Nicole Wilde

Nicole Wilde is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) who specializes in behavior issues. She is a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), the recipient of the prestigious Ian Dunbar Member of the Year Award for 2006, and a popular speaker at the organization’s national and international conferences. Nicole is also an Instructor and on the Advisory Board for the Companion Animal Sciences Institute, the educational branch for the International Institute for Applied Companion Animal Behavior.

Nicole is an internationally recognized author and lecturer. Her 11 books include So You Want to be a Dog Trainer, Help for Your Fearful Dog, and Don't Leave Me!. She has presented seminars both domestically and internationally for APDT conferences, training clubs, and other groups.

Nicole writes training and behavior articles for various newspapers and magazines, including an ongoing training column for Modern Dog Magazine. She co-stars in the DVD “Train Your Dog: The Positive Gentle Method,” co-hosted the “Dog Talk” radio show, and was featured in the Paul Owens DVD “The Dog Whisperer.”

Nicole’s experience includes a position as Volunteer Coordinator for the City of Los Angeles’ Animal Services, where she instructed volunteers in canine handling and behavior, handled hundreds of dogs, and served as adoption counselor. She served as Executive Director for Villalobos Rescue Center, a sanctuary for rescued wolves/wolf hybrids, pit bulls and exotic animals. Nicole’s specialty was socializing fearful wolves who were to live out their lives at the center. She also trained wolves and other canines at the center, and presented seminars for animal control officers, schools and specialty groups. Nicole’s experience is rounded out by having worked at a doggy daycare (supervising 40-50 off-leash dogs daily!), a veterinarian’s office, as Editor/Chief Writer for a Get-A-Pet magazine, and teaching group classes as well as private instruction.

Nicole owns and operates Gentle Guidance Dog Training in Southern California. With warmth, humor and positive techniques, she trains owner to train their dogs. Nicole continues to teach seminars for professional dog trainers, rescue and shelter workers, veterinary groups and others, and to educate the public on canine behavior issues.

Nicole's books and DVDs can be purchased through Phantom Publishing

You can find Nicole on Facebook at

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Nicole's Upcoming Seminars & Appearances

Products from Nicole Wilde

Blog posts by Nicole Wilde

More on Interactive Dog Toys

I was interviewed today by a freelance writer on the topic of interactive dog toys. The question was posed as to why these toys are important for dogs. The most obvious answer is that they provide mental stimulation. As most of us know, mental stimulation is just as important for dogs as is physical exertion. And if solving a puzzle or a problem is involved, even better, as this helps to create new neural pathways and boost dogs’ problem-solving skills. It stands to reason that dogs who have better problem-solving skills will find training and learning new things easier. (Warning: If you’re not careful, this improvement in problem-solving skills can also have unwanted consequences such as figuring out how to get to things that are off-limits!)


Latest and Greatest Interactive Food Dispensers

Now that I’ve got a dog again after a year of being dogless, I’ve had the pleasure of revisiting the market for interactive food toys. One of my long-time favorites, the Kong, doesn’t seem to work for very long; for some reason Sierra seems to believe that although she can lick a bit of peanut butter from around the lip of the Kong, if she can’t stuff her entire muzzle in the hole, she’ll never get the food out. No matter how easy I make it, she gives up pretty quickly. My other tried and true choice, the Molecuball, works with dry treats only. Sierra is glad to knock the ball around, but as I don’t feed dry kibble, I use this ball for treats, not meals.


The Hazards of Overexposure

Having a new dog has gotten me out to the park mostly every day, rain or shine. This has been a good thing for both of us. I enjoy being outdoors and socializing, and Sierra loves to run, play, and wrestle with the other dogs. Many trainers are not fans of dog parks; I am, as long as they’re well planned and people are vigilant about controlling their dogs. The park we frequent is large and completely enclosed, has a double-gated entry system, dispenser with free poop bags (along with plenty of shovels and garbage cans), and a separate area (also double-gated) for small dogs. What it also has from time to time, unfortunately, are owners who believe their dog-reactive dog will become less so simply by letting him romp with other dogs.


Take it with a Big Grain of Kibble

As a dog trainer, I chat with owners on a daily basis. But with the recent addition of a new dog to our family, I’m now in contact with more folks at local parks, pet supply stores, and other places. And everyone’s got stories, advice, and opinions.

A recent standout is the man I spoke with about wolves. Turns out his friend who lives in Oregon has a pure wolf. The friend “has to get down on all fours and bite the wolf on the ear every day, just to remind him who’s boss.” Wow. Sounds like a lot of work, not to mention that it’s pure baloney! As someone who lived with a pure wolf (and two wolfdogs) for ten years, I can tell you that would be the last thing I’d do. My guys knew who was in charge, and that status certainly wasn’t achieved by physically asserting my “dominance.”


Introducing...Sierra Wilde!

      Is Sierra Wilde:

           1. the name of an explorer’s club
           2. the name of an adult film star
           3. Nicole Wilde's new dog

If you guessed c, you’re right! (Well, b might be right too, I couldn’t say for sure.)

Adopting Sierra was a great way to start the new year, and we couldn’t be happier. To read all about our new fur-kid and see more photos, click here!


Puppies as Holiday Gifts

It’s almost Thanksgiving Day, which kicks off that frenzy of shopping and gift-giving known as the holiday season. While we all like to give thoughtful, heartfelt presents, sometimes even the most well-intentioned gift isn't the best choice. Have you guessed yet what I’m talking about? Yep, it’s the Christmas Puppy.

Regardless of whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or another holiday, proceed with caution. Click here for the full blog “Thinking of Gifting Someone with a Christmas Puppy?” Feel free to share the information with anyone you think might find it useful,


Get Real

Having had chronic lower back pain for longer than I care to remember, I’ve developed a friendly relationship with my chiropractor. He’s excellent at what he does, and along with adjustments, he dispenses advice aimed at lessening pain through lifestyle changes. One of his tenets is that for each minute spent sitting, one should be spent moving, preferably by walking. While this may be sound advice that produces good results, it’s unrealistic for me; some days I’d have to spend five hours or more walking to balance out my time at the computer. Who has that luxury?


The Euphemism Tango

It’s been a year since Mojo passed, and my search for a furry companion has officially begun. Websites like and have brought the world of adoptable dogs to our fingertips, as they allow potential adopters to view a variety of pets in rescue groups and shelters. The vast majority of the listings include photographs, and, where available, a bit more information about the dog.


Tidbits from the 2009 APDT Conference

The 2009 APDT conference has come to a close, and dog trainers everywhere have gone back to their homes and businesses with new techniques to try, along with fond memories of seeing old friends and meeting new ones.


The 2009 APDT Conference is here!

Dog trainers look forward to the annual Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) conference the way many people look forward to Christmas. It’s easy to understand why: there are fascinating presentations given by speakers from all over the world, all in one location over the course of five days. In fact, there are so many interesting choices that the challenging part can be choosing which one of three or four seminars given in the same time block to attend.



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