Training Director for Next Step Service Dogs 2015-Present
Founder and Training Director of Companion Dog Training (CDT) 2019 – Present

| CPDT-KA | AKC-CGC Evaluator | CPR – Canine | Assistance Dogs International | Crisis Response Canine Trainer – San Diego | Paws to Share | Pet Partners |

In 2014 with my then companion dogs, Tebow, Scruffy and Richter, I ventured to the dog park and had a chance meeting with Sally Montruchio the founder of Next Step Service Dogs. This meeting changed my life, as Sally helped me take my passion for dogs and service to the next level. After attending just one class with NSSD I was committed to the program and excited for the opportunity to train a dog and change a veterans life! In 2015, I became the Assistant Training Director at NSSD and from their applied for and received my Certification for Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) in 2016. It was this same year that I met Dr. Ian Dunbar, world renowned veterinarian, animal behaviorist, and dog trainer who became my mentor with whom I continue to work with today at CDT. In 2018, I was promoted to Training Director at NSSD where I continue to work today renewing the lives of veterans by training and placing exceptional service dogs.

In 2019, seeing a need for education and training of private clients I founded Companion Dog Training (CDT). That same year, we moved both NSSD and CDT to our Rancho Cucciolo facility in Escondido. Sitting on 1.5 acres Rancho Cucciolo provides the perfect training grounds for both on and off leash training, with its privately owned fully fenced dog park, enclosed and air conditioned training room, and doggy dormitory.

Training your dog whether it be for a companion, therapy work, or service is about trust, communication and most of all relationship. Your companion dog should be trained to fit your lifestyle, your family and your needs. Working with service dogs and veterans I have spent many years training and transferring dogs to their new teammate. Dogs will always perform for the trainer but is it transferable? My goal is to give you those tools to not only help in the process, but allow you to maintain the training for years to come!

My specialties are:
1. Getting new puppy owners on track from the get go. The earlier you start, the sooner your pup will be able to enjoy free-run of your house and yard.
2. Re-training hyperactive, inattentive, over-the-top and out-of-control but otherwise friendly, or overly-friendly, adolescent dogs.

Meet Our Trainers

Francie Nolan

Assistant Trainer


A Trained Puppy is a Happy Puppy