Piper M Novick

Owner, Head trainer, and Agility instructor

 Happy Dogs Training founder and head trainer, Piper Novick, is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Animal Behavior College graduate. Her “Train Happy!” philosophy has helped owners better understand their dogs for 10+ years!

Piper knows the importance of basic training and manners for every dog to live a happy life. Using an evidence-based approach to training she improves the day-to-day interactions between dog and owner. Owners are educated on how to train and reinforce good manners and modify their dog’s “naughty” behaviors. Piper helps you train for real change to help you have a healthy and Happy Dog.

In addition to helping her clients with their dogs, Piper uses her “Train Happy!” approach and training expertise to excel in the sport of dog agility. As a successful agility competitor, having trained and titled five of her own dogs, she trains to compete in agility at the top national and international tournaments, you can learn more about her agility accomplishments below! As an agility coach, Piper is invested in teaching other dogs and owners to enjoy the sport too! Piper takes an active role in the agility community by learning from top trainers to expand her knowledge and volunteers to educate the local Charlotte community about dog sports. Piper helps her agility students reach a variety of goals; whether they aim to earn championship level titles or to simply have fun with their dogs. 

Outside of dog training and competing, Piper is constantly pushing to better herself through her passion for health and fitness.  As a long time cross-fitter and certified trainer, she understands how to keep learning flexible and fun for any activity. Piper values making a personal connection with her clients and is truly invested in each and every case. This includes investing in herself; Piper challenges herself to always be learning more about dog training, business ownership, and sport-specific knowledge to develop her career and improve her clients’ experience. 

Dog Trainer Qualifications:

CPDT-KA Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assesed

ABCDT Animal Behavior College Certified Trainer

AKC Canine Good Citizen and Star puppy Evaluator

APDT Professional Member

Pet Professional Guild Member

Pet CPR Certified

More than 10 years of hands on training experience


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 


Lori Phillips

Lake Norman trainer and Agility instructor.

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.

Dog Trainer Qualifications:

10+ years of hands on training experience

AKC Canine Good Citizen and Star puppy evaluator 

Titles in AKC Obedience

Titles in AKC Rally

Fenzi dog academy online student 

Agility Accomplishments:

Masters titles in AKC and CPE Agility 


Kirsten Mathes

Concord trainer and group instructor

Kirsten has always been fascinated with training dogs. She grew up training her neighbors’ dogs for fun. She explored trick training and backyard agility with all sorts of dogs before being hired as a trainer for a pet-store when she moved to North Carolina in 2016.

Helping dogs and their owners learn the basics of training encouraged Kirsten to pursue dog training professionally. Taking on clients of her own, she learned more about how to help dogs live harmoniously with their owners. After training under Piper, Kirsten officially joined the Happy Dogs Training team to help owners understand and support their dogs better with training. Kirsten strives to learn more about dog training and support her clients better too! She’s currently a student at the Victoria Stilwell Academy for dog trainers to develop her expertise.

When not training, Kirsten and her dog Zoey love being outside! Whether they are going on a walk in the woods or taking a multi-day camping trip, the more time they can spend in nature the better! Zoey is a 4 year old rescue who has been with Kirsten since she was 10 weeks. She likes to say that Zoey is “4 going on 1” because she still has the energy of a puppy.

Dog Trainer Qualifications:

5+ years of hands on training experience

AKC Canine Good Citizen & Star Puppy evaluator 

Student at Victoria Stilwell Academy


Shannon Burch

Lake Norman and North Charlotte trainer

After spending 10 years in the equine training industry, Shannon made the transition to dog training in 2014. She saw a great need for educated trainers with powerful and accessible tools for everyday dog owners to communicate with their pets.  She holds certification from the Animal Behavior College (ABCDT) and is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA).  Shannon has a passion for animal behavior and learning theory, keeping up to date on the most cutting-edge and modern techniques for dog training founded in the science of Animal Behavior, utilizing 100% positive reinforcement, force-free methods.  She has studied hundreds of dogs to learn about canine body language, interspecies communication, and play behaviors. Today, her focus lies in education, teaching people about their dogs, achieving their goals with compassion, empathy, and knowledge.  

Shannon is a registered Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Evaluator with the AKC, a member of the Pet Professional Guild, certified in canine CPR and First Aid through DogSafe, and regularly volunteers her time at local animal shelters facilitating playgroups and behavior evaluations.

Originally from West Chester, Pennsylvania, Shannon graduated from James Madison University with a degree in English.  When not training dogs she enjoys diving into a good book, exploring nature with her family, going for a run, and baking delicious treats for loved ones.


Emily Greene

Reactive dog class instructor

Emily joins us as a contractor instructing our Reactive to Relaxed group classes and consulting with behavioral training cases.  Co-owner and director of behavioral programs at Free Will Animal Training in Charlotte, North Carolina with years of experience, she brings a unique skill-set to the Happy Training team. 

Emily started working as a dog trainer for PetSmart years ago, this is where she really grew to love the atmosphere of teaching humans how to train their pets. When she moved to the Queen City, Emily became a trainer at Zoom Room Charlotte where her love for reactivity and aggression came to light. After Zoom Room closed, she was presented with the opportunity to start her own business with her business partner Amy, Free Will Animal Training was born!

At home, Emily lives a pretty awesome life with her adorably crazy Lab mix, Jack, and puppy, Pete the "hound boy." Jack and Pete were both adopted from the Humane Society of Charlotte where Emily volunteers on a weekly basis. Emily says her dogs have made me a better caretaker and dog trainer.

Emily dedicates herself to continuing her education and growing as a trainer by attending seminars regularly, including, Aggression in Dogs 3-day Conference: October 2020, Malena DeMartini: Separation Anxiety: Mission Possible workshop, April 2019, Aggression in Dogs: Defense Handling with Michael Shikashio, March 2018 and many more.

Emily's extensive knowledge and education in dog behavior training combined with her years of hands-on training experience make Emily a valuable asset to the Happy training team.

Dog Trainer Qualifications:

Specializations: Fear, reactivity, aggression, anxiety, hyperarousal, problem behaviors

Fear Free Certified Professional pledge and certification

Drink With Your Dog™ Certified Instructor

Pet Professional Guild (PPG) Dog Training Professional

PetTech Animal First Aid certification


Karen Anderson

Group class 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.

Karen 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!

Dog Trainer Qualifications:

ABCDT Animal Behavior College certified trainer

AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator

APDT Professional Member

Graduate of Triple Crown Academy

CPDT-KA Certified profressional dog trainer - Knowledge Assesed



Deborah Falank

RALLY and Obedience class instructor

My dog training life began in earnest with Bob Bailey in ’03.  I’d had an interest in the experimental/animal behavior side of things as a psych undergrad in college and doing a 90 hour, full-immersion workshop devoted to shaping, criteria, and cueing sounded like a perfectly reasonable way to spend a few weeks. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to learn foundations from the best early on.  I’d grown up in a world heavily infused with the vocabulary of dominance, force, alpha, and punishment; I was so happy to have found my way into a more effective and joyful one. 

Since then I’ve enjoyed learning from trainers and teachers with varying backgrounds, always taking away the parts that help me achieve my training goals with the preferences and abilities of my canine partner at front of my mind.  Dog life is such a fragile and fleeting blessing - at the end of the day, I want to make sure I can be proud of how we spent that time together.  

These days I’m loving training for and trialing in Rally and Scentwork with my current competition dog.  I have two others that are championship snugglers and adventure-walk takers but I haven’t found a titling venue for that yet.   I love the dog sport world because I enjoy the structure and camaraderie of it.  My philosophy?  Success in dog sports rests on the same pillars as any other team sport endeavor:  play, partnership, and practice.  Play the games you love, be the best partner you can be, and practice until you’re really ready.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.  

I’ve taught classes,  judged show-n-go’s, and run trials for the Charlotte Dog Training club for the past few years and am looking forward to helping grow the sports community in the LKN area with the rest of the great team at Happy Dogs.  

Train smart, with heart.


Andrew Aiezza

Training Assistant



Olivia Rosenberg

Training Assistant