Happy Dog Institute creates happier dogs and happier people. Using positive reinforcement, reward-based training methods and science, we make life with your dog more enjoyable. We help solve behavior problems, socialize puppies, and teach basic obedience and manners, as well as dog sports including agility and scent work.

We want you to be successful while having a great time with your canine partner. That’s why we keep the number of students per group class low and offer one-on-one customized private training.

Our group classes range from a comprehensive puppy class series to adolescent and adult dog manners and obedience. From there, you can try a dog sport including scent work, agility and truffle hunting. We also offer private training for manners and behavior problems. Even if your dog has a particularly tough behavior issue, we can help!

Where to find us

Our dog training facility is located in Tumwater, Washington by the Olympia Airport. We’re at 7924 Sweet Iron Ct SE, Suite 109, Olympia, WA 98501. Please note that Google Maps thinks it’s Sweet Iron “Lane”.

Our Trainers

Alden (37)

Ashley Alden (Pronouns: She/Her) | CCS, PSDT-A

Ashley Alden is a distinguished graduate and team member of the Northwest School of Canine Studies, a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, and a supporting member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She recently completed her associate certification at the Peninsula School for Dog Trainers (PSDT-A).

A scientist at heart, Ashley has a thirst for knowledge and a desire to provide canines and their people with the skills needed to live their best lives. With this in mind, she regularly attends conferences and seminars to remain current on the latest research and best practices within the industry.

For nearly a decade Ashley, her spouse, and their canine companions have fostered hundreds of dogs and aided in their transitions to new homes. As a result, she has a soft spot for misfit mutts and the humans who love them. Ashley lives in Rochester, Washington.

Paul Grosart

Paul Grosart (Pronouns: They/Them) | BS, CPDT-KA, IAABC-ADT, AKC CGC Evaluator

Paul holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of WA. After graduating in 2014 they redirected their expertise from human psychology to the application of learning theories in the realm of domestic animals. Certified by leading science-based training organizations, Paul carries titles such as CPDT-KA, IAABC-ADT, Certified Control Unleashed Instructor, and AKC Trick Dog and CGC evaluator.

Since 2017, they have diligently collaborated with various service dog organizations and supported owner trainers. Presently, Paul is affiliated with ADI organizations like Atlas Assistance Dogs and Brigadoon Service Dogs.

In their personal pursuits, Paul explores a wide array of sports and hobbies alongside their own dogs, striving to make handling practices in sports and “working dog” environments more enjoyable and rewarding.

With a deep commitment to aiding breeders and rescues, Paul continuously expands their knowledge in conformation and ethical breeding practices. Their mission extends to community education efforts focused on early puppy development, contributing positively to the broader dog community.


Jodi Halvorson (Pronouns: She/Her) | CDW, SAMP
Instructor + Adventure Guide

Jodi, a longtime client and Agility student at HDI, is our newest addition to the team. She’s a dog-savvy, dog-loving outdoor enthusiast (which is putting it mildly). Jodi goes adventuring almost every weekend, and has gone fast packing with her own dog on the Pacific Coast Trail into Canada. She is currently training for a 100 and 250 mile trail race, is Canine and Wilderness First Aid certified and is a Certified Dog Walker (CDW).

Jodi is a certified as a Small Animal Massage Practitioner (SAMP) with a certification in maintenance, performance and rehabilitation massage techniques as well as certification for kinesiology taping. She is working towards a certification as a Small Animal Acupressure Practitioner.

Jodi lives in Olympia with her partner Greg, and her dog Stormy.


Emma Holly (Pronouns: She/Her) | MS, CPDT-KA, CSAT
Co-Owner & Director of Operations

Emma has a Masters of Science in Animal Behavior & Welfare from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). She is also a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer (CSAT) and a Dog Walking Academy Field Trip Coach.

As Co-Founder of Happy Dog Institute, Emma used to teach group classes and specialized in canine aggression and anxiety. These days, she’s on the administrative side of things as Director of Operations. She’s most likely the person you talk to on the phone when setting up private training or have questions about a class. She feels so lucky to have a fantastic team of trainers to support you with your goals!

Emma lives in Olympia with her family, three dogs, three cats and two goldfish.


Heather Ringwood (Pronouns: She/Her) | CPDT-KA, IAABC-ADT, FDM, AKC CGC Evaluator
Co-Owner & Director of Training

As Co-Founder of Happy Dog Institute, Heather specializes in agility and advanced manners training, Heather’s heart, love, and training focus is in showing others how to have fun and discover more joy with their dogs. She studied Dog Behavior and Canine History, and has a degree in Dog Training & Business. After college, Heather trained assistance dogs for the hearing impaired.

In addition to dogs, Heather also coaches and trains people. These two skill sets play a major role in her ability to help people communicate more effectively with their dogs, and learn how to embrace and engage with their dog’s temperament and personality. She has a certification in Family Dog Mediation from Kim Brophey (FDM), is an Accredited Dog Trainer through the IAABC (IAABC-KA) and is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). She is also a certified AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluator.

Heather is very active in the sports of agility and scent work, both in teaching agility and scent work through HDI and in competing with her own dogs. She also truffle hunts with her dogs! She brings a wealth of knowledge in training and sporting, and working with the “whole dog” – from nutrition and impulse control to interactive games and physical exercise. She is committed to working with you and your dog to be successful in meeting your training goals.

Heather co-owns a cider company in addition to co-owning Happy Dog Institute. She lives in Olympia with her partner Dave, and her three beloved dogs.

Together, we make a team of innovative and goal-orientated instructors. Positive outcomes, success and confidence are our priority. We’d love to hear from you!