Nice to meet you

Teresa Loya MS, CDBC

With over 30 years of experience, you can be sure that I will to give you coaching and training instruction that positively shapes your dog's behavior and allows you to enjoy life with a well-behaved dog. I specialize in working with challenging dog behaviors, providing rewards -based solutions that reduce stress and enhance the loving bond between you and your pet, fostering a happier, calmer home for all.

I started as a frustrated dog owner

with a fearful biting puppy and a reactive dog

Hello! I'm Teresa Loya, a professional-Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (IAABC) whose passion for canine behavior was ignited by a personal challenge—I was overwhelmed with a fearful biting puppy and a reactive dog, in a household of three young children.

From traditional methods to reward-based methods- was a successful win for me and my dogs!

Transitioning from conventional to positive methods was a game-changer for me and my dogs. I began in 1992 using corrective tools but soon saw my dogs' cooperation wane and their behaviors worsen. Through mentorship with experts like Karen Pryor, Turid Rugaas, and Terry Ryan, I adopted a more positive training approach.

I not only regained my dogs' trust but also earned distinguished AKC titles in categories like Obedience, Hunting, Breed, and Canine Good Citizen.

This profound experience didn't just shape my dogs—it shaped my career. It marked the beginning of my search for understanding and influencing dog behavior, and propelled me into a lifelong journey of working with animals.

I earned a certification from The National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors in 1998.

Helping struggling dog owners in the community

Passion to profession

My skills grew from an dog owner to an instructor and then as the owner of a full-time doggie daycare, boarding, training facility.

Over 12 years, it evolved into a vibrant hub for canine education. I coached thousands of dog owners —offering 11 weekly classes from puppy basics to advanced obedience.

The daycare grew to capacity of 36 dogs per day with training and playtime.

In addition, I expanded into specialized activities like agility, flyball, rally obedience, breed-specific training, and scent work.

I obtained my CPDT-KA Dog Trainer certification in 2005.

Cutting through the noise of complex dog behaviors

understanding the "why" to become more proficient

Committed to understanding the complexities of dog behavior, I've given years to rigorous academic study and fieldwork unlocking the 'why' behind our canine companions' actions- helping me empower countless dog owners understand and solve their dogs challenging behaviors.

Bachelor's Degree in Wildlife Biology/Animal Behavior-Psychology (2008)
- Understanding canine behavior through study of wolf packs (3 years in the wild terrains of Montana and Idaho).

Master Degree Anthrozoology/Animal Behavior (2015)
-Animal care, behavior, welfare, and animal-human relationships.

Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (2019)

Passed a rigorous exam with case studies and peer reviewed by professors. Demonstrated over 500 hrs of successfully working with dog with severe behaviors.

Continuing Education in : Aggression, Fear, and Reactivity Studies

Certificate in Aggression. Currently pursuing certification Treat-Retreat for Fearful Dogs.


A genesis for the smART™ training approach

saving the life of a fearful 7yr old mountain lion

During my tenure as the Animal Care Manager at a wildlife sanctuary, I faced a remarkable challenge: rehabilitating a 7-year-old, fearful mountain lion named Sacajawea. This majestic but apprehensive creature was not just another animal in my care; she became the catalyst for developing my smART™ training approach.

Initially, Sacajawea was extremely wary, her distrust evident by her hiding in her rock cave, quivering. Previous animal care personnel did not have training experience and therefore just yelled at her to move her from one place to another so that they could clean.

Building Trust

The heart of my approach lies in building a foundation of trust, crucial for animals, especially those with fear and anxiety issues. As the mountain lion's trust in me grew, her confidence blossomed.


I developed a simple step by step training plan so that the training was easy to implement and not overwhelming.

Motivational and Milestones

I tracked the mountain lion's progress, celebrating each small victory with her. The transformation of the mountain lion, facilitated by reward-based training, was a testament to this principle. Seeing her gradually trust me enough to approach, and eventually participate in her own health check-ups, was profoundly rewarding.


The training was tailored to suit the mountain lion's unique personality and history, helping her build coping skills and tolerance. This experience underscored the importance of understanding and respecting individual differences in animals.


As the trust grew and Sacajawea was responding to the enrichment activities I provided, see also began to learned to respond to my training cues.

Making a positive difference

helping 1000's of dog owners discover the cooperative nature of dogs

My training approach is proven. The blend of personal experiences, professional practice, and strong academic background is the foundation for a training approach that has helped me help thousands of dog owners over the years.

Aligning emotional well-being with actionable training steps transforms your dog's behavior quickly and also strengthens the bond of trust, making your dog not just a pet, but a willing, happy, and cooperative member of the family.

Enjoying life with well-behaved dogs

the application of successful training

As an outdoor enthusiast, I seize every opportunity to lace up my hiking boots or take my mountain bike to explore the untamed beauty around me. I am accompanied by my dogs and my husband.

When the snow blankets the ground, my malamute team transforms into a set of excited sled dogs, pulling me along snow-laden trails on cross-country skis or escorting me through the forest's labyrinthine paths on a mountain scooter. My dogs are trained to respond to very specific commands to usher me through the snow and to the trail's end.

What people say

from stress to success

Grogu can now go out with us

We hired Teresa to help us with our fearfully reactive Pittie that we had recently rescued. We realized it would be a continuous, ongoing process, but we are so happy Teresa gave us the tools for success to help Grogu manage his emotions. We are able to do things with him now we never thought we'd be able to, even taking him to a busy park. Teresa has given us so much support and also given us many options for Grogu while not making us feel judged in any way. Even after training was finished, she continued to check on Grogu! Couldn't be more thankful for Teresa, she has been such a blessing in our lives.

Teresahas been spot on with her teaching

Teresa is AMAZING. We've tried multiple group classes as well as private trainers, and finally after a few sessions with Teresa we are really seeing significant improvements in behavior. She has been spot on with all of her info/recommendations for us. Not only are the private sessions productive, but Teresa is great about checking in between sessions and sending follow-up materials. I can't recommend her enough!!

My dognow loves people

I started working with Teresa when my Papillon had fear issues when I first got her. Teresa has an incredible knowledge of dog behavior, and the techniques she taught me quickly dissipated my dog’s fear. She uses an entirely positive training method that focuses on the dog’s well-being. Thanks to Teresa’s guidance, within a year, my dog loves people, and we are getting ready for the Canine Good Citizenship test and are going on to compete in obedience trials.

Certified. Experienced. Trusted.

Teresa Loya, MS, CDBC

Teresa Loya

Hello...I’m Teresa Loya, the passionate founder of Clever Canine Academy. With over 30 years of specialized experience and a master’s degree in animal behavior, I want to share with you what I have learned about dog training and help you transform your dog’s behaviors.

My focus is on more than just fixing behavioral issues; it’s about empowering you with the skills and knowledge you need for a lifetime of joy with your well-behaved dog.

I specialize in working with fearful and reactive dogs, providing rewards -based solutions that reduce stress and enhance the loving bond between you and your pet, fostering a happier, calmer home for all.

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