About Us

Get to know the trainers and the Woof University training approach.

Woof U

Woof U was established in 2009 out of a love for dogs and the desire for every dog to have a happy home. We are heavily involved in animal rescue and believe that good training saves lives. 96% of dogs who end up homeless have had no formal obedience training. Trained dogs are easier to live with and just plain more fun!

Woof U's training is about helping dogs reach their highest potential. We know that fear and pain are not necessary for having a well-trained dog. Dogs who are trained positively are less stressed, more social, and more connected with their owners. We make learning fun for dogs AND people.

The earlier you start your dog's education, the better - before bad habits develop. But, it's never too late. You can teach an old dog new tricks.


Meet the Trainers

Dawn O'Cain

Dawn has 30+ years experience in dog training. She was a pioneer of the positive dog training movement in Columbia. She co-founded the Greyhound Prison Program which places retired racers with inmates for training and placement into homes. Her passion is Great Danes, and she has titled several in Obedience. She also breeds and shows them. Dawn has trained dogs for Therapy and Search and Rescue. She and her husband are heavily involved with rescue. They share their home with dogs, cats, birds, horses, and livestock. It's a full, happy house!

Kelly Whittington

Kelly has been training professionally since 2009. She got her start in behavior modification as a volunteer dog foster parent for Cullen's Archangel RescuE in 2004. She has fostered 65+ in her home, many with serious issues like aggression and extreme fear. She helped them recover from their pasts and find forever homes. Her passion for training comes from the desire to help dogs find and keep loving homes. She is the nerd who reads everything about behavior and neuroscience. Kelly and her husband share their home with dogs, a ball python, and a bearded dragon.

Lauren Gazella

Lauren has been working with dogs since she was 12 years old. Her mom co-founded the Greyhound Prison Program at Camille Griffin Graham Women's Correctional facility with Dawn. She taught the inmates to train the dogs in obedience in preparation for adoption. She is a Certified Veterinary Technician who shares her home with her CGC Titled Greyhound, Uno, who plays the role of "neutral dog" for our CGC tests.

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