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 ​A Matter of Manners Dog Training all started with a love of animals and an eagerness to help people. I have adored animals since I was young, but my passion was re-energized when I started volunteering at Busan Abandoned Pet Sanctuary in South Korea and began fostering dogs. Thankfully during this time, I discovered the joys and benefits of positive reinforcement training and changed the way I viewed my dogs. Training became more fun for me and my dogs, they progressed quickly and behaviors became more solid and reliable. After a big move back to America, I started working in the behavior department at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter, where I gained thousands of hours of hands-on experience doing behavior modification, basic and advanced training, dog and cat behavior evaluations, doggy playgroups, some puppy class teaching and behavior and training consultations with the public. Once ready to branch out, I enrolled in The Academy for Dog Trainers and developed A Matter of Manners to help keep dogs in homes with happy parents. Whether or not your dog has exhibited behavior issues, I am here for you!


I graduated from The Academy for Dog Trainers, an esteemed training school founded by Jean Donaldson, where I received a Certificate in Training and Counseling (CTC). I am a Certified Behavior Consultant Canine - Knowledge Assessed (CBCC-KA) through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, and I have been a Fear Free Certified Professional ( since the beginning of the organization. I also recently completed the rigorous International Cat Care Course on Advanced Feline Behavior, receiving a certificate in Advanced Feline Behavior for Cat Behavior with Distinction. The training industry is not regulated, and anyone can claim to be a dog or cat trainer despite a complete lack of education in animal behavior and modern training. I value the importance of continuing education and keeping up to date on the latest scientific findings in animal behavior and cognition to ensure I continue to give the best service possible to my clients and their animals.


​A Matter of Manners  uses force-free methods based on the science of animal learning and behavior. That means I do not use coercion, fear, pain, or intimidation to train dogs (including all devices that cause fear or pain, like choke chains, prong collars, and shock/e-collars). Instead, I use the presentation and removal of rewards to get more of the behaviors we like, and less of the behaviors we don't like. 

About me

Jane Phillips Photography

"When Erica comes over for a training session, it's like a holiday at our place - the dogs are sooo excited to see her, and her fun, positive approach to training really gets results. Erica is great at training people too, so that her amazing work doesn't get undone in between sessions."

Lorrin and Jewel


"I am glad to give 5 stars to A Matter of Manners. Erica knows animals, especially dogs!
I have seen her take on the most frightened, challenged and aggressive dogs and turned them into the sweetest little doggies ever! She is that good...and she is good with kitties too!
So, if you are looking to have your doggie well trained that comes when called, and greets guests politely, doesn't take YOU for a walk, or, if you just want to teach your little buddy some really cool new tricks...then call Erica at A Matter of Manners!"

Murad Kirdar

"I've been doing Skype lessons with Erica for a few weeks now and every time I'm just so amazed at how quickly she can get my dogs doing all kinds of commands! I never imagined my dogs would be able to do the things she had taught them already and we've only just started! She's even helping me with my cat! The thing I like most is that she shows me how to properly train a command using her dog right there, and then she coaches me through actually doing it with my dog all live on Skype! Just what I needed! <3 Thanks so much!"

Leann and Arum & Daun

"Loved working with Erica! She makes training so much fun!"

Jane and Ollie

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