About Us

Our Philosophy

I am a “Real-World” dog trainer, who will work with your dog in real-life situations. It is highly unlikely that there will come a point in time when your dog is at the dog park with tons of dogs running, playing, and wrestling around them and they will be sitting waiting for you to call them, it rarely happens, which is why it is important to have a dog that has 100% off-leash recall abilities no matter how high the distraction is. Your dog might lie down on command or sit on command and “stay” at home but not when distracted by kids running around, ambulances driving by, baby strollers rolling by, or other dogs barking and lunging at them. Your dog should do a solid “down/stay” AND a solid “sit/stay” until you give another command, with no problem.

Most dogs are born to be followers but the big mistake most people make is when they humanize the dog, which gives them that role of authority and they begin to become leader and telling YOU what to do. If you treat your dog like a kind/Queen, don’t be surprised when they set rules for THEIR kingdom. Because we deal with a lot of aggressive dogs, I have incredible structure in my training. Some people might find my training extreme, but when your dog is chasing a squirrel and heading into the street, do you want your dog to respond to you only 50% or 75% of the time or listen to you 100% of the time? Remember, too, that I do not attempt to take the playfulness out of your dog. Play is important, at appropriate times and places. We incorporate in our training rules, boundaries and limitations which betters the dog understanding of becoming a follower and understanding there is a time and place for everything.

Meet Our Team

Nelson Mendoza – Owner & Founder of The Happy K-9
My name is Nelson Mendoza and I am a Dog Obedience and Behavior Modification dog trainer.
Here at The Happy K-9, we train dog owners and rehabilitate/educate dogs. We have trained hand in hand with the two top dog trainers on the east and west coast, with Sean O’Shea, owner of The Good Dog in California and who is also one of Cesar Millan’s personal hired trainers in Cesar’s “highly-acclaimed seminar ‘Training Cesars Way’”. On the East Coast, we have trained with Jeff Gellman, owner of ‘Solid K-9 Training’ who has many awards for the best board and train facility and is very well known for rehabilitating dogs that are marked ‘red zone’, overall a fantastic man and dog trainer/behavioralist. I made my way up to Nova Scotia, Canada for a shadow program with Ted Efthdyimiadis from Mango Dogs one of the best trainers in the industry dealing with rehabilitating dogs with real genetic aggression, dog aggression, human aggression, resource guarding, etc.
We have trained with the best which is why we give people the best results.
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Why I chose to work with dogs?

Working with dogs is so therapeutic in a way and it just brings a smile to my face every morning knowing I’m coming to work and seeing my fur balls!

Why I chose the happy k-9?

I had a dog his name was Hunter who was food/ human aggressive. We had contacted a trainer beforehand for his aggression but we didn’t see any changes. I entered in contact with Nelson and he had asked me to come in for an evaluation. During the evaluation, that didn’t even last an hour, Nelson managed to touch Hunters food bowl while he was eating and managed to introduce a new person in the room without him showing any aggression. Since then I’ve always looked at dogs different and once I saw the job listing I knew I had to join his team to continue learning about dogs.


Why did I choose to work with dogs?

I’ve always had an interest for the animal world. At 15 years old I got my first job grooming dogs and I loved working with animals so much that I decided to work part time at a dog daycare as well. My passion truly is helping animals as much as I can. I dont see myself never not working with animals!

Why the happy k9?

As much as I loved both jobs and they had their perks it also came with seeing the not so great sides of dogs. With grooming, some dogs were very uncomfortable (understandably in a new setting that can be scary) and did not do well at the groomers and were not welcomed back. At a dog daycare that did not offer a balance of structure and play a lot of dogs would unfortunately get kicked out because of their bad behavior. With both of these experiences I wanted to offer help to those dogs who were misunderstood and that’s what made me really want to start my career in dog training.


Why i chose to work with dogs?

Growing up, I always had dogs! I’ve always had a passion with animals and working with dogs was definitely one of them!

Why the Happy K-9?

I chose The Happy K-9 because it is a structured environment. Before THK-9, my dog had no discipline, rules or boundaries, plenty of love though. After coming to our training/ daycare facility, there was a dramatic change in her behavior and behavior towards dogs. She strives through structure!


Why I chose to work with dogs?

Working with dogs is one thing but working with dogs that have a past is another. They come in shutdown, nervous, fearful, aggressive, etc and when they go through our program and finally can do what owners never thought they would ever do, it’s a life changing moment. I love being apart of the transformation whether it be a rehab case or a maintainer case, we just want to make sure they go home the best version of themselves. Knowing that I was apart of that process – that’s why I work with dogs.

Why The Happy K-9?

I trusted Nelson from the beginning, don’t know why, I just trusted my gut. His drive, his determination to help owners and dogs and his ability to problem solve. He told me 8 years ago and I’ll never forget, “I want to help the owners that everyone turns away, I want to give them hope”. He always makes sure his team is taken care of, makes sure his clients are taken care of and will not sleep unless everything is taken care of — trust me, I know! Been here 8 years and don’t plan on leaving.

Nelson Sr.

Why you chose to work with dogs ?

They say if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.

Why The Happy K-9?

The main reason I chose The Happy k-9 is because they welcome everyone and never believe that hope is lost because change is always possible with proper tools and information.