Owned and operated by Terri Kaluza, Gold Star Dog School is a multi-faceted canine training/day care facility serving dogs and their owners in south King and north Pierce Counties. We pride ourselves in offering the finest instructors, training, services and products. We offer outstanding instruction for companion dog obedience training, as well as for performance sports such as competition obedience, rally and K-9 nose work.
Our premier services include:
Training classes taught by experienced instructors that are well respected, sought after and active in the dog community.
Day Care – your dog will go home well exercised and tired.
K9 Camp - Add training to day care
Private lessons for obedience or behavior issues
Boutique retail offering quality holistic dog food, treats, novelties, training equipment, toys, leashes, and collars.
Learn more about our facility here
We are more than just a training school – we are a gathering place for dog enthusiasts. It is a place where you are able to talk, laugh, and learn from each other about our dogs. We invite dog lovers to come to our facility to observe training in action and get to know other dog people and experience the fun, the joy, and the greatness dogs bring into our lives. We celebrate this by providing a casual place to come where you can relax and learn more about dogs and training in a fun and positive environment.
Owner & Instructor
Terri has had a love of all animals her entire life. Growing up she was never without pets, including dogs, cats, horses and other assorted rodents and poultry. She participated in
horse 4-H where her love for training and competition grew.
Baron, a German Shepherd is the dog she received her start in formal obedience training. They began taking classes in 1987, just to have a well-trained dog. She and Baron got
hooked on training and loved the relationship that evolved from the training. Terri credits Baron for giving her the chance to take her passion and turn it into a business.
Since that time, she has trained a sheltie and golden retrievers. Goldens are the breed she
currently owns and shows.
She has had multiple high in trials in both rally and obedience and national rankings.
She has won UKC Premier Invitational rally competitions with two of her dogs, and placed in obedience invitationals. She has also qualified two dogs to AKC Rally Nationals and finished in the Top 20 with both dogs.
Terri has taught dog training classes all around the Puget Sound for the last 30 years. In 2019 she opened the doors to her own dog training center - Gold Star Dog School.
Terri keeps up with current training trends by attending training and behavior classes, seminars, workshops and camps with internationally recognized trainers and behaviorists, including - Janice Gunn, Denise Fenzi, Ward Faulkner, Laurie Weaver, Sue Sternberg,
Sylvia Bishop, John Rogerson, Connie Cleveland, Brenda Aloff, Alex Robinson, Susan Garrett, Betsy Turner-Scapicchio and Linda Brennan.
While obedience is her main focus, she has also competed in agility, dock diving, barn hunt
and lure coursing.
Terri is a UKC Obedience and Rally judge and an AKC CGC Trick Dog Evaluator. She is also the Director of Training for King County Second Chance Dogs and a mentor for Animal Behavior College.
Terri believes in keeping training positive while giving the dog boundaries and making them
responsible for their behavior. She believes that flexibility is important in training, what works for one dog may not work for another. There are many techniques and Terri’s able to
evaluate each dog to find options that best suit each dog and owner.
She loves teaching obedience classes, working with behavior issues and helping to build a relationship between each dog and handler. Watching owners develop a good relationship with their dog when they are at a point of giving up is most rewarding. “I love watching my students succeed, be it in the show ring or just having a great
Vicky Lovejoy has been a student of animal behavior all of her life. She grew up competing horses first in gymkhana events and later in three-day eventing, stadium jumping, and dressage. She always had companion dogs who were both household pets and working dogs at the barn. When she began competing in agility, she was able to transfer her experience and knowledge of jumping dynamics with horses to helping dogs learn to efficiently and safely navigate agility courses. As a trainer n Long Beach, CA, she became well known for her jumping grid classes and seminars and a recognized competitor.
Vicky was in the first nosework class offered at the SPCA in Long Beach when the founders, Ron Gaunt, Amy Herot, and Jill Marie O’Brien first came up with the idea to offer a version of detection training to pet owners. As the activity developed into a sport, Vicky competed in the fledgling competitions. With the eventual formation of NACSW (National Association of Canine ScentWork), Vicky became a certified nosework instructor (CNWI) and ORT judge and certifying official. She is also certified as an AKC Scentwork judge and UKC nosework judge. She has multiple championships on all of her dogs in both agility and nosework and, in 2017, competed in the NACSW National Invitational with her Australian Shepherd, Kendra. Kendra has earned two titles in the new Summit competitions offered through NACSW for dogs who have completed their Elite Championship.
As her interest in dog training and fitness has developed, Vicky has earned certification as a FitPaws Master Trainer (FP-MT) and is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). She has national board certification in small animal massage and is licensed as a small animal massage practitioner (SAMP).
Heather has been training dogs as long as she can remember, one of the perks of having an obedience instructor as a mother. She started agility in 2000 with her German Shepherd, named Chase. She was hesitant to try it and only went to agility class after saying, "I'll try it, but I'll never compete".
How quickly things changed, as she learned she had natural knack for agility training and was hooked! A few years later she also started training and competing with Golden Retriever, Rivi. Volunteering to teach 4-H agility classes while still in high school, is where Heather found her love for teaching. She was given an amazing opportunity to start teaching at Argus Ranch in 2003, where she taught weekly classes for 17 years. Now she is self employed and teaches in Buckley and Auburn. She has learned a lot about dog training from her mom and her training partner, Gillian Crawford. She credits them for teaching her how to teach people and dogs.
Two dogs are responsible for where she is now, and shaped her agility career -
Golden Retriever, Derby (MACH2 Spirit's Run for the Roses CD RA). Derby passed away in 2017.
Border Collie, Chip (MACH Speedoggie Woowho PCDX RN).
In 2020, Prim became the first girl to join the family!
Heather and her dogs also compete in obedience and rally, Derby earned his CD and Rally Advance Title, Chip has his PCDX and Rally Novice Title.
Heather is even more proud of her student's accomplishments than she is of her own. Whether it's qualifying for and attending National Championships, Breed Nationals, and the Invitational, or racking up multiple MACHs and PACHs, or simply having a blast with their dog and upholding criteria at local competitions.
Training Chip brought Heather to explore many new training and handling methods, as well as running contacts. Heather believes that there is no "one size fits all" for agility training, and helps her students to learn what works best for their individual dogs. An emphasis is placed on trained skills, so that the dog knows exactly what is expected out of them and develops strong obstacle commitment, allowing the handler to stay ahead on course. Heather has worked with Silvia Trkman, Susan Garrett, Justine Davenport, Tori Self, and Greg Derrett, and draws inspiration from all of them. She believes there is always something more to learn, and continues her education by attending seminars and doing online training with various instructors.
Jean has been crazy about critters since childhood and put her passion into action graduating from Moorpark College’s Exotic Animal Training and Management Program. Her degree was put into use professionally with a wide range of animal species in zoos, aquariums and for TV and movie work. Her life has been full of pets as well including snakes, cats, birds and of course dogs. New to Gold Star Dog School, she was an original instructor with Positive Approach Training Programs in Tacoma. Since 1994 she has been helping families and their dogs build lasting, loving relationships through reward-based training. For more than 20 years she has taught thousands of classes and worked individually with people and their pets on a wide range of subjects from prepping for puppies to reactive and aggressive dogs. Jean believes in setting people and their pets up for success utilizing positive reinforcement methods working with the abilities and goals of the family to resolve behavioral issues and develop connections between pets and their people. She has been involved personally in many aspects of the dog world, as an active rescue volunteer for over 25 years, showing dogs in confirmation, titling dogs in obedience and agility and raising litters. Jean’s family includes a gaggle of three golden retrievers who can often be seen helping with classes and lessons.
Lezlie has been training dogs for over 50 years. She recently moved to the Seattle area after living in the
TriCities area for 20 years. There she was a past President and training director of the Columbia Basin
Dog Training Club and taught extensively at 4-Paws DogWorks in Richland. She is a member of the
National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors ( NADOI) Emerald City K-9 Dancers, Rally Freestyle
Elements. She has taught CGC, Star Puppy and companion classes, all levels of obedience, rally, agility
and freestyle. Her dogs have done therapy work, and successfully competed in obedience, rally, tracking nosework, tricks, agility, coursing and canine freestyle.
Lezlie fell in love with Canine Freestyle about 13 years ago, when she realized that Freestyle judges have no idea what anyone is gong to do when they enter the ring. It turned out to be a great outlet for her
bright but very creative Papillon, Freckles. She is excited to share this rewarding and delightful sport.