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I believe that you can train an animal without using force of any kind. Giving the dog choices enables them to learn faster and learn to love working for what he wants. I also believe that teaching my clients that learning the behavior of dogs goes hand in hand with training.


Paula Shimko is proud to be Pittsburgh's first
Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP)

I use positive reward-based training, as taught at KPA, which is based on the science of how dogs learn.

It is an effective and gentle way to teach dogs what we would like them to do in order for them to live with us in a happy and structured way. Instead of focusing and correcting the dog on what we don't want them to do, we teach them what we want them to do.My mission is to help owners and their dogs work together as a well structured and happy team. I believe that using positive reinforcement and force free training is the only way to train an animal.I want my dogs to have complete trust that I am going to keep them safe and happy. Training with positive reinforcement methods helps me build that trust. Training should be fun for both you and your dog. If your dog is excited to learn and he is being rewarded, then the behaviors we teach will happen over and over again.

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Founded in 2001, Karen Pryor Clicker Training (KPCT) is a leader in the field of animal training and a recognized world leader in the science and application of marker-based positive reinforcement, or what is often called "clicker training."  

Training dogs is my passion and profession. I began my journey by training my own dogs. My much-loved Shelties Shane, Mika and Blaze are all performance dogs in Agility, Rally and Obedience. 


I am proud of the many first place ribbons they have won. The success of training my own dogs gave me the incentive to take my skills to a professional level. 

After researching several options and wanting to learn from the best in the field, I chose the highly respected Karen Pryor Academy. It was the best educational decision I have ever made and started me on the path to becoming a highly regarded trainer.

Simply put, I love training dogs. 


Watching dogs "get it" for the first time is pure joy!

My goal is to help you communicate with your dog and help your dog communicate what he needs. In addition to teaching your dog needed skills (and a few games and tricks) I will show you how to better understand dog behavior and communicate in a way dogs understand. 

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Certifications and Affliliations

  • Member of Karen Pryor Academy 

  • Peters Township Dog Training Instructor

  • Catch Academy Mentor and Instructor

  • Member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers

  • Member of the International Animal Behavior Consultants

  • Member of The Pet Professional Guild

  • AKC Good Citizens Evaluator

  • AKC STARR Puppy Evaluator

  • Pet CPR and First Aid Certified

  • Allegheny Animal Response Team

  • Doggone Safe Presenter

  • Bonded and Insured by the Insurers of the Carolinas

We have Golden Doodles (from the same family) and we both thought we were losing our minds. They were getting big fast and soon we knew we couldn't control them. If you're looking for a top-notch trainer, you need look no further than Paula Shimko.
~ Stephanie K.

We have been utilizing Paula's services to train our 4 month old Chihuahua puppy & our 10-1/2 year old Papillon. She has been outstanding to work with. She is well versed in animal behavior & also offers lots of tips regarding nutrition, etc. I look forward to more sessions & am anxious to see all that we can accomplish.
~ Amy L

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