Animal Minds Behavior & Training

Rancho Cordova, CA

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About this pro

How does your business stand out?

We are one of the few trainers that use the training style that works best for your dog in your home.

What do you enjoy about the work you do?

I enjoy helping our clients enjoy their dog vs. being frustrated with its behavior.


Rancho Cordova, CA 95670

Years in business


Number of employees


Times hired on Thumbtack



13 Reviews
  • Roxann M. Sep 8, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    They are lifesavers!
  • Joan W. May 18, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Terra is fantastic. Her gentle-but-firm training method is nothing short of magic! Highly recommend her service.
  • Tonya N. Apr 2, 2017
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    An excellent experience. Susan was very patient, kind and knowledgeable.
  • John A. Oct 9, 2016
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    First lesson
    every thing went well
  • Lelah R. Dec 31, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    We are so happy with Terra! She is down to earth and explains things very well. It's amazing how much difference there is with our German shepherd and Border Collie mix. Not only has been training the dogs, she has been training the entire family. She is very patient and thorough. She also had great advice on the type of beds and leashes for the dogs. So far. All her advice has been wonderful! She even spent time with us talking about different food types. We couldn't have asked for a better trainer! I would highly recommend her to anyone having difficulty with their pooches!
  • DeeAnn S. Dec 14, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
  • Linda W. Nov 4, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    We have a Whippet, and we are working on the command to come back once we let her go, chasing a squirl. Were make great head way that she will finally listen to us. We love all of this training that we are getting. Wish we would have found them sooner to help us!
  • Michelle E. Oct 20, 2015
    I have had nothing but positive and informative contact with both Terra and Suzy. They are professional, compassionate, and follow through with promises made. They respond to questions and issues in a timely manner, explain things in a clear and consistent manner, and continue to help address issues as they arise. My 10 month old lab likes to do the typical 5 steps forward 10 steps backwards in both behavior and obedience-they have been spectacular in helping me through my frustrations and to continue working with him so he can be what I want and need.
  • Robin C. Jun 22, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Susan did a board and train for our standard Poodle. He had been with 2 other trainers before who gave up on him. Susan has done an outstanding job. We are so happy. The training is an on going process. we give her 5 stars.
  • Amy W. Feb 26, 2015
    Dog Training
    Verified Review
    Its too early to know long term affects, as we have only had an hour together, but in that time, I learned a lot. I have seen a difference in my dog's behavior and we are making progress on housebreaking. I feel much more confident in the way I handle my dog, which helps dramatically. I would recommend Susan to anyone who is looking for help.
  • Megan R. Feb 10, 2015
    Susan is AMAZING! when I first met Susan she evaluated myself and my 3 dogs. I had some aggression issues with my two males in the past, and because of that I was a very uneasy handler/owner. Susan made our lessons about building self control and making good choices, not only for the dogs but for myself as well. She taught me the tools I needed to be successful on my own. I am a more confident and safe dog owner because of her, and I have 3 very well behaved socialy appropriate dogs now.
  • Brandon G. Feb 8, 2015
    I am very critical by nature and pay exceptional attention to detail. That being said I have had nothing but exceptional experiences with Suzy Newell and Animal Minds. Suzy has always been very professional and knowledgeable. Her techniques are as specialized as her clients ,and the follow through is phenomenal.In the past I have known and used other trainers.By far,Suzy is a different breed. The difference in results were overwhelmingly profound, she has created a league of her own.The enrichment and enlightenment both myself and dog received absolutely solidified our bond,enabling me to better care for and educate my girl. I will never use another trainer or company for my animal training needs,and would recommend friends and family as well. I hope you all have as wonderful of an experience as I have, as I know you will.
  • Susan G. Feb 8, 2015
    Susan Newell is an absolutely fabulous dog trainer. I have a 9 year old rescue Pointer mix, with serious issues including, barrier aggression, biting, and environmental sensitivity. Susan worked with the dog and helped me to understand him Today he is loving, has confidence and is very a stand up and well adjusted guy. We would not have made it without Susan. She is professional, timely and truly cares about her clients (people and dogs). I highly recommend her. Susan Gray, Davis,


What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
5 sessions total. Once a week. $275 A well rounded, obedient pet not only stems from consistent training but a healthy home life. In these sessions we cover basic commands along with an individualized training plan based on your day to day schedule. Some of us work 9-5 while others are home often, depending on your day - we can suggest how to structure your pets day and what training techniques will best fit your lifestyle and allow you to reach those training goals. These are also available individually on an as needed basis at $75 for 1 hour.
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
All clients typically start with an in home evaluation. This way the client can meet with the trainer, ask any questions they may have and the trainer can meet both the animal and the owner in their every day environment to best assess their training needs and what will be the most effective training course.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
Please visit our website, and check out the bio section. It gives a lot more room for the details!
What types of customers have you worked with?
Aggression cases (fear, territorial, possession, human/animal related reactivity), separation anxiety (severe and moderate cases), basic obedience, sports (rally, flyball, dock diving, lure coursing, agility) AKC CGC/Community canine prep and tests, Therapy dog training/certification, Service Dogs, and various Working dogs. Horses, farm stock, cats, birds, reptiles and small animals/pets are also past clients.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
We are currently working on a project with the local VA and County Shelter to build a program for Veterans looking to work with dogs. It will kick off in the next month or so and we're greatly looking forward to it's progress.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Our dog blog has this answered perfectly: Positive, Negative, Or Somewhere In-Between... "If something seems too good to be true, it usually is." I've seen a wide array of videos lately from trainers professing "miracle" results within a matter of minutes with dogs who have various behavioral issues. Now, they may not use the word miracle but the whole 'point' of the video is to show these tremendous results in a very short period of time. Additionally, they often mention other trainers have failed this dog in a type of "Look what I can do..." manner. Or as a testament as to why their methods “work" and others do not. This then becomes a battle for or against use of aversive/negative reinforcement or positive only. "This is why positive only doesn't work in real life..." while the dog in the prong collar sits quietly while a dog being lured with treats fails or reaches threshold and barks or "look what all those collar corrections did..." when the dog arrives fearful. As a business, we must sell ourselves as does any business. Our process, skills, experience, etc. However if integrity and results are truly valuable to you - why wouldn't you value long term results? Why would you take to bashing other trainers and methods? To most every day pet owners things seem all well and good. They don't typically notice the issues with this "quick fix" training as they see instant results and are immediately satisfied. We are after all in a day and age where extra importance is placed on quick results. There are times where it can be imperative to see relatively quick results in order to help keep the dog in the home but more often than not - these “quick fixes” are more often than not - unnecessary and impractical. The dog is the one who suffers in the end. For those of us that work in the behavior field and train along side these people… we know there is no ‘quick’ fix. Weeks or months down the line after your customers have gone on their merry way and your "quick fix" often begins to wear off… Other trainers are left to pick up the pieces with a much more difficult dog and you then become the one who failed the dog. It’s a vicious cycle, no puns intended. The other sad and often unmentioned part of this cycle, is for the dogs who it does not “wear off” because the dog has now learned to just stop reacting. Instead, you now have owners who have a false sense of security in their animal and often take them into situations they just aren’t ready for. (I will explain further towards the end). Every dog is different and of course, should be evaluated as such. While some cases are easier than others - I will say this having worked on both sides of the fence: Just because you can shut a dog down & teach it to avoid does NOT equate to the animal learning the social skills necessary to interact or engage in every day life. Teaching one but not the other is a disservice to the animal and your clients. Learned helplessness is real and if it is a term you are unfamiliar with, I urge you to catch up quickly. Whether the dog is fearfully reacting, has had a lack of boundaries/instruction/communication, is genetically a wreck, or is proactively challenging people/other dogs, etc… there are certain behaviors that need to be taught in place of these responses in order for the dog to move forward positively. A missing link many seem to forget is although a dog may stop physically exhibiting the signs, does not mean they ‘feel’ different internally. Only through further training, time, experience, exposure and proofing do we confirm these thoughts. They cannot speak for themselves to tell us in the moment (if only) so how is it you magically 'know' this issue is solved? If you have not walked the steps I just listed, you don't know. It's an assumption. And we all know how safe those are to make in regards to animals and their behavior. It's not about positive or negative, both can be effective, it's about the quality of the trainer and their ability to evaluate the animal and their behavior continuously throughout their time with the dog. There is no blanket method that covers every behavior, temperament type, or situation successfully. It is never professional to bash another trainer or method of training. It is certainly not professional to film or take pictures of people having difficulty or doing something that doesn’t work. They certainly will be too embarrassed to come to you when/if they decide to give another method a shot. I don’t care how much someone may have antagonized you for your use of a prong collar, I assure you I’ve received just as many “treat training doesn’t work” remarks while working my dog as I have negative remarks on my use of prongs or slip leads. I do see a lot of trainers finding a happy “medium” to all of these methods and I do believe this to be the answer. However, I still see a ton of bashing and just have to wonder - why? Isn’t this about the dogs? Let your methods, experience, and skills speak for themselves.