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About GoodDog! Training LLC

Tara and Zorro

GoodDog! Training LLC is a one-person training service owned by Tara McLaughlin, CPDT-KA, CDBC, that offers private in-home training lessons. 
Tara specializes in training for puppies and toy breeds, as well as more advanced training for Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog work.  All of the training is reward based and force free, building a strong relationship and bond of trust and love between you and your dog . . .  no shock collars, prong collars, or choke collars are ever used, as they are considered aversive and detrimental to the dog's psychological and physical well being.
Tara has lived in Ivy, VA with her husband for over 36 years.  Along with raising their two daughters, they’ve had many animals including cats, birds, bunnies, hamsters, chickens, fish, and of course, dogs! Always fascinated by training her own puppies and dogs, and spending many years doing volunteer Therapy Dog work, she started offering professional training in 1999.  Over the years, her training metamorphisized into the business she operates today — GoodDog! Training LLC.
Tara specializes in helping owners get off to the best start with their puppies, helping new puppy owners obedience train their dogs.  Training your puppy right from the start helps to prevent problem behaviors and aggression.  Tara also helps owners and their dogs with training to pass the Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) test, as well as getting started with volunteer Therapy Dog work.
Tara provides a personal relationship that focuses on individual attention for all of her clientele.  Because of this, Tara is only able to take a limited number of clients.  
Tara has worked with a wide variety of breeds and shelter dogs, and has had years of hands-on experience helping clients with training their dogs to be happy, polite, and well-adjusted family pets.  She stays current in the field of dog training and behavior by regularly attending seminars for professionals, researching the most current and best thinking on animal behavior, and conferring with other specialized trainers and veterinarians. Her unique combination of training and behavior experience brings to her clients the expertise to be able to successfully attain their goals. 

Tara is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) and Certified Member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants  (IAABC.)  She is also a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, an international testing and certification program for professional pet dog trainers whose program is based on humane training practices and the latest scientific knowledge related to dog training.  Tara is a full professional member of The Pet Professional Guild and also an approved Canine Good Citizen® evaluator.

Currently, Tara volunteers with her Therapy Dog, Cindy Lou Who CGC, doing Therapy Dog work at UVA-HealthSouth in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Tara has served as a licensed Pet Partners Team Evaluator as well as a TDI evaluator.  In the past she has also volunteered as a Pet Partner with her German Shepherd Dog and Yorkshire Terrier doing Animal Assisted Therapy for over 10 years.  She has helped many of her clients and their dogs pursue Therapy Dog work.  She wrote regularly for A Pawsitive Canine Experience, an award winning newsletter focused on training assistance and therapy dogs.  Her article, Animal Assisted Therapy - The Human-Animal Bond. A Personal Perspective, can be found at iknowledgenow Veterinary Medicine website.   She has also written articles for Pet Partners' magazine, Interactions, and Doggone Safe's Blog.

Tara shares her home with her husband of 36 years and two Standard Poodles.

Why Use Reward-Based Training?


  • Your puppy learns quickly!
  • It’s fun!  Puppies think it’s a game and their people love the relationship they develop with their dog.
  • It’s fast and you can integrate it into your daily activities with your puppy.  Training sessions are short and sweet . . . 5 minutes at a time.
  • It’s mentally stimulating for your puppy and enriches your puppy’s life.
  • It's effective.  It teaches your puppy to offer behaviors that you reinforce.
  • Reward-based training is based on operant conditioning.  It’s like a science because it IS a science.
  • Your puppy will learn to think, make good decisions, and develop self-control because good things happen when they are a GoodDog!



Charlottesville, Virginia | phone: 434-293-5836 | email:
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