Compassion for people and the dogs who love them.

Northwest Canine's public classes and workshops are pretty different than what you might expect in puppy and dog training education.

No clicker. No yelling. No bribes. No pinch/prong/electric collars. Neither permissive, nor woo. No alpha-rolls, no "dominating" BS, no contrived pack structure nonsense just good 'ol lovin' your dog, but also, really likin' him.


You CAN train and condition the highest level of behavior without those tools. Basic obedience, recall, property boundaries, pleasant leash behavior, and so on. But also aggression, reactivity, attachment disorders, impulse issues, self-regulation, etc. You just have to have a great coach, like our CCSs.

"She [Cristine] likes her clients, fiercely in fact, no small feat in our profession. She has the patience for people most of us have mainly for dogs." ~ Jean Donaldson, SFSPCA

Brain over brawn. Leaders over bosses.

Our workshops and programs are designed to ditch boring, antiquated formula-style classes in favor of spending time and energy on things that really matter. We've bailed on  obedience, and embraced manners, checks and balances, predictable structure with consistent results, and super fun ways to make the most of lessons.

It's out with boring repetitions of sit, stay, come, and heel, and in with polite greetings, in-home expectations and consequences, and navigating life with a dog. Our unique lifestyle approach gets to the nut of what makes cohabitation between primates and canines better, and actually focuses on that.

Perhaps most different is our distinct and unwavering dedication to compassion for people. We welcome, heartily, all pups and their peeps without judgement or criticism. We're here to coach and guide, teach discipline not punishment.


Our founder carries certification from the SFSPCA, and all methods adhere to the AVSAB and AHA guidelines for humane training.

Our Story

In 2000 Seattle native, Cristine Dahl, set out on a mission to provide superior behavior and training resources to companion dog families in her native city.  After successively opening three training studios with overwhelming demand, it became apparent there was a shortage of the type of support she was providing. She began with opening a puppy school, followed by a full training & education studio on Seattle's Capitol Hill.

In 2007 Cristine established the Seattle School of Canine Studies (now the NWSCS)  and began to build a specialized workforce of training technicians and applied behavior experts capable of meeting the ever-evolving needs of today's human/canine relationship. This labor of love exceeded expectations and today, the school celebrates over a hundred graduates (CCS) worldwide.

Today, Northwest Canine is home base to three outstanding lines of service;   Satellite Behavior Group  providing professional consulting within the industry and to companion families; the Lodge at DogWood providing resort-style accommodations and personal care for specialized lodging; and the Northwest School of Canine Studies leading the market and industry in educating and preparing professional trainers and behavior experts.

"Jean Donaldson is right. I really, really, like people. But I actually love working with them." ~ Cristine