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Next Door 2021 Favorite

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BEST PAW FORWARD was voted #1 for 8 Years in a Row on the Milwaukee Alist!

Watch our Alist interview from 2013.

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Gift Certificates
available for any
class. Great for
the new puppy in
the family or to brush up on skills. YES, you can teach an old dog new tricks!!

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Who are those crazy dog people?

Training is the most important thing you will ever do for your dog. How you approach training will forever affect the relationship between you and your dog. At Best Paw Forward we strive to help you and your dog become a team. We truly believe that a relationship built on trust and cooperation will lead to a solid partnership and be a lifelong bond.

Best Paw Forward will celebrate its 22nd year in the dog training business in 2024. We have been voted Neighborhood Favorite on Next Door for 2021, 2022 and 2023, No. 1 for Best Dog Training on the A-List for eight years in a row and received First Place in the Pet Training category in the 2016 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Top Choice Awards - Best of Greater Milwaukee.

We believe in positive, motivational training methods, which have been tested to show great results. We use a reward-based training approach of no pain, no force, no fear that makes the learning experience fun for the dog and will ensure that your dog will put its "best paw forward," listening to and following your cues. We keep our classes fun for both dogs and their guardians while learning in a friendly, positive environment.



  Lisa and her dogs

Lisa’s life-long love of dogs began at an early age, when she always had a stray dog in tow as a child. As an adult, she has had the pleasure of being “owned” by four dogs — all shelties — and has served as a professional dog trainer since 2006. She is an ITA Therapy Dog Evaluator, AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, a member of The Pet Professional Guild, a member of Force Free Trainers of Wisconsin and regularly attends dog-training seminars and webinars, as well as reads and watches videos to stay up-to-date on the latest learning theories about dogs. A former Humane Society volunteer, Lisa also has a tendency to inadvertently (subliminally?) type the word “gods” when she tries to type “dogs.” Lisa leads the Best Paw Forward team with more than 30 years of business experience, primarily in graphic design, including considerable marketing design work for dog rescue groups.

Lisa feels incredibly blessed to work with some of the most passionate and talented people in the dog training field. Please meet her team.

Pam - CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed) & CBCC-KA (Certified Behavior Consultant Canine-Knowledge Assessed)
Pam began working at Best Paw Forward in 2014 and is a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. She has volunteered at the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha (HAWS) and served in the US Army Reserve for 9 years. She has taken in seven rescue dogs over the years and got her first puppy 2 years ago. She has a Bachelor degree in K-12 education and coaching has taught secondary education in nursing at both the technical college and Carroll University. She also has a Bachelor degree in Nursing, where she spent 25 years in long-term care prior to “retiring” from nursing. Pam has an eternal quest for knowledge and keeps current in the industry by attending seminars and conferences regularly as well as doing on-line courses.  
In Pam's words: "When one of my rescue dogs showed signs of fear and impulse control issues, I started to look for professional help. My interest in wanting to learn more consumed me. I took three classes with BPF and found it to be a life-saver for Bella and me. I am committed to helping my clients in strengthening the bond with their canine companions through helping them understand how dogs learn and what they need from their human, as well as showing them how to have fun during training.”
Favorite classes: "I love seeing the progress of each of the dogs and their humans in every class I teach. When the lightbulb goes on, it is priceless.”


Claudia - CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed)
Claudia joined our staff in 2015. She is a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. Claudia spends many hours listening to training podcasts, taking on-line courses, and webinars, as well as attending as many seminars and conferences as she can.
In Claudia's words: "I have enjoyed my time and experience with all of the dogs with which I have been privileged to share my life. They have all taught me so much, while training and in the quiet times too.
I love the learning process involved in training and know it will never stop. Currently, I have 4 dogs, each with unique personalities and training challenges. They push me to become a better trainer and do everything I can for and with them.”
Favorite classes: "I enjoy teaching people to work with their dogs at every level of the training process. It’s through the training that we develop our relationships with our dogs and I believe that’s what it’s all about.
I have taken multiple classes with my own dogs and this has helped me, not only bond with them, but, also, understand the challenges of being the student. I always try to keep these experiences in mind when teaching others.”


Roxy - CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed)
Roxy joined our Best Paw Forward team in 2016 as an assistant and became a lead instructor in 2021. She brings an amazing calmness to wherever she goes.
In Roxy's words: "I fell in love with Tara's intelligence, loyalty, and shining athleticism. Her spirited, shy/fearful temperament has taught me about the subtleties of dog communication and ignited a strategy to help her using science-based training techniques. Together we enjoy the simple pleasures of the natural world. Like playing catch in an open field, leaping through the tall grass, or hiking miles of wooded trails. She's an inexhaustible source of inspiration."
Favorite classes: "My favorite class is Basic Manners. A dog's trust in you is the most important building block for a strong animal/human bond and communication. Basic Manners class gives you the tools and techniques to lay this foundation in a positive, fun, and safe environment. Personally, while raising my shy/fearful German Shepherd through puppyhood and adolescence, I found the insight, encouragement and camaraderie offered by Best Paw Forward an invaluable asset linked to her success.”


Elaine joined our team at the beginning of 2021 as an assistant and became a lead instructor by the end of 2021.
In Elaine's words: "All of my dogs are so special. My yellow lab rescue, Bo, has been a therapy dog for many years. We visited a local elementary school for over 13 years teaching kindergarteners and first graders the love of reading. Bo and I trained at Best Paw Forward many years ago and that is when I learned a better way to train a dog. A few years ago, I inherited my mom’s dogs and they rounded our group to four. I just love how loyal and caring each one of them are and how much they enrich our lives."
Favorite classes: "I have two favorite classes that I have assisted and teach at BPF. Puppy class is so much fun. I get such joy watching the pups and their people bond and learn. My second favorite class is our Level 2 obedience. Polar opposite of puppy class, these dogs are refining their skills and taking the dog and handler relationship to a new level. As for my favorite class I think it would be the Rally/Agility Combo. My dog, Dallas, and I had so much fun running the courses while strengthening our bond."


Cathy became a part of the Best Paw Forward team in 2016 as an assistant. She has always loved dogs and working with them.
In Cathy's words: What I love about Scout: She is my best friend...she is happy to be with me whether we are on a walk, I'm working at home or we're just hanging around the house. She's a happy girl, always ready to play and a bit mischievous as well. She makes me smile.
Favorite classes: "My favorite class...and most challenging so far was puppy agility. We had a ball!"


Amy joined our staff in 2018 as an assistant. Her background is in education. Amy has a Master's degree in speech/language pathology and spent 18 years working as a speech pathologist in the schools. She has shifted her focus from school kids, to puppies and their parents, and loves it!
Favorite classes: "I've enjoyed all the classes I've taken with Marvin but my favorite was Focus & Control. I loved being able to connect more and understand Marvin better. I love his energy and the fact he is a cuddle bug and slow to get started in morning just like his momma!"


Samantha joined our team in 2019 as an assistant. She is a graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, with a bachelor's degree in General Management. Currently using her degree in a full time position as a golf course manager, Sam has always had a passion for dogs, but her interest first piqued when she got her own dog in December 2017. She spent countless hours preparing for her and continued researching this field because she wanted only the best for her.
In Sam's words: "BPF has made me a more patient person with my own dog and helped me to learn about other dogs. I hope to share what I have learned with others as well as encourage all families to use positive reinforcement training."
Favorite classes: "I would have to say I enjoy all the classes taught by BPF. My favorite is puppy kindergarten. Not only are the puppies adorable, but I love to watch them grow in the six weeks they are enrolled in class. "


Leah started with Best Paw Forward in 2021 as an assistant. She graduated from Carroll University in 2018 with her doctorate in physical therapy and works at Froedtert in an outpatient clinic. Since graduation she has specialized in lymphedema and canine physical therapy. She received her certification in canine physical therapy from the Canine Rehabilitation Institute in 2021. Leah spends her free time with her dog Cali, a Shepherd/Heeler Mix, and they love to run, take classes, and spend time outdoors together. 
Favorite classes: "I have enjoyed all the classes I have taken and assisted at Best Paw Forward. I learn something new in every class and my bond with Cali grows stronger with each class. My favorite classes are the agility ones as I love the teamwork involved and the confidence dogs gain during the course of the class."