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 is actively competing in various sports with Maple, her Pharaoh Hound.  Hannah is one of the trainers that offers board and train in her home, and loves teaching owners and dogs how to have a better relationship.  Her home is shared by her husband Jeff, Linus, Maple, and Artemis the cat.

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.

 Kathy Lalani

Kathy Lalani has always had a love for animals. Dogs in particular hold a special place in her heart. Before Kathy started her journey as a dog trainer, she was a school psychologist and then a stay at home mom to two children, aged 6 and 2. When she saw the apprenticeship program offered by Canine Country Academy, she jumped at the chance to attend their weekend seminar. At the end of the weekend, she knew that she wanted to learn CCA’s training philosophy. Part of what drew her to sign up for the apprenticeship was because so much of the philosophy ran parallel with the encouraging, positive mindframe of school psychology.

Kathy has two rescue dogs and has been extremely excited to apply all that she has learned. Her dog, Ducky, is a laid back character who would rather get some days off from his younger, much more energetic sister, Bunny. Bunny recently received her Novice Trick Dog Title through Do More with Your Dog. They have also dabbled in scent work, rally, barn hunt, and cani-crossing. Kathy continues to be excited to learn about all the different things she could do with Bunny. Meanwhile, Ducky continues to enjoy his peaceful moments.

Kathy’s passion for learning all about dog training and behavior stems from her desire to help people form happy, positive relationships with their dogs. She firmly believes that the more educated people are about dog behavior, the less dogs there will be in shelters. She continues to study and learn as much as she can about dog behavior in order to pass on the knowledge to anyone who may need it.

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 one big dog, 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.

Barn Hunt


Online Classes (Interactive)

Pool Classes

Puppy Town

Self-Guided Online Classes


Stress City

Group Class Schedule

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.

Gwinnett County & Surrounding Area

Athens-Clarke County

Private Pool Lessons

Virtual Dog Training

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.

Board and Train

Day School

Day Training

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


     Gwinnett County and the surrounding area:    

Group Classes, Private Lessons & Behavioral Consulting

Athens-Clarke County and the surrounding area:

In-Home Training

Things to Do

Upcoming Events

Tools for Dog Problems and Fearful Dogs – Weekend with Suzanne Clothier

Friday, November 20th thru Sunday, November 22nd, 2020

Suzanne Clothier has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to resolving dog problems (why won’t my dog…) and addressing fear in dogs (reactivity, shy, acting aggressive).  She will be spending three days at Canine Country Academy working through various cases.

On Friday, April 3rd she will work privately with 8 cases.  There is still space to observe these lessons.  You can watch them for $20 a session.  CLICK HERE to reserve your audit spot.

On Saturday, April 4th she will be working through problems in the area of dog performance, dog compliance, and more.  Suzanne will select a few demo dogs from those registered for the session.  Spots still available at $250.

On Sunday, April 5th she will work with dogs who are fearful.  These dogs may have a fight/aggressive response or flight/run away response.  This is great if you share your life with a fearful dog or work with them.  Spots still available at $250.

Would you like to attend both Saturday and Sunday?  Then email to get your special rate of $450.

To learn more about each day visit HERE.       

Click here to register

Nose Work Workshops with Nancy

 Friday,  April 9th through Sunday, April 11th

Would you like to learn more about nose work problem solving and mental management?  We have a fantastic educator visiting us to offer private lessons and two workshops, Nancy Reyes. 
Friday – Private Lessons  $175 
Saturday – Nose Work Problem Solving all Levels 
Sunday – Up Your Nose Work Mental Game

Working Spots   $225/each         Audit Spots: $75/each

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



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