Our Organization

Our Mission

Through education, training, and support, Savvy Canines helps people with disabilities and adults (50+ years) create mutually beneficial partnerships with their dogs.

Who We Are

Savvy Canines of Arizona was founded in 2009 by a group of experienced dog trainers. Together we have more than eighty years of experience helping people train their dogs. Our philosophy is based on the pioneering ideas of Alamo Reaves, a Tucsonan who believed people could teach their own dogs to assist them. We recognize the difficulty older adults and people with disabilities may encounter in traveling to classroom sites, so we come to you to maximize your time and ours.

Founders: (standing) Kay, Randy, Caroline, Reba; (seated) Phyllis and Carol; (not shown) Laura and Helga
Founders: (standing) Kay, Randy, Caroline, Reba; (seated) Phyllis and Carol
(not shown) Laura and Helga

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit we are able to keep costs low so we can reach out to everyone in our community. Please donate now to support our efforts to provide a welcoming learning community for people and their dogs.

What We Believe

Your dog is learning every day. Clear communication is key to getting the most out of your partnership with your dog. Encourage what you like and celebrate each small step along the way. Emphasizing the positive is fun for you and for your dog too!

What We Believe
Star gives granddaughter Sage her first life lessons.

How We Train

We teach a positive method called Clicker Training. When you Click! your dog knows what he or she is doing right now is correct. This is a fast, efficient way to “talk” to your dog.

How we train
Susan and her certified hearing dog Rosie participate in a Fun Rally exercise at our annual holiday party.

 

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Our Clients Say

“Minnie and I have worked with Savvy Canines since its inception. From the first day Minnie has loved Phyllis and the training sessions with her. Minnie loves the challenges, the games (and the attention). The one service that sets Savvy Canines apart from other training programs is the individual attention to each client. They work around your schedule, find creative ways to get tasks accomplished, and do it all in a professional, caring way. Minnie and I LOVE the trainers and the time spent learning new tasks. Thank you Savvy Canines. You are pawsitively the BEST!”—Reva and “Minnie”
Our trainer has helped us establish a fantastic rapport with our dog! The clicker training has been great. Our dog is attuned to our needs and anticipates my commands for helping close doors on the cabinets and the refrigerator, and thoroughly enjoys adjusting the pedals on my wheelchair! We have been especially pleased with our trainer's willingness to work around our schedule because of my medical problems.—Mr. and Mrs. Larson
“The clicker training technique Savvy Canines teaches is very simple, yet powerful. Dogs actually enjoy learning tasks their partners want them to do when the clicker is used properly.”—George and “Rover”
“The positive reinforcement we get from trainers at Savvy Canines of Arizona is exceptional, always so patient and helpful. Chloe is a work in progress, but she does make life easier by picking up dropped objects. We could not have done this on our own.” —Susan and "Chloe"
“Our instructor helps both human and animal understand and accommodate to one another. We were also impressed that Kay carries out her training sessions with a kind, gentle approach—even with the pet owner!” —Pamela and Roger H. and "Fred" and "Molly"
“The Savvy Canines trainers are knowledgeable, consistent, and competent and love dogs. Phyllis provides a flexible schedule, comes to my home, and the cost is reasonable and well worth it. The classes twice a month are great for Molly to meet other people and dogs and to show off what she has learned. Molly and I are very pleased with the training from Savvy Canines.”—Diane and “Molly”
"We own and train Australian Shepherds, and when I became disabled, my wife thought I might benefit from a Service Dog. She made a call, and I was surprised when Phyllis Allen (whom I had seen on a TV program about service dogs) came to my house to tell us about the Service Dog training program. She explained the program, assessed my needs, and met the dog I intended to use for training. I was impressed that she would come to my home to meet us and to explain how the program worked. Phyllis is a superb teacher. Savvy Canines uses a positive training method called “clicker training.” Before I met Phyllis I had never used the clicker method, and I am now convinced that it is one of the best training tools for teaching a dog complex tasks. It is definitely a thing of beauty when your dog “gets it” and accomplishes a new skill."—Bruce and “Elwood”
“Kay (our instructor) is terrific in helping people understand their canine friends. She has a real understanding of dog behavior and is able to quickly tune in to what is going on in a human-dog relationship.” —Pamela H. and "Molly"
"I am slowly getting back into the world as I recover from my neurological disorder, and this journey toward recovery has been greatly accelerated by training and living with my Service Dog. I spoke with people who had been devastated by their illnesses and had become virtual shut-ins, and I observed how training and living with a Service Dog changed them. Their lives were transformed by getting back into the world; these folks now have the confidence to “fight the good fight.” Then one day I saw that same confidence in myself. I now go just about everywhere with my Service Dog. I want to thank Phyllis Allan and Savvy Canines for being so amazingly kind and patient with me and my dog. I would definitely recommend Savvy Canines of Arizona to anyone who is considering training a Service Dog."—Bruce and “Elwood”
"Working with Sarah is the most important thing in my life. The gentle, positive training of Savvy Canines continues to increase the amazing bond between us. As my disabilities increase, Sarah is learning new ways to help me, both at home and out in public."—Susan N. and “Sarah”
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