A Good Dog’s Life has become one of the preferred referrals among many in the dog training profession. While we do have the largest training facility in the area on a 3.5 acre campus, we have never lost sight of how we have earned the trust of so many dog owners and professionals who recommend our training services. We are grateful for the loyalty of our students and professionals over the years, and we have used our success to reinvest in the things that matter most to the local dog community.

As a humane partner in the dog community, our goal is to continue to teach the best training techniques for improving the home environment of canine companions. Our mission is to present proven training techniques that help owners see the long-term effects of positive approaches to learning. Each day we listen to what owners want from their dogs, present programs that work best for both parties, and help owners achieve the level of companionship they desire.

A Little History

In June of 2003, Susan Wilson and Gail Hubbard purchased the land at 33 Hidden Acres and planned to develop Asheville’s largest place dedicated to dog training. We started out in a side yard and a 1100 square foot building on a half acre and we were excited to create a charming campus for all of Buncombe and the surrounding counties to enjoy!

The campus sits on 3.5 acres and includes a 100 square foot outdoor agility field and a 6,000 square foot heated indoor and we dedicate almost an acre to a wooded walking path for students and their dogs to use before and after class. There are also two fenced-in areas to run the dogs and socialize with other dog-friendly classmates. Our goal was to create a way to unwind after a long day, potty the dogs and prepare for class. We encourage students to come early or stay a bit late to take advantage of what the campus has to offer.

Our Instructors

Gail Hubbard  |  828.712.4245  |  gail@agooddogslife.com

In 1995, Gail Hubbard set out on a mission to better understand how dogs think so that she could help owners deepen their relationship with their dog. Training that is fun as well as effective was her goal. While reading and researching dog training, Gail started a dog walking business, A Dog’s Life, in Cleveland, Ohio. After helping clients with the basics and building more of a love for helping owners bond better with their dogs, she put her real job on hold and went to West Virginia Canine College.

At WVCC she lived and breathed dogs for 8-10 hours a day for 3 months. The experience was full of classroom work learning the dog’s mind and the natural approach to training that parallels Volhard motivational methods. The experience of training basic commands to different breeds was a great start in learning about relationships between human and dog behavior. Extra emphasis was placed on tracking, drug detection and protection work. WVCC had a German Shepherd breeding program and the main sport of Schutzhund was practiced twice a week.

Since graduating from WVCC with a certification as a trainer and behavior specialist in 1997, Gail has adopted a coaching approach tailored to each particular dog, it's breed personality and the dog/owner relationship. This approach is based on experience with and knowledge of motivational, positive and scientific methods. Gail helps students narrow down the different techniques of training into a well-defined, scientifically proven approach based on humane principles of how dogs actually learn. She understands that training is a process, not an event, and she encourages her students to develop a simple communication style to achieve their goals.

As a member of The Association of Pet Dog Trainers, Gail strongly believes in continuous education. She attends APDT's annual conferences as well as attempt to study with some of the best trainers and behaviorists in the field. Attending workshops and seminars as much as possible, Gail stays on attuned to new information which only will make her classes the best they can be.

Her sport of choice is a toss up between AKC Tracking and Agility. Since 1999 she has been involved in both. At that time her young GSD, Madison, started Tracking and SAR Training and took her first agility class. Falling in love with the relationship building potential of both sports she has been going to seminars and teaching ever since. Her Border Collie, Quinn, has his master title in agility, and has his tracking, and rally titles. Even though competing is important, the relationship between the handler and dog out weighs any title recieved. She is starting her Parson Russell Terrier, Tayt, with the VST tracking training as well as agility. He now has his master titles in agility. She encourages anyone interested in creating a stronger relationship with their dog to investigate some sort of sport with their dog.  That sport could be anything your dog loves to do ... What does your dog like?!

Gaia, a Belgian Malinois, happened upon Gail in 2014 which she welcomed happily into the pack as if she was their since 8 weeks.  At that time, Gaia was believed to be 7-8 months.  Since then she has almost earned her master titles in agility.  "Gaia is an angel. She is eager to play any game I show her!" Gail says.

 family web

Susan Wilson 




Nicole Martinez shared a status

Gail had great advice to help us get our fearful Uli into the car without him freaking out so much! We still have a long way to go but as least traveling got easier!

student stars

  • studentstars brewster

    OWNER: Maggie Brindell-Watt 
    I have to tell you we went to our Neighborhood Christmas Party and I was singing your praise.  Many of my neighbors that walked by our house daily commented on how well Brewster is behaving.  They were impressed when he barked at them and I can come out and tell him to be quite and he actually does listen to me.  So, in general they were just impressed at how well he is behaving for such a young dog.  So, I just wanted to say "thank you" for helping us, couldn't have done it without your help. We still have a lot of work to do but we are on the right track.

  • studentstars roux

    OWNER: Cindy Hartman  
    "Gail, thank you VERY MUCH for reviewing our runs from last weekend, your comments were very helpful! You make some great points. I appreciate your keen eye and willingness to help us become a better team! Can't wait for class on Thursday!"

  • studentstars rigel

    OWNER: Susan McKenzie
    Rigel (2 ½ yr old black and white retriever/hound mix) took basic manners class and Pedals (6 mo old brindle lab/pit mix) attended both the puppy and basic manners class at A Good Dog’s Life  When people visit our home, I often receive compliments on how well behaved my dogs are.  They do not try to counter surf and I can ask them to stay on their beds to get out from under foot.  I am a strong believer in challenging dogs physically and mentally and intend to take further classes at A Good Dog’s Life.  They both enjoy it.

  • studentstars elke

    OWNER: Tanya Alstott 

    I was happy with the content of the class.  I think these type of puppy class are limited in what you can expect out of your dog, mainly due to age and the inability to focus for any length of time.  Socialization was my main goal and I feel like Elke got that from the class.

  • studentstars sky

    OWNER: Peggy and Bob Dellinger 
    Gail, WE loved class today. I had read most of the book "tracking from the ground up" but boy you made lots more sense then the book!

  • studentstars franklin

    OWNER: Lisa Wester 
    You are Wonder Woman Dog Trainer. My son and I did a short session with Franklin today. Did not jump any. We did five or six meet and greets. Michael did three short walks and Franklin behaved very well letting Michael pet him.
    Hope to do a session Fri and Sun.
    Thanks so much!

  • studentstars eiko

    OWNER: Anna Ferguson, Vibrant Heart Yoga www.vibrantheartyoga.com 
    Eiko and I have had great fun learning with Gail from A Good Dog's Life. We have done classes at her wonderful facility and also some private lessons. I am always impressed by Gail's knowledge, patience and obvious love for dogs. Her training tips and handouts were crucial for great puppy training, and we really enjoyed our puppy classes. We now have a wonderfully well-behaved, intelligent dog that is our best friend! I recommend her all the time to new puppy owners to get started on the right paw!

contact us

A Good Dog's Life
Training Center

33 Hidden Acres Drive
Asheville NC 28806

Susan    828.231.4172
Gail    828.712.4245