We extend our sincerest gratitude to all of our valued clients for their kind words and support. It is an honor to have been a part of your journey with your beloved dogs and we are humbled by your trust in us. Thank you.

I have owned and trained German Shepherds for over 25 years. Barbara at The Thinking K9 is without a doubt the best trainer I have ever come across in those 25 years. We recently took the STARLET and STAR classes puppy classes at The Thinking K9 for our new Shepherd puppy and the Precision Rally Obedience class for our older Shepherd. Barbara's classes are interactive, organized, very personable, and just plain fun. She invests a significant amount of time, effort, and money into all the things necessary to make her classes great (like an unbelievable amount of equipment!). If you live in Janesville or the surrounding area, I highly recommend The Thinking K9 for your dog training needs!

- Matthew Jones

Barbara was delightful to work with when training my new puppy! I have had 30 years of Viszlas and lots of training so I knew what to expect. However Barbara’s classes were more detailed, more informative, and very professional. My longhair dachshund had the perfect base to move on to CGC class.

Barbara also does boarding and I was fortunate to be able to leave Sweetness with her for a couple of days. She sent pictures often and kept in touch while I was away. Sweetness looked so happy! I was afraid she wouldn’t want to come home with me!

And, Barbara has the most well trained boxer, Batman, that I have ever seen! She is amazing with dogs!!

Highly recommend training or boarding with Barbara!!

- Chris Brandt, formerly from Delavan, WI relocated to Bonita Springs, FL

My two German Shepherds and I have been attending Classes at the Thinking K9 since she opened her doors. I am very happy with Barb's positive reinforcement approach to dog training. This has been very effective and when practiced as Barb instructs, your dog will learn quickly as well as the bond you have with your dog. " Watch Me" ( Once you take a class you will get that quote)

There have been a few session where due to scheduling I have taken my dogs to other facilities and I sincerely mean it when I say they just don't compare. Barb truly loves what she does, she quickly learns not just your dogs personality but yours as well, then develops her classes such that they will be most effective for all. Along with all of her years of experience, she also attended the Michael Ellis School for dog trainers in California, which would be considered an "Ivy League" for this field. In short, this lady knows her stuff.

I wish someone would take a video of the first few minutes of the first class of one of her CGC classes then the last few minutes of that same class at the end of the session. I have been in 4 of the classes and the transformation is always incredible. Furthermore Barbs personality fosters an environment where class participants become friends , be it a Monday Night Rally Precision Rally class or a Thursday Night Rally X, its always the same, a group of people and dogs get together, learn, encourage each other, have a good time, and laugh....... a lot.

- John Jones

TTK9-it’s worth every penny
I travel several times a week with my two boys to TTK9. One of the two is my three year old service dog, the other our new puppy that’s just over a year old now.
Our commuting time, depending on traffic and weather conditions minimum of 50 minutes one way, not allowing for potty or prep time before class starts. My boys get so excited and happy once they reach TTK9 parking lot.
Barbara and her staff are incredibly knowledgeable and educated caring people. We have been with other trainers and facilities over the years, but we found our home at TTK9. Comparing our experiences between them and TTK9- like day and night!
Safety policies and expectations are very transparent and clearly stated, best of all, they are followed and enforced if need be.
Last Spring my Service dog was attacked and traumatized beyond believe. Working with Barbara has brought him out of his shell somewhat and is a continued work in progress to date. Designing a rehabilitation plan including home work, private lessons and eventually classes. No one there is afraid of going beyond and above for someone. Barbara offered to fit private lessons in to her already tight schedule, those 10pm privates were hard for all of us. I am for ever grateful for them. Her constant observations and fine tuning of his training plan has given me hope to at least get a confident happy dog in the end. Barbara was up front and said there’s a 50/50 chance he will not be able to assist me with my needs again. As heartbreaking and frustrating it is, the tools and opportunities she has offered, has given us a chance to find and accelerate in a dog sport. It’s given my dog as well as me much needed comfort,confidence and a new purpose in working together,during this long journey of healing.
TTK9 is a welcoming all inclusive dog training school, where every dog and owner gets treated with respect and offered advise, training suggestions and strategies to have a satisfying exciting quality life with your K9,providing one follows and practices it. Teaching K9 behavioral processes and health, how to keep them happy and get the best out of them, something other places miss out on.
In my 51 years of living with dogs, my knowledge and experience are extensively, but I know, my sweet pup and I would not have come this far on our own since the attack on us. To have a place and people to bounce around ideas, thoughts and suggestions is a gift to me. So much has been validated and new things learned, empathy, caring and understanding for the K9 and it’s human truly a gift Barbara shares freely and willingly.
Benno, Augie and myself thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all you and TTK9 do!

- MC Countess of Falkenstein

First off let me say that I cannot say enough about the experience my pup Myka and I have had here. It's like trying to describe the Grand Canyon.... You have to experience it to appreciate it.
Dedicated, professional, knowledgeable, sincere, caring, fun and respectful. My concept of training with a dog has completely changed. I have grown as a person and as a dog companion. My experience with The Thinking K9 has been an exceptional experience beyond my expectations.
Barbara, Rebecca, Trinity and the assistants are proficient in helping dogs and their owners learn the most beneficial and effective means of learning and training together. They lead by example. I have not been able to find a question or concern that these folks have not answered. Knowledge is king, or in this case Queen, and the expertise and proficiency they offer is unmatched in my experience.
Classes are fun, exciting and absolutely informative. They offer a seemingly endless array of techniques and activities that I too have fun. My puppy Myka has refused to leave every class. She is a significantly happier, more confident and patient girl. I am nowhere near as frustrated as I have been with past puppies. I have learned a new, better way to train with a puppy. This "Old-Dog" is still learning! And I am grateful to Rebecca and Barbara and staff for helping me be a worthy companion for my puppy Myka.
The depth of training offered is amazing. The classes are amazing. The ladies are amazing. And most importantly, the result is amazing. I am happy.

- Terry Zahn

More Testimonials

Kathy Lewis
Loved participating in the training courses with Barb she is energetic and makes training fun for both owner and pet. I am so looking forward to CGC class with her and not to mention my furbaby loves seeing her. She is outstanding and caring. I highly recommend her for training your babies
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Amanda Jo
I loved my experience here and I will be back for more classes in the future. Barb and Katie are so kind, so patient and very knowledgeable. They give you all the tools to work with your dog at home and support you along the way. After taking the class, I feel much more connected to my dog and his behavior is drastically improved! Thanks so much for a great experience!
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Kimberly Moore Elsen
I was nervous about training, more so than my dog, for sure! I didn't know what to expect but Barb guided BOTH of us and Raleigh saw great progress from the classes! We plan to take more classes, i mean take Raleigh! 5 million stars!
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Margo & Addy Marilyn
Despite reading all the training books and trying on my own for 2 years, I was never able to get my dog to truly settle down and listen. A few weeks with Barb and that all changed! He’s still energetic, but she helped me understand why he was struggling and gave me all the tools to change those behaviors. She is such a strengths based trainer, building off what your dog can already do and making my pup and I feel confident while learning new things along the way. I definitely recommend her for behavioral training or just to do some fun bonding with your dog!
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Cindy Mason Busch
Over the years I have trained multiple dogs with a variety of a trainers, the Thinking K9 is by far the best. Barbara teaches in a positive, supportive manner with the latest teaching techniques. All training classes have handlers and dogs of various experiences. Barbara is excellent in working with each handler and dog to provide what they need in a method that works best for them. There is a difference between working with a volunteer instructor and someone who is trained and certified as a trainer. If you are looking for a certified Trainer who teaches in a positive manner, check out the Thinking K9.
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Judy Bauer Nowak
Barbara is a great trainer. She is knowledgeable, patient, encouraging, inspiring and easy to work with. Barbara has the answers you may be seeking to help make your good dog an even better dog! Classes are fun.
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Tammy Rudd Welcher
I can’t say enough wonderful things about Barbara and the things she has taught my puppy and myself. This is my 3rd lab but the first time I have ever attended puppy classes. Barbara does a great job of explaining techniques that I am able to practice with my dog at home. I am learning just as much as him.
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Angela Sievers
I appreciate the consistency and positive reinforcement approach to training. The staff is extremely knowledgeable and they make learning fun! I had zero experience with dog training before going to TTK9. I was immediately put at ease. My confidence grew right along with my puppy's. I cannot say enough good things about our experience with TTK9!
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Jordan & Rizzo Cowan
I highly recommend The Thinking K9! My dog Rizzo and I are currently taking her Canine Good Citizen class, and I am so impressed with the course, and Barbara as a trainer. The classes are small so Barbara is able to work with you and your dog individually during class, which is super helpful. It’s challenging work, but I’ve seen nothing but great results! I look forward to taking more of her classes in the future.
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Charles & Mr. P Conley
My English Bulldog, Mr. President, has successfully passed the S.T.A.R. Puppy class and the Canine Good Citizen and is currently enjoying the trick dog class. English Bulldogs are notoriously “bullheaded” and can be a challenge to train, but with Barbara’s positive reinforcement training techniques, Mr. P looks forward to class every week! Barbara is an excellent trainer who wants you and your dog not only to succeed, but to achieve and build a great bond! Barbara teaches techniques that make learning easy and fun. I recommend Barbara and her training classes to anyone and everyone that is looking for a compassionate, enthusiastic and non judgmental trainer and a very clean training facility!
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Jason Stuckey
Great atmosphere for improving your dog's skills and getting help growing as an owner.
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Beth Rossignol
Barbara and her staff are WONDERFUL!!! What is learned at her classes is priceless!!!!
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Erin & Bear K
Barbara is the most well versed trainer in town. She has an extensive education and continues to pursue dog training knowledge to ensure her clients are getting the most cutting edge (& humane) techniques. She comes the the table with multiple solutions to problems and ensures the training plan fits the dog and the owner to give the pair the best chance of success. I’ve worked with Barbara for years and have seen her work through even the toughest cases.
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Caitlin Donohue
Thinking K9 is a fantastic place to take your dog for obedience and skills training. Barbara is an amazing instructor who understands dogs very well. She teaches owners how to properly handle dogs and get them to listen, while ensuring they are still comfortable, confident and happy. My pup and I have attended this course for many weeks now and will continue to come back for more!
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Priscilla & Theo Peterson
I brought my 2 year old German Shepherd in for the K9 Good Citizen class. Barb gave us the tools to succeed with positive obiedence training, and I feel so much more confident now working with my dog. But the best thing about the class is the incredible bonding experience it was for my dog and I! Theo (my dog) would get an immediate calm going there. He made so much eye contact with me. I think he really enjoyed having “mommy and me” time. I love this place and will be signing up for more classes in the future!
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Piper, Tammy and Chris
Barb and The Thinking K9 staff are awesome. You, the human, will learn to use treats, praise and games to promote good doggie behaviors. Barb is an excellent communicator with humans as well as canines. She will welcome your questions and concerns with informative answers. Also, Barb has impressively well-trained dogs of her own! Thanks Thinking K9!
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Jenn & Bear Sorbe
I've been to several of Barbara's classes now and feel she is a wealth of knowledge about all things canine. She is smart, articulate, encouraging, and an all around good instructor. We have had great results with our dog in training and I highly recommend The Thinking K9 to anyone... No matter what your level of training, Barbara has a class for you. You won't regret it. Training your dog is a great investment
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Heather and Annabelle Moore
Barbara is amazing and so is Kaitie. We have done the virtual Starlet class and while I wasn't sure how much help a virtual class would be I knew it would be better than I could do on my own. I am happy to say I can't believe how much we've learned and that I have already signed up for the next class in the series. Lessons progress each week so you keep building on your skills. As an introvert and skittish over the pandemic it has been an absolute blessing to have a dog trainer in my living room. I am so, so glad we did this - it's so great to see my puppy learning so many key skills that she needs to be a happy, well adjusted dog when she grows up! Thank you TK9!
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Jeff & Cocoa Sorensen
Barbara Smith is PHENOMENAL! She has a tremendous knowledge base from which she draws upon for the greatest success of each dog and dog owner in her classes. She is a great motivator during the training sessions and her training techniques helped me turn a VERY active chocolate lab into an amazing well behaved companion that is responsive to my commands and I can comfortably take anywhere. I HIGHLY recommend Barbara Smith at “The Thinking K9” for best results and success with your dog. Barbara is genuine, honest, intelligent, and makes you feel like you and your dog are important and valued.
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Deb, Chris, Fiona and Ice
Rarely in life do you cross paths with someone that both loves and lives what they do! And it's evident here at The Thinking K9. Barb is a phenomenal dog trainer that keeps up with current techniques, works with you and your dog through all challenges and gives back to the community in many ways. She is both devoted, kind and lives this mission. We are so grateful and blessed to be her students. Thank you. You will always have our infinite praise! (Which is the way it should be here at the Thinking K9!).
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DeAnna Wallace
Amazing class with Barbara today! She is amazing with the dogs! I have never learned so much in a short period of time. Highly recommend The Thinking K9 for your dog training needs. Her place of business is so clean and she has so much to offer the dogs. Do not hesitate to take your dog here for training, you will not be disappointed!!!
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Adam Dassow & Luna
We have taken all of our dogs here. Trainers are top notch, dogs love it. What more could you want?
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Roxanne & Gus
...Barbara taught me techniques I can use with my dog to avoid the leash aggression I was concerned about. ...She provided handouts and lots of positive reinforcement. She made me feel good about what I have done with my dog regarding his training so far, and that I am not a failure.
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Colleen & Teddy
My family was pretty desperate for relief from too much barking, chewed up wood furniture, accidents on the carpet and basically a household taken over by an adorable, out of control puppy! Barbara took Teddy into her home and lovingly taught him some manners...Barbara has continued to train as needed, which included training us how to communicate effectively with Teddy to acheive the desired behavior.
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Mandy & Abby Lane
Barbara and Erin are great, loving teachers. They love your dogs and are very nice to help you learn how to handle your dogs. I would highly reccomend them and the classes they teach.
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Cynthia & Henna
Our Redbone Coonhound, Henna, Loved her class! The Instructors are high energy, Positve and great fun to work with. We learned so much from them! The CGC class taught Henna and I how to work together and has helped create a stronger bond between us. Incredible experience! We can't wait for more training experiences!
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Chad & Olive
Barb, Erin and Joe are excellent instructors. The knowledge that they have and pass along is phenomenal. Their positive and upbeat demeanor is so helpful during the classes. My dog adores all of them. Kudos to them.
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Stephen Hanekamp
Barb and her staff are amazing people! They have so much knowledge to share. I learned so much about dog training in my 7 weeks with them. I would recommend The Thinking K9 to anyone interested in learning how to best train their pup or just a fun environment to freshen up some skills. They make everyone feel welcome!
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Savannah Shortess
Barbara and her team at the Thinking K9 are fabulous. Barbara provides an excellent opportunity for both you and your puppy to learn and grow together as a team. Barbara provides an environment where it is safe for you and your puppy to make mistakes (it will happen)!! I highly recommend the services Barbara provides and I look forward to taking more classes with her.
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Emily Nobles
Barb and Kaitie are absolutely fantastic. You can tell that they both love dogs and are great at what they do. We have taken two very different dogs here, for two different reasons. Bella is a social butterfly and loves people, but was a bit too headstrong and not the best at listening to us. With help from The Thinking K9, she is now a much better behaved pup, while still maintaining her silly and playful personality. Our other dog Luke was extremely shy and timid. We decided to take a class with him to try to boost his confidence. He is now midway through his second program, and we have noticed a huge change already! No matter your dog’s personality/needs, I think TTK9 has something great to offer.
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Mat Dewey
Fantastic instructors, they really love their craft. Barb is an amazing trainer and owner.
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Peggy Kures
Ella and I learned alot from Owner/Trainer, Barbara Smith, in Starlet Puppy class. I never realized the importance of socializing a puppy like this class provided. We are scheduled for the next level puppy class and looking forward to it !
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Jonathan Rumbold
Best trainer in the area! Our pup has learned most of the basics and agility equipment available on Saturday during puppy enrichment hour.
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Cindy L
It was a great class! We learned a lot and will continue to use the information and training techniques.
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Amy Warrichaiet
Barb is a delight to work with and so knowledgeable!
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Rick Wilbur
They teach you to train your dog and explain clearly why it works.
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Kris Carey
Great facility and very knowledgeable instructors.
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Nancy & Joe the Bulldog
I would highly recommend Barbara as an instructor for dog training. I appreciate the positive reinforcement to train your dog(no harsh yanking - just praise and treats), the handouts after class for review at home and the equipment provided in class to build up your dog's confidence. I like Barbara's website for useful information regarding class review, recommended equipment to buy and pictures of our dogs. I look forward to training my bulldog at the next level under Barbara's instruction. Thanks Barbara!
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Callie Burden
Barb and Rebecca have helped Kiplee and I grow and learn so much! Every week we learned something new and we’re improving our skills. We participated in the Puppy starlet, STAR puppy and Core manners classes and got our CGC certification! They truly love what they do and are experts in there field!
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Jackie Kettle
The owner is very knowledgeable. She will help you with any questions you have and is truly in the business to see dogs succeed with their owners. I highly recommend going through courses here. They are reasonably priced and worth waiting to join a class with a highly qualified instructor.
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Jessica Reuterskiold
Barbara is a very authentic instructor and works with each individual person and their dog. No matter how big or small your dog is, Barbara can help. Her classes are well structured. The puppy enrichment classes are also great for further building confidence and socialization. I highly recommend The Thinking K9!
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Haley Jonesberry
I recommend Barb to everyone I know what a dog who needs training. She is fantastic and is always willing to go the extra mile. I cant count how many times she stayed after class with me to help work out problems I was having at home. She is also extremely informative and never made me feel stupid if I had questions or if my dog(s) were struggling to grasp something. We LOVE puppy enrichment on saturdays. My dogs wouldn't be who they are today without the help of The Thinking K9 and for that I am so grateful.
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Kevin Schwab
We always have fun while we are learning. Barbara is always so positive and helpful.
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Marti Camp Lauer
You know that saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”? Well Barb at The Thinking K9 has proved over and over again that it’s not true! We started taking our 6 year old golden doodle Murry here to build up his confidence and help him adjust to not being an only child anymore and he has done amazing. With Barb’s super fun positive training we’ve learned so much. Murry graduated from the Canine Good Citizen class and has now moved on to the Trick Dog class. His little brother Ivan (who he has accepted in to the family) just started the Puppy Starlet class and I can’t wait to see how fast this young pup will learn! Wish I could give The Thinking K9 more than 5 stars!
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Jean Marie
Amazing wealth of knowledge! After 53 years on earth with plenty of pet dogs in my lifetime, I can still be taught new tricks.
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Linda Stark Schmitz
Awesome training facility for our very active Aussiedoodle. She's learned alot, and I've learned more!
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Ryan Reuterskiold
So fun to watch the dogs progress weekly and have such an awesome instructor that really cares about seeing everyone and every dog succeed.
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