Trainer, Dog Behavior and Aggression Specialist
Vicky Kirkland is internationally known for her lifelong advocacy and professional training of man’s best friend, and as a behavioral counselor with deep empathy and insight into both dogs and owners while successfully eliminating unwanted behaviors.
The founder and owner of “A Wagging Success, Inc.”, Denver’s premier institution for canine training, Vicky Kirkland focuses on providing constructive, loving, bonding techniques that reward positive behaviors and quickly provide results. Internationally known for her classes and media appearances, Vicky’s dogs Bronco (a yellow Lab) and Haines (a black Labrador Retriever) are superstars in their own right for their amazing abilities, and work side-by[side with her in training puppies and rehabilitating abused, aggressive, and sheltered dogs. Her work has brought her local and national acclaim, including being named Denver’s #1 Positive Reinforcement Trainer, and being featured in the2008 Biltmore Who’s Who registry of local executives and professionals.
With 23 years of extensive, hands-on experience, Vicky provides group lessons including Intensive Basic Manners, Obedience and Socialization, Intermediate (off leash hiking) and Advanced classes, as well as focused private lessons. She is an experienced service-dog puppy raiser and trainer of hospital therapy dogs. Specializing in eliminating behavioral problems including aggression issues, she employs a unique technique that generates amazingly fast results. Concerned over a prevalent disconnection between animals and owners, as well as the use of harsh methods in dog training, Vicky grounded her reward-based training style and positive reinforcement techniques on her exhaustive knowledge in training a magnitude of different breeds, ages and temperaments as well as working with a vast spectrum of behavior issues.
Vicky’s training involves maximizing her dogs’ innate talents and Bronco and Haines have made appearances on national, popular television shows like Animal Planet and Pet Star with Mario Lopez, and a scheduled interview with Ellen DeGeneres, as well as local programs including Wb2 News’ Trick Show with Denise Plant and Canine Custody at 9News, and a puppy training series for Fox News. Vicky’s dogs have also performed for local charity events and functions, and have been featured in numerous articles, commercial print ads and videos. Her two Labs earned first place titles in many American Kennel Club (A.K.C.) competitions, including Agility, Jumpers and Weaves.
Polishing her credentials, wanting the absolute best education and training possible, Vicky has worked with top international dog trainers, dog behaviorists, and authors including Karen Pryor, Patricia B McConnell, Ph.D., Turid Rugaas and Jean Donaldson. Additionally, Vicky completed a one-year apprenticeship with Nana Will in Boulder, a full time professional trainer with 22 years of experience, owner of “A Dog’s Eye View,” and promoter of the use of humane, dog-friendly training methods. Vicky also completed an intensive “Clicker Training,” focusing on the study of operant conditioning, hosted by Marian Bailey (who, along with her husband Bob Bailey, studied under B.F. Skinner). Vicky has also trained puppies for Canine Companions for Independence, has experience working in a veterinarian office, was a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and has been an A.K.C. Evaluator since 2005.
A respected authority in her field, Vicky has also apprenticed numerous dog trainers, taught daily behavior classes at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, as well as additional classes in Boulder, provides monthly question and answer seminars for the public focused on solving behavioral problems, and is an ongoing volunteer at Just Pets.
A member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, Vicky continuously updates her education and training techniques with seminars and workshops led by the highest quality trainers and behaviorists, including: