About Us

What It Means To Train Happy

We believe in a positive reinforcement training approach that emphasizes using dogs' motivators to create enthusiasm for learning. Our goal is to create happy, healthy, and well-behaved dogs using a fun and compassionate approach to dog training. Our Happy Dogs trainers are committed to staying up-to-date on the latest research in canine behavior and training techniques so that can trust that our team will be guiding you and your dog with evidence-based methods.

What It Means To Train Happy

We believe in a positive reinforcement training approach that emphasizes using dogs' motivators to create enthusiasm for learning. Our goal is to create happy, healthy, and well-behaved dogs using a fun and compassionate approach to dog training. Our Happy Dogs trainers are committed to staying up-to-date on the latest research in canine behavior and training techniques so that can trust that our team will be guiding you and your dog with evidence-based methods.

Where We Train

In Home Training

Happy Dogs offers in-home training as well as on-site training at local parks and public spaces to clients located in Charlotte and the North Charlotte area of North Carolina.

The areas covered include Charlotte Uptown, Noda, Dilworth, Plaza Midwood, The University area, The Concord Mills area, Mount Holly, Mountain Island Lake, and The Lake Norman area which includes Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson, Mooresville, Denver, and surrounded neighborhoods.

Private training and in-home lessons begin with a phone consultation to assess your needs and establish training goals.

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In Home Training

Happy Dogs offers in-home training as well as on-site training at local parks and public spaces to clients located in Charlotte and the North Charlotte area of North Carolina.

The areas covered include Charlotte Uptown, Noda, Dilworth, Plaza Midwood, The University area, The Concord Mills area, Mount Holly, Mountain Island Lake, and The Lake Norman area which includes Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson, Mooresville, Denver, and surrounded neighborhoods.

Private training and in-home lessons begin with a phone consultation to assess your needs and establish training goals.

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Our Locations

North Charlotte @ One Lucky Pup

This premier dog training space includes multiple fenced training yards with artificial turf and natural grass. Conveniently located right off I-77 just a few minutes from Northlake Mall. 

Mooresville, NC Training & Agility Field

This private dog training space includes multiple fully-fenced training yards, offering winter lights for evenings, and a full complement of high-quality Agility equipment. Located just off Brawley School Rd in Mooresville.

We offer training classes and lessons by appointment only.

Our Story

Piper M Novick, the founder, and owner of Happy Dogs Training, embarked on her journey in dog training in 2009 when she discovered dog agility with her sheltie, Happy.  This sport ignited Piper's passion for dog training as she enjoyed the challenges and teamwork required. In her early teens Piper shadowed under trainers and worked other jobs, including pet sitting and dog walking, all while building her training business. And she focused on advancing her education in the industry to offer her own clients comprehensive and evidence-based training programs.

In 2019, Piper rebranded as Happy Dogs Training LLC. The name was chosen to pay tribute to the dog that started it all, and to reflect Piper's commitment to training with positive reinforcement and non-coercive methods.

Since then, countless wagging tails and smiling owners have helped us reach where we are today. The passion and enthusiasm for dog training that sparked Piper’s ambition still fuels her every day to help owners create a happy and healthy life for their dogs. This mission is shared by all trainers on the Happy Dogs’ staff who strive to help owners understand and communicate effectively with their dogs.

Happy Dogs is a women-led, small business determined to improve the lives of dogs and owners in a big way.

Meet The Training Team

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Piper M Novick, CPDT-KA, ABCDT

She/Her

Owner & Head Trainer

*Piper is only accepting virtual training cases*

Happy Dogs Training's founder, Piper M Novick, is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Animal Behavior College graduate. Piper has trained professionally most of her life, her career in dog training began with dog sports. As a successful agility competitor, having trained and titled five of her own dogs, and competing at the top national and international tournaments, Piper brings a unique skill set to her dog training programs for the everyday dog.

Piper is passionate about educating owners and training dogs using a force-free and compassionate approach in every case. Her love for dog training shows through her dedication to her clients, and their dogs. She challenges herself to always be learning more about behavior, dog training, business ownership to develop her career and improve her clients’ experience.

Over the years, Piper's primary focus has shifted from training basic life skills and agility to working with behavior issues such as aggression, multi-dog conflict, resource guarding, or reactivity. Her work in behavior consulting has stressed the importance of preventive dog training, and she encourages dog owners to invest in a good foundation and train before issues arise. She keeps this at the forefront while creating Happy Dogs programs because she believes that dog training is much more than just teaching obedience.


Certifications:

  • CPDT-KA Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed
  • ABCDT Animal Behavior College Certified Trainer
  • AKC Canine Good Citizen and Star Puppy Evaluator
  • Pet CPR and first aid Certified


Professional Associations:

  • APDT Professional Member
  • Pet Professional Guild Member
  • CATCH Academy Mentor Trainer


Dog Training Experience:

  • 10+ years working professionally
  • 12+ years of competitive Agility experience


Specializations:

  • Behavior Modification: Arousal issues, Reactive behavior: Barking, lunging, and growling, Fence reactivity/Barrier frustration, Resource Guarding, Fearful dog, Anxiety and Phobias, Household conflicts w/ multiple pets,  Integration of new animals, Relationship issues, Human and Animal aggression
  • Behavior evaluations
  • Off-leash walking and hiking skills, strong recalls
  • Dogs and Kids, Dog and baby, and preparing your dog for a baby
  • Apartment dog skills/city living
  • Trick training & specialized skill/task training
  • AKC Canine Good Citizen + Advanced and Urban, and AKC Trick Dog
  • Agility: International coursework, Preparation for large tournaments, Skill building, Strong verbal cues, ring stress, arousal issues in ring or trial environment, raising a sport puppy, new handlers/introduction to sport, Junior Handlers


Agility Accomplishments:

  • Junior European Open AKC/USA Team Member -2017
  • European Open AKC/USA Team Member – 2016
  • UKI National Championship Games Finalist – 2015
  • Junior National Champion AKC - 2013
  • Masters titles earned on dogs competing in AKC and UKI 


About Piper:

Outside of training, competing, and entrepreneurship, Piper is passionate about living a purposeful life. She follows a plant-based diet and enjoys traveling in a camper van with her dogs. Health and fitness are at the forefront of her life, as she has been a long-time cross-fitter and Olympic lifter, in addition, she is an avid rock climber and hiker. Piper spends her time in Colorado with her three dogs, Dash, Gracie, and Kale. Her full-time focus is supporting the Happy Dogs team in both North Carolina and Colorado, who all share a common goal of creating happier lives for dogs and their owners.

Piper accepts behavior cases in both North Carolina and Colorado, supporting her clients virtually and in person. While she primarily coaches agility at Happy Dogs Colorado, she also conducts seminars and classes during her work visits to North Carolina, sharing her passion for the sport with the community that started it all.
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Meagan Skelton, CU

She/Her

Behavior Trainer & Agility Coach

Meagan is a second-generation dog trainer who has actively competed in the sport of agility for more than 20 years. Including the top levels across multiple venues. Meagan is a sought-after agility judge for UKI and USDAA trials of all levels, she has been judging professionally for more than 5 years. Meagans goal is to challenge teams while also building confidence.

In addition to her agility accomplishments, Meagan is an accomplished dog trainer, she is a controlled unleash certified instructor who has spent the last 10 years working with reactive dogs in a variety of settings. Her approach to dog training is based on positivity, motivation, and common sense. Her goal is to meet students and their dogs exactly where they are and offer highly tailored coaching that will make the team better. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, but the bond between handler and dog always comes first, as it is the foundation for success across disciplines and venues. 

Meagan is currently competing in agility with Wookie, a 4-year old Border Collie, and doing foundation training with her young Border Collie, Vesimer. Retired agility competitor Gael and terrier mix Skylar keep the whole pack in line!


Certifications:

  • Control Unleashed Certified Trainer
  • Certified UKI and USDAA Agility Judge


Dog Training Experience:

  • 20+ years of professional experience
  • 5+ years working as an Agility judge
  • 20+ years of competitive experience in Agility


Specializations:

  • Behavior Modification: Reactive behavior: Barking, lunging, and growling, Fence reactivity/Barrier frustration, Fearful dog, Anxiety and Phobias, Relationship issues, Human and Animal aggression
  • Behavior evaluations
  • Reactivity Management in apartment or city enviorment
  • Apartment dog skills/city living
  • Trick training & specialized skill/task trainingg
  • Agility: International coursework, Preparation for large tournaments, Skill building, Strong verbal cues, ring stress, arousal issues in ring or trial environment, raising a sport puppy, new handlers/introduction to sport, reactivity in Agility

 


Agility:

  • Masters titles in AKC, UKI and USDAA Agility
  • Competed on a national level 
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Shari Spiewak, CPDT-KA, CCDT

She/Her

Trainer & Group Class Instructor

Shari's lifelong love for dogs led her to pursue a career in dog training, attending the CATCH Canine Trainers Academy where she studied all aspects of canine behavior and training, and practiced positive-reinforcement techniques with her student dog. Her hard work paid off as she graduated with distinction, earning her CATCH diploma.

In addition to her studies, Shari also completed a mentorship with Happy Dogs, further honing her skills and expertise in positive-reinforcement dog training. In addition to her now full-time position as a Happy Dogs Trainer, she currently volunteers at the Humane Society of Charlotte, where she works alongside the behavioral team, walks dogs, and acts as a customer service liaison. Her time at the shelter has been a valuable experience in observing canine body language and interpreting how dogs communicate with each other and people.

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Shari has called Charlotte, NC home for over a decade. She loves living in her urban neighborhood filled with lots of dog residents, and is passionate about using her knowledge and skills to help dogs and their owners build stronger bonds and happier lives together.


Certifications:

  • CPDT-KA Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed
  • CCDT CATCH Trainer Academy Certified Dog Trainer
  • AKC Canine Good Citizen and Star Puppy Evaluator
  • Cat & Dog First Aid and CPR Certified


Dog Training Experience:

  • 2+ years of professional experience


Specializations:

  • Puppy Training
  • Basic manners and obedience
  • Appropriate play + puppy socialization
  • Rescue dogs / newly adopted dogs
  • Canine Good Citizen and AKC STAR Puppy
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Linda LeFauve CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA

She/Her

Behavior Trainer

Linda LeFauve is a former college administrator who has happily turned her full attention to dogs. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology and a graduate degree in experimental psychology with a clinical practicum.  She holds CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, and Fear Free certifications, has served on multiple Subject Matter Expert panels for exam and policy development, and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.

Linda focuses primarily on behavior issues. Having done a lot of work with rescues and shelters, she knows that people sometimes feel overwhelmed and see no option other than giving up their dogs. So she’s thrilled when people take a moment, get another set of eyes on a dog’s behavior, and work with her to help their dog be a happy member of their family.

With her own Alaskan malamutes, Linda hikes, bikes, has shown in conformation, and attempted agility. (Google “malamute agility bloopers” for what happens when the breed, known to occasionally see cues simply as suggestions to take under advisement, decide their way is a lot more fun.)


Certifications:

  • CBCC-KA Certified Behavior Consultant Canine-Knowledge Assessed 
  • CPDT-KA Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed
  • Fear Free Certified Trainer

Professional affiliations:

  • Board of Directors, Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT)
  • Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT); member of Marketing and Communications Committee
  • International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC)


Dog Training Experience:

  • 20+ years of professional dog training experience

Specializations:

  • Behavior issues
  • Aggression
  • Shy or fearful dogs
  • Reactivity: barking, lunging, growling
  • Resource Guarding
  • Rescue and shelter dogs (both while in rescue/shelter and during adjustment to adoptive homes)
  • Conformation (owner/handler)
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Laura Moretz

She/Her

Trainer & Frisbee Instructor

Laura Moretz is a professional dog trainer with over two decades of experience in the field. Her philosophy centers around positive reinforcement, structured play, and exercise as the building blocks for a strong human-canine bond.

Laura believes that every interaction with a dog is an opportunity for learning and focuses on helping pet parents mold their dogs into well-behaved and happy family members through fun and simple exercises.

Living with a pack of nine high-drive performance dogs who accompany her on the road for her second job as the trainer and handler for the purina incredible dog frisbee team. Laura is no stranger to working with rescues and high-drive working dogs. Her team of dogs, all rescues, is a testament to her passion for positive solutions to behavioral challenges.

Before joining the Purina Incredible Dog Team in 2005 as a full-time trainer, Laura was the owner and head trainer of a successful in-home behavioral dog training business in Georgia and South Carolina. Since then, she has judged and taught seminars internationally, promoting the sport of canine disc in countries such as Japan, Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Canada, and throughout the United States.


Certifications:

  • Laura is working on obtaining her professional certifications

Associations:

  • Purina Incredible Dogs

 


Dog Training Experience:

  • 23+ years of professional experience
  • Competitive frisbee and freestyle experience


Specializations:

  • Basic manners and obedience
  • Puppy training
  • Frisbee and freestyle training
  • Behavior Modification: Reactive behavior: Barking, lunging, and growling, Fence reactivity/Barrier frustration
  • Rescue dogs / newly adopted dogs
  • High drive working breeds, bully breeds, and shepherds.
  • Trick training & specialized skill/task training
  • Appropriate play 
  • Multi-dog household managment
  • Arousal issues 
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Benah Stiewing, CPDT-KA

She/Her

Office Admin & Virtual Trainer

Benah discovered her passion for agility in 2012 and has been actively training and competing ever since. As she delved deeper into the sport, she developed a fascination with the intricacies of canine behavior and communication, with a particular emphasis on relationship building and reward-based training methods.

Through her studies with leading trainers from around the world, Benah gained valuable insight and experience, and began taking on clients in 2015. By helping her clients understand their dogs' needs and communicate more effectively with them, Benah has been able to create stronger bonds and happier relationships between dogs and their owners.

With her expertise in canine communication, Benah has successfully competed in multiple dog sports, achieving titles in agility, dock diving, trick dog, and disc. Her primary focus, however, remains agility, where she has competed at the national level.

Benah is dedicated to helping her clients experience the joy and fulfillment of a deeper connection with their dogs. She finds great satisfaction in watching teams develop more effective methods of communication and achieve new levels of engagement and fun. Benah lives in Chatham, NY, with her Border Collies and cat.


Certifications:

  • Certified Professional Dog Trainer Khowledge Assesed CPDT-KA 


Dog Training Experience:

  • 10+ years of hands on dog training experience
  • 7+ years working professionally as a dog trainer
  • 10+ years of competitive experience in Agility


Specializations:

  • Puppy training, raising a well rounded companion
  • Leash walking + advanced Heelwork for obedience or rally
  • Shy or fearful dogs + confidence building
  • Basic manners and obedience 
  • Behavior Modification: Reactivity + multi-dog conflict
  • Herding breeds
  • Managing multi-dog households
  • Muzzle training
  • Recall training + off leash hiking
  • Snake avoidance
  • Trick training & specialized skill/task training
  • Agility: Foundations, Beginner coursework, Learning the basics, Skill building, Masters handling, advanced coursework, Strong verbal cues, raising a sport puppy, new handlers/introduction to sport


Agility:

  • Masters titles in USDAA, UKI, and AKC
  • 10+ years of competitive experience
  • National level competitive experience


Other:

  • Titles in AKC Trick Dog
  • Titles in NADD Dock Diving

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Lori Phillips, CPDT-KA

She/Her

Trainer & Agility Coach

Lori’s passion for dog training begun in 2007 when she discovered it was possible to train using only positive methods. She continues to expand her knowledge on reward based training by learning from nationally renowned dog trainers. She strives to continuously improve her training to better teach owners to do the activities they love with their dogs.

She believes dogs were bred to “problem solve” and thrive in a learning environment. Whether learning a new trick, training in dog sports or hiking in a new park, Lori believes exploration through learning can enrich both a dog and owner’s life.

Lori has trained and titled with her own dogs in a number of different dog sports including Obedience, Rally Obedience and Agility. Additionally, Lori is a member of two national Therapy Dog Programs and volunteers with her certified therapy dogs regularly. She feels blessed to be part of the reward-based dog training community and to be cultivating her love of dogs. When she’s not helping clients or training her own dogs, Lori enjoys hiking and boating.
 Lori and her husband moved to North Carolina from California in 2014 with their two Tibetan Terriers, a Border Collie and their family including two darling grand-dogs.


Certifications:

  • CPDT-KA Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed
  • AKC Canine Good Citizen and Star Puppy Evaluator


Dog Training Experience:

  • 10+ years of hands on dog training experience
  • 5+ years working professionally as a dog trainer
  • 2-3 years of competitive experience in Agility, Rally and Obedience


Specializations:

  • Puppy training, raising a well rounded companion
  • Leash walking + advanced Heelwork for obedience or rally
  • Shy or fearful young dogs + confidence building
  • Basic manners and obedience 
  • Herding breeds, Large breeds 
  • Trick training & specialized skill/task training
  • AKC Canine Good Citizen and AKC Trick Dog
  • Agility: Foundations, Beginner coursework, Learning the basics, Skill building, Strong verbal cues, raising a sport puppy, new handlers/introduction to sport


Agility:

  • Masters titles in AKC and CPE Agility 


Obedience and Rally:

  • Beginner titles in AKC
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Nicole Green ABCDT

She/Her

Trainer & Dog Walker

Nicole’s passion for animals began at a young age but was ignited in 2017 when she started her professional career in animal welfare at an open-admission municipal shelter.
 
She spent years working with dogs who were displaced from their homes during which, she realized she had the skills to help owners see life from their animals’ perspectives and be able to help shelter animals find new homes and stay in them for the rest of their lives. 
 
Since then, she has helped the Humane Society of Charlotte provide positive outcomes for thousands of animals in the Charlotte community and has achieved her dog trainer certification through Animal Behavior College. 

She is constantly looking for ways she can increase her knowledge in addressing dog behavior problems with positive training methods and finds great satisfaction in seeing the transformation in dog-owner relationships after working with a trainer.


Certifications:

  • ABCDT Animal Behavior College Certified Trainer
  • Pet CPR and first aid Certified
  • Fear Free Certified
  • Ian Dunbar: Sirius Dog Trainer Academy
  • Karen Pryor Clicker Training Course


Dog Training Experience:

  • 5+ years working professionally with animals
  • 1+ years of professional dog training experience
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Journee Andersen

She/Her

Agility Assistant Trainer

Journee found her passion for dog training in 2017 when she brought home her first dog, an anxious German Shepherd from a rehome situation, named Hazel. Journee has always been passionate about working with dogs and seeing what their brains had to offer for learning and engagement. Shortly after, Journee enrolled Hazel in agility classes to help her with her overwhelming anxieties and everyday stresses. Through her coaches and the agility sport alone, she learned about Positive Reinforcement philosophy. Journee had always enjoyed learning about dogs and even just human psychology growing up, so being able to mix the two together was a fantastic experience. 

 
Through Hazel, Journee continued to dive deeper into the sport world. Hazel and Journee continue to compete and title in AKC agility and NADD dock diving events. Journee has since brought home a Border Collie, Char, in 2019 who has taught her even more than Hazel could. Journee believes every dog will teach you something different. Char became reactive at an early age and had always struggled with high arousal and low thresholds, which was a whole new world than what Journee was used to with Hazel. 
 
Journee continues her passion with dogs through sport work, and helping client and friend dogs who are struggling with every day tasks. Journee is working towards becoming CPDT-KA certified, and would like to continue her education through CGC evaluation, and hopefully becoming Control Unleashed certified to help more reactive dogs like Char. Journee would like to go to the limit in learning and experiences to get the full grasp of dog training. 
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Karen Anderson, CPDT-KA, ABCDT

She/Her

Mooresville Group Instructor

Karen Andersen is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and the owner and principle trainer for 4 on the Floor Dog Training. Karen joins the Happy Dogs team teaching group training classes in Mooresville, NC. She brings years of experience with pets of all kinds. She has worked in Pet Sitting, Boarding, Doggie Daycare and Grooming. But her one true love is training. Karen understands that all dogs need physical exercise, mental stimulation, and communication in order to be healthy happy members of the family.

She is a graduate of Triple Crown Academy for Professional Dog Trainers where she received certification as a Canine Training and Behavior Specialist. Karen is also a certified Pet Saver through Pet Tech, Inc. She is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers as well as the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Karen is also a certified AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluator.

Karen volunteers for various animal welfare groups including Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control, That Will Do Again Herding Breed Rescue, and Cornelius Animal Shelter. 

In her free time she enjoys hiking with her dogs!


Certifications:

  • CPDT-KA Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed
  • ABCDT Animal Behavior College Certified Trainer
  • Graduate of Triple Crown Academy
  • AKC Canine Good Citizen and Star Puppy Evaluator
  • Pet CPR and first aid Certified


Professional Associations:

  • APDT Professional Member


Dog Training Experience:

  • 18+ years working professionally with animals
  • 13+ years of professional dog training experience

Happy Trainers Certifications & Education

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