About the Trainer
Nick Hof, CPDT-KA, KPA-CTP
Nick Hof is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed. This designation is only open to trainers who have at least 300 hours of training experience, are recommended by clients, colleagues and veterinarians and must pass a comprehensive four-hour exam. Nick also graduated with distinction from the world-renowned Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior. In addition to his certifications, Nick is also a Professional Member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, a Charter Member of the Pet Professional Guild. He is also a Certified Advanced Pet Care Technician who is certified in Pet First-Aid and CPR.
Nick is a graduate of Great Oak’s Animal Sciences & Management program, a two-year vocational program for high school students that provides a wide-ranging education in animal caretaking – including dog training. As part of the program, Nick volunteered as a trainer at a shelter to improve dogs’ behavior, increasing their chances of being adopted by families.
Nick has taught dog training classes at multiple local doggie day care, boarding, and grooming facilities. He also worked at a pet store where he specialized in advising customers about pet nutrition. Nick even spent time studying wolves at a research facility in Indiana, an experience which informed Paws Look Listen’s approach to teaching dogs skills for the real world in a way that mirrors how they have learned throughout their evolution.
Nick is particularly passionate about and skilled at working with large breed dogs, and reforming dogs who lunge, bark, or growl on leash at other dogs or people. He is owned by four Saint Bernards – Fezzik, Lanie, Sadie, and Bennie – two of whom are former leash-lungers themselves. But Nick happily trains dogs of all sizes, and likes helping people appreciate and enjoy their dogs more.
Paws Look Listen, LLC
Pause, take a deep breath, and pay attention to what your dog does – because his behavior is the key to understanding his thoughts and feelings. That’s the Paws Look Listen way.
We humans tend to spend much of the present remembering the past or planning out the future. But dogs live in the moment: and to understand and communicate with them, we need to “be here now.” So Pause Look Listen doesn’t make dogs do stuff: we do stuff with them, and show them that good things happen when they behave the right way.
Parents teach their kids to “Stop, look, and listen before you cross the street” because staying alert keeps them safe. Dogs remind us that life is happening all around us all the time, and that being mindful of our surroundings and interactions enriches our experience. In the rush of daily life, it’s good to take a break, relax awhile, and appreciate our dogs as the wise beings they are.
In Loving Memory
I believe that we all have at least one dog who teaches us a great deal about life, far beyond training. I adopted Bruce when he was only six months old. He was a very sweet, goofy pup and the picture perfect St. Bernard. He taught me the importance of patience in training and always had fun learning new tricks, such as giving kisses or backing up while grumbling. Bruce also taught me to respect dogs and teach them to do what I asked instead of me trying to force it. At 130 lbs, he could just lay down and not move if I didn’t respect that!
Bruce unfortunately was taken away far too young. Although he had much more than his fair share of health problems, he never let that slow him down. Whether it was taking a leisurely stroll around the block, or going for a relaxing swim, Bruce always enjoyed going out. Bruce passed away a few days before his fourth birthday in April, 2013. Not a day goes by that I do not think of him and I am eternally thankful for the time I was blessed to spend with him.
“The private training sessions we did with Nick were excellent.”