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     I am not accepting in-person clients at this time. Please call for Zoom consult info.

Gentle Guidance

Dog Training & Behavior Modification

"Dog training shouldn't be a battle of wills, but an ever-evolving dance of communication and cooperation." - Nicole Wilde, CPDT-KA, Trainer/Behavior Specialist/Author

Now offering virtual consults, too! Help is here no matter where you are in the world! 

Gentle, positive methods

Recommended by local vets

Over 25 years experience, author of 11 books on canine behavior

All training & behavior issues, all breeds

Local resident

Our Services

We provide dog training and solve behavior problems in puppies, adolescents, and adult dogs in the Santa Clarita area, as well as virtual (via Zoom, phone, or other technology) coaching for clients anywhere in the world!

Does your dog jump on visitors, nip you or the kids, dig up the backyard or dart out the front door? Does he have issues with fear, aggression, or separation anxiety? Or perhaps your feisty fur-kid is simply in need of some basic obedience and manners. Whichever the case, you’ve come to the right place! Problem behaviors are easily modified and new skills quickly learned. The best part is, it's fun and easy when you "Train With Compassion, Not Compulsion."

Certified Trainer/Behavior Specialist Nicole Wilde uses positive, reward-based methods. No choke chains, shock collars or harsh physical corrections are used. But gentle does not mean permissive! Gentle Guidance training achieves excellent results, as it is based on the psychology of how dogs think and learn. The approach is effective in treating any issue, and is customized for each individual dog.

These gentle methods extend to you, the owner, as well. You'll learn in small, easy steps in order to set both you and your dog up to succeed. After all, you're really being trained to train your dog! Nicole's easy-going style and sense of humor make training fun for dogs and their humans.

Nicole is a local resident who offers private, quality in-home training at reasonable rates. You are never required to purchase a block of sessions, as it is impossible for one set number of sessions to be appropriate for everyone. For simple problems, one session may be all that is needed. While serious behavior issues take longer to address, the goal is to make your dog’s behavior as reliable as possible in as short amount of time as possible. After all, the faster your problem is solved, the more money you save and the more likely you are to recommend Gentle Guidance to others.

We strive to maintain our excellent reputation through providing quality training and excellent customer service. Please check out Nicole's testimonials from local veterinarians, pet-related professionals and satisfied clients.

You love your dog -- why train any other way?

Potty training, nipping, chewing, jumping... all the usual puppy stuff & more.
Basic through advanced obedience skills.
Assessment and behavior modification for fear, separation anxiety, aggression and other behavior issues.






New PR photo Nic n Sierra crop small 72p

Nicole Wilde is a canine behavior specialist with over 25 years experience, as well as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. She is also a longtime Santa Clarita resident. Nicole lectures worldwide on dog behavior, and is the award-winning author of twelve books including Help for Your Fearful Dog, Keeping the Peace, Don't Leave Me! and So You Want to be a Dog Trainer.  Nicole writes for Modern Dog magazine as well as her own Wilde About Dogs blog. She is on the Advisory Board of the Victoria Stilwell Academy, the Advisory Board of the Companion Animal Sciences Institute, and the Advisory Board of the Apex Protection Project.

Nicole is an original co-founder of and is the official Behavior Consultant for Villalobos Rescue Center and has appeared as a trainer on the Animal Planet show Pit Bulls and Parolees. She has appeared on other television shows as well, been interviewed for and written for countless publications, and co-stars in the DVD "Train Your Dog: The Positive Gentle Method” (see Press). Nicole’s focus is and has always been on helping dogs, whether through rescue, training, or education.


Nicole donates her time photographing rescue dogs to improve their chances of adoption. She is also a digital artist whose work has been featured in art galleries and magazines, and often donates her images to animal-related fundraisers. Nicole’s books, seminar DVDs and blog can be found at To view her artwork, visit You can also find Nicole on Facebook and Twitter.




"Nicole Wilde has proven herself to be a very effective dog trainer for many of our patients. She encompasses humane methods as her choice in training. Everything Nicole does is reward based with positive reinforcement. She understands canine behavior and how dogs respond the best to their human companions. Nicole’s goal is to provide your family with a four footed member that they can live with and enjoy for many years to come. I highly recommend Gentle Guidance and Nicole Wilde for all your training needs."   - Lisa A. Pope, DVM, Stevenson Ranch Veterinary Center

"I refer to Nicole Wilde all the time as I see you as the most qualified trainer out here in SCV with the most experience behind her. She has written many books on animal behaviour and training and uses gentle training tactics." - Dr. Evelyn Vega, DVM, Happy Pets, Newhall

"I had worked with a trainer before who used choke chains and even wanted to put an electric shock collar on my Cocker, Mitzi. After that, I was a little apprehensive about trainers in general. Mitzi is a shelter rescue and has always been fearful, and I didn’t want to make her worse. But as soon as I saw Nicole and Mitzi together, I knew there was nothing to worry about. I’ve never seen Mitzi take to someone so quickly, and it was obvious that Nicole is a real dog-lover. We worked through Mitzi’s problems together, and I learned a lot about both dog and human body language. It’s really helped Mitzi to become less fearful in general. I would refer anyone to Nicole, and I know Mitzi would agree." - Elaine Nichols, Valencia

"So many of the clients we have referred to Nicole have come back in to the store to tell us how thrilled they are with her services. Nicole has always been pleasant and professional to deal with. She has an obvious enthusiasm for what she does and for the dogs she works with, as well as a real understanding of canine behavior. We would recommend Nicole Wilde and Gentle Guidance to anyone looking for help with their dog." - Chris and Kathi Hoeflich, owners, Pet Supply, Santa Clarita

"I was really hoping that training would help me with some of the problems I was having with my dog, Scooby Doo, but I am blown away by Nicole's services. I saw changes in my dog's behavior after only one lesson. On Nicole's first visit, she completely reframed the way I thought about my dog and his behavior. She immediately pointed out emotional cues my dog was giving that I had never even noticed. And the tricks she has shared with us have really helped to calm a fearful Scooby. She has also focused on what I need to do, as the owner. My dog has shown such unbelievable improvement in such a short time, as have I. I now enjoy taking Scooby out for walks and feel much more connected to him and his feelings. Nicole has been an absolute pleasure to work with. I would not trust anyone else with my dog!!" - Courtney D., Canyon Country

"Multi-talented, outstanding, sharp, these are but a few of the words that come up when you mention Nicole Wilde.  Our Vet referred Nicole for dog training and guidance.  Our little puppy was on the learning curve -- difficult if not impossible.  Guess what?  Because of Nicole's professionalism, experience, and knowledge, she created a miracle with our pup.  We could actually see and begin to train the most incorrigible dog.  Aside from being a published author, having years in the business of dog and people training, and many other accolades, she (Nicole) knows how to treat people very well.  She earns something money can't buy:  Admiration and respect.  We are currently using Nicole to educate us (owners and dog) on techniques, commands, and most important, a gentle, encouraging,  and persuasive approach to the always cumbersome and difficult task of dog training.  Twenty-one salutes, three cheers, and a big Ole Thanks to Nicole.  She deserves a standing "O."  We will never hesitate to appreciate how great she rates. There is no other dog trainer of this quality and excellence. If you want the best, then call the best." - John Rocke, Newhall

"I have known Nicole professionally for at least a decade and have referred dozens of clients to her over the years. I have known her to be very conscientious, thorough and attentive. I feel she has the experience and the education to help many of my more challenging cases become happy, well-adjusted members of the family. I always have confidence that she will handle each patient as if they were her own and treat their owners with respect and heartfelt concern.  I think of her for issues as various as simple puppy training and adult dog training to even the more challenging issues that require more ongoing attention and follow through such as separation anxiety. I have known many pets and their owners who are happy with the care and attention Nicole has given them."
– Amber Wheelbarger DVM, Cinema Veterinary Center

"When we heard of separation anxiety for dogs we never thought it would be a problem with our little basset hound Droopy. Unfortunately, due to our change in work schedule, our little 7 month old started barking for hours on end. At one point we received a note on our door by our downstairs neighbor telling us he had been barking for 5 hours straight!! One of the main reasons why we contacted Nicole was because if we were not able to keep Droopy from barking, we would have had to give him up because of the Home Owners Association!!! We are happy to report that after just ONE session with Nicole, we have a very quiet and happy Droopy! No complaints from the downstairs neighbor or the HOA. WOOHOO!!! We highly recommend Nicole to everyone who has asked us about what to do with a dog who has separation anxiety. Give them Prozac... NO!! Give them a session with Nicole!" Thank you so very much :)  - Lara Z. & Wesley M. Santa Clarita


I look forward to working with you and your dog in the Santa Clarita area, or by virtual consult anywhere in the world! Please describe briefly what kind of help you need, and I will get back to you promptly.

You can also reach me directly at 661-299-5704.

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© 2019 by Gentle Guidance Dog Training

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