Heart of Gold Canine training focuses on the unique bond possible between a dog and their owner and elevating that to a new level of mutual understanding.


Our approach teaches an understanding of why dogs exhibit specific behaviors and how improving communication between human and canine can create a healthy, happy, and lifelong partnership. Heart of Gold Canine dog training is personalized, balanced, and employs techniques that do not use fear, pain, or intimidation as motivation. We work with all breeds, ages & behaviors as well as families in all walks of life.


Our mission is to help our students shine, because we believe that every dog has a heart of gold.


Meet Octayvia Rickard

"From a very young age animals were a large part of my life, and I very much intended to make them a career. Now, as a young adult, the title "dog lady" is one worn proudly to exemplify the dedication to and compassion for our canine companions." - Octayvia Rickard

Octayvia's journey began with Wamogo Highschool as part of the Vo-Ag program and as a member of FFA. After graduation, she attended at UConn on the Pre-Vet track and started a part-time job as a kennel attendant for a local trainer. It was there where she was exposed to dog training and behavior for the first time, and, well, the rest is history.


In 2017, she graduated from A Closer Bond School For Dog trainers with a Master Trainer & Canine Behaviorist certification and in 2018 she returned for continuing education with a focus on service dog training and tracking. Using the techniques she learned from her studies, she launched Heart of Gold Canine in efforts to provide affordable training, and to grow the Therapy Dog Team population in the area. In her free time Octayvia is an active volunteer with her dog, Boo, at local nursing homes, hospitals and schools.  In her free time, she competes in dog sports, and enjoys hiking the great outdoors with her two dogs. 


  • Master Trainer & Canine Behaviorist, A Closer Bond School For Dog Trainers (Palatine, IL)

  • CGC Evaluator, AKC

  • Therapy Dog Team & Evaluator, Bright & Beautiful Therapy Dogs

  • R.E.A.D. Team, Intermountain Therapy Animals



Head of Security


Public Outreach Coordinator

Lauren W.

Assistant Trainer


Customer Service Supervisor


Kennel Manager



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Monday - Saturday: 9am - 8pm

Sunday: Closed


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