Sarah has been working with dogs in the realms of performance training and behavior solutions for over a decade. She currently operates online through her business, The Cognitive Canine. Her special area of interest has long been helping dog owners address behavioral concerns in their competition dogs. Reactivity, anxiety, aggression, and problems with arousal are all major concerns for many competitors, and there is nothing Sarah loves more than helping her clients overcome these issues and succeed in their chosen arena. She has competed in agility and obedience for the past 15 years with her border collies.

Sarah's personal website:

Sarah's Current and Upcoming Class List

BH300: Worked Up! Understand, assess, and soothe arousal in sport dogs

This class is all about dogs that are over-stressed, over-aroused, over-adrenalized, and just plain over the top. Help your dog give his true performance in the ring by helpin...

October 1, 2020

BH315: Hidden Potential: Tapping Your Reluctant Dog's Talents

  This course is all about dogs that have been labeled as shut-down, down-stressors, shy, or low-drive. Dogs that run fast in training but slow in trials, dogs that have...

October 1, 2020

BH330: Fix It: Effective Behavior Change

Do behavior problems freak you out? Have you ever thought "I wish I could fix that" about a nuisance behavior your dog exhibits? Do the intricacies of behavior modification ov...

December 1, 2020

FE425: Teenage Tyrants: Surviving Your Dog's Adolescence

You had a really cute puppy. Now you have a tyrant! Leg-lifting, humping, newfound reactive behaviors, and just plain naughtiness abounds in the 6 month to 2 year range. In th...

December 1, 2020

Contact information

Have a question about an upcoming course taught by Sarah?  Not sure if your dog is suitable for a specific class?  We welcome you to contact instructors by email to make sure the course is suitable for you and your dog.

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Student Testimonials

Sarah, you are amazing. You responded to each participant’s videos and questions in such depth and so thoughtfully, drawing on all the knowledge you have each and every time. You are a dog trainer extraordinaire, but also an incredibly kind, genuine, and empathetic individual. Helping people see when their dogs are shouting (or whispering) no is a delicate and difficult task, and I can’t imagine anyone could have done it better than you did! Thanks for your pioneering work on consent, and advocating for all dogs so that their voices can be better heard.            

Even though I was a Bronze level student, I found this class to be extremely valuable for working with my over-the-top 2-year-old male. The explanation of how to determine my dog’s arousal state is just what I was looking for. The step by step plan is easy to follow. Discussions and samples of arousal and soothing techniques have been very helpful for me to evaluate my dog’s state of mind and work toward cooperation in training. Sarah’s explanation of how to distinguish between conflict and excitement in one of the gold threads added another piece to the puzzle for how to work with my dog. There is still so much that I am trying to digest. I will be reviewing the material for quite some time. Thank you, Sarah          

Sarah brings such great knowledge to all things dog. I know that the information I learned will be so useful for the dog I took the class with, as well as all my future dogs. Worked Up! should be on every dog sport competitor's list, even if they don't feel they have a dog who fits the description. Kristin       

I brought my toughest, longest lasting issue to this class. And with it came a lot of big feelings on my part. Sarah helped me navigate both my pup's behavior and my own emotions surrounding the situation. I never would have arrived at the plan we have put into action without the concepts she lays out and her encouragement. I'm less anxious about his problem and more hopeful now that I have the right tools.         

This was an awesome class!! It's amazing that Sarah can provide such great feedback on so many different behavior issues in one course. I learned a lot, and I was impressed with the progress of all of the Gold students. I will definitely recommend this class to others. This class is FDSA at its best!         

I am very glad I took this class. My dog has had some struggles with noise sensitivities over the past 18 months and had taken herself out of all our activities so I felt that I had lost my connection with her, especially as I also have a younger boisterous, busy dog. This course helped me see her in a different light, to realise that she was already moving forward and was improving. I realised that the walks she had chosen were decompression walks for her and now I understand how important they are to both my dogs, even the one without any issues. I've noticed a lot more about her since doing the class and we have some good tools for carrying on. She's able to bounce back a lot faster from a scary noise - like pause a few seconds, listen, then carry on! Very happy. Thank you.            

I've enjoyed all of Sarah's courses that I've taken and this one was no exception. Even though I felt that my own dog had a pretty good life it opened my eyes to ways I could enrich it even more to the benefit of both of us.           

Sarah did an awesome job working with each team to help them each get the most out of the class. She has an amazing eye for the small details that can frequently be missed. Everything is explained in simple easy to understand terms and Sarah is very willing to further clarify if needed. Taking this class has changed so much for my young dog and not just in sports (although we did go from doing 2-3 obstacles before his brain melted to doing 12-15 without changing anything else). I can't wait to see how much further we can progress in all our other sports