Bio

Denise Fenzi has titled dogs in obedience (AKC and UKC), tracking (AKC and schutzhund), schutzhund (USA), mondioring (MRSA), herding (AKC), conformation (AKC), and agility (AKC). She has two AKC obedience champions, perfect scores in both schutzhund and Mondio ringsport obedience, and is well known for her flashy and precise obedience work.

While a successful competitor, Denise's real passion lies in training dogs and solving the problems that her own dogs and her students' dogs present. She is a recognized expert in developing drive, motivation, and focus in competition dogs, and is known internationally as an engaging speaker and an expert in no-force training for sport dogs. She has consistently demonstrated the ability to train and compete with dogs using motivational methods in sports where compulsion is the norm.

In addition to training and speaking, Denise is a prolific writer.  You can find her at www.denisefenzi.com where she maintains an active blog on all things related to dog training.  She is also an active writer on facebook; follow her there to learn more about her range of interests in addition to dog training. Denise and Deb Jones have recently finished a four book series, "Dog Sports Skills," which has recieved widespread acclain in the dog sports community.  In addition, she has written additional books on her own, including "Train the Dog in Front of You," "Beyond the Back Yard; Train Your Dog to Listen Anytime, Anywhere!" and, for the younger audience, "Blogger Dog, Brito!"  Several of these books have won Maxwell awards for Best Training and Behavior Book from the Dog Writers of America.

Denise thoughtfully and persistently works to break down the barriers that prevent people from obtaining a truly interactive and mutually enjoyable sport relationship with their dogs.  Fenzi Academy is the culmination of her efforts as a forward step in providing progressive information to any trainer who wishes to learn.

Denise's Current and Upcoming Class List

Self Study Classes - lectures available for purchase

FE101: Relationship Building Through Play

For some people - and dogs - play comes naturally. But did you know that good play is more than simply WANTING to interact with your dog? Good play requires the ability to eng...

Denise Fenzi (Faculty)

FE140: Engagement

The question we ask the dog will always be the same: Do you care enough about what we do together to ask for interaction? Because engagement is easily turned to work, we can ...

Denise Fenzi (Faculty)

FE260: I’m just little! Foundation skills for smaller competition dogs

  In general, training is training and it simply does not matter if a dog is tiny or super sized. But in a world full of big feet, tall people, and large hands, there ar...

Denise Fenzi (Faculty)

FE395: The Art of Training: Developing Confidence and Flow

  Science has done much to bring our training techniques for companion animals out of the dark ages. Scientists greatly expanded our knowledge of humane and effective tr...

Denise Fenzi (Faculty)

FE430: From Start to Finished!

  If you think competition dog sports looks interesting but you’re overwhelmed at what it might take to get “from here to there” then this is the class for you! The lec...

Denise Fenzi (Faculty)

OB170: Bridging the Gap - Reducing Reinforcers, Proofing and Generalization

  Does the thought of training without a cookie in your pocket make you nervous? Are you happy with the quality of your work, but have no idea how to prepare for the rig...

Denise Fenzi (Faculty)

OB171: Bridging the Gap - Part Two

  NOTE:  This is the SECOND HALF of Bridging the Gap. Do not purchase unless you have access to the first half!   This part is available for purchas...

Denise Fenzi (Faculty)

OB200: Precision Heeling

  Many dogs lack precise heeling because they have no foundation – they do not understand how to use their bodies with accuracy, and their trainers don’t know how to fix...

Denise Fenzi (Faculty)

OB260: Advanced Confidence Building for the Obedience and Rally Ring

  This course adds additional people, dogs, challenges and more complex exercises to the ones introduced in the Ring Confidence Course. Each of these exercises is desig...

Denise Fenzi (Faculty)

OB300: Heeling Games

  Lack of motivation in heeling is one of the prime reasons that people give up on the sports of obedience and rally. Rather than seeing heeling as a dynamic, intense in...

Denise Fenzi (Faculty)

OB310: Ob-ility

  Ob-ility is a fast paced and exciting way to teach advanced obedience exercises to dogs that like to move!  In this class, we will introduce the basic ob-ility cu...

Denise Fenzi (Faculty)

OB400: Advanced Heeling and Problem Solving

  This course picks up where Precision Heeling and Heeling Games leaves off. Here's a video to give you a sense of the class: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgOHlQ...

Denise Fenzi (Faculty)

OB700: Shaped Precision Heeling: No props, no lures and no editing!

  28 days of shaped precision heeling! This class is completely unique from anything Denise has done before.   Instead of laying out skills and lectures to...

Denise Fenzi (Faculty)

Contact information

Have a question about an upcoming course taught by Denise?  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.

Click here to contact.

Student Testimonials                

Denise doesn't take a cookie cutter approach to training but finds just the right pace and focus for every team she is working with, setting dog and handler up for success. There is a ton of information in the lectures and videos - enough to keep students busy training even after class has ended.          


I have been amazed at Denise's perception and her advice to each of the Golds. The dogs in class were so different, all with different personalities and in need of very different paths to the goal of engagement.          


Denise makes every student feel special. She has a wonderful positive attitude and provides precise, detailed critiques that encourage success. The course is more than a series of classes....it is the basis of transformation of dog + handler into a team, and building upon the skills that create and nurture that relationship.  Thanks, Denise! Ana C.


My first time of enrolment with Fenzi Academy with two rescue hounds, beagle and a harrier. As bronze participants and novice backyard training partners, I found that myself and both dogs achieved each outcome successfully. With great concise guidance from Denise Fenzi. This style of training suited both dogs as they continually worked with great focus. This has been such a rewarding experience. Thank you for sharing. We will continue on learning as silver or gold candidates. Julie E.


Taking a course with Denise has given me a different perspective on training.....she pushes you to take responsibility as a handler and this strengthens the bond between you and your dog. Priceless. Heather L.


Denise gave excellent feedback; I loved that she identified behavior at specific times on the student videos and said when something worked well as well as made suggestions for when it didn't or could be improved. She also took care to understand the dog's temperament and interactive style, encouraging the student to do things that were reinforcing to both the handler and the dog. Hers was not a cookie-cutter approach but focused on skills that enhanced the handler's relationship with his/her dog. I learned a lot and have had fun doing the activities on my own with my dog. In only a few weeks I can see that she is able to play more readily and comfortably in new environments which in turn enhances her focus and engagement in these contexts. Christine G.


The lectures and Denise's clear comments on videos and replies to questions made me feel like I had my own personal trainer on site. I found Denise to always be so positive, kind and supportive in response to everyone's videos and questions. And such a sense of humour :) I certainly would recommend this course to others!!! THANK YOU for everything Denise! Judy B.


As an inexperienced handler with little competition experience, I was nervous. There was no need to worry. Denise accepts her students, canine and human, right where they are. She is very clear that you don’t have to keep up, make comparisons or master it all in the 6 week session. Her feedback is prompt, frequent and right to the point. As she discusses areas that need work, she is encouraging and reinforcing. I always felt like wagging my tail and working harder after every interchange. Getting to know and watch the other students is fun and instructive. I am looking forward to taking classes regularly through the Fenzi Academy. And I highly recommend that you go for the gold! Sandy H.


Denise is an incredibly knowledgeable instructor and dog training. In conveying her thoughts, she is thorough and easy to understand. Her videos for this course were incredibly helpful and extensive. I am thrilled to have the Library which I will be reviewing regularly. Sandra G.


Denise's courses are very well thought out and offer excellent written and video materials. While I am a balanced trainer I can always find nuggets of information which I can adapt to my training style. NANCY R.