Happy Dog Institute creates happier dogs and happier people. Using 100% positive, reward-based training methods, we make life with your dog more enjoyable. We help solve behavior problems, socialize dogs, and teach basic obedience and manners, as well as agility.

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 class low, and offer one-on-one customized sessions.

Our services range from a comprehensive Puppy Program Series and Adult Dog Manners & Obedience to Behavior Modification & Consulting and Agility. Even if your dog has a particularly tough behavior issue, we can help! Our specialties include over-stimulation and excitement, separation anxiety, fear and aggression behaviors.

Each lesson, class or training experience builds on the next for maximum learning, at any age. Through science-based training, support and a watchful eye, the trainers at Happy Dog Institute will help you decrease unwanted behaviors and increase the ones you love!

Feel free to contact us with any questions, or come by to observe a class. We are happy to discuss your training needs and customize a program for you.

Our Trainers

Alden (37)

Ashley Alden (Pronouns: She/Her) | CCS
Instructor in Training

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.

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

Paul is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Counsel for Professional Dog Trainers, and an Accredited Dog Trainer of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. They have spent the last 4 years of their professional development focusing on service dogs, and learning best training practices to ensure the highest working success rate.

Paul holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of WA, and has over 7 years of professional experience working with a wide range of species and breeds (dogs, cat, small mammals) on basic obedience, household acclimation, and a variety of behavioral challenges.

On their off time Paul expands their skill set by working with their own dogs in Rally, Nosework, trick dog training, and herding. Passionate about helping breeders and rescues a like, Paul continues to expand their knowledge of conformation and ethical breeding practices, focusing on community education around early puppy development.


Jodi Halvorson (Pronouns: She/Her)
Dog Adventurer

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 First Aid certified and is planning to become Wilderness First Aid certified.

Jodi is working hard to get certified as a Small Animal Massage Practitioner 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/Behavior Consultant

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.

Using reward-based, scientifically proven training and behavior modification methods, Emma specializes in canine anxiety, aggression and body language. She offers classes, behavior consulting, seminars and webinars, as well as workshops to the veterinary clinics and the general public. Her goal is to provide people with practical, non-alienating or overwhelming solutions to addressing behavior problems. She wants to help people understand how their dogs think and learn. If we know WHY they do what they do, that’s half the battle of understanding how to change and influence behaviors.

Emma is dedicated to turning around even the most challenging behavior problems, while helping you understand your dog’s behavior and become more confident in working with them. She lives in Olympia with her husband, her two sons, two dogs, three cats, four goats and an ever-changing number of chickens.


Heather Ringwood (Pronouns: She/Her) | BA
Co-Owner/Director of Training

Specializing in Agility and Advanced Manners training, Heather’s heart, love, and training focus is in showing others how to have fun with her 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.

Heather is very active in the Agility world, both in teaching agility through HDI and in running her own 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 four beloved dogs.


Courtney Zepp (Pronouns: She/Her)

Courtney has worked as a veterinary assistant for the last 14 years in the Pacific Northwest, where she was born and raised. Her love of dogs – especially Hounds – began with her first dog, who was a Beagle. She loves to do agility, dock diving and hiking with her own dogs in her free time. She is currently attending Penn Foster to become a Licensed Veterinary Technician.

Courtney is helping us to expand our offerings in Grays Harbor, as well as working to support our expanding services in Olympia. She’s very busy and we feel really lucky that she is able to work with us!

Courtney lives in Grays Harbor with her husband, six Treeing Walker Coonhounds, two Beagles and two crazy cats.

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!