Meet the Trainer - Ginny Thompson, PCT-A

Ginny Thompson has had over 15 years of experience training dogs in a variety of capacities. Began her training journey when she welcomed a Border Collie puppy named Oz into her family. She ended up training Oz in obedience, agility, and herding and it wasn't long before she realized that training dogs was her calling. Ginny and Oz worked together for Wild Goose Chase for several years, humanely removing geese off the property of businesses in and around the Madison area. 


Professionally, Ginny has had a wide variety of experience. These include:

  • Earning her degree in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Working at Mad City Dog Training (now under new ownership as Dogs Welcome) for five years as a trainer in manner and agility classes 

  • Joining the Dane County Humane Society as an adoption specialist before joining the Canine Behavior Team

  • Creating a program at the Humane Society called “Second Chances” in which prisoners trained troubled pups as a part of their rehabilitation.

  • Creating and teaching a class known as “Positive Pitties”, a canine manners class geared toward pit bull terriers and their owners.

  • Pursuing and gained accreditation in dog training through the Pet Professional Guild (PCT-A)

  • Becoming a member of the Force Free Trainers of Wisconsin.

Ginny is passionate about helping people and their pets enjoy a more fulfilling relationship with each other. Ginny's role is to constantly learn and grow, discovering new tools and techniques to help you and your dog. Whether there are specific behavior issues you wish to address or teaching basic canine manners to your dog or learning some cool new tricks, her number one goal is to help you reach your goals. 

Meet the Trainer - Nikki Darga, CPDT-KA

Nikki Darga has 6 years of experience training dogs. Nikki started training in competitive obedience with her dog Kona when she was sixteen years old. Nikki and Kona also trained for tracking and retrieving. From then on, Nikki knew that she wanted training animals to be a part of her life.


Professionally, Nikki has been engaged in various training related endeavors, including:


  • Working at the Dane County Humane Society teaching group Puppy Beginner Dog, and Dog 2 classes.

  • Joining the Dane County Humane Society as a Canine Volunteer Training Coordinator.

  • Pursuing continuing education opportunities.

  • Obtained her CPDT-KA certification.


Nikki also works with cats to help solve unwanted behaviors for feline friends.

Nikki brings enthusiasm and a love of people and their pets to her work and is committed to creating a supportive environment for everyone. Her ambition is to help animals and their humans create a closer bond and work together to achieve their goals.


Training Philosophy

The behavioral sciences have consistently led Ginny to apply positive reinforcement training techniques to work towards a more rewarding relationship between dogs and owners. Using positive reinforcement training, she helps the dog owner define what preferable behavior looks like in their dog and, together, set their dog up to accomplish those goals. This approach results in loose and flowing body language in both the dog and owner, leading to everyone feeling happy and relaxed.


Additionally, while a strong knowledge of canine behavior and dog training skills is a must for any dog trainer, it is also important to be able to teach the human side of this interspecies pair. This is why she has focused on improving her skills as a human teacher as well as to dogs. Ginny supports her clients in their training process as much or as little as they’d like. Sometimes this includes helping them set training schedules or talking between training sessions to clarify a difficult concept. As their training pro it is her goal to see dedicated clients reach their goals.