You CAN change your dog’s behavior. All you need is the right plan.

Learn how to think like a trainer, grow your bond, and get results that last a lifetime.

Meet Your Trainer: Nancy M. Kelly, B.S., CPDT-KA

You’ve probably already guessed that I’m a dog person—but I’m also an animal behavior person. I grew up in the country, fascinated by the animals all around me: dogs, cats, horses, cattle, rabbits, rats, birds, fish … You name it! I even rehabilitated multiple orphaned wild rabbits and birds.  

My early fascination with animals led me down a path of lifelong learning, earning a B.S. in Biology, a Dog Trainer Certification with CCPDT, and a Master’s in Behavioral Psychology.  

In other words: if you need help establishing good habits or addressing a behavior challenge, you’ve come to the right place.  

I teach professional dog trainers how to reliably change a dog’s behavior, and I can teach you, too.

But don’t worry—I understand that most dog owners don’t want (or need) an obedience champion. You just want a happy, well-trained dog who’s a joy to be around.  

I created The Mannerly Dog to bring owners the best of both worlds: the skills professional trainers rely on to shape lasting behavior, and the flexibility to adapt basic principles to suit their unique home, family, and goals. 

I first became a trainer thanks to a dog named Howdy.

My first dog as an adult was Howdy from Texas, CD, a yellow labrador.

Howdy was such an enthusiastic learner that he inspired me to venture into obedience competition, where I learned how to teach manners that were reliable under pressure and with an audience.  

I’ve since competed in Rally and Obedience and played in agility, tracking, tricks, and other dog sports with seven dogs over the past 30 years. Not all of them were as quick to learn as Howdy,  which solidified my skills and taught me that the special thing about dog sports isn’t the activity itself—it’s the chance for you and your dog to work as a team. 

I created The Mannerly Dog to share the “secrets” trainers understand with dog owners everywhere. These skills will transform your dog’s behavior and promote a more fulfilling, joyful life for you and your family (including the furry members). 

Why work with The Mannerly Dog?

My approach is simple: make a plan, follow it consistently, and watch the magic happen.

Dogs thrive on clear and consistent communication. I’ll teach you how to change your dog’s behavior for good, starting with small steps that lead to a lasting transformation.

Where trainers come to learn

With 25+ years of experience training dogs and other animals, I teach owners and trainers the basic principles they need to shape behavior through positive, science-based methods. 

Positive and force-free

We never use aversive methods like pain or fear. Instead of punishing dogs for undesirable behaviors, we’ll teach them to prefer the behaviors we want. 

Simple actions, powerful results

Create new behaviors that once seemed impossible. There’s no special talent required—just a few fundamental techniques practiced consistently over time. 

Create lasting change

The best way to shape your dog’s behavior is to learn together, working as a team. Watch your pets learn to think through their choices and make better ones. 

Learning for life

My methods are universal. Learning how to shape your dog’s behavior helps you adapt as your needs—and theirs—change over time. This course pays dividends for life. 

What makes me a qualified trainer?

As a lifelong student of behavior, I’ve learned from many influential people over the years. I’m especially proud of my work with Dr. Robert Bailey, one of the best-known most accomplished animal trainers in the world and a pioneer in behavior science 

Over the past 20 years, Bob has taught me how animals learn, how I learn, and how to change my behavior to get results from animals. Thanks to Bob’s mentorship, I can create new behaviors from nothing, making life better for animals and the humans who love them.  

Here are some of my other proudest accomplishments: 

  • Created a comprehensive behavior program at Houston’s largest animal shelter, BARC, resulting in a safer environment for staff and reduced stress for the animals. This program has been in use for over 5 years with excellent results. 
  • Wrote a training manual for trainers of service dogs, containing a science-based set of protocols for teaching both dogs and handlers. 
  • Edited the 2018 re-release of Keller and Marian Breland’s classic book Animal Behavior, with a new foreword and introduction by Dr. Bob Bailey. 

As a committed student and self-proclaimed dog nerd, I always have something new to share. You can find the latest updates on my continuing education in animal training here. 

Certifications and Accreditations

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