Happy Golden Retriever displaying no behavior problems

Why struggle with puppy issues or suffer your dog’s frustrating behavior? 

Our team can alleviate the stress and overwhelm. Let us help you get your naughty but nice dog back on track.

What sets our training team apart from other dog trainers in Rutland, Vermont?   We’ve spent years studying and working with all sorts of family dogs. And we want to share our extensive knowledge and experience so you can raise an incredible companion. Picture your perfect dog who is as happy spending time at home alone as he is getting out and about with you, the family, and friends.  We want every dog to enjoy their best life and the easiest way to do that is to train your puppy/new dog as soon as you welcome them into your home.

Mountainside Mutts offers pet parents a range of training services including:

Other dog trainers focus on “correcting” behavior problems or puppy issues after they’ve already arisen. The goal at Mountainside Mutts is to help you avoid these headaches altogether. Avoid the expense and heartache of trying to tackle unwanted behaviors after they’ve arisen. We can help you jump-start training your new dog as soon as you welcome them into your home.

Golden Retriever

Our dogs don’t come speaking English. It’s up to the people to teach the dog what we expect from them. Training an awesome dog can absolutely be done without shock, prong, or choke collars. Let our team help you train your dog in a force-free, fear-free way.

Obedient dog walking with person displaying no puppy issues

Train your dog humanely, and have fun in the process.

Mountainside Mutts offers force-free, judgment-free, rewards-based dog training. While other trainers may still rely on old-fashioned training tools like leash corrections, choke and prong collars, or shock collars, our team will offer you a kinder, more effective alternative.

Science has shown that training is even faster when you apply learning theory and teach your dog what you want them to do.


We know it can be hard to decide, on the basis of a website alone, if a company is a good fit for you. We’re more than happy to share some of the feedback we’ve received from our clients about our instructors and classes.

“This was our first puppy class and we liked our experience. Classes were able to be tailored to the needs of those who were in attendance and allowed for flexibility on training options.”


“Als knows her stuff. She is friendly and helpful.”

Lesli Hyland

“Puppy Start Right is crucial for all puppies and their people at a critical period in your puppy’s development. It will give you and your pup the foundation you need to get through young puppyhood and emerge with a well-behaved, happy, and socialized puppy. Don’t wait until your pup is fully vaccinated to start training. Give them (and yourself) a great start with this puppy class.”

Bethany Sprague

“Mountainside Mutts is top-notch! They have worked with me and my new dog from his very first days as a puppy. In that time he has learned to socialize with other dogs and people; to follow commands like Wait and Leave It, and to behave in a way that allows me to bring him with me around town. The staff is friendly and professional and they work with both the owner and the dog to ensure that the dog is happy and healthy in their home and with their family.”


“Als is a compassionate dog trainer and competent as well. She provides insight without judgement and can answer any questions with some kind of solution. If you have a goal in mind, you’ll be able to achieve it with guidance and lots of practice.”


“I was pleased with the use of positive reinforcement methods and the handouts were great.”

Kristie A.

“If you have a new puppy, it’s [Puppy Start Right] a MUST! I feel like there’s a lot of scary info out there about not taking your puppy to meet other dogs until 16 weeks, etc. but this class was such a safe and controlled environment that our pup was able to learn how to play but also learn other things from a certified professional.”

Steph Backes

“Als is a professional instructor with great knowledge of dogs. This is an opportunity to expose your puppy to a new environment and interact with other dogs.”

Suzanne Lanzillo & Moose

“Als is great at what she does! She reads both dogs and their humans well, making proactive suggestions and offering step by step strategies for training. She offered effective ideas for socialization that I hadn’t heard before, helpful handouts, and pertinent feedback on our progress. The setup at Mountainside Mutts is very dog safe and friendly.”

Sylvia Y

“I would recommend this class [Puppy Start Right] no doubt! Als is patient, informative, and always available to help.”

Pam Notte

“Als has been amazing & patient. She gives simple and practical tools to use in the moment. I always felt like I had something I could be doing different to make life easier and having a puppy easier.”

Anna Gries

“Smaller space and fewer participants……..It was rewards-based as opposed to corrections-based, there was an overview of training techniques and practice using each.”

Dee Bort

“She (Als) is great with dogs and recognizing their unique needs. Informing you of positive behaviors. How to respond to the behaviors you don’t want so they don’t continue. Also very friendly and organized. I felt the class was very thorough and covered all aspects that were of concern to me and my training.”

Angela O

“Als and Nikki were very helpful with both group and individualized guidance. The handouts were great to take home to read to reinforce and add additional aspects.”

Kathy L

“Excellent Beginner Foundation Class”

Mark Bucksbaum, M.D.

Since 2014 owner, Als Allan has been offering professional pet care and dog training services on Nantucket, MA as Girl Friday ACK.

A life-long animal lover. Als is the only dog trainer in Rutland, Vermont who is certified by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants as a Dog Behavior Consultant. Als is a graduate of the distinguished Victoria Stilwell Dog Training Academy,  a certified Service Dog Coach, and accredited by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, the only independent certifying organization in an otherwise unregulated industry.

With years of experience offering private in-person training and group lessons on Nantucket, Als is delighted to share her extensive experience with southern Vermont. Als, husband Scott, and their 2 rescue dogs – Olive & Buster, are thrilled to be bringing new life back to a Rutland landmark – the old Norman Rockwell Museum on Rte 4.

Our Dog Training Team

Good help is hard to come by. Incredible help is something for which we are extremely grateful.  Our passion is sharing the benefits of modern force-free training and our training team includes two awesome ambassadors whose dogs are wonderful examples of the power of positive reinforcement methods.