Navigating the deep dark woods of understanding dog behavior?


Let me be your Gandalf!

…only, less beard-y!

Hi, I’m Ellen Schmidt, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP!

I’ve been working as a professional trainer with people and their dogs since 2011, and have worked hands-on with dogs for many more years than that. Veterinary clinics, grooming salons, doggie daycares, sheltering and rescue, working with budding therapy dogs, and showing and training my own dogs are all arenas I’ve spent time in. Simply put, I LOVE dogs and the lives we share with them. But I also love people who love dogs, and take a lot of joy in helping build healthy, mutually beneficial relationships between us and our canines.

And that alphabet soup after my name? That tells you something important about me! I’m a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), a Certified Training Partner with the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Behavior & Training (KPA CTP). I am also a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC).


And what does all that mean?

It means I’ve not only had years of education and experience to prepare me in ethical and effective training philosophy and approaches, it also means I have to KEEP getting more education year after year. And that tells you that when we work together, I’m going to be basing my recommendations in up-to-date, scientifically sound approaches to changing your companion’s behavior. I think you and your pup deserve the very best trainer, and I will never stop learning more to make sure I can be that for you!

And just for fun, I am also:

  • an deep lover of playing/working with my own dogs in Scentwork, Rally Obedience, and as a therapy team
  • An ordained Animal Chaplain specializing in animal end-of-life; visit my sister website animalchaplainnm.com to learn more.

Every time we invite a dog into our lives, we start a new journey together.

These journeys help us grow. They teach us, inspire us, and make us more compassionate. This is one of the greatest gifts dogs give us: simply by being with us, they help us become better versions of ourselves.

At least that’s how I feel here at Quest. The dog+human bond is an amazing thing, and training plays a huge role in that relationship. Through training, you walk away from your pet being “just a dog” to really discover the amazing companion by your side. And there’s nothing better in the journey of life than a wonderful companion.

That’s the Quest, and that’s what we’re here for!


The journey is as important as the destination.

Great training is not just about getting certain behaviors from your dog (although, yes, that’s definitely going to happen!). Great training helps you communicate with your dog, creates mutual understanding, strengthens your bond and creates joy!

For this reason, I do NOT use methods designed to hurt, startle or scare your dog.

Dog training has evolved over the years, and we now know that these methods not only damage your bond with your dog, they also slow your dog’s learning, build anxiety and even spark aggression.

I believe that training should be fun and practical for both dog and human. The techniques I teach will help your dog learn new behaviors through effective, science-based, fear-and-force-free methods that build clear communication and reward desired behaviors.

Ready to begin your journey? Then you’re ready to Quest!

Contact me today to learn more

Ready to begin your journey? Then you’re ready to Quest!

Contact me today to learn more