Our Training Program 

(Pictured above is our spacious and interactive training yard; The dog pictured is the on-site trainer, Lara’s personal standard golden.)

Read about our wonderful trainers & hear training testimonials from past clients!!

Learn about our NEW Apprenticeship Program!

What is better then bringing home your new Comfort Retriever® puppy?! Bringing home your puppy that has had their basic training already started for you! It is so exciting to be able to have a new member of the family but super important to start them off on the right paw. Here at GoldenQuest, we know that setting a solid foundation through training and socialization are a key element to giving your puppy the best start possible!

Our trainers are here to start that training so when you receive your new best friend they already have grasped many important obedience concepts. Training is a extremely important as it not only acts as a bonding relationship building between you and your dog but it also ensures that you both are able to have a wonderfully happy life together from the beginning.

Our recommended training program is for 3 weeks of off-site training, (learn the difference between our off-site and on-site training program here) This program includes:

  • sit, sit-stay
  • down, down-stay
  • stand
  • place, place-stay
  • look (an eye-contact cue)
  • leave-it
  • crate
  • come
  • heel
  • under (3 weeks only)
  • trick (individual to puppy; 3 weeks only)

These combination of obedience cues will help provide your new Comfort Retriever® with a wonderful start to their new life with you! Although all dogs and puppies learn at different paces, our trainers work with your puppy to figure out what is being asked of them. The cost of the training program is just $1950 for 3 weeks of offsite and $1350 for 3 weeks of on-site training (learn the difference between on versus off site training here). Additional weeks are always encouraged, prices are $650 for each additional off-site week and $450 for each added week for on-site training. New cues and a continuation of the prior weeks learnings take place each added week of training and to help your new Comfort Retriever® get stronger with performing them. 

During your Comfort Retriever® puppy’s training, you and your family will receive updates on his or her’s progress every weekend both in a video and in a “report card” format.

Here is an Example Training Report Card!

Here is an Example Training Video after 2 weeks.

(Disclaimer: EVERY puppy is different and therefore learns at their own pace; has their own strengths and weaknesses as well as learning curves. Please do NOT expect every puppy to look like the next; you’ll notice in the different videos how the individual dogs and puppies differ on performance. Our primary focus is manners and to better help your puppy learn, we will work at their pace so some puppies learn everything listed above quickly while others still struggle with a few things.)




Along with our on-site trainers, we have more amazing trainers that train exclusively off-site or that play multiple roles. Families may absolutely request a specific trainer but should keep in mind that availability and overall scheduling plays a key role in the pairing of trainer with trainee.


 Lara Guthrie —  Head Trainer

Lara Guthrie began fostering and training dogs the first quarter of her freshman year in college. Half a dozen future service dog fosters later, Lara graduated Wright State University with her Bachelors in Psychology.

Once graduated she was accepted to Starmark Academy for Professional Dog Trainers in Hutto, Texas. After graduating Starmark with her Canine Training and Behavior Specialist Certification, she went home to Ohio and began Training PAWSible to serve families from her hometown.

She is now working here with us at GoldenQuest to set the best foundations for your future Comfort Retriever®.  Lara has brought the Puppy Culture© program by Jane Killion to our puppies which starts from the breeding, prenatal and the whelping process until the time your puppy goes home. You can learn more about Puppy Culture here. Learn more about how Puppy Culture here at GoldenQuest here.

 Lara loves working with dogs and has two of her own standard golden retrievers, Imani (CGC, NTD, ITD) who frequently is around GoldenQuest helping to socialize our Comfort Retriever® pups with ‘bigger’ dogs and Nour, a retried breeder from a service dog organization. She recently welcomed a Comfort Retriever®, Una to the family. Imani and Lara are currently working towards their Advanced Trick Dog title; while Nour and Una are working towards their Barn Hunt titles. 

” Winston (KA6) is a love bug!  I am blessed to have him.  My compliments to all of you at GoldenQuest for your efforts to raise such wonderful dogs that will bring joy to not only me but the people he will come in contact with at the Library where I work and care facilities that he will visit later on. I am going to send Lara Guthrie an email and update her on Winston’s home training.  It was well worth the investment to have Lara train him at an early age.  He knows his commands – doesn’t always want to do them but for the most part he follows them – can’t ask for more than that.  I can’t walk down the block without people of all ages saying how beautiful and friendly he is.  Also, he is fairly confident of new things.
Thank you
Lorraine “
 Here is a video compilation of Lara’s previous client dogs, and here is a video of her with one of our GoldenQuest puppies, Lucky (KA1). Learn more about Lara here!

Carolyn YurkoskiLead Puppy Enrichment Trainer & Off Site Trainer

Carolyn Yurkoski is an undergraduate student at the University of Kentucky and is expected to graduate next May, 2018, with a B.S. in Animal Science. With this degree, she would like to attend Veterinary School to receive her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. Primarily fascinated with the surgical aspect of the profession, she also has an interest in animal conservation and would like to include that field of work into her studies and lifestyle. She has now begun to explore the realm of animal training and couldn’t be more enthusiastic about working here with us at GoldenQuest!

Carolyn grew up in the small town of Medina, Ohio. From a very young age, she has always cared for animals and between her and her two sisters, she has personal experience raising dozens of different types of animals. Since being a student at the University of Kentucky, she has also gained experience working with, and handling, a number of large animal breeds. In 2015, Carolyn spent the summer volunteering as a veterinarian in Central America where she traveled through parts of Costa Rica and Nicaragua with a team of other veterinarians, doctors, and dentists. With a goal of improving animal overpopulation and their overall well-being, her team provided check-ups, vaccinations, and spays or neuters to hundreds of animals. This experience was life changing and self-assuring that this lifestyle is where she belongs and where she shines.

Carolyn has spent the past year working as a kennel attendant and a vet technician assistant, but is now ready to put her training skills to work. She is currently assisting us in heading our Puppy Culture Enrichment program also. Her optimistic attitude and dedication to the training and Puppy Culture program here at GoldenQuest ensures that our Comfort Retrievers are receiving the best of what our program offers.

To see videos of some of these Comfort Retrievers throughout their training, visit my YouTube channel: Carolyn Yurkoski.

Kona is great and adjusting well.  The training was great.  Made our lives so much easier.  Can’t tell you how great of a job Carolyn did.  Would highly recommend her to anyone. “ -Plaga Family



Maggie RabrenOn Site Trainer

Maggie Rabren is an undergraduate student working towards a Marketing degree at the University of Kentucky and is expected to graduate in December 2019. She can best be described by her passion for animals and fascination with their behavior. Her interest began with her parent’s Standard Poodle that she “taught” to jump over hay bales when she was eight years old. Once she was older, she adopted her own dog and continues to train and work with her large, goofy, and excited companion.

Maggie has worked extensively with horses throughout her personal life and professional career. She started training when she was 13 years old and has since trained over two dozen horses in a variety of disciplines. Notably, Maggie has competed in the National Barrel Horse Association’s Youth World World Championships on three separate occasions.  Out of high school Maggie started a job working with yearlings and foals at Coolmore America: Ashford Stud. While at Ashford she oversaw the training of foals to walk on a lead and to pick up their feet when asked. In the yearling division she assisted in teaching them to accept bits and surcingles for their workouts in the round pen. In 2016, she worked as a vet tech for the world renown Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in the ICU where she would monitor, medicate and care for sick horses. Growing through this experience Maggie became well rounded in the treatment and care of animals.

Maggie’s love of training is not only with horses but also with dogs. She took her knowledge of training horses and used that to train her own dogs as well as the dogs of friends and families. Maggie loved the process of getting dogs to think through tricks and building their intelligence. She wanted to extend her knowledge and found  GoldenQuest. Maggie went through the rigorous apprenticeship where she worked one on one with GoldenQuest’s head trainer. She was given an older dog of ours, one whom had no prior training, and had two weeks to teach him basic obedience. At the end of the ten days she had successfully trained her demo dog to complete fifteen different commands. Maggie is overjoyed to be here at GoldenQuest and to help our Comfort Retrievers to put their best paw forward in life!

To see videos of some of these Comfort Retrievers throughout their training, visit my YouTube channel: Maggie Rabern.


Chris CannonOff Site Trainer

 Chris Cannon is a new addition to the GoldenQuest training family. A part from helping keep our streets safe as a Kentucky Police Officer, Chris has a passion for training dogs.
“I have been working dogs since 1999 when I got my German Shepherd, Zoey. She was a  awesome girl. Because if her I started dog training by joining local clubs. We did obedience and tracking. 

I loved watching dogs and owners work together as a team whether through sport or companionship training. A well trained dog is a joy to share a life with.
I began training dogs professionally approximately five years ago. My goal is to help dogs fit into the lifestyle of their new homes. 
Over the years I have had the pleasure of working with everything from Havanese to Pit bulls to doodles and everything else along the spectrum.
I am an AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluator and the Kentucky field trainer for a national service dog provider. “

Ashley Anderson — Off Site Trainer

Ashley Anderson is our first off-site Trainer at GoldenQuest. She has been surrounded by dogs her entire life thanks to her mother, a professional dog trainer, and a family of animal lovers. This consistent exposure helped Ashley quickly realize that she shares her mother’s passion for dog training and behavior modification. Ashley began by shadowing her mother during training sessions and assisting her whenever possible. Using the knowledge and skills her mother imparted, Ashley soon began dog-sitting and training puppies on her own. Additionally, she took on the responsibility for the training of one of the family dogs, Moose.

Currently, Ashley is the President of the 4H Dog Club in her home county. She also serves as one of the training leaders for the club. This enables her to work with a variety of dogs and to teach younger children how to care for and train their dogs. At their weekly 4H meetings, they work on basic skills and manners but also teach the disciplines of Obedience, Showmanship, Rally and Agility. Ashley and her dog, Moose have won numerous 1st Place ribbons and awards for Obedience, Showmanship, and Rally. 

Ashley has thoroughly enjoyed working with Comfort Retrievers and has achieved tremendous results working with puppies ranging from 8 weeks to 10 months. She is able to successfully tailor her training regimen based on the puppy’s age, temperament, and the clients’ family dynamics.

Here’s what one client had to say about her training experience with Ashley, “We were so pleased to have Ashley train our dog! She sent lots of photos and updates during his time with her and she made weekly videos of her training sessions with him.  This was particularly helpful for us because we were able to use the same training techniques to continue training him at our home.  Ashley was also very responsive to our questions and always willing to give us suggestions, even weeks after our pup had left her.  She is truly wonderful with the dogs she works with.” ~Lori W.

To read additional testimonials from clients Ashley has worked with please click here. View Ashley’s past training videos here!



Libby Rockaway  — Currently Unavailable To Take in Training Puppies

When Libby Rockaway was 8 years old she began training her first dog and over the years her dogs and she has received awards in 4-H and AKC obedience, and she became her county’s 4-H Dog Club leader – teaching kids how to train their own dogs.

Libby is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) as well as the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP).

Since 2011, she trained over 50 Comfort Retrievers®, teaching them obedience commands and manners. These pups have been for clients across the U.S., Brazil, and Dubai. To see videos of some of these Comfort Retrievers after their training, see my YouTube channel: libbyrockaway.  

In 2014, she began to write down the process she trains the puppies with, which eventually she compiled into a book, Puppy Steps: Practical Training for Your New Best Friend, which is available for purchase here at GoldenQuest! It is written for young adults, or for those who would like a straight forward guide to raising a well behaved puppy. It includes step-by-step photos, as well as illustrations of a Fido character to help demonstrate concepts.

The area of dog training that she is most passionate is service dogs, specifically Diabetic Alert Dogs. Since 2013, Libby has trained three Comfort Retrievers® to become Diabetic Alert Dogs. The puppies lived in her home and Libby taught them to alert to low and high blood sugars and the necessary public access skills to be a service dog. Each of those dogs passed their public access and are now placed as successful Diabetic Alert Dogs with families in various states. 
Currently, Libby is attending the University of Pennsylvania, studying Cognitive Science at Penn. Libby just selected her next Diabetic Alert Dog Trainee from one of our Comfort Retriever® litters, whom she will train while she continues going to school. You can learn more about Libby Rockaway on her website

“Libby understands her clients and the puppies she trains.  This, combined with her experience, skill, warmth and great ability to communicate, produce happy and meaningful results for all.  Our family and Scout are deeply grateful to her!”
 – Amy Taylor and Nelson Rockefeller




Do you know someone that is local to the Lexington, KY area and would love to learn how to train puppies? We now have an Apprenticeship Program available for select individuals! Read more about it here!