Why Trust-Focused Training?

Scientific evidence is on our side.

Trust-focused training is our flavor of training based on fear-free, force-free, pain-free, coercion-free methods. Does it work? Absolutely! Not only is it very effective, but it avoids the pitfalls and potentially dangerous fallout of other training methods, which has been shown in numerous scientific studies. Because we train with positive reinforcement, we keep the relationship between dog and human healthy. The dog learns to trust you to communicate clearly, to reward them for their efforts (do you like to be paid for your work?), and to advocate for their needs. You in turn can trust the training will pay off in a big way: your dog will listen to you not out of fear, but instead based on a strong reinforcement history; they will love training; and they will have solid behavior skills that will help them be pleasant companions.

We strictly follow the Professional Code of Ethics of the IAABC (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants).

They trusted us first.

Dogs’ friendship with humans started to form eons ago. 30,000 years ago, the first diverging lines of canids that were to become the domestic dog began to evolve — a little tamer, a little braver around humans, a little more trusting to approach them to grab a “to-go” meal from their garbage. In trust-focused training, we honor the nature of this ancient relationship. We become trustworthy guardians that respect our dogs, gently show them the way to live among humans, and treat them with kindness.

It’s rewarding for humans, too!

We don’t know about you, but for us, learning a new language, understanding our animals better, playing games with them, and making them happy and comfortable sounds like a lot of fun. It’s how training should be, and it’s how we do it. We coach you to “speak dog” so you know how your dog is feeling. We help you to break things down into baby steps and set your dog and yourself up for success. We engage you and your dog in training games. We build the foundations for a human-canine bond that will thrive for years to come.

Bettina Schaden, CPDT-KA

Owner, Trainer

Bettina Schaden came to dog training via her own sensitive dog, who needed a lot of support managing anxiety in addition to all the basics of living among humans. Through expert mentors in the Denver, CO area, she pursued the path of positive training, always relying on the most current scientific knowledge on behavior. Her past career as a musician and school teacher gives her a unique perspective on the learning process and a keen sense for breaking down skills into digestible bites for both dogs and people.

As a dog trainer at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, she teaches classes for the community and helps sheltered dogs become more easily adoptable through behavior modification programs. Always a life-long learner, she continues her education by attending conferences and seminars, reading, and observing other renowned trainers in action. Her inspiration comes from professionals like Kathy Sdao, Dr. Patricia McConnel, Ken Ramirez, among others.

Bettina is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA), member of the Pet Professional Guild, and a supporting member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

When not training dogs, Bettina enjoys tinkering and crafting, practicing yoga, playing violin, riding her bike, and cooking.

Hayley Griffen


Hayley Griffen got into training dogs in 2002 when a cute husky/malamute rescue dog named Summer joined her family and she took her first positive reinforcement training class at a local rec center. She took Summer through advanced obedience and an AKC Canine Good Citizen program and has been hooked on training ever since. In 2008 she attained an Obedience Trainer/Instructor certificate through Penn Foster Career College and went on to train dogs through MaxFund’s Animal Adoption Center by leading the CHAMPS program (Creating Homes for Agreeably Mannered Pups!) for several years. She also obtained a degree in biology (focusing on animal behavior & botany–her other passion) in 2016. 

Hayley is passionate about working with people and dogs to help them communicate and work cooperatively, rather than using intimidation or aversive methods. She enjoys practicing agility with her Maremma sheepdog mix, Aeris, and teaching tricks to her little senior chi/pom etc. mix Yoda.

Hayley is a member of the Pet Professional Guild and of Doggone Safe.

When not playing with the dogs, she’s snuggling with her cats, Athena and Denali, or tending to her small flock of urban chickens and a sprawling urban farm (and indoor plant jungle) in Lakewood, CO.

Presta Button

Director of QA

Presta Button is a 30-lb boxer mix who started at Trust Evolved as a volunteer custodian in our Training Treat Prep Department. Her stellar performance in that position (not a crumb to be found!) soon led to her current role, where she is proud to oversee the selection of the highest quality treats, slow feeders, and puzzle toys.

As a trainer’s dog, she also regularly provides valuable feedback on new training techniques. She is an integral part of our team and the source of lots of comic relief around the office. In her free time, Presta enjoys agility, hiking, and zooming in turbo mode; on lazier days she can be found sunbathing on the deck.