About Us

Why Fetch Worthy?

Fetch Worthy Dog Training helps people raise a well-behaved dog. We help people solve common behavior problems through reward-based training rooted in science, trust, and communication. Individualized training plans are designed to bring harmony back into the pet home. Training can (and should) take place over a dog’s lifespan, and we offer training programs for all life stages like in-home and online private lessons, day training, as well as group classes in South Austin.

Meet Your Trainer Shelly Haines, VSA-CDT

Dog Training Philosophy

As a dog trainer, my first responsibility is to enhance the human-animal bond, consider the safety of all involved, and ensure the physical and emotional well-being of the dog and its family members.

Truthfully, the best training happens when we learn how to speak dog, meaning we understand their world (the canine experience). Dogs are not robots, they have enrichment needs, including choice, autonomy, as well as their own motivation.

I’m passionate about teaching people how to understand the why behind the behavior, and how to let their dog “enjoy life as a dog” while also being well-behaved. This is my formula that can solve common behavior problems and shape better behavior. We ask, not what our dog should stop doing, but what do we WANT them to do instead. Our mindset matters, when we believe in our dog (and ourselves) progress is made.

Education & Experience

My dog training education is from the prestigious Victoria Stilwell Academy spending many hours working obtaining my certification as a qualified professional dog trainer (VSA-CDT). I’ve received education from Cold Nose College founders Lisa Lyle Waggoner and Brad Waggoner, Aly Lecznar, Irith Bloom, and many other leaders in the dog training profession at VSA. My mentorship experience was with Austin’s own skilled and talented, Kim The Dog Trainer.

After graduating with my B.S. degree in Psychology in 1999 from NSU, I quickly became a certified educator and was promoted to a leadership role focused on curriculum development. My dream career was working with canine behavior and training, so I spent most of my free time volunteering with local rescues, animal organizations and learning about animal welfare issues.

Years ago entry into the profession had many barriers with few good schools or apprenticeship opportunities teaching modern methods. Since then, science has revolutionized what we know about dog training resulting in the some of best dog training academies available today, like VSA!

Outside of work I can be found taking specialty dog training classes with┬ámy dog, (Kai), like nose work, rally, dock diving, enjoying Austin’s live music, and volunteering with HOTLab Rescue.

Dog Training Services

Dog ready to go!

Private Dog Training Lessons

Private dog training lessons in your home, or at a designated location where I teach you how to train your dog. Good choice for families, behavior-specific issues in the home, or at locations.

Day Training /Socialization

This service for current clients is performed at your home, at mine, or at a location where I train your dog. For dogs that benefit from a “training boost” and socialization for the busy owner.

Virtual Dog Training Lessons

I teach you how to train your dog in the convenience of your own home. A popular option for shy dogs, during the pandemic, those with time constraints, or for specific behavior issues.

Modern Dog Training - How is it different from other methods.

What’s Modern Dog Training?

Modern Dog Training is the way to describe positive dog training that is rooted in science, like behaviorism, canine ethology and cognition, and learning theory, and backed with research and case studies. It also includes the canine hierarchy of needs and the human-animal bond.

Don’t believe everything you see on TV and social media. Many outdated uncertified trainers use old and outdated techniques.

There is no need for stressful corrections, physical punishment, or barbaric equipment and when used, most often there’s negative fallout. This is avoidable by going at the dog’s pace seeing training a skill like a muscle that gets stronger over time.