While I’m a first-time dog owner, my husband has had many dogs during his lifetime – and we both learned lots in our sessions with Noel Hoffman. We got our dog, Zoe, a couple of years ago when she was two. She’s a wonderful, smart girl. Our goal is for her to have a happy, fulfilling life as part of our small family. Noel has helped us make great progress toward that goal.
Noel is good with dogs AND people. She teaches positive reinforcement training for dogs – I’m pretty sure she used that method to teach us as well! She started with easy challenges, helped us celebrate small wins, and then moved us on to the next step. She kept us focused on learning – rather than what we didn’t know or were doing wrong. In every single class, she was patient, kind, and positive.
She provided structured training, clear and helpful feedback, and a firm nudge in the right direction when we got off track. If we struggled with mechanics, she broke actions down into simple steps or explained them in alternate ways until we got it. She shared her vast knowledge of dog behavior in a way that was interesting and accessible and took the time to thoughtfully answer every question we asked.
I can’t say enough good things about Noel. She is amazing!
Tracy Campany- Townshend, VT – 2023
Our two year old Doberman, Katy, has been working with Noel since July 2022 and the transformation is remarkable. We knew Katy was smart, but, unfortunately, we hadn’t found the kind of training she needed prior to July. In March 2022, we moved from Idaho to Vermont, a 3000 mile journey across the United States. As a result of being a Covid puppy and a cross-country trek, Katy had some behavior issues. In a very short time, Noel has taught us how to manage Katy. Katy loves to “practice” (Noel’s word – I love that) and as a person in her 60’s, it’s exciting that this old dog is learning new tricks – how to manage a 70 pound Doberman! Noel’s approach is second to none. She listens, evaluates the dog, but more importantly, evaluates the owners, and puts a plan in motion. Noel has a plan – always. In a matter of a couple of months, Katy’s potential is shining through and the future looks bright!
Noel’s training is state of the art, as is her facility and the property on which it sits. Noel is patient, non-judgmental, funny, caring, organized, and above all, passionate about what she does. Working with Noel has truly been life changing. Noel is a fantastic resource for training material, training treats, and reading material for further education. She is a gifted teacher and working with her has been one of my greatest gifts ever!
If you need anything relative to dog training, look no further than Noel Hoffmann. You will not be disappointed.
Kurt and Lucy Abendschein – Saxton’s River, VT – 2022
Noel is an amazing trainer with so much knowledge and expertise. I have never done professional training with any of my past dogs but needed the extra help and knowledge with my female Australian cattle dog.
Noel came highly recommended and has taught us so much in just 4 one hr sessions . I am so impressed we will be doing 4 more sessions . Noel is also very kind and punctual and my dog loves her !
Thank you Noel for giving me and Kaya new skills and knowledge that I would not have been able to learn or do without you! We highly recommend and appreciate you!
Jen Benware – Bellow Falls, VT 2022
We have worked with several trainers in the past to improve the behavior of our six year old Doberman, Bella.
Noel Hoffman is by far the best. Because of her own extensive training, she understands the needs of the dog…. and the needs of the owners!
Noel makes certain that you understand her methods of dog training from the ground up, so that each lesson builds on the previous one.
Bear in mind that successful dog training is like taking piano lessons, you’ll do a lot better if you practice with your dog between lessons.
Sandy and Jim Wilbur / South Londonderry, VT. – 2022
“I am grateful for the opportunity to work with Noel. When we began our sessions this winter my highly energetic, adolescent, Vizsla pup had little impulse control and terrible manners. Noel’s expertise gave me a better understanding of what really motivates my dog and how I can use that to my advantage during training.
She taught me how to incorporate interactive play as an alternative to food rewards for practicing commands. The invaluable education and tools that Noel shares has allowed us make huge progress in improving my dog’s behavior. Noel is thoughtful, patient, intuitive and FUN to work with.”
K. Hunt – Westminster West, VT. 2022
Noel is it extremely knowledgeable and helpful dog trainer. Our dog was very lovable but not trained and aggressive to other dogs. She has helped us understand that it is our end of the leash that needs the most work.
She provided us great exercises and modeling for our unique situation, and our dog loves to “work” with her. We also appreciate her communication and further reading material to help us understand dogs, training, and the best ways to have a great dog/human relationship.
Thank you, Noel for all your help and expertise. We have and do highly recommend her to anyone who wants a better relationship with their dog.
Gary and Marilee Blodgett – Ludlow, VT 2022
We are so grateful to Noel for helping us navigate the arrival of our Schipperke puppy, Loki. Her quick response to our call when we reached out for the Puppy Prep Consult was a lifesaver.
After great success with Puppy Prep we decided to try private training with the Puppy Learns sessions. We had done group training with our past dogs. We quickly realized that Noel’s training approach was a game changer for our puppy and us.
We always look forward to our training sessions and are happily continuing on training with Noel. Working with Noel has proven to be the best investment for communicating and understanding Loki in order to build a healthy and strong relationship.
Kim & Erik Nilsen – East Dover, VT 2022.
Dylan is a 9 month old Dalmatian who was beginning to display anxiety issues around other dogs and new people. Since we would like to train him for performance competition we sought out Noel’s help in dealing with the problem.
Using Noel’s patient and gentle methods, Dylan is dealing with his anxiety issues and participating in weekly rally obedience classes. More than just addressing the anxiety, Noel showed us the proper method of incorporating the clicker into our training sessions and how to enable Dylan to ‘discover’ the behavior we desire.
As a bonus, Dylan seemed to really enjoy training with Noel and looked forward to our weekly sessions. We can’t emphasize strongly enough how happy we are to have found Noel and to have her share her training methods with us.
Joanne and Gary McKenny – May, 2022
Noel, I hope you are doing well! I think of you often and how much you helped Spot and I develop a relationship. Wow, it’s been 6 or 7 years since I first met you at Yankee Dog with my out-of-control bundle of Cattle Dog/Jack Russell energy. You helped me see that Spot was really a good soul who needed guidance that I didn’t know how to provide.
Fast forward and Spot is a very accomplished agility dog with dozens of titles. His behavior in public is exemplary and he gets compliments on his excellent manners and joyful temperament. I have told many people how you were the one who helped me see him in a new light and start us on a good path.
Cindy Schimelpfenig and Spot – April, 2022
I am a first time “puppy” owner. I have always seemed to end up inheriting or caring for older dogs. I have never had a baby pup.
My husband and I have a 12 year old rescue cocker spaniel that has been a dream for us, but is reaching his golden ages. We decided to get him a little brother, and along came Fredo….aka the tornado.
He is just adorable, but whoa….way more than we bargained for. I told Noel I was spoiled by how good our Buddie was, and I needed Fredo to fill some pretty big shoes. She was certainly up to the challenge.
I never expected a little creature with his energy could be tamed and actually sit and learn. In just our first session alone he was sitting, laying down, learning cues and acting like his older wiser brother. I was hooked! We see Noel every week to learn new things and Fredo gets excited even pulling in her driveway. He is a little sponge, and I’m so grateful she’s helping up sculp this little tornado into a well behaved member of our family. We are blessed!
B. Tardino – Ludlow, VT – April, 2022
These two could not be in the same room together at the start of training. Patience, hard work and faith on the part of the owner, can accomplish amazing things!
Hope all is well with you.
Thought you might enjoy seeing how far these two have come. Oh what patience and well timed treats can do!
Thanks for everything,
Mark, Myra, Sam, Tomcat & Loki – Keene, NH 2022
Trying to fit everything that Noel has done for me and my two dogs into a couple of paragraphs is a real challenge. I’ll start with how I found Noel. I was having some intense dog relationship issues and called for help. She spent 45 minutes on the phone with me explaining what was happening and why. She gave me great advice and support before I even became her client.
Following Noel’s advice on how to introduce a new dog into my cranky old dog’s life, we found ourselves with a brand new puppy that we added to the family. Before we even got him home, Noel worked with us with our existing pup and prepared us with the best way to set up our home for success.
As soon as the pup arrived we started working with Noel. Of all the dogs I’ve had throughout my life, this relationship has been the best. Noel helped me learn to communicate clearly and to make sure we were engaging in fun, positive training that both me and my pup, Miles, really enjoy.
Along the way, Noel helped me figure out so many different things with both dogs. Everything from how to grind your dog’s nails when they don’t want to let you get close to them with a clipper, to dealing with reactivity. We learned so many helpful obedience techniques and some fun and challenging tasks that make Miles think. We even worked on how to prepare your dog for fear-free vet visits, which my vet thinks is pretty awesome.
Her communication is excellent and she takes the time to explain the what, why, and how of dog training. She’s teaching me just as much as she’s teaching my dog (or maybe even more so!)
Her training studio is really well equipped and she offers a variety of tasks and skills during each training session so that no one gets bored. She also reminds me to take it slow so I don’t overwhelm my pup.
It’s been 7 months of consistent weekly training and my 9 month old puppy is so well behaved that he can accompany me into public places. He has not destroyed anything in my house (maybe a sock or two), he has great recall and is able to walk in the woods with me unleashed, and he and my other dog (Idgie) get along reasonably well.
Noel brought me Miles and I can’t really imagine life without him! I highly recommend working with her.
Amy Smidutz – Putney, VT 2021
We first contacted Noel when we were taking care of our daughter’s 8 month Golden Retriever… for 3 months. We thought the puppy was out of control. She couldn’t walk on a leash, would bite the leash, bite us while trying to walk and then would jump on everyone and anyone in sight. Noel quickly taught us that what seemed like aggression was just a puppy being a puppy. She taught us the skills we needed to handle the puppy. The puppy loved the classes and was eager to learn and we learned so much as well. Life with the puppy became so much easier and enjoyable!
When the time came to return the puppy to our daughter we realized we were ready for one of our own. We got a male golden retriever and at 9 weeks we started classes. We are still learning but now have some trainer skills under our belt. Many people compliment us on how well our puppy Poppy behaves! It’s true: train your dog, change your life!
Janet and Todd Picard – Brattleboro, VT 2021
“Noel has been an incredible resource in helping me establish the building blocks necessary to develop a strong and mutually respectful relationship with my puppy Rudy.
During our first phone call Noel explained the training philosophy, and emphasized the importance of training people to effectively communicate with dogs rather than just training a dog. After the first session I quickly understood how lucky both Rudy and I were to be working with Noel.
Noel has taught me to think from the perspective of my dog, which has completely changed how I view the dog-human dynamic and therefore how I train and interact with Rudy. I’m very grateful that Rudy and I have established a relationship with Noel and would without hesitation recommend anyone looking for dog related anything to be in touch with Noel.
Neil Goldberg – Putney, Vermont 2021
“I contacted Noel after I inherited my sisters 4 year old male blue shar pei. His name is Blu. My sister passed away, sadly. So he is now part of our family.
I have never owned a dog. And shar pei’s are creatures that do not like change. They are also anxious and territorial. So, this transition was quite hard for him.
Noel was very helpful in helping me learn how to be a dog owner. But I have so much more to learn. She was able to help me lower Blu’s anxiety through communication exercises.
After a short 5 weeks she helped Blu adjust to his new life. She helped us to eliminate unwanted behaviors and helped us to understand Blu a lot more than we had before.
Her knowledge and skills are mastery. Without her this would have taken much longer to accomplish. We are incredibly thankful for her talents.”
Justin and Samantha Foster/ Ludlow, VT 2021
When my partner, Ryan, and I adopted our sweet boy Ringo, we knew we wanted to work with a trainer. We had both raised our own rescue dogs in the past, but Ringo is the first dog we are raising together. We wanted to be able to help our new pup be a reliable companion and backcountry adventurer.
What we did not realize when we began working with Noel, is how much we would both learn about being better dog handlers. Working with Noel changed the game for us. Not only are we amazed with how well Ringo is doing after only having him for 5 months, but we are both learning a lot about ourselves and how to communicate more clearly with him.
We are incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Noel. She is very knowledgeable, patient, and understanding. Now that we’ve been guided by Noel, we are both so much more attune to how to communicate, set boundaries, and have fun with our Ringo. We have fun with our own training sessions at home each day, as does Ringo! Each week, we notice Ringo become more attentive and eager to work with us.
Gaby Salazar – Putney, VT 2020
“Working with Noel has been a wonderful opportunity to better understand my puppy and how to properly train/work with her.
Noel has taught me a lot about the breed of my dog a husky mix, her independence, smarts and her unique qualities. Each week, we review previous lessons and add new lessons. Practicing at home builds on these lessons. The training has been a wonderful experience and we will be continuing with another set of classes to further develop a loving, trusting relationship with each other.”
Jean Farrell – Andover, Vermont 2019
“10 Months ago I decided to get a German shepherd puppy. It was going to be a puppy because this time I was going to live with only my mistakes. The puppy was going to be dog number 5 in my life, the other four had been older rescue dogs. No puppies thus.
This lovable bundle of joy was an energetic ankle biter and regularly decided I was prey to be chased and attacked. Who said puppies do not hurt you. I had read Noel Hoffmann’s ad in the shopper and decided to call her.
We started lessons the first week I had the pup and it has proved invaluable. You will be amazed what a puppy can learn. She has taught me how to work through difficult situations and supplied the tools to do it successfully. We train with Noel once a week and more if we can afford it. We have been training with Noel for 8 months now.
Una Bella is turning into a well behaved dog with dare I say it: no problematic behavior. We still have to practice a lot walking on the leash among people, but that is due to me rather than the dog. The dog is only as good as its owner no matter how good the trainer.
Take my word for it. You will not regret calling Noel and asking her to accompany you in your journey with your dog.”
Marianne W Nevelson – Acworth, NH 2020
I am writing in regards to my recent experience with Noel Hoffmann, dog trainer. We have a new “puppy”. He is a black lab/great dane mix and is one year old. He is a rescue dog from South Carolina. He is VERY large, although mentally and physically a puppy. He is excitable, although completely gentle and we were afraid he might jump on and hurt our young grandchildren or elderly parents who visit regularly at our home. We decided to try Noel’s 16 lesson Day Training program.
Learning the various necessary steps in proper order, avoiding common mistakes and physically coordinating the movements and commands was a challenge and I am still not nearly as coordinated as I should be. It will take a while., But I continue to work on my techniques and my dog really appreciates and enjoys our “homework.” Noel has a great understanding of a dogs thinking process and was able to communicate that to me to help me to let my dog understand what I want him to do.
I feel fortunate to have had the privilege of working with Noel to get a start on how to teach my dog important lessons for our future together. We still have a long way to go. He is not a service dog or a police dog, but we have a good start and from here on in, it is really up to me to keep up the training practices. All of this was entirely painless for man and dog. I enjoyed watching Noel work with my dog, learning the techniques myself, and my dog really enjoyed learning.
David Reid, Westminster West, Vermont 2019
As new puppy owners, we wanted to start off on the right paw.
One week after getting our 9 week old pup, we started training with Noel Hoffmann.
Vinca adapted to clicker training quickly and was eager to learn – must have been all that energy! Noel was very patient with her (and us) as she taught us the fundamentals of positive reinforcement. The variety of puppy skills Noel taught allowed us to watch how Vinca’s mind worked – how she figured things out.
Completing Puppy Head Start training with Noel prepared us for puppy kindergarten where she is continuing to learn more.
Everyday training is a must, for all of us, but the basics incorporated by Noel Hoffman are skills we will continue to use.
Looking forward to mastering more training classes with Noel and Vinca!
Rachel Laliberte – Grafton, VT 2019
I am so grateful for the training that Noel Hoffmann has given me, my husband, and Mason, our yellow Lab, over the last 1 1/2 years, first at our home and then in small group classes in her beautiful new facility in Westminster VT.
Her gentle and generous, clear and wise training has transformed all 3 of us, and the relationship between Mason and me has grown so strong and loving. I am so confident of Mason’s responsiveness to me and my commands. I am committed to doing more training with her to continue growing this relationship.
Susan Wilson, Putney, VT 2019
We are happy owners of a smart, athletic and extremely energetic three-year-old standard poodle. As a young dog we attended the usual training classes. Although she was well behaved at home, we realized that in different situations with other dogs and people she needed more training. We consulted with Noel Hoffman and decided to work with her.
Noel has helped us understand our dog and learn how to work with and teach her behaviors that we want. It was quickly obvious that our dog enjoyed working and was quick to learn cues for different behaviors. Most important, we as her owners learned how to elicit the desired behaviors. Noel’s positive reinforcement training method really works. Now we enjoy our time with our dog whether walking on leash or out and about on our property.
Beverly and Brad Dunbar, Saxton’s River, VT 2019
“Stella” (as a pup)
—Dany, Mike & Stella – Andover, VT 2019
When we decided to get a puppy, and our first Australian Cattle Dog at that, we wanted to start off well. We saw an ad that Noel had placed in a local newspaper and decided to call. It was and continues to be the difference between keeping our Zivah, now two years old, or passing her along to someone with more experience with a herding breed. Raising a cattle dog has been much more of a challenge than we imagined, but Noel has walked us through each new concern or undesirable behavior that has popped up with patience and encouragement as well as her vast expertise in dog behavior. Her calm, quiet demeanor has benefited both us and Zivah. We look forward to continuing to work with her and highly recommend her to others.
John and Mary Beth Adler – Chester, VT 2019
We decided Murphy, our rambunctious 2 year old Lab mix needed some structure. While he had a good foundation of the basic commands, he struggled with the more challenging “come” and “stay”.
Noel gave us tools, tips, and techniques to help Murphy down the path of doggy independence. She made it fun and gave us insight into the unique and rewarding relationship between us and our dog.
Courtney Ryan and Jarod Toye – Chester, VT 2019
We were (and still are) newbie dog owners. When Ken and I rescued Tuck, he was 12 weeks old. We had some foster experience, but no real dog training experience.
As novice dog-owners adopting an Australian Shepherd, we knew we had to look immediately for professional help. Noel’s constant calm soothed Tuck (and definitely more so, us!). We gained the confidence to believe we knew what we were doing. Tuck gained the confidence to trust us. We learned just how smart he really is, and how to shape his behaviors so he could succeed.
Sure, there is plenty more we need to work on. “We” means us, not Tuck! Let’s be honest, Noel is just a genius at being even keeled and training people, who in turn get to see how great their dogs really are. Noel gave us the foundation we need, and is always available as a resource if we run into a rut. We are so thankful we found her!
Katie and Ken Speights – Killington, VT/Boston,MA 2020
“We went to see Noel hoping to change a couple of things about our 10 month old black lab puppy. She was jumping up to explore countertops. And pulling with excitement when approaching humans, canines or kitties while on a leash.
What we came away with was a necessary understanding of the way puppies move through the world, how they communicate, what helps them respond to us effectively. We came away with such respect and appreciation for the skills Noel brings to her work as a trainer.
Our puppy, Lego, responded to the environment, to Noel’s verbal and non verbal communication. We fell deeply in love with working with our puppy and making it a daily practice.
You won’t find us straying far from home without a treat pouch. We understand how to use our movements and words to let Lego know what we would like her to do. She is delighted every time we grab our clicker and focus on teaching her some new things. We respect the differences between primates and canines and have a number of tools in our toolbox to make learning entertaining and rewarding
We only spent 4 weeks with Noel. The skills and techniques we learned will benefit us for the duration of our relational lives with dogs. Perhaps most enjoyable was watching Lego respond immediately to Noel’s cues and seeing how teachable young pups are in the presence of a gifted trainer. We highly recommend Noel and feel confident it will deepen both your understanding and connection with your own canine companions.”
Donna MaComber – Brattleboro, VT 2020
“I found Noel after realizing that my recently adopted 5 year old Australian Cattle Dog, Benji, was reacting to both dogs and people on our walks. Noel gave me a consult over the phone and set up a session with us in her space.
I appreciated Noel’s flexibility and her ability to work both in her space and around my town. It took no time at all to see how knowledgable and professional Noel is! We worked in hour long sessions on obedience and reactivity.
My timid and reactive dog started to show just how brilliant and happy he really was. Noel and I worked persistently and she became my biggest ally in the sometimes defeating journey of owning a reactive dog.
Noel also has a good relationship with a veterinary behaviorist in the area, and recommended a consult to her for me and Benji. Soon after I had a great support system to work with and I became much more confident in my ability to handle my dog.
I now have a toolbox of knowledge to use in a multitude of situations. After a few months of working with Noel, Benji became more comfortable on leash and around other dogs and people. Benji has grown into a confident dog by using only positive reinforcement. We are both thankful to Noel for her support and expertise.”
Audrey – Chester, Vermont 2020