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Tailored Training, Radiant Results: Heart of Gold Canine, Your Beacon of Canine Excellence

At Heart of Gold Canine Training, our mission is to craft unforgettable moments of connection between dogs and their families. Through expert training grounded in patience and positivity, we aim to shape well-behaved, happy dogs, leaving an indelible mark of golden memories on the journey of companionship. We focus on cultivating a profound connection that goes beyond obedience, teaching a comprehensive understanding of canine behaviors. By fostering clear communication between humans and their furry companions, we aim to create a foundation for a healthy, happy, and lifelong partnership.

Our approach is characterized by personalized and balanced training, utilizing techniques rooted in positive reinforcement. With patience and passion, we strive to mold well-behaved and happy dogs, creating lasting connections that shine with the golden glow of understanding and trust. We firmly reject fear, pain, or intimidation as motivators, prioritizing the well-being and comfort of every canine student. We welcome dogs of all breeds, ages, and behaviors, working with families from diverse backgrounds. As a queer, woman-owned, and operated business, inclusivity is at the core of our values.

Our overarching goal is to help every student—both human and canine—shine. We believe in unlocking the heart of gold within every dog, fostering a harmonious relationship that enriches the lives of both ends of the leash.

Helping you and your canine shine!


Meet 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 UConn pursuing veterinary medicine. While at college,  she 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 she quickly realized her passion for helping dogs and their families was best suited in behavior. 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.


"I was training dogs that veterinarians couldn't help. I thought the only way to help dogs was to become a veterinarian, but I was wrong! I have trained countless dogs on their way to be euthanized due to dangerous behaviors, and by stepping in with a leash and collar I was able to quite literally save their lives."


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, as a therapy dog team, and competing in dog sports with her pups.


"Everyone always asks what I do when I am not training clients dogs - I am training my own! I was taught growing up that if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life, and I can attest that is 100% true."  


  • 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

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Head of Security



Public Outreach Coordinator


Lauren W.

Assistant Trainer



Customer Service Supervisor



Kennel Manager

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