My clients’ success is my goal, so these reviews mean the world to me

Working with a junior trainer and her best friend during a session of her Beginner Dog Training course, one of two youth programs I enjoyed leading for the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rockland County.

Noemi and Damian and their Beagle puppy Peanut pose during a training field trip with me. We put Peanut’s new skills to the test out in the real world and she aced it!

Kristin Ruggiero

4-H Resource Educator
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rockland County

Fran Hellman has been a valuable asset to the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rockland County (CCERC). This past year, Fran led two youth programs with CCERC including Dog Handling and Showmanship and Beginner Dog Training. For both of these programs, Fran provided clear instructions and demonstrations and tailored the training to each participant’s needs. Her use of positive reinforcement techniques created an enjoyable atmosphere during the sessions and helped the youth effectively communicate with their dogs. After each session, she also took the time to send an email to participants with a review of the lesson, along with ideas for practice and additional resources. Fran is a devoted professional and has greatly enhanced the youths’ confidence and their relationships with their animals. I highly recommend her!

“We were truly lucky to have found Fran…”

We were truly lucky to have found Fran. From showing us how to train Peanut to respond to basic commands to devising effective approaches to the behavioral challenges of a very curious and “sniffy” Beagle, Fran provided insight, patience, and encouragement as we navigated the joys and occasional trials of raising a puppy.


I was so grateful to find Fran and her handling class. She was immediately warm and welcoming to a novice handler. Her method was accommodating to each skill level, and the skills I developed through her class helped boost my confidence enormously… and win!

Kathie & Alex

Hi Fran– A brag. At the South County Kennel Club show in Richmond, RI yesterday with 9-12 month puppy bitch Alex.  WB,  BOW, BOB and best of all a Group 1 in Owner Handler.  Yay to me and Alex and kudus to you for all your help and training.

JoEllen Suffern

Fran is not just a talented trainer, she is our own ‘dog whisperer.’ From the first time she met our smart but naughty puppy, I watched her interact with her in a special way. We have five sons and lots of dogs have been part of our family over the years so I am very familiar with dog trainers. Fran’s techniques are gentle, loving and  effective. She was able to vary her training techniques to suit my puppy’s personality. As one of my sons is a veterinarian with his own hospital, I have access to the best professional, unbiased advice. Fran more than meets his high standards for training a puppy in our family. I knew my puppy was learning to react to my requests after a few lessons but what was unexpected for me was that a sort of ‘understanding’ developed between my puppy and me that went far beyond that. Fran taught me how to communicate with my new dog that goes far beyond just teaching good behavior.


When I adopted my 6 month old puppy I was overwhelmed and unsure as to many things including how to transition Romeo into my home, groom him, general health maintenance and training. Fran came to my rescue. Not only did she put me at ease but Romeo as well with her incredible “crate side” manor. It is clear that her relationship with my dog is just as important to her as the one she has with me. One session was all that it took for me to learn how to file his nails and brush his teeth. Fran gave me tips to make Romeo comfortable in his new surroundings as well as information on day to day health care and training. Fran’s guidance is second to none, her knowledge is very broad and continually addresses all of my questions and concerns. Her love for what she does comes across not only through her expertise but also in the way she so easily connects with me and more importantly Romeo.

Patricia W. Haverstraw

We hired Fran for help with our new Golden Retriever. I highly recommend her! She is very patient and incredible with her positive training. We reinforce everything she has taught and showed us with our Yogi! It’s incredible to see how quickly and awesome our puppy is responding to all the commands she taught. I cannot wait to continue our training.

Rox and Johnny

Hi Fran, I just wanted to drop you a note to say THANK YOU for all the classes, guidance and information and to let you know that Johnny got WD and BOW both days this weekend in Rhode Island for a total of 4 POINTS!!! I am over the moon and can’t wait for the next class and the next show! See you soon!

Kim and Lexi Registered Therapy Dog

Fran is a very supportive and patient trainer. She really shows you how to bond and become a team with your dog. I am now a proud owner of a therapy dog as a result of Fran’s training.

Christine and Valentino Registered Therapy Dog

It has been a rewarding and empowering experience working with Fran Hellman of Four Paws Guidance Dog Training. Her instruction gave me the tools and confidence to help my dog with a gentle way of training, and the results are a happy dog and grateful and better owner. I could not be more pleased, and would highly recommend her.

Tammy and Jessie

Although Jessie and I did not win anything this weekend, I have to tell you a few things.

  • people thought I had been taking lessons a lot longer than I have!
  • we had a TON of fun!
  • Jessie did great!

She really did awesome. I was so proud of her. Thank you for all your help. I’m looking forward to coming back to class soon. I think we are making some good progress with you! You were in my head the whole time (in a good way). I made some mistakes but we have been practicing & doing our training and she did so good. Thanks for everything.

Jara and Rose

Jara received her first 2 points at the National Dog Show, and then 2 three point majors at the Valley Forge Shows. A million thanks goes to you Fran! Without your guidance and our time together this would not have been possible. The truth is we need more classes with you. Nothing about presenting a dog in conformation is simple, and we need practice, practice, practice. Jara and I NEED to see you soon. You are amazing! Jara and I thank you for your help in getting us to this point. You gave me the confidence to believe in my Lioness. We love you.


Fran Hellman is an honest-to-goodness dog whisperer. She can get my dogs to do anything. Plus she treats them with love, respect and understanding. Her guidance has been so helpful to me in raising them and protecting them. I recommend Four Paws Guidance without reservation.


In just 7 sessions and with no prior handling experience, Fran instilled enough confidence in me to show my dog at the National Specialties. My second dog show, we won two majors, Select Dog, two days in a row. Thank you, Fran, for all your help and your never ending commitment to help us succeed.


Hi Fran, Just wanted to let you know that Rory took 4th place in the Open Bitch class at our National Specialty. The class was big, with lots of older and more experienced bitches. I am very happy. Plus, she showed beautifully. Her free stack has really come along and our work with you truly showed! Thanks again for all your encouragement, support, wisdom, and indispensable training tips!

Ebba and Dahra

Dear Fran, Your patience with this novice team paid off. Your step by step guidance, in a very short period of only a few weeks, gave us the tools to know what to do in the show ring. Constantly repeating the gestures, doing run-throughs and mock trials gave me the confidence I needed to show Dahra and bring out the best in her. A big thank you from both of us for your attentive care in helping us through this, our first show!

Joey in Thiells, NY

Fran was extremely enthusiastic and helpful with my 7 month old puppy. Not only is she a trainer but she’s always available via text or email for any questions you may have about your pup. You can tell she really loves her job and I was very happy with her I would recommend her to anyone who needs puppy training!

Joanne in Ossining, NY

I want to thank Fran for her flexibility and help in training my new pup (6 month male Chow Chow) and me for the ring. We had several individual sessions to prepare us for his first B Match and Chow Fun Day in late June with the Greater NY Chow Club. Leo was successful at winning his puppy class of 4-6 mos. Neither Leo nor I had any experience…Fran has been very patient in walking us through the breed standards, prep, the trotting/gating, ramp work and stacking, baiting, nomenclature, etc. Including demonstrations with her own dog and with Leo. I highly recommend her services and intend to continue to attend her training so that we can become more adept at showing Leo successfully.

Thanks Fran

Eric & Cynthia in Bardonia, NY

“Cynthia and I hired Fran to help us train Tessa, our new German Shepherd puppy. We chose Fran based on her expertise in positive reinforcement training and her guidance and support has been invaluable. Fran’s dog training experience was apparent from the start and her ability to work with both human and pup were equally impressive. Even when we hit the occasional speed bump she was able to pivot her (and our) approach to quickly course correct.

We have a tremendous foundation from which to build and can’t thank Fran enough!

Robyn in Piermont, NY

Fran Hellman’s Four Paws Guidance Dog training was so insightful and helpful. We’ve had numerous dogs over the years, read dog training books and watched tv shows — but nothing compares to Fran’s in person lessons (even during covid with masks on). After just a few lessons, she had our new puppy sitting, lying down, staying, coming, dropping it, leaving it, waiting, Walking on a leash, and twirling on command. Fran pointed out just the right words to use, exactly when to use them, when to give treats and with which hand. I realized through her training that I was also learning all the subtleties of dog behavior and obedience. We hope to continue lessons with Fran with our puppy and with our older dog.

I’d love to be your guide!

Call me at (845) 234-1645

Ready for expert training success?

Puppy training, basic manners dog training, Canine Good Citizen (CGC) prep, therapy dog training, show handling training for dog lovers and enthusiasts in but not limited to:

Bergen County – Mahwah, Oakland, Franklin Lakes, Ridgewood, Upper Saddle River, Saddle River and Allendale
Rockland County – Suffern, Nanuet, New City, West Nyack, Nyack
Westchester – Tarrytown, While Plains, Scarsdale