For Dog Training Call or Text Us At 530-451-3188


About Us

Top-Rated Dog Training Services in Northern California

Ridgeside K9 NorCal Dog Training offers various dog training programs, including board and train and day training, among many other programs. However, dog owners can opt for private training. Private training entails training the dog owner to motivate and train their dog to communicate and engage. Our expert trainers evaluate the client’s dog and the situation it lives in. We also listen to the owner to establish what works and what doesn’t. Our trainers also evaluate the dog’s temperament and behavior. After that, we teach the owner how to develop a relationship using various tools and techniques. Afterward, we develop a plan to train the dog and also equip the owner with skills to train the dog further after they leave.

We offer the very best dog training in all of Northern California!

Rich Hartman, Owner & Trainer

Rich Hartman is a Northstate local, born and raised in Chico, Ca. He is a 25-year veteran of law enforcement. For 15 years Rich was a full-time K9 Handler.  

Rich has been a Police K9 Trainer for the last 7 years, responsible for the training of multiple Police and Sheriff K9s in the Sacramento and Bay Area region. Rich also raises puppies that are trained to work as Police K9s.  He has placed several Police Dogs into service in the Northern California Region.  

While training K9s, Rich has taken on several pets for people in need of help with their personal dogs.  It has become clear that there is an overwhelming need for pet dog training and behavioral rehabilitation in Northern California. Rich has teamed up with Aaron Taylor (founder and owner of Ridgeside K9 LLC) to bring the proven Ridgeside K9 brand, training, and service to all of Northern California. Ridgeside K9 NorCal was born and opened in 2021.

Jason Miller, Dog Trainer

Jason Miller is a native of the Sacramento Region.  Jason is a 17-year veteran of law enforcement at a local agency. Jason has owned and trained dogs his entire life. At first, it was a hobby and consisted of training family dogs to be obedient and do tricks. The training of dogs became a full-time job when he was selected to be a K9 handler for his agency in 2014. Jason has handled multiple K9 partners and assisted his fellow handlers with the training of their dogs. Becoming a K9 handler is when Jason took his dog training studies to new levels. Having the opportunity to work and train with the industry leaders in his region has helped Jason develop a knowledge of the positive methods of training. Jason expanded his knowledge base by attending training events and conferences put on by trainers from around the country and world. Jason is a firm believer in ethical and humane training methods that enrich the bond between dog and owner. Jason continues to further his studies in training our four-legged companions and making a better life for them and their owners.

Jason and his wife, Kacey, currently have two dogs. The first is Jason’s current K9 partner and the second is his retired partner. Jason’s retired K9 partner, Blu, was credited with saving Jason’s life and is a K9 Purple Heart recipient.

Maddie Galati, Dog Trainer

Maddie is one of our top-notch board and train dog trainers! I have had a passion for dogs ever since I was a little girl, for Christmas and my birthday I’d always ask for books on dogs or dog training so I could train the family Golden Retriever. As soon as I turned 18, I started volunteering at a local dog rescue to get hands on experience and I was able to shadow multiple trainers from there. A few years later I was hired as a dog trainer for a company that did severe behavior modifications and working dogs, so I got to have tons of experience with two very different extremes in dog behavior. From there I continued training but took on a job working detection canines for narcotics and even got the amazing opportunity to work my own dog in conservation detection. One of my dogs, Hex, who does the conservation detection got to be on the A&E TV show America’s Top Dog! He was the first conservation detection dog to compete on the show. I have been training dogs full time since leaving my detection position 2 years ago. I never actually stopped training, just shifted my focus for a bit. I have 3 personal dogs, Hex, Bruce and Rip. Hex is my demo dog and competes in PSA (protection sports association) and Rip will be following suit as well. Outside of dog training I enjoy camping, traveling and working out.

Elena O’Rourke, Dog Trainer

Elena O’Rourke gained exposure to various aspects of the dog training industry at a young age. Growing up, she worked with Border Collies on a sheep ranch, champion show dogs, hunting dogs, and even rescued the occasional animal aggressive pit bull. At the age of 13, Elena began reading books about dog training and experimented with different training methods on her family’s pit bulls. However, her passion for dog training was put on hold until she attended college, where she became acquainted with service dog training and puppy raising for organizations. This experience ignited her passion, prompting her to raise two service dog puppies while pursuing her Animal Science degree at UC Davis. During college, Elena wholeheartedly immersed herself in the field of dog training. After completing her studies, she worked in the veterinary field, gaining valuable knowledge and skills. Nonetheless, her yearning for dog training remained strong. Consequently, Elena sought opportunities to shadow and learn from a diverse range of trainers, including attending the prestigious Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers. Presently, Elena not only trains pet dogs but also hones her skills in the sport of PSA (Protection Sports Association) with her Belgian Malinois. Additionally, she owns a pet Belgian Malinois and Labrador, both of which serve as demonstration dogs for her clients.

Brett Smith, Dog Trainer

Brett was a Chico Police Officer for 23 years. For 14 of those years, he was a K9 handler and he handled two dogs. He competed in dozens of Police dog trials with his second dog, Bak, and they won over 100 trophies including Top Team at the 2008 International Police K9 Conference, 1st Place overall in 2009 at the Las Vegas Metro Police K9 Trial, and in 2010 took 1st Place overall and Top Competitor for the Western States Police Canine Association trials. Since he retired from Chico PD in 2012, Brett has been procuring, raising, and training puppies and dogs for dozens of Law Enforcement agencies and private persons in the Western States. Brett’s passion continues to be working with dogs to make their lives better

Jackie Ryder, Dog Trainer

We are super excited to welcome Jackie to our team of trainers!! Jackie will be focusing on Sacramento and the surrounding area, teaching private lessons, drop-in classes, and Board and Train.
Jackie’s passion for dog training and behavior began when she got her first job working as a veterinary assistant. She worked in the veterinary field for six years, gaining invaluable experience in canine behavior and educating owners on communicating clearly with their companions. She branched out further by teaching formal obedience classes in the parking lot of that vet office, then after a few years, dove into training full time.
Jackie has been training dogs professionally for six years now. She is an active trainer, handler, and competitor in the sport of French Ring, arguably one of the most challenging canine competitions, and has titled multiple dogs. She and her husband also train and place dogs as dual-purpose police K9s.
Jackie is often accompanied by her demo and up-and-coming competition dog, Splinter. She’s also owned by retired working dogs Vice and Jade. Storm the lab also holds an important position as Cuddler and Puppy Socializer. Outside of dogs, Jackie enjoys spending time with her husband and young daughter, and she enjoys time on the mats, becoming less bad at Jiu Jitsu. 

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