, Dr. Sue Friedman


International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, Supporting Member


Certified Nose Work Instructor, NACSW


Association of Professional Dog Trainers, Full Member


The Pet Professional Guild, Full Member


Journal of Veterinary Behavior, Subscription



Located in Phoenix MD and Serving Northern Baltimore and Harford Counties

Photo: Self portrait.  Copyright 2011 Colleen M Griffith. All rights reserved.

About Colleen Griffith




A qualified canine behavioral consultant and training instructor/coach is one who is well educated by reputable and "gold standard" trainers and institutions in the specialties they are working in, and one who also has a proven track record of experience in successfully achieving the results you are looking to achieve.  






The Academy of Dog Behavior

I attended The Academy of Dog Behavior when I lived in Northern California.  It was taught by Trish King, who is nationally known and is one of the best canine behaviorists and trainers on the West Coast.  She is retired from teaching live classes, but still offers instruction on-line. I achieved my CCBC, Certified Canine Behavior Counselor, certification which focused on building a solid foundation in understanding canine behavior and training methods, successfully modifying unwanted canine behaviors, and working with clients.  

Certification requirements included:

  • Achieving results by successfully modifying serious unwanted behaviors (i.e., aggression) with live dogs
  • 80 hours in-class instruction, plus teaching classes
  • Developing & implementing  behavior modification training plans for clients
  • Passing a final exam

Instructional Topics:

  • Canine ethology, social theory, body language, breed differences, safe handling
  • Behavior observation and evaluation, canine learning theory and types of training, equipment
  • Instructing classes and teaching exercises, behavior problems, modifying unwanted behaviors
  • How people learn, successfully working with clients to help them modify their dog's unwanted behaviors

To learn more about The Academy of Dog Behavior, click here

    About Trish King:  You can learn more about her and the academy via her website:  www.canine-behavior-associates.com



      Living and Learning With Animals Professional Course, Behavior Works


      This 8 week, 50 hour, certificate course was led and taught by Dr Susan Friedman, a psychology professor at Utah State University who has pioneered the application of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to captive and companion animals.  ABA, with it's roots in human learning, offers a scientifically sound teaching technology and ethical standard that improves the lives of all learners.  You can read more about this course here:  LLA Professional Course Overview


        Instructional Topics:

        • The fundamental principles of learning and behavior
        • A model for assessing the functional relationships between behavior and environmental conditions
        • The teaching technology of applied behavior analysis and its ethical guidelines for implementation
        • A systematic model for building behavior-change interventions and case studies
        • Course syllabus can be found here: LLA Professional Course Objectives 

          About Dr. Susan Friedman: she has written chapters on learning and behavior for three veterinary texts and is a frequent contributor to popular magazines.  Susan has presented seminars for a wide variety of professional organizations around the world such as NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, and Moorpark College of Exotic Animal Training and Management program.  





            I have logged 832 hours to date teaching, observing dogs at trial, and working with dogs in K9NW, as well as over 100 hours of learning theory attending seminars on the topic, for either the purposes of behavior modification, fun, and/or for the competitive sport.    

            K9 Nose Work™ Group and Private Classes 

            Competition Level Training  

              • Experienced teaching at all three levels:  NW1, NW2, & NW3


              Behavior Modification and Enrichment (just for fun)

                • Experienced at teaching Introduction to NW taught to shelter staff and volunteers for utilization with shelter dogs, both for the purposes of enrichment and for behavior modification
                • Taught at several shelters in the San Francisco Bay Area



                  NACSW™ K9 Nose Work Personal Trial Experience

                  Timeline for Titling My Own Dog, Sadie

                  • April 2012:             Began NW training (Sadie was 10 months)
                  • September 2012:  Passed ORTs for Birch, Anise, Clove
                  • October 2012:       NW1 Title, Pronounced In Trial
                  • December 2012:   NW2 Title (my husband, Jim, handled Sadie in this trial)
                  • February 2013:     Retired from sports due to severe health issues

                       Pronounced In Trial:  this is a rare and special recognition given to teams for demonstrating exceptional performance and teamwork in all 4 elements during the same trial.





                  Participation At NACSW K9NW Trials

                  • Full-Day Experience At Over 90 Trials:  observed hide placements and how all teams worked all 4 elements (Interior, Vehicle, Exterior, Container) and at all levels (ORT, NW1, NW2, NW3, Elite, and National Level competitions).  
                  • Held the following positions during trials:  Element Lead, Judges's Steward, Videographer, Timer, Photographer, Score Runner, Gate Steward, and worked in the Score Room.
                  • Judged one mock trial (interior and exterior elements), Co-Host for a second mock trial



                    Search & Rescue (SAR) and AKC Tracking Experience
                    • Trained my working-line GSD for SAR work under several San Francisco Bay Area SAR leaders (they collectively have 80 years SAR experience), until I retired her due to her developing several serious health conditions.
                    • Trained my working-line GSD for AKC Tracking under the guidance of several VST & AKC TD judges; trained her to successfully complete an AKC regulation TD track before she needed to be retired due to her poor health.





                    HANDS-ON EDUCATION

                         I've trained with well over 50 different trainers & behaviorists (and the number rises each year) either when I lived in California's San Francisco Bay Area or after I moved to Maryland in late 2014.   

                    Many of these are individuals considered to be among the best in their respective fields:  

                    • Canine Search & Rescue, Tracking, Professional Canine Scent Detection, K9 Nose Work
                    • Canine Behaviorial Assessment and Modification
                    • Competition Obedience, Manners, Tricks, Clicker Training

                           I have been able to learn and apply industry best practices from each of these talented individuals and have seemlessly integrated them into my own repetoire of skill-sets when working with clients and their canine companions.  

                           I have also supplemented this hands-on learning, with additional learning experiences through educational DVDs, webinars, & books, some of which are listed in the Continuing Education section at the bottom of this page.  Many of the list of trainers/behaviorists in this category (DVDs & books) are in addition to the individual trainers/behaviorists I mentioned above. 






                      Teaching & Coaching Clients

                      When I lived in the San Francisco Bay area, I spent several years working at several animal shelters where I had the opportunity to gain a lot of hands-on experience working with a large variety of dogs:

                      • Logged over to 250 hours working with approximately 400 dogs
                      • Co-taught and/or assisted group classes to the public for their companion dogs such as basic manners, companion dog, tricks, reducing dog-dog leash reactivity, puppy playgroup, puppy socialization, puppy kindergarten, and K9 Nose Work™.
                      • Utilized K9 Nose Work with shelter dogs for behavior modification and enrichment prior to them being placed up for adoption 

                      Living With Dogs

                           I often think the best teachers of canine behavior are those we live with everyday.  I brought my first dog, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, into my household over 20 years ago.  I have raised puppies (including very fearful and shy temperaments) and brought rescue dogs into my household ever since.  I grew up with dogs too.  
                           In that time, I have successfully managed and/or modified the following unwanted behaviors with my own companion animals:  strong territorial aggression, mild aggression between dogs in a multi-dog household, mild to moderate resource guarding, excessive barkng, leash aggression, dog-dog aggression, vet and handling phobias, mounting, and quite a few other issues. 

                          I currently live with a shy and quite sensitive high-drive working-line female GSD, Sadie.  Her natural temperament is extremely protective with highly territorial aggressive behaviors and high prey drive, and she has challenging health issues that created some extreme vet phobias.  She also had previously intense handling phobias, intense dog-dog leash aggression, mild resource guarding, and moderate shyness towards/fear of unfamiliar people. And I have been able to successfully modify all of her unwanted behaviors except one, which I intentionally chose to manage.

                             Sadie has been a wonderful teacher dog and working with her has filled in the gaps in my knowledge of training and behavior modification including learning what doesn't work.  She has also helped to illustrate what methods seem to work in the short term, but instead cause more unwanted behaviors down the road. And despite Sadie's high prey drive, I also successfully integrated her into a household with two elderly cats.   Click here for a video of Sadie in the world, at the age of 2.5 years old.



                             I have almost two decades of experience working in manufacturing, quality, customer service, supply chain, education, human resources, process excellence, and executive leadership roles. I obtained a Bachelor of Science and a Masters of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and held engineering as well as domestic and global executive leadership roles while working for global corporations in the Pharmaceutical, BioTech, High Tech, and Fine Chemicals industries. 

                               I became enamored with teaching and coaching when I took on my first educator role teaching a chemical engineering class while I was a student working on my BS Chemical Engineering degree - and I have held many educator and coaching roles since then.  I also own 3 US Patents and am published in peer-reviewed scientific journals such as Biotechnology & Bioengineering and Journal of Chromatography. 

                            Many of the skills I have had the good fortune to develop during these roles are directly translatable to working in the canine behavioral sciences field and in coaching people working with their dogs, such as:

                        • Educating others on the most current scientific and successful approaches in a given field
                        • Gaining buy-in to a particular approach, coaching individuals, and teaching groups to achieve their specific goals
                        • Utilizing science and the scientific mindset to discover what truly works vs. what is "urban legend"
                        • Utilizing my problem solving skills developed through my engineering experience to design customized and practical solutions along with straightforward training approaches for each unique dog and family situation
                        • Applying my knowledge of fluid flow, obtained through the chemical engineering discipline, to the unique sport of K9 Nose Work - air is a fluid and how particulates/molecules (odor) move through fluids, in a variety of different circumstances was the focus of many chemical engineering projects. 


                          CONTINUING EDUCATION


                          Below is a selection of some of the more recent seminars I've attended, plus a short selection of some of the books I've read, some of the DVD's I've watched, and a few reference books I find myself referencing more often than others. I have added a Recommended Books section to the Resources page containing the few books I recommend every dog owner takes the time to read.


                          Seminars/ Courses

                              A Few Select DVDs

                              • Puppies, by Trish King
                              • Puppies… Are They Really Clean Slates?, by Sue Sternberg
                              • BATting 1000, by Grisha Stewart
                              • Play With Your Dog, by Patricia McConnell
                              • The Language of Dogs, by Sarah Kalnajs
                              • Crate Games, by Susan Garrett
                              • The Shape of Bow Wow, by Virginia Broitman

                              A Few Select Books

                                • Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog, John Paul Scott and John L. Fuller
                                • Help For Your Fearful Dog, Nicole Wilde
                                • Click To Calm: Healing The Aggressive Dog, Emma Parsons
                                • Control Unleashed: Creating A Focused And Confident Dog, Leslie McDevitt
                                • Behavior Adjustment Training:  BAT For Fear, Frustration, and Aggression in Dogs, Grisha Stewart
                                • Don’t Shoot The Dog: The New Art of Teaching And Training, Karen Pryor
                                • Parenting Your Dog: Develop Dog-Rearing Skills for a Well-Trained Companion, Trish King

                                Reference Materials

                                • Manual of Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Dogs and Cat, Dr. Karen Overall, published June 2013
                                • The Right Dog For You, Daniel F. Tortora, PhD


                                    PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

                                    Association of Professional Dog Trainers, Full Member Certified Nose Work Instructor & NACSW Full Member Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications & Research Subscription International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, Supporting Member

                                    Pet Professional Guild,   Full Member




                                    © 2012 - 2022 Happy Tail Dog Training LLC. All Rights Reserved. Materials not to be copied, distributed or used without prior written consent.


                                    Happy Tail Dog Training LLC is located in Phoenix MD.  Colleen is available for consultations and private coaching as well as canine training sessions throughout the Greater Baltimore Maryland Area including Baldwin, Cockeysville, Fallston, Fork, Glen Arm, Glencoe, Hunt Valley, Lutherville-Timonium, Montkon, Parkville, Phoenix, Sparks, Towson

                                    HAPPY TAIL DOG TRAINING  &  COLLEEN M GRIFFITH PRODUCTIONS are both owned and operated by Colleen M Griffith, CNWI, CCBS, and Professional Videographer & Photographer.

                                    COLLEEN M GRIFFITH PRODUCTIONS: Colleen is a full-service and versitile professional videographer & photographer providing video production and photography for individuals, events, organizations, and corporations across a wide variety of industries and including both personal and commercial markets. 

                                    Colleen provides video production services in the areas of marketing and selling of business products and services, education, and filming canine sports. She films NW and other canine scent sport venues in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MD, NJ, OH, PA, RI, VA, and WV. To date she has filmed over 200 K9 NW trials at all levels, including NACSW Nationals. She also provides videography and photography services in the areas of corporate advertising and social media video content, head shots, individual and family photo shoots, pets, culinary, fine art, real estate, photo restoration, and events.  

                                    Visit her photography and production websites at www.ColleenMGriffith.com  and  www.ColleenMGriffithProductions.com

                                    HAPPY TAIL DOG TRAINING LLC: Colleen is also a Certified Nose Work Instructor and Certified Canine Behavior Specialist. She provides services ranging from training in K9 Nose Work™ and other scent sport venues, socializing puppies, teaching structured play as a reinforcer within a reward based training system, modifying unwanted behaviors in dogs of all ages and breeds, reducing stress during vet visits, helping shy and fearful dogs, and modifying aggressive behavior.