It’s all about Communication

We founded Canine Country in order to improve relationships between dogs and owners. We strive to show you and your dog how to better relate to one another using respect, communication and cooperation. Utilizing only positive reinforcement training methods, you and your dog will be treated with kindness, compassion and understanding.
While Canine Country is the premier behavior-based academy for dogs, teaching owners how to communicate and understand your dog’s language is the primary component to our methods.

Plain and simply…

Meet Your Local Officials
(Our Team)

  Paula Nowak

Paula Nowak, owner of Canine Country Academy, LLC, began her dog training passion seven years ago by taking her own dogs through various group classes at Canine Country Academy. While she was enjoying teaching her own dogs she was also training sales professionals in the corporate world. She soon realized that training people with dogs brought her much more joy! She started learning all she could about dog behavior and training through books, seminars, conferences and apprenticing with CCA’s founder Cathy Bruce. Paula now runs the business side as well as teaching group classes, private lessons and presenting educational talks with the goal of injecting fun into all aspects of dog training to help dogs and their owners live together happily.

Paula has been featured on Atlanta Plugged In helping even more people learn about various dog training and behavior topics. She also contributes to blog posts including: Brit & Co, and CEO Blog Nation.

She shares her life with her husband Buddy, who has been a huge support in her following her passion of dog training and their four amazing Terriers. Paula has earned her AKC Novice Rally title with one of her dogs, Curly. She has also achieved a NW1 and NW2 title with her dog Molly and looks forward to their first attempt at NW3. Curly also has an Advanced trick dog title through Kyra Sundance’s Trick Dog program. Norby, their 2 year old Toy Fox Terrier, is working on Nose Work Competition and his first Trick Dog Title.

During her training at Canine Country Academy she fell in love with teaching not only her own dogs, but the ability to help other dog/human relationships develop the close bond she experienced through training. Her love of animals dates back to early childhood and continues to grow with each new experience. Over the last 9 years, she has also been involved in rehabilitating Rat Terriers through rescue organizations. She has worked with New Rattitude Rat Terrier Rescue & Adoptions. She also works with Rescue Ranch a local dog rescue organization. Teaching people and dogs has connected her with an amazing organization, Mister Migs, where she is currently partnering as a mentor. Mister Migs makes Dog Gear for Good providing real-life work and community experience to marginalized youth.

Paula is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA), AKC Star Puppy and Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, Connection, Cooperation & Control – Level 1 Instructor and Certified Trick Dog Instructor through Kyra Sundance’s program. �She is also a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. While educating others is her passion she also takes every opportunity to learn from some of the best educators by attending seminars, conferences and reading their books. These include: Suzanne Clothier (currently working on C.A.R.A.T. 1.2), Clicker Expo speakers, S.A.N.E. Solutions for Challenging Dog Behavior with Kathy Cascade, International TTouch Instructor and more. In 2017, sheattended the Association of Professional Dog Trainers conference in Richmond, VA.

Paula is excited to be a part of Suzanne Clothier and Cindy Knowlton’s newest relationship centered program Connection, Cooperation & Control. She is one of the inaugural pioneer trainers bringing this program to the Southeast. It is absolutely amazing!

  Hannah Pemberton

Hannah began her passion for dogs through teaching her childhood dogs basic obedience. Throughout high school she volunteered to socialize and exercise dogs in the county animal shelter, and enjoyed sharing their personalities with adopters. Hannah moved to the Atlanta area in 2016 and took the opportunity to explore dog sports and training. After enrolling her dog, Linus, in Scentwork and witnessing his confidence grow, Hannah knew she wanted to commit as much of her life as possible to helping other owners and dogs. In 2016 Hannah completed the CCA apprenticeship program under the direction of Cathy Bruce where she gained knowledge and practical experience in dog training and behavior. Hannah has a passion for fun competition and looks forward to learning more from every dog and owner and loves currently teaching Puppy and Scent Work classes at CCA! Hannah, her husband Jeff and Linus live under the care of two cats Bagel and Artemis.

Ali Weihl

Ali Weihl has always had a passion for animals. Starting in high school, she was intent on training marine mammals, so she spent one summer volunteering atthe Georgia Aquarium, got her scuba certification, and spent another summer as an intern at the Pittsburgh Aquarium. While at the Pittsburgh Aquarium, she assisted the head penguin-keeper. Then, two years ago, as she worked with a dog and horse trainer in Western Pennsylvania, her passion turned from marine mammals to dogs because of the ability to be more hands-on and utilize more positive reinforcement techniques. After graduating from Saint Vincent College (Latrobe, PA) with a degree in Biology, she moved to Georgia in June of 2013. She started out working in daycare at CCA as well as auditing classes such as Puppy, Scent Work, Reactive, and Rally. Since then, she has advanced to teaching Puppy, Adolescent Pup, Scent Work, Reactive Modules and many other classes. Ali also offers private consults to work in-home or at our facility one-on-one.  In order to gain more knowledge and a better understanding of clicker training, she completed a course through the Karen Pryor Academy. She continues her ongoing education by attending seminars on dog behavior and scent work. Ali also works part time with our friends at North Georgia Veterinary Specialists – Rehab Department.


Jena Gammon

Jena Gammon started her passion for dogs as an adult. 11 years ago she got her scoundrel of a dog, Boozer, a Rat Terrier/Boston Terrier mix and her heart stealing dog Geigh, a Rat Terrier. Because of them she got involved in Rat Terrier rescue. As she does all things, she jumped in full steam ahead. She has a sponge like brain for learning about dogs and their behavior, always wanting to learn more. She has taken classes with Kathy Cascade at CCA. Jena also has a senior Rat Terrier, Patches. She has joined CCA in an administrative role with the hopes of becoming much more involved.

Rachel Emery

Rachel Emery has been passionate about dogs and dog behavior for many years and jumped at the opportunity to work full time with the dogs of Canine Country Academy as the daycare and boarding manager starting in the summer of 2012. After the closing of our daycare and boarding services she transitioned to auditing and assisting in a variety of classes at CCA. Currently, she primarily teaches Puppy, Adolescent Pup, Impulse Control, Scent Work Foundation and Advanced Scent Work. Over the last several years she has attended seminars by Suzanne Clothier, Nancy Reyes, Kathy Cascade and Nicole Wilde and is constantly seeking out opportunities to learn more about behavior. She has 2 big dogs of her own.Chance and Rocky and a one-eyed cat named KitKat (aka Trouble). She is also a volunteer in the rescue community with a soft spot for Pointer Rescue.

Explore! (Our Classes)


The best place to set your new puppy up for success! This foundational puppy course covers basic obedience commands such as SIT, DOWN, COME, LEASH WALKING, RECALL, GOOD HANDLING SKILLS, DROP IT and more, and provides good socialization with other puppies.  You and your puppy will also learn how to navigate through other behavioral issues like housebreaking, jumping and chewing.

Age range: 2 1/2  to 5 months of age
Six weeks / Fee:$145
Click Here To Register

Adolescent Pup

Your teenage puppy is growing quickly and you want to work on those important age appropriate manners! In this class, puppies and their owners will focus on skills such as LEAVE-IT, WAIT AT THE DOOR, SIT, DOWN, LOOSE LEASH WALKING, STAY, POLITE GREETING and MORE while slowly introducing more distractions. This class will also help students navigate through the challenges of living with an adolescent puppy behavior changes. The class is designed for 6 to 11 month old puppies who have completed our Puppy class or are just getting started in training.

Six weeks / Fee:$150
Click Here To Register

Puppy Agility Fun

Are you looking forward to getting your puppy into the sport of Agility, but they are too young to really get started?  Or maybe you are looking for a way to burn off extra energy while having fun with your puppy?  This fun class is designed to get your puppy moving, learning some foundational agility skills appropriate for your puppies age and continue their socialization.  The puppies will be working on various pieces of equipment kept at low impact levels to prevent injury.

Age range: under 12 months
Pre-requisite: puppies who have completed Puppy 101 at CCA or Puppy class elsewhere
Six weeks / Fee: $150

Click Here To Register

Clicks for Tricks

Who is ready to Click for a Trick? This is a fun clicker based Tricks class jammed with lots of fun learning for your dog! The course is tailored to work both on standard dog tricks as well as new tricks you would like to teach your dog. There is no better way to mentally stimulate your dog than to teach them some new tricks!
Age range: all ages
Six weeks/ $160
Click Here To Register

Courteous Canine at Home

What most people desire from their dog at home packed into one group class.  Your dog will learn: Wait to be Fed and Wait at the Door, Leave-It, Crating/Confinement, Calmly put equipment on, Come when called, proper kitchen and table manners (no more counter surfing) and more! This class is designed for dogs 12 month and older (or graduates from Puppy or Adolescent Pup class).  Students with newly adopted dogs who are new to training or dogs who need to brush up on their manners at home are a great fit for this essential class.  Age range: 12 months and older Six weeks/ Fee: $160

Click Here To Register

Courteous Canine Public Access

Are you ready to take your dog’s skills to the next level? Looking to prepare for training in “the real world”? This group class is designed to prepare you for skills needed in the day to day world such as: Loose Leash Walking, Polite Greeting of people and dogs, Wait to exit the car, Leave-it, Come, Mental Connection outside of the class room.

While the class will be meeting at our facility in Lawrenceville, it will challenge you with additional distractions before going into “the wild” of the big world. Once ready for the real world you can join us in the Hound on the Town class.

This class is appropriate for dogs who have graduated Courteous Canine at Home or the equivalent. Six Week course/Fee: $170

Click Here To Register

Impulse Control

Does your dog have difficulty controlling himself around food, people, other dogs, or toys? This class is designed to help your dog learn that controlling his impulses pays off! Behaviors covered in this class include: counter surfing, strengthening leave it, ignoring food, working around people, and more!  Prerequisites: Puppy, Adolescent Pup, Manners or equivalent.  Six week course.  Fee: $170

Register Here

Therapy Dog Class

Description Coming Soon!

Six week course.  Fee: $160

Register Here

Scent Work Foundation

Scent Work is for any dog who has a nose!  This activity will satisfy your dog’s mental stimulation and olfactory needs (the need to SNIFF)!  It is also very beneficial for dogs lacking in confidence or dogs who need a job. Scent Work Foundation is for all dogs of any age and any breed.  This introductory course teaches your dog the foundation of the game, gets them focused and builds your dog’s intensity to hunt. Depending on the dogs level of experience we will work all four elements of Scent Work (boxes, interior searches, exterior searches and vehicles) on their primary reward (food or toy).  The human students will also learn to hone their own observation skills and enjoy watching their dogs have fun! Age range: all ages Pre-requisite: none, no training required.

Six weeks/ Fee: $155

Click Here To Register

Intro to Target Odor

You have completed Intro to Scent Work Level 1 and 2 and your dog whispers in your ear “Let’s compete…..I love this sniffing thing!” Intro to Target Odor is the next step towards preparing your dog for competitive scent work.
Dogs in this course will be imprinted on competition Birch odor. Handlers will also continue to hone their skills in leash work and supporting the dog as a team.
Pre-requisite: dogs must be secure, motivated and focused on primary reward in all elements.
Six weeks/ Fee: $160
Click Here To Register

Advanced Scent Work Competition Prep

Is your dog proficient on a competition Scent Work odor? This Scent Work competition prep class is an off and onsite course where you and your dog will have the opportunity to practice searching for hides in simulated trial like environments. Multiple search environments in different locations will include interior and containers, exterior and vehicle work. This course also equips students with excellent competition handling skills and incorporates adding multiple odors for further competition.  Pre-requisite: dogs must be proficient on at least one competition odor.

Six weeks/ Fee: $165

Click Here To Register

Push Treibball

Description Coming soon!

One Hour Drop-In. 

Fee: $35

Register Here

Agility Fun

Let the games begin! This is a fun class for both owner and dog incorporating strengthening your bond as a team and building confidence in your dog. Your dog will learn how to go over jumps, through tunnels, weave poles and other agility contact obstacles like the A Frame and teeter board. This class will also work on off leash reliable recall skills. Age range: 12 months and older Pre-requisite: Manners 101 or 201Six weeks/ Fee: $160
Click Here To Register

K9 Playground

Looking to spice up your relationship with your dog with new challenges each week? This class is exactly what you need! Each week we will have a theme such as: Relay Races, Staycation, Speed Racer, A-Mazing, Hide N Seek and Can Your Dog Do This challenge? What is the purpose of the challenges? We will focus on games to build on existing skills such as coming when called, stay, connection work, speed in “sit” and “down” and more. The dogs will primarily work one at a time to allow for off leash experiences. If you and your dog are looking for the ultimate fun in your training experience this is the class for you!
Pre-requisite: dogs must have completed either Puppy, Adolescent Pup or a Manners class.
Six weeks/ Fee: $160
Click Here To Register


Rally Obedience (Intro & Foundation)

Rally obedience is a fun and controlled low impact dog sport, combining teamwork with dog and handler with challenging obedience coursework. This class will prepare dogs and owners to compete in Rally competition, or owners and their dogs can just have fun learning more obedience commands and building teamwork with their dog.
Pre-requisite: Puppy, Adolescent Pup or Manners 
Six weeks / Fee: $155
Click Here To Register

Rally Obedience – Advanced Coursework

Are you serious about competing in AKC or UKC Rally Obedience? This course is a competition prep course incorporating different levels of coursework to challenge and prepare you and your dog for Rally trials.
Pre-requisite: Rally Intro & Foundation course
Six weeks/ Fee: $165
Click Here To Register

Fun & Games


Are you and your pup looking for a great class to help work on polishing every day skills in an environment around other dogs? These classes are 1 hour drop in sessions, and work on skills such as Loose Leash Walking, Stay, Handler Focus, and having fun using Suzanne Clothier’s Relationship Centered Training games! Prerequisites: Puppy, Manners, or Connection, Cooperation & Control. Dogs must be people and dog social.

1-hour session/Fee: $25

Click Here to Register

Without Force or Fear Vet Care

Dogs tend to find basic vet care and vet visits stressful (as do their owners). If you would like to prevent such stress and/or change how your dog feels about vet visits, this is the group class for you! This class will focus on reducing fear or force when getting vaccinations, getting on the scale, being muzzled, positive handling/physical exam, brushing teeth and more. Pre requisite: dogs must be friendly with people and other dogs.

Six weeks/ Fee: $165

Click Here To Register

Shy Dog

Is your dog shy or fearful or gets worried or anxious about people, dogs or other environmental stimuli? Boost your dog’s confidence and help him overcome his fear in this wonderful course!
You will learn valuable tools to help your shy dog in new situations and this class will give your canine companion a wonderful opportunity to blossom into a more confident dog.
A variety of positive and force free techniques will be incorporated into this course to help your dog learn that the world does not have to be a scary place!
Age range: all ages
Please note we only take a maximum of 4 dogs in this class.
Six weeks/ Fee: $190

Click Here to Register


Reactive Dog Program

Are you embarrassed taking your dog out with you to public places?Does your dog seem to lose his/her mind when seeing another dog, person or other trigger? Is your dog suffering from leash frustration? Then this is the all inclusive program for you!

Click Here to Learn More

Explore! (Day Training Program)

Do you want a professional to build a solid foundation for your puppy or young dog in manners, impulse control and more?!  Follow the button below for more information about our amazing day training program that gets results you desire using positive reinforcement relationship based training techniques.

Behavior Consulting – The Canine Country Approach
At Canine Country, we approach behavior problems holistically: looking at the whole dog – mind, body and emotion – to ascertain the root cause of behavior issues. We work with the dog and owner, together, from the inside out. Because we do not apply typical dog-training “band aids” to treat symptoms, we help you achieve longer and more lasting behavior changes. 

When necessary, we also work closely with your veterinary team to ensure that any behavior issues potentially caused by physical problems are brought to light, and that any physical problems can be remedied by a veterinarian expert. If fact, we are proud to have many great cross consulting relationships with veterinary clinics in the area.


100% Positive Reinforcement

The use of punishment or aversive techniques can be a recipe for disaster for a dog suffering from reactivity, aggression or fear. Beware of “dog experts” who would try to convince you that your dog suffering from behavior problems is trying to dominate you. In many cases, dogs with these types of problems are dealing with fear issues that have been completely misunderstood or overlooked. 

Our role as your behavior consultant is to help you better understand what your dog is communicating, and to fix the root cause of that fear.

Check out our Reactive Dog Program  CLICK HERE

Let’s Dig Deeper…
Does your dog suffer from any of the following?

  • Aggression
  • Reactivity
  • Fear
  • Separation anxiety
  • Housebreaking Issues
  • Destructive chewing
  • Other stress-related behavior problems
If so, please call us directly at (678) 979–2016 or email to discuss.

We are happy to customize and quote a tailored, consultative solution for your dog’s particular behavior issues. Generally lasting about 90-minues, our in-home or on-site behavior consultations will HELP YOU get your beloved canine back on the right track to a happy and more balanced life!

Plan Your Trip


Lawrenceville / Gwinnett
975 Cripple Creek Drive
Lawrenceville GA 30043
(678) 979-2016



      Lawrenceville/Gwinnett and surrounding area:    Group Classes, Private Lessons & Behavioral Consulting

(Please note: Our Athens facility is no longer open.)

Things to Do

Upcoming Events

Does your dog embarrass you?

Thursday, January 18th at 6:30pm at Canine Country Academy in Lawrenceville, GA

We  know how frustrating, embarrassing and scary it can be to live with a dog who barks at new people and dogs, lunges at them and suffers from anxiety.

Our team loves helping people with dogs who over react to certain things in an aggressivey response!  Join our 2-hour lecture to get tools to start helping your dog right away.  Then we can see if you and your dog are a good fit for our reactive dog program.

Fee $100 fee per attendee (or family)

Register Here

What is Push Treibball?

Have you heard of Treibball?  Have you heard of Push Treibball?  We are hosting a talk by to share information, video and demo about Push Treibball with Kim Hunsucker.

This is a fun sport that all dogs can enjoy!  No age limit.  

Join us Sunday, March 10th at 3pm to learn more.  $20 per family to attend.  This is a people only event.

Click here to register

Weekend Scent Work Workshops


We know how much you enjoy Scent Work.  If you would like to learn even more then you are in for a treat come March 2019.  Our friend Nancy Reyes from For Your K9 will be spending a weekend talking about Mental Management to help you with competition of any kind and Problem Solving to improve you and your dogs Scent Work skills.

Sat., March 2nd from 8:30am – 12:30pm – Mental Management 101

Sat., March 2nd from 1:30pm – 5:30pm – Mental Management 201

Sunday, March 3rd from 9am til 5pm – Problem Solving

Click Here to Register


Annie Fields and Harper

For almost two years I have had the privilege of training at CCA. My dog Harper is unique in many ways. From the age of 12 weeks she has worked her way through the requirements to become a trained service animal. Harper isn’t your traditional service dog. She weighs in at 13 pounds, has never met a task she couldn’t master and is full of attitude. CCA has guided us through many challenges that are specific to our daily work, as well as the many “normal” issues that coming with having a dog in your life. The trainers have managed to challenge us in creative ways through agility, rally, tricks classes and more. Their care and concern toward us is evident in the planning they put into every class. I am grateful to have found these wonderful trainers and I frequently recommend Canine Country Academy to everyone who compliments Harper.

Andy Runton and Gable & Gizmo

We found Canine Country Academy we read every book and watched every video we could find about training. Overwhelmed and frustrated by so much conflicting information, we bought into training methods that only made things worse. We care about our dogs like family members and we were so lost. After a very bad experience with another trainer, a trusted friend referred us to Canine Country Academy. Our trainers have been absolutely amazing and incredibly caring. Their knowledge and experience has taught us so much and helped all of us and our dogs have better lives. We would have been lost without them. Thank you all!!!

Salena Lynch and Cait

We love Canine Country Academy. When Cait was only nine weeks old we started puppy classes just to learn basic manners and socialization skills. She is now four years old with titles in Nosework and Rally Obedience, Advanced Trick Dog, and serves as a therapy dog (TDI) to schools, retirement centers, and hospitals. The best part is that all her training has been positive and fun. We have had a great time at CCA!!!

Tamara Stephens and Aurora

I can’t say “Thank you” enough to CCA. From my very first interaction with them I could tell that they put the needs of the dogs, first. They were looking out for me and my dog instead of just trying to make money. I have a fearful, 2 year old Chihuahua named Aurora, and our trainer has helped us both tremendously. We have had private lessons and Shy Dog class. We have a long way to go, but we have come so far! Our trainer has given me an abundant amount of resources and techniques and tools so that I can continue our work at home between classes. Aurora and I have become closer throughout these classes because I’ve learned how to anticipate her needs and I’ve learned how to help her deal with her high anxiety triggers. I can’t wait for the next class for Aurora and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for her and how far she will go!!!


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