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.

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.

  Rachel Anderson

Rachel Anderson has grown to love dogs over the past 5 years. She adopted her oldest dog, Sasha, from the shelter and immediately began learning about dog training and dog behavior. During this time, Rachel was also pursuing her Bachelor’s in Music Education and learning all about teaching and psychology. The principles of learning between children and dogs were very similar, and once Rachel took her first Clicks for Tricks class, the lightbulb went off! Teaching and training are similar and Rachel knew she wanted to help others gain this insight. Sasha went on to be awarded her Intermediate Trick Dog Title through Do More With Your Dog. Rachel and her husband, Keith, then added a puppy to their family – Kirby! Kirby participates in Dock Diving and Scentwork. Rachel has been taking her dogs to CCA for years and was so excited to read about the Apprentice Program. She has been working diligently to learn as much as she can to be able to help families understand their dogs better and have fun doing it.

Explore! (Start Your Journey)

Group Classes
A cost effective way to get you and your puppy and dog training.  Classes are typically 6-weeks in length meeting for 1-hour each week.  Click a destination below to learn more about the classes offered.

Puppy Town


Stress City



Take Me Straight to Registration!

Private Coaching

We offer custom 60 to 90 minute coaching sessions in the comfort of your own home, at our training facility or out and about.

This is great to get one-on-one coaching for specific skills, address behavioral issues and help you prepare for your new puppy.

 Tell Me More…

Virtual Dog Training

Gwinnett County, GA and surrounding areas

Additional Training
Need a professional to jump start your puppy’s training and socialization?  We understand you have a busy life with work and family.  Our team loves building the foundation to set you and your new addition up for success.  These sessions can be done in the comfort of your own home or at our training facility.

 Day Training

Puppy Camp

Board and Train 

Enrichment at VCA Falcon Village

Gwinnett County, GA

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 contact us 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

Now Serving Athens, GA – In-Home Training

Things to Do

Upcoming Events

Conformation Workshops with Vicki

Friday, February 7th to Sunday, February 9th at Canine Country Academy in Lawrenceville, GA

Are you looking for an expert to help you take your show dog skills to the next level?

Would you like some one-on-one coaching in this area of dog sports?

Vicki Ronchette from Show Dog Prep School is coming to CCA to help hone your conformation and handling skills before your next show.  On Friday, February 7th she will be offering private 30 to 60 minute lessons.  On Saturday, February 8th there is a workshop focused on movement and Sunday, February 9th focusing on adding flash to your performance.

To learn more and register visit:  CLICK HERE

Need Help with Your Reactive Dog?

Sunday, November 10th at 3:00pm

Is your dog worried about new people?  new dogs?  new places?  Do they bark, lunge, and/or try to bite when scared?  Do they live in a bubble because you are scared to take them anywhere?

Join us for a FREE 90-minute talk at CCA to learn how you can help your dog immediately.  You will learn how to better read your dog’s signals, things you can teach them to feel safe, and other ways to support them. 

Please sign up for reminders and updates.          

Click here to register

Kong Stuffing Party
Are you looking for ways to keep your dog(s) busy this holiday season? 
Are you in a rut as to what to stuff into their daily Kong? 
Would you like to hangout with other like-minded Kong stuffers? 
We are hosting a FREE workshop to exchange what to stuff into your dog’s Kong.  There is WAY more to stuff into a Kong besides peanut butter and canned dog food.  In this workshop out attendees are the “instructors”.  Rachel Anderson will lead the fun event with information on enrichment and attendees will create recipes for the Kongs.

12 Spots 

Saturday, December 7th from 4pm to 5:30pm 

Click Here to Learn more and Register

Are you interested in even more events we are hosting in the future?


We love to host events to provide education, support for our awesome community, and fun!  Please follow this link to see a full list of all of the events we have planned…so far!      

List of CCA Events


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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