TOP DOG WINNER - Behaviorist

Kirsten Nielsen, Ph.D.

c/o Schroeder’s Den Daycare for Dogs

2110 NW Aloclek Dr., Suite 620 Hillsboro, OR


Professional dog trainer since 1995. Leads weekly “Puppy Romp” and classes exclusively at Schroeder’s Den Daycare in Hillsboro, and offers private consultations.

Established 1995; CPDT (certified pet dog trainer) 2002 

Philosophy/Mission: Rather than relying on one particular training method, I prefer to help you discover what works best for you and your dog. In general, I emphasize using praise and intrinsic rewards (e.g., getting attention) to teach dogs good habits in any situation. With this approach, owners can achieve results even if treats or training equipment are unavailable. 

I strive to be the best teacher I can so my students understand the philosophy behind the training. That way they can adapt to any new training challenges they encounter. Above all, I want to help owners provide a better life for their dogs through understanding their dogs’ needs and through fun and effective training. 


Signature Product or Service: Puppy Romp — a weekly play hour we established as a safe way to socialize puppies. 

Community Involvement/Special Notes: Kirsten also serves as the Puppy Raising and Animal Behavior Specialist for Angel Service Dogs. This nonprofit trains Allergy Alert Dogs to detect peanuts and other allergens to help protect individuals with life-threatening allergies from accidental exposure. Australian Labradoodle puppies born at Killara Ridge Breeding and Research Center in Portland spend their first year with a Puppy Raiser (foster family) that provides a loving home, lots of socialization and teaches basic manners and commands. The dogs then go to Colorado for scent detection and service dog training before being placed in a permanent, working home. Anyone interested in becoming a puppy raiser can apply at