Amber Pickren, CPDT-KA - Durango Dog Trainer - Gentle Canine Dog Training
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Amber Pickren, CPDT-KA – Durango Dog Trainer

If you have been in Durango for awhile you may know Amber from Willow Tree Kennel.  Amber has over 9 years experience running a dog boarding facility.  She has easily handled over 10,000 dogs in her career. As the owner of Gentle Canine LLC, she is continuing her passion working with dogs.

What makes Amber amazing is that throughout the years she has chosen to use positive methods with dogs.  I don’t know if this is because she has a Psychology Degree from Fort Lewis or if it’s because she has learned that painful methods make behavioral situations worse, she is always keeping the dogs emotional well being in the forefront of her handling and training.

14516315_10208727038105639_1494442910320294110_nAmber is our Reactivity, Aggression, and Behavior Modification trainer. She has the high quality skill and ability that Gentle Canine demands when working with our aggression cases. As a Certified Pet Dog Trainer- Knowledge assessed (CPDT-KA), she had to have hundreds of hours handling and training dogs and pass a national exam. She is also a AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator.


What can you learn from boarding dogs? Turns out a ton!  You see a lot of stressed dogs at a boarding kennel.  As kennel manager, Amber made it personal to see that every dog had as reduced amount of stress as possible.  Making friends with growly dogs is Amber’s specialty. Amber effortlessly creates perfectly matched doggy playgroups over and over.  From young dogs to old dogs she has the talent to determine what group will work and what group won’t.  And the talent to remove a dog from a group who isn’t having fun or is overwhelmed.  This is such an important skill in keeping dogs safe and happy in any situation.



Durango dog trainer and owner of GentleCanine LLC Amber Pickren CPDT-KAAmber realizes that not all dog learn the same way. She takes pride in her ability to personalize training plans to fit the needs of her clients, and to help owners understand how to clearly communicate with their dogs. She really enjoys getting to know her clients personally and helping them achieve their goals. Amber is also our nose work specialist, with experience in cadaver, trailing, shed antler and NACSW training.






Amber and her husband Matt have lived in Durango since 2003. They love getting out into the mountains, enjoying rock climbing, trail running and hiking with their dogs. Amber throughly enjoys having her dogs as her outdoor adventure buddies, and loves to share that training with other. As avid rock climbers they have traveled all around the states and the world climbing.


1009861_10201163162213469_1306948689_nAmber and Matt share their life with dogs Lilly, and Imogene (her new pointer X Beagle puppy rescue) – and cat Dyno. Lilly and Imogene have passed their AKC Canine Good Citizen Tests and Lily passed her Therapy Dog test.