Polite Paws Dog Training

His. Kind fourth the wherein our us whose may fruitful blessed.


So are you ready to commit to helping your dog be the best they can be?



Polite Paws® is a registered trademark. It is illegal to copy or reproduce it it any way. The material on this site is the intellectual property of Lisa Hilleard.

My whole life I have had an affinity for animals of all shapes, sizes and temperament. I had lots of pets and usually all at once - our house was nicknamed the zoo! I was allowed almost any pet I could think of, except a dog or a cat. While I was growing up I always said I would be a vet, but no matter how hard you wish for something it doesn’t always happen.

When I was younger, I started helping people by walking and washing their dogs for them if they couldn’t. I became close friends with one lady whose two dogs I had walked, washed and minded for over 10 years. In April 2007 she passed away leaving the dogs in my care. By mid 2007 I decided to buy my first dog and in early 2008 my second (both long hair Chihuahua). Shortly after moving out of home into my own apartment and buying my first dog Monty, I was a passenger in a serious car accident that forced me to stop the theatre work I had been doing, along with dancing and most of my other passions. Due to the time I spent at home with my injury, I had plenty of time to spend training my dogs. I think my dogs actually taught me how to train them. With a bit of common sense and some general ideas about dog training, I successfully trained the dogs in general obedience and tricks. Our 2 Chihuahua’s at that time were spotted at a dog fair in Mid 2008 while participating in a fashion show. Subsequently, they were used in a photo shoot for Frontline due to their good nature and training.

Late 2009 it was confirmed I would not fully recover from my injury. I decided that dog training and behaviour modification was the road I’d like to take, so I started hunting around for courses, and any books I could find to hone my skills. I attend as many seminars and lectures as I can to broaden my knowledge and skills within the field. I have acquired many books, DVD’s and audio recordings and spent countless hours on the internet digging up any bits and pieces to add to my dog training toolbox. I now live with 4 Chihuahuas, sibling duo Sally and Sam who are Shepherd/Malamute X Labrador/Golden Retriever who were reunited after Sam showed up at a shelter two years after I foster failed with Sally, Jake my big boofy German Shepherd. And on moving in with my amazing now Husband in 2014 I added two German shepherds Mabel and Zander to the family. Yes we have 9 dogs... and a Quaker bird called Lola. Who talks. A lot. And Percy a Galah who enjoys biting feet and destroying toys.

Meet Lisa!

I believe that you need to use the method that works for each dog within reason. Not all dogs will respond to lure training, some are hard to shape, and when working with cases of anxiety and aggression there are many science based methods available that don’t require force or intimidation. I like to give the dog choices and let them think they are doing the training. Why wouldn’t they want to do things if it was their idea in the first place! Motivate them with what they want (food, toys, cuddles, car rides, running outside, whatever!), and you will have a well behaved and happy companion. I use triggers in the environment to cue the dogs behaviour so you don’t have to rant at them all the time. Touch the door, your dog sits and waits. Sit down on the couch and your dog settles in their bed. Doorbell goes off and your dog goes to their mat. Easy as that!

I don’t condone confrontational and punishment based training methods (aggression breeds aggression), and believe that a good trainer should be able to stay away from punishment if they are good enough. My job is to improve the lives of dogs and their owners, so I use a range of positive training methods to reach that goal. I use methods championed by trainers/behaviourists/vets such as Ian Dunbar, Denise Fenzi, Patricia McConnell, Susan Garrett, Nicole Wilde, Emily Larlham, Jean Donaldson, Ken Ramirez, Karen Pryor and Sophia Yin just to name a few. Dog training should be fun for everyone as the overall purpose is to form a bond with your dog. You can’t do that when you are yelling, yanking at, pinning your dog down and throwing things at them. These methods may appear to have instant results, but they dont last and have dangerous side-effects. I believe that head halters, front attach harnesses etc. are useful training tools, but not long term solutions in most cases. They are great to start a dog on who is just un-manageable, but I believe training is truly complete when the dog behaves the same way when not using these tools.

A little about how we train...

- Working for 3 years as a Pet Educator for Local Government in NSW schools with K-2 kids

- Teaching Pet Education, Vet handing and other relevant topics with my 4 Chihuaha and GSD Jake at the Future Vet Kids Camp for 6 years

- Working as a KONG Advisor helping people understand their dogs motivations, and how to use these to enrich their lives.

- Raising many puppies for rescue organisations from 0 weeks up to 14 weeks

- Rehab work for puppy farm rescue dogs, and also ex-racing greyhounds

- Developed Adoption Matching and Assessing protocols for shelters

- Worked for 12 Months as a Head Shelter Behavourist and Behaviour Assessor

- Member of “Association of Pet Dog Trainers” Australia

- Member of “Association of Pet Dog Trainers” America

- Member of Pet Professional Guild Australia (PPGA)

- Senior First Aid Certificate

- Working with Children check completed

- Covered by Marsh Insurance for Pet Dog Trainers Liability Insurance

Some other relevant items

Association of Pet Dog Trainers 4 day Conference featuring; (October 2016)

- Robin Bennet

- Sonya Bevan

- Alexis Davison

- Anita Marchesani

- Mik Moeller


Denise Fenzi - 2 day Workshop (July 2016)

Day 1 - Engagement, Toy and Personal Play

Day 2 - Handler choice problem solving


Association of Pet Dog Trainers 3 day Conference featuring; (October 2014)

- Emily Larlham

- Diane A. Garrod

- Robyn Hood


Kathy Sdao - What not to Err: Training Mistakes that Create Headaches

for Dogs 2-day Seminar (Sep 2014)


Suzanne Clothier - Relationship Centred Training &

Fearful, Anxious and Reactive Dogs (May 2014)


Denise Fenzi - Workshop at Camp Tailwaggers (July 2013)


Denise Fenzi - Drives and Motivation &

Obedience problem Solving (July 2013)


Delta Society Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services course (December 2009 - Feb 2012)


Ken Ramirez - Making the Impossible Possible! (November 2012)


Association of Pet Dog Trainers 3 day Conference featuring; (October 2012)

- Pat Miller

- Grisha Stewart

- Dr Sophia Yin


Emily Larlham (KIKOPUP)- The Building Blocks to Advanced Canine

Training and Companionship (August 2012)


Bob Bailey - AVBIG Animal Behaviour with Bob Bailey (February 2012)


Ian Dunbar - Science Based Dog Training with Feeling (February 2012)


Association of Pet Dog Trainers 3 day Conference featuring; (October 2011)

- Dr Kersti Seksel

- Kay Laurence

- Dr Gabrielle Carter

- Nic Bishop


Monthly Webinars run by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers America (December 2010 - ongoing)


TTouch for companion animals 4 day training with; (November 2010)

-Robyn Hood

-Andy Robertson


Susan Garrett - 1 day Lecture on Free Shaping (November 2010)


Association of Pet Dog Trainers 3 day Conference featuring; (October 2010)

-Ken Ramirez

-Steve White

-Peta Clarke


Knowing your pet’s health ½ Day workshop run by Pet Tech (October 2010)


DELTA society 6 day intensive workshop (September 2010)


DELTA society CGC Weekend Seminar (December 2009)


Ongoing Education