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 and hear training testimonials below!!

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 standard on-site training program is for 2 weeks; this will include 10 days of hands-on training and 4 boarding days that will aide in their crate training. This program includes:

  • sit, sit-stay
  • down, down-stay
  • stand
  • place, place-stay
  • look (an eye-contact cue)
  • leave-it
  • crate
  • drop

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, Lara works with your puppy to figure out what is being asked of them. The cost of the training program is just $900 for the 2 weeks. Each additional week thereafter is just $450, which includes new cues and a continuation of the prior weeks so they 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 Saturday 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 on-site trainers: Lara, Sunny and Carolyn are sometimes available to host an off-site trainee depending upon scheduling.


  Head On-Site Trainer

Lara Guthrie began fostering and training dogs the first quarter of her freshman year in college back in 2011. Five years and half a dozen future service dog fosters later, Lara graduated Wright State University with her Bachelors in Psychology.

Along the way she realized dogs are her passion and 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 you 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 with this link.

 Lara loves working with dogs and has her own standard golden retriever, Imani (CGC, NTD, ITD) who frequently is around GoldenQuest helping to socialize our Comfort Retriever® pups with ‘bigger’ dogs. She recently welcomed a Comfort Retriever® puppy, Una to the family. Imani and Lara are currently working towards their Advanced Trick Dog title, AKC Obedience CD title as well as looking forward to competing in Canine Freestyle and Rally FrEe; while new addition, Una is learning her basics. 

Here is a video compilation of Lara’s previous client dogs, and here is a video of her with one of our GoldenQuest puppies, Ace(JT1). Learn more about Lara here!



Sunny’s Biography is coming soon!


On-Site Trainers

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. 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.



Along with our on-site trainers, we have more amazing trainers that train exclusively off-site.


Libby Rockaway

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.



Ashley Anderson

Ashley Anderson

Ashley Anderson is our first off-site Trainer at GoldenQuest. She has grown up with dogs because her mother is a professional dog trainer and they have always had at least one or more dogs living in their home. Ashley quickly realized that she shares her mom’s passion for training and from a very early age began shadowing her during training sessions and assisting her whenever possible. Using the knowledge and skills her mom passed down to her, Ashley soon began dog-sitting and training puppies on her own. Additionally, she took on the responsibility for the training of her family dog, Moose.

Currently, Ashley is a Training Leader in her 4H Dog 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 competed in numerous 1st Place ribbons and awards for Obedience, Showmanship, and Rally.

Ashley says “working with dogs is pure joy for me, as each puppy provides a new opportunity to implement the experience, skills and knowledge I have acquired over the years. Lara Guthrie is fantastic and I’m so excited to be working alongside her at GoldenQuest.”

Families that have had their Comfort Retrievers trained by Ashley have wonderful things to say. View some of Ashley’s past training videos here!



 As the demand for training grows here at GoldenQuest, we have begun the search for finding talented individuals who show great promise as future dog trainers (as well as already established trainers). With careful selection and trust these individuals learn along side Lara on what we here at GoldenQuest are looking for when training our Comfort Retriever® puppies.
Those chosen go through an introduction process based on their experience level then are given tasks and learning opportunities on-site that allow them to grow as trainers as well as dog handlers.
During their time on-site the apprentice gets to experience the different jobs a dog trainer performs; from assisting with ENS (“Early Neurological Stimulation”) on puppies from days 3 through 16, to socializing and working with all the dogs here at GoldenQuest.
Once the apprentice has proven that they are passionate, reliable and knowledgeable they may be given an on-site dog to work with during their apprenticeship hours with Lara. As progress is seen with their on-site trainee, the apprentice is then given the opportunity to train a client puppy with some oversight by Lara.
Only an Apprentice who clearly displays their love, passion and commitment to training our dogs as if their own are given the privilege of training a client puppy off-site. After training multiple GoldenQuest puppies, the trainer apprentice will gain the title of Off-Site Trainer for GoldenQuest.
The best part of this program isn’t just for the Apprentice but for your GoldenQuest puppy as he/she will get the unique experience of being trained inside a home where the smells, sounds and socialization are purest so as to best prepare them for life at home with your family.  The training program doesn’t change at all when your puppy is blessed to train in a private home; the same outline is used, each cue is still taught and the same terminology is used. During your Comfort Retriever® puppy’s training, you and your family will receive updates on his or her’s progress every Sunday both in a video and in a “report card” format sent from Lara or your puppy’s trainer.KN4 napping

(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.)

This is a wonderful opportunity for your new Comfort Retriever® as we can assess which trainer your puppy would learn best from both socially and obedience wise so they have an even better foundation. For example, if your home has young children, cats, other dogs or is simply more active then we will have the ability to select which of our trainers or apprentice trainers would provide the optimal environment for your growing Comfort Retriever®.

Below are the bios of the Trainer Apprentice that we currently employ as they have proven their abilities and compassion for not just GoldenQuest Comfort Retrievers® but for dogs in general. 



 At this time we do not have any off-site trainer apprentices. If you or someone you know may be interested in learning more about becoming an Off-Site Trainer Apprentice contact us at  trainer@comfortretrievers.com . 



Training Testimonies


” 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 “
“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