Dog Training & Walking

Why Work With Us?
About Heather Burton:

Heather was a volunteer dog walker and training class assistant at the SF/SPCA for more than a year when she adopted what she likes to call a "special needs" dog.  This canine addition to her family was a very shy, fearful girl that didn't have much experience in life or dog/dog interactions.  Both Heather and her special girl had much to learn about how to successfully make it in this crazy, mixed-up world together.  In order to be the best guardian she could be, Heather enrolled in the SF/SPCA's Academy for Dog Trainers and graduated with an Honors Certificate in Training & Counseling, and the rest is history.  Heather takes nearly all types of behavior cases, but she continues to have an affinity for working with the scaredy-cat dogs because she can't imagine anything more rewarding than helping frightened creatures gain confidence and to the ability to gently expand their horizons.

Heather's goal is to not only change behavior, but to help owners better understand canine behavior and the physical, mental, and emotional needs of their four-legged family members.  Her training approach is positive and non-aversive, with relationship-building as the overriding principle.

In order to accomplish all of this, Heather has a stong belief in continuing education and in maintaining strong professional relationships in the animal services community (see listings).  She has also received a Certificate in Group Dog Walking & Pet First Aid from dogTEC Dog Walking Academy and is working towards another certificate in pet dog training (CPDT) through the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT).


  • Honors Certificate in Training & Counseling (CTC) from the SF/SPCA's Academy for Dog Trainers 
  • Certificate in Group Dog Walking & Pet First Aid from dogTEC Dog Walking Academy
  • In the process of becoming a Certified Pet Dog Trainer through internationally recognized APDT

A Sampling of Other Continuing Ed:

  • APDT 5 day Dog Trainers' Educational Conference
  • Jesus Ruiz's (Univ. of N. Texas) Constructional Aggression Treatment Seminar
  • Ken Ramirez's 7 day Animal Training Seminar (Learning Theories to Behavior Modification)
  • The SF/SPCA's Growly Dog Seminar 
  • The SF/SPCA's Resource Guarding Workshop
  • The SF/SPCA's "Help My Dog's Afraid" Workshop
  • UC Davis' Dangerous Dogs Symposium
  • CATCH's Learning Theory and Body Language Webinars
  • Chirag Patel's Aggressive Behavior in Dogs: Understanding, Managing, and Modifying
  • Pat Miller's Real Solutions for Canine Behavior Problems:  From Aggression to the Everyday Issues

Professionalism & Relationships:

  • APDT Member #72645
  • A Bonded & Insured LLC
  • On the "Recommended Trainers List" for SF Animal Care and Control
  • Former Behavior Consultant & temperament tester and class instructor for SF Animal Care and Control
  • Former Board of Directors, Critter Lovers At Work (CLAW), a special fundraising arm for the SF/SPCA
  • Former program assistant and class instructor for Wonderful Opportunities for Occupants and Fidos ("WOOF") a cooperative pilot program with SF Mayor's HOPE Office and SF SF/ACC