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About Me

Make the Dog House a Thing of the Past!

I set up Four Happy Paws in 2017 to offer the people and pets of South Canterbury a new option of training. Four Happy Paws is a fully certified business, and I am a qualified and experienced Senior Vet Nurse who has always had an interest in dog training and behaviour. In 2021 I completed a formal qualification through Delta Institute in Australia, and now I want to share my new knowledge with you. I take your pet’s health and well-being as seriously as humanly possible!


I believe that owning a pet is an amazing and rewarding experience, but also a responsibility, not a luxury. Training your pet properly will lead you to a greater understanding of the animal, and I firmly believe in the owner-pet relationship being one of mutual understanding and respect. I immerse you fully in the training process, and with this holistic approach, I find that owners end up learning as much, if not more, than their pets. Call to find out more about my unique approach to training.

Doggie Handshake


CANZ (Companion Animal NZ) accredited animal animal training instructor.

Animal Training Instructors are experts in training animal behaviour. This may be teaching basic “manners” such as sit, stay, and recall, through to more specialised training such as in agility, tricks, or Nosework. Animal Training Instructors work closely with the animal guardian, effectively training the guardian on how to train the animal. 



Association of Professional Dog Trainers New Zealand - Endorsed Trainer

I am a proud member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers New Zealand and recognized as an Endorsed Trainer.

The Trainer Endorsement Programme recognises and endorses those APDTNZ members who, as dog trainers, have a level of knowledge, experience and academic qualifications, or accreditation that is of a high calibre and is in line with the Association's Code of Ethics promoting dog-friendly training techniques.

Member of Delta Institute

The Delta Institute is the accrediting body for positive reward based trainers who have undertaken the accredited training course conducted by Delta.

I have completed the Delta Institute, Delta Instructors Companion Animal Dog Trainer Course. The Delta Society and all Delta Institute certified dog trainers are totally committed to companion dog training using only positive reinforcement (force free) methods. I am proud of all the work I put in to finish this course, and by being a member of the Delta Institute I am committed to continuing education to keep up to date with the latest information in dog training, so I am able to give you a wealth of knowledge. 

Fear Free Certified

Fear Free Certified Level 1, 2, 3 and Elite & Trainer

I have a special interest in helping reduce fear, anxiety and stress in dogs (and cats). I have gained fear free certification Elite in 2020 and now have gained the dog trainer fear free certification. Gaining these certifications has given me tools to help owners recognize signs of fear, stress and anxiety and ways to help our pets and owners deal with these. It has also given me tools to help work with you and your vet to take the fear out of vet visits using co-operative care. If you have a dog that hates the vets let me show you how we can change that!

Low Stress Handling Certified

The purpose of this Certification in Low Stress Handling is to provide the teaching content needed to understand and improve the individual or hospital’s ability to create a low stress environment and handle animals in a less stressful manner.

This certification enables me to help teach you how to care for your pets medical needs in a caring and kind way which helps to reduce fear, stress and anxiety. 

My Story

My name is Lisa Coppins, I grew up in the Central Otago town of Alexandra, after leaving school I studied Veterinary Nursing at Otago Polytechnic. Upon finishing this course I returned to my home town, and worked in various retail roles, as well as vet nursing part time. I took on running puppy classes there which I ran for a number of years. In 2013 I made the move to South Canterbury, settling in the Timaru area where I work full time as a Veterinary nurse. I found many people would ring my clinic for advice and help with training their dogs. I felt like I wanted to help but didn't have the right knowledge or skills. In 2018 I embarked on a learning journey through Delta Institute in Australia to study canine behaviour and training. This course required me to make 2 trips to Australia with assignments and videos to complete between trips. At the end of 2020 I completed my last assignment and was awarded the Delta Instructors Companion Animal Dog Trainer Course in 2021. I am proud of this achievement.
I now look forward to using my skills to help you and your dog live your best life together!

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Qualifications Achieved

There are a lot of professions that exist with no formal training or certification required, and dog training is one of them. 

Certifications should have clickable links to follow so the trainer is easily showing you where that certification comes from. Choosing a qualified professional is important when looking for someone to help you train your dog. Whether you choose to train with me or someone else. If you don't see their accreditations listed just ask! And do your homework.

Remember you are putting your trust, and your dog's trust in their hands.

  • National Certificate in Animal Care 2001

  • National Certificate in Veterinary Nursing 2001

  • Pet First Aid and Training (NZ) – Canine Body Language 2017

  • Fear Free Certification Level 1- 2017

  • Fear Free Certification Level 2- 2018

  • Karen Pryor – Better Veterinary Visits 2018

  • Low Stress Handling Certification Silver 2018

  • Delta Institute – Dog Training the Delta Way 2018

  • Feliway Cat Handling Programme 2019

  • Animal Evac NZ – Foundation Course 2019

  • Delta Institute – Responsible Companion Animal Ownership 2019

  • Delta Institute – Introduction to Training Class Management 2019

  • Fear Free Certification Level 3 – 2020

  • The Lemonade Conference 2020

  • Fear Free Elite Certification 2020

  • Delta Institute – Delta Instructors Companion Animal Dog Trainer Course 2021

  • Fear Free Trainer Certification 2021

  • APDTNZ Conference 2022

  • The Adolescent Dog - One-Day Online Conference 2023

  • Association of Professional Dog Trainers New Zealand - Endorsed Trainer 2024 (APDTNZ - ET)

  • CANZ (Companion Animal NZ) Accredited animal trainer/animal training instructor 2024 (CANZ - ATI)

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