Amy Cook, Ph.D. has been training dogs for over 25 years, and through Full Circle Dog Training and Play Way Dogs in Oakland, CA, has been specializing in the rehabilitation of shy and fearful dogs for almost 20 years. She is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant through the IAABC, a longstanding professional member of the APDT, and was one of the first trainers nationally to become a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through independent evaluation. She is a graduate of the SFSPCA academy for dog trainers and has attended all 4 "chicken camps" in Hot Springs, Arkansas, taught by Bob Bailey. Amy also owns the "shy-k9s" list on yahoo, a 4000-member group dedicated to the rehabilitation of fearful dogs, and has moderated there since 2001.

Amy has worked for the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society, the San Francisco Animal Care and Control, and has provided behavioral evaluations for shelters and rescues throughout the Bay Area of California. She currently works with the Anti-Cruelty team at the ASPCA doing behavioral evaluations and psychological enrichment of the dogs seized in dog fighting, puppy mill, and hoarding cases. 

Amy returned to school in 2006 to get her PhD in Psychology from UC Berkeley. Her research focused on the dog-human relationship and its effect on the problem solving strategies dogs employ. She has also studied causal inference in dogs and toddlers with Anna Waismeyer and Alison Gopnik, and currently works with Lucia Jacobs on dog olfaction. She has extensive experience as a graduate student instructor, having taught sections of Introductory Psychology (both in person and online), Human Emotion, Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Stigma and Prejudice, Statistics, Animal Cognition, and has taught Fundamentals of Psychology and Developmental Psychology as a full instructor.

Her dogs have trained, participated, and titled in Rally, Competition Obedience, Agility, Flyball, Nosework and Barn Hunt, and her young whippet loves agility best!

Amy's Current and Upcoming Courses

Contact Information

Have a question about an upcoming course taught by Amy?  Not sure if your dog is suitable for a specific class?   We welcome you to contact instructors by email to make sure the course is suitable for you and your dog.

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Student Testimonials

BH110: Dealing With The Bogeyman

I am going to miss this class! I feel I got to know the other participants, their dogs and their struggles. Amy's lecture materials and basic premises were reflected again and again in the homework forum. The concepts of behavioral change just aren't easy to grasp. We have been working for years now in our attempts to affect change in our easily aroused Aussie. I felt I was quite familiar with the concept of "threshold" as an example. In this class I feel I am finally starting to get it! Amy's analogy of the traffic signal (green/yellow/orange/red) when talking about thresholds has been invaluable. I use it daily. Thank you, Amy, for your thoughtful input and your support throughout this class. Sandy H 

The "Dealing with the Bogeyman Course" is extremely instructive. All the "exercises" suggested during the course are aimed at helping dogs overcome their fear and they really work. The most valuable thing, to me, was the reminder about keeping under threshold. Also extremely valuable was that I was able to arm myself with good information to be able to tell people that I knew what I was doing when I "comforted" my scared young dog instead of "making her snap out of it". Sarah G

Bogeyman has given us a renewed focus and energy for our obedience competition. Amy has such a great knowledge and ideas to help you work through any type of issue. You could see the dogs transform over the course of the class, as well as a plan for moving forward after the class. Melissa C

While working under Amy's guidance, I started to feel more confident about any potential triggers that we could come across. We started to enjoy our relaxed (!) walks together opposed to my dog being frantic looking for things to sniff, stare or pounce at. We learned so much in this class and will continue to practice our skills and grow confidence and appropriate behavior. Thank you, Amy! Anya K.

I am very pleased with the value of my course Dealing with the Bogeyman. I felt like I was achieving something each training session. What a relief to finally have someone see what I see, and give me a unique training plan. Cheers Tracey M and Wallace


BH150: Management For Reactive Dogs

It was a really great experience for me and my dog. All lectures were clear and I admire Amy´s style of explanation and her remarkable power of observation and details. It was for the first time I understand clearly not only HOW to do it, but also WHY to do it.

I loved this class and so wish I had taken it at Gold. Although I have worked with Bogeyman over many sessions, this was the perfect class for us. I “know” all these techniques, but turns out I didn’t know them as well as I might. As an example, she goes over loose leash walking in 6 different lectures with a new twist – how to “get out of Dodge” when your dog is in trouble. The goal is to move smoothly and confidently, ideally with a happy, cooperative dog. Her lectures in this class help you get there. Amy’s lectures are gems. The forums are filled with practical advice and lots of food for thought. Her videos are specific and helpful. In addition Amy recognizes how beleaguered those of us with reactive dogs can be. She is positive and encouraging. You come away thinking “I can do this!”

I thought this class was great! I learned A LOT even though I was only lurking at the bronze level. Even without the specific feedback I would have gotten at higher class levels, I still thought the class was worthwhile learning from others. At first I thought an online training class would be strange but being able to go back over the class videos and lectures time and time again was a big plus. I definitely recommend this class to anyone with a reactive dog. Anita C.

Great class. Instructor answers all questions fully and clearly. Very thorough. Lectures leave little to question regarding her responses to students. I would take classes she offers in a New York minute.

The course description undersells the value of this class -- I've been managing my reactive dog (pretty effectively) for 4 years and still learned several new tricks and tips

BH101: Introduction To Learning Theory

Through this class, I have discovered a major error I was making in my approach to obedience training, and I have an approach to fixing it! I would not have this understanding without this class, and I would be a much less successful trainer. Patti H.

Amy Cook is a master at explaining complex learning theory and then translating that theory into practical advice. This is not a cookie-cutter 'how-to' course, but a course that teaches you how to think about learning and to analyze for yourself. It improved my understanding of my dog and my training craft by leaps and bounds! Gay H.

Through Amy Cook's Learning Theory class I finally understand the 4 quadrants of operant conditioning and am better able to utilize them! I feel I got a good introduction to current scientific thinking and that I am in a stronger position to make better decisions in both training and behavior modification -- why something might work or why it might not work. Amy's friendly and personal manner seemed to bring forum participants together to deepen the class discussions. Sandy H

Excellent course! The best material I have read on learning theory thus far, as it was written in a clear 'everyday language' so I could grasp the concepts and actively apply to my daily training. Ingrid I.