Abby Hill, CPDT-KA

We emphasize positive, reward-based methods to make dog training fun for both dogs and owners.

Abby Hill was one of the first people in CT to become a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). She was also at the very first Rally competition where she not only won multiple classes but earned the highest title possible, Magnum Cum Laude 1. Since then she has competed on a National Level in multiple disciplines including AKC Rally and Obedience.  Abby is the owner of The Exceptional Pet, the Founder of  The Exceptional Partner Service Dogs, the Head Trainer at Danbury Animal Welfare Society (DAWS) as well as being an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and a Member of the National Association of Canine Scent Work.


Abby is a big believer in continuing education and professional development. Every year she travels to workshops and seminars with some of the leading trainers in the field. Over the years, she has taken courses from such experts as Dr. Ian Dunbar, Suzanne Clothier, Pia Silvani, and Sue Sternberg, and Denise Fenzi.  She regularly attends conferences and classes to try to learn new, exciting techniques and loves to learn from the thousands of dogs that she has trained over the years.

She lives with her 3 kids, 3 dogs, 7 chickens, 1 tortoise, 1 hamster, and a very patient husband.

Wendy is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, CPDT-KA, through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, (CCPDT), AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and Lead Trainer at Danbury Animal Welfare Society (DAWS).  She became interested in training after adopting her first dog Buddy, who was not the easiest dog. Instead of giving up on him, she went to work to train him and discovered she loved training. She expanded her knowledge by volunteering at several different rescues on the more fearful, energetic cases. From there she helped start a rescue locally. She would have at risk dogs live with her while she evaluated and trained them in order to find the best match for adoption possible. She concentrated on pitbulls and successfully found homes for 50 dogs in the first year. She continues to be very involved with rescue, often having fosters in her home that need a little extra training.  Wendy actively competes with her dogs in AKC Agility but has also competed in AKC Rally and Obedience.


Her passion is to show dog owners how to make a connection to their dog through positive training. She loves to see when students grow with their dogs as they navigate the training process and figure out how each individual dog learns.

Between her rescue work, teaching classes, and traveling for private lessons she manages to keep up on the ever evolving dog world through seminars and workshops. She shares her home with 3 rescues, 2 kitties and numerous fosters.

Image of Kristen from The Exceptional Pet

Kristen began her journey with dogs in high school when she started working for a local kennel. Shocked by two dogs who had been permanently boarded because their families deemed them unsafe, she began researching ways to help them. This led to a love of dog training which has never subsided.


After college Kristen began working at Guiding Eyes for the Blind where she was lucky enough to learn from Suzanne Clothier, who was helping to revamp much of the way the puppies were being raised. Beginning her time there in the breeding and cryogenics department, she eventually transitioned to the role of Central CT Region Coordinator which among other things, teaches classes for all puppies placed in the region from 6 weeks to 18 months. She remained until having children, at which time she decided to stay home, but maintained her relationship with Guiding Eyes as a volunteer.


Kristen is working towards her CPDT-KA, and is a AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. She believes watching relationships blossom between people and their dogs through positive training is an amazing gift, and that learning should never stop. Kristen is a lifetime Connecticut resident who shares her zoo home with her husband, 3 kids, 2 resident dogs, 1 service dog in training, 6 chickens, 2 cats, and 1 fish.


Kristen has most recently been excited to help start the Exceptional Partner Service Dog Organization, right here in Newtown. She finds being a part of something that will change lives in our own backyards both humbling and inspiring.


Rachael earned her Certification in Professional Dog Training (CPDT-KA) from the independent Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers. She received her first certification in Dog Training through CATCH, Canine Trainers Academy, and is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT). Rachael is an evaluator for the APDT's Canine Life and Social Skills program C.L.A.S.S., an educational program to promote training focused on the use of positive reinforcement and to strengthen relationships between humans and their canine

companions. She is also an AKC Canine Good Citizen evalutor and instructor.

She believes that the use of rewards based training will build a relationship of trust between you and your animal. Once trust is established, there's no limit to where you can go together! Rachael has been involved in animal welfare for over twenty years. She volunteered at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley in Boulder, Colorado and the Central Vermont Humane Society in Montpelier, Vermont. She currently volunteers at ROAR and the SPCA of Westchester. She is also a trained Reiki practitioner specializing in Animal Reiki and a member of Shelter Animal Reiki Association.

Rachael shares her life with two dogs, Dylan and Leilani. Dylan was adopted from Best

Friends Animal Sanctuary and Leilani is a Vermont shelter alumni. Dylan is an 8 year old hound mix who is a rock star at nose-work and holds a Trick Dog title. Leilani is a 2 year old St. Pitty with a Canine Good Citizen and STAR Puppy certification along with several Trick Dog titles.

When she's not teaching, you'll most likely find Rachael exploring one of the many trails in the area with her dog companions.  She looks forward to meeting you!

3 Simm Lane, Newtown, CT  06470

Certified Dog Traininer and Aggression Specialist for Fairfield County, Connecticut:  Newtown, Brookfield, Bethel, Danbury, New Fairfield, Wilton, Ridgefield

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