Dog Guy Facebook Review Page (will open a new page)


We came in to see you about our deaf dog Dixie, and her reactive personality on walks, and when people come to the house. We have been working on the information/advice you gave us. We would like to thank you. She has made great improvements. We have been working on the information/advice you gave us. Her improvement has been great, and we are thankful. We so wish we had known about you 8 years ago. Thanks again for your help. I learned a lot that day. And it made sense how you explained things to us

Thank you for the help! Jeff and Alonda



Michael, Quinn just went Winners Dog at the Irish Setter National, defeating 105 dogs! The important part for you is that he is behaving beautifully, doing everything he is told. You are a big part of that. The Mighty Quinn. Thank you for all you have done for him.
We are thinking of training him for Rally. Imagine that.


Michael, just a short note to thank you for your services. Thank You for such a professional experience in sharing your expertise with our loved ones. My son, Kevin, has been thrilled with your gentle, unique and very effective training techniques, your persona and especially your expertise. I must say that you are everything we hoped for in training our son’s best buddy. He is obtaining excellent and desired responses, beyond what we had hoped for. Thank you for your services, We ALL are VERY HAPPY with the results he has achieved and the support you have given Kevin to make his buddy ALL that this awesome pup can be. This has been an excellent expenditure of BOTH our hard earned money and your effort to please the client.

Thank You!

Greg, Robin, Kevin & especially, KNOX Gillespie.


Dear Michael,

Yesterday, Barney’s training helped avoid a bad situation chasing deer near a road. He listened, and came right back! Thanks again, you indeed taught this old dog some new tricks, and he loves the practice!                                                                                                                                  –Sue Fox-Golombek



Hi Michael,
We wanted to start out by saying how grateful we are that you came into our lives!  You are the most supportive, dedicated and committed dog trainer we have ever worked with and because of that we would never go anywhere else. You were instrumental in helping us train Millie and because of your passion, hard work and advice she has turned out to be the greatest dog so THANK YOU.
                       You also go above and beyond whenever asked; you are always quick to respond to messages and emails even if they are just us asking for your advice as a dog owner which is so very much appreciated and helps us more than you know.  There are 2 specific examples that come to mind, the first when Millie hurt her foot in the backyard and then didn’t want anything to do with it afterwards and you know how stubborn she can be!  I messaged you and it was Thanksgiving but even that didn’t stop you from replying and offering suggestions and advice.  Not only did you respond, you even came over the next day to work with us and Millie and as a result she was happy again in her yard.  Most recently, Millie tore a toe nail – again on a weekend – and you were there for us.  You offered advice and support and more than anything you put us at ease.
                        We could go on an on, but we will stop there. We feel very blessed to have found you!
Thank you again for all that you do for us,
Cathy, Caryn and Millie
Millie, Boerbel / Border Collie mix.

I can’t say enough positive things about Michael Nichols. He is an exceptionally skilled dog trainer, and we have seen the results of his work in our shelter facility.  Michael has spent countless hours volunteering with shelter dogs that arrived at our facility with a variety of behavior issues. Thanks to Michael’s patience, time, and training,  many of these dogs made great strides in their behavior, thus making them much easier to adopt into permanent, responsible and loving homes.  Michael has also worked with a sassy pig and unsocialized turkey at our request, and both animals ended up being adopted.                   Michael has fostered and trained countless puppies for us (all of which were adopted to wonderful homes), and has many times worked with special and difficult dogs who needed extra help.  Michael has also worked closely with our Humane Education Department to bring information and instruction to our local schools, presenting basic training and care information to young people, while demonstrating with his own dogs, WHS alumni Frankie and Rudy.                                                                                                                                                              Michael has a way of finding the best of every dog he encounters, of nurturing and developing them, and helping the world to see why each of them is special in their own way. In addition to his incredible work with our shelter animals, Michael is also my dog Zane’s trainer, best friend and very favorite person in the whole wide world.

—Laura Clark, Executive Director, Whatcom Humane Society


For the past four years, Mike has been an extraordinary guest speaker for the Animal Studies and Outreach class at Sehome High School. He is able to combine theory with practical application in an interactive and quality manner that engages all students. Mike’s clear demonstrations with his dog, Rudy, enable students to learn effective hands-on training techniques that they can apply with their own dogs at home. He is highly skilled in providing practical solutions for “problem” behaviors. Also, he helps students understand the “why” behind dog behavior. Mike resonates a calm energy combined with humor that makes him the ideal dog trainer and speaker. If the students could give a best guest speaker award, Mike would definitely receive it! He has our highest recommendation!
Shannon Casey
Animal Studies and Outreach Teacher
Sehome High School

Trained Rottweilers are the best.


Happy first birthday to the best small dog ever!!! Ebey has come so far from being the fearful little girl in December when we adopted her to the calm, loyal, house-trained little love bug she is now! Now she is Ebey Kobayashi (her middle name after Takeru Kobayashi competitive hot dog eater, as she used to get so many hot dogs when scared of meeting new people)!!! We Are having 10 people over to watch the game this week, and we aren’t even worried about it. A high five to The Dog Guy for showing us the right way to help her be awesome! Michael, you are a Magical Unicorn Prince!

Ebey on the beach, after dog training.Ebey in flowers after a dog training appointment


We passed our CGC test!

I didn’t like tests because they have made me nervous in the past. It wasn’t that bad at all. Actually, it was quite fun!  I don’t think we could have had a more perfect instructor for our style than what we had with Michael.  He really let Louie and I do our thing while still giving us guidance. He helped me remember to practice often, and to be consistent in the way I talk to Louie and how I ask him to do things. That is extremely important. Louie wants to do what I ask of him, but he has to understand what I’m asking of him to be able to do it!.

–Lannie and Louie

pic by  Lanni Waschke



When we got Zach he was both scared and scary, with a tendency to lash out at other dogs and snap at us when frightened. Mike was instrumental in Zach becoming the happy, playful boy he is today! —Rachel



Michael, what we saw you accomplish in our home with our 4 month old puppy today was incredible. Wow! Thank you so very much for the tools you taught our family. We are thrilled with how the session with Lewis went & look forward to using all the things you showed us. So very happy we called you. —Sara Joy

Lewis the Boxer Puppy


Dear Michael,

Thanks so very much for yesterday’s lesson, despite the rain. This morning I took Barrister for his morning walk, and felt more prepared for the “just in case” situation, and wouldn’t you know it? The neighbor and her very excitable golden retriever came down the grass at the same time. Barrister was a champ, and quickly refocused on me! His looks at the other dog got fewer and farther between. It felt great… Then, as if fate was testing me, a man and his cocker spaniel came from the other side at the same time. Barrister was right on the edge of his threshold, but I was able to sense where he was at, retreat a few feet without pulling on him, using the “watch me” command and turning him with high-value food. What used to feel like an impossible situation felt very manageable this morning. Definitely a confidence booster for both Barrister, and me!  I know we have a long way to go, but now it feels like we are on the right track. Thank you again!

–Carrie B.



Dear Michael,

I have been working very devotedly on Hank’s leash walking. I have remained consistent every time. And of course, like every time you truly apply yourself to a training routine, your dog makes progress. In Hank’s case, it’s what I consider to be HUGE strides and in a relatively short amount of time (huge, calm, attentive strides at my side, I mean). I went on a 20 minute walk today with him by my side with not a single tug. He is doing marvelous. This is just a shout out to you, Michael. Thank you for your inspiration, your enthusiasm, and for making dog training fun. Even the hard parts. You rule.

Sincerely, Chris Cottingham and Hank

Chris Cottingham and Hank


To Michael,

I’m Acadia’s (duck tolling retriever from the spring) owner. You were very kind to spend some great time with us regarding some heeling and training tricks.  I just wanted to make sure you got the message of thanks for your time and expertise. We have had a great summer of fun and adventures. I hope to be in another class this season with you to continue to work on things together.

Thanks!  Laura Curtis


Camp Iggy
Iggy with the Camp Phoenix Fire Truck


On behalf of the Board of Director of the Burned Children Foundation as well as the Director, staff, and ‘campers’ of Camp Phoenix, we want express our sincere appreciation to you and Iggy for taking time out of your busy day to be with us and participate in Career Day at Camp Phoenix. Your presentation to the kids was ‘right-on target’ as evidenced by the interest of the kids and their numerous and challenging questions. We were particularly impressed by your ability and willingness to share personal stories coupled with your sincere interest in hearing and talking directly to the kids. We have learned through the years that kids cannot be easily fooled. It was evident to all that you and Iggy definitely like kids; our kids could ‘feel’ it, and our kids liked you. As an aside, this is an annual event and you and Iggy have an invitation to return next year to address our kids.

Again Mike, thank you and Iggy for your participation.

Rock Roth

Chairman,  Board of Directions Burned Children Recovery Foundation


Dear Michael,

As you know, my husband and I adopted two Havanese pups three months ago. We have had several issues with the pups. We feel very lucky to have had your support. You have really gone “that extra mile” in helping us with generosity, passion and commitment in every single contact we have had — phone calls, several emails and the at-home visit — which was not only very useful but an incredible bargain! You even checked back with us to see how the four of us were doing.

We cannot say how grateful we are. We are so much enjoying our pups—Sasha and Rags— but honestly, I don’t think we could have kept them both if it were not for the we received from you. We look forward now to a long happy family life, canines and humans, and it is reassuring that we can call on you again as Sasha and Rags grow and develop.

Thank you so very much,

Eugenie Simpson

Rags and Sasha


Hi Michael,

First of all, we would like you to know that you have made a tremendous impact on our dogs, ESPECIALLY IGLOO, and we are very grateful.

I always felt that Igloo didn’t like me very much, at best he tolerated me. He has become a very loving dog, making a complete turnaround. Igloo and Finn both walk with backpacks now. (another one of your wonderful ideas!) Igloo loves it, it is his “job.” Speaking of walks, ALL 3 of the dogs wait patiently for their walks while Bill harnesses them all up, backpacks and all. You would be SO impressed!

We never could have made it this far without you, Michael. I am not hesitating to recommend you to my dog cronies, of which there are many.

You are worth your weight in gold…

Carole Gainor

Timber, Igloo, and Finn: the Gainor Crew



Hello Michael and Iggy,

Bellingham High School would like to extent a big THANK YOU for your involvement in our 2012 Love What You Do Career Conference.

Students are eager to share their experiences with us today as they come to claim their prizes. I have lost count of how many students have thanked us for having the event and how many have shared their stories about their morning.

Your community partners,

Gayle Copenbarger & The Staff at Bellingham High School



Really wanted to thank you for doing the Canine Good Citizen demo at Paws and Claws this year.  I enjoyed it and I’m glad you had the audience participate in your demo.  Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us.  I hope the experience was good for you and you might consider doing this again next year.  From all of us at Alternative Humane Society, Thank you again.


Treauna Cuthbertson The Alternative Humane Society


We can’t begin to tell you how much we appreciate how you helped Maggie. You did a great thing for us and for her and we will always be grateful. She is doing very well, back to 95% of her old people-loving, tail-wagging self.

Thank you,

Jaime & Krisinda Plenkovich

Maggie and her pal


Michael has always been extremely reliable when transporting dogs, cats, rabbits and other animals for the Whatcom Humane Society. All of his transports have arrived safely. I know he falls in love with each of the animals in his care because he comes back with stories of what their new lives will be like at their rescue or new home. I’ve never hesitated to send an animal on the road with Michael. He is very dedicated and skilled at working with dogs. They just like him! I have trusted him many times with the care of Humane Society animals and I would trust him with the care of my own animals.

Emily Wyss,

Volunteer and Foster Care Coordinator — Whatcom Humane Society


“PJ is STILL tired after her play-date with you yesterday. So tired she’s not even excited to go on a walk. SUCCESS! Thank you!”

Hollie Huthman, Owner — The Shakedown

PJ, in front, with Frankie and Iggy.


I highly recommend Michael Nichols to trust with your canine friends.  I first met Michael in November of 2010 when he agreed to drive an 11 year old Siberian Husky from the Bellingham shelter all the way to Gig Harbor on the peninsula.  He is an avid dog lover, and it is obvious by the looks on the dogs’ faces that they completely trust him. Any canine lucky enough to be in his care or under his tutelage would be a very happy canine.

Cyndi Michelena, Siberian Husky Rep — Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue

p.s. Michael, I certainly trust you with any of my dogs and that is saying a lot because they are my kids!!  🙂

Cyndi with Koda


I have worked with Michael for several years now. Driver, passenger and road safety are always among his top priorities!  He has personally championed our vehicle safety program:  Michael brought hands free phone systems to all delivery vehicles, researched load limits for our fleet, and increased our vigilance with general maintenance.  He has shown excellent judgement in hazadous road conditions and has chosen to work on a Saturday rather than risk the drive in snow and ice.  We happily partner with Michael in transporting rescue animals from time to time,  and hearing the stories of a pet safely delivered to a new happy home warms my heart.

Janet E. Lightner, General Manager — Boundary Bay Brewery


  050 Iggy Pet Partners 2 year certificate047

Dear Michael,

Thank you so much for a perfect demonstration of the Pet Partners evaluation process — you  helped the class and the students immensely. And thank you for all that you do for the Pet Partners program, and for your community. Also please thank Iggy for me — he is marvelous!


Rachel Wright, Program Manager – Delta Society Pet Partners

13 thoughts on “Testimonials

  1. Hello, I was in the PAWS class at Sehome High School when you visited last Friday. I want to say that I really enjoyed your presentation, and I thank you so much for bringing in Frankie and Iggy. I plan on using the clicker technique later in life. Perhaps if I get a job working with animals in the future. Again, I would like to thank you so much for coming into our class and sharing your experience with all of us.

  2. Thank you for coming into our PAWS class last friday! I learned so much about how to train dogs through positive methods, and certain methods that don’t work as well! I really appreciate the way you use treats and repeatedly do a certain action and use psychology to show the dog what action to perform! Thanks again!

  3. I really liked the presentation you did for our class room. I found it to be quite informative. What I really found interesting was the clicker. I never would have thought that you could train a dog to respond to a sound. Thank you for coming. Iggy and the little black dog were so cute!

  4. Thank you so much for coming into our paws class! I learned a lot about being patient with my dog and always using positive reinforcement. You seem to be very knowledgeable and passionate with what you know about your dogs. Thanks! -Alexandra from Paws class

  5. Dear Mike and Pia,

    Thank you so much for coming in to the PAWS class. I really had a fun experience. I especially enjoyed earning the money with the clicker. I also really liked meeting Iggo. Thanks again.

    Nancy Seeger

  6. hey thanks for coming to our class and showing how to properley teach our dogs. oh yeah and thanks for the money!! 😀

  7. It was a great presentation and i really enjoyed it. I learned a whole ton of things that i didn’t know about dogs. and maybe next time i can be the example so i can get money.

  8. ok wait i didn’t finish… thanks for bringing in your dogs and demonstrating how you taught them. oh and you did very well. again thanks!! 🙂

  9. The presentation last friday was very informative and helpful overall in the ways i will be trying to teach animals to become better to live with. Me and all of my fellow PAWS students thank you very much for coming to sehome and teaching us the waya of teaching animals. I very much appreciated your helpfulness.

  10. Thank you for coming to sehome’s paws class last week! It was a good presentation! It was also very interesting, all the things you said about the clicker, and having them earn everything.

  11. For the past four years, MIke has been an extraordinary guest speaker for the Animal Studies and Outreach class at Sehome High School. He has provided valuable instruction to students on positive reward-based dog training and distinguishing cognitive behaviors from emotional reactions. He is able to combine theory with practical application in an interactive and quality manner that engages all students. Mike’s clear demonstrations with his dog, Rudy, enable students to learn effective hands-on training techniques that they can apply with their own dogs at home. He is highly skilled in providing practical solutions for “problem” behaviors. Also, he helps students understand the “why” behind dog behavior. Mike resonates a calm energy combined with humor that makes him the ideal dog trainer and speaker. If the students could give a best guest speaker award, Mike would definitely receive it! He has our highest recommendation!

    Shannon Casey
    Animal Studies and Outreach Teacher
    Sehome High School

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