Family Dog Training in SW Houston and Fort Bend County, TX

Valerie’s Story

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My love of dogs started early on in childhood. We always had dogs.

When I was about 10 years old we had a Dachshund named Snoopy; he had behavior issues, and aggression issues, and had bit everybody in the family but me. I knew to leave him alone and I guess I could read something that others couldn’t. He actually died an early death having his teeth cleaned, and we’re wondering if that didn’t have something to do with some of his behavioral issues too. We called him neurotic.

When I was in high school, I was in a veterinary explorer post that was run by a veterinarian. He asked me if I’d like a job and I was like, “Sure.” And he was like, “Well, how old are you?” And I said, “15.”

And he said, “Well, you come talk to me when you turn 16.”

So the day I turned 16 I went to work for him as kennel help in the back, doing all the dirty jobs. But that got my interest in helping the physical side of animals. And after seeing some behavior cases there, too, with dogs.

He also did wildlife rehab and so that introduced me to the work of wildlife rehab and I wound up doing wildlife rehabilitation for almost 30 years. I just gave it up recently and that was helping injured wildlife and re-releasing them to the wild after they were healed. I became a vet-tech from then. I started working for other vets after that. I worked for an animal emergency clinic in Houston where I came across my first personal dog, a Dachshund that I adopted there. He wound up having issues with other dogs, and aggression toward other dogs.

And then, after that, I adopted a female Dachshund through another vet I worked for at the same time I worked for the emergency clinic. She was probably what we consider a teenager. She had issues with feet, and anytime anybody would raise up their feet, she attacked them. And so there, again, it was another behavioral issue that I tried to figure out what I could do to help her and get her over those issues.

I had her when I moved up to Bryan College Station. I became an animal control officer in Bryan College Station and continued to work through them and see behavior cases, neglect cases, and dogs running around loose and picking those up. I started a Prevent-A-Bite program in College Station. I got a dog through animal control that was only probably a week old, Loki, that was a mixed breed. I said I was going to raise this dog to be the perfect dog and be well socialized and not have any behavioral issues that my other two did. I got her well socialized and started group classes with her. I used her in my Prevent-A-Bite programs in the schools in Bryan College Station, Be a Tree program for the Prevent a Bite. She rode around in the truck with me doing my animal control duties. I also started group classes with a trainer up there. And shortly thereafter, in March of 93, I moved down to the Rio Grande Valley where I worked for a vet.

At the same time, I got Loki in group classes in Mission at Valley Dog Training Center. Then I started to work for them for a couple of years until they closed down doing basic obedience training. They didn’t do so much as the behavioral issues, from what I remember. I continued learning more about behavior issues and opened up Smarty Paws, training friends’ dogs with the behavioral interest. So it made me open my own business and help other people.

I have a Doberman that is six years old named Leah, and I have a Rat Terrier named Emmy that’s 11 years old. We love hiking, camping, playing games, and doing agility here. I love helping families overcome their dogs’ problems and their dog’s issues and getting them to be a family dog and a properly socialized dog in their household that they’re willing to take out with them and incorporate into their daily lives, so they don’t have the issues that I had with dogs growing up. I know more about that now and the daily struggles that people deal with and their dogs. I just find it rewarding to help families and consider myself a family dog trainer.

So if you need any help with your dogs, reach out to us. SMARTY PAWS DOG TRAINING at 281.756.7215.

What It’s Like to Work with Valerie

Lori BauderLori Bauder
02:46 19 Oct 22
Absolutely 💯 hands down fantastic!Valerie is so sweet and super patient. She is one of a kind, and very knowledgeable. My Luna (5 month Boxer), is quite sassy, and she's easily distracted. But Valerie was so calm, and was able to work with Luna great. We did Paw Camp and Valerie came to our home (while we weren't home, so no distractions), and very trustworthy. Luna felt comfortable and learned manners, all kinds of fun tricks. (Bang dead is my fave!) Paw Camp worked well for us! Look no further... Smarty Paws 🐾 is who you need to call for good reliable service and trustworthy training.
00:41 11 Aug 22
Valerie seemed like the perfect fit for our needs. I bought a puppy for my niece at my sister’s suggestion and she lives with my mom. I liked the idea of the trainer coming to their house and me coming over to help them everyone packing up to go to training, especially with Covid still among us. Valerie was always professional, always prompt, always cheerful, always loving and a wealth of knowledge and patience! We were amazed at how responsive our puppy Shadow was!! Shadow performed every command - now comes the hard part - it’s up to us to maintain his behavior! Lol. We always felt comfortable when she came she was very thorough doing a summary of the training at the end to ensure we understood our homework for the week. Shadow even had a graduation photo with a mortarboard and diploma compliments of her! I would absolutely use her again if Shadow needed some reinforcement outside of our scope! Thanks again Valerie!
Andrew ShrefflerAndrew Shreffler
16:49 05 Aug 22
Helped a lot with me in getting my dawg to follow my commands. Highly recommend.
Son HoangSon Hoang
00:46 23 Jul 22
This is my first puppy. Valarie was very professional and patient with us. Highly recommend Smarty Paws RGV.
annie amayaannie amaya
17:25 09 Apr 22
Professional, knowledgeable, highly recommend!We did a short course with Valerie for our two rescue dogs, one who is a fearful dog. Valerie gave us the tools and guidance we needed to help both dogs build confidence and have better manners. Months prior to booking our training sessions, Valerie was extremely helpful and generous with her time and spoke to me over the phone about how to help our fearful dog from the shelter. She has a wealth of knowledge and really helped us navigate new territory with our two new dogs. Thank you Valerie!
16:42 26 Mar 22
Love it very profesional and odi learn the basic knowlegable trainer definetely will recomend smart paws
Monica BenitezMonica Benitez
03:12 24 Mar 22
As a new dog mom, I had alot of questions/concerns of how to even begin with training and setting reasonable expectations for my maltipoo (Sonny). I knew I was looking for more of a personalized experience with someone coming to my own home/space— and that person was Valerie with Smarty Paws! Her experience spoke volumes on how patient she was Sonny in teaching basic commands. She even gave me the tools and the confidence to live out a well trained environment for my Sonny and family. I would absolutely recommend Valerie to anyone seeking training services—you will not be disappointed!!
Ismael SantosIsmael Santos
14:50 20 Feb 22
Ms Valarie was very understanding and gave good pointers for us to use. Not only she taught Oreo but she also taught us. Gave us a lot of information .She is a very personable Lady. She definitely knows what she is doing. Highly recommend her to others.Unfortunately she is moving .We wish you the best and thank you.The Santos and Oreo.
Serena EnriquezSerena Enriquez
22:56 16 Jan 22
Valerie was AMAZING with my golden retriever pup!! All training sessions were so fun and Honey had a lot of successes thanks to her!
Angie DutyAngie Duty
22:29 12 Dec 21
Loved working with Valerie, she was very patient with my pet. She provided tips and great information to train our pets. As soon as she stepped in to our house she knew what we needed to work with and I can say we succeeded. It requires work and we are not finished but I Must say that I am very happy.
Tess GarciaTess Garcia
01:26 06 Dec 21
Valerie’s expertise guided me to continue being the best dog mom I can be for my big pup. She provided educational visual representation to help me care for our German Shepherd.
Linda Hinojosa-OchoaLinda Hinojosa-Ochoa
02:11 09 Nov 21
We had a great experience training our American Bully with Valerie. She was very knowledgeable and offered a lot of tips to train our pup.