Explore! (Start Your Journey)

Group Classes

A cost-effective way to get you and your puppy and dog training.  Classes are typically 4 to 6 weeks in length meeting for 1 hour each week.  Click the topic below to learn more about the classes offered.

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Group Class Schedule Calendar

Barn Hunt




Puppy Classes

Scent Work

Private Coaching

We offer custom 60 to 90 minute coaching sessions 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

Virtual Dog Training

Drop-Off Training

Need a professional to jump-start your puppy’s or adult dog’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 will be done at our facility, out on adventures, or in our capable trainer’s home.

Board and Train

Day School

Day Training

Our Team

Paula Nowak, Owner, Head Trainer & Behavior Consultant

Paula Nowak, the owner of Canine Country Academy, LLC, began her dog training passion over 12 years ago by taking her own dogs through 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! 

Ali Weihl, Dog Trainer & Behavior Consultant

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 at the 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, that same summer, as she worked with a dog and horse trainer in Western Pennsylvania, her passion turned from marine mammals to dogs because of her 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.

Hannah Pemberton, Dog Trainer & Behavior Consultant

Hannah moved to the Atlanta area in 2016 from a small town in central Georgia 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 help other owners and dogs build relationships, confidence, and skills to make their lives better.  

Livvy Shafer, Dog Trainer & Administrative Assistant

Livvy is one of our dog trainers and administrative assistants. She’s always loved animals but became interested in dog training and sports after adopting her dog Trixie who came with some behavioral challenges. After being a client for some time she began working as one of our admins, and later became our rat momma and caretaker for our barn hunt rats. 

Rachel Stroud Anderson, CPDT-KA, Dog Trainer

Rachel Stroud Anderson only began owning dogs when she became an adult. When she was attending the University of Georgia for a degree in Music Education, she adopted her first dog Sasha. She immediately began learning about dogs and dog behavior. The classes she was taking at the time (educational psychology and learning theory) started to have some overlap with her hobby of training Sasha. 

Rachel Emery, CPDT-KA, Dog Trainer & Behavior Consultant

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.

Sara Beth Pinson, CPDT-KA, Agility Instructor

Sara Beth has been committed to working with pets and their people for more than 20 years. She has 15 years of experience in animal care, playgroup management, and customer service with pet resorts and also worked as a program animal keeper and trainer with the free flight show at Zoo Atlanta, vet assistant in a small animal practice, and professional dog walker.

Victoria McCarthy-Cruse, Dog Trainer

Victoria has always loved animals big and small. She gained an interest in animal behavior while in college and studied the subject whenever possible. Upon getting her lab, Eve, she started doing training classes and fell in love with dog training overall.  She was originally a student of CCA who decided she wanted to be more involved in the community after enjoying our classes and seminars with Eve. She became one of our administrative assistant to join the team and ultimately decided to enter our apprenticeship program. After completing the apprenticeship she decided to stay on as a member of the team. 

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. In 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!

Upcoming Events

Nose Works Workshops with Dana Zinn

Saturday, July 8th and Sunday, July 9th at 9am to  5pm

Join us for two days with Dana Zinn, CNWI, CPDT-KA to work on skills for nose work teams. 

But in a Trial on Saturday

Fox in Sox, In a Box on Sunday

$405 one working spot and audit all weekend

$295 audit all weekend

Click HERE to see all the details

Multi-Dog Workshop

Saturday, April 15th and Sunday, April 16th

AIf you have two or more dogs, you know the challenges that require management and training.  You, like us, may not have realized this prior to adding your second or third dog. 

In this two-part workshop, we will teach you and your dogs how to live together with more skills, less stress, and more enjoyment.  

Click HERE for all of the details

NASDA Workshop and Trials

Saturday, June 3rd and Sunday, June 4th

A fun venue for searching rats, deer antlers, and personal items.  We are welcoming Beckie Bowers for a workshop each day and NASDA trials.

Click HERE for Workshop

Click Here for Trials

Additional Resources




Safety First When Traveling

You never want to imagine or even think about being in an accident with your beloved dog along for the ride.  How do you have your dog ride: in a crate, loose, bucked in with a harness? I would have NEVER imagined getting into an accident while headed to a class with...

Is your dog tough on toys?

Many dogs are tough on toys. So many students tell us their dog does not have many toys because they destroy them within the first few minutes. We get it! This is a very common complaint when it comes to dogs versus toys.   Dogs are designed to destroy toys....

The Business Changed Overnight

No one could have been fully prepared for COVID-19. As a business owner, it has been a very tricky course to navigate. What's great about being a small business owner is the ability to pivot what we offer almost overnight. Plus a team of trainers and video editor who...


Canine Country Academy - Lawrenceville

This location offering indoor and outdoor training opportunities.  We offer drop-off training services, private lessons, group classes, and events.

975 Cripple Creek Drive, Lawrenceville, GA 30043

Canine Country Academy - Athens

This service area offers in-home private lessons and board and train services in our trainer’s home.


In-home Service Areas by City

We offer in-home private lessons and day training options in these cities: Athens, Buford, Conyers, Covington, Cumming, Dacula, Duluth, Johns Creek, Lawrenceville, Loganville, Monroe, Norcross, Snellville, and Sugar Hill.


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