Connie Cleveland is an internationally recognized dog trainer who offers specialized weekend training seminars to competitive obedience competitors around the country and overseas. 

Connie's seminars focus on understanding how dogs learn and clear communication. She is passionate about helping people at all levels of the sport.

Seminars begin with a discussion about How Dogs Learn.  Then she spends time working individually with each team attending. 

Generally, there are people who are unsure how to teach, or having difficulty with attention, heeling, and retrieving. However, commonly, she tackles more advanced subjects, such as choreographing your performance, maintaining a trained dog's attitude and problem solving difficult exercises. 

If you'd like to attend a seminar, please contact the organizer listed. 

If you're interested in booking Connie for a training seminar in your area, email [email protected].

Weekend Seminars

2024 - In person

June 1 & 2 - Louisville, KY - Bella Gaudette, [email protected] 
June 29 & 30 - Winchester, VA - Colleen Nolan, [email protected] 
July 13 & 14 - Fayetteville, NC - Roberta Pylate, [email protected] 
July 27 & 28 - Kansas City, MO [email protected] 
August 10 & 11 - Ann Arbor, MI, Jeanne Thomas, [email protected] 
Sept 7 & 8 - Bayshore, Tinton Falls, NJ - Ashley Tripodi, [email protected] 
Sept 28 & 29 - Albany, NY - Mary Maltbie, [email protected] 
Oct 1 - Doberman Pinscher Club of America, [email protected] (Location to be announced)
Nov 23 & 24 - Hyattsville, DTC - Jane Williams, [email protected] 

2025 - In person

January 11 & 12 - Arab, AL - Kitty Thompson, [email protected]
February 8 & 9 - Vancouver Island - Maria Guadalupe Soto, [email protected] 
 April 12 & 13 - Capitol DTC - Washington DC - Donna Cleverdon, [email protected]  
 May 31 & June 1 - Houston, TX - Sandy White, [email protected] 
June 28 & 29 - Duluth, MN (Twin Ports Dog Training Club) - Irene Mullauer, [email protected] 
 July 12 & 13 - Leesburg, VA - Nancy Walkins, [email protected] 
 July 26 & 27 - Denver, CO - Debra Quick, [email protected] 
 Aug 9 & 10 - Council Bluffs, IA - Gerianne Darnell, [email protected] 
 Oct 4 & 5 - Murfreesboro, TN - Cheryl Tisdale, [email protected]


From Participants

"I just want to say the seminar more than exceeded my expectations. Connie is very detailed and a wealth of practical  information.  Aside from getting my own problem solved, I liked watching and learning from Connie as she worked with the other teams.  I also liked the science behind training (use of reward markers, understanding how dogs learn, types of errors and how to apply corrections) and how this was presented ahead of time. It sunk in better as Connie role modeled and reinforced the concepts over the weekend. Laid out in a systematic way, her system gives you a framework to train and encourages you to think through your problems, focus on the dog in front of you, and make adjustments to better your handling skills."

"Connie is an excellent speaker and has the knowledge to address every aspect of obedience and each team's specific needs.  She offers various ways to address the same problem depending on the dog's response to the training or fix of a problem.  She kept the audience engaged with her input of funny personal stories and humor."

" I loved how Connie included basic skills for people who are newer to obedience.  She really took her time and not only helped them solve problems, but taught them the basic skills they needed.  She did this in a way that encouraged them to continue in obedience, but also with a dose of a reality check about having and using corrections when needed for all situations.   Her continuous work with Bella over two days was a great example of her commitment to helping with problems, not just obedience exercises."

Thank you! It was a great weekend!
I wasn’t sure how you were going to work through ~20 handlers/dogs each with their own challenges, including different levels of obedience training and performance. The individualized sessions allowed us each to correctly feel well heard and well helped. And, the cumulative sessions really did give us a sense of not only exercises to use for specific problems but, also, a sense of your overall Obedience Road curriculum.
It was interesting to me that when I was in the “ring” with Ella and you, I really did not think about or worry about people watching. My focus was all on what we were doing. It was like being in a closed space within a much larger space.
I probably should have realized it before, but I had not recognized how much of a human psychologist you have to be to help people train their dogs. Wow! Lots of emotions out there as an overlay to: "I would like my dog to do . . . .  " But, you managed both the dog challenges and the handler issues firmly, but supportively on a case-by-case basis. Although you have defined a clear framework (“the principles don’t change”) in which to teach, you tailored each session to the situation at hand. That’s what makes your approach special and the workshop so meaningful.
I’m still smiling about your comment about the 2 hour set the comedian you recently saw performed. That mostly scripted, humorous soliloquy cannot compare to the 8 hours (each day) you spend on your feet, listening to handlers share their challenges, and then having to instantly come up with workable solutions to implement right then and there. No place to hide. No set script to use. You have to apply your cumulative knowledge to each different handler, each different dog, and each different challenges. That’s a lot to process and “perform.”
It was impressive to see how far some of the participants traveled to be involved. And, I am confident everyone went home well satisfied - and wanting more! That’s solid, albeit labor intensive marketing.
Ella and I have our work cut out. We’ll get up early in the morning and take some more steps down Obedience Road!

~ Warren & Ella

The Obedience Road

A complete online resource with everything you need to succeed at competitive obedience.