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Awesome Paws Academy

Racine, Wisconsin


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Get a free quote from this professional

‘20 Certificate of Excellence, 2020


Because I am a licensed veterinary technician, Level 2 Fear Free Certified, member of The Pet Professional Guild, Reiki Level 1 Practitioner, and Pet Nutrition Consultant, I will help you piece together the WHOLE beautiful picture behind your pet's behavior: Proper Nutrition, Exercise relative to Growth Stages and maintenance, to Physiological Capabilities (and restrictions), and overall Emotional Health as well.

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15 customer reviews

11 April 2019

A year ago, our dog went through 3 weeks of aversion training which included the e-collar. We were told that it would be the most beneficial, but I couldn't bring myself to use the collar at home after all of the training - minimal shocks or not. Fast forward to a year, we meet Julie at Awesome Paws Academy, via The Woof Doggie Daycare (where she does training as well). Julie does "fear-free" training, focusing on praise as well as treats for rewards to encourage the behavior we want. We decided to send Jack through training once again, with hopefully better results on a different path. Thankfully, he had 4 weeks with Julie & we have seen improvement with commands as well as his desire to work for those treats! The best part about the experience is that she has a YouTube channel where you can see the progress, almost daily. There's still work to be done at home, to continue the training he received at Awesome Paws Academy. While there's still some issues we need to resolve, he's overall better behaved and I'd recommend this training to anyone as well as her lodge n' lazy program in case you need to go out of town and would like your pup in a home environment while you're away. More...

Reviewed on Facebook

13 March 2019

I am training in the long-distance program with Julie. My dog has issues that I have no idea how to correct. I have to admit that I was very skeptical in the beginning. I just couldn’t see how this could possibly work since I live so far away. I am amazed at the progress that I have seen in the few short weeks that I have been training under her guidance. Julie does not pressure you into moving on in your training until you are comfortable doing so. Without Julie’s knowledge and experience I would not have been able to change his behaviors. More...

Reviewed on Facebook

21 July 2018

Julie from Awesome Paws is such a wonderful behaviorist. I was struggling with my puppy, more than I had with any of my dogs, and I did not know what to do. She had been socialized, we went to training classes, and we continued to have the same issues. Rumi went to stay with Julie for two and a half weeks. When she came home she was almost completely potty trained, her reactivity (which was one of her biggest issues) was much more manageable, and she was following commands, which she was not doing before. Julie also worked with me to help me to be a better dog-mom, and to set Rumi up for success. Julie still works with her at The Woof while she is at daycare, and she continues to make a difference in her behavior and happiness. I don’t know where we would be without Julie! More...

Reviewed on Facebook

19 July 2018

Julie’s Lodge and Learn program has been a godsend for us. We adopted our Lab Farley in May 2017 and soon realized that his life as a stray left him with serious behavioral issues that needed more attention than even we, as experienced dog owners, could provide. It is truly amazing what Julie and Harper have been able to accomplish with Farley. For example, we no longer worry that he will be aggressive towards other dogs while on our walks. After working with Julie he walks like a perfect gentleman without any hostility. Instead of barking incessantly when he wants something, he will settle nicely and wait for us. Now when we go on vacation and Farley goes to Lodge and Learn, we know Julie will work on behavior issues and Farley will have great fun as well. More...

Reviewed on Facebook

25 May 2018

Julie is a great trainer/behaviorist and very patient with our dogs. She is also very willing to help off-hours. Highly recommend for anyone looking into training or changing your dog's behavior.

Reviewed on Google Maps

8 April 2018

I met Julie for the first time on a rescue mission. Since then she has been an awesome resource for me treating me so much! Currently we have one of our rescue pups lodging and learning, it’s awesome to see him blossom with all the video and picture updates! Highly recommend this amazing Behaviorist! More...

Reviewed on Facebook

2 August 2017

Julie came to our house 2 days ago and we are already seeing great improvements in our puppy's behavior! The skills she taught my husband, me and our 3 kids will be used for years to come! I'm SO glad we made the decision to have in-home training! Julie and her training techniques are life-savers! :) We look forward to group training classes in the future! More...

Reviewed on Facebook

3 July 2017

Julie is wonderful! Her knowledge of dog behavior is extensive and her force-free training methods not only train the dogs but build a strong relationship between the dog and owner. What I learned from just one of Julie's workshops has helped my husky, Sierra, so much. I'm eagerly awaiting the next workshop. For those who believe Huskies are difficult to train, try using Julie's methods. They work great!! More...

Reviewed on Facebook

17 May 2017

Mobile Pet Doctor has had the pleasure of working with Julie Westphal and Awesome Paws Academy since 2015. Our Clients and I are very happy with her comprehensive and positive approach to resolve each unique behavioral modification and training case. Julie’s expertise, knowledge and passion have made it easy for us to continue recommending her with confidence. Dr Bob -- Dr. Bob McClanahan Mobile Pet Doctor, LLC More...

Reviewed on Facebook

10 May 2017

I can't say enough about Julie and her positive methods to help dogs and owners learn. She makes it so easy once you break from your own habits and learn a new trick. Yes, we humans can learn new tricks too! More...

Reviewed on Facebook

20 April 2017

I looked into every dog trainer/behaviorist in the Racine, Kenosha, and Milwaukee area for my 2 year old dog and I have been more than satisfied with choosing Julie. She has such great knowledge about dog behavior and made herself 100% available for questions whenever I had them. I attend the Level One Manner Class that covers a variety of topics such as sit, stay, lay down, loose leash walking, no barking, eye contact, etc. She stays after class for questions and also answers questions via email. I've recommended her to both friends and family. More...

Reviewed on Facebook

19 April 2017

Julie has been instrumental in helping me become a better leader with my dogs. The method she uses taught me how to get the behavior I want in a positive loving manner. She is gentle and loving not only in her training methods but as a person as well. I have called on her several times over the last year whenever i have questions or concerns and she always addresses them in quick and timely fashion. Her knowledge about dogs and how to get the desired behavior in a positive, gentle manner surpasses any trainer I have worked with before. So glad to have met her! Her passion and commitment to educating owners on the proper way to train is a MUST for everyone interested in having a well behaved dog! She is incredible, both inside and out :) More...

Reviewed on Facebook

10 April 2017

Julie is an Awesome trainer. She has helped our 4 year old dog start to overcome her issues at the vets office. She offers to come and assist even though she no longer works at the office because that is how much she cares that me and my dog are successful at the Vet's office.

Reviewed on Facebook

3 March 2017

Julie has be a great help! She has helped me work with some pretty tough foster dogs. Julie is a great dog trainer that will always do what is best for the dogs!

Reviewed on Facebook

19 January 2017

Julie is a natural to work with dogs. She has the knowledge to communicate and understand them more than anyone I know. Northcentral Maltese Rescue, Inc as had the privilege to consult with Julie about many dog behaviors as well as having Julie show case her talents at our annual picnic. I have seen what she has accomplished with her own beloved Guinness and it was truly amazing for all to have had the opportunity to see and the same path she is taking her new little family member down. Julie has our highest recommendation. More...

Reviewed on Facebook


I love showing owners how to have fun while teaching their dogs the important Life Skills necessary to survive in our very human world. I use techniques which incorporate helping the dog Learn to Earn rewards (food, treats, toys, freedoms, praise, snuggles, etc) - everything you likely already give them for free, but all the while building their confidence and understanding of our very human world, much different from their own, all the while learning new skills and manners that will last a Lifetime without you purchasing aversive equipment or collars.

I also use games to help ENGAGE the dog and structure activities to build success and trust, like maneuvering agility or play equipment, learning useful tricks, and even veterinary and husbandry behaviors to help at the vet's office!

We focus on developing a solid foundation of understanding, so that our favorite obedience, "naked obedience," is established as quickly and as fun as possible, even in distracting environments, without having to rely on the leash and collar...making it eventually obsolete. Over the years we have learned many ways of building and proofing obedience habits and continue to expand our knowledge every day through our experience in the veterinary medical field, participation in continuing education seminars, through class instruction at local training facilities,and through trials and competitions with our own dogs. When searching for a "trainer" we believe experience matters...and not necessarily the amount of years they have been in business (although Julie has been actively interested in and practicing behavior modification since 2001)...but by what they can demonstrate with their own pets, as well as their clients. We strongly urge our potential clients to call around, research, and go observe training sessions before they ever attend one with their pet. We are more than happy to have you stop in on one of our local classes and observe us instructing at anytime. After the class has ended, we are thrilled to discuss what training options are available and which one is best for your situation.

Dog training is an UNREGULATED field...anyone can call themselves a trainer and can use any method they see fit. Unlike the dog training field, Julie is a licensed veterinary technician and is held to a higher standard because of her veterinary medical background. Unlike many trainers out there, she has taken an oath to Do No Harm. Furthermore, she is certified as a Level 2 Fear Free Professional and uses science-based and fear-free motivational methods that focus on relationship-based training, clear communication, and developing and strengthening the human-animal bond, based on trust...making leashes and collars obsolete. We focus on developing a solid foundation of understanding, so that our favorite obedience, "naked obedience," is established as quickly as possible using fun to help dogs learn problem solving. We firmly believe you should be able to use the SAME training method on ANY breed.


Teaching Basic Like Skills and Manners

Proofing Life Skills under Distractions and Adding Lifelong habits

Getting you Trial Ready/Ready for Titling

A variety of fun class options are offered for continuing your dog's education.

Programs available for Aggression, Anxiety, Reactivity, and modifying other unwanted behaviors.