Helping Hounds Training is proud to serve St. Charles and St. Louis Counties in Missouri. We believe that force-free methods of training lead to strong relationships between owners and their dogs. Using only force-free techniques we have trained thousands of dogs over the years to remedy behavior problems ranging from aggression and anxieties to more common problems of chewing, jumping and leash pulling. If you want a well-mannered family pet without using harsh corrections or punishment, Helping Hounds is here to help!
Owner and Executive Trainer
Erin Wigginton, CPDT-KA*
Erin discovered her passion for dog obedience training in 1999 and started teaching group obedience classes after a 6 month apprenticeship with a local training facility. She taught classes at that facility for three years before transitioning to private in-home lessons.
Erin’s training philosophy changed drastically after she adopted her female pit bull, Ava, in 2005. While Erin had practiced traditional training methods (involving collar corrections and dominance theory) for 6 years, Ava was not responding well to this type of training. After consulting with a colleague, Erin scheduled Ava to begin a clicker training class. Within the first ten minutes of that class Erin was completely converted to using clicker training. With clicker techniques the dogs and owners were happier, less frustrated, more successful and training took a fraction of the time it would have taken with traditional training methods. Ava thrived and graduated at the top of her class. She and Erin never looked back.
While she enjoys working with dogs of all breeds, ages and behaviors, Erin specializes in working with difficult dogs and “bully breeds”. With over a decade of experience with American pit bull terriers and other bulldog and terrier breeds such as American bulldogs, boxers, American Staffordshire terriers and Staffordshire bull terriers, Helping Hounds is the go-to training resource for pit bulls and pit bull mixes! Erin owns two rescued pit bull mixes and enjoys working with “bullies” of all kinds.
Erin believes her clients deserve to know that she is dedicated to learning the most modern, scientifically sound training techniques. She pursues her own continuing education by taking classes and seminars through the Greater St. Louis Training Club, attending local and national seminars and conferences and reading the latest books and articles written by trainers and veterinary behaviorists who are pioneering the field of animal behavior modification. She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), is certified in Pet First Aid through the Pet Professional Guild and is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, The Pet Professional Guild, and is an approved evaluator for the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program. In 2015 Erin was proud to become a mentor trainer for CATCH Canine Training Academy and for Animal Behavior College to help student trainers on their journey toward professional dog training. Erin is currently pursuing her coursework requirement for her certification as a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) which signifies her specialty in working with anxious and aggressive dogs. She hopes to fulfill her certification requirements by winter 2016. Erin enjoys writing articles and blogs for various sites including Animal Wellness Magazine and The Chronicle of the Dog and she recently published her first book, A Positively Perfect Pit Bull In Six Simple Steps, which is now available for sale on Amazon.com.
*Training Certifications Defined: CPDT-KA – Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed