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Scence-Based Dog Training

Our training program is built on decades of scientific research and practical development by behavior analysts, ethologists and event-marker trainers around the world.


We try to avoid stereotyping dog breeds and their abilities.

No Two Dogs are the Same

No two dogs are the same. A good trainer must be knowledgeable and flexible.

Never Too Early or Too Late

It is never too late or too early to begin working with your dog.

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get in touch

Welcome to Understanding Our Dogs LLC!

Please see Thumbtack and Google+ for additional reviews.

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If you would like to speak with any of the references, please forward your request to Lena@UnderstandingOurDogs.com


Lena was wonderful. My pug has been aggressive toward strangers to our home. Lena helped us to understand the signs of his aggression and what would be the best course of action. She spent almost 2 hours with us working and explaining the process. The wife and I have already noticed a change in our little friend. I highly recommend Lena. She is very knowledgeable and has a wonderful spirit around the pets. All in all, a great experience. I am looking forward to our next session.

Cramerton NC


Thanks to Lena, I now have simple, effective techniques for changing my dog’s behavior.  My athletic, 50lb mixed breed, Delphine, used to be a nightmare whenever we went on a walk.  She tried to chase every vehicle that passed, she lunged and barked hysterically at other dogs, and she leapt and bayed at every squirrel, cat, and rabbit.  I thought I had done the right thing when I rescued her from the shelter, but I wondered if I had picked the right dog for me.  The training techniques I tried seemed to make her worse.  I felt desperate and overwhelmed.  I finally called Lena after Delphine almost pulled us into the path of a passing tractor trailer.

That was a year and a half ago.  With a jumpstart from Lena and her continued coaching and support, Delphine and I have transformed into a great team.  We especially love to go on long walks.  Delphine now lets trucks, buses, and cars whiz by.  (We’re working on garbage trucks.) Though she doesn’t really care for the company of other dogs, she has learned how to be polite and quietly keep her distance.  Other people now apologize to me for the behavior of their dogs! If she knows I’m looking, she barely acknowledges squirrels during our walks, but has a harder time with cats and rabbits.  She responds to gentle commands and subtle movements.  Her courtesy is becoming automatic.  Instead of anxiously looking for the next thing to react to, she trots confidently down the street, relaxed and alert, happily taking in the sights and smells around her.  People regularly tell me what a great-looking dog I have.  I guess that’s because she no longer looks wild-eyed and crazy.  Now that I know how to anticipate and prevent her reactions, we go places I never dreamed we could go before:  downtown, the greenway, the waiting room at the vet’s.  Her behavior at home is more settled as well.  My husband and I enjoy her company and laugh at her antics.  She is intense and intelligent and very silly.

I now understand what Lena told me during our first conversation – that having a “reactive” dog can mean that you have a beautifully attuned dog that is quick to learn and ready for anything.  Delphine trusts me now because I understand her more and use only positive techniques to train her.   The more I use that understanding, the more she improves.   I’m glad I adopted my exciting dog Delphine and I’m glad I called Lena.   

Concord, NC


"Jasper" and "Abbey" 

It is our distinct pleasure to commend Lena Skov of Understanding Our Dogs, LLC.

I’ve had dogs almost all my life.  I’ve had mostly German Shepherds and Dobermans.  I admit that often I feel a closeness to my dogs more than people.  When my husband accepted a job overseas, we were gone for 11 years during which time, we were privileged to see and visit some of the largest dog shows and dog trainers in Europe.  Once we return to the United States, we purchased a home in North Carolina and added dogs to our family.   Since then, I’ve interviewed and worked with more than a dozen trainers.

Lena Skov is one of those rare individuals who blends a very sharp intellect, extensive knowledge of her profession and a strong inclination for hard work to consistently out produce her peers.  She has demonstrated to me a broad, yet in-depth understanding of all phases of dog behavior as well as plain ole dog training knowledge and skills.  Best of all, she is patient, caring and always keeping the best for our dogs uppermost in her mind.  Also, the phenomenal part about Lena is that she actually treated my dogs LIKE HER OWN.

My two German Shepherd Dogs Jasper and Abbey have not only had training sessions with Lena, but they have also boarded and trained with her as well.  I stand amazed at the time and effort she had dedicated to my kids!  My dogs learned a lot from Lena but the best part is that, I have gained the most knowledge and insights about dog behavior and training from her.

In my business dealings with Lena, she has exhibited extraordinary level of competence and professionalism.  Additionally, she is gifted with great “dog” skills.  I fully support Lena and her company and highly recommend her to you.

Janice Sutherland
Owner & Manager of The Home Connection, LLC


"Miya is a 2 1/2 year old dane/pointer mix, who has been returned to rescue for the second time. Both returns were basically because of her high energy, jumping, dog reactivity and difficulty in training. I've been Miya's foster mom for a while and have also tried taking her to training classes without much success. It was a stressful environment for her and I ended up thinking she had a form of doggy ADHD, because I couldn't even get her to learn the basics. 

Lena Skov, with Understanding Our Dogs, offered to take Miya into her home for a 2 week period and work with her. One word sums it all up - AMAZING! Lena was able to develop and reinforce calmness in Miya, which allowed her to then focus on learning acceptable behaviors such as laying down, sitting by the door to have her leash put on and being relaxed and non-reactive when walking near other dogs. The problem jumping behavior was put on a cue and Miya soon learned when it was O.K. to jump and when it wasn't. 

Miya's training is an ongoing process and a huge part of what Lena has done is to teach ME how to continue working with Miya. Lena has been incredibly supportive and willing to answer my questions and offer advice when I've struggled to continue with Miya's progress. Lena offers calm, positive training methods with all of the education and support that us humans need to make our dogs the best pups they can be. 

I trust Lena completely and would recommend her to anyone, who is serious about giving their dog the skills they need to make the right choices in their life with you." 

Asheville NC 


"I am an active foster home and board member for Mid-Atlantic Pug Rescue and I met Lena Skov at the Charlotte Pet Expo 2011. I spoke with Lena about a pug mix that we had pulled from a shelter in SC that was biting people and other dogs in his foster setting. I told Lena that I was having him transferred to me and that I had spoken with several of MAPR’s contracted veterinarians and they recommended I start with a behaviorist and asked her if she would be willing to work with my rescue group. 

Lena asked me to call her at home so that we could talk about the situation more in detail. I called Lena and we discussed my little man and she agreed to work with me and him. Lena gave me a few over the phone guidelines to follow until we could have our first one on one session.

The first one on one visit Lena came to my home and spent approximately 2.5 hours with me and the dog. I was given instructions for his care and behavior modification verbally on that day and then within the next week I received a detailed written version via email. I worked with my dog as instructed and made some progress pretty quickly. I had to go out of town for a week for a fundraising event and Lena agreed to board and work with the dog while I was away.

I brought him to her, along with his food and items to make his stay comfortable. Lena showed me where he was going to be staying in her home and allowed me to ask questions. During the time there Lena called me and emailed me a few times to let me know things were going well. The day that I was returning home and coming to pick him up I received a phone call from Lena and she said that he is doing so well and making so much progress that she would like to keep him another week. I was so thrilled that he was doing so well, as I was worried about him ever having the chance to be adopted. I was also very touched that Lena took such an interest in the progress of this little rescue dog! I of course said “yes” and so he stayed another week. 

I have to tell you that I dropped off one dog and picked up a completely different dog! I was so amazed by the progress that she had made with this dog in just two weeks. 

I spent quite a bit of time with Lena and her husband when I came to pick him up, as Lena showed me how to continue his training/behavior modification. Lena had even made a video of some of her work with him so that I could visualize how she had helped him. Lena had worked with my dog and she had treated him like part of the family at the same time. I am so impressed with her work and I have learned so much from her. I have continued the training and I continue to see progress with my rescue dog. I have not found the right forever home for him yet, but at least now I know that it will be possible and it never would have been possible without the help from Lena!

If you are having problems with your dog and think that there is no hope…think again, because there is Lena Skov! Invest a little time and money and you will get a huge reward. Please feel free to contact me directly if it will help you make a decision." 

Robin Young, MAPR Registered Agent and Board Member 


"What a wonderful experience! 

Lena was the best.  She trained our Great Dane puppy since he was 2 months old.  She was so gentle and good with him.  He learned so much, and so did we.  How to sit, lie down on command, come, and even helped us with house training.  

She is always there for any questions we may have as he grows up, gets back to us right away, and is so helpful with advice and tips.  She really is the best dog trainer you can imagine.  Because of her, we have a very calm, wonderful dog.  I highly recommend her dog training service!" 

Pepper Pike OH 


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