Pet Behavior Consulting, LLC is based out of Granby, MA.
Elise Gouge and her staff work with clients throughout western Massachusetts, including Granby, Belchertown, Hadley, Amherst, Palmer, Ludlow, Holyoke, Chicopee, Springfield and also in northern CT.
I am a Professional Member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and also a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and Certified Canine Behavior Consultant (CCBC) through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. The APDT is the leading organization for setting standards for professional dog trainers. It is the only organization that offers standardized testing for trainers. I am also certified in low-stress, fear-free training and handling through Fear Free Pets.
Through the International Association for Animal Behavior Consultants I am a Certified Dog and Cat Behavior Consultant (CABC). Formerly, I was the Vice President on their Board of Directors. I was licensed as a Dogs & Storks presenter and am currently a Canine Good Citizen evaluator, Farm Dog judge, Temperament Evaluator and Tricks judge through the American Kennel Club.
I have volunteered for over ten years with various organizations. In 2016, I joined the Board of Directors for New England Border Collie Rescue. Also, I serve as a consultant for a national pet supplier (PetEdge) and our local shelter, Dakin Humane.
Initially, I began my professional career in social services working with children and their families. Then, in 2004, armed with years of clinical expertise, I began working with pets and their people full time. I studied dog behavior with some of the best trainers in the world and participated in every training seminar I could find.
Formerly, I managed training and behavior programs in shelters and doggy day-cares, collaborated with zoos on training plans for exotic animals, trained animals ranging from primates to horses to domestic pets, created a trainer-in-training program and implemented it with over a hundred inspired students that have gone on to be veterinarians, animal behaviorists and more. I have presented at national conferences and universities on animal behavior, which is still something I enjoy doing locally. From 2007-2009 I managed the Houston SPCA Behavior Department and was Interim Director of Operations after Hurricane Ike. You can check out my media appearances on Animal Cops: Houston to see me back in the day working down in Texas, wrangling stallions and training chimps!
My Bachelors Degree is in Psychology and I have a Masters Degree in Community Health Education. I continually attend seminars around the country and have completed graduate level university coursework in Applied Animal Behavior.
I have extensive experience in the temperament evaluation of animals and how to train others in learning the same skills. Additionally, I am insured, bonded, and endorsed by local veterinarians and shelters.
Sam has been passionate about working with animals of all types for his entire life. He began my interest with how dogs learn when he was about 11 years old and wanted to train his own pet dog. He was inspired to pursue a career training dogs professionally when he got his puppy Stanley; an enthusiastic terrier who’s out of control tendencies turned his calm senior pet house into complete chaos.
However, through spending countless hours of work, play, and learning about what made each other happy, he helped Sam understand that it takes patience and trust to guide dogs through our crazy human world. Now there is nothing he loves more than creating a strong partnership with dogs and helping others have that same relationship. He lives with 3 dogs: Stanley, Debbie and 2 cats. In his free time he enjoys playing fun games with his dogs, teaching them new tasks and experimenting with new training techniques.
Sam is certified in Pet First Aid and CPR and a Certified Canine Good Citizen and Tricks Evaluator through the AKC and is a certified professional dog trainer through the CCPDT, one of the industry standards in certifying bodies. He is currently pursuing an application for certification with the IAABC in dog behavior.
Sam has worked full-time for PBC since 2019 teaching classes and lessons as well as working with clients in consultations. He's known for his charismatic warmth, love of training, enthusiasm about all things training, and his fabulous dock diving methods! If you'd like to reach Sam, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alex grew up in a house full of various animals and has always loved being surrounded by them. After college, they started working at a busy dog daycare where they gained a lot of experience in caring for and handling dogs. During this time, they adopted their first dog of their own, Theo, and he proved to be a bit of a challenge. They spent a lot of time working with him to help him understand that the world wasn’t so bad and with time and patience he was able to trust humans again and make some fur friends too! Through this they developed an unbreakable bond, and they discovered their love for working with and training dogs.
Since then, they've added 2 more dogs to the family: Abbie and Sokka. They're excited to gain experience in training and hopes to be able to help more dogs like Theo in the future.
Alex works part-time for PBC and full-time in a non-pet-related field. If you'd like to reach Alex, please email email@example.com.
Michelle joins our team, bringing literally decades of experience working with dogs in daycare, kennel and breeding contexts. She has a wealth of knowledge and shows the dogs both patience and consistent structure. She is a pro when it comes to understanding what it takes to keep a boarding environment clean and in perfect shape. She joins us part-time and is a tremendously sweet and fun addition to our team!
Hello, my name is Michelle. I am a huge dog person and dog lover. One day I hope to own my own business that is a doggie daycare, dog boarding and dog training business. I have had multiple dogs in my childhood. I am a fun loving person that cares a lot about dogs and people. For hobbies, I also love to walk as much as I can right now. Currently, I own a three legged pure breed German Shepherd Dog that is named Sheba. She is my very best dog friend in the world!
Michelle works part-time at PBC and if you'd like to reach her, her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Linsey has always enjoyed being around animals, from horses to rabbits. Her family just welcomed a new puppy, Maggie, into their home with their three cats and resident dog, Bandit. She loves to spend time with her dogs and is working on finding new ways to train him. Her family calls her, "The Animal Whisperer," because any animal she comes in contact with absolutely loves her.
Kayla always had a connection and love for all animals. Particularly, an interest in working with dogs. She grew up with two German Shepherds that showed her early on the love and loyalty a dog can share with their humans. Over the years, she has helped her mother foster several English Springer Spaniels from a local rescue and has had many of her own family dogs, all with unique personalities and abilities. She enjoyed finding ways to adapt and interact with each new foster in a positive way.
She was born, raised and still resides in Granby with her fiancé (Michael), two dogs (Bear and Camilla), and their spunky cat (Spooky). In her free time, she enjoys hiking with Bear and Camilla, and weekend getaways with her fiancé and friends. She has attended Springfield Technical community college and holds two healthcare certifications. She is looking forward to returning to education and obtaining certificates in dog training.
She is looking forward to attaining her lifelong passion working at Pet Behavior Consulting. She would like to create a caring, nurturing environment in which to have your dog learn to its highest potential.
Kayla is currently assisting in the Academy and with boarding dogs, as well as private lessons and group classes.
Deane grew up loving animals, and always lived with at least two dogs. The family dogs were always sweet and silly, but not always a harmonious team. Deane’s curiosity about animal behavior and training has led them here, where they are working through our novice training program. Their current dog, Fern, is a smart but nervous guy. Deane has learned a lot about training in their journey to empower Fern with the courage and confidence he needs.
Deane comes to us with experience in farm work, landscaping, and childcare. They have a sweet spot for giant dogs with ample jowls and sensitive dogs with tentative eyes and tender hearts. Deane lives in Northampton in a community including seven humans, four dogs, and their two cats, Huckleberry and Equinox.
Heather grew up with large breed dogs, cats, even had birds, a rat and other rodents. She loves all animals! As an adult she decided to rescue her own dog who proved to have some challenging behaviors. She continued with that rescue volunteering and fostering. All the challenges just gave her the push to pursue dog training. She is currently enrolled in school to become a certified dog trainer. Currently, Heather has two dogs (Colt and Sig) and cat (Jacob).
She got her start at PBC as a client with her two dogs to help them the best she could. She was so excited when the opportunity came up to join the PBC team! She can’t wait to learn more and help others strengthen their relationship and understanding of their own dogs.
Heather is currently a part-time assistant trainer here so you will see her Sunday and Monday evenings. Hopefully, we can eventually snag her full-time so we will all see her more often! Heather has a great energy with the dogs, a strong work ethic and solid common sense. We are thrilled to have her as part of the team and excited to see her grow and develop as a trainer.
Julia grew up in the hill towns of Western Mass with her mother, sister, nana and grandpa. At the age of 6 her family got her a yellow lab who she named Nick. Julia grew up having a four legged fur friend as her companion in life. In 2016, due to old age, she held Nick as he crossed the rainbow bridge.
In January 2017, Julia rescued a black lab hound mix named Penny from Texas. Penny had a rocky start to life and had some challenges to overcome being in a loving home. With Julia by her side, Penny got the training needed. It ignited a fire within Julia to want to continue to provide a happier and better life for the dogs she could in her life. In February 2020, Julia rescued a black lab mix Sadie from Virginia to give her the love and care she needed to succeed in life.
Julia’s passion and love for her animals has continued to grow and has taught her that she loves to work with animals. She looks forward to expanding her knowledge and skills with PBC and working towards becoming a trainer.
Bry was always the dog while playing house as a child. Decades later, earthly responsibilities ensued and they had to embrace their human form. The experience of simply being with dogs and also plants in particular serve as gateways for them into a deeper relationship with the infinite, more-than-human world - an experience for which they feel giddy and grateful.
Before arriving at PBC, they have been engaged for the past several years in self-study of dog behavior and training and obtained Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT) instructor certification in 2023. They are thrilled to have found the PBC crew! Its supportive group learning environment is helping expand their understanding of how best to care for the needs of both people and their companion dogs as individuals and intertwined beings.
Their developing dog interests include shedding internalized cultural myths about misbehavior, research on and practice of addressing so-called reactive behavior with a wide perspective and curious patience, preventive health through nutrition and musing on the dog-handler leash collaboration.
Outside of PBC, they are a part-time dog walker, personal chef, sound artist and budding gardener. They live in Florence with their partner and their canine teacher, Ever.
Anna has always wanted to work with animals since she was young. She graduated from Holyoke Community College’s Veterinary Technician program and has been working as a Certified Veterinary Technician for the last seven years.
When Anna was in high school her family adopted a dog named Blizzard. After working through Blizzard’s fear aggression and anxiety Anna found a passion in behavior and dog training.
She is here part-time currently, on Friday and Saturday mornings. She is assisting in the Academy and with boarding dogs, and as time allows will hopefully be able to join in with group classes and private lessons.
Located in the heart of Granby, Ferry Hill Farm consists of over 17 acres of fenced in pastures and wooded areas. The original barn, built in the 1700s, has served many purposes including housing dairy cattle, cars being renovated, and lots of farm animals. You can see from the woodwork that the barn has been around for hundreds of years and its strong bones will keep it around for many more to come.
Now home to PBC and Kaistar Kennels, the barn has been renovated so we can teach group classes, hold consultations and board dogs. With over 4500 square feet of open (but insulated) space, we look forward to hosting puppy classes, family pet obedience and competition obedience, Rally, nosework, dock diving, fitness classes and more - maybe even barn hunt! Of course, Elise has brought back her much-requested reactive classes. Lastly, private and semi-private lessons and ring rental are available with Elise and other trainers on staff.
The lower barn has a small kennel with capacity for ten dogs. The kennel has been designed to keep dogs safe, feeling secure, and we specialize in boarding dogs that typically have a hard time being away from home either due to reactivity or anxiety. We only board client's dogs and/or dogs coming in for Board & Train.
Suites are spacious, climate-controlled, clean and comfortable. The kennel includes a grooming station, washer/dryer, air conditioning, heating, an air purifying system, television & special lighting. Additionally, every aspect of it has been carefully thought out, including moisture resistant dry-wall, acoustic insulation and other building materials that won't be visibly obvious but will improve the quality of boarding for every dog who visits. Here is a quick video of the kennel as of December 2017. More upgrades continue to be made!
In addition to our training room and kennel, we have several other spaces with specific purposes. We have a Cloud Room (named after all the poofy insulation in it) for dogs that have a hard time settling and are barking. Here, we can work with them 1:1 and they won't be disrupting the other dogs. We have a Real Life room, which is a large room with a living room area, kitchen area and tv room. We practice a lot here, so dogs can apply skills such as not counter surfing, staying off of furniture, settling while dinner is being prepped and so on - you know, all those real life skills you want your dog to have! We have several offices for consultations and private sessions, a competition size dock diving pool, ramp and dock, and a complete competition obedience set-up.
Last but not least, we have a full range of fitness equipment, ranging from Flexiness and FitPaws equipment, a class IV laser, several PEMF devices, dry treadmill and more. We are always growing and developing what we have so that your dogs benefit from the best of the best!