Labels go around social media and conversations like "pure positive", "balanced", etc. and we have intentionally chosen not to label our training approach for a reason.

If we had to sum it up for our clients or prospective clients it is simply: "come as you are."We are here to help - not to judge or convert.


If you've tried treats, and tools, and gadgets or haven't tried anything, have been to 100 classes or none, have had dogs your whole life or just got your very first one...

If what you're doing needs fine tuning or you don't know where to start - we will help you.

We have found that labels only guide a very small percentage of people to make a decision on where to go for training, and that too much methodology speak can actually confuse more than clarify.

We train dogs and teach people to train their dogs.
We help owners to better understand their dogs and communicate with them more clearly.
We prioritize improving your relationship with your dog over simply "getting the job done."
We encourage enthusiasm at both ends of the leash when it comes to learning new skills and solving behavior problems.
We pride ourselves on being reasonable and realistic - both in training goals and plans to achieve those goals.
We understand that dog ownership is a journey - and not a linear one, at that.

Hannah Halvorson


Hannah Halvorson knows dogs. She has spent the better part of her adult life volunteering with rescues, facilitating care at an animal hospital, and learning firsthand about canine behavior and dogs’ link to their human companions. She loves dogs, but, more important, she understands them.

Dogs aren’t just hungry pieces of furniture, and they’re so much more than pets. Hannah understands that forging a tight bond between a dog and a person helps them both grow, learn, and interact with the world better.

Training isn’t a job; it’s an opportunity to be creative, build relationships, and forge unbreakable ties. Over the years, Hannah has worked with dogs of all shapes and sizes (well, generally dog-shaped) at all stages of life, from puppy to crotchety old hound. She has a particular affinity for dogs in the most need of help – those with behavioral issues and other traits that caused their humans to throw up their hands.

Hannah gets that dogs can be a pain sometimes, and often it’s frustrating and overwhelming to consider how a dog appears today vs. how things could be with patience, consistency, and some tried-and-true techniques. That’s why she has dedicated her life to helping people figure out better ways to connect with their dogs. Common Ground Canine is her latest venture, and its mission is to bring out the best in dogs and people.


Hannah’s approach with Common Ground represents an evolution of styles, philosophies, and training methods that she developed over years of hands-on work with dogs and their humans. Her “come as you are” philosophy permeates every aspect of the training process, and her willingness and ability to teach and reinforce her proven techniques sets Common Ground apart from other training programs.

The Crew

Click on each dog to learn more about their training journey.